Mindfulness To Overcome Codependency


Codependency Coach Vanessa Bennett

Mindfulness To Overcome Codependency


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Mindfulness To Overcome Codependency, Vanessa Bennett

Episode 11 – The CardioCast CoolDown – Codependency Coach

Do you have a codependent personality? What even is a codependent personality? Vanessa Bennett is a licensed holistic psychotherapist, Mindfulness, and Codependency Coach. She is a co-host of the Cheaper Than Therapy Podcast, where she demystifies what she talks about in her therapy practice. As a marketing manager for global powerhouses like Coca-Cola, she realized she needed to find a way to decrease stress and achieve more balance. Vanessa shifted her focus in life by becoming a therapist and deepening her study of yoga and meditation to help others bridge the gap between work fulfillment and leading fulfilling lives and relationships. Currently, she teaches meditation and yoga and works as a consultant with entrepreneurs and companies who want to integrate wellness into their existing culture.


  • Vanessa Bennett believes that we are not educated to understand things like emotions, and we do not necessarily leave school with emotional intelligence.
  • When someone comes out of therapy, they have a deeper understanding of themselves, their relationship problems, and different tools to have more satisfying relationships and a fuller life.
  • Codependent behaviors are not really about the other person; they are about yourself. You do something for someone else because it makes you feel better.
  • How does a coach work with codependency? By identifying the type of codependency with the patient and then helping them make a conscious decision to take a risk to stop doing that.
  • The important part of mindfulness is just paying attention to the present moment without judgment.
  • Changes in therapy and coaching are progressive and not instantaneous.
  • Manifesting is putting the care of the energy of intentional focus on something; you are beginning to do personal development to remove your blocks.

To learn more about Vanessa Bennett, you can visit her website or follow her on Instagram.

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Mindfulness To Overcome Codependency With Vanessa Bennett


Doug Lotz  00:05

Hey everyone! This is Doug Lotz, active lifestyle enthusiastic armchair futurist and founder of CardioCast an audio guided fitness app where we help people get fit and stay fit by making studio quality fitness classes more accessible and affordable than ever, in delivering the best music and coaching possible. Anytime, anywhere. You’re listening to the CardioCast CoolDown Podcast, where we explore topics, the intersection of health, fitness and personal wellness, you’re ready? Let’s go. Welcome to the CardioCast CoolDown podcast where we explore topics of the intersection between health, fitness and personal wellness. I’m Doug Lotz founder of CardioCast, and today we’ll be talking with Vanessa Bennett, a former marketing professional turn psychotherapist, mindfulness coach, and codependency coach, Vanessa is also co host of The Cheaper Than Therapy podcast, she teaches yoga and meditation shows mental health retreats and workshops and consults with entrepreneurs and brands looking to bring a mindful approach to their project and organizations. So Vanessa, thank you so much for joining us. It’s really great to have you here today.


Vanessa Bennett  01:10

Thank you, Doug, appreciate you having me on.


Doug Lotz  01:13

So, so I always start with why. And sort of what it is why it is you do what you do. And, and that inevitably leads to kind of how we got here. So so I’m interested to hear your story, you know, what led you to, you know, sort of make the switch into therapy and mindfulness and all this stuff from from your sort of corporate job that you had. And yeah, just curious to hear more about you.


Vanessa Bennett  01:39

I mean, I could go out the gate real woowoo and just say, what’s my Saturn return? But you know, really, it’s like, you have to explain to me, I know, fast. You know, I think what happened was I hit a point, I have my quarter life crisis, which I think a lot of people have. And I had a wake up call around 25 ish, where I was like, I’m really miserable. But I don’t know why, you know, lashing out angry. All the things that I now as a therapist see happens so frequently, and that kind of late 20s, early 30s timeframe, I was really burning out on work, during the very unhealthy corporate New York City, you know, 40 to 60 hours a week kind of thing. And not feeling very filled up by what I did. And then relationally, I think I was burned out, I think I wasn’t satisfied in my romantic relationship or a lot of my personal relationships. And so I started my own therapy journey at the referral of a friend. And I simultaneously started my own therapy, along with starting a yoga practice, and meditation practice. And I was hooked. I fell in love instantly. And I think I acquired the addictive gene quickly for for kind of self betterment work or just self discovery work. And I didn’t know that I wanted to be a therapist at the time I, I thought, Oh, I want to be a yoga teacher. And so I did a teacher training in that. And then I did a yoga therapy program. And then I did a nutrition program. And, you know, I like to talk to people who asked me about career transition about this concept of breadcrumbs, just following the breadcrumbs, right, like, you don’t need to know what your end goal is, you don’t need to know what that kind of light at the end of the tunnel looks like, you just need to know, in this exact moment, what is calling to you what is lighting you up? What are you drawn to, and then just follow that breadcrumb. And then that one will inevitably lead to another to another to another. And so for me, that’s exactly what happened. And, and eventually, a couple years in, my actual therapist said to me, You know, I think you should look at this program. It feels really, really up your alley. It’s a school called Pacifica, in California. I was in New York at the time, obviously. And so I made the journey out to California by myself take a little trip to see it. And I had a really deep knowing instantly the second I stepped foot on campus, that it was exactly where I needed to be. And I followed that breadcrumb and just kept kept doing that kept fall, I never broke up. And then that’s where it got me to where I am now.


Doug Lotz  04:09

Yeah, that’s cool. That sort of feeling of knowing is that’s a, that’s an elusive one. I feel like for a lot of people, you know, I’m sort of thinking back through my own journey a little bit where I was working my day job for a number of years, at the same time, I had cardiac cath going on. And for me, it was almost like, well, there are there are a number of reasons why I say the day job and just wanted to try to build this thing, you know, on the side and everything. But at the end of the day, for me, it was more about like, well, I can’t you know, I can’t build this thing the way I want to build it unless I actually dive in headfirst, you know, and do this. So that it was almost like, it was maybe a little bit more analytical than sort of, you know, knowing feeling like I still don’t really know, one of those weird things, but that’s an interesting sort of concept and maybe I’ll sort of Trying to think about leading with my gut a little bit here and there.


Vanessa Bennett  05:02

Me too. I don’t think it’s like when we say knowing it’s like I don’t, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, right. It’s just like.


Doug Lotz  05:10

I’m gonna grow up actually.


Vanessa Bennett  05:14

I think it was annoying in the moment. And I think that my, my work, my inner work has gotten me to a place where I’m better able to in the moment know, oh, this is the breadcrumb. This is the next step, right. It’s not the forever because none of us know that. But it’s the next step in this moment to take and that’s my knowing. And so I think that was probably one of the first moments I had that very visceral sense of, Ah, yes, this is up.


Doug Lotz  05:44

So I wanted to talk about, about therapy a little bit. My, my girlfriend’s actually studying to be a therapist, learning about things as I go here, hearing all sorts of things, but I always just sort of, you know, I always kind of wonder, how does one know, you know, who can benefit from therapy, who, you know, I’ve seen it sort of on the entrepreneurial and sort of self improvement side of things is just, you know, anybody can benefit from talking to somebody about, you know, all sorts of, you know, range of topics. But, you know, typically, there’s a sort of, I think, lingering stigma of like, oh, you’re in your, something’s wrong. Yeah, you’re not right. Like, you know, that in that whole sort of stigma, I think drives a lot of folks. And, you know, yeah, so I thought we could talk about that a little bit, you know, just in terms of who can benefit? How does one sort of come to that realization? And, you know, where do you start?


Vanessa Bennett  06:43

Yeah, I think that it, you know, Doug, I think that therapy, the good thing is, is we have started to slowly see a shift in the way people are looking at it, I do think you’re right, I think there is still a lot of stigma that it is the same way we look at going to the gym, right? Like, I mean, ideally, we don’t wait until our body is falling apart to start taking care of it, right. It’s like you don’t wait until your car is broken down on the side of the road to get an oil change. Like, you know, you go you take care of it, it’s it’s preventative stuff, right, that we have to kind of handle. And I and I think that therapy should really be looked at in the same way everyone can benefit from therapy, everyone, you don’t need to have a quote unquote, issue, you don’t need to have, you know, a massive loss or a huge transition or anything like that. I mean, catalysts usually are the reason why people do start therapy. But, you know, we’re not raised to understand things like emotions, we don’t come out of school with emotional intelligence, most of us do not come out of our homes with emotional and emotional intelligence. And so at a bare minimum, and I don’t want to use that, like it’s minimizing. But at a bare minimum, even if you’re not working through something massive in your life. And I say that with air quotes, you are going to come away from therapy with a deeper understanding of yourself, your patterns, relational issues, you know, different ways that you can have more fulfilling relationships have more fulfilling life. And so yeah, I think it’s out the gate, it’s really just about, you know, managing the self understanding the self, and how we relate to others.


Doug Lotz  08:10

So what would you say to people who are like, Well, you know, I’ve got my friends, or I’ve got my mom or whoever, you know, people they talk to you, right? I’m sure you, I’m sure you’ve heard that one.


Vanessa Bennett  08:20

It’s different, it’s different. Bottom line, it’s different. If they know you, they love you. They’re bias, right? It’s impossible for them not to be biased, impossible. If they love you, they are going to be bias. And so the point of something like therapy, and you know, and it’s a little sad if you if you think about why therapy is the way that it is now it really comes from, we used to be a much more collectivistic culture, right? Like as a people, we had large communities around us to support us in our journeys. And so you have people, you could go talk to elders, for example, that might not they might know you, but they might not be your mom or your dad and be that close to you, right? Where they had that much bias. We don’t really have that now, as a society, we’re much more disconnected, we’re much more individualistic, right? And so having that third party, having that person that doesn’t have any skin in the game, right, like I, you know, if you’re coming to me working through, should I stay in this relationship or not? Like, I have no benefit, whether you do or you don’t, right. Whereas if I’m your loved one, I’m going to say to you, whatever, as I think is best for you, I think is best for you. I as a therapist, have no say in that I don’t know what’s best for you, you know what’s best for you. And I’m really my whole role in our relationship is just to help you get to the bottom of what you know, is best not for me to put my opinions on you.


Doug Lotz  09:38

Yeah. So on the flip side of sort of that, you know, very independent culture that we might have now, I wanted to talk about codependency a little bit because that’s kind of a, you know, a theme that I’ve seen in some of your work and what you’re focused on. So I actually would probably bet I mean, I’m sure I could look up the dictionary you know, what is codependency but What you know, for your listeners, and for folks who maybe only seen it on like, you know, a brief social media like, you know, thing or something. So what is codependency? And what is that? What does that mean?


Vanessa Bennett  10:13

I would say don’t look at the dictionary, because the dictionary actually has a really shitty definition of it. To be honest with you, I actually teach a codependency series of classes. And that’s one of the things I talk about is how there’s so many definitions out there, and how up until very recently, the definition of codependency was really baked into the understanding of addiction, right substance addiction. That is where the idea of codependency was born out of really was out of Alcoholics Anonymous. And in this particular, in particular, the women who were in relationships with the men who were alcoholics, obviously, we’ve broadened it now. And so now I would say it’s actually pretty simple to understand codependent behaviors as Justice. If you’re good, I’m good. If you’re not good, I’m not good.


Doug Lotz  11:03

Yeah, that’s it. And I’m definitely guilty of that. And I think just like feeling, whatever that person’s feeling, and then we like to do, like, did I say this one is that kind of, you know, that sort of, like, give and take where you’re just kind of worried about what somebody else is gonna think. Yeah, so that that’s, that’s, I’m sure I’m, you know, I’m definitely not alone in that a lot of people are seeking sort of, you know, sort of validation, but just like, you know, making sure things are copacetic like with somebody that they’re especially a close loved, you know, close loved one.


Vanessa Bennett  11:39

Especially in romantic relationships, especially in friend relationships, you know, codependent behaviors can show up in all relationships, but where they can be very damaging is when we get out on our own right out from our family of origin. And we start to enact these codependent behaviors on our chosen relationships. That’s when they really start to get us in trouble because we don’t know anything different. We only know the relational patterns that we learned from our family of origin. And so what happens is, if we don’t start to question those, then we just go out and start doing the same thing. And and really what codependent behaviors and tendencies lead us to do is self abandon. It’s all self abandoning behavior for the sake of survival. You know, it’s it’s learned survival skills in order to stay attached in order to keep our relationships intact. And I’ll say that with air quotes to, at the sake of or at the, yeah, the sake of ourselves, our true selves.


Doug Lotz  12:32

Yeah, so I’m just trying. Yeah. So if you’re, I, there’s a whole topic and I’m sure and this is why you feel about it and everything, but it’s a whole series of classes, right? It’s like yeah, I mean, it’s probably hard to describe, you know, just scratching the surface here on what you know what this means for somebody if they’re experiencing this and their relationships and then what, you know, what is it? What does it feel like to be somebody who’s not codependent is more of a is it that you’re just considering your own? You know, I you don’t want to sound like it’s just a selfish like, you know, it’s all about me kind of thing. So So what is the non codependent person looking like and how are they benefiting from that sort of situation?


Vanessa Bennett  13:12

Well, first and foremost, I would say that in my experience, at this point, now that I’ve done as much work and as much research and as much working with clients as I have over the years, I’m going to take a guess and say that pretty much everybody on the planet at least in like, our Western society has a social species, some codependent behaviors, right? Like, we’re born with mirror neurons, like it’s part of how we develop right as a species. And we have mirror neurons for survival. Again, it’s like we need to be able to mirror our caregivers, and order to gain the attachment and the love that we need in order to survive. So it is an evolutionary skill, I guess, if you will, what happens is there’s a fine line, right? There’s a fine line between feeling interconnected with other people. And then losing myself my sense of self, my sense of emotional well being being wrapped up in another. Right. So what I like to say is your line usually has to do with the feeling of resentment. So if you’re new to your journey into noticing and getting familiar with the codependent patterns and behaviors, you really need to first and foremost get very, very familiar with what resentment feels like. And I would say every one of us knows what that feeling is. It usually means your codependency is being activated somewhere. You’re self abandoning, you need to speak up about something. You’re people pleasing. You’re not saying something in order to rock but not rock the boat. Like all these codependent behaviors that pop up. When you can get hyper hyper aware and it could be like the faintest whiff of resentment. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming screw this person, that kind of feeling. But if you can get very tuned in to your resentment when it does pop up, even in the slightest way, it’s a flag for you to stop and pay attention because you’re most likely self abandoning somewhere.


Doug Lotz  15:01

Yeah, yeah so I guess it’s not you know, it’s still people shouldn’t be like, Oh, I want to do a good thing for my significant other or I want to you know, do something that’s gonna make them happy that’s not like a bad codependent.


Vanessa Bennett  15:15

Codependent right that’s just yeah, that’s not codependent. This is where people are very, you know, understandably get very confused around codependency codependent behaviors are not actually about the other person. codependent behaviors are about me, I do this thing for this person, because it makes me feel better because I don’t want to see them hurt. I don’t want to see them upset. I don’t want to feel their negative feelings. I don’t want them to be angry. I don’t want them to maybe leave me be upset with me. So I’m doing it actually, for my own benefit. It’s really hard for us to understand that because there’s a lot of defenses that come up around like, but I’m just a nice person. I just love taking care of people. Right. Okay, but what’s the underlying motive behind the caretaking?


Doug Lotz  15:54

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And that’s tough stuff to realize that somebody else kind of, you know, asking you the questions. You’re asking context of the other person. So, yeah, I guess that’s where the codependency coaching comes in. So the question of what does a codependency coach do? Certain natural? Alright, yeah. So are you asking these questions? Are you kind of, you know, how does a codependency coach sort of operate.


Vanessa Bennett  16:21

You know, I use the term coach more, because it allows me to work within the, the legal systems that therapists have to function under, it allows me to have a little bit more of a broad ability to teach. So to educate people across, you know, state lines, social media platforms, things like that. And what social media is, it allows me to teach the classes that I teach to multiple people all over the world. You know, when I do one on one coaching or therapy, which I do a little bit less of now, I just don’t have the same bandwidth as I used to, it really would be a very deep dive into where did the codependent behaviors like, where were those learned, right? So really diving into some of these these family patterns, right? And then where are they showing up for you now? So there’s a lot of like educational understanding that has to go into the beginning of any of our codependency journeys. And then the next step is okay, well, if we’ve decided that, you know, these are your three specific, codependent behaviors that you struggle with, right, like, let’s say people pleasing is one of them, we have to get very dialed into where it shows up. And then we have to make the conscious decision to take a risk to not do that. And I have to actually help you grow your skillset, grow your ability to sit with that anxiety and discomfort that caused you to people please in the first place. And that’s not like ripping off a band aid, it’s actually a pretty slow process, which is by therapy can be a pretty slow process, right? You’re not going to just like, you know, throw everything out into the open, it’s like you got to build up some resiliency. And so that’s a lot of what that coaching looks like is like, it’s one step forward to back two steps forward three back, as you titrate and get your nervous system up to a place where you can set a boundary and not have a complete meltdown.


Doug Lotz  18:04

Yeah. So, you know, so for you, career wise, I heard you say like, you know, you’re not taking as many sort of one on one coaching at this point. You’re walking through where things have gone. I’m just actually genuinely curious over the last year and everything with COVID. And things change, you know, how is that all? What is your business look like? You know, this this point?


Vanessa Bennett  18:24

Well, I’ll tell you, this goes back to what we’re talking about in the beginning about breadcrumbs, right, like, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. And when I started therapy school, and my master’s program, you know, that is kind of what you go in to train as is to be a therapist who works with other individuals or groups or whatnot. You know, couples, families, all these things. And I realized pretty early on that that wasn’t my sweet spot. I’m actually very rare in the world of therapists. I’m like a massive extrovert. And that’s actually very uncommon. Most therapists are very introverted, they really enjoy the one on one deep, you know, understandably, deep conversations and I’m, I’m a lot more like social flit around. I like to be in big groups of people. So for me, what’s happened over the last year is I’ve really allowed my curiosities to kind of take me into other avenues. So like I said, I teach this series now, my partner and I launched something called the lab, the beginning of COVID, which is essentially an entire it’s almost like fitness for your mental health, right? So there’s, there’s about 25 to 30 classes that run all week long at all different times, different teachers, different coaches and therapists, different topics. I do a series of codependency classes. So I’m really enjoying teaching right now. I do have my podcast going on. I’m actually writing a book right now. So I have a book do yeah, the book due in October and I have a toddler in there had a baby in there. No big deal.


Doug Lotz  19:47

Yeah. Nice. Okay. Well, yeah, that’s a lot. Yeah, we so we don’t I mean, cardiac cash right now. We just added yoga recently, like over the past several months. We’re sort of seeing, you know, we’re filling out the whole big picture of, you know, sort of health and wellness a little bit more, you know, you know, nutrition or anything like that really baked in the program yet, but we got into yoga because of the obvious physical connection, right? We’re doing, you know, some cardio activity, we got stretching that can be beneficial there. Yeah, I’ve always struggled with the mindfulness part of yoga, just because I’m not very flexible. You know, as a for me, it’s always just a struggle to, like, get into these positions. But, you know, in general, I feel like there’s been more of a sort of awakening or awareness around the importance of mental health as sort of a constituent component of like, overall, you know, wellness well being right. Especially when people have been kind of confined for the past year, sort of, maybe just getting a little bit more reflection time than they’re used to. Yeah. So yeah, so I mean, as a general thing, I mean, we’re kind of as a business thinking about how to incorporate more of that, and whether, you know, meditation is kind of the next step for us. Yes, in terms of content offering, but I don’t want to talk about meditation a little bit, or really step back from that even more, talk about mindfulness a little bit. Because it’s, it’s crazy buzzword right now. You know. So, so I always like to kind of get back to it a little bit. All right, so let’s, you know, for those listening are like yeah, mindfulness, yeah, I’ve been meaning to do that. Like as if it’s a thing you just do. So I hope you will define that a little bit, and then maybe talk about some steps that people can take to start bringing it into their, their routine their lives a little bit. So, you know, if you can help define mindfulness, in your own words, I know kind of I have some thoughts about it.


Vanessa Bennett  21:46

Yeah, I mean, I, you know, obviously, having a pretty deep yoga and meditation practice myself. You know, I do actually teach mindfulness, I’m trained in mindfulness based cognitive therapy, you know, the mental health benefits of mindfulness have been studied. And they’ve been put into actual tangible numbers, right. Like, this is something that we actually can study and, and put into terms. So so really mindfulness. I mean, my teacher, I have many teachers, but one of the teachers that I follow Jon Kabat Zinn, he’s kind of one of the leaders of bringing mindfulness into, you know, the corporate space, the mental health space, the hospital space, all these things. So So Jon Kabat Zinn says mindfulness is just this, it’s paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, without judgment. And I think that’s the important piece that many people don’t realize is actually part of mindfulness is to not judge, it’s to not label something good or bad. It’s to not lean into or lean away from something that’s happening, it’s just to notice it as is in the moment without trying to change it right or label it. So that that really is the definition of mindfulness. You’re right, it has become a buzzword. I think when people think of mindfulness and meditation, they think of, you know, they think of Yogi’s, they think of, you know, monk sitting on a on a rock in a frickin cave, you know, for, you know, for an entire day kind of thing. And when I teach my mindfulness courses, you know, what’s important is, again, this is all about resiliency. It’s all about expanding our nervous system and our brains resiliency, for stress, for triggers, you know, for emotional, kind of, like big emotions, things like that. And so, the important thing about mindfulness is actually that it’s woven into your daily life. If you have time to do to see that 30 minute meditation today, fantastic. Knock yourself out. That’s only going to help you more, but really, brushing your teeth can be meditation. Yep. doing the dishes can be meditation, right? And that’s really the important piece of mindfulness that a lot of people don’t understand is like you need to weave it in. So it becomes a lifestyle, it becomes a part of your everyday. That’s really where you see the benefits actually kind of take hold.


Doug Lotz  24:00

Yeah, no, I love all of that. So I started meditating with with headspace. And you Polycom sort of was my teacher if I could have one right when it when it comes down to it. This was when ages ago when they first launched that app and sort of one of the inspirations behind doing a whole sort of audio based app and everything. I really liked what they were doing and his teaching in particular. But yeah, all that, like you said, bringing awareness observation without judgment sort of into your day to day meditation is just one of those events that you can maybe more specifically bring that into focus. But you know, I like the brushing your teeth one because that’s always one that if you ever sit there and brush your teeth, and like if you have like a timer on your electric toothbrush or something and all of a sudden it’s like buzzing it’s over and like where did that two minutes of my life just go? We’re like driving on the highway and like you realize you’re just at your exit and you’re like, I’m gonna get there. Yeah, you were not me. So, that is our automatic thinking and automatic just, you know, going with whatever your emotions or thoughts are, you know, it’s, that’s, that’s the default I think for most people in most times and you know that can be? Well, I mean, it’s hard because, you know, for somebody who’s maybe not experiencing anything at that moment in time, that’s fine. But if you know, something does happen in your life where you you’re, you know, have a stressor that comes up, I feel like the reaction to that stressor is then maybe, you know, exacerbated by the fact that you’re not, you know, you don’t have that sort of mindfulness in your life. And I think you mentioned resiliency a second ago, and I saw something you written about resiliency as a barometer for mental health. I was wondering if you tie that in with mindfulness a little bit more? And how does being mindful make you resilient? What is that resilience? And how does that relate to your mental health?


Vanessa Bennett  25:57

So it’s a really good question. And the way that I look at it is this, our ability to how do I word this, our ability to not be controlled by our emotions, right comes from mindfulness, our ability to be able to be present with whatever it is that’s happening, like we all know, life is hard, every one of us is going to experience again, loss, you know, some sort of trauma, whether it’s capital T, trauma, lowercase t, trauma, huge life transitions, right? Like this is part of life. You know, as Buddha said, life is suffering that that is what life is. But there doesn’t have to be such an attachment to the suffering, right. And that’s what mindfulness actually allows us to do is it allows us to say, you know, while I am experiencing this really big wave of anguish of grief, and it fucking hurts, right? And I am in it. I’m deep, and I want to cry, and I can feel it physically in my body, my chest aches, my stomach’s in knots, my head hurts. And I’m just noticing all of these things. And I and I’m, I’m riding the wave, and I’m watching them happen. But what I’m not doing when I’m mindful is I’m not getting sucked into the storyline. Yeah, right. And so resiliency comes in the form of the lesson less you actually get hooked, and ride that that story, right? Like you get hooked into that storyline, I’m able to kind of put some distance between me and my thoughts, put some distance between me and my emotional triggers and reactions, right, so that I can, again, not be so controlled by them, I have a little bit more decision in my response, versus just reacting. Right? It’s where reaction versus response comes into play. And resiliency, again, I keep talking about the nervous system. Mindfulness is a muscle, right. And it’s what you were saying earlier about waiting until something actually happens, right? When you don’t have that mindful muscle built. If you if you weave mindfulness into your life as a practice, when that stuff does happen, which it will inevitably to all of us, your muscle is already built, your resiliency is already there so that you don’t get sucked into that story. You don’t get completely caught up at the knees by something that might otherwise do that to you. Right? And that’s really how, I guess it’s as easy as I can explain it in like two seconds. You know, where where that resiliency, that mindfulness kind of inner inner wine?


Doug Lotz  28:30

Yeah, yeah, I think there’s, you know, it’s natural to be skeptical if you’re starting out meditation, and I think I would just recommend anybody, you know, check out calmer or headspace my favorite or, you know, if it’s not an app, maybe it’s just looking at a reading about it, if that’s how you want to gain the knowledge to learn how to do it, or go to, you know, find somebody to teach you, whatever it is, I think there’s a lot of avenues where you can start out a basic sort of mindfulness meditation practice. And the exercises themselves, I’ll say, are quite simple. And to the point where you’re like, well, how the hell is this gonna ever help me do anything? I’m just sitting here. I’m just like, you know, literally just following a breath in and out. Okay, cool, whatever. But, you know, as you start to do it, it just, it just wordly said earlier, there is science behind this, like, you can sit you can do these practices, you can then maybe bring it into your everyday life a little bit more like just, you know, being more observant of what’s going on around you being more observant of just by observing the emotions in your body or in your mind that are happening. Somehow. You’re, you’re wired a little bit differently, and you don’t make those strong reactions, you can respond instead, in you know, and maybe even just, it’s almost like there’s like a little barrier between that barrier because they’re still kind of happening to you. You’re not like, it’s not like you’re turning off. You’re not turning off setting, turning off anger. You’re just, you’re just noting that they’re there. And that activity in and of itself, somehow You know, makes things a little bit less dramatic. Right? Well.


Vanessa Bennett  30:04

You also, you know, through mindfulness, you develop by nature, you develop more self compassion. So, you know, by being in that anger and being in that rage and noticing it and kind of watching it with a little bit of healthy distance, you’re able to also say, Wow, like, I’m in a real place of anger right now. And that’s okay, I’m human. Right? We don’t we tend to see that, like, inner critic get a little bit quieter, the more you get into your mindfulness practice, which That in itself can also help mental health. Right? And, and, you know, what? So like, we would never go to the gym, this is the thing, when people say, like, does it work, like I want to see results? You know, we would never go to the gym one time and then expect to walk out with perfect ABS like, if only, right, that’s not how this works. And it’s the same thing with same thing with therapy work, right? Like, I always tell people, you are not going to notice that incremental changes, what’s going to happen is, something’s going to happen. And then on the tail end of it, you’re going to go, Well, I respond in a completely different way than I would have a year ago, five years ago, whatever, right? Or how I’m not, again, cut off at the knees in the same way, I probably would have been six months ago, you don’t really notice it until you’re in it. So it’s a little bit of faith. Like you really have to just continue to build that muscle. really understanding and believing that there is going to be benefit here. And trust me, you’ll see it. It’s just you don’t usually see it in increments.


Doug Lotz  31:30

It doesn’t take that much. No, I think the other thing is that this concern out I see here for three hours, right, exactly like you know, 10, 20.


Vanessa Bennett  31:41

Five minutes. Exactly. Yeah, yeah.


Doug Lotz  31:43

That’s like, you know, I, my daily practice is 15 minute, you know, I actually unfortunate enough, you know, when you’re not commuting all the time and everything, you get a little bit of, you know, slice of time. So I do have 15 minutes. And I’ve also been doing some some Wim Hof breathing lately. Very different thing. But yeah, so, you know, that’s, that’s been sort of my practice over the last year now. I mean, I’ve been doing just daily meditations with headspace since 2009 2000, whenever they, whenever they first that long ago, that, where it’s actually kinda interesting, because now when you when you’ve been in it a while I’ve kind of, like, sometimes I will have a bad month, week, year, whatever it it, like, you know, there’s bad in a non judgmental way. Right, you know, you’re where I was reacting a time when I was reacting differently than other times, right? It’s kinda interesting to see that it is a lifelong thing as well. It’s not like a just, it’s not like, Oh, I’m a meditator now. And therefore, I’m gonna be this different person, like, it’s not.


Vanessa Bennett  32:59

Gonna get mad, you’re still gonna yell at people, you’re still gonna snap, sometimes, you know, you’re so stressed out, like, that doesn’t go away, but it’s better.


Doug Lotz  33:07

Yeah, one of the things who, in the entrepreneurial space, especially people are, like, you know, he’s just everybody trying to make a hack for this. And, you know, trick for that. Yeah, I think for for better, or, you know, not sure I want to pass judgment on it. But there has been this kind of concept of using translate states using meditation, sort of, as you get, you know, practice and the ability to, to physically do meditation, to use that state to somehow, you know, manifest, you know, through visualization through subconscious, you know, sort of, whether it’s visualization or mantras, or what have you, like, some sort of physical thing in your actual life, and I’m curious to get your your take on it, I’m conflicted on the whole thing, because as like an entrepreneur, I want to make sure that I’m doing things that you know, are going to lead to successful outcomes. And that’s very goal oriented. And it’s very kind of counter to what I do in my daily meditation practice, which is more acceptance and observation and, you know, non judgement. So it’s interesting to the interplay of those two in my various sort of worldly focus of building a company and, you know, trying to get ahead and whatever that means, you know, achieve physical successes, right? Yeah, I’m just interested to get your take on that.


Vanessa Bennett  34:25

I think manifesting is one of those topics that a lot of people have a lot of different opinions on. I like to look at manifesting like, I don’t think that it is a it’s some kind of, how do I say this like a spiritual, I’m going to wave my wand and like poof, this thing that I’ve been wishing for is going to throw magic. Up here, right materialize in front of me. I think the idea of manifesting really comes from for me anyway, my personal experience with it and my opinion on it, which is really coming From, again, a depth psychological view, which is much more based on the unconscious and the kind of the psyche, the soul, right? When you put intentional focus energy care into something, and you do it a lot, you really do put this focus intention behind something, I think what you start to see is you clear away your blocks, you clear away your emotional blocks, that might be a physical block, it might be a financial block, it might be, you know, I don’t know, let’s say you have a bad relationship with money because of how you were raised, right. And for whatever reason, that relationship, that very unconscious relationship that you have with money is in a very real way going to affect if you’re able to make money now, right what your relationship with money is right now. And so the way that I look at manifesting as a lot of times, we’re putting this kind of conscious, like I said, very direct, very focused thought into something, you’re starting to pay attention to those patterns, you’re actually starting to do some of the self development, self betterment, self understanding work, through that, you’re going to clear some of these blocks, let’s use that financial block, for example. And once I’ve cleared that financial block, something like money might come to me in a way that it wouldn’t have prior when that block was still there. So that’s how I see manifesting, I see manifesting as more of like, this thing is in my way, and it’s in me, right, and the more effort I put into understanding and clearing whatever this thing is, the more likely I am to get the thing on the other side that I actually want.


Doug Lotz  36:36

Yeah, yeah, I think my challenge with it is always that if I, I naturally have sort of this drive to do certain things anyway. And if I’m, you know, they’re probably like you, you’re talking about these blocks is there’s deep subconscious stuff that’s there that I don’t see. But at the same time, on my sort of daily meditation practice, I want to be able to accept what I’m witnessing, observing and everything, and it’s just seems like it’s somewhat at odds to strive for something and kind of put in place the, or break down the subconscious blocks in order to get there. When I kind of know academically, that, you know, true happiness is not getting there to that thing, it’s more contentment that arises from self, you know, from, from mindfulness and from from awareness and from, you know, more more contentment than it is sort of physical like yet and, and even emotional happiness, just the, you know, the the highest, the highest highs can be a company, you know, a company with the lowest lows, and that’s just kind of how, how things go. But if you can find a find contentment in wherever you are, like, that’s kind of really true happiness. So happiness, whatever. definitions are tough and loose. It can both be true. Yeah. I mean, that’s.


Vanessa Bennett  37:59

That’s also, you know, when we talk about like the definition of, you know, mental health, I mean, a lot of it for human beings, something that’s really, really difficult for all of us to do is to hold the tension of the opposites is to hold opposing truths, right. And so can I practice daily, being content with where I’m at and what I have? And also still be working towards something greater? Yeah. I think that’s the practice.


Doug Lotz  38:30

Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s another like criticism for that I’ve heard about, you know, that that same mindfulness meditation practices, and people are like, well, I don’t want to be this like nothing that’s sort of floats and doesn’t have plans and is just living in every moment, like every second. And that really, I guess, that’s the point there is, that’s not like what we’re saying here, you don’t just kind of go with the flow all the time. And like, wherever the wind takes you, you’ll just end up, you can still have a plan, you can still do things physically, you just don’t want to be overly you know, why you want to have space between you and those emotions that are going to happen? Yeah, that’s true. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s a lifelong practice. So that’s why it’s not like a thing you can master and finish line by that. That’s my, you know, I got the merit badge for that one. Cool. Well, yeah. So just just tell you, you know, briefly about the, about coaching on demand, because therapy, you know, like, Oh, we have to have this relationship with this therapist, and we’re setting up these weekly things. And, you know, this is like, seems rather kind of more structured, but I kind of this idea of having somebody just there that you can ask a quick question or get engaged with, you know, on a more ad hoc basis, telling you about that and how that differs from, you know, sort of a traditional therapy environment or relationship.


Vanessa Bennett  39:54

Well, I think first and foremost, it can be supplemental, so a lot of people who reach out to me through coaching, I demand a lot of them Already have or have worked with their own therapist already, right? It’s definitely not a replacement for weekly therapy, you’re never going to be able to go as deep or understand as much in like a five minute audio response, right. And so the the people that I see really benefiting from it the most are people who do have like a very specific thing that they are kind of in the midst of, or trying to understand or trying to get, you know, a different opinion or perspective on. You know, I’m very clear that this is not for you, if you are actively struggling with mental illness, if you’re, you know, having feelings of self harm. You know, if you really need a higher level of care, this is more coaching, this is more me giving you alternate ways of thinking about something that you might not have been able to see yourself right. Without that, again, third party. This is a way for me to kind of say, Hey, have you thought about this? Maybe you should go explore this avenue. And sometimes those quick little snippets actually, are all you really need to give you that light bulb to go? Oh, should I didn’t think about that. Let me now go off and actually take this to my therapist. Yeah, maybe this is a whole Avenue I need to dig into right. Or another action I need to take.


Doug Lotz  41:09

Yeah, cool. So not a quick fix, but at least it’s it’s a, it’s a more immediate way to sort of plug in, you know, intra week between maybe a session you have or have you to Yeah, to get some rose label.


Vanessa Bennett  41:23

Need like a little a little push or a little, just like I said, a different way of looking at something right when you feel stuck, and you’re kind of you’re in it. So it’s hard to pull yourself back and get that 30,000 feet so that that can be I think helpful for people.


Doug Lotz  41:35

Yeah, as a as a sort of solo founder and an entrepreneur, I know that many. I’ve had weeks of those moments who are stuck in and need somebody else to talk to you about this stuff. That’s cool. So So I guess I want to wrap Do You Do you have any upcoming projects? Or anything that you’d like folks to know about? Or, you know, that you have going on right now?


Vanessa Bennett  41:58

Yeah, I mean, like we were talking about earlier, I feel like I’m spending a lot of plates right now. You know, I’ll have a book coming out early 2022 that I’m writing with my partner, actually. And it’s the same name as our podcast, because you know, what, who has one podcast? Let’s have two, which is called it’s not me, it’s you. Okay. Yeah. He’s also a therapist as well. So it’s, it’s really going to be based in what what does it look like for two therapists have come together and still be struggling with all their own relational shit, right? Like people have this misconception that we might have it all figured out? We don’t. Right. So that’s kind of what the podcast is. And then and then the book was born from that. Obviously, like you said, I also have my other podcast cheaper than therapy, which is a little bit more of a spiritually based podcast. And then we also do real sessions with people real coaching sessions. So you can kind of insight into what it looks like behind the therapy doors. And then I teach a bunch of classes. So if anybody’s interested in learning more about codependency, you know, you can go to it’s tatlabllb.app, a PP, we actually just launched the airport. So it’ll be a kind of all one place to go and take a look at all the classes, see what’s available, all that stuff, but I teach to a week, and those have been there, they’re really profound for me, I get to hold space for amazing people. It’s a great community, it’s, you know, it’s group work. So we all get to kind of challenge each other. But you have a choice. I mean, you can sit there and have your camera off. And listen, you don’t have to actively participate. Right, which is great. It’s kind of got a little bit of everything for everybody. And then yeah, I mean, raising my kiddo, right? So as far as finding me, it’s like, find me on Instagram, you’ll see where all my shit is, right? All their coaching on demand. I think we talked a little bit about that earlier. That’s just a way that I can. I can give people insight answer questions that they might have, without really right now at this moment happened a time to take on as many one on one clients. So it’s a way for you to send me like an audio message or a video message and say, hey, I’ve got this very specific thing, like, what are your thoughts, you know, and and I can respond to you within a day. So it’s really in real time. So that’s always an option, too.


Doug Lotz  44:01

That’s really cool. All right. Well, you know, thank you, again, so much. This was really great speaking with you today. You know, I really enjoyed our conversation. And yeah, and so you remind us, so where can we find you on Instagram and website?


Vanessa Bennett  44:18

Yeah, it’s just my name, Vanessa Bennett. And then my website is VanessaBennett.com It’s one of those Instagram stories where it’s like your personal turned it into your turn into your work. So there’s no like, no fancy, you know? Yeah, game or brand. It’s just me.


Doug Lotz  44:36

Yeah, and for everybody out there. Of course, you can find us at CardioCastApp on Instagram, or head over to our website cardiocast.app. You know, we don’t have meditation yet. We do have some yoga in there. And we are thinking about ways to bring sort of mindfulness and mental health as well into our overall offering. So you know, welcome any feedback on that front. But don’t forget to like, subscribe, you know, leave us some feedback on whatever platform that you’re listening to podcasts on. We always appreciate it. Yeah, and thank you so much for tuning in everyone.  Hey everyone, if you like the CardioCast CoolDown, please don’t forget to leave us a review wherever you’re listening. You can also connect with us on Instagram at CardioCast App, and check out our website, CardioCast.app and check out our app on the App Store or Play Store. See you next week.