Insatiable with Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC

265. Stressed at Midlife? with Rev. Kinsie M. Tate

January 17, 2024 Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC Season 14 Episode 5
Insatiable with Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC
265. Stressed at Midlife? with Rev. Kinsie M. Tate
Show Notes Transcript

In this fifth episode of season 14, I have a spirited and wide-ranging conversation with Rev. Kinsie M. Tate, founder of Restore Clergy, a nonprofit organization supporting clergy and caregivers. Together, we delve into the delicate complexities of stress leadership in midlife, perimenopause, and menopause. Strap in because we cover a lot ground that goes well beyond the common (just deep breathe?) stress management tactics you'll find out there. 

Topics Covered:

  • 01:01: Introduction to Kinsey Tate & Why Stress Leadership in Midlife
  • 03:21: Understanding Stress and Finding Your Voice
  • 15:37: Stress and the Truce with Food framework
  • 19:45: Stress and Performance, i.e. It's not all about you
  • 31:12:  Stress and Change with Midlife's Unique Challenges
  • 32:33: Layering of Stories and Belief Structures
  • 50:03: Stress and Identity Shifts at Midlife
  • 56:33: Navigating Complexity and Chaos
  • 1:09:19: Stress and Grief
  • 1:20:51: Capital "T" Truth

Guest: Rev. Kinsie M. Tate is an ordained clergy, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and certified Truce Coach. Kinsie heads the Restore Program to help clergy get to the root cause of chronic stress, so that they can enjoy a sustainable ministry.  

Mentioned in this episode:

Transcript & Show Notes: alishapiro.com/stress-leadership-midlife-kinsie-tate/

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 00:06

Ali Shapiro
Hi, y'all. You are in for a treat today. And I said, y'all, because I just got off with our special guest, Kinsey Tate, who has Texas and Oklahoma roots. So it's kind of my vibe right now. So when I was preparing for this episode, I googled stress management, midlife stress management, menopause, and what I got was a lot of lists like take deep breaths, take walks, don't drink alcohol. Right? All of those things are great. But why do we have to breathe so much, right? We're going to address the root causes or the typical stress reactions we have that make life a lot harder than it needs to be. And maybe worst of all, we never experience the full relief possible with only stress management tactics. What we really need to think about here at midlife is stress leadership. 


 01:05

Ali Shapiro
And how can you turn food from a source of stress into one that supports your body, especially at midlife, when stress management, aka stress leadership, needs to be moved to the top of the priority list? If you like soulful conversations, you will love today's episode. Because Kinsey is a reverend, she's bringing the spirit. She's the founder and executive director of Restore Clergy, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support clergy with programs that improve wellness, to cultivate faithful and sustainable ministry. And I know most of you listening are probably not clergy. However, clergy are caregivers. So if you are a caregiver to anyone, yourself, because of health issues, aging parents, a partner that's not doing well, kids, pets, this episode is going to apply to you. She has especially apply to you. It'll apply to everyone, but especially to caregivers. 


 02:10

Ali Shapiro
She has an academic background as she's a licensed professional clinical counselor. She has her master's of education in applied behavioral studies at Oklahoma City University, and she's trained internal family systems. She also was certified as a truce coach in my coaching certification in 2022. She's been in private practice for over a decade. So she has the real world experience and she walks her talk. Being on the path herself, seeing that which those from only a theoretical perspective often don't understand. She's a real treasure. She lives in California with her spouse, who is a united Methodist clergy serving in a local congregation and their three school age children. You're going to get so much out of today's talk. I hope you really enjoy it. 


 03:04

Ali Shapiro
Thank you so much for joining me today, Kinsey, to talk about stress, because this is one of the top priorities we need to be having in perimenopause, menopause, and midlife definitely. 


 03:17

Kinsey Tate
I'm super excited to be here. Yeah, let's go. 


 03:21

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. So before we get into kind of collective stress and stuff, I want to get started with your story, and you're kind of looking at your story through the lens of stress, and I want you to start at the beginning. I know a lot about your history, but listeners don't. Where were you before we started working together? In truce with food? 


 03:42

Kinsey Tate
So I'm going to back it up even farther and go, like. Because my story really began probably when I was around 18, so late high school, my parents were separating, getting divorced, and I developed, basically, body issues. I'd always kind of had body issues, and I think a lot of it was inherited from my mother and my grandmother. They yoyo dieted all their lives, and so it really kind of developed into what I would say is probably an eating disorder. Looking back on it now, it wasn't full blown, like, anorexia, but I was definitely not eating enough calories or fat or nutrition for my growing body. And so what I have come to realize now, through our work together, is that was kind of the origin of my stuff. So my stuff being when I feel things are out of control, I feel vulnerable. 


 04:41

Kinsey Tate
I feel uncertainty. I ratchet them control on my body. So what's interesting is, in the work that we have done together, I realize that's kind of my warning light. So that's like, if I find myself on Instagram looking at, what's this new diet? Or what's this new way to lose weight? Or what's this new way to manage my body, then I'm like, okay, what's going on? You got something going on. There's some uncertainty. There's some vulnerability. So I can stop and pause and give myself. It's gotten a lot faster, but it still usually takes, like, a couple of days to really be like, okay, that's what it was. That's what it was. You don't really want to do this diet. You know, it's about something else, but it still takes a little bit to come to that realization. 


 05:31

Ali Shapiro
Well, I think what you're hitting on, too, is a lot of us say we're stressed, I'm stressed. But what does that mean? Right? Because stress can be positive, right? It can make you improve. I think that we both lift at the gym. If you have just the right amount of stress, your muscles are getting stronger. Right. It's great. And that can be the same with when we're taking on challenges we want. But what I'm hearing is you're saying is, like, the origin of your stress was. I mean, obviously there's more stresses, but what was really kind of cracked your world open was your parents separating, and the uncertainty around that is what is, like, a huge stress trigger for you. 


 06:14

Kinsey Tate
Absolutely, yeah. And I really think of stress as, like, on a bell curve. And I talk to clients about this when I'm trying to explain kind of anxiety, because anxiety tends to be this buzword, and it's bad, but it's like, I correlate it to stress, and there is a certain amount of stress that gets us in peak performance. So right before we flip over on that bell curve, that's, like, peak performance. We're firing. Cortisol is in its sweet spot. We have that mental clarity, but, man, it's a short trip over to the other side, and we're freaking out, and we're having, like, anxiety attack. So I think that is another way to think about stress. And to your point of, it isn't all bad. I think cortisol gets a bad rap, too. It's like, we need cortisol to get up and moving. 


 07:03

Kinsey Tate
And I know you've talked about this a lot in your work, and it's been super helpful for me to think about it in that way of, like, I need a certain amount. But what is the sweet spot? Because it gets us in peak performance, where we have that mental clarity, which is super helpful in midlife, because, you know, there are those days where it's just like, brain is not working. Oftentimes with my clients, I'll be like, I'm sorry. Words are hard right now. I'm just not getting it. It's just not clicking. Give me a second, and those synaptic firings will find their way around, and I'll find the word. But, yeah, I think of it in that way, too. 


 07:39

Kinsey Tate
Of, it's not necessarily bad, but for me, specifically, when it's kind of in a negative bent, when we're starting to move to the maybe unhelpful or, like, what we typically think of as stressed space, I have come to identify it really is. It's uncertainty, and for me, it's really vulnerability. Like, I'm feeling exposed. And I think a lot of that is, I was the third of four children. I was the second daughter. And so my mom even had me tested. She told me this when I was, like, five, because I didn't really talk. And so I think a lot of that is, like, I didn't really have a voice and I don't really know why. 


 08:21

Kinsey Tate
I don't know what that is from, but I think it's interesting for me to think about that now as an adult and really, as I've started a second business, like a nonprofit and all this kind of stuff, like, what is my voice? What do I have to share? And really trying to live into that. So that's been a really interesting journey along in this process. And definitely began with, what was it, the first program that I did with you, because I went through all of them, but especially it started with the food, because that's how I found you. That's where I started, because that's like, oh, there's uncertainty. It's like, I just need to deal with this. I just need to figure out what this whole food thing is. And then it grew into, why am I eating this now? 


 09:09

Kinsey Tate
And then I went through truce with food and really kind of figured that out even more. And then the certification process really even dug into it even more. 


 09:19

Ali Shapiro
Well, and it's interesting to think about stress in your journey, not having a voice. And then you did start with freedom from cravings, and we work on the food and Truce with Food , and there's so much uncertainty around what to eat. Right. And so what were some of the realizations that you had so that you could start to make hunger, not that you're bad or that cravings aren't that you're bad. I guess I'm leading the witness, but, yeah. How did finding your body's voice and trusting your own authority, how did that shift? Now you know that, okay, if I'm on Instagram, rather than just saying I'm stressed and I feel like I need to lose weight, you can dissect exactly what's going on. It may take a couple of days. That's fine, because a lot of the work that we work on is unconscious. 


 10:09

Ali Shapiro
Right. It's like living in the body, so you got to bring it out. But I'm curious about how your food journey helped you feel more resilient in greater capacity around uncertainty and body stuff, since that was kind of an original place where this stress could be heightened. Yeah. 


 10:26

Kinsey Tate
I think one thing that I still struggle with is the whole embodiment piece and what truce with food. The whole process really helped me do is to live in my body, and I think that's why it still takes me a couple of days, because that's, like, my growth edge right now is like, what is my body trying to tell me? And learning the wisdom that is there because I am a very curious but cognitive person, which I think a lot of our culture is. We're much more comfortable thinking about it. I know even with my clients, a lot of times I'll have them pause, and where do you feel that? And there's discomfort there because it's like, oh, but I don't do that. It's just a machine that I power through. And so I think to your point is there was nuance. 


 11:15

Kinsey Tate
I was still restricting. And I think we talked about this early on. You were like, don't restrict and see how that feels. And that didn't feel good either, because then I wasn't getting the results I wanted. And I was feeling like if I was eating a lot of sweets, it would make me physically feel bad. So I wasn't restricting, and that felt good emotionally, but then physically, I wasn't feeling good because I hadn't figured out what foods work for my body. And so really looking at it from a place of what's going to help me function well, what's going to help me sleep well, what's going to give me energy, all of those things reduce overall stress. And so if I can deal with the physical stress, so the nervous system stress, the body stress, then the emotional stress is much more manageable. 


 12:03

Kinsey Tate
I have more capacity for that. And it even turned into more of creativity and curiosity rather than the busyness and the hustle and the push. And so it's like, I can tell if I've had too much caffeine or too much sugar or something like that because I'm like, whoo. I'll even physically jitter. I'll feel like I have racing thoughts and that kind of stuff. And sometimes I still do because I'm like, love that caffeine. It's good stuff, at least. I'm like, girl, you did it to yourself again. There you go. Like, yes, what's going to happen? 


 12:40

Ali Shapiro
But it's also knowing what's happening because I think so many of us, because I was the same way before my own truce with food, like, we live in our head, this is good, this is bad. I'm restricting it, so I'm good. And so you kind of have to come into your body and stop normalizing the type of anxiety you were talking about where it's like the racing thoughts, it's the panic. And so just even recognizing and having the experience of, oh, this is going to end, right? This is going to end. I did this to myself fully consciously. And there's something even about it being your choice. Versus just feeling out of control that, I think reduces stress, right? 


 13:19

Kinsey Tate
Well, yeah. And I don't feel like there's something wrong with me. And I realize if I'm super jittery, I can go for a walk or I can do some up downs or some burpees or something, get some of that extra energy out, and that helps settle my brain to where I can focus again. So it's more of having an appreciation for my body and really working with it and appreciating that works really well when I do what I'm supposed to do and not necessarily like it's supposed to. And like you said, that good, bad, but like that range of, if I do these things, this is how I'm going to feel for the most part. We can't control everything. 


 14:04

Kinsey Tate
Like kids waking us up in the middle of the night or new puppies barking at you and waking you up and messing up your sleep cycle. But I know the next day where I'll probably need maybe some more protein in the morning to balance all of that and feel more grounded and just little things like that I figured out for my body. And I think that came from going through the truce process and just realizing I'm the only one that can figure that out. There's no guru, there's no expert that's going to tell me what's going to work for me. And I think for the longest time, that was demoralizing to me, that made me feel stressed because I didn't know anything. I was disembodied. I don't know anything. I need someone to tell me what's going to work. 


 14:55

Kinsey Tate
And now I'm like, girl, you just need to practice. You just need to figure it out. With menopause, it's all changing. I thought I had it figured out. It's like, well, let's just wait six months and something else going to happen. So let's see. 


 15:09

Ali Shapiro
Well, you said two things that I want to circle back to that I think are really important for listeners to hear is part of the stress around food. And the research shows us that part of why it's so stressful is because we do tie things back to weight, right. And we've all had those experiences of at least my clients, like being made fun of for our weight or then being told we're too thin. It's like everyone always feels like they can comment on women's bodies or just bodies in general. But what you did, it sounds like through the truce with food process, which is my hope, is to take food, expand it out of the weight, like, oh, this is good or bad. 


 15:48

Ali Shapiro
And it's like, oh, this can also be a stress management tool, which is a very different feeling than is this going to make me gain weight or not? Because that's disempowering and stressful. And instead it's saying, wow, I can actually support myself in my stress and make my life easier, which is huge. 


 16:10

Kinsey Tate
An experience I had of that was when I was presenting at a mental health conference and I was talking to mental health professionals. So I was feeling a little bit intimidated because it's like I'm speaking to people that are like peers rather than people that don't really know anything about mental health. And so what I realized is earlier in the day when other people were presenting, I felt myself getting more and more nervous. And this was before lunch. And then I realized we broke for lunch and I was like, girl, you just need to eat. You need to have some food. You need to calm down your nervous system. Drink some water and you'll be fine. And by God, it did. 


 16:47

Kinsey Tate
I mean, it didn't get rid of everything, but I was more in that peak performance place rather than freaking out because my nervous system was like, we need to eat. We need to store food to prepare for this. That was like in the fall. So still, it's an ever evolving thing of realizing, oh, to your point, food can actually help me manage stress. Whereas before, so much of my stress was tied up in what am I going to eat, when am I going to eat it? I got to track all the macros or I got to track all the points or whatever system I'm using. And that, oh, my gosh, was so stressful. Like, to the point now where any kind of tracking is still something that I'm like, not going to do it. We're just going to go on based on feel. 


 17:40

Kinsey Tate
And that's where I am right now, and that may change in the future if I want. I have different goals, but at this point, that's huge for me to just not stress about it so much and feel like I'm stabilized, feel like my body's in a pretty stable place again. And that feels really good. 


 17:58

Ali Shapiro
I love that. The other thing I wanted to circle back to, and maybe you can flush this out because sometimes I get stuck in the abstract, but I know one of the biggest takeaways you had from juice with food was the ability to experiment, right? And when you talk about your stress being, finding your voice and thinking, like, oh, it's so demoralizing to think that I have to figure this out myself. And when we have stress and in truce with food, we look at it through a story or belief lens. If any part of what we do there is, like, make things not about you. Right. And that's what enables us to experiment, because rather than everything, we try being about us as if we've failed or we've been criticized or we're wrong because it didn't work. Right. 


 18:45

Ali Shapiro
It's like, oh, what can I learn here? Because this isn't actually about me. This is something I can figure out. But so many of us think that we need someone outside of us to tell us what to eat, but also to tell us what our voice is because we're socialized by the same restriction. Right? Don't use your voice. Be know. So I'm curious, like, how not making things about you, including that you can figure this out. This is not unique. This is not a Kinsey can't figure this out problem. 


 19:19

Kinsey Tate
Right. 


 19:21

Ali Shapiro
Kinsey's not broken. Kinsey just has to do the work. Eat a snack, eat a snack, eat some protein and drink some water, and you're going to be all good. But, I mean, I remember being so obsessed with losing weight and food, and I just was like, why can't I get this? This is so shameful. You isolate yourself more. So how do you think you work through? Or can you give language to what happens when we don't make everything about us and how that enables us to be in that peak performance state? Because there's less cortisol and adrenaline, so there's more prefrontal cortex creativity going on. Can you speak to that in your own process? 


 20:05

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. So I think for me, I think not making it about me, but I think more about the experimentation place for me was really looking at it as, what is my goal? So, for me, it was really about shifting the metrics. Definitely. There were times where it was helpful to tell myself, they don't care. They really don't will. They're trying to get information, and if I fumble or if I don't say it exactly right, it's like, that doesn't matter. It's not like they're going to. I mean, if some people do judge me for that, it's like, whatever, they're not going to tell me, especially in the south, everybody's really sweet. They're not going to tell you to your face, like, well, that was terrible, you did an awful job. They may think it, but they're not going to say anything. 


 20:58

Kinsey Tate
So that was really helpful for me to realize I'm not that important and this is not an end all be all kind of thing. It's like we're here in this space, we're sharing a moment, I'm going to have a conversation and who knows what they'll take from it and who knows what I'll take from it. Shifting that place from like I need to perform at a certain level to even in my individual sessions to let's see what happens and what did they glean from that and what did I also learn about what can I do better? Like how can I better? How did that feel? Do I want to shift it and think about it differently? So I think the truce with food process really helped me look at it as can we shift the metrics so the stakes aren't so high? 


 21:49

Kinsey Tate
Like really feeling like what am I learning here? Rather than like I have to achieve. So even in my groups say my goal is to get like twelve people and it's like I get six people, it's like okay, so what did we learn from that? Thinking about marketing, which is my least favorite thing in the whole world, but what am I learning from that? What's working, what's not? Rather than like, oh, I didn't achieve my goal and so now I'm a failure, all that kind of stuff. 


 22:17

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, question it did and I think it brought up such an important piece that may be like more of a practitioner conversation, but it matters in the sense that we're changing the meeting matrix, right? Because if your meeting matrix is success, failure, it doesn't matter what happens, you're just looking to judge the thing as success or failure, instead of saying, okay, what if my metrics are I'm going in to learn, I want to work towards success, but if I actually go in with this experimental, and I love that example of like they're in the south, they're not going to tell me. But for everyone listening, what really adds so much stress is we have this social engagement nervous system and its eyes are peeled. 


 23:07

Ali Shapiro
Not really its eyes are peeled, but it is on the lookout for any kind of subtext, any kind of movement, any kind of eye twitch, smile, not a smile. It is on the lookout for am I accepted here or not? Am I enough when you're in your stories? And so part of the truce with food work is saying let's start paying attention to some other stuff because someone may twitch their eye or frown their face, but that doesn't mean the whole thing was a failure. But then we stop there and we close down, and then we don't take the risks we need to take. Yes. And so by changing the metrics when you're stressed from, this has to be perfect. I got to do this to, it might be. 


 23:50

Ali Shapiro
I work with a lot of clients who, they build up the work assignment and it's like, but they don't have all the information. So rather than go get help to figure out, like, oh, my God, I was totally overscoping this project. I thought so much. It's like they're looking at, can I get this all done without asking anyone for help? Rather than how am I going to best able to accomplish this? So it's different metrics. 


 24:15

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. Well, that made me think of when I was in ministry. Like, early on in my career, when I would preach, I decided that I hated preaching, but what it was is I hated feeling judged. And I bet what I've learned about preaching is a lot of times people zone out and they're like making their lunch list or whatever. So again, not about me, but really having that. I think for anyone doing public speaking or any kind of presentation, we are so keyed up to notice that social nervous and the sins and noticing somebody's yawning, someone's looking down, something like that. We make it about us. But I've realized it's like, it's not about me. It's like they may or may not be listening. And that doesn't have to mean that I'm not doing a good job. 


 25:07

Kinsey Tate
And that doesn't have to mean that what I have to offer isn't valuable. And I think for me, that's a big part of my story. And my belief is that inadequacy piece. And that's like, we've talked about this how I feel it in my throat, so I physically can feel it tightening up. And I'm like, oh, there's my little friend. What's triggering my feelings of inadequacy and all that kind of stuff? So I think for people listening, trying to figure out that stuff, and noticing when our social nervous engagement system is active is super helpful. And that's one big thing that comes from being in the truce with food process is we think it's about food, but really it's not. 


 25:51

Ali Shapiro
Well, and you made me think of another thing. And then I want us to transition about with some midlife stuff. But when our social engagement nervous system is activated and we're looking for do people think this looks good or whatever? The target is always moving. So there's no safety in that because some person could be, like, smiling and getting that. I'm thinking when you're preaching and someone else could be like, almost falling asleep and then someone may leave, maybe they got a haven't. We don't know. 


 26:24

Kinsey Tate
Right. 


 26:24

Ali Shapiro
But it's like, oh, am I doing well? So what we do in truce with food and what you can all think of as listeners is like, what's actually important to me here? And when Kinsey's talking about, like, I want to experiment. I want to see what I can learn. She's going in with an agenda, and those boundaries make you feel safe. It's like, okay, I know what my goal is here, right? Versus is everyone going to like me? That's such a stressful place to be. And so that's what we spend a lot of time in, is like, what new metrics matter? Because like you said, I'm thinking about with menopause, it's like, this is a different life area, but everything changes. 


 27:02

Ali Shapiro
And so if you are still looking at like, oh, I'm telling what everyone told me to eat is good, or I'm super productive, which is what I was told was good, and then perimenopause comes around and you got insomnia. Now I'm like, bringing my own shit into this. And you wake up the next day and you're like, and daycare is closed. And we all have Covid. You have to come up with your own metrics of what is going to be successful, what is fulfilling, what feels good, versus what looks good. So it's just a good thing in terms of stress management. But what you're describing, I think of as stress leadership. I'm not just managing it, I'm leading. And that helps me be in that peak performance. But you got to know all this stuff to be in that peak performance place otherwise. 


 27:53

Kinsey Tate
And I think as you're saying that, too, it's like, as things shift, because I am in the early phases of perimenopause, and so much is in flux. And I think it's ironic that I am starting, like, a whole new nonprofit as I am going through perimenopause. It's like, I don't know if there's like, were kind of talking about this transitioning of what's important and where meaning comes from and just kind of that midlife phase of just reevaluating and thinking about you mentioned earlier, like, wanting stability, but it's like this middle place of, like, I want it to be meaningful. I want it to be purposeful. I don't want it to be just about the hustle and all that, but I also do want stability. And so how do we do that? 


 28:50

Kinsey Tate
How do we find that in our work and also just in my body? Because things are majorly in flux. And it's like, I thought I had hot flashes, knocked out, and now they're starting to come back. Now they're not as intense, but it's like, okay, do I need to adjust my estrogen? What's going on here? 


 29:10

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, but I think, again, and part of what truce with food about is about being able to be responsive and flexible to life, rather than the rigidity of, oh, my God, I'm wrong, I'm bad. There's a perfect solution that's going to solve any. I just wrote out a piece about to the list to promote Trista food that I think of perfectionism most deeply, about trying to eliminate risk. Right. It's like, if I follow this plan perfectly, it's going to work, right? Yeah. Or if everyone likes me, I'm not going to be considered a burden. I'm not going to be considered inadequate. Right. But there is risk in life, and our bodies are changing, and so being able to be responsive to that and not making it about your body, but rather being like, what are my options? Is huge. 


 30:01

Ali Shapiro
And so let's transition to that. Because I think what I'm hearing is, again, and maybe it's because this is what I'm thinking about, but flexibility, I think, is so key in medlife and even being flexible enough to have these honest conversations with. Yeah, I was telling Carlos, and I forget where I read this. I wish I could remember. But it was this woman who was saying that in her work. I think she was a therapist, too. And I forget what kind of therapist, but I know enough for everyone to be like, yeah, that makes sense. And she was saying that when people start off in their careers, there's like. And again, it's not a complete binary, but a lot of people want meaning, and they go for the meaning, and then a lot of people want stability, and they go for the stability. 


 30:48

Ali Shapiro
But then at midlife, it almost switches. And that's what we're talking about, is like, you and I have both gone for meaning. Right? It's like, meaning. And then I'm like, oh, my God, I got kids. I don't want to be hustling forever. And so it's like, now I want more stability. But the people who want stability probably feel like they're like, I've got all of this. I feel secure in this now. I want more meaning. And so I think at this midlife crossing, we're like, depending on where you started. And I see that with a lot of my friends who have done corporate work, and they're like, what else is out here? And then I'm like, there's a lot out here. But I would like, I think that's a big stress that's going on at this time for a lot of people, too. 


 31:39

Kinsey Tate
Yeah, well, and I think what's interesting about that, as you were talking, I was thinking about, like, for me, I think the stability piece is also wrapped up in my christian upbringing. So that whole piece of wanting stability, which in my mind, for better or worse, equates to having money, there's also this piece of. Is that greed? Is that selfishness? And I know that totally comes out of the idea of the suffering, like, of Christ being the suffering servant and all of that being pervasive in Christianity. But I think it can be abusive in some ways because it can take advantage of people, cause people to maybe not consider their own needs, and it can be taken advantage of. 


 32:33

Kinsey Tate
So all this is to say, that's another thing that has really helped me in the truce process, is to look at all the layering of all of these stories, all of these belief structures, and how is it still coming out? Because even now, as I'm starting this nonprofit, it's like, I want to help. I do. And that is where my passion is. And I want people to go through this truce journey in the way that I'm doing it in restore. And so it has that kind of the layering, my understanding and my background. But the capital T truth is the same. It's like, you've got to look at all your lenses, because if we don't know what our lenses are, then we just kind of behave through them without really considering what we're doing. 


 33:18

Kinsey Tate
And so it's like the onion that you talk about a lot of times in the truce work is like we're peeling back the onion. And I think what I love about it the most is it doesn't stop. We keep going, we keep growing, we keep changing, and it's energizing rather than being like this, oh, am I still not done? Am I still messed up? Am I still like, oh, God, I can't get it right? And it's like, yeah, because there's no perfection. There's no such thing as perfection. We're just, like, growing and changing, and hopefully we're doing that in community so it is less stressful. So it's not like I'm all on my own. I have to do this by myself. It's like, no, have some conversations and it'll go a lot faster trying to figure it out on your own. 


 34:03

Ali Shapiro
Well, and it made me think of when you were talking about the suffering servant. And especially, again, I was a Catholic for I went to CCD and our whole culture has christian overtones, which we've talked about. But to me, especially layering the woman piece over, it's still that strategy of restriction, right? Yes, restrict your food, but restrict your money. Because, and we've talked about this and this is totally kind of a tangent, but I think of a certain division of Christianity in America, like the Joel Olsteins. It's like, oh, the holier you are now, the wealthier you are. 


 34:39

Kinsey Tate
The prosperity gospel. 


 34:41

Ali Shapiro
Yes, it's that time of year again. Truce with food. Trust in satisfaction, not restriction. My six month group program is open for registration through January 31, 2024. I only run truce once a year, and I keep it small so that you get the best of both worlds, my individualized group, individualized attention, and the benefits of an intimate, supportive group. So spots do tend to fill up pretty quickly. We begin February 1, 2024. Perhaps you've struggled with food for years and suspect that the solution isn't somewhere out there in some passing fad or yet another restrictive diet. You sense that a deeper change is necessary, and midlife is a great time to address this deeper change. 


 35:38

Ali Shapiro
Over the years, I've guided hundreds of satisfied participants through this program, so you get the benefit of a refined curriculum that not only meets you where you are, but guides you to where you'd like to be. We cover a lot of ground in this comprehensive six month program from learning what foods are best for you now, not when you were 20 or last time something worked for a short time to discovering the root cause of why you fall off track with your healthy eating. And this includes why falling off track makes sense. Not that it's the problem, but it's the thing to understand and work through. These are results that will last and require no white knuckling. No one's got energy or time for that in midlife, especially if this sounds like it might be a good fit for you. 


 36:25

Ali Shapiro
Join me for a completely free, no strings attached sneak peek in my find your flow when it's all in flux Salon series on Wednesday, December 27, January 10, and January 24 from twelve to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and bring any burning questions from this season so that you can get them answered on this call. Sign up for free@alyssapiro.com hello, and no worries if you're listening to this after the three part series has already started. Once you sign up, you'll receive access to a limited replay of what you missed. I hope to connect with as many of you who listen to this show as possible at this series. Once again, visit alyssapiro.com flow for more details. Now back to the show. Let's talk about that, though, that the suffering servant okay, let me backtrack. 


 37:29

Ali Shapiro
When I google stress management, I think this was on menopause.org. Great resource. I tell people to find their doctors there. But the one article that they offer for stress management, which when women are in midlife, like you said, your hormones are changing, you're probably taking care of some aging parents, maybe an ill partner and maybe kids. Maybe you're an auntie. And, I mean, you're often at the peak of your career, right? And what they have offered as solutions are deep breathing, meditation, walking, all these things that are great tactics. But I think women deserve more. I think we have a high tolerance for women suffering in our culture. And so I want us to talk about what are these relational strategies? 


 38:21

Ali Shapiro
What are the strategies that you see when you work with, and I know you work with clergy, but I want for people to think to listening. Clergy are caregivers, okay? Yes, they are caregivers, and many of us are caregivers. Again, I just mentioned a bunch. You may even have a health condition yourself, and you need to be a better caregiver to yourself. But in my work, clients are taking care of their parents who have dementia, who are Parkinson's, whatever. They also may be taking care of kids or have anti role or sibling, all that kind of stuff. So what are some of the stresses your clients are struggling with in terms of not tactics that you're giving them? Like deep breathe. But what do you see is really happening? 


 39:11

Kinsey Tate
Well, I mean, ali, what I use more often than not is straight from Truce. With food, it's the three stress responses, seriously, like compete, avoid and accommodate. And really, if people can see that a lot of times, especially in caregiving roles, and I think this is true for clergy, but I think this is true for a lot of caregiving roles, is that accommodating piece. And it may be that we accommodate and then we avoid. But if people can understand, it is important to deep breathe. I just took a deep breath to settle my nervous system. And I think we do that without thinking about it. I think movement is huge, and I think it is undervalued. And I also think that movement also, it's very prescriptive, just like food. There's good movement and bad movement. It's like, no, go, unload the dishwasher. 


 40:00

Kinsey Tate
And that's movement. Get up, stand up. Like, up and down, whatever. So whatever works. If you have mobility issues, just doing some kind of shifting. And I think if we really maybe think of it in that way, of these strategies that they're offering, deep breathing, walking, all that kind of stuff, it's shifting. And maybe if we think about emotionally, how can I emotionally shift as well if I'm in an accommodate pattern? 


 40:33

Ali Shapiro
Please define that for people, just in case this is their first episode. 


 40:37

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. So accommodate is the I lose, you win. So thinking of it in that way of, like, I have to meet your needs, and this is a big one for me because I didn't have a voice. My needs don't matter. So I need to make you happy. And there's codependence in there as well. I'm realizing there's a lot of codependence in my history as well, so I'm working on that as well, unfolding of the onion. But it's that place of, like, my needs don't matter, and I need to make you happy to be okay. So I am going to self sacrifice again, this is huge in the church. I'm going to self sacrifice so that you'll be happy, but more often than not, it's like, people will take, and not because they're bad people, but just because it's easier. Yeah, you're offering. 


 41:32

Kinsey Tate
I'm going to take you up on it because I'm probably stressed in that capacity, but it's that idea of, like, well, no. You're supposed to say, no, oh, I don't need that. And they take you up on it, and then you're resentful. You offered, so that's what I mean when I'm talking about accommodate is just instead of being in that place. And again, you really helped me work through this, is realizing, is there a way that it can work for both of us? Amazing thing. Let's think about this. Can it work for both of us? Can I do this without self sacrificing? And again, it's so crazy. But that was such a huge shift for me to realize, oh, maybe we can both win. Wouldn't that be awesome? Yeah, it's just kind of crazy. So that whole emotional shift, that felt a lot better. 


 42:29

Kinsey Tate
And maybe we're both compromising, maybe we're not both getting exactly what we want, but it's like instead of just saying, yes, I'll do that favor for you, saying, what if we did it this way? And more often than not, I'm thinking about my husband in particular because I accommodate with him a lot. But just saying, like, well, what if we do this? And he's usually like, okay, that'll work. And it's like, oh, that's so great. We both win. That's amazing. 


 42:56

Ali Shapiro
Well, and I think the key here for people is really when we work on this pattern and Truce with Food is really getting clear on what the other person needs and asking them, don't assume. I had a client who's getting certified in the certification, and she said her daughter would always call and with all this drama, and it stressed her out, right. Which it would stress me out, too. And she's like, but I'm just saying this because we can all know this person that calls us or that is coming to us and we want to give advice, and it's like, adults don't listen to advice. And I was like, have you thought of asking her what she needs from you? And she was like, oh, that'd be so less stressful than trying to have to solve it. 


 43:40

Ali Shapiro
And it's like, yes, but if we've grown up, and I'm not saying this is the case with this client, but to your point, and again, all of us do this to a certain degree because of development. It's like we're tuning outwards to other people's perceived feelings and perceived needs and wants and caregiving is a great thing. We're not going to say, don't take care of people. No, it's wonderful. But when we don't have flexibility around it. But so for people listening, you can start to ask the people that you always feel you need to rescue or you need to fix or you need to save. What do you need from me? What kind of support? And I guarantee it is probably going to be a lot smaller than you were stressing yourself out about. 


 44:18

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. Or they don't even know how to articulate it. They just feel so overwhelmed and incapable that if you ask them that, they're like, well, I don't really know. And then you have a conversation with them to help them sift through. Actually, this kind of met my needs. I just needed to know I'm not alone. It's like, it's amazing how often that is the issue. 


 44:44

Ali Shapiro
And think it for yourself, listeners, when you're stressed. This was a big reason I stopped binging on sugar during getting my scans. During my cancer, it was like I had a deep story that my health stuff was a huge burden, and so I would know, go to the appointments alone, get my scans alone, and it was like, oh, my God. I just had to ask Carlos and my sister, one of them, to come with me or when my parents called, rather than not wanting them to worry, just being like, I'm scared. This fucking sucks. I'm 21 years old. Why do I have to deal with this? I'm mad that I have to deal with this. Yes. 


 45:18

Ali Shapiro
But it's like, I thought I needed the perfect scan to know the scans were going to be clear to not binge, but I just needed someone in it with me. It was like the witnessing. It's like, yeah, and the attunement. 


 45:32

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. And thinking about the piece of it where. And I think this is an american cultural thing, but this thing that, it's weakness to need someone there with you or want someone there with you, it's like, you could probably do it on your own, but you're using up so much more energy. Like, I think about the amount of glucose we're using when we're trying to do things on our own. It's like, no wonder you're binging on sugar. Your body's like, oh, my God, I just ran a marathon. It was so hard. 


 46:02

Ali Shapiro
You're right. I love that you brought that in. I love that you bring in the physiology. Yeah, it's so true. Yeah, it's often we just don't want to be alone in something. 


 46:11

Kinsey Tate
Yes. They're doing more studies about how people. Loneliness is so corrosive and it is so detrimental. And I think we grossly undervalue how important connection and meaningful connection. Not just like the bullshit where you're showing up and you're not fully present or you don't feel like you can be yourself, that's one thing. But in all of our depression medication commercials, where they talk about if you show up and you still feel lonely, and it's like, yes, because there's no meaningful connection there. It's not real. It's not just about being in someone else's physical presence that can help to an extent, but it's that whole piece of being seen. And I feel like. And really, it's about belonging and it's about worth. 


 47:08

Kinsey Tate
And I tell people all the time, if we get down to the root of our shit, it's either about abandonment or worthlessness and so belonging and connection. And it's like knowing that I matter and knowing that people care, that's the root of so many things. And in the work that I do, it's helping people sift through what is this really about? And it usually comes to that. It's like I feel like I don't matter. And it's like, there it is right there. It's shame right there. Yes. And how does it feel to say that out loud? And it's like, it just makes me want to cry because it's so big. 


 47:49

Ali Shapiro
Well, and this circles back to earlier when were saying, when we make things about us, it's through a shame lens. Off. I mean, there's a developmental lens that you have to kind of develop out of, and we make it about us. That's what shame does. It's you that's the problem. You can't figure it out. Instead of, no, you haven't been given the right support. 


 48:10

Kinsey Tate
Right. And the bigger that is in your life based on trauma or based on just, like, origin. Yeah. Our culture. I mean, there's so many layers to it. But the bigger that is and the less aware you are of it, usually the more it controls you. And the more it plays out in your behaviors, the more exhausted you tend to because you show up places not as yourself, but as this perfection or this angst ridden person that you think you should be or that you can never live up to being. And it's like, if you can, I don't know, food becomes less of an issue because you don't need as much of it. If you can be more of your authentic self, you don't need as much energy, for sure. 


 48:59

Ali Shapiro
And I was talking about this with one woman who was. She did end up signing up for Truce with Food, but she was like, do you think people have food addiction? And I was like, maybe a small percentage. But I said, and I was explaining how food is safety and how food is supposed to, like, attachment is supposed to follow food. Food isn't supposed to be replacement for attachment. So for people listening, if you haven't heard of attachment, it's basically like, how well do you attach to your caregivers? Do you feel like you're safe in your belonging in attachment? And as adults, that relational way of being gets mapped to how we think we have to connect with others. It's not our behaviors, it's how we're relating. So when Kinsey's talking about, like, oh, how I earn my worth is I fix everybody. 


 49:47

Ali Shapiro
Oh, I come in and keep the peace. That can be, again, this is all new. It doesn't necessarily mean it's an attachment injury, but it could be something like that. So food is supposed to follow attachment. So, like, when you're crying, you know, you're taken care of and then you're fed. Right. The belonging as children and babies is more important because you can't secure your own food, shelter, water. And neuroscience now proves that. And so that's why this being able to be ourselves and show up and ask for what we need is so critical to alleviating stress, but also to promoting. I kind of went off on a. Oh, so back to what she was saying is, I said, also, when we're stressed a lot, because, as Dr. 


 50:33

Ali Shapiro
Brene Brown says, hustling for our worthiness or we have these masks up, there's also a huge amount of physiologic intensity. So you have more cortisol, and in midlife, you lose the protective benefits of estrogen and progesterone. So cortisol, it is so easy to be dominant right now. This is why stress management needs to be at the top. Be at the top. At least that was my experience, I should say. But I hear it from a lot of people. And I was saying that when you are stressed a lot and the accommodate pattern, and we'll circle back to avoid and compete, these are like the climate, not the weather. So it's not like, oh, I'm stressed because I'm accommodating now. It's like, no, this is how I'm relating to life, is I'm worrying about everyone else's feelings and needs and not my own. 


 51:19

Ali Shapiro
And so that kind of continuous cortisol pumping out, then you need intense flavor like sugar and salt to balance that out. So part of I think, quote unquote, food addiction is really not, again, maybe in a small percentage of people, they have it, but I think it's the addiction to intensity from stress and cortisol. And then you need to balance that out. Nature needs a balance. So then you do the sugar and salt, because as I've worked more on my stories and my beliefs, I just can't tolerate the same intensity of. 


 51:55

Kinsey Tate
Right, yes, absolutely. It is crazy to me. Just in the time that I've been working from you and experimenting with different foods, everything tastes so cloyingly sweet to me. Like, american food is so sweet. It's like, oh, my God, all of the store bought pasta sauces and that kind of stuff, like tomato sauces. It's like, God, how much sugar is in this? And it's the same thing with salt. It's annoying because now I have to cook all my own food. That's its own thing. I'm like, oh, God, I've got to feed myself again. That's so annoying. 


 52:32

Ali Shapiro
I know. That's what I think. Jeez, that is the hardest part of parenthood for me. I'm like, another meal. 


 52:41

Kinsey Tate
Another meal. And, oh, my God, ali, the thing I hate the most is like, my kids will be sitting down and eating breakfast and be like, mom, what's for dinner? I'm like, you're eating breakfast? You've still got another meal before we even get there. And it's just like, oh, my God, we got to figure out what we're going to feed everyone. But yes, to that point. And it's the same thing with salt. So many things are so salty. And it's funny, in our family, there are different taste buds, and so everyone will add salt to what I make. And I'm like, this is perfect for me. And then I'll be like, can you make mine less salty? That's a little too much for me. 


 53:23

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. I'm just thinking mineral wise, you may have a slightly different nervous system type that needs, because we are definitely a salt family for sure. Like, even essa this morning was like, mama, I need more salt on my eggs. 


 53:35

Kinsey Tate
I'm like, you got a what? 


 53:39

Ali Shapiro
So let's circle back to the avoid pattern. Just so people, since we mentioned, compete, avoid, and accommodate. And again, when we're talking about these are protection strategies, right? As kids, we learned, oh, my God, you belong. You matter. If you take care of other people's needs and pay attention to other people's feelings. Right now, the avoid strategy, I'll let you take it. 


 54:02

Kinsey Tate
Well, so what I love about the avoid strategy is that really is probably my primary in most of the things that I do, and you really help me identify that. But oftentimes we think about avoid as, like, I'm avoiding conflict. So it's like, I'm not making that phone call because I feel like there's tension in the relationship, or I'm not going to send this email because I'm afraid that I don't have the language. I don't know what to say, and I'm going to look like an idiot. So I think that's the pretty typical avoid response. But what I found out for me that was so nuanced is like even looking for a specific diet is an avoid pattern. 


 54:43

Ali Shapiro
Queen yes. 


 54:45

Kinsey Tate
Queen so that whole thing of, like, I'm feeling uncertain, I'm feeling inadequate. I'm going to avoid dealing with those feelings by looking for something that makes me feel more in control. So finding something that's going to fix, quote unquote fix my body, that's like I'm avoiding the real issue, which is I'm a little bit uncertain. I'm not sure how this is going to go. And that makes me feel scared because again, we're getting down into the root of it is worth, it's going to make me feel like I'm not good enough. And so I want to avoid shame at all costs. Our systems do not like shame. Rightly so. It's a horrible feeling. But if we avoid it gets bigger and bigger, and usually it makes it worse. 


 55:38

Kinsey Tate
So it's like a self fulfilling prophecy because then I do screw up and then I do feel bad about myself because I avoided it so long. If I had addressed it earlier, it wouldn't have been so big. Avoid and I are good friends. 


 55:56

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. And I want to say, just add that fear can also make us avoid. You were saying? It makes it worse. I had doctors in my late 20s tell me to start looking at fertility stuff because of my chemo. And I was like, I mean, I didn't want kids. I didn't know if I wanted kids, but I was like, whatever. And then once I healed my gut and reversed all this, I was like, what doctors know? I threw out the baby with the bathwater. And it's like, I was lucky. I did the work and all that stuff, but I was lucky to still be able to have a baby because I avoided, because I didn't want to deal with the complexity and the mess of it. Yes. Yeah. 


 56:35

Kinsey Tate
It's so messy. 


 56:36

Ali Shapiro
It's so messy. Well, and I think for listeners, if you find yourself avoiding, and Kinsey was talking about different metrics, one of the things we work on in truce with food is how can you start paying attention to momentum rather than perfection or rather than having all the answers, how do you break this complexity down into smaller steps? Right. So I still do this with myself, with health stuff I don't want to do because it's like I still got baggage there. It's like, okay, call and make an appointment. It's like, that's the first step. Find out who you have to call. So I just break it down into baby steps, and I am still amazed at, like, 90% of the time. It's not nearly as hard or as complicated, but that fear is still there. 


 57:20

Ali Shapiro
But focusing on momentum can help you reduce the amount of shame or fear and navigate that complexity and chaos a little bit more. Because if you start to get more information that eliminates that or do you have anything to comment on that I. 


 57:36

Kinsey Tate
Would just say, too, is oftentimes I'll find myself looking at step 26, for instance. It's like, I know where I want to be, but it feels overwhelming because I haven't backed up, and it's like, but you're on step two, sweetheart. Let's try and do step two. Step two is way more manageable than step 26, and so it's just a different way of saying exactly what you were saying. It's just like breaking it down into more manageable parts and also realizing when we are making it a lot bigger than it really is. I see the visionary concept out in the future, but it's like, there's no way in hell I can get there unless I make a phone call. 


 58:21

Kinsey Tate
Like, I got to make this phone call first, but I'm avoiding the phone call because I'm afraid that this future isn't going to happen and what that means about me and how I have failed. And it's like, well, how about you make a phone call or send an email, and then we'll see, because there's so many different ways to get there. But oftentimes we just want to jump ahead and just be done with it. 


 58:43

Ali Shapiro
I know. 


 58:43

Kinsey Tate
So I think about that, like, when I was dating, God, I hated dating. It's like, I just want to be in a relationship, and it's like, well, I mean, sometimes you just got to call somebody on the phone, or. I don't even know how the apps work. I'm like, yeah, but that whole thing. 


 58:58

Ali Shapiro
Yeah, well, and also, once you're in a relationship, right, that's kind of like a finish line of weight loss. It's like, well, once you're in a relationship, that's where the real mess starts, because you can't leave. 


 59:06

Kinsey Tate
You got to keep all back. 


 59:10

Ali Shapiro
But I think of that avoid. I remember when I was trying to get pregnant and my period didn't come, but I was in perimenopause, so it was kind of my friend's like, just take a pregnancy test, and I'm like. And I was avoiding it because it's like, your heart, like, when you're really going for something, it's so much easier to be like, why didn't try? It's so vulnerable to want something and go for it. So it's like just everyone listening, like, we got you. We know that it's tender. You know what I mean? Try to go for the vision of the career you want or go for the pregnancy. Some of the stuff that people wrote in, I know I'm kind of like. But when I surveyed my list, they were like, how do I refocus my life now that my responsibilities have shifted? 


 59:56

Ali Shapiro
Right. The transition of post child rearing life of quiet and freedom, finding new activities and friends. Someone wrote your mom, friends disappear without your kids activities pulling you together, caring and death of our parents, our own agent. I would want to avoid a lot of this stuff. Right. It's like you're putting heart out there. 


 01:00:18

Kinsey Tate
Right. Well, I think as you bring up those examples, two things that come to mind for me is that is so much about belonging. Like, what is my identity now without these forced labels? And then two also, abandonment can be a part of that, because then you feel like, again, if you take it personally, you can feel abandoned by those friends that were always there, but they were friends of convenience. It was easy. And it doesn't mean that you don't matter. But more often than not, people's lives are so complex and we are so busy that it's just easier to let it drift away. And for some people, that can be a traumatic thing. It can hit on a trauma, and you can make it about you. 


 01:01:02

Kinsey Tate
And so it makes it so much bigger than really, people just got busy, and it has nothing to do with. They don't care about you. You don't matter. You've been abandoned. But it can really feel like that, and it can get really big and bring up all your stuff. 


 01:01:15

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. 


 01:01:18

Kinsey Tate
Again, these shifting roles, these shifting labels, these shifting areas of belonging can really bring up a lot of our stuff that had been soothed for a really long time. 


 01:01:30

Ali Shapiro
Yes. And I think that's something about midlife is like, a lot of people describe it as an unraveling and we'll get to the compete. But I think the compete avoid and accommodate strategies. Right. Like, they worked well enough, and then because of all the physical changes at midlife, you don't have the same window of tolerance. I just think it's, like, such a reckoning. It's liberating and freeing at the same time. But it's like, it's a lot to sift through because so many of my clients, they think they have the identity. They're like, well, I'm a perfectionist or I'm the peacekeeper. And it's like, those are all protection strategies. It doesn't mean you don't want to ever keep the peace and you want to be anarchist or that you don't care about excellence. 


 01:02:19

Ali Shapiro
And we need some more flexibility around where do you really want to do that now? Versus. It's no longer serving you, right? 


 01:02:28

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. Or to your point, it's so rigid. It's like we've got to expand the boundaries around what is perfect. I mean, I would like to get rid of that completely, but for some people, that's not going to work. And so it's like, can we make the area of perfection bigger or the area of flexibility wider, more permeable boundaries instead of these rigid ones? 


 01:02:57

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. And for everyone listening, I recommend. I mean, we learned to experiment and truce with food, but if you're not taking it, start in a safe place. Start in a relationship that feels really safe. That's what we do in truce with food. And the stuff that's good will get great as you practice this. And then that will give you a stronger sense of belonging, a stronger sense of worth to then take these risks in other places. So as our window of tolerance, again, I feel like midlife. Even though you have this less window of tolerance because of cortisol, you're not sleeping as much. Your hormones. There's just a lot to navigate. I feel like it also forces us to be with how life really is versus how we've been socialized to believe, like, oh, instant success or instant failure. 


 01:03:43

Ali Shapiro
Or I think of, I don't know why american idols come is that show even on the air, but it's like we all grew up with, like, biggest loser american idol. Like, oh, my God, you just are going to get plucked out. And with belonging, there's that deep story of, like, I need to be chosen. Not I do the choosing, but, oh, if I get chosen, I'm out of all this. So now I'm kind of going off on a tangent, but it forces us to realize that's not how life actually works. 


 01:04:11

Kinsey Tate
Well, and with that disillusionment, too, and how depressing that can be, how sad that can be, and that can be its own pathway to healing. But oftentimes, we don't tolerate sadness very well either. It's like there's something wrong with you. If you're sad, there's something wrong with you. It's like, aren't you done grieving? Can you get over that, please. You've had like, 24 hours, so let's move on. 


 01:04:39

Ali Shapiro
Now you're a therapist. What is it? The DSM? The diagnostic manual? Isn't it like, grief for the death of someone is like 14 days or something? It's something insane. 


 01:04:55

Kinsey Tate
Yeah, actually, I don't know that number. But that sounds reasonable to the manual. 


 01:05:03

Ali Shapiro
Not reasonable to realize. 


 01:05:04

Kinsey Tate
No, but I think that's culturally what the expectation is. Because we are so uncomfortable with other people's grief and sadness. 


 01:05:12

Ali Shapiro
Yes. 


 01:05:13

Kinsey Tate
Because it's like, God, I've got to deal with my own stuff and I just want to be happy. I don't want to feel sad. And it's like, well, you're going to feel sad. I hate to break it to you, but that's going to happen. And so it's like, how can we shift that from this thing, that there's something wrong with me that I need to fix to more of? Like, I'm in this place of. I'm in a grief spot, and that's okay. And maybe it's an opportunity to reevaluate things. I think oftentimes with any kind of loss, it really kind of helps us reprioritize. And I think midlife, there's definitely loss. I mean, I know that I've lost in just not knowing what my body is doing and the shift in my body and the change. 


 01:06:02

Kinsey Tate
I think there's loss there of like, oh, well, I can't operate that way anymore. That's not going to work. And just even. Just where the excess flesh, it's like, where it's deposited and all that kind of stuff, it's like, I don't know how I feel about this. I don't know if I like that. And it's like, that's okay because you're grieving because it's different and it's new and uncomfortable, and you just kind of have to embody it and move through it. 


 01:06:33

Ali Shapiro
I was telling a couple of friends, this is before I got on HRT, or it's really menopause hormone therapy, which we'll be doing a whole episode on this season. But before I got on that, which has really helped my sleep, I was doing all the things and I said, I have such. And it felt silly to share, but I said, I just have so much grief around not knowing if I can ever get a good night's sleep again. I used to just take that for granted. I was a rock star sleeper. I've been a grandma since. I don't know. But it was like 10:00 1030 out 738 solid it was like this loss. As I was learning more about our hormones, I'm like, oh, my God. This loss of not realizing your joints don't hurt because you have enough estrogen. 


 01:07:21

Ali Shapiro
You don't have to be as careful with your movements or you feel more satiated when you have more estradiol. Like all this stuff that I was like, you can't know until it's gone. But it's like, I'm like, oh, my God, I didn't know I was going to lose this. A lot of moments like that for me because it takes more energy and it's more stressful of like, met my friend at the gym today and she's like, oh, do you want to just skip the warm up? And I'm like, she's 15 years young or she's like, twelve years young. And I'm like, I can't skip the warm up. I'm like, I'm worried about injuring myself. But that's like a perfect example of like, in the past we're like, yeah, let's just skip the warm up. And I'm like, I got to stretch out my back. 


 01:08:04

Kinsey Tate
That is so funny, allie, because when were looking, because we just moved this past summer, when were looking for a new gym, we chose a different gym because we're like, the other gym doesn't warm up enough and we're in our forty s and by God, we need a pretty significant warm up. We literally chose a different gym because of that. It's like, no, we need people that get this people in their. 


 01:08:30

Ali Shapiro
But that's a lot of flexibility. I mean, not flexibility, physical flexibility, but just like, it feels like there's so much more to account for that. I'm still processing all of that, right? So I do want touch on that and then we'll get to compete for people who haven't heard of it before. But when you're talking about that grief, and it reminded me a couple of years ago in one of the truce with food groups, a woman was caregiving for her mother who had dementia, and it was really heartbreaking and she was just sharing and I was facilitating and I was just like acknowledging it. And another group member was like, this was so healing for me. I've never been in a group where people weren't just trying to put a positive spin on something so devastating. 


 01:09:19

Ali Shapiro
And it was such a moment for me because I didn't have a lot of language around grief at the time. And so I was just like, oh, yeah. Can't we just let people feel the loss? I guess. I don't know. So I'm just kind of echoing what you're saying in terms, like, a concrete example of, like, other people get uncomfortable with it, and then they try to do, like, toxic positivity or rush to the well, it means you love this person so much, of course, and you got to let those feelings change you. And I wanted to get your thoughts on again. I surveyed my list, and I love this person's response of what was stressing them. And someone wrote, holding on to my original self from before life's intense challenges. And just what do you have to say that? 


 01:10:07

Ali Shapiro
Because I think midlife brings up, you were saying, the disillusionment that big challenges can. 


 01:10:15

Kinsey Tate
So what are your thoughts? Well, it's interesting to me. So a really practical way of thinking about that is the people that you see with the 1980s or 1990s haircut. 


 01:10:32

Ali Shapiro
Those are coming back. 


 01:10:34

Kinsey Tate
I know, but the people that have never changed. And as a therapist, I noticed that and as a curiosity of what maybe happened either. What was it about that time that is how they envision themselves, that they do not want to progress, they do not want to shift. And maybe that's not fair and that's not always true, but a lot of times it is. There's something about that time in their life that was either really good or maybe something really bad happened right after that, and so they didn't want to deal with it, and so they got stuck. Wow. 


 01:11:11

Kinsey Tate
So holding on to our original self, at least that's where my therapist mind goes to, is like, what is it about that original self that's so comforting, or that you identify with so much that maybe you need to grieve as you move into midlife? Maybe it's beauty. Maybe it's your body. Maybe it's the way that your family was. Maybe you lost someone really important. Then maybe your parents got divorced and your family fell apart. So your safety and security and belonging crumbled. So I think our physical, the way that we present ourselves to the world, is one way to do that. We can also hide behind that, but also the way that we think of ourselves. Like, if you were going to take a snapshot, it's like, which picture is the real you? 


 01:12:02

Kinsey Tate
And it's like, is it the you 20 years ago in this certain kind of body with no gray and no wrinkles? Or is it like the you of yesterday where you had no makeup on and you got the hot flash flush in your cheeks. And maybe you're a little bit like, my kids are like, mommy's so squishy. I'm like, that's right, baby. Mommy is squishy. Soft and squishy and trying to embrace that instead of thinking of it as something that's negative. 


 01:12:31

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. As you were saying that I was getting emotional. I mean, what do you say to. Because what came up for me is, like, it's always the loss of innocence. And part of that, we do need to grow up. Right, but should there. And I hate using should. But do you think putting your therapist hat on of, like, and your coaches and your inner family systems hat, I mean, you've got a lot of hats. Because I always hear people like, your inner child, there's this mythical. I'm like, not everyone has a great inner child. I think that stuff can be helpful, but I think what they're trying to encapsulate is this pure innocence. 


 01:13:15

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. Well, the way that I think about it, especially from internal family systems lens, is it's more about that feeling of joy, the feeling of, like, oh, my God, this is so, like, I think about, like, I can't wait to go see the aurora borealis and know, like, just like, that awe that little kids have of going to Disney world or something like that. Just like that awe and that joy way. So I think that might be more. That's what I think of when I think of inner child and innocence is like those. 


 01:13:52

Ali Shapiro
I love that because that's still accessible joy and awe is accessible innocence. And again, as were talking before we started, so much has happened in the world the past several years that just. My innocence keeps diminishing, diminishing. But I love that it's like, okay, joy and awe and how do we get that? And I know we need to be with grief and vulnerability, right, to be able to access joy. But I feel like joy is almost easier than awe. 


 01:14:27

Kinsey Tate
Yeah, I agree. And I think a lot of that is, as we experience more things, there are fewer things that are new and kind of, like, surprising. But at the same time, I think we can practice awe. An example is, my husband and I went and watched the sunset. We're in this beautiful place, and it's like, why don't we do that? It's free. Let's just go up to the hill, watch the sunset. And I think you can practice awe and be like, oh, my God, this is amazing. Think about creation. Think about even the vastness of space. I think about the stuff that NASA's doing. Or I'll watch the Martian or something like that. And it's like, oh, my God, this is amazing. I think all can be in that. Like being a spiritual. 


 01:15:27

Kinsey Tate
Like I think I experience all in worship sometimes if I allow myself to, if I can fully be present and really think about what are we doing? What is the purpose of this? And so I think it can come in lots of different ways, but I think taking an internal family system spin on it's like we have these parts that get in the way. It's like, well, that's childish or people are going to think I'm weird or I don't have time for that. I've got so much stuff to do. Who's got time to watch the sunset? And it's like, yeah, maybe that's true, but what are you losing in that? Why are you choosing that? It's like there's nothing wrong with that. It's just I want people to choose things. I want them to understand why are you doing this? 


 01:16:18

Kinsey Tate
Be more aware of your choices rather than feeling controlled by them. Because I think we lose so much of our life. It's like, oh my God, is it already 04:00? What happened to the day every day? 


 01:16:34

Ali Shapiro
It's already Friday. It's already. 


 01:16:39

Kinsey Tate
But so I think practicing on moments like that and maybe that's mindfulness, there's lots of different ways of thinking about it, but for me it's really allowing myself to feel joy and sometimes I have to work at it and feel awe. 


 01:16:57

Ali Shapiro
When I love that. Because I think about, we often hear, you need to be more resilient. You need to be more resilient. But the other piece of resilience is recovery. Right. To be more resilient, you need to recover and awe. Enjoy. It's like, take your vitamin. Awe. Enjoy. So that you are filled up for that. I love that. I think that practicing awe. I was just reading. I feel like I'm going on another non sequitur, but I was reading how in this age of everyone knows everything, everyone's filming and just scientific discovery. I think of awe in God and spirituality as kind of the same things. Right? Like you said, creation. Right. But it's like, as we think we learn more and more, there's like less places for God and awe to hang out. Yes. 


 01:17:47

Ali Shapiro
Because it's like, oh, well, I know how that works. And it's like, well, but the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. Right? 


 01:17:56

Kinsey Tate
Yeah. Right. Well, and it's like even if you do understand the systems or the chemical reactions that's creating the sunset. It's like there's still beauty. 


 01:18:08

Ali Shapiro
There's not all the answers figured, but this is what we know so far. And this is like maybe where we'll end. But I feel like this idea that science and spirituality are opposites is like part of this zero sum conflict model, which is what we work on, intrusive. But it's like science at its best is the continuing, like, piercing the mystery. And I think religion and spirituality at its best is like honoring the mystery, not saying this is what it is. So it's like, to me, they're actually like, they intersect in a place, right? 


 01:18:44

Kinsey Tate
Well, even a lot of times in religious circles, like the idea of doubt being sinful, it's like, no, that's curiosity. That's a fundamental human thing. And it's so good for us and it helps us be in this place of openness and non judgment. Because if I'm curious, it's like, now that is really interesting. So it's like being curious about why do we believe that talking to religious leaders about like, well, why do we do it that way? And they'll probably be like, I don't know, we've always done it that way. Or they'd be like, whatever. Hopefully they're not all rigid and everything, but hopefully there can be a place of discourse and conversation. And I think there is so much of that in science. 


 01:19:29

Kinsey Tate
And I think religion at its best is really those conversations and trying to figure it out and seeing how are we living that out in our humanity. I could go on a whole theological conversation, but this is not the time or place. 


 01:19:44

Ali Shapiro
Well, and it kind of circles back to your original stress. And I think a stress that we all need to learn to manage is uncertainty. The less tolerance for uncertainty we have, the more it's like, this is what the Bible said, this is what the science says. It's the same issue just depending on where you sit, rather than I'm uncomfortable. 


 01:20:06

Kinsey Tate
I need someone to tell me what to do. I need certainty. 


 01:20:10

Ali Shapiro
They said this was good. This is what would make me successful. And I think in midlife we had this huge unraveling of realizing the parts of ourselves that were good and obedient, that they may not be serving us in the ways that we thought they absolutely Kinsey. This has been wonderful. Any closing remarks on stress? Practicing awe. Enjoy. So that we can lead our stress, not making things about us. I mean, we covered a lot of ground. 


 01:20:36

Kinsey Tate
We did well. I think both of the programs, and we're coming at it from different perspectives. You're coming at it from food and body, and I'm coming at it more of burnout and stress and that kind of stuff. The thing I love about this is that it's like what I call capital T truth. So it's like we're saying the same thing in different packaging in different ways because, you know, we all experience things differently. We experience truth in different ways. And so having different options and ways of coming at it for different people, I think there's just room for more of that. 


 01:21:16

Ali Shapiro
Yes. And I love when it's like, even though we're all saying different things, I love when it all is coming back to the same essential capital t Truth at your point. It's like that's how you know it's real. If all these other people are coming to this conclusion, too, it's like, oh, we all got the memo. Well, thank you so much. Where can people find you? 


 01:21:36

Kinsey Tate
So I still have a private practice, and I see individual clients, and that is@kinsetate.com. But my new nonprofit is called Restore Clergy, and it offers year long programs for clergy that begin and end with in person retreats. And then we go through a curriculum based on the Truce certification. But I bring in some internal family systems and my religious background and all that kind of stuff. So that is restore clergy.com. 


 01:22:03

Ali Shapiro
Yeah. And if you are listening and want to work with Kinsey privately, you can still go through restore even if you're not, correct? 


 01:22:10

Kinsey Tate
Yes. Yeah, you can find me that way. It's all the same email. It all dumps out in the same place. It's all coming to me. 


 01:22:17

Ali Shapiro
Well, thank you so much, Kinsey, and thank you for being a seeker of truth. Capital T. Yes, well, thank you for. 


 01:22:24

Kinsey Tate
Bringing me into that. Like, seriously, you have been such a huge part of my journey, so I just love it. 


 01:22:30

Ali Shapiro
I'm honored. Meeting up on the path. 


 01:22:33

Kinsey Tate
Yes. 


 01:22:35

Ali Shapiro
Capital T. 

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