Show #373 Can not communicating effectively almost kill you? Dr Neha Sangwan says yes.

                 

About this show:

If you spoke from the heart, what would it say? If you acted from the heart what would you do? Dr Neha Sangwan wants us to deeply understand the health benefits of better communication with the self and with others. And so, on this show, we do exactly that, complete with role plays and practical scenarios that you can apply from today!

 

Communication and its role in health

How we can know if we’re “stuffing down” things we want to say.

How that might show up in the body and mind over time 

What we can start to do to become effective communicators and not ‘let things slide’ that fester, and more. 

 

Wow. wow. Wow. Make the time and change your life, is all I have to say about this week’s show. 

 

I can’t wait to learn what your aha’s are, Alexx, your Low Tox Life podcast host and founder of the Low Tox movement. 

 

Connect with Neha on the following platforms;

Instagram — @doctorneha

Facebook — @DrNehaSangwan

TikTok — @doctor.neha 

YouTube —  https://youtube.com/c/Doctorneha

 

Visit her website intuitiveintelligenceinc.com to learn more about Dr Neha, her services, and the tools she put together to empower minds.

 

Her book Powered by Me is also out now. 

 

Thank you to this month’s sponsor for partnering with our show and helping you make your swaps with their special offer: 

 

Waters Co. gives you 12% off all NEW systems – including benchtops, jug, mini, shower filters + Under-sink products with code LOWTOXLIFE.

Be sure to join me on Instagram @lowtoxlife and tag me with your shares and AHAs of this week’s episode.

 

Alexx Stuart

Founder of Low Tox Life and the Low Tox movement

@lowtoxlife

 

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Title show track, by LIOR.

Love the podcast music? You will hear excerpts from Lior’s track “Caught Up”  – go check it out on iTunes or Spotify if you want to hear the whole song or album, Scattered Reflections. Co-written with Cameron Deyell, it’s a great song and I love the reflective energy of it – perfect for the show, right? Enjoy. Lior is always touring, so do check out his website. It is wonderful to hear him sing live, trust me.

Low Tox Club – The place to bring your low tox life to life.

Want to join a community of like minds and enjoy all the perks of being in the Low Tox Life inner circle such as an online membership platform, 50% off all our Low Tox courses, an awesome chat group, my monthly Q&A, and special guest star interviews for just $49AUD ($29USD/28EUR/23pounds) per YEAR? We have created a special place and set of resources to help you achieve your goals and it’s a wonderful place to be – MORE DETAILS AND REGISTRATION HERE.

 

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About Dr Neha Sangwan

 

 

Neha Sangwan, MD, CEO and founder of Intuitive Intelligence, is a physician, engineer, author, speaker, and communication expert. She empowers individuals, leaders, and teams with effective communication tools that address stress, prevent burnout, inspire accountability and empower collaboration. She consults for top organizations like Google, American Express, Kaiser Permanente, and the American Heart Association. Dr. Sangwan has shared her work across three TEDx stages and authored two foundational books: TalkRx: Five Steps to Honest Conversations for Connection, Health, and Happiness; and Powered by Me: From Burned Out to Fully Charged at Work and in Life. Dr. Sangwan is passionate about combining the science of medicine with the art of communication to help people live their best lives.


Connect with Dr Neha on the following platforms;

Instagram — @doctorneha

Linkedin — @drnehasangwan

Facebook — @DrNehaSangwan

Twitter — @doctorneha 

TikTok — @doctor.neha 

YouTube —  https://youtube.com/c/Doctorneha

Website —  intuitiveintelligenceinc.com

 

If you fancy listening to another show of Dr Neha on the Low Tox Life Podcast, click here.

 

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Transcript:

(0:00 – 2:03)

Can learning to communicate with yourself and others more effectively save your life eventually? Dr. Nayaz Sangwan talks us through how after decades of ER and clinical experience in practice and asking patients what is at the root of their issues. It is a powerful show today on the LOTOX Live podcast. Hello and welcome to the LOTOX Live podcast. 

I’m Alex Stewart, your host and founder of the LOTOX movement. And today is show 373. We are nearing 400 and I just want to say a huge thank you to you for leaving reviews. 

I know it seems small, but five-star reviews, if you’re a fan of the show, if one of the shows has really made an impact in your life, help us get the show out there, help other people trust that that’s worth listening to. And I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate everyone who’s already done that. Maybe today it’s going to be your first review, Spotify, Audible, iTunes, wherever you listen to the show. 

I would love to hear what you enjoy about it. It’d be great, great, great. Such a prezzy to me. 

Anyway, my prezzy to you today is this conversation because boy, do we go deep into communication. The first show I did with Nayaz Sangwan in January, just a couple of months ago. So I definitely urge you to check out the link in the show notes that I’ve put to that first show really drove the point home about the many things that happened before a burnout event.

(2:04 – 3:25)

Now, today we are talking about the many opportunities for communication missed either with ourselves or with others that could potentially lead to, because Nayaz has sat on the hospital bedside of many, many patients where she has found out it does serious illness. And we know this from the work of physicians already like Dr. Gabel Marte, when the body says no, you know, there are so many interesting facets to this work. And what I love about Nayaz take on this is she puts everything in such a practical format for us to dip our toe into and get better and better at communicating with others and communicating effectively about how we feel about things without belittling others and without demeaning ourselves or doing all those things that we often do, which is, Oh, I don’t want to make a scene. 

Oh, it’s no big deal. That’s culture telling you it’s no big deal, but if you feel it inside yourself and you don’t talk about it, you stuff it. And she’s going to talk to us today about how that looks, how it sounds.

(3:25 – 3:37)

We even do a role play. It is such a good show. So I’m going to hook into that right after I tell you or remind you that Ozclimate continues to give you 10% off with the code LOTOXLIFE.

(3:37 – 5:49)

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And all of these things are well and good, but if we can make our environment less stressful for the body to try and process what’s going on in that environment, it can be really helpful. So that’s just a positive story about the Winix air purifiers code LOTOXLIFE, 10% off ozclimate.com.au. And then of course, this month we have Waters Co filters giving you 12% off all new systems. They’ve got something for every budget, size of house and occasion. 

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(5:49 – 8:21)

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It’s a beautiful, delicious, healthful water. And I know 12% can make a big difference. So code LOTOXLIFE and that’s 12% head to Waters Co filters. 

We’ve got all the details in the show notes. And I’m very excited to now start talking about communicating. Enjoy this show. 

I cannot wait to hear what lands for you, what the ahas are. Now it is fantastic to have you back so soon. And the reason we’re doing that of course, is because I found out you had another book and all the details are in the show notes. 

And I talked about it in the intro and it just blew my mind that no one seemed to know about it when it is one of the best walk you through conflict, disconnect, connection, toxicity in relationships, workplaces, families, dynamics that I’ve ever read. So it is such a pleasure to have you back. And I want to ask you about a quote that David Eagleman actually shares at the very start of your book with an endorsement. 

And it’s this, when’s the last time your doctor asked you about the way you communicate and how it impacts your health? If the answer is never read this book. So what is the research showing us given you date, you dedicate the book to your, a lot to your patients. What is the research showing us about communication and health? What do we know? Yeah, well, first of all, stress causes or exacerbates more than 80% of all illness. 

And so my job was to get to the root of what’s causing that stress. And I asked the hospital if they would fund a research program where we could, once we stabilized our patients physically, we could start asking them what’s at the root of their stress. And they were more like, no, no, that doesn’t, you just need to do your work.

(8:21 – 8:36)

And apparently I was veering off into another area. And so I decided to do it myself. And I stopped counting after 2700 of them in a row knew exactly what was causing their stress

(8:36 – 9:53)

And if I spent 20, 25 minutes with them, they were so inspired to go out and make those changes, take that course, read that book, do the thing that I started getting. I used to get chocolates, flowers, cards from people’s families saying, thanks for saving my dad’s life from a heart attack. Thanks for saving my mom from cancer, like very rewarding, but nothing was as rewarding as once I started doing this work and realizing that I could not only help them get through a heart attack, stroke or pneumonia, but I could also help them get to the root of what was ailing them. 

Because my patients themselves started showing up at the hospital, started writing me notes and mailing it to the hospital saying, Dr. Sangwon, you remember those migraines I told you I’ve had for 20 years? I haven’t used medication in a week. Hey, you know that back pain, you know how I tell you I can’t go to sleep without sleeping pills because I have that back pain? It’s gone. My blood pressure, I got dizzy the other day and my primary care doctor said he doesn’t think I’m as stressed anymore and took me on half the dose, put me on half the dose.

(9:54 – 13:02)

So they taught me the power of this. And when I asked them, basically what I did is the experiment I put together was I was going to, back in the day, you’re wearing a white coat and we had our prescription pads in our pockets. So it wasn’t electronic yet. 

And so I would just pull the prescription pad out and I’d say, do you know that stress causes or exacerbates more than 80% of all illness? And they’d be like, no, like, wow, didn’t know that. And I’d say, listen, I want to see you again, just not here in the emergency room. I’d like to see you at the theater, at the grocery store, at the park. 

 

So if you’ll write down your answers to these five questions, then I will give you an extra 20 minutes tomorrow and let’s get to the root of your stress. Every single one of them did it. And these are the five questions. 

 

It’s called the awareness prescription. Question number one, why this? Why a heart attack? Why not your liver, your left leg? Why is this part of your body breaking down? What’s the significance of that? Question number two, why now? Why not three years ago? Why not two weeks from now? Tell me what message your body needed you to get in this moment that you were not receiving? Question number three, since hindsight’s 20-20, tell me what clues, patterns, symptoms, signals you missed that now seem obvious. Like put those patterns together so that they could figure out next time they would recognize it. 

 

Question number four, what else in your life needs to be healed? And question number five, if you spoke from the heart, what would you say to me? Oh my God. Right? Like it opened up everything. And I think there’s some significance to me having just helped them get through a life-challenging moment. 

 

So they trusted me. They trusted me. Not one of them did not do the assignment. 

 

I mean, here I was, I was there until well after 10 p.m. at night because I had just promised them 20 more minutes, right? But it was so rewarding when I started seeing what started happening. No more anxiety medication, half the sleep medication. My pain medicine’s gone away. 

 

Not using my sugar, less insulin. I’m not so stressed. My diabetes totally under control. 

 

All these things woke me up as a doctor. So I can’t take credit for it as much as I can tell you. It was really clear to me that my patients were improving in arenas that the medical world didn’t know how to solve.

 

(13:02 – 15:31)

Yeah, a hundred percent. And I find it fascinating the tell me what message your body needed to get, because there are so many signs before the big event out there. Right. 

 

That’s right. And you know what their answers were really like the bottom line, you want to know like what I picked up. I wrote this book because more than 80 or 90% of their answers were some version of the inability to communicate with themselves and not pick up the signals, not know what their purpose was, be disconnected from who they are and why their life matters, you know, feeling lost in transition and not knowing how to ask for help. 

 

And so that was with themselves. Then the other part was their inability to communicate with others, conflict, you know, holding back, exploding, like the whole thing was about inability to communicate with themselves and with each other. And so that was the basis of, oh, wow, if this is what’s at the root of a majority of people’s stress, why aren’t we solving that? So I went back into the hospital and I said to my colleagues, hey, guys, if stress causes or exacerbates more than 80% of all illness, why are we not asking our patients what’s at the root of their illness? Colleague after colleague after colleague gave me some version of this answer. 

 

Neha, just like you wouldn’t order a test that you don’t know what to do with the result, nor should you ask a question that you don’t know what to do with the answer. And I thought, oh, my God, we are going to we are going to stay in the swirl because people are depending on us to figure this out. And so you’ve nailed it. 

 

You’ve nailed it. People are depending on us to figure this out. That is what patients want when they go to a health professional and that is not what they’re getting. 

 

They get saved maybe that day from dying in our crisis care model, but they don’t get the help in figuring it out. Let’s let’s back up. It is it’s not just the doctors not knowing because many of us, we didn’t get trained to do this.

 

(15:32 – 19:25)

What we got trained in medical school for was crisis care. OK, so what we’re really good at is you get in an accident, you have an acute illness, your blood pressure’s out of control, whatever it is, we’re good at kind of, you know, helping you in a crisis. What I’ve learned is it’s also patients wanting a quick fix. 

 

And so what I say now when someone asks me if they can if I can help them, I say to them. Let’s say they say it about anxiety. OK, so I say to them, on what level would you like me to help you? Are you having an anxiety attack right now? Crisis in the moment. 

 

That’s Ativan. That’s medication. That’s breathing. 

 

That’s is that what you want me to do to? Would you like me to help you with some strategies that will help you cope with chronic anxiety and kind of let you keep going, but give you a few things that might help you continue on the same path, but do it a little bit better? Or would you like me to help you heal the root cause of what’s going on? On what level are you interested in engaging with me? Because depending on that, I can give you what you need and what you want. And so I think it’s a two way experience. I don’t think physicians have learned traditionally trained physicians who have not had a breakdown themselves or a need to learn more for their child or for their partner or whatever it is. 

 

They’re crisis care, and that’s what they’re really good at. You’re going to get medications. You’re going to get some time off. 

 

You’re going to get whatever the crisis care pieces. Some who have done some work will give you the oh, awesome. They’re going to give you the version of it where they’re going to give you some strategies. 

 

Oh, I heard this podcast. I did this thing. Listen to this thing. 

 

And then there’s the root cause. So I think it’s about not knowing. It’s about what level you meet your patient or your client or your friend at. 

 

And it’s fascinating that you mentioned there unless that doctor has been through their own breakdown or health issue or their kids had an issue. It’s so true. I mean, I’ve interviewed, gosh, over 400 doctors now in the last decade. 

 

And. Most people who are in the integrative, holistic space who’ve expanded into that realm have done so because something in their own lives fell apart or it was an out of the box, we tried everything and we started looking elsewhere situation. So I mean, how and then doesn’t that just bring up the crazy predicament of the human experience where we have to have this apocalyptic shit hits the fan moment before we go, hey, maybe we’re not doing things right? Well, I mean, listen, we have 70000 thoughts every day and 90 to 95 percent of them are the same as yesterday. 

 

So why would we unless something comes in to interrupt that neuronal pathway, why would we do that? We don’t we don’t we are not beings that lean into discomfort naturally. We are beings who have a brain and a spinal cord that helps us navigate the world to seek pleasure and avoid pain. So we’re not going to go there and get all uncomfortable in our physiology unless there’s a reason. 

 

You know, it’s a very rare and unique human that just leans into their own, you know, intense experiences. Yes. Which kind of brings me to talk about communication.

 

(19:28 – 21:40)

It’s simple, sounds simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. So let’s dive into it. You talk about how we often talk about each other and not to each other when something is wrong and you have that instant dopamine release of like, oh, relief, I’ve got this off my chest. 

 

But the problem doesn’t go away. Let’s unpack what that is. Yeah. 

 

So that’s called the drama triangle. This is a model actually that was born in like nineteen fifty five. And it’s really about, listen, I’m Indian and I’m serious. 

 

Like nearly every Bollywood movie is about how like the mother in law doesn’t think the daughter is enough for her son. You know, it’s hilarious. Or in an Indian family, very culturally, it’s like, don’t tell her that she can’t handle it. 

 

Like, yes, she can. Right. So the or think about it with a breakup in a relationship. 

 

It’s like, no, I can’t tell my partner because my partner just can’t handle it. No. You know what it is? The truth is you can’t handle being in the face of their emotional reaction. 

 

That’s what that is. Your partner can handle it. Their soul is strong. 

 

They’re resourceful. They are capable. They can handle it because in any of these experiences, it’s like we’re too afraid to lean into the discomfort of the change and giving up some control. 

 

And so what we do is we talk about each other, not to each other. And I believe that the reason we do that is because we’ve never been taught in all the education we learn. It’s all like right here. 

 

But none of it actually involves the practical piece, which is how do you handle disappointment, devastation, loss? How do you have honest conversations when things are uncomfortable? We we tell you in the end goal, you should make money, but we never teach you like, how do you manage money? How do you invest money? How do you what you do with this money? But we spend our whole lives educating people to say, go out and make money. Right. So I find these gaps in our education and in our world.

 

(21:41 – 23:01)

Most people just follow what their parents do, what they see modeled. So if one parent shuts down and the other one blows up, pick your choice. Would you like to contain and conceal it all or would you like to explode? But where’s the healthy conflict and the modeling of that? So that’s what I hope to give people. 

 

And Boydie, you step us through it. It’s very, very clear. And I have to say, I noticed some physiological reactions to simply reading through the steps, thinking, I’m going to have to actually do that. 

 

You know, just a couple of things came up and I was like, wow, that has been a blind spot for me that I haven’t confronted. And and I really think, like you say, I’m always talking about the gaps in basic education. And, you know, a lot of people say, oh, but that’s parents absolving themselves from having to teach their kids. 

 

You know, we want the schools to do everything. And I’m like, well, if the parents have defective financial skills, communication skills or anything, which most people have at least got one or two shortcomings of some kind, it’d be pretty hard to escape it. Then what we’re relying on them to do the teaching in that domain.

 

(23:01 – 27:38)

Like I genuinely believe we would benefit from a human experience subject that takes us through some of the basics. Well, parents aren’t not teaching it because I mean, every parent I know wants the best for their children. Of course. 

 

And so they’re not not teaching it because they know it, but they’re like not sharing it. They’re not because they don’t know it. Right. 

 

They they haven’t had that modeled. And I think more than having it modeled, it’s like I’m an engineer. And so the doctor in me connects everything to like, OK, how does unresolved mental, emotional, social, spiritual. 

 

You know, issues sometimes show up in our physical body to get our attention. That’s number one. And number two is if we’re going to talk about conflict, then let’s break it into the practical steps of an engineer to show people the how, because we can say to people, you know, you should be nice to your neighbor. 

 

You know, you should forgive your brother. OK, the next question for me is like after he just beat me up, like how do I do that? Like I’m mad. Right. 

 

And then we expect an eight year old to just figure it in their head and move on. Yeah. And I was 30 something years old before I was like, I don’t think I know how to do this. 

 

And then it became the 20 year journey. Right. To heal me, find my voice, break it into steps, understand it, connect it to our physical health and then ask these questions. 

 

Right. And so it’s been amazing. Let’s talk about your conversation with your dad where you stepped into a more effective communication, making space, not reacting and stopping a pattern you guys had had for a very long time. 

 

Yeah, I mean, basically, my dad’s a doer. He’s all about like accomplishing tasks and checking things off a to do list. And so whenever I am delinquent in that, like if I’m ever behind or he’s had to ask two or three times, it really gets him frustrated. 

 

And then his temper kind of goes right. It kind of he loses his cool. This was the older version of him. 

 

He’s really mellowed out later in years. But so I had gone on a retreat and I had told him the week before that I was leaving. We weren’t going to have cell phones. 

 

I was going to be off the grid for four days. And in that retreat, it was a communication retreat. And I came back to see like a bunch of missed voicemails. 

 

And we had a family business that we were we were working on together. And I had the the materials like the gemstones, the pearls, like whatever at my house. So he was trying to get several serious strands of them sent to a client. 

 

But he really values quick turnaround time. So he had been like, gosh, darn it. You know, he’s like leaving his voicemail. 

 

That’s like so angry. And I I saw all these missed calls. So I quickly called him to make sure everything was OK. 

 

And he started again. Like before I could even like say, hey, dad, you know, I got out of this retreat. He already started blowing up. 

 

And then I said, hey, dad, like instead of reacting to him, what I did was I just took a deep breath and I allowed him to finish. Normally, we would both get so frustrated. One of us would hang up. 

 

Yeah. Well, you talked about that. Right. 

 

So old, old dynamic was I can’t deal with this right now, dad. I’ll talk to you next week. And then it just diffused. 

 

And then it’d be like, OK, good now. It’s all good. Yeah. 

 

We’d act like nothing ever happened. We know anything. So this time I was like, I had just learned in the workshop like to pay attention to my own body’s reaction, take a slow, deep breath and like breathe into it and relax into that discomfort, not try to get out of it. 

 

And I just let him finish everything he was saying. And then I was like, I got curious, not furious. That’s what changed. 

 

And so after I self-managed my body, I said to him, hey, dad. Did you forget that I was at the workshop, we talked about it last weekend and I told you I would be off the grid. You know, I’m heading home on the plane right now in a few hours.

 

(27:38 – 28:05)

I can send out whatever you need. And then there was this pause and he was like, oh, neha beta, beta is like darling. Neha beta, your dad’s getting old. 

 

He forgot. And I was like, what? Interesting that he put himself in the third person there, though, right? Like it’s almost like that. That was a comfortable way for him to step into admission of fault.

 

(28:06 – 28:18)

Yeah. And your dad’s getting old. So he put it somewhere else, right. 

 

Instead of on me. But it was a game change. I mean, it was an absolute game change.

 

(28:18 – 29:36)

Yeah. And and we often think. We need to have these big conversations about communication, but often just one of the people knowing how to do it a little bit more effectively can be enough to shift the dynamic. 

 

It only takes one person to change the outcome of a conversation. And what I learned that day is that person was me. So instead of blaming my dad for his temper, what if I showed up differently? And that gives you the freedom and the empowerment to know that you don’t have to make someone else wrong or bad for what they’re doing. 

 

You can change how you show up and the dynamics of the exchange changes. Huge. So that’s power. 

 

Yeah. And I feel like a lot of conversations around conflict and personality types center around one of the people having to be like this awful narcissist. And I feel like there’s a lot more gray area. 

 

We’re trying to put everybody who tends to want to, you know, put themselves first. OK, you’ve been labeled narcissist now. And I just wonder whether I’d love your thoughts on that, actually, because we’re seeing a lot of conversation about that.

 

(29:37 – 30:54)

Could it actually just be sometimes at least people not expressing and communicating? Well, well, what I think is that there’s a whole spectrum, right? There’s there’s like a gray area. We want to make things black and white, but there’s really infinite shades of gray. That’s like the truth of the world. 

 

It is. Yeah. Yeah. 

 

And the way that I believe one of the big contributors, there’s one there’s more than one. But let’s say one would be we have not taught our children how to navigate their heart with tenderness and love and other people’s hearts. So when they feel disappointment, devastation, like they’re a failure, like whatever it is that they’re going to disappoint us, we have not really taught them how to handle that. 

 

And so they deflect it on others. Right. Because if I can make it about you, you didn’t let me. 

 

You didn’t teach me. You didn’t do that. I can do that. 

 

I don’t have to feel that disappointment and discomfort in my body. And when I don’t know what to do with it, it’s pretty threatening. It’s pretty scary.

 

(30:55 – 41:02)

The second reason that I think we’re having this whole wave of people learning about narcissism and gaslighting and all of these things is because we try to minimize and push right through childhood trauma. And we don’t what my feeling is that that’s you remember how I said to you, I can deal with the acute crisis and pull you off the cliff. I can help you with some strategies that will keep you lumping along, but keep doing the same thing, but maybe a little bit better with a little more capacity. 

 

Or I can tell you, let’s get to the healing here and let’s let’s figure out how to reveal, feel and heal this so that we can learn and we can elevate. Right. It’s the next lesson, the next level, the next thing that we need to do. 

 

Very few people choose the last one. Very few people. And I believe in a world moving as fast and fast like I imagine the world like it’s not doing this right. 

 

But I’m imagining it revolving faster and faster. It’s almost like when you’re on a merry-go-round and it starts going faster and faster, like you are hanging on for dear life. And if you have not done your own work. 

 

This will start to overwhelm you very quickly. Right. There’s but when you go in and you do your own work and you heal those places, you don’t have to focus so much on yourself. 

 

You don’t have to blame other people so much. You don’t other people can’t use fear to control you because you’re more in a space that’s more healed. And so what I what I’d really say is. 

 

At the root of this all, there’s a few beliefs, there’s the belief that. Emotions take too much time and they’re too messy and we don’t have time for that. What I say is, OK, you don’t have time for it short term, but boy, you’re going to have time for it on the back end when you have a heart attack, when you have like you’re going to deal with it. 

 

You just decide when because your body always keeps score. Yeah. And so anything that you don’t process. 

 

  1. Emotions are energy in motion. When we stuff them, when we don’t let them move through us, where do you think that energy goes? It gets stuck inside you. 

 

Yeah, I always imagine it like becoming little knots and like little, you know, and then just kind of lodging in and then you just build up with these knots and knots and whether it’s back pain or, you know, autoimmune condition because of congested body systems, whatever it is, the knots build up. It certainly elevates your adrenaline, your cortisol, your blood pressure, your heart rate. I mean, the number of I don’t remember the exact number, but there are a lot of biochemical reactions that occur when we feel stressed and no doubt about it. 

 

Anger, upset, disappointment, devastation, grief, loss. I mean, anxiety. Some people run anxiety like it’s like a normal way of being. 

 

Do you know that your body has no idea the difference between thoughts that are real or imagined? Yeah. So if you’re having a nightmare at night and somebody is chasing you, you’re falling off a cliff, your house is being broken into, whatever it is, you wake up in the middle of the night with your sweating, with your heart racing and the covers thrown off. You look around, it’s like pitch black and peaceful. 

 

But your thoughts had your body with your heart racing, stomach turning, you know, sweating, all of that. And so if that’s the case, can you imagine what happens to people that run anxiety 24-7? Their body doesn’t know the difference, what the toll is that takes on your physiology, your blood pressure, your heart. Like, I mean, all of these experiences are linked to medical issues. 

 

So you really want to, you know, things like people can go to Gabor Mate if they want to, you know, talk through this much more, but breast cancer is linked to not speaking up for your own needs, suppressing emotions, all of that. So people say to me, is it better to suppress it or is it better to let yourself explode and get it out? Well, no, exploding and getting it out is linked to heart disease. And so, oh, would you rather have breast cancer or heart disease? Make your choice, right? No, no, no, no, no, no. 

 

Can we find an option C, please? Healthy, healthy conflict and cleaning out, healing. And I just, my wish for everybody is that they become a self-cleaning oven, that you use every interaction, every experience, every relationship as an opportunity to heal, grow and unite us. You know, it takes trust. 

 

We have to trust ourselves. We have to trust each other to do this like soul dance of learning because it’s not easy. But if we’re willing to step into the soul lessons that we come here to learn with each other, we get to evolve and grow as one world family. 

 

And we need a whole lot more of that right now. Right. And I would say like me serving as a catalyst, one of many that the world needs to make this happen is the purpose of my life. 

 

It’s a beautiful purpose. And conflict often that we see out there. And, you know, we talked about values last time. 

 

And my, one of my highest values is peace. It’s always in my top two spots anytime I reflect. And sometimes it can feel like outer conflicts become inner conflicts. 

 

And you think, God, I don’t know what I can do to have less people dying in the world like that. You have that thought. I have that thought. 

 

And I know a lot of us do. And for me, it’s not about sides. It’s about, can’t we all find a way to to exist together? And then you think, well, the first job is to actually do that in our homes. 

 

If we want the out there to change, the in here has to change. Okay. And I’ll take it a step further. 

 

First job is to do it within yourself. Yeah. Not even in the relatability aspect. 

 

Yeah. No, it’s me, we world. And so in me, I’ll tell you where I was in massive conflict. 

 

So my, I became an engineer because my dad wanted a son who was an engineer and my mom wanted a doctor, wanted to be a doctor, and she missed her calling. So I didn’t listen to my own heart. I listened outside me and followed their dreams so that they would be proud of me rather than me listening to my gifts and skill sets and love and passion, which is what I listened to now. 

 

Now, if my heart is being suppressed by my mind saying, you can’t do that, you got to do what’s going to make the Indian community your grandparents, your parents proud, the society thinks doctors and engineers are smart, you need to do, right? Like, what will people think of you like all of this. Now, internally, my heart and my mind are at odds. Now, to make it even worse, my mind now says to my body, go do that, do the 36 hour shift without sleep, do the this, do that. 

 

Now my body is like, I’m tired. And my mind is like, no, no, no, keep going, keep going, keep going. So I start drinking 16 ounce Mountain Dews plus a king sized Snickers bar. 

 

And I’m trying to get through everything. No wonder I burned out. I’m living. 

 

I’m, I’m pushing myself to please other people. I’m overriding my body. And I’m not listening to my heart. 

 

That is called inner conflict. And so the real question I’d ask people listening is peace worldwide starts from inside. Oh, I love that. 

 

Peace worldwide. Start from inside. And that is why I’ve written these books, because the how, how do we get there? So now, what I will tell you now is, listen, I’m kind of glad my parents and the Indian community, my culture wanted me to get these degrees. 

 

Because how could I integrate your physical health with your mental, emotional, social, spiritual health, and do it in a really practical way? If I wasn’t a doctor, if I wasn’t an engineer, if I wasn’t an executive coach, the gift of perspective, being at the intersection of disciplines, people don’t even think go together, gives you a unique way to solve problems. So I’m grateful, right? But this was a trauma I needed to go back and heal. Why was I the people pleaser that didn’t, like went out of alignment inside me, and then out in the world, it showed up in burnout. 

 

So start inside. Then you said something I want to address. You said, it seems like conflict changes location. 

 

You are onto something because let’s assume you and I have a conflict. Maybe we were someplace and you mentioned the price of my dress. And I was like, Oh, I didn’t want anybody to know that maybe too high, maybe too low. 

 

Who knows? Okay. Let’s just say you spoke about the price of something you knew, right. That I had purchased. 

 

And it like alarmed me. Okay. And where, where we thought the people just to paint the picture.

 

(41:03 – 41:13)

Yeah. We’re with a group of friends, but I don’t say anything because a, I don’t know how to say something. B, I don’t want to lose your friendship.

 

(41:14 – 41:22)

C, I don’t want to make a scene in front of everybody else. So I don’t say anything. So originally where’s the conflict? It’s, it’s between me and you.

 

(41:23 – 42:09)

It’s like something me and you would need to talk about. Well, guess what? The moment I make a decision to stuff it, it doesn’t go away. In fact, it’s like holding a beach ball underneath the water in the deep end where lactic acids building up in my arm and I holding it, holding it, at some point it’s going to come at the most inopportune moment. 

 

It will come flying up and you’ll say, nah, do you want to go to the movies? And I’m like, I’m not going to the movies with you. Like, huh? Wow. I just asked if you wanted to go to the movies. 

 

Well, that thing that I never addressed with you just came flying up in a, in a way that you’re going to be like, wow, and it has pretty moody today. And suddenly it’ll be confusion. But here’s the thing.

 

(42:09 – 42:46)

The moment I decide not to tell you that conflict grows bigger and I swallow it, it is now inner conflict. So I’m brushing my teeth at night and I’m looking in the mirror and I’m like, Oh, why didn’t I say anything? Why didn’t I say anything? I see what somebody, somebody else is gathering. I see you and I look away and it’s within me now. 

 

It is like this whole, then you start experiencing passive aggressiveness. You don’t know why. Then you start the drama triangle.

 

(42:46 – 48:28)

Hey, Julie, what’s up with Neha? Talking about them to other people. That’s right. So I want to make sure everybody knows you don’t address conflict. 

 

It doesn’t go away. It gets bigger and you’ve just shifted where it’s located. Now it’s inside you. 

 

It’s internal conflict that creates stress inside you. And I call that as a doctor, a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. And I see them in the ER eventually. 

 

So we do that for a lifetime, not once, not twice, not like that, like a way of being right over that kind of stress adds up. And at some point it’s going to be a problem, but do you see how it’s the layers? Yeah, I do. And I’m now thinking, so what could have been a simple conversation? So it wasn’t even conflict between you and me, like the price of the dress could have been like, Hey, um, you know, I was really excited to get it on sale. 

 

I told you in confidence, but I kind of didn’t want to tell anybody. Um, and I just had to, I just had to let you know, no biggie, but I just, I had to let you know that I just kind of freaked out when other people knew the price, because that isn’t a conflict. That’s just you sharing with a friend that something they said kind of got you off, off center and that you didn’t want. 

 

And so you’re kindly letting them know. Sometimes I need to be more aware, maybe that some things are told to me in confidence and I should pull back and not say them, but it is a concept. If I have to, if I have to bring up something, okay, a couple of things when the, the emotion of surprise is short, short lived, but it exaggerates the emotion that comes after it. 

 

So if I’m surprised and upset, it makes it bigger. Okay. If you’re throwing me a 50th birthday party and I’m surprised and delighted, it makes the delight bigger. 

 

So surprise is a very short lived emotion that magnifies whatever comes after it. So you may not have thought it was a problem, but what if I came to talk to you and I said, you know, no biggie, but this is, all right, let me, let me just use the framework of my book to, to say it and I’m going to make up details. Okay. 

 

Because we obviously never had this experience. So I’m going to say, um, hey, Alex, when do you have, uh, 10 minutes that we can just, uh, have a quick conversation? I just wanted to talk to you, uh, about yesterday at the party. What is now a good time? I’m asking you. 

 

Yeah. Okay. Sorry. 

 

Yes. I’m not doing my role play job. Yeah, yeah, sure. 

 

Of course. Okay. So the first thing I need to do is set this conversation up for success. 

 

If it’s important to me, I need to make sure that you are present and you have bought in to saying yes to being present. Okay. So now I’ve set it up three things. 

 

What did I do? Told you the topic, told you how much time I need and asked you if now is a good time. Okay. That’s prep for success. 

 

Next. I’m going to go down body. What I noticed that just means like what I noticed the facts, what I thought about it, how I feel emotions, what I want and what’s going to, what I’m asking of you, what’s going to happen next. 

 

Okay. So it goes like this, Alex, yesterday at the party, when we were all talking about, you know, crazy, uh, experiences that we had and you said, yeah, I mean, Neha got it on 50% off and then she got another 30% off that dress. Can you believe it was only 35 bucks? What I thought in my head was I sound like I’m cheap and I, I got it on the rack. 

 

Like I wanted everyone to think that it was like this expensive, amazing dress. Like I never wanted them to look at me and realize it was 35 bucks. And so what I felt, you see, I’m going, this is what I heard. 

 

That’s what I’m thinking. This, what I felt was I was surprised and embarrassed that now it was like reduced to a $35 dress when I wanted it to look like a $300 experience. Right. 

 

Um, and what I wanted was us to keep that private. Um, and I also want to say I didn’t, I never said that. I thought it was obvious. 

 

And so what I, in the past, I never would have said anything. I would have just like blown over it. But right now I want to have an honest conversation and just let you know that I really didn’t sleep that well last night because I was like, I just felt odd about it all. 

 

And so right now, right now what I’m doing is I’m having the conversation with you. And what I’d ask is if I share fun secrets with you in the future, I’m going to call it like, I’m going to tell you it’s a secret. And would you please keep it between us? Love that. 

 

And so, okay, let’s just say the other person hasn’t dealt with their traumas and they say that whole thing is an attack and that it was no, yeah. So they, okay. So I’m going to pretend to be a pretty average person in this situation who hasn’t done the communication work.

 

(48:28 – 50:18)

And I’m going to say, are you serious? Like who cares? What do you say? I can’t believe you sleep over me sharing the price of a dress, like get over it. That kind of thing. Yeah. 

 

Well, what I’d say is it sounds like in the same situation, you and I would have had a different response. And so it sounds like now I understand even more why it happened because to you, it’s not a really big deal. But I guess maybe one of the things I didn’t share with you is I got made fun of for my clothes when I was young at school. 

 

Like I went to a private school, but we didn’t have the money to buy things. So I had to be really resourceful, but it seemed like everyone else was fine buying the coolest thing right when it came out and whatever. And so I think it may be my insecurity around it that I’m working on, but me having that reaction showed me that like something needed to heal. 

 

And so I want to have this conversation with you, because if you don’t know that, how could you be sensitive to what is difficult for me? Oh my gosh, Nea, I want to be your friend. What’s amazing is I’m going to hit your, I’m going to hit your emotional landmine too someday. And it’s going to be different than mine. 

 

And so I won’t see it coming. I’ll think it was normal to say to a guy or like, Hey, she really thinks you’re cute. And if that’s your emotional landmine, you’re going to be like, I’m going to think I was doing something fun and funny and getting you together with someone you thought was good looking or attractive or whatever.

 

(50:18 – 51:57)

And that might be your emotional landmine. And we’re going to have to have a different kind of talk. Right. 

 

But that’s what I mean when I said in the purpose, what if we took every interaction, experience, and relationship as an opportunity to grow, heal, and unite us. And if we trusted ourselves and trusted each other to do that sacred dance of our our souls together and learn our life lessons together, could we evolve as one world family together? But we would need to view these emotional landmines going off, not as a personal attack, but as well. So it sounds like that wouldn’t have been a big deal to you. 

 

So given the same scenario, see, I’m still learning, you would have, you would have chose something different. And something I people really say to me a lot is, where do you find the words? Like, how did you come to that? And what I’d say is, that’s why I wrote this book, because it literally I’ll say, what am I doing when I get tearful, for example, in that moment, there’s a few things I do. I noticed my body’s physiology tearing up, like, I noticed, like my throat getting whatever and my tears in my eyes. 

 

Most people avoid that and try to act like it’s not happening. Okay? I say, Oh, no. Take a slow deep breath, check in, notice your body signals, and then name it.

 

(51:57 – 52:23)

So it’s like, I was really touched by what you just said, I can feel my heart racing, and I’m tearing up. I just want you to know, you remind me of my grandmother. You remind me of an experience with my sister. 

 

Thank you. It doesn’t take a long time. This is like a myth. 

 

It’s a myth. I want people to say the truth. They don’t know how to tune inward.

 

(52:24 – 52:32)

And they don’t know the words to say what they need to say. Yeah, that’s very different. It’s messy, and it takes too long.

 

(52:32 – 55:50)

And so what you were stepping us through when you talked to me about the price of the dress situation, was that the I-5 conversation framework? Yep. And why don’t we do this? We’re going to give everybody listening. It’s literally so there’s a framework where I say, like, imagine each of us is a skyscraper. 

 

We’re different shapes and sizes. That’s what makes the skyline beautiful. If they were all the same, it would be like ugly, right? It would be like, well, that’s boring. 

 

But we’re all unique. And what we do is, I talk about it like, there’s the top floor, which is, let’s call this your body. Like, our body is this fact data gathering machine. 

 

But not just out in the world, what we hear, see, taste, touch, smell, all of that, emails that come in, phone calls, no message, text, social, whatever. But also our inner data, heart racing, stomach turning, all of these sweating, all of that. I call that your body map, your physiology. 

 

It’s giving you signals. So data comes in on this floor, okay? Body from the outside world and from your inner world, okay? So you get gather facts. Next, you get in the elevator, you go down, and you open up. 

 

Most people have a penthouse here. It’s your thoughts. They, like, it’s well decorated, well worn. 

 

They spend a lot of time there. We get in, we go down in the elevator, and we open up at the third floor, which is your heart. There’s, like, no floorboards. 

 

There’s, like, danger signs, dust, spider webs. Like, people don’t even go there. So they have massive fire escapes built that whenever they end up or get dumped on the disappointment floor, the upset, the anger, they run back up to their head and try to think their way out of feeling. 

 

Except if a fire is raging on the third floor, how much water do you need to flood this floor with to get this to go out? It’s not going to happen. It’s on a different floor. That’s why we’re not solving the root cause of issues, because you got to solve them on the floor that they’re happening. 

 

So we have to go down to this floor and teach people how to reveal, feel, and heal. Build the floorboards, stop using the fire escapes. Those are all the ways that we go around, over, under, avoid. 

 

Like, what I’m doing with, so that’s emotions. So then you get back in the elevator, you go down, now you’re opening at the belly. And that is what we want. 

Like, I think of it as creation. Like, humans are created there. It’s, like, our belly. 

It’s, like, where we create new life. So this is, like, what do you want in this situation? And not only what do you want, if you got it, what would it give you? So what do you value about wanting this? Okay, then get back in the elevator. Once you know that, you get in, what do you, in a conversation, it’s about what do you want for yourself? How do you want to show up? What do you want in it? And what do you want for the other person? And then you go down to the floor, which is your feet.

(55:50 – 1:02:17)

And that’s action, taking a step forward. And that’s when you’re going to go out and have a conversation with other skyscrapers. You’re going to go out and, you know, connect with other people or take action, say, I’ll do it, or I’ll throw the party, I’ll whatever. 

So all you have to do is know the facts, how people put the thoughts together, the thoughts that you choose to believe, determine how you feel, and what you want. And if you know that, in a conversation, that’s what I was doing with you. When I said, yesterday at the party, when you said, x, y, z, okay, I might say, my heart started racing, and my stomach started turning. 

I got up and went to the bathroom, get in the elevator, go down. What I was thinking is that is so humiliating, because everybody here is going to think I’m a cheapskate. Okay. 

And now, what I felt was, I was surprised, and I felt embarrassed. Now, you know, the embarrassments like heightened. Okay, that means, that means we hit an old landmine. 

Okay, so now it’s like, bigger than this situation. That’s an unhealed old wound. You get in, you go down. 

What I wanted was to look fancy. I waited, you know, and I got this at a cheaper price. But what I wanted was to feel like I belonged.

And I don’t think anybody else would have waited that long. And again, I got this deal like most people struggling with money, I think it shows that I’m struggling with money, or whatever it is that this person thinks, you get back in, you go down now to action. And the action is in the past, I wouldn’t have said anything. 

Now I’m being courageous and saying this, moving forward. Can we keep our secrets? And I’ll let you know that it’s a secret because I realized I didn’t tell you. So how would you have known? But you see, so now when you understand this framework, which is quite simple, body thoughts, heart desires, when you’re in a conversation with someone else, you also know which one they haven’t told you. 

 

So you know what questions to ask across the table. Can you give us a little example of that? Like, let’s just say, a husband, wife, I’ve heard this from girlfriends so many times over the years, where the husband doesn’t pick up the phone when he’s out for work drinks. And it could be vice versa, who knows. 

 

But it’s what I’ve heard from girlfriends on and off for three decades now. So I thought it’d be a good example. What in terms of like comes back and you want to have that brave conversation to finally explain how deeply you feel this and what it represents for you. 

 

And so that they really know it’s not about nagging. It’s actually about respecting me. If I do need to get in touch once when you’re out, just to check in, see if you need dinner, whatever. 

 

And so let’s just say they say, well, I’m out for work drinks. I can’t pick up my phone. You know, the defense. 

 

So you mentioned you start to know which questions to ask. What kind of questions would be effective in that dynamic? Well, in that dynamic, I would actually not do that. What I would do is I would ask this person, what agreements have you two made about when you’re out? Because oftentimes, they want to nail someone for something that two people have never agreed on. 

So what you’d say is, hey, listen, you know, we have our daily check in at 530 or six o’clock so that I can plan everything for the kids and for us and, you know, whatever’s going on. That’s our daily check in. What are we going to do when on the nights that you go out after work? How should we handle that? And let’s say they decide that this person isn’t going to pick up the phone while they’re out. 

So then I’d say, OK, so we’ll have our daily check in. Let’s say we check in after work every day, figure out what we’re doing on the nights you’re going out with your friends. You’re not going to pick up because you’re going to you’re going to call me at 730 or 830 or whatever to let me know what time you’re coming home or whatever. 

But here’s the deal. Would you be open to if there is an emergency and I need to get a hold of you? If I call, will you please pick up? So now there’s a respect both ways, which is, hey, I want you to have fun. I don’t want you to be worried looking at your phone 100 percent. 

And please like check, check your phone while you’re out so that it’s not like three hours. If I need you, I just want to make sure that I can get a hold of you. Is that fair? Like, would you be willing to do that and we can try it? So first you have to make the agreements. 

You can’t argue about someone not doing something when they haven’t ever agreed to it. Almost like me getting mad at you for saying the pricing thing. In that moment, I realized, oh, you don’t think it’s a big deal. 

I think it’s a big deal, but I never had that conversation with you that was an agreement that we would keep it secret. So in these experiences, you always want to be thinking, what’s my part in this? What might I, what could I have done differently? Then I say, what do I want from you? Right in this, what did I want? And then the action is, what can we agree on moving forward? And so I think in the world, if we don’t teach people how to do this, we’re in a lot of trouble because this is only going to become a bigger and bigger divide. People worldwide starts from inside. 

And from that place, can we do the exchange between us? And let me give you one more thing here that’s coming to me that seems really important for people to know. When you and I are in a conflict, having a conversation, that’s not the first conversation that’s going on. It’s the third conversation.

(1:02:19 – 1:02:33)

The first conversation, let’s imagine you and I are playing cards. Okay. You got your cards. 

I got mine. There are the things that I know about myself and I keep private. I don’t show you those.

(1:02:33 – 1:05:16)

There’s the information that I throw down and make public so that you and I can see it. And then there’s the cards flipped over on the table that no one knows yet about me, about you, about my emotional landmines, about my traumas, about what upsets me, about the things you don’t know yet because we’ve never navigated it. So body, thoughts, emotions, desires, and like this whole space, there’s what I know and choose to keep private, what I know and I share, and what I don’t know yet. 

Conversation one. Conversation two is that same conversation with you. What you do know, what you don’t know, what you keep private, what you share with me, whatever is going, and what you don’t know yet. 

The cards that aren’t even in your hand yet because you’re not aware. You’ve never been in that situation. Okay. 

The third conversation is all of that whole thing meeting each other. So if we don’t think that we’re going to, in relationship, disappoint, upset, surprise each other, we’re living in a very different reality than the one we’re in because our job, I’m going to say it one more time, is to use every interaction, experience, and relationship as an opportunity to learn, grow, and unite us. And if we trust ourselves and trust each other, we can do the soul dance to learn those life lessons together. 

And then we can evolve as one world family. Oh, one world family. I mean, it’s just, it’s such a huggable phrase, isn’t it? It’s so good. 

But there’s layers to it, right? It’s, we can make it, we can, my job is to like, simplify, take things that are really complex and try and make them like, oh, I could learn five steps to do this. So I think what we should give people listening if they want is a video that explains these five steps, gives them an example, and then the handout of a fill-inable form that if they’re having a conflict, I literally put, what did you see? What did you hear? What did you, like, they can fill in this experience to do a prep of like a conversation that maybe hasn’t gone so well in the past, but they’re going to do a take two and do a do over and do the prep of this and then try it again. Right? Yes. 

We’ll put it in the show notes a hundred percent because you have the journal. There’s a couple of resources. So we’ll make sure that everything’s in there for you guys listening.

(1:05:16 – 1:05:41)

Cause I don’t know about you, but I’m, I’m ready to, to fill out that worksheet on a couple of issues came to mind as I read the book that I had just suppressed. And, and it’s, it’s fascinating what, if you drop in what comes out when you actually take the time to think about it through all the different floors of your body. So I really appreciate you giving us this framework.

(1:05:42 – 1:09:10)

I could talk to you for hours, but I feel like there’s going to be a little part two on this, this whole conversation, because it really is one for our times. It is a vastly underappreciated skill to communicate and, and the benefits that it gives us in health and in conflict, right out to global. So I appreciate your work. 

I think it’s a wonderful book and it’s so great to have you back. What an honor to be with you anytime, part two, anytime. I hope you loved today’s show as much as I loved bringing it to you. 

I want to remind you that if you are someone who craves a low-tox community, that is judgment-free, full of empowerment, has health professionals and building health professionals that can support you as well as me in their answering questions multiple times a week, I want to invite you to join the low-tox club for the price of less than a cup of coffee a month. You have an annual membership for $49 Australian. So it’s about $30 US or Euro that allows you to have a member masterclass every single month with a health professional or global expert from the podcast, where we have them to ourselves for an hour to ask questions and deep dive further. 

You have the beautiful supportive chat group. You have Q and A’s with me, me answering questions. We read books and talk about them and a whole bunch more. 

You can head to lowtoxlife.com, hit the explore tab and join the club is the very first option on that list. Of course, we have over 10 evergreen courses that you can jump into anytime, whether it’s navigating everyday low-tox swaps without go low-tox signature course, whether you have kids and you’re wanting to know how to best support them with our low-tox kids course, whether you’re planning a family and looking at a healthy low-tox preconception journey, reducing inflammation, especially the chronic kind without inflammation ninja course, many, many other courses. You can again, head to lowtoxlife.com, hit the courses tab and you’ll see all of the options, which includes a business course, my low-tox method program. 

A lot of people don’t know, but I was doing a lot before starting low-tox life in 2009. And I was a business consultant across hospitality, health, retail, and cosmetics. I have been in business consulting for a very long time. 

So I absolutely adore helping people move into the low-tox space or develop their low-tox businesses. So that’s a way I can support you. And then of course, there’s our wonderful social media communities at lowtoxlife on Instagram. 

And of course the website with over 250 gluten-free recipes, blogs, downloadable PDFs to help you navigate wanting to get rid of synthetic fragrances in your school or office. I could go on. So head to lowtoxlife.com, see what takes your interest or fancy. 

And thank you so much for being a part of our podcast community. I love, love, love reading your reviews. I appreciate every follow and subscribe. 

And I want to just remind you to finish off that if there’s anything you heard that you found interesting from medical or scientific perspective, it is intended as education only. Please always chat to a health professional who knows you and your situation best. I’ll see you next week. 

Bye.

 

 

 

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