Summary: Pamela Stokes interviews Padma Gordon, Spiritual Guide, Embodied Mindfulness Counselor, and author of “BEING TOGETHER: Practical Wisdom for Loving Yourself and Your Partner”. Please join us as we discuss how self-love, embodiment, and learning to take a pause can help us develop resilience.
- How Padma helped Pamela [02:16]
- Self-love and resilience [06:27]
- Importance of the pause [08:50] Quote from Viktor Frankl, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”
- Window of Tolerance [11:39]
- Benefit of being witnessed [17:46]
- Self-reliance and support [19:20] Paraphrase from Rick Hanson, The greatest expression of self-reliance is to show someone that you need help.
- Padma’s words of wisdom [21:30]
- Mindful Motion Essentials
- Padma Gordon website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
- BEING TOGETHER, By Padma Gordon on Amazon
- BEING TOGETHER at Barnes and Noble
- Viktor Frankl
- Rick Hanson
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[00:00] Move Into Coherence host, Pamela Stokes (MIR): Hello! And welcome to Move Into Coherence. I’m your host, Pamela Stokes. Today we have a special interview with Padma Gordon. Padma Gordon is a spiritual guide, embodied mindfulness counselor, author, and lover of life who invites people to deepen their connection to body, heart, and soul. She teaches about relationships through her lens of awakening. Her new book is called “BEING TOGETHER: Practical Wisdom for Loving Yourself and Your Partner”. And now, let’s welcome Padma Gordon.
[00:41] Padma Gordon (PG): It’s good to see you.
MIR: Yeah, it’s really good to see you. So I was thinking about how we came to meet each other. And how that all began was the mutual friend, our mutual friend, one day I guess said to you, “Hey. I know this gal.” And she also said the same thing to me, “Hey. I know this gal, and you guys are pretty similar in your work and maybe you should get on the phone together, so long story short, here we are. And I guess what I would like to know is, one of the things I remember you saying in that conversation was, “Well, I just I don’t just let anyone work on my body.” And, I loved that.
PG: That is the truth, for sure.
MIR: Whoa, she’s thrown down the gauntlet, so I better do a good job.
MIR: But we sat on the phone. I remember that conversation lasted 45 minutes or an hour or something, just talking about all the things that were similar about our work and it felt like a good fit. So I’m super glad that I got to meet you and that our friend introduced us and all the things that have ensued since then.
MIR: And that probably leads me right into what I felt when I worked with you and how it affected me. And kind of get that part of the conversation out of the way I guess, because it was challenging.
PG: Just dive in, right?
MIR: Yeah. Yeah, it was a challenging time for me.
PG: Yeah. It was a challenging time. Yes.
MIR: So what I realized was I was having difficulty in my relationship, and not really knowing what to do. And you invited me to find a sense of love for me that I think was probably there. But a little afraid because of what I had grown up learning in the family that I was in, and the upbringing, the cultural upbringing. Maybe there’s a little too much, “Who are you? Miss Fancy Pants to love yourself?” But that that kind of thing can get in the way. But I feel that the practices that you helped me do and guided me through were instrumental in finding that self-love, which then was able to build on itself. And empowering myself too. Some of the practices you had me do–I remember one. Standing with my feet wide and making a shape with my hands, kind of a diamond shape with the thumbs together in the fingers together. And then holding it down low in front of my low belly, and just keeping the knees soft, and maybe even a little bent, and just sort of feeling that like, “Rrrr, I’m here!” That was super good!
PG: Mmmm. Yeah.
MIR: Yeah. So I think having those pieces in place, because then very shortly thereafter I was informed that my relationship was going to be over. And so that was not necessarily the way that I had planned my future. But by having those things in place and by having the practices that you introduced me to, I felt like, “OK. I can do this.” And here I am now, not quite two years, but 18-19 months later, and my life is just blooming!
PG: Amazing! Wonderful.
MIR: So I really feel that, I guess it’s kind of the key to why I’m calling my business Move Into Coherence, and why I’m calling my podcast and YouTube series Move Into Coherence is because that’s kind of what I have been able to do for myself is to know that I can put my feet on the ground. And I’m strong and powerful. And I love myself, and I’m not afraid to say I love myself. I’m not afraid to feel that.
MIR: Yay! Yeah. I thank you again, Padma for being in that part of my life where I was.
PG: You’re super welcome.
MIR: I really needed it. Super!
PG: It was really quite an honor, yeah. And what I’m hearing you say is that you came home to yourself. Not that I gave you anything. I just pointed you back, and you were so ripe and ready, and available, and willing to lean in and feel what was there, to clear the way to come to come back. To come back, to come home. And to experience and look at the different layers that were there for you to look at, as we all have different layers to look at.
MIR: It was a great guidance so thank you again for that.
[06:27] self-love and resilience
PG: You’re really welcome. I was reading something a little earlier today. It’s actually just these different quotes from different teachers. And one of them was speaking to, just reminded me of, how when we come into the body, we have access to our hearts. And when we have access to our hearts, we have access to responsiveness, and what is aligned and what is ethically true for us. So I just really felt like, and it’s not just having this awareness of love, it’s love in the body. That’s what gives us a sense of, as you said, of resilience.
PG: Then we are resilient. And I feel like especially in these times that are very chaotic, tumultuous, and vastly unknown, it really serves us so deeply to have this sense of internal resilience, which is an embodied resilience. It’s not just a cognitive notion of I’m resilient.
PG: It’s, oh, I’m resilient and I feel it in myself.
MIR: Yes, yes.
PG: I’m walking with that.
PG: Which is also how you take the chances that you have taken to step out of this 35-year relationship and step into the unknown and put yourself out there. and take, ’cause we have to take risks, in order to grow. And to do that, we have to feel a certain level of trust in ourselves, which is based in self-love which is based in really embodying it.
MIR: Yes, exactly. Yeah.
[08:28] Voiceover: We’re here with Padma Gordon, author of BEING TOGETHER. You can find her book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And you can find her at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Her website is padmagordon.com. And let’s get back to the interview.
[08:50] importance of the pause
MIR: So this is from Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and I think a psychologist as well. Is that kind of the gist of it? I don’t remember actually what he is.
MIR: Oh, yeah. Neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor. OK, it goes like this, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” And so what you were just talking about. Where you take a deep breath, you go for a walk, you take that time to pause, and then you can respond. Because you’re now coming from a place where you’re not frantic and spun out and whatever that is. So creating this space to have the pause, and to have the awareness that you need a pause, perhaps, is a good first step too.
[09:53] “Pause often. Use it liberally.” ~ Padma Gordon
PG: Yes, absolutely. And use it. Pause often. Use it liberally. Really, I mean in my experience, it’s hard to pause too much, ’cause a pause could be a deep breath, or a pause could be a 15-minute walk around the block. Pausing before you respond to an email, and even more is before you respond to a what? A text!
MIR: Oh, sure.
PG: Do not respond rapid fire back and forth texting. That is off the table. That is off the table. There is no good that’s going to come from that pretty much. And then you just have a whole mess to clean up.
MIR: I agree.
PG: I would say just pause if you find yourself triggered. And if it’s really an important something you need to talk about, pick up the phone or schedule a time. But before you do all that, inside of the pause is a chance to let yourself settle. Because when we’re triggered, on a nervous system level, we’re actually outside of the window of tolerance.
PG: And if you’re up here (gesture to the top of the “window”), whatever you’re saying, even if it’s true, it’s not going to come across well. And often times it won’t even be on point. It’s coming from a place of hurt, a place of reactivity.
MIR: Yeah, I definitely want to do a podcast episode on the window of tolerance and what that, how we can grow it and how we can make it a bigger window, so that we have the possibility of handling things. So I’m glad that you mentioned that. Note to self: Definitely do a podcast episode on window of tolerance.
[11:39] window of tolerance
PG: So yeah, well increasing the window of tolerance, we’ve talked about numerous things, numerous ways of doing that even today.
MIR: Yes. True.
PG: Self-love increases your window of tolerance, pausing, meditation.
MIR: Right. And finding the good.
PG: Anything you can do. These hugs, finding the good. This all increases your window of tolerance, which I want to say is really important especially in our current world.
PG: We’re being pushed and tested.
MIR: Aren’t we?!!
PG: We are. And, we’re being invited to be even more present. And everything that’s going on is encouraging us to be even more reactive.
PG: There’s a lot of things that are causing fear and turmoil and upset, which is not a place of responsiveness. It’s a place of reactivity. And it’s very hard to be discerning in those moments when we’re scared for survival.
So I have another question for you, Padma, which is why did you get into the body-based counseling field that you’re in?
PG: Well, I am someone who has always loved movement and dancing, and I’ve moved and danced my whole life. And, to me, what I’ve discovered over time, is that the body has a map. And the body really tells the truth, when we learn, when we learn how to read it. Because it can also present as something that isn’t actually true. and to learn how to read the signals in a way that makes sense. And the body, the thing also about the body oftentimes, is it really brings us into the present, if you just notice what you’re feeling. Like even in this moment I notice it’s a warm day here and my palms are warm, and it’s happening in present time. And to be able to notice and observe along the lines akin to Vipassana meditation, where we observe sensations without making a judgment. Without deciding that, oh I need to wash my hands with cold water or whatever I need to do. But just to experience what’s here. So I feel like the body invites us into present time experience, and then we can discern, does something need to happen or can I just be with this? So it increases, again back to the window tolerance, it increases our ability for being with and tolerating things. And then knowing when, oh, that’s too much. That’s enough. I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough heat. I’ve had enough cold. I’ve had enough food. I’ve had enough exercise, whatever it is.
PG: And the body/mind connection is profound, and it takes us into ourselves and into our hearts. And then to include the body and not be limited to the body. And then to also walk with your awareness, an embodied awareness of who you are, as well as what you know. And to walk with that. Just like you were saying that you have really discovered a new level of walking in yourself. In your empowered self, which, had we not done this practice and explored through the body, it would have been very hard to get to that. It’s not a concept. It is a concept, and then it’s a direct experience. So the body takes us into direct experience. And I’ve done so many many years of inner exploration through the body, through different modalities. And what I what I offer, what I practice is an amalgam of that.
MIR: Yes, we’re similar in that way, that we, on our own process of self-discovery, have found these things that were helpful. And I love that you have decided to bring that into the public arena so that other people can benefit from what you know by not only writing the book but by also having a private practice. So I was wondering what you would like the audience to know about your work and how they can find you out there in the world, besides, of course, buying your wonderful book.
[16:16] offerings from Padma Gordon
PG: Oh, thank you. Well, I’m working on an online course that will actually workshop the book. And so it’ll be for both singles and couples and people to just go through it together and really reflect–kind of like a very self-inquiry interactive book group, where you learn about yourself and also about what I’m sharing in the book.
MIR: What a beautiful idea. I love that. When does that begin?
PG: Thank you. It’ll be later this fall. It’s in process.
PG: Totally in process, yeah. So I can let you know. I’ll share that.
PG: But also I work with people all over the world, and now I’m mostly on Zoom, on the phone, or on FaceTime. I love working with both individuals and couples, and that’s kind of what I’m up to. You can find me on my website. Please contact me. I’d love to hear from you if you have any particular questions based on this interview. Or if you read the book, I’d really love to hear your reflections on the book. And my website is my name, padmagordon.com.
MIR: It’s easy to remember.
PG: mmhmm, easy to remember. The book is on Amazon. It’s called BEING TOGETHER. It’s on Barnes and Noble, and I’m starting to get it into some local bookstores here in California.
[17:46] benefit of being witnessed
MIR: Nice. Nice. Well, I wish you great success with it and I know that people will benefit by reading it. And I was going to say that one of the things that for me that I would have to say, by working with you and just practitioners in general, that having, and we talked about this earlier, having the intention of the practitioner there. Having the container, the holding, the ability to be however you want to be in front of somebody. By being witnessed, by experiencing how you’re feeling in that moment, and having somebody actually see you in that is so helpful. So if you’re struggling out there, wondering, yes, I’ve been doing all these practices, I’ve been doing all this mind/body stuff, but I’m not getting anywhere. I think that having somebody there to support and witness is pretty key to getting to that next level. And it seems like both of us have realized that, in working with each other, that you can only get so far and then, yeah, you need a little bit of that…
MIR: Yeah. I guess it just probably boils down to the fact that we’re humans, we’re a social species. We need people. we need each other. And one of the greatest things (I’m terrible at quotes because I never remember the exact words) but Rick Hanson said something like this, which was,
[19:20] paraphrase about self-reliance from Rick Hanson. The greatest expression of self-reliance is to show someone that you need help.
PG: Mmm. Beautiful.
MIR: Right? Wow! It is so beautiful, because I did need help. And I was like, “Padma!”
PG: Yeah, and sometimes we don’t even know we need help until we have it. I mean I have people say that to me on a regular basis. I didn’t know what I was going to really work with today, but gosh there was so much here. You know?
PG: And we’re in a time in our world where I feel like support is really beneficial for all of us. And like you just said, Pamela, you can do all the practices and there’s something about the witnessing, about space being held, that actually creates, helps to create, momentum. It really does. And it’s really courageous.
[20:25] “This is an act of self-love to ask for help and to recognize that we all need help.” ~Padma Gordon
This is an act of self-love to ask for help and to recognize that we all need help.
MIR: Yes. Even a practitioner sees practitioners.
PG: I do.
MIR: Chiropractors do. Chiropractors weekly get adjusted by other chiropractors. You know?
PG: Of course.
MIR: So that’s something that I know that it’s definitely there. Well this has been fabulous being with you, being together. The title of your book, “BEING TOGETHER: Practical Wisdom for Loving Yourself and Your Partner, by Padma Gordon. So nice sharing space and time with you, Padma. And I was wondering, just in closing, if there’s any words of wisdom you like to share. Any final little tagline that people can walk home with, that would be great.
PG: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. It’s been really lots of fun and really rich. So rich to dialogue in this depth.
[21:30] Padma’s words of wisdom
PG: So my word my words of wisdom today: Really love yourself. Cultivate loving yourself. And I think it’s that question that we posed earlier on: Is this really serving me? Because if we’re all practicing loving ourselves, it will flow. It will overflow. So practice loving yourself. And one of the main ways you can love yourself is by giving yourself your own attention. So have a practice, whether it’s meditation, yoga, Qigong, whatever it is that is dedicated time where you pay attention to yourself. That’s what I would say. It’s highly beneficial.
MIR: Beautiful. Excellent. Excellent.
PG: Thank you so much.
MIR: Thank you so much.
PG: Yeah. So fun!
MIR: We’ll be seeing you!
PG: We will!
Voiceover: You’ve been listening to an interview with Padma Gordon Her new book, “BEING TOGETHER”, can be found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And she can be reached on her website padmagordon.com. Thank you so much for joining me. This is Pamela Stokes, and you’ve been listening to Move Into Coherence. Find us at moveintocoherence.com for more information. Take it easy!