As coaches, there are always additional challenges when it comes to physical pain and trauma responses. We want to help our clients feel relief and breakthrough in everything they are working through, yet many of us aren’t trained in this area and each of us face our own difficulties.
To talk about your nervous system and coaching, I interviewed Body and Mind Life Coach, Betsy Jensen. I first found Betsy when I had a client who raved about the results she’d been experiencing working with Betsy. During our discussion, Betsy shared about how we are empowered to take control, understanding the nervous system, ingrained trauma or protective response, and flight, fight, freeze or fawn (the protective state). She also opened up about her own chronic conditions, her journey away from pain, and the mindset shifts she undertook to achieve her freedom.
“It’s getting to that calmer state of the nervous system. And then your body knows how to heal. And then you know how to have conversations with people… [And] you can hold space for someone else. You can be that safe place.” – Betsy Jensen
I highly recommend you listen to every episode of my Foundations for Your Coaching Business series: mollyclaire.com/the-masterful-coach.
Betsy is a Body and Mind Life Coach, helping people heal from chronic pain through nervous system regulation, and the latest neuroscience. As a former Physical Therapist, she had been working with people in pain for over two decades but her own health struggles brought her to the mind-body approach. Now through coaching, she is helping people calm their nervous system, rewire their brain, and heal their chronic pain – not just manage it. To help accomplish this, Betsy offers Somatic Coaching, her Alignment Academy, and hosts her own podcast, Unstoppable Body and Mind.
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Intro: Welcome to the Masterful Coach Podcast with Molly Claire. If you’re a coach who’s ready to impact more lives, make more money, and create a life you love, you are in exactly the right place. Get the support you deserve as a female entrepreneur, master your coaching skills, grow your ideal business, and to honor your priorities in your personal life.
Are you in? Let’s get started with your host, bestselling author, and master life and business coach, Molly Claire.
Molly Claire: Hey, coach, today’s interview is amazing. I’m about to bring you Betsy Jensen. I first found Betsy when a client of mine actually told me that her work with Betsy had helped her with physical pain that she had had for as long as she could remember. And what Betsy does is she specializes in nervous system work and helping people to eliminate chronic pain. And she does so much more than that, as you’ll hear in this interview.
So I had connected with Betsy and I actually had her come and speak to the masterful coach collective community. And she came and she spoke there, and she also taught my advanced coaches. We talked all about the nervous system and understanding the nervous system in relation to coaching, the nervous system in relation to thought work, mindset work. And the class that she taught was one of the most impactful for so many of my clients, and I thought I knew that I needed to bring her here.
So I’m thrilled to be able to bring you this interview. And let’s go for it.
All right, coaches. So as I said, you are going to love today’s guest. I have Betsy Jensen here. I’m gonna have her introduce herself and tell you more about what she does, but just get ready, buckle up because this information is going to be so helpful for you personally and in your business.
Hello, Betsy. How are you?
Betsy Jensen: Hi, Molly. Oh, I’m fantastic. Thank you for having me here. I’m so happy to be here.
Molly Claire: Good. I’m so happy to have you for so many reasons, and especially because I feel like what we’re talking about with nervous system regulation and some trauma responses and all those things, I think they’re being talked about more, but I think they’re not talked about enough in the coaching and business space and it’s time.
So I really appreciate you being here.
Betsy Jensen: Yes. No, I love talking about it. And as we were talking just before, like five years ago, I had no idea about a lot of this stuff. I had started knowing about coaching and listening to podcasts, but you know, trauma response that sounded scary and fight or flight. But I didn’t really even realize like how much it affects the body, how much physical pain we can have from our nervous system being dysregulated and what that even means, and yeah.
Molly Claire: Right, right. Yeah. And I’m so glad you brought that up because I wanna say to all of you, my listeners, that you’re all going to have varying levels of understanding of what Betsy’s talking about, and nervous system and trauma responses and all of that. And so what I’ll say is just wherever you are is perfect and just take this in and hopefully you will be able to integrate what you already know with what she’s talking about.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to know it all or understand it all. Whatever you get from it is enough, right?
Betsy Jensen: Right. Yeah. Sometimes just a very simple understanding is better. So I try to just, anything simplify, cuz you can get really deep on, you know, there’s these states and mixed states and it gets confusing and dorsal and ven, and parasympathetic so, yeah. Just being like, “Am I activated or am I calm?”
You know, even simple things like that can make a big difference in how you’re feeling and how you’re showing up.
Molly Claire: Yes. Yes. Okay. I love it. And I’ll just say, I was saying to Betsy before we started as well, before we started recording for you, that it’s like I’ve been diving into so much of this work, the body work and the nervous system and the emotion stuff in my business. And yet I’ve only scratched the surface.
And so that’s why I’m so excited to have you here today. And I introduced her a little bit before we started recording together personally, but then I kind of jumped ahead. I wanna back up a little bit, Betsy. Tell everyone who are you and what do you do exactly.
Betsy Jensen: Hi. Okay. Yeah, I might have diverted us off track. Yes. Let’s reign it back in. I’m Betsy Jensen and I live in Utah. I am a mom of four, single mom right now, and I kind of came to this. I feel like my whole life has really been leading to where I am now. I was always interested in self-help. Even as a teenager going to Barnes and Noble, I’d go to the psychology section and I was a psychology major before I did physical therapy school.
I knew I was going to physical therapy school, but you have to get a bachelor’s degree first. So psychology, physical therapy. I was always interested in the mind and body. But then, you know, kind of got into life and practicing physical therapy and western medicine and the medical model and didn’t think too much about it. You know, just went about my life hurrying around, just running on the hamster wheel.
Molly Claire: That we all know so well. Yeah.
Betsy Jensen: Yeah. And wouldn’t you know, ended up with some chronic stuff going on. For me, it wasn’t chronic pain necessarily, it was more digestive stuff. So ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel. And it happened that it was also not coincidentally during a very tumultuous time in my life where I was getting divorced and started to fortuitously- we had this desire to start going to yoga. I was already listening to coaching by that time, which was helping a lot, but I was still doing a lot of things to myself that I didn’t realize were adding to my pain. You know, just stress. Just being really stressed.
So yes, yoga, I started meeting these people that also just like serendipitously, that’s the better word, maybe.
Molly Claire: There we go. Yeah.
Betsy Jensen: Started telling me about like books that they were saying like, this is psychosomatic. Ulcerative colitis is psychosomatic. And for a lot of people that is like offensive. And you’re like, “Oh, that’s all in my head.”
But for me, I was like, “Sweet. Yes. Like that is the best news ever.” And so I discovered Joe Dispenza and John Sarno and there’s even some different books I would recommend now because the research has changed just over the last five years.
Molly Claire: Yeah. Yeah,
Betsy Jensen: Just keeps coming out with like more and more credible research, reliable techniques.
Yes. This is undeniable right now.
Molly Claire: This is the time. I mean, it’s the time. It’s incredible how much is available now. That wasn’t just a few short years ago.
Betsy Jensen: Yes, and the whole paradigm has shifted. Yeah. We’re just checking out so many different things about how pain works, how much it’s tied to our nervous system and our emotions. When you start to see it in that frame and treat it differently, it responds so much better than when we’re treating it with more things that activate the nervous system and fear.
Molly Claire: Yes, yes. Okay. So I wanna highlight some of this. I’ve taken notes, I’m like, okay, now we need to talk for about three hours. Ok. Cause we have so many things to talk about. Right. Scheduling things. But yeah. And Betsy, before I hit on some of those, so you really, as a coach, you’re the mind-body coach, right?
And you specialize in working with people, specifically with physical pain, would you say more so?
Betsy Jensen: Yeah.
Molly Claire: I realize it ends up being so much more than that. Yeah.
Betsy Jensen: Yeah. I mean, some people have, I’ve coached them just because they’ve wanted to like get more into their body and process their emotions. Because that’s basically the same thing. What’s so interesting, and your audience probably knows a lot of these techniques for processing emotions going into the body, describing the color, the shape, the temperature.
That’s exactly what they’re teaching in pain science to process physical pain. So it’s all about just giving your brain different signals, new neural pathways, new understanding or beliefs being in the present moment.
Molly Claire: There’s so much to it. There’s really is so much to it. Yeah. Yeah.
Betsy Jensen: So it’s so fascinating how it’s like, it could be physical pain, like your neck hurts chronically because you know, maybe you had an injury 10 years ago. Or it could be like things like fatigue or brain fog, or conditions like fibromyalgia or irritable bowel. Headaches are almost always very helped by this process. Any of the digestive things.
You know, the nervous system really affects all the systems of the body. So, I mean, honestly, there’s so many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause that are treated by this mind-body approach that, you know, most women when they’re just given that, “Oh, well, this is part of your phase of life. You know, maybe you can try some herbal remedies or something.”
But things like tinnitus and frozen shoulder and palpitations, all of those things can be, your nervous system is activating to protect you or shutting down to protect you.
Molly Claire: It’s so incredible. So I know that those of you listening have probably heard me talk about this a little bit before, if you’ve listened to many of my episodes. But, you know, I was really hit hard with chronic fatigue syndrome. When my daughter was not quite, she was two, my boys were little and I just found myself feeling like, “Is this really my life? I’m like, barely 30 and I’m too tired to walk my kids to school.”
So I didn’t have the physical pain piece of it. And that has really opened up this space. Similar to what you were saying, Betsy, where I started to see, and I definitely had physical things as well. A lot of is, you know, issues with foods and sensitivities, and I still have so much of that.
And so what I wanna say is, those of you listening that have experienced any level of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, illness and ailments of the body, this is pertinent to you. And this is the other thing that I wanna say. Is going back to what Betsy was saying about hearing, “Oh, this is psychosomatic,” and that’s sometimes leaving a bad taste in some people’s mouth is, I wanna make clear to you, any of you that anything that you are experiencing, it’s not that it’s your fault that you are experiencing that. It’s not your fault, that you haven’t done a better job managing your stress, or that you haven’t done a better job managing your emotions or whatever it is.
It’s not your fault, and it doesn’t mean it’s all in your head. This is just a way of understanding more about the whole picture of you as a human and what your body needs.
Betsy Jensen: Thank you so much for saying that. And can I just draw an analogy, since so many coaches are listening, I find it similar to when you learn about the model and you learn about how thoughts create your results, and you can take that information and you can use it to beat yourself up. And you can say, “So now it’s all my fault. And now I’m the one who has to change, and my husband gets to stay the same.” And, you know, like there’s that way you can go down that path when you learn this tool.
Or you can learn this tool and it can be this like gift, like so expansive. Like, “Oh my gosh, now I have control now. Instead of it being, you know, just like this random stuff that happens to me, which produces more fear and more symptoms. Now there’s a different narrative.”
Now you can reframe it to what you do have power to change. And if you can’t do it, it’s not that you’re weak. I mean, our nervous systems developed when we were children. And so most of our nervous systems are still operating as if we’re a child in an environment that we need to have these strategies to survive.
So, a lot of times we don’t know until it affects our body.
Molly Claire: Right, right. Absolutely. And yeah, just speaking to what you were saying for the coaches following me that really focus on a lot of mindset work, maybe the LCS model or other versions of looking at thoughts, having a cognitive approach, I wanna make it clear that everything we’re talking about and that Betsy’s gonna share with the nervous system is not necessarily in contrast or conflict to that.
Sometimes things can push against it, but I think it’s really helpful to think about how does this all fit together? Because I think where we miss out is when we think this cognitive approach, or this model over here is the way, and sometimes it’s not the way. Sometimes it’s good to know, but there’s just so, so much more.
Betsy Jensen: That is so true.
Molly Claire: So tell my listeners, if we’re just like, okay, nervous system awareness 101 for my coaches, what do they need to know? Why is it important for them to understand their nervous system?
Betsy Jensen: Yeah. Yeah. So again, since your nervous system affects all of your body, it actually is the lens that we see the world through. So in addition to how our thoughts that we’re perceiving in our mind shape our reality, we have a lot of subconscious thoughts and programs and some from generations before us, kind of survival mechanisms. This is all a very primitive system to keep us safe and for things to happen that we don’t have to consciously think about all the time. We’d get overwhelmed with all the information.
So there’s certain things that as children we might have learned, don’t be angry and don’t cry in public and certain emotions are not as appropriate, and you should feel certain ways. So we start to develop these protective responses, survival states, you could call them trauma responses.
I call them the same like fight, or flight, freeze, fawn. They are all responses to the environment to try to protect you. So trauma is just something that’s more than the nervous system can handle.
And so there could be a little-t trauma like falling off a bike and you might go into a reaction to protect yourself to not have that happen again. And if it’s with people, you might do that same type of thing, right? So we just have these protective responses. We’ve learned and things like fight might be like getting angry, getting frustrated with yourself, blaming other people, finding fault with other people, victim mentality. That’s the flight, or sorry, fight.
Flight was interesting to me. It’s also this activation, but we’re usually not running away from tigers these days, but we are kind of on this quest to be more perfect. So flight is like this, “I wanna do more, I need to be more worthy, I need to do more things.”
I was living in so much flight, I had no idea. That was a large reason my digestive system was shutting down and getting dysregulated is because I was, literally at night I would make lists in my head to go to sleep. That was like relaxing for me is like making lists of things. Do you know, I was so just on the hamster wheel.
Molly Claire: Heightened. Yeah. Yeah. So I wanna pause with that for a minute, because I think, to your point, most of us don’t think of flight that way. I know I certainly didn’t before. But would you say- like, I noticed that when I, or my clients, are doing what I call frantic action where it’s like we think, “Well, when I’m overwhelmed, I don’t just go sit and do nothing. I actually get right after it, and I do it, do it, do it.”
And I call that frantic action, which isn’t as effective. Would you classify that as really being in a flight response?
Betsy Jensen: Yes, exactly. And that’s the exact thing to remember and to notice from that is like when you are in a survival state, it’s not showing up your best. So yes, you may be doing the motions, you may be doing the activities, but you’re not doing it in a way that’s actually helpful or that’s going to come across as attractive to people.
You’re in this, it’s like a scarcity and you’re like, graspy, and people can feel that. And that’s flight. And for me, it showed up as a lot of like perfectionism and high achieving and trying to be the best at things in competitiveness, like that’s all flight.
And it was how I thought I needed to survive when I was younger. I thought I needed validation. And so now, because of the stuff that I’ve been through with my body, now I’m learning to be more gentle with myself. So I’m not as much of a perfectionist and, you know, not living that frantic, urgent life that was not helpful in any way really on the inside or the outside.
I mean, it wasn’t like helpful to my family. It wasn’t helpful to I was trying to do. Yeah, definitely flight is like- and we see it with people who are trying to heal. Even they’ll do the journaling and they’ll do the meditation, but it’s from this urgency,
Molly Claire: Yes.
Betsy Jensen: They’re still not healing because really it’s not about what you do.
Just like coaching, getting to that calmer state of the nervous system. And then your body knows how to heal, then you know how to have conversations with people. Then you know how to coach. That’s why this is like even ties into coaching is like you can get to, that safe state of the nervous system. You can hold space for someone else. You can be that safe place and you have to do very little. Like, you’re not thinking ahead. You’re just being there with them and it’s like your subconscious can coach, you know? It’s like this easier way to.
Molly Claire: Yes. More ease, more intuitive, more connection.
Betsy Jensen: And that’s what I learned from Bev’s Deep Dive. You know her? Yeah. Deep dive certification. I was like, “Oh, that’s cool. She’s teaching all about the nervous system.”
Like she doesn’t use those words, but like, yeah. She has you do a meditation maybe before you coach or- not only are you perceiving your client differently, but they’re perceiving you differently. You’re showing up differently. I don’t know how they’re perceiving you, but chances are they’re perceiving you differently or at least you know you’re showing up with a different-
Molly Claire: Absolutely. Well, I mean, again, there are like so many things and I want to highlight a couple things. One, so the nervous system is an autonomic system. Yes.
Betsy Jensen: Yes.
Molly Claire: Tell the people, what does this mean? How would you describe that in simple terms?
Betsy Jensen: Oh my gosh. I’m so glad you said that. Just going back to basics. So this is automatic, so think of like blushing. Think of something that happens again, like I was saying, the brain tries to be efficient. It puts all these things in the subconscious, and so 95% of our thoughts are actually subconsciously happening.
And they’ve done amazing studies where they’ve seen that people are more likely to perceive someone as unfriendly if they’re holding an iced coffee versus if they’re holding a warm coffee in their hand.
Molly Claire: That’s so interesting.
Betsy Jensen: So there’s just these little cues of like danger and threat in our environment. If there’s a high pitched noise, we’re more likely to go and search for danger. If there’s a low pitch noise, we’re more likely to seek safety. Like it’s so- we have these little subtle programs always running at the bottom level automatically.
And they can come to our awareness, just like as we know with coaching. These thoughts run automatically. We can bring them to our awareness, we can modify them, but it doesn’t mean we’re gonna never go into flight or fight. Those are actually, that’s a sign that we’re healthy and we’re living, is that we are expanding ourselves and sometimes going into some fearful states and having some responses and coming back to safety and that is how we grow.
And that is what, as we’re evolving, we’re always gonna be putting ourselves out there and having some freeze. Oh, I’ve had so much more freeze this last year with growing my coaching business than ever in my life. But I see it as a sign of progress, not as a sign a problem. I’m expand my nervous system so that I can hold greater and greater capacity.
Molly Claire: Okay, I wanna highlight this. Cuz think about this. Think about what Betsy just said, this idea that I think sometimes we think, just like everything else, “I should manage my nervous system. I shouldn’t ever go into fight or flight or freeze. And if I am, it’s a problem to be fixed.” Right?
And while certainly we wanna have awareness and we wanna help ourselves regulate our nervous system, going into those states is, it’s only not gonna happen if you’re not doing anything right? Like
Betsy Jensen: Exactly, yes.
Molly Claire: Going into those states and experiencing all of that is part of the human experience, part of expanding.
Betsy Jensen: Yes.
Molly Claire: And I think as you were talking, the other thing that I wanted to highlight for you as my listeners is think about the behaviors that Betsy was identifying. When we’re getting upset, maybe when we’re in fight, and maybe we’re yelling or we’re trying to control, or we’re being very combative and think about what she described as flight that we talked about, right? Kind of like achieving and working frantically and not being effective.
And let’s just take those two examples and I want you guys to think about how, if you do any kind of cognitive model, the LCS model or something similar, that when we point out those actions to ourselves or our clients, how easy is it for us to think that is wrong? That is a bad action. “This is an action that is my fault.”
So the reason I wanna highlight that is I hope that with cognitive work that you expand awareness and you can see and notice after listening to this today, where some of those behaviors are maybe fitting in with your client’s nervous system. And really, I mean, Betsy, it’s true, right, that we can help ourselves and our clients with our nervous system in so many really pretty easy ways. Just a minute to like self connect.
Betsy Jensen: Yes. Yes. Yes. Even what you’re doing right now, like putting your hands on your heart and you know what? I have something in my hand right now that I’m like passing back and forth, especially when we started the interview, I was a little more nervous, so I was just calming my nervous system myself under the camera here.
Yeah, it’s that awareness and again, having that control, like knowing that you have some tools, then you can go into and out of those states so much more easily. It’s just like with emotions, how they’re automatic, right? It’s not like you’re, you know, going from the thought to like, “What is the emotion I’m gonna choose from there?” It’s- right.
Molly Claire: It’s just like that.
Betsy Jensen: Yeah, they’re automatic. You get put into these nervous system states based on how your nervous system developed. Something that’s triggering for me might not be for you. I know that as I, like I said, as I’ve grown, like, I started dancing recently. And it is brought up all of these, junior high reactions and emotions. I’m getting all the, but I’m like, but I’m putting myself out there and doing a new thing. So it makes sense.
And as I, each time I get dysregulated and come back, that grows my capacity to tolerate more and more. Unwinding those old stories from the past and, using the state you’re in to have that knowledge of like, “Okay. Something is telling me I’m not safe. And maybe that’s true, but like 99% of the time we’re not being like, chased by a tiger and there’s not a real danger.”
And if we can just anchor back to the environment, or to safety, or to that inner knowledge that we have that everything’s always working out for us. Even like you said, those, just those brief moments of coming into a calmer state. Or like, you know, hours of rest for our nervous system. I mean, even-
Molly Claire: Yes. It’s so powerful.
Betsy Jensen: that, yeah, but when we’re just constantly dysregulated, it’s just like that fish swimming in the water and they don’t even realize how, you know, I didn’t realize how stressed I was.I just didn’t even realize.
Molly Claire: Well, and I, so I wanna speak to you, all of you listening from a perspective of, well, first, let’s talk about business as you’re building your business. All of my clients know, Betsy just noticed, I was putting my hands like together right on my chest, on my heart, like this is what I do all the time when I’m like business coaching with my clients.
Betsy Jensen: I love it. I do too.
Molly Claire: And my coaches know because I’m coaching a client and I see that they’re going to this place of feeling frantic. They’re frustrated with their self. They’re not knowing how they’re gonna move this forward, or they’re stuck on their freebie or whatever it is, and a huge part of what I do with my clients in the business setting is helping them to connect with themselves. And to calm their nervous system and to approach these business tasks, not only from a cognitive perspective, or a strategy perspective, but let’s get in touch with like, let’s connect with your nervous system.
And I think that when we don’t do that, we’re missing out. It’s like we are going to waste so much time and energy and money and everything else trying to make something happen without having our nervous system on board and it’s not going to work.
Betsy Jensen: Yeah, and it, and if it does, it won’t work very
Molly Claire: That’s right. It won’t.
Betsy Jensen: Pretty negative, but it’s like the hamster wheel. You can’t just keep running on it indefinitely. Or even your phone, you’ve got to charge it sometimes. And sometimes the phone just looks like it’s sitting there and nothing’s happening, but it’s charging on the inside.
And you just don’t know. In our culture, it’s just not commonly taught. I think it’s starting to be more. But this rest and repair state, that relaxation. And some of it is just being kinder to yourself and being more accepting that you do go into these nervous system states. But, again, that is where we have not only – I talk a lot about the body, but that is where we can actually connect with other people.
That is where we can learn. That is where we can be creative and have ideas and- so, although our ideals in the society are usually people who are just frantic and working 80 hours a week, when we really look at what is effective, and especially for people who are in a creative type of business like this, it’s not a nine to five culture, like structure and so much rest and play.
As part of my work, I’ve stopped feeling guilty for it. Cause I’m like, this is how I get ideas is by going skiing sometimes or dancing and not feeling bad about it.
Molly Claire: Yeah, and I think, I mean, there’s, that’s such an important thing to notice for you all listening. Like, do we have this idea, “Well, I can either take my business seriously or I can be easy on myself.” Guess what? If you really are taking your business seriously, this is what I say. I’m very serious about my business and my business.
It’s much bigger than just a business because my business, for me, it is my quality of life. It’s everything, right? It’s like, my business means this is what I get to have in my personal life. My business is how I help others. My business is how I grow, and I’m serious enough about it that I’m gonna connect with my nervous system and give myself rest and love and play, because guess what? If I’m not functioning very well, that business isn’t gonna be much at all.
Betsy Jensen: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And it’s like a whole new world opens up when you can be in that calmer state. As you’re coaching, you can understand things differently and see things differently. Cuz in a nervous system state, if you’re in fight or flight, for example, you are more likely to sense danger, you’re more likely to perceive that someone doesn’t like you or, you know what I mean?
We can misjudge cues. And even me, I feel like I’m so intuitive and in tune and I have been like – I think we talked about when I came for your training – there’s this state called fawn, which is people pleasing. And a lot of people have gotten good at fawn, and so I will think that they’re agreeing with me. I’ll think they’re getting what I’m saying when I’m coaching them. Turns out they did not agree with me at all, but fawn can be this state that you can have one thing that you’re picking up on as a coach, and it’s not even really true because of your own nervous system. Does that make sense?
Molly Claire: Yeah, absolutely. Yes, absolutely.
Betsy Jensen: That’s the lens that you’re seeing it through.
Molly Claire: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Betsy Jensen: It affects your thought work too. Back to what you were saying before, if you’re finding thought work not effective in a certain area, try calming your nervous system a little more. And then going back to that model. Yeah.
Molly Claire: Yeah, I mean, I’ve had clients before where it’s like we’re like, we’re not doing any thought work. Like, I don’t want you looking at your brain. I don’t want you looking at a model, because what you need right now is you need to self connect. And right now that tool is not helpful for you.
So I wanna say to you, as my listeners, from a business perspective, when you are in a community, in a program for business, pay attention to the type of leader and the type of guidance that you’re getting. And when I say that, what I mean is that just because someone is achieving, and I’m trying to think of how to say this, because I definitely don’t wanna say, “Oh, there are bad leaders and there are good leaders to follow.”
I really genuinely think that all of you need to find someone that you align with. And what I will say is, make sure that you are not missing out on this important piece of someone who is able to know and understand the value of your nervous system. Yeah.
Betsy Jensen: Yeah, it is so true. I’ve coached myself in circles and gotten coached and gone back for coaching. And why is this not connecting? And then someone who understands the nervous system, helps you process it. And you’re like- it’s like this breath of fresh air and this- and finally like, oh, I remember it- even like a knot just releasing from my stomach that I didn’t even know was there. I didn’t even realize I was tight.
Molly Claire: Right, right.
Betsy Jensen: Like that. Like at a core level, I can be safe. I can show up in the world. Because if you’re operating from some fear, you know how you’re show showing up is gonna be a little tentative or a little guarded, or defensive, or aggressive.
Molly Claire: Yeah. 100%. Yeah. Yeah. And the other thing I wanted to speak to a little bit is, in the advanced certification that I do where I’m working with women, helping working with moms and motherhood and family, and we touch on those things and a core piece of the work, I would say the depth there is really this process of connection with self, as a coach and helping the clients to connect with themselves.
Because what I find is that we could put all the facts and the tangibles, of like, as a mom the, “Oh, you have these responsibilities, and you’re managing this, and there are a lot of strategies and such with that.”
But what I found in working with women who are struggling in their family life aspect is the biggest thing missing from it is that self connection. And so, it’s like the tools are great and we have to have that foundation first. So we spend so much time really understanding that at a deeper level it’s a big deal.
Betsy Jensen: Yes, and I think sometimes we can be so well-meaning. What we always see in chronic pain especially is it is the nice people. It is the good people that are trying to be like, you’re trying to be perfect. And so it’s like a lot of, you can see how in our culture, especially for women, a lot of this is how we were trained and how our moms were trained, and you know, so just having that gentleness and that compassion for yourself to just know. And that safety to know that you can show up as who you are and take up space and it’s okay to be you and you can do less, you know, but it’s.
Molly Claire: Eureka! You can do less.
Betsy Jensen: Yeah. But I think it is just kind of how we’re primed to better ourselves by being hard on ourselves and doing all these models and like really using them to beat ourselves up. But this is such a compassionate way, so it, yeah.
Molly Claire: Love it. Okay. So I’m gonna ask a couple questions before we wrap up. So first, for my listener who’s thinking, “Okay, yeah. You know what? I do. Maybe I go to a freeze and I’m not doing my work. I’m not working on my business. Or maybe I tend to find myself going to flight where I’m kind of overachieving or whatever.”
I’m guessing my listeners are noticing some of this, so what would you say to them? Like, what is one little thing they can incorporate into their day to help with that?
Betsy Jensen: Okay. One thing I would have to always just go to the breath. Because breath is something you always have with you. Everyone can do it. There are things like movement, going for a walk, but not everyone can do that at the same level. But breathing, there are so many different ways you can use your breath.
But one simple concept to remember is as you exhale, that is more the calming system of your nervous system. So if you can lengthen that exhale, then that gets you more into that parasympathetic, calm state. So some people like to count in and count out or count in and box breathe and hold their breath. But even if you just take a long exhale, it’s like a sigh. We can do it together.
And there’s a way, you know, I’ll tell you one technique is breathe in all the way and breathe in a little more, and then exhale. They call that the physiologic side. So, so that’s a.
Molly Claire: And what about, what about actually sighing, like making a noise? I love to make noise.
Betsy Jensen: Yes, humming is really good cuz you’re like vibrating in your chest, any kind of just like rhythmic movements, or as I was doing, just passing an object from side to side. Changing your posture, just like sitting up straighter and rolling your shoulders back. It’s things that bring you to the present moment.
So it could be through your sight, your smell, your taste, your touch, listening to music. And with the sight, it’s more like that peripheral vision. Have you ever done that? Like you look at an object and then you soften the gaze and see the periphery. Because when our body is in fight or flight, certain things happen and we can either change it through the mind or we can change it through the body.
And if the thoughts are not accessible, we can tell the body to tell the mind that we’re safe. So that peripheral vision, if we’re in fight or flight, we’re looking for danger. And by just expanding our vision, we’re telling ourselves, and then everything else can calm down and then the frontal cortex can come back online.
Molly Claire: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So with the breathing, I like that. So with anyone who maybe goes to fight, flight, freeze, whatever, noticing yourself getting activated, just- it’s like lengthening the breath. I like that idea. And certainly all of you can look up breathing techniques, like she mentioned, counting, box breathing.
I actually really love this idea of breathing in and just lengthening the breath out. I think to me that feels more like more freedom to me and like I don’t have to worry about doing it, right? Like, am I holding my breath long enough? You know what? I just have permission to lengthen it, knowing that’s nourishing for me.
Betsy Jensen: Yes, and I said that because honestly, what I find, and this is something that we believe a lot as coaches, is that our client knows what’s best for them, and that is even true with our bodies. And so something that’s regulating for my nervous system might not be appealing to someone else.
Molly Claire: Yes, yes.
Betsy Jensen: Everyone to start listening to themselves. What sounds soothing to me? What sounds calming? What sounds, cuz we wanna just notice we’re dysregulated and bathe ourselves and compassionate about it. We’re gonna allow it, we’re going to soothe ourselves from there. A toddler that’s freaking out and you’re not gonna try to reason with them until you calm them down first.
So what- and then you start to know the things like this time of day, the toddler kind of likes this, and these snacks work great. And these- you develop your own tool belt of tools that you like. But trust your intuition and keep trusting that as you keep asking, it will keep developing.
Molly Claire: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. So, and in a minute, I want you to share any kind of last words, last thoughts, any, you know, any final thing you wanna share with everyone. And for all of you listening, just being activated, having your nervous system activated is a normal part of the human experience.
Nothing is wrong with you. You don’t need to fix it. It’s normal. It’s going to happen as you’re building your business. It’s going to happen in your relationships, in your family life. All the things I wanna offer to you that there is nothing wrong with you and you have so much permission to take a minute to breathe, to do any other technique you want to kind of self connect and settle yourself and that’s it. Right?
We don’t have to do anything else to fix this. This is like step one. You get to do it. Yeah. Yes.
Betsy Jensen: Yes. I, I love that. And yeah, I think that for me, learning about the nervous system was the thing that helped me be the most compassionate for myself, more than any other tool. Because I think the thought work was so helpful, but I used it to beat myself up a little too much. Or it was like my coach brain got it, but then why am I still acting like this?
Molly Claire: Yeah. Why is the rest of not catching up?
Betsy Jensen: And I, and I know better. And then that would just spiral me further down. So for me, learning about the nervous system, it was just giving myself that vocabulary. Just like when we learn about emotions and then you’re like, oh, irritated is different than annoyed, different than anger.
You start to have that vocabulary, that understanding of what’s going on for yourself and why, and that it makes sense and that nothing’s wrong with you. And then from there you can change dramatically. But when you’re hating everything that’s going on, you really don’t create much change overall, right?
You have to accept it first and just learning of like, these are just things that go on with every single human and it’s something that, it’s like a wave that you can ride, right? You don’t have to be like never going in the ocean. You’re just like, “Okay, I’m gonna learn how to ride all these different waves, I guess, or you know, just befriend the nervous system that I have.”
I love what you’re saying, self-connect instead of looking outside for like, you know, doing it this way or that way.
Molly Claire: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Okay. I love it. So I want you to tell everyone where they can find you, but is there anything else, any final thoughts that you wanna share with anyone? I know we’ve covered a lot, so.
Betsy Jensen: Yeah. Well, yeah, I do wanna share that I offer my nervous system modules, the ones that I prepared for my membership group, for free. Because I also know that sometimes when you’re overwhelmed with information, even simple information or information that’s presented it can be overwhelming.
So I have a 15 minute summary. So just notice if this is interesting to you. But you start to get into it and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, there’s so much. I can’t possibly figure this all out.”
Just maybe give yourself some time. Come back to it when you’re feeling a little more regulated and the 15 minute summary will at least get you going enough with some tools to be like, “Okay, this is how I can start to get regulated.”
Molly Claire: Yeah. Yeah.
Betsy Jensen: Dive a little deeper, but just be so patient with this process. The nervous system has taken years to get to where it is, so just don’t expect it to- it can change very quickly with, realizations, but also, we just wanna be patient because we’re re-rooting our neural pathways. We’re learning some new responses. And it’ll change, and your life will be so much easier. Doesn’t have to be so hard.
Molly Claire: Yeah. Oh, I love it. Thank you. And we’ll definitely have links in the show notes to your resources. And also, where can people find you?
Betsy Jensen: Yes. Okay. Yes, you did ask that. Okay. So Instagram is a good place. I like to put reels and things are fun for me to put content out there.
Molly Claire: I love to see dancing on Instagram.
Betsy Jensen: And I’m always dancing. Oh, I love it too. But I’m also on YouTube and I have a podcast called Unstoppable Body and Mind on all of these things, I’m body and mind life coach.
So body and mind, life Coach on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok a little bit, but.
Molly Claire: Body and mind. Body and mind life coach.
Betsy Jensen: Body and mind life coach. Yeah, and that’s my website name as well. Body and mind, life coach.com.
Molly Claire: Awesome. Betsy, thank you so much for being here. I so appreciate it.
Betsy Jensen: My pleasure. Thank you so much, Molly.
Intro: Thanks for listening to the Masterful Coach Podcast. Are you ready to build your amazing business with Molly as your coach? Check out www.mollyclaire.com to find out about masterful Coach Foundations and the 10K Accelerator method, it’s the ultimate support for you as a coach building your ideal life and business.
Molly Claire is a 7-figure business builder with a blended family of 10. She is dedicated to helping women overcome their own limits, make the money they want, and have the time, freedom, and flexibility to be with the people in their lives that matter most. Especially the little ones.
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