#41: The Inches Between Your Ears


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I am recording today’s episode on May 24th, 2021. I wanted to share a little bit about my Sunday. The conversations I had on Sunday inspired me to talk today about packing parachutes, post traumatic growth, and more.

A couple who has been clients of mine for some time and live in Atlanta went to Brazilian restaurant in town to celebrate Janne’s birthday. I am from Southern Brazil. We love meat. In Brazil, we call all you can eat meat restaurants, churrascarias.

The longest I’ve gone without consuming some kind of meat, poultry or fish had been 21 days. Although I’ve significantly reduced the amount of animal protein I consumed and changed the quality, I still enjoy meats.

In February, I did another liver flush. 10 or so days in a diet without any form of animal protein. At the end of the flush, I decided to extend and experiment with a 3-month no meat type of deal. On May 10th, I had my 3-month anniversary. Well, I had a blurb on March 25th. I ate chicken and didn’t realize. I will spare you the details but it’s POSSIBLE to eat chicken and not realize.

Eating that tasty meat after so long was amazing. We had great conversations. We touched upon many topics including childhood adversity, EVOX treatment or therapy, and opportunities we have to shift our emotions. Stuff that I had shared in my last episodes. Our conversations reminded me of parachutes packing, many angels I’ve had in my life, and acts of gratitude.

So, let’s chat about it, shall we?

Oh, just a quick reminder that you’ll find the transcript for episodes with references that I may or not mention at www.BeFabBeYou.com/podcast.


Captain Charlie Plumb’s Parachute Story is simple and yet very important. He is a former naval aviator and prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. He was stuck in an 8 by 8 feet cell for 6 years. No phone, books, TV, radio, pen, paper.

One of the lessons she shares about being in a prison cell is that hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years. It’s easy to get acclimated to the situation. We learn how to survive. You get so used to it that the last thing you want is to leave that box. Despite all the suffering and discomfort, that this box is your new norm of comfort.

He goes to say that…

The difference between challenges one incurs inside that box isn’t too different than the ones incurred in life outside a prison’s cell. It’s about the response we have to life to survive and thrive.

This box isn’t about the inches between the prison walls anymore, it’s about the 8 inches between the ears. He calls it a mental box which can be more restrictive than those prison walls. This mental box is negatively affecting millions of lives.

I couldn’t agree more!

Take a few seconds to think about the roller coaster you experienced during the pandemic. Was it emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging and maybe devastating? How about stress levels, loneliness, felt defeated, frustrated, and like a failure?  He went through the same experience.

Has your life changed? Are you a different person? What have you learned and applied that make you and your life different and better? Have you been focusing on going to the ‘old normal’ or creating your new normal?

Let’s talk about PTSD and PTG for a minute…

We hear plenty about Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Now, have you heard about Post Traumatic Growth (PTG)?

Posttraumatic growth has been defined as “positive psychological change experienced as a result of a struggle with highly challenging life circumstances” and through establishing perspectives for a “new normal” when the old normal is no longer an option.

We can navigate change adversity, traumatic or otherwise, to find a new meaning and direction in life.

Dr. Stephen Joseph, author of the book What Doesn’t Kill Us, says when adversity strikes people often feel that a least some part of them, be at their views of the world, their sense of themselves, their relationships has been smashed. Those who try to put their lives back together exactly as they were, remain fractured and vulnerable. But those who accept the breakage and build themselves as new, become more resilient and open to new ways of living. So post-traumatic growth involves the rebuilding of the shattered assumptive world. It’s about recuperating, coping abilities now.

I have talked about Adverse Childhood Experience, health challenges, and diseases that traumas cause decades later in life. And we also talked about resilience and things we can do to rewire our brains. These discussions are fascinating to me because of the amazing relationship between the mind and brain and how important is to FUEL our body and mind the nutrients, food and beyond, to experience the life we deserve. The brain is elastic. We have opportunities to repair damages when we do the work.

One of Captain Plumb’s questions to us is Who Packs Your Parachute. In simple terms…

  • Who has helped you along your journey without waking anything in return?
  • Who is serving you?
  • Who is investing in you?
  • Who has helped you shine in life?

Have you thanked them for their service lately?  How often do you express your gratitude? How you reflected long enough to think about the people behind the scene?

In Captain Plumb’s case, it was a sailor who put his parachute together. Someone way at the bottom of the chain, who did his job with care, and expected nothing back from this top notch aviator.

I refer these people as angels.

  • Who have been the mentors, teachers, and coaches who have been there for you?
  • How about your parents and family members?
  • How about the co-workers who take time to share their knowledge with you so you know more and do better?
  • How about the janitors that keep bathrooms and spaces clean?
  • How about the people who collect the trash at the streets?

I can go on and on, right?

The business of life is how well we serve others. Don’t you feel amazing when you help others? Don’t you feel fabulous and with a feeling of doing even more of that when you are thanked for your act of kindness?

One of the intake forms I give my new clients is about their top 5 values. Many of their answers relate to serving others. Many times, they [clients] don’t correlate their values with the level of satisfaction they get by serving others.

I invite you to take some time to write down the name of these angels.

Calm your mind. Take a trip to memory lane. Go back to your childhood, teenage years, and years after. College, jobs, and so on. Take time to express appreciation for their help in helping you succeed, take leaps, overcome challenges. Call them. Write them an email, a card, a text message. If the person is deceased, let their living family members know how grateful you are.

That’s OK if you were not thanked enough or appreciated as a child. Our parents and whoever else helped to raise us did their best. As adults, we can give ourselves love, be kind to ourselves, and even guide the Little One inside us.

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