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EP #121: Getting To Know Yourself With Jessica Benstock

Your actions are motivated by your personal intuitions, and these intuitions, in turn, are honed by knowing yourself on a deeper level. Many people live their lives not understanding themselves or the ways they act and react, but garnering a more immersive understanding of yourself can help you live your best life. Jessica Benstock is a Soul Advisor for female CEOs and executives. Jessica and Sophie Kessner chat about how knowing yourself will help you in the long run. Have you ever felt like something was missing in your life? Let Jessica and Sophie help you take that deep dive into your psyche so you can truly seek it out.

Listen to the podcast here:

Getting To Know Yourself With Jessica Benstock

What a treat I have for you. Dan is not in the house and we have a special guest. This is somebody that I connected with. I’ve heard a lot about her from a good friend of mine but didn’t get to meet her. When we got to connect, it was incredible to have the awareness of who she is, her presence, her energy, and this very clear, deep knowledge and wisdom that she carries. In this episode, we’re going to be sharing a lot of that with all of you especially when it comes to a lot of the emotional intelligence, talking about these topics of spiritual bypassing, diving into so much of self-knowledge, intuition, vulnerability, connection, and so many other pieces that I’m sure we’ll get into that I’m not even thinking of. Without further ado, please welcome Ms. Jessica Benstock.

Thank you so much for having me. I’ve been in this transition phase of being in such hardcore study and seclusion. I’ve been slowly coming out more into the world and out of intense training mode and much more into sharing. Thanks for being a part of that and for welcoming me into your audience and your space. I’m excited to see what happens.

For the readers, I’m sure they’re curious, “What intense training is she talking about?” Would you be open to sharing a brief synopsis of your path, your journey, and what you’re doing in the world for the readers to have a better feel of like, “This is who she is?”

This one is always one of my bigger challenges doing this because it’s been a journey but I’ll give you the bullet points. I do a lot of work. I’m very spiritually-oriented and grounded in a practical way as well. I can go way out there, but I also feel like it’s not tangible experiential reality, then I’m not a big fan of indulging. My spiritual past started when I was eighteen, it was one of those things that I wasn’t expecting. My whole life and my whole reputation fell apart. It was intense. All my friend groups turned against me. There was lots of slandering going on and I didn’t know who I was anymore. At that time, I was handed a book on past life and between life, Soul Regression Therapy. At that point, I was like, “I don’t know if I believe in this stuff,” but it’s fascinating that you can go into the subconscious and you can change and heal things that we think are permanent. I decided instead of going to art college, I’ll go to hypnotherapy school and got trained in all four veins of hypnotherapy. That was my start.

From there, I started opening up energetically. I became much more empathic. No one told me that was going on. It felt a crisis internally sitting by the fact that I hear people’s thoughts. It was intense because all of a sudden I could feel people’s feelings and hear things. I could tell what was going on a nonverbal, non-physical level but I was very overwhelmed. That took a while for me to realize what was going on. I moved in with my teachers and then started teaching at work called Theta Healing, which is a subconscious reprogramming technique that has metaphysical and meditation principles to it. That’s when I first started learning more about energy work. I studied for five years under shamanic elders mostly with Peruvian on Amazonian plant medicines to train at that point because I thought that I wanted to train to become someone who holds space, serves entheogenic plants in ceremonies.

I also studied under Native American Veins of Ceremony. These were all under elders from their own traditions that had been doing this for a very long time. I was in that world for five years with the added benefit and ability to take people who had come into ceremony spaces and gone through these big openings and then do deep healing work with them so that they could integrate what they were going through and opening up in the ceremonial spaces when they were in it. That was teaching me a lot. I started learning about physical healing there as well. It got to a point where I realized after five years of intensive training, this isn’t my path. This was at a point where there was one of the elders who had a Lakota tradition more than with the North American style of being a healing practitioner which you could start doing your ceremonies now.

It was at that moment that I got this call where I was like, “This isn’t me. This maybe had been something I wanted to do but I’ve learned what I needed to learn here. I need to connect to what I have without any plants, any tools, any rituals. How do I be in my own essence in and of myself and have my intuition?” Ultimately, that was the same point where I realized I need to make my sensitivity, my strength and I need to make my energetic abilities to something that allows me to also be in the world. Up until that point, I was leaving society to train intensively coming back into the world, being extremely sensitive to what was going on but being good at healing. I need to be able to balance both of these things.

That’s when I found my meditation school and it found me. I had a week’s worth of dreams to go to Maui. I went to Maui. I met someone who went to my school and then ended up going, studying, and training intensively with energetic vision and trauma healing, which I had already been doing previously. Also, how to heal the body and energetic reserves from things like burnout on these deep levels and how to be in a place where I could be in the world and interface with regular day-to-day life with all my gifts completely intact and without needing anything else. Learning business and having a healing and coaching practice, that all were woven into everything I said. The background of my passion and my training comes from an extensive amount of deep-diving work into all of those veins. That is me trying to shorten it.

I feel like this is the dilemma that so many people that I connect with run into. They have such deep intense practice and training and to try to reintegrate themselves back into the real world, it almost feels like there’s no training for that.

[bctt tweet=”No one trains you to reintegrate into the real world after intense practice.” username=”iamsophiekessner”]

It’s rare.

I love that this is a big part of your experience and going into the depths of these deep practices and bodies of work. The piece that I honor the most about you specifically is the fact that you have such a variety of training. A lot of people will heavily focus on one area and jump into it. The culture in the coaching industry is like, “Let me start doing things and figure it out.”

It’s a necessary part of it but you start to get to the point where you realize that people’s emotional bodies are way more complex than some basic tools have like mindset only goes so far and things like that.

A lot of people in general in more of the spiritual community are waking up to as they’re having these awakenings. They’re becoming very self-aware to the point that it’s becoming a little bit of backtracking in a way because they’re so self-aware that now it’s almost becoming a self-sabotage pattern. Does that make sense?

Can you unpack that a little more like how you’re seeing that? It’s fascinating what you’re pointing out there.

It’s almost this sense of superiority. It’s the word that comes to mind. We’ve developed a sense of spiritual superiority or any type of archetype when it comes to this.

The fact that this is a conversation we can have where I don’t feel an asshole for bringing this up. That’s something I’ve struggled with to see like, “How do you see that?” My deeper question is going in and out of you as we grow and evolve, we gain awareness and then it’s so easy to wake up on a certain level and be like, “People are so asleep. How can they not know what I know?” It’s so fast that we do that and forget that we were there and that keeps happening. That doesn’t ever stop. Part of the meta muscle that I see in that for me has been asking myself, how do I have discernment? How do I have clarity? How do I bring light without closing off my heart and without judging people? Power is a very interesting thing which I think what you’re talking about is you get a certain sense of power and it’s easy to get high on it and the ego loves it. The ego is going to eat it up. It’s not that we don’t want to feel good for having these kinds of levels of awareness in spiritual sciences that are like 5,000 or 10,000 years old where they’ve studied this for a long time.

They call that building castles in the sky where you get to a certain level and you think, “I’ve reached the godhood.” I had a woman that I lived with in Maui once and she said, “My spiritual awakening today becomes my ego trip tomorrow.” That always stuck with me because it sounds like part of what you’re talking about where you plateau because that’s the very nature of the mind. The mind will come in and the mind will say, “We figured it out so we don’t need to cut off. Now I’m in charge. You don’t need to question me anymore.” Normally, it’s what got you to that point before, you’re like, “I realized my mind isn’t true all the time. I’ve reached some awareness.” The mind will come back in and be like, “You’re so aware. Look at how aware you are.” For me, being able to call that out as well as having compassion for that bigger picture of the process is an art form. My experience of this is that whenever I met anyone, even if they had higher levels of vision and awareness but they had this flavor of elitism, I instantly wouldn’t open to them. Being able to hold power and not necessarily identify with it to continuously be humble like, “That is an art form.”

The way that I think about this is the narrative that seemed to work well so far. I’m always up into observation is working with the idea that we are channels. To continue to come back to this idea of wholeness and recognizing that we are everything and nothing all at the same time. It’s what we’re creating, the space to allow ourselves to receive and then channel through but the minute that we lock ourselves into an identity, a narrative, or a story, we’re blocking ourselves from being able to receive it.

MMM 121 | Knowing Yourself
Knowing Yourself: We lock on different personality traits that are dependent on whatever situation we’re in.

I love that because it’s true. What adds to this that we might’ve touched on when we met, there’s this very fascinating thing with the psychology that happens behind social media when you start to get into creating awareness around this topic. In every single vein of psychology work that I’ve done, not necessarily in the shamanic work, but in any other vein of trauma healing work. Any kind of psychological either Western esotericism or Western modern psychology. They work with something called characters or they call them sub-personalities. It’s the theory or acknowledgment in different states. When you’re around your mom and your dad, you’re going to act differently than when you’re around your friends, clients, on social media and at the gym. We lock into these different personality traits depending on the situations that we’re in. Those personality traits are informed, for the most part, our childhood development.

It’s not that our sub-personalities or character personas are bad, but there are parts of our personality, which by their very nature means that they are parts of our ego. They’re not who we are, they’re how we’ve learned to operate in the world. If we’re talking about having a spiritual path, moving towards awakening or awareness of the soul and degrading this deeper, higher perspective, what we’re channeling then we need the ego and the characters. First, you have to be aware that there’s a character that’s being played so that it’s not playing you. That’s what we’re doing.

We create a character and an avatar. We put it out into the world, and it can be so easy to go, “This is me.” At the same time, that same, “This is me,” gets you hyped up when you do a successful launch, have a super gorgeous photoshoot. Also, you have a beautiful insight to share that people love is the same this is me mechanism that for whatever reason, you’re not high on the algorithm. You’re launched and go so good, or people aren’t responding. It makes you feel crap because you’ve had that same attachment to the character without recognizing this is a place for me to channel things and the moment I get identified with it, I’m stuck and this push-pull dynamic.

This is an interesting one and I’m trying to decide where I want to go with this conversation. When we get into the conversation of social media and a lot of people that are tuning in, they have presences online. They’re holding space there wanting to market. This is a whole conversation that I’ve been in the midst and in my personal life with the way that I’ve started to look at marketing and business. A big piece that comes up is this whole conversation around what feels like synthesized authenticity. What we’re seeing is in the world of business and marketing where so many people are working towards this process, they’re coming at it from a very well-intended place. The attention was, “I want to serve, support, and contribute. I want to give my gifts and also I want to be able to have a life in doing this.” People start to go down this entrepreneurial path and they’re trying to integrate it with their spiritual world. As they start to step into it, they’re seeking out models, frameworks, people to plug them into, “Here’s how I did it, here’s the stuff I start.” I take full responsibility for my role in this and my earlier years in business and marketing because it was, “Here you go, it works.”

In business, that’s great. The parts of us that are like, “I’ve got intellect, I understand systems. I can implement.” It works well in certain frameworks for sure.

The piece that I’ve noticed is it works until we get to a certain level and then it stops working. I feel like this is where the collective is arriving or at least the majority of the collective. They’re starting to wake up and they’re recognizing that this synthesized way of showing up on social. The way that they’ve been trained, conditioned, and taught of creating this way, do it this way, do these things in these mechanisms is locking them into this character that they’ve been playing that they’ve now outgrown. It’s no longer integrity for them to be showing up this way, but because it’s worked in the past, there’s attachment to it. It’s interesting because there’s this piece of what almost comes up as a few of these different pieces of the superiority of, “I’ve done this already. I’ve been here before and now I’m trying to do it again. Let me get into this character and do it exactly the way that I’ve done.” Now, we’re blocking ourselves from being able to receive a greater level of creation, a greater level of whatever it is we’re expanding into.

I’ve been reflecting on this too which is the fact that we’re having this conversation and knowing your reflection on it. A couple of other people have brought it up to me too which means that somewhere there’s a collective buzz going on. This is starting to become more aware in the pool that we all are tuning in to through social media which is great. There are a couple of things. One of the things I’ve learned about any self-awareness, whether you want to call that spiritual or interpersonal development or whatever, it’s always fresh. A friend of mine said, “Reality is always fresh.” To me, what that means is that we have to consciously always be steering it. It’s the nature, the Eastern traditions, Chinese as well as Indian, they’ve studied the mind. What we’re talking about is partially the nature of the mind. It’s going to want to make a photocopy of the same thing when you have to actively be conscious in every moment knowing that what worked yesterday may not work now.

What got you here, won’t get you there very much applies but it can be confusing because one of the things that it’s bringing to light is that to get to a level of vulnerability and authenticity. The reason we want that for ourselves is to grow. The reason we want it for other people and to be able to share ourselves on social media is so that they feel a connection to us. For me personally, I want people to know they’re not alone in their human experience. I want that level of connectivity there, which comes from my vulnerable authentic truth. That vulnerable authentic truth at one level may no longer be vulnerable and authentic. That’s where we run into this whole concept of false vulnerability. It’s not vulnerable to share something that was used to be vulnerable for you now is no longer. That’s part of what we’re realizing and it’s not authentic to share something, trying to empathize with a weakness someone feels if you’re coming from a place of attempting to be where you used to be to share.

It’s different than being like, “I empathize with you. I’ve been there,” versus like, “I get it.” I don’t know exactly how to explain what I’m saying but I think you can feel it. Here’s the thing about our ego. The ego and personalities are great in operating the world but the places where we have built the most confidence are normally the places that we will go to instantly to hide and it’s so autopilot. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. When you do trauma healing work, what you realize about the psyche is that oftentimes the things that we call our strengths we’ve built because no one else showed up for us somewhere. Someone didn’t love us, didn’t give us attention, and didn’t validate us so we’re going to do everything we can to flex to validate ourselves, which is amazing because it makes us independent. It makes us able to do things for ourselves. That point that you’re talking about is that crux point of going, “I need to open more. I need to open to what’s behind the confident flexing of my strength.” That’s scary. It’s very counterintuitive to do that.

[bctt tweet=”Your spiritual awakening today becomes your ego trip tomorrow.” username=”iamsophiekessner”]

The language that wants to come through is a softening. I laugh a lot when you share this because of all of the times when you connect and you meet people for the first time, they ask you your age and then they’re like, “You’re so wise. How did you get so wise?” I’m like, “It was the trauma.” We laugh about it but it also is true. It’s these deep levels of pain that we’ve experienced that have caused us to wake up. We arrive at this place where it’s like, “I’m awake and I’m aware and I’ve developed this character or this identity of this is who I am.” Now, it’s almost like, “I’m living in this shell that I’ve created for myself of who I believe myself to be that I don’t allow myself to move out of it.” The image that comes to mind is thinking of either a turtle and that’s outgrown the shell or a butterfly that’s in a cocoon and it’s trying to come out, but it’s trapped in its darkness and it doesn’t see it that way.

There’s something beautiful about the metaphors of nature. Someone told me and I don’t remember where this was, it might’ve been in my school. They’re like, “Human beings can choose to stop growing. Everything else in nature grows its entire life. It doesn’t plateau but because we have these complex emotional systems that allow for innovative creativity that allow for all the beautiful things that we create, shape, and form also can hurt us when we’re not actively choosing to transform and actively choosing to grow.” What I find with a lot of my clients and a lot of people that I connect with is when you stop feeling life and things are alive around you. Things are bright and at some point something got gray, it’s because there’s a vital part of you that isn’t getting that stage that we’ve shoved away. If we have a ton of functionality like, “What are you talking about? I can do this and I can do that.” A lot of the time, when I start with a lot of clients, that’s normally where they’re at. They’re very functional. What I’m listening to is what’s behind that. What I’m listening to is where is their softness? “What about you? I don’t want to know about what you can do. I want to know about who you are.” Most of us have forgotten that. Our Western culture is obsessed with doing, proving, showing, self-image, and we lose ourselves to that.

I love this. I feel like we’re getting into a little bit more of the speaking to the masc-fem counterparts here. At least here in the Western world, we live in a very predominantly masculine paradigm and culture, especially in entrepreneurship, in business. For anyone that’s in this space, that’s what’s been conditioned, do more, hustle harder, work more, struggle, force, and it’s glorified.

It works in certain ways. There’s a double thing to this conversation because we’re going through this, “The rise of the goddess and the rise of the feminine.” Somehow, somewhere a few years back that also became, “Fuck men. Let’s hate men and patriarchy,” but you can’t live in nature and not have both the supportive, protective, dominating, and the soft healing, more submissive nurturing. We’re in this crux point where you need to know how to function in the world. You know how to be grounded. You need to know how to have a business strategy, and you need to know how to execute it. You also need to know how to feel. You need to know how to rejuvenate. You need to know that softening is safe. For human beings, our trauma responses, oftentimes, especially for high achievers is, “I’m going to do the thing that makes me not feel. The moment that I start feeling, I’m going to do more,” the signal that I get from softening, opening and feeling in danger. A lot of the entrepreneurial world, there is this like, “Fuck your feelings, do it. Get it done with, get it over with.” Sometimes you need to flex. It’s also why people are getting burnt out.

This is an interesting conversation and I want to learn deeper into this because I feel like the dynamic that I’m seeing is, there are a few words I want to come through it. The first one is integration. There’s a lot of separation and segregation happening in the industry and there’s a lot of polarization of either swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other. That’s what we’re talking about where we’ve been living in a culture and a paradigm that’s been predominantly very masculine. With this newfound awareness, we’re swinging so hard to the other end in this overly feminine way of being and grounding into that. We’ve disowned the other part of ourselves.

It’s interesting what I’m seeing and what I’m observing right now is there’s a collective awareness of people that are on all ends of the spectrum but the majority that I’ve been focusing on are the people that are starting to get closer to that center. They’re starting to dance, gravitate, and figure out what does integration and divine union with this masculine-feminine energetic component of me look like in myself? How do I experience that within myself? How do I then experience that inside the world outside of me? This is an interesting conversation because what comes up here, and this is getting a little bit into the pieces of spiritual bypassing and emotional intelligence because we are incredibly intellectual human beings.

We are, especially as we become more self-aware and develop whatever spiritual mechanisms or intellectual mechanisms to navigate the world around us. We start to lean into this other realm where you arrive at a certain level of success, you realize that, “I’m here and I’m still not fulfilled or whatever the narratives are.” You go into this whole other realm of doing this deep emotional work and then it almost feels like, “How do I create this experience where I can have emotional intelligence where I can experience and feel all of me do it in a way that feels integrated and also be able to move forward in the world and not feel trapped by my emotional experiences.”

It’s a massive art form because there’s not a framework. We are conscious of the moment steering. We are having to build a framework for what that looks like because our parents didn’t have it. The way that our country or the Western mind has been cultivated hasn’t had it. A big part of it has to do with that piece of knowledge of self as you start to move through the deeper levels of feeling that you have. There are times where you’re going to have to be in get shit done mode. What’s interesting about get shit done mode is you will get so activated towards doing something externally that oftentimes the way we flex. If everyone thinks about that, think about when you’re in that hustle grind mode like, “That’s a fucking mode.” You are in it.

There is not much awareness about what’s going on in your body. There’s not much awareness about what you’re feeling or where you’re at. Sometimes they’re going to need that, but if you don’t have supplementation throughout your day, then part of that get shit done mode is adrenaline. It’s adrenaline, cortisol, and draining your energetic reserves. It’s creating stress. It’s banking on the things that are depleting ultimately in your body. Once you start to recognize it like I started recognizing it myself and then I’m training my clients to do this, we’ve gone to this very growth level back and forth. I push, I burn out, I have to feel, and then I get back on pushing versus I have ways to supplement what I’m feeling. I have people to help hold that process. I’m valuing that process just as much as I’m valuing my business. It doesn’t mean that one overtakes the other. It’s the question of, how do I see the productivity and being more yin?

MMM 121 | Knowing Yourself
Knowing Yourself: Oftentimes, the things that we call our strengths were built because no one showed up for us at some point.

How do I see the productivity and being more receptive? When you start to find when you learn to supplement it. When you start to become aware in the middle of your day, how are you feeling? What do you need? Do you need rejuvenation? Do you need a nap? Do you need to be more sensual? Do you need to stretch your body? Do you need to go outside and breathe in the air? Not because something that said, “The ten best ways not to get burnout,” told you to do it, but because it feels good. If you start to do those things, can you see that they are productive? What you’ll start to find is they are because the things that seem polar also completely support each other, but it takes an entire reprogramming of what I call yin productivity, which is that anything more feminine, softening, or rejuvenative is ultimately feeding the yang. In Chinese medicine, they’ve known this. You need yin in your body physically to be able to detox. You need yin in your body to be able to push to have endurance. If you don’t have yin, then the yang, the parts of your body that do push, heal, and conquer, they don’t have juice. It’s an art form.

The image that comes to mind and I’ll oftentimes use clients is we come from operating on a scale. I think of it as big waves. It’s like we’re going up this giant roller coaster. We’re going up and this is us hustling, going, pushing hard and then we reached this tipping point where we either break down emotionally or we fall apart in some complex. We burn out or we break down is typically what you’ll see. We go down this massive hill trying to recover and going into all the depths of the experiences that we’ve been bypassing on the way up.

When we finally recover, we’ll do it again. It’s a roller coaster, it’s emotionally exhausting and depleting. For so many people, we’ve been trained to exist in the world to only address problems when they reach a certain level of, “Now, you need to deal with this and there’s no more avoiding it.” The piece that I find interesting in what we’re talking about is it’s an integration and more so it feels like the deeper piece is an unlearning and relearning of a new way to work and embrace ourselves. This is that piece that I’ve been exploring and playing with similar to what you’re talking about. How do I allow myself to experience the depth of my emotions at the moment versus putting them off until the end of the launch? How do I allow myself in my day to move through the emotional waves? Instead of it being these ten-foot waves that are going all the way up and then crashing down, it’s being on a little lake where I’m riding gently through the process versus those high-highs and low-lows.

You’re totally on point with that. The fact that we’re in a complete unlearning of a deeply steeped cultural framework for being and living in life. That’s always being reinforced the moment that you go outside. It is reinforced the moment that you go on Instagram and you have to be vigilant to re-pattern because it’s so ingrained in our subconscious that this is the way that you do things. One of the first things is when you become as valuable as your business, your connection to yourself becomes as valuable to you as any other external thing. You start to awaken a form of intelligence that will show that you have inside of your body that can show you how to create more of homeostasis.

The physical body and the energetic body, mental, and emotional body all can create homeostasis once you give them a pathway to do so. The intelligence is already there, it’s not somewhere else. What we need to learn how to allow is how to listen and slow down. It starts with valuing it enough, which when you’re burnt out, completely sick, and all of a sudden you can’t run your business. You’re like, “I’m valuable. My health and well-being are valuable.” One of the bigger things that emotional intelligence speaks to is that in the middle of doing what you deem as being successful and valuable to you in life, if you’re having to sacrifice something that you’re feeling and you can track that, then the thing externally that you value is going to be depleted ultimately from not valuing your internal state.

Emotional intelligence is interesting because it is a path. It’s a journey. It’s not something that happens instantly and you can’t intellectualize it. We’re very fast to do so. We’re very fast to go, “I think that I’m feeling this.” It’s like, “That’s not you feeling anything.” That’s you thinking about what you’re feeling versus can you slow down enough to feel what it is? There may be a time for people where repressed emotions that they’ve been pushing off for a long time need to come out so that the emotional charges that have been built up can be drained and let go of, and then you can start to get more of that lake feeling. Trauma is stored trapped energy. One of the phases of trauma healing, not the whole thing is derepression, which most people think it is.

One of the main phases is if it’s grief, anger, rage, sadness or pain, whatever it is, you’re going to have some firework moments of that opening up. If you’re able to hold space for that knowing it doesn’t mean anything about you. It has nothing to do with who you are, it doesn’t mean that you’re broken, it’s going to keep happening, and let it roll and do its thing then those roller coaster spikes aren’t going to happen as much. At the beginning phases, if you haven’t been feeling things for a while, the truth is that it’s going to come out and either you’re going to create a space for it to come out or your body is going to school you in letting you know I can only take this much and past this point. I’m not going to let you not listen to me.

I can think of a few clients who are moving through this process where they’ve been so deeply conditioned to repress, suppress, and push things down and do. It’s interesting because we do live in a culture that doesn’t have softness, emotionality, and expression isn’t something that we applaud in the modern world. It’s like, “You shouldn’t be feeling and crying.”

You feel awkward about it, “You have an emotion? Take that away from me, I might touch it myself.”

[bctt tweet=”There’s a different level of connectivity that comes from vulnerable, authentic truth.” username=”iamsophiekessner”]

It’s so interesting because so much of the time what we’ve been rewarded in culture and society is to suppress it, not feel, and be “strong” yet ironically, our strength in my belief system is in our ability to feel. Our real strength isn’t our softness. I love what you’re speaking to here where it’s this piece because I will talk to a lot of people who have had normal lives and they’re like, “I don’t have trauma.”

Flash news. if you’re a human being, you’ve experienced some trauma.

It’s in there. It doesn’t have to be these deep, dark, terrible moments. It can be something as little as being six years old on the playground and not being picked to be on the team. It can create massive trauma in the body. We hold on to that for years and years and we compound it because we condition ourselves to make it wrong and to feel sad. Now, we’re angry instead of feeling sad and we can’t figure out why we’re angry so we’re shamed about our anger.

It’s crazy what builds on top of itself and how it fractals out. We don’t understand. The thing is culturally, we think we have an understanding of it but childhood development on an energetic level, you’re so open. That’s why when the things they say when they’re in that sweet spot where they’ve learned to talk that are so miraculous, it’s because they energetically are not closed. They can see the times that we take some psychedelic, we have a ceremony, or we have some peak universal moment in Bali, Maui or somewhere beautiful and we get into a state, kids are in that state all the time. They don’t have closings yet.

When something hits a child, it hits hard. It’s being fully open, in love and your lover is saying the meanest thing to you in the world. That’s how painful it is. We’re so linear minded that we don’t account for how deeply we can be impacted and hurt. It’s part of what makes us more docile in our evolution as human beings. When you open up that level of sensitivity again, you get access to phenomenal universal awareness. Without that sensitivity, we’re going to be stuck in the thing that we see in the world which is also perpetuated by, “Don’t be sensitive, but here take this pill.” It’s the biggest industry money-maker in the world. There are a lot of people that bank on us continuously being out of intimacy with ourselves, emotion, and with each other.

I love bringing these conversations and these topics into light when we look at it from the perspective of business, success and entrepreneurship. From one of the training that I had done when we got into trauma and understanding, you have the capacity or a window for emotional expression depending on whatever you’ve experienced in your life. Depending on how much you suppress all of your deeper emotions, you’re only allowing yourself to experience your heightened emotions like happiness, joy, love and excitement to a certain capacity. We’re locked inside of this window.

What’s interesting when we start to get into a little bit of energetics, a little bit more of a spiritual world, and we start to talk about business and magnetism especially in marketing, this is why this work is so valuable. For those reading this blog, when you’re stuck inside of that emotional window, you’ve set a cap for yourself. You’re this character who shows up this way, you always maintain your posture, you never go into the dots. You always show up in this perfect, happy version of yourself or whatever that is, you’re not allowing to explore beyond that point. You’ve trapped yourself into this energetic body or this way of being that’s limited because you’re not able to receive anything above that.

Something in that too is that we’ve highly underestimate our intuition. A lot of people are like, “I want a connection with my intuition. How do I be more intuitive?” Your intuition is there. It’s not a thing outside yourself, you have to get it. That is what your subconscious mind is. That is in your soul is connected to the parts of you that aren’t at the forefront of your consciousness all the time. To what you said, we track whether we feel authentic in our expression, whether or not we’re consciously aware of it or not. Part of that ability to attract, to be magnetic, to have other people come and connect with us also has to do with if we feel somewhere out of integrity with ourselves, we’re going to somewhere energetically be putting that out into the world. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, it doesn’t mean something’s bad about you if you start to see this. High achievers are going to hear me say and they’d be like, “I have 100 million more things to fix about myself.”

I’m like, “That is not the mode you want to go into.” The mode you want to go into is deeply questioning, “What is it that I’m feeling? How do I feel right now?” Do I not have to do with the external world, but are you getting joy out of what you’re doing? Do you feel you have the intimacy that you want in your life? Do you feel fulfilled internally? There are parts of you that want to play music, dance or enjoy life in ways that don’t have to do with your business. If you went and did those things, that window would be allowed to open up more because you’re being vulnerable in ways that you haven’t been. You’re expressing in ways that you’re not used to. You’re increasing your capacity to feel.

MMM 121 | Knowing Yourself
Knowing Yourself: We’re trying to unlearn a deeply steeped cultural framework for being alive and living our lives.

If you’re suppressing, if you are in a relationship that you’ve are not fulfilled by, you’re not experiencing joy, you’re depressed all the time, or you’re anxious and you’re not addressing that directly and maybe you have unprocessed grief because a loved one died. If you’re pushing that away, then you’re right, that window is not going to open anymore until you start to see what you’re feeling. That’s where the spiritual bypassing thing is it comes into play and the authenticity and vulnerability. If you’re filled with rage, I would much rather meet and feel you in that rage so that I can feel you on the other side of it than have you come and act like you’re calm and everything’s okay. I can feel like someone that’s cultivated vision with this, it doesn’t matter what you say to me, it doesn’t matter what character you’re playing. If you feel rage, sadness, grief, afraid, or whatever, I can feel that behind your words.

The only reason I can feel that behind your words is because I’ve learned to see my own. I’ve learned to see where I’m playing my character and also because that’s what is. The spiritual bypassing stuff comes in a lot because we try to decorate what is to be spiritual instead of feeling what is and being with it. The human experience is raw, it’s messy. You don’t have to show everyone when you’re super messy, not pretty and shiny on Instagram but you have to be able to go there first to be able to bring your authenticity, to be able to feel your soul, to feel rejuvenated from life or else you’re going to live the American dream and be disconnected from who you are and why you may have wanted to be alive as a human if we have a choice in that. I don’t know if we do.

There are so many pieces that are coming there. I’m feeling into where it feels most potent. The biggest piece is to tie this all together and being conscious of time as well. This has been a good one. We’ve been tuning into the conversation for so many of us and embracing the softer parts of ourselves. Creating space for ourselves whether it’s in our homes with a loved one, mentor or healer, whoever it is, where we feel safe to go into an expression with these denser emotions and release that. For me, that’s been the magic work that I’ve been doing to open up that window. Because what I would notice and I feel like this is what a lot of us start to experience is we get so addicted to the highs that we have so much resistance to go into the lows.

They’re like, “I don’t want to let this go. I don’t want to go into my sadness.” The magic for so many of us is recognizing that the more that we allow ourselves to drop into that without getting stuck in it. This is the discernment that comes up is where we start to expand that. It’s always interesting because the question that I always get here and I’d love to hear your perspective on this is how do I go into what I’m feeling and experiencing releasing it without becoming addicted to being in the emotion?

It’s a multifaceted question. We could do a whole show on that question. It’s a great one to have because me hearing you say that, it speaks to your experience of diving into your process. That’s what I love about questions. You can’t ask a question like that if you haven’t experienced both ends of the spectrum. One of the profound things I think is a Bible verse, but it’s something when two or more are gathered and something with deep stuff where you need a witness, you need someone else to hold space for you. Healing comes from being together. That’s a huge part of what’s going to help to heal this very individualistic culture is we can isolate through not sharing with each other. It doesn’t mean always needing your partner or someone else.

For the big stuff at the beginning, having a safe space with the practitioner especially with your partner, if it’s something heavier processing, I would also make sure that you have someone else so you’re not leaning on your partner because that can create relationship chaos too. You have a safe space to let go and be vulnerable. When you approach any deep pain, there is an art form of being able to go into it knowing that you fully surrender and let go so it can move through you, but not identifying with it. There’s a muscle of maturation with that because it takes being in the moment of it over and over again to learn how to do that.

Anytime that you’re going to do deep healing work. Anytime you’re going to dive into the catacombs of what you’ve cut off, the most important thing to know is that your story, what you’ve gone through, and the details of it don’t matter. That sounds inauthentic. I don’t mean that it doesn’t matter what happened to you. What’s important about going back, it’s not relevant. What’s relevant is what you felt, what you move through your body, and remembering that there is a collective healing process that’s going on. It doesn’t matter what the details are if you go into past life work and you do that kind of stuff, or if you go into this life getting caught up on the story is going to keep you stuck in the story.

What’s important is what are you learning through the process of healing and how you can see the part of you that’s strong enough to move through that as who you are and not identify with the details of what’s coming up. Sometimes you need someone else to help get you out of it or you repressed a bunch and then you need someone to go, “What’s next?” It can be very alluring to be in certain realms of suffering. Ultimately, the integration word which you’ve used a lot. Do you have the tools to integrate? Do you have tools to experience your joy, being in nature, the beauty of life, and in the simplicity? Do you have tools to be able to let yourself be soft, hold yourself, let yourself be nurtured, and held with something that may be a child would want without judgment at all? Can you go into all of that with a deeper sense of why you’re doing it? If you’re going to try to find your identity through doing any trauma healing work, you’re going to create more suffering. There’s no help with that. People try to do that. Their ego will be like, “I suffered. It is who I am but in my past life.”

This is so beautifully patterned, this piece of dots that are sticking through to hit home. With that is this piece of experiencing and expressing without attaching. It’s coming full circle here instead of this conversation of, “Can we experience and express whatever is wanting to move through us without needing to attach to it and lock it back into our bodies and put ourselves inside of these boxes of who we believe ourselves to be?”

[bctt tweet=”Exploring ourselves can be emotionally exhausting and depleting.” username=”iamsophiekessner”]

You’ve got to know that when you go through one level of derepression or when you go through one level of expression, it might be the truth in that level but you might try to go back to that expression because you got certain attention from it and it’s not what’s going to feed you. You have to be awake. You have to be aware of where you’re at in your evolution. You have to be honest with yourself. Those questions of, “What do I want from this? What am I getting from this? What do I need from this?” It’s important throughout the whole path. If you feel you’re getting stuck processing something over and over again, it either means you haven’t got to the core of it or you’re not allowing yourself to look up and to see where you’ve gotten to.

That’s what this whole conversation is about.

All of that comes from self-knowledge. Discernment comes from self-honesty. You’re going to see what other people are doing and discern what the right thing to do is in a situation. First, you need to be honest with yourself and that’s where your intuition comes from. All the goods come from that.

There’s so much depth and so many layers to all of this. We’ve gone on quite a few different things. For the people who are curious because you share so much value on your social. I’ve been watching you. How can they find you and connect with you to learn, explore more, and get inside of your world?

Instagram is definitely the best. It’s my main platform. You can also add me on Facebook just search for Jessica Benstock. On Instagram, it’s @Jessica.Benstock. I have some openings to do. It was funny because you made a post about this and I did it without even reading your post, but I’m doing one-off sessions for the first time in a long time where people can come and do a two-hour session with me if they want. I’m also doing a masterclass on this kind of stuff that’s going to be intimate. High touch, three hours, and only ten women can come in. If you’re interested in any of that, there’s info about it in my bio on Instagram. If anyone has any questions, things that pinged for them, confusion or whatever, feel free to send me DMs. I’m very friendly in my DMs.

Thank you so much for taking the time to drop in and playing with me in all of these fields.

I’ve had so much fun.

There are so many layers that I want to jump in on here and it’s like, “We might have to do a follow-up.”

I would love that. I joke around that I was born in the deep end. I’m not that good at but I can do this all day long and I get a lot of joy from it. Thank you so much for having me here.

You’re so welcome. For all of you reading this, if you enjoyed this, feel free to share it. If there’s someone you know that needs to read it, go ahead and send it out to them. Otherwise, any questions, comments, feel free to either comment and use personal messages. We’re here for you and sending you all so much love. I will see you in the next episode.

Important Links:

About Jessica Benstock

MMM 121 | Knowing Yourself

Jessica is a Soul Advisor, Trauma Healer and Feminine Embodiment specialist for female CEO’s and executives.

She has 10 years of training, practice, & experience in techniques and modalities including:

Trauma healing, subconscious reprogramming, emotional intelligence, breath work, meditation, hypnotherapy, addiction repatterining, anger therapies, sexual de-repression, shamanic study, and conscious integrated leadership.

She has worked with and taught 1000’s of people for the past decade and continues to study and refine her craft in healing and leadership as a life long student and guide

Jessica’s mission is to integrate the feminine principals of leadership, empowered vulnerability, and authentic embodiment into the mainstream culture to bring balance, light, and Presence back into this world.

You can connect with Jessica easily on IG @Jessica.Benstock or find out more about her work at www.jessicabenstock.com


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