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There’s No Hack

EPISODE TWO in which we talk about threat states and digital communication

I did this episode without Lee, who could not make the call. I found this exchange interesting, I appreciated the intellectual push back. I talked too much! Justin and I disagree about the role of the internet in distorting human behaviour. At one point in the exchange he used the example of a book being an object that doesn’t have power until we bestow power onto it with a story. Practically speaking that’s true. The thing we call Quran is just a book. So is the Bible. So is Satanic Verses. People wage violence over these three inanimate objects. Salman Rushdie is missing an eye because of the inanimate object entitled Satanic Verses. Set a book containing the Quran on fire because it’s just a stupid book and see how some lose their sh1t. I think it’s very difficult to make the kind of distinction Justin makes and expect that others also do in certain contexts. We aren’t at that point where people can see the world like this, because, as Justin himself said toward the end, people simply aren’t at the point where they sit and think about how their body responds to their world around them, to the information they receive, etc.

I disagree with Justin wholeheartedly about the internet as a neutral entity, I think the Conversation has merit nonetheless. Would that people could see the internet servers as simply nodes or hubs that link us together, not its own trippy domain where everyone is simultaneously accessible and distanced from each other forever. I have only respect for Justin, and I appreciated his way of leading me to be specific about word choices I made and the meanings I assume. The purpose of this podcast is to get you to think, not tell you what to think. This is the first of a few podcast Conversations we will have with people about the Vagus Nerve.

The interesting thing to take away from Episode 2 is that there is no short cut or hack. There is showing up for yourself every day and turning the fly wheel of you, by checking in and doing the things. In the next episode Lee says the same thing in different words through a different lens. Lee admits that he struggles to be a baseline good person, it takes work daily and the journey often serves as its own lesson. The path to God is through making peace with oneSelf is what I get from reflecting on these two exchanges.

Justin has his own website and online community where he provides education about polyvagal theory for the average person who is uninterested in psychobabble and wants to understand themselves and live their best life. He provides free content and access to a paid online community experience. Justin is not full of horsesh1t, he is a solid punk-like dude, I have high mistrust of the world of therapists and therapy and Justin wins my trust because of his demonstrated character track record. You can check out his stuff below, you can find him on IG and his podcast is an essential, it’s called Stuck Not Broken.

Total Access Membership of trauma recovery courses and community.

Free ebook, "Trauma & the Polyvagal Paradigm" when you sign up for my email list -

Learn the Polyvagal Theory simply and for free - Free Polyvagal Intro


Below is an AI-generated summary and the conversation transcript.

Show Notes

Summary :: Justin and I explore the impact of technology, social media, and information consumption on our mental health and social connections. We delve into the role of polyvagal theory in gaining an understanding trauma and human behaviour and “mental illness”. My main goal was to discuss the implications of social exclusion and the manipulation of information on the human nervous system, in particular the Vagus Nerve. Our discussion touches on the evolution of information access and the influence of digital platforms on our emotional responses and social interactions. We delve into the impact of emotional manipulation in media, the importance of self-awareness in navigating information, and the role of the nervous system in regulating emotions and behaviors. Our conversation emphasizes the power of curiosity, self-observation, and understanding one's internal state. We touch on the significance of recognizing and responding to one's emotional and physiological needs.

Keywords :: technology, social media, mental health, polyvagal theory, trauma, social exclusion, information manipulation, digital platforms, emotional responses, social interactions, emotional manipulation, self-awareness, nervous system, emotional regulation, curiosity, self-observation, internal state, emotional needs


  • The impact of technology and social media on mental health and social connections

  • Understanding trauma and mental health through polyvagal theory

  • The implications of social exclusion and the manipulation of information

  • The evolution of information access and the influence of digital platforms on emotional responses and social interactions Emotional manipulation in media can impact individuals' perceptions and responses to information.

  • Self-awareness and understanding one's internal state are crucial in navigating the information era.

  • The nervous system plays a significant role in regulating emotions and behaviors.

  • Curiosity and self-observation can empower individuals to recognize and respond to their emotional and physiological needs.

Ai Generated Titles

  • Implications of Social Exclusion and Information Manipulation

  • Understanding Trauma and Mental Health through Polyvagal Theory

Sound Bites

  • "The internet is just the internet. It doesn't do anything. It's just there. It's the people that are manipulating algorithms and whatnot. The internet is just the internet. That's like saying a book distorts how you think because you're reading what's inside and because of the person who wrote what's in there."


00:00 The Impact of Technology on Mental Health and Social Connections

02:49 Understanding Trauma and Mental Health through Polyvagal Theory

07:01 Implications of Social Exclusion and Information Manipulation


Bad Hijabi (00:00.627)

Okay, now we're recording. Okay, well, let's tell everyone who you are because maybe they don't know and tell them all about, you know, what you do and stuff.

Justin Sunseri (00:01.966)

I've done it too.

Justin Sunseri (00:06.102)

I've done it too, it sucks.

Justin Sunseri (00:17.646)

Now it's not organic anymore.

It was having fun there. I'm Justin, Justin Sincere. Hi, I'm a therapist and I specialize in polyvagal theory, which is a neuroscience stuff and how that applies to trauma, mental health. And yeah, that's me. That's me. Hi.

Bad Hijabi (00:39.859)

Yeah, I found Justin on Instagram, I think. Like, I'm not on Instagram anymore because it hurts my nervous system. But that was several years ago when I was like on every social media platform. And it's just so weird. And once in a while, we would have DMs and stuff you would like you're an artist too, right? You're like an a quite an artist or you used to be.

Justin Sunseri (00:49.23)


Justin Sunseri (01:04.878)

not as much as I used to be, but yeah, yeah.

Bad Hijabi (01:07.187)

Like I remember seeing your artwork and at that time I was sharing my art and you are also into like typography and graphic design and stuff. You're kind of like one of the punk DIY. I mean, I sort of think of punk as being like DIY, like F you and doing everything myself sort of. You sort of strike me as that kind of struck me as that kind of person. That's kind of like we hit it off in the DMS and stuff. Also.

Justin Sunseri (01:15.598)


Justin Sunseri (01:25.87)

That's very much me.

very much.

Justin Sunseri (01:34.158)

That's what I'm facing right now. I'm wrapping up my first book and I'm like, now it's time to start designing the actual pages. I probably couldn't hire someone because it costs so much, but regardless, I needed this myself. I want to, I have to, I must, and I'll get some fulfillment out of it. So that, yeah, 100 % with you, yeah.

Bad Hijabi (01:54.131)

Yeah, so what I also really like, excuse me about Justin is he is not full of shit. He is not like full of psycho babble horse shit. Sorry, sometimes I swear. And so yeah, like when I hear the psycho babble and you actually have that thing, that word on your thing, you have like, yeah, there's no psycho babble. Like, I'm like, okay. Like my background is I was a nurse.

I worked in like everywhere, but I started out like in psychiatry. So like, I, you know, worked in the asylum for my like practicum and like sat in the room with the assessments. And I was like on the acute or with the leg read the very, very, very, sick patients and stuff. and like, I just, you know, I don't know, I just have all sorts of views about that whole scene and stuff.

So I like how you are like, not like, you're like, okay, what's happening? And so like, that's how come like, like I even started to talk to you and listen to you and even get even to find out what I think it was through you that I found out about polyvagal theory, because I was like going through menopause and my parents were dying and every my life's falling apart and everything was just like awful. And I was like, okay.

Like, this is other psychiatry stuff's not where you're going. I don't want to do that. So like, i need a solution? So like, what's happening? So like, because you know, this is what you do. You try to figure out when your computer's broken, once go, what's happening? So I just needed to fix to use a metaphor. It's like, what's going on on the motherboard? How does this thing work? So that's how I sort of got curious about it. Like, you know,

Justin Sunseri (03:28.494)


Justin Sunseri (03:34.67)


Did you realize that it wasn't an issue of being broken though? Hey!

Bad Hijabi (03:40.595)

Yeah, and then you were like stuck, not broken. And you even, I remember before you changed the name, you had some other name for your podcast, which yeah. And then you changed it to that because yes, it's not a matter of being broken or defective or like disordered or whatever. It's just you're stuck. Like, you know, it's like we're dynamic creatures and things happen and we get, you know.

Justin Sunseri (03:48.302)

Polyvagal Podcast.

Justin Sunseri (03:58.478)

I don't think so.

Bad Hijabi (04:08.595)

like a machine or something. You just need to be. So that's kind of the background of why I chose Justin because mostly I'm very suspicious of the therapy community and everything because it's become a bit more ideology and a lot of magical thinking and a lot of like...

Justin Sunseri (04:11.246)

That's how I look at it, yeah. That's how I look at it. That's...

Justin Sunseri (04:24.27)

Me too.

Bad Hijabi (04:34.707)

directing and guiding and like it's really damaging to people who are seeking an answer from a person and you know, they might have like all sorts of Pre like issues of trust and stuff and they're told this person has this designation you could trust them and then like You know, sometimes there's like right so

I don't know. I think it's really good for people to just know their bodies. Like as much as you should know how your body works, as much as you know how to code a thing for the internet. Like, right?

Justin Sunseri (05:10.734)

Yeah. I agree.

Bad Hijabi (05:10.899)

So, you know, that's why we're here. Like, so like I was listening to your latest interview with Stephen Porges and that's really cool. He's continually updates this theory and he's so humble and lovely. I've listened to, I think all of your interviews with him. He just is like such a nice guy. He's so lovely and humble and stuff. And that's one of the things I have with this whole, all the really good scientists.

Justin Sunseri (05:30.606)

Seems like it, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (05:39.155)

They are like so humble and they like, they have so much knowledge locked inside them. And it's like, they, they are so like not equipped to navigate how to like, how to get that out into the world. And they don't like, they are not like clout seekers or anything like that, which is why they're good scientists. But so that's kind of like, it's, it's kind of good that, you know, this stuff gets out.

like by us talking about it or you know, whatever. So anyway, it's good that he's like added them mixed states and you know, then like I was saying before, I pushed record, I was interested a lot in like I've written in my sub stack social exclusion because you know, we're in this like era where it's very like polarized in society and like, we are lacking the

Justin Sunseri (06:10.67)

Yeah, definitely.

Bad Hijabi (06:38.131)

maybe because we're not in the state where we need to be to have like socially like safe solutions. So like, you know, we, Polyvagal theory seems really important to me because yeah, I just lost my train there, but you know, yeah.

Justin Sunseri (07:01.294)

No problem. You were saying the social exclusion. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (07:04.819)

yes. So social exclusion, like, I feel like that's like a whole, like application that, like I was thinking about, and then I was listening to your thing that you're talking about, and they were, they actually did talk about, you know, a right about solitary confinement and, you know, how that affects, you know, I thought that was kind of interesting. So.

Justin Sunseri (07:27.15)

Yeah, that was from Our Polyvagal World world with Dr. Porges and his son Seth. Seth Porges, I believe. Yeah, he talked about solitary confinement. Yeah, not good. Not good. We need each other.

Bad Hijabi (07:32.179)


Bad Hijabi (07:35.803)

So, and yeah, I was saying that before, so I'll just repeat all that, you know, what we have learned with, you know, from COVID and from, you know, all of this really polarized time and, you know, stuff is that like social exclusion, social connection is a biological imperative. Like if you're starving someone of social connection, it's as though you're starving them of food or water.

Like that's maybe an extreme because some people need those kinds of comparatives to understand that this is not like we have this stupid notion that we don't need people that were like these dualistic machines, you know, whatever. And it's simply not true. Like, you know, and so I thought that was really interesting how he said the vagus nerve is basically the surveillance system of the internal organs.

Justin Sunseri (08:35.406)

Yeah, yeah, sends information from the body to the brainstem basically. So the condition or the state of the body, like when hungry, it's going to pick that up and send it on up to the brainstem, which will trigger the body to or the thoughts of like, I better go eat. And then you can go see, seek out food. So the state of the body, it picks up on on those. Yeah, but also the thoughts in our brain affect the brainstem as well. And then are sent through the Vagus

to the body. So it's this, I think he calls it a closed loop, where it's this bidirectional, I think he calls it a bidirectional feedback, body to brain, brain to body. But really, it's the brainstem though, that's the most important thing from body to brainstem, brain to brainstem.

Bad Hijabi (09:14.259)

Yes, yeah they do.


So like, what I like is that you, in fact, I think it's one of your latest Instagram things where you said, tell people what you said, like that there's no easy, like there's no hack. There's no anything. There's just, what is there? Just say it.

Justin Sunseri (09:31.886)

Go hack.

Justin Sunseri (09:38.19)

I don't know, what did I say? I've been posting Instagram forever.

Bad Hijabi (09:39.443)

You just sort of said like something about the journey and that like it's just like a process that you just have to go through and stuff.

Justin Sunseri (09:43.31)

yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's a slow process, typically of getting unstuck. But there's no I don't believe there's any hack or stimulation or what are they? Well, I don't know. Yeah, those buzzwords. I don't I don't think that mental health is an issue of finding the right hack to feel better. I think that there are many things we can do to slowly get unstuck. But they all the way I view it is it's

It all revolves around our capacity to exist in our safety state, which is the biology for social connection and feeling connected to the present moment, to others, to yourself. None of that happens unless we're in our safety state. So how can we anchor into our safety state more and more and more? And then as we do that, then we can get unstuck more and more and more. But it's typically a slow process.

you know, difference person to person, but yeah, there's no hack. There's no thing to like magically feel better, at least not sustainably.

Bad Hijabi (10:44.339)

How do people start usually?

Like, how do people start? Like, I just noticed that I was feeling really crappy and I wasn't happy with it and I wanted to know why. So, like, and I just started noticing, you know?

Justin Sunseri (11:00.782)

Okay, yeah. Yeah, I think a lot, typically what we do is, or a lot of people do is they'll feel something, they'll label it crappy, and then their mind goes to, how do I make it go away? Versus, I feel something, period. And not evaluate what it's about, not evaluating whether it's good or bad, but just I'm feeling something, and that's it.

Bad Hijabi (11:15.123)


Bad Hijabi (11:21.491)

I wouldn't like what I love about Poly vagal theory is that like he said, it's the conduit and also all of the circuitry. So like, like, I now notice, okay, this is making my stomach in a knot. Or like my heart feels really like, like it's like, not like chest pain, like I'm gonna have a heart attack, but like a new in a nuanced way, this hurts my heart.

like, or this burning sensation, like, like, I think it's like, maybe helpful for people. No, but, but like, if you know, something like terrible, like, say, you know, the, the October the seventh things and stuff like that, like when you're watching some information to like notice, hey, because I think people don't they bypass that part.

Justin Sunseri (11:49.838)

Yeah. Wait, wait, wait, right now you actually feel that way? okay.

Bad Hijabi (12:13.459)

they bypass the part where they react because we have a visceral reaction to things, right?

Justin Sunseri (12:19.47)

Yeah, well, how often do we have time to react if you're sitting there watching something, you know, happen on TV, let's say like a disaster or something? Well, either you're taking action, you know, obviously, if you're in the situation, but if you're watching it, it's you just keep watching. There's no time to well, there is time to sit and reflect, but we don't do that. Instead, we watch the thing and then listen to the commentary about the thing and then listen to what we're supposed to do from the people who are telling us about the thing.

Bad Hijabi (12:28.083)


Justin Sunseri (12:48.11)

And so there's never really a time to reflect process, talk about it maybe. And if we do, it doesn't really come from our safety state. It's more reactive. It's more mobilized, but potentially in a very dysregulated flight fight kind of way or freeze, rage, panicky. So we can, we can kick back and reflect on these things and discuss and it's fine. But I don't think we give that to ourselves very often.

Bad Hijabi (13:12.115)

Yeah, like I think, but I think, yeah, and I think we like part of the new solutions thing is like learning, okay, like, you know, if the, if the element is on your stove, you know that you're not going to touch it because it's going to hurt. So like, maybe we just need to develop those kinds of relationships with certain types of information that we know is not for us or something, right?

I don't know. I mean, like, I think part of this is like a self -regulatory skill and a self -awareness thing that obviously is not really encouraged.

Justin Sunseri (13:39.086)

No, well yeah, but...

Justin Sunseri (13:48.686)

I don't, right. I don't, I don't think we realize when something hurts, like, you know, social media, we don't know it hurts because it's so gratifying in the media sense. We don't realize that, this is actually hurting. Whereas if you touch a hot stove, immediately you know, this is not good.

Bad Hijabi (14:06.835)

And so that's why I was fascinated. I was telling you before about the whole Matthew Lieberman and Naomi Eisenberger. They're a husband and wife team and they're like neuroscientists or something and they are working on like social pain. And so there's a part of the brain, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex where if you feel physical pain, that part of the brain is activated. And

It also is activated when you are excluded, when you feel social pain. So, and you don't need sensory input, like you don't need any sensory, like that happens without any sensory input, stimulation, right? So.

Justin Sunseri (14:48.014)

Well, no, no, no, the sensory input would be the... would be... there's... we have this imp... this must connect to... we have this impulse to connect with each other or to other living... to other mammals. We have an impulse to connect. So even though we may not be getting punched in the face, our impulse to connect is not being met and welcomed and nurtured.

Bad Hijabi (14:56.819)


Bad Hijabi (15:00.563)

Mm -hmm.

Bad Hijabi (15:05.587)

Yeah, but even like when you think about it being excluded is like it still triggers that like that. That's sort of what I meant.

Justin Sunseri (15:10.414)

That's the end.

Yeah, well, that's there right now. I'm with you. Both of those are involved this impulse to connect. So if I have an impulse to connect with a stranger and they don't reciprocate, it's you know, I still have that impulse. Well, that would be unhealthy, honestly. But there's still this impulse to connect. That's just kind of lingering. If I have an impulse to connect with my friends and they bat me away or humiliate me, that's another level of like it's not a sensory input like as in a taste.

Bad Hijabi (15:17.043)


Bad Hijabi (15:24.723)




Bad Hijabi (15:39.475)


Justin Sunseri (15:43.566)

but it is, I mean, you hear it, you see their faces. So like there are sensory inputs. It just may not be as obvious as like a hot stove, but there's still sense, like we're still receiving that information somehow and it has to go through our senses. It's the impulse to connect to that. That's the important thing though, because if someone, you don't, if you don't have that impulse to connect with someone and they talk about you behind your back, it doesn't, for me at least, it doesn't affect me nearly as much as if, as if.

Bad Hijabi (15:51.891)


Bad Hijabi (15:56.051)

Yeah, that's true. Yeah. Yes, yeah.

Bad Hijabi (16:09.683)

Exactly. Yeah.

Justin Sunseri (16:11.47)

someone I cared about were to humiliate me in public, that would be different.

Bad Hijabi (16:13.875)

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I guess that's the perception of being excluded. Like if you don't feel like you're excluded, then it's not going to hurt. But if you do feel like you're excluded, then like I think that was kind of like the whole notion of that. Right. So but like I think that people like I know that's really like that could be open to interpretation. But I think the point is that like people don't realize that they're like social social connection is like, you know,

Justin Sunseri (16:25.902)


If you feel like you're exclu -

Bad Hijabi (16:43.091)

it isn't just fluffy, it's not just like, some fun thing. It's like a thing we need and like, we feel it, like we feel it, like we feel pain. And so like, if you're having, like if you feel sad or something, like apparently if you take a Tylenol or something, that is supposed to like, this is what the research said, that that like actually provides some relief. One of the studies said that.

Justin Sunseri (17:07.693)

Yeah. Sure.

Bad Hijabi (17:09.139)

So because like, so that was like the demonstration, you know, the demonstration that the pathway is the same, right? Because it uses, because those pathways existed already. So when we evolved to become social, then that is how we, how it's manifested. Do you see it now what I'm saying? Yeah. Yeah.

Justin Sunseri (17:12.142)

you think, because of the pain? Sure.

Justin Sunseri (17:28.526)

Yeah, I get it. Yeah, I get the idea. Yeah, totally. There's we have a felt experience of of disconnection from others. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (17:35.411)

Yeah, so like, like I feel like that's really like, fascinating. And and like, like I had said before, I don't know if I push record or whatever. I feel like if there's also a felt a felt sense of disconnection from ourselves that we can have that, you know, that and that like, if you're not connected to yourself, then I like I don't even know how this is happens, how this gets explained in the Polyvagal world. But like, if you're not connected to yourself, you cannot be like,

Justin Sunseri (17:51.438)

Yeah. Yeah, I think most people live that way, yeah.

Bad Hijabi (18:05.427)

access any kind of like social safety zone or whatever it's called.

Justin Sunseri (18:11.502)

No, right, yeah, exactly, yeah, not really.

Bad Hijabi (18:12.339)

You know, so like, I almost feel like we live in this world where we walk through all of this information that is like, like, you know, like a pressure to us to try to disconnect from ourselves when we're trying to reconnect with ourselves. And, you know, then there's the relationships that were connected to each other and stuff. And like, you know, everyone's like, you know, everyone has like this, you know, idea of what

you know, what the blame, you know, the boogeyman is about what, you know, what's the, this thing, you know, is the blame or we'll blame that thing or whatever, right? It's Marxism or it's whatever, right? But like, ultimately, it's just the way we're like, where you're like reacting to ourselves and each other.

You know what I'm saying? Like, I don't think that there's any big giant ideological thing happening. I think it's just that we are evolving socially. It's really messy. Or we're having some kind of social adolescence or something. I don't know. Where we're out of control. And so I don't know. All of this stuff, people want to poke a...

Justin Sunseri (19:11.79)

or devolve, I would say more like devolving.

Justin Sunseri (19:19.758)

yeah. Yeah, I'm with you there, yeah.

Bad Hijabi (19:30.803)

like have some boogeyman that this is to blame or whatever and like ultimately I just think that's a function of not wanting to do like to face that fact that okay there's things I can control like which is me how I feel and there's things I can't control which is like everything else so like I have get to choose well I not really like you can try to you know or you're supposed to I mean that's your duty and

Justin Sunseri (19:50.094)

You can control yourself?

Bad Hijabi (19:58.099)

That's your duty in the civilization as much as possible to try to control yourself, but I don't know. But you know, like it's hard to try to navigate everything and there's like, you know, the whole notion of the penopticon, if you believe in that and the whole information, you know, the penopticon is like this thing, I think it was Jeremy Bentham that envisioned this, which is basically, you know, there's like a tau, a

Justin Sunseri (20:01.23)

Is that an imposed belief or is that something that, yeah.

That's my, yeah.

Justin Sunseri (20:17.998)

What is that?

Bad Hijabi (20:27.827)

the ideal prison, which would be like the tower would be in the center and everything would be all around and there would be like, you know, guards on the tower and the windows would be shuttered, but they could be see out and you would never know if you're being watched, but they could be watching you at any time. And this, you know, this whole like, like you just, you know, you're always being watched and you're always on display in this whole.

thing like that. So there's all that whole thing that like, like, because now we're we are all like, you know, we're all sort of we feel there's like this feeling of familiarity, like the internet, or a digital world sort of has, has made, you know, us feel maybe more, I feel like maybe it's not the case, but like, I feel like it's made us feel more entitled to people. And like, we would say things on the internet that you wouldn't say to somebody's face. Right?

Justin Sunseri (21:21.55)

No, but you'd say behind their back. Gossip's always existed, fear -mongering's always existed, right? Speculation's always existed, it's just way more transparent now.

Bad Hijabi (21:23.859)

That's true.

Bad Hijabi (21:28.819)

And so.

Like, like, what is happening? Is this? Is it? Is it like a is the Internet like a force multiplier for all this stuff? And it's just like a mirror showing us.

Justin Sunseri (21:40.654)

No, I think it's just an easier way to communicate. It's just a faster, more streamlined way to communicate with more people.

Bad Hijabi (21:45.139)

So it's just concentrating everything. Like, I just feel like the digital world has sort of like distorted some things, the ways we connect with ourselves or intensified something.

Justin Sunseri (21:49.294)

Well, no.

Justin Sunseri (21:58.958)

The internet is just the internet. It doesn't do anything. It's just there. It's the people that are manipulating algorithms and whatnot. The internet is just the internet. That's like saying a book distorts how you think because you're reading what's inside and because of the person who wrote what's in there.

Bad Hijabi (22:05.683)

Well, yeah. Yeah.

Well, that's kind of what I mean when I say that. That's kind of what I mean. It's like the package deal of how we interact with it, how we use it or how it's managed, you know, and stuff, right? Like.

Justin Sunseri (22:19.374)

Sure. But when you if you look at it that way, then you you're maybe in a lot of things on purpose, but inadvertently, you're getting people saying, yeah, the Internet's bad when it's really like, no, it's just the Internet. But the issue would be the people who are using the Internet in order to shut down some voices, amplify other voices or messages. Then the question becomes, well, why are you doing that?

Bad Hijabi (22:30.291)

Well, no, it's not. It's just it's.

Bad Hijabi (22:42.163)

Mm -hmm.

Justin Sunseri (22:45.23)

And why are you taking away this platform that all of us can share? Or why are you manipulating this platform that all of us can share? You know?

Bad Hijabi (22:51.283)

I think that's the point I'm trying to get at is that it's being used to manipulate our social connections to one another. Like, I don't like, maybe that's like before actually, now that I think about it, like that's what marketing is basically is manipulating us at some level, right? It's like an emotional manipulation to get us to make decisions. So maybe that's just like become a craft.

Justin Sunseri (22:59.918)


Justin Sunseri (23:08.238)


Justin Sunseri (23:13.07)

If you I mean, if you look at it in a certain light, then yeah, one could look at like I market my my stuff. I hope I'm just putting my message out there and giving people an option on what would help them. Am I trying to manipulate them and prompt an action? Kinda. I mean, you could look at it that way, but I also want to do so from a place of invitation, curiosity and rule out whether or not I'm a good fit for someone as a therapist or as a coach or my courses. So you can market.

Bad Hijabi (23:20.243)


Bad Hijabi (23:26.547)


Justin Sunseri (23:42.542)

to prompt an action, but also be very transparent about who's right or wrong for it. So when you say that internet is, or people who use the internet are distorting socialization, it's like, that could be the end result, but is that the intention though? Or is the intention to keep one person hooked to the internet, feed them messages, amplify certain ones, and then the effect is more tribalism, is that what you call it? More...

Bad Hijabi (23:45.011)

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (23:53.491)

It can distort, it can distort, but I know it also can connect.

Bad Hijabi (24:11.443)


Justin Sunseri (24:12.43)

Yeah, so the effect might be more distance between ourselves and within ourselves. But the intent might be I just want to hook you onto a product and keep you there.

Bad Hijabi (24:22.195)

So that's what I'm getting at. This is like something that's distorting our process with our relationship with ourself. It's something that's causing us to face how we engage information because like, okay, I'm 55. Like when I started out, I was going to the card catalog or the book stacks, whatever, right? Now when I do research, it's a totally different way of doing relationship and it's a completely different thing.

Justin Sunseri (24:48.174)

Totally. Did you use microfiche?

Bad Hijabi (24:51.475)

Yes, and I hated it because I used to get car sick.

Justin Sunseri (24:55.79)

my gosh, I think when I was in school, microfiche was just phasing out. It was still there. But we didn't really use it. It was books. I remember going like diving into like get open the book, go to the index, you got to find everything page by page. actual books.

Bad Hijabi (25:03.123)

Yeah, I remember the big.

Bad Hijabi (25:08.019)

Yes, yeah. And sometimes there's like sometimes I miss the book stacks, but then it's good because I can't always get to the library. But so the way we look for things is different. The way we engage information is different. Like, you know, so I don't know. Well, there is like it's an experience. It's one experience going to look at a card catalog and then walking up the stairs and going to.

Justin Sunseri (25:14.766)

It's so much simpler. Yeah.

Justin Sunseri (25:24.814)

Different how? You're still reading words, you're still...

Bad Hijabi (25:35.091)

you know, find the book stacks and walking all around and doing the thing. And then there's another thing of me sitting in the chair for three hours and surfing from site to site and going and then, and you know, every half hour I'll pop on to Twitter or whatever it's called now. And, you know, right. Like, I don't know. I mean, like, I feel like, like, I guess that's just life changes because, you know, technology, you know, makes your life different. Like it's, it's, it's the difference between.

Justin Sunseri (25:53.326)

Yeah, I think one's more streamlined.

Bad Hijabi (26:03.699)

hand washing your dishes and then if you have a dishwasher your lifestyle changes because you're eating over that. But then that's like it forces it does force changes in society because we ultimately our relationship with ourselves changes. You know? No, it just means that we have to be aware of it. So like now I feel like you know there's all sorts of like players trying to get people

Justin Sunseri (26:17.838)

Yeah, but that doesn't mean good or bad. It just, there's the potential for it.

Bad Hijabi (26:28.467)

you know, hooked into a thing and they're say a thing and there's like what I call rage farming and helplessness exploitation. And there's all sorts of like, you know, bad faith actors and stuff. And there's people who are seeking information who aren't necessarily, you know, whatever they're just so like, there's all of these things that like people maybe, you know, aren't aware of the fact that, or maybe they are, or maybe we're just learning that all of these things happen and.

You know, like, I just feel like, you know, not every there's not any Walter Conkrite who is like, okay, here's the news. Like, you know, this is what happened. It's like you have to be emotionally tapped in and somebody has to almost like somebody just reached in and they need to like, you know, mess with your whatever and they need you to be upset about it and stuff. And it's like, why can't you just tell me what happened without like trying to like make me feel a thing? You know?

Justin Sunseri (27:20.59)

Bad Hijabi (27:25.619)

I don't know, I just feel like that's something that's really like annoying to me.

Justin Sunseri (27:25.774)


Justin Sunseri (27:30.702)

Are there not sources out there that you could find that appeal more to?

Bad Hijabi (27:34.131)

There is, but I just feel that there is this quality of, I don't know, there's this need to get people to do things. And because I do a lot of counter radicalism research and stuff, I come across a lot of instructions for, this is how you narrative management and...

all these things and there's like all of this like, you know, how to like craft your narrative and how to like write your copy and stuff like that, you know, and they're told, okay, well make it and even like, you know, if I've written stuff for like editors, you know, people want the story and they want the human elements and like, you know, okay, yes, I get that. And there's nothing wrong with that. We like we're social creatures and we need to connect. But at some point, like,

I think that like there's a difference between like being really dramatic and telling a thing and conveying the information to convey the information. And do you want people to be really upset because you want them to be upset for a reason or do you just want exactly, exactly. That's what I'm getting at.

Justin Sunseri (28:47.086)

Sure. No, you're trying to prompt an action. What, well, no, you, okay, the action, the action might be in action. You just stay put in your chair through the commercial, come on back. We got more rage for you. Or an action like, hey, go do this thing, both this way, buy this thing, whatever. So all that's true, there are sources out there that pander to people like that and people get sucked in, but that's not the entirety of.

of what's out there, people can find sources that are more balanced, less emotionally charged. As a therapist and in my content creation stuff, I don't feel like I'm pretty very emotionally charged. I don't feel like I'm trying to prompt an action or rage farm. So you can totally find mental health stuff that involves that level of, I don't know.

Bad Hijabi (29:16.051)


Bad Hijabi (29:33.331)

Mm -hmm.

Bad Hijabi (29:37.363)

I'm talking about just generally speaking, like the news media and just information just generally. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Yes.

Justin Sunseri (29:40.27)

Right. Yeah, I'm just I'm using this as a comparison, though, like the way I come across, I think it's pretty neutral. It's just an invitation. There's new sources that most of them are more opinion editorial. At this point, there is not really objective. It's not I mean, they're out there, but the ones that are the biggest are are not. But they're still out there. And so the more of us that choose to ignore some sources and focus on other sources, the better off we'll be because those other sources that are more neutral.

Bad Hijabi (29:56.211)


Bad Hijabi (30:04.595)


Justin Sunseri (30:10.19)

Hopefully we'll get more eyeballs, more ears, more time in the, or more exposure through algorithms, but that's up to us. We have to change our behavior to find what we need.

Bad Hijabi (30:19.315)

Exactly. I think that's just the thing that I'm trying to get at is that people have a choice and people like because how I think it's really all about self -awareness and like self, like how does this thing make you feel? Because I really think when you read something that's obviously not like that's obvious fiction and being promoted is true. I feel like you can feel that something is like.

Justin Sunseri (30:31.79)

Totally. Totally.

Bad Hijabi (30:48.467)

if somebody tells you something is clearly wrong, like, yeah, like, like we feel that in our, in our bodies. And I think that people don't, maybe we need to be, maybe just learn that like, that's like a thing. Cause I, I still feel like we're in this living this world where like, we feel like there's like the mind body dichotomy. And we don't understand that like, that's if we can lose that unhelpful construct about ourselves, that then we can like,

be more successful in navigating the information era, you know?

Justin Sunseri (31:23.694)

Yeah. Yeah, I suppose so. I think that it's possible to pick up on lies, but it's not easy. And there might be a felt sense of manipulation run truth. But there's been a long history of people successfully getting away with all kinds of evil. So I don't know how reliable that is. And even if you could feel it, do you have the empowerment to act on it? That's a whole other question.

Bad Hijabi (31:46.547)

This is true, exactly.

Bad Hijabi (31:52.595)

Exactly. But I just think, you know, people maybe if people are more aware of themselves and their reactions to, you know, information and like, I think it's very easy to get swept into, you know, like movements and ideas and groupthink and stuff. And so this is why I think that this is kind of important to know about this stuff, because, you know, now that I'm thinking about it, like,

Justin Sunseri (32:01.966)


Bad Hijabi (32:21.235)

I think getting swept into a group thing or whatever, I mean, a really extraordinary thing. I think that that's a form of disconnect from yourself. When you become somehow convinced to do something that's really not anything that you would do. And sometimes people are like, they don't know why they're doing the thing. They're like...

you got to stop them at a protest. And they're like, what's the, what do you know? I don't know. You know, and like, like that, like, that's a fascinating, like phenomenon to me, you know, that this person's.

Justin Sunseri (32:56.302)

Totally. Well, yeah. Well, it's not about, at that point though, it's not about the protest or the belief or whatever it is. It's about being a part of the group and following along and they get something out of that. And that's what's being manipulated is that need to connect, to belong, to fit in, to not ostracize yourself. So there's other benefits. It's not about the belief at that point. I don't think.

Bad Hijabi (33:10.419)

Mm -hmm.

Bad Hijabi (33:22.771)

I really think that that's like a real like issue, like that's like sort of pressing people, like, you know, pressing people or like, you know, creating like, you know, discomfort in society is that that need to connect and that need to belong is being, like you said, it's being, it's being abused. Like, and that's like, it's, it's, it's hurting people. Like, because like, or maybe we like, I was saying to somebody like,

Justin Sunseri (33:47.662)

Pretty sad.

Bad Hijabi (33:51.507)

You notice how we always like go for like the viscera. We always go for like canceling people and excluding them. It's almost like we innately know that like that is what would really hurt me if everyone cut me off. If the whole social world acted like I wasn't there. Wow, that really sucks. It's almost like we really know that.

Justin Sunseri (34:09.038)

Yeah. Yeah.

Justin Sunseri (34:15.278)

That's what the abusers go to is, is to cut you off to snip away your social connections so that all you're left with is them, right?

Bad Hijabi (34:23.155)

Exactly. So it's interesting how we seem to have like, to me it would seem we have like an innate knowledge of ourselves. Because we know the best, we know the most damaging ways to hurt people is to cancel them. Yeah.

Justin Sunseri (34:37.678)

on a biological level. Conceptually, no one's, I don't think it's people, well, some are probably planning it out, but conceptually, like an abuser is not, no, it's not a cognitive thing, no. It's body driven, yeah. From dysregulation.

Bad Hijabi (34:41.587)

No, yeah, like it's yeah, yeah. It's not at the level of yeah, it's not at high thinking. It's like, yeah, it's like, it's, yeah. Yeah. So that's even more convincing to me that there is like this, you know, there isn't like, I keep I wrote down a bunch of stuff. The vagus nervous, the surveillance system of the internal organs, like so there is a wire that goes from your brain all the way down.

Like that seems to make sense to me. And if people could just get that, there's a wire. It's the conduit, man. It's not whatever theory you thought, you know, or thing that you are making up this thing, the story or whatever, right? I don't know. I just feel it's, I find it very helpful to be like, okay, like what's my nervous system doing right now? Like nevermind the story because the story is always, you know, there's like this, there's like this, this,

Justin Sunseri (35:21.806)


Bad Hijabi (35:42.483)

this loop between the state and the story, right? Whatever.

Justin Sunseri (35:46.478)

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. And I wish we could all get to that point. But it's not realistic. Right now. It's just not I mean, how many people are asking themselves what's happening within their body emotionally, just on an emotional level? Not very many. And then how about how many people are asking underneath your emotions? What does it feel like to have your emotion in your body? Not very many at all.

Bad Hijabi (35:53.683)


Bad Hijabi (36:10.451)


Justin Sunseri (36:11.118)

And then underneath that, what's the state of your body? More flight, more fight, more shutdown, more connection and safety. Like no one thinks this way at all. So we're not there. Like we're not even close to being there. Instead, we're following where our fear takes us or trying to find connection and potentially being manipulated. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (36:28.499)

And a lot fear and fear and then being manipulated. And like, I feel like, you know, words do carry weight, right? And so, you know, the more that we are buried under all of that stuff of not of the unknowingness of ourselves or being disconnected from ourselves, like all that, like, like this really like, you know, but if we could just like, and then we the words fly and then it's like, why did you say like, and I'll admit, you know, like, you know, say, you know,

Seven years ago, I used to use the internet as like, you know, a lot of people do like as a venting place, right? And then eventually, like if you, you know, develop some social connections, you, you know, you find a purpose and stuff, and then you start to look at, because I do, you know, look at counter radicalisms and stuff. Like, why do you use those words? And why did you say that? Like, why did you need to say that thing? Like, like, there's so much to

you know, there's like social media behavior to me is so much more than just like what it seems to be. Like it's a really great sort of like barometer for like nervous systems and you know.

Justin Sunseri (37:37.966)

Yeah, the question that I have in my mind is rather than why did you do that? Because the answer is going to be, well, I want to affect the world in a positive way or because that person deserved it or something like that. They can rationalize. The question instead is what happened within you before or while you were saying that thing? What happened inside? How are you feeling?

Bad Hijabi (37:48.723)


Mm -hmm. But yeah, yeah. Yes. Like, what were you thinking that or feeling that made you, made that seem like a really good idea to, you know?

Justin Sunseri (38:02.926)

Yeah, it's the emotion and underneath that is the polyvagal state, the state of the body. That's what's driving it. Whether or not, because what you're thinking, what you're feeling come from that. So if we can figure out what was happening within you right before you did that thing, that's a pretty good indication of of where well, if we can figure that out, then we can address the state of your body, not the thing you said, which is important, of course. But for the next time, though, if you can recognize what's happening within you before you speak.

Bad Hijabi (38:07.283)


Bad Hijabi (38:13.107)


Bad Hijabi (38:26.899)

Mm -hmm.

Justin Sunseri (38:33.102)

that might be more beneficial. You know what I mean? So reflecting on the state of our body, on our emotions, I think is the way to go if you truly want to make change, instead of just changing your behavior, trying to change your thoughts. I mean, if you can't do that, great. But if you can become more introspective, more curious about what's happening within you, that would be ideal, I think.

Bad Hijabi (38:37.203)


Bad Hijabi (38:55.091)

I think observing oneself is really like important. I don't really think that people realize when you just notice yourself, like if you noticed somebody else that like, like that's almost like that's a connection that like that's a positive thing that that's helpful to that person. It's a soothing thing. Right. So like, we don't just realize that like, if you just noticed yourself and you know, the other thing is like, yeah, like the internet's just a thing and we put all sorts of projections and ideas on it.

Justin Sunseri (38:59.95)


Bad Hijabi (39:24.18)

And like, there's a mute button and there's a block button and there's the off button to the computer and like, there's choices we can make. And like, you know, oftentimes the algorithm is like, whatever you choose, like it will give you more of the same. And, you know, I don't know. I think sometimes we feel like there's so much information that we don't, we forgot that we have a choice or, you know, choices presented in different ways and stuff, but ultimately it's as about.

Justin Sunseri (39:32.142)

Mm -hmm.

Bad Hijabi (39:51.955)

This is why I wanted this conversation is because like, ultimately is like you said, it's about like, what is going on in your head and your body and like your emotion and your, you know, for your feeling and stuff, right? What's your heart doing? You know, right? So yeah.

Justin Sunseri (40:04.11)

Body, yeah.


Yeah, the state of your body. Yeah, that's the primary mover there. So if we can notice that and eventually shift it, then our thoughts change, the words that we put onto the internet or on a book, those change, the emotions that we feel change. So but we have to look inward first and try to access a bit more of our safety state, which is not easy, but it was doable.

Bad Hijabi (40:30.387)

One thing I liked is what you guys were talking about. One point he was talking about the things that we like reflexive behaviors that we have that are helpful, like moving your facial muscles or something like that. And he was like humming and singing and like playing the bazooka and like, you know, doing those things. You know, they're like behaviors that like

or calming or something like that. Like there's things that we can do, there's things that we can do in our bodies that we can like do on the spot to like help ourselves out of a situation.

Justin Sunseri (41:02.926)

It can be.

Justin Sunseri (41:09.806)

Yeah, I mean, technically, technically, yeah, but I just my concern is telling people, well, if you just hum, then you'll feel great. Like, that's not.

Bad Hijabi (41:18.387)

No, but I mean, it's, you know, it's a thing, it's possibility and it's probably what your body maybe wants to do. Like maybe that's why your, you know, your body does that because, because that's a comfort thing, right? So to not to be aware of the fact that that's what your body does. Or, you know, another thing, I think it was in your podcast or somewhere, the muscles in your face or the nerves in your face are connected to the heart. So like we sort of,

Justin Sunseri (41:25.198)

That's the key. That's the key is what.

Bad Hijabi (41:47.379)

feel comforted when we get to see people's faces and you know, like that's part of like connecting and you know, stuff like that. Like all of these things like that are part of like, you know, creating like a safe social environment that we don't even realize.

Justin Sunseri (42:01.582)

Yeah. Yep. See how if you can move your facial muscles, that shows you're a safe mammal and someone else will see that and that helps to calm their own state. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (42:11.219)

So like if you're in a video, in a zoom call, you know, like sometimes people might, and obviously, you know, not everyone can do it, but so things like, if people kind of see your face, you know, and like that it effects the connections, you know, things like that. Like we like, this is like how did the digital world like, you know, poses new challenges to us that we need to like think about, you know, in order to be, I mean, that's kind of what evolution is, right?

Justin Sunseri (42:24.334)

Yeah, totally.

Justin Sunseri (42:35.022)

Yeah. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (42:39.635)

Like you have to adapt to a new situation, you know? So, so.

Justin Sunseri (42:44.334)

Yeah, on a biological level, yeah. Yeah, so if you choose to engage in this type of thing, just might be something to be aware of. I know. So for me as a therapist, I'm doing more and more virtual stuff, which is fine. But in person is better, I think. But when I do repeated virtual sessions, I notice it takes a toll on me. That's different than doing in person. Like I feel more drained is kind of the right word, but also like beaten up in a way. It's not the same as being in person and receiving those true.

Bad Hijabi (43:02.675)


Justin Sunseri (43:13.806)

connective safety cues from the person that you're with.

Bad Hijabi (43:15.667)

to, what do you think about that? I was thinking about like, you know, how there's like cardiac resonance or like, you know, the heart, you know, syncing and all of these things like that when people are together. Like, how is that affected? Like through a digital connection? Is it like, is that, does that dampened? You know, was the benefit of the connection? I wonder about.

Justin Sunseri (43:35.854)

I don't know about the heart syncing

Bad Hijabi (43:52.787)

Mm -hmm.

Justin Sunseri (44:05.582)

pretty darn good alternative. I think it's fine. Yeah. So it's better than nothing. And I think it's for the most part, good. Fine to good as an option, but just not as good as the real deal, you know, being in person.

Bad Hijabi (44:07.315)

Sure, sure.

Bad Hijabi (44:24.371)

So what was the best way for people to use polyvagal theory in their life for their own, to navigate themselves? Like just for someone who's just doing their thing. Yeah.

Justin Sunseri (44:33.07)

Justin Sunseri (44:38.35)

like just starting out.

learn it. That's the first thing is learn it. Learn about Paul vehicle theory. And then it's not a modality. It's not a tool. It's not like a therapeutic practice. It's just science. It's, it's the it explains what's happening within us. And from that, you'll learn like, we have this capacity, this biological drive and capacity to feel safe and to socially connect or to feel present and to reduce anxiety and

anger and rage and all, you know, all the stuff that we don't want to feel. So if you can learn that, then the question becomes, well, how do I do more of that? How do I feel safer? And that would be the next step, I think, is to figure out, well, what what makes you feel better than not? You know, not I don't mean like, you know, getting high in that way. Therefore, I don't feel bad. I don't mean that. I mean, like going out for a walk feels better than sitting at home on my phone. You know,

Bad Hijabi (45:37.683)

Mm -hmm.

Justin Sunseri (45:38.542)

That's more what I mean. If I can pet my dog or hug my kids, that feels better than binge eating. So it's what can you do to feel more goodness in your body? Not less crumbiness exactly, but just genuinely in the present moment. That's what you want to strive for. Identify those things, do them more and more, build up your capacity to feel safe. And then eventually we can deal with the stuck defensive stuff.

like flight, bite, freeze, shutdown. But that's probably the first thing to do is learn it and then figure out what helps you feel safe and connected, what helps you to breathe easier and be in the present moment.

Bad Hijabi (46:17.011)

It's safe, it's fairly universal, it's fairly safe to say that like moving the body is often a remedy for like if you're feeling stuck or something.

Justin Sunseri (46:32.91)

Maybe I'll put a big old maybe on that because if you're in shutdown, you don't want to move. In shutdown, actually immobilizing with lower stimulation feels pretty damn good. And that's OK. That's different, though, than isolating in the dark with the TV on. That's not no, that's just numbing. That's killing time. That's yeah.

Bad Hijabi (46:37.683)

That's true. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (46:52.531)

And see, that's the whole nuance of the polyvagal theory is to know when you're in that state where it's like, okay, I'm going to binge with, I'm going to my room, I'm going to crawl into my bed and I'm gonna binge on Netflix and that's fine with me. Or if you're in that state where you're like feeling restless and you know, what we would call anxious or something. And then maybe that's the time when like moving your body or doing the thing is good, you know.

Justin Sunseri (47:15.534)

Move it, yeah. Yeah. Yep.

Bad Hijabi (47:19.091)

So like, I guess it's just ultimately understanding how your, how your CPU works or something.

Justin Sunseri (47:26.254)

Yeah, I mean, if you can have a high level understanding, sure, but you could also just ask yourself moment to moment, what do I feel like doing? And that's not so if the answer is bullying someone a lie, like no, that's no, that's a coping mechanism. That's an unhealthy one.

Bad Hijabi (47:32.147)

Yeah, maybe that's a

Bad Hijabi (47:39.155)

Pick the healthy coping mechanisms, right?

Justin Sunseri (47:46.35)

Yeah, yeah. So if you come home from work and you're completely overwhelmed and you can't handle another thing, but the best you can do is lie face down on your bed and take some breaths, that's fine. Like that's what your body needs in that moment. It's not happiness. It's not life satisfaction, but it just kind of feels right in that moment.

Bad Hijabi (48:04.051)

Seeking balance. Seeking like because the body always wants to be at homeostasis, right? So, you know, just knowing yourself and seeking balance.

Justin Sunseri (48:12.078)

Yep. Yeah. Yeah. So that that collapse onto the bed might be a step toward homeostasis and balance, but you kind of have to give it that first and then over. And then as you take some breaths in, you might notice like, I have more capacity to sit up to breathe into my chest or in my belly more. I'm ready to go hug my spouse or say hi to my dog or I don't know, whatever. Like once you listen to what you need, then it opens up the next level of self -regulation.

Bad Hijabi (48:22.803)


Bad Hijabi (48:42.003)

Mm -hmm.

Justin Sunseri (48:42.062)

And that might be more mobility or it might be connecting with others.

Bad Hijabi (48:45.683)

And there's really no shortcut or hack to learning what you need except to just practice asking yourself, knowing yourself. Yeah. It's kind of like when you're it's kind of like for parents, you just have to learn that with your kid. So you have to learn that with yourself, you know, like you just have to practice asking and practice, you know, being in, you know, what do you need? And it's like, you know, it's kind of like you have to do that with yourself first, like.

Justin Sunseri (48:53.198)

The shortcut is to listen to what you need and do it. That's the shortcut, that's it.

Justin Sunseri (49:14.03)


Bad Hijabi (49:15.091)

Really, that's what it's about. And just.

Justin Sunseri (49:17.102)

That's a good way to put it, practice asking and hopefully noticing and listening and over time differentiating what you truly need versus what would just kind of feel good. So like eating a bunch of Oreos probably feels good for people, but it's not what you need. What you need might be something else.

Bad Hijabi (49:32.499)


Exactly. And like the power of noticing yourself, like because you know, I have a nursing background, like sometimes, you know, I went through this thing where I decided I would monitor my heart rate. So I just would do that once in a while. And just the act of doing that, just the act of stopping and doing it and recording it and noticing just that over time just made a difference. If you just take, it's just like if you pay attention to somebody else.

Justin Sunseri (49:55.342)


Bad Hijabi (50:04.051)

like that year cultivating a relationship. I was surprised by that, because I didn't realize the power of something so small as observing something about myself. But I think people think that people are, maybe sometimes people think, you need these big monumental special answers that look fancy and shit. And it's not.

Justin Sunseri (50:16.718)

Mm -hmm.

Bad Hijabi (50:29.843)

It's just like you're like, I think what's cool about this Polly Bagel thing is sort of like, like we all have, we sort of have, we are equipped to handle the challenges of, you know, what we face. That's how we are like, that's kind of why we're like this, right? Cause we evolved.

Justin Sunseri (50:51.79)

On a biological level, yeah, we are. But in our lived experience, or something like that, but practice, you know, have you practiced that? Have you listened to, you're in a world, are you familiar with it? Like that conscious level of experience of it and practice is probably not there for most people. For...

Bad Hijabi (50:54.163)


Bad Hijabi (51:08.211)

And that's why it's really important for people to establish that relationship with themselves because you know, you can't get that from anywhere. You can't. What your your capacity to get anything from the world is limited if you, you know, your own internal structure and system within yourself is not optimized. You know, so I feel like that's what this is. Exactly. And it's a you.

Justin Sunseri (51:12.59)

Mm -hmm.

Justin Sunseri (51:30.318)

Yeah, yeah, and you're not born one way or the other. It's something you have to practice and develop.

Bad Hijabi (51:35.475)

everything that happens if you have kids. I was just reading about how, you know, after you become a parent and then there's like a whole like, you know, adolescence that your nervous system goes, if you will allow me that metaphor, you know, like, you know, as things happen, if there's like your parent dies or somebody gets sick, you know, whatever professional that like all of these things are like, they impact you, they leave an imprint on the surveillance system of your internal organs, like, you know,

Justin Sunseri (52:05.23)

Yeah, sure.

Bad Hijabi (52:05.491)

don't know if we could like, it seems now nothing really seems like mysterious or like baffling or like terribly, you know, catastrophic for any length of time to me anymore because I understand what's happening. So I don't need like to make up a story about a thing, you know, like a Gabor Maté is like, the story are you telling yourself, right? And then like you.

Justin Sunseri (52:24.238)


Bad Hijabi (52:30.355)

he has this way of unraveling it and stuff and ultimately you just get down to whatever state you're in. So I just find it really helpful and I just wish everyone could just do their part and you know and it feels like it feels I hate this word because it's overused but it feels empowering and it feels like you're triumphing over something in a time when people

Justin Sunseri (52:30.958)


Justin Sunseri (52:54.158)

It is.

Bad Hijabi (52:56.915)

when society or whatever, the machinations or whatever, are trying really hard to make people feel helpless. Like, I just feel like there's like so many forces trying to make us feel helpless. And like, you know, it's constant like battle against that. And so that's why I wanted to this conversation because I feel like, like exploiting helplessness and farming helplessness and

making it into this thing and making things monumental and saying, you have like, you know, even the term, this is ideological, you can disagree, whatever. Like from my background, making this like, you have a personality disorder, you have like a mental illness or whatever. Like people feel like, my, like people's like, feel like their life is over. Like you just, you just trashed their house to, you know what I mean? So like, you know, I don't know, I just.

Justin Sunseri (53:51.79)

Well, they might feel like life is over or they feel like now there's an avenue, something they can identify with and get treatment for on the positive end. I don't like that personally, but people do say to me like, there's a name for it. There's a medication for it. I go to therapy. I'll be like this forever. Like it's sadly, that's what it's like a tattoo, but.

Bad Hijabi (54:00.723)

Maybe, but then, yeah.

Bad Hijabi (54:10.995)

Or, you know, yeah, yeah. And I'd like, I hate that. Cause like, you know, like I was raised, you know, my mom was of the, like the, the generation that was affected by mother's little helpers, you know, so much that my mom was of that like era where, the doctor will fix it and go like that kind of thing. So like, I really like, I feel like that's really disempowering because like people were told some things and they really believed it, right?

Justin Sunseri (54:15.502)

Me too.

Bad Hijabi (54:38.995)

And so like now I'm sort of like maybe this is my overcompensation or something. That's why I'm like this. I'm like, no, like it's just there's a nervous system. And like, like I had no idea. Like I just was like menopause is really weird. And this is like a nervous system thing. And I learned all about it and stuff. And that's how come I learned about novel polyvagal is I wanted to understand like why was menopause making me so weird and what's happening with my like.

Why do I feel like I'm gonna pass out and all these things I was like vagalling out and it's just really bizarre. So that's like how come I like learned because no one was giving me the answer. And I was like, well, this is like my machine, I better figure it out. So I don't know that people like everyone can do that. Obviously not everyone has a nursing degree and can figure it out and stuff. But like, I think that like, if people are like, hey, like I can do that. I can just go listen to a few like.

you know, podcasts and like maybe think about some stuff and like, you know, see things in a different way. And like, you know, like people need to know that they have the answer inside them. I feel like, like that's why I'm, this is my message. So.

Justin Sunseri (55:49.55)

I'm right there with you. I'm doing what I can to get that out as far and wide as I can. Yeah.

Bad Hijabi (55:53.427)

So any thoughts or anything you want to say or add or any words of wisdom or?

Justin Sunseri (56:03.214)

Just invite people to try to slow down, notice the present moment in between phone binges or getting angry at people. Notice how you feel. Just look inward, check in, ask yourself how you're feeling. Check in with how you're breathing. And I know I'm focusing on the negative, but just randomly throughout the day, set an alarm if you need to. Just ask yourself, what's happening within me? How's my breath? How do I actually feel? What's my capacity right now to give somebody a hug or smile? And just...

Breathe, take a breath in. Yeah, I guess it's just really interesting to encourage more curiosity as much as you're capable of. It's a good starting point.

Bad Hijabi (56:42.643)

Curiosity is a good word, instead of making judgments, just being curious and being like, what's happening now? Why am I feeling like this? Or, you know, like...

Justin Sunseri (56:45.006)

It is a.

Justin Sunseri (56:52.334)

Yeah, well, I would if someone's evaluating themselves and feel like they have a mental disorder and they they're going to be like that forever. Like, OK, I'm not going to argue with you on that. But in the meantime, can you also just check in about your breath and how you're actually feeling and just become a little bit more curious about what's happening within you internally? And if so, then all right, cool. That's a step forward.

Bad Hijabi (57:12.851)

Yeah, like in one of your things you said, like, you know, is your feelings appropriate for the context of your life or something like that? And I think it's like, you know, we're like plants, like we just imagine like plant, if you put like certain plants in the full sun, they will not do well. And if you, you know, they'll, but that doesn't mean that, right, if you move that plant somewhere else, then they'll do fine. So I think human beings are kind of like that too. So.

Justin Sunseri (57:20.622)


Justin Sunseri (57:31.438)

Yeah. Yeah.

Justin Sunseri (57:42.062)

Kinda, yeah. Yep. Yeah, the way you feel might make sense, completely based on the context of your life. It's not a random thing that's afflicting you.

Bad Hijabi (57:43.955)


Bad Hijabi (57:50.771)

And it's yeah, like feelings are not necessarily bad or good. They are just a messenger. They just are, you know, intelligence to tell you like information to tell you a thing. So. Great. Well, thank you very much for your time. Sorry, I made you like we had this whole thing and then are like, my God, I'm not recording. Oops. Anyway, the psych.

Justin Sunseri (57:54.99)

To just feel it.

Justin Sunseri (58:02.622)


Justin Sunseri (58:09.71)

You're welcome.

Justin Sunseri (58:17.038)

That was fun. Yeah, the initial rollout was really fun.

Bad Hijabi (58:20.755)

Okay, well we'll have to do this again sometime Okay, thank you so much. Bye

Justin Sunseri (58:25.23)

Yeah, anytime.

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Adventures of Bad Hijabi
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can religion be a solution to, rather than the cause of, human suffering? a blog and a podcast about dehumanization, spirituality, and religion.