Episode 19 – Simple Steps & Little Connections Returns Me to My Lightness – My Conversation with Venita Dungey

Living in Peaceful Environment of Nature

 

[0:10] Hello, Venita welcome to the heart of connection podcast. I’m your host, Mark Randall. It’s lovely to be here in this beautiful environs to have this conversation with you. Thank you for the invitation. You’re welcome. How are you Mark?

[0:25] How are you going?

[0:27] How is life in your new environment?

[0:32] Life in my new environment is beautiful. I love living here. Every time I drive into the place, I think it is the most beautiful spot. Just kind of, I just feel relaxed. Soon as I kind of into the area, there’s something about the whole fields, all the trees, it’s the changing seasons, its everything about it.

My Connection To Nature Provides Me With A Lightness

[0:54] Is there a connection to as you drive in the feel – Is there a connection to it?

[1:04] Yes. But I think it’s a connection not to the just to nature maybe too, you know, to the natural environment. And we all have different connections to that. And you get that in different places. But there’s something about I think, any environment that has a lot of nature in it. That gives you that feeling wherever that is.

[1:32] Where do you feel that feeling in your body, what does it to your body what do you experience?

[1:40]  I do a big exhale. And so I become lighter.

[1:51] That would help with your work life. Being a fellow social worker, does it help with your work life?

[2:06] It does. I think there are times when I dislike immensely being a social worker, because I think that it is exhausting.  And that you carry so much of everyone else’s stuff. And there are other times I love it. And I think I’m doing something that is useful and meaningful with my life. I feel the connection to people and the community. But maybe it’s those times when you are not feeling so robust yourself that you hate it because you can get into a spiral, I think of constantly giving, giving, giving, and never kind of replenishing.  So coming back to a place or somewhere that is a really nice, natural environment, I think, helps replenish that, kind of enables you to live in the world.

Drilling Deeper Into Essences to Self-Care

[3:03] Is it a set process, of self-care coming back?

[3:06] I think it’s more than that. Yeah, because self-care is a bit of a nothing word. You know, it’s like, you know, we can all take a walk and eat better.  And, you know, we all know what we need to do. I think it’s a bit of a deeper thing than that.  So it kind of gives you a bit more of a sense of the peace and in a deeper way than just being quiet. So taking a walk or doing those self -care things.

[3:36] When you experience that depth. What happens to the rigors of the social work day?

[3:52] I think it doesn’t quite go because I think I’ve come to learn that you, what you do is not separate from who you are, who you are is what you do, what you do becomes who you are, who you are, contributes to what you do. And round and round and round you go, you don’t become something different. Just because you work somewhere, you might put on a little bit of the facade, but you don’t become something different.  And so I think it takes the edges off it, it helps keep that focus on yourself, rather than just everyone else.

Have Learned to Not Carry Social Work Home As We May Become Disconnected

[4:31] What happens to your connection to yourself when this is going on?

[4:37] How so? What do you mean? What happens to your heart and your connection to yourself as sometimes in social work we can sometimes carry it and when so, what happens to your heart? What happens to your sense of self when you are carrying it?

[4:58] I think that I’ll become a bit crazy, right? So you, in fact, become a bit disconnected rather than connected when you carry to much.

[5:13] When do you, is there a ceiling point to the disconnection do you reach a saturation level of disconnection?

[5:31] Possibly, I’m not quite sure I’ve ever reached it.  I think I keep it in check and be more.

The Simple Benign Process of Letting Go Of Work ~ Thank you Myers

[5:39] How to keep it in check? What is your process? How do?

[5:46] Well, I think it’s that process of kind of often I think about which is not very deep, to be honest, often think about very benign kind of things that might be the, you know, a new dress that I saw that I thought would be really nice the color lipstick you might wear with it or a pair of shoes that you might have to go with it and have been known to walk through Myers makeup department at lunchtime in amongst a really bad day seems really silly.  And I know not everyone does that. But it’s a benign kind of thing. Things that aren’t important.  Things that are kind of trivial but I think that they remind us to not take everything too seriously as well, including ourselves. And like I said, that’s not very deep. But it’s I think it’s important to be able to not always take on everything with great depth.

[6:55] It sounds like it’s a way to switch off.

[6:58] It is a way to switch off.

[6:59] Yeah, I’m just curious what happens when you know, what do you notice happens in your mind when you’re in Myers?

[7:07]  I just drift off thinking about other things. I will think about and look at the girl at the counter and say her hairstyle looks fabulous. I love that makeup she’s is wearing and those shoes are great, even though in some other level. I think that stuff’s really unimportant.  But there I will sometimes think it is important in those moments.

These Simple Steps Returns Me to My Lightness

[7:26] Can I check and what happens to your heart when you in that space?

[7:31] I feel lighter again. So I think it’s about creating a sense of lightness.  Not always a heaviness. The lightness probably keeps me buoyant and kind of keeps me able to do most things.  I suppose that kind of staves off all the demons and the other kind of feelings that you might have. In some ways. It’s we’ll just light helps you. I think it stops that darkness.  I guess that’s the opposite, isn’t it? Yeah.

[8:08] What happens when you, what happens to your heart when the darkness does descend on it?

[8:14] And I don’t think it does so often. Yeah, probably because I go light. Yeah. Someone said to me, it was just yesterday when I finished a job. Someone said to me, one of the things and, and no one said this to me before, one of the things that I noticed about me was an ability to, rise above some things or transcend some things. And I think it’s that lightness that helps you do that. I think I don’t ever feel engulfed by the dark.

Not Engulfed By The Dark By Bringing In Light

[8:49] In the line of work that would be really important to not be engulfed in the dark.

[8:54] Yeah, well, in our lives,

[9:00]  Does some of the dark need healing?

[9:06] I’m not sure.  Probably. I don’t know if I feel that.

[9:15] What happens to your connection to your Heart, when there is a little bit of dark around?  Do you go back up into the light? Or do you bring the light to the dark? Do you, is the light or lightness nurturing, is there a nurturing process there?

[9:35] That’s an interesting question. I think I probably bring the light to the dark and go to the light. You do both.

[9:48] Is it nurture them? It is Yeah. Loved. Yeah.

[9:55] Because of the light kind of gives you that. Yeah, we talk about depression, don’t we, as the black dog, we talk about the darkness. And yeah.

[10:06] Carl Jung was quoted, “the greater the light the darker of the shadow”, How do we balance it out? And yeah, Is that nourishing? You know, that connection to self is really important.  How do you, what’s your process to bringing in that light, or you know, how to do it?

Love the Fairy Lights They Go Wherever I live.

[10:33] I think some of it that trivial stuff. And I think some of it is that nature. I think some of it is the stars that we look at, the fairy lights I put on my tree, and their literal lights. And I’m obsessed with fairy lights very, I love fairy light I always have fairy lights wherever I live in, I think it might be a little bit of that brings life and joy.

[11:01] How does that resonate in your body?

[11:14]  I think that makes you feel like you can get up do something move forward. It makes you feel kind of buoyant is it is a buoyancy? I think that’s the best way to describe it.

[11:31] Does it bring an energy to you?

[11:35] Yes and I’m trying to think of it more than say just energy because that can be as a buoyancy as physicality. It makes you be able to kind of, you know, dash around, you know, do a little twist on you come along on the kitchen floor. That, yeah, you don’t, Your alive really. It’s resonating in there. It’s your moving.

 The energy of Movement and Flow

[12:01] What’s the connection like to yourself when you’re there?

[12:05] I think that’s really interesting. I’ve done some dance therapy in my time beforehand. And I think that when we feel a capacity to move in our bodies, other things move as well. When we can’t move anything, we can stay kind of stagnant, so if you intellectualize everything, or you just think where you talk, nothing ever kind of moves. It’s one of the theories of my movement. So you need to move in order to move literally.

[12:42] The flow. Does your heart flow, when that when you’re moving?

[12:48] It does well everything does.

[12:51] How do you share that? How do you take? Do you take that flow to others? Or do others bring that flow to you, how to you then extended beyond you to others in the connection to others?

[13:03] I think I probably bring that flow in the way that I kind of relate to other people. They’re the kind of energy that I perhaps put out.

Connection A Reciprocal Flow Of Energy

[13:18] Can you describe that energy?

[13:23] That’s a tricky question. I was just thinking that I knew you were gonna ask that.

[13:26]  Social Worker (laughing)

[13:30] It’s of a kind of weird being on the other end of all the question. I think I don’t know if you can describe it as something, I think it’s just a bit of a feeling, isn’t it? We have a feeling about people-people give us particular feelings, some people feel light and enthusiastic and other people feel heavy and dark? And so there’s, it’s probably a feeling that an energy, not just an energy in the esoteric word energy, but an energy in terms of actual energetic (does a resonance) being smiling or doing things yet, so it’s, there’s a, it’s more than just an esoteric kind of energy becomes an actual physical doing and physical presence that you feel about people,

[14:30] What happens to you in that?  Does that, what do you experience in that connection?

[14:39] Well, I think it does that round thing when we connect with other people like that kind of has that flow back feeling. You know, you talk about kind of energy, we’re all made up of matter and energy, aren’t we?  And so there’s, you know, connection, or if you want to talk about heart connection or any kind of connection like a flow is like a cycle, you know, it’s positive-negative reinforcements, all those kind of things and positive negative ions. And so it’s a constant kind of flow. So what you what you what you give, you get, what you take. you get, you know, there’s lots of kind of that kind of, I think, a reciprocal flow that happens everywhere around us,

The Power of Energetic Connection To Our Well-Being

[15:29] What impact does that have on your well-being?

[15:34] I think that has a really big impact on your well being. Because I think I’ve come to think that life in some ways is primarily built up about the relationships and the way that we connect, not just ourselves. But the way we connect to the places we live, our country the earth, the people around us. I remember the very first time I went up to the Kimberly’s and thinking and I still believe I can’t even imagine but I have just this tiny little sense of the kind of connection that Aboriginal people must feel to the ancientness of the place. So I think it’s more than just people or thoughts, it’s it, it’s a spiritual connection to earth, to water, to whatever, it is that, you know, you have connections, a small and great, so every, I always think every connection is important, whether it’s the connection to just wherever you are, but also any person that you meet. And somehow that kind of keeps you feeling like you’re purposeful in the world. I think.

[16:59] That’s how you, do you remind yourself to reconnect back there, where you’ve just been or just describing?

[17:11] I don’t know, if you need to remind yourself, I think the more that you do that, the less you have to remind yourself, it’s the more than its part of how you operate all the time.

Building the Connection To Self Over Time By Doing It

[17:24] How have you enabled it to become part of your – I can’t think of the word, these conversations are difficult because we’re sort of delving into an area that’s maybe beyond words, but how do you how have you what’s your process to enable that, that you don’t have to remind yourself, can you described that?

[17:48] It’s probably been built up over time. So it’s it initially, I guess, you remind yourself that if you want to feel some sense of connection to yourself, or where you are, that you take a walk that you literally do smell the roses or the plants around that, you know, dig in the earth. Those kinds of things, perhaps you start to do that maybe as a way to just find some sense of peace in amongst a busy world. I guess the more and more that you do that, perhaps it is just a coping strategy. But the more that you do it, and the more and more you do those things, they become, in essence, who you are, what your connection to the world is, as opposed to something you do? Or you have to remind yourself to do. Does that make sense?

The Essence is Just There

[18:40] It’s beautiful. When you go in? Do you go in there? Do you drop in? How does it or is it just there?

[18:54] I think it’s just there.

[18:57] What happens to your mind, when it’s just there?  What happens to your body, when it’s just there?

[19:03] Mind kind of settles, my mind’s busy. I think maybe that’s something perhaps those things have happened as a result of me learning or training myself to find ways to settle my mind. Because while your mind is so busy, we don’t kind of experiences other connections. And the more that we do it, the more it becomes a routine part of who we are, as opposed to something we do.

[19:38] Where does that routine part come from in your body? Is it a spirit? Is that a soul? Is it – for label? Not sure what label to use just really curious about it?

[19:49] What label would you give it?

[19:50] Oh, yeah. Do we need to? We don’t, maybe we don’t need to give it a label. But yeah, it’s and it is hard to encapsulate this stuff to put words to where do you go? What’s it like in there?

[20:03] What is Soul? What is the Spirit? What’s the difference? And they’re very big questions, aren’t they?

[20:13] They powerful?

[20:15] I think maybe it’s just the essence, I would say more the essence of who you are rather than Soul or Spirit.

The Beautiful Witnessing of Being In Essence

[20:27] The essence, tell me about it?

[20:38] Were you’re sitting in your essence just then?

[20:41] Yeah, probably

[20:41] What happens and how much of a smile as you’re sitting in your essence? How much are you smiling as you sitting in your essence?

[20:53] I think you smile a lot when you sitting in essence when you are thrown out of it, but we become a bit discombobulated and we don’t smile.

Life Curve Balls Can Knock Us Off Centre – Our Essence Meets It

[21:07] What happens to when you are knocked out of there, or taken out of there? Does it take long to come back?

[21:21] I think it depends how hard you knock out. Yeah. So I guess when you have really hard things happen, it takes you longer to come back.  The harder things that happen more it comes back, which I guess is you know, I think that’s another thing I’ve come to realize over time to is that that kind of routine and structure to life, which seems a bit dull kind of help contain all of that, too because you can’t be knocked out of yourself every day.

[21:53] Some of the life curveballs are going to knock us out of there?

[21:55] Yep, but you don’t want to have happened every day.

[22:02]  The part of us it is hit by the curveball, what does it need? And does it need our essence to go get it? Yes.

[22:15] And I think it needs some connection to ourselves and to others around us. Because I think that you can kind of manage it without that.

The Art of Vulnerability & The Art of Connection – Is Being Lost?

[22:37] Is there a vulnerability in that?

[22:39] There is, but it’s like, we’ve lost the art of that somehow. The art of vulnerability? The art of vulnerability to art of just your basic connections, looking for something that’s more gradual, better when really some of you know a connections with our neighbours, connections with, you know, the old lady who lives up the street, their connections with whatever, whoever kind of lost the art of how those connections are things that just, I think, help us remember who we are and how we are in the world. And the more that we lose the art of those connections, the more we become kind of a bit fragmented as curveballs hit you harder, that makes sense. I think

[23:29] The more we connect to the community we connect to others, connect to the earth, is that a way to stop the fragmentation?

[23:39]

I think it does much more.

[23:42] Does it create a bit of flow for the world and the universe?

[23:47] I would think so.

Connection Is Healing to All Of Us and Our Earth

[23:51] Is that healing? Can that be a healing thing for the earth?

[23:55] I think it’s a healing thing for everyone. Yeah, and I’m not sure that that’s what we focus our energies and attention on anymore.

[24:05] Do we need to?

[24:06] I think so. Yeah, it’s kinda bit more back to basics and away

[24:14] The essence you talked about before and sitting in, it was just, it was lovely to watch. Just that’s, you know, in our trade the concept of therapeutic silence. Sort of sitting in that therapeutic silence before and just allowing your essence to be present, it’s just powerful. Would that be to bring us alive? Would that be a spiritual aspect? What could you describe it as a spiritualness in you? Or is it beyond all that?

[24:53] I struggle with that term spiritual. In fact, I struggle with a lot of these terms because I have particular connotations attached to them. And I think the meaning of them is good in itself, about the connotations are often difficult. You know, what? Who’s a spiritual person? What does that mean? What do you what is that? Does that mean that you’re a religious person doesn’t mean that you’re a new age, kind of esoteric, airy-fairy person doesn’t mean that you, you know it, but we all have a sense of spirit? But what is that? And how does that live in us is that you know, some people would say, that’s the greatest God, that’s the universe that’s that whatever we want to call all those things. So I think that term is difficult because it means something completely different.

Energy as an energy that connects us to everything around us, and it gives us energy

[25:47] What’s it like when it lives in you?

[25:50] Well, I think is that its energy as an energy that connects us to everything around us, and it gives us energy.

[26:03] What does it do for our mental health?

[26:06] It’s very good for our mental health because, again, it goes back to that thing about the light perhaps it keeps us light.

[26:10] How powerful it is, and it is hard to put a language in it, the connotations that are connected with it, and the lively and segmentation of it, it doesn’t need to be, it just is. And in that just is, is the free-flowing beyond, and our well-being, our a sense of purpose, a sense of self is part of that. And how do we bring that uniqueness to each other, bring that uniqueness to our self, what a gift.

[27:04] Well, it’s a lot about accepting, isn’t it.

[27:09] Can you say, more on that?

[27:10] Accepting who you are, who you are, as I am pointing at you Mark, who anyone else is and I think a bit about just what we have and how we use that.

[27:30] It’s an amazing reserve, isn’t it?

Acceptance of What Is – The Practice of Good Social Work and Good Therapy

[27:32] And the differences that people have, yeah, it’s kind of that 101 what I want, isn’t of good therapy or good Social Work is the ability to accept people for who they are,

[27:45] And where they are at that point, at that point in time, and if we can help them or invite the journey to go, can they go past that? When they go past that?

[28:03] What do you see, and what do you feel? And what do you notice when people do go past that?

[28:08] Right? Whatever that you notice, whatever, whatever happens, you can’t protect, or he can predict sorry, what will actually happen?

[28:20] Is there a beauty when they do go past it?

[28:23] Well, yes,

[28:26] Is that why you work in it? Probably, Yeah, to be on that journey and to walk alongside. It’s powerful. I love it. I just love that space the growth what we offer, what we learn and you know, how we resonate, its really powerful, and it is yes, sometimes it can be hard yards. Yeah and when we when we hit that hard yards, what do that hard yards need from us?

Literature shows Connection and Presence Is the Key

[29:14] Well, I think I was just thinking about that, you know, that those truckloads of literature now that says that it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s about how you connect with someone.

[29:23] Presence?

[29:24] It doesn’t matter what modality you use in order to work with someone about the relationship you have. So in essence, it becomes about relationships entirely.

[29:38] And that’s connection.

[29:39] That’s right. Period. Yeah.

[29:42] But yeah, it is. Yeah. Yeah.

[29:47] And it’s the relationship to ourself, relationship to others, and relationship to all that is, I think that’s what I like about the term all that is because we, it doesn’t, the definition of spirituality, I think, get caught up in spirituality and spiritual is too close to concept of religiosity.

[30:04] That’s right.

Remember to do the Little Things of Connection(s)

[30:06] All it is, is the what ‘is it – just is’ and to be able to immerse yourself evolve our self into that. What a beautiful raising of consciousness I’m wondering how much the world how what will that do for the energy of our earth do you think?

[30:36] Well, doesn’t have big sigh because it doesn’t feel like that’s what is happening yet.

[30:44] I hope it will. Yeah, I’m confident and positive that it will start happening.

[30:49] We have the idealistic ones

[30:51]  Yeah, I think we can put it out there and hopefully it will.  Is there a message, a heart of connection message that you’d like to share that would help other listeners in their journey to connect to themselves to in their journey to convert their darkness into light, turn their pain into love, Is there ever a final message or 100 different messages – just to draw it to start drawing to a conversation to a conclusion?

[31:34] I think it’s the little things it’s always little things and we forget about the little things you know, I think that people should practice just smiling at a particular plant that they like that they should remember to say hello to the shopkeeper and not text on their phone while they’re paying their bill that they should remember that all those little connections make a big connections and makeup, how we start to see ourselves and others.

[32:12] Brilliant thank you for that advice. Venita thank you for the conversation. Thank you, Mark. I was lovely to meet fellow social worker. And yeah, our history goes back what how many years now?

[32:27] Way too long. We don’t want to say how long.

[32:31] Fledging social workers at the time. That’s great.

[32:36] Almost feeling like my old hippie era Yeah, it’s great to laugh isn’t it.  Very good. It’s good therapy I reckon if you’re and that’s what helps. Yeah, laughter is great because it helps us stay on that light. Yeah. Laugh at yourself, I am good at that.

[32:58]

Thank you very much to the conversation. Yeah, it’s beautiful. Thank you. Namaste.

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