Attuned Leadership for Women Podcast
Stress to Strength Series, Part 6
Navigating Time Stress with Ixchel Lunar
**This is Part 6 of the Stress to Strength series**
Amidst the relentless tempo of our productivity-driven world, visionary leader Ixchel Lunar introduces a breath of fresh air. In this episode, Ixchel joins me on a thought-provoking exploration: the art of befriending time instead of futilely trying to master it.
Through the magic of simple rituals and reconnecting with our bodies, Ixchel asserts that we can break free from the constraints of time scarcity and glide into a state of flow.
This conversation transcends conventional time management strategies, delving into the cultural origins of time scarcity, naming the invisible hurdles women leaders encounter daily, and equips us with the tools to feel more satisfied using these practical, powerful shifts.
About Ixchel Lunar:
Ixchel Lunar, a dynamic advocate and powerful agent of change teaches leaders how to shift their relationship with time and achieve flow states to do their most important work without the stress. Their perspectives on time are shaped by the experience of living with disability, having mixed indigenous roots, years spent in Nicaragua amidst the uprising against oppression, and a unique career, including serving as a Vice Mayor and running for Congress.
Crystal has known Ixchel for five years and has been inspired and massively impacted by Ixchel’s writing and guidance. In today’s hectic world where capitalism drives the depletion of our most intimate resources of time, energy, and presence, we all need a dose of Ixchel’s medicine.
Quotes from the Episode:
“Being connected to nature, really getting to know the world around us in a very intimate and regular way is a great way to start to sort of dissolve some of the concepts of identity and to see ourselves as something more interconnected and less human-centered.” Ixchel Lunar
[00:02:40] Time scarcity and burnout.
[00:04:21] Redefining rest and leisure.
[00:08:48] Time Scarcity as Colonization.
[00:13:07] High-flow lifestyle and individuality.
[00:20:37] Finding flow and creative pursuits.
[00:24:41] Constraints and incremental changes.
[00:26:03] Reimagining cultural change.
[00:40:08] Shifting from habits to rituals.
[00:45:00] The power of presence.
[01:02:10] Boundaries and managing distractions.
Other Episodes in the Stress to Strength Series
- Part 1, Episode 008, Build Capacity Management
- Part 2, Episode 009, Create Your Stress Map
- Part 3, Episode 010, Master Nervous System Regulation with Shawnee Thornton Hardy
- Part 4, Episode 011, Unfuckwithable Stress Resilience Using the Somatic Attunement Method™
- Part 5, Top Products & Rituals for Boosting Energy, Mood, and Focus
To get a guide outlining the main takeaways from each show in this series, email me with ‘GUIDE’ in the subject line at Crystal(at)CrystalFrazee.com
Mentioned In This Episode:
- FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Performance book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Laziness Does Not Exist book by Devon Price
- Do Nothing book by Celeste Headlee
- Free audio training from Crystal to complement this episode: How to Run Your Day Without It Running You
Connect With Ixchel Lunar:
Ixchel’s Free Book: 23 Rituals for Dreaming in the Wild
Get updates about my upcoming book! REVIVE: The Working Woman’s Unexpected Guide to Recovering from Burnout
Crystal’s FREE PDF Training Stress & Overwhelm Relief Game Plan
Want to search for specific topics from the show or learn more? Scroll to the bottom of the page for the chat box to type your question and get an AI generated answer from this show’s content.
Prefer to Read? Here’s the transcript!
*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.
00:00 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT What if I told you that even in this always-on, connected technology age where you’re probably wearing 9 hats at once to fulfill all the roles you play, that you don’t have to manage time, you just have to befriend it? Today I’m talking with a visionary leader I’ve known for the past five years, Ixchel Lunar. She believes that we can get epic stuff done without perpetuating harsh productivity systems on ourselves or our teams by using rituals that restore our connection to our bodies into a state of flow. And if you’ve listened to any of my other shows and you’ve heard about my Somatic Attunement Method, you know that I am all about that. And I really appreciate the perspective that Ixchel brings to this. And this show is going to be different than the typical time management strategies that you’ve ever heard of before. Ixchel and I are not talking about digital calendars, time blocking, or delegation. Those are surface tactics. We’re going to focus on the invisible challenges you face as a woman leader, the psychology of time scarcity that we all face, and give you tools to break free from those constraints.
Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Hi, everybody. Welcome to Episode 013 of Attuned Leadership for Women, where we speak to the invisible challenges you face as a woman leader and teach you to rewrite the rules of success, satisfaction and sustainability. This is part six in a series I created called Stress to Strength. You see, your body is giving you messages all the time. Yep, all the time. And by learning to decode those messages and seeing them as valuable cues, you can turn signals of stress in your body into strength. I wanted Ixchel on today to tackle the topic of time stress with me. When I thought about this, she’s the first person in my mind that I thought would be great to have this conversation with. It’s been a big one for me and all of my clients with all the roles we play because I don’t think we have role models showing us what this personal and professional balance can look like. So Ixchel, welcome. Thank you so much for being here. It’s such an honor.
02:16 Ixchel Lunar Thank you so much, Crystal. Great to be here.
02:20 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT So a part of the work that you do is helping women leaders go from feeling like they’re stuck in some way or they’re dealing with time scarcity, where they’re really busy and they can’t figure out how to do the things that they either know they need to do or they really want to do. Something basically isn’t working despite everything they’ve tried. And of course, these are smart, intelligent, experienced women that we’re talking about. What are these clients saying when they come to you? What is the struggle in their own words they’re facing when they’re asking you for help?
02:52 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, so much of the time, clients are really feeling the burnout coming there. They they know something is going on. They can’t put their finger on it. They’re feeling that exhaustion from all the things that they’re doing, and they can’t really find their way out of that. And so we really like to look at you know, all the things that are happening and starting to pare down like many people cannot say no. It’s a part of life in so many respects. So if it’s something, you know, in terms of that, being able to start to say no to the things that aren’t lighting them up, that aren’t the things that are going to move their life forward in the direction that they want it to go in. Some folks are, they’re just unable to really be in a restful place. Like the idea of rest in and of itself can be really terrifying for many leaders that especially feel like they may be irreplaceable. They’re the only ones that can do this. There’s so many plates spinning and the idea of rest is like, well, if I rest, then the entire world is gonna fall apart. what folks find when we do prescribe rest is, oh, actually, the world didn’t fall apart and things are OK. But unfortunately, we have really in this this dominator culture, we’ve really come to define rest as poverty. And this is something that I picked up from Celeste Headley in a book called Do Nothing, which, you know, most people would never even pick that book up because it sounds completely terrible. Absolutely. And she’s really sort of outlined this this concept that, you know, in in former days, the idea of luxury was equated to leisure. The more leisure time you had, the more rich and wealthy you were. And now we have really flipped that on its head to the point that there’s so much go, go, go and trying to accomplish in life that the idea of rest is really equated with taking steps back and poverty and not getting ahead and all of those things. You know, all of that ends up becoming really detrimental to our bodies. And over time, that’s going to come back and bite us. And so it’s really about being able to start to carve out spaces for people to even feel safe in their body, taking five minutes. Yeah.
05:39 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Yeah, and absolutely. I couldn’t agree more from the experience I’ve had in my coaching practice. And it’s, I want to say there’s even like multiple layers before the word rest, where it’s just from going, you know, if we have a metaphor here of going 85 miles an hour, can we just go 50? Even that feels threatening and scary. And And somehow like it’s being lazy or letting expectations drop or that if they’re not going at 85 miles an hour, the plates can’t spin appropriately and it’s It’s so interesting, right, and how going from 85 to 50 miles an hour feels like a full stop to those that have been living on adrenaline for so long.
06:26 Ixchel Lunar It’s that adrenaline. Yeah, it’s the adrenalized body. Luis Mujica, who is my somatic facilitator, talks about this idea that the concept of slowing down our resting is so unfamiliar to us. And anything that is unfamiliar feels really unsafe or even a threat physically. And so de-adrenalizing the body is really a huge part of being able to start to feel familiar and safe in, you know, those moments of being in the now and being, you know, taking a moment of rest or a stop to breathe.
07:04 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Mm-hmm, right. And listeners, basically what Yashel is talking about is when you’re in ongoing states of high stress, your body is releasing these stress chemicals, it becomes your normal state because you’ve been experiencing that for so long that without that, you know, let’s call it like a chemical drive pushing you onward, jolting you out of bed in the morning, then you would basically sort of feel like you have to fall over and that you couldn’t mobilize yourself. Your body has been relying on stress chemicals for so long. And it can show up in your health, it can show up in, you know, your performance and things like that. But there’s also a spectrum, right, where not everyone has hit like that proverbial wall of burnout before they realize they have an unhealthy relationship with time, right?
07:55 Ixchel Lunar Yeah. Yeah. When people start to feel that something’s not right, they can’t put their finger on it. There’s awarenesses of the way that the culture has been, you know, institutionalized these ways of being right. The hurried, busy, you know, life, that sort of thing, that getting ahead, peace and the way that that starts to have, you know, this sort of empty, feeling and that there must be something more, that even when people do have these sort of milestone accomplishments that don’t have that, they have a brief moment of dopamine maybe, and then it’s like, well, what’s next? That’s when we can really start to help people to feel that experience of time scarcity. I really like to equate that feeling of time scarcity as colonization. That those are all the institutions within our society that have created this hurried pace of life that works against our physical nature. That I really want to sort of call out for people that time scarcity isn’t a natural state. It’s a fabricated one.
09:15 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Absolutely. I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a friend who has three young children, you know, a little more than nine months apart and some family support, but not much. Her and her spouse are two working professionals. And, you know, they sort of work opposite times of day and one’s weekends, one’s weeks. And so oftentimes, she’s in a single parenting role. managing all the things, and it really does feel to her that she has no time. She has no time. And then, like, the next day I had a conversation with a different friend, who her and her spouse are also full-time working professionals with two children, also young children, and they feel like they don’t have time, but they’re very involved in activity after activity, and so are their children. And she says things like, I just can’t catch my breath, We’re always on the go. I don’t even know how to slow down. And from the outside, I can look at her situation and say, sure, you can. You just take something off your plate. Sure, you can. But to her, it feels impossible. And of course, I say that from a place of non-judgment, because I’ve been in burnout and faced a lot of time scarcity myself. you know, even it’s something I have to navigate now. So, you know, I say that I share those two scenarios, not because I have any judgment that they’re wrong, but just to kind of make an example that may feel relatable or real world to the listener. And maybe it would be helpful, Ixchel, because I’ve heard you talk about this framework of a three layered cake. of culture on the big bottom layer, identity on the middle layer, and habits on the top layer. And I don’t know if these examples would be helpful as we’re talking about time scarcity as colonization. These are psychological constructs that we’ve adopted through our society, and their systems that don’t allow us to be well, right. So I just kind of interjected and threw that out there if you want to continue kind of that cultural layer has come to be and led us to be this way.
11:35 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, so much of what we’re facing and the challenges that we’re facing are cultural constructs. And so they are something that we can shift our perception of and our beliefs around to be able to find different ways of being that are more sustainable. As a mixed indigenous person, I grew up in a household that was a very high flow environment. And it was really about, you know, there was definitely a lot of work. Both of my parents were entrepreneurs, you know, so there was definitely the work hard, play hard philosophy that that I was enculturated into, you know, being, you know, immigrants themselves and wanting to sort of assimilate and get into melting pot U.S. American way of being that is sort of that American dream, which we know has become the American nightmare in so many different ways. But that experience of really centering flow in the ways that we gathered as family members and extended family members with our grandparents and you know, tears and tears and uncles and aunts and things like that. All the cousins. There were so many activities that we enjoyed doing together that created these group flow environments. And then they also really encouraged sort of individual flow environments as well. And so that was something when I started to learn about flow, that was an aha for me, because I see so many people in this struggle within US American culture to do all the things, to check all the boxes, to get their kids resumes just right so that they can get into the right college and accumulate all that debt and stay within the systems that be. It’s something for me that I really, after doing all of that and then not getting ahead and being saddled with a huge amount of debt, was something that I had to really rethink for myself. And the way that I saw so many people suffering was the letting go of that high flow lifestyle, the things that actually really fill people up. that nurture their passions and their creativity. And, um, and the same with their kids that, you know, that becomes less and less important when we’re doing that striving. Fortunately with my own kids, uh, we didn’t have healthcare. That was something that was as an entrepreneur, I didn’t have access to that. And so the idea of like one of my kids getting into soccer and breaking an arm was like a debt that I was not able to take on. And so there were things that we sort of guided our kids into that were definitely more high flow, like music, for instance. And music was a big part of our family and and culture. I grew up in my family with the Grateful Dead and going to concerts and all of that kind of stuff. So music was very front and center and both my children really enjoyed playing and singing and all of that. And acting as well, a little drama and improv. And so those were the kinds of like a little bit safer kinds of things physically. Right, that they could do that still kind of checked off the resume box, but also we’re not going to get me a $2,000 emergency bill right or more, but it was that flow that really, I think. helped us to stay strong and resilient in a number of life challenges that, you know, we faced as they were as they were growing up that I think is a piece that’s really missing for a lot of people. And so that’s something that I always like to find out with people is, you know, in terms of what’s lighting us up, what are our passions and deepening into those and finding some space for that as a way to really support our resilience building.
16:00 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Can you define flow for somebody listening that may not really know what you’re saying with that?
16:06 Ixchel Lunar Yeah. So Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a book called Flow. And then Stephen Kotler in The Art of Impossible has sort of and has written many books on flow as well, sort of has built upon that. But it’s really this feeling of sort of peak state. You’re just really doing the most amazing things. Usually it’s something creative. It’s really been equated to productivity, but, you know, it has deep, deep roots. And you start to lose a sense of time. It either speeds up or slows down. There’s this real ecstatic kind of experience. The world just falls away like people have to really kind of get your attention if you’re in flow. I actually think of it more as an embodied experience of the cosmos and time itself. Like we are in a deep relationship with time when we’re in a flow state. And I think it’s a very embodied experience no matter what. And neuroscience tends to affirm that as well.
17:09 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Absolutely. It’s like maximum outcome for energy and time spent when you allow yourself to be in that state. Because you’re not in the adrenalized state. When you’re in flow, your body is not being filled with adrenaline and cortisol. So flow state is not last minute. you know, last minute, what do we call that when someone’s motivated by that last minute stress, you know, that’s not where we get flow. So as a Western society, you know, a lot of the early settling cultures, you know, Puritan culture, all of that, you know, really valued work as a form of moral ethics, like if you are working hard, you were a good person. Right? I mean, I was raised Southern Baptist, and that’s sort of what I grew up learning and being taught culturally. And my parents worked normal jobs and had normal lives, but I grew up on a homestead sort of farm. We had pigs and ducks and a vegetable garden and a outdoor sort of closet that we were curing prosciutto and you know did all the things that my grandparents had a beautiful vegetable garden that I know they enjoyed but I feel like if I had to guess it was more that they needed to stay busy. than it was to provide themselves with just connection to nature, a state of flow and joy. And so it’s interesting that even though I can identify some of those, you know, what we would relate with leisure, with rest, I still find it to be like this alternative psychology that they were experiencing. So for me personally, and many of my clients, we’ve never seen Any family members actually value leisure value recovery value this balance between push and pause. And so to discover that on our own is is really challenging. So for the listeners, you can just ask what’s your relationship with slowing down with pausing with Just the conversation of how much time scarcity and stress time brings to your life and your role models that you’ve had, what the themes have been in your family lineage or the community you live in, and who you might have learned this from. Because I think it’s so important to stop and pause and be aware of If I don’t know this, especially I don’t have an embodied feeling of this, it’s because I haven’t been taught. It’s because I haven’t seen it. It’s not because I’m a failure.
19:52 Ixchel Lunar And it’s, yeah, it’s the way that, you know, life has been constructed in dominator culture. It’s the way that capitalism has created consumptive culture, you know, that that makes that, you know, in all of the advertising and marketing that makes us want Certain things that then we need money in order to achieve that versus you know prior to colonization, and this is not just in the Western Hemisphere and indigenous cultures, but also in European cultures. people had access to land and had a relationship with the land that supported them to be able to live, they may have only needed to actually do heavy work three months out of the year. And the rest of the time, they were able to do these creative pursuits that, you know, finding flow and these things that they really love to do. All of that, you know, was really turned on its head through colonization, which really separated us from the land and separated time into this divided perfected model and the Gregorian calendar and the, you know, the clock time and all of that, which then equated time with money so that we could pay for the rent or pay for the mortgage, because we were no longer able to just care for ourselves through the land itself which you know for folks like your grandparents and my grandparents to. that feeling of idleness had been so enculturated as being equated with the devil in a lot of different ways.
21:30 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT It was dangerous, right?
21:32 Ixchel Lunar Reinforced by religion in so many different ways. And so we’re working through sort of decompressing and deconstructing these concepts, these socially created concepts that are so damaging in terms of how we see the world and how we buy into what we have to do in order to to be in the world. And there’s a great book by Devin, Dr. Devin Price called I think it’s called Laziness is a Lie. or laziness does not exist. But the concept of that book is that laziness is a lie. So I highly recommend that if like people start to get activated and they bump up against that really indoctrinated experience that if I rest, I am lazy and that is not OK. And there’s there’s a lot within that book that really starts to break down all of those concepts as well. And it can be pretty paradigm shifting for people.
22:35 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Mm-hmm. And time in a lot of ways has also been used to control and as a constraint for women.
22:42 Ixchel Lunar So much so, right? All of the commodification of time and the politics of time, the way that Men, in particular, had quite a bit of time because other people were doing the labor that was needed for life to go on so that they could write books and be inventive and do research and all those kinds of things. Yeah, there’s so much to unpack there that I know we don’t have time for.
23:17 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Absolutely. And so for this layer of the cake, the base layer, the cultural layer, I want to kind of also put it in perspective, like as somebody with a previous career in healthcare, where it is time based, it is a time based profession, or the practice of law, you know, you’re, you only progress in your career, if you, you know, continue to acquire billable hours, it’s all time based use, of human intelligence and work. And I’m sure there’s lots and lots of other industries that work that way. And so, as Ishella and I are having this conversation, what can we say to the listener so that they can not feel trapped by this, right? Well, this is my job, and this is the life that I’m in right now. I can understand what you’re saying. How can we help them kind of marry these two realities?
24:15 Ixchel Lunar Yeah. Well, you know, it took us over 500 years to get to where we are. Lots of incremental changes. If this had all happened at once, of course, humans would have revolted. Yeah. And humans did. Right. But because of the incremental changes of getting to where we are in terms of all of the constraints that exist upon our lives now and what’s required to just get by, Mm hmm. It’s going to take a long time to actually undo all of those things. The many indigenous cultures talk about seven generations to to make a change. Right. And the United States has basically been in existence for 14 generations. So we’ve got, you know, some work to do. And we’re really only, you know, one generation in a part of many generations to come where we can start to shift our way of being. Audre Lorde has a quote that I love that rest is resistance. And so those really small moments of rest, if you can think of them as that way of shifting against what is in a resistive way that is supporting new ways of being that we won’t even see in our lifetime. Mm hmm. And really starting to get a deeper sense of time itself and in relationship with time that can start to you know, there’s this sort of white supremacy characteristic called white saviorism. Right. Like we start to take on that characteristic that, you know, we have to change it all right now. We’re not we’re not going to. It took a really long time for us to get here. And so those small shifts that we make are gonna make it easier for our kids and the grandkids and the future generations that come after them to build upon those changes so that we can be more connected and in relationship with time and the land around us as we move forward.
26:25 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT So maybe as we kind of wrap up this cultural layer, Maybe we can say that for this part of your cake, for the listener, whatever flavor and style your cake is, this is the place for you to be reimagining. So you can think about the culture and what has led us here. and you can think about reimagining what it can be and what change you want to contribute and make in the world. The studies on equity for women specifically show that it will be about seven generations before we see true you know, quote, unquote, equality and representation across the board in our culture. And so this really, really is a long game, but we have to, you know, really reimagine it now for ourselves in our lives in whichever way is possible, because there’s all the ways we’d like to make change, like Esha was saying. Then there’s these micro steps that we can actually take right now that are available to us. So the next layer on the cake is identity. And I think that’s also a shared experience for our listeners because of the cultural influence. You know, I call the cultural conditioning that we face if you were raised with the identity of a woman as the perfection paradox that you’re expected to look and act and perform certain activities. And it’s all in this sort of scripted identity. And as we mature and develop, we learn how we relate to that and how we don’t relate to that. And even if you were to fulfill the perfect, to be the perfect woman, then you’re criticized. and any way that you don’t fulfill that in any role that you have, there’s also shame and you’re also, you know, sort of criticized for falling short. And so as we think about identity, I like to call out the perfection paradox as those perceptions of who we are as not being authentic to us. And I know you have your own lenses and terminology that you would give. So why don’t you share your thoughts on this identity layer?
28:40 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, there’s, you know, so much. within the identity layer that bumps up against our beliefs. And so really starting to unpack our beliefs around different roles and expectations to be able to deconstruct that the cultural imposition on our identities. And I find that nature and being in nature and being connected to nature, really getting to know the world around us in a very intimate and regular way is a great way to start to sort of dissolve some of the concepts of identity and to see ourselves as something more interconnected and less human centered, I guess.
29:31 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT So and probably even more importantly, as we’re like, always on, always connect, like, always connected, but disconnected, connected technologically, but disconnected from ourselves and the people around us.
29:44 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, it can be it can be a real challenge for folks at first to really do that sort of observational skill. So just being able to go if you have a stoop and you have a tree nearby. Or if you’re in a high rise and you can look at a window that has sky just to start to get a sense of that little patch that you’re in. And start to notice over the seasons what’s happening in that little patch that you’re in and making those observations starts to be able to loosen the grip of our devices and becoming aware of like. Oh, well, if I’m quiet, then I should pick up my phone, right, and reach over. And so it starts to loosen that grip.
30:32 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT And are you saying, like, to have an experience of time in a place around you, so noticing over time?
30:40 Ixchel Lunar Yeah. So being, being in a place ongoingly, um, you know, picking a spot, a sit spot where you can go and just start to make observations. You know, if it’s a tree or a park, um, that you have access to, if you don’t have, you know, backyard for instance, or a place in your backyard or, or your front yard, or, you know, just being able to start to notice the daily rhythms that are happening in that location. especially if you can do it at a certain time of the day, five, 10 minutes, making those observations really starts to get you connected to the way time exists in the place that you are and being in that now in the place that you are.
31:26 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Can you give examples of what an observation is, just so that the listener knows what that is?
31:33 Ixchel Lunar Yeah. I live in a forest. there are different types of birds, like migratory birds that will come through, and they have different types of song. And for me, as a music lover, I really enjoy the sound of bird song. And I can tell the difference between the different types of birds that are coming through. And so in the morning when they start their song early, I can hear the usual birds that are making their their song. And then every once in a while, there’s something different. Oh, what is that? Can I can I see that bird? What what are they doing? What kind of bird is it? And there’s apps that you can use if you enjoy, you know, noticing wildlife or plant fauna. You know, you can get some observational apps that will help you determine, like, what is this plant and what is it doing and why is it only here during this month or, you know, that sort of thing. And it starts to get you connected to the bigger cycles, the more seasonal cycles that are happening in the world around you. That helps people to then get a sense of our own internal seasons. We’re so disconnected from our own internal seasons that once we can get more connected with those, then we get a sense of our own rhythms. And that’s where we can have agency around what our needs are with our own rhythms.
33:01 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Can I ask you to go a little deeper with that with internal seasons and internal rhythms?
33:08 Ixchel Lunar Yeah. Yeah. There’s Dominator culture has has its sort of rhythms and seasons. They generally are defined in terms of the marketing calendar and, you know, the the consumer holidays that I call them. You know, they really are defined in a lot of ways in that way. There’s also the summer season, which tends to be a slower time because children, for the most part, take summer off from school. You know, there’s demands that are related to that. If people have the privilege of vacations. They tend to take time off to be able to be with their children during those times. And and so there’s some of those seasons are like sort of what I would call predefined because of cultural constraints. But then outside of that, you know, we all have sort of our own what I like to call our astral blueprint. You know, the the the ways of time that are imprinted upon us and how those bio rhythms are interacting with the world around us. And so, you know, hormonally for women, there’s the moon cycle and knowing what that is and and having the connection to that and understanding that we have ups and downs, ebbs and flows of our energy for a good chunk of our life. And and then even that starts to go through a shift in perimenopause. And, you know, we tend to really bump up against those cultural constructs during that time because there are hormones that start to subside hormones that I think make it easier for us to people please. And we may have more testosterone which allows us to have more agency and we start to really feel like what is not working for us anymore. And what I noticed when I was still bleeding, but my aunts and my mother were going through this phase and they were all getting very determined and very opinionated and very interesting. They called it the uppity woman back then. Yeah, it was it was noticing how they started to let go of those cultural constructs and it was easier because of the hormonal shifts that were happening, where they could then once they hit menopause like really. be more defined in who they were and secure and confident in that. But I think there’s opportunity for us to do that even before that time. Absolutely. For certain. And so being able to really have that sense of those rhythms, both with the moon and then the solar rhythms as well. So the, you know, finding when are the times of the year that you really do have the least amount of energy? And being able to work with that and not push and force like we’re told we should do, but really work with that and honor that can be such a huge shift in terms of making those adjustments so that when we do hit perimenopause and we have those hormonal changes that happen, We’re not fighting against our own body, which can cause such a cascade of challenges hormonally. A lot of perimenopause that exists within Western culture is because of the pushing and the diet and all of those things that are pushing against our adrenals rather than letting our adrenals work with us. Right. In indigenous cultures, women don’t face the same kind of, you know, people with uteruses don’t face the same kind of physical challenges in perimenopause that can be really physically devastating for many women that I see in Western culture.
37:02 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT And it’s kind of a side note, but that’s probably because in those cultures, they’re more aware of the shifts that are happening, what lifestyle influences that. I mean, with the work I’ve done around that, it’s so often that burnout is happening through a perimenopause shift, and it’s generally simple things, but there’s such a lack of awareness of what’s even happening or how to resolve it that hopefully is gonna change drastically over the next five years. I hope so.
37:32 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, and it all goes back to that adrenalized body, for sure.
37:38 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT In this layer, we’re talking about identity. What I was hearing you say is that, you know, you said deconstructing the cultural imprint on your identity and finding a way to create something that is a repeatable ritual that you do, that works within your lifestyle that works within your energy level, and that emotionally feels okay, you know, you’re not it’s not adding stress to think, Oh, I have to go stand on that plot on the in the yard for five minutes, but it’s something that you actually are like, I feel inspired by that. I feel called to do that. I want to experiment with that. And then it’s asking once you’re there, Who am I? What’s happening in my body? What am I noticing right now? And just allowing that to happen? Is that kind of capturing what you’re saying? Yeah.
38:35 Ixchel Lunar And when you’re able to do that, there’s such a co-regulation that happens with the world around you that is so it just brings a sense of contentment. I can’t quite put it into words, but when we’re so dysregulated by life and, you know, even relationally, we may not have the right outlets for being co-regulated with other people. Nature is always someone that you can turn to. Just the environment of being connected to the place where you are as a way to co-regulate, that’s when you can really start to feel safe and still to ask those questions and to do that inquiry of your identity.
39:22 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Absolutely. So if I’m starting to question, well, culturally I’ve been taught that If I’m a full-time working mother and I’m not showing up to the talent show that I’m a bad mother, I can go to this place and have a relationship with the space around me where I can then ask, what is right for me? Is there a belief that I can let go of? What’s authentic for Crystal? Yeah. Is that what you mean? Okay. Yeah. It sounds like we’re kind of moving into that top tier, the the the little top third layer of our beautiful cake. My cake is chocolate, by the way. And have we already shifted into this habits layer? Or as we talk about habits, does that become more granular?
40:08 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, so I don’t even, I don’t even use the word habits anymore. Okay, James, James clear, who really kind of came up with this, this layer cake in, you know, a little bit of a shift with it loves the word habits and for me. You know, because, you know, anyone who’s neurodivergent, there may be challenges with habit formation. Right. So absolutely. It’s really been a shift for me to sort of reframe the idea of habits as rituals and to really come at this as a more in a more reverent way. rather than another thing that I need to do. And so that shift for me has really been, I think, helpful for me and helpful for any of my clients that are also neuroemergent or neurodivergent in some kind of way.
40:58 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Or rebellious, just rebellious. I mean, I will be like, I said I was going to do this thing five times a week, therefore I won’t. I mean, I will just go against myself because that’s what I, you know, it’s my nature. But yeah, so these rituals are really to help people do what? Drop into that here and now
41:22 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, it starts with the here and now. Being able to really have that experience of the now to be present. It’s really, I think, the gold or the diamonds that people are seeking in this culture that they don’t even know necessarily is what they’re looking for. That when you start to have those moments of presence, There’s this spaciousness and this expansion that happens in our lives. I was recently working with a client that was so overburdened in terms of what needed to happen, all the things that needed to be done, had carved out a little bit of non-negotiable time for herself in the morning, but runs her own business and runs a rescue. And so the idea of being able to get into her creative pursuits more was just not going to happen. And being able to bring in more volunteers and more people to support her was a huge shift that she had to make in order to find that spaciousness. And now it’s trying to figure out what to do with all of the time that she has now that she’s created that support system for herself. And so you might find as you do this work, the little minor changes that you’re making day to day, week to week to start to create that expansive space and that spaciousness feeling then suddenly you’re, wow, I just spent an hour doing, I don’t even remember what I was doing. And then it becomes, well, what do I want to actually put my time and attention and presence on? And so making that shift and creating those rituals.
43:15 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT So one of the shifts that I’ve seen with my clients is going from, I don’t have needs, or I’m not allowed to have needs. Everybody else has needs. But I don’t have needs to, oh, I do have needs, but I don’t know what they are. Yeah. To, oh, I have needs and I know what they are, but it’s really hard for me to give myself permission to fulfill them, to use the time and energy. And then finally, too, I know what my needs are. I know I’m allowed to fulfill them. And I’ve had clients that struggle to use the word deserve. I deserve to use my time and energy as I need to for myself, for my own wellness and wholeness. And it just that that is this this sequence that, you know, collectively, as those that identified have been grown up as females go through in order just to feel like time is a resource of their own use is just profound. And so it may sound really simple to a listener to just take a moment to do something. But that’s kind of where it starts, you have to start somewhere, right? It’s a moment. And today, as I was, you know, thinking about this conversation with Eshell, I picked up my phone to see like, Oh, what time is it? And it was 111. And I used to think of people who would be like, it’s 1111, that that was just so sort of you know, Oh, isn’t that cute? You know, and then now I find that it’s a wonderful way for me to relate to a cue from the external world to just drop into my body and be right here right now. So anytime the time is repetitive, I’m like, Oh, that’s the world signal for me to just take a breath, go in my body. things out, and I’m there for maybe 10 seconds, and then I’m moving on, but… Yeah, it’s such an invitation for presence, right?
45:17 Ixchel Lunar Those clock moments where like, ooh, one, two, three, four, or five, five, five is one that I really enjoy.
45:24 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Yeah, yeah, and to see it as like, oh, here’s a moment, it’s a gift to me, I can receive it, and I deserve to take this moment. And then to really relish in that, I think before we can have a flow state that lasts 30 minutes or an hour or longer, we have to have a moment fully inside our bodies, right?
45:47 Ixchel Lunar Absolutely.
45:51 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT I found this recently. I want to share it. I don’t even know. I guess it’s like an original writing or poem. It’s from somebody on the internet that goes by Luke Therapy. That’s all I know. And it says, time is an illusion. It does not exist. There is only ever now. You never leave the present moment and time moves through you. This realization grounds you in the now and awakens a new state of living in this world. And I thought that was great. It’s sort of akin to like the Eckhart Tolle, the power of now. Yeah, but really in these moments just to go. This is now not the past, not the future, but I’m just in this in this second.
46:41 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, time I would I would add colonial time is an illusion. Yes. That’s how I would rephrase it. Right. And it does time we are in a relationship with time in the in the Mayan tradition. Time is an entity. It’s a person. When you see the Mayan calendar, the two wheels, and there’s many calendars within the Mayan tradition, but the one that most of us know, there’s an inner wheel and an outer wheel and they’re working together. And in the center of that is the human. It’s a representation of time and that relationship that we have with time. And so, yeah, it’s time is moving through us and we are in relationship with it, for sure.
47:29 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Yeah. So for the listeners in this moment, what is your body’s relationship with time? And do you feel like you are accessing it as a resource or that is dictating your life and causing stress? And there’s not a yes or no. It’s not, you know, it’s not a question like that. It’s just something to sit in your body with whatever arises. So maybe we can both share a couple of things that we do to practice this presence. You know, I shared that I respond to time. It sounds like you do, like when it’s 1-11. I will also, whenever I drink water, I will, the experience starts when the glass hits my lips and then I swallow and then I feel the liquid go down and I notice how much there is and the temperature. And I swear, it’s like first the water goes down your throat, but then there’s like this second wave of water that is slow, slower to travel down. And then you feel it going, you know, lower down, like towards your abdomen. And you can stay with that for five seconds for one swallow and have this experience in your body. So that’s something I’ll do if I’m in a more active state and it’s hard for me to feel grounded that I like to do. If I’m outside, for me it really is about visuals. It’s about finding tree canopy, seeing a cloud, you know, noticing something visually and then staying with that experience and labeling what I see and then just noticing what that evokes in my body. And that can take 30 seconds, or that could take longer. So stepping out right before I eat my lunch and just taking that very small window of time to do that.
49:25 Ixchel Lunar Beautiful. Yeah, I really enjoy taking a gratitude walk in the morning after I meditate and do some breath work. And I’m just feeling much more grounded and present in my body Then I go out and I really talk to my ancestors and guides and to the planets themselves and to the cosmos and the galaxy and just really having an appreciation for all of that. I acknowledge also the people who are impacted by my ancestors as part of my repair work. because without their impacts and suffering, I wouldn’t be here either. So really have a practice of gratitude that is a felt sense. I know many of us have gratitude practices that are like journaling or I write three things and I check it off. And I really like to sort of shift that for people as an experiential event, as part of that being in the now of like really feeling the like, for instance, we go through a dry season where I am in Mexico and all of the wildlife and the plant life is, you know, very sad for the lack of water. And then when the rains return, there’s just such this replenishment that happens and this sense of gratitude that’s coming from the land itself. And the birds are thrilled and everybody gets very excited and happy. You know, you can hear that. And so it’s that experience that I think is so valuable that we can take that opportunity to really feel into gratitude. And so that’s part of that practice of like really being in the present moment that I find just has a lot of ripple effects in terms of benefits in my life.
51:23 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Absolutely. So in those examples that I shared earlier for Those two working professional women who both experienced time scarcity in their own unique ways, sort of feeling under-resourced, feeling over-committed, over-scheduled. Things are over-expected of them. Everyone’s relying on them. Even there’s different layers to the approach to changing their relationship to time. And so I’m wondering if you can kind of talk us back through and summarize what we’ve said relative to those individuals that you might suggest for them.
52:05 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, I think even with all the things that are going on in their life, one of the ways that they can really start to become more present and in the now is the device. I think that there’s such an opportunity, especially as entrepreneurs or women in business who have families and are doing all the things. When you’re with your family, to be able to put the phone away, like put it in another room and really be able to be present The thing that I found to be most important wasn’t necessarily quantity time with my kids, but quality time. And when I could do both, when I could be present and be with them for a better amount of time, there were just, I think, opportunities for memories to be made, even in the smallest conversations that still surprise me to this day. They bring, you know, these little conversations up and that sort of thing. And the phone was a very new device back then when they were younger. I think actually we only had pagers at that point, but definitely like once computers started to to be more central, you know, and as an entrepreneur, being able to meet my kids face to face and look at them and listen. And that is another way that we can start to create that expansion and that spaciousness of being in relationship with another person. Anytime that we can repair and be in relationship with plants, people, the planet, that sort of pets, That’s where we’re actually like really deepening into serotonin and oxytocin. And those are such beneficial neurochemistry for dealing with everything else. When we have a good amount of that, then we’re able to face everything else that’s coming with us.
54:27 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT It’s like the antidote to the adrenaline.
54:31 Ixchel Lunar Yeah. Yeah. That’s when we can really take those moments with the people around us to ground into that.
54:39 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT And for the listeners, I just want to add that I know this is hard. I have been to the end of burnout and through the challenging recovery from that. And I just want to recognize that we make this sound really easy. You just do these things, right? But I also want to acknowledge that just hearing this from us and knowing things, like having information, is really not enough because if it was, as a culture, we’d be healthier. We wouldn’t have to be told to put our phone down. We already know that. It’s not new to you. You would go to bed earlier without your phone. You would get more exercise. You would do meditation, right? You know the things you need to do already. And so maybe there’s nothing we’ve even told you that’s new to you. But in this moment, we are asking you to give yourself permission to ask your body, What is the thing that you’ve heard today? What’s the takeaway that you needed to hear, that you needed the reminder of, and that you may be ready to give yourself permission for? Because action takes more than information. You know, you have to believe, what is in this for me? How is my life going to change for the better because I’m doing this? any smallest thing we have to know you know we’re trading one thing for something else and you have to believe inside consciously or unconsciously that that trade-off is worth it. So I just want to pause and give you a moment to reflect on that to feel that in your body What are you feeling called to implement, if anything, from this? And if you’re not really ready to make any changes, that’s okay, too, because that’s the stages of change. You can just start to really imagine what it would be like for you if you could be more present with people in your life. If you could be with your child and not feel like you need to also be multitasking. If you felt like you could go from 85 miles an hour just down to 80, That would be you know, what would you stand to gain then? So just start to imagine if you could have a relationship with a place in your environment if you could notice these things like he shall is talking about and and really start to feel what’s your fear? What is the fear of what you’re having to give up by allowing that thing that would nourish you into your life? And, you know, going from there? Is there anything else you would say?
57:15 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, I would just say that we cannot do this work alone. We need people who will remind us that we can do this, that we have, you know, and that will also give us permission, right. And, and reinforce when we make the changes and we do those small shifts. And, and so I would really encourage if you, if you don’t have people in your life that are reinforcing. The kinds of changes that we’ve talked about and the support systems that we’ve talked about to find those people to seek them out first, so that you get that positive reinforcement from someone outside of yourself and also to sort of break that idea that we are all making these changes on an individual level and that when we really find that collective support in doing it, then the journey will be so much easier in the long run.
58:19 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT I love that so much, Ixchel. That was wonderfully, beautifully said. There’s something that I should have shared earlier that I wanted to ask you that’s kind of about me personally, if that’s okay. And that’s that I feel like I’m at this stage, you know, pretty good with these things that we’re talking about. I kind of experience a little bit of an opposite challenge with time where I have the time and I know what I need to do, but it becomes hard for me to mobilize myself to doing it. So it’s like the opposite. It’s not that I am so busy. doing things all the time that I can’t find flow. Sometimes it’s that I like to stay in flow and there’s things that I’m not getting to that are also important.
59:17 Ixchel Lunar So flow requires a lot of dopamine and a lot of neurochemistry. And when we stay in flow for excessive periods of time, it can actually deplete our neurochemistry, especially the dopamine. So I always like to encourage folks to really, when you’re able to get into flow and it’s something you can easily do and you maybe do it regularly or maybe not, to cap it around 90 minutes to two hours so that you can really, whatever it is that you’re doing is probably something that you enjoy on one level or another. And when you can leave it at a place of juiciness, like it’s really good, it feels really good, and you’re like, oh, this is so good, I’m gonna keep going, don’t. Actually stop it and come back to it so that you can preserve the neurochemistry for the next flow session later on. There is a way in getting into flow called the struggle phase, where if you don’t have enough dopamine available, it can be really hard to get into flow. If you don’t have enough nitric oxide available, it can be really hard to relax into flow. And so when you leave something really juicy, If you’re writing, for instance, you leave it mid-sentence, for instance. If it’s some kind of project that you’re working on for work or whatever it is, you leave it in a place that it’s like a cliffhanger. You’re actually setting yourself up for that dopamine to just come right back in, in the struggle phase, and instead of 20 or 40 minutes to drop into flow, it’s like five or 10. So for that piece of it, I always like to encourage folks to cap their flow time. But for folks that are struggling with some of the other things that we need to do and there’s not a lot of motivation, sometimes that can also be an indicator of low dopamine. And maybe because we live in the attention economy, that dopamine is getting pulled out in other avenues that maybe you wouldn’t want to give your dopamine in that situation. You want to keep it for that motivation and action for some of those smaller things. So that’s another way to sort of think about when there isn’t motivation.
01:01:44 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT And that’s also another reason to put the phone down because it’s a sucks the dopamine as you swipe.
01:01:52 Ixchel Lunar It’s such, yeah, it’s such a dopamine suck. Yeah. Yeah. All the little ways that that, that your attention gets drawn out, you know, that could be kind of an audit that you could do to start to notice it with the awareness of where dopamine is, is being stolen. It’s your dopamine and you have agency over your dopamine, right? Like Think of it as like a precious, precious thing that you need that’s gonna really support you to do the things that you really love.
01:02:25 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT And if there are tasks… Checking your inbox is another one.
01:02:29 Ixchel Lunar Oh, yeah. Inbox Ready in Gmail is a great plugin. If you don’t have that, it actually blocks you from being able to look at your inbox multiple times a day. And don’t even have it on your phone because then it doesn’t exist on the phone. So only do it on your desktop. You can really start to create some boundaries for yourself there. But the other thing is that if those tasks are not getting done, And it’s week after week, these things that you’ve listed out, that’s an opportunity to really look at, you know, where your passions are and what are the things that you’re not doing because there’s just no passion for that. And how can you find a way to have that, you know, either delegated to someone else or figure out where’s that where’s that lack of motivation and lack of passion? and diving into that piece to really get a sense of, am I disconnected from my big why? And come back to your big why and really ground back into that in order to reconnect with those things that do need to get done.
01:03:43 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Absolutely. And that you’re kind of alluding to the topic for next week’s show. So hopefully that perks your ears for the listeners. So this whole series has been about turning stress and how stress has indicators in the body and how we can interpret those indicators, respond to them appropriately and move into our greatest season of strength. Whether we’re talking about emotional resilience, our cognitive performance, something, you know, physical that we’re working on, you know, I believe that stress can be converted into strength as women right now 2023. This is a wave we are on it. Can you summarize how you feel like this conversation is also a part of that? How can time scarcity and time stress using these resources help give someone greater strength over their life?
01:04:42 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, You know, it really comes back to having that sense that time scarcity isn’t within us, it is an external factor that is put upon us. The more we can shift that context of really understanding that there are these cultural constraints that we can resist, that’s when we’re gonna be able to find that spaciousness. So I really like to, because people do tend to put it upon themselves that there’s something wrong with them. And especially in that that moment where it’s usually low dopamine and they feel like it’s never going to change. And, you know, that feeling that comes with low dopamine, that it’s always going to stay the same and there’s never going to be enough time and, you know, all of that to really start to have that paradigm shift, that that is that is the colonial dominator culture working against us and that when we can make that shift that’s when we can start to have the awareness of making those other smaller changes that we talked about.
01:05:51 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Hmm. Yes. Well, I know that I am going to be coming back and listening to this episode and thinking about how I can further improve the way I’m relating as a human being to time and how I can use that towards my own strength. And I’m so grateful that you’ve taken your time and all of your wisdom and shared it here with us. And for the listeners, you know, a shell has a fascinating background. She’s done so many amazing things. She’s been a vice mayor, she’s you ran for Congress, right? I mean, you just you she’s done so many interesting things. She’s a great advocate on many fronts for justice efforts, both for the environment and for human beings. And, you know, I’m so grateful they got to hear from you. Where would you like to direct people as the place to connect with you first if they want to learn more?
01:06:53 Ixchel Lunar Yeah, definitely check out the link that I shared. If you sign up for my Dragon Letters newsletter, which are little doses of decolonization, You’ll get a freebie, which is a very good resource. And that has a number of practices that can really help you start to be in that now in the present moment. And those are the 23 rituals for dreaming in the wild.
01:07:20 Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT Awesome. I definitely recommend that you check that out. It’s a beautiful resource. And Ixchel, thank you again so much for being here. For the listeners, thank you for listening, that you take the time for this show. I hope it gives you value. I would love for you to leave a written review of the show. It’s the easiest thing you can do to help support the show. You do it from your phone, you go to Apple Podcasts, you scroll down to where it says Rating and Reviews, you click Write a Review, and that’s pretty much it. It’s very simple if you follow these instructions. And the goal of this show is to help professional women get the resources they need but that traditional leadership fails to provide. So help me get it discovered by more women by supporting the algorithm. Until next time, we’re going to be talking about a practical strategy you can use in looking at your time audit and where you might put the practices that we’ve covered from the Stress to Strength series into your daily routine. I am looking forward to sharing it with you. And until then, I hope you marinate on these ideas so they give rise to your new habits and rituals so you feel present and in flow. Thank you.