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Experiencing transformation and overcoming anxiety: A chat with Jill Whalen

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Once suffering from anxiety, Jill Whalen, an extraordinarily successful marketer, tackled her demons and overcome, and then lived to share the tale and teach others how they, too, could overcome. In this podcast, Jill and Tamar talk about anxiety, getting healthy, how different each and every single one of us are, and then deviate into our reality and past lives.

TAMAR:
Hey, everybody, I am delighted, excited, ecstatic to bring my old friend from, I don’t even know, like over a decade, we’ve known each other for a really long time. Jill Whalen. And she is she’s like this expert in her craft, but kind of walked away from it. So I guess I’m going to talk about that and has been making, been migrating lately, so, yeah, I mean, I guess I’ll give too much information out, but thank you so much for coming.

Jill Whalen:
Thanks for having me Tamar, yeah, I think it’s been more, much more than a decade, probably 20 years since we first knew each other.

TAMAR:
Oh, wow. Yeah, that’s that ages me. Yeah. No, it hasn’t, it hasn’t been. I got into it in about 2006, 2007, so it’s gotta be, it is over a decade. But it’s not that long. I kind of wish it was, you know, what benefits you would have had, I would have had if I started earlier.

Jill Whalen:
Oh, yeah, true.

TAMAR:
Yeah. So Jill and I know each other from the search engine marketing world, and Jill was this rock star of a SEO High Rankings, if you will, official. And it’s, no pun intended because she ran her, she ran a site called HighRankings.com and then walked away from it because life came and got in the way and no regrets. So that’s always the dream. So talk about your history a little bit on that.

Jill Whalen:
Sure, yeah, so I was doing a SEO thing for I think it had been about I was about 17 years at that point and this was 2013 and, you know, I loved it. It was my life and it was my passion. I lived and breathed SEO, basically was a pioneer in the industry, pretty well known, and went to all the conferences, spoke at conferences, and then I at some point in 2013 I was, I mean long before this I was gaining weight and drinking too much, never having really eaten very healthy most of my life and getting older. I was about 50 at this point. I was just getting very unhealthy and I knew I needed to do something about it or, you know, something bad or something really bad would happen. And so I finally, after years of thinking about it, I always wished that if you just thought about things that would happen, which actually kind of does now I know, but after years of thinking about it, I was like, OK, I got to lose some weight and I wanted to lose about twenty five pounds. I’d always been fairly thin most of my life, so I had never done diets and I always thought, you know, diets were weird or whatever. But I wanted to make it be like a lifestyle change. I felt like that would be sustainable, but I did have to lose the initial weight, so I just you know, Fitbits were fairly newer back then. I got a Fitbit and the MyFitnessPal app. And so as a techie, you know, it was kind of, it actually was kind of fun doing like, I just was counting the calories, using the apps and but always at the time still making leaving space, leaving calorie space for my two, at least two drinks a night cuz my husband and I were always going to bars at this point. My kids were grown up and the thought of like giving up those drinks was like, no, I don’t want it. I don’t want to do that. So with my limited like 1200 calories I think it was, I made sure I could have enough for my drinks and fit it in and I started I had been doing yoga already for a couple years, a little bit, a couple of times a week. And I think actually that kind of there’s something about yoga that’s magical that kind of changes your mindset a little. And I do think that spurred me on for the weight loss, so my goal was kind of in six months to lose the twenty five pounds. And basically I did it, but I, and I as through that six months, you know, I started I went from someone who used to think I was aller—I didn’t think I did, but I kidded that I was allergic to vegetables and exercise and, you know, to suddenly really liking, love those things. I was making all kinds of veggie creations for my lunch, and I was walking in the woods, you know, three, three, four miles a day and getting those 10,000 steps in on the Fitbit. And just like it was, I just I lost the weight and then it just started. I started really thinking about sort of identity, like how could this be? Everyone was saying, “you know, what did you do with Jill? ” Because I was such a different person. That’s my blog, actually, whatdidyoudowithjill.com, because that’s what everyone was asking me, my family and things like that, because I just became such a different person. And I found that really fascinating. But so, so what happened was I, you know, really kind of just suddenly, I had to write my SEO newsletter, which I had been doing for practically all of that 17 years, every other week. And I just didn’t want to do it. And just like, you know, I just don’t want to do it. I just rather go out in the woods and take a walk or do some yoga or eat some vegetables. And I just didn’t want to. And then I saw. I remember. I emailed my proofreader, who was always on board on Wednesdays to get that newsletter out, and I said, you know what, I just can’t do the newsletter. And this was like for me, like “what?” You know, that was the one thing I did every other week that was on my schedule that that was a non-negotiable. And she’s like, “um OK,” I said, “I don’t know, maybe I’ll do it next week or the week after, but I just can’t do it. I have nothing left to write about.” Right, soon after that, like a couple of days later, I just was like, you know, I just don’t want to do SEO anymore. And it was so weird because like I said, it wasn’t something I thought about. I had been loving it up to that point. But it just hit me. And when I kind of made that decision, I felt like it was just my inner guide or something, just like, you know, but you’re, you’re done. You’ve done it all. And at the time in the industry, you know, things were I had always been advocating for doing SEO, what I call the right way, you know, with just making a great website and that’s what search engines will want. You have good content on it and they’ll they’ll show your site eventually because it’s good. And at the time it seemed that that was actually finally starting to work. More like the search engines kind of came around finally to my what I had been saying all along and so it seemed like a really good time to to leave. I felt like my it was like my work here is done. And so that’s what happened with that. And that was in the very near the end. That was October 2013, I believe. And right away I’m there instead of writing my, I just like switched over from my SEO newsletter to just writing about my journey with losing weight and getting healthy and writing, putting in recipes of healthy things and and I just I just switched over to the blog like within a week and just any insights I would get, I’d start writing about. And so it was kind of cool because I just, I just sort of just transitioned right into doing that.

TAMAR:
That’s awesome. Good for you. Good for you. You know, it’s really helpful because if you think about it and I’m actually thinking of a startup concept based on this, is that if you think about it, you become more accountable when you have to basically put it out there. And I think people struggle with that, like I struggle with that. I used to say, if I’m going to put myself out there, what if I fail? Everybody is going to see me as a failure. But I also think that if you’re so committed, then that never becomes an issue. So, like, my whole startup idea is like creating this whole accountability type of like social network where people are going to be putting themselves out there in a way that, you know, they have community members egging them on and making sure that they continue to pursue their whatever goals that they have, whether it’s fitness, weight loss, a combination of the two or who knows, I mean, hopefully it can extend to things like smoking cessation and whatever else you might have that you want to basically get out of it.

Jill Whalen:
Yeah. I agree, I remember hearing I remember reading some book back and about losing weight and it suggested “mae sure you tell somebody.” At least tell someone because I normally like to just do stuff on my own. But there is something about that, when someone else knows that you’re at least held somewhat accountable and it makes, it does make a little difference.

TAMAR:
Yeah. Yeah. The biggest challenge, though, is that where do you tell somebody? So I think that if you’re posting to, for example, Facebook or Twitter, you have followers that are following you specifically for other reasons. So they’re not necessarily, you know, your advocates when it comes to this type of thing. So that’s actually why I’m trying to create a network that’s exclusive to that type of behavior change, because I think people would be the only type of people who would be interested are the people who like, you know, it’s like, you know, we got we don’t Facebook groups because we’re only interested in certain type of things, and we don’t necessarily care about, like the diverse personalities of friends. And unfortunately, you know, some people are polarizing in their politics. You don’t necessarily want to follow that kind of thing. So it’s like having the exclusive focus on these behaviors. So I’ve been toying around with this idea for a while and maybe see if we can materialize it because people will do it. But I think it’s so important.

Jill Whalen:
Yeah, definitely, I think from me to the being a lifestyle change aspect of it, it’s so good because, you know, so many people, they lose weight and then gain it all back and then they lose weight and then, you know, and then they always gain back another 5 or 10. And, you know, I’ve been lucky enough, having made it a lifestyle change. It’s, you know, it’s stuck, that was 2013. And I’m, you know, I’m going to be 60 in a month and, you know, I’m in the best shape of my life and and and look way younger than I am. You know, my daughter had said when I first lost the weight that I looked younger and seemed younger than when she was in high school and she had already been out of high school for ten years.

TAMAR:
That’s great. Good for you. Awesome. So I know you wrote about anxiety to some degree, and you were talking about that. [Jill Whalen: Mm hmm.] I would love to learn a little bit, I guess, I guess we’ll go into like, I don’t know if this is your adversity story, but assuming it is and if it’s not, then I guess you’ll let me know. You’re very open about that. And I think that issues like that are still very stigmatized. So being able to put that out in the open is something that I think a lot of people are grateful for. But, would love to hear a little bit about like where, a little more about that story.

Jill Whalen:
Sure. Yeah. So I ended up writing a book. It’s called Victim Of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety. And it’s available on Amazon basically in all different formats. But that came about because, as I said, I sort of thought it was really fascinating how my identity changed so much in six months, you know, which was a very small portion of my life. And so I sort of started getting interested in that. Like, how how how does identity change? It feels so fixed in our minds. We are who we are and where this person who paints vegetables, where this person who this, I mean, we always every day we say things like that, well, I don’t like this or I like this or well, I’m the kind of person who does whatever. And I sort of started exploring that a little bit without, in hindsight, this is how I describe it, but. And I came across some interesting things online about about our thoughts, creating our experience and our thoughts on reality, and I was like, you know, just it sounded to me I didn’t understand really what it meant. I had listened to this guy named Michael Neil, which anyone can look up. He’s a really interesting, very well spoken. He’s got a lot of books out there, too. And he can’t say and I didn’t understand what he meant, but I it just it resonated with me. So I asked my husband to listen to this talk like this, this guy, he’s he’s super, he seemed like a genius. And I thought he was maybe talking about something sciencey and my husband, like science, like maybe you can understand what he’s saying and you can explain it to me. So he listened to it, too. And then, you know, at some point I was like, he told me he listened to and I’m like, OK, so what did he say? And he goes, “Well, I think he’s saying that thoughts create our reality.” I’m like, “I know, but what does that mean?” And then one day I was having we were I was making dinner and we had been, as I said, going to bars a lot. But because I had gotten healthy, I sort of was trying to avoid that food sometimes. So I was trying to cook more. But my husband still like to go out. So I was cooking and he and I said, OK, dinner’s ready. And he said, “OK,” but he said it in a, in a way that I thought was like, “OK,” or, you know, like I came in, so this one word, you know, OK, he said and then he, he came in and he ate. But we, it was like this silence like between us there was this tension in the air and in my whole head was going in, was he mad at me? Or you know, he doesn’t want to eat at home? He wants to go out? And had this whole thing going on in my head. So the next day when I had heard, when I heard, again, listening to something that said, “your thoughts create your experience or your reality.” I was like, “oh my God, that’s what happened last night.” Like all my husband said was one word. And yet and I, and I was just like the whole night in this tizzy of, you know, blahblahblahblahblah all the stuff going on in my head of what might be happening. And I felt horrible. He did, he ended up going out to a bar and stuff, and I stayed home. But the whole rest of the night, I was just in my head when, you know, with all this anxiety going, “what’s going on?” And then I got it. Like, I understood what that meant. So that’s what that means. You know, if I’m feeling crappy, it’s because it’s just thoughts happening in my head. And it’s one, how can one, one word from somebody else isn’t actually what’s creating me to be anxious. It’s my thoughts about that one word and the story that I created around it. And so once I started to really understand that concept and how much it’s thoughts creating, just like everything, anything that we feel, it’s, you know, for feeling a certain way, it’s a gauge of what’s going on in our head, what what thoughts are ther. And because of that, I started observing my thoughts more like I had been listening to a lot of Eckhart Tolle too, which you heard him, The Power of Now. [TAMAR: Yeah, Presence.] And he, yeah, he’s really good. And he always said, you know, “observe your thoughts during the day. Just just observe them. And you don’t have, you can meditate and stuff if you want. But but just every now and then during the day, observe your thoughts and just notice what’s going on there. And I always thought, “oh, that sounds like a good idea,” but of course never did it. But at this point, I finally started doing that. And just every now and then remembering, “observe my thoughts” and realizing just how much was going on there. And there was something in the observation of thoughts that quieted down my thoughts. I felt like, it’s like I liken it to like cockroaches when you shine a light on them, they scatter, and thoughts are kind of like that as well. You, you shine awareness on them and they scatter. So my mind overall just started getting a lot clearer. Like there was one point where I was laying down in yoga in the Shavasana at the end, and usually my mind would be above the blah blah blah. But all of a sudden one day that the thoughts parted, was like clouds parting and it got like super silent. And then I got scared and they all kind of came back and I was like, “whoa, what was that?” And that’s how I realized when I started living more from that place with a much clearer head, I realized how much anxiety I had had in my whole life that I didn’t even know because it was my normal. Like just when, you know, I had this clump of thoughts going on in the back of my head my whole life, ever since I was little and thinking that anything could come around the corner and make me anxious, always looking for the next thing that’s going to disturb my peace of mind and, and somehow when I got this “thoughts create my feelings, not the outside world, it’s an, it’s an inside job,” it’s just like, the anxiety just fell away like that the big clump in my head just kind of dissolved at that point. And that’s not to say that I don’t get anxious. I still do. But it’s like it’s a different thing because deep down I know that it’s not coming from the outside world, it’s coming from within. And and it’s not who I am. It’s just crazy. You know, we all have a crazy person that lives in our head and and it’s, it’s that crazy person. And I don’t have to listen to what the crazy person says. It’s no different than if I don’t have to listen to the homeless guy on the street yelling crazy things at me as I walk by. It’s, you know, it’s it’s kind of the same thing, all those, that noise in our head is is 99% not valuable and you start to see that more. So my book kinda outlined this whole experience and, and the whole journey. And I do get a lot of people that email me and stuff and say, hey, and that’s the same thing when I was little, I went through this and it’s fascinating, we’re all, we’re all going through this. We all have anxiety. You know, any time I meet someone on the street or in a store and I happen, if we get talking and I mention I wrote a book on anxiety, they’re all like, “oh, I need that.” Like every single person, it’s, and yet everyone feels like they’re alone with it or that they’re the only one, or that theirs is worse than everybody else’s. But it’s, it’s really, it’s just it’s the human condition, I would say.

TAMAR:
Yeah, yeah. It’s hard, it’s so hard because there’s nothing positive in terms of the stigma. It’s still there. Just people don’t want to expose themselves. They don’t wanna put themselves out in the open. And we’ve been doing that for myself. I’m getting the same thing privately. But it’s interesting. A lot of people are also like, “are you OK? Are you OK?” I’m OK. But, you know, I still struggle. And I actually had you know, I’ve had pretty bad anxiety and I had depression. This past weekend, I had, there was an unknown that could have potentially upended my entire entire world. So without knowing what was going to happen, I had extreme anxiety. Thankfully, things aren’t as bad as I hoped, but that’s the way you are, and I kept going back. It’s like it’s like when you start to rationalize and whatever, but that’s obviously the extreme. And I would say for me, that’s that was my extreme. I think for other people, there’s no reason to to have that level of anxiety, it’s really how you interpret other people’s feelings and thoughts and that’s a very difficult one of the books that I’m a big advocate of besides Eckhart Tolle, which, by the way, I’ve never been able to really kind of focus on my thoughts in the way that he talked about. He’s very, I just can’t do it. I’ve tried. I’ve tried. Or rather, I just don’t have the patience to try. I’m not sure what it is. But one of the other books that I really like and I’m a big, big proponent of it is, is Stephen Covey’s “”The Seven Habits of Essential, Highly Effective People.” He, one of the chapters I really like. It’s one of the things that I stick with, keep with me all the time, it’s that optical illusion or you see the old woman and then you see the young woman. [Jill Whalen: Yeah.] The point is that everybody sees the world differently and it’s how you like it’s ultimately you have to be respec—appreciative of the fact that, the diversity in the world. But I think it’s also it really kind of lends itself to what you’re talking about in the sense that our perceptions are not usually the reality. Everybody has their own lens and they see things differently.

Jill Whalen:
It’s key. That is so key. I mean, that’s why we all have separate realities. I say it’s people who don’t quite understand what you’re saying, it sounds kind of crazy when we have separate realities, but we literally do because our conditioning, you know, like everything that’s ever happened to us and our genetics to a certain extent as well, everything that anyone’s ever said to us or anything that’s happened to us, it it it just it’s a program in us, you know, and we’re just computers like and or robots and we get programmed by all these things and so that creates our experience, our thoughts, what thoughts come, our triggers, all those things based on all that stuff. And so everybody is different. We have overlaps, of course, but it’s, it’s so often so hard to see from other people’s points of view. Like, like you can kind of think of it like when you like a certain flavor of ice cream you don’t like. I like chocolate and, you know, and I think I used to, and my husband would like like something which I thought was gross, you know, maple walnut. And I’m like, “what? How can that be?” Like in in our minds, it doesn’t even compute that anyone could like maple walnut, right? And we do, and we, but we do that about everything. And, and, but in our minds, we are so right. And but we’re not. It’s just our, that’s just our program.

TAMAR:
Yeah. So the other, the other book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson, and yet no apologies for the cursing, don’t worry, you can even do it too. But he talks about in his book that you know, five hundred years ago, I guess the research that we knew to date was at that point was like sophisticated research and now we look back at it like “seriously?” Like I was reading another book, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to throw books out here, but Bill Bryson’s body, “Our Body: A Guide for Occupants,” which is a great book. And they were talking about like in the 1700s, this one guy was insistent that we needed to, that doctors needed to wash their hands before any type of medical procedure. And the doctor at the time was was ousted. He was ostracized. They thought he was crazy. And it wasn’t until after he died that he was quote unquote redeemed. But by then he was like nothing. I think his name was like Semmelweis or something

Jill Whalen:
Yeah, I heard that that even took like two, 200 years to actually become like a actual real human thing that doctors did. I don’t know if that’s true.

TAMAR:
Crazy. So, like, just everybody, like our reality is insane. And like in five hundred years now from now, we’re going to be looking like I mean, we have a pretty like happy and healthy, sophisticated reality. I mean, ignoring covid and everything. But, you know, like, we we’re very lucky to be the best time to be alive right now. Five years from now, hopefully the world will still be in a good intact and everything will be will be good. But that, that just, it just blows my mind that this is this is the way of life. I don’t really know. Yeah.

Jill Whalen:
It is it’s it’s fascinating. And the more you can understand that separate reality thing, like it makes relationships just so much better because you can. And first you can really see it in yourself. I think like that how we’re creating our own reality and how it’s our thoughts that are doing it and it’s not other people. And then you can start to see what’s happening in other people and have a little more compassion for them that they’re not purposely, most of the time, not purposely trying to bug the crap out of you or, you know, they’re just living their own reality. And also that their words don’t always mean what you think they mean to, you know, like the whole Mars and Venus book. But it’s, it helps relationships so much. It was, my next book was if I ever get around to it, it’s me being on relationships because it just takes so much out of relationships of all kinds.

TAMAR:
It’s it’s it definitely fosters this sense of empathy. And it’s really I’m glad I’m having this conversation with you because I’ve been trying for very many months and even years at this point to articulate this this mentality that people they see things in their way and their tone, like, for example, that, OK, you know, you interpreted it one way and it was meant potentially, you know, another way. And we need to get, we need to be at the point where we understand that everybody’s a victim of their own circumstances. The word “victim” doesn’t even sound right, but.

Jill Whalen:
Of their own thoughts. That’s my book.

TAMAR:
Yeah, yeah. And then, there’s a, there’s a meme or something out there I’ve seen on LinkedIn or perhaps elsewhere. But like, they show you this big, long line and they say, and then they color out like a color like a little tiny sliver of that line. And they say this is the only stuff you know about this other individual. They’re dealing with other things, have some empathy or whatever it is, and try to understand that you don’t understand what a whole person is dealing with. Yeah, it’s so it’s so important. And I try to do that. I try to kill with kindness now. It’s sometimes really hard, you know, people. [Jill Whalen: It is really hard.] Yeah. And people in general, like they’re out to disagree with you and. Yeah. Like, you know, like I said, no one’s really right. That’s that’s the Mark Manson mentality. Like nobody’s right.

Jill Whalen:
Yeah, I, I have a million blog posts about all these things. I’m just looking at my site now like some of the topics where why is it so difficult to agree to disagree? You know, like it’s so hard. You don’t want to be the one to, to just because because you know so much, you’re right.

TAMAR:
It’s you know, it’s really interesting because like, I embrace the diversity in such a way that I appreciate the fact that people will disagree with me. And I’m having respectful conversations, respectful disagreements on Facebook. Not that I can change anybody’s mind, but I definitely have, recently, I had an argument about a political not really so much of a political matter and more of an international affairs matter. And, you know, I had a conversation and was very respectful and I said, here’s here’s what’s actually going on in that area and instead of like having that conversation in a way that was a positive thing, it was like, “let me unfriend her” and she unfriended me. And I was like, “you know what? I would totally have beaten a dead horse with you respectably.” But like, you don’t, you know. It didn’t hurt as much as it would have potentially done, because I recognize that I doubt I would be a victim of my own thoughts, so.

Jill Whalen:
It’s so yeah, so interesting because very few people I’m like that, too, like you say, I want to hear all sides of the story and I try to keep an open mind. I still have my biases, of course. But I do want to hear if we live in our own little bubble and won’t listen to anybody else’s things or we unfriend everyone who disagrees with us, you’re never going to grow and learn. And so I do, I’m like that. But I think it’s fairly rare, especially in this very, very polarized world we live in now. You know, it’s sadly.

TAMAR:
Yeah. So I’m going to tell you something about that, you know, this whole growing and whatever. And this is going to this is going to be the weird part of the podcast. So I was interviewed for a different podcast. This woman I met at one of these online digital events, connection digital, connector whatever, online zooms, and she like she she loved the fact that I’m talking about leveraging all five senses and whatever else, and she said, you know what, I, she a very big advocate of Brian Weiss, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him.

Jill Whalen:
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

TAMAR:
So you’re familiar.

Jill Whalen:
So I like the weird stuff. Don’t worry. I can get really weird if you want.

TAMAR:
Have you done that? Have you done a past life regressions ever in your life?.

Jill Whalen:
I did the in-between one, in between lives one that doctor, doctor Newton, doctor something, Robert New, I forgot his name. I forget his name but.

TAMAR:
Moody? No, I don’t know.

Jill Whalen:
Go on, though, finish.

TAMAR:
Yeah. Yeah. So I’ll get a little bit of a background for anybody who’s into this, she’s very into this. And she’s like, I met Brian Weiss and like he changed my life. And she was like, she’s like, she tried to sell the whole concept. I will say I am, and I was and still am, but like maybe less so a skeptic. I had the book. He writes this book, Many Lives, Many Masters so I read that, and I actually tried one. And the hypnosis definitely worked because physically I could feel all that stuff, but I was never able to. And I think that’s because I have lots of lines of defenses. So. Yeah, so, so sorry, Brian Weiss. Let me, backing up, Brian Weiss is this therapist who a traditionally trained Columbia, I think he also Columbia University-trained psychiatrist, and he had a patient who wasn’t getting better after many, many months of therapy so he decided to hypnotize her and he asked her about her early life, early life, and she started talking about some abuse that she endured. And then he asked or anything before that, and she started talking about previous lives like ancient Egypt and like random places that were not in the current twenty first century. And I, and she was like, and he was like, he, he was he was a skeptic also. He was in such disbelief. But he kept doing this and each time he he regressed her, he learned more about her. So she had eighty six lives. And the interesting thing about her is that you can either go into your life or you can go, right, as we’re talking about the in-between. So the in the actual like lives, she learns their lessons that she takes away. But in the in-between it’s like voices that aren’t from her and it’s like the soul is kind of talking. And so they talk about growing, growing, growing, and that’s the whole idea is like the soul comes back again and again and again, it becomes eventually perfect and then quote unquote, immortal again. There’s a lot of skepticism that I have because this is like still outside of my element. So I tried. I did. I did one. And I think there was too many defenses. I think I was making things up as I went along. I didn’t really see anything.

Jill Whalen:
That’s funny. Yeah, that that was the same for me. And like, I’m skeptical too about it. But I feel like there’s so many people that have these experiences that it seems true. But as you’re doing it yourself, that is very much the same as what you said. Like, I was definitely hypnotized because at the time went by super fast and but I did feel like I was making it up too. I mean, the guy’s like, well, just ignore that fact.

TAMAR:
Yeah, he told me, “just go along with it.” So this actually happened to me literally a week ago today. [Jill Whalen: Oh cool.] So it’s so new. But at the same time I feel like I still can’t get around the concept that I actually have more than one life. Like, I just, I really, I couldn’t see much. But yeah, in terms of the hypnosis, he did a test. He’s like, put your left arm up, put your right arm up. Let your left arm, feel like it’s being lifted and let your right arm feel like it’s being hit by like, like being like a light like lead, land. And like the way my hands responded. Absolutely, the hypnosis was there, and my Fitbit, sorry, not my Fitbit because I don’t have a Fitbit, my WHOOP. I have a WHOOP, heart tracker and I have a, or I’m a nerd when it comes to this, I have an Oura sleep tracker ring and have a Garmin watch and all three of them thought I was taking a nap because my heart rate was so low so it definitely had that. But like, it was just, I couldn’t I still think there’s just so many defenses that are preventing that access. So it’s really, it’s it’s interesting.

Jill Whalen:
Yeah, it it is interesting, I mean, I love it. Have you ever read the Seth books by Jane Roberts from the 1970s? She supposedly channeled this entity named Seth and I actually was [TAMAR: I’m scared.] I do, I do a book club, I mean, just we’re she, tomorrow, finishing the last session of it on the book called “The Nature of Personal Reality.” It’s, to me it’s not the best book I’ve ever read, and which is why I wanted to do the book club on it. And anyone who’s interested in this kind of stuff about creating your reality like that, I highly recommend that book.

TAMAR:
OK, I will check, I don’t know. It’s a little bit scary…

Jill Whalen:
Well, I know maybe it’s scary. It does take, I find that you have to kind of gradually come to this stuff like, like, and then it becomes more and more what your beliefs are. Because I mean, it’s in the Seth books, she basically says everything is based on beliefs, whatever we see in the world is completely based on our beliefs.

TAMAR:
That’s so true. I mean, like there are certain things like you and I, all of us have been wrong by people. And like I had to come to terms with some stuff that I’ve dealt with. And I remember my psychiatrist saying, you know, you and I see it as completely illogical. But, you know, this happened and this is this made sense to this person. I still can’t wrap my head around some of those things, but that’s their reality.

Jill Whalen:
Yeah, well, in a lot of times, if it’s bad things, you know, they were bad, bad things done to them. And so you don’t know what what’s going on to them as well. And then there’s also the fact that if you do believe in the past life things or even that we could if you believe, I believe that this is sort of a dream that we’re in or a virtual reality that that we’re we’re experiencing here and that, you know, well, we’re actually somewhere else with our goggles on and and we’re going to wake up and be like, oh, wow, that was wild, let’s do it again.

TAMAR:
There’s an episode of I Chicago Med, I think, with that. Keep going.

Jill Whalen:
Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s but the interesting thing with that is you also, because if if it is a dream or game. Right. Then we could choose to come in as some as, as a invalid or something, you know, just to experience that. Like if you were playing an actual game, you might want to try a different character, you know, and and people supposedly make plans together to be, you know, I’ll be the mother, you be the the daughter who has the problem or, you know, and and when you when you hear about some of the people who had near-death experiences, stuff like that, there’s so much of that kind of thing. Another favorite book of mine is Natalie Stedman’s book. She had a near-death experience thing and it helped me see, it changed my perspective, like with my adult daughter that lives with us, still has a lot of issues. And I had the perspective of it seems to me like, why would you just come into this world and kind of waste your life, like just by doing nothing and just have this wasted life? But then after reading that book, I and thinking about what if she chose, it’s actually pretty brave to choose to come in with it with a, you know, a kind of mental condition that nobody would really choose to have in on this level in this world but if, if, at a different level, if you if you know it’s a game, you just want to experience that, you know, and then you have to go through it together too? It like, there’s so much, it changes your perspective on life. And I know some people don’t like that. They don’t, they think, well, no, “well I would never choose to have these bad things happen.” And that’s true at this level. But it’s another level. It’s a different perspective you’re looking at it from.

TAMAR:
Yeah, yeah. That’s really interesting. You know, another thing, I think it would be interesting for you to know, at least in the context of this, you know, again, being a skeptic, whatever it is, what it is. So Stephan Spencer, I don’t know if he’s into this whole mysticism type of life these days. Oh, I think this just started about five months ago. I, I was sitting there one day and he randomly reached out to me. He’s like I had I had a vision to speak to you. And I’m like, and he told me all about this whole thing. And I’m like. “Holy crap,” like it was just such a random message from him. He’s a mutual friend of ours for everybody who is listening. It’s so, so random to just hear from him, but like he had this, like, vision and he’s basically aligned with this whole thing. And he’s like, “I was told, like, I got this voice” and I’m like, “all right, I don’t know.” But it’s like maybe solidifying this stuff. He’s like, “once you let these voices..” Like he’s very into this angel, like angels communicating, once you let there, let them speak to you like you’re you’re going to feel better. He was living in Israel with his wife and his child, and they were told right before all of the violence in Israel to move to get out. And he made it out just in time. [Jill Whalen: Wow.] So, I mean, he says it’s all about this whole system of belief. So it’s really interesting.

Jill Whalen:
Mm hmm. And I think it’s good to be skeptical, like you say, I’m skeptical, too, and skeptical. Does it mean that you still have an open mind about it? You know, as long as you leave a little crack open that, well, maybe this is true or what if it is true? Then you can explore it and still, you know, but you don’t have to just go along and drink the Kool-Aid.

TAMAR:
Yeah, it’s funny. My son, my 12 year old son is just like “I don’t believe it.”” And my nine year old daughter is like, “I think it’s so cool.” [Jill Whalen: Yeah.] I didn’t want them to watch, so the hypnosis session that I had was over Zoom, and I did not want my kids, I said, I couldn’t, I couldn’t possibly go and watch this, have them watch it. I don’t think I could go back to that, I mean, there was nothing exciting there. It was just like really kind of just creepy.

Jill Whalen:
Did you get away or did you get a recording?

TAMAR:
Yeah, I did. So I was I started watching and I saw myself laying in bed and I was like, “not going to watch it anymore.”

Jill Whalen:
You didn’t want it, you didn’t want to hear what you said? Someday, listen to it.

TAMAR:
I mean, I remember. And he took notes as well. So there’s that. But like I said, I still feel like I just made it up just to go along with the whole idea and feel like I had to do something at that time. And it didn’t go so fast for me. It went actually pretty slowly. It felt like real time. It’s really interesting. Yeah. So OK. Yeah, I guess we’re going to maybe get close to wrapping up, but I wanted to know like, so self self-care, yoga, like, is this your self-care regimen, what, how are you surviving these days, is it different from what was mentioned?

Jill Whalen:
Yeah, I just yeah, still just kind of, my, my things have changed what I’d like to do, like my, when the coronavirus hit my yoga studio, a place which also did barre classes, went virtual, and so that was good. I just kept doing those classes and then they added some they added this infernal hot pilates class that was awesome that I was doing. So I was actually getting an even more shape during that time. Now we moved out of state, but I could still I was still doing those classes for a while. Now I’m exploring what I might do here in the new area, either sign up for new gym or just keep doing some online stuff. But I just, yeah, I walk and I just try and, I just yeah, I mean, I’m I’m basically retired, so I have the luxury of pretty much just doing what I want. I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks and just kind of living the good life right now.

TAMAR:
And I guess you’re still exploring the new hood.

Jill Whalen:
Yeah, that’s awesome. We’re in old town, Alexandria, Virginia, it’s a great place.

TAMAR:
Awesome, awesome. Yeah, you have a good view.

Jill Whalen:
But I also happy to speak to anybody. I don’t really do this for work. I don’t charge people, but if people just want to, if they look at my book and have questions or read my blog, or, and just or just have an issue they want to talk about, I’m happy to do Zooms calls and stuff with people. So.

TAMAR:
Yes, well, let’s talk about that. The next step is how do people find you?

Jill Whalen:
They can go to whatdidyoudowithjill.com and or just look me up on Facebook or Twitter. Even now I’m back. I had been off Twitter for years because it was all SEO for me years ago. And I just recently got back on and and there. But yeah. Or just Joe Whalen at Gmail dot com.

TAMAR:
Yeah. Cool, cool. And I guess I have the final question for you is: if you can give an earlier version of Jill some advice, what would you tell her?

Jill Whalen:
Oh, wow, huh?

TAMAR:
The loaded question.

Jill Whalen:
It’s interesting because I feel like in some ways I had to go through all the things I went through to get where I was, to get where I am. So I’m not sure that I would want to know stuff. I don’t know. I guess I would, I guess I would say: you create your own reality, even though I wouldn’t have gotten it. So but I think that’s like the most important thing for people to know in life.

TAMAR:
Yeah. Awesome. Cool. Well, thank you. This has been fun. I really, I really enjoyed this. I hope you did as well.

Jill Whalen:
I did. I did. Thanks. It was nice to catch up again.

TAMAR:
Yeah, definitely, definitely. Cool. All right. So.

Jill Whalen:
Thank you.

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TAMAR.