S2/Ep1: Phyllis Ginsberg – From “Survival to Thrival”: Learn How to Create a Happy, Calm and Prosperous New Life

Phyllis Ginsberg is our guest today. She is an MA and MFT and author of Tired and Hungry No More and Brain Makeover. She is known as a survival to thrival expert.

She specializes in positive psychology, brain research, 30 years of MFT, and EFT tapping allow her clients and you to make lasting and profound changes in your life.

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/phyllisginsberg/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/phyllis.ginsberg/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GinsbergPhyllis

Linked In – https://www.linkedin.com/in/phyllisginsberg/

Author of Tired and Hungry No More – Not Your Ordinary Guide to Reclaiming Your Health & Happiness and Brain Makeover – A Weekly Guide to a Happier, Healthier & More Abundant Life. (Both books are available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.)


Reach out to podcast creators Dena and Colleen at support@strongerthanyouknow.com

She is an expert in survival thinking

She grew up with a mom in chronic pain – migraines and arthritis. As a child, she took on the responsible roll. She cooked, cleaned, and took care of the family at the age of 6.

She grew up in a tense household where she was supposed to be quiet and not ask questions.

At 37, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and within 10 months passed away.

Her father wasn’t around much growing up. He was a breadwinner, but was not emotionally or physically available.

The career she chose was for her own survival. What spurred her to go to therapy for the first time was after she had her first daughter and all her grief came to the surface.

Her grief showed up in waves because she shelved it for years. She felt naive growing up because she did not know what resources were out there. Once she began the self-help journey, it became a passion for her.

She became a marriage and family therapist and in the process she learned a lot about herself. She thought the Masters program would take care of all of her issues, she wanted the education for herself to be a better mom.

In 1999, she moved to the Bay Area with her husband and two daughters and opened her own private practice affiliated with the courts. Her specialty was dealing with high conflict divorce cases.

Her internship was 8 years of dealing with AIDs, rape, child abuse. She was in the trenches with the most hard issues. Transitioning to divorce was tame for her.

She was the only mental health professional that would go to court, and sometimes she would get sworn in to testify.

In 2005 she had an 8 month waiting list. She was very successful.

In the meantime, she began to lose herself. She was functioning on autopilot and being there for everyone else. She did not put her wants or needs first.

She feels her default is a “thinker” not a “feeler.” This makes her a different kind of therapist as she takes a different approach than most.

She began to feel stressed, and she wasn’t sleeping well. She was managing work and a family and it was too much for her. In hindsight, she knew she took on way too much. She thought she could do it all, but she couldn’t.

She was doing what she thought she was supposed to.

She decided to take a sabbatical. In the first 6 months, she felt the brunt of that load. It took her that long to get clients’ stories out of her head. She had trouble remembering simple things, and she needed her brain to rest.

She needed a break to calm her nervous system. She began going to Feldenkrais classes. These classes are a series of small movements. She thought of it as nap time. It was a mind-body connection that calmed the nervous system.

She talks about how she works a lot with fight-or-flight with clients. It may feel like not enough time or energy to get things done or feeling rushed. Physiologically, stress hormones release and compromise blood flow, digestion, and metabolism.

She says we have become “Human Doings” instead of “Human Beings.”

Phyllis got in touch with herself. She said it was the best thing that ever happened to her. She then wanted to share it with others. She entered a new chapter in her life.

She began doing EFT tapping and meditation and went back to her practice. She used them with high conflict divorce cases, especially with kids and stressed out adults.

Her first book, Brain Makeover, is all about what you can do. There are 52 weekly readings to apply to one’s life. To make a difference in your life, you MUST do something different, and that is what this book is about.

Humans run on autopilot, which is not helpful when we want to make changes in our life.

When one is trying to overcome something, the struggle is the issue. When you build new neural pathways, creating a direction allows the change to be easier.

She started her book with a blog. She blogged 5 days a week while she was on her sabbatical. Every Monday she would write about 2 paragraphs, short and sweet. She got a lot of satisfaction out of putting the short blog posts together. She did not get a tremendous following, which ended up being a good thing because she may not have been as motivated to write a book if her blog was successful.

This blog ended up inspiring her to write a book.

She forgot that when she was 27 she wanted to teach and write a book. Now, here she is today, following that dream.

Marketing was not daunting to her because her undergraduate degree is in business and marketing. She came out with Brain Makeover 5 years ago, and she just came out with a second edition personal development and self discovery. There is a new EFT tapping section and a daily activities section.

An example of a daily activity is thinking about the happiest moments of the day. All day long, one will be thinking about what made them happy that day. It is a shift from problem-focused mode to a happy-looking mode. It helps people tune in and be present.

She wants people to get to know themselves better. The difference between happiness of the day vs gratitude of the day is that it will allow someone to discover what truly speaks to them.

Phyllis has shifted to acknowledge her feelings more, but she says it all still starts with thought. It is about shifting away from a problem-focused survival mode thinking.

It takes decades to make a huge paradigm shift. She hopes we are at the beginning of humanity not needing to be in survival mode. There is nothing chasing us – emails from our bosses cause the same response that being chased by a lion would.

Her book was ready a year before she was to go public and learn public speaking. She had to go through training and do a lot of self-work to have a presence and not blend in. It was hard making this about herself when she has always been focused on other people. She has never been the center of everything, so this was a huge leap to put herself out there to go out speaking.

She almost quit speaker training twice, but she persevered. She had a lot of support and encouragement, and this allowed her to manage her fear. She knew she was onto something bigger than herself, and she felt as though she couldn’t give up. Once she created a chart she could speak from, that was a turning point for her and she did not have to hold her notes anymore.

Dena asks how to counteract negative thoughts. She said to say “STOP! Take two.” and choose a different thought. What would you say to your best friend? Say what you would say to a friend, to yourself.

Once she got opportunities, she sold over 1,000 books in the first year locally. She got a lot of positive reactions from her speeches.

EFT tapping counteracts the fight or flight response, and during her talks she calmed people in the audience

EFT tapping was pioneered by Roger Callahan in the late 1970s for psychologists, and then Gary Craig simplified it into the EFT tapping it is today. EFT stands for emotional freedom technique

It took decades to come to the mainstream, however, it is still very unknown around the world.

The next chapter after the book and public speaking was writing another book. Her turning point was after her father had a stroke.

She had a plethora of knowledge about how to eat well. She has been doing it for 40 years. She decided to combine her two passions: having a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Tired and Hungry No More was born. It is full of hundreds of recipes to choose from. It starts from getting your brain on board first; a lasting change cannot be made without the agreement of the brain.

The first step to stop resistance is to acknowledge the resistance. It is hard to wish these thoughts away when they are so strong.

“When you are in the fram you cannot see yourself in the picture.”

Guidance through the steps of awareness is important.

Can we reprogram our brains? Yes, definitely she says. It is said that tapping can rewire our brain.

She encourages that if you find something that resonates with you, do what it is within the first 24 hours of reading it. Your brain is still thinking about it; it is on the top of your mind. As time goes by, it leaves your head.

If you don’t use it, you lose it.

We have to do something different, or else you do not get results.

Originally her book was going to be geared towards children’s food health, but she knew she would be more effective to write the book for adults.

Healthy eating, healthy body, and sleep all factor into our overall health.

Her book has great success stories on Amazon reviews.

In her work, she has transformations every day. Give her 15 minutes, and she can shift a thought. She can help people learn how to shift their own thoughts.

She then conducts an exercise with Dena and Colleen.

EXERCISE: First, think of a situation you are worried about. What is your biggest fear? You may feel stressed or uncomfortable if this situation were to really happen. What if you could change your thoughts about your situation? Your thoughts have created what you are feeling now. She then introduces 12 questions. Think about what you can do differently and how you can think about it in a different way.

  1. What are some different outcomes?
  2. Who can assist you?
  3. What do you want and what do you not want?
  4. What else is possible?
  5. What other options do you have?
  6. Is there another way to do this?
  7. Is there an easier way to do this?
  8. Who can help you with this?
  9. If you had a new idea, I wonder what it would be.
  10. I wonder how this could get done easier
  11. How do you feel about your situation now?
  12. Did you get a new perspective? Do you feel calmer? More hopeful?

Open your eyes and jot down any thoughts you had.

She is writing a new book and this exercise will be in the new book.

Phyllis is able to email these questions as well as information about her books.

For local residents, people can attend Phyllis’ workshops. More details to follow.

Possibility Thinking means to learn how to think broadly. All or nothing ways of thinking is the default. What else is possible? This is one of the most powerful questions to ask.

Are you afraid to push yourself? Many people are afraid to leave their comfort zone, afraid of the unknown, and afraid of failing. Now what do you do?

Small wins lead to significant results.

Tapping is her primary modality because it connects the mind and the body. She believes talk therapy does not help create anything new, it does not rewire one’s brain.

Shifting someone’s thoughts and releasing stored emotions is priceless.

The number 1 way to work intuitively is to slow down. Tuning in can be done with deep breathing, going out in nature, and meditating. Being able to listen to your true self is very important for learning how to trust your intuition.

Where would you tap if you were in a meeting, for example? Under the arm could work. Taking a bathroom break could work for tapping.

The time for using tools isn’t when there is a fire. You want to be proficient in your tools. Find what works for you. Incorporate into a routine in your life. It could be tapping in the bathroom in the morning, or after a meal it could be deep breathing. Anything to anchor into will allow you to have a tool to rely on in times of stress.

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair going nowhere; you are focusing on the problem. Solution focus is thinking about possibilities.

Curiosity thinking can be thought of as an experiment. There are 5 questions of curiosity thinking.

  1. What is going to happen today?
  2. Who will I meet?
  3. What will I hear?
  4. What will I see?
  5. What will I read?

You never know where your next inspiration will come from.

She learned to meditate and eat healthy at age 19. She had a stressful adolescence. If meditating is not something that works for you, find something else. It can come through doing art. Anything that can take you out of thinking and focusing on problems.