Are you living your life in a constant state of stress, anxiety and self-doubt? Have you tried everything to change your life, but nothing has worked? Meet Karen Armstrong, Mindset + Emotion Life Coach of Find Peace Now.
Karen says, “You can't change what you're not aware of, unless you remove the root cause.”
On average, humans have between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day, and most people are aware of a tiny fraction of them. 90% to 95% of what we think is at a subconscious unconscious level.
Karen’s life’s work is to help others identify and remove the root causes of what has been draining their energy and holding them back. Therefore, they can experience permanent change and find peace now. You have to dig into that subconscious and unconscious part of your mind. Karen is your tour guide.
We have had lengthy conversations with Karen and are so impressed with her process, approach, training and abilities -- not to mention her passion and commitment to help people heal and live their most peaceful and fulfilling lives.
Our conversation, which was taped on June 29, 2022, ended up being extremely timely (no surprise Universe!) with the events that took place in Robyn's hometown of Highland Park, IL on July 4, 2022.
For more about Karen Armstrong, or to learn about her mindset and emotional life coach practice visit www.findpeacenow.com. Karen also offers an introductory call for anyone interested in working with her.
In this episode, we cover:
-BWRT: BrainWorking Recursive Therapy
Karen A: [00:00:00] Are you living your life
Robyn: a constant state of stress, anxiety, and self doubt? Have you tried everything to change your life, but nothing has worked. Well meet Karen Armstrong mindset and emotion life coach a find peace.
Now she says you can't change what you're not aware of to get permanent results. You need to uncover and remove the root causes.
Karen A: Her
Robyn: life work is to help others identify and remove the root causes of what has been draining their energy and holding them back. Therefore they can experience permanent change and find peace.
Now we've had lengthy conversations with Karen and are so impressed with her process approach, training and abilities, not to
Karen A: mention her passion and commitment
Robyn: to help people heal and live their most peaceful and fulfilling lives. Let's start talking.
Karen A: Hi Karen. Hi Karen. So hello ladies. Another Karen.
I love it
Let's jump in. Let's
Robyn: talk about what is a mindset and emotion life
Karen A: coach. . That is a great question. And [00:01:00] I get asked that a lot of times the coaching that I do with my clients is very unique. And so it's not like I've taken one certification that taught me one way to do things.
And then that's what I do. I use a mix of the different modalities that I have the
Karen: different certifications. So I'm certified as a life coach hypnotist, a master hypnotist, as well as
Karen A: in BW, R T brain working
Karen: recursive therapy.
Karen A: So I have different certifications that I use when I work with an individual.
And coaching is the main Service, I guess, if you wanna call it that, that people would experience, but it's truly the knowledge and wisdom from my life experiences and those other modalities that work with the subconscious. So in life, everybody suffers, they have problems, whether it's relationship problems, lack of confidence in their career, maybe it's body image or weight issues.
money issues. There's all these different things that people are suffering with, but they don't realize
Karen: what the root cause is.
Karen A: And so that's the work I do. It all [00:02:00] begins in the mind. What is going wrong in life is a reaction to emotion. Emotion is the only problem that a person ever really has.
Now that is a big concept to unpack, but I'm gonna do my best to me to do that with you guys. So back to your question about the mindset and emotion life coach, it's a title I've given myself. You could also call me an emotional inte. Life coach, you could call me a self mastery life coach, but it's really helping people understand how their minded emotions work.
Because self knowledge is self power. And you truly do have all your answers inside of you. But when you're in the stress response, when your thoughts create the fear in your life, the anxiety, the anger, all those negative emotions that drive your body into that fight flight free state that you can't think clearly, you're not able to identify what you really need to do to take the action you really needed to take, to get where you wanna go.
Karen: about a little bit about how you worked then. How does your approach differ from like a traditional therapist or a traditional life coach? [00:03:00] Okay.
Karen A: So from my experience of working with therapists and psychology,
Karen: it was talk
Karen A: therapy. So. Different service providers can use different modalities.
I don't know them all, but in general, when you look at talk therapy, which is really common, how, what I do is different is I actually explain to people what's going on. I help them see, and it's all customized to their life. So if they have a problem, they don't just come in and talk about it. What we do is they come in, they share what's going on.
And then I give them customized activities to gain incredible insights into their lives so that we can bring up the root cause. So you need to identify what's at the root of a problem and remove it
Karen: in order to get permanent results.
Karen A: And generally, what is presenting as a problem, it's not obvious what's causing it and there could be
Karen: multiple things causing it.
Karen A: So when they come in and work with me, the very first thing that we do is increase the awareness of their thoughts. So emotion is driving them to do things they don't wanna do or holding them back from doing the [00:04:00] things they want to do, but they don't understand what causes that emotion or even realize what emotions they're feeling.
Karen: And that is their thoughts.
Karen A: So once you understand that you're now beginning to understand how to permanently correct your life. So the first thing I get them to do is to raise the awareness of what they're thinking, because what they're thinking creates how they feel, how they feel
Karen: impacts, what they do and what they're doing is their life.
Karen A: We, on average, as humans have between
Karen: 50 and 70,000 thoughts a day,
Karen A: and most people are aware of a tiny fraction of them, 90 to 95% of what we think is at a subconscious unconscious level. So if your thoughts create how you feel and how you feel impacts what you do and what you do is your life. And you're not aware of what you're thinking, how are you gonna gain that control over your life?
And what's not working out. So when you raise your awareness of what you're thinking, you're gonna have more indication of what's going on and you track it. So now you're actually understanding everything that's going on in your life. Here's an example. There may be someone who struggled their whole life with weight issues.
And so they wanna lose weight. Now you can make this [00:05:00] decision, that's it. I don't like my body. I'm gonna boot camp. It, I'm gonna do this highly restrictive diet. And then you focus on it and you start losing weight. So you control it more and you just push, push, push people, always wanna, I need someone to push me, but what that's doing is creating more inadequacy.
You're not good enough every day. You're validating you need to change to be good enough. It's creating stress. Maybe it's anger because things are unfair. So all these other emotions are being created in the process of trying to fix what they came in for what the problem is. Where, when you back up the bus and you look at their whole life and you look at their thought patterns, they may have a very, very active mind.
And that mind may be very, very negative. And they may have a very strong inner judge, which is conditioned thought
Karen: patterns of blame and shame and judgment of
Karen A: themselves. So every day they're waking up to an environment that has triggers things in their life, creating these negative thoughts, and they're contributing it to, with their own inner judge.
And the way that their brain gets them to respond is to eat or for other people it's other addictions. It's, the alcohol, the vaping, the smoking, the [00:06:00] drugs, the sex, the zoning out behaviors the Facebook, Netflix, social media, napping, the obsessive behaviors like workaholics working out all the time.
So when you understand. When you pay attention to your thoughts and you get crystal clear clarity on all of the stuff that's going on in your life, you can now, and you see the pattern of food, being your comfort. You understand that you can't just take that away and push yourself more. You gotta go the route.
So maybe you have a toxic relationship. Maybe you have a job that you hate. Maybe you have a mother-in-law that is making your life hell Maybe you have that strong inner judge that was created as a child where you never felt good enough. so long as these things are going on at the roots, you're gonna have the same thoughts, the same emotions, the same behavioral patterns.
You take out one behavioral pattern. It's gonna be replaced with another
Robyn: I have two questions. One is, how did you get to this place of knowing and of wanting to create this process? I know what Karen and I know in your own [00:07:00] life is you had your own experiences that led you almost to a rock bottom that made you curious enough to take all of your expertise and.
Curiosity and apply it to understanding and getting certified in all these ways. So I would say the one part is talking about your own story and how you got here. And then the other part is really talking about how you use hypnosis and we can get to that too,
Karen A: for sure. Okay. So basically I was just an average person, just a normal person who suffered a lot and reflecting back on life.
I had a great childhood, I didn't have any major traumas or things that a lot of people have to deal with. But that being said, being human and the way our minds work and the meanings we create, you can create a lot of problems living in a perfect environment or living in a really good environment.
So some of the things that I suffered with was. Codependent tendencies. So being codependent, I joke now that I'm a recovering codependent so a lot of people can relate to the people, pleasing, worrying what [00:08:00] others think and the perfectionism. So as a teen, I did not have happy teen years. Although I grew up in a really healthy, good family.
My father worked away a lot and I remember missing him, but that's just the way life was. So it wasn't any kind of intentional abuse or anything. My parents are still together today, but he worked a lot. And my mom, there was four kids and a hundred head of cattle and a business and all this stuff going on and nobody knew back then how to help their children.
Karen: Most people don't know today how to help their children identify what they're feeling
Karen A: and to process. So when you don't process something, you store it in your nervous system. So it's like this big ball that keeps getting bigger. So basically as a child, yeah. I had a lot of fun, but for whatever reason, I never thought I was good enough.
I created these meanings that I'm not good enough. So then that drove the need to be good enough. The perfectionism. Well, nobody's perfect. And so I failed a hundred percent of the time, but it wasn't cause I wasn't good enough. It was because I wasn't perfect. So I had to be an honor student. I had a very
Karen: toxic, abusive [00:09:00] relationship that started when I was 12 and ended
Karen A: when I was 21.
It was abuse
Karen: on all levels, threats of suicide. I was
Karen A: terrified of leaving it, being young. I didn't
Karen: understand none of it was true and I was too afraid to talk to my.
Karen A: So I stayed in this relationship and did a lot of lying and a lot of suffering when that finally ended. I met the father of my kids and, , he was this great guy, but he wasn't great for me.
And I wasn't great for him, but no, but he teaches you this stuff. Mm-hmm . And so I figured cuz he was so nice and so smart and so opposite of the other one that this was it, and I would never change it. I got two amazing boys and and my ex-husband is a great guy but we weren't meant for each other.
So there was a lot of suffering that took place there that marriage ended. And then. I married a narcissist, I remarried and I thought it was this like , dream, soulmate. And that was hell it was years of hell. And when that ended, it was very, very traumatic. So basically I was never really happy, never happy with my myself strong, inner judged, worried what everyone else thought, [00:10:00] people please are wrong relationships.
And now I was single on my own terrified
Karen: of how I was gonna survive,
Karen A: dealing with the trauma,
Karen: That took place in the last marriage
Karen A: and living in a city that I didn't know how I could afford it, what life would be like. So that's when anxiety kicked it. And for anyone who has
Karen: experienced anxiety, it is disabling.
And as time
Karen A: goes on, it gets worse and worse and worse. So I got to the point where I'd be having panic attacks at work. And I was a chartered accountant at the time in a career that wasn't a good match either. was having panic attacks. I was waking up in the middle of the night, not even knowing where I was or if my kids were home and it just kept getting worse and worse.
I did go see the psychologist that we worked
Karen: with with the marriage counseling
Karen A: and the talk therapy did not work for me. I left there, it was 200 bucks and she's like, I'll see you next week. I asked for books, I asked for something, there was nothing I could do. Just we'll see you next week. I didn't have that money.
So I started self-destructing and when my kids were at their dad's one weekend, this was kind of the pivotal point. I remember [00:11:00] laying on my couch and my back was wet. My everything, my hair was soak. My shirt was soaked. The coach was soaked. I wasn't even moving. And I was just staring up at their pictures, begging them to let me go.
I just couldn't take it anymore. And that's when I realized I have a really big problem. So with the psychology not working, I turned to self-help. So I started. And I don't know. it's just, when you hit that rock bottom and you seek the answers, come and it was right from that first book where I was like, oh my goodness, why has nobody taught us this?
Why don't they teach us this in school? And then it was what else? Don't I know. So I just got obsessed with learning and then I got to a point where I needed to figure my life out, but I was a single mom. Didn't have a lot of money and I'm like, I could either go hire someone or go figure it out myself.
So that's where I took my life. Coaching certification was to figure out my own life and everything I did. I applied it to my life and my situation. So when you work through , a certification like that, you gotta work with people and they were getting amazing [00:12:00] breakthroughs right off the pop. And so still being an accountant, I always got the feedback.
You gotta do this, you gotta do it. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. this isn't, I'm an accountant. Right. And then it got to a point where some people are very, very triggered and I'm like, what happens when you can't work at
Karen: the conscious level?
Karen A: So that's where the hypnosis came in. And then there was this amazing master hypnosis program.
So then I took that one and then, recently I moved on to BW R T. But what I realized is, is where hypnosis is incredibly powerful for helping and BW. R T is incredibly powerful. And coaching's incredibly powerful. How I worked with my clients is I worked with teaching them skills, teaching them knowledge of what's going on when you have anxiety and you're triggered, but you understand this is just an emotion.
My thoughts are creating it. And you have some practical tools that work a hundred percent of the time you can learn to. so versus picking an area, making you feel better, you actually learn the skills to completely regulate your nervous system, to identify process and release emotion, and then [00:13:00] be able to have that clarity and be in that state of peace, where you can connect with your higher self with your own spirit and get your own answers and passions and know where you need to go.
Karen: , is your conscious thought a result or is it emotional interpretation of something in your subconscious? Is that the way to look at it on it?
Karen A: I'm asking is
Karen: you were saying, 90% of your thoughts, Are from your unconscious mind. You're not even aware of. And I'm just wondering, so if I'm having a thought right now and it's I shouldn't have said that.
Karen A: Is that a conscious interpretation of the emotion that I'm feeling
Karen: In my subconscious that's in my root. Is
Karen A: that kind of how it all connects? Yeah. The conscious thoughts are any, like you're consciously aware of it. So whether it has to do with emotion that you're feeling, or it has to do with a mathematical calculation or anything, it's something that you're aware of.
And just like right now, if everybody listening takes their attention to the feeling of the surface, they're either standing or sitting. Can you feel. And take your attention to the filling of your clothing on your body and the air coming into your nose. So when you take your awareness to [00:14:00] something you're consciously aware of it.
So when you have a thought that you're aware, you're having, it's a conscious thought,
Karen: I guess for me, I'm just always wondering, if those thoughts that I'm having those conscious thoughts that I'm kind reiterating to myself over and over again, it's usually from something that I'm subconsciously feeling or some kind of a subconscious interpretation that I've
Karen A: made about.
So when you're thinking about emotion probably is there something in your environment or multiple things that emotionally triggered you? That's the terminology I use. So there's something going on. Your brain is processing millions of bits of data per. That's a lot of information, so you're not aware of that going on.
So that's the unconscious subconscious thoughts, Your brain is always working. And when there's things in your environment that creates those negative thoughts, whether you're afraid of something angry and adequate, whatever it's gonna generate the emotions inside of you. So now as the emotions build, it can reach the level of conscious awareness and then you choose to direct your focus on it and think about it.
So if you're working away at work on a [00:15:00] project and then all of a sudden you're triggered to something and the emotion rises, and now you take your attention there,
Karen: you're gonna have conscious thoughts of it, for sure. Gotcha. . Well, and
Robyn: When we
traditionally think of hypnosis.
I personally think of somebody getting you to focus on one, one thing, whether it's a pendulum or something like that, and getting you a certain type of trans state. And I think in a lot of those times in that traditional sense, you don't remember that experience of when you're under in that trans state, but that is not
Karen A: what we're talking about here.
or that you lose
Karen: control, that somebody else is almost controlling
Karen A: your options
Karen: for you. Yeah.
Robyn: yeah. Can you talk about hypnosis and how it works within your process?
Karen A: Sure. So hypnosis in general, there's a lot of misperceptions and that's a big problem that society has, So I guess the first it's a little bit of what both of you said is to debunk the misperceptions.
So what hypnosis is, is a heightened state of focus. When you focus on something, your brain waves slow down. [00:16:00] So right now in waking state, you're in beta. If you're super hyped up, you'll be in hyper beta. So you're in beta state. And then if you were to lay down and do a meditation, relax, you're gonna be in alpha.
And then deep sleep is Delta. Theta is between relaxation and deep sleep. Theta is the state, the brainwave that hypnosis takes place in. So within the theta state, this is getting a little techy, but within the theta state, the critical faculty, the part of your mind, that's always comparing. So, like I said, your brain's taking a millions of bits of data.
Well, actually your senses are and filtering it through your brain and it's processing it. And there's the critical faculty
Karen: that is always comparing it to what you
Karen A: already know. now that forms in a human's life around the age of seven. And if information coming in agrees, it'll go straight into your subconscious.
If it doesn't, it goes in a holding tank or rejected. So in the theta state, when you're in hypnosis that critical faculty steps aside. And so you're still consciously aware. A lot of people think like, boom, you're in a trance and it's dark and you don't know what's going on and you [00:17:00] can be controlled and, be made to believe
And it's not true. It's just, when you have a high state of focus, your brain slows down,
Karen A: your subconscious mind opens up and you're more suggestible. You have more access to what's inside of you, your memories, things that
Karen: have happened to you, meanings, you've created beliefs you have.
Karen A: but you're still consciously aware.
So you're so relaxed. You don't feel like moving, but you could get up and move. You are aware of everything you're saying just like you are right now. You'll remember as much as you would remember
Karen: from a conversation like
Karen A: this you can lie 100%. You can lie, withhold information, you have full control.
So yeah, it's getting rid of the misperceptions of hypnosis is where you understand it. you can be hypnotized on stage. That's what a lot of people. And that's where they get that fear of doing something silly or not knowing what's going on. I haven't taken special courses in stage hypnosis.
It's not something I'm interested in, but when you go that route, there's certain ways of filtering the crowd. There are some people in the crowd who literally wanna suck on toes or jump like a chicken anyways. They wanna [00:18:00] be part of the show. And there's a way of picking those people out.
They're already highly suggestible.
Robyn: I happen to a few years ago, be at an very small event where there was more of a stage hypnotist.
And the goal was to hypnotize us and out of, let's say 15 to 20 people, there was only. Maybe two and really one that I can recall who was able to go fully in that state and to this day, they don't remember, what they were being asked to do.
Karen A: And they
Robyn: actually fell they fell over cuz they were so in that state they couldn't control their body and no one was holding them up and they legit fell and thankfully didn't hurt themselves.
That very badly. My point being, what, what is that? Which is part of this misconception. Cause that's not, what you do. What is that?
Karen A: Yeah, well, , it sounds like that person went into shock, but there are rapid inductions.
There are ways of getting people into a deep trans, which will usually involve some sort of a shock or a surprise. And, the brain kind of gets confused. So, [00:19:00] I mean, I wasn't there. I can't comment directly, but that is 100% not used in therapeutic HYP ever.
Karen: thank you. No, I really wanna make sure people understand that.
Karen A: Especially now most services are provided online and for that reason, you are fully in control in your own environment. during sessions, people, when they need to go pee, you encourage them to go ahead of time, but if they need to, they can get up, go and come back, and they go right back into trans.
So it really is just when you focus your brain waves, slow down, relaxation is the common focus point for therapeutic hypnosis. It feels really good as well. And and there's different types of hypnosis. There's regression based hypnosis where you're very active in talking. There's more direct suggestion where you're being spoken to, but really your hypnotherapist is gonna be like a tour guide to your.
So it's your mind, you are in control. They can only guide you when they suggest that you do things to relax. You have to wanna do it and follow instruction. So if you're afraid and you don't fall in instruction, you're not gonna go into [00:20:00] hypnosis. So the hypnosis, when I work with clients, yes, I do actual hypnosis sessions.
If, and when needed, how I choose to do that when I work with people is, well, first of all, when I work with clients, whatever they're coming to me with, we look at everything. We gotta get the big picture. So I have very customized activities where they have a hundred percent knowledge, crystal clear clarity of everything going on in their life.
Also reflecting back from birth and understanding where it began. So we make those connections. What are their specific triggers? What is it causing? What behavioral patterns are created? What. Self sabotaging or they do internal defense mechanisms. Like what exactly is going on and why now I teach 'em how they're minded emotions work.
And then we go to work. We take action on each trigger because when you remove the triggers, you no longer have those unconscious thoughts. You no longer have those negative emotions being automatically generated. So that's the goal. But sometimes when you're working on a trigger, it could relate to the past and something they're not aware of or something at an unconscious level [00:21:00] where at consciously we're not getting headway.
So at that point, we work directly with the subconscious, with either BW R T or hypnosis. However, that being said, all of my sessions are online. So right now, as you're listening, you're focusing on this. And so as long as you're not
Karen: doing other
Karen A: distractors, while you're listening, you're already entering a light trance.
And this is the same with everything. That's why tiktok and YouTube and where kids can be on games or even adults gamers, where they lose track of time. That's time distortion they're in
Karen A: And even
Karen: watching TV can be like that. I know when I'm trying to talk to my son, when he's watching something, he, he doesn't hear
Karen A: exactly.
So he was focusing. And he never heard. And so the power of doing sessions online is that trans, so you have more access to your subconscious
Karen A: but also how you speak to the subconscious mind. That's the automatic part of your mind, how you speak to
Karen: it is with pictures, analogies stories,
Karen A: and it's highly emotional.
So that's also part of what I include in my coaching or [00:22:00] the style that I coach I use illustrations. I use stories, I use analogies, it's always applying it. A picture, says a thousand words. And so it's important when you're helping people work through things in their life that you work with their subconscious as well, because that's the protective mechanism.
That's, what's creating all these patterns that they don't want. So the goal is always to figure out what it's worrying about, what it's triggered by, and then calming it, removing
Karen: the triggers and calming the subconscious.
Karen A: Why is your
Karen: subconscious such a large
Karen A: part
Karen: of your mind versus your conscious, do you think.
is your question?
Karen A: It's just how we evolved. It's just as humans, how we
Karen: evolved. I was talking to somebody about this, it just fascinates me so much. And he was saying, maybe there's a reason why you're subconscious is your subconscious. Maybe there's, it's a protected barrier that you shouldn't dig too far into.
Karen A: Well, so how
Karen: I describe to clients what the subconscious mind is it,
Karen A: it's like a recorder. So an, an analogy it's like a recorder and it's recorded [00:23:00] everything since the time you repeat in your mom's tummy and or past lives, it really just, depends on person's belief, but let's work with this lifetime.
Let's go right back to that. So everything that's ever happened to you is still in your mind, you have five senses, you brought in data, and at that time you created meaning and those meanings are recorded inside of you. So just like today, let's say growing up, you were in a family where your father was very, very quiet, hardly ever spoke, but when he drank, he got abusive and when he'd come home, he'd be loud
Karen: and it'd be dangerous for your siblings and
Karen A: your, and your mom.
Now let's say I grew up in a family where my dad was loud all the time and he was fun and never had a mean bone and never drank. If today we were in a room together and a loud man walked in, you would wanna get out
Karen: of there and I'd wanna go towards him.
Karen A: But neither
Karen A: us know anything about him. So that's the subconscious it's there.
Everything that's ever happened, confused in there. And depending what goes on today, you can be triggered and not understand why. And you can be triggered in two ways. You can really, really like someone, like think someone so great. And you knew them your whole life. Well, they may be reminding you of somebody in your [00:24:00] past
and you just don't know. Wow. I love
Robyn: the way that you just put that.
Karen: Yeah. And how wonderful that we have this mechanism for remembering, even though it's not top of mind that we can have access to that information and go back to explore.
Karen A: Yeah. Your mind's always trying to keep you
Karen: alive to survive and then thrive. But survival's the first and so it's always processing
Karen A: what's going on and it gets you to do what you did last time. What did you think? What did you do? How did you feel? And the reason is, is if you're still living and breathing, then it must have worked.
The problem is, is sometimes that's not in your best interest. That's not what you actually want. So it's understanding. How this is going on at a very basic level, at an exponential level, so that when you are triggered, you know, oh, okay, I'm triggered. This is just an emotion something's going on.
You don't even have to know why it's going on. Just knowing it's your thoughts and knowing how to regulate your nervous system. You're gonna be able to calm yourself generally in life. People have X number of triggers they're there. So that's why when I [00:25:00] start working with a client, regardless of what they wanna work on, we wanna identify all their triggers, cuz there's connections.
Karen: It's like a puzzle. We wanna put the puzzle together. So everything makes
Karen A: sense. So now in their life, when these major triggers are happening, we have very strategical things that they do in those moments. So now when you're triggered, because let's say you hate your job and your
Karen: boss is just terrible
Karen A: and is ruining your life.
It's not actually the boss and the job ruining your life. It's your thoughts
Karen: of the boss and the job
Karen A: ruining. So people don't know that. So they blame it on the job and the bus and they can't quit. So now they're in the victim, fixed mindset. My life sucks. I'm never getting out of this. This is terrible.
And it brings all that negativity. Then they wanna go drink and smoke and not work out and do all those things that ruin their life. Right. Where when you back up the bus and you go back to that job that you don't like, well, you realize I don't have a choice. You do all the clarity work right now. I can't quit, but I can start looking for another job.
I can get transferred to another department. I could try work through the conflict that is going on here. There's so many options. And in the meantime, when [00:26:00] you're triggered and you hate that job, or they hate that boss, it's
Karen: your thought process.
Karen A: So when that comes up inside of you, you now can be very specific.
It is what it is. I'm feeling angry. The truth is I can't change this right now. My thoughts are creating how I feel. I can only imagine what it's like to be a partner or a child
Karen: to that person. I can only imagine what that person went through in life to be that way.
Karen A: Right? Yeah. Wow. So now you see, you're not gonna be triggered.
It's not gonna cause that in your life. So now when you go home, you're not gonna be venting to your partner, creating lack of intimacy and connection with them. You're not gonna be turning to the bottle or the cigarette or the vape intoxicating your body. you're gonna be present with your kids and enjoying your life.
You may go out and connect with friends like your whole life changes when you work at the root Well, and speaking of working with the different clients, you've been practicing for
Robyn: a long time, and now your focus is really on teens and you have a real specific reason around that. Can you
Karen: speak to that?
Karen A: Sure. [00:27:00] So it was a couple of years ago that I got this amazing guidance from. That I always talk about your thoughts being the root. And I was leaving an audio clip for my clients talking about it's your thoughts. It's always the root and, , giving them a real emotional kind of clip for them to listen to.
And shortly after that I had a quick little break before my next client and I went up to my kitchen and I grabbed a quick snack and I was standing at the sink. And all of a sudden, as I put the food in my mouth, I heard that is not the root.
Karen: The root is the fetus. And it was just every
Karen A: cell in my body
Karen: just vibrated.
It was so
Karen A: intense and it just hit me in that moment. I work with people who are suffering. We figure out why they're suffering. We get rid of all the tension of the sources of suffering. We go back on life and we figure it all out, but it's a reactive process.
Karen: It's not a proactive.
Karen A: and I'm only one person.
Karen: if I teach other people how to do it, I do. There's only so many people in this lifetime
Karen A: that I can help. and I believe I went through what I have [00:28:00] went through in life for the sole purpose of learning the lessons,
Karen: gaining the skills to help others not suffer the
Karen A: way I have. So I've loved working with people.
Anywheres from 11 to 74 has been my age range
Karen: of any and every sort of issue. It works with
Karen A: anything going on, but that was the groundwork to start figuring out human patterns, to figuring out commonalities. And what I realized is is the earlier on in life that you can reach someone and help them the less they have to work through.
So it takes less time. And now you're teaching them the skills and they're gaining the wisdom and they're connecting with themselves. They're true, authentic selves and aligning their life. In all areas. So when I was a teen and then I picked a career and I had friends and had relationships and I had all these things in my life, none of it was aligned with me because I didn't know me.
I didn't like me. I was never good enough. And I was just basically running around in the dark. So when you work with teens earlier on in life, there's very, very few things. When it comes to teens, it's usually not a lot that's [00:29:00] going on. So it doesn't take long to get them
Karen: to release those triggers,
Karen A: to work through those triggers.
Most of the time with them, it's the inner judge. It's things inside of their head, things that happen in meetings, they created and nobody's helped them process them. So now when they have that knowledge of who they are, what they need, want and deserve in life, and the fact that aligning allows them to be their authentic, self, aligning makes them feel good, and that there's nothing wrong with them.
They go on to pick healthy partners. They go on to have healthy friends.
Karen: They have confidence in school. They have confidence when they start
Karen A: their career, they're better parents, and now they can teach their children. They can also validate, identify and validate the emotions of their children. So basically by working with the teens, you help them.
But now they have everything to be the coach. They need to be to raise their children. And that impacts everybody in that teen's life and in those children's life
Karen: and all the generations to
Karen A: come. Wow. Everybody needs this well. Yeah. And especially now,
Robyn: Anxiety is really become an epidemic, especially [00:30:00] with
Karen A: teens.
Karen: you talk about the patterns, have you seen any patterns in this epidemic of anxiety in your practice? something that just keeps repeating itself over and over
Karen A: again? Well, I would say. And it's really interesting cause I love conceptualizing things. My accountant brain quite active in my life journey.
And there's gonna obviously be exceptions, but what I'm seeing so much of the time is it's actually in adequacy. I don't even know if it's anxiety like it is anxiety, and then morphs into depression, hopelessness. But it's the Incy because when you create thought patterns where you're not good enough and there's something wrong with you and now you're trying to be a perfectionist and you gotta please everybody, your focus is external.
Not. So your answers are who you are and what you wanna do in this lifetime is all inside, but you're too busy, pleasing everyone around you. They're all triggered. So you actually can't make anybody else happy. So if you create the pattern where you need to be responsible to make everyone else happy to calm your nervous system, everyone around you has to be calm and you take that on good luck.
[00:31:00] There's so many triggers in a person's life. It's impossible. Even with what I do, I can't make you happy. I can only guide you. You have to wanna do it. You have to do the work. So imagine people who don't even know what I know and don't have the tools, You can't do it. So growing up, especially an emotionally unsafe, unstable homes, there's a lot of negative emotion going on.
Children don't know how to process it. So they store it and then they create meanings. The critical faculty I talked about earlier is not formed. And they don't have life experience. They have childlike minds. So you can imagine the meaning they create when things happen that feel bad and they don't have context of life and how things work.
Now, when the critical faculty's not born, essentially as humans, we're in hypnosis from the age of zero to seven, everything you see you absorb your subconscious
Karen: mind is just absorbing. It's not comparing to what you already
Karen A: know. And that's why when you grow up in an environment where there's anxiety, depression, anger, abuse rejection isolation or abandonment,
Karen: it's very, very unstable for a child for their nervous system.
Karen A: And so the [00:32:00] condition thought patterns, the inner judge is how it's referred to a lot of times forms and then a pattern you keep repeating it. So how you form a belief is by having the same thought over and over again. And at some point it becomes a belief. So now when it's a belief. It's your automatic truth.
When I work with clients, I usually hold up a yellow highlighter and ask 'em if it's yellow and they respond instantly, and it just goes to show you, don't stop to think,
Karen: whatever you believe is true is just your truth.
Karen A: Now the highlighter is yellow, but if you form the belief, you have the thoughts.
You're not good enough. And you're, and people don't like you and trying to make new friends isn't safe, then wherever you go, that's gonna be your perception. And it's not reality. Definitely. So just the example of the man walks in the room, you wanna get away. I wanna go towards, it's just these beliefs that we form inside.
Karen: And do you think.
Karen A: The children
Robyn: of this COVID world that may be under the age of seven that have been living through the last few years and soaking up the anxiety, that of the collective. [00:33:00] Really? How do you think
Karen A: that plays
Robyn: going forward for them?
Karen: Oh my goodness. I haven't reflect on
Karen A: that, but I've worked with a lot of
Karen: s over these last couple years and even just the news
Karen A: and the parents talking and then the parents, yeah.
With their jobs and money and then the health and everything. it's a lot, but the parents don't realize it, and the children don't know how to deal with it. Yeah. With the inadequacy, I think I didn't fully answer it. I I'm so passionate. I go on, but so with the anxiety, it's the inadequacy.
That's how it's created. But then now imagine. Having that perspective being young and nothing's ever good enough. And now years go by and it's still not good enough. And then more years go by and it's not good enough. And that's your perception, your whole life. And then you realize one day I'm young. I got a lot of time left.
If I can't do this, how am I gonna live on my own? How am I gonna do this? How am I gonna do that? What if this happens? What if that happens? Now you create that perspective. That's how the anxiety is formed is the fear of the future. So now you're living your life feeling worthless. a lot of times social anxiety, you're isolating, creating loneliness, and all of those fears of how you're gonna [00:34:00] survive in the future.
It just becomes too much. And then
Karen: eventually you'll slip into that hopelessness. I've always been this way. I've never been good enough and you're just always afraid. So you kind.
Karen A: We gotta nip that in the bud some adults. I work with like anxiety there could be real life things, creating it, maybe really tough natural problems.
Maybe you really are in an abusive relationship. Maybe your health is so bad that you're gonna get diabetes or a heart attack, or there could be some real life stuff that needs action. But a lot of the times it's just in the head it's thought patterns.
Karen: It's the perfectionism, it's the people pleasing.
Karen A: It's that inner judge.
Karen: Can you
Karen A: share maybe something really
Karen: simple? So people who are listening right now are feeling they can relate to exactly what you're saying. is there a very simple, initial exercise that they can do if they're in that anxiety, light at this moment of how to identify it and just try to release it a little bit out of their experience.
Karen A: Sure people will know they're anxious. you can't mistake that feeling. So when you're anxious, it'd be really good to learn. About how [00:35:00] your nervous system works and the stress response. So when you're having an anxiety, attacker feeling anxiety,
Karen: You're in the sympathetic nervous system, you're in the fight flight and freeze.
Karen A: And that's why you're not thinking clearly. That's why you're breathing shallow. That's why you feel the way you do. Okay. So understanding that is really important cuz when you're experiencing it, you're gonna be like, okay, this is happening now. A lot of times when anxiety flares up, people are like, no, no, no, no, no I'm being anxious.
And now they're creating more anxiety. Where what the first thing you wanna do is just accept it. Okay. I'm feeling anxious that alone will bring it down a notch. Then breathe. Breath is an unconscious message to
Karen: the nervous system.
Karen A: Yousay so if there's a bear in the. there's no way you're gonna be able to breathe nice and slow and deep So when you breathe nice and slow and deep you're unconsciously telling your nervous
Karen: system everything's okay. It's effective. It's efficient.
Karen A: Most people think it's too simple and they discount it.
Karen: It's the most important thing you can do. So
Karen A: accept then breathe. And after that, you're gonna start calming down.
Now you can actually start thinking clear that's [00:36:00] where you wanna look at. Okay. What else is true? So in that moment, you're probably catastrophizing or, not thinking clearly you got triggered and
Karen: it's just
Karen A: focusing on one aspect, very negative when you pull back and you're like, okay, what else is true?
then you're gonna be able to bring that logic in and calm the subconscious mind. Well, and if the, I think I'm gonna run, but ,
Karen: that's choice you
Karen A: so helpful. I was doing that with you and
Karen: you can
Karen A: feel that. And I think that the trick
Karen: is to stop yourself and recognize it. Like you say, to recognize that you're in that experience versus trying right away to fix it, or, brush it aside.
Karen A: that's super helpful. Exactly. I like to walk clients through a visual where
Karen: they close their eyes and they're walking through a forest and there's sounds, and there's smells and there's,
Karen A: sensations in a breeze
Karen: and the sun. And there's just all of these things around you. And then all of a sudden there's a bear.
Yeah. And then
Karen A: everything's gone and you're just focused on the bear and you're in danger and just everything that's happening to your body and how you feel and blah, blah, blah, blah. And then all of a sudden it's , oh, but you just
Karen: imagine that the bear's not
Karen A: real. It was just thought. [00:37:00] Like in that moment, all of those other things were still peaceful.
Life was still great. You were still safe, but because you had imagined a bear, your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between reality or imagination. so it's the same thing with your thoughts. When you have that thought and you create the emotion and it sends your nervous system into
Karen: the stress response,
Karen A: it thinks there's a bear.
Karen: that's so huge.
Karen A: So if you just understand that aspect of being human and you know how to regulate your nervous system, how to down,
Karen: you'll bring yourself back into reality where you have all the
Karen A: answers and then turning inward to seek them versus externally of what's gonna make other people happy or what's gonna make you good enough.
Robyn: I keep picturing accountant. Karen,
Karen A: thinking what would accountant
Robyn: Karen say of this? Karen, which I know are all the same person, but different
Karen A: phase of life. Yeah. Oh my goodness. She would be like, okay. but the good thing about accountant Karen, and this Karen is I'm a bridge. So what you're gonna find when there's so [00:38:00] many different ways of approaching spirituality,
Karen: there's so many
Karen A: different people and personalities and modalities and everything, And it really comes down to a match. So with me, I'm really good with logical practical people. I call myself
Karen: a logical
Karen A: practical spiritual person because it was too much for me affirmations and mantras. When you have a really strong inner judge and you are suffering and you look in that mirror and you say, I love you.
The first word that comes up is BS. so right. for a lot of people. And you can, you keep your thoughts to create how you feel. There's a lot of power in it, but it doesn't work for everybody. And so that's where I truly believe being an accountant was a gift. Cuz a lot of what I do is very logical and strategical.
The subconscious mind when you're anxious or angry when your nervous system is triggered, you're not thinking clearly how you flush that out and regulate again, have the wise mind is through bringing in logic. So that's actually what people need in that moment is learning how to
Karen: calm their nervous system and bring
Karen A: in logic.
So with the accounting, Karen, she [00:39:00] was the one who was suffering and was always how come never anyone told me this, how come they don't teach us this? Why isn't this in school? I know but how but how but how, I always heard and seen these things, read it BA how BA how so I needed to logically understand it and practically apply it to my life.
So I think the accounting, Karen, would've been like, okay, what is this? But the fact that it was so logical, practical and action orientated with immediate results, every action you take gives your results. It wouldn't have taken long to be totally sold
Robyn: on this. I think that's a great point.
Cause it's, what you're talking about in your process and what we're talking about today. It's, we're not just thinking this and praying for it
Karen A: work. I mean, that's great too.
Robyn: we all do an aspect of that. I think in our own lives, however, we're talking about actual practical tools that you can see and apply and you see the results.
Karen: Yeah. we're on this earth for X number of years who knows what that number is for each of us. And it comes down to, what
Karen A: is the purpose? why are we here? why am I [00:40:00] here? Why are you here? Why is the next person here? And that answer is customized to you and only, you know it, but if you are in an environment where you're constantly triggered, you're in the stress response, you have no, self-esteem, you're listening to your inner judge.
You have no idea how to self regulate. that's why I said in the beginning, self mastery would be another name for what I do, because it's realizing that you're not your mind and you're not your body. It's the
Karen: identification with those two that create the suffering.
Karen A: When you look at your body and you're not happy, all of a sudden there's all these insults come up.
Well, your body's your body. It's most of the features you were born with, you can't change. And the health of it, the aesthetics of it is gonna, well, what are you doing? What are you eating? How are you moving? Are you sleeping? Are you hydrating? How are you respecting your body? So you have full control over that.
Why insult it take care of it? Your mind people react to every thought they have, even the people who know they're not their thoughts, they're still doing it. That's why they work with me. So it's one thing to know you're not your mind and your body, but you need to be congruent and [00:41:00] live it.
Karen: So who are you?
Energy spirit, soul, the observer essence. There's
Karen A: so many
Karen: ways of explaining it,
Karen A: but the key to life is to find that, and that's how I help people. So on a logical practical level of all these physical things going on and people come, they don't understand, but it's through this suffering that they're gonna awaken.
And they're gonna really understand who they are. So when you stand grounded in the truth of who you are, what you need, want and deserve
Karen: the vast majority of your problems disappear.
Karen A: and all your answers become
Karen: clear to
Karen A: you. And now you can actually, with a calm, nervous system connect with you, you can learn to turn inward versus people pleasing and seek answers, seek what you are passionate about when you follow
Karen A: passion, you're gonna find your life purpose for me.
Karen: ask for this. I didn't ask for a career change as a single mom, that was just divorced, but it was my life purpose. And it was the
Karen A: suffering that created the rock bottom. That turned
Karen: [00:42:00] me to the help
Karen A: that created the awakening. And so that's how I help people is you're suffering for a reason and it's until you can work your way through that and be in that place of common peace that you can actually go inward and truly
Karen A: your passions, feel your passions.
And live your full potential. So many of my clients feel stuck, they're suffering and they feel like they're not living their life's full potential, but none of 'em know who they are. None of 'em know what they need or want. They're focusing on their weaknesses, trying to fix them. When I ask them their strengths or pros, they don't even know what they are.
So what you focus on you feel they never even think about it. They don't even know it when I ask 'em what they need and want. They have no clue. So how do you align your life? If you don't know what you value, if you don't know what you need, what you want, who you are, you can't I mean, you
Robyn: really become the unlocking for that.
I, I think what you've created is you are the unlocking so that they can actually get to what's there. What's in there. it is a lot of people can't get there without that help. And you are [00:43:00] providing.
Karen A: That help and that process.
And they're taught.
Karen: especially the younger ones, this young generation now have been taught since they've been born to look external or look at their body, their physical to on social media. that's the world that they're living in.
Karen A: who teaches them to go inside, to look with the teens, things happen in friendships. And that creates a lot of meaning. I'm not good enough. And it creates isolation and loneliness. Then there is, if you're not that perfect weight now for some children, they're not even overweight, but they're comparing to the social media, which is, or the, the celebrities and stuff, which isn't realistic, or maybe they are a few pounds over and a kid makes a comment and now they have huge body image issues.
So body image and friendship stuff is the vast majority of teen and then grades. but here's the thing. Teens will not tell their parents. I did not tell my parents, teens are not aware of what's going on. Parents. See the kids are moody. They try to do things that make 'em happy.
They're just distracting them. They're not getting to the root to get to the root is as a parent. [00:44:00] I don't know. I can't say it's impossible, but I can't see how that would work
Robyn: And I mean, I just got the chills with everything you said, cuz That speaks truth to me.
And, what I know of both myself and parenting and for anyone listening, I trust Karen so much that she's working with my own daughter and my daughter would be okay with me saying that. there is real power in this process and
Robyn: knowledge, I'm so grateful that you.
Have trusted your own path and you have made this, your life's work because it's changed so many lives. And I know personally it's changed mine,
Karen A: Thank you. Well, the thank you very much for those words. The really cool thing is, is when clients say, well, how do I know this is gonna work?
And you don't know until you try it. Exactly. But it's worked a hundred percent of the time because it's just working with mind and matter. It's just working with facts. It's just working with reality it's getting rid of the layers of, what's not true. It's getting knowledge about yourself patterns that you are doing, but once you stop doing all, your [00:45:00] suffering goes away. it really is that self mastery. You are the observer of your mind and your body taking back that control, finding that place where you keep your nervous system calm and you learn how to connect with it.
And then living your authentic life, giving yourself permission to be you and aligning your friends and your partner and your career and everything around you to you because you're good enough. Oh,
Karen: you must feel so rewarded when you see that click in people that you're working with. I
Karen A: can just imagine, it's like an aha
Karen: when they
Karen A: finally get it Yeah. There's a lot of ahas, but so what I get is clients will message me and just express gratitude all the time and it's not me, It's my work to help guide them. They're the ones doing the work. I'm not gonna take the credit for it. But they're just so grateful that they suffered and found the help that gave them the awareness.
it's just so life changing on all levels that nobody that has come to work with me has expected to receive what they got in exchange. they think they're gonna come and solve a problem. what they really do [00:46:00] is gain the skills to figure out their whole life. Wow. My one client last week is I'm, I'm waiting for the anxiety to come back.
Like it's just gone. How come it's gone? How come it's just all of a sudden gone, is it gonna come back? And actually a lot of clients ask to say this to me, but once you grow, you can't UN grow. Once you learn, you can't unlearn. once you know something, you can't unknow.
And that's why the power is so powerful. And the self knowledge is so powerful for you. ?
Robyn: The other differentiator between talk therapy and what you do is that you actually aren't planning on working with someone for an infinite amount of time.
Karen: actually, yeah. You can speak to that.
Karen A: For sure sometimes it's as short as four weeks, eight weeks can generally be a sweet spot, depending how much is going on could be, could be 12 weeks. Teens are on the much lower end. But again, it just depends on the circumstance. I can never say, but no, once you raise your conscious awareness connect with who you are, when you truly understand and remember who you are and what you need one and deserve, and learn how to turn inward.
You don't [00:47:00] need me. I don't want people to need me. I don't want this ongoing dependency, because again, going back to that, why didn't anyone teach us this? I just wanna be that person that teaches you this. So that you can go on and guess. I want you to teach your kids this. I want you to teach your friends this.
It's not rocket science. Once you learn it, it's a skill. You can teach it to anyone else. That is how the world is gonna change It is a pandemic, this anxiety, like everything that's been going on, it'll be nonstop. There's always gonna be things
Karen: that go on in life.
Karen A: But if people have the knowledge and skills to deal with it, then it's just part of life.
and they can take their power back,
Robyn: You are
Karen A: just
Robyn: a powerhouse. you just are.
Karen A: Thank you.
Karen: I love you said you're a tour guide for the mind. And I think that that is just a beautiful way to
Karen A: Because people need that
When I was on my
Karen: meditative walk, I go every morning on a
Karen A: meditative walk and an analogy hit me. we, as humans are vehicles. we're not the vehicle, but the analogy is with the vehicle. There's the vehicle that is the body. And [00:48:00] the engine is the. and the emotions is the exhaust. So we're given this body. Some of us are Lamborghini. Some of us are Corvette. Some of us are con civics we all have different. Some of us are new. Some
Karen: of us are old. We have
Karen A: these bodies for this lifetime and they need to be maintained.
They need to be taken care of properly. And then there's the engine. So with the engine, you can turn it on and off and it drives everything you do. It takes the vehicle around and decides where it's gonna go. And the exhaust is your emotion. So when the engine's on, when you're thinking, emotions are being created, there's a
Karen: chemical reaction.
That's felt as emotion and you, and when it shut off,
Karen A: you can shut those emotions off. And so most people are driving around with their pedal to the metal. Trying to stay alive. So they're either racing. They're so busy racing to the next thing, making more money, being something else, race, race, racing, or they're driving so fast.
They're just trying to hold on and save themselves and protect themselves. And the key really is, is to understand how all this works so that you can use that vehicle to your [00:49:00] advantage, to take you where you wanna go and making sure that you are in control of those emotions.
Karen: that you don't just shut the vehicle
Karen A: off completely.
Yeah. So when life's out of control, Basically realize that you're the one in the driver's seat. And so let it off that pedal, slow down your brain, slow down your thoughts and choose them consciously.
Choose what you wanna think so that you can control what you're feeling and just take care of your body. It's the one you've been given.
Robyn: So true. So great. Thank you so well said, I feel like this is going to resonate with so many people.
Karen A: If anyone listening is interested in understanding how working with me would help them or what it would be like, I just want you to know that I offer a free introductory call and it's just an information sharing session.
I'd love to hear from you in your own words, what your challenges are, what you're going through. And then I can explain better customize to you how I would help you. And what working with me would be like, I work 100% on what feels right to me policy. So there's never any pressure if in your [00:50:00] heart and gut, after speaking with me, it feels right then let's do it.
And if it doesn't, then at least you.
Robyn: To find out more about working with
Karen A: Karen
Robyn: and her work, visit, find peace now.com and that's find peace peacenow.com.
Karen A: Thank you for the opportunity and the conversation.
Robyn: Thank you.
Karen A: Bye Bye.