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97. Hope for Ending the Generational Trauma with Amber Underwood

Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast featuring real conversations with conscious objectors to the status quo.

I'm your host, Nicole. On today's episode, we have therapist and author Amber Underwood join us for a conversation all about the power of generational healing. Together we talk about the strength of saying we are not okay, the relational core of our mental health, and the expansion process of healing. It was such a gift to hold space for Amber's story on the podcast today, and I hope all of you dear listeners out there are inspired by her journey. She is vulnerable about how she struggled with anxiety and depression and even had a suicide attempt in her early college years and how that became the beginning of her healing journey and all the powerful work that she is doing now as a healer, as a school therapist, writing her book, taking all these next steps.

You can just feel how she pours her own heart into all the work that she does. I hope that you are inspired by that vulnerability and everything that we talk about. We definitely get into the importance of healthy relationships in our world. Y'all are going to hear me talk about this again and again on the podcast because it is what I see in my work, in my training, and it just is so crucial to our experience. These relationships that you choose to foster and have around you directly affect your sense of self, directly affect your mental health, and your way of going about through the world. So y'all, we're going to keep talking about that one definitely on this podcast.

I can promise you that. I laugh editing this podcast back because there's a point at which Amber said, I don't think I chose this path but the path chose me and man, have I been feeling that lately. I did not choose to be a queer person going through purity culture and having to come out of that or through the sexual assault violence and my journey with that. But man y'all, I am on a path of studying sexual pleasure, of studying relationships, and currently training in psychedelic work with that.

I mean, come on, I did not choose this path. This path is choosing me and I am here for the ride with all of y'all to see where this research, where all of this takes me, and I know that it's going to be somewhere good. And I am so, so thankful to have each one of you tuning in each week and joining me on this journey.

I hope all of y'all are inspired by today's episode and y'all, as per always, tune in. You want, we can talk about my journey to becoming an author. I'm looking over here because my book is right here. I figured I might pull some stuff from it. I don't know, but just that, my journey in college and my journey in college was like the most pivotal point for me coming out of senior year to college. And so, yeah, I mean, if you want to go in any of those directions, we can. Sure, yeah. I would ask you, is there one that kind of feels more prominent than the others, if you take it like a breath and feel into your body and that?

I would say college. Let's roll. You take me through this journey, wherever that starts for you, take all the space. Ready? Okay. Okay.

Okay. Senior in high school is 2010 hot mess. Did not know at the time that it was a hot mess, but I was middle child, you know, growing up. They kind of like bullied you. Now they like won't leave me alone. I'm like the savior of the family. And I'm like, y'all stay there.

Let me go to the backyard again by myself or you'll force me to go. Being in that space and realizing that like, you know, being raised by a strict mother, single mother, and just her really trying to do the best that she could, which at the time I did not know that, but going through my own therapy and stuff, really realizing that like she really did the best that she could with the tools that she had that we don't have the world that we have today, but that they didn't have then. Recognizing how much of my childhood was impacting the decisions that I was making in high school. And it wasn't until May of 2010 that I lost my best friend, the best friend since secondary, Porsche Alexsane Marlback girl, just, I don't know. I'm like her passing in an, in and of itself. It's near and dear to my heart because I know that her passing had a purpose much bigger than just her passing because at the time again, I was a hot mess.

I was just living and doing reckless stuff. And she in my eyes was just like, perfect. Like if somebody had to leave, I'm like, take me.

Why would you take her? So just really, really in this space of trying to understand. I know I live by the motto like when you get understanding like everything else in life will blow. And so because I could not get understanding behind her death, I left high school on the way out, won best dressed, made homecoming courts. Was just the cool girl doing the great things and not realizing that at the time I was actually high functioning, depressed and that carried over with me into college. And so again, being raised by a mother that made you beat the street lights home.

And if you didn't beat them home, we got your, your rear end tour up. Going to college was just like a culture shock to me because I went to one of the biggest universities in Alabama, the University of Alabama, Tusculosa, not real time or Eagle. But yeah, there's a story behind that as well. But yeah, I just went there for a nursing school. I wanted to be a nurse, traveling nurse, working with NICU babies. And so when I got there, just again, culture shock and trying to understand this new life versus this life that I just left because I don't have curfew anymore. I'm making my own decisions and I'm not grown, but like essentially I'm grown and on my own. And doing so made me realize that I had carried the death of her and the depression with me through college and in carrying it to college. A lot of stuff was still going on around me that people were expecting me to show up and save them from and I couldn't even save myself. I'd be in rooms literally alone, in rooms full of people and no one could see anything because the mask was on. And because the mask was on, essentially it's my fault because I wasn't being authentic.

I wasn't being honest about where I was, but talking about those things in 2010, 2011 was foreign. Like, right, you can't be depressed. You can't be sad. We're not doing medication.

We're not doing any of these things. So I had this facade of like, I'm strong and I can just show up even though I'm not well and be and do all these things that people need me to be. And it caught up to me. It caught up to me one night in February 2012.

So like I said, I carried over, been like a year and having processes. And I remember I left this room full of guys and they were like my big brothers in school at the time and they were begging me like, girl, where are you going? Like, stay with us. Like, chill with us.

Play the game with us. But again, I was so alone in that room with them that it was like, no, like, let me just, let me just go. And then I already set gaze in my mind that like, when I leave here, this is the end.

So I literally walked home, there's halls, depression, gripping one hand, isolation, gripping the other, anxiety, just the whole nine yards and got to my bedroom door or my dorm room. And literally, I had a decision to make. And I knew that when I walked through that door, it was over. And it was supposed to be over. But clearly, it didn't work.

And coming out on the other side of that, my university gracefully required me to go to counseling, giving me a university appointed counselor, which at the time, we don't need therapy since like, I don't need to be talking to this man. I was trying to eat this. But I just tried to kill myself, like there's something going on. So when I listened to my body and listened to what they're saying. So I went and the rest was history. That's exactly when the journey of who I am today began. And ever since then, I've just been on this journey of like, becoming and becoming not just, oh, I'm becoming this person for 10 years, like I'm becoming for today, so that I can be better for tomorrow. And I'm not carrying on this anxiety about who I should be in five years or who the world says I should have and where I should be. So yeah, it was in trying to kill myself and losing myself that I found myself.

Yeah. Thank you for sharing that with me and for being so open about the tough places that you went and where you're at today. Thank you. Thank you for giving me the space to do that. Yeah, I mean, I think sometimes there's not enough space for these conversations. Because I think what we both know is that you're not the only one that has felt this way.

Yeah. I work with actually, I'm actually a therapist in the school system across Alabama side traveled to different schools. And my main population is middle schoolers and high schoolers.

And I have never seen so much mental health issues, but the main one being depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations. And I literally have right now, a sixth grader trying to end her life with the whole plan. And I don't remember being in sixth grade. I don't remember being in high school, you know, experience and sadness, but not knowing that it was depression or anxiety. But I remember being in sixth grade still playing with Barbie dolls.

That's just how strict my mom was. So witnessing it today, it's just like, it's too full. Like, I'm thankful that we're here because we're able to talk about these things.

But the other side is, how did we get here? When did it get so bad? Or was it always bad?

And we just didn't see it. Yeah, what do you think about? Yeah, what do you mean by that? Let's let's talk theory. Yeah. I know, just firsthand, because we can't talk about, you know, back then we couldn't talk about, Oh, I'm feeling this or I need to go see this person or I need this medication or whatever the case may be, it made you subconsciously start believing, okay, maybe there really isn't anything wrong.

Like maybe I'm just out of my head. And so it suppressed the conversation. And now that we are in this space where people are more vulnerable and they feel more safe to talk. I dare to say, there are people that said those very things of like, we don't need their we don't need this are now in this space questioning, like, if I had gotten help back then, who and where would I be today? Because what I've learned is it all starts in your mind, your thoughts and your feelings, then become your actions. And then it's the course of the rest of your life. So there's a lot of people that I believe miss out on dreams and aspirations, thinking it was this way.

And essentially, either fear or just not feeling safe enough to actually do this type of work has just led them to now seeing this next generation, take the torch and carry it forward, which I think is a beautiful thing. But there's also just like this grief of like, where would my mom be? Where would my mom's friends be? Where would my grandmothers be? What would my great great grandmothers be?

If you had had these conversations, would society and the world be way more progressive than it is now? So there's this grief to it. But then there's also just embracing the reality and being thankful that we're finally here. But understanding there's still so much more work to Yes, yes, yes, I was resonating with you so much so on that grief for all the lost dreams. I'm yeah. Like would this society be a better place?

I think so. And I think what's interesting is to think about like, even outside of like the therapy model, because in many ways that's like a, that's what I do, but it's also like we need collective healing. And like if we could all collectively get to this space where we don't need this one-on-one diet system and we can reach out and fall into our community to be that person that sees us and holds space, yeah. I think the collective would grow and be able to reach more dreams in that space, but you're so right, it takes, I mean, there's a lot of societal oppression for like access to therapy, you know, and having the resources to do that and the time and the space and also then, yeah, the shame from different generations up and above who, who I mean, it kind of makes sense when we think about like, in psychology's original origins, it was more for like whatever words we want to say for this, but like truly crazy or dysfunctional or these like these ideas of like mental illness that were completely different than what we see today. And like we are still, I think understanding as a society that like you can be functional to a day-to-day point and still benefit from going to psychotherapy. And that's radical for like a whole generation, I think built on like how psychology started.

Yeah, yeah. When you mentioned the collective, I thought about my kids and their parents. So with my job, the service is school-based. And so you have a lot of parents that work.

So that's easier for them. Like the only thing they would have to show up for is like an intake and if their child is under the age of 14, they would need to come sign like some papers because I'm not at liberty to work with them without the parent. But I found even with a free resource, essentially, it's still hard for parents to show up for intakes. It's still hard for parents to show up to sign a treatment plan, just to sign and be gone and go back to work.

And I found it's because they're in their world. And if I skip out on work for an hour, two hour, it's gonna impact my money. But really, what is a dollar to your child who is gonna have a class three, which will eventually expel them from school?

What is a dollar to your child wanting to commit suicide when there is someone literally here to help? It all begins at home. And if the home life is dysfunctional, your child is gonna go to school and act out in a way that makes them feel safe. When they're acting out, they're actually safe, but they're crying out for something that they don't have that on. So we said collect, which it's bigger than like you said, yeah, we have therapy, but like what's going on behind the scenes, what's going on at home?

Absolutely, yeah. My theoretical orientation is relational cultural theory. So a lot of that is like understanding, if the concept of self, right, is not something that is like considered just even an idea for different cultures. That's a very like Western colonial idea of like you have a self and the psyche and a lot of that came from like Freud and that earlier start to psychology was from which was like we're gonna study the self and the self and the self and coming to this different space of thinking about the self being a created thing from all of the relationships that we have.

I think one of the best examples I have is like co-concentric circles where like there is a self at the center of all those circles, right? But it's created through all these relationships. And so when you're talking about the family patterns, I'm like, yeah, because like those are the patterns where like if we think about relationships as mirrors, like as a child, you're growing up and the way that your parents treat you is then how you see yourself like directly in that mirror state and you learn how to get love and affection, the things that all of us need to survive. And so you learn like, okay, if I do this, then it gets that. And then we go into other relationships.

So this is how I've learned to show up and then do this and then that. And it's like, that's what I think is so crazy when you take people in different systems, like right, the therapy room being like a different system for us to enact a different relationship, which then changes. And I don't know about you, but I'd be curious to hear like in your own journey, did you feel like you saw like big shifts in the relationships that you started to have with other people over time?

I would say that that's still happening to this day. Actually I had a conversation with my friend yesterday. I am her like deep spiritual friend that like gets her and she can have these deep conversations with like about dreams and interpretation and all that stuff and not feel judged.

But then she has another friend who's like, her like party girl, we're gonna go get drunk and like we're gonna be fine. So like understanding when I know who I am, that makes other people know not only just who I am, but how to treat me and how they can show up. So yes, she's still her most authentic self with me, but she knows, hey, if I need help figuring this out, I'm gonna call Amber for this.

I may call Sally for this, but when you said like it changing like all of my relationships that I'm thinking about it now, all of them look like that. Like even for me, I have a deep spiritual friend. I have a friend who's gonna whisper my name in prayer.

I have a friend who is gonna tell me where to get the nicest shoes and the nicest clothes. And also when you mentioned like the circles and like how we're at the center of each one of them. So my business is called Hoopamone Avengers and we're just empowering people to embrace who they really are so that they can become who they've actually been designed to be. But with that, we focus on holistic healing and not holistic in the sense of like medication and meditation and stuff. It's like the financial, the physical, the spiritual, the mental and the emotional because we are multi-dimensional beings having one entire experience here. So when you said that, it was just like, it may be said differently, but it's all really the same thing. We're all living in the same way and having the same experiences.

Absolutely. That sounds like a really beautiful collective and opportunity to heal within your community. I have not publicly released this yet. So like you, other than my like small circle know this. But when I wrote the book, I just wrote that book out of like obedience. I knew that people needed it and I knew that I was supposed to do it, but I never expected it to become what it is, which lets me know, like you said, is needed. And so just trying to figure out, okay, like, I feel like this is, this is where my life is headed.

Yes, there will always be like therapy, which I will eventually coincide with this. But where exactly is this supposed to go? And so there's like these different pillars and the pillar, I just told you about the holistic, the holistic pillar. That's actually a conference. So it's called Holistically Hupamone Conference. And I will have speakers that touch on each one of those points, but it's not your like over 5,000 people conference. It's very intentional. So I don't allow more than 50 people because in order for a breakthrough, in order for healing to really happen, we've got to be in, I don't want to say small, but like more safer spaces that allow that because that's the only way people will feel safe enough, sick enough and vulnerable enough to be real about where they are.

And it would be, it would be remiss of me to offer up something. Like, I remember going to conferences and freaking out at like how many people were there. Yes, I was getting the knowledge that I needed, but I knew when I was leaving, I needed to put that stuff to practice.

And oftentimes I didn't put it to practice because it was quick, it was fast, and it was again too many people. So now understanding my journey, it's been a tough journey, but it's been a beautiful journey. I want to give people my experience and hope that they can describe something, something to help them do whatever it is that they're called to do. So yeah, we're going to bring, it's just, I think it's divine that you're saying like this circle in the center, it lets me know like this is confirmation, this is needed and this is what we're going to do to essentially heal this generation. So this generation can heal the next generation and the next generation can heal the next generation. Yes, absolutely. I can, I can feel the energy beaming for me when you talk about it and the places that you were going to take people through this.

Yeah, it's my heart and I invest so much of who I am in it because it is who I am and it's what got me here. Like I can not tell you, I believe that if I had one, have an understanding in 2012 when I tried to commit suicide, why are these things around me happening? I didn't have that understanding. So when you have lack of understanding, your mind is asking all these types of questions and it's going in overload, which is essentially sending you into anxiety, which then leads you into depression. So if I one had understanding, I think then things would have, things would have kind of played out differently. I think that if I had had a physical outlet, so I was working out, but I like stopped working out because that's what depression does. It like sits you down and makes you think that there's really nothing to live for.

I think things would have been differently. I had, I had this spiritual, but like no matter who or what anyone believes in, when you feel like what you're, what you're essentially living your life in root of is not, is not there and you're not hearing from them. It's like, what am I here for? Because we're spiritual beings again, no matter what you believe in, like we are mind, body, soul.

And when we leave, we're still gonna be here, be it in spirit or through someone else that comes along behind us. So yeah, that's why I'm passionate about it because I know that it works. Like if it was not for this being a part of my journey, I probably would have attempted suicide again and I've not attempted it ever since that day. I've utilized therapy. I've been very intentional about what I'm not trying to be too strong. I've been very intentional about letting my people know like, Hey, like, okay, like, can we like process how I'm feeling? And then every therapist is supposed to have a therapist.

So I see my therapist every single week. Yeah. Yeah. Yes.

Yes. I love that too. And dare I say the strongest thing that we could do is tell other people that we're not okay. Right?

Like to sit in that. It's not a weakness. Yeah. It's not a weakness.

And I think that's what happened back then. It was, you're weak. Why are you acting weak? Like, you don't need what you think you need. But I also believe that adolescents and younger are more in tune than adults are. So when my two year old niece is telling me like, I heard her feelings, she probably knows what she's talking about. When a middle schooler is telling you, Hey, mom, Hey dad, like I'm feeling in love because love is not just provision. It's not just I'm putting something on the table for you.

For everybody, it's different. So instead of, Hey, I've given you food to eat. I've done this. I've done that. Why not ask the question of what is your definition of love?

How do you feel like you need to be loved right now? Because they know, but when we don't allow those conversations, what happened is they continue to grow and they continue to grow and they create all that shame. They create all that guilt.

I forget who it was, but it was a theorist that talks about that how it's not attachment styles. I just filled my exam for the third time. Still trying to figure that out, but we're going to leave that alone. I'm going to send you good energy. I'm going to step away. The dream is more important than the exam right now.

You're dreaming baby. Let's go. But there's a theorist that talks about basically when you don't, now it's going to rack my brain because I want to remember it's just the stages, industrious versus inferiority, all of that. Erickson? You're probably right. Trust versus mistrust and all of that. When they skip those stages and those stages aren't fed, what happens is you can be 30 years old, but still be seven years old on the inside because of a stage that was not addressed.

Again, I'm saying all that to say this is why I'm so passionate about this because if I had not done my own work, I don't know who I'd be today. I don't even want to think about it. Yeah. Yeah.

Absolutely. Which is why I hold space for the other way too. I'm just like, oh shit, where are we going? We're still in this.

Give me another 10 years. Where are we going to be? I don't know. You know what I mean? Which is cool and exciting. Yeah. Rather than stagnancy. Yeah, I think yeah, age and emotional maturity are definitely not correlated.

We know that for sure. If you didn't get your needs met, yeah, you might be still in that state of reenacting those same patterns. And yeah, it can be really difficult. As you were speaking, I was thinking about a recent presentation on generational trauma and just thinking about how like, yeah, even just providing a basic like house and meal while it does meet your survival needs. It doesn't meet your relational emotional needs and how that alone could be a generational trauma. And I think some people don't even realize that where they're like, well, I had a stable house. I have food.

I never worried about my needs. And it's like, yeah, but you need more than that. You also need people to see you to be with you in the same way that you were talking about needing your friends to be like, I'm not okay. We need that environment when we're children to in whatever family system we have. And I think a lot of people are still coming to realize that they didn't get what they deserved, you know, because of collective traumas that I don't think there's any one person to blame and I think we can also blame society right for the messaging, other sorts of things but there's a lot of stuff that happened previously before that created the systems and the places in the family system or collective society that we're at now.

Yeah, I agree. As you were talking, I was thinking about, I did therapy, like I said, they've required me to do it in 2012. And then I just like felt like I got what I needed. And for 10 years was like great, like, one thought I was great. I was doing fine. And then last year finally decided, hey, like I might need to go back and it was because I was in a relationship that showed me, you know, childhood trauma that's going to actually impact you from receiving and being able to give love.

So I started therapy. And recently we've been doing EMDR. I'm pretty sure you know what that is.

Yeah, that thing. You can really hear my therapist right now like saying words that like I said to myself by way of like what I experienced. And so one was like, I am unworthy. And when the light came on and I'm like following it, it's taking me down roads. I'm like, was this a suppress this whole time?

Like, where has this been? And so now working with kids, it's like, what can I do not to save them, but to help them deal with these certain messages now, so that when they are 29, they're not having to go back to seven or eight year old Sally or Joe to figure out what made me feel unworthy, what made me feel abandoned, what made me feel rejected. So all of this that you're saying like generational trauma, I agree with you when you said that it's no one to blame, because it all started somewhere and everybody's trying to make up for it in their own way. And I think that I think our generation is doing and really the generation below millennials and Gen Z, they're really doing a great job at having the hard conversations. But it's a matter of understanding that with these conversations, we still have to act, and we still have work to do.

Oh, yeah. So when it gets stagnant, there's no reason to get stagnant when we've come so far. Let's keep digging.

Because we'll be digging for a while. Yes, absolutely. And I love that you said like, yeah, every therapist has a therapist, right?

Like I go to therapy continually and I intend to keep going. I think it's a unique relationship. There is no, at least that I, when I think about it, no other relationship where someone holds space for you intentionally and it is like quite lopsided in that way in a beautiful way of like, I am holding space for you and helping you cultivate you and spending that like kind of sacred time exploring going deeper and holding your story in like a safe container compared to other relationships that are beautiful and we co share energy, right?

Like we shouldn't, I would like to think in relationships we shouldn't feel that lopsided, you know, as in a therapy relationship. So like, to me, it's very sacred in that way. And like I intend to go for the rest of my life because it is such a space to explore and do that sort of stuff and have that safe container. And yeah, as you were speaking, I think what's beautiful to think about is like with your work with children, like just planting these seeds, right? Because like you said, like we can't save these people. And even if you do the best, perfect, if such a thing exists therapy with that child, and they go home to an environment that then tells them you're worthless, you're a piece of shit, you've ever, like you could do everything right in the book and because of their system that they're in, you know, like we might not see that seed grow into a beautiful tree, that seed might have to go through a winter and be completely beaten down until it can find a community of safe people that join in that same, you know, you create that relationship and then all their other relationships are able to like see them in that and like continue to help the tree give the nutrients it needs, you know, I think that's one of the things that at least like I try to keep in perspective to everything that we do is like healers and this profession is like we can do everything right and if the people around them are not also giving them that nutrients and space and time like there's kind of nothing we can do.

I think as you're speaking I think of boundaries. But it's so sad though like 1412 10 year old has to like boundaries to them is like don't go across the fence to the neighbors yard. Yeah, but the way the world has progressed, essentially they're growing up faster. So they're having to learn like, I don't feel loved in this way from so and so.

Okay, well what can we do to protect you. And so it's so it's to me and just that is me they have to learn that so early. And then I think about the role of the collective the family. I invite several families to family therapy.

Beautiful. Yeah, they're like, they're like, no, like, yeah, they're like, no, no, they don't they don't need it. My family is good. It's just my child and it's like, there's but there's no understanding of the collective there's no understanding that this is a environmental issue, a home life issue. But it goes back to what you said, they're living off of something that they were told. So this child having this issue is a child's issue because the family unit's good. But if the family unit is good, why is this child suffering the way that this child is suffering.

It's not about the school because we carry with us what we're around the most and we're around our family and friends the most. So I just thought that was interesting when you said that. Yes, yes. Okay. And how do we talk to people in that paradigm? I don't have the answer. And if you do, like, what do you do to get that family? Not, okay, not that everyone has to go to therapy, right? But like, how do you get them to see what you're seeing?

I think about it was today, actually. So I have a client, their brothers, one is in middle school, one's in high school. And little brother thinks that everyone loves older brother because older brothers start off all player probably going to go pros, NFL, all of that. So little brother is not only just looking up to big brother, but little brother is also like, well, everybody loves big brother. So I need him to make big brother. So there's no identity for him outside of his brother. Well, then you have big brother whose identity is wrapped up in the game of football of sports. So without it, who are you?

He couldn't tell me. So I'm having the conversation with mom because home life is obviously red. Both of them are getting in trouble, suspended, everything. Well, from their perspective, it's home life. But from mom's perspective, I'm working, I'm doing what I can all the time. And it's like, working is not the issue.

Like if you're going to work, work, because I understand that bills have to be paid through the table, but stop to have conversations. And she's like sobbing and crying. And I'm like, I'm offering you a solution. The solution is let's all sit down, but I don't have time. So okay, well, if you don't have time, why don't you think of some ways that you can help them? And I wasn't going to be the one to give it to her because I personally feel like if you can't make time to just come sit down for an hour, I don't know what you're going to do with the tools that I give you. So I just, I went mute, I told her to just take the weekend to think about it.

This mother called me today and said that she made the youngest, write a letter to what they both have to write letters, but the youngest has to write a letter saying, who is X, Y and Z? Who do I want to be? What do I believe about myself?

And then the other one, who am I apart from sports? And that's what I had already thought about, but not wanting to make her give her the answers, make her dig. She dug. And so that to me was she's she's literally doing the best that she can and may not be in the form of therapy the way that I expect. Right.

But we're starting somewhere. And I think with these letters, because they're not going to give them the mom, they're going to give them to me. I almost guarantee you it's going to have a lot to do with home life. And so from their own words, because they don't talk to you all, they don't talk to mom and dad, their own words will show you now, can we revisit this, this therapy conversation? So I think to answer your question, it's giving them space to just figure it out. Because speaking for myself, when I realized I didn't have it figured out, it was because I failed. I almost ended my life.

And it was again, and losing myself that I found myself. So they've got to figure it out. And when they figure it out in the way that makes them comfortable, I think that they'll be feel more safe to come. But until then, I honestly believe that it's just going to continue to take that one person from the family to change the narrative, break those generational patterns of trauma. And until then, we'll just continue to have this cycle of people.

I don't know what say parents, people, because now parents are producing children who think that they don't need it. So it's just, it's a cycle, like you said, that one is going to have to break. So I think we as mental health professionals, just have to keep showing up and just putting our best foot forward and hope that the change that we anticipate to see is happening some way, some shape, some form of fashion, and it'll trinkle over into the family.

And I see that in my own life, like just no way I've decided to show up in this area, that area, it's inspiring those that are connected to me to show up and do things differently. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, my heart goes out to that mom, because you know, she's probably exhausted and has a million things on her plate. And I think a lot of people would be quick to be like, well, it's that, you know, the mom's fault, let's, you know, and I think we're both know that like, everyone's always doing their best, even these times where we look at people are like, how do you not see that? Like, they are doing their best to survive and are exhausted. And yeah, part of that then is having, holding the space for people and meeting them where they're at, right?

That's another thing, like, is holding that space for that. And yeah, and do time and maybe it won't be with the mom, maybe it will be with the kids who then, you know, in the office with you are planting these seeds that then they stay connected and feel like they have a relationship where they can talk about these things. And by the time they have kids or other sorts of relationships, you'll see the fruits of that labor and having the patience to sit with that, I think can be definitely a really hard thing in this space.

Yeah, patience. I think, I think that sums up the journey. Like, you have to, you have to give yourself room. to feel these things, to figure out where these things are coming from, to figure out where they started. Because only when you do that will you develop the steadfastness, the endurance, the purpose, gain a deeper understanding of who you are.

But when you don't do that, that hard work initially, it makes it feel like what's ahead is not possible. And I know that firsthand with people from past generations that I've encountered. Like, if you look at it, like, I don't know about your experience, like I know people that stayed in particular hometowns because they thought that was the end. But really, it was probably the messages that you received or probably the way you were raised. And the way you were raised is not your fault. And then it's not their fault because someone else raised in that way and they missed out on their dreams and their aspirations.

So again, it's just going to take that one person in each family unit who checks in with themselves, who learns more about themselves, and they identify, wait, there's more life than this. Like, I can actually do this. I can actually heal from this. I can actually grow from this and then actually live a happily ever after, even though what is that.

But I can live a better life than what I've been used to. It's just going to take that one, which is why I'm always about the one like if I can help one, that one can then reach back and help another one. And then it's a ripple effect of ones helping thousands. So that's what I'm on a. Yeah, if I allow myself to go through this hard thing. I learned everything I need for the person I'm becoming.

And the hard thing could simply just be waking up. And in my heart thing today, about to relaunch an apparel line. And I'm a social worker. Like I said, when I was a senior, I felt my math exam. No, I did not fail. I'm sorry. I cheated on my math exam.

And I turned around and told my teacher that I cheated. That's just how much it was. Yeah, I was eating me out. Like I turned, walked out of the classroom and walked right back in. I cheated on this. And she actually gave me a D. So like, worked herself out like integrity, being honest, being honest with yourself about where you are. Wow. I'm planning this launch and I'm like, I've never heard of cost margins.

I've never heard of price markups. Like, I hope people deal with what's going on in mind, the body and the soul. Like, what is this? So immediately I got anxiety. And I get in the car, I'm leaving work and I'm like, okay, like, I'm anxious. Like, where's this feeling coming from? So I had to check in with myself. And the question was, okay, what was the last thing you did? I was planning this launch and trying to figure out prices.

You have anxiety because something is making you uncomfortable. When we do more of that, only will we be able to really see who we are and see how our experiences are shaping us and then become better people because of it. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Yes. Because if you didn't see that in yourself, you might come into another relationship with someone else and maybe be irritable, lash out at them, you know, and have all of that. The reality is we don't get mad at ourselves for having these emotions, right? Or these reactions.

That's what I'm hearing, right? It's like, okay, what is this coming with curiosity and then seeing it for what it is. And then when you come into a space with another person, you're able to say, hey, you know, I'm feeling a little anxious and irritable right now, just so you know, rather than like letting that energy flow out to another person, then affect them and not even being aware of that. And then again, yeah, this is how we come back to those cycles, right? And that's the way of all that stuff. And I love how you said ripples because in the episode I recorded before this, so it will be released before this one when they all come out. I was quite literally talking about how with generational trauma in the same way that that, you know, creates the reality that we're in now, I strongly believe that love and, you know, we'll do the same thing creating ripples in the opposite way and like, it's so like, at least psychologically like present as an idea within the field of like generational trauma and I'm like, okay, let's equally hold the space for like love to pass through all these generations and go through and see the effects of that like, it's beautiful to think about. Yeah, when you mentioned love, I think about a book I recently read, it's called All About Love by Belle Hooks. And in it, she talks about how, yes, there are forms of love so making sure you have food to eat, making sure there's clothes on your back, making sure that you are seeing. But love is essentially seeing a person and pushing them to be their greatest self. And when we do that, going back to what you just said, I think that's when the ripple will start because you're seeing one person for their entire being, not just what they need as in the form of like physical.

But like, what do you need internally and externally? Because when I know what you need, then I can push you to be your best self, and then pushing you to be your best self ripple effect will make someone else feel like they can be their best self because they're inspired. And then you have a world of just love, but we're missing the mark somewhere, but I think with time, and I think with more people who are up for the challenge, and not just up for it to be up for it that are passionate and have a heart for it, we'll see change. Absolutely, absolutely. I am there with you, right? Holding the reality for the dark place that we're in now so we're not so like Polly Anna everything is happy, Daisy, right?

But I do think it's important to have hope to get through the places that we're at now and how that can be a sort of light at the end of the tunnel to look through. And I think you are working with a younger generation than I am, right? And so like you're seeing all of that beginnings of a whole new, we talk about generational trends, right? You're seeing a whole new generational trend come out, I think because of the internet and the amount of space that has been created for mental health discussions, especially with pandemic, right?

You know, collective trauma that we've all shared. So I mean, you're seeing that next generation bubble up with the space that they're creating for all of this. So I am ready to see who's going to be president when those people are old.

Like I'm going to be 90 and just be like, yeah, I hope. Yeah. Yeah. And I love what you said earlier too about like the importance of other aspects of healing and mental health, right? There's so much in the field of psychology on the intellect and you know, processing and processing. Yeah. It's like, there's a lot of other ways and important aspects like you said earlier, right? We are not just a mind, we're a body and a soul, right?

So leaning into that spirituality and whatever meaning making that feels and resonates with you for healing and leaning into the taking care of the body, which frequently benefits from some sort of movement that feels good or brings your soul alive or stretches you to new capacities. It's not just one of these pieces like you said, like we really need to be working on all of these collectively to get to this space. Yeah, stretches to new capacities.

I love that. That's what the journey is. That's the journey.

Oh man. And once you stretch, there's no going back. I don't know how you feel about that, but I'm like, I keep cracking open the matrix and there's no going back now. No, it's again, the higher self every single day I'm being stretched to be me, but be me on a different level.

And I think that all of life is the undoing and relearning to just become who we're supposed to be. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I was thinking as you were speaking to you were talking about it takes that one person to change the generational.

patterns and it sounds like you are that person in your family. Okay. I received that. I just got really hot in my body. So that lets me know what you just said.

It's confirmation. And I've always like, I wouldn't say ran from that, but that's heavy. That's really heavy because I feel like the fire and the furnace is oftentimes hotter for you. And that's essentially been been my life, which is why I'm having to do the deep work like, like I said, I didn't even want to do the work I'm doing. I didn't want to do this.

I wanted to be a traveling nurse. And now here I am not trading it for anything. This is where I'm supposed to be. And I know it's so much bigger than me.

It's so much bigger than me. I can't even take credit for all of that. Because I did not choose this path. This path chose me. Because it chose me, I have a diligence to serve those that even if it's a 30 minute podcast, like I am supposed to plant a seed. And as I plant a seed, receive from that person and trust that as we continue to live, the ripples are happening. The ripples are happening. Yes, yes, absolutely. I feel so lucky to be co-creating this conversation with you and all the energy that we're sharing here.

And yeah, I mean, you're on a beautiful path and like, let's take a moment to celebrate your book. Wow. Wow. Yes. Yes.

Yes. Breathe into that. You made that. You're on a whole new path and are taking people with you. That is so powerful.

My body is literally hot right now. We are doing something here. So I appreciate you. I do. I do.

Thank you. And I think it's also hot because I recently heard this saying where they say you should not do more than two things, like two big life changes in a year because it takes your body time, your mind time to catch up to that. And it seems like since the release, like I said, I just wrote it, not expecting, self-published it, like not expecting anything. And then when I wrote it and realized the impact that it was having, a lot of groundwork started taking place. So like trying to get it in stores and libraries and now short lines and conferences and all this stuff. So it's like, what is all this stuff? But I don't, one of my prayers recently was that do not let me look back five years from now and not have soaked all of this in.

Yeah. So when you said take a moment to breathe it in, it's just confirmation because every single day I'm having to tell myself that like, you wrote a book like, oh yeah. Some little Microsoft document that you have to turn into your teacher. Like you wrote a book and you processed your life. And that's hard for some even processing your life, forget the book piece, processing your life. That's hard for some people. Yeah. And you did it.

And because you did it, more people will be able to do it. But then who's the moment? Like, we're just for the people, about the people, and we want to see everybody heal and just put on who they're supposed to be.

Yes, yes. And you, I feel like are a big rock creating some really big ripples by doing that work and even coming onto this podcast and the other podcasts that you've been on and sharing so vulnerably about your own journey, that that alone will bring people into this and they will connect with you. And that is powerful. And it sounds like, yeah, you're, you're saying yes to the universe and the universe is taking you for a ride, baby.

Yeah. I'm back again. I'm back again. I'm back again. He's good.

He's good. So exciting. Yeah. Well, I want to hold some time and space as we come towards the end of our conversation. Do you feel like maybe there is anything still lingering for you that we didn't talk about today? Otherwise, I have a closing question to wrap us back up.

I feel like you've met me right where I am today. Yeah. Thank you. You know, that's a really, really good for compliment. Thank you.

Yeah, that would be if you have. Thank you. Thank you. Well, then the one question that I ask everyone on the podcast is what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal? Oh, girl.

Hitting you hard today. Yeah. And I love that there's no right or wrong way to answer that question and it's really open. One thing I wish people knew was more normal.

Yeah. It's normal to not be okay. It's not normal to say you're okay and you really die inside. It's normal to not be okay. Absolutely.

Absolutely. I think we have a special lens into that, right? Because people come to us with that, with this sort of container where, you know, it's therapy, like this is what I'm supposed to do. And a lot of people who don't have that lens or maybe their community doesn't talk like that, they think they're alone. Isolation is one of the biggest deterrents to humans experience in a full life. So when we know and understand that it's okay to not be okay and you can't ask for help.

Yes. And that takes a lot of strength to say that I need help, right? I think that is the strongest thing we can do is to come to other people and say, I'm hurting. I need help when we think about like a wounded animal. Like that is one of the strongest things to open yourself up and share that with another person, in my opinion, so that you can receive the care that you need. We all need, right? We all need. Yeah.

It's okay to not be okay. Yeah. Well, this was so fun. I felt your energy and I'm so excited for all the things that you're doing and I'm so happy the universe brought you here and to our connection. It's been a lot of fun.

Yeah. Thank you for having me. Definitely full and feel like I'm good for the rest of the week. Yeah. Good. Good. Good. Is there anywhere you want to plug to your book, your website, so people can find you? Yes. So you can find me on my website at www.amberin.

Do not forget the letter in in the middle. And then for my book, you can get it on Amazon right now. I'll have a few in stock on my website soon.

But for now, just go to Amazon, people monays by Amber underwood, H-U-P-O-M-O-N-E. And then Instagram, Amber in underwood. Great. Great.

Yeah. Thank you again for sharing your story and for coming out to the podcast today. Thank you for having me. If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast. And if you're a part of the anarchist community, then follow us on Instagram or nominate a guest for the show by sending in a letter to Otherwise, I'll see you next week.


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