Catch Bonnie Hewitt on the #PirateBroadcast™ - russjohns

Catch Bonnie Hewitt on the #PirateBroadcast™

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[00:00:00] Introduction: Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.

[00:00:10] Russ Johns: And it's a fabulous Thursday morning for me, afternoon, evening, whenever you watching this we're going to be talking about a lot of different things, but Bonnie, welcome to the party. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:00:22] Bonnie Hewitt: Thank you. I'm excited.

[00:00:24] Russ Johns: We were talking before and you had actually discovered me somewhere back in the archives and you have had a lot of transitions in your world. So I want to dive into that a little bit later, but right now, can you share a little bit about who Bonnie is and what you're doing to show up and helping people around the world?

[00:00:44] Bonnie Hewitt: So currently I'm helping people feel more calm, feel serene and learn how to manage anxiety. Really learn about the root causes of anxiety and. Based on what they've their experiences and how to undo some of that and learn to control what they can, which is their response to what's going on around. And then also learn how to let go of all of the things that they can't control to feel more calm.

[00:01:15] Russ Johns: There's a lot of things that we can't control that we have absolutely no control over whatsoever. And it really is challenging for a lot of people that feel like they need the control. So how do you navigate through this process of outside of your control versus having the feeling of control? Because really ultimately, do we have control over anything?

[00:01:41] Bonnie Hewitt: We can learn to control our responses to things. Most people unfortunately are out there reacting to everything. A lot of it is automatic response or reaction to what's going on or to what people say, because a lot of us have not been taught. This really is part of cognitive behavioral therapy. Most of us have not, some of us haven't even heard of that. And most of us had not experienced what that means and how to use it in our own lives. So what I really do, I actually have a program called 21 days to calm anxiety. And we start by identifying the triggers in people's lives and then breaking them into groups of what they feel they can control and what they feel like they can't control. And so then we tackle solutions for those things like let's, for example, running late for work every single day. That's something that's within your control. That if you back up a little bit and change your habits, change your morning and evening routines. You can get a grip on that and feel more calm in the morning as you're making your way to work. And then what we do is look at the list of things that we can't control. We can't control, which is other people situations. And I teach people how to reframe situations with other people and change their risks, their responses to other people. And. Thereby moving a lot of those things that are in that I can't control this over to the, I can control this because we're able to work through some solutions for how to stop. Breathe, really think about what's important in the moment. I teach some breathing exercises and some visualization exercises to get ahead of the anxiety cause that's really important as well. Because unfortunately once you're already in that anxious state, it's really hard to come down out of that. I have a long history of panic attacks, myself, anxiety attacks. And so what I teach is preemptive. So learn this now while you're feeling calm. So that way you're not trying to figure out how to do the exercise when you're already in a heightened state of anxiety.

[00:03:51] Russ Johns: Yeah. I want to give a shout out. Russ Hedge. Good morning. How are you doing? He's saying that we can control our responses. We live the life we choose. Absolutely. Yeah. Life happens. And then we choose yes, be an actor, not a reactor and good habits are essential. I think this is absolutely true. And and he says, great info. Thanks Bonnie. For all you do. You're amazing. Thank you, Russ. Love you, man. The reality is it's a fine line, Bonnie, between calm and panic. And as you go through I'm really curious about how you, or what was the trigger of, or the event or the activity that you went through from being an anxious person to actually converting over to someone that teaches others, how to not have so much anxiety in their life.

[00:04:51] Bonnie Hewitt: So I'm going to try to make the short I have a long history, myself of mental illness dates back to childhood. I had some childhood trauma and I lived and my mom was chronically ill. So our house was. Fairly chaotic, but I learned very young that and I love my mom to death. I don't, I have no guilt or shame or regret or anything. I just want to put that out there. Especially in case she watches us. She knows that I don't hold it. Ill feelings towards her, but I learned very young and I was talking to my daughter about this last night that we had to mom was fragile and we had to be very careful about what we said, what we did. We had to be quiet, she needed to rest all of these different things. And so I learned really young that to be a people pleaser. And another part, a big part of that was that my dad held me up. And this is retroactively looking at this. I did not know growing up, but he held me on such a high pedestal. I was super smart. I was this, I was that anything I did was not quite good enough. If I came home with a B, it was oh, what happened me? I gotta be.

[00:06:03] Russ Johns: I'm shocked.

[00:06:05] Bonnie Hewitt: Yeah. And he was also and again, I don't want any ill will against him either. He's passed on several long time ago. But looking back at this as an adult, I was definitely taught that what I did determined how people felt about me. And I know that's hard to dissect, I was responsible for how somebody else felt about me or loved me or whatever the case was. And so that grew and grew. And then in high school, I was put on medication that I thought was for my stomach, and that started this long journey of a rollercoaster of diagnosis. I had pages and pages of, OCD, bipolar depression, anxiety list of stuff. And by 2017 actually by 2008, I was on a dozen different psych meds. I was approved for something called electroshock therapy because I was in really bad shape I was having. And I don't know if I can say this on LinkedIn, but I was having ideations. Let's just put it like that, struggling with that on a regular basis and declined the procedures. And by 2017, I was getting to a point where I was seeing my doctor every three months and complaining about the same stuff. And one day I walked in there and was like, what can I do about this? And I expected him to tweak or change another med. And he said to me it could be this one medication you've been on. I'd been taking it for 15 years and I'm not mentioning it. I'm not medicine shaming by any means, but I told him I quit. I was. I literally said, I'm effing done. I'm not doing this anymore. I had no idea what I was going to do. It wasn't like a conscious decision. It was like, I just, my spirit or something, just blurted it out there in the office. And I went home and it was like okay. Now what? So I tied, traded off all these different men. And what was really interesting was when I made that decision, the universe started delivering to me people and YouTube videos and methods like EFT tapping that I'd heard of, but not really paid too much attention. And so going through this process the past four years and I started interviewing in January, after being on a TV show and realized when people were asking about my story, they're like how did you get from here to here? Cause in the middle of that, I was paralyzed back in 2011. So it's been a really crazy house.

[00:08:23] Russ Johns: By the way I was paralyzed.

[00:08:27] Bonnie Hewitt: But I'm 10 years removed from it now and it could fill a book. So I try to fit some pieces in there, but it, to me, it was, I was always in survival mode. And finally, one day I was like, I don't want to just survive anymore. And again, it wasn't a conscious decision. When I started interviewing back in January and telling my story and seeing people's reactions and the questions, I was like, wait a minute, I can do something with this. People need this information. How can I best serve others so that they don't have to go through a 25 year journey? Like I did not knowing that there were other ways to manage anxiety besides just being medical. So I tried to make that short.

[00:09:16] Russ Johns: And the reason I bring it up in, and the reason why we want to talk about it is because it's important. It's an important subject because the thing that I really encourage people to consider all the time is you have a choice. I wake up with #gratitude not every day is do I feel like it, however, you have to choose that you have something to be grateful for. And I think that starts the momentum of what it is, because I can see things in one way. And we talked about this before we started. Oh, why me? Poor pitiful me. Let me sit here and feel sorry for myself or what is it that I have control over that I can make a choice to do something productive and positive with this outcome and those two are completely different episodes and they come out with a different way of looking at life. They come out with a different way of approaching a result, and I think it's important for people to understand and hear that other people have been taking this route like yourself, where you've gone through tragic circumstances, getting paralyzed. You also deal with a lot of chronic illness. And I know there's a lot of other people in the community. Deal with chronic illness. I'm a caregiver. Mom has COPD. My sister's got her challenges and there's all of these things that we can do and not panicking and not being a victim, I think is the most important part. I want to give a shout out to a couple of people we've got in the room here. Bonnie. Gabe's in the house. We were on a livestream last night. Thank you, Gabe. And Elise is here, Gertrude. Thank you so much. Good morning, everyone. Elise. Thank you. I love that from South Africa. Thank you so much. Russ says Gertrude is here. Good morning. Gabe is going back and forth. The conversations are happening. Thanks again, Russ. For all you do love you. Thank you so much, Russ. Thanks for sharing your journey inspirational at so many levels. And that's why it's important that we share these stories, Bonnie. I just absolutely think and Marcia says amazing journey for sure choices. Absolutely. Howard comes back and says, one thing that I have learned is how many ingredients and chemicals that you ha you may be consuming without realizing that you are impacting your physically and mentally too. They're in physics. And John Romano is in the house. Thank you so much, John, for joining in. So Bonnie tell me this. You're still, managing chronic illness, correct?

[00:12:03] Bonnie Hewitt: Correct.

[00:12:03] Russ Johns: Mom has fibromyalgia and I know that's one thing that you have to work to control. So what are some things that are positive and productive in your day that you have control over that you can actually do that helps your chronic illness or dealing with your chronic guilt?

[00:12:21] Bonnie Hewitt: So I actually just found out in August the day after my tenure anniversary of being paralyzed at my fibromyalgia has gone. Wow. Fantastic. Thank you. So how I did that one, I think with any of this stuff is consistency and patience. I think a lot of people feel like they should see instant results when they start something new. And I was one of those people. I was very impatient in the beginning. But I walk a lot. I paced my backyard a lot. I'm still I'm so I'm high risk obviously. And because of the , which is what paralyzed me, I can't, I'm not getting into a political conversation, but I can't get a vaccination. So I've spent. All of the last, what, 20 months or so at home? Except for maybe I think I went to the doctors and stuff a couple of times, but I pace a lot and my backyard to get my steps in. I drink protein every morning. A good bit of it, probably close to probably about 60 grams of protein every morning. That made a big difference. I take about 15 different supplements. The biggest ones that helped with the fibromyalgia would be some of the basics like magnesium, calcium, vitamin D. And then I added in a, and I'm not recommending, like I'm not a doctor, so I just throw that out there, but do your research and look at these. These are all fairly safe. And fish. Made the biggest difference. And I take a high potency DHA, EPA formulated fish oil, and that nearly I'm able to hold a conversation, but I would walk away and forget, let alone what we talked about, but that we had even had a conversation. That's how bad my short-term memory had been. And now I obviously can hold a conversation and I'm running a business, managing children and. So those are some of the things some of them were, esoteric is EFT tapping. I have a fairly strong spiritual practice now. #gratitude definitely I have stuff you can't see it, but it's a Pang up on my mirror. I have different affirmations that I repeat to myself regularly and getting a mentor or a coach is huge. Find somebody who's been through. What you're going through and has made it to the other side and get them to help you work through it. Step by step. Everybody's healing journey looks different, but there are some key things that work fairly across the board, like getting exercise. I spent 30 minutes stretching every morning, sometimes twice a day. I do that and that all of those things really helped with the mobility. And when you can get your mobility go. It helps alleviate a lot of those fibromyalgia symptoms because unfortunately, a lot of them stem from being in pain and then not wanting to move, which just exacerbates the situation. So those are the things that I do. There's more, but those are the main things that I do in a routine. Like I do them every single day.

[00:15:21] Russ Johns: Well, and the reason I bring it up is because I think it's important for people to hear that you don't have to be stuck. You don't have to stay where you are. It's really important for us to understand that no matter where you are in life or your circumstance or everything else, don't be a victim to it. Don't allow yourself to, be an, a pity party, just take action and do something. Productive. That's going to help you move forward. And I that's the lesson over and over again. And I think it's important for understanding some of the things that are unique to everybody else, it may not be your situation. And so you have to judge yourself by who you were yesterday, not who someone else was on Instagram or, whatever they happen. It's stop the comparison because that's toxic. And so it's really important. So good for you. I really applaud you for the effort and the time and energy that you put in to healing yourself as much as anything. Cause it's critical.

[00:16:22] Bonnie Hewitt: Thank you. Yeah. And it really, what it came down to was I was 33, I think when I got the game brace syndrome. Yeah, that's right. I, and do math here. And I still had two thirds of my life left, at least and math, like two thirds of my life left. And it was is this, what is this? It is, this, all that I'm meant to do is lay on it. And I'm not shaming anybody, but for me, I was really lucky. So I got pregnant about a year after I was diagnosed with all of this. Or started getting diagnosed with all this stuff. And in my mind was like, I can't sit still. I need to move. I need to be healthy for the baby. I need him he was. My saving grace because had I not gotten pregnant. And trust me, it wasn't a cake walk, being pregnant with all these chronic illnesses, but it was, I wasn't focused on me and I, now I know how important self care is, but at that point in my mind, he was what it took for me. To do better for myself because I was, we're now responsible for carrying another human being. And it was my, my I'm the only one at that point that can take care of him in that state and laying around on the couch with the doctors, not really knowing what was going on. I was like this isn't going to work for me. I need to get up and move. I need to, I didn't want to put on a ton of extra weight. Like I want it to be super healthy for the baby. And that again made a really big difference in that helped me pull myself out of that pity party. Cause I was definitely there for a while. Like I'm not gonna lie about it. And I really love how you. We're talking how you said that about not staying stuck so you can see now you can see all his hair out the way my unbreakable shirt, I started something called the unbreakable campaign in 2019. For that reason to help people get unstuck, to share video stories of people who had gone through trauma or chronic illness and had made it through, or were healing the healing process and could tell these stories so that people who were just starting and really didn't know what to do, or maybe felt like they didn't have any options to give them somewhat of a roadmap or at least an idea. There was light at the end of the tunnel. And we actually just, I had to put it on hold for my own health reasons and we just brought it back. Somebody approached me after an interview and said, I wanna bring you back your unbreakable campaign. And it's been rebranded as unbreakable stories, and you can find us all across social media. We run a 24 hour. Clubhouse room and that's exactly what it is. Is everybody just getting together, sharing their stories. You can order a t-shirt make your video. It's a really cool project that I'm now working with a partner is exponentially just taking off. And it's so amazing to see that come to light because that's all I ever wanted to do was just help people from the time I was little in different capacities, but to be able to see this, come to life and hear people saying thank you for sharing so-and-so story. That really helped me do this. Or thank you for putting this person on. It really helped me do that. And sometimes that's all it takes is just the idea. That little bit of hope

[00:19:40] Russ Johns: I had to seed nurture the way I think we were talking before the show and realized that. We had actually connected years ago or at least something took place years ago that, cause I know the unbreakable campaign, I'm familiar with that. And so it's this thing that we've been going back and forth between, it's and finally we got to get you on the pirate broadcast now. So it's amazing that a. We're still out there helping people producing results, bringing stories to the table. And so what was the start of the, what was the very beginning of the unbreakable campaign?

[00:20:20] Bonnie Hewitt: I love this story, in 2018, I went to my doctor. I'd been having spine pain. I found out that the rheumatoid arthritis was on my spine. And I crumbled in her office because my youngest kids. So I have a 21 year old, a 19 year old and eight year old and a five-year-old. And at that time, my two youngest were five and two. They were little and I was like, I've already gone through parallelization. I've gone through this. Like I got through all this stuff. I'm like, this is not taking me down. And I wanted, I had a vision for how I wanted to the mom. I wanted to be to my kids. So I agreed to go back on medication and I was taking something called well, I'll just, it was a biologic, which is an injector. So only as long story short, I thought that this was going to save my life and it was going to be great. And all my symptoms were going to go away. Cause that's what they tell you on labels. And it wrecked my life. So by January of 2019, I was still taking it still feeling like I had the flu every two weeks. It was just, but I kept pushing forward. Cause I'm like, this is going to save my spine. Let me see, just keep trying to get it to work. And Evan Carmichael, I don't know if you know who he is. Okay. So he came to Pittsburgh, which is where I'm at. And I didn't like him at first and actually a couple of months ago. So when I found out when he was coming here, I was like, I gotta go see this guy and figure out what it is. I'm one of those that leans in when something doesn't feel right. And everybody's people are like, that's weird. If I didn't like a guy, I wouldn't pay to go see him. I'm like, this was just what I felt like I needed to know. Yeah. So he's just a humble, amazing human being. I'm tied with Evan now. He actually runs audio in our clubhouse room. My partner and I are in his movement makers program. Anyways, I went to see him. He was amazing. I started to read his book, your one word, and then I got the sickest I had. And a really long time was stuck in the, like the couch bed in the living room for three weeks. And I just started writing, making all these plans, like when I feel better, I'm going to do this when I feel better, I'm going to do that. So when I finally got through all of that I was going to make t-shirts. So that's what posh notion says. I make branded apparel and I was like, I want to make t-shirts for people to express their strengths. Basically. They're one word and very quickly decided that I didn't want to make. Lots of individual projects. And so I came up with I'm breakable and that was the beginning of how the unbreakable campaign got started. I asked Evan if he would make a video and he made a video for us and just rolled with it. It was like, I'm going to make t-shirts and I was like, I'm going to do this.

[00:22:58] Russ Johns: I remember that.

[00:23:00] Bonnie Hewitt: Do you?

[00:23:01] Russ Johns: I think I actually recorded a video for it.

[00:23:04] Bonnie Hewitt: I have the look, my, so my other LinkedIn account. Got shut down. I was working with the VA and so now I have to rebuild my LinkedIn because for whatever reason, I can't get back into my LinkedIn account. So I lost all like 5,000 connections that I had over there. I'm going to have to rebuild it.

[00:23:23] Russ Johns: I was curious, because when I looked at your LinkedIn profile, we're connected, but we're not really, I don't recall. It's like this doesn't make sense. And now it all comes back because it's like, yeah, we've been connected. And I recorded a video from breakable and yeah, it's crazy. Yeah. So good for you. So after riding on the couch, you came up with the one world, the one word and it was on break.

[00:23:53] Bonnie Hewitt: Yeah. So my one word is spirit. Whether it's unbreakable spirit, high spirited that I can use that word in so many different ways. It really fits me as a human. But unbreakable really describes my journey of resilience. And it's. So my favorite, my quote is you can't let life get in the way of living. And I really feel like there's a lot of stuff that gets thrown at us in life. Are we in tract into our lives with whatever your viewpoint on that is for me? It's I know I've attracted all this stuff into my life to learn different lessons. And you can't really build resilience. Or be unbreakable without having things, try to break you. Yeah. And learning how to build that strength and how to overcome these different things. And I know a lot of people don't like to hear that, but it's really where all the growth happens.

[00:24:47] Russ Johns: Yeah. It's all the growth happens. The most devastating times in my life is when I've made the most progress in my personal growth. Fortunately, or unfortunately and that's. I dunno. I think that's a lot of people's story. If they really boil it down to the essence of who they are and how they got where they are today is the challenges that took them to move into a new direction or make new choices.

[00:25:12] Bonnie Hewitt: Yeah, I think as humans, a lot of us aren't w so our brains are wired to avoid challenge to. Fear to avoid scary things, avoid any kind of, yeah. Anything that could lead to death. Basically our brains are designed to help us survive, keep us alive, basically. And, but because of us being higher beings and whatnot, we, a lot of us we have those aspirations that desire to succeed this desire to do different things. But we are innately avoid pain, like you said, and change can be very painful. So unfortunately, a lot of people don't make the change. And so they're forced to go through something really painful and have no, no option, no choice to either succumb to it or overcome it.

[00:26:02] Russ Johns: Yeah. I just appreciate you being here. Jenny Gold says I agree. Becoming unbreakable can be difficult because of challenges. And it's really about choice. It goes back to choice Bonnie. So I really appreciate the fact that you were able to join in, and I know that we had scheduled it. And we finally got to have you here. Talk about these challenges, talk about the choices and make a difference. So thank you. I really appreciate you. And what you're doing. And look forward to a future conversations.

[00:26:38] Bonnie Hewitt: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me and thanks to everyone that joined in and was commenting joining the conversation.

[00:26:46] Russ Johns: Absolutely. And thank you everyone so much for being here. I love you all, and I really appreciate everything that's going on around us in terms of the positive outcomes that we can produce with our time and effort, because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. See you next time.

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