Connecting to Our Wellness
Mark [0:00] I’d like to welcome Jo Surkitt from Revitalize Lifestyle to the World Heart of Connection podcast. Jo is a wellness educator, keynote speaker, and practitioner who specializes in creating positive change and healthy choices in the lives of people from all walks of life. Jo has worked with many business organisations and individuals over the past two decades in the areas of professional personal development, health and well-being mindfulness, positive psychology, resilience, emotional intelligence, where she inspires, motivates, educates, and assist clients in improving their overall happiness and well-being at home and at work. Welcome, Jo.
Jo [0:38] Hi Mark, thanks for having me today.
Mark [0:40] Jo, just by way of introduction have I touch base with everything that I need to have touched base with?
Jo [0:50] Yes sounds great thank you.
Connection to Breath “Only This ~ In this Moment”
Mark [0:54] In terms of connection – the connection to Self, Other and ‘All That Is’ how does that work for you?
Jo [1:03] With self, I found over the years a good way to connect with me is just my breath. The just coming back to that moment. I often sort of say to myself, “only this ~ in this moment”, because we have such busy lives, and it’s lots of things to be done. And sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’ll just sort of repeat “only this ~ in this moment”, and it sort of brings me back to just concentrating on that present time or that present moment, rather than trying to do so many things and coming back to that breath. So of just noticing that if we just come back to the breath it’ll bring us back. You know calms our mind, calms our heart, calms our well-being.
Mark [1:41] It is a busy world, isn’t it? Sure is. It’s gotten busier. Thanks to the digital world.
Jo [1:47] Yes, it’s supposed to be making us more connected, but unfortunately, a lot of the time makes us more disconnected to others and ourselves.
Noticing the impacts of my Disconnection
Mark [1:57] What do you notice when you disconnected from yourself?
Jo [2:00] I find my mind gets quite erratic and there are so many thoughts and I just feel like I’m being pulled. You know, pillar to post, whether it is family work, even my own mind, and my thoughts. So I just start feeling a little bit edgy and often what I’ll do is go down to the beach, take a walk along the beach. Just sort of take my shoes off and just really connect back to nature and just bring myself back to me. And it just – anyone that walks along the beach or in the ocean can feel it their mind calms so much. Which now they actually say there’s scientific research saying that the being near the positive and also the negative ions coming off the ocean, they actually reduce your cortisol by 50% for the next 24 to 48 hours. So scientifically research saying go, they need the water.
Connecting to the Ocean
Mark [2:48] And being near the water is important and also being in nature?
Jo [2:51] Being in nature whether it’s going to hug a tree or you’re going for a swim in the river or anything in the ocean.
Mark [2:58] They say that nature somehow triggers our serotonin a stomach. It’s quite fascinating.
Jo [3:03] Yes, that whole mind and gut thing – it’s amazing the access now of how it’s related so closely.
Noticing my Connection to My Body
Mark [3:10] When you are getting stressed, you notice whereabouts – do you have a certain point in your body as you’re checking in with your body – your connection to your body. Do you notice is there a holding pattern within your body? Are there certain points in your body where you know ‘aha’ – there is again?
Jo [3:26] Yeah, I feel it sort of in my chest area. Years ago I used to feel it more in my gut area. But I’m very conscious as soon as it’s there, then we work out – I sort of having a bit of a chat to myself and go, okay, where’s this coming from? Why is this coming up? You know, is it a thought? Is there something going on? So, I sort of register it pretty quickly when it’s there and have a little chat with myself and work out where, why it’s there and what we can do about it.
Mark [3:52] Yes that cognitive brain of ours. It’s pretty sharp, isn’t it? It loves the 1 + 1 = 2 and when it’s not equalling two, it sort of starts to give us a bit of a hard time. How do you learn to silence that mind that intellectual cognitive-based?
Connecting to My Meditation(s)
Jo [4:18] I guess it’s through the meditation. So my type of meditation – everyone has different types. There’s more than mindfulness. So coming back to the present moment, coming back to the five senses. So I sort of come back to that heart space and then so say, okay, what am I feeling? What do I see? What can I hear? What can I smell and really grounding myself back into those five senses in my body, which will take me out of my mind? So it’s actually sort of bringing us back into that physical body rather than into that thinking mind too much and overthinking everything.
‘Peace of Heart ~ Peace of Mind’
Mark [4:50] I have cliche that I tend to use – to me I work the opposite. Its ‘Peace of Heart ~ Peace of Mind.’
Jo [4:57] Perfect
Mark [4:59] In the East, the mind and the heart are together. In the West, we seem to have separated the heart and the mind. When there’s peace in the heart, I’ve just found that the mind just naturally quieten. It’s really quite peaceful and it’s how do I then carry that? How do we then carry that into our connections in the everyday world?
Jo [5:27] Yeah that’s right.
Mark [5:29] That’s the challenge.
Owning our Thoughts & Reactions
Jo [5:30] Exactly. And I think these days a lot of people are up sort of blaming others so I feel like this because of my people at work or my husband or my kids or in the neighbour or the shopkeeper. We are forgetting that no one else can make you feel a certain way. It’s their own thoughts that make us feel that. Something might happen, a situation or circumstance, but it’s how we react to that. Again, that’s coming back to us. So it’s responsibilities are with us of how we react to a certain situation or something that’s happened.
Mark [6:00] Would it be fair to say that a lot of the reactions are energetic within the body, within the being?
Jo [6:06] Oh yes, it’s you know, it comes from memories we’ve had something might have happened years ago. Our reaction that says – you might react completely different will probably would to a situation and I would because we’ve had different experiences and different thoughts and had other things happen to us. So you know, you could have 12 people line up and see one circumstance and we all reacted a different way. We will think, we’ll feel a different way because we’ve had old patterns, behaviors, and circumstances prior to that experience.
Mark [6:35] And just checking in with the old patterns as you were growing up which parents were you connected to the most or did that fluctuate?
Connections to Both Parents
Jo [6:44] Yeah, I think it did with both. Very close with both my parents and there were different things that I resonated more with my Dad and different resonate with my Mum. So you know, but they’re very supportive in always. As I have grown up now I sort of seeing in different ways that have probably followed my Dad’s footsteps and other ways I followed in my Mum. So I can see the strengths that I’ve got from both and I guess also the weaknesses we have in genetics as well. So, but it is interesting as you get older of then looking back, to who you more like. What and who you’ve followed more and your footsteps and mine are pretty even I think.
Mark [7:25] And one of the things about connection too – is that when you talked about some of those genetics. If we’re to be coming into our wholeness is about connecting to some of those genetics that we might not like to connect to? How do you manage that stuff and when you notice it do you just bring awareness to it, connect to it? What’s the teaching, here’s their lesson, teaching, a piece of information coming to you in consciousness?
Practicing to be Mindful to Our Reactions
Jo [7:55] It is something you’ve had to practice I think because when it is ingrained in you often you do react just because that’s what you’re used to. For me, I now usually just take try to take a breath or take a moment, especially if it’s in a situation when I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. So often I’ll just have a drink of water because it actually quietens and my mind for a moment. It just allows me to have a few moments before I speak. Often in the past, I’d probably speak too quickly and react to a situation. So now by just having that sip of water, it actually allows me to calms my mind a bit allows me to give that little space before I think about how I’m going to act or react to a situation. So, usually that or sometimes if I feel that I’m still quite worked up or things I haven’t processed, I’ll say I just need to go for a walk. Or need to be in another room just so I can think about it more rather than reacting from old behaviors I guess I’ve had in the past.
Mark [8:49] Which then is a segue into connecting to others in a way isn’t. From that conversation there’s a lot of that is that reaction is through connections to others? Our connection to others can be both positive and negative. I don’t even like using some of those positive – negatives. It’s all about – rather than put it in that dualistic reductionist model. It’s about – there’s always teachings. In terms of connection to others, what do you notice? How does it flow for you as you’re connecting to others? What do you notice happens to you and your body and your being?
Connecting to Others & My Intuitive Sense
Jo [9:38] Yeah, I find that – I mean, probably like yourself, as soon as you meet someone, you feel the energy quite quickly. So you sort of often knows if you’ll gel with them straight away, even before you’ve even spoken to them. Also, you sort of get that energy-related to each other. Then once you – I’m pretty much one of those people that is like a listener a lot of the time. People will be telling me their whole story they might have just met me at the bus stop. So people have always felt quite comfortable with me and end up telling me lots of different things and I guess it sort of also helped in my clinic as well. Because I am the sort of that person that’s being empathetic and listening and nurturing and giving that support. So I find with a lot of my clients and my friends that I’m sort of that person that people will come to and have a chat to and feel supported or feel like they’re being heard as well.
Mark [10:31] In the support of them do you also – can you reach out in connection and have others support you and meet you where you need to be met and connected to?
Connecting to My Support in Family & Friends
Jo [10:41] I am very lucky with the support I have from family and friends. We’ve got a great community here and even through like collaboration and so I feel really well supported with my team around me. I feel like we always have our wellness or key team around us whether it’s practitioners or friends or family that support me. I feel really lucky that I’ve got a really wonderful, caring, nourishing group of people around me.
Mark [11:06] Great. In connecting to others, it takes energy. We’ve only got a limited supply each day of energy. I describe it between 85 and 93% of energy. When you notice your energy is getting lessened, do you need to “disconnect to reconnect” back to Jo?
Checking in & connecting With Jo
Jo [11:34] Yes, I’ve sort of let that the hard way of having chronic fatigue syndrome for 20 years on and off sort of thing. So I’m very conscious of that these days. In the early days when you’re young, you could go out partying every night and give everything in your job. I used to travel around the world a lot. So I’d literally fly out at nine o’clock at night, fly to Japan for three days, fly back and go straight to work that morning. I’d do 18 hour days and so. It eventually caught up. These days now I’m very conscious so I can feel where my energy is, so I do a lot of protection around the work I do with myself. When I’m feeling some tiredness I’ll schedule some time to have some power naps or go for a walk. Or I do some mindfulness or meditation or just sort of lay out on the grass and just have some quiet time. I find it’s really important to balance doing back to back clients if I’m finding that, I do make sure I schedule that time in for myself.
Mark [12:31] Is that really coming within to Jo and really coming within and really meeting her and connecting to her?
Connecting to My Heart Space
Jo [12:39] Yeah, I do feel that – I know in my heart space. So, sometimes in the mornings, I wake up and it’s I guess somehow the universe works sometimes when my energy hasn’t been that great. I’ll sort of put out to the universe and so my first client may reschedule on me. Like okay, the universe is heard that I need to just take that bit more rest. So, I’m really conscious of putting it out there when I need that rest. It sort of seems to work out quite well. So when I come from that heart space, it seems to just happen.
Mark [13:09] Can I just check in how important is the connection to heart space?
Heart Connection to Our Identity
Jo [13:13] I think it is so important. Like, if we don’t connect to heart, we really don’t know who our identities are. We sort of just really just going on autopilot a lot. And often if we’re not connected to heart, we’re actually really often doing what other people expect of us. Or what other people you know, what we should be doing. Or the – should’s rather than the wants or how we should be feeling or how we want to be feeling. It’s what we should be doing or how we should be doing something. So we sort of disconnect from our self and really sort of just pleasing other people or doing what we should be – as people expect of us.
Mark [13:50] With the modern technology, allegedly, it’s about connection and I’m wondering are we disconnecting from the heart of connection through technology?
Technology ~ a Connection & Disconnection
Jo [14:04] Well, these days – we use to ring our friends and say, we’ll be going over and come and hang out with us. Whereas these days we’re texting or inviting people via Facebook to parties. Often even the younger ones the gamers and so they’re playing next door to each other. They are playing against each other, but not in presence with each other. So it is very different from how they were brought up. I guess we have to sort of work ways, it’s not going to change I guess. Although I do see the axis now of people being on Facebook less and connecting more and wanting to catch up with people for walks and coffees and things like that rather than not. So I’m hoping that the axis has gone way too far technology and then people will want to bring it back to being more connected one-on-one or in person rather than through technology. We’ll see I guess.
Mark [14:59] Huge needs to come back a little bit because it has swung way too far. Whilst there are positives in its energy – that sense of connection and connection is physically mental, emotional, spiritually. There are so many realms to the connection. In moving to – when you connect to others – what happens when there are teachings that the connections not necessarily – there’s resistance or there are challenges within that connection. How do you utilise that information for self-awareness and for growth and to reconnect back to yourself?
Self-Growth From & Respect of Others
Jo [15:38] I guess that at times we’re going to have that sort of with different people, whether it’s clients or people that we know. I feel like it is okay to – we don’t have to resonate with everyone. Don’t have to believe with what everyone says or you know, agree with their values. I guess it’s just a reminder that we’re all individuals and we don’t have to take on everything of everyones. We can still decide you know what our values are, what feels right for us and what our belief system is. And to know that’s okay that those people are allowed to have their beliefs or their values as well. So it’s just important to remember to we don’t have to agree with everything, we can say no. We and it is important that we do what’s right for us but also respecting their opinions as well.
Mark [16:28] In terms of connection to the “All That Is” – when I use that terminology the “All That Is” what does that suggest to you and your connection?
What the ‘All That Is’ ~ Is for Me
Jo [16:41] I feel like that’s with people in general, it’s with nature, it’s with our whole universe. A good analogy I heard many years ago. We are all sort of like eggs. We could have a big bowl and we crack lots of eggs into a bowl. So you’ve got the yolk which is our individual self. Then you’ve got, we’ve got the whites, which all spread and we’re all connected. So we’re all energy. So we’re all actually all connected, but we still do have our own soul as an individual, but we see ourselves as all joined together. So I always sort of think of that as we are all our individuals, but we are all joined in this universe. The more we spread peace and love to people, then hopefully they spread more peace and love to other people. So it’s just that continual if we can be kind and do right for one person and hopefully, they’ll continue that on. So it’s just one little gesture, one kindness gesture at a time will hopefully spread and spread, spread,
Mark [17:39] Is spreading through the heart chakra?
My ‘All That Is’ is through my Heart Space
Jo [17:42] I feel it through the heart chakra but again, that’s everyone’s but depends on where it is for them. They might have it in their throat, they might feel it, you know, in their gut. So, whatever feels right for each person, but again through mine, I feel definitely it’s in my heart space. Again, what everyone feels with coming from that heart but I might be feeling it from different parts of their body where ever their intuitive part is.
Mark [18:07] Do you have a process or a way that you connect to your “All That Is” – whatever that “All That Is” – is for you?
Jo [18:15] I guess often I will and probably intuitive without noticing I have one hand on my heart, and then one had a hand in my belly. I find their quite connected and then I just sort of close my eyes and bring myself back to that. So often I do that first thing in the morning, and then I do it when I’m going to bed but at times during the day. Often if I feel like I just need to come back to myself – is a sort of what I do. So just breathing into those two spots and just feeling myself in that present moment sort of that physically mentally emotionally spiritual body.
Mark [18:50] Where does your mind go when you do that?
Bringing Myself Back to Myself
Jo [18:53] Usually my mind was going on my breath around that heart space. And then often it might be going to see If there’s any sort of pain or feelings going on in my body, I try to it sort of centred on that. So then to shift that back into the heart space, and sort of remove that sort of pain or discomfort or discord that maybe sort of floating around at that time.
Mark [19:16] Do you ever get to a space in the “All That Is” where there is no mind – the no-thing – no mind it is just…
Jo [19:24] There’s nothing? Yeah. That’s sort of a lot through the Joe Dispenza work that I do. That there is no time there’s no place, there’s no identity, we actually are just nothing. So when I do a lot of the Joe Dispenza meditations it is around just space, we’re just in that space. It’s rewiring that brain to know that we actually – were not just a brain we’re just space. Yes, a lot of the Joe Dispenza meditations are great of having no time, no location, no identity, no nothing – it’s just here and now sort of thing. So, it’s wonderful to do and you can look up those YouTube or online, there are some great meditations he has for that.
Connecting to my No Space ~ No Thing
Mark [20:05] As you’re walking down the beach here in Torquay – are there times as you’re walking along the beach, your feet in the water, that you just hit that no space where the sense of Jo dissolves, and she is all space?
Jo [20:22] Yeah, I feel it often when I’m looking at the clouds there. I just I feel like – you sort of start looking at the creations of the clouds and the formations and then it sort of blends into, I guess like the universe is just the ultimate universe. So yeah, it’s usually around that time, but usually looking at the clouds is a good time for me to really find that space.
Mark [20:46] When you notice and find that space, can you recall or reflect on what happens to your mental health and your emotional health as hit that space?
Aligning to my Peaceful Space Within
Jo [20:56] I feel like really it’s quite significant now. I’ve actually sort of jolt into that peaceful state. So I feel that there’s not – I usually have a lot of thoughts going on my mind and often I find them they’re never going to stop. But you just find them they’re really in the background and they’re not at the forefront. So I noticed that but then I feel like there’s some like a tingling sort of thing through my body that it just feels it’s all aligned. So it’s sort of like a bit like lightning or like electric shock I guess sort of thing. Then I just feel all aligned in my body and just feel at peace and feel like there’s no sound or no noise around or in my mind or externally as well.
Mark [21:38] Is your body energetically going into a flow state?
Connecting with My Flow-State Within
Jo [21:42] Yeah, I find that certain things that my body goes into the flow state. So stand-up paddleboarding is one of them. Being near the water or going for a swim. When I travel around the world, so I always often in the flow state or when I’m in another culture or another place. I can just be wandering and not even sure where I am or what I’m doing but I just feel really at ease. Just with the world going on around me without me really noticing what’s going on around me.
Mark [22:08] How would you describe your energy when you’re in that flow-state?
Connection to my Flow-State ~ Feels Full of Life
Jo [22:12] So it’s – the flow-state is amazing that you just actually feel full of life. So at times when I’ve been really debilitated with the chronic fatigue – it sort of before I knew about the flow-state. I was wondering why I felt so bloody good when I’ve been in bed for weeks, but then I’m doing something like stand-up paddleboarding or climbing mountains or so in Peru. How could I’ve done that when I’ve been so unwell. And then now looking at all the research about the flow-state of how it actually takes – well it takes the mind and the pain away because you’re in a completely different state. Yeah, it’s amazing.
Mark [22:46] It’s amazing what dissolves in there isn’t it?
Jo [22:48] The flow-state is amazing. And again, anyone out there who hasn’t looked into it, there’s some really great books and Utube clips, you can write on it and watch on it.
Mark [22:59] Steven Kotler in his Lynne disease experience they took him out surfing. Somehow that was the shift the slow shift for his recovery.
Jo [23:13] Yeah, because he’d be in bed for months on end. His mates – just like we’re going to take you surfing like I can’t you know, I can’t even get out of bed. How am I gonna surf? He was surfing three or four hours at a go and no pain, no symptoms whatsoever. It’s amazing.
Mark [23:30] How do you then anchor back to that space?
Anchoring in my Flow-State
Jo [23:35] So at the time when I’m in that I just literally I’m trying to be conscious about how I’m feeling at that stage. So and in feeling that there is no pain in my body which often I have pain in my body. So actually sort of really trying to register that into my prefrontal cortex of saying this is possible. This is a state and again through the Joe Dispenza space – at it, the pain is just a brain switch so we can change that as well. So just trying to anchor into that stage of how I’m feeling that joy, feeling no time, feeling there’s no pain, feeling you’re in no location or any space in particular. And sort of really grounding that and often I’ll do that sort of with anchoring. Whether it’s sort of like I’m with my finger. Making a sort of like a painful not a painful but a feeling in my hand, so I can actually anchor that in. So, everyone connects to those different ways. Whether the sort of ground themself into the sand or the ground or whatever it is. It’s just anchoring so reminds your body this is how you can feel at this stage when you in that flow-state.
Mark [24:36] Move it through to Reiki and I’m wondering whether when we’re in a Reiki stage, in the old days used to be called ‘Hands-on Healing before Reiki became known. I wonder when we’re in when we’re doing Reiki. Are we in some form of flow-state? As we’re channeling the Reiki energy or it different?
Connecting to my Channelled Energy
Jo [24:59] I probably just find when I’m in doing the energetic healing I’m sort of more of a channel. So I guess I just sort of go into a space that – so again probably is a bit of a flow-state because I’m not thinking and not propelling anything onto the client. They’re actually healing themselves I’m just actually acting as a channel for them to heal. So yeah, I sort of just going to a state of nothingness I guess I haven’t really thought about it before. I just think of myself as the channel of the person healing. They’re doing the healing themselves, they just needed that little bit of help – to help them heal.
Mark [25:32] How do you connect to channels?
Jo [25:35] As a start I do a little mantra to myself. Just ask the universe to connect me to that higher self and to the higher divine intelligence. And then protecting my clients from any negative energies I guess around and allowing that we’re just doing it for the pure good. And it then it’s their truth and their honesty, and so.
Mark [26:00] As you just shared then, does your heart come alive as you touch – touching base with that channelled energy and allowing it to just flow through you?
Heart Comes Alive
Jo [26:12] Yes, I do definitely feel in my heart, I feel like a vibration. So it’s usually often like a tingly sort of vibration and it does feel like a bit like I guess on a heart monitor. You know 100 you know, it’s sort of bouncing around a bit. Often I can feel that in my heart space. Yeah.
Mark [26:27] Beautiful space.
Jo [26:28] Yeah.
Mark [26:28] Are you feeling it now as you’re sharing it?
Jo [26:31] Yeah, often I can sort of now feel like there’s a lot of pink and red sort of around that heart space at the moment. Yeah.
Mark [26:37] Well done. Good space, thank you for sharing it.
Advice to Younger Women ~ Develop Self-care
Mark [26:40] In terms of younger people coming through in their life journey. What advice would you have for young women coming through in their journey that you would not like to see them do what you did – or do something different? The chronic (e.g., chronic fatigue) that sort of stuff.
Jo [27:09] Well I do see it a lot. Unfortunately in the clinic these days because people are working so hard deadlines at school. So a lot of teenage girls, I guess coming in with glandular fever and tonsillitis, then leading to chronic fatigue. So often I will have sort of a chat with them about how you know, the same thing happened with me working so hard and having high expectations on yourself. So we do a lot of tools and techniques around the demands we put on yourself and the self-care. So whether it’s around self-image, whether it’s around high expectations of getting certain marks at school or university. I do talk a lot about our mindful eating and mindful walks and exercise or way to you know, release any stress or tension, whether it’s running or yoga or pilates or cycling whatever it is. Finding something that they love to do. So instead of sort of saying you should run also and I hate running you’ve got to find something that makes your heart sing. So you know whether it is stand up paddleboarding, whether it is you know, painting, but allowing them to have found that sort of outlet to help them deal with it.
Introducing Mindfulness to Young Women
Because of school and university, there’s a lot of pressures, there are expectations around. Even in the early 20s when they first new jobs and you know, the monitors finish university and they have expectations of achieving things in jobs. So it’s just finding that space and allowing that time at their lunch breaks are allowed to go for a walk, they’re allowed to go and get fresh air. Not to have that expectation of sitting lunch at your desk or not taking lunch breaks. Trying to get that good sleep when you’re young you’re out partying a lot and so but reminding them to drink water and recovery, hydrating if they are drinking alcohol or whatever it is. So just those tools and techniques of not necessarily changing lives for being young adults. Its lots of fun, but what can you do by drinking more water and eating a bit more healthfully. You know, going for jogs or runs or getting some fresh air, just those little things I can still slot in, that will make things a bit easier for them along the way.
Mark [29:09]Well done. Jo, how do people contact you? What’s the best way to get in touch to your beautiful services?
Jo [29:17] So they can either go on my website, so it’s Jo Surkitt.com.au – So, it’s Jo Surkitt again on Facebook on the Jo Surkitt and Instagram as well.
Mark [29:31] The sort of work you do Reiki?
How to Connect with Jo Surkitt ~ Contact Details
Jo [29:35] So do a range in the clinic. So mindset coaching, massage, reflexology, reiki, and then do a lot of corporate workshops or in schools as well. So mindfulness, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, a lot of work-life balance. Going to corporate companies or organisations to teach about stress management, things like that.
Mark [29:57] So thank you for the opportunity to sit in your presence and share your energy and connect to your energy. I really appreciate the opportunity and the lovely experiences just be present to your space. Thank you very much. Thank you for your wisdom and for sharing it with others. Yeah, deeply appreciate it Namaste.
Jo [30:20] Thanks, Mark. Thanks for having me today.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai