Grief Talk w/ Vonne Solis

Ep. 61 Uncreating Your Life & Letting Go of Stress (with Functional Medicine)

November 08, 2023 Vonne Solis/Jessica Haas Season 4 Episode 61
Grief Talk w/ Vonne Solis
Ep. 61 Uncreating Your Life & Letting Go of Stress (with Functional Medicine)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, my guest Jessica Haas delivers a master class in integrative health and how to let go of stress with functional medicine. Seeing firsthand the damage that stress does to our body, rather than ignore or push through chronic, emotional, mental or physical stress, learn how you can use a self-first approach and uncover what you need to imagine and create your best life!

While in her coaching, Jessica is passionate about helping confident, driven women create an individualized and balanced health plan, the information she shares in this episode will help anyone start uncreating their life and letting go of the stress that may be impacting your life in numerous unsuspecting ways! I learned a lot! You will too.

Welcome (0:00)
Functional medicine (2:45)
Stress & danger (5:11)
Our connection with Earth (9:49)
A neutral face is dangerous (13:47)
Happiness is not our natural state (15:47)
Goal setting - what do you want to happen? (24:19)
Uncreating our lives (29:28)
Compassion (32:01)
Global stress (37:13)
Protective mechanisms of mitochondria (44;15)
Emotional signals (52:26)
Jessica's resources (58:00 )
Closing (59:13)

Connect with Jessica
Emotions Checklist:
Coaching Application:

Connect with Vonne
Lessons in Surviving Suicide – A Letter to My Daughter
Divine Healing Transforming Pain into Personal Power – A Guide to Heal Pain From Child Loss, Suicide and Other Grief
The Power of Change


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Vonne Solis  0:00  
Welcome to another episode of Grief Talk. Everything you want to know about grief and more. I'm your host, Vonne Solis. As an author, mentor, and bereaved mom since 2005, through guest interviews and coaching, here's where you'll always get great content that is inspiring and practical to help you heal after loss.

Today's guest is Jessica Haas. Jessica works to help confident driven women move out of chronic stress and create an individualized and balanced health plan. As an integrative health coach working in functional medicine, Jessica teaches clients to use a self-first approach and uncover what they care most deeply about to imagine and create their best life.

So welcome to the show. Jessica. I have been so excited to have you on this podcast to talk about all we're going to talk about today.

Jessica Haas  0:57  
Thank you for having me. It's such a pleasure.

Vonne Solis  0:59  
So for the audience, further to the introduction, I just want to remind you that Jess is an integrative coach. She works in stress management, chronic disease. Largely, if not entirely, but Jess can explain that with women. We're going to be talking about how stress impacts us women. Why and how it has become probably quite a problem in you know, our society and culture for us. We're going to be delving into that. Jessica also works in functional medicine. We're going to learn all about what functional medicine is. It is a different approach than traditional medicine. Jessica is going to help us understand that. How we can use it, work with it in our life to manage or eliminate stress, and, and anything else that functional medicine can help us with. 

And the other thing I do want to just pop up here, Jessica and so I don't forget it, but your key takeaway is that stress happens when our body and mind become separate. And the other thing you say as a key takeaway, and I just love this, and I'm going to leave it in front of me so we can circle back to it. Or you can speak to this at any time throughout this episode is that we can create greatness in the present moment. And I absolutely love that because we all forget that. I don't care who we are. We all forget that. So without further ado, I'm going to ask if you could just jump right in and explain a little bit more about the work you do and even if you want to explain how you got into it. I always find that important.

Jessica Haas  2:45  
Yeah, absolutely. So functional medicine is where I started. And I've worked with Dr. Meyer for many years. And so I work at a functional medicine practice called Highlands Health and Wellness in Denver. And I help support her clientele. Functional medicine? It is root cause medicine. It is when you are looking at the whole person and beginning to understand that disease comes from different places. 

So you sometimes, you might have an illness that shows up because of stress. Sometimes it's because of what you're eating. There are different reasons for each person for individual illnesses. So IFM or the Functional Medicine website, it, says that functional medicine is patient-centered science-based. And it empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. 

So it requires a detailed understanding of each patient and their biochemical lifestyle factors. And then we come up with a personalized treatment for each one. So it's much more focused on who you are and what you're bringing altogether in the package. And each component can play different roles for different people. So by addressing that root cause rather than the symptoms, we are better able to identify the complexity of the disease is basically what the functional medicine basis is. And a lot of that's directly from that website from their mission statement right?

Vonne Solis  4:24  
Yeah. So in the approach to diagnosis and treatment, does the mind play quite a critical role?

Jessica Haas  4:34  
Oh, yes. Because the way that the body works the mind, if it perceives stress, gives signals to the body so that you can get out of that stressful situation. So if you are being attacked in the wild by a wild animal, and your body sees that there's a threat, you go into autopilot. Your body naturally knows how to take over. The problem is, now most of the time, the stresses that we are under are perceived. And they're not necessarily real, actual dangers.

Vonne Solis  5:11  
Oh, let's, let's talk about that just for a minute. Okay. So the stresses that we're under are largely perceived. Let's have a few examples. Because I would totally agree with you, although I'm not working in that field at all. And obviously, I just like, probably everybody else feels stress. And I would wager and I'm just going to throw that in. I would wager even the quiet people who don't emote very well feel just as stress as the rest of us who show it by reactionary, you know, behavior and so on, and bury it. Can we bury stress?

Jessica Haas  5:51  
Absolutely. And many people don't know the level of stress that they're under either. Because

Vonne Solis  5:56  

Jessica Haas  5:57  
if you are, if you're doing something like watching a television show, it feels very passive. 

Vonne Solis  6:03  

Jessica Haas  6:03  
But your body can still interpret some of those signals. You're watching an action show, and you still react with a lot of the same chemical processes that might be happening if you were witnessing a tragedy or something happening. And so maybe on a smaller level than if you're actually there in it, but your body and your mind don't necessarily know the difference between this imaginary television, computer, news world and something that's happening in your living room. And so, so we just have a lot of input all of the time. And that creates this underlying low level stress, that just sort of hums for a lot of us. And if you're not paying attention to it, it's very easy to miss.

When I was in college, I did 28 days in the back country. And I was away from all electronics, and everything for 28 days. No bathrooms, nothing. And when I came back, I walked into the mall. And it was fascinating. I was almost brought to my knees. Just walking into a mall with the neon lights and the advertisements and the noise you don't recognize how much input and stimulus is coming in all of the time. And so this is a really big problem that a lot of people have. That most of us in modern society have is we don't take time to be quiet. To have quiet time to be present with ourselves. We're always interacting with this noise. This background noise, right?

Vonne Solis  7:32  
Hm hmm. I would think that, I'm thinking while you're talking. So, I also believe. Correct me if or I'll ask if you agree with this. The more in tune we come with our our mind, our mental state, our emotional state, the more I think aware we can become of stress triggers. And I also think that we can become more sensitive to them. For example, I can't stand traffic. And we moved five years ago. I live on Vancouver Island. So listen, I say Vancouver Island people Ohhhh.. yeah. And by and large, the, you know, majority of the island is, you know, natural, ocean, mountains, forest, etc. 

And we live in a town that's now a city of maybe around 120,000 people it's grown a little bit, right? But anyway, I had to leave one area in downtown in a condo after two years. We moved to the north end of the city because of the quiet. And you know, so this is my little story. And we used to walk everyday when we were downtown. We expected some noise. We were downtown. Expected it. Moved to the north end of the city. More subdivision type thing in a condo, but more subdivision. I'm expecting extreme quiet. So and it is. But here's the thing. So for walking, instead of having the seawalk right? Now we have to walk in a neighborhood and sometimes we have to walk on a four lane street to cross and get to a neighborhood. So where I am specifically, it's quiet. But when I'm out walking, it has, you know, for five years, I'm like, I don't like walking up here. I don't like walking up here. And it finally dawned on me. It was the traffic. It's the cars. You know what? It's even the pavement of the sidewalks. You know? Sensory. Touch, sight, right? And I'm going to ask you to expand on this. If we're seeing hot sun on concrete versus hot sun on aves in the ocean we're sending different signals to our brain, right? And then having a very different experience, right?

Jessica Haas  9:49  
Absolutely. And there's a big connection that we have to the earth too. The magnetic fields, the sun. So another stressor that we often don't think about is our circadian rhythms are really interrupted, when we are not getting out in the sun in the morning. And then we're exposed to our devices late in the evening. Our TVs. So they emit this blue light and this shine gives us blue light first thing in the morning. And it tells your body to wake up. And it gives you all of these signals to become alive, right? And get energized, and you're ready to go. But if you continue to be exposed to those blue light, and now they're finding green light as well, but if you're exposed to those artificial light sources? 

Vonne Solis  10:34  

Jessica Haas  10:34  
Later on in the day, if you're constantly in front of your computer, and it continues to send that signal, and that is what disrupts sleep. Then we start to have disrupted sleep patterns. And our body doesn't recognize that natural cycle. So there's a magnetism in the earth that gets disrupted, like with the concrete that you're talking about. And so the Earth's natural magnetic forces are very healthy for us. We've grown and adapted to being with the earth. And if you're not outside. If you're always interrupted by concrete, by floors. You're inside a home that doesn't have fresh air and like windows open, then those things all begin to affect our natural cycles. And there, and these are other types of mild stressors. So when I talk about stress, there are different levels. And you can have emotional or physical or all sorts of different ones. But this is the stress that comes from our connection with Earth, right? And if we're disconnected from that, and not getting that sun, it can, it can really affect us on levels that we're not aware of.

Vonne Solis  11:44  
Everything sensory sends messages to us. I love this example we're using of concrete because now I'm thinking of cities. I'm thinking of how much stress impacts people and 1000s, if not millions of people in a very confined space. And I'm also thinking here, that when one person's stressed, a million people can be stressed. I'm exaggerating a bit, but you understand the domino effect. And this is why we can walk around and people's natural resting face might appear to be one of extreme anguish, stress, anger. Everything but happiness.

Jessica Haas  12:27  
Well, and to that point, very interesting fact about stress is when we're under stress, a neutral face looks dangerous. 

Vonne Solis  12:37  

Jessica Haas  12:38  
So if you are in an, if you're in a building with a bunch of people who are just wandering around being neutral, and you're under high amounts of stress, you will perceive them as threatening. You will assume that they have a threatening intention. 

Vonne Solis  12:52  

Jessica Haas  12:52  
And and I just think that that's absolutely fascinating. So your stress does affect the way that you take in the world around you. It also affects your auditory. So you were talking about not wanting to be around too much sound? The layer our baseline is for stress, the more sensitive we become to sounds. And sounds become almost overwhelming. So if you're in a deep place of stress, where it's been ongoing, then that can really begin to affect you. And being a parent with children, where there's always this low lying amount of things going on, I notice towards the end of the day, my sensitivity to sound gets heightened because I'm just my stress is growing just a little bit in the body. And that's always a good indicator for me to stop and take a breath and take a step away. Get to a quiet place and re-compose myself.

Vonne Solis  13:47  
Right. Right. So So I just want to actually recap the neutral face thing. I want to make sure I get this right. So if we're in stress, and we're, so let's say we stress causes us to emote with anger, and just frustration and you know, and you can see someone arrgh. I'm actually like that a lot. Like when I get stressed I'm like that. And if I'm going to store, wherever I am, it's got to come out, it's got to come out and then I feel better. So can you give me an example? Explain again what the neutral face can represent when a person is highly stressed.

Jessica Haas  14:25  
Well, we are tuned to be really we're not tuned to be happy. It's not our natural evolution. It's really sad in a way but it's good to know. It's good to have this baseline because we can, we can make changes, right once we have this information.

Vonne Solis  14:39  

Jessica Haas  14:40  
But to survive, we had to be extra aware of the things that were happening. And if you saw a rock in the field that might be a predator or might not be, if you assume that it's not what it is you get eaten.

Vonne Solis  14:59  

Jessica Haas  15:00  
It's our natural inclination then to be a little extra aware of things. And so a neutral thing, if we're not 100% sure? And with people, you're never really 100% sure, so this neutral face, it's not happy. It's not obviously overly happy. So maybe they really don't like me, or maybe they're a threat. Maybe they're going to attack, you know. There's just this underlying concern because we're trying to protect ourself. And when you're in stress, you're in that protection mode where you are trying to keep anything bad from happening to you. Which is a good thing when it's done in proper cycles. But if that is going on all the time for you? That can become dangerous in its own right, right?

Vonne Solis  15:47  
Yeah. So it's really, really interesting that you're saying that because and here's the key piece I learned. So thank you for reminding me. But I haven't had, I haven't talked to anybody that put it quite in the way that you put it. That, I've heard it. Listen, I've heard living with trauma, PTSD, and all of that. I understand the brain. We're in a survival brain. We have a reptilian mammalian brain. I get all that. But what you said that made it you know it clicked for me? Is that we're not or it's not our natural inclination to be happy because of our brain. The way we are. 

So I'm sitting here thinking interesting. Because when we work in general, with life coaches, inspirational people, even myself, to some degree. I address these things to some degree trying to be really positive. In my work, I always respect and honour the pain and the hardship. But the goal is on the other side, to achieve what you just talked about. The happy, the peace, the calm which many of us are trying to achieve. But the point I'm making here is for anyone in a practice, or putting pressure on themselves, like I have done to be in a state we're not in that naturally inclined to be in what do we have to do then to try and maintain that state? Can we maintain that state? Because I'm trying to say in a really nice way that people that teach just go for the happy. Go for the success. Go for everything we're really not wired to, to achieve naturally. So if you look at success. If you look at winning. If you look at all around abundance, happiness and contentment is at the core of a lot of that. So if it's not our natural inclination, can we maintain it? Yes, for periods. But I'm talking about well permanently? Long term? And if yes, or should we just be striving for periods that we can feel that?

Jessica Haas  18:06  
I don't know that I agree that happiness is the end goal, right? Happiness is a by-product of what happens when we have success and when we're thriving. It's a by-product and it's an emotion, like, all of these other emotions. Stress and depression and sadness, and anger. All of these emotions, they're, they're a flow, right? And so learning to ride your emotional flow, and be present while that's happening can be really empowering. And it can help you shift into more moments of happiness, where you have a lot more power. But your emotional flow, if you are able to say this is my emotion. And you're able to witness it, and be present in your body while that's happening, and start noticing what's happening in my body. How do I feel? What is it that I care about that's causing this emotion to come up? So as you  notice emotion that tells us that there's something that's important that we need to be paying attention to. 

So you begin to get little clues about what, what is this that's so important that I'm upset or worried about it that I, I want to be happy about it. That I'm joyful for it. Whatever is going on, you begin to ask questions about this emotional flow. And I like to teach to be really curious. Curiosity is kind of this power that we have when something is coming up. And really, emotion is it's such a visceral thing. And if we're trying to approach it all from the brain, sometimes we miss pieces. So becoming present in the body and grounding, I think giving that 24 hour cycle for those emotions to go. Most people have about a 24 hour flow. Now, that's not always the case. Some people take a month to do an emotional flow. Some people process differently and different things will be longer or shorter periods. But for most of our general emotions that we have, within 24 hours, we can get a hold on, okay, now I'm out of it. What did that teach me? And you can really start asking questions. And to come back to not necessarily wanting to have happiness as the goal, but having presentness as the goal, right? 

Vonne Solis  20:27  

Jessica Haas  20:27  
So if we're in the future, that's anxiety and stress. And if we're in the past, that's depression. But trying to be really present in the body now, that is where we can find a lot more grounding. And that is where I find people tend to have more happiness and more joy, and more success. And then that's where our gratitude comes into.

Vonne Solis  20:49  
Yeah, beautifully said. So, I'm learning from the younger ones, and I love it. But at any rate, because I came sort of from a generation where, you know, 80s. All of this manifestation stuff, and you know, you didn't, they weren't really talking about emotional intelligence or anything. And we still don't talk about emotional intelligence enough from what I have, you know, research come across read, talked with practitioners. People still struggle a lot with understanding emotions. And this is what I love about what you're doing Jess because it's at the root of a lot of it seems the functional medicine. The the wholeness East meets West. Am I correct about that?

Jessica Haas  21:35  
In in what I do, I bring a little bit of all of it. Not all functional medicine practitioners are East Meets west. I like to pull from all the different traditions because I think there's there's some really important knowledge that goes back many, many 1000s of years. 

Vonne Solis  21:52  

Jessica Haas  21:52  
And ignoring that just seems like a disservice. Right? 

Vonne Solis  21:56  
Yes. Yes. So I wanted to say three things. One, that happiness is a by-product. I love that. I'm not going to forget thinking about happiness because I have chased happiness, okay? And I stopped chasing happiness. But I wasn't quite sure how to frame it. What was I really after? So I'm going to speak just really briefly here to the people who are maybe struggling with trauma, even PTSD. I'm not a doctor. I'm not giving advice. I'm speaking from my own experience. I still live with PTSD. So we're always wired to survive every moment of the day. Now, mine hasn't completely gone away. I've I've had it since my daughter died by suicide in 2005. So I've lived with it for 18 years. It did a number on me because it wasn't diagnosed for then. Nine, ten. So imagine I was living with something I didn't, I couldn't manage, because I didn't know what I, what was wrong with me. And we're not talking about that today. But total survival. So happiness as a by-product, super important. Because everything's a by-product.

So while you were talking, and I'm thinking, okay, what are? What, what am I wanting then? What's my end result that I'm looking for? And you said, presence. I came up with balance. But if I combine the two for me, that fits. Because my, because I just want to say for me, but I want to let you to respond to this because you might be able to help me even fine tune it even more. While I'm sitting here thinking and going, what state do I want to be in? And you said, we should be curious. So I'm being curious and going, hmm. I don't want to have uncontrollable behaviors. I don't care if I get mad once in a while. I do. I get angry. I'm like everybody else. I deal with it very, very quickly. But my natural, I'll just say my natural resting state for lack of a better you know, my functioning. The place I want to actually function from on a daily basis okay? Is one where I do feel at peace and balanced. But from which then you're sort of showing me will come my happiness and any other positive emotion I want to be feeling. Do I need to fine tune that a little bit for myself?

Jessica Haas  24:19  
Well, what's amazing about this individual approach that I like to take is that not everyone is going for the same thing. Balance and peace might be your thing. Joy might be someone's. I've been working for a long time on ease, right? And that's kind of my thing. I just want I want to bring ease into life because I always work really hard for things right? And, and bringing ease into the picture has relieved some of this pressure that I always held for myself. And so individually, we have to come up with a plan. With a goal in mind for where you're going. Right? And so this includes coming up with what is your goal? What is your life purpose? And so we dig. That what a lot of coaching is about is what was your gift that you were given that you need to express while you're here in this life? And how are you going to achieve that? And so we can imagine, in a perfect world, if everything lines up, what does that look like for you? And then we can back step on a timeline. Okay, so what's the last thing that happens? 

If my goal is to be a doctor, then we know the last thing that has to happen is I have to get a diploma. And then we can back step from there. And that's how you create a timeline for where you're going. And then you think about as a doctor, how do I feel? Who's with me? What is the place that I'm in when I get that diploma? And who's supporting me? Who's cheering me on? How is my body? How am I postured. What am I wearing? And we begin to incorporate these things into our life today. So the energy that I want to have is this successful doctor, for example, might be confidence or authority. And so then I have to start practicing that in my daily life, and bringing that in and stepping into the shoes of someone who is confident, instead of going to parties and saying, Oh, I'm just a grad student. And, and I'm not really sure what I'm doing. But I think I'm going to med school and, you know. So then you move away from these stories that we are easily pulled back into that we tell ourselves? Our uncertainty, right? And step into this idea that no, I'm actually really confident. I'm going to be a doctor. And that's the story you begin to tell. And this helps to reprogram the unconscious. 

So 95% of what we're doing in daily life, is unconsciously programmed. And this is stuff that we've picked up from childhood. From where we grew up. From, and everyone is just a little bit different about how they were programmed. And, and the only way that you can begin to affect that is to have some habits, some changes. So we have to work really hard and be diligent about where are you going and what is that energy? So if happiness was your goal, then what are things that make you happy? And how can you bring that energy into your life right now today, so that it's with you in the present more frequently? And then slowly, it becomes easier and easier.

Vonne Solis  27:27  
Yeah. Anyway, yeah, it does. And I'm just using that happiness as that one thing because happiness encompasses everything. It encompasses contentment, relief, success, you know. So I don't, I won't get too in the weeds here. But I love what you're saying and the steps that you just described. I love what you're talking about. What is your gift, rather than what is your purpose? It can be the same thing. But when you think about it as what is my gift? My you know, whoa, I love that. Because very often, if not always, our purpose can develop from understanding what our gift is. How we, you know, derived at it and what we want and must do for some of us on this planet. But I will admit, I've never thought about myself as what is my gift? I've often thought about it as just what is my purpose? And then also, you know, if you're into really being in touch with your soul contract and stuff like that, that can kind of also fast track you. But I'm gonna think about that. Well, I already know those things. But I just what I'm saying is I just love the reframing of it. 

I want to ask you, we were going to talk about uncreating our lives. You talked about reprogramming the unconscious. When we're moving away from the stories of reprogramming the unconscious. The steps that you just explained, Jessica, from a timeline, starting sort of with the outcome, and then going back. What are the steps I need to take to get there? And then importantly, how do I feel when I get there? Right? What do I need to be that person? And I loved how you framed it in terms of confidence, authority, expertise, whatever. Perfect. And then moving away from our stories to reprogram the unconscious. So is that sort of what you mean when you talk about uncreating our lives?

Jessica Haas  29:28  
Well, uncreating our lives. So that came about because I was talking about making room for change. And whenever we're making a change, if we want something to be different? Things, other components need to move. And generally we have to ask what are we letting go of? So what is the thing that I can let go of to make space for this new thing? If we want to have confidence we have to let go of this insecurity, right? 

Vonne Solis  29:59  

Jessica Haas  29:59  
And so we have to acknowledge that everything that is in our life right now is something that we've created on some level. And it's been there, and it's been serving us. And we need to go back and occasionally ask if it's still serving us in the way that it used to. So a lot of times things show up for us that are really necessary. Maybe in childhood, it was really necessary for my survival to be a little worried about things. But as I got older, that wasn't as necessary for me to hold on to. And so if we can re-evaluate, and think about what we're willing to let go of, and how we can get rid of some of the things that we created, I, I just think that it's extremely powerful, to be able to say, this is what I'm letting go of. And it's important because things won't shift, if you're still behaving the same way that you always behave? You're never gonna get a shift.

Vonne Solis  30:55  
It's really interesting, because I'm very interested in psychiatrists, and psychologists who do work in trauma, and PTSD, and compassion focused therapy, for example. And some of these experts say that, you know, our brains? We're just not equipped yet because of the type of brain we have? To feel compassion to the degree we would really need to feel it to basically change our global experience. Our even like, we can feel compassion and empathy to like a degree. And that you know, from which comes unconditional love and stuff. So people chasing, you know, unconditional love and being more compassionate and being more empathetic, it's kinda like what you said about we're not really wired to be happy. Well, but they're saying brain-based, we don't have the brain yet developed. The area from which compassion comes from is just so small, that we're probably not going to achieve it in our lifetime. Do you have anything to add to that?

Jessica Haas  32:01  
So with with compassion, I think what we need to do then is, we may not be able to understand other people's stories. We might not be able to really empathize and be outside and with them. So I think that is all the more reason to embrace our story and what we were gifted, like what our gift is. And really honouring and living in harmony with, with what we do have. So I may not be able to fully relate to your story, or understand or be as empathetic, or, you know, it's just, it's too hard because we come from such different settings. And I often hear people say, Oh, well, I don't understand how they could show up late every day. I'm an early person. I always show up 15 minutes early. But their programming was so different, that it's really hard to understand, you know, my programming versus theirs. So the only thing you can do is show up to the best potential in you. And be aware of, if you're judging someone, that's probably a message for you. So if there's, if there's an area where you're judging someone about something, then that might be an area, you need to look out for yourself. And just be the best that you can within the given parameters. We don't have the ability to mesh as one necessarily. But if we're all doing the best that we can on our journey? Then that makes a bright and happy place because people don't naturally want to be miserable or stuck, you know? We want to make the world better.

Vonne Solis  33:36  
Exactly. I love it when people aren't afraid of me. And when they find out, I'm a bereaved parent, for example? And I'm certainly not the only bereaved parent that feels this way. Every everyone I've ever talked to, we all have the same shared experience. Where people get very shocked when they learn that you've lost a child. And so the people that know, but they but you know, you know. I've had people just sort of say, I just, I just, I can't understand or I'm sorry, I don't, I can't imagine or whatever. I can't understand it, or whatever they say. And I just say it's not your job to. You just you just need to like just what you said. You just need to show up for for who you are and what you need to share and in this world, and we all have our stories. But I'm gonna go back to the curiosity piece for a minute. If we could just be more curious people, about each other? And not judgmental. It would help us feel a spark of compassion, and empathy. And if you're not sure what the difference is between empathy and sympathy. Empathy is when you can put yourself in somebody else's shoes and imagine what that must be like rather than sort of make it a detached experience that you don't want to ever experience and never could experience. Well Yes. You. Could. And I always like to say not one of us is immune from any single thing happening in this life that has happened to another individual. That in itself will give you a start to feeling more compassion and empathy for everybody. No matter who they are or where they are in this world.

Jessica Haas  35:18  
I did want to say also, when we're living in our, in our full potential, we have to be out of protection. And so that's how this ties into stress. So when you are in stress, your body is trying to protect you. And if you have this underlying low level hum that's going on, then it's like stepping into a bomb shelter, like we were talking about. Or being surrounded by a bunch of guards, right? Nothing's gonna get in, we're being protected. 

Vonne Solis  35:49  

Jessica Haas  35:50  
And we can't shine that light. We can't connect. So another piece of fight or flight and freeze. We get, there, there's several steps, but there's rest and digest, fight or flight. And then there's collapse. And if you are in rest and digest, you're socializing. This is where we communicate with each other. This is where we digest our food and have talks around a table, right? And where we can begin to understand and connect to each other. If we are constantly in fight, flight, freeze? Then we're not having those interactions. And that's where people become dangerous to us. And that's where our emotions flare more. So not to never be in those states, right? It's not that you never want to be in fight or flight, and that you might not ever, I mean, you probably will have a moment where you collapse at times. Where you really feel like it's a life threatening situation. These things are things that happen. But we need to process through them. And we need to really, that comes back to that emotional flow. Where we move through, and then get back to a place where we can communicate again. And if we recognize that if we're under that low level stress all the time we're not connecting to people? I think it's really a powerful message for people.

Vonne Solis  37:13  
We're moving into being able to listen and interpret signals from our emotions in just a second here. But what I did want to just address really quickly and remind the audience, bringing it back to what we opened, and you opened with talking about the perceived stresses and the stress. The underlying stress. So if you look at, I would go so far as to say the global community of billions living with this hum of stress? I mean, it's scary. It's kind of scary. I mean, no, I'm not being afraid. But what I'm just saying, it's unpredictable. It feels unpredictable. And I and I, I believe that you know, a lot of the things that happened in the world don't need to be happening in the world. And I'm just glad I personally live in a peaceful part of the world. I worry for the world. I worry what we're doing to it. I worry what we're doing in it on a large scale. And I just feel, it sickens me. And I just feel it's so unnecessary. But on the flip side, I am also meeting wonderful, wonderful people, practitioners. We have these types of conversations such as you and I are having Jess. And then people listen to them, or watch them on YouTube. And, you know, and every ripple matters. Every ripple of positivity matters. I believe that and, you know, well so far we're still here, right?

When we chatted before you spoke about, you know, getting in this cave without an exit. We can all find ourselves in this cave because we're constantly in this underlying hum of surviving. You know, when we were talking about a little bit earlier, it made me think about all the people who are afraid maybe to talk to others in the grocery aisle or say hello on the street. Or like you can almost feel if you go walking and that you can sort of observe people. I'd say hi to just about everybody if they had eye contact with me. Not going to sit there and glare at them. It's okay. Hi, how you doing? It's a toss up whether or not people engage that way and connect. But it makes sense to me now why there is a problem with people connecting. Trust issues and so on because in survival we trust no one. No one, right?

Jessica Haas  39:52  
Yeah. And we don't know how to connect. It makes, it's a very lonely place to be when you are trying to survive. And most of the time in our history, you were running away from a tiger. And you, you survive, right? And you go back to the community, and you celebrate with them. And there's this, there's this physical release that happens as we celebrate this, this triumph, right? And like I survived this, all right! And we just don't have that celebration the same way. And so with people who are dealing with high levels of stress? That is, one thing that I encourage is get the body involved with moving through that stress cycle. You want to jump up and down and move your body and feel the process of getting to the end of it as well and have gratitude for I got through that, right? And even if you don't have someone to celebrate with necessarily, at least acknowledging that I went through this. I achieved this. I got to this point, or I you know, whatever has happened. But acknowledging your story, and really stopping regularly to take note of what you're doing, where you're going and where you're headed. Because many of us just assume that the world is happening to us. And don't take that control of, you know, you do have some control about which way you walk. And just being aware can be so empowering. 

Vonne Solis  41:21  

Jessica Haas  41:21  
And that's a message that I really like to bring.

Vonne Solis  41:23  
You know, trust is just so key, and you have to build it. So when you want to have a community, you have to build the trust. So your people, your tribe, they understand that you know that you're all feeling safe together. And so I just want to say to the people out there who aren't in a community of sorts. Whatever community you belong to, isolated from it or not, and there could be more than one. At any stage of our lives, having a community and finding it within you the courage to take that step to connect? Probably will surprise you more often than not that you really enjoyed it versus it was, you know, just awful. Or, you know, nothing like what you thought it was it was going to be. And I'm speaking about any type of community at any stage of our life that we're going through. That is how we can make friends. Find help. Share stories. 

I've relied on different communities. And when we're in bereavement, I just really quickly want to say, or adversity, if we're struggling with something? I think our natural go to is isolation, particularly if we don't feel it's a shared experience. And it's so interesting to me that people still going through the same thing that people have gone through for decades, when it happens to them, their number one sort of concern is that no one will understand them. Not necessarily that no one's gone through it, but that no one gets me. And so a community can certainly put those concerns to rest. So I am really all about community right now. I have a huge focus on community, both professional and now in, you know, my practice. Because even business leaders are starting to acknowledge, people that just teach how to do stuff in business, are starting to really focus on how much community matters. 

Jess, we could talk all day, and we don't have time to talk all day. I wanted though, to move quickly, just our last two things. We spoke briefly about the mitochondria and when sick cells shut down. So we're talking about the stress. We talked a lot about mind and all these other things that we've talked about. But at the same time, what's really going on in our body? And then I want to move to emotion sending signals, and how when we understand ugh, this is going on in my body. I don't want that. What are my emotions? What's my mental state even telling me? How can I interpret those signals so that I can make all the changes we talked about?

Jessica Haas  44:15  
Yeah, absolutely. So with the body, again, this is this is not just us as people that go into protection mode, but your your body also has a lot of protective mechanisms.

Vonne Solis  44:27  

Jessica Haas  44:27  
And mitochondria, there's 1000 to 2500 mitochondria in every cell in our body. And these are our little energy powerhouses right? They're what energize us and they also have communication networks throughout the body. And when the mitochondria sense danger, they talk to each other. And they say there's something dangerous, right? And if they sense a virus or something

Vonne Solis  44:53  

Jessica Haas  44:54  
They begin to shut down production of energy. Because a virus's job is to come and take over the cell and procreate. Take over. So the mitochondria in an effort to protect you will shut down their energy source so that the virus doesn't spread rapidly. So that the body can take care of it. Well, because of the way that the body and the mind work together and they are not separate, this can happen from an illness. This could be a chronic illness. This could be inflammation. This can also happen when we get stressed or have an idea in our head that we're in danger. Even if it's completely fictional, if we decide that there is something dangerous in our head, then our body will respond in different ways and it will shut down. And it will start to, this is where some of that fatigue comes in sometimes if that's the case. But eventually, if we're in stress long enough, fight or flight, I briefly touched on this earlier, but the body gets to a point where it's thinks it's life threatening. And it just completely shuts down and goes into this collapse mode. Where it's almost like laying dead, right? And so deep levels of depression, sometimes bring on this, like, I can't even get out of bed. I can't move. This feeling.

Vonne Solis  46:10  
Yeah, but would you even say, like, all of these things, they all work together. But the body, thinking of the body shutting down. Protecting us. Saying we can't do this anymore. We're going to remove you from the situation one way or another. But would you even say that this, I think you're gonna say yes - but prevents people from even wanting to get motivated? So if you're stuck in that bed, from depression, stress, anxiety, illness. Real illness, chronic illness, fatigue, whatever it is. My God, isn't it like, likely? Likely that you're going to be overwhelmed by lack of motivation? Like, don't you just lose your will?

Jessica Haas  47:05  
Yeah. And sometimes people do. You shut down. And this can happen from a mold toxin. And it can happen from trauma. And it can happen from a lot of different things, but the body can cause you to lose your will. So that that's not, if you're in that place, it's important to note that that is something that is a normal response. 

Vonne Solis  47:28  

Jessica Haas  47:28  
And you have to take the steps to slowly work out of that. 

Vonne Solis  47:32  

Jessica Haas  47:32  
But it takes a lot, all of this. Any of this work that you do self-work, it's small steps. And it's very, very, I mean, sometimes it's like, I'm going to go outside every morning for five minutes. And that's all that a person can do. And you start with that because that's what you can do. If you can walk to the mailbox and back, walk to the mailbox. And don't judge yourself for that. 

Vonne Solis  47:58  
Yeah and what 

Jessica Haas  47:58  
Because that's huge.

Vonne Solis  48:00  
Yes. And Jessica, you're, you're saying something. Other people have said it, too. But I love what we're talking about here, because we're putting it in a context of what's really going on in the body. So many people might think that they're dealing with stress, or anxiety, or depression or whatever, and I shouldn't be feeling this way. And they don't even maybe think about what the physical limitations and restrictions are putting on us. And I have dealt with limitations for years and years and years. And so part of my work is also in that and making it okay to set, I don't even use the word goal. Have an intention. Because for two years, I set the intention, oh, I'm gonna get up three times. I'm gonna walk down to the ocean. Okay, well, the six blocks to the ocean, I have to walk. Yeah, then there's a 300 foot drop. Okay? Then I can walk along this beautiful, rugged, gorgeous beach, and then I gotta come up 300 feet and get home. And I'm like, yeah, not today. So I ditched it. But it's what we tell ourselves when we're not meeting the, I'll just use the word goal right? This could be anything that we are dissatisfied with in our life, which causes stress because we're constantly fighting ourselves to do what we said we were going to do and then be rating ourselves because we can't do it or you know, or don't really want to do it. So I'm a huge proponent of set what you can do. If you want to like exercise, right? And you want to do 30 leg lifts. How can you tell I'm doing leg lifts? Start with five. One day you might get to 30. But you know, do you want to say anything to that Jessica because it's leading to our very last thing we're going to be talking about. Which is signals from emotions, our mental state. Anything you want to share about that, and how we can turn those signals into anything positive in our life?

Jessica Haas  50:20  
Well, I am a huge proponent of positive goal setting. And this is, again, it's that future, what do I want? What am I aiming for? So when you're in a place where you can't do anything, the first thing I would say is don't set yourself a goal of something that you don't want to do. Like, I want to lose weight, right? So first off, when you say, I want to lose weight, you're talking about getting rid of something that you don't want. Now, what do you want from that weight loss? Maybe you want more energy? So your goal switches to I want more energy. And that's the first thing. We've got to be motivated by something that we actually want. 

Vonne Solis  51:02  

Jessica Haas  51:02  
Our unconscious doesn't hear I don't want that. So embodying, the difference between being 'I am not a smoker' and 'I am trying to quit' is really different, right?

Vonne Solis  51:15  
Yes, yes. Yeah. Because I associate the word try with, you've already failed. And I don't really like the word failed, but you've already haven't done it. If you have to say try, question whether you really want to do it. That's my take.

Jessica Haas  51:31  
And so you find something in that moment of, you know, exhaustion, or whatever that makes you feel good. And your goal, if you want to have an ultimate goal of 30 leg lifts, your goal is actually just to show up on the yoga mat with your clothes, right? You make it simple. Like I'm just gonna show up with, with my clothes on the yoga mat. And that, then I can check the box on my goal. And I'm achieving my goal, right? And then whatever happens after that once you get to the gym. Once you get on the yoga mat? That that's not part of the goal. The goal is just how do I get there and put myself in this position to succeed every single day.

Vonne Solis  52:08  
I love that. Yeah. This has been wonderful. Let's just close with you, giving us the highlights of emotion sending us signals. And how can we tune into this? Really understand what they're telling us and then put that into action? 

Jessica Haas  52:26  
Well, a big piece of emotion is that, like we've discussed, it's, it's giving us some information. And, and when we are in a flow of overthinking of that spinning racing mind, if we have those big emotions, those feelings that can help to manifest that out. So you can do your brain dump, or your journal. Where you put it down, so that it becomes something you can see. It becomes real in the world. What is it that I'm worried about? What is this emotion stemming from? What is causing this? What am I worried won't happen? What am I worried will happen? Get that curiosity going. Start asking questions, right? And many times, if it's, you know, spinning thoughts in the middle of the night, perhaps you'll have 15 thoughts, and only one of them is a real awareness, right? 

So you can kind of cross off those ones that are just noise. And that helps you create this clarity that that can be really empowering. So that brain dump piece is really helpful. And being patient with yourself and not making decisions in the moment of, of emotion, right? In your hand, wait. See how you feel about it in a minute. And this goes for saying yes to things as well as saying no. So if you are going to commit to something, you need to give yourself plenty of time to know that this isn't just an impulse, right? That this is something or something you feel pressured to do? Give yourself that time and that kindness.

Vonne Solis  54:01  
Yes, yes. Because anything more we invite into our life? You need to show up for that, folks. So yeah, you need to show up for that. And whether it's business, personal. You want a new relationship. You want to baby. You want to get married. You want a promotion. You want to move. You want a bigger house. You want a more expensive car. Anything. You want to be happier. You want to be more energized. You want to be more social. Any of that stuff? You need to think about whether you're ready for it and can show up for it. 

And on a last note, I really just want to speak really briefly to limitations again. Is so if stress can cause limitations on our bodies, would you agree with that Jessica? We've talked about that. Our bodies slowing down and so on. So I think it's really important if we are in a constant chronic state of anxiety, stress. Any kind of illness, fatigue, and so on, it doesn't matter. Like I deal with this stuff, too. I had a terrible period of chronic fatigue. I went on to work disability in 2015 for 26 months. It led to my retirement from my job. But in that period, I really got to understand what the heck trauma had done to me for ten years, Holy smoly. And I have had to let go of many things that I wanted to do, but didn't have the energy. The stamina. And if I really, really admitted it the interest to do. 

And so the more I embrace different phases of my journey, and my years on this planet, and so on, I am very aware that some things I have to look at and go, Wow, there was a time I did that. And that was amazing. But I really, really, truthfully don't want to do that again. So it's okay that we change. And understanding that some of these might be induced by limitation, doesn't mean you'll always feel limited. But it's so important not to fight it, because it just makes it worse. Love yourself for who you are today. And just being willing to consider you want more of anything? You took the first step.

Jess, is there anything else you'd like to leave the audience with today? We've covered a ton of stuff. It's been an amazing episode. I do thank you for sharing all your professional experience. Your wisdom. You've, you've taught me a few things so thank you for that.

Jessica Haas  56:55  
Yeah, absolutely. I just think get support. Find some someone or a community that can help you be accountable. Reach out, if you need something. If you're feeling like you're dealing with these things, there are resources, there are people. One of the things that affects our physical health the most is our community or lack thereof, and the relationships and we didn't even touch on that. But it's so important to have someone to help you through. And that's why I'm so passionate about what I do as a coach is that I really love to join people on their journey of of exploring this stuff. It's not a right or wrong. It's all about how what we're exploring, and creating that vision of what you really want and how to offer your gift in the best way.

Vonne Solis  57:43  
So on that note, Jessica, if you'd just like to share, you know, your resources, and who you you largely work with, and, and then I'll be providing links in the description below for people to connect with you.

Jessica Haas  58:00  
Yeah, so if you're in the area, working with Highlands Health and Wellness is a wonderful way to get in touch with me. That's where I mainly do my coaching. Dr. Meyer is amazing. If you have any kind of chronic illness issues, things like that, having the team of both doctor and coach can be really powerful. So I'm in Colorado and https://highlandshealthandwellness is our website. I also do a limited amount of personal coaching, but it's an application process to to apply for. I really strongly feel that I will only work with people who are aligned, because I don't think it helps anyone if there's not a good alignment. So I do ask if you would like to work with me one on one that you fill out an application and go through that process. So that link I will share with you. And then I also have a free resource on different types of emotions, and a little quiz that you can take to help decide if there are certain areas of stress that are affecting you more than others. So that gets into the physical stress, the emotional stress and those types of things. There will be a link for that as well that I'll share with you. And then I will generally do a free consultation call with you to see if it's a good fit. 

Vonne Solis  59:13  
Oh, that's perfect. That's perfect. Okay, well, thank you. Again. I feel really blessed and honoured to have met you and have you part of my professional community now. It's been awesome.

Jessica Haas  59:28  
Wonderful. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Functional medicine
Stress & danger
Our connection with Earth
A neutral face is dangerous
Happiness is not our natural state
Goal setting - what do you want to happen?
Uncreating our lives
Global stress
Protective mechanisms of mitochondria
Emotional signals
Jessica's resources