The Death Of Spider Brains; A Story About Bipolar, Yoga, And Chaos — Ep.002 — Jodi Testerman

Play episode

Episode summary introduction:​ Jodi was kind enough to hop on the Mindset and Self-Mastery show to discuss how she manages her Bipolar through Yoga, mindfulness, and medication.

We unpacked her journey to diagnosis and the path she’s been on since that’s helping other women like her to live rich and happy lives.

Guest Name & Bio: Jodi Testerman is a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) who also happens to live each day with bipolar disorder.

Over the past five years, she’s broken through the bipolar stigma and went from being someone who was struggling with life to someone who has helped hundreds of women cultivate a personal yoga and mindfulness practice from the comfort of their own homes.

Her BIPOLAR CONTROLLED program helps those living with bipolar disorder transform the way they perceive the world around them and manage their ups and downs with grace and dignity.

Jodi studied at the Yoga & Ayurveda Center with Stephanie Mitchell to obtain her RYT-200 certification.

Her recent work is in demonstrating the scientific side of the bipolar mind and marrying ancient yoga concepts to change the brain’s chemical makeup.

Jodi Testerman

Listen to other episodes and join the conversation on our other channels.
Apple Spotify Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube


hello and welcome to the mindset and self mastery show i’m your host nick
mcgowan and on this show my guests and i unpack the stories that shape us and the lives we lead on our path to
self-mastery today on the show we have Jodi testerman Jodi is a yoga teacher who lives with bipolar and helps women
with bipolar disorder manage life with dignity and grace through yoga mindfulness and science so let’s not
wait any longer let the games begin
hello Jodi thank you so much for being here i’m excited that you’re on the show with me today appreciate you uh
looks like you you’ve got a nice warm cup of coffee i hear that you’ve moved recently so we’re going to get into that a little bit but thank you for being
with us Jodi yeah absolutely thank you for having me yeah it’s great to have you on here uh
everybody to give you a little bit of background of Jodi Jodi and i have actually used to work together we were kind of partners in crime in a sense uh
started to build out a division of a company we were working for and had a lot of fun and i was able to
watch Jodi as she worked through her personal growth and as she went through everything she was going through
to give you a little bit of deeper background Jodi is a registered yoga teacher who also happens to live each
day with bipolar disorder so again i’ve been able to witness some of that that coming to truth and her opening up
about her life and the things that she’s gone through and Jodi to kind of start this off can
you tell us one thing about you that you do for a living and something that most people just don’t know about you
yeah absolutely um so i’ve never really been a person that does just one thing for a living so you know right now i am
i’m doing some work uh for ford’s agency up in detroit um i’m also running my own
marketing and sales consulting firm um and i’m also a registered yoga teacher as you said and i work with
private students who also have bipolar disorder um something that people don’t know about me um i actually used to co-host a
tv show back in my 20s um motorcycle tv show yup so i was on tv for about three years
wow so where was uh where was that episode or where was the show at rather um it was hosted on the cbs affiliate in
indianapolis that is so cool so i want to get into that a little bit how did you get onto tv
um so this uh gosh kind of fell in my lap honestly at the time i was selling
um advertising airtime for the network and i sold a lot of air time in this show
and the co-host left and i saw the opportunity and i applied
for it that’s beautiful now you said that was in indy indianapolis right yep yep and
you’re in michigan i am in detroit now yes wow so uh some
context here audience um Jodi and i work together in tampa tampa florida so that’s currently where i live um outside
of tampa clearwater area and before we started recording on the episode we were kind of joking she’s got nice hot coffee
i’ve got cold brew because it’s 80 degrees here and i think it’s 80 below there so Jodi what is the
temperature and why are you in detroit um so what is the temperature why am i detroit
so it’s um it’s about 30 degrees here we got like four inches of snow in the matter of an hour last night which i
haven’t seen in about six years because i was in tampa um so that was fun i got to drive in snow um but what brought me to detroit
um so i’m actually uh going through a divorce at the moment and i had an opportunity to come up here
and actually do some contract work for one of the ad agencies that i studied in college um
it was 19 year old Jodi’s dream job so i took the contract and i made the move
it all happened within about three weeks and it’s been chaos but really good um i
also have a really good support system up here um tons of friends um
yeah i’m absolutely loving detroit i didn’t expect that um but it’s phenomenal great city
well it’s interesting that you point out that everything’s a little chaotic because for the years and i think i’ve
known you five six years or something like that at this point um
the years that i’ve known you you’ve never not been like not chaotic things have always been
a little chaotic so it feels to me like you’ve enjoyed some of that but at the same time you know the point to this podcast is to
be able to break out the stories and unpack the stories that we’ve gone through in life that make us who we are right now and i know you and i have had
different conversations on business trips over the phone face to face with a couple drinks in hand talking about
things getting into the real stuff about life and i know some of the chaos was sort of a defense mechanism in some
ways to be able to get away from other things and i’m absolutely proud of you for the work that you’ve done to be able
to step out in multiple ways so i’m a little unsure of exactly how to go
about starting this with you because there’s a lot of different avenues that we can kind of get down but Jodi let’s
let’s start from the beginning uh break down for us a little bit uh what makes you you today
where did you come from yeah so i grew up in um
rural indiana um don’t recommend it there not not great for me but you know i have
i have one brother um you know i’d say that i had a a relatively normal childhood with the
you know lots of athletics and and school activities and you know a relatively stable family um at least
until i was in my pre-teen years at which point you know my brother was
in and out of jail constantly i mean i remember being you know 10 11 years old and spending my weekends at jail
visiting my brother um but you know i played softball i played volleyball basketball i ran track for a
while swam for a couple years i’ve always been the type as you alluded to earlier that keeps myself incredibly
busy and i do think that that’s a defense mechanism which is something that i’ve i’ve recognized you know
throughout the treatment that i’ve been through the past few years since my diagnosis is that
staying busy is a way to calm the mind right and so i’ve had that realization now you know when you look back on
hindsight it’s always 20 20. um but yeah stay busy you know i’ve rarely ever worked just one job
i need lots of variety and lots of different interactions with people um to kind of you know fuel what’s important
to me so how did you get to the point where you uh you had felt like something was a little
different on multiple levels uh i i know you you
haven’t lived the you know um find a high school sweetheart get
married pop out two and a half kids half is always weird but you know uh i have a white picket fence
dog so yeah that’s it uh is that a little little kid at that point little person uh or whatever it would be i
don’t know so i know that path wasn’t really the path that you went down but that it was a
little difficult for you to be able to step out and into your truth so can you share what those truths are and uh kind
of what led you to those for sure so i i will back up and say that i did marry my high school
sweetheart uh 21 years old and that lasted for 14 months before i decided that he was
incorrect for me um he was also bipolar and refused to take his medication so this was
pre me figuring you know some of the same things out for myself but
i will say that for a very long time i knew something was wrong um i didn’t know what it was
um i’d been in and out of therapy fired you know multiple therapists for just not feeling like they really understood
me right i never went to see a psychiatrist because i thought the stigma of needing
to take a pill every day for the rest of my life right so when i got to the point where
um you know i was idolizing self-harm which was about four years ago
was when and you know i decided something’s really wrong and and we need to go seek help right and it it took my
psychiatrist in that moment about five minutes to diagnose me you know i i talked about
my struggles at work um my struggles with relationships right and so the
pattern that i’ve always seen is that i i will work circles around people i will
get frustrated at people for their speed you’ve seen this right get frustrated i cause
problems and then i have deep regret right and so as a result of that what you’ll see from
me is that since i graduated to college in 2006 i think i’ve had like 14 or 15 jobs you
know like i i’d have a meltdown at work and then i would be like oh my god i can’t go back and do this again i have
to go find a new job right so that pattern has repeated itself and and lots of other bipolar patterns right like i
i rarely can hold together a relationship even still right even even with the the medication and the
treatments and and everything that i’ve done um social relationships are difficult um
i often i find that i misinterpret situations and misinterpret the way um you know the
way comments are made um i tend to take a lot of things very very personally and i will retaliate
right and so a big part of my healing and treatment has been through the lens of yoga right
because the the big thing that yoga has taught me is awareness right because you can’t
you can’t make a change until you’re aware of the behavior right if you don’t know what’s happening
until it’s too late there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it right so i’ve spent
i got my 200 hour you know teacher training certification with no real intention of teaching right like i was
just fascinated by the philosophy looking at how it can impact the mind
and after i got into into it i was like oh my goodness i want i want to teach
other people what i’ve learned and and how it’s helped me um and since then i’ve actually gotten
into the scientific side of the bipolar mind and have started really marrying
you know studies that talk about gray matter in the prefrontal cortex of the of the bipolar brain with
studies on mindfulness and meditation and how those two really work together
so i i teach that to my private students now about how how these behaviors can
impact your brain over time because it’s it’s truly fascinating absolutely that is fascinating it’s interesting when you
think about how the physical mental and the spiritual can all tie together
for the most part i think a lot of people and maybe you agree i think a lot of people kind of separate those three
it’s almost like their own personal holy trinity in a sense your body is a temple you’ve got to take
care of it i know that i put it in my system at times and there are things that i probably you know i
shouldn’t but at the same time i also understand there’s a balance in life you know so how do you how do you find
balance um throughout your day knowing that you’re on a path toward greatness and
you’re working to do great things you’re still also a work in progress so how do you balance
yourself from going uh you know kind of down a deep dark path and feeling bad or just moving in a
negative way how do you balance life it took me a while to find the right
i’ll call it cocktail for lack of a better word um when i started first working with my
psychiatrist um you know they suggested a mindfulness practice journaling and
lots of things reading yoga exercise you know there’s there’s a million different things that you can do and i i will
admit that when i first started all of this it felt overwhelming right like how in the hell am i actually
going to fit all of these things that i need to do to be okay into every day right and so it took me a while to get
there but routine is something that’s really important for people with bipolar disorder so we will
you know we make plans with friends friends cancel we lose our goddamn mind right like oh my god what happened is it
my fault you know why does everyone hate me and you can spiral that way right so
i honestly had a lot of conversations with my friends early on too right i’m like i need you to communicate with me
we need to talk about plans i need to understand if plans are changing you know so i’ve been very open with those
that are close to me and just saying i i need you to understand the impact of your actions on me right so that was one
big thing that that helped a lot the second thing that i did is i went
through you know the last 20 years of my life and i made some apologies i reached out
to people i had conversations i i explained what was going on and i explained you know what was happening in
my mind in those scenarios where i had hurt people and that was honestly one of the most healing things that i could have done
right is is address the things that i was still carrying guilt over 20 years
later but aside from that you know my my day-to-day um
my morning starts the same every day i get up i brush teeth i make a pot of coffee and i get on my yoga mat um you
know depending on how much time i have i my cup of coffee on my mat i do a five to ten minute meditation
and then i do a just little gentle you know light morning flow wake up the body
sink the breath to the movement right that’s it’s very meditative it teaches awareness right so it’s one of the first
things that i teach my students is mindful movement right because mindful movement ultimately translates to
awareness off your yoga mat so my morning routine coffee on my mat
meditation a little bit of yoga and then i read um my goal is 10 pages a day i i
don’t say that i sit down and read a whole book every day but i i’m very into science education and
making sure that i’m kind of staying up with with what’s going on so you know all those things used to be
overwhelming right it’s like oh my goodness i have to do these four things every morning but now i do it all in 45 minutes or
less you know it’s it’s not a big chunk of the day i make sure that i’m up and that i start my day right and that that
routine is really important to me um i then start my work day usually about i don’t know 7 7 30
um i make sure i eat that’s another thing that we forget to do um bipolar people
just don’t remember to eat and so when i when i first started getting myself into this cadence and into this
routine i was setting alarms right like go eat a snack put something in your body right because
blood sugar is another thing that can send you into mania right and so if your blood sugar spikes and then drops um it
can kind of send you off the deep end um i make sure i exercise every day um you
know this that i am i’m big into crossfit i actually spent a couple years competing um but exercise is endorphins right and
endorphins are good for your brain so i make sure that i get you know at least 30 minutes of i will say vigorous exercise in every
day right which is theoretically another form of meditation right it is your mind
is doing one thing at a time which is which is how we think about meditation right you’re not you’re not doing
anything else you’re focusing on one thing um and then i make sure i sleep um which is something um you know when i first got
diagnosed was one of my number one symptoms and and you you know this i i would go weeks on end with one or two
hours of sleep at night and still run circles and then be upset that people weren’t
able to you know pick up the speed with it correct were you there the day i threw the laptop at a co-worker that was one
of my finest moments that was beautiful it was like playing jazz
yeah so you know you’re welcome right so then i um
i don’t make journaling as much as a priority as i used to um you know when i was first diagnosed some of the
reflective properties of journaling were really important for me right
how i use journaling now is different than how i used it when i was first diagnosed i actually write a lot of
poetry now and so it’s it’s a really good release for me to
get my thoughts out in a way that rhyme or make sense that is you know somewhat
artistic and so i do that now i’m actually considering publishing some of them which i’m
excited about um but you know so recap
coffee meditation wait you said brushing your teeth first so feet on floor out of bed
teeth coffee mac is that where we’re at yeah exactly and then book right and
then work and i i will often step away from my desk you know now that now that we live in this remote world and i’m not
going to an office every day i’ll often get back on my mat at lunchtime right just like kind of re-center for the day
um when i end my day i go to the gym i used to be a morning workout person as you know but now that i live in the great white north where it’s absolutely
freezing getting myself outside at you know 5 30 in the morning is just not
just not happening so i become an evening workout person um which was an adjustment right it um
it increases your endorphins and serotonin late in the day which made it harder for me to sleep initially
but i’ve adjusted to that routine now and i i try to replicate it right like
every day it sounds like a couple of the major things here are habits and adjustments
something that i really like to get into and i know that you you understand this because we’ve had many conversations as i’m not afraid to
call or get into something deep um and i think they’re they’re different
people clients of mine maybe clients of yours and people that we know uh that either friends or family or what
have you that they really struggle with that gray area of going i want to do something but then
doing the act of doing it and getting into the habit of that where basically what you just said was
you have about an hour 15 maybe an hour and a half of stuff that you need to do
every day you’d also mention that the beginning of that you had thought this is going to be crazy this is going
to take me so long i don’t have any time to do any of this stuff and that’s a real thing that everybody thinks about
i don’t care if you have zero kids if you got 40 kids if you run a ginormous company you don’t do a damn
thing at all everybody has that same bs excuse of i just don’t have time to do it
you got to be aware of it so it makes me think of how do people get into that spot where
they’re able to actually set a habit and hold themselves accountable and
that’s the sort of stuff i want to get into with you right now you know you you took some time to be able to kind of work through that you had some people
that you talked to friends psychiatrists etc but what tips can you give the audience to
be able to actually help set up that um that habit and have grace with
themselves for the times that they don’t do it yep um i think that’s a really good question
and i i honestly think that everyone’s different right so some people are in a place where they can fight off more than
others and be okay with it um you know science tells us that it takes uh 21 days to form a new habit
right so when i when i’m working with people i suggest one thing at a time right like for the next 21 days let’s
make sure we exercise every day or for the next 21 days let’s make sure we meditate every day five minutes a day
not asking for a ton right do it at the same time make it a habit right force yourself to do it and there has to be
there has to be some will there you you have to want to do it right and if you don’t want to do it you won’t if you
don’t want to make the change you won’t right so there has to be
this level of commitment to yourself right you have to want to change you have to want to get better
but i generally recommend that people are kind of almost like waterfalling these things into their life right so
we’re going to start with one thing and then in two weeks we’re gonna add another five or ten minutes of something
right and i say five or ten minutes initially because there’s so many things you can be doing right like those are
just the things that i do like some people like painting and gardening and you know whatever it is for you
if you start out small you’re gonna know what works for you quicker right you
don’t need to dive in and be like i’m gonna build a rooftop garden and this is the only thing i’m gonna do and then like you know you go spend two thousand
dollars on your garden and then in two weeks you’re like i hate this right so so if you roll it in slowly
you’re able to kind of tell what works for you what calms your mind ultimately that’s what it’s about right is is what
is the activity for you that calms your mind for me i need multiple not everyone
does there are different things that touch
different uh spots in your body in a sense you know meditating does a certain thing
journaling does a certain thing uh exercising does a certain thing i know there are some people that
literally get up out of bed and just instantly start working out uh it’s unique yeah i know you’d get up
and you’d just run out to crossfit and you’d be doing your thing um i think of tony robbins where i think he actually
gets up runs out to like icy water in the morning and just instantly jumps in the water that’s a thing that’ll wake
you up getting into that habit is super important you know uh and i
have different conversations with people at times where they give me excuses about the habit to
be able to set up the habit and i think you nailed it you gotta want it you don’t want it
not going to do it so let’s actually take a kind of a little detour and talk about
that talk about the the will and the mind management
to be able to kind of get yourself through those days i’ve had conversations with very close friends that
they’ve told me that when they have rough days they just say look today’s just not the day and they move along and that’s the thing for
them that they’re able to shut it down others are uh they’re a little bit more
um intuitive with how they go about the day but how do you kind of move throughout your day and again this goes
back to balance um i’m going to jump a little bit from that because i i think one of the things
that’s important to recognize at least with the the bipolar mind is that
medication kind of bookends your highs and lows right so they’re going to make your highs less high they’re going to make your lows less lows less lows come
on Jodi last slow um but there’s this whole kind of world in the middle that
you have to navigate right so you’re you’re still going to have these moments of up and working circles around people and
you’re going to have these moments of low and depressed right the thing that i tell people a lot and you’ve heard me
say this is lean in right if you feel depressed and you need
to spend a day in bed do that but don’t let it turn into two weeks right give yourself a time frame
right so it’s almost like making contracts and agreements with yourself to say you know i know i’m gonna go through this and when this happens i’m
gonna allow myself to sleep for 12 hours and then i’m gonna set an alarm and then i’m gonna be five four three two one
feed on the floor and go jump in the damn icy water right and there’s that level of awareness accountability
agreements with yourself right it’s it’s holding yourself accountable to your own healing right and i think that
that is one of the hardest things in working with the bipolar segment right
is that there’s there’s so much up and down and there’s there’s honestly a lot of excuse making if i’m honest right
like i live with it i get it i understand it and i made excuses for a very long time i didn’t see a doctor for
16 years right so i get it um but i see it every day now
and the women that i work with have just i don’t have time for this or i can’t get out of bed or
i’m mad and i cut all my hair off you know it just there’s there’s endless and endless excuses and
you know one of the things that i i recommend and i work with my students on day one
what are your goals what do you want to do let’s write them down and let’s put them in front of you
and you’re going to wake up to that every day you’re going to see that every day and that and that’s one way to hold
yourself accountable to what you want right it’s real easy to say you want it today and then tomorrow wake up and be
like oh my priorities have changed right and it’s like well have they have they or are you popping out on
yourself i don’t remember what your question was i don’t feel like i answered it
you did yeah in certain ways um i think when when we look at how people
need to hold themselves accountable uh we as people can uh can let ourselves down easily now
i do it i’m sure you do it everybody does it you know there are things that you go i’m gonna do this thing and then
you don’t and it’s okay you’re like wow that’s fine i wasn’t you know i didn’t really need to or what have you but if
someone’s life and death most of the responsible adults in the world are going to do something about it
they’ll typically wait until they need to you know i think back to grade school high school people that go to college
that you know they do whatever they’re going to do the night before they need to submit that paper or whatever it’s going
to be but that’s the that’s the tough point that a lot of people
really struggle with is going from that i think that i have a problem i don’t want to do something about it because
i’m afraid of what potential answer is so how did you get through that and get yourself to the point and really help
the audience to have some of those little tips and tricks of going to see if they’re okay you know
it’s not it’s not a bad thing but how did you get yourself to the point of saying i need to go do this
i think the first thing for me was accepting my diagnosis right so it’s it’s honestly one thing that a lot of
people fight because it’s another label right and our society is so so so label
heavy right and and when you get that diagnosis i i mean i can tell you that my mind immediately jumped back to the
movie sybil right and i’m like oh my god i don’t want to be like that right like that sally field movie was
absolutely terrifying in the in the way that her brain works and for me um accepting my diagnosis took
lots of writing right i had i had to force the thoughts out of my brain right of like
let’s recount your last 20 years Jodi what’s the dumb that you’ve done
right and it took me about three days it was it honestly wasn’t very long right it takes some people a lot longer to accept the
diagnosis um it took me about three days of writing almost writing constantly right like i
took a few days off work and i just was sitting on my mat and i was writing and i came to the realization like i
wound up laughing right like i i wound up in this place of oh that’s right
that makes some sense you know and and i think that you have to accept it and then you have to want to change
right like i i’m an incredibly driven person i want to be successful
i use my mania to my benefit but not everyone’s like that right so it took that level of acceptance for me to be
able to move into okay how do i manage this you’d mention that it took 16 years for
you to go see a doctor and that’s why i’m kind of breaking that down a little bit to help anybody that’s
out there that’s listening to this podcast to save that time you went through the 16 years of the ups
and the downs and different battles uh what sort of things it sounds like mind dumping is something that would be
helpful but what sort of things would you suggest to that person that’s i’m on that cusp of i don’t know if there’s
something that i should get checked out or not yeah so you know i mean there’s some
pretty pretty common symptoms with bipolar and and there are actually a few levels of bipolar right so there’s
bipolar one which often comes you know with with schizophrenia and it’s it’s more full-blown mania right and
those those manic attacks can last for weeks on end there’s then bipolar 2 which is characterized by having bigger
bouts of depression right so i i’m on the bipolar 2 spectrum and
it just it’s a wild ride man i you know the things you want to look
for not sleeping mind racing um being able to accomplish you know
more tasks than anyone um there’s hypersexuality um there’s inability to maintain long-term
relationships there’s an ability to keep a job um i read a statistic recently
that said like people miss like 45 days of work a year
or something like that do due to bipolar disorder right and so i then dove into that i’m like what’s the financial
impact of that right like oftentimes people um so it can kind of go both ways at least
from the research that i’ve done right and i’m not gonna i’m not gonna pretend to be an expert here on this but
you know there’s there’s the people that are highly driven that want to be successful and
they use their bipolar to their favor there’s then this other group of people that use their bipolar as an excuse right they
they want the disability check they they want to not go to work or they truly believe that they can’t
right and i think that that’s where that mindset differs for me right is i’m saying okay i have this thing i’m not
this thing i’m not gonna let this define me i’m gonna figure out how to make it work
but i think that that comes you know from an internal drive and you know we talked a little bit about childhood um
i was a very very competitive athlete i played you know division one softball and and that experience really taught me
about time management and the ability to multitask and the the ability to work hard and to play hard
and to want to be successful right i think like one percent of the population makes it to be a division one athlete right
like that doesn’t come without some level of self-awareness and dedication and and
willing to commit to something right so i’m not saying that everyone’s born and bred that way but i do think that some
of those things can be learned the athlete in you probably helped a lot more than you
understand because of that team mentality everything you went through kind of going through that
playing travel ball and stuff as you grew up and that’s kind of also a testament i’m
sure to your parents too because it’s not like you hopped on the bus and just went along and didn’t do anything i’m sure they supported in some certain ways
and being able to break down your 20 years of experience and your
past and going through all of that that’s crucial you know we all go through trials and different
tribulations and things of that sort but there any major
episodes or things that happen throughout life that you can really tie back to and go this was a moment in time
that changed me moment in time that changed me
um um yeah so there was a night um this was
shortly after my diagnosis and um so when they when you first get started
on bipolar medication they they titrate you up to your dose right and and there’s often this period of not knowing
which specific medication is going to work for you right so it’s this like cocktail of crazy right and it’s just
like oh my god i feel awful i don’t know what’s going on and there was an evening where i was
just at a friend’s house having dinner and we got in this somehow heated debate about like type 2
diabetes which is not important to anyone right but to back up to the last question that’s
one of the things that i used to do is i would hold on to something small if it didn’t if i didn’t agree with it and i
would make this just mountain out of it right like this is a big deal and i need to win this argument or whatever right
which silly so anyway that happened that night and um i got just like
pulse racing crazy heart sweat
and i stormed out of my friend’s house and i threw myself into the street
and a friend came and peeled me out of the street as traffic was coming right and so
that was one of those moments where it was just like that was scary
right and and i really had no awareness of it in in the time that it was happening
and i’m very very thankful for that friend this day like i don’t so you know when you when you go through um
they call them mixed episodes right and it’s where you are manic but depressed at the same time and honestly those are some of the most
terrifying experiences that i’ve had because you were not aware
of what you’re doing right and i i think the one thing that that’s taught me
is emotions are fleeting right they they come and go they are not permanent
and it takes a level of awareness to not make permanent decisions based on temporary
circumstances beautiful and that’s a quote and a half right
there i i don’t mean to interject yeah because that’s a beautiful no no no
i think that’s it you know but i mean i was going through other other things in my life at the time and
i would get upset and i would storm out of the house i wouldn’t take my phone i wouldn’t even wear shoes sometimes and i
would just be wandering around right and you know then you you kind of you snap out of it right
like it’s almost like being like blackout drunk is kind of like the best way that i can describe it
is like you’re functioning and you’re doing things and you’re mobile but you have no idea what you’re doing right and
i’m just like oh my good god i’m not like i’m on my way to being the crazy lady wandering around in a nightgown in the
streets in the middle of the night right and that’s not the person that i want to be that’s not the goal in life
it was not my goal right not my goal at all and the good thing is that it can be managed
right and so you know i know a lot of people are medication adverse and i’m not one of those people
i understand why people are metaverse you go through a period when you first
start taking medication of almost feeling numb i can’t tell you that that goes away
because it it dulls your emotion right it makes you feel less hyped you feel less low and that’s something that’s
uncomfortable because you’re not used to it right and so i would say it took me
probably six months to kind of titrate up to the full dose of medication that i needed to get the right medication i
mean i think they gave me seven different sleeping pills before they found the one that worked
and in all reality the one that works for me is like basically like an over-the-counter benadryl and it’s weird right like
why why doesn’t the ambien work but but this one does right so everyone’s brain chemistry is different
um i don’t know i’m glad i went to the doctor i’m a big proponent of medication
but i do understand that it doesn’t stop with medication and would you say that’s what has led
you to tying the physical and the scientific together
i got really interested so there’s a couple things to unpack there so one of the things that i wanted to
understand and this is you know part of you know my marketing plan for the students that i’m working with was that
i wanted to understand the financial impact both direct and indirect right of
of living with unmanaged bipolar disorder like what does this look like right like what are what are your lost
wages how much are you spending on you know uh
being admitted for a manic episode and the costs are exorbitant right you know
the the suicide rates are incredibly high among bipolar people like there’s a ton of cost associated with it so i kind of
started my research there right as i say okay like what’s going on out there
and then i quickly kind of pivoted to wanting to understand the unique brain
right and it’s difficult there’s not a lot of studies out there um a lot of people are
either misdiagnosed with anxiety misdiagnosed with depression um abd is a is a big player in it too
which i also have um but because of that it’s very hard to study the impact of meditation and
mindfulness on one specific brain type right so i just like digging digging digging what’s in there what’s in there
what’s in there and i finally landed on tons of studies about
so gray matter um in the prefrontal cortex of the brain i don’t want to go too sciencey on you
but it’s basically responsible for your emotional regulation and control right and so the bipolar brain has less gray matter
than the normal brain right so then i said okay well what’s the impact of
meditation on the gray matter in the brain right oh it restores it
that’s cool how long does it take to restore it right the truth is it’s different in everyone but that’s the
path i’ve really went down is wanting to not so i will say that i’m absolutely a hippie dippy yoga person like you know
that i’m gonna wear patchouli and tons of patterns and look crazy all the time but
the science piece of it was really important to me you know especially as i’m i’m starting to work with you know
mental health facilities on coaching and and some of these things understanding the scientific aspect of it was really
important to me and i fell in love with it i’m like this is cool stuff oh my gosh yeah i mean even just to
think about meditation or anything at all that can regrow gray
matter i think a lot of people don’t understand that your body your spirit
can change uh everything it’s a matter of you putting it in order to be able to do it
i think of almost like a video game i think i’ve said this to you before it’s like uh the old zelda games like
sometimes you you try to race through a level and you figure out like damn it i miss that damn key you gotta go back and
get the key and you come back and then you’re able to go through and move along still gotta go through those steps and
those things to be able to get there so Jodi i appreciate you unpacking everything you’ve unpacked um i
appreciate you sharing what you’ve gone through yeah it sounds like habits
uh routine and discipline are major things that you go through
um your journaling your meditating and your yoga ing our main uh main things that you focus
on each and every day but is there anything else or anything that you want to get a little deeper with for the audience to uh
help them i i don’t recommend meditating in a depressive state
it cannot be great for you know your psyche um and it can kind of throw you into
into further depression right if you start analyzing your thoughts when you’re already depressed it’s not great right so
when when people are depressive it’s the exercise right let’s let’s
boost endorphins let’s get the serotonin rolling in the brain and then let’s step into our meditation
right so it’s all about you know if i have one piece of advice for anyone dealing with this it’s about finding what works for
you right committing to yourself and finding what works for you there’s a million things that you can do
but no two people are the same right and so figuring out that prescription for you
prescription haha play on words there um but i’m not actually talking about medication here right like i’m i’m
talking about your day-to-day habits in your day-to-day life you know i think i think everyone should be exercising no
matter what right like that is rule number one 30 minutes of exercise a day hours better if you have time for an
hour right but aside from that you know the the mental work
paint a picture color in a book you know journal like find what works for you so that’s
generally what i tell people yeah i know something we both agree on that we
preach in a sense to all of our clients is awareness you’ve got to be aware first if you are
not aware how the heck can you do anything about something you’re totally unaware of
so how would you suggest people go about becoming aware such a good question
um and i forgot to even say this earlier so one of the things that everyone should do is track their moods
right so simple it doesn’t have to be ridiculous understanding your cycle and how often
you flip real important right like i can tell you right now that i’m going to be on a 10 day upcycle and a four day down cycle
but it took me six months of tracking and it was as simple as i had a calendar and every
day i would put an up arrow a down arrow or just a dash neutral right and that
really helps me understand what my brain was doing and it was very cyclical right
very and most people i have found are very cyclical in that way right so
that’s one really great way to be aware of what’s happening chemically in your
brain um the second thing that i really preach is mindful movement um so when you start
to marry your movement to your breath right and i’m even talking simple things like
inhale raise your arms exhale lower your arms like it doesn’t have to be complicated right but what you’re doing
there is you’re training your brain to do one thing and to be aware of what your body is doing right and so over
time you become more aware of other things right like i’ll notice when my foot starts going like this
that i need to take a break right you’ve seen my foot do it you’ve seen me sit in your office and be like i need to be upside down right now
and then i’m doing handstands in your office right so um those two things were really clutch
for me so you know tracking your mood up or down and then really marrying
your mind and body right of we’re all working together here we’re gonna do the same thing
man that’s good stuff um the the awareness and the discipline to become aware
really starts with the habits and your habits can change every single day uh
it’s up to you to be able to actually sit down and do something i think one of the major takeaways is uh to spend five
maybe ten minutes a day doing something so as we record this episode we’re just
a couple days away from new year’s eve and i know a lot of people will put
together resolutions i also know a lot of people that think it’s actual dog to put resolutions together
different people in different camps and that’s totally fine i don’t think it’s really a matter of a resolution or not
it’s a matter of a habit change and being disciplined so my challenge uh to
the audience and everybody that’s listening is to be able to pick something that you feel with your gut
that could actually be a benefit to you is it meditating has it come to you a couple times somebody said something to
you a couple times or is it journaling that really stands out to you if one of those things stands out please spend a
couple minutes to be able to do it Jodi would you have something to add to that
um i was going to comment on the new year’s resolution thing i
i’m not a big fan of only setting goals for yourself one time a year right so when i think about my goals and
this is something that i didn’t really touch on but every every morning i set free intentions for my day right
what do i want to accomplish for myself what do i want to accomplish for work and what’s my forward thinking thought
right and i write those down every morning as you know the this is what i’m doing today this is what’s important for me what’s important for my job and this
is what’s important for Jodi tomorrow so i got that intention um i do it daily
right i will say that i reset um goals mood boards um vision quarterly
right like i’m going through i have these little cork boards that i use and i
i go all sorts of like you know sixth grade poster project on these cutting stuff out of magazines and and putting
it visually right like right above me this is these are my goals this is what i’m chasing and then at the end of the
quarter i kind of go through those things i rip off the board what i’ve accomplished i leave the things that i haven’t i add to it
but i think that those visual reminders of where you want to be are so important at least they are for me
do you think that’s a major benefit to your success with managing your bipolar
yeah i do i do because it’s real easy so
we are absolutely known for starting five million things and finishing nothing um
a lot of by poor people also have add which you’ve seen from me um so it’s
real easy to get distracted right and so it it fuels that level of stay on track
for me right like you don’t need to take your business in five million directions you need to focus on this one at least
for this quarter right and then let’s evacuate let’s see where we are and then let’s see if we need to pivot before we
do nine million you know spider brains beware of the spider brains people
i think with that we might wrap it up uh spider brains might be the uh the
episode name here um Jodi again i appreciate your time appreciate you being on it’s always
great to see you i’m glad that you’re doing well um and thank you so much for sharing your story
uh please tell us where uh where we can find you where people can connect with you and how we can stay in touch
yeah so i um i have a website out there it’s called yogurt for living with
um it has more info on my story it has videos it has free yoga videos you know
for anybody that wants to give yoga a shot i also do private coaching um so there’s
there’s lots of info out there on me on my story um i really unpack all of it on my website trials tribulations everything
that i’ve done you know in a in a way that if it’s like you said earlier if i can connect with one person and change their
life that’s that’s why i’m here right like it’s truly been a life-changing game for me
to study philosophy from the yoga perspective as it relates to the bipolar brain so i
publish that stuff a lot i keep it up to date but yeah that’s where i would go
it’s awesome thank you so much Jodi we appreciate you being on thank you
another great conversation on today’s episode of the mindset and self-mastery show i think the moral of the story from
our conversation is that you can control your story but you gotta want it and you gotta
start incrementally but that’s just my two cents how about you what did you think i’d love to hear your thoughts on
the episode today and if you enjoyed the episode please jump over to itunes and subscribe rate and leave a five star
review it’s very much appreciated and if you really enjoyed the show today go ahead and share it with your friends
we covered a pretty tough subject and got some great tips that really work for all of us
you can find links to connect with Jodi in the show notes and hear other episodes on the mindset and
49:06 again it’s the mindset and
thank you again Jodi for being on the show and for being honest raw and real with us and thank you to you yes you
for hanging out with us today thank you this episode of the mindset and self mastery show is brought to you by spider
brains the leading cause of arachnophobia maybe i don’t know
this episode was actually brought to you by figuring out the correct settings for all tech involved in the recording and
the foresight to see this through thanks past me you done good kid
and with that thank you and remember your mindset matters and so do you

Join the discussion

More from this show

Stay Updated

Make sure to subscribe so you can be the first to know what's happening before anyone else does.

Join The Conversation

Join us as we unpack the stories that shape us and uncover the wisdom we're learning on our paths toward self-mastery.