We don't have to be victims to unproductive thoughts like fear and anxiety. We should practice 2 Corinthians 10:5 and "Take every thought captive." In this episode, Transformation Coach Lee Valley walks us through his traffic light system to taking control of our thought lives.
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Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you can look and feel your best at any age. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor and Biblical Health Coach. And this is episode number 107. I'd like to add a special welcome to the Overcast listeners, there's been quite a few people subscribing to the show via the Overcast, a podcast listening app. Welcome, I sure appreciate you. Thank you for following the show. And I hope you're enjoying the content that's out there already. And I'm planning on giving you some really great content in the near future. And just watch wanted to just give you a shout out and recognize all the listeners that have come from Overcast thank you for following the show. This conversation, I'm talking with Lee Valley, and Lee is a Transformation Coach. And he specializes in fear, phobia, and anxiety. And he worked with children and adults. And he helps people transform their thinking so that they can get more comfortable in their skin. And by doing that, we can be more successful at or more effective at anything we do in life. Sure we talk about health and wellness in this episode. But this is one of those conversations that transcends health and wellness alone, because it really crosses over into the personal development arena. And this episode is a little bit longer than usual. It's a little over an hour conversation. But I encourage you to listen to the whole thing because there's some really good content in here aah Lee really brings it and Lee and myself we had a really good connection going in this episode and think you got to really enjoy it. So let's jump into my conversation with Lee Valley. Today we have in the show, Lee Valley, Lee has been a Transformation Coach for over 20 years. He specializes in phobia cures and anxieties he and his wife are the creators of shift happens for Teads, our groundbreaking program that teaches kids proficient stress management. Lee, Welcome to Natural Health Matters.
Lee Valley 2:03
Thank you, David, I'm so pleased to be here is this is great fun.
David Sandstrom 2:08
Well, it's it's a pleasure to meet you, Lee. And I think your expertise just really fits in so well to the whole message of Natural Health Matters, which is we maximize our health potential when we live our lives more fully with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body in your basically, you know, fitting into that mindset realm. And you help people with their thought lives, which I think is super intriguing. So give the natural nation the audience, just the 35,000 foot view of what you do today.
Lee Valley 2:39
Well, the most important thing that I feel that I do is help people be comfortable in their skin. And that's that's simply because that is what I suffered from my entire life. And I feel that the more people are comfortable in their own skin, the more authentic they are, the more purposeful they are, the more connection they have, with with everything with everything.
David Sandstrom 3:06
Yeah, yeah. You know, if you go through life not comfortable, and you feel that that angst in that little bit of little knot in your stomach. You know, I think you miss out on a lot of life. I think there's a lot of joy and a lot of relational connection that you could be missing out on. Would you agree with that?
Lee Valley 3:23
Oh, totally. I mean, I missed that on most of my my life, I think I was so focused on trying to be somebody or trying to be something that I was never myself. And it sounds so so that's that, you know, you hear it as a cliche, but it's so true, isn't it that when we are ourselves, everything tends to fall into place.
David Sandstrom 3:49
Yeah, so I'd like to ask everybody this that comes on the show. You already mentioned it, but I'd like to go a little deeper on how did you come to the realization that this is a field that you wanted to explore more? Can you go a little deeper into that for us?
Lee Valley 4:07
Yeah, well, originally, it was an exploration for self, but it certainly wasn't something I expected to do for a living, so to speak. When I was young, I was so insecure, it was ridiculous. I people thought I was autistic because I was, I found it so difficult to speak one on one, let alone in a group. And the beauty of that in a sense, I created a huge amount of limiting beliefs of course, however, the positive side this is the spirit right? This is a spirit within there was a feeling of I can fix this. And this created this this journey, if you like from the age of 14, I would say but maybe even earlier than that. I started This journey of understanding what was going on so that I could fix it. And for decades, you know, we were just talking about age, you know, I've been on the planet for quite a while now. And for decades, I was looking at how to fix myself. The irony of that is that I never did it simply because I didn't need fixing.
David Sandstrom 5:27
Wow, that's, that's deep. So let's, let's talk about that. So what does it mean, that you don't need fixing? Because I think most people would say, yeah, there's some areas in my life I'd love to fix. So what is what does that mean?
Lee Valley 5:40
Oh, my gosh, I mean, that. That's the ultimate key, I would say, because I give the analogy imagine, you might have heard of this where the were a diamond, we're all a diamond in the rough. You know, it's been said many times, but do we really believe that? You know, we've been taught that you can't do this, or you, you must be better at this, or you're not good at this. I love the the there was a study where they asked, you know, these young kids like three, four years old, are you a great painter, or a great artist? And almost every hand went up? That's Yes. Yeah. Because there was no baggage, there was nothing telling them that they couldn't be a great artist, right? Then at the age of seven, it was around about 60% put their hands up. So that's almost half of them starting to think then they weren't artists, when they got to teenage years, it was like one or two and the entire amount. So it was something I can't remember the exact figure, but it was something like maybe 8%. And that's simply learned behavior. And that's what was happening with me. I was broken in my eyes. So you know, I did all the right things. I learned all the right things, I learned communication, which was the biggest drawback for me, I learned all about body language. And again, you know, being in that limiting belief environment, I tend to be pretty good at body language simply because, you know, we have that sort of safety mechanism, you know, we noticed what's going on. And so I was somewhat drawn to that in a sense, because, basically, I'd already got a natural sort of ability to do that. As the time went on, though, I realized we all have that ability. We all have that. I've never spoken to a person and worked with a person who I've said, Are you, okay? In just general communication, just general? Like, can you have a conversation with a person you're familiar with, or a person you feel comfortable with? I've never had a person who cannot do that. Right? Once I realized that this was just in myself, let alone the people I've worked with. Once I understood that I realized that's not that's not the problem. That's not the cause. That's that's the symptom. I wanted to get to that, cause I wanted to get to what it what it was that was holding me back. And what it was
David Sandstrom 8:34
So, in other words, let me make let me make sure I'm understanding you, Lee. So if you could have if you're capable of having a conversation one on one with someone you know, well, and you feel comfortable around, that means that you possess the skill. The skill is there, you have the ability. But then if you get tied up when there's three or four or five or six people in the room, let there's something blocking that ability that you already have. Is that correct?
Lee Valley 8:59
Absolutely. That's exactly, yeah.
David Sandstrom 9:01
So as a practitioner, when I have my office, you know, I would I would teach people and I teach people today, and that is that the body is wired for health. Our default setting is health, we don't have to teach cells how to do their jobs, they already know how to do that. As a practitioner, it's my job to help identify the obstacles that are getting in the way of your body, in your cells and your organs and systems doing what they already know how to do that is to thrive. So you're you're taking that same concept and taking it to Well, I guess your thought life and your your relational connections in your social situations. Is that correct?
Lee Valley 9:38
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's it. It's it's health, wealth, happiness, I mean, any area of life. My my main study was on phobias and anxiety. And people would come to me and many people have asked me well, what's the weirdest phobia or what's the you know, what kind of phobias Can you deal with? And, to me, the, the content is not important. So whether it's I had a it wasn't me personally it was my colleague had a phobia of ketchup. And can you imagine that, you know, in a supermarket, they would have to be aware and just in case some ketchup jumped out. It sounds crazy, but that that is the case. It is an irrational fear. It's an irrational fear is a phobia. And will social anxiety is also an irrational fear. Now, you might say, Well, that might not be very nice, but it's still any rational fear when we go into that anxious state?
David Sandstrom 10:43
Yeah, well, you know, I just to illustrate that point, as well as I used to be in a Toastmasters group. And there was a guy in the group, his name was Steve Siebold. And he's a he's a mental Mental Toughness Coach. And he's a keynote speaker, he gets paid by big corporations to speak at their annual meetings, you know, companies like Toyota, General Motors, and Motorola, those kinds of companies will hire him to speak. And he was in our Toastmasters group, Israel will amazing blessing to have this guy at that caliber in our Toastmasters group. And I was working on getting up in front of an audience and being more comfortable, I could do it, but I didn't feel really at ease. And one day, Steve said, you know, I want you guys to understand you guys and gals, that when you get up in front of an audience, there's no real danger here. You know, what's the absolute worst thing that could happen? somebody throws a tomato at you? I mean, that's about it. There's no real physical danger here. So why are you allowing that stress responses fight or flight reflex is designed to respond to danger to take over? It shouldn't happen that way. And it just that really helped me a lot.
Lee Valley 11:53
That's fantastic. Yeah, that's almost the crux of what I teach, I tend to use like a traffic lights if you visualize a traffic light, and use it as a visual representation of what's going on internally. And I love what you've said there. Because, like, when we're in the red, and we all get in a red, you know, right. But this is the crazy thing is when we're in the red, we are crazy. Simply because the definition that the definition of insanity, I know the doing the same thing is one popular one, but the clinical definition is not a right mind. And when we're in the red, we are not have right mind. So what's happened is, as you know, of course, that an external trigger of some description, it could be anything, you know, somebody cut you up in traffic. And it starts with you a little bit. That's an external trigger. That's created an internal response to fight or flight, as you said, and for my my point of view, and I think you've, you've experienced this yourself, a social event, maybe, you know, a social situation, can create this fight or flight, feeling internally, yes, but when this fight or flight is activated, it shuts off any external or any unnecessary actions in the body, like our logical mind. So there we are activating this red. And trying to make sense of a situation when a body is focused on one thing, it's focused on imminent danger. And it has blocked out absolutely anything else. This is why it makes sense when we're out of it. Why we would be so obsessed with something that other people think well, what's the problem? Why are you getting so upset? Why you what they don't understand, and you don't understand, you know, this is why we feel like it's something outside of us, it's out of our control. Because in a sense, we are out of control in that feeling. But when we go into the yellow now, the logical minds come in, but what I loved what you said is our innate well being is there, isn't it? Our house is our natural health. That's, that's our natural state. And that's the green that's like the zone, you know, or the flow. You know, I think of it as a green river. You imagine this green river flowing, and the yellow and the red are the blocks to to our just our natural well being our natural state. And I use that very good. And so I love what you said you sort of highlighted all of those areas.
David Sandstrom 14:54
Well you know, I want to go back to what you said about when you're when you're in that state that jacked up state Have you block out all the unnecessary stimuli in the above the mind is focused on one thing, this danger. And again, getting back to my flight instructor days, you know, I was an airline pilot for 35 years. But my early days I was a flight instructor and little two seat Cessnas. And we would teach students how to do slow flight. And you'd bring the airplane slow enough to where the the wind the airflow over the top of the wings stops to stop the flow, right and it gets disrupted, we call it a stall, the wing stalls. And when that happens, the airplane starts to drop. And you gotta have some altitude in order to recover. And it's fine if you're doing it out of you know, three or 4000 feet. But if you do that down at low altitude, it can be fatal. So there was a lot of release, still slow, slow speed, stall spin accidents, and the FAA went to the manufacturers of the aircraft and said, We need to put a warning horn in the alerts the pilot as to when they're getting too slow. And they said, We're gonna save all kinds of lives, we're gonna probably put it into the stall spin accidents, while they put the warning horns in. And these horns are loud, because the airplanes themselves are loud. And the horns are really loud. And they found that the horn didn't slow this, those accident rates down at all. Because there were just as many after the the horns were installed. Because the person would that did that was in such a state of mind that they couldn't, everything was blocked out. They didn't even hear the horn, it didn't help. So I just wanted to throw that out there as is that that red state that you just mentioned, it's real. I've seen it in the flight instructing environment. And I think it can happen to just about anybody that happens when you drive in a car happens in a lot of situations. But anyway, I love this green light, yellow light, red light of you no metaphor that you use. It's very, very intuitive. And it can help people. So so if someone comes to you, and they're they're dealing with anxiety, let's say, let's say they're having panic attacks, for what they what seems to be out of the blue, what would you do with that person? Well, how would you start the process of correcting that or helping that person?
Lee Valley 17:12
Yeah, well, that's the most important thing. Again, if somebody's having a panic attack, that's a different story. Because like I say, when we're having a panic attack, we are in the red, so we're not in the right mind. So, you know, I liken it to you know, seeing the films and it's funny, you say in about the film that came to mind was airplane, I know, let's say years ago, and great movie. Yeah. And somebody was having a panic attack. And they had a whole line of people slapping them and hitting them with a hockey stick. You know, it was just crazy. That's what came to mind, you know, to, to snap out of it. But right, that's what we literally do it metaphorically need to slap ourselves out of it, you know, metaphorically? What I tend to do that. This is if, if I'm explaining a panic attack, what we need to do in advance, it's almost like, you know, learning dance moves or learning how to fly a plane, you don't you don't read a manual on how to fly a plane. And then oh, great. I'm, I can do it. No problem. No, you need the experience, you practice, you practice. So you need to practice in advance so that you've got a knee jerk reaction to get you out of that red state. Because as soon as you realize you're in the red state, that will drop you out of it. So a knee jerk reaction. So what I tend to do is imagine a big red stop sign. So there we go, that's the red traffic light, right? You've imaginary big red stop sign in your mind. And you can even this is the beauty of the mind. You can even shout stop, you know, in your mind. If you're on your own, you could even shout it right? Or stimulus response you get, the more stimulus you get in your body, the more you're going to get that knee jerk reaction to snap out of it. Now we're in you're in the yellow. Now, as I say, your logical minds coming back. So now you can start to I think I can give you a 1000s of different exercises and all work at some point, right? You could listen to music that could snap you out of it, you could you could go talk to a friend that could snap you out of it. The point is that when you start realizing where your experience is coming from, now you can choose in the moment you can be, as you said intuitively, intuitively responsive. So I would say a blanket exercise is breathing because that's the connection from fight or flight. Was this a sympathetic nervous system? So your fight or flight to You're parasympathetic, which is your relaxation, this is the one that's going to calm you down. This is the one that's going to get you back to normality. So the military, and it's actually somebody told me they're even teaching this in, I think kindergarten or just slightly above that. And I thought how fantastic to teach kids this. It's the Box Breathing. So I don't know if you've heard of that it's not you can say 4-4-4-4. So you inhale for four, you hold that breath for four, you exhale for four. And then you hold the outbreath for four. And you can do different levels, you can do five, five, you know, six, six, whatever it is, but the four four seems to work. It's, it's a Box Breathing. And it works on so many levels, because first of all, you're getting out of your head, because you're focused on the, the counting of the breath. So that allows you to get out of the crazy thoughts that's going on in your mind. Also, again, you're you're starting to regulate your breathing, and this is regulating and getting rid of those crazy chemicals, it's going through your system, in that fight or flight. Because you can intellectually think, Ah, I've activated my fight or flight. But it doesn't just instantly stop, you know, you've got these chemicals going through your system, right. So when you do this box breathing, that allows that to start to dissipate gets rid of, now you can calm down, when you calm down, the green takes care of itself, just like you said, it is our innate well being. We don't have to do anything to get there. Well, we have to do have to but we what we do is get ourselves out of the way. So that we naturally just drop into that. That's the most important thing. I think when we start to understand where our experience is coming from the tools if you like, just start to appear. You know what, I could listen to music right now you know what I'm going to call a friend, you know what I'm, I'm going to do some exercises that maybe I had heard from or I learned from a therapist, all of these things come into effect. Because now you realize it's not the tool, the tool is just helping you get out of the way so that your true self your natural well being can come through.
David Sandstrom 22:41
That's really good stuff. I really appreciate you sharing that, you know, I I did a Natural Vision and Vision Improvement Program one time, and when I was about forty years old, my vision starts to deteriorate. I'm 60 now, and by the time I was about 44, I had 20-70 vision. And in order to pass my FAA flight physical, I had to have glasses with me. Well, I came across this vision improvement program, it's called the Bates method B-A-T-E-S like the Bates Motel. And Dr. Bates taught he noticed something that when people lost their glasses, and they go a couple weeks without their glasses, then come to him to get re examined. The vision had had improved naturally. And he said, Wow, this is an interesting phenomena. If these people are doing something by accident, why don't we figure out what it is they're doing and teach it to people, and they won't need their glasses. Well, I did this program. And I I'm 60 years old now and I have 20-20 vision. And I throw threw away my glasses and I've never needed them again. And basically people say Oh, I guess it's eye exercises, right? No, it's not. It's the exact opposite of that. It's more like yoga for the eyes. It's more like relaxation techniques for the eyes. And when you the more you try to see clearly the worse you're going to see the fuzzier your vision is going to get if you can just relax and let those eye muscles again do what they already know how to do and that is focus. You just let it happen naturally you don't have to white knuckle your way into it. You just got to relax and let go and let your eyes do what they already know how to do and it's amazing thing you know i i Look When I tell people that story. I get the funniest looks like this. There's no way that could be true. You must be wearing contacts you must have got LASIK. No, I don't do any of that I have naturally good vision I could see up close I can see distant and and I do it because I'm cooperating with my body's natural design. And I wanted to share that story because that's exactly what you're teaching people to do is just to cooperate with what their body wants to do get that parasympathetic dominance in and experience the peace and the calm that comes along with it.
Lee Valley 25:00
Oh, I love that. And you know, I gotta make a note of the Bates method I need to do that myself, I'm learning.
David Sandstrom 25:08
I'll put a link in the show notes for anybody that's interested in that it's powerful stuff.
Lee Valley 25:13
Oh, that's fantastic. And it's not great that that's what I love about this, you know, is that this conversation is that we're learning that we already have everything you know. And that's, that's the beauty of app I studied for decades, as I said, and it was all about learning more learning more learning more, the latest technique, or the latest tool, or the latest idea of how to fix how to fix. And yet, just as you said, it's actually just getting out of our own way, it's actually relaxing, the more we can relax, the better our lives become, you know, we've been taught to be a hard worker, you know, and nothing wrong with the hard work. But it gets in our mind, though, we have to work hard, work hard, work hard for everything. And that's the opposite in terms of being okay with self. Because when you're okay with yourself, and you don't work at it. Now, in terms of skills in terms of, you know, it's like, I'm not saying that an athlete can sit on the couch, you know, visualizing, you know, they have they do stuff, however, they're not doing stuff in order to break free of their insecurity, you know, they're not doing stuff in order to build their self esteem. They're doing stuff to improve their athletic skill. And it frees your mind so much, and your eyesight to buy sounds of it, which is good for me. Because, yeah, I could I could definitely learn something from that.
David Sandstrom 26:49
Yeah. Well, you know, I'm intrigued about the work that you're doing with kids, because I don't think there's a middle school age or even high school aged kid that hasn't struggled with peer pressure, social anxiety, and in one way, shape or form. So can you talk to us a little bit more about share some some of the details about what you're, what you're doing with kids and maybe share a couple of testimonies?
Lee Valley 27:14
Yeah, I mean, the most important thing, again, is allowing them to be themselves. I worked with some tennis kids. They were very elite tennis kids on their way to Wimbledon, you know, they were working toward that. And these kids became adults way before their time, you know, they had so much pressure on themselves. They had a natural, say, a natural talent for tennis. And so they were phenomenal. I mean, I couldn't I couldn't hit a serve back. 12 year old kid, and he would destroy me. And because yes, serve was so amazing. They were really elite players. And what happened was they, they unfortunately got into that stress that that competitive mindset, which you could argue is what they need. However, what happened was, I worked with them. Simply I'm coming back to why do you love tennis? What was it in you, you know? And what happened was that they started to get that flow, they started to get in the zone. They're no longer we're looking at the scoreboard and you say what, you've got to look at the scoreboard? How do you know? Well, if you're playing at your best, why are you looking at the scoreboard? The answer is right to play at your best to notice where the ball is to be in the moment and to be loving it. When we started having those conversations. Oh my gosh, they just came alive. You know, it was so phenomenal I it's quite funny. I once was walking past. This is an England I was walking past part of the tennis courts. And one of the kids that I was working with happen to be playing it was just a pure coincidence. But he's thought that I'd gotten there to see him play. This is how the mind works, you know. And as I approached him, I saw him and he was huffing and puffing and is really getting in his head and everything. And I walked up, he saw me and immediately he told me afterwards what had happened, he immediately dropped everything. He just dropped it all. He was going to lose that game. Now, again, you know what I'm saying? Wasn't me. I was a sort of catalyst that was a trigger, you know, for him to realize what was going on in his mind. As soon as he dropped all of that he actually won the game. Now, the key is it It didn't matter whether he won the game or not. The key was that he got dropped back into himself and felt comfortable. Once he felt comfortable, he was going to enjoy it. And if he, if he won it great if he didn't, he did the best that he could. This was the beauty of it. And it really taught me you know, as it's the age old thing, when you teach others, you sort of learn yourself. It really taught me to get out of my own way, because there was Mr. You know, I know at all, I wasn't really like that. But you know, in a sense, I was teaching it, you know. And yet, they were teaching me constantly because watching them thrive. Like that was just incredible. I saw the true kid, come back the troops.
David Sandstrom 30:48
So, let me make sure I'm understanding. So this kid was in a match. He saw you show up. You just happen to be there. But he Yeah, oh, lease here. Now I really need to perform because lease here. Is that right? And then he started getting in his head and he and he couldn't perform?
Lee Valley 31:04
No, it was the opposite. It was the opposite what what was happening was he was in his head. Before I got there, I just happened to show up. But once he saw me, it triggered just like an external trigger and any other in maybe a negative response. It happened to be a trigger for him in a positive response. Okay, because he got out of his head, he got out of a suddenly realize, by seeing me, he suddenly realized what he was doing to himself. So this was the beauty of it, that I didn't have this, you know, I'm the teacher, you need to please me attitude with them. And that was that was a beautiful thing we were sharing between us, like we were on a level playing field. And so that I think that really helped because if it was the teacher, like you say, he might have thought up, Am I doing something wrong. But what actually happened was, it was just a trigger for him to I just, I just let go. As soon as he let go. It all came, it all came to him. He just he had that skill. We all know that we got the skills for whatever we're doing in that moment. And if we don't, we will, we can get the skills. You know,
David Sandstrom 32:24
There's a church, my wife and I used to go to down in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is called Christ fellowship. And the pastor at the time was Tom Mullins, and he's a former college football coach. And he used to talk quite a bit about having a relaxed confidence. And he said, all good athletes have a relaxed confidence. Go watch some videos of Michael Jordan playing, go watch some videos of John McEnroe, or Derek Jeter, and they all had a relaxed confidence, and that allowed them to perform at their best, the minute you get tied up in stress, you're not gonna be performing at your peak. And that's, that's very, very true. And if we want to perform and then really anything in life, we've got to get into that zone, don't we?
Lee Valley 33:10
Yeah. And isn't it great? In a sense, the athletes tend to give us a really clear vision of life, I feel because that is the ultimate, you know, to break through all challenges and to be at your ultimate be at your best. And that's it. It's that relaxed. When you ask somebody who played their best, like you say more Michael Jordan, I heard a story about Michael Jordan. Now forgive me, I may not get the exact basketball facts, right. Because I'm from England, and I confess I have never even dribbled with a basketball isn't that terrible? But Michael Jordan was interviewed, and he won the main championship. That's what I say. I don't know what it was. Yeah. And the interviewer said, What were you thinking? Because it looked like you were sort of gliding in air. It was like you're almost showing off at the key clutch moment when he put that, that winning score. And he said, Oh, no, he said, I was so exhausted at that point, that I had no choice but to just step back, mentally, and go back to my basic training. He said, and that's why it looked like he said, I was doing that 123 Swish. And he said, I just let myself do it. He said, I wasn't even there. Pretty much. I don't even know what I was thinking it just happened. Yeah, and that's the zone right? When we get out of our way. Our you know, I live our liver0k hows to cleanse our blood. Our our body knows what it's doing. Our learned behavior is already there. When we get out of our way, imagine that in a relationship. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Get out of our own way.
David Sandstrom 35:15
Yeah, absolutely. I just got a phone call. And it's kind of distracted me came over the computer, but do not disturb on. But anyway, I had a, I had a guest on the show not too long ago, his name was Cody Butler. And he talked about learning things, the learning process, see if I can get this right. He said, There's basically four quadrants to the learning box. And the first quadrant would be unconscious incompetence. Whereas you don't even know that you stink at this skill, but you're just not even aware of it. Right. So your unconscious incompetence, then the next level, move over to the right, the top of the box four quadrants would be conscious incompetence. Now I know that I have I lack some skill. But I'm still incompetent that I don't know how to do it well, and then move from there would be conscious competence, where I can do the skill now, but I have to work hard at it, it's really I need to focus, I need to, you know, get all the distractions out of the way turn the radio down, it really, really focused, I can do this well. And then the final quadrant would be unconscious competence, where it just happens, which is what you were just talking about what the what the Michael Jordan interview, and that is, it just just sort of happens, it becomes our normal. It's our default setting now, because we've learned so well, it just happens naturally. And I can tell you, from an airline pilot perspective, a lot of people asked me, David, did you ever have an emergency? Or were you ever scared on an airplane? The truth of the matter is, yes, I was, from time to time, not day in, day out, but it happened. And when you have an emergency, like lose an engine with a bunch of passengers on board, you'd be surprised how quickly your training kicks in. You know what to do, you've been trained in this. And when you get the thing on the ground after the branch is over, you say, Well, that was surprisingly easy. Because it all worked. The training kicked in. And I think that you could ask a lot of guys that have been in that situation that tell you the same thing.
Lee Valley 37:22
It's that's a perfect analogy for getting out of anxiety, isn't it? Because when you are in, you realize where your experience is coming from. And you've trained in advance, you know, the stop sign or whatever it is, you know, what's going on? Your natural awareness kicks in. Yeah, you're you're training if you like kicks in. So you know that if I go down this path, it's not and this is split second, right? You're not going in a whole conversation. But you know, if you go down this path, it's not going to lead to a good place. If you if you go down this path, you know that you're going to be okay, like that speaker said, You're not really in imminent danger. Now, in your case, you were in imminent danger. However, your training was absolute importance that you knew what to do in that situation. And the most important thing is I mentioned the military using that 4444. They talk about the elite military or any military. They talk about what we have class as fear, and what they class as fear. And their fear is what they would call and I would argue the point is that it's pure fear. What we think of fear is actually worry, it's anxiety. It's a, it's a created fear, as opposed to a natural, instinctual fear. And there's many military guys who have talked about when they are in this imminent danger, that everything slows down. It's like time slows down, and there's no fear or as in they're not thinking oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what am I going to do? It's the complete opposite. Now, you remember when I said when we're in a read, our logical mind shuts down? Everything is an imminent danger, right? Well, that means that we're shutting down the thoughts that go on in our heads, but when they go into a situation like that, their mind is completely open. So they're not looking at crazy thoughts. Oh my gosh, what am I gonna do? They're so specific. And what happens is they see everything around them in pure vision, absolute vision, they can they act in ways that they didn't know was possible, because they've got absolute pure awareness all around them. And I would argue that that is our natural state. That is how we can be. Dare I say, all the time, but I've yet to get there, I admit. But we're in for why can we not be like that, that their mind knew that this is a time not to mess around, just just like you've said, in that sense, your natural training kicks in? They, they serve it, they survey the area, they know exactly what's going on. They couldn't possibly do that, in their regular daytime, way of thinking. It's Yes, it's, they would call it superhuman, and I would call it actually our natural state, our natural way of being.
David Sandstrom 41:07
Right. So a couple points, you said that we create the environment that the triggers the stress response. So if, if if we can create it, then we can uncreate it. Right. And I think that's what your what you were saying there. And and I gotta be thinking, there's somebody listening right now might say, okay, you know, Dave spent 35 years as an airline pilot, he's had a lot of experience, he was able to rise to the occasion during that emergency. This guy in the military, same thing, boatloads of training, this is what he's trained for. This is what he lives for, you know, they know those men and women can step up when they when they need to. But what about a little old me? What about? What about me when I'm having this? You know, anxious day at work? What about when I'm dreading the presentation that I have to do tomorrow morning? What would you say to that person? How can they take some, some simple steps or some low hanging fruit that could help that person to make it, you know, for the average person?
Lee Valley 42:00
Yeah, I mean, again, that's, that's the key is when you understand that your your innate well being is beyond belief. Yes, they've had that training. But your, your natural, intuitive state has everything that you've ever learned in your entire life. That's what they say, whoever they are, right? That our subconscious mind or our unconscious mind, is a memory bank. So without realizing we have so much potential, so much knowledge. So let's say we're in that situation, if we were comfortable, if the person you were comfortable in your own skin, in that moment, you would know what the best thing for you to do is in that moment, at whatever skill level you are. So this is why I say to people, listen, you, there's a difference between self esteem and confidence, right? I have self esteem, I'm confident in myself, I am not confident as a rocket scientist. I don't know how to build a rocket. I know a rocket scientist, I could ask him, but I don't know how to build a rocket. So right, that's not that's not where my confidence is. But when I can be confident just in me in myself, I'm going to do the best that I can do in that moment. There is never a time in my opinion. And as far as I know, let's say because there's always an exception to the rule. I don't believe there's ever a time that we need to be in the red, there's it never serves, as I just said, our natural state keeps us safe. It keeps us much safer than being in the red being at high alert, being consciously, you know, scared of the environment. Because when you're in the red you're not receptive to the area. So in a simple thing, like a you know, you've got to your boss calls you in you know, starts going. Now, the best thing you can possibly do instead of like, yes, you might need to get your, your documents in order or something like that to bring with you. But the best thing you can possibly do is drop out of that red drop even out of the yellow get the yellow and red blocks out of your green r iver, your natural innate well being breeze and just relax and the more you can breathe and relax even when you're going to have the conversation. You just keep breathing and relaxing, breathing and relaxing, breathing and relaxing. What happens is I use the analogy you imagine a shaken snow globe, right? Imagine the snow as the thoughts that are going on in our heads, right? The shaken snow globe. And a lot of us spend a lot of time like that, right? Well, I always say is, you don't need more thoughts in there, there's enough, there's plenty in there trying to think of a better option, or a better this, or that's actually going to make it worse. Tony Robbins always said, a great analogy. He said, Imagine your mind or your thoughts, or your way of thinking as 123 Many. So once you've got more than three things that you're thinking, you're in overwhelm, you're in over overload, you're stressed, that's, that's when you'll be anxious, that sort of thing. So the less you can think, in in a moment, and more, you can trust your intuition. When your intuition comes through, that's when you're going to do the right thing, that's when you're going to say the right thing, that's when you're just going to be comfortable in that environment as much as possible. So I'm not comfortable necessarily in a situation, or comfortable with the situation. But I can always be comfortable in my own skin. That's a massive turnaround, I used to look the other way, I used to be constantly looking out there to try and fix everything so that I would be comfortable. And what I've realized is, the more comfortable I am in myself, the more the environment almost takes care of itself. So that was a long winded answer. But the key I think, is really that relaxation, just kind of realizing what's going on.
David Sandstrom 46:55
Right. So in other words, if we get our thought lodged, right, then the external environment kind of will fade off into the background, it'll become less important to us. And we just simply are present in the moment with our thoughts with the two or three thoughts as Tony Robbins suggested, that we can focus on, and the rest of them just kind of fade off in the background. And we're not going to be so preoccupied trying to think of these 100 thoughts at the same time, which will overwhelm anybody. Right. So another thing that I'm not quite clear on Lee is I understand the red zone, which is that that fear, panic zone where we've lost our ability to focus. We're shutting shutting stimuli down out of necessity. And understand the Green Zone. We're in peace and we're in we're just coasting in this feels great. It feels natural. But the yellow zone, I'm a little a little fuzzy on what is the yellow zone?
Lee Valley 47:49
Yeah, what the yellow is that that neutral? Point, it's? Well, most of us in the western world certainly tend to spend our lives in red, yellow, red, yellow. So the yellow is almost bordering toward red. It's almost like our go to, and very few of us live in the yellow green, which is predominantly going into that awareness, you know, from the yellow. So it's that borderline between the red and the green, this these are the both extremes. So the green is that zone that you know, the red is chaos, you could say, yeah, the yellow is where we can make the difference. The yellow is where we can take control where our conscious awareness is. Now, when we're in the green, the conscious awareness is there, but it's in the background. It's it's, as I said, Michael Jordan wasn't really thinking what to do, it was almost like his body took over once. And when we're in the red, we're still not because we've got this chaos going on. But we're in the yellow our conscious mind is here. And this is where we can use our, our memory, our learning, our conscious, conscious competence, you know, learning different things that we that will improve our lives. I mean, we talked about, you know, having faith, that's, that's where our faith is because when we're in the green, we are naturally tapped in. We're naturally at one, you know, when we're in the red, we are completely disconnected. Yeah, In my opinion.
David Sandstrom 49:43
Well, you know, my faith really governs a lot of what I do, and I'm just thinking about the Bible verse, Romans 12. Two, do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. So the assumption there is that we're all conformed to the pattern of the world. At some point, and what God wants from us is to help Help Help us to become transformed and to change our our mental approach or change our minds into a more productive fashion, which is really what what what this whole conversation has been about right? That we we actually do have agency, we have many people call it freewill. And we don't have to be victims of the thoughts that come our way. We're the ones in charge, you know, I think of the medical approach and, and I think you might agree with this, let me know, if you don't, we can talk about it some more. But in the psychology field, it's very common to think that thoughts originate in the brain. And I would disagree with that, because the brain is an organ. And my mind, my consciousness, as a human being my agency is in charge of that I can tell my brain what to do in my brain will send signals to my body, you know, if I want to hold up two fingers, that thought started in my mind. And then I sent that thought to the brain, the brain sent the signals to the body. And I would suggest it to to believe to buy into the idea that the brain is in charge. It's it's kind of flip flopped. It's looking at things upside down. We're the ones in charge, we get to make our choices. And when you listen to somebody like Lee, and you realize, hey, maybe I've just been by default, making some wrong choices, maybe I need to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and learn a more productive way of thinking about these stressful events in my life. Would you agree with that?
Lee Valley 51:39
Absolutely. And it's a perfect analogy of the traffic light, because the traffic light is pointing us back within rather than conforming to that that lifestyle and so that we naturally or sorry, normally see outside of us. And yes, that's, I love that. That quote, That was phenomenal. In Romans 12. Two, Romans 12. Two, I'll write that down. Yeah, I'm getting a lot from this, I'd say. Yeah. So so the beauty of this is, is looking within and it sounds quite, sort of esoterical. But it's, it's the it's the opposite of what we've been taught, isn't it? You know, we we tend to look outside of us, we tend to look at what's going on, and determine how we're feeling as a consequence, rather than looking at how we're feeling and creating the feeling that we want. Or, or to have, or the truth, what is the truth that when we look big picture, you mentioned the Bates method, I tend to give another exercise, which is imagine you're looking so so we're looking through our eyes. But imagine just looking behind the eyes. And again, you say how can I look behind the eyes, but it what this does is it gives you a sense of that, that softness, you're softening the the gaze. Now, you're, you tend to see more of life you tend to take in life, because you're no longer here in the brain, as you say, you're actually tapping into something before that something so much bigger than, you know. Yes. And I would say the true self. Yes. And as you say, it's, it's, there's something so magical. And we haven't really spoken about that. But there's this connection isn't that I that's what I believe is that the yellow gives us that opportunity to change our thinking, get out of our thinking, so that we can really be a vessel so that we can really actually have our connection there. And
David Sandstrom 54:07
So we can thrive. So we
Lee Valley 54:09
can thrive. And it's just amazing that it's it's almost like we have this GPS, right? This is our intuition or our inspiration. We have this GPS internally. And this is the ultimate GPS, this is up to date, it is the best you could possibly get. And yet we determined to keep using the map of 1985 You know, in my case, using this old map, which is through thinking through our memories and so on, there's there's a magic to what we've learned. But the learning is there. It's through our intuition. I tend to use this analogy and it's just a personal opinion I I think of intuition as us as coming from us from all our learned, behaviors are all our information, our knowledge, all the things that we've gained throughout our lives, which is a huge, huge, huge amount. And then I think of inspiration, as we could say, it's coming from God, it's original thought, that that's true. That's it, that's when we are truly connected.
David Sandstrom 55:28
Well, again, that's that's very, very biblical, you know, Bible has a lot of truth to to apply them practically to our lives. And the Jesus was teaching the disciples that he was going to assume go away, he was going to be crucified. And, and he said, it's actually a good thing that I go away, because then the Spirit will come. And he will lead you into all truth, the Comforter, he called it. And and I think that's kind of what you're alluding to here is we you know, that you can call it intuition, you can call it the self, you know, Freud would call it the psyche. But it's that connection to God. And it's the, it's the Holy Spirit living inside of us if we have that personal relationship with Him, and He will inspire us to be our best because God wants us to be peak performers, you know, he wants us to, to be all the men and women he created us to be, he doesn't like to see like any parent would would, he doesn't want to see us held back by false beliefs and, and, you know, allowing these stressful thoughts to, to ruin our days and run our lives. No, he wants us to be in charge. And he wants us to experience all the love, joy and peace that we're capable of experiencing. So, you know, I think that that very, very much lines up what you're saying is very much lines up with Scripture all the way.
Unknown Speaker 56:41
Yeah, I love that.
David Sandstrom 56:42
So, I wanted to ask you, before we wrap things up, you have a book coming out, it's called kick the BS out of Social Anxiety. So tell us a little bit about your book.
Lee Valley 56:52
Well, the BS has actually actually changed it, it's even worse. Now. I use BS as belief system. So that's keep the belief systems out of social anxiety because well, I get rid of that, all that stuff. Then we become ourselves, we, you know, we see it for what it is, it's a social event, it might not even be a nice social event. But you don't have to suffer, you don't have to get in your head and have all that craziness. But I've actually changed it to kick the sh-t out of social anxiety. Okay, a little controversial, I know. However, there is a big reason for it. Because we are the diamond we've established that we are we've been created in His image, you know, so we we are perfect in ourselves, we are perfectly ourselves. So metaphorically, I use the diamond it cannot be tarnished, it cannot be stained, it cannot be broken. Metaphorically, it is a perfect self. You do not need to improve upon yourself. That takes a lot of weight off of you. The downside is our diamond is covered in poop, basically, what's what's the poop, it's the belief systems, it's the limiting belief systems, it's there. The doubts, the fears, that constant thinking and negative type of way of thinking, the comparisons and comparisons, the peer groups that might not have been in a good way. You know, parents, teachers, for whatever reason they might, how we interpreted it, has created a limiting belief in our limiting self. So all this stuff is all around us. So that's why I'm saying kick it away, you know, kick it out of your out of your existence. Now, you never get rid of it. Because just like when we eat, it builds up. And you can't go to the toilet once and think that's it, I'm done. Right? It's the same with ourselves. We just keep cleaning, cleaning, clearing, you know, eliminating the stuff around ourselves just so that our diamond can shine. But what happens is, we're taught that or rather, we make this assumption, but it tends to be that we're taught that we are that stuff that is us. That's the broken self, right. That's a sins and our problems and our weaknesses and all these things that we believe that we are. No it's just the poop around our diamond. But unfortunately what we do is we paint over it. So we paint a simulated diamond. And that simulated diamond is things like. Now, hear me out. The paint itself isn't bad. It's just why we're doing it. So motivation, you know, you can do it. Again, nothing wrong with it. But we can use that because we think that we don't have it in ourselves. So things like plastic surgery, you know, things like trying to be the best at everything being super competitive. Again, nothing wrong with these things, as long as you're doing them for the right reasons, when you're doing these things, to try to pretend you're somebody that you're not, then it's the paint that's covering this stuff. And you never see your diamond. A lot of people never even get to see their diamond. So the more we can understand that this is the poop, we get rid of it. It's not good for you, how'd you do that breathing, understanding what it is just letting go, you know, all sorts of techniques that you can do. But it's not about
David Sandstrom 1:01:05
You know, I have a, I have a PDF that I created. I mentioned this in my book, The Christians guide to holistic health. But there's a chapter in there on limiting beliefs. And I created a PDF that I'm going to make available in the show notes, people could download it for free. But anyway, I call it the A-B-C-D-E method of identifying and correcting unhealthy thinking patterns. And A stands for activate activating event. B is the belief system with a thought life that surrounds that event. C is the consequences of believing and thinking that way. D stands for disputing those beliefs. And then E stands for the energy shift when you when you find the way to conquer those beliefs and, and put yourself back in charge. So I have a one page PDF. It's simple, but it's really, really powerful. If you use it, it's something very powerful about writing those thoughts down. When you have these thoughts up in your head. Somehow they get clouded, and it doesn't quite seem tangible. But when you create that tangible act of writing it down, and maybe even speaking it out loud, that you haven't done it maybe years. You're engaging some of your other senses and something very, very powerful about that. So I'll make that that link available in the show notes for sure.
Lee Valley 1:02:19
Yeah, that's fantastic. And, you know, I love that that is because you're separating yourself from it, you know, the choice, like I said, You're not, you're not believing anymore, that this is you. It's a belief. It's not you, it's separate from you. It's a creation that isn't serving you. So that's fantastic. Like you say, it's very rare that we'd speak these things out. We just, we just assume that they're real, because they're almost in our own unconscious. Right? So that's fantastic. Yeah. And the beauty of like I say, the paint is not bad. The motivation is not bad. The thing like I joke that positive thinking can be bad for your health. Because positive thinking is still thinking right. And I'm saying can be I'm not saying it is I'm just saying it can be you imagine if you're in a crazy state. Now, if you've got all these thoughts in your head, well, you cannot change your thoughts. You cannot change your thought you can create a new thought, but you cannot change your thoughts like this table is made of wood. I can't change it back to a tree. It's already a table. Yeah, that's, you know, I can I can have new thoughts, how'd you get new thoughts? This is our natural state. And most people think that their natural state might be negative. But no, that's a learned behavior of becomes negative because we're in high alert as in to keep ourselves safe. In actual fact, our natural state is positive. So you don't have to try to force positive thinking. You just get out of your own way. And you will feel that, as you said that love that joy, compassion for yourself and for others. Yes, you'll feel a little of those beautiful feelings without even having to force them.
David Sandstrom 1:04:22
Yeah. Well, you know, that that's really that's, that's a really a beautiful thought right there. And another Bible verses coming to mind is Second Corinthians 10. Five, we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. So we have that ability, we have ability to take those thoughts captive. ask ourselves, is this thought serving me? Is this belief serving me? Is it serving my health building efforts? Is it serving my relational connectedness with other people? If not, that needs to go. Right. So yeah, I love it. This is great stuff. Lee. I really, really appreciate all the wisdom you've shared. Wrapping things up, what would you say is the most important thing you'd like to leave people with today?
Lee Valley 1:05:08
The most important thing is for sure to understand that you're the diamond that you are coming from that you are coming from that no matter what the situation, you know, we put we catastrophize life so much a lot of us. And the more we can be separate from that, the more we can take away that attachment to all things you know, somebody say something we attached to that, if we can just detach, and I'm not talking about being different, I'm talking about just detaching from the situation, people places things, you can still love a person and be detached from the situations. This will give us the most amazing relationships with God with ourselves and with others. This will give us everything that we really desire, I believe. So the more we can understand that come from self be comfortable in your own skin, the more you'll find that life starts unfolding a lot, a lot, a lot differently, and a lot better. And a lot easier, I believe.
David Sandstrom 1:06:22
That's great. Love it. So Lee, if somebody wanted to get a hold of you, what's the easiest way to do that?
Lee Valley 1:06:26
Well, the website is wwwsSiftHappens.global, we didn't want to do you know, just a.com we want to be global.
David Sandstrom 1:06:29
Okay, is that s-h-i-f-t shift happens? Yes.
Lee Valley 1:06:35
Yes, shift happens. So we love to play on words, you know, I'm old school. So I'm on Facebook, you can always reach me on Facebook, leave a lily, or you can shift happens where shift happens shift happens on Instagram, you know? So
David Sandstrom 1:06:58
Okay. All right. That sounds great. And when is your book coming up?
Lee Valley 1:07:03
The book is hopefully, as long as I get it all together in February, it will be out in February.
David Sandstrom 1:07:13
Okay, so this right now it's actually November, and this episode is probably going to go live somewhere near February. So maybe it might even be available by the time this goes live. So
Lee Valley 1:07:23
that'd be fantastic. Yes,
David Sandstrom 1:07:25
Lee, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with the National nation today. Really enjoy. It's
Lee Valley 1:07:30
been, you know, I've learned as much from you, I've really appreciate your wisdom too.
David Sandstrom 1:07:37
For more, go to the show notes page at davidsandstrom.com/107. There you can find links to all the resources that we mentioned. And remember, I'm going to make available that PDF to identify and correct unhealthy thinking patterns, the A-B-C-D-E method. It's a really convenient checklist. It's actually it's PDF. So you can grab that there. There's also a full transcript with timestamps, it's downloadable for free. And there's also a video version of the show there as well. If you're enjoying this content, I should appreciate you telling a friend about it. You know, the content that I curate for you and that we bring in the show is relatively hard to come by. And if you have a friend that you think may enjoy this content as well as your would appreciate you telling him about it. The number one way someone finds out about a new show is a friend tells them so she would appreciate you sharing the good news. That's it for now. Thank you for listening. I'll talk with you in a couple of weeks be blessed.