Nov. 12, 2020

Transcending Tribalism

Transcending Tribalism

This has been a time of trauma — for some of us it started four years ago, for others just last week. It's tempting to think the answers to our pain lie in retreating further into tribalism. But if there’s one thing this election made painfully clear, it’s that we can’t vote the other side away.

Transcending our differences won't be easy. Our guest, Alaine Duncan, Author of the Tao of Trauma explores this time through the lens of our national body as a trauma survivor. How do we heal the divisions and the mistrust? How can we — individually and collectively — act from the connection and regulation of our frontal cortex instead of the primitive, reactive fear of our brain stem? And how can we play a role in helping all parties find that all important moment to distinguish between “I am uncomfortable” and “I am unsafe"?

Keep listening (from 42:30) as we talk with co-host Obaidul Fattah Tanvir in Bangladesh about some of the surprising (and hilarious) responses people there have had to the US election.

Cover Art: A joke in the form of a typical Bangladeshi style campaign poster supporting Donald Trump that has been widely circulated on Facebook. Loosely translated, it says that the Republican Party has selected him as their candidate, he has the endorsement of the Bush dynasty (ha!), he is a successful businessperson and one-time successful President; he is honest, and he will sacrifice everything for the country. So please vote for Donald Trump and give him another chance to make America great again.

Alaine Duncan graduated from acupuncture school in 1990 and completed Somatic Experiencing training in 2007. She was a founding member of the Integrative Health & Wellness program at the DC Veterans Administration Medical Center where she served as a clinician and researcher from 2007-2017. She also co-founded the National Capital Area chapter of Acupuncturists Without Borders who, until Covid 19, provided free weekly acupuncture treatment to immigrants, refugees and neighbors in need. Her book, The Tao Trauma: A Practitioner's Guide for Integrating Five Element Theory and Trauma Treatment explores East-meets-West approaches to restore survivor’s balance and regulation. It is available in print, audio and kindle wherever you buy books on line.

Alaine mentioned the "invention of race". For more information on the origins of race, see John Biewen's TED talk, The Lie that Invented Racism. Another big favorite with us here at A New Normal is John Biewen's podcast, Scene on Radio. We highly recommend Season 2, Seeing White and Season 4, The Land that Never Has Been Yet



Kelley Lynch (00:04):

Hello? Hey, Hey, did you hear the news?

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (00:12):

What news?

Kelley Lynch (00:12):

Biden? He won the election Biden won Pennsylvania. So that means he won the election.

Cindy Sealls (00:20):

We just found out today. Like this morning, it's Saturday morning and we're all basically dancing in the streets.

Kelley Lynch (00:29):

Yeah, exactly. We just came in. We were out on the streets. All of our neighbors were out. Everybody was. Horns blasting blocks and blocks away. And people cheering blocks away from us.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (00:45):

This is a sad day for Bangladeshi people. I should say for the world because the show is off then. We are going to miss his entertainment. Trump has been the entertainment for the world and Biden, he will be so boring. What will happen to Trevor Noah and like Stephen Colbert?

Kelley Lynch (01:15):

Don't worry. I think you've still got a little bit, I mean, the grand finale is coming.

Cindy Sealls (01:19):

We could encourage him to run for office and Bengladesh . The posters are already there.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (01:27):

No, no. We already have too many Trumps in this country. We don't need one more. You can keep him. We don't mind. (laughter)

Kelley Lynch (01:45):

Hey, I'm Kelley Lynch. Welcome to a new normal, a podcast about re-imagining a future that starts with each one of us. Our guest today is Elaine Duncan. And you might remember Elaine from the last episode, but as this traumatic election season has unfolded, we really couldn't think of anyone better to talk to than Elaine. Elaine is the author, as you may remember, of The Tao of Trauma. Her East meets West approach to trauma integrates the neurobiology of traumatic stress with ancient healing principles from acupuncture and Asian medicine healing from this tumultuous time and finding common ground is going to require some real effort. It can be tempting to think that the answers we're looking for lie in retreating further into the righteous anger and indignation of tribalism. But if there's one thing this election has made painfully clear, it's that we cannot vote the other side away. The path ahead will be uncomfortable and difficult. Overcoming our differences will require us to lean into our discomfort and develop new skills. Fortunately, Elaine has more than a few ideas about how we can do that.

Kelley Lynch (03:06):

Lainie Duncan, welcome again to the podcast. We did not anticipate calling you back. I mean, in fact, in our history so far, which is only about 15 episodes long, but we have not called anybody back the next week and said, Hey, we really need to talk to you. But with your focus on trauma, we really felt that you were the right person for this moment, because there are many of us who are celebrating, who feel like we've come off of four years of trauma. And there are many of us who feel like we are about to enter four years or more of trauma. So for those who did not listen to the last episode, I wondered if you could tell us a little bit about yourself and your focus on trauma.

Alaine Duncan (03:58):

So I'm Alaine Duncan. I'm an acupuncturist with a kind of a unique focus on the integration of Western neurobiology with Asian medicine, with an orientation towards the resolution of traumatic stress, restoring balance and regulation for people. And I kind of came to this interest through my longstanding desire to have my work as a healer, not just touch individuals, but actually create a different culture, a more whole culture where the needs of all people can find their way to fruition, you know, where there's space for, for people to grow and change and develop and influence the ballot box, influence how people relate to each other in the larger context of their lives at work and their neighborhoods and communities and so forth and create just a little more regulated world. So that more impulsive, reactive kind of choices that we all make when we're feeling overwhelmed or fearful or reactive don't spill over into domestic violence or into racial violence or into child abuse, or, you know, into those kinds of things.

Alaine Duncan (05:09):

In some ways, it grows out of my membership in the religious society of friends, where we have a foundational principle that we believe that there's that of God in all people. So I want to help people find that of God that's inside them and to relate to their neighbors through that lens as well. And sort of get out the double art sandpaper to take off the edges that make it difficult for people to see another human being as a human being and, and to transcend the sense of difference that might be might be in the way. So then you are absolutely the perfect person for this moment, because that is exactly where we find ourselves. I mean, I think for all of us hearing the news yesterday that Joe Biden won Pennsylvania and thus won the election was for all of us, probably a moment of, ah, it was a collective sigh of relief.

Kelley Lynch (06:10):

And obviously that is not the same feeling that many in this country have. And I think that in the course of watching the election results come in, I was really struck by one thing. And that is that we are more or less, 50, 51 way. And the other way we cannot expect to go on in any sort of a meaningful or productive way, if we don't unite in some way, if we don't find some way across this kind of chasm that we have. So as somebody who thinks about trauma, both individual and collective, we wondered if you could talk about this moment and what it has to tell us about perhaps the challenge that we face and the opportunities that we may have going forward.

Alaine Duncan (07:05):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I actually have a lot of thoughts about what your, what your speaking. I think that there, there are a lot of us who every day woke up during the Trump administration, wondering what next hate speech was going to come out, what next policy decision was going to be made. That was going to have such a profound expression on marginalizing people of color, disrespecting science, disrespecting our planet, creating a sense of arousal that made it really hard for people to rest into themselves and feel at ease and just the thought of not having to wake up every day, wondering what chaos is going to be promoted next, I think is really created an exhale. I mean, for myself, I couldn't imagine holding my breath for another four years. So I think just lifting that burden off is going to make it easier to be okay

Alaine Duncan (08:04):

To have a playing field. That's just a little more fruitful, you know, more hopeful about building relationships across differences that that's, that's, I think probably the biggest gift of the Biden win is that little bit of sense of space it's been opened up. We don't have to be quite so tense all the time. You know, as Reverend Barber says, our, our work still continues towards justice towards peace, towards equality that wasn't going to change no matter who won the election.

Kelley Lynch (08:45):

Just listening to your explanation of the relief that many people felt. I guess I'm trying to get my head around the idea of trauma to a country and how your practice of helping people move through trauma might be used to help us in the collective.

Alaine Duncan (09:08):

I think that our nation, first of all, is a trauma survivor. So we can look at our nation through the lens of the autonomic nervous system and get a lot of information. For instance, over the summer with the murder of George Floyd, we saw tremendous release of sympathetic arousal that had been forwarded for decades, if not centuries, and by sympathetic activation. What I mean is the urge to protect and defend that's in our biology when either we are being threatened or someone that who we perceive as being vulnerable is being threatened. We have a biological urge to mobilize a fight or flight response in order to protect them. There are legions of stories and experiences, particularly in the community of color where people weren't allowed to move that biologic urge out of their tissues. So when you want to push someone away or push them off or defend yourself, and you're not allowed to complete that in your musculature, it's remains behind in your muscles. And if it's in there, it has to move out. The healing process is allowing people to complete whatever was left incomplete in the various phases of their experience of the threat response. The self-protective response. The interesting thing is that there have been some wonderful studies about epigenetics, the inheritance of traumatic stress.

Alaine Duncan (10:45):

So those experiences of thwarted urges to protect and defend, actually change the genetic code in the survivor. And they pass that information on to their progeny. In humans. The research goes three generations in mice, they've discerned seven generations of distortions and cortisol, adrenaline, aberrant behavior, et cetera, of inherited trauma. So, you know, I think a lot of what we would witnessed over this summer was 400 years of thwarted urge to protect and defend. But what we've also witnessed with the release of some of that sympathetic arousal is a bigger platform to talk about all these things through like the state of Mississippi, put a Magnolia on their flag and took the Confederate flag off. That's a good thing. And there are books being sold and study groups and conversation groups about matters of race that never were happening before. So I think there's a dialogue. There's a sense of possibility. There's more openness. We're starting to look more critically at our history. And, and that's because there was this release of sympathetic arousal that allowed more space in our national body politics, more space to have these, these conversations and potentially these transforming

Alaine Duncan (12:14):

When there is that thwarted state, we're using our brainstem to attempt to have creative thought, but we can't think creatively with our brainstem. We can only think as if we're in a corner lashing out against a threat, we can't be thoughtful. We can't be reflective. We can't consider the impact of seven generations forward seven generations back. We need our frontal cortex to do that. And we can only use our frontal cortex when we feel safe in our relationships and in ourselves, the whole issue of four years of daily, you could call them micro-aggressions, but not all of them were micro that created again, another experience of that thwarted arousal. And this is really challenging during the time of quantity to find a sense of safe relationship with other people, to have a vibrational experience with another human being, where you're in sync with each other.

Alaine Duncan (13:09):

It's very hard. There are actually, you know, there's stories of increased levels of suicide amongst teenagers, and we need the regulating influence of our tribe, which leads me to want to talk about tribe, because I think this is maybe key to understanding the fact that disturbs me so greatly about this election, that more white people voted for Trump in 2020 than voted for him in 2016. So getting a little bit bigger, a little bigger context. And there's this guy named Sebastian Junger who wrote this book called tribe. And what he looked at was our ancestral need. Like when we were living on the savannas, we needed at least one person in our group who could hear and discern the saber tooth tiger in the Bush. And then we needed enough of a sense of resonance with our fellow tribe members to be able to sense that activation, that that person experienced when they discerned the saber tooth tiger.

Alaine Duncan (14:21):

We needed to be in a regulated relationship with them so that we could as a tribe survive. So in an evolutionary way, we have cultivated a way to be in sync with people who we discern are members of our group in very subtle ways that are expressed more through culture than through cognitive analytical understanding. It's just a vibration of culture. So returning soldiers will often long for a return to the battlefield because of the sense of intimacy that's created there, that they don't find when they come home. This, this, I found fascinating in England during World War II, there was a strong movement to take the children and move them to the countryside with them out of London and take them to the countryside in order for them to be safe from the bombing of England. But in adulthood, the children who are taken away fared much more poorly than the children who stayed with their families and parents, even though they had to be rushed into bomb shelters. And where their life was put at risk many, many times, but they had the experience of intimate bonding. And the kids who were taken to the countryside, you know, didn't have their families with them. They were safer, but they felt more alone. So this need for tribal connection is really deep and it is rooted in our biology of survival. So the problem then is with the invention of race in the early 16 hundreds, no before then European colonists were thought of as English or Scots or Germans or poles or, you know, whatever they were, they weren't thought of as white. It wasn't until the 16 hundreds when Southern plantation owners needed to create a division between white sharecroppers and enslaved Africans, that the concept of race was even a concept. And they used it, cultivated it in order to separate people whose interests were actually aligned. And that conceptual framework of race and white supremacy has been cultivated in increasingly nuanced ways for 350 years. So my concern or my sense of what's next is largely about how can white people help create a culture shift amongst other white people. Things like finding our alignment across all races called African-American people, Latinos, Asians, indigenous people for quality education for our children for reliable and safe housing for good health care. Like we have so much more in common than we have differences. So it's not about lecturing people about policy or lecturing people about how their thinking is right or wrong. It has to be about creating a sense of safety across differences and unity. It says, we all want the same thing. Let's come together and create it for ourselves.

Kelley Lynch (17:47):

Cindy and I have a conversation group where we talk With people who are from both sides of the divide and they are people that we are in relationship with. So that is a very helpful thing. I think it makes all the difference because we understand that the other person inherently is a good person. Inherently is a moral person. You are listening for the shared values. You're listening to give them the benefit of the doubt. And I don't see a lot of that on either side as a person who works on trauma. Are there any techniques that we might use as a collective to help us build those bridges?

Alaine Duncan (18:36):

I think we're called to some pretty deep listening, and I think it's fabulous that you have this group of people with diverse opinions and beliefs in that you're able to sit down with each other and talk. And certainly, you know, we're coming up on the Thanksgiving holiday and you know, what holiday is more notorious for bringing together different opinions in one family. So, you know, I think that when someone speaks really strongly about, I'm afraid of the violence in the inner city and it's, you know, we know that's the dog whistle or all these immigrants coming and, and they're just going to take all our jobs. And, you know, I'm really scared about that or this election was stolen and dah, dah, dah, I might say. So I hear that you're a person with strong opinions. Tell me more. So then I haven't made them bad or wrong for the content of their opinion.

Alaine Duncan (19:28):

I've simply noticed that they are a person with a strong opinion. So how is it for me to notice that you're a person with a strong opinion? Well, I finally feel heard for the, you know, maybe for the first time, maybe this person is just longing to be heard, you know, and they've been shut down all their life. So can we hear, they're longing to be heard and then maybe go a little bit further and say, so what happens inside you when you feel heard by me? Well, I feel like I can exhale a little bit or I feel a little softening in my, in my chest. Great. So let's let you notice that little bit of softening in your chest. Well, yeah. You know, when I was a kid, my dad would just slap me when I had my opinion different from his. Yeah.

Alaine Duncan (20:15):

So stay with that for a little bit. And then maybe they, they go into tears or they go into exhale or they go into deep reflection or, you know, something starts to move in their tissues because really they're longing to be heard is rooted back in that childhood experience. And it's being played out today in having a strong vituperative opinion that may or may not actually be owned by them to you. City's words owned by their higher self or their true self. It's a trauma overlay of wanting to be heard, which who doesn't want to be heard, who doesn't want to have their opinions listened to. We all do. And sometimes it isn't until those opinions are listened to deeply that we can understand where they're coming from and maybe have a little more capacity to put our feet in someone else's shoes.

Kelley Lynch (21:21):

If the United States was to basically walk into your practice, how would you treat the United States?

Alaine Duncan (21:31):

I might ask them before we say anything, or do anything to just take a few minutes and hum together. Let's hum, the star Spangled banner, you know, let's hum America, the beautiful. And when you, when we hum, we're actually sending a vibration onto the ventral vagus nerve that supports our accessing of our frontal cortex, which supports us towards more relational diplomatic kind of solutions to conflict. So we all need our ventral vagus nerve tickled a little bit. So if we start meetings with humming or we start meetings with a song because trauma is a vibrational illness. And so it needs to be met by vibrational medicine. So if we can play catch with each other with a ball or we can play music with each other, or we can engage in partner dance, or we can engage in community theater where we have to be in resonant connection with each other and take cues and we're actually attuning our heart to other people's heart. So we need those kinds of opportunities. The other thing that I would always advocate, and we can maybe all do it right here, take a minute and notice your feet on the floor.

Alaine Duncan (22:59):

Notice your feet on the ground and notice that we're all touching American soil and we all have similar needs and interests in quality education, safety for our children on the streets. Just get in touch with how we all want that for ourselves and our children, no matter whether we're Latino or Jewish or African-American or Asian. These are things that we all want. So just take a minute to put your feet on the ground and notice how through the earth you're connected to every other American. In fact, you're connected to every other person on planet. In me right now, as I consider that, it slows me down on the inside. I feel a little deeper in my body. I feel a little slower and I feel a little more sense of relationship even though I'm sitting in a room all by myself and looking at you guys on this screen. So if I can have my feet on the ground and connected to the earth and my head in connection with the heavens, this is what Asian medicine says that human beings are in connection with the earth. And with the heavens, like when we put our arms outstretched and our feet outstretched We are the vitality, the life that exists between heaven and earth.

Alaine Duncan (24:28):

So when we exist in this space between heaven and earth, is there a space for people who we might think of as different to be in that same world? Now back to those times on the Savannah, when we were part of the tribe that needed to notice the saber tooth tiger, if there was a tribe that had different customs of language or dress, or we would look at them as other, and they would be an, an invading intruding forest that we would not trust. So this capacity to trust people who look different, who, who have a different culture, it goes way back and the need to, instead of focus on the differences to find the similarities is historic and takes work.

Alaine Duncan (25:15):

If after we've taken a moment to hum or sing or play catch or sway with each other, as people notice that they feel a little more regulated, give everybody a moment to notice. Gosh, I feel heavier in my body. Gosh, I feel lighter in my body. Gosh, I, I feel a little smile on my face. I feel a sense of connection with the people who are here. All those things give people time, maybe even in small breakout groups to explore their sensate experience that's now different. Because what we're trying to do is help people harvest new synaptic connections in their neurobiology that are actually reflections of greater regulation that will support the ventral vagus nerve to negotiate more diplomatic solutions to conflict.

Kelley Lynch (26:20):

How would you use that in response to what we face as a result of this election and the challenges we may face moving forward?

Alaine Duncan (26:33):

You know, in my world, in the world of acupuncture, there are meridians and acupuncture points. I get to use needles to stimulate a vibrational message that's carried through the, and touches body, mind, and spirit to help restore regulation in individuals. And we can do the same when we walk down the street or relate to our neighbors. If we do our best to project, an experience of equanimity and, and allowing the person we're speaking with to be uncomfortable, but us to not go into their discomfort with them. If we can hold balance and regulation and allow them their moment of expressing their, you know, their great feeling, their great emotion. And I hear you, I hear you're terrified. I hear you're really pissed. I hear you're profoundly sad. I hear you're struggling to sort out, what are you going to take away from this election? I hear you that this really took you by surprise. And it was hard for you to even notice that there was this other vibration that was moving through our nation. Like, can we hear those five states and allow them their place and to be heard and, and, and mirrored back without mirroring the dysregulation and going down the rabbit hole with them. Our heart is a, is a big electromagnetic field, right?

Alaine Duncan (27:56):

It's the biggest electromagnetic field in our bodies. And this is the work of the heart math Institute. When our heart is regulated, you know, the heartbeat is a regular rhythm and it's coherent and it's strong, but not too strong. It's that resonance actually moves six to eight feet out and influences the cardiac coherence of people six to eight feet around us. So granted we're supposed to stay six feet away from each other, but maybe when I like look at you, even into this screen with a sense of relationship and connection in our eyes, maybe it influences, you. Maybe I can make that sense of equanimity and regulation in my heart actually communicate through the screen. So it's all vibrational, you know, it's all, what are we putting out? And what are we allowing in? And the good thing is that our regulation, our regulated state has a stronger influence than someone else's dysregulated state.

Alaine Duncan (29:01):

If we're in a crowded room, which we never are these days, but and someone who's highly dysregulated comes in and starts shouting, or, you know, being disruptive, we may get hooked into their dysregulation, but the more that we have cultivated ourself to be able to tolerate disagreement or be able to tolerate our own discomfort and stay in regulation, but have a wider zone of tolerance, we can influence them more than they can influence us. Our regulation will influence them. So the task is to cultivate our own capacity to tolerate our discomfort. And here's the key to recognize and make a distinction between I'm uncomfortable and I'm unsafe because if we mistakenly say to ourselves, I'm unsafe, we will go into our brainstem where we are more likely to make impulsive actions that will be violent and potentially harmful. So we need to be able to know the difference between I'm uncomfortable and I'm unsafe. And it is immoral for me to blow my anxiety, my discomfort, through someone else's body. I need to own my own discomfort and seek to expand my capacity, to tolerate my discomfort and enlarge my zone of comfort, my zone of resiliency. So I can stay regulated even when I feel uncomfortable.

Kelley Lynch (30:47):

This country was founded on high ideals of equality and justice and Liberty, some specifically for wealthy white land owning men. Everybody else experienced the other side of that equation. And on the extreme end of the scale, what that meant for the native Americans was genocide and for the African-Americans slavery. So there are a bunch of people who have experienced this huge trauma. And while I think we, as white Americans particularly can think that perhaps that trauma lives only in the African-American community or only in the native American community, it also lives within all of us. I mean, there are images that show almost a picnic atmosphere with children and picnic baskets, and people dressed up for the occasion to watch a lynching. And then you watch that officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd, and that has a tremendously powerful and visceral impact. There is a collective trauma that happens in that moment. I mean, if it's hard for me to watch a mouse dying on a glue trap, I can only imagine the trauma that this generates individually and collectively in our society. I wondered if you could talk more about that from an epigenetic perspective,

Alaine Duncan (32:26):

Colonists, European Americans came to this country out of about a thousand years of history of plague, tortures drawing and quartering, beheadings with heads placed on poles in the, in the city square, burnings at the stake, lots of religious persecution, lots of trauma. And there's one theory and this is explained really beautifully by Resmaa Menakem in his book, My Grandmother's Hands that says that the capacity of a European American to watch a lynching, you know, as if it was a picnic was rooted in their own trauma response and the shutdown that they needed to do in their own hearts, their own ventral Vegas in order to cope with the epigenetic impact of these hundreds and hundreds of years of European torture. Human beings have been doing ugly and horrible things to each other for since time immemorial. You know, it's not like it's new, it's not like America is unique, but certainly that capacity to witness a lynching. Maybe you're, you're taken there as a child by your parent, you know, and taught that you should be able to like withstand looking at this without your own response. The task actually for white Americans in the longterm is to cultivate enough softness in our hearts, that we have the capacity to step into the shoes of a black and indigenous people of color, latinos, people who are different from ourselves to, to transcend the shutdown in our heart, that's required us to be so braced in order to get through life, that we are unable to experience the threat that these people who are different from us go through every day. So we have our own white Americans have their own trauma healing to do in order to better access their heart and be able to transcend this sense of separation and distance.

Kelley Lynch (34:48):

Is there an epigenetic component to all of this? In the last episode, you talked about some very interesting studies with mice, maybe there's some other interesting studies you could share.

Alaine Duncan (35:02):

There's another study with mice, where they tormented the mothers. They put them in enclosed confined spaces. They dumped them in cold water. They don't like cold water. They separated them from their pups and the moms developed high cortisol levels, dysregulated hormonal balance, aberrant behavior, all the marks of a trauma response. And their pups similarly had manifestations of trauma response, both in their blood levels and blood chemistries and in their behavior. And that continued for seven generations. So with mice, we can look at multiple generations easier than we can with human beings because they, they rotate through the generations faster. So seven generations later, the mice are still having aberrant behavior and aberrant cortisol and adrenaline levels. The next generation gets put in what I like to call Mouse Canyon Ranch, you know, like big cage, carpeted floor games and toys that stimulate brain development, plenty of food, all of those kinds of things. In one generation, their pups didn't show dysregulation. One generation in Mouse Canyon Ranch transformed the epigenetic impact of these multiple generations of sense of threat. So while human physiology is quite a bit more sophisticated than mouse physiology, it does, in my mind, lend some credibility for the vibrational quality of restoring regulation in children and young adults who are yet to have their own children. If we can restore regulation at the level of epigenetic impact, we can change the vibration for future generations.

Kelley Lynch (37:01):

So how would you do that in this particular case? I mean, I guess it's kind of like going back to the idea of America as a trauma patient.

Alaine Duncan (37:12):

Well, I think you do things like establish policies that help children and young adults experience safety and relationship. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris has a Ted talk. She's the surgeon general of California. She's a pediatrician and she has the most thoughtful explanation of the research on what they call adverse childhood experiences and the impact on adult morbidity and mortality. It's all happening at the Centers for Disease Control now, but children who have multiple experiences of life threat, and maybe that loss of a parent, being bullied in school, difficult birth experience, all kinds of different things, addiction in the home imprisonment of a parent. If they have four or more of those kinds of experiences, their risk of autoimmune illness, of drug and alcohol addiction of heart disease, pulmonary disease, osteoporosis for four to six times higher. And if they have as many as six of those kinds of experiences, they have a 30 times greater chance of attempting suicide as adults. So the need to create safety and relationship for children will change the culture of our country. If children were honored and recognized as the foundation of our future and policies were put in place that protected them and supported them and gave them safety in relationship, in one generation, we can make a really big difference.

Kelley Lynch (38:55):

Is there a way that we can recognize when trauma, when we're not in relationship? You know, our ventral vagus nerve is not the one that's being stimulated and it's our brainstem and then we're acting from that. Is there a way that we can maybe recognize it and know when that sort of pain body has taken over and we are acting whether individually or collectively from that. How can we recognize it?

Alaine Duncan (39:28):

I think that is really this, like the question of the day, you know, the, the really important question of the day. I mean, I know that I'm in my dorsal vegas in my brainstem when I feel fearful, judging, anxious, and my mind is moving too fast and I'm wanting to shut this other person down and I feel aggressive. And I know when I'm in my ventral Vegas, when I'm able to transcend all of that and say, this is a person just like me, who wants to be heard and wants to be understood and has their feet on the, they're they're living between heaven and earth, just like I am and how are we going to live together? And I want to figure that out. You know, like I know when I'm not in my best in my right self. I know when I'm dysregulated.

Alaine Duncan (40:18):

And I think that our capacity to recognize when we're dysregulated, when we're in our brainstem to just notice it, because as soon as we notice it, we have a little bit of capacity to transform it. So that the task is to recognize when we're in regulation, when we're out of regulation and to cultivate practices that help us to shift. So maybe the practice of simply going to our feet, or maybe the practice of looking at the beautiful tree that's out the window, or the practice of recognizing the presence of our ancestors at our back, or the practice of bringing one of those ancestors who we knew and loved present with us today, or a close friend who is a regulating presence in our life, or our pet dog, you know, or maybe we've got a worry stone that we can rub. And we just feel a little bit better because we're connecting somatically with something like we need to have a whole library of ways that we bring ourselves back to safety and relationship. Maybe it's a meditation practice. Maybe it's a prayer practice. Maybe it's a Tai Chi or Qigong or yoga, you know, whatever practice it is. We need to really engage it in order to cultivate this for our national body, we need to each make our own contribution towards a more regulated vibration for the sake of our nation.

Kelley Lynch (41:47):

Gratitude is another one. I know when I practice that I feel so much better.

Alaine Duncan (41:53):

Right! If we write down something we're grateful for every day and keep it in a journal, or maybe send postcards to people that we're grateful for, or put little slips of paper in a jar and fill up the jar, you know, it's like you change the synapses in your brain when you operate from gratitude.

Kelley Lynch (42:12):

That's great. Wow, Lanie. That's wonderful. Thank you. Okay, bye.

Kelley Lynch (42:29):

Hey there. Hello. So we all know how things are going over here. I mean, that's like televised, analyzed and talked about on the radio ad nauseum. We wanted to know what's been the response to the election over there. Has there been any,

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (42:48):

Yeah, it's quite interesting that Bangladeshi people take great interest in political activities, whether it's Bangladeshi or it's in the U.S., They always have an opinion. They always have something to say about it. Like this guy who lives in a small town, about two to 300 kilometers away from the Dhaka threw a banquet for 200 people when he heard that Joe Biden won the presidency. And when journalists asked him, you know why this party? And he said that Joe Biden won. So he wanted to celebrate it because Trump was a bad person for world peace. So in order to improve the world peace, he is happy that Joe Biden is the president.

Cindy Sealls (43:41):

So it wasn't even in the big city.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (43:45):

Big city, big cities of miles away throwing parties for

Cindy Sealls (43:49):

Our political candidates

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (43:52):

In the village. This is, this is like really the national pastime. In fact, in one of, one of the district, there was a fight between two groups supporting the two parties, one group supporting Biden, one group supporting Trump. They were clashing with each other...

Kelley Lynch (44:13):

No way, no way.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (44:17):

Yes that's us.

Cindy Sealls (44:20):

So I think it's safe to say that you all were closely watching the U.S. Election.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (44:25):

Of course. Of course, people were spending sleepless night watching, you know, like they grew impatient because it takes too long for your country. You know, you haven't learned anything from us. We come up with results before even the vote is cast. You cannot come up with the result after two days or three days of voting. You are following our playbook, but you haven't learned everything. You don't even know how to know the results before the election. Exactly, exactly. That's what we do. We know who would be the next president or who would be the next prime minister before even the election starts. So you should learn that...

Cindy Sealls (45:12):

That's the safe way to do it in a pandemic.

Kelley Lynch (45:15):

Exactly! No need for voting.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (45:18):

There is a story going around now in, in different districts from Bangladesh are claiming that Joe Biden is actually from their district Northeast corner and Southwest corner claiming that he was here as a Jaynal Baton or something like that, a Bangladeshi kind of name, and then he migrated to the US and changed his name from Jaynal to Joe and Baton to Biden.

Cindy Sealls (45:49):

Okay. So how did he change his complexion?

Kelley Lynch (46:00):


Cindy Sealls (46:00):

It's the Michael Jackson thing. It's vitiligo.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (46:02):

Actually, if you look at a black and white photograph, everyone here is fair because of how they edit the photograph in black and white...

Kelley Lynch (46:15):

I just want to say, if we had problems with Barack Obama's birth certificate, God, this could start a whole other controversy. I mean, can you imagine he's actually from Bangladesh.

Cindy Sealls (46:29):

And those people in Ireland who were celebrating a couple of days ago, boy, are they going to be upset? What he's not from here? We thought he was here for me here.

Kelley Lynch (46:39):

Hey, but wait, but wait. The best part is it will give Donald Trump something to do. He can just go on with the birther thing. He just has to change the country.

Cindy Sealls (46:51):

I can hear it now. I was listening to this little podcast the other day, and guess what I heard? I heard Joe Biden is actually Bangladeshi. He was born in Bangladesh. I heard the guy say it. It will be all over YouTube, and on the news. And they'll say it wasn't the stuttering, he was trying to get rid of his Bangladeshi accent. It had nothing to do with stuttering. It was just an excuse. He made up. That is pretty funny. I would like Bangladesh, I mean, I wouldn't be able to communicate unfortunately, but man, if, if all you do is talk about politics, it's my kind of place.

Obaidul Fattah Tanvir (47:35):

It is actually you'd feel right at home. You know, like the moment you start talking about politics, everybody joins and everybody has an opinion. Everybody has inside information.

Kelley Lynch (47:50):

Well, thank you, Bangladeshi correspondent. Thank you for giving us a good laugh today.

Cindy Sealls (47:59):

Always great insights from Bangladesh. Yeah, man. Incredible.

Kelley Lynch (48:03):

Love it. I love it. Take care. And well, we'll see you soon. Take care. Bye.

Kelley Lynch (48:24):

Thank you so much for listening. We hope that you enjoyed listening as much as we enjoyed making this. We hope that if you liked it, you'll share it around. And if you haven't already, that you'll subscribe and leave us a review. All of that is super easy. Now on our new website, a new normal there you'll also find links to our Instagram feed. And please do take a few minutes to check out the show notes because that's where you'll find not only the information about the person we've been speaking to, but also background materials, as well as any books and resources that were mentioned in the show. We'll be back next week with the first of our, be the change stories featuring military veteran, turned potter, Matt Marasch. Matt is improving his pottery skills, which are considerable. And at the same time, he's branching out to work with other veterans to provide opportunities, to create pottery, foster continual learning, and provide fellowship and opportunities to share their work with the community. See you then. Bye.