Did you know that taking a step back might be your secret to leaping forward in success?

In this episode of the Think Tank of Three podcast, Michelle Hutchison reveals the power of the pause, peeling back the layers of the essential balance between intense work and vital rest, unraveling how to prevent burnout while chasing ambitious goals.

A licensed child and family therapist specializing in mental health and trauma, Michelle offers profound expertise in reshaping productivity, embracing self-care, and revolutionizing work culture. Tune in to learn how to harmonize your professional and personal life for optimal success and well-being.

Watch or listen now as Julie Holton and Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris host the Think Tank of Three podcast!

You can now watch the Think Tank of Three Podcast on YouTube and Spotify, and listen on all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe! Our direct links are here.

Think Tank of Three Podcast Transcript: Finding Power in the Pause with Michelle Hutchison

[00:00:00] Julie Holton: Rise and grind.

[00:00:03] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: There is no rest for the wicked girl.

[00:00:06] Julie Holton: You know, there isn’t, because we work hard, we play hard. In fact, all work, no play. We’ll sleep when we’re dead, right?

[00:00:13] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: You know, that’s, that’s how we’ve learned about it. And, we might be very well burning that candle at both ends, but you know, we’re chasing that dream. We’re going for it. We’re, we’re living our best lives!

[00:00:26] Julie Holton: Time is money in this rat race. That’s why we’re always hustling.

[00:00:30] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris:  The dog-eat-dog world. Survival of the… Okay, we need to stop with this!

[00:00:35] Julie Holton: Have we hit a record yet with the number of cliches about the grind? The worst part is, Reish, they’re It’s like they’re in our DNA at this point.

[00:00:44] Anytime I wanna watch a show, or read a book, or something for pleasure instead of for work, I just have this feeling, I can feel it right now, that it’s like, No, that’s laziness. You have to be working, you have to be Especially as women, if we’re not working at work, we should be working at home for our families.

[00:01:05] Yeah. The grind I feel like, especially in the startup world where I spend a lot of time, it’s glorified. It’s actually in the name of one of the organizations that I’m a co-director of, an amazing global organization, Startup Grind. But the grind, it’s like this badge of honor. That also is a handcuff to us where we have to constantly be working and that stress can lead to burnout and mental and physical health problems.

[00:01:35] I’ve experienced it myself. And that spiral is real. I’ve heard, you know, recently I heard an entrepreneur talking about this and you know, the headline for this talk is that she’s made it. She had a, you know, uh, she, she had fundraised, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars for her startup. She had this incredible exit from the business.

[00:01:57] But what she said to me was The exit couldn’t have come at a better time because she hit burnout so hard. It took her three months of just solid rest to recover. And even then, it’s still an ongoing journey. And she said she almost didn’t recover from it. I mean, when we look at the numbers. of suicides and even depression, anxiety, some real hard-hitting numbers and how they impact entrepreneurs.

[00:02:26] They impact women. Yep. I can’t help but feel like it’s this grind mentality.

[00:02:31] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: And that grind mentality, honestly, is, is very. U. S. Centric. I remember we talked about this a little bit. There was a commercial with Neil McDonough. I can’t, I think it was a car commercial and he’s literally checking off, you know, basically what we just did.

[00:02:48] You know, you know, you work, we work to live, you know, working to live versus living to work, but we live to work and it’s like, and that’s a problem. And that’s why you keep hearing work-life Balance. It’s why conversations around sustainable and, uh, work practices and that work-life balance. That’s why that is so important.

[00:03:06] And it is the focus of our conversation today. So stay with it. Stay with it. The Think Tank of three podcast starts. Right now,

[00:03:37] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: Welcome to the think tank of three podcasts. I’m your cohost Reischea, Canidate- Kapasouris along with Julie Holton. And our third is going to be probably a very familiar voice. She comes from episode 46. It’s Michelle Hutchison joining us. She joined us during COVID pandemic to talk about building resilience, the spirituality and science of rewiring our minds.

[00:04:02] Julie Holton: We asked her to come back to tackle a new topic, also still though in the mindset and rewiring framework, the psychology of rest and shifting this cultural norm away from hustle to focus on balance. Michelle has a master’s in clinical social work in the field of education with an emphasis on building neuropsychological resilience in the brain.

[00:04:26] And she’s also an amazing friend and human being joining us from Costa Rica today where she’s doing some incredible work. Michelle, thanks for being on the show.

[00:04:36] Michelle Hutchison: Thank you both so much for having me. I just love listening to the richness of this podcast. And every time I get to spend time with you, my heart skips a few beats.

[00:04:46] So thank you. I’m a subscriber.

[00:04:50] Julie Holton: This is like a good reminder, everyone subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. I selfishly was like, I need a therapy session with my friend, Michelle, because of this whole like push-pull with grind and balance. And, you know, we’ve had this conversation so many times, Michelle, and every single time we talk about this, I get something new from it.

[00:05:13] And I want to say like, Anti grind. I think there’s a time to really dig in and work hard. And so let’s just like put that disclaimer off the back, none off the bat. None of us are saying like, Oh, stop working and just rest all the time. But Michelle, we have this ingrained in our culture. This, this word grind even is everywhere.

[00:05:31] Why does our culture promote the grind?

[00:05:34] Michelle Hutchison: Oh, my goodness. What a great question, Julie. And this conversation is really, really important. And I can’t help but engage the fact that I’m sitting here in Costa Rica, as we’re talking about culture. I spent, and this ties in, but last night I spent some time in the inner city streets with young children and families in a, in a gang-stricken area.

[00:06:01] And we were out late at night, you know, so I’m thinking about my safety and thinking about what am I doing out here with these people? And yet we were in this like fenced in cemented area. And There was so much joy, I could barely contain myself and even understanding and experiencing the amount of joy that people had there with so little, and I, I just kept ruminating about what our culture.

[00:06:31] The expectations that we’ve placed on ourselves for performance for individuality and the, the lack of individuality that our culture brings to us, and how that’s truly impacted our own mental wellness, our brain chemical state and our nervous systems. That’s my introduction to talking about what do we do with this need to perform and this need to, um, um, produce, and yet still be human beings that are full of life and love and joy.

[00:07:10] And we are seeing the negative impacts of not understanding the full dynamics. Of mental wellness and our society, you know, Michelle, I have heard, and I don’t know, I guess I should do some research to make sure this is true, but, you know, anecdotally, I’ve heard that the grind was introduced as a way to get people to get the masses to work harder and, and give more.

[00:07:36] And, and it’s almost this, this, um, idea of kind of keeping. the good dogs down a little bit, like keeping people working, keeping them in, you know, whether it was like the factories back in the day or whatever. It’s like this mindset of, if you’re not working hard, you’re not contributing to society. You’re not fulfilling your role as, um, whoever you are, the breadwinner of your family, whatever that might be.

[00:07:59] Like true or not, but it certainly feels that way. So like, what is it in our culture that promotes this idea in American culture, in Western culture, you know, you’re in Costa Rica and you’re comparing people with, with little compared to, you know, relative to that of the American norm. And yet they’re, they’re joyful, not even just happy, but joyful.

[00:08:20] So what is it in our culture that is driving us to need more, want more, do more at the same time, burning ourselves out? Oh, what a great question. It is this like cycle that we find ourselves in. Dr. Amen talks a lot about, about the concept of happiness that it really can become this brain chemical state.

[00:08:42] So the more that we have, the more that we think we need, and then we get ourselves caught in this cycle of comparison and the more we compare ourselves, um, The, the more that we’re unhappy. And so we’re understanding this concept from a brain structure standpoints, like how my brain is developing. Um, even, even in pre verbal memory, like the expectations that are set before me, even as a toddler, and then.

[00:09:14] this whole like what’s happening to my brain chemicals. So as my brain chemicals are changing, because when I feel like I have to compare myself, then all of a sudden my levels of cortisol are increasing because I am thinking I’m not doing enough. I’m not performing enough. And then that impacts. It’s my ability to have joy because joy comes in the structure of the thinking patterns, but it also comes as a brain chemical state.

[00:09:41] And so there’s a theory called the polyvagal theory and the polyvagal theory really embraces our nervous system and it’s, it’s a subconscious process that’s happening in our bodies. So we have a nerve that connects from our brain to our entire body. And that dictates whether we know it or not, the state at which we’re in rest or we’re living in tension.

[00:10:07] So our life experiences, our thought processes are, are like this full cycle of impact. Our thought process impacts our nervous system. Our nervous system impacts our thought life. And so you can subconsciously be in this tension. all the time, which then drives your behavior. My behavior is avoidance and that’s creating more attention.

[00:10:31] Or my behavior is to perform at this like hypervigilant level because that gives me some release in my nervous system. When we back way down, From understanding like, oh my gosh, this there, there’s so much more happening than just the thought of I have to perform. Then we can start to dig into why am I performing?

[00:10:54] Why am I feeling the pressure of competition or comparison? And then we start to understand that our healing comes in this multifaceted. Fractal approach, meaning we’re healing up our soul, our belief system, our identity, our emotions that drive us, but we’re also learning behavioral change. And then we’re understanding the spirit realm of like, how do I manage my thought life?

[00:11:25] And what is it that’s truly driving me? So when we take this full picture comparison, and then we understand that it’s impacting our physical body, we just start to break that down in, in little micro, um, pieces. Of behavior change and understanding. And then little by little, we start to position more and rest.

[00:11:49] And that’s where the true fruit comes. That’s where fruitfulness comes. That’s where joy comes. That’s where life comes. And the truth is that’s where more productivity comes. The thing

[00:12:00] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: is trying to tap into that because it’s so interesting. Cause I want to go back just a little bit before we dig into the need to bring in the rest, because it is an absolute need.

[00:12:12] To bring in the rest, but. This culture, our culture here in the States is so focused on keeping up with the Joneses. We had, there was a movie called keeping up with the Joneses, Demi Moore and David Duchovny. I don’t know if either one of you saw that. And it was literally there, this fake family Duchovny and Demi Moore’s.

[00:12:37] Family is a fake family. They are fake married with fake kids. And their whole point is to get the neighborhood and everybody around them to buy the products that they are selling. But the families around them don’t realize that this is not a true family. They are not really married. They don’t have the perfect kids.

[00:12:56] They don’t throw the perfect parties with all the perfect appetizers and all the perfect furniture that it is literally an advertising team. And their job is to get you. To buy what they’re selling top to bottom, including like

[00:13:09] Julie Holton: Instagram,

[00:13:10] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: right? It was, it was, it was, it’s, it was stunning when I was watching it.

[00:13:14] I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is, this is what we do. And, and then what, and like, it got to a point where to your detriment, that’s the other side of it, literally to your detriment. So families were like, there are, there was like one couple that I want to say. The husband lost everything trying to buy into something that they, again, that they were selling.

[00:13:35] And then, you know, you know, then eventually, you know, there’s the, the crisis of conscience for, you know, the characters and they’re like, what are we doing? Blah, blah, blah. But it’s, it’s, and even in the trash TV that I watch. One of the things, one of my, I’ve been, I’ve been, uh, there’s a show called suits, lawyers, high powered, you know, they’re talking about my life, you know, everybody else is here.

[00:13:58] I’m here and blah, blah. And but what was interesting is when you get towards the end of the series, everybody is finding a balance. So while we don’t necessarily try to sell the need for the balance. We kind of sort of do at the same time because everybody at the end of the day needs the balance. You cannot constantly be living here without some sort.

[00:14:23] Of bad outcome, you’re going to end up doing big. Something is going to do something that is going to like, Oh my gosh, I have to stop. I don’t know if that’s a health issue that you’re going to have. You’re going to lose someone who’s close to you because you’re so focused on whatever that you don’t have the time to be with them.

[00:14:43] And that’s going to throw a wrench in your plan. And all of a sudden you’re rethinking everything. So I, I just, I feel like, you know, We, we’re not doing a good job, like of, of, of truly explaining that no one is saying, like Julie said, don’t work hard. No one is saying, don’t go after your dream. But what we’re saying is you have to leave space.

[00:15:10] What’s this? What’s the line? Don’t, don’t work hard. Work smart. Right? Uh. Yes, to get to get the time and the space that you need. So why is it that we can’t seem to embrace the need for rest? Why are we constantly saying, no, no, I got to go get the thing versus I’m dog tired. I need to take it. I need to stop.

[00:15:36] I need to take a break. Why can’t we take. The break.

[00:15:41] Michelle Hutchison: There’s so much here that I want to talk about. I think in simple and there’s no simple way to answer that question. But as you’re asking it, I’m thinking about the word identity because we’ve lost our identity. Our identity becomes You know, what it is that we’re producing and I’m with you, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking on a podcast if we weren’t hardworking women, right, who know how to achieve and accomplish and yet part of my journey and the journey I’m passionate about is helping people recognize it’s an ebb and flow.

[00:16:17] It’s this concept of being so in touch. With who you are in your identity and your nervous system and what it is that you want out of life, that you’re so grounded in knowing what it is that you bring to the table that then you don’t have to overproduce and overthink and over try, but you rest, you trust your intuition.

[00:16:39] For me, I trust the voice of. God that leads me and then I know when to step and act and when to rest and say, no, no, thank you. I don’t have to participate in that, but. Our identity is a whole podcast in itself that we have to dig into, you know, something I’ve been really researching a lot lately is the whole idea of masculine and feminine energy and what comes with that.

[00:17:05] And the more that I’m comfortable with my feminine energy, the more that my nervous system. Becomes at rest. And the more that I’m finding passion in my heart and to do what I love to do and to be so settled in it that I don’t compare myself. I don’t even have to compare myself to other women, to other achievements.

[00:17:29] And so this is a part of my identity and. And then when I dig into the settling of being connected to my femininity, then I start to recognize, Oh my gosh, for me, it means that I’m a lover of people. So why am I in Costa Rica feeling my soul? Because I love people and I can go and I can hug on them. The people that don’t smell the best next to me that may be acting odd or that have absolutely nothing in my heart is so full of joy.

[00:18:02] That’s just one. Example of what comes when we start to understand our identity, understand that as a child, when my mind wasn’t so full of all of these aforementioned concepts, that, that I used to dream of going to other countries and loving and connecting with people. Now, here I find myself because I’ve learned to say no when I need to say no.

[00:18:25] And I’ve learned to say yes. When I know that God has aligned something rich right before me and I’m being asked the invitations are coming to me I don’t have to go seek it out and Also, you know, I wanted to go back and mention physical body and our physical health. Well our poly vagal nervous system impacts the vibrational makeup of our bodies.

[00:18:50] And when we’re stressed and then our bodies begin to vibrate at unhealthy levels, I mean, this is molecular science, right? Then we start to see disease. So if we understand how our body and our systems work together and we start to reverse engineer, maybe the hurts and the traumas we’ve experienced, understanding it from multi multiple perspectives.

[00:19:15] You just begin to walk out the healing. And guess what? You get to walk out healing in a restful position. So that doesn’t mean we all healed tomorrow. It means we start to know and understand because knowledge is power. And then every day we make a choice to work toward the goal of. What’s my identity?

[00:19:34] How do I heal my thought process? And what is it before me that I get to practice and position and rest? So then you have the ebb and flow of, yes, I’m stepping into this. No, I have to sit in the tension of saying no, but you know what, every time I do that, I stretch my comfort zone and then all of a sudden I know, I know when to rest and when to move, when to take the steps with what God is speaking to my heart or what I’m sensing for my life and when not to.

[00:20:05] And then it just becomes a beautiful flow where our brain chemicals become balanced and we are full of brain chemicals that say yes. Yes. To happiness. Yes. To joy. Yes. To hope. And that cortisol only gets those small spikes, which actually is healthy for us. Those small spikes in our brain. When we have some really hard work to do and we do it, we feel the satisfaction and then we position right back in rest and joy for our accomplishments.

[00:20:37] I

[00:20:37] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: want she’s rewiring our mind. Just sitting there saying it, the woman, just the most elegant, elegant, and eloquent. Way of saying, do you be you period? And she did it with like, I’m hanging on every word. Cause every it’s like

[00:20:55] just dripping with

[00:20:57] Julie Holton: passion to speaking on this. And like, this is what rest looks.

[00:21:02] Like everyone, look at Michelle and don’t get me wrong. Like I say, I say that Michelle, but I know like you’re in Costa Rica doing some hard work, the scenery is beautiful around you, but this is actually not a restful vacation for you. This is work, but I know you, and I know that you incorporate that rest in.

[00:21:19] And I want to, I want to, I want to like really highlight one of the things you said and ask you about it. You know, as, as a business owner, myself, as someone, uh, who coaches startups, you know, that grind mentality. I mean, there there’s no question. There is a lot of hard work and you have to do the hard work if you want the results.

[00:21:38] And we are a very results driven society. It’s not about celebrating the wins along the way, which I’m getting better at, by the way. Thanks in part to Michelle. Celebrating the work celebrate, you know, it’s like we have to honor ourselves for the work that goes into it, not just for the outcomes. It’s not just about closing that deal.

[00:21:56] It’s about celebrating the hard work, the teamwork, the collaboration, the whatever it is that goes into even having the opportunity for that deal. But I want to come back to something you said because you mentioned the word productivity. And I think for many people listening, talking about the science of productivity is really important because I think oftentimes we think about rest as this emotionally driven concept that I feel like I’m tired, or I feel like I need a break, or I feel like I want to watch TV or take a walk and instead of the work.

[00:22:32] And it’s not. Just about feelings. There’s science behind this and you’ve been talking about the brain chemicals and you mentioned productivity. Can you tell us about the science of rest and how does that actually make us more productive after we’ve rested?

[00:22:52] Michelle Hutchison: Yeah, Julie, um, you make very valid points here because resting can be both mental and it’s about resting in our nervous system too.

[00:23:04] So we are talking about this fullness of the picture of rest. The productivity comes. Because when we learn to rest our brains, tying that back to the concept of, you know, rest is in our, our mind, our thought process and our nervous system, we learn, we’re actually been teaching and training our brain to develop new pathways of functioning and thinking.

[00:23:32] So what happens is when we’re able to control our thought life. For example, through meditation or through prayer, we spend time slowing down, reigning in our thinking and our brain. We actually end up developing more white matter in the brain. We dev we develop more strength and our prefrontal lobes are executive functioning and our focus.

[00:24:03] I mean, there are studies about what meditative prayer does to the brain. It increases. focus and attention. So let’s just take this one microcosm of of an answer to your question. Then all of a sudden we have this newly developed strength in our brains to be hyper focused with full attention. So then a task if I have to write an executive summary that may have taken me hours in the past because I got Refocused on multiple other things around me.

[00:24:39] My attention was not there. I’m thinking about too many different brain tracks. But once I’ve strengthened these aforementioned areas, then all of a sudden I can sit down and pump out that executive summary in moments and save so much more time. So see, it’s the concept of knowing how to be full moving in my full healthy body and brain, which then gives me accelerated time, if that makes sense.

[00:25:09] So then I sit down, I work to full capacity and then I have the rest of my day to enjoy my life and to fill it with the things that fill me up. And also when my brain chemical state is in this place of joy and hope and excitement. Then I’m outputting more. So it’s about quality, not quantity. And that can come from restructuring our thought patterns in our brain, which is actually a physiological change of the, the neural connections and the brain and relaxing my nervous system.

[00:25:47] This exact example I just gave, you know, if you have a nervous system that’s feeling really wound up and you haven’t learned to manage that and to heal it, Cause it’s not all about healing. It’s also about knowing how to manage, be aware of your body and then manage what you’re feeling, your sensations.

[00:26:05] Then I know how to sit at the table and say, Oh my goodness, this is going to produce big outcomes for me. I’m feeling myself rev up. Wait a second. Let me bring myself back to a place of calm and then produce with that expedited time. And I do wanna say to you, you know, I, I have lived this, so I, I, I have had to walk these very concepts out.

[00:26:33] It’s real. It’s just not a bunch of science gibberish and I can position in love and rest and impact big. Areas of society and people’s lives and be a parent and love on my children and parent them. Well, all while positioning and rest, knowing when to move forward and when to take time. And I have to say, cause I’m always responsible to say, and for me, it’s my faith and my God that leads me in.

[00:27:09] My path to know when to move and when to rest and how to do that.

[00:27:14] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: You are, you literally sit in the process daily of, of reworking. Of rewiring it. You are consciously aware of where I’m at in my mental space, in my mental brain, in my work brain. That’s that takes some serious training. How, how, how can someone get to that point?

[00:27:39] Because you, you really do have to be self aware enough to recognize, whoa, I’m, I’m maxing out here. And that’s a problem. I do think that that is something that the European model actually addresses without even. You know, trying to when they put their siesta in there in the middle of the day, when the, when things shut down for two hours, midday, when United States couldn’t even consider that my kids eat 20 minutes for lunch and elementary school and middle school.

[00:28:08] So, you know, so that, that is. That is not a natural thing, at least on this side of the pond. So how do you, what, what, what’s your advice to someone who needs to try to literally take that mental assessment on the regular

[00:28:28] Julie Holton: warning signs of stress, leading to burnout. You know, how does someone know to reach this point?

[00:28:33] How does someone, if, how do they know, like if they don’t have this training, what are some of those things we should be watching for?

[00:28:41] Michelle Hutchison: Yeah, Reisch. Thank you for that compliment because I have worked hard in my life, you know, to know and understand why I’ve made the choices I’ve made, how I’ve ended up where I’ve ended up in what it is that I want for my future.

[00:28:55] And there in also lies this strength. And the need to learn to rest your mind, or else you can overthink in the position of walking out healing and walking out rest, right? I’ve seen people that want to be so healthy and whole that then that’s all they can bring to the table. And then that’s not healthy either.

[00:29:15] So it truly, for me, it’s a little unfair because. In my clinical work, I, I had the opportunity to watch people’s lives and reflect over and over. But really what it did is it led me to know where I needed to find certain information. Why is my brain doing this? Why is my body doing this? And not being fearful of changing and evolving, but instead digging it out.

[00:29:42] Why am I always finding myself in this behavior pattern? I love to bring to you, for example, in this podcast, um, all of these facets of understanding and knowledge so that you can hold them. You can look at yourself through the lens of, of all of the different pieces of the puzzle, and then you can start to just.

[00:30:05] Walk out your journey of healing. So the gift I want to bring is the introduction of some of these concepts, but then as an individual for our listeners, for us, for me, then it’s every day, just being aware of in a restful, restful position, what, what choices am I making today and how is that different than my patterns in the past?

[00:30:30] Um, And what’s happening in my brain right now, do I feel at peace? So a model that I often follow is following after peace. If I don’t feel at peace, then I choose to dig in and say, why? Sometimes it’s good not to be at peace, right? If I’m not in a safe environment, then I shouldn’t be searching for peace in that environment.

[00:30:53] And I shouldn’t be blaming myself that I’m not at peace, but. If I’m in a position where I should be, if I’m sitting with friends and family that I love, but I’m not feeling peace, then I dig into why. And I take responsibility for why I don’t put that responsibility on other people. I continue to think, how do I grow and strengthen myself so that I can sit in any environment?

[00:31:18] With any person or task in front of me and I can find my own joy. And again, for me, that comes in, in, in this higher power of hearing from God. What it is, I ask him, he brings me greater revelation and understanding. There are people that choose not to follow after that. And you can still internally self reflect and think about like what’s going on in my system.

[00:31:49] So it’s not a short answer, um, but it’s, it’s the answer of being open to knowledge and wisdom. At the same time as, as wanting to know and understand your identity. And when you do, then you, you begin to connect the knowledge that you’re gaining to who it is that you are or your behavior patterns. And then it’s this unraveling at the same time as.

[00:32:18] A rebuilding. I take one facet of who I am that I’m not happy with anymore. Like, Oh my goodness. I fall into these patterns of negative thinking. I’m a negative thinker. Where did that come from? But also saying that’s not my identity. Actually. I remember as a child loving life and loving people. Right. And so I’m so aware of this now that that negative thinking doesn’t bring me peace.

[00:32:45] That as soon as I. Maybe I focus on it for a week or 20 days. Cause we know that’s the science of rerouting the brain. Maybe every time I want to have a negative thought, even if it’s reality, I’m going to look for what’s good in this moment. The more that you take small practices. And exercise them daily.

[00:33:06] You find yourself changed, but you know, we’re in a fast food society and we want to be different and whole and healthy tomorrow, and we want, you know, the magic to happen, but it takes time. It takes time to rewire, rewire a nervous system to rewire the brain. And so it’s truly. The richness is in what I just shared.

[00:33:26] It’s truly about walking it out day by day and in small steps. So don’t get competitive with yourself. Don’t compare yourself. Right? So these are the keys to walking in rest and wellness. And I am here to tell you that all of the things that you want. Will come before you when you learn and you have to get over the anxiety of, Oh my gosh, I’m resting.

[00:33:53] So now, Oh, everybody’s going to be ahead of me. No, no, no. Those are the thoughts that we want to shut down. We want to trust what’s ahead of us and then allow it to unfold. But the key is we focus on ourselves and building ourselves. And we do that through knowledge. through self reflection, through prayer, through meditation, um, and, and then through change.

[00:34:16] So it’s not actually, um, experiences that, I just want to say this one last point. We know that it’s not actually the experience itself that changes us when we have a negative or a positive experience. It’s about the reflection along with the experience and then being able to pull out what it is that we learned from that reflection, and then tying that little bit of learning to some area of knowledge in the brain.

[00:34:48] So. So let me just give an example. I just had a negative experience with someone because my words were negative. It didn’t feel good. So then I reflect on my life pattern of being a negative thinker. And then I say, Oh, my goodness. Why is this happened? Oh, maybe my family patterns are this way. Or maybe I’ve gone through a really hard season.

[00:35:12] So I’m thinking, reflecting on what just happened. And then I add that information to, to the promise I made myself that I was going to begin to think with more joy and positivity. And when I connect those two, and then I connect the concept that like, oh, whenever I’m with this one friend, I think negative.

[00:35:34] Then I had just built a building block or a step to change that behavior pattern the next time I’m with that person or the next time I’m with my family members that trigger me in this way. And every time I do that, it changes the structure of my brain and all of a sudden my default structure now is to think positive.

[00:35:56] And then when I think positive, my brain releases dopamine. Dopamine. And then I feel happy in a situation where I used to feel so bothered and upset and triggered, and therein lies the responsibility of self. Not a false responsibility that we depend on other people,

[00:36:17] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: you know, the other part of that which we don’t really have a lot of time to get into now, um, is the social media aspect of all of this because that affects what’s going on up here too.

[00:36:29] We have gotten into this environment of likes and clicks. And, uh, you know, that you would mention that instant gratification of this fast food society where we like fast everything we want instant gratification. And so when you are living for every single like every single click that affects what’s happening here versus, let me put that aside, there are wonderful aspects of social media, let’s face it, we are in, you know, the future, but.

[00:37:02] Thank you. When we put everything into that, that’s not good. And we’re seeing that already in our kids. Right. And, and what they’re doing on social media and things of that nature. So all of that plugs into the dopamine situation that you’re talking about, the cortisol, how your body is reacting, how you’re responding.

[00:37:22] Um, And being there.

[00:37:26] Michelle Hutchison: And in short that you are right. There’s a lot of research that’s showing us that the comparison levels and the competition levels that come from social media are destroying us. And we are now seeing our children in third world countries that almost have more capacity to learn because what happens is When our brains in high states of cortisol, then our learning capacity decreases.

[00:37:50] So that’s a conversation in itself. We are sitting in the United States with increased levels of suicide. We have an epidemic right now, uh, where our numbers for suicide rates are just increasing and increasing. And, and, and what we just discussed is a huge component to why, and. You know, Julie, back to your point in the beginning, what happens to us as a society when we just become sheep that follow what’s, what’s put in front of us, the fast food, such as social media that’s put in front of us, right?

[00:38:26] These are all things that we have to consider and we have to consider how it’s impacting and developing the brains of our children. And we have a responsibility as adults to, to limit that time and to limit that exposure. So that we can grow up full and healthy and happy children.

[00:38:47] Julie Holton: And we should definitely, we should have you back on that topic to talk more, because I think as you’ve both pointed out, it’s, it’s so important for us as women, as business leaders, as, as moms, as just.

[00:39:01] Society members. So, but before, before we start to wrap up, Michelle, I want to make sure we touch on the business leadership aspect of, of all of this and of rest, because, you know, not everyone has a choice to rest at work. Um, they have requirements to meet. They have, you know, we started this episode with a list of cliches promoting the grind and while I really hate cliches, I do love that we at least are getting some balance of cliches with those that normalize rest self care is not selfish, you know, put your, your own oxygen mask on first.

[00:39:37] You can’t pour from an empty cup. You know, these are the, I really feel like our generation. Probably led mostly by women, but also men are really picking up the gauntlet here and saying, we need to normalize this. We need, you know, self care is important. Rest is productive. As you said, I’m curious from a business aspect, you know, we have.

[00:40:01] The Elon Musks of the world, um, and, and Rishi, I know that, that your husband, my, my partner will hear this. And so guys don’t listen, but we have the Elon Musks of the world who are not the business leaders that the women on this call are looking to, to lead with. Right. Elon Musk infamously said that nobody ever changed the world on a 40 hour workweek.

[00:40:23] And I get it. And I have mad respect for the man who has built multiple billion dollar companies and is literally changing the world in ways that we cannot even understand just yet. In fact, outside of Earth, who knows? We’ll end up on Mars if he accomplishes his mission. So, you know, nothing about him. He is an innovator.

[00:40:44] He, we need people like him who are functioning like him, but at the same time, most of us do not want a business leader myself as, as an entrepreneur. I do not want to run a business where my employees. Are being ground into the, into the ground because they’re grinding so hard, they have nothing left. And in fact, they’re not even benefiting the business anymore because they’ve lost all focus and productivity and everything else you’ve talked about so eloquently.

[00:41:14] So, you know, I, I wonder for those who really want to make an impact in the world, what are some signs of the company culture? It’s too focused on the grind. And what are some actionable steps for those in the right positions to make change? What are some actionable takeaways that you can take from this podcast and start using to implement change where you work?

[00:41:43] Michelle Hutchison: Yeah, I, I honor what you’re saying, Julie. And I think first we can think about, we can reflect on this for ourselves and as employers. We have to understand that everyone is created differently. And so we have to honor what each person brings to the table. There are some people that are created. To, um, perform and produce at high levels, higher levels.

[00:42:08] Although I would still say there’s an overactive nervous system happening there that drives overproduction. But the question is you have to, you have to ask yourself, what is it that I want? Do I value revenue over human lives? Do I trust that as an employer, if I honor people. And I honor the need for work life balance and I honor their creativity.

[00:42:33] So moving outside of just the structures of traditional business, but maybe looking at liberating those structures, then how does that impact my employees? And again, it moves you see, I use the word fractals fractals means it’s the same concept. It looks the same, but just that higher levels of resonance.

[00:42:57] Snowflakes, for example, are a perfect concept of fractals, right? Every part of that snowflake mimics the larger picture of it. So when we’re thinking about these concepts I’ve shared for individuals, how do you move that up to a higher level for your workplace culture? How do you honor people, who they are, their identity, and what do they bring to the table while also asking them?

[00:43:21] To accomplish certain tasks that fall within those job duties. How do you produce an environment that brings forgiveness? Because forgiveness is huge. If you create an honoring environment of forgiveness, then you have staff that are free to move in creativity. This is brain science, by the way. They they’re freed up from restrictions of not fully producing who it is that they were created to produce.

[00:43:51] to produce. And then all of a sudden you get higher levels of output. So it’s really about understanding the psychology, just not just the output of production. So when we honor people, then we get greater production. And in the United States, we’ve gotten this very backward. And, and so Julie, I love the question.

[00:44:14] It’s a passion of mine to begin to say, Hey, let’s pull people together that know how to rest and know how to produce. And let’s build a ball of momentum that says in our culture, how do we change our workplaces? Because what, what we know is that we spend the majority of our, our life at our workplaces.

[00:44:36] Our workplaces are dictating our nervous systems and many aspects. And so here we are. With a lot of unhealthy people, increased mental health issues. And we are, we have a responsibility to begin to dig into the workplaces. And so Julie, um, this is a question that, that again, you know, could be a podcast of its own, but it’s truly about looking for quality over quantity.

[00:45:05] And when we do, then we trust that the output comes and. You know, we can talk about why, because what that does to the brain, what that does to the nervous system, what that does. to people’s joy and their experiences. So just because we’re talking about rest doesn’t mean that we’re not producing, but we have to rest so that we can heal.

[00:45:28] And then once we heal, we know our identity and then our output multiplies.

[00:45:33] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: Michelle, we could go on and on and on, and it would be amazing. But, uh, we do have to wrap this up. You have given once again, such. Phenomenal perspective on just the mental aspect, the spiritual aspect, whether you are one that believes in a higher power or not.

[00:45:53] But the bottom line is you have to really have a connection with your internal self, no matter what that looks like. You really have to have positive, uh, risk relationship. With yourself and specifically your mental acuity to be able to really tap into the best, the best amount of production you can, you can give, you can gain, you can be so gosh, thank you so much.

[00:46:24] But obviously we have our rapid fires. We can’t wrap up without getting a couple of very quick to the point answers from you. So let’s get right to it. What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring woman

[00:46:37] leader?

[00:46:39] Michelle Hutchison: I love this question. I would say in short, humility and femininity is absolutely beautiful.

[00:46:47] And so digging in to learn it and experience it, and when you position in rest, humility and femininity. comes, it flows.

[00:46:56] Julie Holton: , MichelleCan you share a book, , a quote, a resource, a po that has been significant on your journey. Oh my go do I just pick one? But d to my heart again because to my identity is, is I l of scripture. And I think about the scripture.

[00:47:23] Um,

[00:47:26] Michelle Hutchison: this. Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It’s not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It’s not irritable or resentful, and it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. And that, if we learn to position in each of these statements, then we, we walk out the healing journey. with grace.

[00:47:56] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: It’s one of my favorites. It’s my absolute favorites. If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be?

[00:48:06] Michelle Hutchison: I think to, to really, truly, um, understand that if I dig into knowing my own identity and focusing on my own self development, Everything that I was created to be will unfold.

[00:48:23] And so I can rest in the truth of knowing that my life’s purpose will unfold because I know who I am.

[00:48:32] Julie Holton: Michelle, thank you for taking time out of your trip to Costa Rica. We send you the best as you continue your work there and safe travels. When you come home again, thanks for being on the show today.

[00:48:45] That is all for this episode of the think tank of three. Before you click away, hit subscribe and we’ll see you all next week.