399. The Power of Hypnosis & Guided Meditation w/ Sara Raymond

Sara Raymond

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Sara Raymond from The Mindful Movement explains how hypnosis and meditation can help you heal mind, body, and spirit.

Sara Raymond is a trained hypnotherapist, pilates, yoga, and meditation teacher. As Founder of The Mindful Movement, she has become an oasis for those looking to tap into their inner calm, develop a positive mindset and heal from the stress that’s blocking fulfillment. Sara has discovered that simply knowing what you want isn’t enough and has committed her life to helping others break free from the inner turmoil.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Sara Raymond helps people untangle themselves from emotional blocks through hypnosis and guided meditation. Her practice, The Mindful Movement, has inspired thousands – including myself – to tap into the depths of their subconscious and release embedded pain and limiting beliefs. 

In this episode, we unpack the mysterious realm of hypnotherapy and meditation and explore how these complementary modalities, combined with mindful movement practices, can help us get unstuck from the parts of ourselves that are no longer serving us. 

06:40 — How Sara Built The Mindful Movement  

  • The moment Sara discovered hypnosis as a form of therapy 
  • How Sara overcame her initial resistance to meditation 
  • Evolving The Mindful Movement online  
  • Growing a business in partnership

36:50 — Mindful Movement in Action

  • Why movement helps meditation practice 
  • Applicable breath practices to try right now
  • Vocal toning + Yoga Nidra
  • Myths about meditation 

50:05 — Hypnosis + Meditation

  • Hypnosis beyond entertainment
  • Reflections on my session with Sara
  • Get 15% off a session with the code LUKESTOREY at themindfulmovement.com
  • Working with emotional blocks 
  • The mind/body connection
  • Why 7 million people have turned to Sara to help them sleep  
  • How meditation and hypnosis differ
  • Holding space for trauma 
  • Healing from a place of worth

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube

Luke Storey: [00:00:02] I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology, and personal development. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Sara, well, what a day it's been for us.

Sara Raymond: [00:00:28] Yeah, it's been a day.

Luke Storey: [00:00:30] I don't think any—I've gotten to know people more than I've gotten to know you today, but I have to say, like with just meeting someone, I don't think I've ever had someone get to know me at such depth as we did today prior to this recording. So, for those listening, one of the many things our guest, Sara, does is hypnosis. And so, we just emerged out of me laying on the studio couch there and going into the quantum ethers in the most fantastic way. So, I'm going to do my best to come back to Earth and be a proper podcast host, but thank you so much for coming by today and thank you for that experience. It was incredible.

Sara Raymond: [00:01:11] Well, it was my pleasure and thank you for your willingness to trust me. Not having ever met me, like you said, you did share a lot with me, and you were willing to be open and vulnerable, and I really appreciate that, and I think that that allowed the process to really unfold in a beautiful way, so thank you.

Luke Storey: [00:01:32] Yeah, me, too. It did occur to me at certain points, I was like, I just met her, like I'm telling her all kinds of intimate details about my self-perceived limitations and things like that, but I'm also kind of a transparent person, also.

Sara Raymond: [00:01:49] Well, generally, when people come to see me, they might not know me personally, but they have listened to a recording that I've created, or even some people will say, "Oh, I feel like you're my best friend. Like I listened to your voice in my ear dozens and dozens of times." So, you had a little bit of a different experience.

Luke Storey: [00:02:08] Actually, you know what, that probably was the case with me, too, because over the past week, knowing that I was leading up to this interview and I've listened to a number of your guided meditations, I actually did one this morning, I found that a longer one, some of them, I think it was on your podcast, and some of them are like eight minutes, 10 minutes, I've done a couple of those, so today, I was like scrolling to find a longer one, because usually, I like to do about 20 minutes, and I found it. It was awesome.

Sara Raymond: [00:02:34] Yeah, great. Well, I'm glad.

Luke Storey: [00:02:36] Yeah. So, I've had a lot of you today. Okay. So, I want to jump into the hypnotherapy thing, really, because even though I've done a bit of it in my life and it's definitely benefited me, crazily enough, I've not yet done a podcast about it.

Sara Raymond: [00:02:54] Cool.

Luke Storey: [00:02:55] Yeah, which is super cool, and I'm excited about that, because I think it's such a useful tool for people. So, how did you first get into hypnosis? Where did you hear about it? What did you have to do to learn how to do the witchy stuff that you did with me?

Sara Raymond: [00:03:10] Well, the first like introduction to it was through my mom. She actually used hypnosis many years ago when I was a kid to quit smoking and it was extremely effective for her. And then, she used it again in some of her weight loss journey. And so, I kind of just assumed like that was something that people did. They go to see a hypnotherapist or hypnotist and they are able to successfully make changes or quit habits that they don't want anymore.

So, I kind of always have been a believer, I guess, just by default, because she was a believer, and then, really, I personally found meditation and hypnosis in my early 30s, I guess it was. I guess I wanted to understand myself a little bit better. I was a fairly young mom. I had my first child at 22, and she was a surprise, and I was like, Oh, I'm a mom, and I wouldn't change that for the world.

That was one of my greatest life lessons and experiences, for sure. But I didn't have my 20s to like figure out who I was, and figure out what was important to me, and use those values to make decisions. I just kind of did whatever I needed to do to be a parent, be a wife, be a business owner without really understanding who I was. So, when all my friends were like going out to bars and finding themselves, I was at home as a mom, and then came my 30s, and I was like, oh, now, I have some time to like really explore me.

At that point, my children were a little older and like they didn't need my attention all the time, so when I started to really want to get to know myself, and understand like what was important to me and where I wanted my life to go, that's when I discovered hypnosis and meditation. And for me, hypnosis, I found to be, not more effective, but more accessible, because it was giving me something to do while in a meditative state.

Whereas, when I first started meditating, I'm like, what am I doing here? Like I don't understand this and I just wanted to do something. So, hypnosis, because it felt like more goal-oriented or more like I was actually doing something, it felt more accessible to me. And that's not necessarily the case anymore. I definitely practiced meditation, and I get a lot of value out of it, but initially, I was like, you want me to sit still for how long and like just be? I don't understand. That was really hard for me.

Luke Storey: [00:06:21] That makes a lot of sense, actually. And it's funny because when we did our session today and this wouldn't have been true when I first started meditating, but I've meditated for a really long time, out of necessity, not virtue, I'm not like bragging about my meditation practice, but it's really was life-saving for me. But I found in our session that I just, at times, wanted to just stay in that sort of Theta, zoned out, half-awake, half-asleep state, and I had the opposite. I was like, oh, she asked me another question, and then I'd have to summon the subconscious and participate.

Sara Raymond: [00:06:56] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:06:57] Right? And so, I was kind of like, I mean, it was fine, but it was the opposite experience of that. I was like, no, I just want to meditate.

Sara Raymond: [00:07:03] Yeah. You were pretty mellow, pretty chill.

Luke Storey: [00:07:05] Yeah, but we had some work to do. With your mom introducing you in her desire to overcome smoking, and losing some weight, and such, was your mom like a new-agey hippie kind of person?

Sara Raymond: [00:07:18] No, I wouldn't categorize her that way. I think that she has always been very open, open-minded, and willing to do things to help herself. Maybe other people in her generation, maybe I'm stereotyping a little bit, but there's sort of like a generation of people who just want to take a pill, right? Like just go to the doctor, get their advice, get the pharmaceutical, and then that'll be the way to solve the problem.

Whereas, she has always been very open-minded to try different things like hypnosis. And I mean, this is like early '80s when she was trying hypnosis for the first time, so it was a long time ago. It wasn't like it wasn't popular at that point, but she was willing to try it and it worked for her. And she's willing to learn new things and explore different routes, different avenues to help herself. And she's just, I guess, always been that way.

Luke Storey: [00:08:33] Yeah, that's cool. So, the smoking bit worked for her, though, huh?

Sara Raymond: [00:08:37] It did, yeah. I mean, she smoked through my pregnancy, my older brother, and then between myself and my younger brother, she was like, okay, I need to be done with this. And so, she quit, yeah, and hasn't had a cigarette since.

Luke Storey: [00:08:50] I'm going to remember that, because I did manage to quit smoking years ago, but I find I use nicotine very habitually now, so I might be ringing you up for another session. I keep telling myself when we move in our house, then it's like this narrative I have with myself, I need it right now to just take the edge off. And then, once we move in the house, I'm going to quit, but now, we're getting very close to that, and I'm kind of like, I don't know if I want to quit, this is nice. So, I might be hitting you up on that. Have you ever heard of anyone having success with nail biting?

Sara Raymond: [00:09:22] I have not personally worked with anyone, but I do believe that one of the people I trained with shared a story about a young person, like a child, I do believe, yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:09:37] Yeah, I have that disgusting habit, sometimes, and I'm really, really not happy about it, I'm ashamed of it. Interestingly enough, when I used to smoke cigarettes, when I was a kid, I bit my nails, just nervous personality, I guess, and then when I smoke cigarettes forever, then I never bit my nails.

Sara Raymond: [00:09:55] Yeah, something else to do with your hand.

Luke Storey: [00:09:56] Yeah. And then, when I quit smoking, I started biting my nails, and then I had like a relapse of smoking some many years ago, and then I quit biting my nails. And then, when I quit smoking again for real, the final time, then I found like, wow, I never have to clip my nails, this is nice. But anyway, enough about me. So, you spent your 20s kind of being a mom, and so you didn't get that period of self-discovery, which, by the way, I had my whole 20s to discover myself and did jack shit with it, except destroy myself, but I find many people that really commit to a yoga practice like I know you have in meditation or something like hypnosis.

They have some sort of pain-to-purpose, rock-bottom desperation that is the impetus for them to find discipline, because these practices, well, I don't know about hypnosis, but meditation definitely takes discipline in order for them to pursue it with effectiveness and consistency. Did you have anything going on in your life that was motivating you, or was it really just like, hey, I feel like I'd like to get to know myself a little better?

Sara Raymond: [00:11:05] Yeah. I don't have a rock-bottom story, really. I was the yoga teacher that would avoid the meditation aspect. I was like non-spiritual. It made me, actually, very uncomfortable in a way, so I avoided that at like all costs. Only when I wanted to like understand myself better did I recognize that I already had the tools, I already had the knowledge, I just needed to do it, right? I think I've always been sort of someone who loves to teach and that's my avenue to learn. It sounds a little backwards.

Luke Storey: [00:11:59] No, I totally understand that.

Sara Raymond: [00:12:00] But like for me, to really understand a concept or an idea, I need to go as far as being able to teach it to embody it. And so, I think that teaching yoga for like five—I think I taught for about five years before I was like, oh, what's this meditation thing about? Like I just wanted to do the movement. And I've always been a very like athletic person, I played sports when I was younger, and that was an avenue for me to like explore myself as a younger person.

And so, when I started teaching yoga, I was like, I'm just going to do it for the workout, the exercise, and I didn't feel comfortable with like even Shavasana. As a teacher, I would be like, okay, well, I have to do this, so I'll give everyone two minutes, and then we're going to get out of here. It just really felt like uncomfortable. It felt like religion to me, and that's always been something that it just wasn't in my life as a kid. And so, like the idea that I was going to have religion in my yoga class was very uncomfortable, so I just avoided it.

Luke Storey: [00:13:24] That's funny.

Sara Raymond: [00:13:25] Yeah. I mean, I know now that that's not really what it is, but-

Luke Storey: [00:13:30] For sure, yeah. When I first started doing yoga, I think it was like, I don't know, probably at a gym, and it was, well, I should be flexible. And then, I found a studio that was called Dancing Shiva in LA with this guy, Mas Vidal, who actually was one of my first guests and he's an Ayurvedic practitioner. He's very serious about his Hatha Yoga practice. And his whole perspective, which, really, I think changed my relationship to yoga, was that the physical postures serve one purpose and one purpose alone, and that is for you to become present enough and fluid enough in your body, so that after the physical movement stops, you can sit and meditate, right?

I was like, oh, because I was already meditating at that point, but I never kind of married physical movement with that mindfulness aspect. But it started to really click, because man, after his classes were grueling, just super hard, not like power yoga, but just demanded a lot of attention and discipline for you to hold the postures. And there were head stands, and handstands, and all these things where you really had to be present.

And goddammit, I could meditate pretty damn well after that, and I was able to see, oh, he's really tapped into the ancient technology of this yoga in a profound way. And it did help me to adopt my meditation practice to be able to ignore those impulses of the body, to be fidgety and restless, or to sit there, and go, what am I doing? I'm supposed to be doing something.

So, going from that, it's pretty crazy to me, just doing some research on you, you've got a YouTube channel with like 660-something thousand subscribers. You've got this robust website with like seemingly an endless treasure trove of content. I mean, I'm on there trying to research it, and I'm like, oh, finding my topics, zillions of videos, blog posts, so much going on, how did your YouTube channel, and the site, and the business you now have, how did that come to be?

Sara Raymond: [00:15:38] Definitely an evolution. So, it's been about five years since I published the first YouTube video, and that was upon suggestion from my son, who, at the time, was like 10 or 11. And I really wasn't trying to start a YouTube channel with the intention to like get all these subscribers. I really just was looking for an avenue to take recordings and share them with, at the time, some Pilates instructors that I was training and working with.

And I just didn't have the technological understanding of like Dropbox or any other web share program. So, my son said, "You just need to put it on YouTube", and I'm like, okay, well, how do I do that? And kids are like super fast with technology. He's like, "You just do this, this, this, this, this". I'm like, okay, stop, slow it down, like really teach me what I'm supposed to be doing here, and it was the most simplistic version of iMovie, and it was literally an audio clip that became a video that I published.

And so, I shared it out with the people that I wanted to share it with, and then somehow, other people started finding the videos and listening to them, and I'm like, what is this YouTube thing and how do I like actually use it? So, I had to learn how to use YouTube and figure out how to like grow an audience. And so, I did. And like over the years, it grew. And actually, when I started the YouTube channel, what I really wanted to do was have a podcast where I was interviewing people and learning from them.

But I quickly realized that I couldn't do both of those things at the same time. I had, at the time, and still do, I own a Pilates and yoga studio in Maryland, and so I couldn't do all the things. Like I couldn't be the mom, and the wife, and the business owner, and the podcast host, and the YouTube, so I had to pick. And I found it really kind of fascinating, the like business, or the almost like it was a game, or the strategy behind YouTube. So, I went down that rabbit hole and learned a lot, and here I am today with-

Luke Storey: [00:18:21] That's a crazy amount of audience.

Sara Raymond: [00:18:25] It is.

Luke Storey: [00:18:26] I'm just like looking at like the views on your stuff. And then, I don't know, you just have, as I said, so many different, I know you focused on YouTube, but I love it when I can like research someone to interview them and it's actually too much content for me to even zero in on, so you've done a great job of doing that. And also, in looking at your site, you've got the Mindful Movement community, which I don't have access to, but what goes on in there?

How have you turned something that was just like a viewer watching you and work here has been less, versus like the interaction in that sense of community, because I think that's something that's really important for people that are taking on, I don't know, a new framework of thinking, and feeling, and working on themselves in terms of mindfulness, meditation, and oftentimes, people sort of get lost in the fray, because it's just them in their own self-discipline to do it or lack thereof. And I think the community is a hugely important part of that, so I'm curious how that's developed, and what does that entail for you guys?

Sara Raymond: [00:19:33] Yeah. Well, the saying is, and I'm probably going to butcher this, but you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. So, when you want to make changes in your lifestyle, you find people that are already doing it or that are on the same path as you, and you build a community. You gain support, and you're held accountable, and you can learn from each other and help each other along the way. So, that's kind of the intention behind it. We originally started with a Facebook group, which you can kind of curate your social media feed to be positive, to be the content that nourishes you, and doesn't stress you out, and make you compare yourself to other people, or you could have social media that detracts from your life.

And we were trying to create a community where there were like minded people, and you were gaining support and accountability, and just the Facebook group wasn't really the community that we had hoped, the interaction that we were looking for. So, we took all of our content and put it into a membership platform, where there can be more curated interaction among people that all practice meditation and yoga, and want the same things and the support, where you're not going to like have these polarized conversations going on that you might like on social media?

Luke Storey: [00:21:24] Totally. I have a Facebook group. It's funny. I kind of forgot about it for a second, but it's the Life Stylist Podcast Facebook group. And the last I checked, there was, I think, like 6,000 people in there or something, but—and I'll dip in there and answer questions, and when I do solo shows, I'll take questions from the group, and then answer them on the podcast, but I have noticed, especially after the COVID fiasco happened, it's very heated in there. I go in, I'm like, whoa, off-topic, kind of, but it is difficult.

It would be very time consuming to really curate, and as someone who's very anti-censorship, also, to go in and tell people what they can and can't say also is weird. It's kind of a double-edged sword there, I'm like, screw censorship, unless I don't like what you're saying. But then, it's my group. I don't know. It's confusing. But yeah, I think that's super smart. Have you noticed with your online community that it's had more engagement since people went into lockdown and had less of an opportunity to actually gather in person and hang out at a yoga class, or group meditation class, or something?

Sara Raymond: [00:22:25] Yeah. I mean, everything, the YouTube channel itself grew like crazy amounts over 2020. Yeah, everything that we're doing really has been kind of, I don't want to say like skyrocketing, but it's definitely grown more than I think it would have pre-2020.

Luke Storey: [00:22:48] Yeah. I think it's also useful for people that are geographically situated somewhere where they have a difficult time finding community. I have a lot of people that reach out to me on social media, and they're like, "You guys are having so much fun in Austin", or whatever, it's like, "Where do I find people like that?", and I'm always kind of stumped. I'm like, I don't know, find a yoga studio, breathwork class, meditation, and someone will say, "Well, I live in Kansas City", or wherever, and they're like, "We don't have that". So, I think that online community is really valuable for people that live in more rural areas, or just in a kind of less progressive town, or city, or something.

Sara Raymond: [00:23:26] Yeah. I do think that one of the blessings of 2020 and beyond has been that people are more willing to engage in online communities, online interaction. I mean, we've kind of had to. I mean, my family has had birthday parties for the young people in the group over Zoom. And it's like, I'm sorry that your three-year-old birthday is over Zoom, but it's better than nothing.

Luke Storey: [00:24:02] Yeah. Oh, my God. It's so brutal. Yeah. We had one wake in my family in the beginning of this thing like that, I mean, thank God, we're able to do it, but still, it was awkward. I'm curious, and I don't want to tease the audience, I am going to really get into hypnosis stuff here, but I just like to get to know people and what makes you click. So, you work with your husband, Les, and you guys have a podcast, The Mindful Movement podcast.

And he's the host, like I'm the host of this show, where he does interviews with all kinds of incredible people. You said you just interviewed Krishna Das, which is one I can't wait to hear. But you guys worked together and ostensibly have a business together. How has that impacted your relationship? Has it been something that you've had to learn how to do and do right, or is it easygoing all the time, or what?

Sara Raymond: [00:24:50] It's definitely not easygoing all the time. There's definitely been a learning process, but I think it's enabled us to grow together. As I said, I was 22 when we got married, and he was—yeah, 22. And so, he was 25. I should know those numbers, but we were like babies, and we had to grow up a lot when we got married and had kids, and then that kind of like just evened out. You get into a routine and like a habitual way with your marriage and your partnership.

And then, when we started working together, there was a whole new layer of like communication that was necessary, and it really pushed us, I think, to work—we're working together but work on ourselves separately so that we could work together as a partnership. And like all of my own issues around finances and his own issues around finances just really came to the surface in a big way when we had to manage business finances together. So, I would say that that is probably the biggest area of growth that we've both experienced.

Luke Storey: [00:26:22] Which one of you is the more frugal and conservative in that regard?

Sara Raymond: [00:26:26] That's a good question.

Luke Storey: [00:26:28] It seems to me that's common with business partners of all types, right? You have the spendy one, which would be me, and then you have the more frugal, conservative, prudent person in the operation.

Sara Raymond: [00:26:41] I think in our business finances, it's a little different than in our personal finances. I tend to be more like frugal in personal finances, but then when it comes to business, like if, let's say, I wanted to be redeveloping the website, and I found a company that I like trusted and fell in love with their services, I would be really quick to just say, okay, do it, whatever, five grand, 10 grand, whatever it is, let's do it.

And he is like always playing devil's advocate. Like do you really need that? Do you want to spend that much money? And I'm like, well, are you telling me that I'm making a bad decision or are you just asking all the questions that you didn't know if I considered? And that's a big repeating conversation in our business relationship, because I'm like, let's just do it.

Luke Storey: [00:27:37] When you started getting into your own journey of personal development through yoga, meditation, and hypnosis, did your kids or have your kids gravitated toward the work, or was it one of those things that, I'm going to rebel, and I hate meditation, because I'm 15, and I don't want to be like my parents?

Sara Raymond: [00:27:56] Neither of them really have gotten into meditation like on a regular basis. My daughter definitely practices yoga occasionally, not super routinely, but they both, I think, lean towards a movement practice. Like my son's 15 and there's the whole like 15-year-old boy culture around like getting swole, like we tease him, like you got to eat your meat, so you get your gains, and it's kind of a joke in our house, but-

Luke Storey: [00:28:30] It's the joke in our house, too, between myself and Alyson. I go to the gym like once a week, and I'm like, I'm going to get swole.

Sara Raymond: [00:28:36] Yeah. Well, apparently, in our area, there's like a big—my husband and I were calling it the black market for pre-workout, like where teenage boys are like selling pre-workout to each other in high school, because their parents like won't let them use it. And it's not like an illegal substance, but I'm like, this is bizarre. But yeah, so anyhow, they have their own movement practices, which definitely tend to lean in the direction of like a little bit of personal development, I would say, and kind of not a spiritual side, but like there's a self-discipline aspect to it that I think plays into personal development. But yeah, neither of them are really like rebellious. We tend to be very like open parents. Like we want them to be themselves. And so, I think that that lends itself into their exploration and their-

Luke Storey: [00:29:49] So, you're not like, if one of them messes up, you're not grounding them and punishing them with a yoga set or like you have to do a 45-minute meditation today.

Sara Raymond: [00:29:59] No.

Luke Storey: [00:29:59] So, around that movement, I've noticed in a lot of the stuff that you do that your background in Pilates, and yoga instructing, obviously, and you have a studio, there's a big intersection between the mindfulness, and meditation, and the movement. How does that work in the sense like, let me say, I just found your work, and I'm freaking out about something in my life, and my nervous system is all jacked up, and I want to calm down, and I find one of your videos or podcasts? What's going to help me get back into my body and out of a stressed state? And what's your perspective on how those two meet?

Sara Raymond: [00:30:42] I think they're beautifully intertwined, for sure. And for me, I'm a very kinesthetic person, so movement is like my entrance into meditation always. I can't just like come in from work, and sit down, and be like, okay, I'm going to meditate now. That doesn't work for me. And for some people, it does, but I need to like get out of my head and down into my body before I can really have a meditative experience.

So, like yoga and Pilates are both what I would call like a mindful-based movement, where it's like you're paying attention to what you're doing and your mind gives you the ability to make a change in your body. And because they're both mindful-based movement practices, they're like a gateway or an entrance into the practice of mindfulness. But I think the reason why they are that way is that we, just culturally, this is a generalization, but we live in our head, right?

We are trying to solve problems. We're trying to be rational and fix things. And it's all  logical, rational, and it's not emotional. And when you can drop into your body, then you can more accurately or more easily connect with your emotional state. So, that would be my answer in terms of like why the movement components help with like mindfulness and meditation. 

Luke Storey: [00:32:39] How do you integrate breath into your practice? I've seen that you have some breathing exercises. I haven't seen anything I would label as like breathwork, like more intense breathwork, but what kind of breath practices do you teach? And do you have one now that you could share with us, again, for—

Sara Raymond: [00:32:59] Oh, sure.

Luke Storey: [00:32:59] I like to find applicable short practices that I can give the audience, where they could be like, "Cool, I'm going to try that next time". I feel like I need to get back in my body or just get present, because I'm not feeling comfortable.

Sara Raymond: [00:33:13] Well, in terms of integrating breath with movement practices, that's basically what Pilates and yoga both do, right? It's like the breath is dictating the movement. It's keeping the rhythm for you. So, that's how I would integrate it into movement. And then, in terms of like my hypnotherapy practice, I use breath as a tool to regulate the nervous system. So, really simple exercises that anyone could do at any time, really. One of my favorite things is humming on exhale. So, like actually, I was doing this on my way over here, because I was a little nervous.

So, I feel like the butterflies in my stomach, and I'm like, okay, I can manage this, I'm an adult, I'm confident, I'm good at what I do, and talking to myself a little bit, but then just deep breath in through the nose, and then on the exhale, you're making a humming noise, and it's vibrating in your throat, and it's interacting with the vagus nerve, and allowing you to—or in this case, it was me, allowing me to drop into more of the rest and digest phase of the nervous system, as opposed to what I was really feeling was like fight, flight, freeze, that kind of anxious energy. So, that's one of my favorite practices, and actually, you'll hear it throughout our house, at home, like everyone in the house does it at some point.

Luke Storey: [00:34:49] That's a really great reminder. It brings me back to the many years, I was very committed to kundalini yoga, and I never—which is now shrouded in controversy, because the person that brought it here was apparently really creepy, but nonetheless, I would go to these classes, and I remember in the beginning, I mean, it was strange to me, singing mantras in a language that I don't understand, and there were all kinds of different kind of humming, and different ways of breathing, and mudras, and things you're doing with your hands, and it's just like, if I would get caught up in my head, I would think like this is so ridiculous, what is the purpose of this? Like who made this up?

And I think a lot of it probably was made up by this guy, Yogi Bhajan, because there's no record of it in like a historical context, really. But nonetheless, after those damn 90-minute classes, I was always in the best freaking mood. And I have personally experienced that, I mean, even just a humming sound or singing mantra, that it does really do something to your brain and your nervous system.

I mean, I'm sure science has some explanation for it now, but it is strangely effective. So, thank you for reminding me of that. And like vocal toning, I have been to breathwork classes where there used to be this place in Manhattan called the Woom Center, W-O-O-M, and I think they've since closed, but they did like a vocal toning, then pretty intense kind of holotropic breathwork, where you're on your back, and then they went into this beautiful sound bath.

And the vocal toning, super awkward, because they just invite everyone to be like [making sounds] like whatever sound you want to make. And the whole room's doing it. No one's really in key or in sync. It's super weird. And next thing you know, you're in this altered state and there's this resonance amongst the other participants. And it's just one of those kind of woo-woo things that's not really explainable, but has a discernible effect. So, that's a great takeaway. I like that. So, humming, guys, on the exhale, very cool and so not complicated.

Sara Raymond: [00:36:56] No. Like it's free. It's not complicated. It's easy. You might feel awkward at first, but like my son gets the hiccup, sometimes, and he'll start doing humming breaths, and like very quickly, they just go away.

Luke Storey: [00:37:11] That's super cool. Thank you. Thank you for illuminating that for us. I did interview a gentleman at one point whose name was Rich-something, forgive me, Rich, I forget his last name offhand, but I've got 400 episodes or something. But we did an episode about yoga nidra. And I think I've done a couple of classes over the years of that. Is that something you teach or have experience with? Could you break that down for us?

Sara Raymond: [00:37:35] Yeah. I love yoga nidra. So, I have a couple practices on the YouTube channel that you can listen to, the sort of, I don't know if it's a scientific statement or like if it's just hearsay, but they say that one hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to four hours of deep sleep, in terms of the nervous system response and the healing of your body. So, it's pretty simple. You get into a super like comfy, relaxed state, and lots of like bolsters and blankets to make sure that you're not like holding yourself, right?

You're being held in a way, so you get into a comfortable position, and then there is like a sequence that you're going through that takes you through breath, and like a body scan, and scan of thoughts, and there are lots of different components that could be taken into the practice. It just depends on what the specific intention is, but it gets you into a super relaxed state, where you're like between sleeping and awake, where you might go in and out of like listening consciousness, so you might feel like you're sleeping, but you're not actually like truly asleep, asleep.

Luke Storey: [00:39:09] Have you heard people refer to it as the napping yoga? Is that a thing?

Sara Raymond: [00:39:13] They'll say like yogic sleep, yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:39:15] Oh, okay. Yeah. The couple times I've done it, I really enjoyed it. That's probably my favorite state of consciousness, is that sort of mind to sleep, body awake, maybe, which I always just blanket-term like Theta brainwaves, but I don't know that that's true. But yeah, I think that's a very cool practice.

Sara Raymond: [00:39:34] Super relaxing.

Luke Storey: [00:39:35] Yeah, it is. So, actually, one more thing on meditation. As you being someone who didn't come into it with a great deal of enthusiasm and sort of learned how to access it through movement and stuff, what do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions and blocks around meditation for people that have that meme in their head, like I tried meditating, I can't meditate or I'm not a meditator, when I believe anyone has the capacity to meditate.

Sara Raymond: [00:40:03] Yeah, I think the biggest one is the idea that you're going to like stop your thoughts and you're going to have like a totally blank mind. I think that that expectation will set you up for failure, because your mind just doesn't stop thinking, right? You might have what I would call like the gap between your thoughts. The space might get a little bit longer. There might be a little more silence.

And then, over time, you might just get better at not following the thoughts into stories, or judgments, or wherever your mind will take you, like, oh, I have to do that thing on my to-do list. And then, minutes later, you realize you went through like 30 things on your to-do list, where the practice is about starting over. You see, you recognize, okay, I had this thought, I had something on my to-do list, that was me thinking.

And then, you come back to whatever your focal point is. And in the beginning, there might be like, I don't know, 40, 50 times of starting over again, and eventually with practice, you might go down to like, okay, I had to come back to my breath 10 times. And that's not to say that like the number of times that you have to start over is like an indicator of your success, but you just get better at it.

Like any skill, you wouldn't expect to play the piano for the first time and be able to play Bach. You have to start at the beginning. You have to start with like, I need to learn the notes on the piano, and then the scales, and then all the different practice skills that you acquire. And so, to expect like enlightenment the first time you sit down for meditation is not realistic and not-

Luke Storey: [00:42:09] That's very good points. And I think when I started meditating, somewhere, I picked up this false understanding of it that it was like stopping your mind from thinking. And I found that to be really frustrating, because as you said, I had a meditation teacher that framed it like this, he said, "Luke, imagine lying there or sitting there and trying to make your heart not beat. It's like the mind thinks that's what it does, so I learned this Vedic meditation where you silently repeat a mantra and you don't exert any effort to not think at all. You just very gently nudge yourself back into the mantra."

And I was like, ah, okay, so if the mind wants to think, you just let it think, and then if you notice it's doing that, you just do this other thing. It's almost like a replacement. And then, you do eventually start to find those gaps. So, I think that's a really important distinction. So, we did this, what we call the hypnotherapy session. Okay. So, as I alluded to in the beginning, so you come in, you start asking me about what's going on in my life, we're talking about different blocks or challenges that I want to overcome, however, of whatever magnitude, nothing too crazy going on life right now, but there's always room for fine-tuning. And then, you're taking copious notes the whole time.

Sara Raymond: [00:43:30] I take a lot of notes.

Luke Storey: [00:43:31] Yeah, you're like writing down everything I say, and I'm kind of like, oh, where's this going to go later? Then, I lie down on the couch. I put my eye mask on. And there wasn't like the Hocus Pocus element that you would think of, like a stage hypnotist, where they're like counting down, or putting the stopwatch in front of your face, or like a lot of finger snapping, and you're going deeper, going deeper, and now, you're deep, it was just kind of super chill, but I did go into a very relaxed state, where I could still hear you and I could still respond. And it was really interesting to see or experience subjectively that the answers to the questions that you asked me came very quickly, and they were very clear, and I didn't have to fish for them or ruminate on them. I mean, I intentionally did not think so. I could have sat there, and thought about it, and kind of meditated that.

Sara Raymond: [00:44:32] But that would defeat the purpose.

Luke Storey: [00:44:35] So, when you're sitting with someone, you do this remotely, too, right?

Sara Raymond: [00:44:39] I do, yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:44:40] I imagine the same thing would happen if someone's on Zoom, lying down, listening to you at home. What are you doing? Like what's the mojo behind it that's getting one's mind to calm down and give them access to the subconscious, so you can go in and rearrange things?

Sara Raymond: [00:45:01] Well, I'm not doing any rearranging. 

Luke Storey: [00:45:05] Brainwash me, please.

Sara Raymond: [00:45:05] Let me just start with that. But I mean, it's essentially helping you to get your nervous system to see the signals of safety so that you can get into the rest and digest or the parasympathetic state. And in that state, you have a greater access to your subconscious, so you can more easily communicate with and understand your subconscious. And you'll hear me say things like, let your conscious, logical thinking mind like rest and kind of be on the sidelines of the experience so that you can more easily access the subconscious part of your mind.

So, there's nothing like super fancy about it. It's just helping you to relax. Signals of safety would be like the feeling of the support beneath you to connect with the fact that you are laying on a couch, being held, you're being supported, and it's okay to like let down your guard. It's not really the right phrase, but like to let go, to relax, to really allow the process to unfold as it will. So, yeah, nothing super fancy, just getting relaxed, and using words, and energy, and your own attention and focus to get you into that relaxed state.

Luke Storey: [00:46:50] Did you have to practice your hypnotherapist voice? Like when I've listened to your your guided meditations and stuff, I'm like, man, she's great at voiceovers. You might have a second career in voiceovers. I mean, because you're very good at it, did you have to put any kind of thought or effort into how you deliver what you're saying? Meaning, you're not stammering, saying um, like. Your words are very economically chosen, and sparse, and very direct. There's no clutter there. That's my experience of you, listening to your guided meditations, and also today. Did you have to ferret out any kind of nervousness or antsiness within you to just be like [making sounds] "I am the present voice that's going to take you there"?

Sara Raymond: [00:47:43] Well, I appreciate that, because I do think I have worked on like the economy of words, and sometimes, I get a little wordy. But I mean, I think experience, number 1, has helped get to that point, but I would say that I tend to myself kind of drop into a meditative state, or I'm not closing my eyes and just being, but I'm calm. Like when I suggest for you to take a deep breath, I'm going to do the same thing myself, because I need that just as much as you do.

Because if I came to your session, and I was all nervous, and I was anxious, then you would feel that. And I definitely don't want you to feel that, because that would be counterproductive. So, I guess a little bit of both. Like I think I just naturally have kind of a nurturing personality, but I also work to get myself into a calm, regulated state before. 

Luke Storey: [00:48:55] Right. Do you ever have anyone fall asleep when you're doing a hypnosis session?

Sara Raymond: [00:49:02] I haven't had anyone fall asleep in a hypnosis session, because we're dialoguing, right? I'm going to be asking you questions, but definitely all the time, and like if I do a guided yoga nidra practice like with a group of people, all the time, or like a group hypnosis, it happens. You'll hear kind of a little bit of a snore like from different sides of the room, but you just get used to walking over towards that person and like speaking a tiny bit louder, so they get a little like nudge.

Luke Storey: [00:49:37] And going, you're snoring. I think when some people think about hypnosis, again, going back to that kind of carnival sideshow of cruise ship, I think that's the first time I saw hypnosis, on a cruise ship. And they put the guy, they ask his permission, he's up on stage, he goes under, and they're like, they trick them into—oh, not trick them, but make them think he's a monkey, or something crazy, or ridiculous, or that he has no clothes on in front of the crowd and this kind of stuff.

And I think some people are, yeah, afraid of being vulnerable, or impressionable, or that something could be done against their will, or something like that. So, what's the difference between the sort of trusted safety of true hypnotherapy, where the intention is not to entertain folks with bells and whistles, but really to get in and help them to break free of something they're working on?

Sara Raymond: [00:50:27] Well, stage hypnosis is meant for entertainment, and it's designed that way.

Luke Storey: [00:50:33] And is some of it legit?

Sara Raymond: [00:50:35] Well, your mind will never really—well, it will never take a suggestion that you don't agree with. So, in stage hypnosis, the hypnotist is trained to be able to look for cues for suggestibility. And the people who get up on stage want to be part of the entertainment, right? And a hypnotist can see that, and understand, and see those signals. So, they wouldn't get up on stage without like being willing to act like a monkey, which is the same is true in a session that's like one on one.

You could never receive suggestions from me that you didn't believe and want. Like I've done group hypnosis where it's about healing, and there are men and women in the room. And so, like in a group setting, I'll ask for people's desired affirmations or suggestions that they want to hear. So, like what do you want to heal from? And you might have a woman who is like, "I want support with fertility". And if a man hears that, right, like it's just not going to be relevant to them, or if a man come-

Luke Storey: [00:52:04] Or a man could be like, "I could help you out with that".

Sara Raymond: [00:52:07] Right. Maybe they meet, and they get together, and they're manifesting fertility.

Luke Storey: [00:52:12] Stranger things have happened.

Sara Raymond: [00:52:13] Yeah, exactly. But like a woman would hear something relevant to a man and it would be not absorbed. It would be like they would just not even hear it even. So, your mind can't take suggestions that you don't believe, right? So, if someone came to me and said, "Can you work with my husband? I want him to quit smoking." Well, my answer would be, does he want to quit smoking? Because if the answer's no, then no, I can't help him, right? 

Luke Storey: [00:52:47] Yeah. 

Sara Raymond: [00:52:47] He has to want to quit smoking for me to be able to use hypnosis to help him.

Luke Storey: [00:52:53] Well, when we were doing our session today, even though I was in kind of a foggy, relaxed state, I was still very aware and cognizant of everything you said. It wasn't like I was in some dream state and has lost my faculties or something, right?

Sara Raymond: [00:53:12] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:53:12] I was just there enough to be able to, oh, she asked this question, ping, let me bring up the answer. But yeah, I didn't get any sense that like I was out of control or that-. 

Sara Raymond: [00:53:22] Yeah. And all those notes that I was taking were your words, your desires, what you want to feel, and the life that you want to make happen and manifest. And so, I'm literally saying your words back to you. And that's part of the reason why it's so powerful to have a personalized session, because if I were to make a generic recording, which I have plenty of on YouTube, it's generic.

It's not like the feeling in like if you were to describe like what confidence feels like to you, it might sound and feel very different than how I might describe it. So, when you hear those words back in your personalized recording, they mean more, they resonate with you and your energy more than if I were to try to describe it based on my experience. And that's why these personalized sessions are so powerful.

Luke Storey: [00:54:30] How often in your work with people one on one are they looking to overcome a physical limitation, or a persistent pain or disease, or something like that?

Sara Raymond: [00:54:43] I think it's probably a smaller percentage than some of the other issues. Like I mean, maybe this is just because this is what I love to do, these are the people that come to me, but I love to work with people that have like emotional blocks, whether it's around anxiety, or depression, or confidence, or money. Like they're not tangible or measurable, where like I have worked with people that they're dealing with cancer or other, one woman I worked with recently, she was struggling with some chronic illness around like histamine. Like she would have allergic reactions to everything. And actually, I worked with another man who had a similar response, but his was more around like temperature, but it was kind of like he was almost allergic to air conditioning. But yeah, so that's-

Luke Storey: [00:55:48] Tell him not to move to Texas.

Sara Raymond: [00:55:50] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:55:51] There, you're cured.

Sara Raymond: [00:55:52] You're cured. So, I do work with people around like medical issues, physiological issues, but more often, I would say, a bigger percentage of my practice is around more of the emotional issues. But again, that might just be, because that's what I really like to work with.

Luke Storey: [00:56:11] Yeah. Well, I ask, because I wonder in my own life and just people that I know that have some sort of chronic pain or chronic issue, and it's impossible to quantify and know for sure, but how much of it is the mind, right? How much of it is the subconscious, and limiting beliefs or whatever is causing that to manifest, and how much is actually just genetic or environmental?

Because I know that trauma, for example, can really express itself in all sorts of physical issues, and then people heal their trauma however they go about doing so, and magically, that physical symptom goes away. It's like your body's just like tape recorder that just records all the things. And I've had sort of spontaneous healings where I was working on something emotionally, and then I was like, oh, traced it back to something that's been going on physically.

Sara Raymond: [00:57:05] Yeah. I mean, I think it's all interconnected, right? Like there's a book that's The Body Keeps the Score.

Luke Storey: [00:57:14] The Body Keeps the Score. Yeah. Like so many of my guests mentioned that book, and I'm always like, oh, yeah, that book, just because I've heard the name. I think I need to read it, and if the author is around, I need to track them down and interview that person, because it seems to be a very influential book.

Sara Raymond: [00:57:27] Yeah. I mean, I think it's very true. Like you have to feel what's going on in order to heal it, right? You can't heal what you don't actually experience.

Luke Storey: [00:57:39] You have a lot of meditations around getting restorative sleep, like things that help people fall asleep, and stay asleep, and stuff. Do you work with people that have sleep issues with hypnosis?

Sara Raymond: [00:57:52] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:57:52] I imagine that's probably something common.

Sara Raymond: [00:57:55] Very common. Oh, yeah. I mean, I don't know if it's just the most needed topic that is on our channel, but I mean, like we have videos out there that are sleep recordings, that are, I don't know, like six, seven million views. It's like people need help sleeping, especially over the last two years. Like stress level, mental health, it's all like been skyrocketing and like we have—I don't know what the statistics are, but definitely higher percentage of mental health issues over the last two years than ever before. People need help sleeping.

Luke Storey: [00:58:39] Do you think hypnosis is the way that you best help people with that or the guided meditations that actually facilitate you falling asleep as you listen to them?

Sara Raymond: [00:58:49] Well, I mean, I think that all of my guided meditations—well, not all of them, but a good percentage of them have like roots in hypnosis, right? I mean, the state of mind is the same. Like we get to certain brainwave states and you could categorize it as meditation or hypnosis. The difference is that there's, like I said earlier, like you have a goal, you have something that you're doing in hypnosis, right? We're implanting, for lack of a better word, some affirmations or suggestion statements of belief. So, that's a little different than a state of meditation, but I think, probably, most of the sleep recordings out there have some components or techniques of hypnosis in it.

Luke Storey: [00:59:49] In terms of trauma as an underlying issue, which is something I'm just discovering more about in my own life and in the work that I do here, just like it's the elephant in the room for so many people's problems, whether emotional, physical, spiritual. Is it common that as you work with clients in hypnosis, that things come up, heavy things come up, because you're kind of opening the subconscious and they're willingly allowing themselves to look deeper? Is that a common occurrence? And how do you kind of hold that with people?

Sara Raymond: [01:00:27] Yeah. I would say that it comes up a lot, for sure, and trauma is relative to the person. So, what we do in hypnosis is—and obviously, you're not reliving the experience, you are reviewing it, and I always say like, there's a layer of separation in the processing of it, and the work is around changing the interpretation of the event or changing the relationship with the event, and that's what allows you to kind of release the hold of the trauma on the person, like as if they're still in that state of trauma, so that your nervous system can kind of recalibrate and you can respond more presently, as opposed to if you have a trigger, it's almost like you're responding as if you're still in that trauma.

Luke Storey: [01:01:38] Right. 

Sara Raymond: [01:01:39] Right? So, you need to be able to recalibrate, or change your interpretation, change your relationship with that experience.

Luke Storey: [01:01:51] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, if you just think about just the term, PTSD, I was thinking about this the other post-traumatic, right?

Sara Raymond: [01:02:00] Mm-hmm. 

Luke Storey: [01:02:00] It's like you have the event, which you could sort of couch as arbitrary from a certain perspective, but then it's how you hold that event after the post part, is where you really get hurt, and the kind of support you have or lack, the meaning that you create around that experience. So, like the difference between being in a brutal car accident and being subject to physical violence, they're both acts of physical violence, but I would assume the meaning one creates around the car accident is going to have much different repercussions and aftereffects than an act of physical violence, right? But ultimately, like the same thing's happening to your body, but your psyche is holding that in a different way. And afterward, in the processing of that is where that kind of retraumatizing can happen, right?

Sara Raymond: [01:02:49] Yeah. But interestingly enough, like you're using this example of a car accident, you could have two different people have the same exact experience, and what they do with it after that event might be vastly different. And one person could go down the route of like living in the state of fear because of that event, That event could become traumatic for them, because of their interpretation of it, their experience around it. Whereas, the other person who has the same event might be able to get over it very quickly, and then never think about it again. Same exact event, two different people, two different routes, because of how they interpret that same event.

Luke Storey: [01:03:42] So, in hypnosis, you have the opportunity not to relive it and be retraumatized, but to re-contextualize it and change your perspective on it.

Sara Raymond: [01:03:52] Yeah. And you could say like if we keep using the experience of this car accident, well, that person who has what you might say is PTSD or how they respond to it after the event, they might think that like safety is just not available at all. Like they might live in a constant state of fear of their like life. So, if we can help that person to like reinterpret, like that was a one time thing, how many times do you go in a car without having a car accident and so forth, and help them to create new beliefs around it, new beliefs about themselves in the world around that experience, then they can let go of the traumatic responding.

Luke Storey: [01:04:48] Yeah, we did some of that today. I mean, not around trauma, but you took me back to different touch points. "Well, what age were you when you felt like this or had this belief system start to develop?" Yeah. And I remember kind of going back into it and just the adult me now, going, that's not actually true. Like whatever it was that I was believing at 10, it's like, no, there's no empirical evidence to support that at all. It was just like a story of meaning that was made up at the time, but it's still informed behaviors and feelings today. So, it's really interesting how the subconscious mind works like that. Super cool stuff.

Sara Raymond: [01:05:28] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:05:30] Well, shoot, man, so much good stuff. Thank you for sharing all of this.

Sara Raymond: [01:05:37] Yeah, my pleasure.

Luke Storey: [01:05:37] So, as I said, you work with clients on your own. I saw online, you can like book a session. What does that look like? How does it work? How can people find that that want to have the experience that I had today?

Sara Raymond: [01:05:49] Sure. Well, you can book a session through our website, mindfulmovement.com, and I did create a code with your name, LukeStorey.

Luke Storey: [01:05:58] Word.

Sara Raymond: [01:05:58] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:05:58] Okay.

Sara Raymond: [01:05:59] So, anyone listening gets 15% off.

Luke Storey: [01:06:01] Oh, cool.

Sara Raymond: [01:06:02] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:06:02] So, is it The Mindful Movement?

Sara Raymond: [01:06:04] Themindfulmovement.com is where you can find, like where you can—everything is on that website. Like all of our videos, and podcasts, and courses, and where you can book a session.

Luke Storey: [01:06:14] Okay. Cool.

Sara Raymond: [01:06:15] Yeah. So, that's there.

Luke Storey: [01:06:16] And then, if they use the code, LukeStorey, they can get 15% off. 

Sara Raymond: [01:06:20] For a session.

Luke Storey: [01:06:21] Sessions with you.

Sara Raymond: [01:06:21] Yeah. 

Luke Storey: [01:06:22] Cool. Thank you for that. I appreciate it.

Sara Raymond: [01:06:23] Yeah, my pleasure.

Luke Storey: [01:06:23] I love when guests come on and they like hook it up for the audience.

Sara Raymond: [01:06:27] Yeah. And also, like I was just talking to my husband about this, that really, I feel like I don't ever want finances to be the reason that someone can't get help, right? So, I've sort of given scholarships or discounts to people, because it's unfortunate that money can be an issue. So, I don't want that ever to be an issue, so I'll give a discount, or if someone needs more than that, just reach out to me, for sure.

But yeah, so in terms of the process, you purchase a session, and then super easy, you just look at the calendar, you can book your own appointment. It's about two hours. And the first half of it is really all just conversation. Like I get to know you. I understand the triggers of whatever the issue are that you're experiencing. I get a little backstory in terms of childhood upbringing dynamics, family relationships, and then the part that I really love to talk about is what you want, right?

So, like if I could make all of your dreams come true, how would you feel in this dream life? What would you be doing? What would you be experiencing? And that conversation becomes your personalized recording. And then, we go into the session, which is usually like an hour long, give or take, and we'll look at—well, first of all, help you to get into that relaxed state that we were talking about. And then, we'll look at some scenes from your past, some events that might have caused you to form a belief about yourself that that belief is now kind of running the show in the subconscious background, and it's causing whatever the issue is that you're coming to me with.

Luke Storey: [01:08:26] I think that's an important distinction with the positioning of the language, where there were times when we were doing kind of the intake portion of it, and I'm like, well, I don't want this, and I don't want that, and I want to get rid of this, and get rid of that, and you're like, "What do you want, though?" 

Sara Raymond: [01:08:43] It's usually harder to figure that out.

Luke Storey: [01:08:45] Yeah, it took a little—I mean, not too much effort, but I was like, oh, yeah, I'm kind of focusing on what I don't want, which was just kind of giving that more energy.

Sara Raymond: [01:08:54] Yeah. Well, and it's okay to like go through that process of, I want less stress, I want less struggle. Okay. Well, if you don't have the stress and the struggle, then what would be in its place? Like what would you be feeling? What would you be experiencing? And that's why I'm here to ask you lots of questions.

Luke Storey: [01:09:11] Well, when we're in the session, though, I mean, granted, I wasn't totally all there, but I think almost everything you said or the inquiries that you were presenting to me were on the flip side of that about the part that you do want. It wasn't like, Luke, you want to get rid of your fear or whatever. It was like, yeah, and we're going to have confidence. It was like all of those positive, the inverse of all those words.

Sara Raymond: [01:09:38] Yeah, because that's what you're focusing on, that's what you want. And we know that the mind loves what's familiar and it does well with repetition. So, when you are reminding yourself on a regular basis that you're confident, and you're creative or whatever the qualities are that you want, it's kind of like you're tending to the garden of your mind and you need to feed the plants to keep them alive. And that's what we're doing with the recording, is you're listening to the recording on a regular basis, you're having repetition and familiarity with those new beliefs. But if I put in there what you don't want, then that's what you would be focusing on.

Luke Storey: [01:10:24] Right. [Making sounds] When you record the one on one sessions that you do with people, what's your recommendation in terms of how often they listen back to it, and for how long? Back in LA, I was doing some sessions and I found it to be really useful. I just kind of replaced my meditation with it for a period of time. I would wait until I was very impressionable, and I would fall asleep to it or I'd listen to it first thing in the morning, and I think it helped kind of lock it in. What do you do in terms of working with people with that?

Sara Raymond: [01:10:56] Well, definitely, I recommend every day, if possible, although like I know life happens, so it's not like you're going to get a smack on the hand if you miss it or whatever, but every day, if possible. And then, I usually use 21 days, and that's kind of a general recommendation, because the studies have shown it takes 21 days to form a new habit. But like if you look at the studies, it's a vast difference from one end of the spectrum to the other and they're just taking 21 days as the average.

So, I would start there, and then my recommendation is always to just do what's best for you. So, part of this process is understanding yourself and forming a better internal relationship with yourself. So, if that process is going well, then you'll know like, okay, it's not quite fully settled in or fully sunken in, I need to keep listening to this, or you listen for twenty one days, you feel great, and then two weeks later, you're like, oh, I'm starting to backslide a little. And you have the recording forever, so that would be a good opportunity to pull it out and listen to it again.

Luke Storey: [01:12:18] I like that as a benchmark, though, like having a set time rather than just, hey, yeah, listen to it here and there when you feel like it. I know for me, it's like if I did a session with you, and you're like, "Alright, Luke. I encourage you strongly to do this for 21 days", I'm probably going to put on my calendar or habituate myself to it and get it done. So, I think that's really a good way to do it.

Sara Raymond: [01:12:37] And also, it's like you're sending a message to yourself that like I'm worthy of doing the work to get to this place that I desire, I'm worthy of spending 20 minutes, 15 minutes a day taking care of myself. So, I think that's important, too.

Luke Storey: [01:12:55] Yeah. It's an affirmative action for oneself. I got one more question for you. Who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and your work?

Sara Raymond: [01:13:08] Well, I would say the first book that I read that really like pushed me into the self-development or personal development was, it's called Emotional Chaos to Clarity. The author is Phillip Moffitt. I think he works out in like Spirit Rock in California. But really simple stuff where it was easy to implement and like understand. And I think I've read that book like four or five times, just because it just resonated with me. Sometimes, you just need a certain teacher, right?

Like all of these things have been said over and over again for hundreds of years, but like the way that he presented them was really perfect for me at the time. So, that was one of the early books that I read that was really useful for me to kind of go down that route. My children are always teachers still. Like my daughter is 18 and I think about how I was at 18, like I just met Les, my husband now, when I turned 18, and I'm just like fascinated by how confident she is, and open, and like just willing to live, and receive, and connect.

Sara Raymond: [01:14:52] And it's just really beautiful. And when I find myself resisting with my children, I'm like, okay, what's going on here? I have to step back and like check in with myself before I go interact with them on the topic. Like she just went out with a guy recently, and I was like, oh.

Luke Storey: [01:15:19] Oh, boy.

Sara Raymond: [01:15:20] Right. Like I start to have a response, and I have to like check in, and be like, okay, she's 18 years old, she's a grown up in a way, and like this is good for her to interact with other people her age, and like have practice in relationships. And so, I definitely think I've learned a ton and still continue to learn from my children in my experiences with them and watching their experiences as they grow up. And so, yeah, that would be probably my biggest teachers are my children. 

Luke Storey: [01:16:01] Awesome. Well, you have two kids, so that counts for two. If we're technically speaking, that's three, thank you.

Sara Raymond: [01:16:07] Yeah. And they're very different, too. Like I have a daughter and a son, and they're very different.

Luke Storey: [01:16:16] I hear that a lot.

Sara Raymond: [01:16:17] So, I learn a lot, different things from each of them.

Luke Storey: [01:16:21] I think almost everyone I know has kids, I can't think of anyone without kids, and they all say that same thing. Now, one of my friends has six kids, and they're like, each one is vastly different from all the others. I'm like, how many can you have and they still come out different? I love that. Well, thank you so much for making the time to come sit with me today and thank you for the session.

Sara Raymond: [01:16:41] Yeah, my pleasure.

Luke Storey: [01:16:41] It was really awesome. And I can't wait to kind of see how that begins to unfold. I felt like we were pretty focused and on point today. I mean, we started out, I was like, well, I got some foot pain, and we just kind of moved past that, and got a bit deeper.

Sara Raymond: [01:16:57] Well, I think it's important to bring all of the things to the table, and then assess like, what needs your attention the most? And that's usually how I proceed.

Luke Storey: [01:17:07] And I think we found it, so thank you for that. So, themindfulmovement.com is where they can find you. What about social media plugs? Anywhere else where we can find your stuff.

Sara Raymond: [01:17:16] I mean, YouTube, we have lots of things going on.

Luke Storey: [01:17:20] The behemoth YouTube channel you've created.

Sara Raymond: [01:17:22] Yeah. And I started to move a lot of like what I might put on Instagram over onto YouTube also, just because that's where the majority of our audience is. And I don't know, I might have to just lay off the other social media platforms, because it's a lot to be everywhere.

Luke Storey: [01:17:41] Well, you did something super smart in like see what's working, how you're reaching people, and just focus on that. I mean, that's what I do with the podcast. It seems to be the thing I enjoy the most, so that's the lane I picked, and I just kind of keep charging ahead. come what will.

Sara Raymond: [01:17:56] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:17:57] Alright. Well, thank you so much, Sara. I appreciate it. 

Sara Raymond: [01:17:58] Yeah. Thank you.



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