Unlock the power of mindfulness and learn how to weave a balance between inner growth and social activism as we converse with Oren J Sofer, author of “Your Heart Was Made For This”. We start with a brief grounding exercise that you can do even when driving. We delve into the relevance of contemplative practices and how our inner resources can be our greatest allies during trying times.
Oren offers both wisdom and a practical roadmap for finding equilibrium and nourishing both your inner and outer selves. He shares his personal struggle and enlightens us about non-addiction, its relevance to our relationship with substances, material comfort, and even our thoughts.

About Oren Jay Sofer
Oren is the founder and Guiding Teacher of Next Step Dharma, an innovative online course focused on bringing the tools of meditation to daily life, and co-founder of Mindful Healthcare. He is a CNVC Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication, and visiting teacher at the Insight Meditation Society. Oren has served as the Senior Program Developer for Mindful Schools, teaching and developing curricula for one of the international leaders of Mindfulness in Education, and has created mindfulness programs for organizations, companies, and apps including Apple, Kaiser Permanente, Lumosity, Calm, 10% Happier, Simple Habit and others. You can learn more about him at https://www.orenjaysofer.com/

About Dr. Liz
Winner of numerous awards including Top 100 Moms in Business, Dr. Liz provides psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and hypnosis to people wanting a fast, easy way to transform all around the world. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and has special certification in Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. Specialty areas include Anxiety, Insomnia, and Deeper Emotional Healing.
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Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Liz Bonet, discusses hypnosis and interviews professionals doing transformational work
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00:01- Dr. Liz
Welcome. I’m Dr Liz, an entrepreneur, speaker, podcaster, mom and wife. This podcast is about hypnosis, but also about all kinds of ways to help you live your fullest life, to heal, transform, to play the long game and go after the joy. You can see more about me at drlizhypnosiscom. Hop over there to get a free hypnosis file to decrease fear and anxiety, or one to increase emotional stability. They’re there just for you. I hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I do. Peace, hi everyone. Dr Liz here.

Today’s interview is with Oren J Sofer. He was actually on the podcast back in 2019, episode 110. So if you go to the website drlizhypnosiscom, forward slash episode 110, you can hear his original interview, which was around his book titled Say what you Mean a Mindful Purge to Nonviolent Communication. It’s an excellent book about how to communicate better. He’s published another book now your Heart Was Made for this contemplative practices for meeting a world in crisis with courage, integrity and love, and it is a wonderful book. Orin is a meditation teacher in the early Buddhist tradition and a certified trainer nonviolent communication, as well as a somatic experiencing practitioner for the healing of trauma. He has a wonderful spirit about him, kind heart and a very soothing voice. You’ll hear me talk some about how my weekend was before this interview.

This interview was on a Monday morning and I honestly almost canceled the interview because I had had to handle a medical crisis with my daughter in the very wee hours of the morning, 4 am. I was very tired but I thought no, I really want to do this interview. We had had to reschedule another time. So this was a second attempt and just doing the interview with him I found so calming and learned even more than I learned from his beautiful book. We talk about his new book as well as some life that has happened and some of the concepts in the book applying to what’s going on right now in the world.

You could use his book like a workbook if you wanted, to, which he references at the beginning of the interview, because there are practices to do. So you could read it, do the practices and perhaps do that with a friend that’s interested in doing that with you. I’ve been doing that about two years now with one of my friends in recovery. Actually, we schedule the time every week, we pick a workbook to go through and it’s become a really wonderful process that I rely on actually for some wisdom in my life, some thoughtfulness and some time to slow down, as well as some connection with a friend. So I hope that you would have the same positive experience that I have had. Let’s jump in to this wonderful interview with Oran J Sofer. Peace, hi, oran. Welcome back to the Hypnotize Me podcast.

03:37 – Oren
Hey Liz, Thanks for having me.

03:39- Dr. Liz
Yes, absolutely. You have quite a few changes in your life since our last one, indeed.

03:45 – Oren

03:48- Dr. Liz
I really wanted to jump in also to your new book Before we get started. Is it okay if you just lead us in a brief mindfulness grounding exercise when that would be appropriate for people who are driving, if they’re listening to this, I don’t know if that’s like antithetical or not.

04:08 – Oren
Not at all. Not at all.

04:10- Dr. Liz
Yeah, is that okay?

04:12 – Oren
Absolutely so. Just invite folks to start to become aware of the weight of your body, sitting or standing. If you’re walking, just feel the ground beneath you, maybe take a deep breath and just focus on the exhalation and any softening or loosening that happens in the body as you exhale. Notice the pull of your attention to other things, to thoughts, to what’s happening around you, to some projects or tasks.

See what it’s like to keep bringing your attention back to the simplicity of just feeling the weight of your body on the earth, feeling force, quite literally, that holds us to the planet, and then, as you do that, see if you can notice the stability, the steadiness of what’s beneath you. Again, whether you’re walking, sitting on a bus, a train, in a car, there’s this vast, deep, steady presence of the earth that we can tap into and just notice how that affects your breathing, how it affects your heart or your mind, and you just let that register inside for a moment and feel supported, and then continuing to attend to whatever’s happening around you, noticing if there’s any shift in how you feel. As you do that, thanks for joining me.

06:15- Dr. Liz
Wonderful, thank you. Yeah, so your new book. Your Heart Was Made For this. Tell me, why you wrote it.

06:28 – Oren
I wrote it for a few different reasons.

I started writing it in 2020, during that really difficult year we all had with the pandemic, and then the murder of George Floyd and the kind of cultural and spiritual upheaval that brought forth a sort of moral reckoning here in the US, the movement for Black Lives, and then the wildfires out west, which was this kind of wake up call around climate change for many of us, and so, as a meditation teacher, one of the ways that I could contribute was to write about the inner resources we have and how those can be a support to not just kind of get through what was happening but to actually make the most of it and start to thrive inside, and so that was what started me writing the book.

And then, as you kind of alluded to in your intro, my wife and I got pregnant and we now have a healthy 13-month-old son, and the prospect of raising a child in the world today, with all that is changing and falling apart, also really brought me face to face with a question that’s been present for me really my whole adult life, but what made me want to grapple with it in a deeper way, which is what is the relevance of our meditation, our contemplative practice, our self-care to working for a better world.

And are these two just separate things? Can they and do they support each other? And so I wanted to engage and grapple with those questions in a deeper way, and the book is sort of my response to that, which is that the two are actually quite intricately connected and need each other to be complete and effective. And I take the reader through the development of 26 positive traits or qualities. The number 26 is half of a year, so if you do two weeks for every chapter or quality, you have a whole year of learning and exploration and strengthening the inner foundation from which we live and from which we can be more effective and visionary, really in our work for building better communities and changing the course of where we’re headed as a species and a planet.

09:08- Dr. Liz
So how do you see them as related?

09:12 – Oren
So one way to talk about it is to talk about the risks of not having them connected, and I’ll start there. So if we just focus on the inner life and wellness, spirituality, self-care, however you want to think about it, we run the risk of abdicating our responsibility as citizens and as moral and ethical human beings to the immense suffering that’s unfolding in the world.

It can have the often unintended consequence of just reinforcing our need for, our felt need for comfort our sense of isolation and individualism and view the world as something else out there that we need to escape from to feel okay. On the other hand, what I see with many of the activists that I work with and young people I meet who are working for change in the world is that if we don’t have some way of nourishing the heart, we burn out. We burn out and we can end up working for change from a place of reactivity, from a place of anger, resentment or even despair, which eats away at us inside and limits the efficacy of our work. So these two, we strive for these to support each other, and that’s really the role that I see is that service activism, social change work which takes many, many different forms.

It’s not just being in a protest. Parenting can be a form of social change work, serving in your community, volunteering these are all ways of expressing our love, our care, our empathy and our vision, our values in the world. So they give a vehicle for translating our inner life into action in the world. On the flip side, having some kind of relationship with our heart in our inner life one, it renews us, it provides balance, it helps us to encounter the immense, crushing pain in our world without being broken by it.

Do we have some resilience inside and, quite crucially, it helps us to align means with ends so that in the things that we are doing that we care about whether it’s serving on the PTA in our town or getting the vote out or other forms of organizing it allows us to do that in a way where we are living and embodying the values we want to see in the world which.

I think is essential for modeling that there’s a different way forward for us as a species, given so much of what we’re facing from climate, to economic uncertainty, to war, poverty, hunger. It’s difficult times for many of the creatures on the planet, not just the humans, and I think we need to step up and model our better side.

12:30- Dr. Liz
It’s creating a sense of balancing, because it can feel overwhelming when you think about it, I mean, on a larger scale. It can feel overwhelming, but then even on a local scale, when you’re volunteering or trying to make change or giving some service or parenting, like you said it can feel overwhelming. So it’s really balancing that. It’s a part of that I hear, though, is not going into. I think you’ve referenced it when you began speaking about this isolatory self-care really. It’s all about me, which doesn’t feel balanced either if it just becomes all about the person and not the community.

Dr. Liz
they’re living in the family, they’re living in the larger world they’re living in, so really going back and forth between the two, is that correct?

13:23 – Oren
Well, absolutely well said, and it’s one of the themes that I explore and that runs through the book as a theme of balance, because, of course, there is a time and a place to turn away. There is a time and a place to shut off the news, to turn our attention just to ourself or our family or our community, because we need nourishment, we need rest, we need joy, we need gratitude. These are some of the things that.

I explore in the book, but the wider view is that those are part of a whole. The more deeply we connect with gratitude, the more we also open to grief for all that we’ve lost personally and collectively. And the deeper we connect with our joy, the more acutely we’re able to feel sorrow and sadness, and the two are intimately connected.

So the balance piece is, as you said, being able to move back and forth between them to have a place for both in our hearts, and so the book is really designed to make that practical, to not just have it be an idea, but to provide a little bit of a road map for how to do that.

14:32- Dr. Liz
Yes, also in chapter 4, which is on mindfulness. I love how you say that it’s a way to metabolize our experiences and our emotions, and I think that’s what you’re referencing here. It’s like when we do go out in the world and we’re doing service or even thinking about it and trying to make sense of it, trying to not let it overwhelm us sometimes, then the mindfulness of being in the present I’m really grounding, just like we started the episode is a way to metabolize some of those experiences. Yeah, I’d love how you put that.

15:15 – Oren
Thank you, yeah, and that’s a different orientation to mindfulness than a lot of what we see in the popular sphere, where mindfulness is just this kind of attentional training to calm down or feel better, which not only limits its benefit but actually reinforces some unhealthy negative patterns of avoiding pain and chasing after pleasure. It’s like if my mindfulness practice becomes about trying to feel good, trying to feel calm, it’s just another drug. We have to understand that the calm, the peace, the stress reduction that comes from mindfulness is two things. One, it’s a step in a larger process. It’s the first step of establishing a foundation and a basis to then actually embrace all of our life.

And then the second point is that calm, that ease, that peace inside it deepens and emerges in a more flexible and true way, not by avoiding the hurt in our hearts, but by learning to be with it, learning to understand it, as you brought back that word I used in the book to metabolize it. When we discover that we have the inner strength to be with anything, to manage whatever arises, that’s when there’s a really true calm and ease and peace. That arises because we’re no longer trying to control life but we’re actually resting in a kind of dynamic relationship with things as they’re changing, and mindfulness is a key ingredient in developing the capacity to do that, to meet whatever arises, which includes the hardship, the challenge, the fear, the anger, the self-doubt, all of it. There’s space for all of it With mindfulness. We don’t become consumed by that stuff. We actually are able to step back from it, feel it as just a natural part of being human and understand it, which allows it to resolve inside.

17:37- Dr. Liz
Okay, so you’re talking about it as a tool to gain perspective. So it’s being present not just simply to be present, but to gain some perspective around what’s going on as well, which isn’t often taught. In mindfulness it’s like, oh right, here you’re trying to get away from the perspective and things. So I think it did strike me as a unique viewpoint, and I know in the psychology field we often talk about mindfulness in terms of feeling what’s going on. So it’s not necessarily a tool to feel better, more of a tool to gain awareness and some perspective If something’s painful then, yes, it’s painful right now.

18:27 – Oren
Right, and there are those two components that you’re highlighting, liz, which are core to mindfulness. There’s the awareness piece of what’s unfolding right now, and that’s the intimacy with experience, that’s the actually feeling it from the inside, which is different from being lost in it, crushed by it, consumed by it, overwhelmed by it. And then there’s the perspective, then there’s the balance, and the thing that’s really subtle about this is that the perspective, the balance piece, isn’t a disconnecting. It’s actually what allows us to be very intimate with what we’re feeling, without being crushed by it, because we recognize that it’s okay, that it’s going to change.

That it’s natural. It’s not my fault. Like all, of this, understanding that’s present with mindfulness brings us into a deeper and fuller relationship with life.

19:25- Dr. Liz
Well, I think that leads to chapter six, the wisdom chapter, which I also appreciated. What you’re really talking about is that that is a struggle for people, because you’re really talking about acceptance, radical acceptance, which is originally a Buddhist concept. It’s made its way into more of the popular culture, I would say. But it is that you talk about the four noble truths of the Buddha. There’s suffering, there’s cause to the suffering, suffering can end and there’s a path to that end.

20:02 – Oren
I think.

20:03- Dr. Liz
Sometimes people get caught in the suffering and don’t see the path, and so the mindfulness piece comes in, because it can help someone gain perspective to the path. Okay, this will end.

There is an end to it, which is sometimes hard to grasp in the moment. It can be, it really can be. That’s the trick our mind plays on us is that whatever we’re feeling or thinking or experiencing seems to become so transfixed, so hypnotized if I can use that word by it, that we believe it’s going to last forever. And so we like to say in Buddhist practice that mindfulness is the engine of transformation. It’s what powers the development of wisdom and this template that the Buddha offered the four noble truths. It’s not something esoteric, it’s actually quite a practical way of understanding the places that we suffer. It’s a little bit like the sort of diagnosis and prognosis and prescription of a doctor. It says look, you’re sick, here’s why you’re sick. Good news, you can get better and here’s how.

21:16- Dr. Liz
Yes, agree Right.

21:17 – Oren
Those are the four steps, and so it’s really an invitation for when we are suffering, to have a closer look. Instead of trying to blame someone, blame ourselves, run away from it, avoid it or wallow in it, to step back, recognize this is okay. This is part of how I learn, part of being human.

And then to investigate, to get curious, say like where am I holding on, where am I resisting, where am I not understanding what’s actually keeping me hooked in here?

And then to begin to experience on a visceral level the process of being in contention with moment-to moment reality, of actually this quality of contraction, resistance or control inside that leads to what we call suffering.

It’s this quality of being burdened by life, of feeling a sense of struggle with what is not in the sense of the kind of generative struggle for political freedom, but a kind of pointless emotional and psychological struggle internally. And then the beautiful thing that happens is, as we observe it with mindfulness, with perspective and intimacy, feeling it, knowing it, there comes a certain point where the heart of its own accord goes oh, this is the way it is and let’s go. And in that letting go we start to understand on a more profound level the causes of suffering and the end of suffering. It’s like, oh, I can put this down. I can put this down, which doesn’t mean that we give up on what we want, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care, it doesn’t mean that we can’t work for change. It means that we’re not wasting our energy arguing with the truth of the moment.

23:19 – Dr. Liz
Yes, I love that, I love that.

As Byron Katie says, when you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time.

23:33- Dr. Liz
Yes, and I will say that sometimes that’s an internal process to come to that and sometimes some people need to talk that out.

23:46 – Oren
So it’s not all of that going internally.

23:49- Dr. Liz
I had a very difficult weekend and just before our interview recorded a podcast about radical acceptance. My daughter has been put on a medication where she has to watch for this medication reaction of a rash that can lead to life threatening.

24:11 – Oren
Oh gosh.

24:12- Dr. Liz
Yeah, and so I found myself suffering and arguing with reality.

24:18 – Oren

24:19- Dr. Liz
And I did my meditation, I did my yoga, I did my exercise, I talked to a friend, I talked to my husband and then, finally, I went to a 12-step meeting and talked it out and went deeper and thought oh, this is actually about trust.

Do I trust her doctor. Do I trust my higher power? Do I trust myself that I’m making the best decision? For her as her parent, because ultimately the parent can overrule the doctor ultimately, yeah, and so once I talked that out, some it’s like oh. Then I felt a letting go actually of like all right, first of responsibility. Like okay to not argue with reality, I’m accepting responsibility here.

25:15 – Oren

25:15- Dr. Liz
And then I do actually trust her doctor that he has her best intentions in mind, that he’s a good doctor, but the benefits outweigh the risks, in that she has eyes on her, she’s not living in isolation, but the process for me was both internal and external, being able to talk that out and find it.

25:43 – Oren
Yeah, yeah, absolutely, and thank you for sharing that. I certainly hope that the medication works. Yes, me too, but if it doesn’t, it’s okay.

25:54- Dr. Liz
Yeah, and really that’s what came to me. Like well if that actually happens, then I mean we stop it.

26:01 – Oren
We stop it Exactly. We take a different course and then we take a different course. So that’s it so like that’s all there really is, but that’s the plan part yeah. Yeah, what you’re pointing to I think is really important, which is that self-care spirituality or the way I talk about it in my book Contemplative Practice.

it’s not only an individual and an internal thing, that it is relational, and it is relational with other humans, it’s relational with our environment, with nature, with the planet, and that all of those are resources that we can turn towards. And in the chapter on wisdom, since this is what we were talking about, I talk about the two causes for the arising of kind of wise perspective in Buddhist practice, and one there’s an internal and an external cause, and the internal cause is our own deep and careful attention that we’ve been exploring, this kind of really investigating and looking carefully at things. But the external cause is feedback from wise friends, is actually getting perspective from others and talking it through, like you said. And so one of my aims right, right, my aims in the book is to try to broaden the conversation from contemplative practice mindfulness being just about meditation and just about something that we do on our own or with our eyes closed to actually a whole array of tools that we can be creative with.

Contemplative practice is kind of like saying there’s many ways to exercise and running is just one of them. In the same way, there’s all kinds of ways to strengthen our inner life, and meditation is just one of them. So we can use art, we can dance, we can do storytelling. We can be out in nature, we can folding the laundry can become a contemplative practice. Having a cup of tea it’s about how we’re engaging in the activity, as can spending time with friends or having exploratory conversations and receiving empathy and support.

28:13- Dr. Liz
That really struck me. On chapter renunciation which is very clear to me. You said that you need resilience. Develop some resilience and proper support, like line up the support first, which is so what people don’t do. Often they try to go into some restriction or renunciation, whether it’s healthy or unhealthy, and they don’t line up the support for doing that and you’re talking about. There’s all kinds of ways here, and one really is support and moving out into the world as well, and not just staying internal trying to do that alone.

29:01 – Oren
Yeah, I share, as you know from reading it. I share some of my own struggle with this quality of renunciation, which is a kind of intentionally provocative word that I chose for it, because I’m wanting to invite people to step back and look at our relationship with craving and material comfort in a different way. But I talk about my relationship with renunciation over the years in quite an open way, in terms of this digestive condition I’ve had since I was in my 20s and this kind of yo-yoing back and forth with food, because one of the things about having this digestive inflammatory condition is there were a lot of foods that I couldn’t eat. That were the foods I liked, like bread and baked goods and sugar.

So I would flip back and forth in a process that I’m sure many of us are familiar with, of this really rigid abstinence and not having anything and this kind of clamping down with control and then the rebellion inside and sort of losing all control and flipping over to the other side and sort of binging on sweets or baked goods and needing to understand that there’s a different way to actually let go of things that doesn’t involve willpower that, as you’re pointing to, requires support but also understanding, a sense of like, a wise understanding, and a sense of empowerment, like I’m choosing to do this, and so one of the synonyms I offer before renunciation in the book is non-addiction.

30:46- Dr. Liz
Yeah, I did notice that.

30:48 – Oren
What would it be like to think about our relationship with everything from substances and material comfort to things like work or entertainment, tv, video games, or even things like the inner critic or not feeling worthy? We get addicted to these habits of mind, and renunciation is about freeing ourselves from them. Not being addicted to putting ourselves down or questioning, doubting ourselves in unhealthy ways. Being able to release that tendency and that capacity to release things. That’s the skill we develop of renunciation, and it comes, as we were talking about before, in part from understanding what’s in our best interest. And then it’s not a struggle of will, it’s actually something we want to do. As one of my first teachers used to say, when you know that fire is hot, you don’t touch it anymore, and so we’re really learning about what is for our highest welfare and what isn’t.

And then the process starts to feed itself. We sort of recognize on deeper levels yeah, this isn’t serving me, how can I put it down? And putting down those unhealthy patterns whether they’re external ones, like engaging certain activities, or internal ones, like certain habits of renunciation it requires one having something else to do, like behavior replacement. Right, it requires being able to change. What I talk about in the book has changed the channel. So if we’re beating ourselves up and really spinning in some negative rumination to just be able to recognize, okay, this is not helping. I just need to step out of this and focus on gratitude, on generosity, on contentment anywhere that is not so self-destructive. That’s one angle. And then the complementary and supportive process is this investigation, mindfulness, renunciation is actually engaging with the pattern in a different way and starting to understand it and develop a different relationship with it, so it has less of a hold over us.

33:08- Dr. Liz
Yeah, I was trying to leave a pretty destructive relationship at one point in my therapist at the time compared it to a food allergy.

33:19 – Oren
Yeah, oh, wow.

33:21- Dr. Liz
She said eventually you learn, oh, I can’t have this food, it makes me sick, and so you stop eating that food, and that analogy really just helped me see it in a different way. But it’s a very similar to what you’re saying. Like, this is really reframing it in terms of what is the best thing for me, what is actually healthy for me, and being able to move towards that towards health and away from what’s unhealthy for you In a way that feels, I don’t know.

I wouldn’t call it easier, it just feels different. I don’t know if I even need to label it.

34:08 – Oren
Yeah, I mean the word that comes to my mind, liz is sustainable. You know, it’s like I feel this myself today, particularly with the wars going on around the world and the depth of the refugee crisis or hunger. It’s exhausting.

It’s so exhausting to be human and care and be conscious, and I think that because being alive can take such a toll on our hearts and on our energy that sometimes, when we come to these aspects of our own life, it’s just this feeling of just like I just can’t do it. I just don’t have the energy.

And so we’re just so fried. So going back to support and nourishment. This is why the book focuses on the positive traits and the nourishing qualities of our lives. I’m really looking to help people develop an inner atmosphere of wholeness and health and well-being from which to then turn towards and transform the difficult places or the unhealthy patterns. And doing that in a sustainable way means in many cases, first and foremost, just attending to our needs and to finding ways to take care of ourselves.

35:44- Dr. Liz
Absolutely, and I think there’s an element of self-knowledge in there too developing some self-knowledge knowing your own energy patterns and knowing when it feels good to go out into the world and knowing when it’s time to retreat some and replenish and reenergize, and being able to really be aware of that. Moderate that, stand up for yourself around that.

36:18 – Oren
And having the courage to trust it.

36:19- Dr. Liz
Yes, trust it as well.

36:21 – Oren
Right, it’s like the self-knowledge piece. I’ve seen this in myself over the years of my own practice. It’s like developing that self-knowledge takes, as you’re pointing to, time, energy focus interest to really just even ask well, what do I need? That’s radical for many of us to just ask that question. But then sometimes we hear it, we recognize it, we have the self-knowledge. And then there’s that next step of do I have the courage to do it? Can I really trust what I need and claim that for myself? And that’s not always easy.

37:02- Dr. Liz
It’s not. I think, we’re recording this around the holiday season in the US.

I mean later, but it comes up during the holidays often for people in terms of having the courage to state what they need, their boundaries it’s really talking about sometimes boundaries like, okay, I’ve spent time with this family and now I need some alone time or time to go home to my own family and knowing those energy patterns, even Even on a micro scale. My daughter and I volunteer at a cat shelter every week and we spend about an hour and a half two hours sometimes. There’s one day I think she wanted to go later and I said you know, that’s fine, we can go later, but I want you to know that that probably means we’re going to spend an hour instead of an hour and a half or two hours. She always likes to push me, but I’m petting a kitten. I can’t stop petting the kitten. I understand the kittens are so cute, but we have to leave you know, we have to.

Oh, I know what it was. We had committed to something else, and so I’m like we can go for an hour, but two hours is not going to happen today because we have to be at this other place, and so you know, that’s a very small example, but it can take some practice, it can take some self-talk, it does take some self-knowledge, takes knowledge of the other person too, whoever you’re interacting with, to know. All right, this is the time for me to set some boundaries and know either.

I need to be somewhere else or I need to be home. You know, whatever that is, that varies for people. But, yeah, it’s an interactive process, for sure, that courage.

38:49 – Oren
Yeah, yeah.

38:51- Dr. Liz
And it comes up all the time with parenting.

38:53 – Oren
Absolutely. I mean talking about courage.

38:56- Dr. Liz
It was a huge investigation.

39:01 – Oren
Is it really the right word? It’s more like undertaking. When my wife came to me a couple years ago and said I think I want to have a baby it took a lot of courage to say yes to raising a child in such an uncertain world.

It was a beautiful invitation for me to touch into, like, what am I about and what do I want, and to let go of my ideas about the future and what I thought it would look like and to really recognize that I want to learn, I’m here to learn, I’m here to grow, I’m here to give, and that the vulnerability of parenting was something that could be an adventure and a part of my practice, rather than something that gets in the way of it. And so.

40:03- Dr. Liz
Can you talk more about that, like, what do you mean by the vulnerability of parenting?

40:13 – Oren
Yeah, well, as you so beautifully illustrated before, and just sharing about, your daughter.

It’s we care for these beings so deeply and fully, with the recognition that we can’t control what happens to them. It’s not up to us. We can’t control certainly the external world and how it affects them, but even their internal world. They have their own lives and their own trajectory. They’re their own people and so to love is to open ourselves to loss and to grief. The two are intimately connected and that is excruciatingly vulnerable. So I went into the task of parenting with the real clarity and open eyes on an emotional level about what it means, not knowing the experience of it, because I couldn’t but understanding just from my own practice.

This is going to be a different order of opening the heart to love and vulnerability and loss and saying yes, okay, this is part of being human and I’m here to be fully human and to learn from being human.

And then the vulnerability of the uncertainty in the world on so many levels today, the uncertainty of the future and the impulse to want to protect our children, to give them every opportunity and to offer them a life of safety and predictability and stability. And I think that so much of what’s challenging and overwhelming in the world today is that those senses of predictability and stability are disintegrating and slipping away in so many institutions and on so many levels.

And so there’s a lot of vulnerability in recognizing that. And it took and takes tremendous courage to orient for me towards parenting, as how can I instill in my child the resources and the values to find that stability internally and to be a force for change and support and connection in the world, kind of orienting my parenting in that way as an act of service, not just to my own family but to my community, to say let’s raise the being who has empathy, who has vision, who has hope, who has energy and generosity and can then contribute and be part of the solution.

43:09- Dr. Liz
Yes, got it. Thank you. That’s a really thoughtful response to that question. Yes, yes, we do have all these hopes and dreams and ideas also before we come, parents, and then they shift and change during our journey. But, I think you highlight underneath that I think most of us as parents do still have those. It’s like those base values that we do want to instill and we hope for and we try to live ourselves as well.

43:47 – Oren
Yeah and as you kind of allude to the reality of the lack of control and the letting go even of that, we don’t know who they will be, or the choices they will make. It’s like we just do the best we can, the world that they’ll live in.

44:02- Dr. Liz
the world my children grew up in is very different than the one I did. So that’s in itself is unpredictable, like really unpredictable. And so it is coming to this sense of centering and adjusting to that and just trying to do our best, but also that sense of letting go of we can’t control everything for sure, yeah and trying not to get moving to overwhelm, back to radical acceptance of all right, this is the world we’re in. And then how do I move between it, between inner and outer my children?

44:46 – Oren
and myself and finding that balance.

Yeah, and I feel moved to make a comment on that phrase that Tara Brach made popular radical acceptance, which I talk about in the sort of more classical Buddhist language of equanimity in the book, with this kind of wise perspective and balance and it’s always important for me because I think it’s a subtle concept that can be misunderstood to differentiate between the kind of radical acceptance of our experience as it’s unfolding on a moment-to-moment level versus the our non-acceptance of the conditions of the social conditions of our world. Right being able to recognize, like no, I’m not accepting that whatever portion of the world’s population lives below the poverty line or is malnourished from hunger. I accept that that’s the truth in the moment, in the sense that I’m coming to terms with it. But that level of internal radical acceptance actually provides a solid foundation from which to then respond and take actions to change the conditions of our world.

46:08- Dr. Liz
Yeah, it provides choice is how I see it.

46:11 – Oren
Yeah, that’s a nice way of putting it. Yeah, yeah, choice to engage.

46:15- Dr. Liz
Right, yes, and so then, once we do that we do have, we can move into choice instead of just fighting against it or letting the overwhelm take over us Like, oh, there’s nothing I do here, so we have some choices about how we navigate it. That’s how I see it. So, we are coming to the end of our discussion here, any final thoughts you’d like to leave the audience with? And then also, please let them know how to find you and find the book.

46:47 – Oren
Sure, absolutely. I think, maybe just imparting just this. One of the core messages of the book is that every day of our life we are practicing something, we’re making choices in how we live, and that those choices shape both our inner life and our world. And so, with some attention and some practice, we can actually shape our world inside and out. The future’s not written, and we can use our experiences every day to grow more balanced, more wise, more compassionate and stronger. Yeah, I hope that folks listening feel empowered and feel a sense of possibility in themselves, and if you want to learn more about my work, my website is oranjsophercom and the book your Heart Was Made For this should be available in bookstores everywhere.

47:41- Dr. Liz
Thank you so much, Lauren, for your wisdom and your time here sharing that with us.

47:47 – Oren
Thanks, Liz.

48:23- Dr. Liz
I hope you truly enjoyed today’s episode. Remember that you can get free hypnosis downloads over at my website, drlizhypnosiscom. I work all over the world doing hypnosis, so if you’re interested in working with me, please schedule a free consultation over at my website and we’ll see what your goals are and if I can be of service to you in helping you reach them. Finally, if you liked today’s episode, please subscribe to the podcast or tell a friend. That way, more and more people learn about the power of hypnosis. Peace.