Four Key Lessons from COVID19 on Mind-Body Healing, Loving Relationships and More

The first half of 2020 has been surreal.

COVID-19 arrived. Time was warped, our assumptive world was been turned on its head, and we continued to take steps forward in an uncertain world.

I continued to do my podcast episodes, and kept up my professional routines as consistent as possible during this time. As I conducted these interviews and reviewed the take-aways from the episodes, I was blown away at the profound advice my guests shared across the two podcasts that I publish.

I have one podcast, Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons that typically features a wellness or business expert to share actionable advice about how we can improve our health and performance. I summarize the takeaways from guests as “mantras” that listeners/viewers can take as actionable advice for their daily lives.

My second podcast is called Positive on Publishing. On this show, I typically feature an author and lessons on writing, messaging, and publishing. Each of these episodes features “fun nuggets” that act as the key takeaways or action items for listeners.

In March and April 2020, I had the honor to interview some amazing guests, from leaders in the neuroscience and psychotherapy fields to a top ten “guru” in the world on customer service. Before the interviews, I asked each guest if they wanted to keep the content “evergreen” (topics that would be pertinent across time, no matter what the current circumstances), or if my guests wanted to speak directly to the current COVID19 crisis. Each said they would like to address the COVID-19 crisis, and what came out of this approach was truly transformational.  Across the 27 total takeaways from these interviews (in the form of either “mantras” or “fun nuggets”, see below), I summarize what looks like a roadmap to allow us as human beings to gracefully manage the COVID19 crisis. If there is truly a paradigm shift underway, we must all be thinking about how we can step forward as the best versions of ourselves. We must step bravely forward into this new world.

I want to thank my guests for their insights, detailed a bit more below, for uncovering the following four key lessons:

Lesson #1: Heal the Mind-Body System (Dr. Mario Martinez)

Lesson #2: Surrender to Uncertainty (Dr. David Grand)

Lesson #3: Engage in Loving Relationships During Challenging Times (Marilyn Suttle)

Lesson #4: Manage Existential Trauma (Deb Antinori)

What you’ll learn as you read more below is that the most important changes underway are occurring within ourselves. We can get our inner work done, slow down and live more in the present moment, improve our relationship with others, and learn profound techniques for self-regulation.

Lesson #1: Heal the Mind-Body System (Dr. Mario Martinez)

Dr. Mario Martinez is a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in psychoneuroimmunology and how cultural beliefs affect health. Dr. Martinez is also an expert on longevity and is the author of the best selling book, The Mind Body Code. Here are the very pertinent “fun nuggets” from his interview:

1:  Behavior change requires a new language so that new neural connections can be made in the brain. This new language can be anchored in the body via the emotions/a felt sense.

2:  Affirmations don’t work alone; you must anchor the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in the body. We can use emotion to address the three archetypes of wound or “dampers of becomingness” that Dr. Martinez has identified in the body: a) abandonment, b) shame, and c) betrayal.

3. Our inner work can address the physical symptoms that are correlated in the body: a) abandonment-cold and low immune systems (emotion: isolation), b) shame-hot and inflammation/autoimmune conditions (emotion: embarrassment), and c) and cardiovascular issues (emotion: anger).

4: The body cannot “think” its way through the healing process. We cannot heal in the Beta wave state. Dr. Martinez teaches us to put ourselves into a contemplative state (mindfulness/meditation) associated with Theta and Alpha Waves so that we can truly heal the mind-body system.

In summary, it is time to get your inner work done and prioritize contemplative practices such as mindfulness and meditation. “If not now, when?”, which leads me to my next amazing guest…

Lesson #2: Surrender to Uncertainty (Dr. David Grand, Founder of Brainspotting)

Dr. David Grand is the developer of Brainspotting, the groundbreaking relational brain-body-mindfulness based method. He is the author of Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change and the co-author of This is Your Brain on Sports.

Here are the very pertinent “mantras” from his interview:

1:  Time distortion is due to being in the subcortex of the brain.

2:  During this period of existential trauma, we may experience states such as dissociation, shut down, denial, and hyper-hyper vigilance.

3: This existential trauma presses on the underlying traumas we are still processing from our childhoods.

4: This is not the time to make big decisions. This is, however, a time to set your priorities. We are being forced to evaluate what is important and what is not important.

5: We must slow down, be curious, and observe.

6: We are safe in the present moment; we must bring ourselves back from ruminations about the past and worries about the future and focus on the here and now.

7: In the present moment, allow uncertainty, be curious, and mindfully pay attention.

8: A karmic “pause button” has been hit.

9: In adversity, there is opportunity.

10: Distractions are a good thing. Embrace hobbies, movies, cleaning, cooking, any other activity that focuses your attention.

11: Stop and observe the majesty of nature

12: Be generous to yourself and others

In summary, it is time to surrender and understand that you cannot control outer circumstances. Slow down and live more in the present moment.

Lesson #3: Engage in Loving Relationships During Challenging Times (Marilyn Suttle)

Marilyn Suttle is a results coach and customer service expert who specializes in creating “Suttle Shifts” in the way people think and act, so they can produce massive results. Marilyn is listed in the top 10 of Global Guru’s Top 30 Customer Service Thought Leaders for 2020.

Here are the very pertinent “fun nuggets” from her interview:

1: Be present during these challenging times. We want to create an ability to override our natural biology which is based on the survival instinct (and fear).

2:  (Pause)… then look for the positive even in the negative.

3:  (Pause)…then create some distance between the situation and the result (what lies between is the belief, which you can control).

4:  Work on compassion and empathy for others from a somatic (body-based) level.

5: Recognize that you energetically create your world with your emotions.

6: Claim 100% responsibility for 50% of every relationship.

In summary, the COVID19 paradigm shift can go beyond inner work and extend into improving your relationships with others. With many of us (like me!) who have grown children back under our roof and are learning to live and love together, COVID19 is a reminder that, in the end, what really matters is love.

Lesson #4: Manage Existential Traum (Deb Antinori)

Deborah Antinori a Licensed Professional Counselor with 29 years in private practice. She is a Brainspotting Trainer and Certified Consultant who was supervised in the late 90’s by Dr. David Grand (see above).

Here are the very pertinent “mantras” from her interview:

1:  Be gentle with yourself.

2:  We are in a state of existential trauma.

3: The COVID19 disruption affects where we function in terms of the three parts of the brain (survival, homeostasis, restoration). So if you are not feeling at the top of your game mentally right now, there is a neuroscientific explanation. Return to Mantra #1 and Be gentle with yourself.

4: Learn to calm your alarm states during the COVID19 crisis.

5: Our assumptive world has been turned on its head. It is normal to feel the need to grieve the loss of this known world.

In summary, it is normal to experience grief and disorientation during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Learn to self-regulate through profound self-led processes. Deb offers a Brainspotting self-spotting exercise that you can try at home, see the link for Deb’s interview/show notes below.

Take care my dear ones, I know I’ll be carrying these lessons learned into the new phases of our lives.


Dr. Mario Martinez:

Dr. David Grand:

Marilyn Suttle:

Deb Antinori:

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