🎶 Podcast Intro: Welcome to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast, where we give you the encouragement you need to lean into the uncomfortable stuff life puts in front of you, so you can love your life. If you are ready to overcome all the yuck that keeps you up at night, you're in the right place. I am your host, Melissa Ebken let's get going. 🎶
🎶 Episode Intro: Hello, and welcome back to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast. I am your host, Melissa Ebken and I am here each week to bring you stories of people who have leaned into the difficult and uncomfortable experiences and situations in life and have overcome them. Today I look forward to introducing you to Murielle Fellous.
She is joining us all the way from Israel, and Mariel is sharing her story of bouncing back from depression, raising challenging teenagers as a single mom, and how it forced her to do life differently. She has learned some unique skills that can be very helpful in helping anyone, especially parents deal with anxiety and stress. So without further delay, let's meet Murielle. 🎶
Melissa Ebken 0:05
Hello, Murielle, how are you today?
I'm great. Thank you, Melissa. I'm so happy to be here.
Melissa Ebken 0:13
Oh, good. Welcome to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast where we share stories where people have leaned into the difficult things and have overcome them so that their stories can inspire others. So, Murielle, you are coming to us from Israel today?
Correct? Yes, I recently not so recently anymore, because it was August of 2021. But I moved there recently.
Melissa Ebken 0:40
But your story that you're going to share with us today started back in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Yes, I lived in Las Vegas for 17 years. I moved from California. And I raised my kids as a single mom in Las Vegas. So that's where we were located, while my kids, my kids, yeah, my kids were growing up.
Melissa Ebken 1:04
You know, as a parent, I'm thinking, you know, I live in a really small town, in an area that has a whole lot of small towns, and the big city is far away. Of course, you know, you try to hold the world back as best you can. You can't always succeed in doing that. But I know the own the fears that keeps circling through my mind of my kid and the influences. I cannot imagine raising kids, let alone having teenagers, in Las Vegas, I mean, the city that has all the influences that I'd want to hold back.
Yes, it wasn't the best place. But luckily, I wasn't living next to the street where all the casinos are, I was more in the North West towards the moutain. But still, there is a lot of influence. And back a few years, I think a year or two years before my son turned 17, they made weed legal in Las Vegas, which sent a very confusing message to kids because they everywhere they went they were hearing that it's harmless and it's it's better than medication for many things. So they somehow integrate, integrated/ assimilated the message that it was harmless. And I had to counteract that when I was every time I was talking to teenagers, mine or their friends. So that was quite a challenge.
Melissa Ebken 2:38
I can imagine. You keep telling them say no to drugs, say no to drugs, all drugs, unless prescribed, are so harmful. And then all of a sudden, oh, hey, here, have some, it's fine. That would be very confusing.
Yeah, even though it's not legal for young people below the age of 21, to smoke. When you're bombarded everywhere with that message, and you see clinics opening right and left. It's it's confusing. And so when my kids, especially my last two teenagers who are very adventurous, and they love to explore and every time they were going out of the house, every time they were going to a party or something I was, I was in anxiety. So I ended up living 24/7 in anxiety because they were going to school, but then after school, they were with friends. And when you work, you can not be constantly with your kids. I started waking up in the middle of the night with scenarios of horror in my mind. And I started really telling myself over and over. I'm not, I can't deal with that. And this is too much. I don't have what it takes. And slowly slowly spiraling into depression without even realizing that that's what was going on.So
Melissa Ebken 4:14
Depression is debilitating. I think so many people can relate to having anxiety 24 hours a day. And you know, depression isn't one of those things that jumps out at you with a sign that says, hey, guess what, you're getting depressed. Look at me. It's just a slow onset.
It it is and especially for someone like me who's very positive usually. I could I it was not part of my identity of who I thought I was. And I didn't realize you know, because especially when you raise I was raising three kids as a single mom in a country where I didn't have family. Every time I somehow every time I had a good friend, they, they were coming from somewhere else. And suddenly they were leaving back to somewhere else. So it was very hard to have a support community, supportive community around me around me. And when you are in your bubble, at some point, if you don't have someone who brings you outside as a reference, you start losing your, your, your points of reference, and I didn't see myself, I all I know is I had thought I would never commit suicide, but I had thoughts like, I want to disappear. If there is lightning that could take me now I want to disappear. And unfortunately, I think I must have said that once or twice, and my kids heard me, which is not good at all. No, but I would I was such in such a state of powerlessness and hopelessness, that I didn't see a solution. I felt that I was inadequate, because there was a lot of shame also, regarding the fact that how come, my kids ended up doing those things that I must have made some mistakes when I raised them. So there was all that big bucket of negative emotions, self criticizing myself constantly and feeling that I did not have what it takes. And although I had always a relationship with with God with the universe, because I meditated, I've been meditating for years. But when you are in a state of alert, your brain doesn't function the same way. The blood that normally goes to the frontal cortex to analyze and come up with solutions and be more rational, is detoured to your limbs because you're on fight or flight mode. And you can't think straight, you don't have access to your whole resourcefulness. And that's where I was, and I, I forgot that I was not alone. Until I really started asking for help at one point. And of course, when you ask you receive always. That has been at least my experience and the experience of the people I coach or around me. I woke up one night in tears. And I realized that I didn't like my life. And I would not even admit that to myself before because to me, it was an aberration. My kids were happy. I had, apparently everything I needed, I did not have the right to say that I didn't like my life. That meant I didn't love my kids. And that night, I realized that both can be true, I love them. And I not like my life. And I started crying and sobbing and everything that needed to come out came out that night. And that was the beginning of bouncing back up that was when I realized that I had tools as a coach and I just needed to apply what I would tell a client to do multiplied by 10. So I started intervening on my on my anxiety and I started the way out.
Melissa Ebken 8:32
You know a couple things stood out for me there in your story. One the parent guilt you know mom guilt dad guilt either way. That is heavy stuff. There's no other guilt quite like Mom, mom guilt or dad guilt. I mean, not to say that the other guilt can't be as equally heavy. Absolutely it can. But goodness, that guilt and shame that comes with parenting mistakes, which may not even be a mistake, sometimes kids are kids and they do what they need to do to figure out this world. But that goes to the core of our identity so fast. That can be overwhelming.
It does and especially because in our society we are constantly receiving messages that we should be perfect almost. We should have it all together. And if our kids do something bad then somehow it comes from us. And a plus when you add that to the fact that as parents we're not perfect and our parents were not perfect. So there is always a little bit of I'm not enough under the surface. It's a layer it's a cake you know like a layer cake that is not supporting you. And and for me the gift was like yeah, present and this is a thing that I see over and over and over with the parents that I coach, the moms that I coach. Even for mistakes sometimes that are so small, they beat themselves up for years. And until we start working on letting that go, and seeing that they did the best at the time that happened. It's constantly weighing on them. It's really a common issue.
Melissa Ebken 10:29
Absolutely. And something that I see in folks a lot is that people feel like their guilt, is their just punishment for not being enough or for failing. And I like to ask folks, you know, is that is you carrying around that guilt, is that serving you? And is that serving the people in your life? Or, would you and they both be better served, if you were able to grow beyond that guilt? To let it go and to heal yourself. Another thing that stood out to me when you were speaking earlier was you mentioned how we get trapped in the fight or flight response. That it's easy as an outsider to look in with someone who's experiencing anxiety in think to ourselves, what are they thinking? Well, they're not because they can't, they're surviving, like you said. Our bodies have a physiological response to survive. And when we feel threatened, which we do, when we have anxiety, that blood flow is going to the big muscles, it's raising our heartbeat and preparing us to fight or flight and until and unless we can calm that down, we don't have the tools or capacity to think rationally. And I think you might have something that is helpful in that situation.
Yes, and what I wanted to add is, I didn't even realize that I was living in anxiety, and most people don't, because we have a low grade of anxiety. And we feel that it's normal, until we start experiencing something like no anxiety. And we're like, the, when I came back to a state of no anxiety, I was like, Oh, I feel like I was feeling when I was in college. Free. And that was because I had let go of the anxiety. And to do that I use a technique called Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping, which is a combination of modern psychology and ancient wisdom, because we use the ending of the meridians that they use in acupuncture. So it's like acupuncture, but without the needles. It's with pressure or tapping on on those points. And that, that will literally intercept the stress response at the brain level. Now, there are hundreds of studies to to back up what I'm saying. And we use that, so I use that with moms. I used that on myself in the middle of the night when I was like, oh my God, I'm going to find them dead in a ditch or at a party, they're going to fry their brain, you know, all those terrible stories. We terrify ourselves. There is no need for that, really, but. And I was starting to tap on the ending points. And then I was going to a normal neutral state. And I was able to then grab or choose another thought that was more neutral, something like right now everybody's safe. Right now there is no proof that there is a problem, we are safe. The same power that protected me all those years. That healed me from Hepatitis B, because I had Hepatitis B in 2017. We'll protect them and come back to stuff like that to cover myself. So I don't know
Melissa Ebken 14:07
When you're talking about tapping, just fingers, on our forehead or wherever in our body. And that comes from an ancient practice akin to acupuncture, and how this can therapeutically change our thoughts and how our our physiological response in situations
It will and it even has the power to rewire your brain if you do it often enough, and if you do it well. Because some people tried tapping and they said it doesn't work, but they didn't try it the way to be done because you need to pick a specific story. If you stay too general you won't feel the difference in your body. If you go with your story of horror, like I did, you will definitely feel a difference in your body. And to me, it's crucial to first, for your physical self, because stress is damaging to the health, second as a parent to be able to go back to your inner resources, and also to tap into the resources of the universe. Because I always talk about the the state, the emotional state that we're in, and the access that you have to connect with something bigger than you. Only if you are in an emotional state that is elevated enough, at least neutral and above. When you're in fear, because of the way that your brain works, there is a portion of the a part of the brain called the reticular activating system. And one of its task is to match your outside world with your inner beliefs. So if the movie that is going on the screen of your brain, and your mind is like, it's dangerous, my kids are in danger, that's not going to end well, I'm inadequate. Your brain will match that with what you see outside. So you, you will only be able to spot what is confirming that belief that you have. So it's it's like a vicious cycle, because you can't get out of it unless you intercept that, and for that, tapping is marvelous. And I always talk about that I always talk about our electromagnetic energy, that is people can feel before we we talk to each other even that has an impact on it too. Because when you're emoting at a fear level that can be felt. And when you are with kids, I know as a parent, when I'm scared, I'm going to be more aggressive at trying to defend them and protect them. Even at the time 24/7, which is an impossible task. I'm only human. And I'm going to constantly trying to be did you do that? Or do you smoke or do you drink? And soon enough, your relationship with your kid is only going to be that when in fact, it's only a portion of it, that you're not able to unhook from that fear, to start relating on all the other beautiful stuff where they're successful in so many things. And, and the communication is also affected, because they're tired of hearing you saying that constantly. So there are so many aspects of it.
Melissa Ebken 17:44
So if someone wanted to get started with tapping, I'm guessing there's more to it than just sitting down and poking your forehead with your finger.
So I don't know, if you you would like to do a demonstration in this episode, or if you would like me to point them to a resource that I have.
Melissa Ebken 18:03
I would love to try it. Can you talk me through it?
Yeah. Yes, of course. So first of all, so I'm gonna for people if they want to have a visual, and they are, look, they're listening to this audio, they can go to liveeft.club, or liveeft.com, I think sorry. And they will end up on my website with a silent demonstration of the points if they want the visual, but I'm going to explain the points as we go.
Melissa Ebken 18:36
And quick, those links are all in the show notes. So if you're listening to this, and you want to check that out later, it'll be available for you in the description of the episode. Just click on it, and it'll take you right there.
Perfect, thank you. So the first thing to do is pick something. And I talked about scenarios as a parent, but it can be anything that is triggering a little bit of anxiety or fear or stress for you. And to stay general for the audience because I would like them to try to, I'm going to say that problem but you, in your mind, you give a title to your issue or your memory or the thing that you would like to work with. And concentrate on that. And on an emotional level, where zero is I don't feel stress or anxiety at all. And 10 is like it's overwhelming. Try to connect with an emotion that is at least at a five or higher. So for people who want to try and they need a little bit more time they can pause the episode and grab something and really remember the details of the story. Where did it happen? Was it day or night? Who was there? What was said? What did you feel? Was something in the air that you could smell? Any aspect of the story. Where were you sitting or standing up? Try to really go back to that memory and feel the stress and I promise we won't stay there. And let me know when you are at a five or higher.
Melissa Ebken 20:25
Okay, I'm there, I am in the moment,
Okay. And I'm going to assume that the audience is too. So now what you're going to do, you're going to take one hand, and there is a part of the hand that goes from the pinky to the wrist on the side of the hand, that is like the karate chop, it's called, because that's what they use in karate. And you're going to take the other hand. And we're going to tap on that with three or four fingers, gently, and repeat after me a statement that we're going to repeat three times, and then I'll give a description of the other points as we are going to tap on them. So even though I had this problem,
Melissa Ebken 20:33
We are tapping, on the side of our hand that we would karate chop with, that outside part, below our pinkie,
and left or right doesn't matter. Choose the one that you like. Okay. And as we tap, we repeat, even though I have this problem that is creating stress for me, So you can repeat if you want, we are going to stay general, and that way, the audience has a reference point for what you're doing. So I'm going to say it and you're going to repeat. okay. Even though I have this, I and you think about your problem, people in the audience, unless you want to say your problem. But if you want to keep it private, people will say even though I have a problem with my kid, or even though whatever title they gave to their problem. Even though I have this problem in my life, and I'm really highly stressed about it,
Melissa Ebken 22:01
even though I have this problem in my life, and I am highly stressed about it.
I love and accept myself anyway.
Melissa Ebken 22:11
I love and accept myself anyway.
Second time. Even though I have this problem, it's and it's really created, creating a lot of stress for me,
Melissa Ebken 22:23
even though I have this problem, and it's creating a lot of stress for me.
I love and accept myself, and I accept how I feel.
Melissa Ebken 22:34
I love and accept myself and I accept how I feel.
And one last time, even though I have this problem that is really triggering me and really creating stress for me,
Melissa Ebken 22:46
even though I have this problem that is really triggering me and really causing stress for me.
I love and accept myself completely. And I accept how I feel.
Melissa Ebken 22:59
I love and accept myself completely, and I accept how I feel.
And now we're going to take those three or four fingers, and we're going to tap on the top of the head, just if there was a line between one ear to the other here. Passing on the top of the head. That's where you tap. I have this problem in my life,
Melissa Ebken 23:21
I have this problem in my life.
And now tap on the beginning of the eyebrow, one of the left or right with two fingers. On the on the bridge of the nose, beginning of the eyebrow, I have this problem and I'm stressed about it and really think about your problem.
Melissa Ebken 23:40
I have this problem and I'm really stressed about it.
Now go on the side of the eye on the bone on the corner of the eye. I'm so stressed about that problem. When I think about it.
Melissa Ebken 23:52
I am so stressed about that problem when I think about it.
Now under the eye on the bone, under the pupil, this problem in my life and that stress
Melissa Ebken 24:06
this problem in my life and that stress,
and really think about your problem under the nose, between nose and mouth with two fingers. All that stress in my body because of this problem.
Melissa Ebken 24:19
All the stress in my body because of this problem
Under the mouth, in the crease here of the chin, all that stress in my body and really concentrate on feeling that stress in your body,
Melissa Ebken 24:33
all the stress in my body.
And now under the collarbone just under both collarbones there is some flesh just under tap with both hands two or three fingers. All that stress in my body that is with me so often.
Melissa Ebken 24:55
All that stress in my body that is with me so often.
Stay there, continue tapping all that problem in my life,
Melissa Ebken 25:05
all of those problems in my life.
That problem that is creating stress,
Melissa Ebken 25:12
that problem that is creating stress
under the arm where the bra line would be. Tap with the other hand, four fingers. That problem in my life and all the stress it creates for me,
Melissa Ebken 25:27
That problem in my life and all the stress it creates for me.
And go back to the top of the head, we're gonna do one more round that problem in my life, and all that stress
Melissa Ebken 25:40
That problem in my life and all that stress.
And now we're going on the beginning of the eyebrow. What, Where do you feel the stress in your body?
Melissa Ebken 25:51
Well, it's hard for me to do it in this moment while we're talking and I'm monitoring things.
Okay. So for people where they feel it, let's say in their stomach, I'm going to say stomach. But if you feel it somewhere else, just say somewhere else. All that stress in my stomach,
Melissa Ebken 26:08
All that stress in my neck,
Side of the eye on the bone, all that stress in my stomach.
Melissa Ebken 26:17
All that strees in my stomach.
Imagine that it has a color, what color would you say it is?
Melissa Ebken 26:27
All that murky stress in my stomach,
Melissa Ebken 26:33
All that murky stress in my stomach,
under the eye on the bone. All that murky stress in my stomach,
Melissa Ebken 26:42
All that murky stress in my stomach,
Under the nose. All that stress in my stomach, I wonder if I could let some go.
Melissa Ebken 26:54
That stress in my stomach, I wonder if I could let some go.
Under the mouth, I now choose to let some go.
Melissa Ebken 27:04
I now choose to let them go.
Under the collarbone. I now choose to let as much as I can go.
Melissa Ebken 27:16
I now choose to let as much as I can go
And see it really continue tapping and get an image for it to leave, your leaving your body. Under the arm. I choose to let go of that stress in my body,
Melissa Ebken 27:37
I choose to let go of that stress in my body.
And we're gonna finish with the head. It is safe to let go of that stress in my body.
Melissa Ebken 27:47
It is safe to let go of that stress in my body.
I choose to free myself from that stress in my body.
Melissa Ebken 27:55
I choose to free myself from that stress in my body.
And I'll stop tapping and take a deep breath. And go back to your problem. Well, I forgot to ask you where you were before between zero to 10. Do you remember?
Melissa Ebken 28:13
I really tried to be at that five point that you recommended.
Okay, so now if you think about it, I know it was hard for you to concentrate on the problem while we're doing the radio show. But what number would you say you are now regarding the stress of your problem.
Melissa Ebken 28:31
Probably less. I would like to do this again when I'm just listening to it and when I'm sitting and relaxing somewhere, but I could really see as I was going through the process that it felt peaceful. It felt relaxing.
Yes. And and you can you will feel some people will start yawning, which is release of energy. Because this is so much stress energy stuck in your body. Some people will feel suddenly. I had a guy once telling me oh my God, I couldn't feel the back of the chair because I was so tense. Now I my my back is melting in the back of the chair and physical symptoms like that, that tells you a symptom that tells you that your body is relaxing that the stress is leaving a little bit. Some people are able to go to zero stress. Some people one or two. It happens sometimes that people go up. And that just because they concentrate on the problem in the moment. And if that's the case for a listener, rewind, and redo the tapping until it goes down. Don't don't stay like that. We don't want to increase your stress. We want to decrease it. And it will eventually go down. And so that's just a general very quick tapping. But when we do it in sessions or when we do it in groups in my membership, we go deeper on different aspects of the problem and I had yesterday I talked It was a lady client. And she told me oh my God, I can't remember what was my problem. And I was like, wow, that's a good sign. That means that the brain has released and and it goes, sometimes you lose the memory, people tap on memories from childhood, we very often end up ending, tapping on stuff from childhood, that it's where everything stems from. And they suddenly either remember details that they could not remember before, that are positive details, or sometimes they just forget exactly what was going on. The what was said it loses its hold on you.
Melissa Ebken 30:39
That is really amazing. I can't wait to experiment with this in a different setting. I think that I think it can make a huge difference. And if nothing else, just sitting and relaxing, the tapping just feels good. I just want to tap we don't want to poke or to hit ourselves. Its just a gentle tapping,
The gentle tapping. And I actually have a free workshop coming on about parenting for people who believe in the law of attraction using tapping and the law of attraction to transform your parenting experience. And so if people join my Facebook group, I just came out with a book, I'm a co-author of a parenting book, and it will be on pre-sale soon. So when people order the book, they get access to a workshop where we're going to be doing that for an hour and on several aspects of parenting. So if people are interested, they can visit my website and or join my Facebook group, Co-Parenting With The Universe, and they can get access to that. An hour of tapping. It's very powerful.
Melissa Ebken 31:54
Murielle, thank you so much for sharing your story and walking us through a demonstration of how this can work. And again, if you want to learn more, all of the links and the book, all of the workshops, all of those links are going to be in the description, in the show notes. So make sure you check out those links and follow Muriel. She's on Facebook and Instagram and learn more and get rid of that anxiety. Especially if it's around parenting. But any anxiety. Yes. Murielle, do you have any last words for us today?
Well, I have two mantras that helped me bounce back from depression that I use in conjunction with the tapping and one is I have what it takes, no matter what happens I have what it takes. And the second is, I'm not alone. Because there is always a higher power that is present available to help us, support us, guide us. Once you're equipped like that with those two mantras, little by little, step by step, will you will get your way to a solution.
Melissa Ebken 33:05
Thank you so much such sound advice. Murielle thank you for being on the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast.
Thank you for having me.
🎶 Episode Outro: Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. If this encouraged you, please consider subscribing to our show and leaving a rating and review so we can encourage even more people just like yourself. We drop a new episode every Wednesday so I hope you continue to drop in and be encouraged to lean into and overcome all the uncomfortable stuff life brings your way. 🎶