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Irene Lyon Interview parts 1&2 / ep37&38 show notes

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Links are below to many of the things we discuss. Some links are to Amazon where I get a portion of the sale at no extra cost to you.

PART 1 / episode 37


Medical model doesn’t quite fit when it comes to healing

“You wouldn’t start losing weight or becoming better at exercising or eating well and then say, ‘okay, i’ve done it.’ It just doesn’t work that way.”
“There are layers and layers and layers and layers and layers within us that we don’t even understand. And there will be new things that come into our world… all these things that we can’t predict. We can learn regulation… but you have to keep going.”
“This is long term. It’s life-style. And we’ve treated it like it’s a medical condition that we have to fix.”
“Everyone knows they should eat well… Everyone knows ‘I should probably move every day’... But the reason we don’t implement them is not for lack of want or even knowing how. It's the underlying pieces that stop us for whatever reason.”


Somatic experiencing concept

Physiological state that is separate from neuroception

Possible to over and under couple simultaneously

Over-coupled - sympathetic charge along with another or a deep shutdown; Tension, tense muscles

Under-coupled = Limp, no tone


Dr Bruce Perry

The Story of Ryan -

The Story of Teddy -

Peter Levine

Medical procedures affect us today

“No one is born wanting to hurt anybody. It is what occurs to us through our lives and what doesn’t happen.”


“We know now that intergenerational trauma is real.”

Practitioners and the vibe they give - “It’s the vibration in their body.”

“Most of our parents did not do these conversations.”

Parent can respond to a child’s needs, but not know what to do.

Parents need to be connected to themselves to be connected to their child and respond to their needs

“The environment is king and queen. And all these little nuances of how we’re touched, how we’re spoken to, how we’re not spoken to, how we’re not fed when we’re hungry or how we’re forced to feed when we’re not hungry… they influence our sense of safety, how our physiology works.”
“We’re super intelligent when it comes to how we manage and regulate our physiology. But the way we regulate our physiology is often detrimental for our long term physiological and mental health.”


“We’ve seen that someone can have that lack of… safety and it can breed more mental disorders but it could also breed… more physiological disorders.”


“When were born we start to feel our healthy aggression come up. This life force spark that realizes I am a being… there’s energy in my body… this healthy aggression starts to come out. If the parent or the caregiver is not able to see what that is and celebrate it, it gets shut down.”

Manipulating the energy takes the child out of the moment

Ignoring life force energy is a way to survive in the relationship = true exuberance is shut down and a false self emerges

“When you depress one thing, you depress the entire physiology… this isn’t just cognitive.”
“To come out of [depression]... you have to rev the system up again. You have to get it comfortable with feeling energy.”

interjects/beliefs keep the life force energy from returning

Interjects will be found in the physiology at some point


Disgust leads to self harm and addictive behaviors

Build capacity to discuss disgust

“They need to understand why that happened. It isn’t your fault. It’s not a genetic defect. It is a long-standing environmental situation brought on by crappy circumstances that were never addressed.”

The “why” can help to reduce disgust

“You have been in shutdown and this depressed biological state. Coming out of that - unfreezing the system - is going to mean… all this stuff is going to bubble up and we’re going to feel stuff that ain’t that nice.”
“Disgust is one of the primal animal emotions. We forget about it.”

Disgust signals that the coupling dynamics are becoming finally coupled back together properly.

“Ride the tsunami” - to be able to stay with the disgust while also staying connected to the self


Toxic shame

“Bad meat,” rotten, visceral disgust



Not bad


Needed to get through the day

PART 2 / episode 38


“Healthy shame is teaching a child what’s right from wrong. It’s what needs to happen so that they stay safe.”

Knowing when it’s right or wrong to use aggression

Biological sense of what is right and wrong

“It instills a biological sense of - ‘This is not right.’ And it has to go into the biology. Because if it doesn’t go into the biology, we will not feel it and we won’t learn the lesson.”
“If the upbringing wasn’t... the more perfect situation, then you try to change that when those patterns have been set, it’s gonna be a little of a tug of war.”
“The moment the safety comes up, what does it allow the system to do? It allows it to express all the stored stuff that has been in there forever…”


“If someone is asking that question, then they probably don’t know what it is themselves…”
“You as the adult, [you] want to have the capacity to deal with being uncomfortable in the face of an immature nervous system acting out. And if we join with their immaturity, we’re only going to get more immaturity back.”
“When someone’s having that meltdown and their being “bad,” how is that triggering our own stuff?”
“They actually know. We have to learn from them through the way they play, the way they express, the way they dance, the way they zoom across the park…”

Importance of children to have open spaces - to go and come back to build a healthy attachment

Parents on phone at park while kids are playing - removal of attention deprives opportunity for the child to build a bond and feel pride

Attunements, attachments, allowing them to be free without being overbearing


“It’s a huge responsibility. It’s the biggest job in the world. Because you’re creating the most complex system in the world.”


“When people understand the biological pieces… people feel it cellularly when they hear that truth.”

We can’t simply learn new information, we also need to put it into place.

"We’ve been woken up to this… you have a responsibility to take this information and use it.”
"I fully believe in alignment. We do create our fate and we are meant to follow a path. And if a path comes in front of you and you are drawn to it and then - 'I can’t' - you stop the flow of the universe."
"That path was given to you for a reason. Yeah, it’s really scary… There’s a lot of people who have already gone down that path and they’re on the other side and they’re like, ‘come here come here.’"
“It seems scary at the beginning, but if you do the work properly, with people who understand and you have good support and you know it’s not a quick fix, you’ll get there. And you’ll be that much more liberated.”


“They’re the same. Except for that you have to understand that the nervous system is more than one nervous system.”
Autonomic, somatic, gut and brain…
“ be cognitive and use your mind, you have to have the other parts of your nervous system in a regulated state so the mind can function at its highest level possible.”
“As far as I know, nobody has been able to figure out where ‘the mind’ is.”
“You can’t separate the body from what’s going on in the thoughts… a thought might come up… what happens when you notice that thought…?”
“The nervous systems will run the front of the bus if they’re in survival mode.”


“Healing, to me, is either happening or it isn’t… if you are working towards taking care of yourself… you are in the healing zone. You’re turning on your healing DNA.”
“Being stuck can occur when you’re on the healing path. It’s what you do with it when it shows up.”

Stuck as a lack of flow

“Maybe the word we want is ‘regulation.’ because regulation, at the end of the day, are you working toward regulation? Is the system regulated or is it dysregulated?”
“Regulation” might be the more accurate word. Are we regulated or dysregulated?


Yes, healing the nervous system can “fully heal” some medical problems.

“I have clients, I have a husband, I have colleagues, myself. I’ve seen people full heal from these things and those people have done a s**t ton of work.”
“Yes, you can. But just because you can, doesn’t mean someone will… I have seen people who have gone through the work and done the work. Gone through the motions… sometimes… their psyches will be so strong, that it will override all the good work they’re doing with the physiology.”

Dysregulation in the autonomic nervous system = “syndromal representation,” more chronic conditions

Autonomic cycling of sympathetic and parasympathetic - “symphony of chaos” within the organs

Low tone dorsal vs high tone dorsal and healing

“If we get the system back into good regulation, the body actually knows how to heal.”


Depends on the person

More activation compared to regular low level dysregulation

What are your needs? To connect to someone or to self soothe in isolation, for example

Individuals need to know what works for them

“What can I do that will help my physiology come down? And that is trial and error and that’s being experimental and curious.”

The importance of curiosity

“The moment we feel a trigger, we have a very short window of time between that trigger creating more activation or that trigger deactivating.”

Curiosity to divert the fear response - “Can you party with that sensation? Have a little party with it.” being curious with it


Parasympathetic to sympathetic

Survival energy

“That energy, those survival mechanisms take a lot of energy. They’re there for survival.”

These should be there “for like 5 seconds.”

Adrenaline is fast acting. Chronic defensive states exhaust it, which triggers cortisol, which is a long-acting hormone. This is more efficient.

  • Cortisol is toxic to tissues and brain over time

  • Burnout, adrenal exhaustion, adrenal fatigue

  • Body has given up, no more ‘sympathetic juice’

Education is a first step, then building capacity through reconnecting to the physiology - neurosensory exercises

  • Orienting

  • Following impulses like using the restroom, drinking and sleeping when the impulse is there - entry point into listening to deeper parts of the stress physiology

“If you’re in constant flight, fight, freeze, you will burn out.”


“Even doing one-on-one work every week for a year, from what I’ve seen is not enough… You have to be practicing when you’re not there.”
“Our self awareness to self has to be on all the time… we don’t need it as much as humans because we’re not out in the wild having to be attentive… we get lazy around that. We can actually not pay attention and be okay.”
“Can that watching of the show be an embodied experience? As opposed to - ‘I’m doing this to numb out because I don’t want to feel what’s going on.’”
“I’ve had people go through my work who are totally well supported… I’ve had people who… can barely make ends meet. The difference… has to do with not only their belief that they can heal… but their capacity to believe that they deserve to heal.”
“If their mindset is - ‘I’m going to do this because I really deserve to be well’ - they’ll find a way. I’ve also found that when we get that mentality, things open up.”
“If the mind can see the potential, things can open up beyond what we might not even imagine. I think belief is big, but deserving is even bigger.”


  • Once a year, usually in spring

  • Online group curriculum, 12 weeks

  • Course for life, alumni can join free the next year

  • Group calls, Q&A, Facebook group with team


  • In person event, 3 days

  • Mindful, attentive, calculated

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