E88: Belonging and Healing Part-1 – Sense Your Belonging Space

E88: Belonging and Healing Part-1 – Sense Your Belonging Space

Podcast Soundtrack:

Let's talk about it. Let's go deep. We all have something to share, KnolShare with Dr. Dave.

Dr. Dave:

So hello and welcome to the Knolshare with Dr. Dave podcast. This is Dr. Dave Cornelius, your host. I am super excited and pleased to announce the law to renew series of my friend, Tracy Treacy. We're going to be talking about belonging and healing over several episodes, starting with one episode each month. We'll see where we go from there, right? Hey Tracy, what's going on?

Tracy:

Good morning, Dr. Dave, how are you?

Dr. Dave:

That's so formal, we know each other too long to be calling well, you can call me Dr. Dave.

Tracy:

Well, I'm looking at your name on the screen and it says Dr. Dave, so I'm calling you Dr. Dave. Okay, I'll call you Cornelius. What's up, Cornelius, how you doing?

Dr. Dave:

I would rather you call me Dr. Dave. So, you know part of our conversation today, we have a few topics that we're going to go over. And since we're talking about belonging and so the four topics would be sensor space for belonging, we'll probably dig into some generative workspace for belonging, don't fake belonging, and then back to your vision, get some ideas around how we could get there. So what do we want, so let's just jump in and let's talk about the importance of belonging for us human beings, right? I mean, this is something that we need, if we don't have it, we go stir crazy, I guess. Or we go and live in cabins out in the bush.

Tracy:

And some people like to do that, because they belong out there, right, if you're talking about belonging. Yeah. You know I was thinking about that belonging thing and what that means in the society that we live in, and how it's, you got to find your people in order to feel like you belong.

Dr. Dave:

Right.

Tracy:

Right. How do you find your people? And then when you find your people and you show up, do you feel like you're part of the people that you think you want to be a part of? So do you really feel like you belong?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, that is a very insightful view, right, into those relationships, right, that you're trying to build with these individuals that you're part of. So, oftentimes we're looking in to see, hey, do they help us emotionally, right, do they make us happy or spiritually...

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

Or even from a physical context, right, are they helping us physically in terms of us being a part of their, that space, how do we sense that, right? Trying to figure that out.

Tracy:

Yeah, and do they make me happy or do they help me find my own happiness, when even in those groups of belonging, there's so much stuff that needs to be healed within those groups in order to feel like they even belong.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

I kind of think the sense of belonging comes back to self. Can I accept who I am and all of my stuff in order to show up authentically in a group that I think are my people, and then feel like I belong? And that was a whole lot, but that's kind of the trajectory, right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, because I think of it as self love, self respect, self-healing, right, self-esteem. I mean, it all comes, it starts with us because the sensing is from us into the environment with other people that we connect with, so it starts with us.

Tracy:

Yeah. I like using self-efficacy instead of self-esteem, right.

Dr. Dave:

Sure.

Tracy:

Because self-esteem feels to me more externally driven, because I feel good when people respond to me in a certain kind of way, and it can also be internal, but I think, sometimes when we think self esteem is how good do I feel about myself, and how good do I feel about myself when others are around. And sometimes we need the external environment to help us with that. When I think of self-efficacy is how do I feel about how I show up in what I know about myself, how efficient am I with Tracy, right? How do I know me? And I think it is a competency thing. How competent am I with myself? I think is, it's kind of a different take on that self-esteem thing.

Dr. Dave:

Well sure, efficacy definitely applies. And you know, how we feel about ourselves at times is driven by external sources, people, other people. But I think, when I think of happiness versus joy, right, those two different contexts, happiness is based on things that are has happened or is happening. And joy is an internal, comes from the inside, so you have to have a balance of both for it to work really well for you to sense, because and I guess at some point you could not have any direction in a process of belonging, and then your sensing will take you in a different direction.

Tracy:

What do you mean? Give me more of that.

Dr. Dave:

Well, you have lots of people who may not have a sense of who they are.

Tracy:

I mean, the majority of people.

Dr. Dave:

Well, I can't say majority, I just say...

Tracy:

I'm going to say majority,.

Dr. Dave:

You say majority.

Tracy:

I'm going to say majority from the folks that I've worked with, majority of people were like, who am I, right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah. And I think even more so now people are digging into that, who am I?

Tracy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dave:

Right. But, if we go beyond just the self, and I, sometimes I want to dig in to look at the past, right? And I think about Martin Luther King, Dr. Martin Luther King and his, I Have a Dream speech, and as he was talking about society as a whole, and how the words of the Constitution kind of gave us this sense that we're ears to the space that we live in, right? We're talking all people is what he was talking about, about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, right. So, let's think about that from that context, and see where that leads us in this conversation.

Tracy:

Yeah, how? I get what you're saying, right? And I get that we're all heirs to whatever. And if we are looking at the past, right, the past is a lot of the, many of the, many of the situations I've seen, the past is the thing that creates the block for people actually feeling like they belong, because there's so many hurts from the past. And I don't mean as a people globally, I mean like personally, like my childhood kind of past and say much, can we cuss on here?

Dr. Dave:

You can do whatever.

Tracy:

Okay. It's, if my childhood was so fucked up that I can't, if it messed me up so much, I don't even know who I am. How am I going to find a sense of belonging? So I'm just kind of out here looking and searching in all these different places that may not be good for me, and I don't know if I'm going to ever belong. That's loneliness, right, that is just, that goes a whole another layer.

Dr. Dave:

That's deep, but I, and I tend to look at the, and this is my sense of optimism, right?

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

I tend to look at the glass kind of half fall. Because I think, there's a certain group of people out there who also, in spite of their upbringing and the challenges that they've experienced, they've been resilient enough to find a path forward, and be able to sense where they belong. And it takes time, it's not something that's going to be overnight, right, that's a lot of work. But what I was referring to was the Declaration of Independence, and falling heir to those wonderful words that we could embrace as part of who we are, that we have the rights to those things, those things are important for us.

Tracy:

Yeah.

Dr. Dave:

Even beyond just that document, how do we bring it into our life that right for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness or pursuit of joy?

Tracy:

Yeah, I think that's what we're talking about, right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

If we all have a right to that, how do we find that, how do we seek that out? And it, and my, I'm not saying the glass is not half full, because it can still be half full and you can still do the work, the searching and the seeking, and learn about the past, and discover who you are from that, and still feel joy. Those things can coexist together, right? So it's about the glass being half full and discovering what's in the other half of the glass.

Dr. Dave:

I completely agree, and a line on that, that yeah. You know, that is a thing, that is a reality, right, that's going to happen, that we're going to be half full and we still have to discover, I don't think we ever get to a point where, well, at least let me just speak for me personally.

Tracy:

Yes.

Dr. Dave:

I'm always in discovery mode, and I'm seeking and acknowledging, and trying to get better as a human being every day. You know that's my journey, but that's just for me, most, I don't know, for some, that's not a thing, I've reached where I've reached and that's good enough, leave me alone.

Tracy:

And that, that's why the world's so fun, because there's so many different kinds of people, right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

It's just, and so many walks of life, which takes us back to, you can find your place with some people, right? You can find your group, your fraternity, your brothers, your sisters, your people, you can find them.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

As you discover who you are, those things can happen together, they can coexist together. You don't have to discover who you are in order to feel like you belong. And you don't have to belong in order to discover who you are. Those things can work together.

Dr. Dave:

I agree. They, they're like your left and right hand working together, right? So I mean, as we say in the historical context, and you talk about your upbringing, right, and the impact of that, so I'm going to go to W. E. B. Dubois, and talk about his double consciousness that people of color sometimes have to experience, right, of we're in a code-switch mode, right. So, there's, when I'm with my people from the Virgin Islands, when I'm with African Americans from the United States, and when I'm with other people in my corporate setting, or even in the community that I live in, there's some double consciousness happening there, and some code-switching at times, right?

Tracy:

Yeah, and I think when W. E. B. Dubois said what he said, or Dubois, what he said, what he said, it was necessary for survival for people to code-switch, right? Because I think you said that was in 1903, that, and that was necessary. We're, even though we're 120 years later, people feel, still feel they need to code switch. And I guess I want to redefine this code-switching thing, because I don't know if it serves us the way it, I don't know if it's necessary for us as a means of survival as it was in 1903, right? Because we could die in 1903, well, we could die today too.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah. Depends on where you are, man, where do you live?

Tracy:

Right, exactly. Right, exactly. However, in corporate America, when I think about code-switching, and then you going back to a Black community and speaking differently, the words, the speaking is not necessarily the code-switch, that is just a vernacular, that is a colloquialism we move through when we move, talk to different people. My concern is when we code-switch is if we really change parts of ourself. That can get dangerous, and that leads to less belonging in a, in a community than anything. Even when you are with your people, because you got to recalibrate, when you get with your people, right? That's a lot, that's a heavy lift mentally. And that is exhausting for people. And I know many people still do that today, and they have to, they feel for survive. I want to start pushing back at that, I want to, I want, I want to, I want to, I want people to experiment to see how they show up in their authentic self, when they're in spaces of people who are not their folk, and then see what that feels like and begin to kind of wear that, and play with that.

Dr. Dave:

Well, yeah, because when we talk about our space of belonging, we want freedom from that double consciousness and that code-switching.

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

And I mean that's, that's the end state, that's that end in mind that we want to get to, right, where we don't have to do that.

Tracy:

And we don't have to do it in those other spaces either, not only in our, and that's what I'm pushing back at.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

I want us to experiment with it when we're in those other spaces too, to just really be authentically you. And use it, and just show up as you and

Tracy:

And see what that feels like and how that's received, especially as the world is changing.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah. So I'll give you an example, like when I came to, when I went to college as a freshman, right. And I'm thinking about this code-switching, and this just came to mind,

Tracy:

Which was 80 years ago, but, okay, go ahead.

Dr. Dave:

Well five, go ahead. And just throw me under the bus of 80 years ago, but here's the reality though. I think you were right there with me, weren't you?

Tracy:

Whatever. Keep going, keep moving. I'm not talking about code switching. You are, go ahead.

Dr. Dave:

What, I'm just giving you an example is that growing up in the West Indies, we have a tendencies to speak differently. Right. But, well, not a tendency. We do speak differently.

Tracy:

You do.

Dr. Dave:

And so I was in an English class and I was lectured to start working on my THS. Right. Cause you know, "deer, deer and deer" means there, there, and there. Right. You know? And so I'm talking about three different things, but where I come from is deer, deer and deer. Right. So that was that level of coming into a society that they didn't understand my language. And I've had to learn how to code switch and be mindful when I'm speaking of thing, because sometimes I would say things like "plug it in and plug it out," instead of unplug it and plug it. And so what, what do you mean by plug it in? What do you, or plug it out. But that's the thing though, when I grew up with, We say things sometimes differently and I,

Tracy:

I totally get that. Cause I actually grew up in a household, said plug it in and plug it out.

Dr. Dave:

Okay. So I think it's a black people thing

Tracy:

Maybe right. Maybe I don't know. And I get that and that, I guess that's part of it, not throwing you under the bus, but that was 40 years ago where you were an undergrad. Right?

Dr. Dave:

I don't think it was that long, but was close enough.

Tracy:

Okay whatever, when you started undergrad

Dr. Dave:

Close enough, when I started undergrad, it was close enough.

Tracy:

Right. And I guess that's part of the point. For somebody who has some cultural humility. Some, I was a professor right. Professor for 20 - some years and I've had students from other countries speak in their country, colloquialism. I had to get used to it. I didn't want them to change how they showed up. I had to understand how they showed up.

Dr. Dave:

I think you are in a more informed space on than the other side. So that's a different-

Tracy:

but I created that space and that's what I'm saying. I think people need to create those spaces so that we can feel like we belong and we don't have to change who we are.

Dr. Dave:

And I totally agree. I totally agree. And just things that we have to, not just, when I say we I'm talking about those of us who are either in a position in those position of powers as a professor, as a business leader that. [crosstalk 00:17:14] We have to create those spaces.

Tracy:

Position as yeah. All of those people. Right, right. absolutely.

Dr. Dave:

But also there's going to be some transition that you have to make in order for communication to be effective. And so my friend from, all my friend from he is from New York, he goes, "yeah, Mary, Mary, Mary." I'm like what? Yeah. It's just an East coast thing. Right. That he talks about that in terms of Mary, Merry,

Tracy:

Mary, Merry, and Marry

Dr. Dave:

And Marry. Yeah. And he said, Mary, Merry, Marry. He said, that's just the way we talked. So got it. Yeah.

Tracy:

And then and when he said that, and maybe he was a white male, right. He was right. And that white male was saying, Ye I'm not changing how I say, Mary, Mary, or Mary, you got to figure out what I'm saying. Right. And they're expecting us to change things so they can understand us. And I say, they, when I'm talking people of power who may be white. And that to me is a double standard because this white dude is not, is going to say, you go to have to accept how I say what I say. Yet, I'm not going to accept how you say what you say. Because you got to say it so I can understand it. I kind of think that's below cocky well,

Dr. Dave:

yes, it's totally poppycock. It is.

Tracy:

And that's why I push back on code switching because I think it's Bullshit. Yeah. That's just me.

Dr. Dave:

And it's OK. Because you were just you Miss Tray-Tray. Cause it's just you.

Tracy:

Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I think we can maybe think about that a little bit and people become more, a little more culturally. When I think about the cultural differences in nuances, we aren't going to know all of them. But I think it's okay to have a space where they're all welcome.

Dr. Dave:

Yes. Of course. We have to have a big enough tent or big enough [crosstalk 00:19:17].

Tracy:

and that's about belonging. Right. And that means you belong. Yeah. Okay. Yes. Yeah.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah. So in order for us to sense belonging, I believe we have to start with an end in mind. We have to have something that we could look forward to some visioning around what that looks like to you. I mean,

Tracy:

To belong? What if you don't know? I mean, because when I think about belonging and I'm say I'm out here trying to figure out where I belong and in what space I belong in, how am I going to know what that end goal is? If I don't even know where I'm going?

Dr. Dave:

There are two different things. The vision is one thing. And there's the experiments that you have to run to really figure this out. So there are two things happening. So you could have a vision, and the vision isn't static. Right? I mean our lives aren't static. I mean, I could create a vision for my life in a certain period of time. Right. And run through those experiments. They're like, okay. None of those things don't apply, take one. Then go on to another period. So that's what we're talking about. We're not talking about being the end in mind being a static thing. Right. That it's a vision and visions do change. Yeah. So what does that look like? What would that look like? I mean, in terms of,

Tracy:

I don't know, to what, like have a vision to have a goal?

Dr. Dave:

To have a vision I'm talking about visions, what does that end kind of look like for whatever period of time it is?

Tracy:

Yeah. I guess that's just asking the person. So what do you want to be in three months? Where you want to be in six, where do you want to be in a year? What do you want your life to look like? And then what are you, what are those steps toward that? If that's the thing and... Go ahead.

Dr. Dave:

Beyond, beyond, beyond the clinical space, you, I'll, I'm just thinking of certain people that I've met in my life. That, they've had a vision and you see it come to fruition. You watch them go through the experiments. and some of it may have been well planned. Some of it may not have been well planned. It's has been a journey, but they still had a vision and I'm going to pull something in if this is okay.

Tracy:

You're going to do it anyway.

Dr. Dave:

And you know, I'm going to do it. So I'm thinking about your son when for the first time I met him and I, and I have a picture with him with a drumstick in his hand. And I think he was just months old. I had this vision and what made me, not his vision, that he was going to be a drummer, which how weird is that? And that has come a thing. And I think he has had that vision throughout his life about being just that. Right. Without having a regimented plan, but he had a vision, right? Yeah,

Tracy:

Yeah, yeah. He was drumming while he was in my stomach. That boy [crosstalk 00:22:19] the drums. Right. He was like, da,da, da very chill, but just tapping, tapping, tapping and tapping. Yeah. I guess because his vision was to be a touring musician. He knew that's what he wanted to do. So even mine, when I was six, I told my father, I was going to, when I grew up, I was going to be a shrink. Who the hell knows about a shrink at six years old. Right?

Dr. Dave:

You did

Tracy:

Apparently. Right. So I don't know what I was watching on TV. I don't know what was going on, but that was the vi- didn't know how I was going to get there, but knew that that was a thing. And I don't know if that's more intuitive, if that's like your, I mean, this can go a whole nother way. Is that like your soul talking to you and you're listening and you're tapped in or is it just arbitrary?

Dr. Dave:

I don't know. I know that I wasn't that young, but I was in 11th grade, 80 years ago. And I knew that I wanted to study computer science. Have never seen a computers been in a day in my life, but that's what I wanted to do. And you know what the trigger was, it wasn't about computers. The trigger was about the possibility of being able to create music and do all of these other things that I have passion about that I could do it with this medium. And I'm going to like, wow, that's cool. Imagine if I could do music and 80 years ago, I'm poking fun at you.

Tracy:

I know you are. I know you're.

Dr. Dave:

With your ageism stuff. Young one

Tracy:

If the age fits.

Dr. Dave:

It does.

Tracy:

I get that. I get that. And maybe people have that vision when they're young. And it's that question? What did you want to be when you grow up? Right? And then they think first thing, and sometimes kids, or adults will rattle off when they were children. Well, first it was a firefighter, then it was an astronaut. Then it was this. And it was that. And then they realized when that shifted, they're like, oh, but in high school, there was this teacher that recognized something that I was good at. And I knew that's what I wanted to do.

Dr. Dave:

Well, and then also it's those things that you rattle off is what mom and dad said, right. Mom and dad said, or even people in your community, you should aspire to be this. Versus what that vision is that you would have, so that you may find your sense of belonging that space, right. Because that's an important thing to have a space of belonging.

Tracy:

Right. Right. And that goes, I mean, we can talk about culture with that too, because certain cultures may not allow for their kids to dream in those non-creative or those creative spaces, it's doctor, lawyer, you know, those kind of jobs go where the money is, computer science that kind of stuff. And then how do, how do we, how do those people find that sense of belonging if they've been directed culturally to do a certain thing.

Dr. Dave:

Yep. Yep. That's a very interesting thing. Yeah. But if we... So can we pursue a generative workspace of belonging? Right. And when I'm thinking of generative is it's the whole aspect of being, giving birth to new ideas of who you are and where you want to be, who you want to be within the place that you work. Right. Whether that's in your own home office or at somewhat corporate office or at a client space. What does that look like for you? I know it's a big, big, chunky conversation that we could have.

Tracy:

Yeah. It's chunky because I mean, full disclosure, I've never worked for anybody. I've worked in the, I know, right. I was a professor, so I worked in the university system. Right. But you don't really work. You work for university, but there's not, there's nobody looking at my curriculum or lesson plans or whether, I mean, I submit it. It's okayed. And then I teach my class. Right. And I've always been in private practice as a clinician, and I've had my own facilities and clinics where I could help people. So I can talk in context when my, when people are like, Hey, Tracy, I want to start this new program. I think we could do this or that. And the other, if we're talking about the work environment, supporting that generative growth or belonging, that's about saying, okay, give me a plan. How you going to do it? How you going to execute it? Was it going to cost us? All of the things that I would need in order to say, let's do it now, or let's table it. But I think there should be an environment created, so that can happen. Right.

Dr. Dave:

And I would agree. And maybe it doesn't need to be that overly structured, that it's a space that we could experiment. And I, and we call limited experiments where yes,

Dr. Dave:

Let's try that and see how that works. And if it does, and everyone adds value to everyone, then maybe that's the thing that we adopt and we start practicing.

Tracy:

Yeah, how do you do that if you're a person that has never done that for themselves? And how do you, if you're at an employer, how do you set a space for your employees to be able to do that?

Dr. Dave:

Well, a fun way of doing that is you could use simple things of gamification, right? I mean, we use this concept of open space.

Tracy:

Okay.

Dr. Dave:

Where anyone could bring an idea and we could explore that idea, and then we could agree if that's something that we want to do as a collective. Right, so you may have the idea that, "Hey, I could wear my hair any way I want to without you having to judge me based on the hairstyle that I have. Can we explore that? And can we have conversations around that?" And all these are simple techniques that...

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

It wasn't born in corporate America, just to let you know, the whole open space technology stuff came from West Africa.

Tracy:

Okay. Yep.

Dr. Dave:

Where people in the tribe would come together and they would bring their challenges to the circle of individuals, and they'll have conversations about it, then they'll say, "Well, what do we all think? Right? Okay, yeah, yeah. Okay. Let's go do that."

Tracy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dave:

And you may have to come back again and say, "You know, we tried it, but it didn't really work."

Tracy:

Yeah.

Dr. Dave:

They're still taking out my goat milk. I'm just being facetious about that.

Tracy:

No, no, no, no. I know. But that's all community supported, right? That is a... That sounds like grassroots. That sounds like community organization that... I guess my question and this, and I don't know, it's not like we're going to answer it, but this is a question that I have.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

How is that space created if there is a leader that does not encourage that thinking? That's the thing. So I guess that leader, if they trust the people around them to carry things out and they don't do it. But some... I just think of certain leaders we've had that have a very certain way of thinking, right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, yeah.

Tracy:

And there is no room for expansion. There is no room for that creativity.

Dr. Dave:

Well, the thing is, it's not always just about the will of that leader, right? It could also be about the will of the people in a grassroot fashion running their experiments, right?

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

I mean, not everything starts from the top...

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

And trickles down to the bottom, right? We have things that starts in a grassroot level. Many things in our country or in the world started at a grassroots level where people found a need, they ran their experiment, and then it came up where it becomes widely accepted. So, I think it's the same principle of creating. I think you need to have people who are willing to take that risk.

Tracy:

Right, and I guess I'm just thinking of it in a company context. I get that on a global, worldly context, but I'm thinking of a company context. And you got the male person and the assistant and this that want to do something different to make the systems better, but it's got to trickle up instead of down, and who's going to listen to it? And that's, yeah. That's where I get by.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, it takes work. And there's been many successes where those individuals in those roles have created new ideas that has made companies very profitable, right? And make individuals find their sense of belonging in a new concept or new business idea.

Tracy:

Yeah, I would like for those things to be more public so that we know this is happening. So that people in these companies can feel like they can do that.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

Yeah.

Dr. Dave:

You hear about these things in TED talks.

Tracy:

Right, right, right. Right.

Dr. Dave:

This is where you hear about them after the fact...

Tracy:

Right, right.

Dr. Dave:

Because the oppressive leader, the narcissistic leader, is not going to want to put that out there in public, yeah.

Tracy:

Right, right. So, yeah. I guess you call it the little guy, but it's not the little guy, it's the foundation of the business, right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

It's those pillars in the business that make a big difference sometimes.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, yeah. And I... Little guys is just pecking order, right? The hierarchy.

Tracy:

Right, right. And that gives them a sense of belonging. Like, "Yeah, I belong to this company. Look at what I've contributed." And that's empowering. That is, I think, is golden. And you can take that sense of empowerment from work, and that can translate to so many other areas in your life.

Dr. Dave:

Of course.

Tracy:

For self-efficacy, right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, yeah.

Tracy:

That confidence, yeah.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, that's self-love and self respect, stuff that's so important, you know? But one thing I would like to say is that we shouldn't fake it. If belonging isn't working, is that don't fake it until you make it? If that's a thing, and I know many people have done that, I mean I have, and it's been harmful to me.

Tracy:

How do you... Right, right. I was going to say, how do you fake belonging without harming yourself, right?

Dr. Dave:

Well, you do harm yourself. That's a fact, right? So the thing is, how do we get people to be as authentic as they possibly can? Or at least go through that journey, because that is hard stuff, right? Because [inaudible 00:33:50] it falls right back in with the double consciousness and code switching too, right? It's like, "Oh my God. In order for us to survive here, I have to dress a certain way. I have to speak a certain way. I have to have certain mannerisms. I have to like golfing or to drink a lot." And as we start to think about these different things that other people get involved with, oftentimes we're faking into that space so that we can have a sense of belonging, which is not healthy. We know that, right?

Tracy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dave:

So.

Tracy:

And I guess we have to define what do we want to belong to?

Dr. Dave:

Yes.

Tracy:

And where do we want to belong? And I guess that goes back to the beginning of the conversation. How the hell do you find that when you are not... And I'm going to go back to childhood, I guess. If you're not somebody in your home as a kid being asked those questions, or even honoring that you feel a certain kind of way about doing a certain kind of thing, right? Even like eating food. And this is from... This is a cultural standpoint. And so I'm sure other cultures do that, but if this is what I cook for dinner, and you ain't eating it, you're going to starve. Right? Even that kind of thing is like... The parent ain't got time, for one. I totally get that. And can't be feeding five or six different palates if you don't want to eat it. Totally get that.

Tracy:

There could be a dialogue, though. Okay, what don't you like about this? Maybe we could plan the meals on the weekend and somebody gets something they like every night. There's so many other negotiating tools. And if that isn't done in a household where that's a norm, how is a person going to know how to do that as an adult?

Dr. Dave:

You know, as you speak of that, I think of my own childhood. At a very young age, I decided that I wanted to be a vegetarian. I think it was in fifth grade.

Tracy:

Okay.

Dr. Dave:

And I think because my mother had the experience of her mother being a vegetarian.

Tracy:

Okay.

Dr. Dave:

It made it a lot easier for her to be considerate, creating space, and said, "Okay, you want to do this?"

Tracy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dave:

"I am going to make things without meat for you. And I'm going to help you to learn how to eat this way so that you don't die of scurvy."

Tracy:

Yeah. Right. But how wonderful is that, right?

Dr. Dave:

That's what I'm saying.

Tracy:

Yeah.

Dr. Dave:

That was an amazing experience. So I didn't have to fake belonging because I looked at other kids that I grew up with.

Tracy:

Yep.

Dr. Dave:

And I could just remember these girls and their mom. And their mother slaughtered a pig, or their family slaughtered a pig, and they had the pig head there. And the mother is like, "You got to eat that there! You eat [inaudible 00:36:49] Eat the feet!" And she's like, "Mommy, the eyes are looking at me." And I'm like... Every time I... That is imprinted in my mind.

Tracy:

Yeah.

Dr. Dave:

And that was really, really young when that happened.

Tracy:

Yeah, yep.

Dr. Dave:

But that is...

Tracy:

Yeah, that's a great example.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

That's a great example of that. And food I was using because many of us can relate to that.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

But when we talk about feelings and emotions, or even having a voice...

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

I mean think about how we're... Our generation, children are to be seen and not heard. Right? And as soon as a child speaks, it's like, don't talk back.

Dr. Dave:

Yep.

Tracy:

Don't give me lip. And all that kid is doing is voicing what they feel.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

So they get the message that that's not good. So how do I even get that sense of that framework you're talking about of that authenticity? How can I show up authentic when, when I have shown up authentic, it has gotten me in trouble? So I'm going to really learn how to be a chameleon.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

And that's the code switching part, right? I'm going to learn how to be able to fit in any kind of group, or I'm going to learn how to get in the background where nobody really sees me. I'm going to be smaller than I want to be so that I'm not drawing attention to myself. That, I don't know. It just gives that sense of not belonging more weight. Right?

Dr. Dave:

Yeah, it's the work. I mean, there's a serious amount of work that takes place to actually find that place of belonging. And yes, it could start from our childhood, right?

Tracy:

Yeah.

Dr. Dave:

Where we've been given permission to behave in certain ways. And it's not yackety-yak, don't talk back, here's a smack, right?

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

Which is some people's experiences.

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

And others where we have the opportunity to go into, "Hey, mom, I want to be vegetarian. Is that okay?" And grandma. And great manipulation, right? Grandma has been a vegetarian for a long time.

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

And I want to follow in her footsteps. So, at least I had cover, I had grandma.

Tracy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dave:

And so, there's just a lot of work when it comes into trying to be your authentic self in a space where you could belong, right?

Tracy:

Yeah, when I think of authentic self... So I've been trained in so many different areas, and trauma comes to mind with authentic self, right?

Dr. Dave:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tracy:

Trauma, shame, those kind of things. And what I understand about authentic self... There's this theory, or there are these many theories, one particular is called parts, that we all have parts to ourselves.

Dr. Dave:

Yes.

Tracy:

And those parts are developed in order to survive situations. I think when we have to, the more parts we build within, the more the authentic self gets covered up. And those parts may need to be... That's where the work comes in. Those parts are there for safety. They're there for a reason, but sometimes they are so active, that they cover up who I really am.

Dr. Dave:

And that's true because what is developed out of that is what we call limiting beliefs, right?

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

And so those limiting beliefs are those things that, "I don't, I can't do that. I'm not good enough. I have to be this way, otherwise, I won't fit." And those are all limiting beliefs. And those are those things that are attached to the parts and areas that we create in our lives in order for us to survive in these spaces.

Tracy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And sometimes that's just one part.

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

That one part can be so loud that, "I can't do that. I'm not smart enough for that."

Dr. Dave:

And it's always the loudest part, right?

Tracy:

Right, it's the loudest part. So if it's so loud, how are you, your authenticity ever going to come out? It's about... And it's not even about turning down the volume. It's about talking to that part because when that part pops up, I bet the person is really scared in those situations. Right? And then that part pops up for them to be safe. And then I think you need to communicate with that part and be like, "Okay part, let's do this thing. I can be scared and still do."

Dr. Dave:

Yeah.

Tracy:

Right. And that goes back to what we were talking about. All those things can be both, and I can be authentic, and I can be scared to do that.

Dr. Dave:

Well, as I'm drawing on my experience as you're talking about that, I went to work for a very large organization back then. There were like the top six accounting auditing company in the world. And got to work for one of those companies, and I just remember going out to lunch one of departments. This is one of the things that the experience that you

Dr. Dave:

You had right, of faking where you belong and all of the servers were black people wearing white gloves. I had never seen anything like that before in my life. On TV, yes.

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

But that was just such a weird... I felt so weird being there and felt like, "God, I'm like so out...". I wanted to run out of that space. But I knew I couldn't run because this was an important aspect of this career journey I was on in corporate America.

Tracy:

Okay.

Dr. Dave:

And I don't know, man I... They think about that job of how much I had to fake to belong.

Tracy:

Yes.

Dr. Dave:

Right, every day. The way we dressed, the way we spoke, and one voice, one look, there was these regimented things in that period of time that... And it wasn't just me.

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

The deal coming from a different culture. I mean, I remember this one woman just having a nervous breakdown, trying to belong and we were there like late night, one night and she was standing on her desk screaming at the top of her... She was having a nervous breakdown, we had to call 9-1-1.

Dr. Dave:

So, I mean, just imagine her as a white woman, I'm a black man. Just dealing with, "Oh God, how do we fit into this space that was created by this patriarchal model of where we have to fake to belong."

Tracy:

The... And this is just such an aside, but when you say nervous breakdown, I know that's a common colloquialism for our society to express when someone can't handle anything anymore. I don't call those a nervous breakdown, I call those breakthroughs because that-

Dr. Dave:

That's a very positive way.

Tracy:

Yes. She could not take anymore. So she was like, "If I take anymore, I'm going to fucking explode." And she did-

Dr. Dave:

Well, she did-

Tracy:

To let it out. Yes, she had to let it out and the thing after that though is calming her nervous system and making sure she's okay.

Dr. Dave:

Yes.

Tracy:

And not looking at it as a negative. But if some... I pray to God, for those of us who believe in God, the Universe, Spirit. I pray to Spirit that somebody afterwards said to that woman, "Thank you for doing that, now let's see what you want to do."

Dr. Dave:

Not in that era.

Tracy:

I know.

Dr. Dave:

No.

Tracy:

I know.

Dr. Dave:

She didn't last very long just to let you know. I remember her coming back to work and seeing that she was in a totally different space.

Tracy:

She was medicated, that's why.

Dr. Dave:

Yes. She was... It's like this person come in and going like, "Oh my gosh, wow!"

Tracy:

Right, and all that passion and all that creativity was like, "Eh.", locked in. Yes, I call that a breakthrough, but I know... And that to me sounds like a very, very hard situation that many people go through. In particular... Not necessarily just in corporate America, just working in spaces that are very patriarchal driven, are very mono view of the world. That is a very difficult thing and that wrecks havoc on your physical health, mental health, emotional health, psycho... All the health, all the health. All of them.

Dr. Dave:

All those parts that are essential for you to function in a healthy way. I mean, it's my God.... Blows my mind.

Tracy:

Yes.

Dr. Dave:

So we're talking about, "How do we come up with vision?", and here I am jumping to a visioning journey map, a little thing that I like to play with, of which has been helpful for and for some of my clients where I said, "Start with the end in mind, it does not have to be perfect."

Dr. Dave:

I wanted just make sure that there's no perfectionist and then let's envision what it's like if we went out three, six months and you wanted to walk back from your vision, what are all the hurdles that you think you may run into?

Dr. Dave:

And you come back to your current day and then you go forward and said, "Well, what are all the things? What are all the goals? What are all the things that I want to dream about until I get to that vision?" And you start collecting and writing those down. So this is a simple tool that I have used to work with different people. And then there's a bunch of questions that I want to ask around why we're going through that journey. It's almost like a journey mapping, we want to go through and figure out, "What does this look like?", because there's no perfection in this.

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

We know that we're going to fail, we know we're going to have some successes and we're going to have breakthroughs and discovery in the process. So that's a whole thing about when I think about creating visions that, they're not static, they're not monuments, that we're... And the mall and Washington looking at.

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

What are your thoughts around those type of tools like this that would help people just see things? To me it's amazing sometimes when I could get up and put a sticky in a wall. Like, "Hey, here's a sticky with something that really important on it or a picture." and that also sometimes gets people insights, "Oh, wow. That's possible."

Tracy:

Yes, that's a big intersection. I think of how we could both approach something in a similar way because the end is maybe necessary for some people. Whatever that end is. And I think if, when I'm working with people, if there is say, I want, hell a big one, I want to lose weight.

Tracy:

I swear, my question... And you have many questions along the way. So you do a timeline and I guess within what you're saying, I agree with all of it. The three month and the six month thing down the road, I don't know if I... It's good to say.

Dr. Dave:

Yes.

Tracy:

It's good to have just a benchmark and to have flexibility within that benchmark. Even if you say something now and we meet in two or three weeks and you don't reach that benchmark, lets recalibrate. That's okay. There's a lot of false starts.

Tracy:

It takes the average person seven times to go through rehab in order to handle whatever that addiction is. And when I say handle, it may mean abstinence for some, it may mean harm reduction for others, whatever it is for that person. So it's not going to just happen the first time, so I think those mini baby steps... That's what you're sounding like to me.

Dr. Dave:

It's incremental stuff right?

Tracy:

Incremental step, right. The, the little baby goals to get through and then the big picture starts to form more and more and more.

Dr. Dave:

That's true and, and as you're going through there, what we're looking at is what type of questions could we ask? Cause it's not just, "Oh, I'm going to look at hurdles." So it could say, "Well, when facing these hurdles, who do I need to be in this, at that moment?" And whether it's losing weight or a career or building a relationship, "Who do I need to be?"

Dr. Dave:

"And that's also the sense of belonging or maybe it's my perspective on the world. How does that limit me in this process?" So as we are going through the journey, there's a series of questions that we want to just prompt ourselves in the process so we could learn more because it's a discovery, it's an experiment.

Tracy:

It's a journey. Life is a journey and I think those questions change, and how we get to how we do what we do changes, and it's really important in parts of this, to ask people where have they felt like they've succeeded and what took them... What parts of them were used in order for that success and to be able to transfer those skills to this new thing.

Tracy:

Because we know they can do it and we know there's the capability and there's the confidence in all of that. And then that's where I see people go "Yeah I can do a great with other people in other situations, but with this one, I seem to just lose my shit."

Dr. Dave:

Yes. And look man, it's really important for us to have grace with ourselves. That's part of empathy for ourselves, as well as we're going through this journey of trying to understand-

Tracy:

I think self-compassion is so important.

Dr. Dave:

Yes.

Tracy:

So very important.

Dr. Dave:

Yes it is. Things that we have to do. So I think this is... What do you think, this is a good time for us to bring this to close? I think we have some great conversation happening. Anything that you would like to add before we jump out in until our next episode?

Tracy:

No, this was kind of fun, we don't know where it's going. We're kind of on a journey ourselves. We've... To see how this works out. How whatever... Our end goal is to continue to do podcast.

Dr. Dave:

Yes, right!

Tracy:

Right.

Dr. Dave:

It's an experiment.

Tracy:

It's an experiment. No, I think we're good.

Dr. Dave:

Good. So, well, hey, thank you for listening to the KnolShare with Dr. Dave Podcast, with my friend, Tracy Treacy and as we're on this journey, talking about belonging and healing as part of our process and journey. And I'd just like to say, this is copywritten 2021, Dr. Dave Cornelius on KnolShare.org. And we look forward to speaking to you next time. So we'll probably set up a few different ways that you could connect with us as we post our podcast and thank you so much, Tracy, for going on this venture with me.

Tracy:

Thank you for asking. This is going to be fun.

Dr. Dave:

I know it would... I know it would be because you and I are having this conversation.

Tracy:

Of course, right?

Dr. Dave:

Of course, yes.

Tracy:

Just wait until we start getting into it though, that will be fun. I know, right.

Dr. Dave:

Lord, I'm scared.

Tracy:

Don't be scared. Don't be scared. Don't be scared.

Dr. Dave:

Okay. I won't be scared.

Podcast Soundtrack:

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