What Exactly is “Your Heart”… and Why it Matters with Blair Reynolds | Ep. #22

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How to life good

Intro: Men. We are not simple chest-thumping, rock-smashing, fire-starting barbarians. We have depth. We intensely feel. We are scared, yet brave. We love to have fun. We’re imperfect, and make mistakes. We’re compassionate, and loving. We are multifaceted. Let’s explore the reality of masculinity together.

Josh 00:29 To say that I am excited about todays, episode would be an understatement. And that’s because hopefully for you guys, you have found some people in your life that really champion you and believe in you in the moments that you don’t believe in yourself. And today we have our very first guest. And that guest is one of those people in my life. This podcast would definitely not exist were it not for my friend, Blair Reynolds. And the depth, the wisdom, the insight, the experience, the anointing that he brings to the table is really unlike anyone else that I’ve met. And I’m not just saying that because he’s one of my closest friends. I’m saying that because of the impact that he has made on my life. So today we are going to be diving into getting connected to your heart. What the heck does that even mean and how to really, as men live from that place and not just make it a concept that sounds really good on Instagram, but an integral part of our lives. So if you haven’t already, go ahead and click subscribe or leave a review, those mean the world to me, and they really do help get the message out for healthy masculinity, which is what this is all about. All right. Without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into the conversation with Blair Reynolds.

Josh 01:49 So today. Today is a special day actually. Now that I think about it. Every day you could clichely say- clichely say it’s special? But today is actually a really special day for me. And that’s because today is the first guest that I’m having on my podcast. I’ve been doing twice a week for the last three or four months now. And I did it on purpose for a variety of reasons, which we don’t need to get it into today. But first guest is a big deal to me. And I figured I would- there’s no better person to be the first guest than probably the one person that has contributed the most to my own process in helping me get to where I am today.

Blair Where is Laura?

Josh And that’s kind of how the day’s going to go today,

Blair 03:01 My guest happens to be incredibly irreverent. He has no tact, but he is a good person. He has a good heart. Some might say

Josh 03:10 We’re guaranteed to get the honest opinion of things. And so that’s good, but yeah. So today Blair Reynolds is the man of the hour. I don’t think it’ll be an hour, but the man of the hour. And Blair, for those of you that don’t know him has a life consulting practice like I do. He has- Well why don’t you go ahead and just start the conversation. We’ll wrap it up too, but what exactly do you have going on in your life and what do you do for a living?

Blair 03:41 I work. I work a lot and I like working a lot, working a lot is kind of fun. I wouldn’t call myself a workaholic because I take naps and I go for walks and whatnot in the middle of the day. So I feel like that gives me an excuse, right? But I don’t like Netflix and Hulu so much. I watch some, but I’m like, “eh, I prefer to work.” So I do all the menial stuff, even though I do some of the top level stuff too. What do I do? Okay. What do I do? I’m a life consultant first and foremost. Like that’s my bread and butter. That’s where I get my insights, revelations experience, et cetera, with emotional healing. I have a podcast, called “How to life good.” And intentionally poor grammar. I have a course by the same name, “How to life good.” And basically I like writing stuff. I like curriculums. They’re kind of my favorite thing to produce.

Josh 04:34 There’s one other thing you have to. Dog? Uh, not that I know of. And I just stayed at your house

Blair 04:41 I couldn’t tell if you were trying to read my desires.

Josh 04:44 So you have a high level advanced masterclass. That kind of goes more- it’s more exclusive smaller group.

Blair 04:52 Yeah, yeah, yeah. That too. I forgot about that. We call it a mastermind and basically it’s eight to 10 people taken through 12 weeks of top level, the whole arc of life consulting training. Because life consulting is sort of the wild West, you know, this. So life coaching is kind of defined, therapy is defined. Life consulting is this broad shotgun, “what the hell are we doing?” Kind of thing. We’re all Mavericks right? And so this is kind of trying to train people up, and define it, and to help create protective safeguards, but also explain the paradigms behind it. Paradigms, principles, modalities. That kind of stuff

Josh 05:25 With really practical application as well.

Blair 05:28 That’s the idea. That’s the hope. Yeah. You’re good at the practical.

Josh 05:32 Yeah, I mean the way that I’ve described it to- life consulting to people that ask, “what the hell is it is?” I normally say “If life coaching and deep, deep inner healing had a baby.”

Blair Through sex.

Josh I didn’t witness that part of it, but all I know is the baby showed up.

Blair 05:50 Oh, okay. Got it. Got it. That’s like what you tell the three year old version of the sex story. Is “A mommy and daddy love each other and baby. Baby showed up. And then it happens. Here you are.” Yeah. I like that. So deeply you said deep emotional healing mixed with life coaching.

Josh 06:04 Cause like, life coaching is often more asking good questions, putting together goals, game plan, practical side of things. And then counseling has a broad spectrum, but works more kind of in inner healing working in your past subconscious, all that kind of stuff. And really, at least in my approach, it’s the broad spread of both of them.

Blair 06:22 That’s good. I like that. I’ve got, I’ve got a nuanced definition of life consulting. This is only a sub category. But I use the idea of, we call it consulting because it’s like business consulting. You bring into a business because you need help seeing what you’re not seeing. Right. And so the idea with life consulting is the same. “Hey, I have blind spots in my life. I don’t know what to do.” Because sometimes in life coaching, they say “Only ask questions. Never be directive.” Dude. No, no, I, ain’t going to ask you questions for eight weeks when I dang well know, there’s a very obvious answer that’s staring you in the face. You know. That stuff kills me. Don’t fence me in basically.

Josh 07:01 Well, I won’t fence you in, in this conversation. When I used to live in Redding, California, which is where your practice is out of. I used to have an office here and did life consulting for a handful of years and we gave each other nicknames. And mine was the sledgehammer. For not as violent of a reason that-

Blair 07:24 Yes it was. Emotionally violent.

Josh 07:27 But helpful too. Cause it was destructive.

Josh 07:30 Everything is, is a compliment in disguise. So I will call Josh a freak. I’ll say his gifting is sick. He’s just stupid good at this. Like all those kinds of things. Total compliment. Even the sledgehammer. I’m like, “Yeah, it sounds really mean, but I mean it as a very violent compliment.”

Josh Of cutting to the core of truth basically.

Blair Well, and unmasking people. Cutting through like 17 layers of walls that they thought were really thick. And then, you hit the tender, gooey middle. Which they never thought anybody would touch. You know? And that’s very confusing, and frustrating, and disorienting, I think is what it is initially. Because you love it. And you’re like, “But what just happened? I’m angry.”

Josh 08:13 So that was my nickname. Yours was the heart surgeon or is. I guess you’re still the heart surgeon. I still see you as the heart surgeon. And that’s because Blair has such a unique ability to understand someone’s heart, connect them to their heart, actually activate their ability to essentially live life from their heart in a healthy way. Not in somebody who is overly introspective ,and everything’s emotional, and you’re just- all you’re doing is self-diagnosing. Not in that way, but actually in ways that produce relationships or even business strategy, all that kind of stuff. It’s all through the lens of, or largely through the lens of the heart. And so that’s why we call you the heart surgeon. And that’s really what I want to take some time talking about today. Is the starting point of that then is what exactly is the heart? When we say “Live from your heart.” Or “Are you connected to your heart?” All of that. What exactly are we talking about?

Blair 09:23 I will answer that, but I want to put one caveat in front. Which is, the heart concept, ideology, et cetera, has become so ubiquitous with culture right now, right. Like everybody’s saying, “Listen, your heart, follow your heart, talk to your heart, whatever.” And I would say that a huge percentage of that is overkill. It’s kind of like when it’s Valentine’s day and it’s like, “I love you” loses the punch of it. And especially when it comes to egotism. Because a lot of people are saying, “Oh, just follow your heart.” And then they become selfish a-holes. I do not think that’s following your heart. I think that’s you being selfish and trying to get your own way. Or finally validate what you’ve wanted to do anyway. Right? So I just want to be careful to put that out there of like, we’re going to try to dive into the legitimate side of connecting with your heart and what that means and how it looks and et cetera. So what was the question? “What is your heart?”

Josh 10:13 I would also say, especially for us guys. The stereotype is that guys aren’t emotional or that they don’t- they compartmentalize. So they don’t feel things or things like that. And so that’s really- when I’m saying your gift set is knocking down that compartmentalization and helping men understand that there is a healthy side to an emotional process. And so with that being said, the question is “What is the heart? When you’re connecting to it, or when you have a client and you’re walking them through exercises, what exactly are you connecting them to in the sense of their heart?”

Blair 10:55 So the heart to me is the centerpiece of your subconscious. It is almost like the throne of your emotions. And ironically, it’s a place where our subconscious thinks, our subconscious believes, our subconscious enacts itself and expresses itself to the world and engages with the world. So it’s the root of our intimacy. It is the place of our deep contemplation. The subconscious is those things. Right? So if we’re going to divide it a little bit, I would say spirit, heart, mind, and mind being where you process, you think, you go on the cerebral understanding, the intellectualism of your life. You have the heart, which is your seat of your emotions. But it’s beyond that. A lot of people just think “It’s my love, and it’s my joy, and my peace.” Which it is.

Blair 11:39 But it’s also that place that is your resonance, your inner world. And then I think your spirit is that place that’s in communion with God. And it has this outside of the normal bounds of time, kind of a process to it. So it’s not necessarily the part that you’re in touch with, but it’s the part that is in touch with the divine, I guess. So a lot of times with people’s hearts, the first thing that we start getting into- and they always give me this look of, when I say, “Hey, I would like to talk to your heart.” I can I say it just like that, like another person in the room. “Hey, is it okay if I go to your heart?” And they always give me this cockeyed dog-that’s-confused expression.

Blair 12:20 And because a lot of them. In particular, a lot of them that are Christians, they’ve learned that their heart is evil, that their heart is bad, that their heart is a stigma. When I ask them, “What Bible verses do you know about your heart?” They always come up with “The heart is deceitfully evil who can trust it.” Right? It’s like, that’s the number one scripture we know on your heart, which is crazy. Cause there’s like 1,000 to 1,500 scriptures directly referring to your heart. And so the idea of “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Or “Guard your heart above all else, because from it flow the wellsprings of life.” Literally the wellsprings of life, right? So the vast, vast, vast majority of your heart in the Bible is actually a beautiful, powerful ally of you.

Blair 13:04 And the reason that I think it’s totally valid to communicate with your heart and actually ask your heart questions and whatnot is because in the Bible, your heart talks, it thinks, it believes, it contemplates, it desires. It has all of these very human characteristics. Almost like we can be in a relationship with ourselves. And that relationship is with our hearts, right? So our hearts, since it’s that very tender place, that intimate place, it’s the place that gets hurt that we want to shut down from. It’s the place that when we have trauma, wounds, pain,are dismissed, rejected, et cetera. It’s the place that we kind of segment out a little bit. And so when we push it away, when we subdue it, when we temper our hearts, we’re actually trying to push down those painful, very sharp feelings that we don’t want to experience anymore.

Blair 13:50 Whether it’s loneliness, sadness, rejection, feelings of disconnection, feelings of passions that have not been fulfilled, purposes that have not been found, whatever it might be. And I think it happens really young. I think most people start to shut down from their hearts when they’re really young. If you see a child and you hear a child laugh, you hear this purity in their laugh, right? Like there’s just this- their whole body is laughing. When they cry their whole body cries. And then slowly as we become adults, we actually become separate from that very innocent, connected place. When they’re happy, they’re happy. When they’re sad, they’re sad.

Josh Are you saying that I am very disconnected because I don’t ugly cry? Is that what you’re saying?

Blair You cry plenty. You might not ugly cry, but you’re definitely a connected man. You provoke me to jealousy with your crying. I can’t tell if I want to go that far?

Blair 14:43 There’s a part of me. That’s like, “I don’t know if I could handle crying that much. But I’d like somewhere in the middle.” Cause I don’t cry that much. And when I do, I cry so ugly that my face is swollen for two days and I’m not even joking. It is hilarious. But when I cry, it’s like every blood vessel pops. Right. But anyway. It’s really sad. It’s really sad that we shut down from who we are. Because I think the biggest thing that’s most important to help people stay connected to their heart is actually a safe, secure place with their family. When they feel loved, seen, accepted, and believed in for who they are, even if they’re emotional, you get comfortable with “Oh, it’s okay for me to be present in who I really am.” Present in who you really are, meaning being connected to your heart.

Blair 15:30 And so when you disconnect from- I’m sure you’ve talked about this on your podcast. But when you disconnect from painful emotions, disappointment, grief, sadness, hate. Er not hate. Anger, all those sorts of things, you automatically shut down the positive. Joy, peace, love, passion, all those really fulfilling fun ones. But the ironic part is we feel like our emotions are tormenting when we feel negative emotions. Like depression, anxiety, stress, et cetera. The reason it feels tormenting, or anger, rage, et cetera, is actually because we’re disconnected from our heart. So it’s almost like turning on a hose when the hoses is off, right? It hurts us. But when you’re connected to your heart, emotions feel beautiful, cleansing and refreshing. So if you think about a movie that you go into and you just scream-cry, cause it’s so poignant. You don’t think “What a garbage movie! That movie sucked ass!” And the same for anger.

Blair 16:31 If we, if we shut down anger because a lot of people do because they either see it as unsafe or they see it as they’ll hurt somebody. If you shut down anger, you shut down your ability to protect your identity, yourself, your self-value, and others. You literally get rid of your indicator that’s showing that you, or somebody else is being violated. Which is what allows you to build identity. Yeah. So there’s all these like secondary problems when we shut down and disconnect from our hearts. I’ve talked a lot, so I’m just going to shush and let you,

Josh 16:58 I’m just taking it all- I feel need to close my eyes and reconnect to my heart as much as you’re talking. And what’s interesting is- I mean, there’s several things that are interesting. But my number one podcast I’ve ever done was my fourth one. And the title was “Why you should love anger.” Because people have that- people experience rage, and treat it as if it’s anger. And because rage is harmful, and hurtful, they just say, “I have to put both of those in the same category and basically lock them up and never touch it”

Blair 17:36 Seriously. And isn’t that sad? Because rage is a self-protective controlling emotion. It’s essentially, “I’m going to dominate this atmosphere so I don’t feel insecure and scared.” But anger is just an awareness. It’s an awareness of violation. And when you’re objective about it, it actually shows you what’s the healthy response. So a simple example is a lot of people think that anger is all secondary or defense mechanism. It’s not. If it was then Jesus would have been in a secondary emotion when he was getting upset, right. Anger is a healthy indicator of what is wrong or what’s been violated. And what’s beautiful about anger is, people think it has to be directed at someone or something else. It doesn’t. Anger is an emotion, which means it needs to be felt. It doesn’t have to be thrown. And when you realize that, you’re like, “Oh, I can just sit in anger.” And that’s the healthy way to actually purge it out because emotions need to be felt to be released.

Josh 18:29 And I think that that’s a great point because what I’ve given homework for my clients at times that have been terrified of anger, and we’re just kind of in this place of going, “let’s explore it. Let’s accept it. Allow your heart to feel it.” One of the challenges can be how to feel it, but not let it be pointed at- normally the people that you love the most that are the closest, are the ones that get it. And so I’ve given homework of, you know, “This week, you need to go on a walk and find a big stick and beat the crap out of a tree.” And they kind of look at me funny, like, “Oh yeah. Is that like punch the pillow? Ha ha ha.” But just like you said, once you’ve let yourself feel it, It’s almost this *sigh of relief*. You’re on the other side of it, cause you’ve released that valve that’s building up pressure.

Blair 19:17 I love the idea of the valve. I think that’s such a good point. The valve is what creates the unhealthy expressions of emotions. If you don’t feel an emotion directly, you’re going to feel it secondarily. And it comes out sideways. So I had a guy in my office and he was this, I don’t know how to say it besides hillbilly. And just self-proclaimed, he just walks in. He’s like, “I’m a dude’s, dude. I don’t feel any emotions. I love beer and I’m not changing.” Not joking. That is how he started the thing. And I’m like, “Okay, well, whatever. We’ll just see what happens.” So I start connecting- and I know his family and I know his history a little bit, so I know that he deals with rage. And so when I started talking to him, and I started like slowly leading him into connecting to his heart, he’s looking at me sideways, like, “Oh crap.”

Blair 20:06 Finally, I get him connected to his heart and his genuine emotions and he’s bawling right. Just bawling. But what’s really funny is he holds up his hands and he uses finger pistols, and starts pointing at me like he’s shooting me. Right? And he just keeps saying, *Southern accent* “I see what you’re doing here. I know what’s going on. I see where you’re going with this.” You know, and just bawling while he’s doing it. But my point being, think of the valve, right? That you just mentioned. I think of it like a tea kettle. And when we’re connected to our hearts, we can release the lid off the tea kettle, so it never gets overwhelming and screams. But when it doesn’t, of course your emotions are going to come out and scream at times. That’s what anxiety, depression, stress, overwhelm, all those things are. When I see somebody that’s dealing with depression immediately, I just think “stuffed emotions.” That’s what depression is. And people think that you feeling your emotions is actually what’s gets you healthy, which is ridiculous. Because if that was the case, then depressed people who cry everyday, all day long would be the healthiest people on the planet.

Blair 21:07 So it’s not feeling your emotions, it’s being connected to them. And that’s what connecting to your heart is. It’s a sober and beautiful connection to your heart.

Josh 21:20 Obviously there’s value in it. We were talking about how the impact of it when you try to suppress it, put the valve on all of that. For somebody who’s listening, that doesn’t matter where they are on the spectrum. Either, you know, they’re like me when I just got out of the Marines going, “I’m never going to meet with anybody. And emotional intelligence is people that aren’t willing to suck up their bootstraps and move on in life.” Or they’ve just started to explore all of this. Or they’ve been meeting with somebody, but within that spectrum, they feel disconnected from this heart that we’re talking about. What are some ways, other than meeting with somebody like you or I, what are some ways that they can be intentional with beginning to connect to their heart?

Blair 22:13 That’s a really good question. I think the first thing that they can or should do is to acknowledge their heart. And what I mean by acknowledge is to respect it and honor that it’s present, right. That it’s a part of their life. And then secondarily to start being grateful. Like I’m so grateful that God designed my heart for me. He’s literally the architect of this design and this relationship I have with my emotions and my internal world. And then being able to think of your heart, having your intention going to your heart and saying, “Heart, I actually really love you. I love what you’ve done for me. I love the deep, rich emotions that you’ve had. I love how you’ve helped me connect with my passions, or help tap me on the shoulder when I’m doing something wrong, and I need to go in a different direction.

Blair 23:07 I love that tou’ve helped me to subconsciously process things that maybe I didn’t even know I was processing.” But to start honoring and saying, “Actually, you’re really good. You’re really beautiful. You’re really powerful.” And then maybe even acknowledging, “I’m really sorry if I shut you down. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know I was doing it.” Most people don’t, but just through life circumstances, through pain, through disappointment, being able to say, “I’m sorry. I did. I learned from my family, I learned from my experiences, I learned from my pain, or my trauma, or whatever it might be that I couldn’t be fully in connection with you and saying, if I pushed you down, if I pushed you away, if I thought that you were dangerous, if I blamed you for my pain, instead of recognizing you were helping me to process my pain, I’m sorry.

Blair 24:02 And I want to acknowledge that and I want to restore that breach.” And I think what most people will find is their hearts are eager to connect with them. Very rarely have I found a heart that wasn’t like, “Thank goodness, this is what I’ve always wanted! I was always designed for this!” If you do hear something negative, just as a quick caveat, sometimes- You know, I don’t want to give a percentage, but sometimes they’ll hear something negative when they’re starting to connect with their heart. Like, “I hate this person. She’s a total B.” Or, “They’re toxic, and I don’t like them.” I almost always find that that is the voice of self protection. And they’re so terrified of connecting to their genuine emotions that they set up, these protective barriers that basically create antagonism. So you won’t want to connect and you won’t have to. So I just say, you know what? It doesn’t sound like that’s really your heart. I think that your heart really likes you and is really for you. Maybe we should see if we can go a little deeper and hear the tender voice that your heart is actually speaking. And it doesn’t mean that your heart is not sad or disappointed or even angry about what’s happened. Yeah. But it’s not going to be shaming.

Josh 25:09 That’s a big one, right. When there’s shame attached to it, then you know that it’s not right.

Blair 25:13 Yeah. It’s like, God, if God says, Hey, you’re a worm and I made a mistake, you know, designing you. That’s not God sure. Totally. At least it’s not the God I believe.

Josh 25:23 Yeah. And I would say in one other thing, for people that maybe let’s say that they’ve been pursuing emotional intelligence health, even say they’re familiar with connecting to their heart in my own life. What I’ve realized is regarding the whole, I’m really sorry for X, Y, or Z is there are times where you are connected to your heart. You have a relationship, but you have shut down your heart in certain areas. And so just it, when you recognize it, it’s not like, because my personality is, you know, as an all or nothing. So I can go, well, either I’m fully connected or I need to like start all over and relationally. And, and so if I realize that I’ve shut down my heart in certain ways, in the sense of moving towards reconciliation or honoring that is just, Hey, I’m sorry that I’ve shut you down in this way or this way, that’s a great practice, but to not make it a blanket statement, unless you’re like the hillbilly that walks in is like, now there ain’t no such thing as a heart, right. Then sure. It’s starting in laying that foundation.

Blair 26:30 Absolutely. And I think there’s something important to remember, it’s you taking responsibility is not supposed to feel like shame. It’s not, Oh, I’m so stupid for shutting you down. It’s recognizing life hurt. I was in pain. I couldn’t be fully connected with you because it was overwhelming. And maybe it was even a healthy and adaptive thing for you to kind of create that separation for a season. Yeah. And so that’s okay, but it’s acknowledging, okay, now that I’m an adult, now that I’m in charge of my own life, I can actually decide. I can choose my friends. Yeah. I can choose. What’s healthy for me. So it’s actually time for me to listen to my heart. It’s time for me to start coming into agreement with what my heart is telling me. Cause a lot of times our hearts are the ones that direct us into passions, purpose, identity, clarity, uh, direction calling, et cetera.

Blair 27:17 And if we’re not in connection with that, we’re trying to do with our minds. And so we’re disconnected from the source of the ability to actually refine and define those things. Right? So many people think that that the intelligence is going to create a beautiful life. Like if I just think hard enough, perform hard enough or work hard enough on emotional health and I’ll have a wonderful life. Yeah. Good luck. I know a lot of people that have been working on emotional health for decades and they’re not healthy, same people you see in the health food store that looked like they’ve never had a healthy fat in their life. Here’s all streets. Skin is disgustingly wrinkly. And it’s like, you’ve gone too far friend. You know, like I respect the, the idea, but you’ve gone too far.

Josh 27:56 And I think that like, what comes to mind is somebody else. I knew that I was talking to her about just this whole topic. And she was like, yeah, Josh, you know, and she’s very smart, extremely intellectual successful. And um, and she was saying, you know, I feel like there’s something missing. And I really do want to like, how can I connect to my heart? I want to, and we were just, we’re driving with other people in the car. It wasn’t the right setting to actually kind of do a deep dive with things. But then in the same conversation, she says, Oh, I’m really excited for this person. And this person, they’re both launching books on your heart. And so I can’t wait to read them and she didn’t even realize it, but she was trying to intellectually connect to her heart seriously. And so, I mean, obviously there’s value in books, et cetera, but for her, and I think for a lot of others, just learning about a topic, doesn’t actually build the relationship. And there’s an important differentiation between the two keyword is relationship. Like

Blair 29:02 A lot of people approach their heart and they approach God from an informational standpoint, they want direction. They want information, they want revelation, they want solutions. They want to be fixed. Right. They want to feel better probably, or have a better life. And so they, they address those relationships from an informational standpoint instead of from a relational standpoint. And what if we came from a relational standpoint, let’s start with God where it’s just like, Oh, our highest value is just being with each other. Yeah. Not what we can do for each other. It would change the whole dynamic of your relationship with God or secondarily, same with your heart. What if your heart did take a while to warm back up? But you said that’s okay. Yeah. You’ve been even down for decades, take your time. I’m here. I actually am choosing to love you choosing to be present, choosing to care and I’m not going to do it perfect. Either. In fact, I’m going to mess up a lot, but we’re going to have grace for each other moving forward. Yeah. That’s a relationship. Yeah. That’s not, I did it right. Oh, screw that. I did it right. Totally.

Josh 30:04 So let’s say that people have connected to their heart. They may even, you know, pull over pause, click, do a quick exercise. They’re really feeling a shift. Doesn’t matter where they’re at in their journey, but once you’ve connected or once you’ve taken time to put your intentionality into that relationship with yourself, how can, how can men stay connected beyond just kind of that moment of, of connecting and actually live from their heart?

Blair 30:38 Good question. So couple answers to that. The first thing is I think that emotions often come up after you connect with your heart. Yes. Because essentially you’ve opened the pipe back up. And so I think that people need to be aware that emotions will come up, but emotions are good if you’re connected to your heart. So it’s kind of relearning how to, how to be in your emotions. And what I usually tell people is don’t run after your emotions, but don’t run from them either. And yeah, it’s really helpful. The only exception is let’s say that you connect your heart and you’ve been weeping uncontrollably for three days straight and yours is exhausted. It’s totally fine to tell your heart, heart. I love you. I promise I’ll make room for this in the future, but I just can’t handle anymore right now. Yeah. And usually I feel like our hearts are like, Oh, okay, cool.

Blair 31:19 You know, instead of a shoving them back down and violating them again, just being, just creating again, a relationship. So if I was going to talk to a male and say, how do you stay connected your heart? I would say, make it intentional for at least a little while. So on a daily or even multi times a day, just going to your heart and saying heart. Um, I love you. I appreciate you. I give you permission to be present and feel anything you want to feel. And that intention actually draws your heart to the surface so it can be present. Yeah. And after a while, you actually can feel when it’s not present, when your heart is not present, there’s like this anxiety connect disconnection feeling, and you get used to almost like a red flag going off of like, Oh, Whoa, I just disconnected from my heart. And typically it happens because of pain or fear. Right. We anticipate something that we’re afraid of, or we have pain in a certain area. So we go, Nope, shutting back down, go into your box. And so it’s learning to get used to, well, this is what it feels like to be fully connected to my heart and being present. Yeah. I, for me, I know that

Josh 32:26 I use this quick little diagram with clients because it’s just a different way of saying the same thing. But if you have scale of one to 10, right. For negative emotions and positive emotions, a lot of times back in our childhood, we experienced something that is really painful. It’s a seven, eight, nine, 10 on the pain down. And then you put a lid on that and you say, Nope, I’m not going that deep in my negative emotions anymore. Yeah. And then you put a lid on the positive ones and basically kind of what you’re saying, as far as letting your emotions be present is we’ll do an exercise and I’m like, okay, get ready. Because this week you could feel bipolar. I mean, you can feel crazy, but all it is is that we’ve literally just taken the lids off of like, if you’ve kept it at four negative, you’ve kept it at four positive thinking the governor’s off now we’ve taken those off and you’re going to feel like you’re bouncing at nine positive.

Josh 33:26 Like, yeah, I’ll never forget it. When I said, I love you to my son. And I felt this wave of love that I just didn’t feel before. Like I always loved my son, but I didn’t feel it. And it just made me want to break down and cry. And then I would be totally upset and angry and not even know why. And then I’d watch a sad commercial and cry again. You know, it’s just, I felt all over the place, but understanding that that’s part of the process and it’s actually healthy. Especially if you have a backlog where you’ve suppressed for years and giving your heart space and permission for that is so important to be able to actually just make it a lifestyle

Blair 34:06 Is really important. And I I’ve man, so many thoughts popped up when you just said that. Cause there’s so many thoughts that are tangents to this, but it connected. One is I think that you use said something that I don’t even remember, but anyway, I’ll say in my own work, um, it’s the idea of not asking why when we start to feel our emotions, a lot of times we understand where did they come from? Why am I feeling this? What do I do about it? How, how do I respond? Yeah. And sometimes you won’t get what it’s about at all. Like sometimes you’ll feel it. And you’re like, I have no idea where that came from. That’s okay. Other times you have to feel it.

Josh 34:40 And then you understand it’s still, under other times, you’ll understand it before you even start feeling it. And then it leads you into the field.

Blair 34:46 Yeah. But my point being is if you get into fix it mode or figure it out mode, you’ll shut down your emotions and you’ll abort them. And so just giving yourself permission to be like, it doesn’t matter why it doesn’t matter where this is coming from. It doesn’t even matter if it’s rational, emotions are not rational by definition their emotions, their feelings. Right. So, so why do you have to rationalize them? Yeah. And I think going back to what you were saying about in younger life is we go through hard times. And the way that we’re designed is when we go through really difficult or traumatic situations, it requires connection in order to release those emotions so that it doesn’t become Harvard trauma. Okay. So it literally is connection, which I think is a God designed to help us feel seen and safe inside of our emotions and then we’ll release them.

Blair 35:33 And if that happens, when we’re in early childhood, that’s fantastic because kids are ridiculously resilient when they have connection and safety. Yeah. The problem is we will internalize our external relationships as we grow up. So whatever external relationships are modeling for us or teaching us, that’s how we’ll internalize a relationship with ourselves. And so if it feels disconnected, it’ll feel disconnected. And the problem with that is it still requires connection in order for us to release harbored emotions. And so, so it’s either requires one of three things, connection with yourself, with your heart connection, with others or connection with God. And so if you don’t have one of those, that’s when it gets into the tormented emotions we were discussing. So if you’re feeling all these things, but you’re not connected to your heart, it’s a, it’s a closed circuit loop, not to be a Dick, but you’re going around on a carousel.

Blair 36:22 And that’s why people get so disillusioned and disappointed with feeling their emotions or sitting in it or going to therapy or blah, blah, blah, is they’re disconnected from themselves and wondering why they can’t release it. Well, the pipe’s not connected, you know? Like, I’m not sure like the pipes closed. Yeah. It’s not a mystery. Yeah. And what’s funny is, I mean, we’re talking like we were calculus three and this or something, I’m not, it’s, it’s a journey is what I’m trying to say. And it’s a, it’s a person it’s not, you’re a person, you’re not a project. But, um, but what’s really interesting about connecting to your heart is when you’re on the other side of it, it becomes so obvious you go, Oh my gosh, how disconnected I was, or you’ll meet somebody or see someone be like, Oh, it’s so sad. They can’t connect to anger.

Blair 37:10 You almost just see it places. And you’re like, and not in a judgemental way. You’re like, it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s everywhere. It’s a pandemic. Yeah, yeah. To borrow a term. It really is. And the people that are wholehearted and connect to their heart in healthy ways, I think they stick out like a sore thumb, which is why I think it’s so such a cliche right now. And everybody’s talking about their heart is everybody wants that feeling. They want to feel seen, known, loved and connected. And the only way you can truly do that is if you’re first internally connected with yourself. Yeah. Yeah.

Josh 37:43 One last question really quick. And that is what do you do that let’s say that you hear from your heart, you’re connected to it, but what are some of the best ways to navigate when your heart is terrified?

Blair 38:01 You know, that’s a really good question. Heart is terrified.

Josh 38:06 A lot of this we’re talking about if, especially if it’s in childhood and things like that, you may have been holding onto something that’s protecting you, even if it’s not healthy or helpful and letting go of that, your heart can be like scared out of its mind out of its heart, out of its whatever. But, um, you know, a lot of times, if something has kept you falsely safe, letting go of that is really scary. So there’s obviously the external fear, but I’m talking about the internal where it feels really scary to be with your bros and be vulnerable, or it feels really scary because, you know, in your past you showed up as yourself and showed emotion and that was shut down or whatever it may be. Um,

Blair 38:52 All these people with imperfect lives. Yeah, exactly. Man, it must have sucked to be one of those. Right.

Josh 38:59 But how can you essentially, without turning yourself into a project, encourage your heart to keep moving forward and taking those risks in being connected and being seen. Sure,

Blair 39:11 Great question. And I’ll lead up to it with this self protection serve both parties. So self protection protects the heart and it protects the person. And so when we’re developing something, I mean, a lot of people see visuals, so they’ll see their heart in a chest chained up, you know, 8,000 miles or eight miles in the ocean or whatever. Yeah. And so it kind of like safeguards their heart. And so in an ironic way, we’re trying to protect ourselves and our heart from the pain that we don’t want to feel or experience. Okay. So when we start to unpack those things and using a couple of stark examples, I’ve seen people have visuals of themselves or their heart inside of a jail cell inside of a cave inside of a dark hole inside of, um, whatever a coffin. Yeah. And so often it’s, you know, the jail cell is scary.

Blair 40:06 The jail cell is very intimidating. It’s very lonely. It’s very isolating. It’s very, um, dearth of nutrients and refreshment and relationship, but it’s also safe. Yeah. It also creates a, a wall of covering and installation from the world’s tribulations. And I think if I’m hearing your question, right? Yeah. Your heart gets skiddish scare. Doesn’t want to come out is terrified of the full broad wide world when it’s been used to a four by four foot box. Yeah. I think that I would do it, what I would do with any, with any person. And I would go to it. I’d be intentional about literally connecting with it. A lot of times I’ll visualize my heart and I will actually go and sit with my heart and, and, and I in a silly way, cause you know, who knows if the heart has a shoulder, I’ll kind of just have that impression of my putting my hand on my heart shoulder and saying, it’s actually perfectly fine that you feel scared.

Blair 41:04 I’m just going to sit with you. Yeah. We don’t have to leave if you never want to leave. That’s okay. My priority is not circumstances changing my priority is to be in a connection with you and to accept you and love you, right. Where you’re at now, if you want to leave, I would be happy to walk with you and we’ll do this together. And it’s okay if we’re both scared when we’re doing it, but we don’t have to. Yeah. We can just sit here, take as much time as you need. And ironically, like sometimes I’ve had clients that literally needed time. They did multiple weeks, maybe even six months, other times, it’s just, as soon as your heart feels connected and seeing like, it’s the priority, it goes, Oh, Hey. Yeah, I do want out, you know, like sure. In this box a long time, screw this.

Blair 41:53 Yeah. Yeah. It just needed to know that it’s okay to be afraid. Yeah. And if you try to force it, like, no we’re done, we’re coming into the sunlight. You’re going to be expressed like, hell no, all of us would shut down. Yeah. Treat it like a person. You probably know how to treat a person. Yeah. At least if you’re listening to this podcast, you probably have some good, good clues. Or if you have kids, that’s been a great one that I’ve used too is, you know, would you treat your kids in a certain way? And any loving parent normally would not speak to their kids in the way that they speak to themselves. Definitely. And so just using that as kind of a me a gauge on how you’re communicating with yourself or your heart. Yeah. Well, this has been very informative and really good.

Blair 42:40 You said in the beginning, what you have going on in your world and your life, but how can people get in touch with you? That’s a great question. Uh, you can go to a website, Blair reynolds.co K. So that’s that you can check out resources, how to live good.com. Okay. Um, those are probably the best two ways. Okay. And lastly, if you had one thing that you could share with men, just as a whole healthy, unhealthy, toxic, whatever, just masculinity in general, what would your biggest thing be for your heart, for men to capture or to realize, or to really embrace as their lifestyle or internal world? It’s a great question. I think what I would want to tell men is a couple of things. It’s only one thing, sorry, you can, I’m just connected. It’s connected. Um, it’s, it’s the idea that their emotions are actually their super power.

Blair 43:42 They think that as men, a lot of times they compartmentalize, they just get things done. But a lot of times people, men shut down. Yeah. It’s funny how they become either aggressive or passive. Yeah. Like they go to one of the extremes, right. They become this passive wissy or they become this Uber controlling male. Yeah. And I actually think that’s because we’re not in touch with our deep rich emotions. I think men are very, very emotional creatures. Yeah. And when we allow ourselves to recognize that we are and that it’s okay and it’s actually a really beautiful thing. We get re in touch with ourselves. And when we get in touch with ourselves, I think we’ll realize that our power, our strength is actually a gift to the world and not a liability for us or the world. And I think that’s probably the thing most missing in male culture today is that middle ground male that actually is in touch with who they are and their emotions and

Josh 44:32 Their identity. And they’re allowing their power to be a beautiful thing instead of either shutting down their power or using it to be destructive to points, which is really one and both. Very good. Thanks. Thanks Blair for taking the time. I know that anyone listening to this is going to be able to walk away more equipped and probably really challenged, but, um, have the ability and opportunity to be more connected than they were before they listened. So thank you so much. You are absolutely welcome and hi to your audience and your listeners. I’d give them a high five if they were in the room and a hug and they’d let me, you can’t say you can’t really do that with the pandemic going around right now, so we’ll do it. Alright. We’ll we’ll do a digital version. Digital hug. Alright. I’m sure you’ll be on again. So until next time. Thanks.

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