AUDIO 40 minutes

Dropping in with Omega faculty Andrea Pennington

January 4, 2022

Cue Self-Care for Emotional Rescue

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Integrative physician Dr. Andrea Pennington, an expert in meditation, resilience and trauma recovery, discusses our innate capacity for resilience and establishing good, healthy boundaries when it comes to workload and self-care.

Featuring Andrea Pennington


In her conversation with Omega digital media director Cali Alpert, Dr. Andrea Pennington talks about drama and trauma in life, and how we come to manage them. But bouncing back, she says, goes beyond a return to baseline normal—it’s about being able to thrive. Empowering ourselves to slow down, be still and take time out for play are powerful tools that can bolster self-love and provide nourishment for the mind and body.

This episode is part of Season 3 of Omega's award-winning podcast, Dropping In

Join us for intimate conversations with some of Omega's trailblazing spiritual teachers, thought leaders, and social visionaries, to explore the many ways to awaken the best in the human spirit.
 

Transcript

Cali Alpert:
Welcome to Dropping In from Omega Institute, a podcast that explores many ways to awaken the best in the human spirit. I'm Cali Alpert.

Cali Alpert:
Dropping into our Omega Studio today, Dr. Andrea Pennington. Dr. Pennington is an integrative physician, acupuncturist, esteem speaker and bestselling author specializing in self-love, mindfulness and authentic self-expression. She is nationally recognized as an expert in meditation, resilience and trauma recovery.

Cali Alpert:
Welcome, Dr. Pennington, and thank you so much for dropping in today here on Omega's Rhinebeck, New York campus. So good to see you.

Andrea Pennington:
Thank you, Cali. It is an honor and a pleasure.

Cali Alpert:
Pleasure to have you. In thinking about our conversation today around the topic of resilience, I looked up the definition and I came up with two, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and the ability for an object to spring back into shape, which is a little more on the scientific side.

Cali Alpert:
You say in your book, The Top 10 Traits of Highly Resilient People, that resilience is part of our DNA and that we're hardwired to bounce back. How so? What do you mean by that?

Andrea Pennington:
Well, we humans have an innate vitality code in our DNA. We have this knowing how to return to homeostasis. I like the idea of the ball regaining its shape. When we think about resilience, we do think about bouncing back. When we think about resilience, it's usually in the context of having some stress, some adversity. That could be an illness, an accident, an injury, a disease process, a pandemic. Then we retake form, or we return to baseline.

Andrea Pennington:
Within the human organism, within our DNA, we have this ability to return to a state of homeostasis. That means that all of our bodies, systems and physiology can return to its baseline of the capacity for great health and for vitality.

Cali Alpert:
Why do you suppose it is that we don't know that? That doesn't seem like something that's really advertised too much in modern society. Often, it feels like it's the opposite, doesn't it?

Andrea Pennington:
You know, that's a really great question. As I've been doing research on resilience for the last 20 years, I've only come to realize that it's an innate capacity that we all have, but I think most of us only look at the people who bounce back from the most severe tragedy or loss. We think, "Oh, that's what resilience is. You have to go through the worst of the worst and when you were left for dead or thought that it was the end, here you come springing back up."

Andrea Pennington:
Of course, that is. That is resilience, but that's probably even beyond resilience. That's posttraumatic growth. We all have that capacity as well, but we have to get to that resilience part first. I think that we do tend to look out at our own situation and think, "Well, I don't have it as bad as other people," so we downplay-

Cali Alpert:
Definitely.

Andrea Pennington:
... our sense of strength and capacity. There's one other weird thing about resilience that I want to tease up early in our conversation, and that's about burnout. There are some people who will mislabel themselves as resilient, and they're really stuck in a codependent loop of overdoing, over giving, not practicing good boundaries or self-care, and they just get dumped on. They're like a doormat. In their mind they're like, "But no, I'm resilient."

Cali Alpert:
Exactly.

Andrea Pennington:
"I'm still here, I'm still kicking." Resilience also involves, in my mind, a sense of returning to baseline but also being able to thrive.

Andrea Pennington:
If you are going through hardship, and drama, and trauma and you're still alive, that's great. We want you to survive. But getting to a point of thriving is the ideal, so that we learn how to create better boundaries and we learn how to manage our stress, and we model that to people.

Andrea Pennington:
In many ways, this pandemic has been kind of a blessing for so many people. I've had clients tell me they are grateful that the pandemic did what it did and forced them to stop. To stop work in jobs that were not well aligned, not well suited; to stop over giving to family because they were literally killing themselves. There are many people who told me, "I was in burnout, but I didn't even realize it." Being forced to stop and go within and look at what is my lifestyle. Is this really serving me? I've taken on things that I say I have to do. I just have to do it.

Cali Alpert:
Right, the should versus the wants, the heart versus the head.

Andrea Pennington:
Yes. So, it's been an eye opener. I think more people are realizing resilience is something we all need and we all have the capacity for.

Cali Alpert:
I love the nuances that you create and the way that you take the definition of resilience to another level, where it's well beyond baseline and just surviving and treading water, it's really about thriving. I think that's such an important distinction to make.

Cali Alpert:
Before we get to COVID and the pandemic and dig a little bit deeper into what you just referenced, I'm also curious what you think about the fact that we're so conditioned to soldier through, I find. Often, I've had these conversations many times with friends where something difficult are going on and then they'll say, "Oh, but I'm not a ..." and they'll give an example of something that's very extreme on the news where someone's really struggling somewhere in a faraway place and they, like you said, they sort of minimize it.

Cali Alpert:
Why do you suppose it is that we have gotten so good at just barreling through things rather than stopping for a moment and giving ourselves some recognition and a hug?

Andrea Pennington:
For many of us, it's cultural, it's societal, and it's familial. From the time you were a kid you were told to suck it up, don't cry, don't be so sensitive, oh it's not that bad. We learned to downplay our pain and our suffering and, like you said, we learned to soldier on because it's what is socially promoted and acceptable, whether at home, whether in the media, whether in our society.

Andrea Pennington:
That's unfortunate because there have been many good people who burn out, who develop illnesses, developing an illness as a result of pushing beyond one's limits. I think fortunately, maybe it's just the world that I swim in, but it's changing. People are learning the difference between good healthy boundaries and giving from your overflow versus giving out of this codependent need to people please and to give to others to your own detriment.

Andrea Pennington:
So, there is going to be a shift, I think, societally. I think right now, when I look at the work that I've been doing in the world of self-love, it's been decades. At the time that I first started, people were like self-love. Isn't that a little self-indulgent?

Cali Alpert:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), exactly.

Andrea Pennington:
Whereas now, it's a common place term. I think the same thing will happen with this idea of self-care, that we don't have to just soldier on and suck it up. Of course, persistence is one of the top 10 traits of highly resilient people, but we also need to have that balance of self-care and discernment. Discerning when to say no, when to create those boundaries, when to say, "Tonight, I need to give myself what I need," The rest, the compassion or, like you said, a hug instead of soldiering on and pushing through.

Andrea Pennington:
I think right now it's a beautiful opportunity for parents, as well as many of us have been sheltering in place with our kids a lot more hours than we ever dreamt. But what I've noticed with my own child is that it doesn't matter what I say. The way I live my life is what she's learning. She learns. I mean, children learn through modeling-

Cali Alpert:
Exactly.

Andrea Pennington:
... our behaviors. And so, now is a beautiful time for people to realize that maybe I do need to take breaks, and that's not just about taking a nap or resting. It could be for fun.

Andrea Pennington:
Learn from your children. Children need breaks where they can just have fun and not be doing reading and math problems. But that's the same thing for us as adults, being able to take the time to just do something fun can be very nourishing. So, rather than looking at ...

Andrea Pennington:
You know, I was very guilty of this. I was a productivity hound. I had to be doing, doing, doing and I didn't feel worthy of rest and relaxation. Like, that's for wimps, that's for sissies. I need to be-

Cali Alpert:
[crosstalk 00:09:35] unambitious.

Andrea Pennington:
Oh, exactly. That's for lazy people. I had to go through some bumps and knocks till I got to the point where I realized, no, the full human experience involves play and work. Yes, there are times when we need to be serious and there are times when we need to be lighthearted. I think there is a bit of rebalancing that's happening. We're not going back. I mean, well, who would want to?

Cali Alpert:
Yeah. When people talk about going back to normal, I pray that we don't. I think this dismantling, as you're referring to, or the word a lot of people use is very valuable. For many. Again, we have to say in deep deference that people have had greatly different experiences through COVID, and there's been obviously a lot of pain and suffering and inequality in the way people have experienced it.

Cali Alpert:
And yet, if you're picking some of these broader themes and generalizations, one of the ones I'm hearing come out of what you just said is also, besides the being and doing thing, is the difference between stillness and noise and the fact that it feels like we've been so uncomfortable with stillness.

Cali Alpert:
Stillness is what you do when you have a practice, when you take a vacation, when you decide you want to meditate or take a day off on a Sunday afternoon, or go to church or whatever it might be as if that's the exception and not the rule.

Andrea Pennington:
Right.

Cali Alpert:
And I think what I'm hearing you, and I hope is the case, is that we're starting to maybe reintegrate that concept into the norm so that that's more of our go-to, versus the exception and the diversion. That it becomes more of the rule.

Andrea Pennington:
Yes. Well, that's my prayer as well. I think we had to go through ... Well, many people went through noise, the internal noise that comes from I can't go in numb; or escape by being at the corner pub or bar; or diving into work for more and more hours. Coming home to sit with yourself can be pretty noisy when you're in silence. But over time, we develop a certain tolerance for that and eventually a preference for it if you stick with it long enough.

Cali Alpert:
Amen. Absolutely. I was thinking jokingly in my mind as you're talking that it's not pretty. Especially at the beginning because often it's crisis or something that forces us to that place. And then you decide, and then you commit, and then you find great practitioners like yourself, and then you commit some more, and then you break through and you realize what a beautiful gift it is to even have the choice to do so.

Andrea Pennington:
Yes. And it is a choice, even if we feel like we're too busy. Making a choice for stillness, for developing a practice rather than waiting till burnout or breakdowns. We can choose. In as little as a few minutes a day, we can start changing long held patterns, can start rewiring our brain, reprogramming our subconscious mind.

Andrea Pennington:
Yeah, so that is my prayer as well, that the idea of stillness and peaceful and quietness can be integrated into our lives going forward.

Cali Alpert:
I heard a quote recently that said we experience collective struggle so that we can be resilient. Now, I don't know that that's ... That's certainly not a prerequisite, but I wonder if you can speak to the difference between group pain and individual pain. Does one lend itself more than the other to the idea of resilience and the bounce back process?

Andrea Pennington:
Well, they're both equally valid. I think what the pandemic has done is it has shown us that we are an interdependent family.

Cali Alpert:
Yes.

Andrea Pennington:
And it has shown us that each of us actually has a part to play. We matter. Even a single individual matters in what we do. So, in many ways, we might have thought, "Oh, well, what I do today won't affect someone over in India or wherever." But now, we recognize every little act counts.

Andrea Pennington:
So, the way I think about this idea of group resilience, I mean, it's absolutely necessary because we as a species have got to, as some people say, evolve or die.

Cali Alpert:
No choices in between, right?

Andrea Pennington:
Well, there may be something in between, I don't know. But if we choose the path of evolution and evolving into our highest and best capacity like what humans can be, is magnificent. Where we are certainly concerned for the self, but we're more concerned with us as a whole or the planet.

Andrea Pennington:
So, this idea of group resilience means that we can endure these financial setbacks and political uprisings and social discrimination, and the fear and the chaos that COVID-19 brought. And as a collective, we can weather that storm and become better.

Andrea Pennington:
So, with posttraumatic growth, we are talking about leveraging adversity to become better, to grow, to evolve, to expand. And I truly believe that that's what this group resilience is showing us. I believe we are becoming better.

Andrea Pennington:
I'll give you a short example. When the Black Lives Matter kicked off in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic where I live in France, I was so surprised to see Europeans demonstrating.

Cali Alpert:
Why is that? Why are you so surprised?

Andrea Pennington:
Because for me, being a brown-skinned American and watching things happen from across the, pond, it seemed like a very American issue. You know, the racism in America, sexism, phobias, all of it I've lived with, I've seen. To me, it's a very American problem. I wept seeing the number of black and brown people killed and a lack of justice. I've wept so many tears.

Andrea Pennington:
And then when I saw people in Copenhagen and people in Paris, at first, I was like, "Do they really know what they're protesting about?" Like, "Wait, what ...?" And yes, there are solidarity movements around the globe because they may not be black Americans, but they're people being discriminated against, people whose deaths have been uninvestigated, crimes against women, crimes against homosexuals.

Andrea Pennington:
To see that, shifted for me. It shifted my perspective to see that what was happening in America was inciting a revolution in these other countries where they too were saying, "Yeah, people have been suffering in silence, and no more. We're going to take to the streets. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic, where we could be fined or jailed."

Andrea Pennington:
That is when I really started to have this greater appreciation and renewed faith in humanity, that people would put themselves at risk when they didn't have to. That shows me that we are evolving; that we are moving into an era when we can look at people around the globe as our brothers and sisters; and it's not okay that you hurt, kill, torture our brothers and sisters; and we will not be silent.

Andrea Pennington:
That collective idea of our interdependence, that is a sign of an evolved consciousness. We are evolving.

Cali Alpert:
I see Dr. Pennington for president. But truly, I mean, what you say, it gives me goosebumps. It's hopeful and it's important. I think that so many people hope that there's a call activity happening. Because how much more can we possibly bear? How much more is necessary for us to really get it?

Cali Alpert:
I would ask you this as a followup question. What do you suppose is a step that would take us closer to a we as opposed to a me mindset?

Andrea Pennington:
The next step is maybe just sharing. I think people are seeing it. When I overhear conversations, especially being back in America, I'm hearing the conversations that are coming from a we, a we perspective. And I think sharing, I don't mean sharing the misery and griping, but if you have found a little bit of peace, share that with someone who needs a little bit of peace.

Andrea Pennington:
It may not be the total solution. We've got a lot of work to do. There's going to be ... Most likely, if you believe the experts, it's going to be years of recovery work. If we can focus on what can I do in this moment to make life a little bit better for someone besides myself, and that someone could be in your family, it could be just being kind to someone on the street, someone standing in line. If you find a little bit of peace, share it. If you find a little bit of joy, share it. That is how we move from this I to we.

Andrea Pennington:
I think that's the biggest thing that I've seen. I've seen so many people get support from people they would have never imagined would support them. That to me shows me that we're moving into a we mindset.

Cali Alpert:
I hope so. I do, and I'm with you in that belief. There have been such extraordinary stories that have been shared. And so, I think it's important to hear what you say because it reminds us that all of these words and thoughts and gestures have energy, and they all ripple. Most of our connectivity is in ways that we don't see, I believe.

Andrea Pennington:
Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." So, if you want peace, bring a little more peace. Share that. I know it sounds lofty, but I'm really tuned into some of the things that my mother has taught me.

Andrea Pennington:
I shared that my mother is dealing with Alzheimer's and had a stroke in the midst of COVID. It's really thrown me for a loop, and really just thinking about all the good things, all the lessons. There's one that really stuck out for me. My mother used to say, and as a kid I didn't really understand it, but she said, "Never underestimate the impact that your presence has on a person." It's not even all about what you do, what you give, what you say; but when you walk into a space, what sort of presence do you bring? It's impacting them. They're going to go off and have their day, and you have impacted their day maybe in silent ways, maybe not so silent ways.

Andrea Pennington:
That has really been sort of super present for me, is to think I am impacting everyone I come in contact with, whether we're in some deep profound conversation or relationship or not, my presence and how I show up, how I look at them. Do I greet them? Do I smile? What energy do I bring? So, if I want more peace in the world, I need to bring that peace. I need to be that peace and share it.

Cali Alpert:
So profound, and what a beautiful reminder for all of us, just to hold our own space in a responsible way, just in a mindful and responsible way. It's such a great reminder I think for everybody, no matter what room you're showing up to. Most of the time you'll have no idea, and sometimes you'll hear about it years later and it'll shock you. Right? I think we all have those stories.

Andrea Pennington:
Yeah.

Cali Alpert:
And probably most of the time you'll never know.

Andrea Pennington:
Exactly.

Cali Alpert:
And that's fine. But what a beautiful ... It's a great reminder. Thank you for that point, and blessings to your mom.

Andrea Pennington:
Thank you, thank you. Received. It reminds me of something I noticed in France. In France, every block or two there's a boulangerie, there's a bakery. Where I live, there's a lot of older people. In the south of France, you can do a lot of things on foot. You don't need to be in cars or buses and taxis. Being in France for a while, you start to see that there's this natural rhythm and you'll see the little folks show up to the bakery and they get their little coffee and their baguette.

Andrea Pennington:
I remember, being a former type A aggressive American coming in like, "Move it along here. Let me get my stuff. Let me get my baguette. Let me get back home." After being there for a while, I sort of watched this tiny little old guy come up and I watched how the woman at the cash register greeted him as if she knew him. She knew exactly what he wanted. They had their own little exchange like how's the missus or how's the dog? For once, that busy American, like, would you please get on with it? I could just be present. I'm thinking, what an impact this woman is having on this little guy who has to go do the shop for his wife.

Andrea Pennington:
And then as he walked away, he's taking that little moment of connectivity, of compassion, of being seen, being accepted, how might that affect him when he gets home? What is he going to share with his wife? There was this moment of realizing every little thing we do. It doesn't have to be that you're some big stars doing ... Every little moment of interaction matters.

Cali Alpert:
You know, in preparing for this interview and thinking about you and your many specialties, but rooted today in our conversation about resilience, I was thinking a lot more probably about some of the questions we started with earlier, different modalities and what resilience means. Now, in hearing the story and just talking about the concept of the we versus the me, it feels like that plays beautifully into the seeds of resilience in the most organic way. Just humanity at its most basic foundational form. Is that too much of a stretch?

Andrea Pennington:
No, it's perfect. You know, one of the top traits of resilience is tolerance and compassion. So, being able to look at yourself and realize that I, as a human being, I'm going to age, maybe get sick, eventually pass away, that's realizing that we have this shared common humanity.

Andrea Pennington:
Another one of the top 10 traits is positive connections, positive relationships. As we start to really look around, I think a lot of us have learned through this experience, who our real friends are.

Cali Alpert:
Oh, yes.

Andrea Pennington:
The real connections. And that's a good thing. But it has also allowed us to see, am I being a good friend? A positive connection? So, it comes back to the basic seeds of humanity. We as human beings are social creatures.

Cali Alpert:
What did you learn most about yourself and your capacity for resilience in this last year-and-a-half?

Andrea Pennington:
My biggest lesson was around service. I turned 50 during the pandemic.

Cali Alpert:
Happy belated milestone.

Andrea Pennington:
Thank you. One of the things I decided is there was a lot of gunk that I carried in the first half a century of my life and I made a vow that I don't want to carry that going forward. I've learned a lot. I'm a teacher by nature. I'm a healer, a teacher and I love sharing and one of the things that I was given the opportunity to do during this pandemic was to be of service.

Andrea Pennington:
There are many people, physician friends in America, who never learned how to be online. They were like, "Hey, you've been online forever. Show me what do I need to do so I can survive?"

Cali Alpert:
That's what a notion will do, right?

Andrea Pennington:
Yes. So, I was able to be of service and support people in developing online brands and all of that thing. And then there were people in my community who were really suffering with anxiety. Their PTSD was being triggered. I mean, longstanding issues were now really coming to the forefront. And so, I was able to provide guided meditations, to show up, to do sessions without thinking about money, but just to be of service. Because when you see everyone panicking around you, what do you do? You don't just save yourself, you want to save everyone that you can.

Cali Alpert:
As things start to open up and people start to find their way into reentry in different varying degrees based on where they are in the world, I sense and hear and even have these conversations where there's still so much fight or flight, and fear, and waiting for the next shoe to drop, and trying to navigate some sense of reclaiming a version of trust in both larger infrastructures and just people that we're bumping into in the supermarket. How do you suggest people start to unpack that and maybe regain some footing when it comes to trust and comfort and safety?

Andrea Pennington:
I say, honor yourself, where you are. Some people I know we're ready to just jump back out.

Cali Alpert:
Yes.

Andrea Pennington:
"Let's get out in the world. No more masks. No more isolation. Let's go." Some people really did have and still have major anxiety. And so, I say, honor where you are right now. That means tuning in. How do you feel? Do you feel super excited or do you feel a little trepidatious?

Andrea Pennington:
Don't take on any shame. There's no shame in the fact that, yes, maybe your friends and other family members are out there doing things. If you don't feel that you're ready for that, honor where you are. This is also a really good time to get into introspection and to identify where some of your tendencies are coming from. Because maybe you've been holding that anxiety in check and this experience has brought it and magnified it, brought it to the forefront. But it's also a healing opportunity.

Cali Alpert:
It's such an interesting dance to observe when we're out in the world, when we're not getting caught ourselves and when you can sit back and be a witness here and there to the negotiation in the navigation that we're all dancing in. Trying to honor yourself, trying to not judge or you do see a lot of people that are in judgment or reactivity with strangers constantly and it's fascinating to see where people sit in that.

Cali Alpert:
But I love what you said about looking at it as an opportunity to unpack further. You also talk a lot in your work about the self-speak our inner narratives. Those good old narratives, perseverating, looping in our brains, and then obviously about self-love and radical forgiveness and self-forgiveness. Do you think that these themes are magnified now in the world or do you think that they've always been there? And how do we use them for the most productive purpose right now?

Andrea Pennington:
In my work for the last 20 years, this theme of having this inner critic and not loving oneself has been there. It's been there for as long as I can see. Even now, reading from so many of the great masters in psychology and spirituality, we see that the human organism goes through this state of beating oneself down.

Andrea Pennington:
I do think that not having the normal outlets to numb or escape has brought these things to the forefront where people are recognizing, yeah, there's this majorly critical voice inside my head beating me up, telling me that I'm no good; that I'm not worth this, that or the other thing; or that, no, I'm not enough.

Andrea Pennington:
Having lived myself with that experience, and I didn't have just one inner critic, I had a whole Supreme Court Justice team of critics that that judged each and everything about me-

Cali Alpert:
And then they become friends, right? Then they start talking with each other, which just exacerbates the whole thing.

Andrea Pennington:
Yeah. So, I do think that more people are aware of it now. And because self-love has become a catchy term, people are recognizing, yeah, maybe I don't love myself. Maybe there is something I need to investigate there.

Andrea Pennington:
We're quite blessed that there are so many more conversations about it than when I started. For me, the idea of growing up not feeling good enough based on what we experienced as children, either having a dysfunctional family life, growing up with an alcoholic parent, or experiencing some sort of trauma or abuse and neglect, many people who had that experience grew up to be adults who don't love themselves.

Cali Alpert:
Right.

Andrea Pennington:
Now, we don't typically walk around saying it, but there's this pervasive feeling of not enoughness, unworthiness. I think what we're seeing now is ... That brings a tremendous soul ache to the forefront.

Andrea Pennington:
When you're faced with a crisis, like what we've been living where people are losing jobs, losing homes, losing relationships, losing loved ones, not even being able to go and see those loved ones, when we're faced with all of that chaos and uncertainty, if you fundamentally don't believe that you are worthy of love and a happy life, it makes it very hard to get up in the morning and push through.

Cali Alpert:
Right.

Andrea Pennington:
So, having this sense of self-worth and self-love I think is magnified right now because we are in such desperate times. We, for many of us, have not been able to do the usual things that we would do to numb out. Now, of course, some people are still using drugs and alcohol and other things to distract.

Cali Alpert:
[crosstalk 00:34:31].

Andrea Pennington:
Yeah. But I think self-love right now and being able to really be honest about the inner talk and finding out where did those conversations come from. Because they're all just stories. Everything about our existence is all a story that we tell ourselves. Even though we think that this is the pervasive reality, like this is reality, it's not a story. Oh, it's a story. It's maybe a collective hallucination or indoctrination, but they're just stories.

Andrea Pennington:
For example, I carry this story that I was not enough, not smart enough, not fast enough. Just all of it. And getting to the point of being an adult living with imposter syndrome, it didn't matter how many degrees and certifications and accolades. I felt not good enough. But when we start to do this inquiry work, to ask, well, where did that thought come from and is it true?

Andrea Pennington:
Now, in my case, it did serve me to have that belief. It made me be a good student. Hearing my father say, "School is your only job. You need to get a good education. That's your only ticket to safety and security. All that artistic stuff, being an artist, no, no, no. That's not safety." So, for me, I became this people pleasing, approval seeking, outside validation addict, and it served me. Because as a young child, I needed to feel loved and accepted by my father. I saw what happens when you don't have that, and I didn't want that. And so, it served me to a point.

Andrea Pennington:
And then I had burnout in my early 30s. I got to a point of depression and realizing what is this life for? What am I doing all of this for? I'm never going to get the ultimate validation from my father because I am an artist. I am an entrepreneur. I'm doing things my way, and it doesn't fit his old paradigm. And so, I had to ask myself, is this belief serving me now? It may have served me then. I can thank that part of me that took it on because it helped me get where I am.

Cali Alpert:
Right. It's never in vain.

Andrea Pennington:
Never in vain.

Cali Alpert:
But sometimes worth-

Andrea Pennington:
Worth investing.

Cali Alpert:
... and then letting go of.

Andrea Pennington:
Yes. And in my case, I got to let go of perfectionism. I got to let go of this idea that I'm not enough or that I'm only worthy if I'm achieving or doing or producing.

Cali Alpert:
So, would you say in closing that this trajectory of you learning self-love has made you a more resilient person? Would you consider yourself resilient now?

Andrea Pennington:
Yes. Absolutely. I consider myself a super ninja when it comes to resilience, and I'm really grateful for it. I mean, there are so many things that I would never wish on anyone else, but I recognize that they were part of my soul's journey and I'm so grateful to have learned what I've learned and to now be able to share that in service and to let other people know that they're not alone.

Cali Alpert:
I'd like to close with the three short final questions that I like to ask each of our guests. The first one is I'd like to grant you one wish for our listeners. What would it be?

Andrea Pennington:
I would wish that all of our listeners awaken to the truth of who they really are.

Cali Alpert:
And if I were to grant a wish for you to grant yourself, what would it be?

Andrea Pennington:
I would grant myself the wish of more time for play.

Cali Alpert:
Finally, what would you most like people to take away from our conversation today that you feel they can bring back into their lives? If you could choose one point, one offering.

Andrea Pennington:
The one thing I'd like everyone to remember is that you were born with an innate capacity for resilience. It's there. It's in you. You can expand and develop these resilience muscles so that you don't just survive, you can thrive.

Cali Alpert:
Thank you so much, Dr. Pennington. What a gift and what a pleasure to talk with you today.

Andrea Pennington:
Thank you.

Cali Alpert:
It means so much. Before we say goodbye, if our listeners would like to find you online or learn more about you, where would you like to steer them?

Andrea Pennington:
You can visit andreapennington.com or in8vitality.com. That's I-N, the number eight, vitality.com. That's for more of the health and wellness information. But you can also just find me on social media. I'm there.

Cali Alpert:
Thank you so much. Pleasure.

Andrea Pennington:
The pleasure's all mine. Thank you.

Cali Alpert:
Thanks for dropping in with Omega Institute. If you like what you hear, tell your friends and leave us a review on Apple podcast. It helps [inaudible 00:40:01] find us.

Cali Alpert:
Dropping In is made possible in part by the support of Omega members. To learn more, visit eomega.org/membership, and check out our many online learning opportunities featuring your favorite teachers and thought leaders at eomega.org/onlinelearning.

Cali Alpert:
I'm Cali Alpert, producer and host of Dropping In. The music and mix are by Scott Mueller. Thanks for dropping in.