The Modern Man with Dr. Rebecca Heiss - Judd Shaw

The Modern Man with Dr. Rebecca Heiss

Judd Shaw

Dr. Rebecca Heiss

Episode Summary

Judd Shaw and Dr. Rebecca Heiss explore stress and masculinity. Discover Judd’s shift to authenticity and Rebecca’s insights on modern manhood on “Behind the Armor”.

Judd Shaw and Dr. Rebecca Heiss tackle the hard-hitting issues of stress, masculinity, and validation in their latest podcast episode. Dive deep as Shaw reveals his transformative journey from armor to authenticity, and Dr. Heiss, with her evolutionary insight, unravels the cultural constructs that define modern masculinity. Tune in to uncover the truths that lie “Behind the Armor”.

Listen Now:

Episode 002

In this episode of “Behind the Armor,” host Judd Shaw and guest Dr. Rebecca Heiss delve into the transformative power of facing our fears and the impact of societal expectations on individual identity. Dr. Heiss, a biologist and stress expert, shares insights into how evolutionary traits continue to influence modern behavior, particularly around concepts of masculinity and validation. The discussion explores how societal pressures and ingrained perceptions can lead individuals to wear a metaphorical armor, hiding their true selves in favor of societal acceptance. Through personal anecdotes and professional expertise, they examine the path to authenticity through understanding and confronting these deep-seated fears.

Key Lessons from the Episode:

  1. The Impact of Fear: Understanding how fear shapes behavior and decision-making can help individuals lead more authentic lives.
  2. Societal Expectations and Identity: The episode highlights how societal norms around masculinity and success contribute to stress and personal conflict.
  3. Authenticity in Connections: Authentic connections with oneself and others are crucial for personal happiness and fulfillment.
  4. Transformative Self-Awareness: Engaging in deep self-reflection and challenging internalized beliefs can lead to significant personal growth.
  5. Generational Influence: The discussion touches on how behaviors and values are passed down through generations and the potential for individuals to break these cycles by choosing authenticity over conformity.

Guest This Week:

Dr. Rebecca Heiss

Dr. Rebecca Heiss is dedicated to helping us transform our fears into fuel we can use. Her research has been designated “transformative” by the National Science Foundation and it is waking up audiences around the world.

Dr. Heiss confronts fears daily in her work (and her own life!). With a PhD in stress physiology she’s taken her research out of the lab and into the real world to solve practical problems with her T-minus 3 technique, allowing herself and countless others find their MORE by fearing (less).
She’s the author of the acclaimed book Instinct, facilitator of her popular Fear(less) masterclass, and has been honored to speak internationally on her work, including multiple TEDx talks.

Rebecca has found her calling in helping people transform fear, stress, and overwhelm into energy that propels them to their highest level of purpose, performance, and joy.

She is a full-time speaker, and lives in SC with her spoiled rotten dogs – Guinness & Murphy. Every day she tries to live her life motto: “spread happy.”

Show Transcript

Judd Shaw: [00:00:00] Welcome to Behind the Armor, where we deep dive into the heart of what matters. I’m your host, Judd Shaw, adventurer, storyteller, agent of change, and speaker on authenticity and human connection. Join me as we explore the complexities of human connection, featuring theorists, scientists, and speakers. Our mission is simple, to inspire you to reclaim your true self.

And create genuine connections with others. Join me as we lay down our armor and live authentically. Hello, you beautiful people, and thanks for tuning in. Today, we’re talking with Dr. Rebecca Heiss, a biologist and stress expert. Rebecca works with individuals and organizations to transform mindsets from fear to awe.

Rebecca asked people to challenge those voices in our heads and to make sure we’re all making the most of this thrilling life. Rebecca has found her calling in helping people transform fear and stress into energy that [00:01:00] propels them to their highest level of purpose, performance, and joy. Let’s uncover what’s behind the armor.

When we fear less, we lead more. And no one knows this better than Dr. Rebecca. Welcome to the show.

Rebecca Heiss: Ah, thank you so much, Jed. I think you give me too much credit already. But, uh, well, we’ll muddle our way through.

Judd Shaw: Well, you know, speaking of credit, you are a doctor and expert in the science of stress. You are an author of the book, Instinct.

You are an international keynote speaker. And most What I resonated with was your message about the culture of toxic masculinity and the fear of validation, the being desired, the worthiness [00:02:00] of that all. And you know, when I saw your TED talk in November, it was the first time that I even realized there was a name to this.

I didn’t understand any of this. And so, you know, that Ted talk is why are men power hungry and worthy starved? What is the background, Dr. Rebecca? How did she, how did you get into this?

Rebecca Heiss: Yeah. Wow. Thank you. First of all, thank you so much for that. That means more than you realize, you know, my, I see my job here as, as trying to have some impact and I don’t always get it right.

I’m muddling through with everybody else, but the background that gave me sort of this insight Was, um, I studied evolution and human behavior and, uh, it’s basically looking at our ancestors and saying, okay. These are the brains that evolve that we are still operating with today. Um, that are probably a little out of date for the [00:03:00] times that we live in because modern times of, we have exponential increase in technology and populations and we’re living in very strange conditions relative to how our brains develop.

And so thinking back to those conditions, well, what, what were men valued for? Men were valued for their ability to provide for resources, for protection. So men have developed this culture. I have to, I have to show how tough I am. I have to, you know, beat off competition and, and, and I’m worthy because of these resources that I can provide, whether that’s food or money.

Luxury watches that we now see men wearing all the time to show look look this is this is how much food I can Gather, you know, it’s it’s this strange adaptation of those behaviors from our evolutionary origins We valued men for the resources that they could provide food shelter protection money, honey [00:04:00] In modern society a man’s value is often the equivalent of his paycheck There’s plenty of science to show that a man who makes more money Well Women find him more attractive, and other men respect him more.

So, is it any wonder, in a society that is so digitally connected, with young men spending more and more time scrolling social media, and comparing themselves to the Elon Musks, the Bill Gates, the Mr. Beasts of the world, that they’re feeling a little worthless. And perhaps, that’s A bit hopeless. How can they stand out against these millionaires, these billionaires?

The answer is they, they can’t. And that frustration and anger I think comes offline and into the real world, falling onto the shoulders of women. And women were valued for a different set of behaviors. And so, these [00:05:00] evolutionary influences have impacted and, and actually been perpetuated in modern culture in ways that I don’t think we recognize.

So the, the background of that particular talk, I just watched the Barbie movie and I came away kind of like, I love the Barbie movie. You know, this felt, this felt really good and empowering for women, but there was something that just didn’t sit right with me. And it was, I looked at these Kens and all of the men in the, in the movie were just so flat, so emotionally empty, so void of all of the, the feminine power that they should have had.

And, um, And so that’s, that was the background for the movie, or for the, for the TED talk.

Judd Shaw: Doctor, that resonates so much with me, and I want to tell you a little about background so you can help me understand it. I grew up with a father who had a diamond embezzled Rolex, spinners on a Hummer, flashy, flashy, very powerful guy.

[00:06:00] He was in the boxing industry, and I would go to Vegas or Atlantic City, and I would see how people would treat him. And he was just oozing with power. And he was also the guy that if I fell, it was like, get up, stop crying, be a man. And what happened was, I realized after I saw your TED Talk, that I’ve been a victim of what you’re talking about.

I’m, I’m the guy who’s like, but I just want to wear beads and like, that’s not me. But I couldn’t be me. I thought I had to be that. And so, this man, trauma,

Rebecca Heiss: passed

Judd Shaw: to me, gave me decades of feeling like I had my diamond Rolex. I got a Ferrari. My dad had a Ferrari. [00:07:00] I went around and needed my face on every billboard for my personal injury law firm because that made me more lovable and more worthy.

And what happened was in 2000, Six or seven, there was this girl in my life who I left for another woman because the other woman had more money and I realized that’s why I had married her. We ended up divorced after 12 years and I realized it was never her fault, it was why I married her and why I left that other girl.

Like that took away so much of my life because the other girl had more money and that means if I married her, maybe I had that access to being more lovable.

Rebecca Heiss: That’s, that’s such a deep wound in so many of those. So many men carry that, Judd. I, [00:08:00] okay, wait, let me, let me back up a second, because first of all, you keep calling me doctor, which is very sweet.

Rebecca is great. We’re, I’m Rebecca. I’m Rebecca. That’s, that’s, you know, we’re talking about uncovering armor, right? We’re moving the armor. Titles, degrees. If you don’t think that I was trying to prove myself and show my worth, my value, like, love me, love me, love me, look, I’m smart, love me. We all have ways that we’re trying to prove ourselves.

And your story is so touching. It makes me tear up because, you know, I think deep down every single one of us is just crying, screaming inside like, Hey, somebody tell me that I am an, somebody tell me that just who I am, irregardless of my money, my titles, my watch, my car, my, I am lovable. I am lovable. And it’s all the facades that we put on to try to be that for, for one another.

Judd Shaw: I appreciate that. You know, it was, it’s, it’s interesting because even [00:09:00] when I was around a guy who may make less, but, you know, he’s got motorcycles and guns and, you know, I fell less.

Rebecca Heiss: Past your own baby.

Judd Shaw: So, I realize how important this is. To my son, but also to my daughters, I want my daughters to understand that if you want to go for the alpha male, that’s okay.

If that’s what you’re into, but if you go for this, the next Judd with the beads and the scarves and stuff, and that’s what you like, it doesn’t mean that guy is less of a man.

Rebecca Heiss: Louder, please. Say it louder, please. These labels that we put on, what does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a man? Well, I think, unfortunately, one of the biggest labels is you’re not allowed to have emotion.

If you are a man in American society, you may not have it. You can have it, but don’t ever show it. Don’t you [00:10:00] dare show it. That makes you less of a man. And what that does is it Bottles it, it pushes it down, and it makes us unhealthy. It makes us sick. Um, emotional connection and the ability to be exactly who you are and share that among, like, it is so powerful.

And so what you’re doing is you have generation upon generation, you mentioned your father, I’m sure his father was the same. And his father was the same generational trauma. There’s, there’s incredible research around generational trauma being passed along. Um, and until one individual, you John, in this case, look, I like beads.

You know, like I don’t, I don’t need to beat my chest and say, this is, this is what defines me as a man. Power can be money. Power can be emotional connection. Power can be so many different things, but we have to step outside of the traditional definition. To figure out what our power is and how we want to project it.

Judd Shaw: Right, [00:11:00] because what I was then rewarded with was my yacht, my flying on private jets, my fancy cars, my, you know, instead of That girl who originally loved me for being emotionally intelligent, crying, soft, a gentleman, and holding doors and standing up when she stands up from a table. That was important to me and that’s, that, that, that, That was ripped from me when I decided I had to be an attorney because I thought an attorney would make money.

Otherwise it probably would have been a teacher or stay at home dad. I think I would have been really good at that. Um,

Rebecca Heiss: this is, this is the question that I actually talked about in my Ted talk. And maybe this is what resonated with you is I, I asked, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of, a lot of very highly paid CEOs, typically men.

And I asked a room full [00:12:00] of these male CEOs. How many of you would love to be a safe home dad? And I was really surprised. A whole bunch of hands shot up. It didn’t equate for, I was like, what is going on? This doesn’t make sense. Why don’t we see more stay at home dads? And then I thought about the second question.

I was like, wait a second. If you’re out at the pub and you ask, you know, you’re asked, because this is what we, immediately do. We don’t ask what brings you joy or like, what are you finding that’s purposeful in your life? We ask, what do you do? What do you do? Especially for men, what do you do becomes how, how high is your status?

How much money do you make? And so I asked this group of CEOs, I said, how many of you would feel comfortable telling somebody, another man, I’m a stay at home and every single hand. And that is so deeply problematic. When you, what you desire to be, what you want to become, society or even one another, you won’t allow the other to be that.[00:13:00]

Instead of recognizing the power that has never been credited to these positions, instead, these men have to respond with one of the only few emotions we’ve allowed them to have. Shame, and shame suffered silently results in violence.

Judd Shaw: Rebecca, I, we do something in the, like the medieval theme, right? So like, at my law firm, the mascot is Sterling the Knight, a big knight.

I have my children’s picture book series, Sterling the Knight. The boy knight, probably my inner child. And, um, and, and, You know, no coincidence, this podcast is called Behind the Armor. And so what I wanted to do was take you back on that moment with me, if you would, going back to the medieval times when we were, you know, knights and, [00:14:00] and there was this old code of chivalry.

Yeah. And the old code of chivalry basically gave men an anchor, what to stand for in showing up. Fight for the downtrodden, the weak, the, you know, for the justice, the poor, the innocent, you know, uh, uh, be devoted to your lady, um, fight with honor. Um, you know, the other guy lays down a sword, you lay down your sword, like, there were these rules.

And those, and of course on the girl’s side it was, these men, these knights can provide protection, resources, food, you know, shelter. So over time, that changed, that code of chivalry became money and power. And so if I were to ask you, if I were to make the modern code of chivalry, the idea what a man today could stand for, [00:15:00] what would that look like?

Rebecca Heiss: I think modern chivalry. I hope modern chivalry is gender independent. Um, because the reality is whether you identify as a man or as a woman or as non gender binary, or it’s showing up as you are in kindness and in service to others. So, I mean, this is, it’s so, it’s so very basic when we think about it.

Like you look at any religious texts, every single one of them includes some clause of the golden rule, right? Treat others the way you want to be treated. If I lay down my sword, lay down your sword. If, uh, if I hold the door for you, hold the door for people, like, do, do what you can where you are. And then as you do better, do more.

Um, it is, it seems so very basic, but I think, I think the modern day code of chivalry is, um, is less about, about gender, less about protection of, you know, a weaker or less dominant sex and, [00:16:00] and more about protecting one another. You know, I think, I think women have. Um, traditionally because we’ve been coached to be, because we’ve been culturally aligned to be more open, more emotionally expressive.

And I think we owe it to our men to encourage that behavior from them. The way that we. Women have been cheerleaded to, um, to pursue more aggressive things and, and like, yeah, go, you can do that. Go play sports, go, go play football. Like let, let that testosterone ridden, traditionally masculine power come out, chase the money.

If that’s what feels good. We haven’t done the same thing for men. So, uh, to me, that code of chivalry is, is some recognition of be kind to one another and cheerlead all of ourselves into the space.

Judd Shaw: I love that because we all do have parts of energies, feminine and masculine energy. And the toxic masculinity part says, like brings out full on masculinity.

And after a while, [00:17:00] That masculinity, the all masculine, and not allowing my feminine energy to show up, led to my dark night. I mean, eventually, I crawled up in the corner of the garage, hysterically crying, and thinking about ending my life, with all the material things around me. How could I be so Isn’t that ironic?

Right? How could I be so unhealthy, surrounded by all these luxury cars, and in this big house, and all? Here I am. feeling broken, like a shell of a human. And it was because I didn’t foster the authentic part of me, which is also the feminine energy. You know, when my, my father, my biological father, he was deposed in my divorce case by my ex.

And in that, and in that he testified that he thought that I was gay. And my attorney, Asked him, is there something [00:18:00] wrong with that? And he answered, John, do you have kids? He says, yes, I have kids. He says, John, I hope you never have to receive that call.

Rebecca Heiss: Oh, oh, that’s heartbreaking.

Judd Shaw: And so it was I appreciate that because I know that you can, you feel that.

And for me, that’s the kind of stuff we’re talking about is, is taught, is connecting with all of your energy, females and males

Rebecca Heiss: being, I think especially, I’m sorry.

Judd Shaw: No, I was just, just finished being wholehearted. Right. To me, being whole. Being whole is being balanced with those energies

Rebecca Heiss: Exactly, and I feel like especially for men, especially for men.

Um right now we We’re beating up on you in ways. All right, it’s it’s It’s challenging to be a man right now. I see it. I see it because it’s, you know, [00:19:00] yes, we do need to be cheerleading women and minorities and people that people of color and all of these people that we have traditionally, you know, put aside and, and, um, and the balance of power hasn’t been fair.

And so it feels like this massive suck and this taking back of things and, you know, slices of the pie being ripped out of the hands of men. And it’s because you all have been fed lies, right? You’ve been fed this steady diet of the only thing that gives you worth is that Ferrari. The only thing that will make you happy is that 20 year old supermodel that you’re, that you can show off on your arm and pretend like this is a very healthy, happy relationship.

The only thing that is of value in you is what you can give to others. And that is like soul wrenching. And that’s, that’s why we find, you know, people like yourself curled up in the, in the dark corner of your, of your garage next to your 12 Ferraris going, why am I so [00:20:00] unhappy? I should be, there’s something broken with me and it’s not broken with you.

It’s not, it’s broken societally.

Judd Shaw: It was a disconnection with myself. What can we help me? What can we do to tell females how to help the problem? Because I can only talk from my perspective. I can only speak from the view that I have. that I’ve had my life. And that included going to, you know, these clubs with the red velvet rope and all, you know, big shot.

Cause I now, now I’m a big shot, right? I’m at the front table and everybody can see me. The guys with the 6, 000 bottle of vodka you could get for 30 bucks at the store. But, but then next to me. The velvet rope opens and that guy comes with all the 23 year old models that you just described and 60 year old guy and all.

And I’m like, what message are they sending me? Then I guess, and then they [00:21:00] come over and I’m like, yeah, you don’t really want, you don’t want to talk to me. You’re coming for the liquor. So how do we, how do we help? How do we, what message do we tell women to help us men?

Rebecca Heiss: That’s a good question. Holy smokes.

I think, I think there is. I think there are deep, deep wounds that every individual of every gender carries. And I think the first wound that we have to work through as women is this, this safety wound, because if, if I am not in fear, if I don’t feel like I need a protector, if I don’t feel like I need somebody to provide resources, because I know that I live in a safe and abundant world and I can make it on my own, then I’m not looking to you to go, okay, how do I manipulate him?

To get the money, the resources, the attention, the protection that I’m going to need in order to survive this world. So I think the, the [00:22:00] consistent safety of women is going to allow for the cheerleading of men, um, in a, in a different way. Um, yeah, it’s a, it’s a really good question, Jen. And I, I, I want to think on it more.

Um, because I, I do think men have stepped up into a space where. They have been able to begin to cheerlead women into their masculine power. And, and I do see that happening. Um, and I also feel like as women are breaking through these glass ceilings, men are like, Oh shit, what do we do? What, what do we do now?

Because there’s no way for me to prove myself to this woman who’s making the same amount of money as me. Now, what value am I? And so I think, I think maybe the lesson women need to be. Offering is, um, it’s just one of, I mean, it’s, it’s exactly what you just said of wholeness of seeing you beyond. Um, beyond the paycheck, you know, [00:23:00] beyond, uh, a traditional value, the same way that you hopefully men have been seeing women, and this is very heteronormative, but like men seeing women or anybody who’s attracted to women as more than just youth and beauty and a vessel of reproduction.

Um, so I think there is this. deep, deep work that, that both and all genders need to, need to do.

Judd Shaw: You know, it’s like mind blowing. I wish it was a simple answer. Well, I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what. Yeah. We’re going to do a part two on this. You and I will get into the studio at some time, and we’re going to go into a deeper version.

It’ll be, it’ll be the Judd and Rebecca deep dive version two of this. Yeah.

Rebecca Heiss: Let’s go. I’m so excited. I’m already, like, my wheels are spinning. LFG.

Judd Shaw: Let’s do it. Okay. Yeah. So, uh, so going to that, I love that by the way, and I, and I love I love the [00:24:00] idea of allowing women to reinforce those values because I was taught early on that my value was the provider.

And so what happened? My, you know, three, young kids at young ages. I’m what I’m at. I’m working. I’m building this law. You don’t have time for that. Well, that’s my value. I what? I’m sorry. I have an emotional value. I have like a different value. I didn’t know. So, you know, when when I missed out on all those years of my daughter’s life.

Because I was at the office, I thought I was doing what I was supposed to. Meantime

Rebecca Heiss: Ah, fulfilling the rules. Yeah.

Judd Shaw: Right. And meantime, the real energy of me, had I deep connected with that, would have been go home and play and teach and mentor and, and, and father and all those things that you love to, at your core.

Rebecca Heiss: [00:25:00] Ah, but what a scary thing to, A, do. To expose of yourself, because then the question becomes, if I, if I show this version of myself, Hey, well, the people who are around me, who love me still love me. And the second thing is societally like, we’re not set up for that. I don’t, I, I feel like you show up to a playground with your kid as a man.

And this is not something that, that we have done a good job of, right. It’s like, who’s that guy? It’s a safety thing. It’s an immediately like. What’s going on here? Is he a predator? Is this because we haven’t, again, offered in a loud space for men to show up authentically in caretaking roles, in, um, household duties in childcare.

And, and it’s, um,

Judd Shaw: it’s,

Rebecca Heiss: it’s a very scary and deeply seated fear that is real. So I want to offer you and all of the men out there that have had that, like, just offer yourself a moment of [00:26:00] forgiveness there. Because it’s not, um, it’s not just you and it’s really, really scary. So find that space to forgive that part of yourself and like, maybe start to push into the fear a little.

Um, because the more we do show up as ourselves, this is my, my whole line, right, the whole line of work that I do is the more we fear less. The more we open space for others to do the

Judd Shaw: same and

Rebecca Heiss: it’s um, I feel like the world becomes a better place. Yep.

Judd Shaw: I love that. And then what I did was I ultimately taught my daughter that the value is again money.

That’s like, that’s the cycle, right? Huge. Because I’m at the office thinking I’m doing my thing and then she thinks that this is what men do. And here we go.

Rebecca Heiss: Yeah. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yeah, the cycle continues. There’s a, there’s a study that is possibly my favorite study of all time. Um, and I’m a, I’m a nerd out with you for a second because I want to share it.

It’s really important. So these male mice were [00:27:00] exposed to the scent of cherry blossoms and then immediately shocked. So they learned very quickly. Cherry blossoms means I’m scared. I’m shaking. I’m really terrified. They have this classical condition. They then take those male mice and they breed them to female mice.

Okay. And they take the pups, the children, the offspring, and they expose them to cherry blossoms. And what happens? Those pups begin to shake in fear. Now remember, those pups have never experienced a shock. They’ve never experienced cherry blossoms. But that trauma has been passed along generationally, simply because the father had this exposure, this fear.

And there’s, there’s two really important things about this study. One, obviously generational trauma. Two, another outside mouse was brought in, So this group of pups and the group of pups taught the outside mouse to be afraid of cherry blossoms. So there’s cultural transmission of the spirit too. And then last and the most important thing about all of this, and I feel like you are, you are the shining example.

This, this knight that’s removed the armor, right? That says, [00:28:00] wait a second, these are cherry blossoms. Nothing bad is happening when I stop and I smell the cherry blossoms and that single mouse stopped the entire process, that entire cycle of generational trauma. It was no longer taught. It was no longer inherited.

So a single generation, a single person, um, has so much power. And I just, I love that. It feels like a, it’s like a story to me. Right. And it’s science. So this is, this is powerful stuff.

Judd Shaw: Wow. You know, what it reminds me of is that I was a toxic masculine victim and then perpetrated the toxic masculinity from there.

And when I. went from that subconscious to conscious and started to realize that I, I can, I can tie in and I, and I can slow down and I don’t have to fear the cherry blossom. To me, [00:29:00] the modern knight is the guy who’s willing to own his part in all of this and be a part of the solution.

Rebecca Heiss: That’s a lot of responsibility.

That’s a lot of responsibility to recognize. And I think you’re, you’re spot on. I think the first is in recognizing, yeah, listen, you’re a victim. You are, you are a victim and like a lot of people will stay in that space. And I think that’s, that’s where fear takes over. Like, yeah, I’m a victim. I’m a victim.

So I’m going to keep. Into my safe space where I know my role and it’s okay. I can power through this and I will show that I’m not a victim by pushing back even harder. Um, and I think that that recognizing that you’re a victim and then becoming the player, like that’s what you did. You took that. You’re like, wow, I’ve suffered.

Okay, how do I show up and lead? How do I transition this into post traumatic growth? This is another big [00:30:00] area of study that I have. We’ve all heard about post traumatic syndrome, right? Which, quite frankly, I think every single person on this planet right now has some kind of post traumatic stress disorder.

Um, whether that is minor tease like little tease the traumas every day that we’re experiencing or more serious and, and, and perpetuated cultural stereotypes that cause massive trauma because they conflict with who we are. Um, so we’ve heard about that we talk about PTSD. We don’t talk about is post traumatic growth.

Like, okay, I’m in that victim state. How do I grow up? Like there are more people with post traumatic growth and post traumatic stress disorder. What, how do we, how do we make that shift to going to going? Not only do I not have to fear these cherry blossoms, my God, cherry blossoms are beautiful and I can, I can, I can find new ways to incorporate them into my life.

It is, it is so powerful that to just. [00:31:00] Take that and turn the switch in the opposite direction. That’s, that’s, that’s what I’ll offer you.

Judd Shaw: It’s so powerful that I feel it as you’re saying it. Yeah. My nervous system, like my body tingled and got lighter. It was like, it was like a sense of the grace to myself.

The compassion was like, Hey, you know, yes, honor your honor that what you had to do in survivor mode, honor what warrior. Yeah. Like honor the fact that you’re showing up in a way for yourself that you couldn’t show up before. It’s okay.

Rebecca Heiss: I think you nailed it. This is what you just said is exactly like you too often people, um, People try to ignore it.

They try and push it aside. They’re like, that’s my past. I don’t think about it. It’s traumatizing. I don’t go there. And that actually creates more of a trauma. So going through it, going, yes, I battled, there was a war and I battled through it. [00:32:00] And now this shift happens. Now the victim becomes the victor, right?

It is this, let me shed my armor. Let me show you. Wow. I am so much freer now. And I think that’s your story. I think, you know, you are a story of post traumatic growth and that’s so powerful because you’re the mouse going, look at every, look at all, look guys, we can do this. Hey everybody, we can do this.

And look how much stronger and more powerful I actually am now. That I know my true power.

Judd Shaw: Rebecca, the version you see me is the version that’s grown over about four years since that moment before. You would never see me without a tie and a perfectly tailored Italian suit, right? But that was the armor.

Yeah. And now that I, now that I show up the way I show up, I feel like a man more than I ever have.

Rebecca Heiss: That’s, I feel like, look, my hair is a mess. I don’t have makeup on. Like, I’m, I’m, I’m a disheveled and for like a professional woman. Ooh, can we count [00:33:00] on that? Is that, is that okay? Yeah, dude, this is, you want to know me?

This is me. This is me. Um, in fact, sometimes I’ll, I’ll show up on, on podcasts with a hoodie. I probably would have today, except for I, I didn’t pack one in my suitcase. So, um, but the more we can show up exactly as ourselves, I think the more connected we can feel to one another. Like, I feel like I know you.

Yes. If you’d shown up in your, in your suit of armor, I’d have felt that and like, Ooh, I don’t know.

So how do you, how do you help people find that freedom? Like, what is your, talk to me about your framework. I don’t want to split the interview here, but like, I’m really curious to see, what was that? What was that moment? I

Judd Shaw: love that you’re asking too. It’s a conversation. Um, you know, so, Uh, what happened was, about a year after my dark night, I, I went and just tried [00:34:00] every therapy.

EDM, psychedelics, like I was doing anything and everything somebody say, stick your body in cold, I was submerging the, like, I went all in on anything I could learn. Uh, you know, and after about a year, I was feeling this like, incredible relief in my life. Like, wow, my life is better than it ever has, and by the way, I don’t even have my boat and the cars anymore.

All that stuff was sold in the divorce and I’m happier than ever. What is that? And then I realized. Wow. Authenticity is my superpower and then I thought, how can I re engineer my healing so that I can help other men, men who are those CEOs that you spoke to that said, maybe if there’s four or [00:35:00] five of you that would rather be that dad go to the park.

And what I thought about was. The con, the connection cure, a cure standing for conscious awareness, understanding, renewing and expanding. And the idea was, if we can first be consciously aware of how we may be masked up, of how we may be showing up behind armor, then we realize that there is a route to disconnection and loneliness.

And then if we can move to understanding, what are the reasons that we show up that way? Right, maybe trauma, childhood trauma, loss of loved one, uh, maybe society or caretakers told us we couldn’t show up that way. And so there’s, there’s some understanding and then once, once to be able to attack the problem, you need to be aware of the problem.

And so once you move, you got

Rebecca Heiss: to know it, you got to know

Judd Shaw: it. And [00:36:00] so once you move through all of that, understanding, you now can move to renewing connections first with yourself. I found that I loved yoga. I loved working on my children’s picture book, right? And so then you can start connecting with others by showing up that way consistently in the world you live, work, love, and play.

And finally, how can you expand those connections? How can you deepen the connections that you have and make more of these connections with others? around the world. And I’m wondering, and I appreciate you asking me about that framework. You know, you have the T three, um, right? Your framework. And in mine, it was really about the, the first step, which is first find out.

Who you, you, unique, best version of yourself is. And, and I found all these new things, and Rebecca was like meeting Judd for [00:37:00] two years. I’m like, hey Judd, hey Judd, wow. It was like a totally

Rebecca Heiss: incredible experience. Hey, welcome to the world, me.

Judd Shaw: Wow. I’m like, wearing this thing, I’m like, ah, I never realized I loved this so much.

It’s like my favorite thing in the world, this little plant. Be three beads and a string. I love it. I love it, too And I never knew I’d love it. And now I do and it was like, hey john. Well, hey, you know, and so connecting with yourself first Felt so important because it’s honoring your own self love. It’s honoring your self worth It’s realizing what you think makes you worthy.

Rebecca Heiss: It is such a hard Step because people end up so disconnected. I, I did this, um, and I’m happy to go into my, my framework and the stories that got me there, but, but even before I had actually committed to the T minus three thing, I remember taking a trip for myself and the whole idea was I, I packed a backpack, I bought a one way ticket to Puerto Rico and I, that’s it.

I [00:38:00] didn’t plan anything. I was planning on like hitchhiking and backpacking and figuring out and doing. Exactly what I wanted to do. And I remember landing and going, I should want to eat a salad. I should want to go for a hike. And I had no idea if I wanted to do that or if I felt like that’s what I should want to do.

And I remember I sat in that airport for like three hours going, Rebecca, what do you actually want to do? I was so out of touch with my body, my, my decisions. Like I just didn’t, it was just, this is, this is the automatic thing that you should do when you’re in a new place and a new, and I spent, um, I spent four days figuring out and doing exactly what it was I wanted to do, which turns out was like, I love sparkles.

I now I wear sparkles. I’m like, I’m like a little kid. You know, you’re supposed to grow out of that. Like [00:39:00] Rebecca, you were a full grown adult. Like you have access to resources. You can buy a dime. No, I want sparkles. I want like all the, like all the sparkles. And it’s, it’s so, it’s such juxtaposition to the picture that I’d painted of myself as like, well, you’re a professional, like you’re, you’re right.

You can’t tell this over, over, you know, this, this medium, but like, I’m a big girl, you know, I’m, I’m nearly six foot. So I’m like this intimidating presence. And I’m like, no sparkle. And I think that that part of your framework is so important, Jen, and something that people really skip over. So

Judd Shaw: what size, what size shoe are you?

Rebecca Heiss: 11, the proud 11. I’m

Judd Shaw: going to have to get you that. Like, you know, like with my girls, I love when they wore the sparkly shoes, like, I own

Rebecca Heiss: a whole collection of sparkly Converse. I’m like, why can’t, right? So like, tell your girls, tell your girls spot on, those are, those are your ruby slippers baby. Like you’re, you’ve got [00:40:00] the power.

Click those heels. Let’s go. You’ve always had that power. Wear the glitter. Love it. I love it. And Judd, glitter would look great on you too, I’m

Judd Shaw: just saying. You know what? I’m aware. Don’t

Rebecca Heiss: limit yourself.

Judd Shaw: I’m gonna get it. Don’t limit. I’m gonna get it.

Rebecca Heiss: Yeah.

Judd Shaw: And I’m gonna, I’m gonna send a photo to you and thank you for my sparkles.

Rebecca Heiss: I’m stoked. We’re gonna meet up in Central Park or something like and just, just walk around with our glitters on.

Judd Shaw: I love the imagery of that. The, you know, but it’s same time when my daughter would go with me, let’s say to a store and she would pick up on how they would be treating me. You want a bottle of water, or you want to sit on this couch, you want to pull out some shirt, you like this, you like this?

I needed to, she thought it was the coolest experience. This is amazing. But I wanted to, I had now the, the, the moment, the mindset to be able to [00:41:00] say, but don’t think that makes you any more or less important,

you know?

Rebecca Heiss: Yeah. And I, you know, thank, thank you for doing that. And thank you for that, for studying that example, because I think it’s human tendency, you know, to adapt hedonic adapt adaptation is really common. It’s, you know, the treadmill, you get to a certain point and you’re like, Oh my gosh, I’m so happy.

I’m so happy. And then that becomes the norm, right? Well, people always treat me like this and you stop seeing, and that is such a danger. Um, and it’s why, you know, we lose gratitude for all that we have shoot. Like, I, if I didn’t have the, the luxuries around me, I would feel it deeply, but every day I have to remind myself, um, power, that’s a luxury, Rebecca, you know, you, you sleep on a bed on any bed, not just like a really comfortable, nice sleep number, but whatever it is, like you, you have a bed, you have [00:42:00] a home.

There’s so much that we take for granted, um, and especially, you know, the way people treat us. I’m, I feel safe. And part of that is because I’m a six foot, you know, athletic woman. And I, I see my friends who are sometimes smaller or, you know, especially when I was younger and we’re going out places and they’re like, well, you come with me.

Yeah, dude. I, yeah. So that hedonic adaptation of, of whether it’s people treating you a certain way. Or treating you a certain way because of the resources or the physical attributes. It’s um, It’s it’s a it’s an addiction in some in some levels too.

Judd Shaw: It is and you know speaking of titles You reminded me how often particular men and men I say, you know, what do you do?

Oh, what do you do?

Rebecca Heiss: Oh, yeah.

Judd Shaw: Now i’m like i’m a [00:43:00] storyteller and adventure and agent of change What the heck is that? Right? That’s what I do. How

Rebecca Heiss: much money do you make doing that? Yeah You Right.

Judd Shaw: But.

Rebecca Heiss: Which is the next. Yeah.

Judd Shaw: But when you talk to another lawyer. What do you do? A lawyer. Oh, I’m a lawyer too.

Next question. What law school did you go to?

Rebecca Heiss: That’s right. Let’s, let’s get to the real. Yep. Exactly. Labels, labels, labels.

Judd Shaw: Right. And I always noticed the person who asked me that was the one who went to Yale and Stanford and Harvard and Columbia and all these schools, right? And I went to a little known school, Nova Southeastern.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Yep. And before, I, I would say Florida. Because that could be the intent of Florida State, it could be University of Florida. It is a lot, there’s Miami, there’s law schools. I go, I go, I went to Florida. To almost like leave it to, well, I went to Harvard. I figured you would tell me that.

Tell me more about that. Right? And now. [00:44:00] And now, what law school? I went to Harvard. I go, I went to the Harvard of the South. Nova Southeastern University. You know like, what ha That’s the power of what you’re talking about. Because that man, that man, who I meet in my future, can’t make me feel less. Because he went to a topper tier law school than I did.

It doesn’t matter. Good for you. Congratulations. I hope you had a beautiful experience.

Rebecca Heiss: Uh, right. In fact, so this was, this was maybe the most game changing moment for me in terms of like recognizing value and worth based on titles I, Really early on in my speaking career. I it’s a very long story. It’s a very funny one at some point.

I’ll tell you the whole story, but I ended up, um, on this Grand River, um, Grand Canyon River rafting trip. And this is not something I could have afforded. Like I, I got gifted this. It is, you know, [00:45:00] a 11 day trip down the Grand Canyon luxury style. And so the people who are all who are surrounding me are.

CEO of X, Y, and Z company and, uh, you know, fortune 500 executive in this. And, and the first, you know, 10 minutes of the trip, everybody’s introducing themselves and what they do. And I am starting to freak out because I’m like, I’ve been teaching high school students, like, like, What do I say? How do I, how do I show my work?

How do I, and I’m, you know, I’m past my prime, but so I’m not, I’m not beautiful anymore. So I’m not valued on a, on the feminine scale. So I’m like, okay, what am I going to say? What do I want to say? And it gets to the, the person before me. And he says, you know, all of these people have been really long winded about all the amazing accomplishments.

They went to Harvard business school. And this guy right before me says, hi, my name is, I’m just going to say, Sam, my name is Sam. And I cook chicken and[00:46:00]

later on, I, I looked him up and I’m like, I’m super relieved. First of all, I was like, Oh, for making this like bearable for me. And I look him up and he is the owner, operator, president, CEO. I don’t even remember what his actual name is, but he owned, you’ll know it. I will not say the company, he owns a very large chicken thing.

Um, and it was so. Wonderful for so many reasons. One, he made me feel comfortable, but two, immediately you looked at the faces of people around you, everyone was like, he has all the power now. And it was such a mind shift because here was everybody else trying to out nudge and out maneuver and say, well, this guy is that this guy is that.

And, and they’re like pulling punches and just, uh, just trying to, trying to be the, the alpha, the status [00:47:00] driven. And as soon as this guy was like, I don’t actually need to prove myself to you. It was almost like this weird shift of energy where everybody was like, We know he doesn’t even have to prove himself.

And that’s so backwards from, from everything we’re taught, right? It’s what you gotta do. You gotta, you gotta, you gotta prove you got a punch. You got up in the second. You’re like, Oh, I went to Florida, like whatever, make your assumptions, make your assumptions. It’s a different level of, of power where titles and.

Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t affect you. It doesn’t change who you are.

Judd Shaw: Yeah, that’s true. And, and also, you know, for the, the ladies listening that I, I, I don’t mind, I love when they’re like shivers.

Rebecca Heiss: Um, I, okay, please let me take a moment here and say, women, if you are not [00:48:00] holding the door for your man, if you are not opening the door for your man, at least as much as he is.

Or your partner, your woman, I don’t care. Uh, you’re missing out. This is, it’s so, it’s such a beautiful opportunity to share in how we love each other just by showing up, show up, be chivalrous. That’s not a code. I think that, that men get to hold. I don’t think

Judd Shaw: any more

Rebecca Heiss: than any woman should only be like the ones, a mother, men, mother, men, mother, women, father.

Like we we’ve got to be able to, to switch in and out of those roles. Um, because that’s how we show up as ourselves,

Judd Shaw: you know, to your point, the modern night is both men and women.

Tell me about T3.

Rebecca Heiss: Yeah. T3. So T3 is the technique that I developed when I realized that all of the research I was doing around stress and anxiety and fear, um, I was not [00:49:00] applying to my own life. So a phone call actually changed all of that as these things sometimes, you know, it, whether it’s your dark night, um, it was my version of that dark night.

Thanks. I, when I realized that my sister in law was, was dying and she’d been a sister to me for 20 years. So this was a, it was a, it was a heavy hit. It’s, you know, pulled the rug out. Um, and in these moments, I am a true believer that stress opens the opportunity to either become more authentically you, or to go deeper into the patterns of, of fear and safety.

And this was one of those moments where I was like, Oh, every stressful moment is an opportunity to build or betray ourselves. And I was betraying, betraying, betraying, betraying. And I looked at my life and I was like, damn, if that had been my diagnosis, I’d be really disappointed with the life that I’d led.

So, um, I quit my job, I sold my house, and I divorced my husband that month, um, because, because it wasn’t my authentic life. I’d [00:50:00] been living out, I’d been making decisions out of the air. And so, um, the T 3 technique was during that, that time of stress, how I came, Through that trauma through that fear and into a space of being able to move through it.

So it begins, um, with three minutes of screaming terror, which is, uh, which is what we’ve been talking about this whole time that so often we try to get past it. Instead of acknowledging the battle, um, three minutes of screaming terror is called that because of Robert Sapolsky. Robert Sapolsky is a famous stress physiologist who basically said your brain is built for three minutes of screaming terror across the savannah.

That’s it, right? It’s not built for the pings, the dings, the constant like influx of information. But what we do is because after three minutes of screaming terror, you, you’re usually dead, right? The tigers eat in you or you’ve outrun the tiger and there’s no longer a stressor. And what we do in modern society is we ignore the stress.[00:51:00]

We go and we, we do yoga or we do, and I love yoga, don’t get me wrong, or we meditate or we, but we have to go through the stress first. If we don’t, it’s going to be that pink elephant that is always sitting there and you’re like, don’t think about pink elephants, don’t think about pink elephants, don’t think about pink elephants.

And it’s just going to keep pervading your mind. So my recommendation, I set a three minute timer. I write everything down. That is the worst case scenario of everything that’s going to happen. Because it gets it out from my limbic system into my frontal cortex where I can actually process the stress that I’m having and get it onto the page.

So that’s step one, right? Going through the actual stress. Raymond has a screaming terror. Step two is everybody’s least favorite part because everybody’s like, you gotta have something better than that. It’s breath. It’s taking a breath. So, reframing. is the second part. First part’s recalibrating the brain for the stress response.

The second part is reframing. And we do that by just slowing [00:52:00] down, slowing down. And sometimes that’s two breaths. And I look back at that writing and I go, okay, is there a chance I can learn something? Even if this, even if all of this comes true, what’s the best thing that happens? How will I grow from this?

Right? It’s that little reframe where you can take an ordeal and say, maybe this could be an adventure, like maybe there’s something in here that even going through it may be painful, like writing a marathon at the end of it and going, wow, let’s do it again. You know, so that’s the reframe bit and it’s just the slow down and getting your, getting your nervous system in alignment again.

And the last piece is the most important one, I think. It’s getting curious. So curiosity and fear cannot coexist. There’s no brain mechanism for it, right? We, for 200, 000 plus years, nobody ever had a tiger charging them and [00:53:00] went, oh, I wonder how many stripes it’s got. It doesn’t happen. It doesn’t happen.

Right. So when we’re able to get curious and I encourage people to get curious about the stories that you’re telling about yourself, of the stories that culture is telling you. Because when we’re willing to get curious and we’re like, Oh, the top 10 leadership books of all time, top 100 leadership books of all time, all feature men who are wealthy wearing Rolexes, but they don’t talk about happiness interest.

Right. So like just noticing, getting curious, um, allows us to sort of move into the step into the next piece, which is, you know, all right, what small action can I take, what small action can I take in this fear? To move forward. Um, yeah, so that’s, that’s the T minus three technique in a very condensed version, but yeah, it’s gotten me places.

Judd Shaw: It’s incredible. And, uh, and it takes, it takes some [00:54:00] work and how, how often do you go through that?

Rebecca Heiss: Every day, multiple times a day. I like, for me, I, I created it because I realized what a useful tool it can be. Um, whether it’s a, it’s a big trauma, You know, I mentioned to you, I think, before we, we got on air, one of my best friends was diagnosed with stage four cancer and it’s, it’s like one of the, again, it’s a, it’s a moment of this really shakes your entire life and okay, how do we find post traumatic growth?

How are we going to move through this traumatic moment? I can use it in that moment and I can use it when, oh my gosh, my inbox is really overwhelming right now. This whole process takes in total four minutes. Five minutes tops. You give your brain that break, you go right back in. It’s so much stronger. Um, so yeah, I, I find myself using it.

A lot.

Judd Shaw: I love that. You know, I tell my team all the time that, [00:55:00] um, in particular at a law firm, you can’t avoid stress. Don’t, you know, don’t run from it. It’ll help you grow resilience, but stress is a response and it’s giving you information. It’s feeding you information. And then what information is that, right?

Rebecca Heiss: I care. This is, this is, this is the, Stress is a barometer for how much you care. I can’t tell you how often people come to me and they’re like, I want no stress in my life. And I’m like, you want to be dead? Like, that’s, that’s what you’re asking me for. That’s a dead person’s goal. To have stress means that you are doing something that you care about, that matters.

It gives you purpose. And one of my favorite, again, I’m going to nerd out on you for a second, but one of my favorite studies and, and my, my research has continued in this area is that 2013 looked at a large swath of Americans and asked people, We’ll make sure life meaningful and purposeful and valuable.

And the number one correlate was [00:56:00] stress, stress, stress gives our lives, meaning and purpose. And when I say that, you know, people are scratching their heads and I’ll ask you this, um, so your listeners can consider this and wrap their heads around it too. So think of a project or an accomplishment that you are most proud of in the middle of that goal, in the middle of that accomplishment, in the middle of doing that work.

What was your stress level on a scale of zero to a hundred and most people will say oh my gosh It was like 200. I was so wrapped up I was like out of my gourd crazy about this thing like it’s because you cared It’s because your your mind was performing you were stressed out and it was giving you purpose, right?

Judd Shaw: Wow, did that land? Wow, did that land? And, and, and, you know, it landed because it’s so relevant in what you and I are even talking about because a [00:57:00] week ago when I started exploring this toxic masculinity, not even realizing there was a name to it, doing a deep dive on you, getting prepared, speaking to a member of my team, Buzz, who we’re going back and forth about this whole toxic masculinity, and Everybody that I was talking to, I said, I, I need to do something with this modern night.

I want to develop this. Well, you know, this, they didn’t realize that the more stress I was getting over the week, now that you showed that to me, you mirrored it for me. I now realize that that stress was what ultimately like was really exploding and creativity and the concept and evolved over the weekend to this.

Rebecca Heiss: Oh, that’s so cool. That’s so cool. And I love that you had that experience.

Judd Shaw: And,

Rebecca Heiss: um, and I remind people often, you know, world records aren’t broken at practice. World wrote world records are [00:58:00] broken at the Olympics or at world trials, where like the pressure is the highest, where the stress is on. And so what you’re doing is you’re taking that stress and you’re letting it work for you rather than against you.

When you realize and engage with this, this means something to me. It helps you perform. So I think that’s, I think that’s an incredible example. Thank you so much for sharing.

Judd Shaw: Thank you. Because just last night, about 9 30 at night, I was on the phone and I was still talking this out. This, I had to figure this thing at the Bonner night and it was what, what, you know, the, it was just like pushback, but it was the moment when I realized why it was important.

It was the moment that when I heard it a week ago, and it was like a funny, but it was like funny in a way that this feels tingly, odd, and familiar, right? And then I realized like, wow, this is, this [00:59:00] is, This is what happened. This is what led to the dark night. And I cried last night, Rebecca. I was crying.

And it was finally the relief of the week of stress, figuring out why this mattered so much to me.

Rebecca Heiss: Oh, you just gave me chills like that. That is huge. That is huge. Jed, I see you like I, I, I don’t. I don’t want it to make it awkward, but like, I see you and you are, you are love. You are absolute love. And that is so beautiful to be in the presence of somebody who has done the work and like, come out the other side and like, Oh, look, it’s like, it’s, it’s like a Superman case.

It’s just like, Oh, this is who I am. Like I’ve been hiding this clock pen my whole life trying to. Trying to play this role, and maybe it’s, maybe it’s the reverse, I don’t know, but it’s a, it’s a superhuman experience to come into your [01:00:00] own like that. I’m, I’m just, without trying to sound condescending or patronizing, like, I’m really proud of you.

Like, I’m really proud of you. That’s, that’s a lot of work, so. Thank you. And thank you for sharing it so that others can

Judd Shaw: follow your footsteps. I appreciate you so much and I appreciate you saying that. It comes across genuine and so I hear it that way. And it feels very validating and very loved. You know, I’m going to nerd out with you because I, I, you like these, uh, experiments.

So have you ever heard of Dr. Bruce Alexander’s rat pack.

Rebecca Heiss: Bruce Alexander

Judd Shaw: and his rat pack.

Rebecca Heiss: No.

Judd Shaw: No, I

Rebecca Heiss: haven’t. All right.

Judd Shaw: So, you know, back in the day, there were the, there was this experiment where rats would be placed isolated in single cages with two water bottles. One would be water and one would be heroin laced water.

Rebecca Heiss: Yes. Right. And,

Judd Shaw: and all these rats ultimately [01:01:00] took the heroin overdose and died. And Bruce Alexander, a doctor said, a psychologist said, of course, they’re doing this. What else are they going to do? Right. And so he decided he was going to create this rat pack where he was going to throw in, you know, 20 rats of both genders and create this Barbie land of rats where there’s, you know, play balls and, you know, Great cheeses from all over and places for rat sex and rat activities and raising rat little babies and

Then they put in the water, both water bottles and what they notice is none of the rats went for the heroin laced water. And in fact, Dr. Alexander had proved that you could take an already heroin induced rat, throw him or her in the rat pack, and they will quickly assimilate. moving away from the heroin laced water for healthier rat activities.


Rebecca Heiss: Isn’t that incredible? How much hope does that give us, right? To go, whatever your entrenchment, whatever your trauma, whatever your, your heroin [01:02:00] of culture of shame, of guilt, of labels that, that you feel like you have to have, you surround yourself with the right people, the right community, the right messaging, whatever that is for you, the right things to have fun.

It’ll put what feels good. Follow, lean into that, lean into that. And the more we follow and trust ourselves and our instincts there, the less hurt when we need our life. Um, I think that’s, yeah. Yeah. And

Judd Shaw: you know,

Rebecca Heiss: it’s a great example.

Judd Shaw: And the, the live example of that was what I’ll share with you because you, and just you being you open vulnerability.

And as a side note, it reminds me of how vulnerability leads to vulnerability. That you and I are having this conversation, and honestly, I feel like, Rebecca, we’re sitting on a couch and we’ve known each other for 40 years. Seriously.

Rebecca Heiss: Same.

Judd Shaw: And I want to tell you, I want to [01:03:00] share with you that what many, most, everybody in my world had not known was that the last year, Before that dark night, with a wife and three healthy beautiful kids, with a yacht, crude yacht, outside my Key Largo beachfront property, multiple big homes.

That, every night, after I played lawyer, I would go find the sketchiest, dirtiest neighborhoods, and I would do meth all night. And I would sit around with strangers that I didn’t know. And it felt like home, and it felt like a sense of belonging, and that’s what drove me there. I couldn’t wait to do meth with these guys, sitting around, because although I didn’t know them, I felt that that was where I, where I was meant to be.

And, you know, and so, finally, after [01:04:00] that dark night, about, you know, Two years ago, I, I was speaking with my therapist and I asked her, Why don’t I, why haven’t I gone back to meth? Because in the end, it really did feel like home and it really did feel good. Mm hmm. And, but I have no desire. I didn’t go to N.

A. and I’m not, Putting against it, you find the help you need. My help was therapies and EMDR and things like this. And, but I wanted to understand, like, how did the switch just turn off? And she reminded me that that’s because you found your Rat Pack. That I found my friends who accept me for me. that I found people who loved me for me.

And when that came possible, I realized that I didn’t belong in that meth den. That’s not where I belonged. It’s just that I didn’t like me.

Rebecca Heiss: [01:05:00] Oh, oh, it’s so powerful. And that’s so like, whether you’re, whether it’s a meth den, whether it’s drowning yourself in alcohol and in, in work, like

Judd Shaw: everybody has

Rebecca Heiss: a drug that they use to numb themselves.

Either numb themselves or become themselves. Like alcohol is one of those things that a lot of people use because they are able to shed all of the layers of who they’re supposed to be. And they’re like, Oh, well, that’s just me when I’m drunk. No, that’s you. Right. That’s like, that’s, that’s the real you.

And maybe that was the freeing source that, you know, meth offered or whatever the thing is that you chase. When we find our communities, when we find that at home outside of that space, uh, that makes my heart ache. I’m so happy for you.

Judd Shaw: Thank you. And you know, and you’re right, because success was the addiction.

It was the power of money. And then success became my addiction. And when success stopped feeding that need, like I have every billboard now, like I’m still [01:06:00] not feeling it. The, the leather, the smell of that leather on the Ferrari steering wheel, it was That kind of wears off too. It was like, what’s next?

It was what next? Because I realized that success no longer did it. So then I went to the next coping mechanism. Anything and everything that could either numb the pain, avoid the pain, or, you know, quite frankly, make me feel as if I thought that that was my sense of worth. Match me where my, my sense of worth was.

So Judd went down, not high.

Rebecca Heiss: Yeah. What an incredible flip, what an incredible ability. And that’s, that’s. Man, what was, what was the story you told yourself in those moments, like when you’re, when you’re at your lowest point, what is the story you tell yourself to begin the healing, to begin the, like, like I wake up every day and I’m, I’m, listen, I’m not perfect.

I’m far from perfect, but I’m like, be a [01:07:00] good person. Like, I, I think I’m doing okay. If I died right now, this is a big realization for me. If I died right now, I’d be like, I don’t wanna die. I have lots of life to live. I’m excited about it. I’m like, you’re right. I’ve established this real beat in our beats.

It was so much work. What was the story that helped you get to that space of going, Maybe I can help others. Maybe I can, maybe I can be the model of who I am and that will be enough to inspire people. What was that for you?

Judd Shaw: I love the question. Thank you. For me, it was dialing back to the core values, my core values.

My business had a core values list. I never thought that I needed core values. And then establishing my own core values and tying into those things that really. drive Judd’s passion and purpose. And it wasn’t the law [01:08:00] firm. It was again, teaching and mentoring and helping. Like that was a sustainable joy for me.

I noticed that every while every materialistic thing I bought had a shelf life to it. When I would help others, the story was a lifetime for me. I still smile about some of these stories that I talk about in keynote speaking, you know, of, of expanding my connections and what that’s done for others. And that’s, that’s the drive.

And so, you know, I, I, it’s the daily affirmations. It’s the sense that I’m going to be okay. And it’s the idea that. Now I can dial in to what drives me. Like what makes Judd show up today.

Rebecca Heiss: So what is that joy? That’s, that’s my, that’s my, I promise I’ll stop asking questions. What is, what is your, what brings you [01:09:00] joy today?

What is bringing you joy?

Judd Shaw: Well, I hope you never stop asking questions because you ask great ones. But what brings me joy is having this conversation today. Because one, it makes, my work today is like, self healing. I get to heal along this journey when putting this creative art out in the universe. My hope is that others are getting this feeling that I have right now in our conversation, and it can resonate with someone else.

And that person could also The, the, the idea of that it can change a life is such joy in, for me.

Rebecca Heiss: I think you’re making an incredible impact, so yeah, your, your joy is definitely being spread and felt.

Judd Shaw: I appreciate that. And so is yours. And so, you know, Rebecca, I have a question for you. [01:10:00] You have helped so many people, um, through your speaking, uh, and your work, and I wanted to know what or how Rebecca.

authentically connects with herself?

Rebecca Heiss: What a great question. How do I authentically connect with myself? I, um,

I think there’s multiple ways. And I, I think it begins by,

I start each day, uh, checking in full body. So I, I think, especially in our culture, we get very disconnected from our bodies and, um, like you just, you’re supposed to eat at a certain time. You’re supposed to, Exercise, you’re supposed to have sex, [01:11:00] X number of days a week, you’re supposed to do this, there’s a lot of supposed tos.

And I wake up every morning and just say, Hey, Rebecca, how are you feeling? Are you hungry? No? Do you need breakfast? Then don’t eat breakfast. Are you thirsty? Would coffee be good for you? Like, just making, getting curious. I think, um, I’ve done a lot of, a lot of, uh, self work and, um, in parts therapy, uh, and so I ask different parts of myself, I check in like, Hey, Hey, how’s that achievement self doing today?

You feeling okay? You feeling okay? Are you safe? Are you safe? Like I, I actually have little conversations to myself. I probably sound a little. It’s a frantic, but I, I, I like will pop my brain sometime. Like, Hey, um, and just allow space for those different parts of myself to come up and, and acknowledge them.

And I do that a lot in running. So I, um, I like to run most days. [01:12:00] Uh, I don’t like it until I get out there and then I love it because it allows me some rhythm and pace that just, it’s just me on the road. I’m not using earbuds or anything like that. And I can just feel in my body how I’m. How I’m showing up.

Um, and I think that is just creating space for myself to show up all parts of myself to show up is so important. Um, I definitely, I still see a therapist. I think that’s really important. Um, not doesn’t work for everybody, but a therapist can be a friend, a therapist can be, you know, somebody who can point out to you.

Hey, Rebecca, do you notice that you’re doing this? Um, somebody who gives you some self awareness. I think that’s really important work. I also have chosen work that, that, Just like you allows me to continue the healing. I mean, I went into this because I’m like 16 year old me needed to hear this and 20 year old me needed to hear that 33 year old needed to hear this.

And I continued to try and tweak and do research and find things that will help me grow, but [01:13:00] I then get to share with others. And so. Um, yeah, I think even my work drives me in a way to continue to stay authentic to

Judd Shaw: myself. And wearing sparkly sneakers.

Rebecca Heiss: Um, a hundred percent. All the time. Does this feel good?

This feels good. All right, moving that direction. If it doesn’t, I won’t.

Judd Shaw: And you know, what you’re saying reminds me of, in a sense, how I learned to reparent myself. Which was, what are your needs, Judd? Like, when do you check in and say, how are you feeling? Like, yes, it was, it started as re parenting. I had to say like, hey Judd, you can’t go out and do meth all night.

You gotta get some sleep. You gotta brush your teeth in the morning. You know, like, it started that. And now it really is a daily check in. And I try to get mindful and conscious about what I’m feeling and what are my, what are my daily needs. You know, how can I help others if I’m not doing that for myself?

Rebecca Heiss: It’s so basic. And it’s so [01:14:00] missed just because it’s, it’s simple. Doesn’t make it easy. Um, it is like, I, I can’t tell you how lost I have been from myself. You know, like I said, when, when I took that trip to Puerto Rico, I’m like, I don’t, I don’t, I have no idea. I have no idea who I am, what I want, where I’m going.

And so that reparenting that you’re talking about, getting curious with yourself. I would encourage your listeners. Like, instead of doing positive affirmations, which I’m a big fan of, by the way, before you even say, Rebecca, you’re feeling great today, check in

Judd Shaw: with your child and go, Rebecca,

Rebecca Heiss: are you feeling great today?

Like, if not, allow that, allow space for that to come out and journal it or whatever will be helpful for you.

Judd Shaw: Yeah, that, that’s a great point. So it’s like before you’re, you, you’re convincing some of the affirmations are That’s right. Self supporting and self convincing. Yeah. Before you go there, honor yourself and before you tell yourself.

Okay. Ask if you’re, if you’re okay. [01:15:00]

Rebecca Heiss: Isn’t that wild? Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s the little things like that. And I do think, you know, the more I grow as an adult, I become, oh, I’m like, where are the adults? Like, oh my gosh, somebody needs to tell me to go to sleep right now. Like you said, you know, somebody needs to tell me to, so one of the, the lines that I often use is what would my oldest, not my oldest, sorry, my wisest, kindest self say to me right now?

What, what would my wisest. And usually she’s like, Hey, Rebecca, you’ve been working for eight. It’s a beautiful day. And I just, I tap into her and I’m like, yeah, thank you. Thank you. That’s it. Ask yourself, what was your oldest? I keep saying oldest. Maybe, maybe she needs to come out. Maybe your oldest. What’s your oldest?

Why is it? And actually maybe that’s a great visualization too. You’re 105 years old. What’s she going to tell you today right now?

Judd Shaw: Right. [01:16:00] Rebecca, this conversation was so deeply heartwarming, was so deeply healing, was so deeply impactful to my son, to my daughters, to me. And I hope it is to men and women out there who could show up and be a modern knight.

And we’re going to have to do that part B. And do a deeper dive to get underneath all of this and take it to the next level in whatever way because I think we both join in the appreciation of not only what we can give others, but what that will give ourselves.

Rebecca Heiss: Man, I am all in. I think we owe it to ourselves, and I’m showing up in a full glitter suit, so I expect the same.

Judd Shaw: I’m doing it. I am doing it.

Rebecca Heiss: Let’s go. Let’s

Judd Shaw: [01:17:00] go. Rebecca, thank you for your valuable time, your love. Your energy, uh, if I saw you, if you were in studio right now, I’d give you the biggest hug. And more importantly, I would want a hug and I can say that. So thank you for being on such a great conversation.

Rebecca Heiss: Thank you so much for being the model, role model that you are for so many people. And listen, this is the big virtual hug, and, and I hope you feel it. Um, and we’ll, we’ll see, we’ll see soon.

Judd Shaw: I want to extend my deepest gratitude to you. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please follow us on your favorite platform or share this episode with a friend.

You can also follow me on Instagram at Judge Shaw official. A special thank you to Personal Injury Law Firm, judge Shaw Injury Law. For their support in helping us bring this podcast to life. Remember friends, authenticity isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being real. [01:18:00] It’s about embracing our vulnerabilities, celebrating our strengths and owning our stories until next time.

Orange Star

Behind the Armor:
Judd Shaw

Hey, there. I’m Judd Shaw—a lifelong adventurer, storyteller, and emotional intelligence speaker. Growing up, I grappled with feelings of inadequacy, tirelessly driving me to prove my worth in every aspect of my life. As a successful attorney, I reached the top of my field, but success came at a cost. Pursuing perfection left me emotionally drained and disconnected from my true self. It took a global pandemic and the breakdown of my marriage to shake me awake.

Amid the chaos, I embarked on a profound journey inward, delving into mental health, trauma, and the power of authentic human connection. Through therapy and inner work, I learned to regulate my emotions and cultivate a deep sense of self-love. I’m on a mission to share my story and inspire others to embrace their authenticity.

Orange Star

Behind the Armor:
Judd Shaw

I’m Judd Shaw—an adventurer, storyteller, and EQ speaker. Raised in adversity, I internalized a belief that I wasn’t good enough—a belief that drove me to chase success at any cost. As a workaholic attorney, I climbed the ladder of achievement, but a deep sense of emptiness lay beneath the façade of success.

It took a series of personal setbacks, including the upheaval of COVID-19 and the dissolution of my marriage, to jolt me out of my complacency. In the wake of chaos, I embarked on a soul-searching journey, diving into my psyche’s depths to uncover authenticity’s true meaning. Through therapy and introspection, I learned to confront my inner demons and embrace my true self with open arms. Now, as a leading speaker on authenticity, an award-winning author of the children’s book series Sterling the Knight, and a podcast host, I’m dedicated to helping others break free from the limits of perfectionism and live life on their terms.

Orange Star

Behind the Armor:
Judd Shaw

Hi, I’m Judd Shaw—a speaker on human connection and authenticity. From a young age, I battled feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Determined to prove my worth, I threw myself into my career as an attorney, striving for success with unwavering determination.

As the accolades piled, I felt increasingly disconnected from my true self. The relentless pursuit of perfection took its toll, leaving me emotionally exhausted and yearning for something more. It took a global pandemic and the breakdown of my marriage to finally shake me out of my complacency and set me on a new path.

Through therapy and self-reflection, I began to peel back the layers of my persona, uncovering the power of authenticity in forging deep, meaningful connections. As a leading speaker on authenticity, an award-winning author of the children’s book series Sterling the Knight, and a podcast host, I’m on a mission to inspire others to embrace their true selves.


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