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The Trance of Scarcity with Victoria Castle

Author Victoria Castle joins us this week to talk about her book, ‘The Trance of Scarcity’, and how living with ADHD is living with a natural position of less-than. How do we move from scarcity to abundance? This week we create that map!

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What does it mean to have? We’re not just talking about material possessions here, but how do you relate to having anything? Food? Space? Time? Focus? Productivity? Living with ADHD, we often live in a position of lack, of not having enough, of not being able to do enough, of scarcity. But we don’t have to live that way, and this week’s guest is going to tell us why.

Author Victoria Castle joins us this week to talk about her book, ‘The Trance of Scarcity’. She helps us understand the trap of scarcity and the transformation to abundance. Even more, she helps us revisit our own bodies and our lived experience. We talk about what we aspire to with our ADHD, and how we can redraw that map to create the role models that serve us.


Episode Transcript

Brought to you by The ADHD Podcast Community on Patreon

Pete Wright:
Hello, everybody, and welcome to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast on True Story FM. I’m Pete Wright, and I’m here with Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer:
Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright:
Nikki, how are you? You good?

Nikki Kinzer:
I’m doing great. How are you? Yes.

Pete Wright:
So I had to watch this movie called The Mist. Stephen King movie, The Mist. Are you into Stephen King adaptations, movies?

Nikki Kinzer:
No.

Pete Wright:
No, I knew-

Nikki Kinzer:
Nothing scary.

Pete Wright:
… answer to that. Oh, my goodness. So spooky. You know what’s in The Mist? H.P. Lovecraft characters with tentacles and spiders that shoot acid web. Oh, such a great movie. And yes, it has become a metaphor for my experience with ADHD over the course of the last 36 hours. What is in the mist? You’re never going to know. You just don’t know. There’s no way.

Pete Wright:
We have great conversation with one of my very favorite people on the show. Before we do that, head over to Take Control ADHD, and get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list and we will send you an email each time a new episode is released.

Pete Wright:
You can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook at Take Control ADHD and if this show has ever touched you or helped you make a change in your life for the better with your ADHD, we would appreciate it if you would consider supporting us on Patreon. Patreon is listener supported podcasting. Every dollar you contribute each month allows us to make decisions around further supporting and growing this show, adding new resources, doing new things. And we deeply appreciate it when you do that.

Pete Wright:
Head over to patreon.com/theadhdpodcast to learn more.

Pete Wright:
I was introduced to Victoria Castle by way of her book originally published in 2006. And the message then just hit me at absolutely the right time. It completely reframed my worldview on what it meant to have, and I say have in all caps, air quotes have, and the fear that comes with not having anything.

Pete Wright:
Over the years, Victoria herself has become just a champion of people’s greatness. She’s spoken and she’s taught internationally. She’s led courses and workshops. She’s done the corporate keynote circuit. We met very recently by way of another podcast, the Change Paradox with our friend, Dr. Dodge.

Pete Wright:
And I am just delighted to say that we’ve become fast friends. I’m thrilled to be able to bring her energy to the ADHD community today. Victoria Castle, welcome to the ADHD podcast.

Victoria Castle:
Thank you, I am delighted and honored, and looking forward to what we’re cooking up.

Pete Wright:
Outstanding.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s great. Welcome.

Pete Wright:
I sometimes feel like our job with this podcast and with Nikki’s coaching is an effort to search for metaphor in a way that engages a new spirit. A way to look at the world in a new light to switch on a world view that helps you engage and energize around something you’re trying to accomplish.

Pete Wright:
And that I think is what really spoke to me about the Trance of Scarcity. I’ve loved it for so long it just puts me in the spirit of openness that I find I’m easily tricked out of. It helps me develop a muscle of looking at the world in a way that is more positive and optimistic and open.

Pete Wright:
Could you start by telling us what the Trance of Scarcity is? What is happening in our lives when we find ourselves in it? How did you stumble onto it?

Victoria Castle:
Yeah, because it seemed to be there for everybody.

Pete Wright:
Right.

Victoria Castle:
Like where did this come from and how did I get it on me and how do I get off me?

Pete Wright:
Right. And why is it so hard to find the language to describe the things that we’re struggling with?

Victoria Castle:
And for me, part of it was I was sitting in meditation like, “Please make this clear to me. What is this? What is this about and is there something that I’m to do here?” Because I kept seeing it like I had a set of distinctions that other people didn’t seem to carry with them everywhere they went.

Victoria Castle:
And I’m an old enough kid that I remember who Groucho was. And when he would ask a question, remember, would float down I think the duck or whoever had it in his bill with the paper clip or something. And so, I said, “What is this?” And it said, “It’s a trance.” And by the nature of a trance, it kind of wipes out everything else and asserts itself as truth.

Victoria Castle:
And then we don’t ever question it. We don’t ever go, “Hey, wait a second. That’s not for me. I decline.” We just go, “Oh, right. Yeah, this is how it is. There’s not enough. Everybody knows there’s not enough. You just got to get on with it, do the best you can and really work hard. And maybe someday, you’ll have your thing.” And I was like, “I don’t want to participate in that.”

Victoria Castle:
And so by seeing it, it was a trance, which was a really pivotal moment for me. It’s like I understood how to go around behind it and see the workings and how to intervene, how to interrupt it so it didn’t have to be true for anybody. But it’s basically the prevalent presumption that lack, struggle, and separation are the defining reality. And there you have it.

Victoria Castle:
So if that’s the world you’re living in, good luck.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, and it seems like so many of our … Speaking of metaphor, so many of our metaphors of success are about acquisition in a pie that has a limited number of slices like, “I have to get mine because if I don’t get whatever it is that I’m getting, then somebody else is going to get it.” That life and success and accomplishment and productivity becomes a zero-sum game.

Victoria Castle:
And being worthy, how do I prove myself to be worthy so I get some slice of the pie. And who am I going to have to beat back so that I get a big enough slice? So it sets up a terrible kind of punch and competition and how do I get rid of you? How do I look better than you? What do I have to do here? Who do I have to convince? Who do I have to prove? Who is it that is at the control panel that’s saying, “Yes, we’ll give you more a little more today. No, no, no. You don’t qualify.”

Victoria Castle:
So it feels like there’s very little within my reach that I can actually do to shape the quality of my life, and I wasn’t okay with that. I didn’t like that.

Nikki Kinzer:
I understand that. I don’t like it either. Ah, well, that doesn’t sit well with me.

Pete Wright:
No, it really doesn’t. And that’s what really attracts me to this conversation and sort of paring the Trance of Scarcity with living with ADHD. Because how often do you hear those kinds of discussions, those limiting beliefs, that limiting self-talk that says, “I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough focus or attention. I can’t have the things that I want because I can’t live in a space where I can put what I need to put into them to get them.”

Pete Wright:
And so I think it is easy and natural for us living with ADHD to habitualize that sort of language, the language of lack, the language of scarcity in terms of time, attention, focus, that sort of thing. And one of the things you say in the book, it is broadcast so loudly, we don’t even hear it anymore. It’s just so natural.

Victoria Castle:
We don’t question it. There’s not enough. Everybody knows there’s not enough. Time, money, resource, kindness, you name it. There’s not enough. You people want to live high in the sky, you might want to keep believing that but really, there’s not enough. So get in quick, get what you need, be the absolute best possible being you could be because maybe that will get enough attention that you can get a little more of what you need.

Victoria Castle:
But it’s a scramble. Welcome to the scramble. Not the gracious, generous, flowing stream that anybody can partake of anytime they want and it doesn’t deplete the stream. That is not the model that we’re working with. It makes me angry thinking of that because it’s a bill of good we’ve been sold by people who bought there wasn’t enough, who bought the story.

Victoria Castle:
There’s not enough. Only the people that are extremely special will ever get to participate in this. It’s just like too bad, too bad, too bad. And then you look at simple things like getting into a school or getting into a class or an advanced class or to the university that you want. It’s like, “Sorry, you didn’t make the cut, because our standards are way higher than yours.” Like, “Uh.”

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s interesting that you mentioned that, because I have a client right now who is studying for her GRE. And what’s so interesting is we’ve been talking a lot about the beliefs and the fear of her studying for it. And one of the things that came up was if you fail, and she would say, “Well, it is my fault then, because I didn’t study enough. I didn’t do everything I could to have passed that test.”

Nikki Kinzer:
And that’s immediately where she goes and then trying to detach the outcome at all. Let’s not even think about the outcome. It’s still really scared to think of that too. And then to throw in, well, what if you do pass? What if you pass? Then what’s going to happen? And it’s such a lighter conversation, and you could even hear in her voice, it was like all of a sudden like, “Oh, that’s an option? Like I could really do that?”

Victoria Castle:
That’s an option?

Nikki Kinzer:
I might be able to do that.

Pete Wright:
Well, I think that’s such a great point because it really gets to the heart of what we have put in our own programming, that it is so much easier to assume the worst and I know exactly how I’m going to feel when I “fail”. I know exactly how that’s going to work. But I don’t know how to have a conversation authentically about what it could look like when I succeed. I am terrified of that conversation. I don’t know how to do it.

Victoria Castle:
If we were just fantasizing, if we were just speculating, if everything was possible, if you’re going to put all things on your collage that you wanted to have on your collage, what would be there? Would success and ease and pleasure and kindness and love and generosity, would they be on there? And I think many of us, I mean, I can certainly speak for me. I was raised to be a good, kind, generous, loving person.

Victoria Castle:
And right on top of that was the layer of, and very few people are going to make it. And you’re probably not going to be one of them. So get as tight as you can, as small as you can, as quick as you can. Get in there first, which is like, “Okay, so I can either be kind and generous and fluid or I can be tight as I can be, jammed my way in there.” Neither one of them are very appealing.

Victoria Castle:
So then at what point, I mean, literally, at what age are we choosing? I’d love to believe it was all friendly and sweet, but just look around. The reality is the likelihood of me being included, and certainly if I have this thing called ADHD where everybody knows that’s a flaw to begin with, my chances are even less. My chances are even less.

Victoria Castle:
So there’s a quiet training us to not trust greatness and to not trust it coming through us or to not see that we might be exactly what the universe is calling in because that’s what it wants. And we often take our self out of the game before we’ve even done the first inning.

Pete Wright:
When I said this that we were having this conversation over to our teammate, Melissa, Discord Mom, and I said, “Just take a look at all these and let me know what comes from you as you read this.” And she wrote this quote, “After a lifetime of struggle and strain, we’ve been gotten suspicious of pleasure, ease and flow from the book.” Her take, “This is exactly the struggle of so many of us with ADHD. We expect that it is supposed to be hard. If it comes easy to us, we’re probably doing it wrong.”

Pete Wright:
And that hit me right here, like right in the chest because that’s exactly what we’re talking about. We have trained ourselves to operate in a vacuum of scarcity.

Victoria Castle:
Yeah, to quit before we even look at possibilities. It’s just not going to work. Look, you got a long life, how can you get through it with the least amount of discomfort? And there isn’t anybody on the planet that isn’t interested in having less discomfort. So you don’t have to have any kind of certain focus for that to be true. We humans do not like to be uncomfortable, which is why we jump to take reactions or we’re wretched with somebody else and hurt them because better they feel it than I feel it, all these kinds of things.

Victoria Castle:
As opposed to, can I actually develop a capacity that I could feel something and not have it just take me out of the game? It’s like, “Oh, here’s something I haven’t thought about before.” I noticed I’m really uncomfortable. I can feel this kind of … buzzing going on in my chest. That’s my first sign, the buzzing in the chest … Pretty soon I can’t hear-

Nikki Kinzer:
You do that so well.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, I know. It’s like you practiced.

Victoria Castle:
Because I’m very familiar with it. And so, one of the great gifts to me that didn’t show up until I was an adult but was beautifully timed was the experience of embodiment or somatic, and soma literally means the body as a whole being. And I was very good living from here up. I was really very skilled. I was smart. I knew how to do that. I know how to squeeze down on my feelings, squeeze down on my desires, get that stuff out of the way. I’m just going to look sharp and bright and yeah, yeah, call on me, call on me kind of thing.

Victoria Castle:
And it wasn’t until … And I was an adult, like generations into being an adult, where I first was in a room when the topic was conversation and what do you notice in your body. And when the teacher asked that class, I thought, “Oh, shoot. I thought this guy was bright. What the hell is he talking about? What do you mean what do I notice in my body? What’s there to notice?”

Victoria Castle:
And it wasn’t until I developed a capacity to actually feel sensation, to notice things in one of the first … Bless him, bless all of the teachers. One of the very, very first things they’d have us do, so we’d all stand. And let me just say, this is a room of professionals who are used to being leaders in their fields. And we’re standing in a dojo like the aikido dojo because that’s what it was, out in Petaluma, California in the boonies, and literally had to drive past all the farms to get there. And we’re standing there with our shoes off because you don’t wear shoes in the dojo.

Victoria Castle:
And we’re all standing there and they said, “Bring your attention to your feet.” And I can’t tell you how many of us went, “Yeah, okay. And your point is?”

Pete Wright:
You’re staring down at your feet, like as if you don’t even know that they’re there.

Victoria Castle:
I see them. I got them. I got that part. Let’s move on. What do you notice in your feet? Well, why would I want to notice anything in my feet? Because as I came to learn, the more I am aware of what’s going on inside of me and around me, the more capacity I have to move in the world and to not be blown out by it because it’s too much or it’s overwhelming.

Victoria Castle:
And in the beginning, it is kind of overwhelming. I’m not sure I want to know what’s going on in my feet and my knees and my muscles and my gut and my chest, and my fingertips. Just really bring your attention to sensation. And part of it, what it showed most of us is we didn’t want to attend to sensation. For the most part, we didn’t want to feel it. We didn’t want to have to manage it.

Victoria Castle:
“Oh, sensation, now, I’m going to feel my sadness about that or my longing for that.” And it wasn’t until I entered my own body that I had some capacity to act in the world. Before that, I literally was a talking head. There wasn’t anything here that was coherent with what my mouth was saying.

Pete Wright:
Well, I’m really interested in that lesson in particular. And again, this is another reason I wanted to connect this back to ADHD because I think, and Nikki, check me when I start lying here. My sense is, and in my experience, I am most distracted when I am not aware of what my body is doing and it is really easy for me to lose track of what my body is doing.

Pete Wright:
It’s why we have things like fidgets. It’s why I’m playing with a cord, because it brings me back to sensation. It brings me back to like when I’m flipping a pen or something. It gives me something to do that grounds me in my body. Otherwise, I’m running in circles, because I am unhinged.

Nikki Kinzer:
Oh, yeah, for sure.

Pete Wright:
So, how to remap that experience and increase awareness of our sort of lived somatic life, how we are in touch with what our body is doing more often than maybe we are living is one of those sort of key lessons I would love to get out of this conversation. What do you to increase awareness?

Victoria Castle:
And that’s why I really want to bring it up to people with this kind of orientation. I’m like, “Why would I want to feel more?

Pete Wright:
It reminds us of how distractible we are, frankly. When I do feel my body, I’m like, “Oh, god, of course, I’m erect because this is how my brain is working and my body is going like crazy. Yeah, I’m not interested in like the sea of the real. I do not want to sail upon it.”

Victoria Castle:
Well, and so just the simple things. So, this is one of the things I would really offer is that you do this in great kindness to yourself with a lot of respect and probably privacy in the beginning to just, maybe we can do it while you’re on the call if you want to, to just let yourself feel the sensation of your feet. You’re probably sitting. Whatever they’re clad in shoes or socks or whatever, but just bring attention to sensation.

Victoria Castle:
And it maybe, “I don’t feel anything, or oh, they’re a little cool. Or wow, my toes are sore,” just whatever it may be but at the entry level, what do I notice? What is there? And don’t ask yourself like, “Okay, let’s move to the next part. Let’s move to the next part, and let’s move to the next part. Now, are you completely embodied? Are you ready to go?”

Victoria Castle:
It doesn’t come that fast. It’s too terrifying quite frankly. If we’re talking about sensation, it could increase and get very uncomfortable. And for me, I really had to move slowly here because I was smart, but I didn’t have a body. I was not embodied. 30 years ago, 35 years ago, when I started this particular focus of somatics, I was like, “What and why would I want to?”

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s interesting. I think, and I don’t know if this is going to be true for our listeners, but when you had originally said something about your feet. Because I practice meditation and I’ve practiced mindfulness for so many years, I did immediately go to, “Oh, how are my feet feeling? Are they cold? Are they …” And I went to that.

Nikki Kinzer:
And so I’m thinking, I know that more people with ADHD are practicing meditation and mindfulness. And I wonder many of them did go there before thinking, “Oh, I need to see them.”

Victoria Castle:
So, any practice we’re in that gives us more access to our whole being, I think is a good thing, and we want to be very tender with ourselves about how fast move there. It’s like, “Oh, I didn’t want to feel that. Oh, now that’s going to make me feel that.” So it’s the same kind of thing like I feel like I’m not qualified to come on to this playing field. I have some stuff that works a little differently than other people’s, so I’ll stay back here.

Victoria Castle:
So I think that gentleness, if there was one thing I would invite all of you to do is to be more generous, gentle, kind with your own self in any exploration of this. And I have a dear friend that’s actually an ADHD coach, because it’s so mangled her life, she couldn’t really see how to move in a profession that was screaming by her and she wasn’t really able to keep up with it.

Victoria Castle:
And so she said, her first move is take herself out of the game. “Well, I’m not going to qualify for that, so I’ll pull myself farther away.”

Pete Wright:
I might as well ostrich.

Victoria Castle:
Yeah. So to just notice, I particularly like things like body inventory when I’m in the shower anyway. Can I feel my feet? Can I feel the water on my feet? Can I feel my muscles in the back of my leg? Can I feel my belly, my shoulder, my breath, whatever it is from a sense of curiosity, not so I get it right so I passed the test. Because there’s nobody there to go, “Well, you didn’t do that quite right. So you’ll have to move along now.”

Victoria Castle:
And then to have it as a partner, one of my blessed somatic teachers of 40 years. He’s been my teacher for 40 years. He talks about doing your daily practices as if they are the life rack that you crawl back into when you’re in the sea getting thrown around. What can you come back to when it’s all being turbulent? So for me, breath is the first place I start. Can I feel my belly? Can I feel my chest? Can I put my hand on my back? Can I feel my feet? Can I find myself?

Victoria Castle:
And doing that as a loving act, not like, “Hurry up and get it all together because we got to go on in two minutes.”

Pete Wright:
Sure.

Victoria Castle:
And we’re going to disappoint everybody. And they don’t expect much from me anyway. Just all of that, start like, “Hi, honey, I’m right here. I’m right here. I’m right here.” It’s just the way we hold babies. It’s okay, I know. It’s a big deal. I know. We’re right here. You’re fine.

Pete Wright:
Which I think is terrifying if you are not accustomed to being in touch with your body. Meeting yourself physically for the first time in a long time is a scary thing. It’s a scary thing. It’s why I think meditation and mindfulness practices are hard too because living in the silence of your own space, of your own sort humanity is hard if you’re not used to it. And it’s noisy.

Victoria Castle:
And also, see how the trance wants to come in and play all the time about the not enoughness, not doing it right or quick enough. It’s too loud, I can’t do that. I can’t do that. Don’t be asking me to do that. Can you take two deep breaths instead of one? Can you count to 10 while you’re exhaling? Can we find a place where we partner with what’s available to us and not make it wrong? Not immediately go to, “Well, of course, I can’t do this.”

Pete Wright:
We’re talking about the value of kind of finding your own body and somatic experience, but I don’t want to move through this conversation without at least reflecting on the value of other people’s bodies. ADHD is an incredibly lonely experience and of course, everywhere but in our community which is amazing.

Pete Wright:
But there is this certain magnetism to people in messages that are derogatory to ADHD. It’s like we kind of relish in the stories of lack, the, “You can’t have this accommodation, you can’t have this … We’re not going to remove this barrier for you. If we do it for you, we have to do it for everybody.” Those are messages that are easy for us to hear because we’ve heard them a lot. Don’t think of an elephant, right? It’s the first thing you think of as an elephant.

Pete Wright:
How does loneliness, this sort of loneliness magnify the trance?

Victoria Castle:
Dangerously, because if I’m only calling on what I know and hear, then I’ll call on the stuff that already knows that I’m a loser. I think there’s a point where we have to become very careful, and I would say to get to neutral to just neutral takes a while of practice of breathing, of meditation, of walking, of whatever it may be for me. It’s like, okay, I finally found myself.

Victoria Castle:
Now, what is it I’m asking for, for me, or what is it that I have to offer to myself in this moment? Oh, you know I could give myself 10 minutes rather than five. I could call somebody or say, “Hey, are you available for chat? I’m getting stuck.” This is where I think allies and buddies are just essential. And so I’ll go back to my room in the dojo, or my course in the dojo. And there were about 60 of us in there. Can you imagine looking bad in front of 60 people all the time?

Victoria Castle:
And we all were terrified about looking bad in front of each other, but it was like, “Oh, don’t look over here.” And then what cultivated, what came forward because we all saw that we were all learning together, and the quicker we learned, the more we could help somebody else. And the quicker they learn, the more they could help us. And we could all become embodied rather than talking heads on a stick, taking up as little space as possible because we wouldn’t want to inconvenience anybody.

Victoria Castle:
And so it was a beautiful learning experience and also very frustrating and often humiliating because we would have such opinions about ourselves and how we should have and we shouldn’t have done that. Everybody else got it and I can’t get in, so I don’t want to do anything. And all the stuff that’s packed in there, can I breathe in the presence of another human being?

Victoria Castle:
Now, that seems so small and ridiculous but literally, can I take an inhale and an exhale with somebody else in the room or on the phone? If somebody else knows that I’m here, is that taking too much time? Am I using up too much of the resources? I immediately want to go to lack, lack, lack, lack, lack because that’s what the trance seeds the world with, not enough, not enough, not enough.

Pete Wright:
Well, and here we are coming out of this time as the world sort of is waking up right now where we haven’t been able to be in the room with somebody else and take two breaths. We’ve not been, and that’s one of the things that I noticed. I find humanity grounding, and lack of humanity is that sort of loneliness, the lack of regular physical interaction with other people is hollow. It makes existence a bit hollow. There’s only so much Zoom can do. Eye contact is great. Also, feeling the warmth of other people and with some regularity is engaging.

Victoria Castle:
And it drives us right back up into our heads where we already make home base anyway. So, if we can come down at all, we have friends to another couple who have some similar training. And we really love each other and we want to take care of each other. So, for a long time, we Zoomed and finally we said, “Do you think we could meet,” like in one of our houses because we both have living rooms that are big enough we could easily be six feet apart. We’d all wear a mask. We did all that kind of stuff.

Victoria Castle:
And it was this lovely container that we were building to expand and to feel more and to be able to feel something and express it in front of another person. “Oh, golly, do you remember when we did that all the time?”

Nikki Kinzer:
I know, right, where didn’t even think about it.

Victoria Castle:
This is so exciting.

Nikki Kinzer:
I have a question, Victoria. You were talking about meeting in the middle, or being neutral. Can you explain a little bit more what that means or give us an example of if you’re coming from that place of lack, where do you meet? Where do you find that … But what does that look like?

Victoria Castle:
I think being able to notice that my predisposition is to lack and to seeing everything through that is really helpful because then I go, “No, there it is again. I’m just looking through the same lens. So, what would it be if I was five degrees more towards center or whatever it might be?” It’s also in the body, can I feel my feet? Can I put my hands on my knees and actually feel the sensation of that? Because that interrupts the endless conversation of not enough, not enough, not enough. Well, I don’t know, I have my hands on my knees and I can feel that. So that’s not quite the true story anymore.

Victoria Castle:
Slowly, kindly, I just can’t emphasize because I took the beat-yourself-up-as-much-as-you-can, as-quick-as-you-can route and I really can’t endorse that. I was always wrong, I was always bad, I was always too late, I was … I mean I so lived the trance for the first 16 years of my life. I mean I had friends that love me dearly and I knew that they did but they were that little pod. But the world, the world was not impressed. The world didn’t want what I had.

Victoria Castle:
So, anything that lets me offer kindness and receive kindness, and we can do that like when we’re going to bed at night. You can just put your hand on your belly and go, “Let’s take five breaths. Let’s just have five breaths. However, we do them is perfect, all the way in, all the way out.” And that’s when we start to see that clench that so many of us have that we can’t even let go when we sleep. It took me a long time to sleep with my hands relaxed because I was always on duty. I always had to have something to show for.

Victoria Castle:
God bless my parents, they were wonderful and they had a mission for me and let’s hurry up and get on with it.

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s so interesting you say that because I just have noticed in the last couple of years. And I’ve been able to notice it, so I can relax. But yes, right before I’m going to bed, I’ll lay down and then I’m not falling asleep. So, I’ll take a deep breath and I’ll notice like where the tension is and I’m not kidding you, my hands will be like as tight as possible. And especially like my jaw, and then as soon as I like let that go, I fall asleep. But I don’t even know how long it’s-

Victoria Castle:
It’s a lovely access, isn’t it? It’s like, “All I need to do is that.” And I remember talking to somebody so many years ago. And I said, “Oh, my God. I think I drool at night.” And she said, “Oh, honey, that’s so thrilling because your jaw is relaxed.” The small price to pay.

Pete Wright:
For me, it’s my back will throw itself out of whack. And I’ve gotten to the point now where I feel like … And I’ve been really practicing at this. If I bend over at the waist, like I just sort of hinge at the waist and let my hands hang, it used to be that if nothing would happen. I would just be a tight mess and I would cry and shake out my shoulders.

Pete Wright:
But honestly, I started doing yoga. What? Whoever knew that I would do that? And now, I feel like I have gotten to the point where I can actually sort of on-demand release my back. And now, if I hinge over and I’d just sort of really focus on that space, it will zipper. You all, like straight up, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop all the way down my back. And I feel like a completely different person.

Pete Wright:
And you talk about sort of waking up to the physical experience, generations into my adult life, and here I am learning how to release tension in my back. That is just the compression of a day of stress or a week or a month. That is a new experience for me.

Victoria Castle:
Boy, that’s so splendid. Anything that we do repeatedly, if we can find a way to just slightly alter it. So, I’m going to let my arms swing. I’m going to let them be heavier while I walk. Even if I’m just washing dishes, how can I do that in a way that I put stuff in the dishwasher differently than I might? Anything that reminds me that I live in a body and gives me cause to celebrate that I live in a body because a lot of us have been raised to not like it at all. It’s just this thing. It’s a limitation.

Victoria Castle:
Yeah, but maybe not and you know the kind of things were like, “Oh, god, if I really let myself stretch, that felt good. So maybe I could privately do it again.” Well, now I’m doing these kinds of things.

Pete Wright:
One of the things that I’m most interested in this, I feel like we often living with ADHD. We don’t have great aspirational day to day role models of productivity and focus and strength. And so we have written this map for us of what it looks like when the successful version of us, success being in quotes, it is lovely. So when I’m struggling, surely, I know what success looks like because like the image I have of it is somebody who is receiving these accolades and making more money and doing all these things.

Pete Wright:
But that’s not often a realistic map. It’s not something I can really aspire to day to day. It’s not realistic and it’s not grounded in who I am. And I would love to sort of redefine that map, that template that I can aspire to when I’m feeling like I’m broken to help rebuild through the lens of the trance and the other side of the trance, which is the cycle of abundance.

Pete Wright:
So, I wonder if you could talk a little bit about what it means to be wealthy, not necessarily monetarily wealthy but wealthy. And how might that help us sort of guide us to a new map?

Victoria Castle:
Nice, great question. For me, abundance, and I played with that word for a long, long, long time and certainly while I was writing book and since. Abundance distills down to living in the world with ease. So, it doesn’t mean I’m smarter. It doesn’t mean I have more cash. I am living in the world in my body with ease rather than strain or stress or push or force or counting or any of the stuff that’s going on.

Victoria Castle:
So, what does ease feel like? I don’t know. I mean really when I stood in that dojo the first day and the teacher said something about, what do you notice in your legs? It’s like all I wanted to say is, “Not a damn thing, and why are you asking me? Why would I? Come on, go. Talk to somebody else.” But to be at ease, and for me, I say where do you know you’re at ease now?

Victoria Castle:
Maybe when you’re in the bathroom by yourself, maybe when you get in bed, maybe when you’re with your family, maybe when you’re doing the things you love, cooking or running or any of those kind of things. That you’re at ease, you’re actually not using more effort to produce anything. You’re letting it kind of flow through you and you’d be a part of it.

Victoria Castle:
So, living in the world with ease, just for a moment, think about where is that for you? And even if you can only find one or two moments in a day, that’s two moments that somebody else doesn’t have. So, when you are at ease, maybe you’re talking, maybe you’re by yourself, maybe you’re in your prayer time or meditation, maybe you’re doing your laps in the pool. Where do I allow ease to come into my life whether I deserve it or not?

Pete Wright:
That’s really interesting. And so I’m trying to think about it for myself. And there is a moment, I record a lot of podcasts. And it tends to be kind of a high calorie burn for me, because I’m sort of like I’m paying attention and I’m on, and my attention is like it’s a struggle because I’m like, “Okay, be here now. Be here now, right here now. Don’t let the notifications turn those off. Be here now.”

Pete Wright:
And there is a moment when I turned off the recording when we’re finished, there is this little space that in my head and heart I am celebrating the relief of not having to be in that mode anymore for just a minute. And I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it that way until just now. That’s a place of ease for me because the hard part is over.

Victoria Castle:
That’s beautiful.

Pete Wright:
I don’t know. What do you got, Nikki? You have one?

Nikki Kinzer:
I think being outside is definitely a place of ease for me, especially when it’s nice out. I think also listening to my kids talk. Either they’re talking to their friends or they’re talking to each other or they’re talking to me but just listening to them having those conversations always brings me ease and just joy.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, I mean I think there’s just little moments, having that first drink of coffee.

Pete Wright:
Oh, so good.

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s a wonderful thing.

Victoria Castle:
Could we make it three seconds rather than one?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah.

Victoria Castle:
That’s when we start putting a little finesse and go, “I’m going to smell it before I sip it.” And then I’m going to feel it as it goes down, plus I’m going to love how the mug feels in my hand. It’s just the right size.

Pete Wright:
Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah.

Victoria Castle:
So to increase the pleasure in very small ways until … Because every time I do that, every time I pick up the mug, I can feel the weight and my arms involved, my heart is beating. I’m more present. Huh, more present, is being present a good thing? I think it could be.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely. And I just thought of something of why, because I was thinking, “Well, why is it bringing me ease to hear my children?” And I know why. Now, it’s because they’re at home and they’re safe. That’s what’s bringing me ease.

Pete Wright:
Sure, yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Because they’re teenagers. And teenagers are not easy.

Victoria Castle:
One of the favorite times for me, we have two dogs, two 45-pound dogs. I walk them in the morning and my husband walks them in the afternoon. At some point, I mean we figured that out however we want. And sometimes, we both go with each other.

Victoria Castle:
But I love walking with them in the morning because sometimes, it can be quite early and we go in trails in the woods and they’re happy in doing what they’re doing and I’m happy doing what I’m doing, and it’s all good. I don’t have the, “Are they okay? Is anything going to hurt them?” It’s like we know these trails. We can be here. I don’t have to present to anyone when I get back about how we did.

Victoria Castle:
If it was Styrofoam, it’d be falling off all the way down, all the holding of got to do it right. So, to be at ease is really a lovely practice to cultivate. In the shower, all that gorgeous hot water on you, we can be at ease there. We can stay the extra minute go, “Right, right, yeah, right …” to be at ease. And then here’s the place I want to keep watching. As soon as I’m out of the shower, okay, now I’m drying off. Now I need to be efficient about that, and that can only take three minutes. And then I got to get my robe and I got to get ready for the … No, no, no. How we intrude upon our ease, our sense of spaciousness which is our sense of worth.

Victoria Castle:
So, if there’s a default about, “Well, you know I have ADHD, so nobody is expecting me to be particularly great.” It’s like maybe let’s look at that one more time. I’ve had to come in with the more at ease I am, the more valuable I am. The more I can hear what you’re saying and be able to respond to what you’re asking of me.

Pete Wright:
Well, and that’s really hard to do when you’re so focused, I guess. That’s what I’m hearing is when you’re so focused on what’s going on in your own head, how could you ever possibly find the generosity required of you to be truly aware of what is going on and somebody you’re talking to or in this meeting that you’re in or whatever. If all you can do, I know this is speaking again for me when I am most tight is when I get lost in that experience of wondering what everybody else is thinking of me.

Victoria Castle:
Yeah, oh, gosh. Am I making the cut? Am I doing it right? Are they giving approval? Are they going-

Pete Wright:
Am I fidgeting too much? Is my leg moving again? Can they see that I’m doing just [crosstalk 00:44:14] frenetically on my tablet here and have no idea what’s going on? Those are the things that caused me to go inside my head and lose connection with my body and find distraction. And I guess that’s really what I was hoping this message would be that, that ease, it’s not just a woo-woo thing. You are giving yourself permission to exist and to be happy and to be satisfied. And that’s okay. That’s okay.

Pete Wright:
And being able to practice that allows you to be generous and gracious with what you offer to other people. And offering more to other people allows more to come onto you. It is just how it works. It’s just how it works.

Victoria Castle:
It is, and beautiful said. And I think too the thing that I would ask or offer to anybody listening is kindness to self, start there. Generosity to self, start there. Can I take two breaths? You know, I actually could. I’m going to take both of them … Can I feel my seat in the chair, my feet on the floor? Can I give myself those tiny little things that we don’t think of as gifts but we’re basically endowing ourselves all day long to be here in this present moment where the trance don’t live, because the trance is over there somewhere.

Victoria Castle:
And here is where ease and flow and possibility and generosity and gratitude are always floating around. So, I’m just going to let myself swim in those waters rather than hoping that I’ll make the cut.

Pete Wright:
I love it.

Nikki Kinzer:
Beautifully said.

Pete Wright:
I do, I love it. I think it’s a liberating conversation. And we don’t get a chance to kind of live in this sort of liberating space that often. So, I really appreciate it. Victoria, thank you so much for hanging out with us today.

Victoria Castle:
I can’t tell you I’m really thrilled about this. At first, I thought, “What am I going to have to say that’s of worth to anybody?”

Pete Wright:
Well, look at you.

Nikki Kinzer:
But then, oh, yeah, these are people. People, they’re people. All right, okay, I’ve already gotten in.

Victoria Castle:
Yeah, and exactly that, that for all the stories we have about ourselves or all the stories that other people put upon us of you never understanding, can’t get it together, or I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not fast enough, all of us have a human being that’s in our care. And we can be kinder to that human being.

Victoria Castle:
And so like I say, if you can feel your feet, that’s an act of kindness. And then let it build from there.

Pete Wright:
That could have been the title for your book, Start With Your feet by Victoria Castle. I like the one you ended up with, but those draft coffees must have been a hoot.

Victoria Castle:
I had an excellent-

Pete Wright:
Yeah, right. This has been a real treat. Thank you. Definitely, we’ll have the link in the show notes, The Trance of Scarcity. It’s in Amazon, and you can get it, and they will send it to you, and you can read it and start with your feet.

Victoria Castle:
Yeah, you can start with your feet.

Pete Wright:
Thanks so much, Victoria. I so appreciate you.

Victoria Castle:
It’s been a pleasure.

Pete Wright:
And thank you everybody for downloading and listening to this show. Thank you for your time and your attention. Don’t forget if you have something to contribute, head over to the show talk channel in Discord and you can join us right there by becoming a supporting member at the deluxe level. On behalf of Nikki Kinzer and Victoria Castle, I’m Pete Wright. And we’ll see you next week right here on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.

Through Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright strive to help listeners with support, life management strategies, and time and technology tips, dedicated to anyone looking to take control of their lives in the face ADHD.