stress, mindset,wellness,dr michelle clay, freelife

LLP117: Wellness Wisdom for a Stress FREELIFE with Dr. Michelle Clay


Let's Talk about Stress…


On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry we have Dr. Michelle Clay, an empowering speaker, two-time best-selling author and holistic physician who specializes in the release and management of stress and its associated symptoms simply and naturally. Her life mission is to empower people experiencing challenging life circumstances that do not change with tools to transform their lives from stressful, unbalanced, and unhealthy to happy, harmonious, and purposeful.

As we continue the theme of personal growth, self-reflection and mental clarity the Lunch and Learn community is blessed to have Dr. Michelle educate us on the subject of stress. Most importantly we tackle the problem head-on and learn some amazing tangible ways to make sure that we turn our stressors into success.

On the show, we will learn just what got Dr. Michelle started in the field and how she has been able to help others break the cycle of misery that their personal stressors have caused. Also, listen out as we talk about a future even Dr. Michelle is hosting and how you can be apart of the festivities.

If you haven't already check out episode 116 so you are aware of all of the slate of episodes coming this month.

Remember to subscribe to the podcast and share the episode with a friend or family member.

Listen on Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, Spotify



Book Recommendation:
Conquering the Chaos by Dr. Michelle Clay

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Download Episode 117 Transcript

[showhide type=””””””””post”””””””” more_text=””””””””Episode 117 Transcript…”””””””” less_text=””””””””Show less…””””””””] Introduction Dr. Berry: And welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I'm your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of CEO of Pierre Medical Consulting, helping you empower yourself for better health with the number one podcast for patient advocacy here with the Lunch and Learn. This week we bring you an amazing guest. We have Dr. Michelle Clay who's an empowering speaker, two time bestselling author and holistic physician who specializes in the release and management of stress and associated symptoms simply and naturally. Her life mission is to empower people experiencing challenging life. With tools to transform their lives from stressful, unbalanced and unhealthy to happy, harmonious and purposeful. Dr. Michelle is frequently called upon to give her a refreshing perspective on ways to really stress and recharge health, enabling clients to live a free life of purpose with passion. Through her company, FreeLife7, her work and enhances people's lives by harmonizing all dimensions of wellness through coaching programs, retreats and seminars to help burnt out and busy professionals and high stress and high strong, high performers. You guys know who you are. Create their sense of calm, clarity and confidence, a mindset for success. And guys, I’ll be honest with you, I listened to Episode 116 where we talked about the self-reflection and the importance of self-reflection. I thought it was extremely important to really talk about why a lot of people need that self-reflection, right? Because the everyday stresses of life is kicking a lot of you guys’ butt, truly and honestly. And when we talk with Dr. Michelle today, you'll hear instances where the mental stress is causing physical manifestations and we talked about how the physical stress can cause mental ramifications, right? So it's definitely a relationship that if it's not in tune, if you are not ready to not only accept stress, because stress is coming, there's no way you can avoid it. But when it does come, be able to manage it. And I think as a keyword, we don't deal with stress, we manage stress, right? So it'd be able to manage that stress and then use it for your betterment. We're going to be in trouble, right? And unfortunately I take care of a lot of patients who the stressors of life – job, work, family relationships has beat them down to the point that they're physically sick and we don't want that. So again Episode 117, we have Dr. Michelle Clay. We're going to be talking about stress all throughout this episode. I want you guys to really pay attention and really get some tips to learn how to de-stress and declutter your life for the better. So like always, if you had not had a chance, make sure you subscribe to the podcast. If you're on apple podcasts, leave with five star review and let me know what'd you think about Dr. Michelle’s episode. You guys have a great and blessed day. Episode Dr. Berry: Alright, Lunch and Learn community. So you just heard another amazing introduction from a guest that I've been waiting in the background to get onto the show for quite a while and I just felt this was a time this was right. And when you listen to this, you know, National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. When did we talk about the mental health and talk about what makes it so that you can actually have good mental health, right? Like this is one of the key factors that will determine whether you have good mental health or not, right? Which is stress. But lo and behold, Dr. Michelle again, thank you for coming onto the show for the Lunch and Learn community and educating us and gracing us with your presence. Dr. Michelle Clay: Thank you Dr. Berry for having me. I'm so happy to be here. I'm so excited. This is such an honor. Dr. Berry: Dr. Michelle, I gave introduction and other intro. I do, I already know I got some people who like to skip to introduction and come right to the main story. So for the people who do that, because we know we got those people who like to skip the line, tell them something about you who they may not be able to read this off, getting off your bio, right? Who is Dr. Michelle? Dr. Michelle Clay: So, I think since people really want to know about stress and what they can do about it, because stress is such a problem. I'll tell you something about me that people might not know what led me to talk about stress and focus on that, in mindset so much. So many people have had struggles just like I have in this new day and time. There are a lot of blended families. There are very few traditional, what we call traditional families whereas the mother, the father, and they have their kids and they live happily ever after in one house. Until death do us part with the husband and wife. But that wasn't my story. That isn't my story. So you meet someone, you fall in love, but when you fall in love with them, everything else follows that. Past relationships, unforgiveness, past hurt, past wrongs. And this is if I inherited that, which was not even mine. So the next thing I know there's a tug-of-war of back and forth with my honeybun’s child and co-parenting was nonexistent. It's still non-existent. I'm in the middle of trying to support my mate and also act as if I'm kind of like a surrogate mother for lack of better terminology. And the moms, I do not want you to fuss at me. It was a lot of struggle. There was jealousy. There was anger. There was rage. There was constant court dates. There were constant motions filed. There was the police called. It was all of that. And though I consider myself a super wonder woman, and I know some of my sister's super wonder women are listening, you just can't juggle it all. You cannot carry all that, is your responsibility as well as be supportive for somebody else. And I began to buckle – my health deteriorated. And I'm very, very health conscious. I'm a vegetarian. I eat a lot of raw foods. I juice a lot. But even in that, I was still experiencing the symptoms of stress such as gallstones, chronic tension in my neck and in my shoulders where I could not even turn my neck all the way over, all the way to the left, rather. Lower back pain, hair thinning and falling out. And it didn't make any sense to me at all. So I really encouraged people to follow my story and really get in tune to what is going on with them. This chronic stress can lead to or worsen present medical conditions. Maybe everybody knows that and maybe they don't. I don't know. But I hadn't been diagnosed with anything and even I had uterine fibroids and they grew, (wow). Yes, I have been keeping my uterine fibroids at bay for like 14 years, doing a lot of natural therapies. But when that stress came down on me, then I could feel them growing where my acupuncturist said, “oh no, you need surgery”. Yes. And I had surgery and guess how many I had? Dr. Berry: I heard stories of women with multiple fibroids. How much? Dr. Michelle Clay: I had 20 fibroids. Dr. Berry: Wow. Wow. Okay. Okay. Dr. Michelle Clay: 20 fibroids. Yes. Dr. Berry: I don't know if people realize, especially when it comes to fibroids, it is a hormonal component associated with the growth of fibroids and obviously stress being in a situation you're in, definitely didn't help those hormones, I'm assuming. Dr. Michelle Clay: Absolutely. Chronic stress will affect your estrogen, your testosterone. It will affect the entire endocrine system to include insulin, which is a hormone. So absolutely. Dr. Berry: Now when you were going through this time period, where kind of distress was just kind of being put on top of you and day after day, week after week, did you feel a lot of these other medical conditions that kind of rolls up, kinda ashes or were they always there and stress just kind of made it worse? What would you say one way or the other? Dr. Michelle Clay: The fibroids had been there, but my fibroids, they would shrink and come back, shrink and come back. But never that large. But the gallstones I never had before, I never had that. And the muscle tension where I couldn't turn my neck all the way to the left that had never been there before. My hair thinning and falling out – I had that before, but only when I had a perm. But I have been the natural system now for, let me see for 17 years (Alright.) So wasn’t it either. But especially at the time when I developed the gallstones, I was only eating raw at that time. I wasn't even eating any cooked foods. Dr. Berry: That might precipitated those gallstones. Wow. Okay. Dr. Michelle Clay: Exactly. So you know, they say that there's an increase incidents and gallstones with the F's. If you're fat forty and female. I have the 40 and the female together. But the fat, no. Dr. Berry: And I can tell you Lunch and Learn community, definitely, Dr. Michelle is a tall lanky, tall lanky individuals. So yeah. Dr. Michelle Clay: That's funny. Dr. Berry: You know and what's interesting, especially in when we talk about stress and obviously we're going to get into it, seeing that the stress that unfortunately you weren't even directly responsible for. Unfortunately, was being thrust upon you, was causing a lot of undue aspects of you're just a medical and health and well-being. Is that something that you seem to be pretty common? Like a lot of times it's not even something that we're directly doing that's kind of resulting in all of the issues that stress is causing upon us? Dr. Michelle Clay: Absolutely. Because according to the American Institute of Stress, the number one cause of stress in America is job-related. And so that's definitely a place where you don't have any control, especially if you aren't the boss. But even if you are the boss and you have employees, you don't have control over what your employees do or what they don't do or how they respond to situations. So what's really important about to me about stress management, is that you manage it. You tell your mind what to think and don't allow whatever situations are going on around you to dictate how you feel and how you respond. We always have a choice. Now, trust me, I did not come to this overnight because still in my mind I would kind of position myself like the victim, like, “oh my goodness, if this weren't happening then I wouldn't feel like this.If this situation weren't present, I wouldn't feel like this.” You know, all these, what if’s. But when I eliminated the language and the perspective of the what if and looked at my hand and my head and my heart of what I did have, then that gave me the power to take control back of my emotions and my response. And so I'm going to tell you, I'm going to give you a brace report. I just went to my massage therapist on Sunday and she said, oh, Dr. Michelle, what have you been doing? Your muscles are so pliable, I can get my fingers in deep, doing my work. Dr. Berry: Yes. I love it. I love it. Dr. Michelle for the Lunch and Learn community members who, you know, obviously heard your story and I'm pretty sure a lot of them would probably like, like myself, kind of shaking my head like, yeah, she's so right. Yep. I know exactly what she's feeling. When we talk about just stress in general, right? What do you tell the person when they say, Dr. Michelle, what is stress? What does that even mean in the grand scheme of things? Dr. Michelle Clay: So let's be clear about something. Number one, a lot of us have grown up with the idea that stress is a bad thing and that is a sign of weakness. You're not strong, you can't handle things, you can't handle life. First of all, stress is a positive thing when it comes in spurts. Is not an emotional response. It is actually a physiological response that is built in for our survival. So for instance, if you have a presentation that's due, if you are driving on the road and someone suddenly slams their foot on the brakes and you have to react very quickly for your survival, then your stress response is going to be activated. And that starts in the brain. And in the brain there are many parts of the brain, but one part in particular, the hypothalamus is activated, which then activates the pituitary gland, which then sends out hormone to activate the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormone which people know as our stress hormone – Cortisol. So Cortisol will then in turn activate things where digestion won't be taking place. Because if you're trying to survive, you're trying to run away from someone robbing you. You're trying to avoid life accident, you don't have time to digest foods. And then it'll also cause more blood to flow in the larger muscles of your body, like our size and that type of thing. Getting ready to run. So when they say fight or flight, it's for our survival. But the problem becomes when that response is activated constantly on a chronic basis. So those body processes that we don't really need in the moment for our survival, guess what? Those things have decreased activity on a chronic basis and that's what causes the problems that we have. Dr. Berry: So in the short run, you know, you need to stop those breaks, you need to run away. You need to do something. It's a good thing. (Absolutely.) But unfortunately you said in the long run is where we get in trouble. Consistent aspect of like, okay, this has happened. Like, like you said, when we talk about the jobs, like every day I go to a job, every day I want to deal with the same stress over and over and over again. And that's when we kind of run into trouble. Dr. Michelle Clay: Correct. That's correct. Dr. Berry: So I guess the question is why, and I hear this all the time, I hear it was a lot of my patients, they always say, well, I could just deal with stress better. Right? Like what does that even mean? Are some people more affected by the quote unquote everyday stressors of life and can some people handle it better than the others? Or is that just been like innate within them? How does one be able to deal with stress? Dr. Michelle Clay: So studies have shown that people who went when they were in utero, their mothers experience a lot of stress, then they have a different type of stress response. However, with that being said, that is something that you can manage and overcome. For instance, with therapy, with counseling, learning how to read, just different types of coping techniques and strategies. Now, I'm not a therapist, but I have some stress-releasing strategies on my own. But I always believe that what is necessary to do is get to the root of a problem. So while you may need some strategies for the day to day, if you know that you have come from an abusive household or that your mother experienced some kind of trauma when she was pregnant with you, then I definitely recommend therapy. Dr. Berry: Interesting. And I'm definitely that strategy kind of touched on that because I think a lot of times when we hear these people talk about, well I can deal with stress, you know better. And you know, this stress is worse than others that we do have to kind of look within. Right? It's usually some intrinsic reason why you yourself is able to deal with stress, but maybe your brother can't. Maybe your sister, like even people within the same kind of household can sometimes deal with stress on a better level than others, right? And it's weird to say deal with stress, because I'm not even sure if that's the correct way we should be saying it, but I guess you'd be better off to tell it. Is it a good thing that you can deal with stress, especially on a chronic basis? That's something that you've seen that helps people in the long run better? Dr. Michelle Clay: I wouldn't say deal. I would say manage because every day you can be triggered by something and you made a good point there, Dr. Berry, as far as people can live in the same household and maybe a sibling reacts to the same situation in a different manner. Now, that can go back to what was happening in utero. It can also lend to what is happening in the brain because chronic stress affects your brain, different areas of your brain. For instance, especially the prefrontal cortex. I really love to talk about that one right there, because that particular… Dr. Berry: Educators, that's why you're here because we need the education. So please, please go ahead. Dr. Michelle Clay: Yes. The prefrontal cortex, which is the front part of your brain, like where your forehead is. So that deals with higher cognitive functioning. So that's going to be long-term planning, perception, executive functioning, things like that. So chronic stress really affects that area of the brain, decreasing the activities. So let's say that you're in the same household, the same situations are happening, but the brother activity isn't responding in the prefrontal cortex the same way that yours. So that's something that you have to consider. But I always feel like this, that anything can be managed. I don't like to use the terminology deal because it says if you kind of just live in and they ignore it. (Right, right.) And accept what is happening to you even though it's not optimal for your wellness and well-being. So I really, words mean a lot words mean a lot because we can give life to whatever it is that we speak. So that's why I say manage and then you come up with a plan and a strategy, then you will be able to manage better and better until the next thing you know you're like, “that thing that used to set me off, I'm good. I feel calm. It doesn't affect me like that. It doesn't shift me. It doesn't shift me from my position.” When you know who you are, you know your position. Then whatever anyone else is doing, it doesn't shake you or shifts you. Dr. Berry: I love it and I know we talked about especially like with whatever that thing is, right? We talked about the job being a big contributor to a lot of people's stress, right, but the people that you've worked with and taking care of, what had been some of the common reasons that they say stress them, right? Like, you know, I got some off the top. I always, I'm thinking money, right? But what are some of the things that you run into that say, “Oh yeah, a lot of my clients usually have this issue and that issue “as far as what's the initial cause of such stress? Dr. Michelle Clay: Number one is going to be the job. They either feel like they don't make enough money. They may experience micro aggression on their job. I've known a few people where it was so severe they had to file a complaint with EEOC. (Ok.) Yes, yes, yes. It can get very serious and very deep. The other things: feeling unfulfilled. Especially most of my clients are 40+, like between the 40 and 55-year-old range. And you get to a point in your life then when you look around and you're like, “okay, am I doing what it is that I plan to do? And if I'm not, is it fulfilling me? Do I feel like I'm on the right track? Do I feel that I'm working in my purpose? Do I even know what my purpose is?” Then in that 40 to 55 range, a lot of times we're talking about divorce. So job, then money and then relationships. (Wow, ok.) Yeah. Dr. Berry: Now that age, especially very interesting that you kind of mentioned that age. Is that where the typical quote-unquote midlife crisis, if that's, and again, I don't know if, is that an actual thing? Is that where that kind of comes about when we talk about the quote-unquote midlife crisis where people are starting to evaluate their life? Dr. Michelle Clay: Yes. But in my experience, in my personal experience, I feel that men and women respond to that differently. Now I had a little moment, I'm going to own it because I think it's important. Yes. I feel it's important to be very transparent with people because often when people are going through things, they feel alone and they isolate themselves and therefore they cannot get the help and support that they need. But I did have a moment where I felt like, I feel a little bit down. I wasn't clinically depressed, but I did have somewhat of a depressed mood where I felt like I should be further along than where I am now. This is not how I envisioned my life to look when I was 25. Actually, there's nothing in my life that looks like what I envisioned. Dr. Berry: So you were batting like zero at this point and you're looking around your life. Like, “hold on, I thought this was going to be completely different. Okay. Alright.” Dr. Michelle Clay: Exactly. And especially when you come to a point when you're struggling financially or you're struggling in your relationship and you feel like it's not supposed to be like this. But what I decided to do to pull myself out of that was I created, people do vision boards all the time, but I can't carry a board around. So I got a notebook, I've got a notebook, and I put in their affirmations. I put in exactly what I wanted. I put in pictures and when I would go to my job, which was stressful, I carried my little notebook with me and I would just look inside my notebook. And then it helped me remember who I am and what my goals were. Dr. Berry: I love it. So how has and how does the stressors that we've faced with, whichever realm we face it in, how does it, and have you seen it affect people's bodies and their health or their wellness, just like as a whole? Especially when it's, again, it's not the every now and then, but now it's every week, every day. Like how have you seen that over the years affect people‘s health and wellness kind of associated along with it? Dr. Michelle Clay: Probably one of the number one things that I constantly see is high blood pressure because yes, chronic stress definitely affects your cardiovascular system. So that stress hormone, Cortisol I was speaking of, it causes vasoconstriction and vasoconstriction. Of course, I know, you know before the audience, nasal constriction is when the vessels tighten up. So the analogy I like to use is when you think about a garden hose, so if you're watering your lawn and there aren't any kinks in the hose, that water's going to flow out right. But if something gets in there or somebody bins, then the water is not going to flow so nicely. It might trickle a little bit. So that's the same kind of concept that's occurring and people's blood vessels as well as increased heart rates. So I'd say blood pressure's the number one. Muscle tension, muscle tightness. That's the number two thing that I see most commonly. Sleep disturbances will probably be the third thing that I see most commonly. Either they cannot sleep or they sleep too much or when they fall asleep they cannot stay asleep. Dr. Berry: And what I love about what you're doing is that, because I think a lot of times when people think of stress and a lot of times we do this backward, right? Where we talk about how the physical ailments that we're dealing with affects our mental. But here you are kind of really, you know, really educating Lunch and Learn community anyway. Hey, like you see these mental transgressions that you're dealing with on a day-to-day basis. This is how it shows up on the physical side, right? So it is like a two-way street. Like yeah, some physical stuff could definitely mess your mental up. But if you're mental, especially when we talk about stress, because that's the thing, this is how stress can affect you in the doctor's office, right? This is what we, I may not be able to see the macroaggressions’ that your job is doing to you, but I do see it when you come and get your checkup and your blood pressure still can be controlled. Dr. Michelle Clay: Absolutely. And mind and body go hand in hand. It's just like which came first, the chicken or the egg? So it's not like a first, is the cycle. It's a circle. So even with chronic stress you may have decreased pleasure and that can affect your relationship if you don't feel like being intimate with your partner. Okay. Even though intimacy is a great stress reliever but you don't feel like doing it. Dr. Berry: So the stress is beating you up on a day to day basis. That even though you know that, like, that's a good thing that's happening over there. I can't even get the mental fortitude to get on that area because I'm just not ready for it. Dr. Michelle Clay: Correct. And it can affect men, especially because with chronic stress it can decrease testosterone level. Dr. Berry: Okay. Alright men of Lunch and Learn community and I hope you listening. We've talked about this before on a previous podcast with a guests or we were talking about this masculinity and you know how we as men allow masculinity to really got a lot of problems in our relationships, social relationships. And again, this is where we're getting, we're this tying in to say like, hey, yes it can cause some problems if you're not ready, if you're not managing it the way you need to manage it. So this is the end results that can occur. So I’m definitely loving that. (Correct.) So we talked about some of the kind of the physical ailments to health and wellness, but what about the, and you talked a little bit when you alluded to just the thought process and the mindset that chronicity of stress plays on people and has even played on you. What were some of the ways that you see that, you said like, wow, you know, this is, and I know one was it taking me out physically, but like I'm not even thinking straight. My mindset even there. What have been some of the ways that you've seen that come into play? Dr. Michelle Clay: People come to me and they feel stuck. That's what they feel stuck. Sometimes when they come, they don't say I'm stressed. They'll say things like, I need a change, but I don't know how to get there. Okay. They just feel stuck. They cannot move forward past unforgiveness. They cannot move to make a plan. They know they want something better and sometimes they don't even have clarity as to what. So exactly your thought process is you're not thinking clearly. It's difficult to focus. You may even have problems with your memory with chronic stress. Not to the extent of like Alzheimer's or anything like that, but you understand what I'm saying? For instance, I don't remember where I put my wallet. Okay. I even had an incident the other day in my personal home where my housemate was so stressed out, he walked out the door and didn't realize he didn't close it. So I come home in the door is wide open. Dr. Berry: Oh, I bet that conversation must, nah. I'm just mad at that conversation. If I leave the door and I come home, I'm like, oh, what the hell are you doing buddy? Dr. Michelle Clay: But see, the thing is when you use your stress release and strategies, then I'm able to manage that. First of all, I need to know is everything safe, safe to walk in the house? Do I need to call the police? Is anything missing? The only thing that was missing was the cats. And then once I find the cat, then I just have a very calm conversation. Just like this tone of voice. Just don't forget to put on the deadbolt. That's it. If I get my, if I get all hyper and I'm stressed out, well that's going to affect the rest of my day. And I have things to do. I need to focus. I need to be clear. I need to manage my time well. So there's ways to manage and see that's an example of you taking control and not allowing anything or anyone to shift you from your position. Dr. Berry: And it was interesting, especially because when you talk about just even the memory, because I'm a program director, so I got residents around me and you know, we work in a hospital setting. So you know, when we hear like rapid response or cold blue and all of a sudden, you know, those same residents who are calm and collective and they get into that emergent mode, they forget the stethoscope, they forget that white coat. They forget where they need to. Like your memory just isn't as sharp as it needs to be. And that's those only in a short instance. So I can only imagine if chronically you're dealing with something over and over and over again, what that would do over a longer span. Dr. Michelle Clay: Absolutely. I feel for the residents because I remember that time and actually there are moments in my life that I will never remember, not just because I was stressed, but also sleep deprivation. Dr. Berry: Oh yes. Oh, okay. Yeah. You bring back the, hey, so bad we don't, we forget about some of the things we went through as a resident because you're like, oh yeah. Dr. Michelle Clay: I don't mean to trigger anything, Dr. Berry. I don’t want to trigger something. Dr. Berry: I'm just thinking about it now. Oh yeah. Really? Yeah, the tough times as a resident. Tough time as a resident for sure. Talk to us about some of the ways that you've helped guide people to help manage and even release their stress. Which is a very interesting concept when we talk about the releasing of the stress, right? Like what are some of the ways that you've been able to educate and coach some of your clients to, to kind of get them over the hump, I guess, if there is a hump to get over? Dr. Michelle Clay: Well, first of all, I helped them, number one to turn off the autopilot in the racing thoughts and get some of that stuff out of your head out. And sometimes that can be as simple as journaling. Now I meet people where they are. Some people like, “Dr. Michelle, I am not going to journal.” Okay. Dr. Berry: They're honest with you. Dr. Michelle Clay: They are honest with me and I appreciate that because then I can meet you where you are and we can work together. From my perspective, my responsibility as a physician is not to heal you but to guide you and give you tools that you can activate your own healing power and heal yourself. So first of all, depending on what they are dealing with, I just write it out on paper. I'm like, okay, what's the first thing that you feel you need to conquer or you need to manage to get to your next step? And they'll tell me whatever that is. And they said, oh, but that seems so big. I said, well wait a minute, let's break it down. Let's break it down. So then, once I help them break it down piece by piece, just as if you're building a house, if you're going to build a house, well I'm not going to say a house, let's just say a shed because that can be a weekend project. People can relate to that. You're going to go to home depot or Lowe's and you're going to get the supplies that you need. You're going to map out how you're going to do this as an architect – you're going to have a blueprint and then you're going to follow that blueprint. But sometimes let's say that piece of wood that you need to have a splints are in it and the nail goes through where you're not going to wig out. What are you going to do? You go and pick up another piece of wood and put it in place. So I break it down with them like that, step by step, piece by piece. And then I also get them to commit, not a “someday” or “I'm going to try”, what is it that you're going to do? And okay, Dr. Michelle, I'm going to do this. Okay, so you're going to do this by what day? Now I'm going to call you, I'm going to check in. So if you know, especially if you have somewhat of a competitive spirit, if you know someone is looking over you, but more importantly looking out for you, think you're more apt to do that. And then I'm like you know what, I'm so glad that you told me to do that because it wasn't as hard as I thought. Dr. Berry: I love it and that's so correctly, and I'm laughing because I, you're not going to tell we known each other for about three years now. A little bit, give or take. She really does this, like this is it, just like she really would be like, no, no, no, no, no. I need like the date and time that you said this project is going to be completed so I can reach out to you on that time just to make sure we're all on the same page. So she really does this. It's not just for the show. Dr. Michelle Clay: It’s not just for the show. This is real. This is definitely real. So that's one thing. And then another powerful thing that I have them do that I do every day are affirmation. So affirmations are really about saying I am, and then whatever is after that, you're creating that in your life. So some people, I have them simply say every day I am calm, I love myself, or whatever it is. A lot of people deal with self-image issues where they feel that they're not worthy. They devalue themselves by the words they say to themselves and that creates their reality. And then they act that out in real life. And even if someone says, oh no honey, I love myself, but I'm watching what you're doing. I'm watching how you treat yourself. I'm watching what you're eating, I'm watching how you're sleeping and watching who you allow around you. If there are people who will bring you down or discourage you, or if there are people who will lift you up. So it doesn't matter what you say in that instance, it matters what you do. What I get people to do is say and then also act what they say. Dr. Berry: I love it. Do you find a lot of people will do the form of the ladder? They'll say all the stuff that I'm going to do this, I want to do that. But when it comes to actually putting, you know, the pen to the paper, taking that next step, you find l that's where a lot of people kind of falter when it comes to managing and releasing of set stress? Dr. Michelle Clay: They do, but it's a process because just like riding a bike, when we first got on the bike, well some of us had training wheels. I had training wheels. Some people just immediately got on the bike and there were times when you fell down, but even though you fell down, you've got that up and got back on the bike and they may have put a helmet on you and some knee pads and some elbow pads just to protect you a little bit. But at the end of the day, you still got back up on the bike. Now you may have paused because you got a little nervous and said, oh well I'm afraid to try right now. I'm gonna wait until next week and try again. But the point is that you tried again and so it's a process that's the same way with my clients. Some people when I tell them things and we come up with a plan together, then they take action and full, they're good. Some people they kind of wax and wane and oh well I don't know, blah blah, blah. Oh Dr. Michelle I didn’t do what I wanna, still don't leave me though. Don't leave me Dr. Michelle. I'm like, I'm not going to leave. (I'm not going nowhere). Dr. Berry: Do you find that, and especially because I'm thinking about the whole manage releasing stress, when clients come to you, do you find that they're holding in a lot of stuff that has to be like let out first before they can actually start like no prioritizing and you know, doing the steps and actions I need to actually be able to manage it? Do find a lot of people are holding onto stuff that they shouldn’t? Dr. Michelle Clay: Hecky yeah they are. But I'm releasing that is part of releasing the stress. A lot of times if I'm having a session with a client and they start crying, that's already started the process. So for a little science there are different types of tears. So we have some tears, for instance, where you get something in your eye and tears form because it's trying to cleanse that particle, that foreign agent out of your eyes. When you cry because you are emotional, you're experienced sadness or something like that. Then there's actually some of the stress hormones in those tears. So even with the crying to release, so like I said, it's a process. It's a process. You have to crawl before you walk and many things go hand in hand. It's not an either or. Then than this. When this, then this. Is hand in hand. (Okay). One thing that I find people are holding onto a lot is unforgiveness and anger. Dr. Berry: Is that okay when you run into these people who have this level of forgiveness for whatever reason, how do you kind of go about saying like, okay, educated and say like I know it's tough, I know it's hard but you're going to have to, you know, release this if you want to move on. Right? Like is that an easy conversation? And then part B is, and I always ask this cause I was asked, cause I feel like from a male standpoint where we always fall behind, do you find that most of your clients, women or men, do you find that men are receptive to this level of education we're in, because I feel like men have a lot of stress because they are masculine and we don't call it stress? Dr. Michelle Clay: That's correct. Okay. So let me go to a Part A of the question first. Let me go in order. So usually when I have a client and I'm talking to people, there's a wisdom that comes with age. So I have gray hair, but I cover it up there. Am I being transparent? But with that gray hair comes wisdom and wisdom is knowledge with experience and I couple that together to help people. Right? So there's just some things that you get like a sense about and you sense the type of personality that the person has and how they will receive things that you say. With some people I can just cut straight to the chase and say it, but other people have to be soft and Shinto and puts some onions and then they feel better about disclosing information. Now I'll give you an example. I had a particular client that was holding on to unforgiveness. And the person that they unforgiveness toward had already died, like years ago. This happens all the time, like years ago. So what I had her do was write a letter to this person and they expressing everything to them that they never had the courage or opportunity to say let out all the anger with that. And then if you really wanted that person to forgive you then just envisioned that once they read it they said, I'm sorry or I forgive you or please forgive me. And that really helped her release. It really, really did. So I have all kinds of tips and tricks and strategies up my sleeve. Dr. Berry: I love that. So they know they're like, oh yeah, we we're going to be ready for whatever ever problem you bring Dr. Michelle, she is ready for set problems. Dr. Michelle Clay: And if I don't have, if I'm not the right person or that's not my area of expertise, because there's some people they really need to go to a therapist. So I will refer them to a psychiatrist or therapist or somebody because anytime you're trying to heal is not a one man show or one woman show. You need a team. Now who was that that just won the championship? The Raptors. Did you see one person on the court? No, it was a whole team. And then sometimes what happens is you have to rotate. Some might has to sit on the bench and take a rest and put another player in. So that's the same concept for people who are really trying to take it to the next level with their health or wellness or reclaim the person that they used to be long ago but has been burdened down with stress and burnout and just life and health issues and this, that and the third. Now Part B of your question, most of my clients are women. That's just who I attract. I do have some man. I'm open to all because one thing that my godmother told me, she was like a natural healer was that you should have the ability from a natural standpoint. You should have the ability to help anybody but you're not supposed to help everybody. Translation, some people you are meant to connect with and some people you were not, but you still have the expertise and the skills to help anybody. Dr. Berry: I love it. Now for the men that you do have, do you find it to be harder? Do you find that your work's cut out for you? Or by the time they come to see you, whatever barriers that would have been there that made it difficult for him to open up have kind of been disintegrated, quote unquote? Dr. Michelle Clay: So it depends on the man. So for the men who already knew me, then by the time they come to me, they're ready and they're committed. For the men who didn't know me, let's say they did a Google search or something and they called and made an appointment and we started working together. Sometimes they have ulterior motives or they may be attracted to me. They don't call… bullying page. Like I have someone right now who is not my client, but I feel like he has an ulterior motive. So I just keep it professional. And if you're not serious, I'm not going to take you as a client because you a disservice. And I'm just honoring myself. Dr. Berry: I love it. I always find, it's funny because what you're saying definitely kinda hits home because there are a lot of my male patients who say that part of the reason why they can't go to, you know, women who are physicians, right? Or who are healers right, is because they feel like they can't open up, right? They're like, oh my God, I can't open up this person here. Right? The person gonna look at me different. All of a sudden, you know that meant. You know we're terrible, right? We get there. We just started questioning ourselves and saying like, Oh man, if I open up with her and this person, like the whole world's going to know, and I don't want to be quote unquote less of a man. And you know, it's definitely a struggle that even though I as a male physician, I see that. I can only imagine, what you guys go through. Dr. Michelle Clay: Well, let me speak to the men's directly. Gentlemen, please hear me. Please hear me. First of all, I want you to know that I'm gonna speak for the women regardless of what they say or do. We love you and we need you. And when you tap into your power and your strength to show your vulnerability, we actually view that as a power and a strength, not a weakness. So yes, I want to tell you that directly. Dr. Berry: I love it. I love it. Alright. We hype now. We’re ready. Go for it. We like it. Dr. Michelle, before, I didn't talk to your head off, right? But before I let you go, I always call this kind of like the period of promotion. Because I'm very fortunate enough to have, you know, guests who such amazing things that yes, they're physicians. Yes, they're in the health field, but like they do so much more. So obviously, you know, we've been talking and like, I want you to kind of tell people, what are some of the things that you do kind of outside, right? And most importantly, I want to talk about this RNR Experience, right? I want you to kind of, let's start there. And then we can talk about all of the books that you have because Lunch and Learn community, she's got plenty of products and we're going to get all of that. And trust me, depending on wherever you listen to that, I would make sure you have direct links to all of that as well. But let's talk about the RNR Experience. Let's talk about the why, what is it, how did it come to fruition? And you know, like who's it for? Dr. Michelle Clay: So the RNR Experience is a freelife because that's the name of my company. Freelife seven is a free life retreat and it occurs in the big easy New Orleans. So many people who are experiencing stress come to the big easy and be easy. And it occurs November 1st and second. So as a VIP registrants, then you will get two days as general registrant, you will only get the one day. But that one day is power packs. I'm gonna go into that in a minute. Your question, how did it come to fruition? Because people asked me for it. I'm gonna be honest with you. Putting on an event that you know will make a great impact on people and help transform their lives, not just for them, but for whoever else that they touch. So you want it to be quality, it has to be quality. You have to put forth and have the vision of being an excellence. You have to move in excellence. That's a huge undertaking. The only reason I'm doing this is because people would come up to me randomly and say, oh, Dr. Michelle, I'm going to come to your retreat. Dr. Berry: Right like hey, I'm coming to your tree. I don't even know when it's scheduled, but I'm there. Dr. Michelle Clay: Yes. I hadn't said anything about a retreat, but they come telling me they're going to come to my retreat. And so if that's the case, then there must be a need. And so I'm giving you what you need. I'm giving you what you want. I'm giving you what you asked for. So what the RNR Experience, and it's not just a retreat, it's an experience. (Not just a retreat, it's an experience. I'll listen). Release and recharge. We've been talking about release this entire podcast about releasing stress, but once you release that, you need to recharge some things. And we are so caught up and focus on recharging our laptop, recharging our cell phone. But we do not recharge our bodies, our minds, our spirits. So we know what our purpose is and we can go forth and be brilliant. Dr. Berry: Oh, talk to them. Some of us won't leave the house if our phone wouldn’t charge. Talk to them, talk to them please. Dr. Michelle Clay: Exactly. So for my VIP, our first day, I have a wonderful fun experience for you. And then later that evening will have culinary cures and coaching with Dr. Michelle, a private dining experience. Now the reason I call it culinary cures in coaching is because you are able to use certain food items, certain nutritional elements to help with your stress. And because I know that I have created certain herbal teas to help with that, so that's one of the products, but as a VIP we're going to have a specialty tea, T-teeny, incorporates all of that. Then on the main day, a lot of my super friends are coming in to share with you. And we have Dr. Carol. She's going to be doing movement and meditation. She has a book Meditation in the Time of Madness. We have Dr. Sam, one of my super friends who's going to be coming in and talking to you about sleep. Remember I told you chronic stress can affect your sleep and she also, she knows some great trigger points to help with your stress and your sleep. Then we have Dr. Mia coming up who is the B3 specialist. She's going to be talking about your beauty, how you see yourself beautiful. How to maintain, achieve balance and your belief about yourself in the world around you. Then I also have a super friend who is an artist. She has her own gallery here and one of her pieces is actually in the national African American museum and she's going to be guiding us through an exercise that you can incorporate once you get home on how to use art and creativity to release the stress and recharge your creativity. Creativity is not just about art pieces, painting, drawings, sculptor, but about what you are creating in your life, the footprint that you leave on the world. Dr. Berry: Oh, that's an amazing day. Yes. Okay. You know what, this will, we're going to do. Let's do this. Let's do this for Dr. Michelle. Obviously with Lunch and Learn community and you know, amazing information as you gave today. Let's list this podcast. This podcast will sponsor a general membership or General Day, right? Whatever that general ticket is, right? I don't know how you, I'll let you decide how you want to give it away, but you give a ticket away on behalf of the Lunch and Learn community, on behalf of the Lunch and Learn podcast with Dr. Berry because I think people need to experience that, right? (Yhey!) Because as I'm thinking, I'm trying to think the last time I left this house and didn't have my phone charged or last time I like I would skip sleep even if it was for a few seconds to make sure my phone was charged. But we're walking around on a daily basis, not recharging our mind, not recharging mental or spiritual and all of these things that really keep us going and we're not doing it. And I'd so I want to sponsor someone to, to get themselves recharged and getting themselves ready to take on, especially this last quarter of the year. Dr. Michelle Clay: Yhey! Thank you Dr. Berry. Thank you Lunch and Learn community. There is, I don't know who was going to go to, but I'm going to donate that ticket to a woman who, or man, we're going to see, because I love the men. They struggling. They really feel stuck and they do not have the means to get there on their own. That's who was going to go to. Dr. Berry: Let's do it. Let's do it. Now, so that's the RNR Experience, which is big. But honestly you've been in so much big things, even up until that, right when it comes to books and the teas and everything else, and just give them a laundry list of the stuff that you got right? Just so they know that Dr. Michelle ain't playing out here. Dr. Michelle Clay: I am not playing in these streets. First of all. Well let me tell you this, RNR Experience. You can get your ticket at and its Christmas in July. So you can get the early bird pricing in the month of July. But if you wait too long, they said you think long, you think wrong. So the price is going up. Dr. Berry: So the price is going up. Y'all know y'all going to New Orleans anyways, right? Y'all gonna be there. It makes them get recharged. You just self-ready right and of course link we'll definitely be in the show notes to make sure you have a direct link to that. Dr. Michelle Clay: So the other things that are going on, I have my best selling book, Conquering the Chaos, The Super Wonder Woman's 12 Step Strategy for a Stress Free Life. I also have the companion journal with that, the Stress Release Journal. So in the book, in the 12 steps it goes through, we talked a little bit about it today. It goes through the 12th systems of the body, how they function, because I think that you need to empower people with information to activate their transformation. And then how stress affects that system in the body of culinary cure for that and mindset. Something for your mindset with that system, the stress Release Journal, the Companion Journal for that is a deeper dive into that. So you're reading and educating yourself in the conquering the chaos book, the now you need to get to work. Then I also have my stress free life, self-care kids. Oh my goodness. This thing right here just keeps exploding. So people, they want stuff. So in there there's a tea and this gonna be four different one per quarter. So one is going to be the release recharge box with the signature release, recharge herbal tea, which is specially formulated to give you a sense of calm and ease is how this is base. And then you also have the semi-precious stone bracelets, agate bracelets with lava beads on them and I'm mixed up a special essential oil aroma therapy oil to go on the braces. So anytime you know, you feeling some just instantly calm you down, just smell your wrist, just smell your wrist, and aroma therapy at the same time. And then I've also created the relaxation remedy, herbal bath. And you can put that, either do a full bath or just do a foot bath. I'm going to do a foot bath this evening. We also have the Free Life Candle because people love to smell things. (People love candles). Yes, the Free Life Candle. And we also have shower steamers. These things are amazing. So have you ever heard of shower steamers? (Oh No. Wow.) Let me tell you about it. So the shower steamers, they're a little square made out of like baking soda and some other things infuse with certain essential oils so you can put it on the bottom of the tub while you're taking the shower and having aroma therapy experience. Because some people they like, girl, I haven't had time to take a bath, but you still need to have a moment for yourself. Self-care to stress less. You can have your me time create a me time moments in the shower. Dr. Berry: Oh, that's nice. Okay. I'll tell you Lunch and Learn community see doing it, that line. See, that's a problem. I love it. That's a good problem though. That's a good problem because again, we're trying to stress less, right? We're trying to find my free life like that. That's really the name of the game and that's again, that's why I love and respect everything that Dr. Michelle does because the amazing work that she puts in and the effort that she puts in shows you how much she cares. Right? And you know, we're running to, unfortunately there's, there's a lot of physicians who have infiltrated our system who don't really care as much. Right? And you know, so when you find someone who does, you try to make sure you amplify everything that they do so others can know like how amazing this person is. Dr. Michelle Clay: Thank you. Yes, this is definitely my purpose and I'm so very passionate about it because everything that I'm telling you, I've done all of that. My affirmations, every day I wear my bracelets, I'm sniffing all day, I use my shower, steamers, light my candle, meditate, pray. I do all of that. Dr. Berry: Practice what we preach, practicing what we preach. (Yes). Before I let you go, like I always ask this question like how can what you do empower others to take better control of their health? Because it's obvious, but you know, in case for some reason someone that skipped and miss all of this greatness and wanting to go towards the end, right? And this is all they listen to too, right? Like how is what you do empowering others to take medic control of their health? Dr. Michelle Clay: First about you have to know that you know that you know that you are worthy and you are deserving. It's not about being here for somebody else is about being here and showing up for you. And the goal is not to survive, but it is to thrive. Know that you are never stuck. As long as there is breath in your body, you can always decides to choose you and to do better so you'll have better and be better. So I want you to know that you're never stuck and also that you're never alone. Whether it's me, whether it's Dr. Berry, whether someone else that can help you get to the next level. If you don't have people around you that support you, honey, you can create another circle. (Yes). You can another create circle which you're never stuck. You are never stuck and you always deserve them. Dr. Berry: I love it. I can show before we let you go, but where can others find you? Again, all of these links, remember Lunch and Learn community, you know the drill. We'll have all these links in the show notes but I want to make sure that they can follow you. We lead and you know, be able to kind of just absorb this greatness that I'm able to absorb at a daily basis what I love to see. Dr. Michelle Clay: You can find me on all social media at Dr. Michelle Clay. My website is and for the Lunch and Learn community, then I would love to offer you my special recipe for the stress free life smoothie and you can get that as Dr. Berry: I love it. I love it and I appreciate it. Based on behalf of the Lunch and Learn community, we want to thank you, Dr. Michelle for just an amazing experience. Like I said, I say this like on a week to week basis, but like I'd be learning just as much as the Lunch and Learn community from my guests. Like I'm either like, if y'all can see my face, I'm glued in. Like, okay, got it. Got To lose this,, got to manage it. Cant be dealing with it, got to manage that. That's the goal. Changed the words. Words are powerful. That's the way to go. They don't wanna show you have a great, and again, like I said, remember we want to sponsor who, I don't know who you choose, who we're sponsoring. But we've got, we need to get someone to get that experience at the RNR Experience, Release and Recharge. When is it happening again? Let us know. Dr. Michelle Clay: It's November 2nd. Dr. Berry: Okay. November 2nd for the general, you want that VIP, you come in on the first, right? So if yall big ballers want to VIP, go in on the first, right? Then you get a T-teeny, is that what we called it? Yup. Dr. Michelle Clay: Yeah. Make that up. Good. T-teeny is by experience. Dr. Berry: I love it. Thank you, Dr. Michelle. Dr. Michelle Clay: Thank you for having me. Everyone have a positive and stress-free day. [/showhide]

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