“Call Me CEO” is your master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership, and finding YOUR perfect balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.

What if you could transform your approach to motherhood, business, and self-care all at once? In our latest episode, we sit down with Victoria Albina, who brings her expertise as a nurse practitioner and somatic life coach to the table. We explore the intricate balance of family, personal aspirations, and health, especially for women navigating their 40s and beyond. Victoria offers valuable insights into the critical role the nervous system plays in our overall well-being, touching on its impact on digestion, hormones, and fatigue. She introduces us to the concept of emotional outsourcing and emphasizes how reconnecting with oneself, community, and nature is essential for maintaining a regulated and healthy nervous system.

Ever wondered why your body reacts the way it does to stress and relaxation? Victoria breaks down the workings of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its significant roles in our lives. From the familiar powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria, to the complexities of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, we leave no stone unturned. Victoria also introduces Dr. Stephen Porges’ polyvagal theory, shedding light on how prolonged sympathetic activation can lead to burnout. Understanding these mechanisms can empower you to achieve optimal well-being by balancing your nervous system responses.

In a refreshing reframe of traditional views on codependency, perfectionism, and people-pleasing, we explore our innate capacity for change through neuroplasticity. Victoria dives deep into core human needs like belonging, safety, and worth, explaining how these drive us to seek external validation. We also discuss the impact of chronic negativity and the importance of sitting with our emotions. Plus, Victoria shares a simple but effective tool called “orienting” to help stay present and reduce reactivity. This episode is packed with empowering insights, leaving you with actionable steps to enhance your well-being and entrepreneurial journey. Don’t forget to rate, review, and share this episode with friends, and continue the conversation with us on Instagram at @callmeceopodcast.


     List of Victoria’s podcast appearances: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4M5ectkWXFqFCmH2eXteTt?si=189b0bf4d3534a07 

     Victoria’s free meditations on codependency and perfectionism: https://victoriaalbina.com/free-meditations-2/ 

    Victoria’s website: https://victoriaalbina.com/


    Connect with Camille Walker:

    Follow Camille on Instagram: www.instagram.com/CamilleWalker.co

    Follow Call Me CEO on Instagram: www.instagram.com/callmeceopodcast

    Victoria: 0:00

    It's darn near impossible for us to feel safe with ourselves, and so we spend a lifetime emotionally outsourcing chronically and habitually looking outside of ourselves for validation of our very right to exist.

    Camille: 0:24

    So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know this is Call Me CEO and welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. This is your host, camille walker, and if it's your first time here, welcome. If you are returning, thank you, I appreciate it so much. Here we celebrate women, building businesses and running the show, and today we're speaking with someone who runs the show more than most a nurse practitioner. I feel like they're the saints of the earth. They are doing all the things, and today we have Victoria Albina, who not only is a nurse practitioner, but she's also a somatic life coach. We're talking about the nervous system today, how you can not be codependent with your business, and how you can have lead a healthier, more present life, which is what we all want. So thank you so much, victoria, for being on the show today.

    Victoria: 1:29

    Thank you so much for having me. It's such a delight to be here with you and your beautiful audience.

    Camille: 1:34

    Well, yes, they are. They are very beautiful and it looks gorgeous where you are. If you're watching on video, you can. We're on YouTube, but behind you are gorgeous trees. Tell us about where you live and all about you.

    Victoria: 1:49

    Yeah, so I am currently in the Hudson Valley occupied Muncie Lenape territory, just about two and a half hours north of great New York City, where I've lived for I lived in New York City for a very long time before the pandemic and yeah, so I am a family nurse practitioner by training and I work as a somatic life coach. I'm a master certified coach and we're gonna. I'm excited. We talked before we hit record about discussing the word somatic and how it's gotten like hashtag abused on the internet. You know what I'm saying.

    Victoria: 2:22

    Yes, we're gonna talk about it, and my passion, my work, is the nervous system, and this was born after working in as a primary care provider and in functional medicine. For many years I had a private practice in New York City doing functional medicine and really noticing that so much of what was ailing my patients that presented as digestive issues, thyroid issues, hormone issues, adrenal issues, fatigue and on and on and on was, at its core, to some degree related to the nervous system, related to emotional outsourcing. A term I came up with we'll get into in a moment was related to their body, not in the medical way, but in the mind-body way, along with their mindset right and so ever the nerd. I've been studying somatics for 20 plus years now, which is wild right that.

    Victoria: 3:19

    I've been doing anything for 20 years. I mean, you have kids who are teenagers.

    Camille: 3:23

    Yeah, that's impossible.

    Victoria: 3:30

    Yeah Right. So the other day someone had the audacity to say that 1990 was more than 10 years ago.

    Victoria: 3:35

    How dare you, crazy 1990 was 10 years ago, right, come on people. So anyway, yeah, you know, my brain is a pattern recognizing machine. I'm an epidemiologist by training. I'd love to see what the what is in that way and day after day, it was really just in so many diagnosable conditions for which Western medicine kind of throws up their hands and functional medicine says let's figure it out. But really, at the end of the day, is about the limbic system and the nervous system.

    Camille: 4:18

    This is fascinating to me because I feel like my entire feed I turned 40 this year and my entire feed, thank you. It is all full of hormone, health, cortisol levels, glp-1, pcos. Like women, hashimoto's women are scrambling trying to figure out solutions to health conditions that everyone. You don't necessarily know where it's from or where to start, or now that you're 40, you need to do things differently, and there's just so many pulling directions it's hard to know which way to go. So for someone like me who is kind of getting into that premenopausal space, and or someone who has been dealing with a condition for years like where do you even start to know if you do have a hormone issue or if it is a system issue with your nerves or both? I don't know?

    Victoria: 5:15

    Yeah, so this is what gets oversimplified in 90 second reels and as someone who makes 90 second reels, I do my best to not be complicit, but you know owning my part in this.

    Victoria: 5:27

    Right, we're all just doing our best. I try to back up those 90 second reels with like an hour long podcast. You know conversation about it, but anyway it's rarely a black and white either or kind of thing. And US consumerist, capitalist culture wants us to think we need to find the silver bullet, like the one magic pill or injection that's going to solve it all. That's not really how it works. Right, and largely what we're suffering from are the ills of modernity. Right of being disconnected from self, from community, from connection with others. Being disconnected from self, from community, from connection with others. We are not regulated in our nervous systems writ large, because we're disconnected from nature. We're not spending time in the sun, we're not slowing down and meditating and walking, right, we're in this go go go environment. We're in our cars, we're in office cubicles. We're right, you see where I'm going.

    Camille: 6:29

    And, yeah, I feel like, especially as Americans, from what I've heard or even traveled and seen the pressure we put on ourselves at, even with our kids, sports or our expectations of our work life balance, or not willing to pass something off to ask for that help, where we're literally, like you said, these hamsters running this race and not connecting with grass or looking at the sun. Yeah, that's huge.

    Victoria: 7:00

    Yeah. So I think, regardless of what your symptoms are, it can never hurt to come back to basics, right? That said, I don't want anyone to say well, you know, I'm just going to spend the next six months walking and meditating and not get a basic lab panel with my PCP, like, come on, babies, balance, right Balance. And and we need both the science and the woo yes, Right, Ooh, I love it.

    Camille: 7:29

    Yes, One of my taglines all the science and the woo bring it together.

    Victoria: 7:33

    We need them both. Yeah Right, we need the energetic connection with the earth and you need a complete metabolic panel, your B12 levels, iron levels. Check your thyroid metabolic panel, your B12 levels, iron levels. Check your thyroid like check the labs. Go see a primary care provider, go see a functional medicine provider, of things if you're not getting the care you want, but attend to the mammalian basics. So one of the things that happens like one of the best ways to know that we're living in dysregulation is to ask yourself if you're attending to your basic mammal needs.

    Victoria: 8:09

    One of the things I think we forget as grownups is that we're actually just taller toddlers at the end of the day. So, like, right, like my love. Are you peeing when you have to pee? Are you pooping when you have to poop? Are you pooping every day? Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating enough? Are you getting sunshine rest? Are you taking a nap? I'm from Argentina. The world is closed from two to 5 PM. Yes, like it should be. You want to go to the bank? It'll be open at five. You can go then after you've taken a nap, like it, like a mammal should Do. All the adults take naps too.

    Camille: 8:47

    Yes, oh, that's amazing. Or you rest right or you just relax. It's a culture of resting right.

    Victoria: 8:52

    I love that Versus like go, go, going and running yourself ragged.

    Camille: 8:57


    Victoria: 8:57

    For what? For what? For more money and accumulation of crap and junk. You know what I mean. What are your values? And so, when we can really treat ourselves like taller toddlers, we begin the work of coming back into nervous system regulation.

    Camille: 9:17

    Okay, so let's talk more about the nervous system. Tell me how we can start the baby steps with regulating our nervous system and how to go about doing that.

    Victoria: 9:28

    Yeah, right on Such a great question, thank you. So let's start by defining terms. So when we're talking about the nervous system, what we're talking about is the autonomic or automatic nervous system. So our ANS has two main parts sympathetic and parasympathetic. Most of us learned this in like eighth grade, right before we learned like the Krebs cycle, right that kind of stuff, and it's funny. I've asked people across the globe their favorite part of the cell and everyone remembers the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Do you remember that?

    Camille: 10:01

    Yes, it's even squiggly. I remember what I used to represent it.

    Victoria: 10:04

    I love that we. You remember that? Yes, it's even squiggly. I remember what I used to represent it. We all made that big diagram of the cell oh, humans, so anyway.

    Victoria: 10:12

    So we're talking about the ANS, the autonomic nervous system. Sympathetic is fight or flight. It's freak out, it's I smell a lion, I see a lion, I hear a lion, holy Manoli, lions run. Parasympathetic is the opposite side of life. It's rest and digest. We can then bring in polyvagal theory, which is the work of Dr Stephen Porges, phd, which helps us to see that rest and digest actually has two branches Ventral, which means the front body, and dorsal, which means the back body. That's irrelevant, just nerds like to hear these words. And so ventral, vagal, is the safe and social part of our nervous system. It's when we're totally chill. It's how I feel right now. I'm talking to someone who's easy to talk to. We're making nice eye contact. It's fun to talk about things that, like have wildly changed my life and my patient's life and my client's life and are just nerdy good times for nerds like me. I'm really bragging about being a nerd here.

    Victoria: 11:08

    So, thank you, we are the best. And then dorsal vagus, we've come to understand, is a part of parasympathetic. That's actually where we go when there's too much sympathetic. So when we've been running for lions for too long, we go into dorsal. It's a kind of shutdown, it's a kind of checked out, it's a kind of frozen, it's an immobility. It's when we're playing dead, because we understand that lions and other predators don't like to eat dead things. So we play dead. Yeah, so it's a possum playing possum, a deer in the headlights, you know, when you turn the corner and there's a bunny and they see you and they just kind of freeze and they look like a chocolate rabbit, not a real one. It's that moment, right. So, okay, cool Nerd. What does this mean for me?

    Victoria: 11:58

    Dorsal for human well, sympathetic for humans is anxious, it's worried, it's worked up, it's, it's urgent, right, it's. It's oh, you need, you need something done immediately. Oh, ok, let me do it right now. Right, when other people's urgency is knee jerk, your emergency, that sympathetic activation running the show. You're full of adrenaline, norepinephrine, eventually, cortisol. It's what's called a late stage hormone. It's actually we can talk about cortisol dysregulation some other time because the internet's got it wrong, but anyway, um, uh, it's when we're revved up, it's when we're, and eventually that exhausts our system.

    Victoria: 12:35

    It makes sense, right, like we've probably most of us have felt like, oh my god, I drank too much coffee and then I was all jacked and then I sort of conked out right or felt like so tired from too much coffee. That's dorsal, that's I'm just, I can't anymore, right, I? I. This situation, this experience is too much. It's burnout, it's checked out. It's, I think, most of us listening, particularly entrepreneurs. It's when you've got Canva open and 14 Google docs and Dropbox and you've got four screens and like six, you know a million things going and you're on your phone, doom, scrolling reels and maybe reaching for some wine, and you're like checked in so hard that you're completely checked out. Does that make sense?

    Camille: 13:27

    Yes, I was taking deep breaths as you were describing that. I know exactly what that feels like You're like girl, you're stressing me out.

    Victoria: 13:36

    Yeah, I really don't think there's an entrepreneur, particularly a solopreneur, on the planet, who isn't like oh my God, get out of my journal, that's me, that's been me right. And so what happens is that this is really exhausting to the organism. Our bodies aren't meant to run on adrenaline or be in that collapse and so we don't think well, we don't have good thyroid function, we don't digest well, we don't sleep well, we don't ideate, we're not creative. We just don't work optimally when we're in sympathetic activation, fight or flight or dorsal shutdown, check out, freeze, disconnect. So what is nervous system regulation? I told you we'd come back around to it. It's when our bodies are able to give us a little gas, a little sympathetic and a little dorsal, as needed, and to find a balance right. So it's like driving a car right, you gently come to the stop sign, stop and gently give it some gas.

    Victoria: 14:37

    So times in life need we need sympathetic right? We wouldn't have any. Get up and go in the morning. We wouldn't get up and put on pants and go, put the kettle on and walk the dog and like have a life without sympathetic. We wouldn't have motivation. We need a little bit and there's no rest, no savasana at the end of yoga, the resting period, there's no. Just like sitting by the fire with your friends and like chatting and feeling like a little. You know that feeling when you're just so present, you're almost out of it. But you're there. But you're right, you're not thinking, you're just there. That's dorsal, that's a little bit of dorsal, so the internet would make it look like it's an on off, but it's a continuum. Yeah, we need a little dorsal and a little sympathetic to ebb and flow throughout the day.

    Victoria: 15:32

    Without sympathetic, you'd walk into traffic, right, and you'd see the car coming and not be able to react. That's not great. Studies show it's not great, and so we need a bit of each. And regulation is our capacity to move through the states with grace and ease, versus feeling like a panic attack. Ears right, I'm flooded with sympathetic. I don't know what to do. I'm stuck here. I don't know how to not be in this. Go, go, go, go, go or I'm so checked out. I have no motivation. I can't function in dorsal. Yeah, I'm going to pause. How's this all landing?

    Camille: 16:15

    I think this is great, I great, yeah, no, I love it. Keep going Great.

    Victoria: 16:20

    Okay, great, dangerous proposition with me Keep nerding, keep sciencing, so we get dysregulated by life, right, like we were saying before, by modernity, by the demands of this go, go, go culture, right, and by you know. I know your show is largely for mompreneurs, am I pronouncing that correctly? Yeah, and so when we think about the invisible workload, right, and how much the average mom is doing in the household, let alone adding a business onto that, like it's a lot of stress for a single small animal, you know, compared with rhinos, right, we are small animals to be doing so much and to not really get proper rest and relaxation. We need self-care, we need community care. More than that and beyond that, we need structural change, right, absolutely, absolutely. We need paid parental leave, we need support for parents so they can work or so they can choose not to right, we need the kind of structural change that would support all families to get an equal opportunity to get regulated.

    Camille: 17:38

    Yeah, it's interesting.

    Camille: 17:39

    I was actually thinking about this, about how moms in the home in particular, or dads they are.

    Camille: 17:46

    What they're seeking a lot of times, and maybe missing is the cycle of having appreciation, for it's called the appreciation cycle, where they're looking for some kind of outward fulfillment or an attaboy or good job or like, hey, you can use your brain outside of changing the diapers.

    Camille: 18:06

    And so what can happen a lot and I know has happened to me is that not only am I taking on maternal household roles, but then I voluntarily brought in but I also want to use my brain and build a business. Well then I'm bringing on more, but what am I doing to balance all the things? And I think that that's where the breakdown can happen. A lot of times is that as women, we bring on more and more and more without stopping to ask for help, and that's where I really try to have people get the help by hiring a virtual assistant, getting a house cleaner, having a place where you either child swap or you get daycare or meal prep service or whatever it is grocery delivery at the very least. So let's talk about how women entrepreneurs, and especially these mothers, can create more of a balance or even know where to start with that.

    Victoria: 19:00

    Yeah, so I think we, we really. What's coming to mind immediately for me is the reasons we don't ask for help, and so that takes me back to the term I created, which is emotional outsourcing.

    Victoria: 19:13

    I created this term because I feel like, first of all, the the current literature and the current cultural understanding of codependency. It was really not working for me. It was about people who are diseased and sick and suffering and defective. It was someone not me in my mind. I was like I'm not codependent. I'd rattle off all this BS, I'd heard about what that meant, but at the end of the day, I was doing the things that define codependent thinking. I just declined to be labeled that way.

    Victoria: 19:49

    I don't think it's helpful for myself or anyone on the planet to say I am a codependent, I am a perfectionist, I am a people pleaser, because what we're doing is discounting, first of all, the role of our socialization and conditioning, in which developing those skills was an act of absolute and endless brilliance and a completely natural response to growing up in the systems in which we grew up. One, two identifying with these terms and saying they are our identity, they are who we are, is, in a way, denying and negating our capacity to change, and if there's anything I believe in, it's our human capacity to change. We are neuroplastic. We can change and modulate our own thinking, our own beliefs, the neural grooves in our mind and body that say what identity is.

    Camille: 20:45

    That's amazing right, very cool Neuroplasticity is so incredible.

    Victoria: 20:52

    So I sat down and thought about what is the thread through in codependency, perfectionism and people-pleasing? And it's a lack of connection with three vital human needs belonging, safety and worth right. And if we don't feel that we belong, that we have that physical, emotional, spiritual, energetic safety and that we're worthy of belonging and safety, it's darn near impossible for us to feel safe with ourselves. And so we spend a lifetime emotionally outsourcing, chronically and habitually looking outside of ourselves for validation of our very right to exist right. And so that looks like trying to be the good girl, the good boy right to get that out of boy, to get that like you're worthy, right. And when we chronically and habitually look outside of ourselves, we just strengthen the story that it's not within. And we do that again for completely understandable reasons that were skillful means at one point and now don't serve us. So, looping back to your point about asking for help, my goodness, why would you do that if it's your job to be perfect and to please all the people and to be beyond reproach and to never be told you're lazy or not good enough or not smart enough or not the best, and if you're only lovable, if you are all those things. And if getting help is for wusses and well, my mom didn't get any help and my dad made fun of my mom for getting help or was mean to her about it? Or what will people in the community, at church, my neighbors, think about me? If I can't do it all, what will they say? Right, who's going to? Oh well, she's got a nanny and a housekeeper, right?

    Victoria: 22:50

    It is normal, natural and human to care what other people think about us. We're pack animals. We are interdependent at our core, no matter what white settler colonialism and late stage capitalism have taught us about individualism as the only thing that matters. No, we are a pack, right, and we need one another. Right, it's a core human thing. But all of these stories get in the way of our feeling at its base, worthy of help, plus add in all the rest, right. So so to my point.

    Victoria: 23:26

    I started saying it's normal to care what people think about us. The problem in emotional outsourcing is that the again the balance is off. That belief story is dysregulated, right. So it's normal to be like oh you know, have you ever, like, texted your best friend and been like is this dress cute on me? Because you're just not sure, and so you want to consult the peanut gallery. So that's cool, cool, cool, cool. What we do is we say I hate the way this dress looks and feels on me. I feel terrible, like I look at myself and it's oh, I'm going to be uncomfortable all night. But oh, but, you like it. Okay, I'm going to wear it then, right.

    Camille: 24:06

    Yeah, right For sure, with shoes. I mean that definitely.

    Victoria: 24:10

    Okay, Well there's also that, but yeah, right, and so what the point I'm going to is? We do need to learn to ask for help, but we need to do the deeper nervous system regulation work and the work around safety, worth and inherent value.

    Camille: 24:26

    Okay, so I'm loving all of this. I think it applies to children, teenagers and adults, and I wish that it was something that I could instill in my kids from the very beginning and they would never have to question it again. But I think, as you go through different stages of growing up, you will and we have to relearn and create pathways where we trust ourselves.

    Camille: 24:47

    So what are some ways that we can change with our neuroplasticity to have that sense of belonging and that safety and to regulate our nervous system so that we do have a better nervous system?

    Victoria: 25:02

    So it's not about a better nervous system, a better operating.

    Camille: 25:06

    What is it?

    Victoria: 25:08

    I would just say more regulated, more balanced.

    Camille: 25:10

    More regulated.

    Victoria: 25:10

    yeah, Because this is what happens, right? Yeah, well, but it's not. If you live in a war zone, you want your nervous system highly attuned to the sound of a bomb. I don't want a chill nervous system. No, thank you. I want a hypervigilant one.

    Camille: 25:30

    So a highly attuned Is that the way to say it?

    Victoria: 25:33

    Or a balanced and regulated nervous system. And I'm splitting hairs here because it matters, because we can fall into that black and white thinking that all or nothing thinking. That is part and parcel of emotional outsourcing. And the biggest problem I have with the current literature and conceptualization of codependent, perfectionist and people pleasing habits is that they are bad. Then you are bad and wrong if you have them, if that is your modus operandi. And I would say the literal opposite, because at their core, right, we stay in emotional outsourcing because we feel shame.

    Victoria: 26:11

    So guilt is a great thing when it's pro-social. I did an oopsie right. You're getting on the plane. You hit someone with your bag. Oh, I'm so sorry. You feel that little pang of guilt. And then the rest of the aisle, you're holding your bag tighter and I'm so sorry. You feel that little pang of guilt. And then the rest of the aisle, you're holding your bag tighter and you're not going to smack anyone in the face with it. Phenomenal, bring on the pro-social guilt Shame is.

    Victoria: 26:31

    I am an oopsie. There is something inherently deeply wrong with me. I do not have inherent dignity. I do not matter, I'm not important. Oh, sure, I'll wear the uncomfortable dress if you want me to. I won't ask for help when I'm drowning under the kids and the work and the everything. And now someone wants me to be PTA mom Absolutely, because what will they think if I don't? So shame is at the core of everything we're talking about. So when we say it's bad for my nervous system to be dysregulated, we are, without meaning to, unwittingly. Of course, you're a good human, right. You're not meaning to do any shenanigans, right. But we are feeding into that narrative that having dysregulation is a bad thing, is a problem, and all it is is more information about where we've come from and where we are that can help us decide where we want to go. Does that make sense? Absolutely.

    Camille: 27:32


    Victoria: 27:33

    I'm splitting hairs over here. I don't know why. I'm from Long Island. All of a sudden I'm not from Long Island. It's the accent I appropriate the most my best friend's from Long Island.

    Camille: 27:43

    Oh, I love it, I steal it, so anyway. So how do we instill this? What are the steps to move forward, to do this?

    Victoria: 27:52

    So I believe it all has to start with safety. Right, safety is the most core human mammalian thing. Our nervous systems dysregulate because they are sensing a lack of safety. Right, when we think about our limbic system, which is the evolutionarily oldest part of our brain, it's our reptile brain. Right, it's that old one that says lion, tabby, cat, cobra, stick in the grass. Right, it's very binary, it's very simplistic. Yes, no, black and white. And so that system for many of us is on a hair trigger and will activate to make us things, things are scary and dangerous that simply aren't, because we don't have attunement to safety. Again, for wicked smart reasons, which, I'm sorry, let me translate that's hella smart for the West Coast. I just want to be inclusive. Okay, thank you. Perfect, I do my best.

    Camille: 28:47

    I try.

    Victoria: 28:48

    Yeah, yeah, I don't know how to say it in British. Maybe someone will send a little email.

    Camille: 28:52

    Wicked, no, wicked Right.

    Victoria: 29:05

    So it's just like the East Coast, but with like an accent accent. Yes, okay, I'm down, I'm available, I'll allow it. Okay, great. So safety, safety is everything, it's the most important thing. So we need to attend to being a taller toddler. I know it sounds so simple. We want something complicated.

    Victoria: 29:20

    Our biological impulses are the ways our body tells us something. Here matters. We are 70% water. Our mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, doesn't function without water. We need water. So when your body says hey, girl, I'm thirsty, and you say, oh, but I'm busy, it sends a signal of unsafety. When you have to poop and you don't go, when you're hungry and you don't feed when you need to like it's.

    Victoria: 29:55

    We all know what the biological impulses are. Right, we need to hear the body and say I am with you, I am you, we are a team, I'm not. You know to heck with Descartes, right, it's not a mind-body dualistic schism. Mind and body are one, and so every time the body speaks, we listen. It doesn't mean hyperreacting to symptoms, because we can take it to the extreme. It just means saying I'm listening, I'm going to drive to the next exit, I'm not going to pee right now because you know we're in the car, but I will get you to the next exit. I will get you expeditiously to where you can pee. So that's a very simple, easy thing. Because you asked. You know how can we help kids with this? You can help them to listen to their biological impulses yes. Next, listen to cues of safety.

    Victoria: 30:50

    So, given how often so many of us feel cues of not safety, it makes sense, in particular for those of us who grew up in homes rife with emotional outsourcing it makes sense that we would turn away from the felt sensation of unsafety, which can be sadness, can be anger, can be annoyance, frustration, resentment. For many of us, it can be joy that can feel like nope. If I let myself feel happy, the other shoe is going to drop. Like nope. If I let myself feel happy the next, the other shoe's gonna drop like nope. Not interested, not interested.

    Victoria: 31:26

    You know those people complain a lot or who, like, are very just negative about everything. It's often because being actually happy, actually content, does not feel safe in their bodies. I was visiting one of my best friends and I was like, oh my gosh, we've had the most amazing day. Everyone in your city is so incredibly kind, to which her partner goes. Well, there are grumpy people here too. And I was like, yeah, no, I'm looking at one. It is my guess well, not judging her at all, but it is my very well-educated guess that growing up it wasn't safe for her to be happy, to be content, to be at ease. She had to be hypervigilant, right.

    Camille: 32:11

    And so interesting because I'm even thinking of, like my own kids growing up in the same house yeah, they're individual, can lean more towards. No, I need to be highly vigilant and I don't know how much of that is teenage hormone or what, but even as little kids I could kind of sense that leaning one way to the other. Is there a way to develop that more?

    Victoria: 32:33

    The capacity to stay with your feelings.

    Camille: 32:37

    To feel safe within happiness or to not look for ways to drag, or look for the bad or yeah.

    Victoria: 32:49

    So it really comes down to developing, cultivating a capacity to be with all your feelings right. So again, that's why I'm like, oh, let's not call it bad. I don't believe in negative emotions.

    Camille: 33:02

    There's no such frigging thing, there's just emotions, to let them explore all of it and to safely express all of it.

    Victoria: 33:08

    Right, right. And so letting ourselves actually sit with the feeling before we reach for our phone and make it go away Before we have the 67 screens and make it go away Before we have the wine and make it go away Before we screen to make it go away before we have the wine and make it go away before we exercise to make it go away.

    Victoria: 33:25

    So what would it be like for your kids, for you, for all of us, to really sit with our feelings, like really sit with them and let them be right, not try to push them away, not try to negate them, not try to circumvent them, but to breathe into them in a real way that allows them to feel safe with us and to allow ourselves to feel safe with our feelings? Because anytime you're up sadness, up joy, like when you're pushing it away, you are unwittingly sending that signal of unsafety into your nervous system around a feeling, around your own emotion and feeling. And so it's about naming the sensation, staying with the sensation and getting present with it. Now, with that said, can I teach your folks a really simple, really vital nervous system tool? Yeah, you got a big, happy face with that. So this is the most basic and boring of incredibly vital nervous system tools. It's called orienting and it's kind of what it sounds like. You orient yourself to time and place.

    Victoria: 34:39

    So when we get activated in the nervous system, it's because remember at the beginning I said something smells like a lion. So our nervous systems create heuristics, shortcuts, pathways, right Like when you drive the kids to school. You're not thinking every day like where do I turn left? Your brain just autopilots you to the school right. So our brains see or smell or like get a hint of something that was dangerous in the school Right. So our brains see or smell or like get a hint of something that was dangerous in the past. So, for example, for my friend's partner, happiness, contentment, being at peace, not being a grumpy pants, was probably not safe for her Right, and so she's got that heuristic shortcut happiness, shut it down, negativity, judgment right On that same trip she's like oh, how many pairs of shoes did you bring Right?

    Victoria: 35:32

    We have that go-to habit of negativity. So we honor that. It was for a reason, right, and we start with that, with truly honoring. This is my habit, for a reason. I don't need to understand it, but I can allow myself to have the feelings that are under it. So when I hear myself about to make that critical comment, can I pause, take a breath and orient? So we orient ourselves to the here and now, because our mind, body, our nervous system takes us back to back. Then Does that make sense? Because if it smells like a lion I better run.

    Victoria: 36:17

    If it smells like too much joy, I better attack. And that's a past story. That's not right now. Right now, in this moment, I don't, I don't smell. Do you smell a lion? I don't, I don't smell a lion. I think we're okay.

    Camille: 36:31

    What's the difference between someone just being a more critical? Does that exist, that some people have the personality of being more critical, or is it really that they're not, that they're harboring a feeling of unsafety, like how do you know? Is there a difference? Does it matter? No, but can someone like change that about themselves? Is what I guess, what I'm saying.

    Victoria: 36:55

    In my experience. Yes, I mean I. You know, I'm not a behavioral psychologist.

    Camille: 37:01

    I mean I would hope they would want to. That would be the first thing right Right. Like they'd want to be more kind. But I know some people are like, well, they're just kind of more grumpy and so I don't know. Like I'm just curious about that, yeah, and.

    Victoria: 37:14

    I think it could be like an interesting literature review to see what the literature has to say on this, but in my experience and of course the people coming to me as clients want to want to change?

    Camille: 37:26

    Yeah, which is that the key?

    Victoria: 37:28

    Yeah, sure Could some people be constitutionally grumpier. Sure In that, like I am constitutionally pretty darn joyful. Yeah, I'm just a joyful animal. It's just the kind of, if someone hands me a poop sandwich, I'm going to say, well, at least this nice bread. You know they had the decency to put a tomato on there, thank you, right, like I'm with a beautiful place that handmade, you know so. Sure some people could be constitutionally grumpy, but I think even in that case of nervous system, regulation and grounding can help to bring in more felt safety, which can only ever help.

    Camille: 38:11

    Yeah, Okay, so we have a negative thought come in, whether it's a feeling of unsafety for ourselves. We want to be critical. We're maybe even self-critical to ourselves. You are suggesting that we stop and absorb the feeling.

    Victoria: 38:27

    Yeah, we're going to orient. So orienting is when you literally look around, where you are taking in your surroundings, and we're doing this because, remember and I'm looking all the way from across my left shoulder all the way around to my right, so super, I'm thinking of really super easy things we can also teach kiddos. We're showing our nervous system by taking in our surroundings, in this moment, the things we can hear, the things we can see, the things we can smell and taste. We're showing our body, through our senses, that I'm now it's 2024. I'm now I'm not six, I'm not 12. I'm not 28. I'm now 2024. Right, I'm not in 1990.

    Victoria: 39:11

    from orienting to our environment, orienting to present safety and the sensations of safety, we can allow ourselves to feel all the feelings that came up with the sadness, the anger, the happiness, the whatever and allow ourselves to be present to it, to really ground in, like feeling all the feelings that come up around that emotion, because that's what most of us don't do. Right, right, yeah.

    Camille: 39:51

    It's easy to. It's easy to just distract or move on or push it away.

    Victoria: 39:55

    Yeah for sure, or to move into like an adjacent emotion. So I'm just thinking of, like when I was willy nilly hiring VAs and didn't know what I was doing. I wasn't, honestly. I was just a terrible employer at first because I had no idea I had to give someone detailed instructions. I just like thought someone could like magically pop into my business and figure out what to do. Oops, what do you? Now I have like 60 page SOPs, right, that are all hyperlinked and looms and like the whole thing.

    Victoria: 40:24

    But I would often feel what was most easily identifiable as anger or annoyance with my VA, but at its core was frustration, which under that was worry. It was like an existential worry that my business was going to fail. So it was fear, right, and so it's. How on earth are you going to get to the realist of the they're all real, but like the driving most realist feeling unless you get present to what is right and as you get present to well, I'm so annoyed, I'm so frustrated. Let yourself feel it. Okay, what else? And that's how we can get down to what's really at the core, which?

    Victoria: 41:17

    when, I like in processing it right now with you. Frustration and anger at the VAs was about safety. Right, am I going to be able to feed my family? Right Pay my mortgage?

    Camille: 41:29

    Yeah, it's interesting that you say this because I do coach quite a few women who are needing to hire a VA. But a big part of it first is understanding really what they're needing and what they're looking for and what they need to relieve and what they're looking for and what they need to relieve. So, starting with a time audit and their emotions of what's around that and what what they really enjoy doing and what they dread doing. And one of the number one things that I tell entrepreneurs is just because you can do something well doesn't mean that you should be the one doing it if it's not moving the needle of your business.

    Camille: 42:03

    And so it's kind of the same mentality we get into as moms sometimes where we think, well, my son could do the dishes or load the dishwasher, but he's not going to do it the way I do or as efficiently or as quickly, and so you have to get over that emotional need to control to allow someone else to do it, and do it poorly at first, and then you train them and then you work through it. And that doesn't mean that it's a failure if it doesn't happen in the first day, week or even three weeks.

    Victoria: 42:32

    I tell people it usually takes about a month to get that low Right and then when you sit with that desire to control the dishwasher just like it's so funny, these things that are tropes, like it's such a dumb trope but like we're all doing it right the desire to be controlling around the dishwasher is because we feel out of control elsewhere. What's at the core of not being control, not being safe? What feelings are you not feeling around the house? Feeling around the house, right, and what feels familiar from?

    Victoria: 43:10

    your growing up or from your stories around perfectionism or people pleasing your family or your partner, right? What are the? What are people going to think? Stories in your head around this? Right, and it's. It's really the. The way to get regulated is to do this mind body, mind body, somatics, mindset, somatics, mindset where we're looking at both the physical sensation and the emotions and the stories that are connected, and that's what makes my work unique is bringing them both together I love that.

    Camille: 43:40

    Well, this has been absolutely fascinating. I think that we could go on talking literally forever hours for hours, but for moving people forward from this place of getting present with where they are connecting mind and body, asking those questions, getting curious. Number one hire a virtual assistant to ask for that help. I can help you with that and then to help you with the somatic piece. That is where Victoria can help you, and so tell our audience a little bit more about what that looks like and how they connect with you.

    Victoria: 44:13

    Yeah. So there are two main ways to work with me. One is through Anchored, which is my six month program where we combine somatic and mindset coaching along with breathwork in a really vibrant community where we work on our emotional outsourcing mind, body and spirit. If you're looking just to study the somatics, I've got that for you too. It's called the somatic studio. It's a 12-week program where we're focused on neuro education, nervous system education, psychoeducation kind of the nerding I started doing today. But we go real deep. But don't worry, lots of metaphors, lots of diagrams and drawings and cute pictures and making it really accessible and, most of all, really practical. Because it's fun to learn all the big science words but if it doesn't change your life at the end of the day it's not that useful, right? So practical science through the somatic studio.

    Victoria: 45:08

    My podcast is called Feminist Wellness. It's for humans of all genders. It's for free every single Thursday, wherever you get your podcasts. You can follow me on the gram. I give good gram at Victoria Albina Wellness and I have a treat just for your listeners. Awesome, isn't that fun? Yeah, we love presents. So if you go to victorialbinacom slash, call me CEO trying to keep that simple on there you can download a suite of meditations, nervous system orienting and grounding exercises, an inner child exercise all sorts of nice treats for free. They're downloads, right, so they're yours to keep forever. Just for sorts of nice treats for free. They're downloads, right, so they're yours to keep forever. Just for listening to this show for free.

    Camille: 45:49

    Oh, I'm excited. I can't wait to listen to that. I did a retreat with women last week and we did breath work and grounding and we got outside and did e-bikes and hiking and swimming and it was so fun because it was such a good mix of moving our bodies and also really asking those deep questions of what is it that we really want. And I think that that kind of questioning should be happening quarterly, if you can, to reevaluate just where you are in the season right now, because I can tell you, summertime looks a lot different than fall and I really feel like each season brings its own change. So, victoria, thank you so much for being on the show today.

    Victoria: 46:25

    It was such a pleasure chatting with you, thank you, thank you, all right.

    Camille: 46:29

    Well, thank you everyone for listening today and please leave a rating and review. Share this with a friend who you think might find this helpful. Thank you so much for being here. Bye, hey, ceos. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment. In a five-star review, you could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram at callmeceopodcast, and remember you are the boss.

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