You say you hate your job. You hate your obnoxious coworker, the long drive, or the boss who never acknowledges your work. It's a never-ending list, and you feel like you're always in fight or flight mode. You're having none of it. You want out. Or do you really?
In today's podcast, Gabriela Brunner, Founder of The New Firm. enlightens us on how yoga and meditation could verify if we truly hate our job. Listen as she discusses how a simple meditation or breathing exercise can help us achieve a neutral state of mind to assess our current situation.
Stay tuned to learn about these techniques that could guide you before you take that giant leap of changing careers.
[00:00:00.130] - Gabriela Brunner
Happy Saturday, everybody. Gabriela Brunner here of The New Firm
. And I'm fresh out of the shower. And this is my fourth weekend of Kundalini Yoga teacher training. And this morning we had our early morning Sadhana or spiritual practice.
[00:00:13.930] - Gabriela Brunner
I've been up since 3:30 in the morning. It's just about 08:00 now here in Illinois. And I wanted to share some really powerful insights with you that I learned today, and implemented today, I think is the best way to say I think I knew all of this. I just heard it today and it sounded like, yes, that's exactly why.
[00:00:33.300] - Gabriela Brunner
So the title is "So You Think You Hate Your Job, But How Do You Really Know That You Hate Your Job?" So I'm going to use my own life experiences because that's what I know best. So those of you who know me know that I practiced immigration law or I was practicing attorney for about ten years. And most of that time I practiced immigration law. And a lot of the times I felt like I hated my job.
[00:00:54.870] - Gabriela Brunner
I was just like, my job sucks. I have no idea why I'm even doing this. This is terrible. And today I learned something about how we function as human beings, how we function under stress. That got me thinking about how many people out there could potentially have a different perspective about their job if they were able to perform their job without having stress.
[00:01:19.070] - Gabriela Brunner
So I know that feels like a big tall order because we have stress all the time. But the amount of stress that we have can totally skyrocket and literally throw our bodies completely out of whack. So I'm going to give you the very basic version because I'm not a doctor and I don't have all the terms 100% down, right? But we have two systems, the sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system.
[00:01:41.970] - Gabriela Brunner
So the sympathetic system is like our fight or flight reaction. It's necessary, right? If we encounter a big Sabertooth Tiger while we're going to the grocery store, we want that system to kick in. We want that stress so that we acknowledge the danger and then our body can react appropriately so that we can fight or flight. Right?
[00:02:03.500] - Gabriela Brunner
Fight or flee. And that's a legitimate stressful situation. It's like a legitimate thing that our body needs to do in order to save our life. Now what's happened is our society has evolved to a point where those aren't, at least in our world, at least here in the United States, encountering a Sabertooth Tiger down the street isn't really going to be a thing. But the amount of stress that we're under is almost similar.
[00:02:28.650] - Gabriela Brunner
Right. But the threat that is coming at us is like a different threat. It's like a psychological threat, like a mental threat. And so when that happens, I'm just thinking back to maybe a time when I would have a job evaluation and I would be sick to my stomach up all night, my sympathetic system would be completely charged. I would be in this fight or flight mode, like adrenaline, and not be able to sleep because I was so terrified, so afraid for, quote, my life by the perceived threat of a job evaluation.
[00:03:01.630] - Gabriela Brunner
So now you can see the situations are very different, right? Like a Sabertooth Tiger, I'm assuming I've never met one could actually mall me, kill me, hurt me. Right. A job evaluation can't necessarily kill me, unless maybe I have a heart attack in the middle of it. But you know what I mean?
[00:03:16.900] - Gabriela Brunner
Like, the threat is very different. And so what's happened is because we no longer live in a society where we worry about elephant stampedes and all that kind of stuff, we've basically now become a world where these psychological or mental threats have messed up our sympathetic systems. So think about going to your job. Right? And this would happen to me all the time.
[00:03:40.600] - Gabriela Brunner
So there were a couple of times where I received unfavorable job evaluations, and that started to build a story in my head. The story in my head that I started to build was, I'm not good enough. I'm a terrible lawyer. I'm not doing a good job. They hate me.
[00:03:55.830] - Gabriela Brunner
I'm going to fire me. So I would sit in my office, and basically, anytime somebody would come by, especially if it was a partner or somebody of authority, I would literally jack up my sympathetic system. I would go into this fear mode, this fight or flight, and I would be, like, super tense, super nervous adrenaline all over the place, just completely out of whack. That is no way for me to actually function and do my lawyer job. There is no way that I could think calmly neutrally, that I could associate facts, that I could do any of that stuff, because that's the way that I'd be jacked up with my sympathetic system.
[00:04:27.040] - Gabriela Brunner
So the parasympathetic system is the exact opposite, right? Let's just say you come out of a deep meditation, and you feel really relaxed. You feel neutral. You feel able to view the world exactly as it is. And so when we're in our parasympathetic system, we thrive.
[00:04:43.500] - Gabriela Brunner
When we are in our sympathetic system, we survive. And so think about if I was in that situation where it's Monday morning, I'm at my desk. Maybe I just had a not so good job evaluation on Friday. I stewed the whole weekend. I jacked up my sympathetic system.
[00:04:59.370] - Gabriela Brunner
I didn't sleep well. I drank maybe too much alcohol or something to try and forget about it. Or maybe I ate lucky food. I didn't get exercise. Come Monday morning, I'm jacking up on caffeine.
[00:05:10.490] - Gabriela Brunner
I'm aggravating myself even more, and I'm sitting in my office, like, literally afraid of that. Anytime somebody knocks on the door or stops by, I'm going to jump out of my seat. Right. Because I'm so high on my sympathetic fight, or flight is so intense. So now what if I had techniques, breathing techniques, meditation techniques, yoga techniques that would literally snap me out of the sympathetic system, bring me back into a more balanced parasympathetic system, then I could actually think clearly.
[00:05:38.410] - Gabriela Brunner
Then I could actually look at the information on my desk and really work on it and evaluate it. Right. And so today we had a guest yoga instructor who is a super experienced Kundalini yoga teacher, doctor of chiropractic, wrote a book about anatomy and yoga. And I'm sorry I didn't bring it with me, but I'll share some benefits from that book when I have it in front of me. But he literally shares the effects of yoga on your heart, on your nervous system, on your brain, on your digestive system.
[00:06:07.540] - Gabriela Brunner
So the goal is to learn these techniques, learn these tools that have been proven not just by the fact that they have survived hundreds of thousands of years way before we even knew, but because there's actual science behind how meditation, Kundalini yoga and yoga in general help you have a more neutral mind. So if you can go into your job and have a neutral mind or be more in that parasympathetic state, you're actually going to be able to evaluate whether you like that job or not. Now here's the thing I always like to drop caveats footnotes. There are certain situations that are awful. There are certain situations where you're being abused verbally, where you're being taken advantage of, where you're being discriminated against.
[00:06:50.440] - Gabriela Brunner
And I'm not saying to ignore those situations. Those are very serious situations that they demand the appropriate attention and appropriate action. I am no way implying that you do a couple cat cows or breathing techniques, and that's going to go away. Your ability to react, your ability to respond, your ability to deal with the situation is going to improve on your end. Right.
[00:07:13.090] - Gabriela Brunner
So that you're not driving yourself crazy while this happens. And then also you'll be able to deal with it appropriately and take the action that you need. But I'm talking about more general dislikes heading towards the hate your job. And if you can take that step back and develop a practice that works for you before you go to work, maybe during your job. I'm teaching the women in the Guided career a beautiful meditation.
[00:07:35.530] - Gabriela Brunner
We've done it for four weeks, and then I gave them a different one for this last fifth week. But it's called a meditation for a calm heart, and it's literally designed to calm your heart down so that you can make decisions from your heart space. We also learned today that I'm not going to get the terminology right, but there are cells that are in your brain that are also found in your heart. So that's interesting, right? You would think that there wouldn't be like the same kind of cell in your brain as in your heart.
[00:08:00.720] - Gabriela Brunner
But what that means. What the science is saying is that you make decisions from your heart. So when your heart is calm, when your heart is neutral, when your heart is able to see the situation, it actually guides your brain, guides your mind to make the best decision for you instead of you reacting from a place of like, wow. And the other thing that was really cool that he told us today is the definition of stress. So the definition of stress is an overreaction to a sympathetic situation or experience.
[00:08:29.300] - Gabriela Brunner
So when I was telling sympathetic type things are when it's that fight or flight. Right? So you have stress in a situation, like when I shared with you that somebody came and knocked on my door at my office and I literally jumped out of my feet because I thought I was going to die. That's an overreaction to a sympathetic experience or situation. So we're under an extreme amount of stress because we go crazy with thinking about and overloading us on our sympathetic system.
[00:08:57.780] - Gabriela Brunner
So I wanted to share that with you guys because it's one thing if you know you don't like your job. It's one thing if you've tried everything, you've tried meditating, you've tried talking to HR, you've tried switching departments, you've tried anything you could possibly think of. But if you haven't tried these techniques, I encourage you to give it a shot because you're in the job, you're in for a reason. And chances are you've got bills, student loans, a family, people are expecting something from you. And the money is needed in order to live your life.
[00:09:31.100] - Gabriela Brunner
Right. In order to buy food, pay rent, do all those things. And so making that rash decision, I'm going to quit my job because I hate it without giving it a chance, without giving it an opportunity to see if it really is just the fact that we've just the fact because it's a lifetime of building up stories in our head, things that happened when we were a child, all of these it's an accumulation of things that has led us to have that reaction that I would have in my office when someone knocked on the door. And so with meditation, with breathing, with all of that, we start to neutralize those events and give us a completely different perspective and vantage point so we can evaluate our job. What if you went to school and spent tons of money to get a specific degree because you had this passion in your heart that that was going to help you serve people, and then you just on a whim because you quote, hate it, decide to throw it away?
[00:10:23.720] - Gabriela Brunner
I'm just saying, give it a chance. And if you don't know about these tools, reach out. Let's talk. Let's see if these tools can be helpful to you. Because if you still hate your job after trying these things, then it's probably time for a new job or a new career.
[00:10:37.450] - Gabriela Brunner
So I wanted to share that with all of you Because I feel like it's really important to understand that it's not just one little event that is triggering this dissatisfaction with where you are. It's a lot of different things and one coping mechanism or one technique that can help scientifically proven Is yoga, the breath meditation, Korea. All of these are components of Kundalini yoga. And so if you give yourself at least an opportunity to try it, at least it can buy you some time to then work on making your career transition. I like to work with people and call it a graceful career transition Because it feels better to leave your job and feel okay about it Than to leave your job in a half and not know if you're going to get a recommendation or a referral or whatever.
[00:11:19.470] - Gabriela Brunner
My next paycheck is going to come from all that kind of stuff. So I want to give you the best chance at figuring out what you need. And these techniques could help. And it's interesting because to kind of back up my claim that this isn't new for me, I wrote an article on my blog. Scroll back, you'll find it.
[00:11:37.110] - Gabriela Brunner
It's a picture of, like a bookcase or something bookshelf, library. And it says an open letter to you. And it's a letter that I wrote specifically to attorneys, but really to everybody else. Talking about different tools and techniques. And what was cool about today? One of them is yoga meditation.
[00:11:52.310] - Gabriela Brunner
And what was cool about today was just the fact that I got to learn more about why that happens. So yoga is awesome, right? We all love yoga. It's a thing, right? You're cool.
[00:12:00.690] - Gabriela Brunner
If you go to yoga, you look cool. But do we really understand why yoga helps us? And now you do, right? We got the sympathetic, the parasympathetic, how that calms you down, how that helps you see things more neutrally and how it helps you gain a different perspective. So I appreciate you so much.
[00:12:15.960] - Gabriela Brunner
Thank you for being here. I trust this was helpful. I'm currently in the middle of the Guided Career program. It's really feeling like there may be another round coming up soon, but at the end of the day, I just want to make sure that you guys have the best chance of figuring out where you're going to spend most of your time and how you're going to earn a living. So if you have any questions, if you want to talk about anything, Feel free to send me a message and I hope you guys are doing so well.
[00:12:38.890] - Gabriela Brunner
Talk to you guys soon. Bye.