In this episode of Uncommon Convos, Dennis talks to beloved
Sex and Intimacy Expert Susan Bratton.
Susan has spent 20+ years building her experience and knowledge in intimacy.
Dr. Marissa is sure to brighten anyone’s day and had been dubbed the Asian Oprah and for a good reason. Watch or listen to this interesting and entertaining podcast now.
Dennis talks with Dr. Marissa about her life, being a rennaissance woman and where that has led her up until now.
[00:00] – Dennis
What does it take to be happy? Well, the Asian Oprah, Dr. Marrisa Pay may be able to shed some light on that subject and others coming right up. Hi, I’m Dennis VanDerGinst. Join me in a series of entertaining and interesting conversations with entertaining and interesting people. We’ll explore various aspects of the human experience and what makes life more fun. This is Uncommon Convos. Welcome to Uncommon Convos, I’m your host, Dennis VanDerGinst. And before I introduce our guest today, I want to take care of a few housekeeping issues.
[00:37] – Dennis
First off, if you haven’t already done so, please be sure to subscribe to Rate and Review Uncommon Convos on your favorite podcast platform is completely painless. I promise you, it’s quick, easy and best yet, it’s free. When you subscribe, you’ll automatically be alerted to when new episodes are available. Plus you get our eternal gratitude, so you’ll have that going for you. Also, don’t forget, you can learn more about Uncommon Convos leave comments, suggestions and watch the video version of each of our episodes, including the one that’s coming right up simply by visiting UncommonConvos.com or Vlaw.com.
[01:17] – Dennis
Lastly, I want to thank our sponsor, VanDerGinst Law. Yes, that is my law firm. But I think the entire firm, the the attorneys and everyone else there deserve our thanks because they indulge us in this podcast and deserve my gratitude and that of our production team. So if you’re injured on the job or due to the wrongdoing of another VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help simply go to Vlaw.com for more information. Now, I’m really excited to introduce you to our guest today.
[01:48] – Dennis
She is sure to bring some happiness to your day. She’s been dubbed the Asian Oprah and for good reason, Dr. Morris pay is certainly a Renaissance woman in the same way as Oprah. She’s an organizational psychologist who’s consulted with and assisted businesses in a wide variety of of ways over the past 30 years. She is a true educator, having hosted and produced a brilliant program called Take My Advice. I’m not using it. Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa. She is a best selling author of Eight Ways to Happiness from wherever you are in her spare time.
[02:25] – Dennis
If there is such a thing, she races sailboat’s things and lives her life motto No regrets for the past and don’t die wondering for the future. You can learn more about her and order her bestselling book by visiting doctor. That’s D-R Dot Marissa Dot Life. The accomplishments go on and on. The accolades just continue to mount up. So Dr. Marissa is such a pleasure to have you here. Thank you so much.
[02:56] – Dr. Marissa
It’s an absolute blessing to be here with you. Thank you for inviting me.
[03:02] – Dennis
Well, I think that our audience is really going to enjoy this. And there are so many things that we could talk about. It’s hard to start to figure out where to start.
[03:13] – Dr. Marissa
But I’d like to thank you for the the very nice Vieaux introduction that I wrote with that.
[03:22] – Dennis
I read it so well, right?
[03:25] – Dr. Marissa
You do. You did. And the only little correction is Dr. Morissa has no period in the website because people are surfing right now checking me out before they commit to listening to my opinion, my positively opinionated gotcha.
[03:43] – Dennis
Good to know that. Well, in any event, I thought it’d be a good idea to start with something that’s very much in the news right now, which is the withdrawal of Samon Byles from the Olympic gymnastic competitions. I guess one one quick caveat is that she did actually compete today. And I and those folks who are I don’t know when people will be listening or watching.
[04:12] – Dr. Marissa
So, yes, this is a spoiler alert. I’m not going to say what happened, although I do know what happened. But for those of you who are not familiar with Samon, she’s likely the greatest gymnast of all time. She was heavily favored to win the gold medal for the all around competition and to help her team get the gold once again. Unfortunately and surprisingly, she decided to withdraw from the competition, stating that the medals not all there.
[04:43] – Dr. Marissa
And I also read she she’s she may have been suffering from something known as the twisties, which is something similar to the YIPES, a condition which can cause the body not to perform like it should due to mental fatigue, stress, depression, etc.. Some people have criticized her for letting down her teammates in her country. The team did settle for the silver in the team competition rather than the gold. Other people have applauded her decision to focus on her mental health and to draw attention to how important that is.
[05:17] – Dr. Marissa
So, Doctor, what are your thoughts on this on this situation?
[05:22] – Dr. Marissa
Well, my automatic reaction is it’s none of my business. And that is that is one of the things that keeps me happy is when something happens that I am not in control of. I’m not a gymnast. I don’t know what it’s like to have that kind of pressure. I don’t know what it’s like to have that kind of strenuous training. I don’t know any of that. I have no right to have an opinion and blast that opinion all over to be argue with, agreed with or disagreed with.
[05:56] – Dr. Marissa
And my beloved dad is in heaven now. He used to say a critic is a one legged man telling you how to run. And unfortunately, our country is run in this. You know, everybody has a right to my opinion. And it really takes us down as a country. It takes us down as human kind. How could you possibly have anything negative to say about anyone who you don’t live there? Like you don’t know what is happening, you don’t know.
[06:31] – Dr. Marissa
And why would I waste my breath and my time, which is my most valuable resource that I cannot give back and spend the day on social media talking about this particular thing. And I you know, sorry, I didn’t mean to start off so he could happily heated, but I it is one of those, you know, people ask me all the time, what is the one thing that keeps us from being happy? And the one thing that keeps us from being happy is we abdicate our choice.
[07:05] – Dr. Marissa
Our most powerful muscle in life is choice, and we abdicate our choice and focus on what we pay attention to, to whatever horrific thing is happening out there. And media is a weapon of mass destruction. The Olympics are a beautiful thing. There’s so many beautiful moments that have happened in the Olympics. There are so many beautiful people, the sharing of the gold medal, the unexpected people who who have spent their entire lives for this one point in time and good for them no matter how they do.
[07:41] – Dr. Marissa
Good for them. And if you’re not in her head, you speak. You have no idea. I have to trust that everybody does the very best that I can. And why would I criticize? Someone who has had enormous amounts of pressure, her entire I mean, who knows? Look, it’s really she didn’t have that kind of pressure. Right now, I’m somebody who doesn’t believe in psychology. It just has to look to the Olympics to to at least acknowledge the power of the mind and the power that we all have.
[08:23] – Dr. Marissa
But we we tend to externalize what we should be internalizing. And that’s why my focus is always my happy. Give me my happy. Eighty eight mission is 88 million more happy people in the next eight years, because I want you to focus on your own reality show, not someone else’s. Are you happy? Are you performing in your life the best possible way? Are you doing what is best for you and the people around you? Right then if you’re not eighty eight percent of the time, turn the TV off.
[09:02] – Dr. Marissa
If you can’t enjoy something that is entertaining and inspiring and motivating like the Olympics is, then turn it off. If you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. That’s definitely my role continues to be my role. And it’s not even about the morality of it. It’s not even about being kind, which is a wonderful way to live. It’s about what makes me feel good. No one formost. Does it really make you feel good to criticize someone who cannot be feeling fantastic herself?
[09:40] – Dr. Marissa
All right. What has happened. Come on. Right. Yeah. Mind your own business. I think that’s something that I think that’s great advice, not just for you for this situation, but that’s great advice with respect to everything that you see as particularly online on, you know, on social media, about politics, about so many social issues that come up. And everyone’s got an opinion, of course, and everyone’s entitled to share it. But then if they do, actually, I disagree with that.
[10:15] – Dr. Marissa
Well, you don’t have I guess I don’t get to share my opinion.
[10:20] – Dr. Marissa
Well, yes, you do. But you have people talk all the time about the the the the amendment, you the right for an opinion, the right to speak your mind. And I take a big affront to that because you can say anything you want, but then take responsibility for what you absolutely. Don’t you have an opinion unless you take responsibility for that opinion. So if you don’t keep your front door shut, you know, that is that is that is such a B.S. of belief system that has led to unnecessary conflict.
[11:02] – Dr. Marissa
So I can have an opinion about a plethora of things. Do I need to share that opinion, especially us? We have a platform and a yes to a certain extent. We’re here to talk. Right. And and I’m going to talk about things. But I have a responsibility in the way that I talk about things and shop talk. And if it if it if it bleeds, it leads. And the pay attention to the most horrific gossipy, you know, what takes people down, people in their worst behavior is the worst use of our time and attention.
[11:42] – Dr. Marissa
So, yes, you can have an opinion, but you do not have the right to always express your opinion. Right. You are totally willing to take responsibility for it. And of course, my caveat.
[11:57] – Dennis
No, and of course, I I’m an attorney, so I’m looking at it from the perspective. I know. Me too. I look at it from the perspective of, yes, you have the right right to free speech, of course. But I agree with you 100 percent take responsibility for what it is that you are opining about. Be accountable. That is so important. Now, circling back a little bit, though, Doctor, with respect to, for instance, the stress that obviously Simonon athletes in general have to go through, are their mental exercises or or anything like that that you could offer to the people who are listening right now who may be, you know, feeling something akin to that kind of pressure or stress in their own lives that can kind of get them over the that hump?
[12:47] – Dennis
Or does it simply require taking a mental health break or what can they do to get past those types of demons?
[12:55] – Dr. Marissa
First thing in the morning, don’t pick up your phone.
[12:59] – Dennis
I like that I’m doing a talk this afternoon called Eight Highly Effective Habits of Highly Happy People. So that is my number one is plug your phone in another room if you cannot help yourself because your phone is a distractor to who you really are and the stress that put you put yourself through, there’s no one putting a gun to your head to pick up your phone. There’s no one putting a gun to your head to scroll through and find out who likes me.
[13:31] – Dennis
How many likes did I get this? Did I get one of the things that I get? What awards do they. Nobody’s asked me to do that. Who’s e-mailing me with a compliment? Come on, you guys. If you start the day reading your email, what is email? It is. Give me email. If people want something from you, that’s why they have these people. So why would you do that first thing in the morning?
[13:53] – Dennis
So. So that is my number one tip. When you wake up in the morning, don’t pick up your phone. The second thing is to sit up and we’re going to do this right now, together with the most powerful tool that you have in your Cloudbreak outside of choice, which is the bra. So I gently closed, taking a deep breath in through the nose and really saw through the mouth, the shoulder, soft elbows, soft knees and other deep breath in now releasing all the stories in the drama, everything you’ve already jumped into your head about what needs to get done, what needs to who needs an insult back to them.
[14:30] – Dennis
It’s just releasing all of that. The last breath in connecting with life with a capital l knowing that you did not die last night. The planet did not crash into each other last night. We’re alive. We have an entire day ahead of us. And now gently open your eyes. That feels good, not silent, doesn’t it feel good to 20 seconds? Yeah, so that’s the tip. I like that. I like that then the philosophical theoretical one is, if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, I will bet you a dollar that you have a little bit of perfectionism going on now, pandemic aside.
[15:12] – Dennis
So let’s talk about hashtag B, B.S. 19, the time before covid, there were a lot of stressed out people. There were one out of four Americans were taking some kind of antidepressant antianxiety. But this is before. So now it’s double that. So perfectionists. Shoot themselves in the foot because they give themselves anxiety, because nothing is ever good enough, if you’re a person that says I’m harder on myself than anybody else’s, I am my own worst critic.
[15:47] – Dennis
If I get 99 compliments and one insult, my mind plays the insult over like a broken record. I’ll be happy when I finish this, but when you finish it, you’re really not happy. You’re on to the next goal. So that describes you. And I know we’re not talking about you at all. Right. Right. Mr. Podcast’s, who has a show that does everything on top of his own job. Hello. So if you’re listening and you’re nodding your head, OK, I admit that document is a high and a perfectionist.
[16:15] – Dennis
I have two words for you. Stop it. Right. You are overwhelming and exasperating yourself. So there’s the tip. If you can be aware that you’re being hard on yourself is not helping you. It’s hurting you. And that’s why I wrote the book. I didn’t write the book as a psychologist telling you how to be happy. I wrote the book as someone who was a flaming perfectionist, a total control freak, a total overachiever who was constantly looking outside of myself with an antenna for approval so I could like myself.
[16:58] – Dennis
And the overwhelming and the disease that most people have in their lives right now is because they cannot cut themselves to break soothe themselves and see how wonderful one of a kind wonderful they actually are. It’s the disease that is taking all of us down. And that’s why my mission is as it stands, because it’s not good for us. We are a generation of four generations of people headed down into the most negative, complaining, irritated, frustrated, hateful nation of folks I have ever seen in my life.
[17:42] – Dennis
And I know it’s not just me. There’s a lot of people who are out there trying to go, hey, wait a minute, this is not what we’re here for. And so if I’m not resonating with you, totally fine. There’s other people. I don’t care how you get there. I just want you to be at peace with you. I, I, I have a way that works for me because I’m one of the seven out of ten of us who’ve had childhood trauma, the majority of people who’ve had some kind of childhood trauma.
[18:12] – Dennis
My honorable moniker, Oprah, says it’s as high as eight out of ten. By the way, I wasn’t dubbed the well I guess I was dubbed the Asian Oprah. I didn’t make it up. I was actually introduced to Oprah as the Asian bride. So I saw the story. Yeah. Yeah. So so because there are so many of us, the majority of us who have that kind of childhood trauma, why is it the majority of us think there’s something wrong with us?
[18:40] – Dennis
Why do we think we need to be fixed? Why do we think we need ten years of therapy to to be able to keep up with everybody else? That’s B.S. That’s bullshit. OK, there has to be another reason why we went through what we went through, and that’s where the book came, because pain in life is mandatory, but suffering is optional. Right. So my message is for all of us who’ve had that kind of past, who I grew up being told I was fat, ugly and clumsy my entire first 17 years of my life.
[19:14] – Dennis
And so I developed coping strategies like trying to please people, like picking situations where I’ll never win because that’s what I knew. But you know what, I I was not responsible for the pain that I had as a child. I was not responsible. So if you’re listening right now and I know the majority of you have had some kind of abandonment, abuse, molestation, rape, just horrific things that happen to you as a child, I’m here to tell you that none of what you did as a child led to that.
[19:54] – Dennis
You are not responsible at all. One hundred percent for what happened to you. And it was horrible that it happened. And shame on the people that had that made it happen to you. But. It is your responsibility now in this moment as an adult, as a teenager. Do you really want to bring that as baggage, as heavy oversize baggage to take on your day right now when they don’t have it right there? If they’re not here, you’re here.
[20:29] – Dennis
You have an entire life ahead of you that has amazing thoughts on the joy ride of your life. But you cannot see them nor get on the ride if you are overweight, if you have that, if you’re driving that. So take responsibility for your now you can’t you’re not responsible for that, but you are responsible for that. And that’s what the book’s about. And that’s why, thank God it’s done really well because it resonates there. There’s a plethora of us who continue to suffer from what has happened in the past and it is unnecessary, but it takes a little work.
[21:04] – Dennis
Sure. We got to put the phone down. Yeah, you got should start believing in yourself, right?
[21:10] – Dennis
Well, you know, Doctor, you mentioned and it’s obviously true that a lot of problems preexisted covid. We’ve we saw mental health, we saw depression. We saw problems before covid. But obviously the pandemic has contributed in a lot of ways to these types of problems. And some of the information I saw online, I gathered you have you’ve been champion ing of something called the PCP, the post pandemic possibilities. What what is that referencing and what are the challenges that people are facing now because of the pandemic?
[21:46] – Dennis
And how do we overcome those challenges?
[21:49] – Dr. Marissa
If you want the long versions of that answer, go to Medium and look at Dr. Ruth. I wrote early in the pandemic the opportunities that the pandemic is bringing us. And then I actually woke up with this short film shocker during during the day, the mother had to take over the silver lining and created this beautiful film that if you’re an educator and you want it for your school, I’m happy to donate it. And if you like my message, you want to support me.
[22:19] – Dr. Marissa
Donate to my nonprofit Eight Ways to Happiness that helps kids, teens and young adults who have temporarily forgotten their right to happiness. And you’ll get a copy of that film. But the film post Pandemic POSSIBILITY’S says, Before we go back to normal, let’s remember that we didn’t like our alarm. Most people didn’t like our jobs. Most people didn’t love their lives. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are the tragic examples that the biggest B.S. that’s out there is that fame and fortune will make you happy.
[22:57] – Dr. Marissa
If that is true, they would not have happened. Robin Williams would not have happened. All of the great artists who had everything that our American dream promises us wouldn’t have happened. So we all need to stop. Right, and ask ourselves. Who so I have I have a friend, she doesn’t have an answering machine. She has a questioning machine. And when you call her, she says, who are you and what do you want? And another hashtag, covid.
[23:33] – Dr. Marissa
Silver lining is we got a chance to answer those questions if you have not answered that question. Then it’s time before you go back. Who are you? That is outside of all of the hamster wheels that you’re on, because if you’re the regular person, B, C, 19, the time before covid, you were a mother, a father, you’re a parent and running on that hamster wheel, you were an employee or a boss and you were running on that hamster wheel.
[24:05] – Dr. Marissa
You were a family member and running on that hamster wheel. And your life was a tragedy, a tragedy of errors every time you made a mistake because you’re trying to be perfect at all of the rules that you are. I don’t want you to go back to that. I want you to stop and ask yourself, who am I really at the core of who I am? Am I am I love the my carry. And all of these are eighty eight percent.
[24:33] – Dr. Marissa
If you’ve noticed, I use a lot of eight. And if you’re wondering why, I’ve got to ask you for half of those of you who are watching now, I can see that I know you thought I was Swedish, but I’m actually Chinese and in Chinese in Mandarin eight is a lucky number. It’s a homonym for good fortune, which is why I’m surrounded with kids and I talk about eighty eight percent happiness because double a double good fortune is your birthright.
[25:01] – Dr. Marissa
You have a birthright to happiness that we all have forgotten because we got schooled in believing that the American dream was fame. And fortune is our birthright and it is not our birthright. Happiness Kaskade unconditional happiness is our birthright and what is unconditional happiness. It is happiness that resides despite the condition you are in. Did you hear that unconditional happiness is happy? Can you be happy no matter what condition is going on around you? Pandemic mean a divorce and divorce, abandonment, no abandonment, a job, no job, career, no career.
[25:47] – Dr. Marissa
Can you be happy in the moment of that? Yeah, but Dr. Mercer, that’s a little Pollyanna. I know you’re trying to get me to drink the rose colored Kool-Aid and you can’t be happy. Absolutely. That’s why I say eight percent of the time, 88 percent of the time, you can be happy where you are, but you have to stop complaining. You have to stop noticing what’s not going right and notice what is going right. You have to stop blaming your conditions from the past for your unhappiness.
[26:20] – Dr. Marissa
Now you have to stop looking for love in all the wrong places. You have to stop paying attention to what is everybody else is talking about and talk to yourself. I know they say the voices. We hear voices in your head. You’re crazy. I’m telling you. Now, if you cannot understand who’s driving your life car in your head, you’re going to go crazy. And most of us have a critic that is driving our life car over a cliff.
[26:48] – Dr. Marissa
You shouldn’t do this. You should have said that. You shouldn’t do that. That’s the one. That’s the hamster wheel. You don’t want that person driving your life car. That’s the critic that got developed and and shut down. All the negative stuff that was told to you as a child takes all the insults that you’ve been given as an adult, sucks them all together. And that critic will make you miserable for the rest of your life. Right.
[27:12] – Dr. Marissa
You don’t want that. You finally got to find a balance centered you balance, centredness, balance, interject, balance center. Doctor, that is the work. If you want to be happy. That’s the mission that is possible because you are possible. But it does it it really requires put the phone down. It really requires for you to do things even when you don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like going to bed right now. I’m going to binge watch another meaningless program.
[27:45] – Dr. Marissa
No, I’m going to go to bed because I know that in the morning I’m going to regret I’m going to lose my entire day because I’m fuzzy. No, I’m going to put that Krispy Kreme donut down because I know that it’s not doing well. Actually, no, I’m going to eat that today because I’m in my twelve percent. But tomorrow I’m not doing so. So there’s there’s this constant negotiation that I have with myself in order to keep me happy.
[28:13] – Dr. Marissa
It’s the discipline. That’s where my brother Michael Bernard Beckwith, who’s the one that introduced me to Oprah. The discipline is the order of the day. Do you have a discipline? Discipline is a dirty word to me because it sounds like well, discipline tells me that if I do the things that I know fundamentally, you know what to do to be happy, you be happy with yourself first. It is so through the best, best saying that I’ve ever heard is from an African-American person who said when there is no enemy inside.
[28:55] – Dr. Marissa
No one on the outside can hurt you. So in my book, one of the fundamental values talk is you bake your own cake. Do you know how good you are? Do you do you have problems looking in the mirror and complimenting yourself, then you really don’t have the full picture of who you are. You’ve got to be able to love yourself. Eighty eight percent of the time from that cake, you know, the icing is the compliments.
[29:30] – Dr. Marissa
Do I love compliments? You betcha. But I know that when I get an insult, which is also fishy, it’s OK. It’s not my cake, so I’m not perfect. So I stepped in. So I talk too much on that show and they wanted to hear the guest more. OK, yeah, I do have a tendency. I like to talk. I am so shy I have nothing to say. Sarcasm is another service that I offer and sometimes I step into it.
[29:57] – Dr. Marissa
But do I want to lose who I am because of one comment that someone you know. Do you have your own show? If you don’t have your own show, you really don’t have the right to criticize my. So if you want to do your own show, go do your own show and then you can be you can use your advice on yourself. So again, I have a pretty solid 80 percent of the time. I know who I am.
[30:24] – Dr. Marissa
I am not what I was brought up to believe. I am not a piece of shit. Hawkey I was brought up to believe that I was unworthy, unlovable, unloved and and unloving. That’s what I was brought up. That’s not true. I am also not hot chick talking, which my brat, which is another voice in my head that my brach, the one that says You’re not the boss of me. I don’t have to do anything you’re telling me to do.
[30:52] – Dr. Marissa
I have to. I can’t eat Krispy Kreme donuts every single day. Screw you. So we also have the little brat inside. That was a way to deal with childhood trauma to keep us alive. But that brat can also drive you off the cliff. So you don’t want to be driving either. I have to soothe my brat and say, darling, I love you. But insulting that that climate right now is probably not good for our bank account.
[31:18] – Dr. Marissa
So we’re going to keep our mouths shut right now. I promise. You can go insult them all. And yes, you’re right. If I looked like you, I’d be miserable, too. We want to see that, OK? We’re not going to say that this is just so this kind of self talk is so important to anchor us in who we really are, the naturally happy, fun loving, creative, caring we all are, that we all are.
[31:48] – Dr. Marissa
And every single person on the planet is a one of a kind wonderful that. And that’s where if we really want to bliss hoplin out and grab life by the balls and juice, all of the joy and wonder out of it. We have to start out with suppose because the buck stops right over here right now. You know, and I agree with everything you’re saying, Doctor, but one twist on on that theme, I believe fully that we have the capacity to be wonderful and good and and happy.
[32:26] – Dr. Marissa
But I know that you have also spoken very openly about and you even mentioned earlier the word hate and how hateful some some of our society has become. And specifically, I wanted to focus on which is arguably partially related to the pandemic, this this issue of the awful hate and hate crimes which have been directed towards Asians and Asian-Americans. And I know that that’s a topic that you’ve addressed. What are your thoughts about this?
[32:59] – Dr. Marissa
Well, I kind of take it personally. Sure. Absolutely. How do you not take it personally? Although it was interesting, I didn’t jump right away. I remember signing a petition in June that came in my email box. I love changelog. They have a platform in the ability. So if you if you’re feeling like you don’t have a lot of meaning in your life, there’s plenty of things that you can use your energy to help with and change stuff, or it has plenty of those that, you know, we’re all different.
[33:28] – Dr. Marissa
We have different things that ring our bells. So when I saw the the petition around getting mainstream media to cover Asian hate crimes that have been happening, hashtag stop AAPI hate has been documenting very objectively the number of hate crimes since the pandemic started. I remember signing that petition, but not jumping on the bandwagon because I, I, I all I try to practice what I teach most of the time, even though the name of my show is take my advice, I’m not using it.
[34:05] – Dr. Marissa
Right. Yeah. Actually 80 acres of the time. But I caution everyone not to have a knee jerk, head jerk, jerk period reaction to anything, so when something first floats in, I sit with it. Let me think about that. So I thought about it and then I researched it. So this is this is a great process if you are a jerk person, literally, and relieved. Right, exactly. But you might want to practice this.
[34:38] – Dr. Marissa
So the first step is just to take it in the first thing and to take that breath that we did before and then say, interesting, or let me think about that, because someone will say, what do you think about that? And you said, let me think, but I’ll get back to you. That in it of itself is is progress. Right? So you’re not coming back and hate. Is a tricky thing, because when you hate something, you’re using the same point of energy as the thing that you don’t like.
[35:11] – Dr. Marissa
Right. Let me let me let me give you an example, the one of the reasons why the war on drugs has not worked or the war on obesity or the war on anything, even the war on racism has not worked, is because hate is hate doesn’t matter the target of your hate. If you hate something, you are directing a negative bottom line energy towards something. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. And that energy you are guilty of going in.
[35:50] – Dr. Marissa
And you know Michelle Obama, Gohei, when you hate you go wrong. So. Right. So we’re learning hopefully about balance. There’s a way to change with love. And then then the extremists will say, oh, that’s bullshit shit. Are you trying to say that you want us all here to hold hands and sing Kumbaya? No, that’s not the love that I am talking about. The love that I’m talking about is I love you. And I’m not going to leave your comment here because it’s not loving.
[36:28] – Dr. Marissa
Right. I even know what you’re saying may be true for you. Definitely it’s true, but it may not. And I always ask this question. I am sure that I believe this. Am I sure that I believe this? So then I do my research first and I go to not biased news. I know it’s really difficult to find, but there’s this great chart. If you put in biased news, it’ll come up and it puts all the major networks where they stand for right or left, little whatever.
[37:03] – Dr. Marissa
So I do my research. I respect medical research. I respect the certain places I go. And then I ask myself, do I still believe this way, yes or no? Yes, I still do. OK, yes, I do. There’s a floater. So yes, I still believe this. Now, does it matter if anyone else believes this or is it enough that I believe it? There’s the correct. Mm hmm. Can I be OK?
[37:33] – Dr. Marissa
With just me believing this and let others believe their own truth for most things you can, but we have convinced ourselves that not only do I have to believe this, but everybody else has to believe otherwise. You’re wrong. And there’s very few things that that actually is true. There’s so many things. Can you imagine our world if we all thought the same way? How boring, which you’re right. But the variety that we have in the world.
[38:05] – Dr. Marissa
Look, I love people watching in airports because I just see so much diversity and we all seven point three billion of us are are different. Why can’t we be OK with our differences? Why can’t we really be OK now? There’s a couple of exceptions. What Hitler did we don’t want to repeat back. Right. So I’m not saying that there are not some things that we need to do and don’t say. Actually, no, it’s not. OK, what happened to George Floyd now it’s not OK.
[38:42] – Dr. Marissa
So what am I going to hate all white people? Am I going to hate all cops? Am I going to hate. Is that my reaction? I’m going to hate. No, I’m going to love myself knowing that I want a world that is stemmed in peace. Now, if I want that, what am I going to need to do? I’m going to tell people to watch 30 this documentary on Netflix because it explains how our underlying racism towards black people has led to a billion dollar prison industry with mostly black males.
[39:13] – Dr. Marissa
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to educate myself instead of having a gut reaction to say, don’t tell me black lives matter. All lives matter. You know, what about the Native American Revolution? No, I’m going to say, you know what? Yeah, black lives are going to have to matter a little more than they did, as systemized by what happened to your foot. So I’m going to support any effort for not completely breaking down the policing system, recognizing that they had to be here to protect and serve.
[39:51] – Dr. Marissa
I’d like to change it, to serve and protect, but we’re working on it. But you’re not going to throw away and hate all police. You’re going to hate all anybody. So that’s why it’s so important to balance my message. Vali’s find where to hole and where to fold, where to put the pressure and where to back off, where to lovingly apply a shift in the thinking that leads to a shift in the action. Our systems are broken in America.
[40:25] – Dr. Marissa
The NUPE post pandemic possibilities are saying don’t go back to the systems that aren’t working, standing with your self. Examine your own cookies in your life. Right Browsr are they still? Are you operating on old belief systems and then our education systems, are we still teaching curriculum that has white supremacy embedded in it? We are. So yes, I’m going to support ethnic studies because I know what I’m going to cover stories that talk about ethnic studies. I’m going to turn I’m going to use my platform to shift the focus from hating to let’s focus on things that are working.
[41:13] – Dr. Marissa
Let’s focus on people that are doing something to help shift the playing field. It is through hiring managers, funding managers, bank managers for loans, buying houses, getting promotions. All of those systems have been geared towards white. Memory, yes. Yeah, especially especially the way that’s just for you to say that and not be pissed off about it is so great because you’re acknowledging that, you know, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have slaves.
[41:53] – Dr. Marissa
But I acknowledge that our country has been born on some practices that were not great. I’m doing land from Native Americans. I just put the moves on the table. That’s my native version of the elephant in the room we stolen from them. Christopher Columbus did not discover America. Native Americans discovered America. Right. Right. And number two, the wealth that we owe this family was blue blood family. Those families fortunes were built on slaves who were dragged to our country against their will.
[42:29] – Dr. Marissa
Let’s just call it like it is. I don’t I know you. You didn’t do it. I know that you’re a good person. But when you when I say this, people expect me to say I’m a person of color. When you stand and say, I’m not proud of it, I wish it hadn’t happened, but it did happen. And I’m going to do what I can to bring on a guest who’s going to be a little more vocal about this stuff.
[42:54] – Dennis
I’ll even add this coming from a white male perspective, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong about visiting and revisiting the question or the issue of reparations. I know that that’s a hot bed as far as political debate goes. But, you know, it’s something that I think deserves more time and attention than than it’s been getting. So along the lines of what you’ve been saying, I think that is something that’s important to throw out there.
[43:26] – Dr. Marissa
I have a great guest on who who educated me around the horrific reality that not only did they not get reparations, there was at one point some acres and a mule that was that was suggested that went down in flames. And not only did it go down in flames, reparations were was given to the slave owner. So I don’t know if you knew that right now, in addition to being a lawyer, I was a history major. So you’re preaching to the choir here.
[44:01] – Dr. Marissa
And I love that you’re you’re you’re talking about these things and, you know, such a large focus, obviously, of your practice and your efforts is on helping people find balance and happiness. And you’ve talked about the goal of getting eight million people to be 88 percent more happy in the next eight years. And and discussed with us, you know, where this figure came from, the the the number eight. Is that really a true goal? Eight million people, eight years, 88 percent.
[44:31] – Dr. Marissa
And if that’s the case, how do you track the success of that type of goal? And and how do you quantify when you’re eighty eight percent happy?
[44:41] – Dr. Marissa
So I’m happy to tell you that I already exceeded my eight million, I actually changed my eight to eighty eight million about. Six months ago, when I hit eight million, and I’ll tell you, I tracked it because when I was on tour with the book, I hit every major bookstore, I was on every major news station, and I tracked their nielson’s and I looked at the number of people that saw it. I looked at the number of books.
[45:14] – Dr. Marissa
I looked at the book signings. I also did a program. I was on the number one show sorry, the number one channel in the Philippines when I was speaking at a conference and I got to share the stage, he opened it. Manny Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao and that particular program and the interview that I have with Karen Davila on ABS-CBN, she she’s also called the Philippine Oprah. That program had a hit of two point eight million people. So that was quantifiable.
[45:50] – Dr. Marissa
So that right up to five million. And then I was in China, 10 miles from Wuhan in November on the stage one radio and television station on a show called The Fragrance of Women Speaking, and that had an audience of four million. So already I was over the eight million. Then when I came back and I just got promoted from my once a week primetime show after four hundred and eighty consecutive weeks on the air over nine years. And then I just got promoted into The Daily Show and I’m happy to tell you just got the numbers for the first month that I’ve been on the air in the morning, I got a one point seven, which means that I have a low side of one hundred and sixty thousand every 15 minutes section to four times that, which is six hundred thousand listeners on a daily basis.
[46:46] – Dr. Marissa
So you do the math. They may be common listeners, but the good news is I am now well into my eighty eight million and I say this because I know I will probably die and go to the other side where my dad is by the time before I reach 80 million. But I didn’t want to go from eight million to 18 million. I just wanted to give a number that’s so crazy so that I know I ain’t ever retiring. So that’s the reason why I will never retire.
[47:20] – Dr. Marissa
I love what I do. I believe in what I do. I know that that’s why I am here doing what I am. That’s why I was abused as a child, because it’s not what happened to me. It’s what happened for me and for me to have a mouth which is unusual for an Asian woman. If you’re not brought up to have a mouth, you have to be on stage. I’m disappointing and shaming my entire family every time I talk, but I know that I’m a LEO in five planets and I can’t help myself.
[47:50] – Dr. Marissa
I was told by an astrologer, you just can’t help yourself. You have to be in front of the camera. You have to be talking. So I’m doing what I was born and built to do. So if you don’t know what your purpose is, I got one thing for you. I know exactly what your purpose is in life is your personal life is to expand and grow into the one of a kind of wonderful you are how ever that expresses yourself.
[48:14] – Dr. Marissa
And it’s to be happy. Eighty eight percent of the time that your purpose to be happy eighty percent of the time, because from that place you can create whatever it is you want to create. I get to create and innovate every single day. So do you, so does everyone. If you stay off your phone issues, stay out of negativity. If you are resonating, join my 21 day fast from company. That’s your baseline. If you can stop complaining for 21 days, you’re well on your way.
[48:50] – Dennis
That’s that’s quite an accomplishment for people to to really try to to do 21 days or even twenty one hours without complaining. But we don’t want you sizzle reels that I watched. I heard you referring to how people gauge happiness based on benchmarks. And I know you you referenced this a little bit earlier. For instance, I’ll be happy when I make a million dollars. I’ll be happy when the kids are taking care of our when I finish school or whatever it is.
[49:25] – Dennis
And I know I’ve done that. I know a lot of people that do that set those benchmarks. What’s wrong with that way of thinking and what’s the better goal to have with respect to finding your happiness? And how do we do that?
[49:38] – Dr. Marissa
So there’s nothing wrong with goals. So let’s just put that out there. Goals are great little milestones, benchmarking ways to feel like you accomplished something. I have. Goals every day. I don’t do to do this anymore because I was spending more time writing them out and also moving them to the following day and feeling like a failure. So I do what I think I need to do the major things, obviously, for my show, for my kids, for those are things that I and I reward myself when I do those things.
[50:18] – Dr. Marissa
And I have a very great negotiation with myself that if I finish something that I like to do, that’s the reward in and of itself. And if I finish something that I don’t like to do, I get to play Candy Crush. That’s my motivation. What what people don’t understand is when you are so focused on the goal and if you are a perfectionist, the goals can hurt you because you don’t really acknowledge when you have accomplished the goal, you get to the goal, you go, yay, and then you’re on to the next goal and you get eighty eight percent to that goal and you’re in that place.
[50:53] – Dr. Marissa
I still have to push into goal. I’ll be happy when I get to the goal. I’ll be happy when I get to go. You get to the goal, you touch it and you’re back to the next school and you’re at 88 percent and you’re always in that negative 12 percent energy. As I’ve got to get there, I’ve got to get there. And that just hurt you, too. Physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s not good for your health.
[51:14] – Dr. Marissa
So. Eighty eight percent is the point line where that’s your goal, right? If I get it. Eighty eight. No, I’m not. I’m a pilot flying my plane, but I am almost eighty eight percent. If I’m there I’m going to celebrate and you cannot change what you say is going to make you happy because that is the never ending. When I’ll be happy. When you remember, when you’re in your twenties, I’ll be happy when I get fifty thousand.
[51:44] – Dr. Marissa
When you’re a teenager I’ll be, I’ll be happy when I have fifty thousand in the bank. And then it was one hundred thousand five hundred thousand. Then it was this house and then it was two cars and then it was when your kids are out of school, work with kids out of my house or kids in college. And then your parents are healthy or unhealthy. You’re never going to be happy because it keep there’s so many things out of your control that will continue to change.
[52:12] – Dr. Marissa
And you’re never going to be happy. You could do that for the rest of your life. I say come to me at seventy. I’m not happy. And I’m like, thank God you still have at least your average ten, sixteen years to get this. That’s good. I don’t want you to be that. I want you to be, you know, midlife and say, OK, I’m ready. I give I want to be happy and you stop and you have to deal with what you’ve been trying not to do with my most my biggest client base of people who have had childhood trauma, who’ve used the garbage disposal approach to pass, being pushed it down, push it down, push it down, push it down, pull yourself up by the bootstraps.
[52:58] – Dr. Marissa
It’s in the past. You can’t change it, so don’t deal with it. Once you press down garbage, what does it turn to? Liquid pressed down liquid, it turns to the gas. What happens? You’re in your mid-life crisis, which I call the midlife opportunity. You’re leaking gas. So these are the people who are high achievement oriented people who have made it up the ladder. And then one day they start crying and they don’t know why and they can’t stop.
[53:24] – Dr. Marissa
And the doctor puts them on some kind of a. something. And then they have side effects that are worse than what they were feeling in the first place. Or you have anger issues. I am not a jury which is related to self awareness issues. So those are my clients that come in midlife and say, what’s wrong with me? And my response is there’s nothing wrong with you. You are finally feeling the effects of something that you have to do.
[53:52] – Dr. Marissa
And I am not. I apologize to psychologists, traditional clinical psychologist. I do not believe you need a full ten years of therapy to feel better about yourself. I believe in rapid transformative therapy. I do it. I don’t call it therapy. It’s coaching, it’s life balance coaching. It’s all in my book that you can just follow along. If you don’t want to see someone, just do the exercises in the book because I lay it out there so that more people can access the solution to past pain.
[54:26] – Dr. Marissa
If you can work through those exercises and deal with your pain once and for all, then it’s like you will never hate yourself the same way again. Because we all have that whole we all have that big black hole that we’re like, Oh, I don’t want to go in there. I don’t want to deal with it because I want to be like Humpty Dumpty and I’ll never do that. I’ll never be put back together again. And that’s bullshit.
[54:50] – Dr. Marissa
OK, you can. With whoever you know, I’m not the answer to everybody, I am the answer to those who resonate with the kind of past that I’ve had. But you go in there, you take the book, it’s like a little flashlight. I’m with you. I hold your hand, I coach with me. You dig out all of this to talk. You find that it’s not a never ending hole that you’re going to fall through.
[55:17] – Dr. Marissa
There is a bottom or side. Take the flashlight. Look at all the beautiful things that have been developed because of all the past pay. Find the see that you. And then we take all the extra talki and put it back in as fertilizer because that’s why it happens. You who have had past pain are in this incredible position to have so much sensitivity, which is one hundred percent correlated with creativity, to identify with others who have had that as well.
[55:47] – Dr. Marissa
And if we’re the majority, we need your we need people to step up and say, I got it. I understand which I really do understand what you’re going through. Nobody’s lived in similar shoes. Nobody knows what. So people who have had that experience, that’s why I put my interviews with Shannon Mullen, Lori Hernandez, they know they know what what she’s going through, but they still don’t know what she’s gone through. So. Right. So all of us have value in the pain that we’ve had.
[56:23] – Dr. Marissa
All of us have value in the mental health hardships that we have. It’s not a hardship. It is a gift to bring us into the magnificence that we really are close, because I think we’re getting to a time with this story that I love to use that speaks to past pain. So there’s two rocks. One is on the left side of the store. One’s on the right side. And everyone that comes into the store never goes inside the house.
[56:55] – Dr. Marissa
Both are drawn to the right and the right. Rock is so beautiful and has like prisons they go through and everybody’s always complimenting that rock and it’s just so gorgeous. Probably finally, after eight years, the rock on the left is pissed off technical term and shakes his hand in the air, jumps off the little pedestal and says life like you are not there. Get over here. I got an issue for eight years, I have to watch this stupid rock on the right, get all of the attention, get all of the compliments and all of everything.
[57:29] – Dr. Marissa
And I get nothing. No one has ever come over and said that I am beautiful life. You are not. Their life comes down, clouds part, thunder rumbles, comes down, puts his arm around the left rock and says, Darling, I love you. But every time I would come close to you with the chisel and begin to do the work, you would say, no, no, no, no, it hurts. Stop, stop, stop.
[57:56] – Dr. Marissa
I can’t take it. I don’t want to pay. Mauro. You can’t have the growth and expansion and beauty of life without some pain, right, and you have to. Allowing the pain is mandatory and suffering is OK.
[58:15] – Dennis
Absolutely, and I love that doctor, obviously there’s so many other areas I want to explore with you. And, you know, I’d love to have you back and talk about some of those media meditation, spirituality, business, any number of things that that, you know, you are definitely equipped to discuss. But for now, thank you so much for being here with us today. We’re definitely going to have the link to the website so that folks can know how to get that book.
[58:44] – Dennis
Again, eight ways to happiness from wherever you are. I want everybody to check that out. I want to thank you all for joining us today. And again, be sure to subscribe rate and review Uncommon Convos on your favorite podcast platform and visit Uncommon Convos to watch the video version of this and every episode. Also, if you haven’t done so, please check out our other podcasts, Legal Squeaks Dotcom, where you can learn the most recent information on certain legal and consumer news that might impact your life.
[59:20] – Dennis
I want to thank a VanDerGinst Law our sponsor once again. And if you need help with an injury claim anywhere in the country, reach out at Vlaw.com. Our thanks again to Dr. Marisa. Be sure to check out her book. And and I love by the way, I want to wrap things up by mentioning this, that you’ve obviously had wonderful opportunities to speak to some amazing people and those of you who have the time and opportunity. Be sure to check out the website and her YouTube channels to see some of those interviews, some of those discussions, a lot of great fun.
[59:58] – Dr. Marissa
So I was just going to offer actually to your listeners as a gift, since it has been fun chatting with you. If you do get the book off my website, either the audio book or the the hard one with the with the signature, I will give you a buy one, get one free and the gift will be a children’s book. I have a children’s book called My Wonderful. And I would love to give that as a gift. Yes, my YouTube channel does house my interviews with Halle Berry, John Travolta, Quincy Jones, which I think that you’re referencing there.
[01:00:33] – Dr. Marissa
[01:00:35] – Dennis
Absolutely. And we definitely appreciate that, Doctor. So the rest of you, please check us out again next week for another Uncommon Convos. In the meantime, have a great day. Stay safe. And I love you all.
In this episode of Uncommon Convos, Dennis talks to beloved
Sex and Intimacy Expert Susan Bratton.
Susan has spent 20+ years building her experience and knowledge in intimacy.
Dennis VanDerGinst talks to Dr. Rich Blundell about the interconnection between nature and creativity as well as many other interesting topics.
Art Bell of Comedy Central fame stops by to talk about working in the entertainment industry and how to get through a battle of the titans.