Rewriting Your Inner Script: Using Hypnosis and NLP to Remove Toxic Beliefs | Episode 40
with Dr. Maiysha Clairborne MD
Dr. Maiysha Clairborne is an Integrative Family Physician, Master Practitioner & Trainer of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Hypnosis & Time Line Therapy®, & founder of the Mind Re-Mapping Academy. Through her live trainings, Dr. Clairborne teaches individuals and organizations thought and communication mastery helping leader eliminate negative thinking, faulty beliefs, and emotional trauma, while also teaching them to be trauma responsive in their own communication.
Dr. Maiysha specializes in trauma informed communication teaching her clients the power of word, and how our unconscious thoughts and beliefs have an impact on the reality we create. Her trainings combine the mastery of emotional and communication intelligence, teaching leaders that by mastering their language (both internal and external) they can not only be conscious but also responsible for the impact of their words, actions, and behaviors. This ultimately helps them to communicate in a way that transforms creating new connections and outcomes that positively impact the people, community & organizations around them.
This episode we discuss
❤️🩹Why it’s so difficult to let go of beliefs we picked up early in life
❤️🩹How hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) can be utilized to shift stubborn beliefs
❤️🩹Creating a sustainable/healthy relationship with anger
Dr. Clairborne’s Podcast Black Mind Garden
Episode edited and produced by Unapologetic Amplified
This transcript was generated with the help of AI.
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Dalia Kinsey: I am so excited to have you here. Thanks for taking out the time to join us.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: I am so excited. We've talked offline. This is a long time coming.
Dalia Kinsey: Yeah. It's no joke where you're trying to navigate multiple commitments, I think this is a fairly universal marginalized experience in the states, we may be out here doing big things, but we're also working, raising kids, doing all the things, taking care of people it can be hard to get things on the calendar. But when it's time, it all falls into place.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: It does. Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be having this conversation with you.
Dalia Kinsey: I really wanted to have you on because of your background as a physician, an MD and as someone who uses hypnotherapy to help people, because I've seen so many things out there that make it look like maybe hypnotherapy is a useful tool, maybe not.
Since it's not regulated in the US it seems like it's one of those things, and I think this happens with anything that's not regulated, unfortunately, sometimes really loud people who use the tool are clearly just kind of bootleg running their operation by the seat of their pants, not really together. And so it makes people perceive the tool itself as less credible.
So to see an MD using hypnotherapy was very interesting to me because we all know if you are a marginalized person, you probably have a lot of deep-seated beliefs that you would like to shake, that you maybe have not been able to figure out how to get rid of so if hypnotherapy is real, we really need to know.
So can you tell us a little bit about what drew you to medicine in the first place, and when you felt interested in bringing in hypnotherapy? How did you realize that it could be useful?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Absolutely. I love that you said we have a lot of deep-seated beliefs. What I'll talk about, you know, at some point is the deep-seated beliefs that we also have about these types of disciplines, the deep-seated beliefs that we have about things like hypnotherapy and NLP and why that's the case. So just about me, there wasn't a sentinel event that drew me to medicine. I just decided one day out of an eighth-grade writing assignment that I was going to medical school and it felt sort of random. Although what I'll say is that my dad isn't a retired OBGYN, my mom is a retired dentist, so probably just kind of went into my DNA a little bit and was modeled to me this sort of like passion for caring for others, right. And I'm the oldest child and so I'm naturally a caretaker. So even though I would like to say that I made the decision of my own accord, most likely it was subconsciously, you know, a conversation for many years.
But I think that it really was a natural part of me to really care for people. What drew me to the type of medicine that I practiced, which when I did came out of residency, I'm a family physician by training. Like that's what I trained in after I went to medical school. But I've always been interested in the integrative, the holistic, like how do we go beyond the Western practices of medicine, and pharmaceuticals in order to, to really heal ourselves? And that really started with wanting to understand the mind-body connection. I grew up in a home of domestic violence, witnessing domestic violence. In retrospect, honestly, I think I was a functionally depressed kid, and so I think that that was sort
Dalia Kinsey: Could you say more about that? Because I don't think I've ever heard that term? Yeah. Functionally depressed. What does that mean?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: What that means? Thank you for asking me. A lot of times when we think about depression, especially the stigma of depression, and I think this is a lot of times why we deny the experience as, as people of color, as Black people, is that we see depression as, I can't get out of bed.
I, you know, I'm not motivated to do anything at all. I'm crying all the time. I'm, you know, like that sort of thing. But there are some people who live at this sort of low level of sadness, low level of, you know, I'm, I'm just pushing through every day this experience of feeling depressed. , and it may not be connected emotionally, but feeling like a heaviness, but you can get through the day, right?
Dalia Kinsey: Mm-hmm. , that makes sense. No, I thought that was everybody. Is that not everybody?I think I didn't realize until early adulthood and I finally tried an SSRI that worked and did something for me and started talking with other people about their general vibe every day, and I realized like, oh no, everybody else didn't feel like that. Yeah. It's a problem.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: It really wasn't until very recently, I mean, I say recently, probably in the last really five to seven years, that I really began to think like, am I experiencing this sort of functional depression? But when I look back and I, when I thought about that, I start looking back on patterns and I'm, and I really think that, you know, there was a lot of, I, I experienced growing up a lot of sadness, a lot of, you know, inner turmoil and I because it was required, you know, at my age, I'll be 48 in April, so I'm of this generation that was raised by baby boomer parents where there wasn't room for being emotional or anything of that nature, holding space for any emotion. It was just pushed through. And so that's what I did most of my life is pushed through, but there was this part of me having witnessed what I witnessed growing up that really wanted to understand like, why?
Why did this person act this way? Why did this, what made him be this way towards my mom? Right? This was a stepfather. I think that's what drove me to major in psychology in college, you know, I took my first psychology class and I was.
You know, hooked to, oh, there's this, what is, what's up with the mind? I took abnormal psych and I thought psychology, and I thought, oh my gosh, this is it. You know, when I started to take behavioral psychology and, and started to understand like conditioning, you know, operant versus classical, oh my gosh, Pavlov and his dogs, and I mean all of those things.
When I talk about conditioning, it's like how we are automatically trained in our brain to do things and it fascinated me. So that's what sort of drew me into the mind body. But then I just really liked the body parts and that's what had me go to medical school. Now fast forward through medical school, through residency.
I'll say that I always was really off the beaten path. Even in medical school. I studied Traditional Chinese Medicine during medical school. I studied essential oils, you know, and then I started my practice out of residency. I was doing a lot of coaching with my clients as I had them on the acupuncture table.
That was one of the things that I did, and I realized there was so much more to them than what was physically going on with them. And I thought if I could get underneath the resistance to shift their lifestyle or the resistance or whatever their stressors are, then I could better assist them with their health.
And that's what got me started on the path of hypnotherapy. I had met a hypnotherapist. I had met a practitioner of neurolinguistic programming. Back in the day when we had practices, we would exchange services. That's how we networked before social media. I'm dating myself, . Even before MySpace. Well, I think we,
Dalia Kinsey: whoa.
Okay. Before MySpace I'm like, wait, were people in the workforce when MySpace was around?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Of course this is me.
Dalia Kinsey: I spend so much time with people younger than me right now that, yeah we're all getting dated. If you feel young at the time, you're listening to this recording, give it a minute. Just blink and someone will be calling you old.
But I'm really fascinated by Traditional Chinese Medicine because I thought it was already built into that knowledge system that emotions and everything can get trapped in the body and I was under the impression that sometimes you could help somebody get past old conditioning physically, you somehow break it loose and it moves, and that sometimes you could achieve that through maybe therapy or something psychologically, and suddenly it will move.
Did you find that you weren't getting the level of relief for your clients that you wanted when you were doing TCM and acupuncture or not so much?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: I actually, I'm one of those people that, man, if I am getting this level of results with TCM and acupuncture, what could I do if I brought in another modality to compliment it?
Ah, so for me, it was like, I was already, because I would, I would do a thing that most acupuncturists don't do, which is put the needles in and sit with the. And what they would do is they would talk to me, so it would drum up emotions and I would listen and we would, we would talk back and forth. I would essentially be sort of coaching them, motivational interviewing and that that part, it was very healing for them in addition to the acupuncture and the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
And so I thought, wow, if I'm getting these kinds of results just doing this untrained, maybe I should go get. , right? And then, and then that's what led me into that, down that path. So I, um, I decided to, to become a practitioner of hypnotherapy and, and neurolinguistic programming. Started to see some incredible results.
Really just helping to decrease the resistance to change because people would want to change. People would, you know, that's how we are. Like we know that there's stuff that we wanna change in our minds. And we even sometimes take the actions, but then we come up on these roadblocks that just stop us in our tracks, and we don't always know why.
And so the hypnosis, the hypnotherapy, and the neurolinguistic programming techniques that I use help them to see the connection of the resistance and even release the, the block, the negative emotion or the limiting belief that they didn't know was there.
Dalia Kinsey: See, that's a tricky thing. Yeah. I feel that with clients all the time.
If they've sought you out and they've paid for your time, you know, something in them wants to change and is fed it with how things are, but with some people, , it feels like whatever the old beliefs were that were stopping them from being able to change, they have worked through that or cleared that before they get to you.
And that person makes progress like super, super fast. Mm-hmm. and you get people who haven't figured out what are they getting from this behavior that they wanna change. Is there something that needs to be fed or taken care of or addressed before you can move forward. So then it feels like you're sending for me, sometimes it feels like. There are so many different providers involved.
You come to someone with one thing, but then you find out there's like five other people you need to see before you can really resolve your issue and depending on your bandwidth, that is never gonna happen. So what is NLP and what is hypnosis? When you went in initially, had you seen some research that made you convinced that it would be effective or had lived experience, like received hypnosis and felt a shift, and that made you realize, hey, this could be something I want for my clients.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: For me it was lived experience and what I'll say is that my initial view of hypnosis and NLP was a lot of my now people who are learning about it, initial view, like I was like nervous about it.
Like I don't want people in my head, especially if I don't know them, I don't know what they're gonna do, what they're gonna try to manipulate me. You know? Like, I don't know about this N L P. Does it really work? It seems like really kind of woo. You know, like these were some of the thoughts I had.
Well over 10 years ago when I was experiencing it, but to experience, um, having a block from taking action and then, you know, trade with this provider and this provider helped to unlock something in me that was, that was no longer, that I no longer had a fear that I no longer had this belief and was able to then go and perform and make the changes that I need to make was.
Wow. Right. And the hypnotherapist, I actually invited him to a retreat that I was doing at the time and he was doing a demonstration and, and the whole room just by proxy went down into hypnosis. And when we all came back, we felt like we had had the best power nap. And we felt so energized and so empowered and I was like, he, he wasn't even, he wasn't even trying to hypnotize us.
He was demonstrating to us. And I thought, that is very powerful. And I think that's what shifted my view that made me wanna go and learn it because I feel like, I felt like what was I leaving on the table impacting my own patients that I could be utilizing to get them even more deeply, even more quickly to their goals.
Dalia Kinsey: Hmm. Yeah. I love that. What, in a nutshell, I'm sure this will be kind of like a cursory definition, but what is, is it neurolinguistic programming? That's what NLP stands for? Is hypnosis under that umbrella? And are there lots of things underneath the NLP Label or how does that work?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yeah, so first what I'll do is I'll just sort of define NLP.So neurolinguistic programming is really, it is the way that we utilize language to program and reprogram our minds. And it's not just, you know, words are only 7% of language, so it's language spoken and unspoken. Our verbal, our body language. You know, like if you think about if you are, and I know some people are listening, but if you think about if you, you're slumped in a chair and you suddenly.
Like you feel differently in your body. So that's, that's a language. So how we utilize these various aspects of language to shift how we think and feel and what we believe. That's neurolinguistic programming. And the encompass in that is the conscious use of language, like using language consciously. And also there are actually tools and techniques that you can use that help shift belief and view and things of that nature.
And shift emotions, like helping you to emotionally regulate in those tough moments. Um, so that's neurolinguistic programming. And yes, there are a. Things under the umbrella of neurolinguistic programming. Um, and N L P is sort of in. How do, how do I call it in the lineage of hypnosis? So it all started with hypnosis way back in the days of Egypt, right?
So the hypnosis is nothing, it's not something that's new. It just wasn't called that when, you know, back in the days of drumming, back in the days of chanting. So hypnosis is just, um, the, the process of going into trance. and, and we know kind of what trance is like. You go into a trance, you go into this deep state of focus, this deep state of concentration, and everybody has been in trance.
driving down the street, listening to music, getting someone into your music that you miss your turn or you know, you're dancing, dancing in the kitchen to your favorite music, and someone's like calling you and you don't hear them. You're in trance. You know, runners, high trance, meditation, trance, , you know, like every, yeah, everything is trans.
It's just hypnosis. You have, you have an assisted trance basically for the purposes of being, having someone, or yourself even being able to give your, positive suggestions of empowerment.
Dalia Kinsey: It’s interesting that you mentioned drumming as well, because I was listening to something recently. I'm really into herbalism and plant medicine in general.
Someone was making an observation that you don't see a lot of like psychotropic, drugs being used by our ancestors on the continent. But you see drumming being used to induce a trance-like state. I mean, and there's like one or two um, psychoactive medical type plants I can think of in West Africa that people use, but nothing like the drumming, right?
Everybody uses the drumming and it's interesting that you don't have to know what is happening for it to actually be part of your culture and your knowledge system, and I know I've heard again and again growing up to watch what you say, don't talk it up. I mean that emphasis on words have power and basically, don't be out here saying really hateful things about people cuz something. That might happen to them. I mean, we regarded it sometimes as just like superstition when we were kids. But it really does do a lot of damage when you're speaking negative and hateful things over other people, especially depending on when they hear it.
Yeah. Can you tell us what is the difference between me now oldish hearing something negative, let's say about like Black folks or queer folks versus if I hear that same thing at five years old, what's the difference in my ability to process or filter? What happens?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Well, so for some people there is no difference. I think it's important to say because when we're at our most vulnerable, when people, especially for people close to us when, when people say mean things or when we say mean things to ourselves. So, by the way, when we talk, we're also listening to ourselves, even though we're not, we are not always consciously listening to ourselves when we speak out loud we can hear ourselves and that constitutes suggestions to our own unconscious mind, which is what w why what you said was so important about how words have power and be careful about the use of hateful speaking over others and over oneself. Right.
Dalia Kinsey: That's a really good reminder. Yeah.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: So for some, sometimes though, you know, when we're, as we mature, the mind is developed and changes and does have that ability to, to discern what is true or what we, what we want to accept, as true, I should say, and what we choose to reject as true.
In the first 10 years of life, our brains are sponges, so we are sort of indiscriminately accepting suggestions. , you know, the things that our parents say, the things that our siblings say, the things that our teachers say, the things that our aunts and uncles and grandparents say, and the things that we watch on the tube, you know, on well now would be the YouTube, but, but back in the day, it was the TV-tube.
The television, which is why it's really important for us as parents to watch the programming that our kids are watching and what are the unconscious messages that those programs are sending to ours.
Dalia Kinsey: Now that thought in itself, when you think back, everybody listening to the kinds of things you watched as a kid.
Recently because of Covid, you know, we all blew through whatever was in our queue, and we watched any shows we were keeping up with. And you started revisiting shows from your childhood, movies, from your childhood, and you're like, I didn't see all this sexism, whoa, I didn't see all this antisemitism, whoa I didn't notice all the rape culture. I didn't notice how they kept depicting, you know which cartoons these are? Yeah. Where technically no one was racialized, but they clearly coded certain characters and animals as Black. And you wonder, oh, I don't recall a lot of direct in my-face experiences with racism.
but it was in everything I was watching. Mm-hmm., no wonder I got this general impression that like, oh, everybody hates me. I don't know who's safe and who's not safe because people see me and they see dot, dot, dot. Mm-hmm., how many times do you have to be exposed to something when you're in that sponge like phase for it to stick?
Does it have to be repeated or could it honestly be one time?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: It really could be one time. I mean, it could be one time and it could, and it could be repeated times, right? Um, but really it only takes once, you know, when I do this, the work of deep release, which through a technique called timeline therapy, and I, I take people back to like release to the first event and because it's sort of like a, you know, it's a, it's a journey, right?
It's an active imaginative experience and oftentimes, it is an event that maybe they didn't remember until that moment that it got brought up by the unconscious. Right. So, it, it was, it was one event.
Dalia Kinsey: That's fascinating. I mean, I've been convinced for the longest time that because I saw Arachnophobia when I wasn't old enough to, cause it was PG-13, I was at the movies to see a different movie and, um, an aunt that didn't feel like being bothered felt like she would just hurt all the kids into finish up that movie.
Mm-hmm., in hindsight, those spiders couldn't look anymore. , the way they code them as malicious out to get you, that's not how things work in nature. Mm-hmm., if a spider gets on you and it scurries up you, it's literally trying to get to a safer place to the spider, a higher place is probably safer. They're thinking maybe you're a tree.
I don't know, but I have not been able to shake this terror of spiders, and I don't ever remember it being a problem prior to seeing that movie at seven years old.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Let me tell you, that's the movie that did it for me as well and I was Thanks a lot adults. Right? It was like, that was actually much later in my life cuz I was not afraid of spiders in that way.
Oh, until, I saw that movie. And even, I will tell you, even as you were talking about the movie, I was having this physiological, skin-crawling experience. And you know, now because I'm like sort of trauma trained, I'm like, oh no, I'm safe., you know, I'm regulated, I'm good, but I could feel my skin tingling.
And I was like, Ooh, yeah, trauma response.
Dalia Kinsey: Wow. I mean, what a mess. Because you know, the people who made that movie, it was to entertain. Yes, but they pushed those buttons a little too
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: well, yes. Well, you know, I, I mean, what's interesting about that though is that at some point in my life, I mean, I used to watch all the scary movies like the Jasons, the, you know, all the things, right.
And at some point, I realized that that was not good for my mental health. And I've cut out all horror movies, you know, so there are certain, there's that, that's a whole genre that I will no longer watch.
Dalia Kinsey: Now, how can you tell the difference between, hey, this just is not working for my body and the people who seem to be delighted by horror movies?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: What do you mean? How can I tell the difference?
Dalia Kinsey: What was the, um, like how do you know if it's harming you or hanging out? Was it like your body telling you, like you just didn't feel good after you watched the movie for a while?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: For me, it was definitely the way my body reacted.Of course, it was like rumination in my mind and of course disturbed sleep, you know, things of that nature. Um, being a little bit more hypersensitive to danger and things of that nature, like suspicious looking around. I mean, we're talking about movies like The First Power and you know, like things that were, that could be real, but we knew that weren't real. It was that, that kind of thing.
Dalia Kinsey: Well then that really makes me think about, everybody needs to be careful about how much you take in these black suffering movies.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yes. I stopped watching those as well. I,
Dalia Kinsey: I realize it just bothered me on an ethical level like, generally, the people making the money off of these films, once again are, it's not us. And it's like, oh, there's something really wrong that like in 2023, maybe you could still be making so much money depicting the suffering of Black humans. In a country where, still, we haven't all, we haven't received the support we need to recover from the suffering that our ancestors dealt with at the hands of folks in this country and it just felt wrong from that standpoint. But then it also felt like it was keeping me in an agitated hyper vigilant state. And it was making it really, really hard for me to give people even like a teaspoon of grace. Yes. If they said anything. Yeah, just slightly off. I couldn't tolerate it, so I had to cut those out.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Absolutely. I mean, it's just very similar for me. Like I, I was angry a lot and when I started to recognize that, when I watch those kinds of movies, I'd be angry for weeks and it would take me a, a just quite a bit to like, come down, come back to neutral.
You know, which is where I need to be in the kind of work that I do, I teach this work. So I teach neurolinguistic programming, I teach that, right? And I have to walk the talk. I mean, I don't have to, but I choose to, right? And then I consult in the equity, diversity, inclusion space, which means I'm teaching white people how to be anti-racist, how to discover the anti-oppressive inside of themselves, how to dismantle the white supremacism through being trauma-informed and trauma-responsive by acknowledging lived experience and being sensitive to and responsive to lived experience, you know?
Dalia Kinsey: Yeah. I would love to hear what applications you see for hypnosis when it comes to releasing your own. Internalized negative bias that's harming you every day because you hold that identity, and also releasing negative bias about identities. You don't hold that in your mind. You know it's not true and you don't wanna believe it, but you know, you keep acting on these old assumptions.
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Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: I think in the corporate space, in the organizational. The NLP has more practical in-the-moment application because what it does is it teaches, it teaches people how to, um, recognize their filters, recognize those biases, and interrupt them in the moment to emotionally regulate the discomfort that's happening.
In interaction so that they can actually listen differently, expand their listening, and respond in a way that is not defensive, you know, or I'm not paternalistic, or you know, like really that's not gaslighting, right? To recognize. And then also to understand that they're in a different model, the world than the person they're speaking with.
And to be able to like imagine stepping into someone else's shoes and how it might occur for them. Which is difficult when you've never had that experience, but at least you can hallucinate something , right? And so this is the, this is how I bring neurolinguistic programming into the corporate space is, is by teaching people how to listen.
Expand their listening, how to communicate in a more trauma sensitive, trauma responsive way. How to emotionally regulate, like really expand their resilience around the discomfort that comes with this work and expand their emotional fluency and emotional intelligence. That's the application and DEI and anti-oppression work.
Dalia Kinsey: Oh, that sounds massive. That sounds like something that's definitely not being addressed by everyone, because humans like to be comfortable. Mm-hmm. . And I think a lot of people, when you come in as a consultant or as a presenter, people have decided that it's on you to make sure they don't experience any discomfort while you're helping them change.
It's an unrealistic expectation. But if you don't address, Hey, feeling uncomfortable is. , you should expect that
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: mm-hmm and giving them some tools
Dalia Kinsey: Right, right. So what do you find is the most helpful for you personally when you're trying to stay regulated as a Black person in a setting where you might be triggered in the process of doing your DEI work.
So you, cuz you mentioned earlier that watching some of those films was making you angry all the time and that's not compatible with the work that you do. Mm-hmm. , I know some people have expressed that they feel. Sometimes it sounds like guilty about even considering forgiving people. They're all dead anyway, but for their trespasses against their ancestors.
Yeah, basically. Also for forgiving anyone who reminds them or looks as though they have not had the experience of being racialized. You can't always know just from looking at somebody, but you know what I mean, in general. And people don't want to feel angry because it's a really draining emotion.
It's an informative emotion, but it's not supposed to be felt nonstop with no breaks.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Mm-hmm.
Dalia Kinsey: Yeah. Can you explain in your experience, what is the benefit of avoiding staying in that angry space? And if you ever felt any type of way about trying to do that?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: It's such a good question because I think that what happens and why people resist forgiveness is because they collapse forgiveness with absolution.
The refusal to forgive or the holding of a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die, right?
And so when we un-collapse forgiveness and absolution then we can forgive and release ourselves from the negative emotion while then turning that energy to holding others accountable for their actions.
Right. It preserves our own bodies and then we can also turn the focus on our own traumas and heal from that experience. Heal from the ancestral trauma passed down. Cuz I think that's very important. We can't heal if we're holding onto the anger.
Dalia Kinsey: That's important to know. And be aware of. What feels like anger in your body. It's not doing your body any favors. Right. And when you're in that heightened state, it's also hard to find solutions. So our most powerful point, maybe not totally neutral, but just a non-reactive, energetic space is really where we see solutions and you can see that somebody's messy, shady, not safe, maybe just a general jerk without having any feelings about it, right? I mean, you can, you know, you've had that experience where you're like, oh, I see that person, but you don't feel entangled with it, and how effectively you don't allow that person to do you any harm.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Right. And the thing is, you know, I'm not saying that we won't feel emotion, but there's feeling appropriate anger for the circumstance, and then there's feeling and anger that's connected to the past that really holds us, that grips us, that controls us.
Right. And that's the part we have to release because if someone says something that is angering to me, then I have the right to feel anger. Now, will I feel anger for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks? No. What I will now do having released old anger, is experience the anger, but disconnect enough from it to recognize I'm feeling anger and to be able to speak about it without clapping back, so to speak.
Right. I think it's important to understand, you know, the four responses of trauma, which is fight, flight, freeze, like during the headlights or fawn, which is people pleasing and leaning into and trying to fix it. You can be one or all of them.
Dalia Kinsey: That fawning was a new one for me in adulthood because I think we've all heard about fight or flight, but I kept seeing it in an environment where there was a very abusive leader. And I see certain people will bend over backwards trying to accommodate, that's their natural response. But when you talk to them, they're like really angry about how they're being treated. And I kept wondering like, why do you keep doing so much ?
Why do you keep, like you are, they're superstar. I don't think they even know how much you are upset with how you're being treated. And it wasn't until I was as introduced to the concept that it's not just fight or flight.
My issue has always been fight is definitely my response when I feel unsafe and as a Black person in the office that goes over like a rock.
Yeah. So I've been trained to suppress that since my very first job and so usually, running is like the only option.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: It's interesting because when freeze came along, cuz it was fight and flight, then it was fight, flight, freeze. And when freeze came along, I finally felt seen because I was never a fighter or a fleer, I was always the person that was like, like lose my words, mind went blank, shut down, kind of person, and it was closest to the flight, but I didn't feel like it was flight, right? I didn't wanna run away or I couldn't run away.
Dalia Kinsey: Are some of these more common based on what type of adverse childhood experiences you went through? Like a kid? in a dangerous situation, probably having no words or just getting small or fawning, are your safest bets?
Or does it seem like some people like that was always going to be their coping mechanism?
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: I mean, it's a good question. Honestly, I don't know. I could speculate that that could be true because the other, the, the, the fawning or the people pleasing, you know, I always say I'm a recovering people pleaser, right? The stepping on eggshells, the walking on eggshells is definitely another, contextually speaking, whatever the, the context is, to avoid.
Minefield there was the people pleasing. Right. And so it, I think you could be correct, you know, but I it's hard to, it's hard to, so I wonder if there are any studies on that.
Dalia Kinsey: It would be interesting to know yes that sounds like a good rabbit hole to go down.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yeah. When Fawn came out, which was, which was, you know, kind of recent.
I too, like I didn't know what it was for a long time and I had to read up and then I was like, oh yeah, this is familiar too. So I think it is important to, to understand that we could be contextually one the other, both depending on what circumstances it is. And some circumstances I really absolutely am fight in some circumstances I'm freeze in some circumstances.
I'm fine. I'm rarely, I'm rarely.
Dalia Kinsey: Well, this is the beauty of in any setting in a team, in an organization, you need all kinds because at some point there's going to be a crisis level situation, and you can't all be that person who everyone's trying to convince you you've got to move. You always say that person in horror movies, right?
I don't know why they represent or they present that one so often. Maybe because it's the worst possible one to have if someone's chasing you with a chainsaw. Freezing is, in that instance, it's not the move. But it's a good thing to be surrounded by people who are self-aware enough to know, oh, when I get activated, this is what I'm going to do.
So y'all can anticipate that and either try and make space for it or just know it's not personal, I got activated and this is what happens.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And so circling back to the original question, which was like, what are, how do, how do you begin to regulate in that space? And one of the ways that I have done.
Is to, you know, I teach this in some of my workshops, this, this sort of three positions of listening. And so if you're in that unsafe, that involuntary, oh, and by the way, and, and, and I think you have said this, but this, these trauma, these responses, these activations, these trauma responses are a hundred percent involuntary.
And it is only through training, like you said, like you alluded to, that we can move and do different things when our body is doing the, is having the response itself. Right. So as you're having the response, if you could recognize. that you're having a response. Then depending on who you are with, you can either say, I'm having a response just by saying I'm having a response right now.
You have stepped yourself out of the emotional part of it, right? So you step out of yourself almost like an auto body experience to dissociate in the moment, not forever, but in the moment from the emotion. And then seeing that, okay, this is what's happening. You can sort of choose your next action. If you feel like you can speak without moving into, you know, this confrontation, then you speak.
I am having a response right now and what, this is what I heard, and this is what's causing it. If you cannot do that, when you step outside your body, you can walk. I can't, right now, I'm leaving or I'm hanging up the phone. I need to go right . Right . So those, you know, whatever. But it's, it's in the, for me, it's in the stepping outside of myself.
It's in the recognition. And, and someone asked me in the last conference that I was in, like, how do you begin to, how do you know when you're in the trauma response? And it. Practice. So before you can actually act, you have to recognize, and that means being in your body. And for some of us, like me, who live in their heads and are who, like their head is disconnected from their, you know, the, because they're living in their brain, you have to practice being in your body.
And what I'll say about that is, one thing that has really helped me is doing specific embodiment practices like yoga, breathing. . That seems oversimplified, but it is. It's like you can sit and breathe and, and, and feel what you're feeling. Feel the backs of your legs against the chair. You know, look around the room.
Allow yourself to see the colors that are happening. These are sort of feeling being out of your brain and sort of into your body. I do body work, you know, I have. Let's call a structural kinesiologist. Some people call it massage therapist, but it's a person who works deeply with the, with my connective tissue.
But having someone on a regular basis working with my body puts me in my body. , right? So whatever that is for you, whether you do tie massage where the person's stretching you around, you know, dancing puts you in your body. So do things that put you in your body and then you'll start to become more aware of your body and then when things happen that are uncomfortable, instead of immediately sort of dissociating out in like you just sort of recognize this is happening.
And then. Consciously step out and do the next thing. When it feels safe, you can go back and feel the feelings that you need to feel with the person who is safe to feel it
Dalia Kinsey: Now that’s the key. That's the key with the person that would be safe. I do feel like all of this work is incredibly helpful, not just for stress management, but also for people who have a pattern of disordered eating related to trying to regulate with the help of food.
Which a lot of times, especially for binge eaters, it will feel so bad after the binge is over. That you will seek out help, you'll want to change. But until you’ve started to notice what puts you in the state where you felt you needed to disassociate and you didn't wanna feel anything.
I don't know if you can break that habit loop without embodiment.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yeah. And there's a question that you can ask that my mentor once asked me, or my committed listener, cuz I'd be like, he'd be like, instead of running away, instead of, you know, freezing up and then like just dissociating, you might say something in the moment.
I'm like, well, what if I don't know what I'm feeling? Because some people don't. Like if you, if you are a person who has not occupied your body in a long time and you, you have not connected what happens in your brain to what happens in your body to an emotion. Number one, I suggest an emotions wheel.
That was very helpful for me.
Dalia Kinsey: Well, it's so funny, a bunch of this stuff sounds like, didn't they try and tell us this in elementary school, but we didn't know that we were gonna need it .
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. There's a cool app called the Mood Meter, and I believe it's free, and it can help, it can give you that. It's like the feelings wheel, but what he told me to ask myself, If I want to connect to, you know, what was that?
That the specific thing that activated is, what is it that happened just before you felt the thing that you felt in your body? What happened? Or what did someone say? What did you hear? See, you know, like right before you felt the thing, what did you hear or see? Then that helps to identify what the thing was.
Cuz for me it would be, Something would happen and, and it would, and then I suddenly, I'd sort of feel not quite right, but I wouldn't know why I was feeling not quite right. . Yeah. And then it'd all get blurry and then I'd just be like, well, you know, obviously. And so I would gaslight myself. Oftentimes we do.
I'm like, oh, well it must've just been me, right. and then I would go up out and I would suppress it, and then the next time, if I'd be with the person and the person would do the thing or say the thing, then I would, it would be like .
Dalia Kinsey: Oh yeah. Oh, I've definitely had that experience. It's so interesting, depending on what emotions were safe or normalized in your home, how this could look different on different people. Yeah. I thought for the longest time, oh, my family was so high functioning with great communication. Blah, blah, blah. But as an adult, and in hindsight and in response to recent events, like major losses, like deaths in the family, I realized that it was always okay to be angry.
They felt like, oh, kids get angry, kids throw a tantrums. But nobody wants to see a kid cry. And it's almost even worse if it's for a good reason and it's something nobody can fix it. Like if you're sad that your grandma died and my family, nobody wants to see that.
I didn't realize that a lot of times I would say sometimes that I was angry when I was actually heartbroken, but the idea of saying like, that something hurt my feelings or my heart is breaking, it felt like….
I don't wanna say like dying, you just felt like, why in the world would I wanna feel that incredibly uncomfortable sensation of acknowledging this forbidden emotion that I've come to see as weak and as something you should never have. It's weak. It's bad. It's all these things. Yeah. And I only realized it recently.
I think it's a blessing for my partner that now I am starting to make the distinction between sad and I wanna yell and I'm livid when I'm actually just sad.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yeah, yeah. Anger is the mask for so many emotions.
Dalia Kinsey: Yeah.Wow. There is, so this all feels like it could. Weeks of interviewing you.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: I mean, we, we go deep.
Boy, we've gone deep several times this has been amazing.
Dalia Kinsey: I really appreciate that you took out the time to break down these concepts because if it feels like when you look for new information, sometimes everybody starts talking like you already know what's going on. Where would you recommend people get started if they are curious?
Like if they know there's something they see themselves doing repeatedly, they don't wanna do anymore, and they haven't been able to figure out how to change, how could they connect with you or get a taste of what hypnotherapy feels like or looks like? Or how would you recommend they look for someone in their area.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Well, so, um, what I'll first say is that I do work with people all over the country. If anyone wants to reach out to experience hypnotherapy, to work with me as a coach through the NLP lens to even be trained, you know, I wanna, you can say how you say, okay, I wanna, I wanna do it, but I wanna learn it for myself.
If that's something that you're interested in, then you can go to the website,
https://mindremappingacademy.com/. And I think they'll probably have that in, in the, in the, in the show notes. But what I will would encourage you to do is to listen to my podcast. And the podcast gives you weekly tidbits of how this is applicable in so many areas.
And lately, I've been. Really on the, um, parent and kid and how we interact with our kid, you know, and then honoring the emotional intelligence and building emotional intelligence in our kid's journey because it's, it is a journey that I'm also on. But I do talk a little bit about how this work is useful in, in the equity space, how it's useful in leadership, how it's useful in intimate partnered relationships, different communication tips, so, and everything.
Even when I talk about children, I always say, This is useful in with, with our children, but apply to self because at the end of the day there's a lot of inner child healing that we have to do. and there are many people who are stuck in younger stages of development because we didn't get what we needed. And that's no, um, respect to our parents. It's just where they were at the time and what they were taught and the resources that they had available to them based on what was going on back in the day, which was survival.
Survival was going on back in the day. They didn't have no time for feelings. They don't have no time for emotional intelligence. They have emotions. They're dead. So , you know? Yeah. So it's like, yeah. Yeah.
Dalia Kinsey: I mean, that is such a heavy one. Is so serious because you feel bad sometimes, like going into therapy and you're like, uhoh ny parents are coming up again. And I'm like, I was there though, they were doing a good job. But they were raised by people that were even more. Having to focus on survival only, so technically, since we're all alive and listening to this right now, they, that was the most important job was to keep you alive until adulthood.
And now we are free to work on our stuff.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Yes, yes. Check out the Black Mind Garden podcast. That's what it's called, the Black Mind Garden. And you can find it on your favorite podcast platform, um, on Apple, on Spotify, on Google. Play on all of those. And um, I'll make sure that you have. To that as well. And so that's, those are the two best ways to reach out to, and I'm on all the social media platforms.
Most active on LinkedIn. Probably LinkedIn and Instagram. But I am on Facebook even though. I have a Twitter profile. Don't, don't message me there. I'll never check it. . I know,
Dalia Kinsey: Right? I finally deleted it. I'm like, I've never log in. Maybe there were messages I missed, but I couldn't even be bothered to open it. It was so long ago. Thank you so much. I'll definitely make sure the podcast is linked in the show notes. I know people are gonna want to hear more of these practical applications so they
can go deeper with.
Dr. Maiysha Claiborne: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. This was an amazing conversation. And by the way, I can't wait to have you on my podcast as well,
Dalia Kinsey: Perfect. So everybody be on the lookout for that because when that happens, you'll see it in your inbox.