#012: How to Honor your own Boundaries, Racial Justice and Emotional Fluency: A Conversation with Dr. Isha Vela

podcast Nov 29, 2022


Dr. Isha is a psychologist who works with the physical body to release trauma and find your powerful unique self.  We first met at Beyond Diversity 101 and subsequently co-facilitated a self-care boot camp for women of color.


In this episode we talk about


  • Noticing the abundance we live with all the time
  • Respecting your own boundaries first 
  • Knowing your nervous system's capacity day to day or moment to moment
  • What to do when people withdraw or get mad at you for setting boundaries
  • Intimacy wounds and guilt or shame that we are not doing enough
  • How this applies to difficult conversations about racism and the Transform your conversations about Racism training that Isha did with me
  • Mercury in retrograde as a great time for emotional release


Dr. Isha says "emotional fluencies are our capacity to be able to name what's happening in our bodies and also give ourselves permission to feel through it all the way… because when we hold [on to anger or grief], it becomes toxic to us."

Dr. Isha's website:  www.ishavela.com

Check out our: Transform your Conversations about Racism course.  

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Amanda Aminata Sol: [00:00:00] So welcome, welcome, welcome. You are here for the Mother Tree Podcast with our special guest, Isha Vela. Dr. Isha Vela, who is a, uh, somatic and trauma specialist. Clinical psychologist. They are a business coach, an intimacy coach, the founder of the Harmonizers business, uh, incubator, which I'm a part of, and, uh, a mother and many things in the world.

So I I, I'm gonna stop introducing her and let her say

Dr. Isha Vela: hello. Hi everybody. I'm so pleased to be here. Um, and so excited to, to share with you on the podcast about boundaries and, and honoring yourself. Yes. So here that conversation. Yes.

Amanda Aminata Sol:  Exactly. So Isha, what I like to start off every conversation with someone is what's good?

So [00:01:00] what is good in the world? What is good about you? What are you seeing? That's

Dr. Isha Vela: good. What's good in my life right now is, is like the day I'm just like looking out the window and seeing the sunshine, like just bouncing off the shingles of the building next to me. I like had my kids this morning and I enjoyed them so much and I had a good night of sleep.

Um, I had a second breakfast just before coming on here, so my belly feels very satisfied with like organic food. So that is what's good in my life right now. And here is just really nourishing. I love connecting with people. Mm, Yeah. Mm. Beautiful.

Amanda Aminata Sol: Yeah. So I heard you say a number of things, Relationships with your kids, the good food for your body.

Noticing the light across the street. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Isha Vela: And the aliveness of like, Right. Everything that's happening [00:02:00] and noticing. Right. And taking it in everything That's good. And, and that we're abundant with, Right. Like noticing the abundance that we, that we live inside of all the time. Right. When things feel hard.

Right. There is, there is stuff that is good. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Yeah.

Amanda Aminata Sol: Wow. Noticing the abundance that we live with all the time. Hmm. That's a really different orientation, Isha , than what's wrong in the world today. You know what

Dr. Isha Vela: I mean? Oh, I know what you mean. Yeah. Like our brains, our brains are kind of programmed to solve problems and we often look at what's missing and sort of we go into the sort of the critical and the judgemental and the picking apart, Right?

Which is important for problem solving and it's also important to shift out of that when we're not in problem solving mode. And just to kind of like, ah, let me like rest and receive and take in and [00:03:00] be in that mode. Right. To switch gears, change channel. Hmm.

Amanda Aminata Sol: You know, uh, Jennifer, if you could put us into pin light or spotlight mode, I don't know if you can spotlight me and me and Isha together, I think that would be awesome for the video going forward.

So one of the reasons why I asked you to come on Isha, is because I listened to your podcast, Uh, the. Is it devotional anarchy?

Dr. Isha Vela: That's right.

Amanda Aminata Sol: Yeah. I, I listened to it and I was really, um, high fiving you and oh my God, and all that kind of stuff. As I listen to you talk about boundaries, , and, um, the reason why, the part I love you to share more about here is about, uh, you, you respecting your own boundaries first, and like what that does in terms.

You know, the ripple effect out. So [00:04:00] could you start there with talking about boundaries?

Dr. Isha Vela: Yeah. Like in my process of setting boundaries, I have found that, you know, we often think of boundaries as being like things that we do with other people, , things that we have to do with other people. But in my process, what I've noticed is that, Boundary work is really about me deciding for myself what I'm available for and what I'm not available for.

And that that question or the response to that question changes sometimes from moment to moment and definitely day to day. But that is really a relationship with my own energy, right? With my nervous system capacity, right? Mm-hmm. and um, and so that is the relationship and when we. When we are doing that internal work and having that conversation internally when we interact with other people, we there, there is that ripple effect of like, [00:05:00] we give other people permission to do that too.

And you know, the people that love us may be, may feel disappointed if they hear a no or if they hear us change our minds. But people who love you adjust. And people who don't like it end up sort of like moving away. and the people that you're giving permission to who are just like, Oh my God, that was amazing.

I wanna do that too. Come closer. Right? So it has this like, this effect of giving permission, but also creating congruence in your life with the people who can't appreciate you or who won't appreciate you. They go away. And the people who are like, Yeah, gimme some more of that medicine. They come in closer

Amanda Aminata Sol: Okay. Agreed. Let me put a button there. What about when the people who you love, who you have trained to not, you know, Honor your boundaries through years and years of practice. We could call it [00:06:00] motherhood. Uh, yes. What about when they pull away Isha? How do you stay, you know, free and not sort of like entangled with self doubt.

Dr. Isha Vela: Mm-hmm. . Well, I wanna speak from my experience that just wanna answer the first part of your question. When I've set boundaries from a place of not having set them, of, of being really like too open and too giving, right? Mm-hmm. , um, not protective enough of my energy. There has been what I, what psychologists behaviorists call extinction burst, right?

Where all of a sudden the people in your life of who are you, what is. You know, you weren't like this before and, and there's this, like, this, right where you are suddenly showing up in a different way and people are having their protest, right? This happened with my children [00:07:00] who all of a sudden are like, What the heck is going on with mom?

And people in, in my life who were also like, Mm, you are being a bitch, right? And, and using all of that languaging that we learn to, like, when we hear it, we go, Oh. I'm not a good person. I'm right. And that's when we sort of go into the self doubt, when we receive the, the rebuttal or the protest. Right. And our nervous systems because we are, you know, beings who love the feeling of belonging and Right.

The safety of connection and intimacy. We all need those. The part of us that wants connection goes like, Oh, if I, if I set these boundaries and I won't belong, I'll be thrown out. I'll be ostracized, I won't be liked, I'll be rejected. Right? All of these, I'll be bad. All of these things that we, you know, at some level we might believe about ourselves and that's why, [00:08:00] as you said, that the work of love is internal.

We have to love the places in us that feel. That maybe we are bad, right? That maybe we're not doing the right thing. Because when we haven't set boundaries and we go into that, we have to hold the boundary and holding the boundaries, really like holding that space of compassion with ourselves and really like staying anchored with, But this is actually what I need or this.

Really good for me. I am choosing myself and like hanging out with yourself in that place. And in my experience with the right people, the protest dies down. Like even with my own mother, Sorry for that. The protest eventually dies down. People settle. People settle into the new reality that you are presenting when you show up in your energy in this way.

Does that make. [00:09:00] You know, so people eventually settle and, you know, my children settled into the new reality. I, I think that what's harder here is for you as the person setting the boundaries to hold, to hold yourself in face of the protest and to respond and be like, I hear that you're upset, I hear that you don't like it, and this, I'm, I'm choosing what's good for me here and this.

You know, choosing this boundary will actually help me be in relationship with you in a way that is more present and more attuned and more attentive.

Amanda Aminata Sol: Yeah. I think for me, one of the challenges been when setting a boundary, feeling so uncomfortable that, um, it's hard for me also to be vulner. And to say, you know, this is helping me to be present with you, or, you know what I mean?

It's, it's felt more like an all or nothing [00:10:00] thing. Yeah. So to, to be that. I, I think it is a maturity cuz there's like flexibility in it, you know what I mean? And I'm still in my body and I still love you and I love me and so I don't have to, um, shut down. Yeah. You know, or fight you to be. Yeah. You know what I mean?

I feel like that's the, that's the next level into

Dr. Isha Vela: this. Yes. And, and I feel that especially like, you know, I say generally people feel, and I felt, especially that comes up in with my parents, for example, right. With people that are like family that I have history with, um, where I can feel the part of me like bubble up where I get a protest or I.

Like this rebuttal, or I get like a, Oh, but you didn't used to be that way. And I'm just like, p, I can feel the part of me that gets super enraged and wants to be like, [00:11:00] Right clamped down, shut the door back off. Right? And to be able to hold that reactivity within myself, Ooh, Breathe into it. Breathe it down, like ground that rage and have that inform my next, my next offer, which is I can feel my upsetness in hearing you say that, or I can feel myself getting angry.

And this angry anger is letting me know that this boundary is really important to me. Right. To be able to hold the charge of the energy that comes up when our boundaries are not respected or our boundaries are, um, questioned. You know, I think that's, I think the real challenge of boundaries is holding the charge of the stuff that charge that comes up.


Amanda Aminata Sol: you know that, Cause I know you deal with trauma and generational trauma and epigenetics. So I wanna, uh, [00:12:00] turn the conversation to, um, Um, recently I sent out an email to, you know, a few people in my community who have done work with me previously. So not everybody, just a small group of people I sent an email to saying like, you know, what's bothering you?

What's, what's, what's, um, what are you struggling with right now? Cause I wanted to make sure that what I do is attuned to what people really need right now. Yeah. And Isha, it makes me almost wanna. How many people said, I'm exhausted. How overwhelmed by, you know, four years of Trump, you know, two years of covid, you know, whatever, A lifetime of white supremacy,

I mean, there's so, and people are like, and I feel so bad, Amanda. It's not only I exhausted, I feel bad because I'm not doing as much as I think I should be doing. Or I feel like, you know, the same old activism isn't working. [00:13:00] So what would you say to

Dr. Isha Vela: somebody like that? You know, when I hear you say that, I also feel my heartbreak and, um, I feel like I want to, This is why I talk so much about our collective intimacy wounds because we, when.

We are coming from a place of insufficiency. If we feel like we're not doing enough, we are already embodying that white supremacist, like toxic capitalist belief that we have to like hustle for our worth, that we have to work harder, that somehow we're not good and we have to be gooder, right? We have to like somehow perform our goodness.

And I'm just like, I'm a hell no to that. I'm like, You get to feel nourished. You get to feel full. And if that means not doing the work for a while, like [00:14:00] not being an activist for a while or doing it in a very different way. then I wanna give people permission to do that because we, we are like, we are in the embodiment, we are like drinking the toxic Kool-Aid while trying to dismantle the toxicity.

And I know that does work. That does not work. So, you know, we have to like, Some a way, You know, I was one of those people who was, you know, I had to do more and I had to serve and I, right. I felt called to serve and I thought that was the right thing because Spirit was asking me to do that. But you get to set boundaries with spirit too, you know, And you get to say, you know, I need to go at my own pace.

I know there's a lot of work to do out there, but I'm not the only one doing it and I need to rest. And this is like a wrestling match where you get to tap. Right. You get to tap out and you'd be like, I need to rest back here for a little while, and then I get to come back in feeling nourished, [00:15:00] feeling like I can come in fully present and attentive and attuned.

To what I'm doing with my whole being. And I think that's like, I don't know, that's my judgment of like, this is how we serve. We serve by being full and, and like, like letting our cup run it over into the work, you know? Yeah. Yeah.

Amanda Aminata Sol: And Isha, I just wanna say that I'm a hell yes to that too. And I, I, um, Here's where I wanna get into a little bit more risky conversation because I said something like this in an interview to someone to, uh, you know, a young, white, progressive woman.

And she said to me, But is that true for white people too? Would you say that for white people, that it's okay for them to tap out and say, Okay, I need rest. Um, you know what? My shit is raggedy , you know? You know, when the [00:16:00] storm of white supremacy is raging for you to be like, Oh my God, but my shit is too raggedy.

You know, like, and there are people like that who've written to me inside of my community

Dr. Isha Vela: and they're like, you know, um,

Amanda Aminata Sol: they're like, I'm going through bankruptcy. I'm, uh, you know, I can barely keep my head up, but, uh, I know I have it so much worse than black people and I just feel. Uncomfortable with that.

Somehow your shit is falling apart or you don't have enough, but your guilt or the should is saying you need to get out in the street and do X, Y, or Z, or, you know what I'm saying, Prove, do the good or thing. And I just feel like, uh, That keeps us trapped on a deeper level in the system. So you think you're doing something to disman on white supremacy, but where you're doing it from

Dr. Isha Vela: just reinforces it?

Yeah. Like I don't want anybody coming at me with [00:17:00] guilt or should, I don't want anybody coming at anyone from a place of guilt or should. That doesn't feel good. That's iffy energy that is that this feels unclean to me. That feels like something is wanted in return. I need to feel okay within myself cuz I feel guilty, so I'm gonna help you.

That just smacks of white, white saviorism. Like, I don't want any of that. Um, do I feel it's important for white folks to tap out once in a while? Yes. If they need it and Right. Like I think that, you know, everything is a balance. We need to really sort of be in reality about what our privileges are. And to really, when, when you have, when you know that you have more privilege, really look where in your life you can, you can, what is the word?

Um, where you can really use it, where you can leverage it. [00:18:00] You know, and, and, and yeah, sometimes we have to do a little bit of the comparison game of like, look, this other person is suffering. Like, can I, do I have something to give? You know what I do, I can. Right? And, and I think what's required, you know, discomfort is required.

It's required. And we also have to know how much discomfort is gonna. We, we have to know where our edge, our edge is, and our discomfort, our, our capacity to feel discomfort grows over time. We have to sort of be hanging out at our edges, and that's where it expands right when we can lean into it. And then we need to take a break and sort of soothe our nervous systems.

And then come back into the discomfort and like lean into it again. And then kind of like, Okay, ooh, that was hard. Okay, you did this. All right, lean in again. That's how it happens. It is in that ebb [00:19:00] and flow, right? The coming in and the tapping out. I feel where we keep our nervous systems regulated.

Amanda Aminata Sol: And I notice in your, uh, in your podcast, you talk a lot.

About nervous systems and regulating nervous systems. And I, you know, and to me it's so wise because if we look at, uh, you know, so I, I studied American history and that's, we speak what I taught and all that kind of stuff, you know, and some of my favorite things, literature has been literature about civil rights movement and la la la.

So , you know, I was reading some of y'all may remember, uh, Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Mood. . Um, and she, so it's like semi autobiographical novel black woman who gets involved in civil rights movement and she's kind of like describing things that they go through. And it is clear to me now there is so much PTs, d you know, PO post traumatic stress disorder, [00:20:00] you know, like people are in a.

War zone that had, I mean, you know, it's been systemic, Jim Crow all along, but then they break it up and, and, you know, the, the backlash is so strong and, and, um, and people are like breaking, you know what I mean? But it's, but they're not tapping out because that seems like they're not committed or they're letting white supremacy tell them what to do, but things go down, spiral down, you know?

So I just wonder what you think about that.

Dr. Isha Vela: Well, a couple of things come up. One of them is this, this belief about commitment. Like you're not committed and I, I feel like, you know, can we also, when I think about boundaries and I think about compassion, you know, there are people in my life who are, you know, who are connected to me, who are not.

Friendly [00:21:00] people who I can't cut off contact with, right? Who are haters in my life and I have compassion for these people and it, the compassion is the only way that I can survive and be in relationship with them and still thrive. And I have to have compassion for myself. I have to be like, You don't have access to me.

Right? Like there's moments where my compassion. You don't have access to me. And so in the same way, like when we are in contact with harm, right? Whether it's a colleague, you know, or whether it's a system, whether it's, you know, being in movement, in protest, we have to decide and be compassionate with our own bodies.

When do you not get. When is it? When is that line? Okay? You don't have access to me anymore. [00:22:00] I need to tap out. Right? The other piece is for me about emotional fluency. When you are doing the work of anti-racism and working with white supremacist systems, I think it's so important for people, like when you're, when you're like ptsd, this experience of exhaustion, you're talking about, This for me is a hypo aroused state.

This is when the nervous system is in a pseudo freeze response that isn't quite. Right freeze. But it's kind of like the, like a deactivation of the nervous system. It's like the nervous system is hanging and what needs to happen is that emotional release needs to happen when you are experienced trauma, right through the mosquito bites.

That, that are like microaggressions and [00:23:00] racism and all that kind of stuff that accumulate over time, or whether it's a big like political event, like a shooting or a police brutality, something like that. We need emotional release. We need to take care. That's, this is where the tending comes in. We need to step back and say, You know what?

I need to tend to my emotions. I need to clear. My, my, my grief cup is full. I need to empty it out. I need to like scream and rage, and I need to cry, and I need to like just freak out, kick on the floor, do whatever so that I can clear myself out so that I don't get sick, so that I'm not holding the charge of the stuff that's happening in the environ.

Amanda Aminata Sol: Yes. Yes. It's, that's why I like where you talk about sovereignty. You talk about self care as sovereignty, about you owning yourself and not expecting [00:24:00] somebody else to come out there and be like, Oh, can I help you, Amanda? Like, that's great, but really you have to be. Aware of your energy system, you know, and take care of it.

Yes. You, you really are

Dr. Isha Vela: responsible for you. Mm-hmm. . Um,

Amanda Aminata Sol: one thing I, sorry. You mentioned release and I wanted, say I did go to one of your, um, release emotional release events. Um, maybe it was for the, maybe it was for an Equinox event.

Dr. Isha Vela: It was I think a January. I had a January one and a December one. Okay.

Amanda Aminata Sol: Okay. And, um, and I loved. What I loved was, it was like all music. I came in late because that's how I roll. I came in late and it was like, and clearly y'all were on anger. I was like, Okay, let jump in. Just do my thing, you know? And, um, I really liked how you were just embodying it, you know, you had your camera on so we could watch you.

Everybody else had that camera off, which was [00:25:00] great. You know, as we all try to figure out, well, where is this anger in my body? You know? And um, so I know, I know you do have something coming up for the Equinox. Yeah. Do you wanna say a little bit about that right now? Yeah.

Dr. Isha Vela: I, you know, during the retrogrades, retrogrades are usually, you know, the retrogrades started last Friday and are set what was in retro.

Mercury is in retrograde and there's like seven other planets in retrograde. Like things be messed up right now. And it's all about relationships. It's all about reevaluating. It's everything is shifting and moving and you're really having to ground down on like what's really important for me. It messes up with communication so that you can get really grounded in.

You know, what am I, what's important for me? And during these times, there's a lot of emotions that come up, right? Like maybe you find yourself just like crying randomly, you know, your heart's really open or whatever. Um, and during those times, I like to offer [00:26:00] retrograde releases, which is where I teach my emotional release class.

I usually teach three or four tools that I like to use in sessions. Related to emotional fluency, emotional fluencies are capacity to be able to like name what's happening in our bodies and also give ourselves permission to feel through it all the way. Cause we often, we often acknowledge the emotion and be like, Oh yeah, I'm feeling angry.

but we don't let ourselves actually rage and like, you know, take a bat to a mattress and actually move the energy through our bodies. Like this is what we do as children. We have temper tantrums and then all of a sudden we think we have to be all civilized and put together and you know, but we get to still have that.

We're human. We need movement. We need to express with our voices, right? Like, They're in our, our ancestors knew how to grieve. They would like keen or they would. They would like pray or sing or stomp around and dance and do all sorts of things. [00:27:00] Right? And so we can still do that now. This is part of our, our ancestral wisdom that we can bring into the now and use it in service of.

Right? Like washing ourselves, clean of the, like charging emotions, discharging. Cuz when we hold, when we hold it, it becomes toxic to us. Right? Well it

Amanda Aminata Sol: does. I mean, cuz you know, then we got backaches and we got, you know, What do you call those chronic situations, you know, that we're dealing with Yeah.

Shoulder over here and you know, and we can't, I just know I'm talking for real, for real. . Me too. So, so I think that, that, you know, the container to have, uh, permission and also some guidance on how to release Yes. Is, is really.

Dr. Isha Vela: Important. Yes. Because a lot of us feel like, you know, I know that for myself, I've had the feeling like, Ooh, if I let myself feel how much rage is in me, I might not stop.

Or if I let myself feel the sadness, I don't know if I'm [00:28:00] gonna stop crying. Like, Right. And so we have this feeling of like, I'm afraid that I'm just, it's, the floodgates are gonna be open, it's gonna be endless. Right. And there's gonna be no containment. And so the practices that I offer, they are like up, like there's steps to it.

There's some structure so that you can come in and really. Dump all the water into the bucket because there's a bucket and you know, more or less the size of the bucket. And so you know how much water's gonna get poured into that and it's not gonna be like, you know, overflowing.

Amanda Aminata Sol: Yeah. Yeah. And, um, and Isha, I know that, you know, besides being, you know, a trained psychologist and all that kind of stuff, you're also a racial justice from the heart facilitator.

And one of the things that that is, has proven true to me is you do have to know the size of the. For the level of the intervention that is beneficial. Yes. Like you can intervene at a super deep level and move someone [00:29:00] from a comfort zone to panic, panic, panic. Right? And no one's saying that what you said was wrong when you went to that deeper level.

But the question is, what is the intention of the intervention and what is the size of the bucket in the context

Dr. Isha Vela: that we're in? . Yeah. I mean, Amanda, I learned that from you. Um, I, I don't know if you remember, like in, I think in June or July of 2020, just when we were finishing up there was George Floyd thing happened.

Like all of that was swirling and I had a colleague do something that just sat so wrong with me and I wanted to lash out, and I asked for your, your support, and you gave me such deep support. And helped me really drill into some of the beliefs that I would've been coming into that conversation with her with.

Um, you helped me sort of [00:30:00] dismantle some of the, the ways that I was seeing myself as less than coming into a conversation with a white woman who has like a lot of financial privilege, economic privilege. Seeing myself as less than in that, and then also like grounding in like allowing myself to really release the emotions of the charge that I was feeling, like how angry I was and that I needed to like move that for myself so that I could come into this conversation and actually like, State what I needed, what I like, how I wanted to hold her to account, right?

Because otherwise I would've been like just shaking with anger, you know? I wouldn't have had the, My container would've been like this. But really it needed to be like this to be able to hold, like, yes, I was really angry and I moved that energy over there. Mm-hmm. , I'm not having it like, sort of like come out at you.

I moved it over here. Mm-hmm. [00:31:00] so that I could come into this conversation and be really focused and clear about what I need, what I would like for you to do, and how it, how this, you know, like sort of this, um, you know, the justice conversation, like a restorative. Repair conversation. Mm. Woo.

Amanda Aminata Sol: I, I just feel like, um, what you said made me think about Joyce Washington, who's on this call, who I also interviewed about the black woman, angry black woman stereotype, and how to, um, navigate it when you are having accountability Yeah.

Conversations and, um, and when you're in advocacy, So, um, so that'll be coming too. That will be coming too. Yeah. Um, but I love what you said, which also resonate with Joy. Said, Joy says she doesn't protest anymore. What she sees herself doing is holding space for transformation. So you said your little container was like that big.[00:32:00]

So when your container that small, you can't hold that much

Dr. Isha Vela: transformation, . Oh, you can't?

Amanda Aminata Sol: No. So you really do have to get bigger, have that space, be bigger. But it's not a mental activity. No. You know, it's like you said, you took a lot of steps to get there.

Dr. Isha Vela: Yeah. Yeah. It's definitely like, you know, I talk a lot about emotional leadership, right?

Emotions are energy, and if we're holding the emotions, we're holding an energetic charge. And that energetic charge lives in our nervous system, right? And when that gets dinged, right, When we get activated, it's like ch, we flare up. And I know, like, I know the things that activate me and sometimes I need to walk away.

You know, you, you know, one of the steps in, in, in your, you know, in your process is like, do I have the capacities? It is really like, Hmm, do I need to go to the bathroom? Do I need to take care of my emotions? Right. Do I have the, [00:33:00] and sometimes the answer is no, as you say. Right? Sometimes it's like, I can't do this now, but like call me tomorrow, , after I've slept on it or after I've calm myself down, we can have this conversation.

So we need to like be nervous system, um, wise about like what we're able to do, what we're available for. From the perspective of the nervous system. Can I hold this right now? Do I even wanna do this? Do I have the desire? I don't. Or I have some, I could talk for five minutes. Mm-hmm. , we need to, That's that.

Checkin is a, is is self, is with self is with self energy. Mm. Wow.

Amanda Aminata Sol: So we're coming to the end of our time and I'm, I'm, I'm wondering if you wanna say more about, Sovereignty, which is one of those words I really associate with you. Um, but I also associate the word, uh, pleasure with you. [00:34:00] And, um, you know, what, what do you wanna, is there anything you wanna say to us about that?

Dr. Isha Vela: Yeah. All right. So what I wanna say about pleasure, it goes with the, the piece around emotional fluency, right? Um, pleasure isn't just sort of, Some, something like that. Um, we are, I know that I've come from a place of thinking of it as sort of this excessive, like it comes at the end of a long list of duties and then you can have pleasure, right?

Like , then you can give yourself permission to sort of lean back a little bit. But for me, pleasure has, has. Um, to, to anchor, to create an experience of thriving within situations that are not ideal, situations that are traumatic, [00:35:00] right? Conditions that are harmful. It's been a way for me to like really.

Ground and thrive and feel alive and connected to life to be able to co-create with life. Like, it can be as like stupid, simple as like, you know, like this glass of water. Like, I love drinking glass out of this water, uh, water outta this glass. I like, love the, the taste of the lemon and like I said, like the, the sun shining off of the shingles on, on the next door neighbor's house.

Like feeling everything in my body, feeling the sensation of like the heat on my skin or this cotton shirt, you know, all of that is for me, pleasure. That is aliveness, right? Looking around my space and seeing something that I have on my wall that makes me remember something from my life and just, and I can sort of breathe it in and kind of be here [00:36:00] right now or you know, something like that.

For me, pleasure is that is the aliveness and it's what I use when I'm feeling activated and I'm using the tools of emotional fluency and like emotional release and discharge. Pleasure also helps me regulate my emotions, right? Being outside. Connecting with nature, being with friends, leaving a friend of voice message, sharing what I'm feeling, right.

That also helps soothe my nervous system. If I do something scary in entrepreneurship, if I take a risk in writing something that's like an edge for me, Ooh, I did a brave thing. I get to like soothe myself with an activity that makes me feel good. Sometimes it's emotional release, sometimes it's just watching Netflix, you know?

Or, Just taking some breaths and making myself a beautiful meal. You know? So those are all things that we do to nourish ourselves and for me, like [00:37:00] the sovereignty piece that, that I feel is really important to mention that that is, is often missed is the mindset piece. Like, are your thoughts truly yours?

Right. Do your thoughts truly belong to you? Because when you are thinking that you're not doing enough, that is not coming from your core self, that is not coming from your truest self, that is coming from a conditioned. State of being. That's, and we are trauma, like we are traumatized through our conditioning.

Right. Our, our conditioning is into systems of disempowerment and oppression. And if we're thinking those disempowered thoughts, we are traumatizing ourselves. And that's not sovereignty. Mm. Right. So I feel like the mindset piece is really important to name here, cuz when we're coming from the thought of I'm not doing.

Um, I don't matter what I do, doesn't matter. I might as well just, you know, throw in the towel or, um, nobody wants what I have to [00:38:00] offer, or, you know, All of those are programmed from either the collective systems of disempowerment or from the ways we learn how to be in the world from our families of origin, who also absorbed those systems of disempowerment who experienced collective trauma as.

Right, historical trauma. So I feel like the mindset piece is key. Key in having my experience be my own, having my emotions coming from a place not from. Condition thoughts, but just, just experience without the story, without the narrative that it reinforces the swirl of emotion. Mm. That make sense?

Amanda Aminata Sol: Yes.

And I feel like, um, Wow. If you wanna, if you wanna get more of this, if you like this, if you're intrigued or you feel like, Wow, I gotta, I gotta , I need [00:39:00] to keep dipping in this water. I totally recommend ASHA's, um, Podcast Devotional Anarchy. Um, and Isha, thank you so much for being with us today. Um, you know, is there something that, is there some way that you want people to reach out to you beside the podcast?

Dr. Isha Vela: Like, I welcome people to come to the event next week. It's at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, 5:00 PM Eastern Time. I'm gonna actually see, is it okay if I drop a link in

Amanda Aminata Sol: the Yes. In the chat? Okay. Yeah, if you drop a link in the chat and then we will also let, uh, other members of the, uh, of the tree community know about it.

Wonderful. . Um, yeah, because they'll get access before the wider community gets, they'll get access right away to this.

Dr. Isha Vela: Fantastic. Yeah. And the class is, is $55 for a two hour class. We're going to be going through breathwork exercises. We're gonna be doing neurogenic tremoring, [00:40:00] which is really like a. It really works just with like, basically electrical impulses in the body, really letting the body shake out what it doesn't need to hold.

There's also a four step emotional relief process. You know, oftentimes we, we have old resentments that we're hanging onto, and as long as we're holding old resentments, Like our, our own heart is suffering. So we do this forcep process to release resentment, grief, rage, et cetera. And um, and we do like a primal, we do like a pleasure swamp.

That's where we use music. We move through rage grief, using our sexual erotic. Ooh,

Amanda Aminata Sol: so that's pleasure. Swamp. Yeah. Y'all heard it here first. .

Dr. Isha Vela: Yes. Get your rain boots. We're going in the mud .

Amanda Aminata Sol: All right. All right, So thank you.


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