Today’s guest is Joan Sotkin of Property Place, who provides her wisdom and insight into the tricky topic of emotions. She brings up the interesting idea that emotions are habits formed in childhood, but which if not kept in check, can seriously affect the way your brain works as an adult.
Key Takeaways
02.52 – Joan Sotkin describes how her background led her to her current field of work.
05.50 – Such fundamental things as birth-order and number of siblings can have a huge impact on your psychology as an adult.
10.30 – It doesn’t matter how you process these emotions, but it is vital that you find a way that works for you.
17.10 – We think our lives are set in stone but they’re not. They’re always flexible and changeable.
22.30 – A big part of success is about sticking to what you believe and paying little attention to how others judge you.
27.26 – Find out more about Joan Sotkin and get access to some great resources at www.ProsperityPlace.com
Mentioned in this episode
Build Your Money Muscles by Joan Sotkin
www.ProsperityPlace.com

 

Tweetables
You need to focus on finding a deal that works for you when you’re ready to buy; don’t get wrapped up in one specific market.
We all create our life stories with our thoughts, beliefs and emotions.
Emotions, by their nature, want to be expressed, but they don’t define you. You can change your reactions and emotions.
When you go into an investment, you’re bringing you to the table.

Transcript
Introduction:
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Jason:
It’s my pleasure to welcome Joan Sotkin to the show. She is the founder of Prosperity Place, and she offers a holistic approach to business and financial success. I recently listened to one of her speeches, and I’ve got to tell you, I was fascinated. She has a very unique approach, and as the title would imply in the intro, a holistic approach to the subject, which I think is very, very fitting. She’s coming to us today from beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Joan, welcome, how are you?

Joan:
Fine, hi Jason, it’s great to be here with you.

Jason:
Yeah, it’s good to have you on. Tell us a little bit about your background. You’ve got long, deep experience with this topic, which I really like. There’s so many people who are kind of pretenders out there nowadays, I guess I’ll put it that way!

Joan:
Well, I had two millionaire brothers and I couldn’t rub two pennies together. I looked around one day and I thought ‘Why? I’m as smart as they are, I come from the same background, why are they making so much money and I’m always being rescued financially? I’m in really big trouble’, and that was my stimulus to get into figuring out the why. It’s about why we do what we do with our money. I started going to Debtors Anonymous and just doing a lot of research. I realized that we all create our life stories with our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. I really see the emotions as the creative force behind our life stories. Our emotions lead to behaviors that create our life stories.

I’ve been looking at this for many years – for over 30 years – and really diving deep into the whole emotional body. I came from a family where one of my father’s rules was ‘Sotkins don’t feel.’ We’re the only Sotkins in the country, and my father was a little nuts so he had all these rules for Sotkins, and one of them was ‘Sotkins don’t feel’. Once I discovered that you can talk about feelings and be okay, I really started looking into it.

Over the years I’ve developed a really deep understanding of how emotions affect our financial behaviors.

Jason:
You know, Joan, I think that is so appropriate because as much as we like to think we are these rational, logical, Mr Spock-type human beings – and I’m not saying all of like to think that, but a lot of us do, including yours truly – emotions really run our lives. Our emotions are the things that run us, and then we rationalize things with logic after the fact, if you will. Would you agree with that analysis?

Joan:
Yes. One of the problems is that we haven’t been taught how to effectively deal with emotions. Many of my clients are men, and I don’t expect them to have a feeling vocabulary. The old ‘women feel and men don’t’ analogy – of course they do, they just don’t know the words that go with it. When I work with people, I show them how to experience the kinesthetic experience of emotions in their body, and that’s all they have to know – where they feel it. Then I show them techniques that don’t require words where you can actually express those emotions.

I use a system called Recognize, Release and Replace. Once you recognize the emotion, they you can decide if you want to keep it or change it. Emotions can be changed. It’s not like they’re who you are; they’re just learned habits that start in early childhood.

Jason:
Absolutely. Okay, so let’s dive into this topic. Explain how it works, maybe give an example or two of how these emotions are driving us from our early childhood and then, of course, the $64,000 question is ‘What can we do about it?’

Joan:
And that, of course, is very important. That’s the work that I do, it’s about what to do about it. I think you have to be able to recognize it first. One of the repeating dramas in a person’s life can be something like disappointment. Lots of people have a disappointment habit. Can you understand that idea of a disappointment habit?

Jason:
Like what, like they crave disappointment because they want to be the victim or something?

Joan:
No matter how hard they try, they feel disappointed. They may make money on a deal, but they’re disappointed that it’s not enough.

Jason:
Okay.

Joan:
Or they expect someone to help them with something and it doesn’t happen, so they’re disappointed. Disappointment is one of the ongoing scenes in their life. Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s where people have emotional themes that go through their life.

Jason:
Yeah. Okay, so the disappointment theme is like where it’s never enough, it’s never good enough.

Joan:
Similar, but it’s actually a feeling of disappointment. In other words, something happens and there’s this contracted down feeling. ‘Oh, what’s the matter with me that I can’t make it happen; other people can and I can’t.’ That’s what I’m talking about. As a child, in one case, that person could have been a first-born. The first-born gets all the attention, they’re the child, and then a second one is born when they’re about 2 years old, when they’re just developing their sense of self. The two-year old, who doesn’t have much logic, says to itself ‘What’s the matter with me that they needed to get another one?’

Jason:
[Laughs] What does that mean for only children like yours truly?

Joan:
Well, yours can be ‘How come I don’t have one of those?’

Jason:
Yeah, well I’ve been asking myself that. I grew up, Joan, hearing people say ‘Oh, you must be spoiled, you’re an only child’ and I always thought I would really love to have some siblings. I got the blame for everything!

Joan:
Right, but the birth order and number of siblings absolutely makes a difference. I have a client who comes from a family of 11 children. Well, that’s a whole other set of issues that you have to deal with. The way that we learn to please our parents becomes a habit and it’s how we try to please other people. Let’s stay with the disappointment one. This kid goes ‘Okay, so why did they have to get another one?’ and the new baby is getting all the attention that the first one used to get. There’s a sense of ‘Oh, how come I can’t get that love and attention that I’m so used to? What’s happening that this is going on for me?’ That becomes a habit. A habit in the way you respond to life. You asked what you can do to change it. It’s developing new responses to familiar stimuli.

You’ve had interviews about brain science and how it works. It’s a matter of developing new neural pathways. Whatever you’re doing is just because you’ve developed certain neural pathways in your brain, and the idea is to develop new neural pathways so that when A happens, instead of having your normal B result, you have a C result which is much more productive.

Jason:
Okay. So what do we do, then? Do we just consciously decide, ‘Okay, we’re going to react differently to the stimuli than we did before’? Is that what creates the new pathways?

Joan:
Okay, so we have Recognize, Release and Replace. First you have the Recognize, where you have to recognize when you feel disappointment and realize that that’s not who you are, it’s not necessarily the truth of the situation, it’s what you’re feeling. If that feeling is something you’d like to shift, then you can use a number of techniques in order to let go. Emotions, by their nature, want to be expressed. John Bradshaw, who is one of the pioneers in this field..

Jason:
Oh yeah, I love John Bradshaw’s work.

Joan:
He calls the E-Motions – energy in motion. They want to be expressed, and they can be expressed in many ways. Emotions don’t happen in your head, they happen because neuropeptides, these biological beings in your system, attach themselves to receptors in your cells. When you don’t express the emotion, you have a build-up of these neuropeptides, which is why you keep expressing the same thing over and over again. The idea is to express the emotion so that you don’t have to keep creating the stories that allow you to express those feelings.

Jason:
Let me stop you there for just a moment, Joan. Are you saying that talking things through or maybe in a more extreme case, venting emotions, is really an important thing to do? We all know the sweep it under the rug, don’t keep it bottled up idea, but there’s kind of two schools of thought about what is the best way to process these emotions.

Joan:
Okay, so there are a couple of ways. First of all, when I say express the emotions, you need to express them for you. ‘I feel so …’, whatever the word is, and you don’t necessarily need the word. The most basic thing that I use with people, and especially with people who don’t have much of a feeling vocabulary, is to say ‘Where are you feeling it in your body?’, and there’s usually an awareness once you start looking inside – it’s either in your heart area or your abdomen. There may be a tension in the back of your neck or your shoulders, but there’s a contraction someplace. What I do is I have people put their hand over that area. If it’s all over then it’s just all over, and you don’t have to use your hand, and I have them make the sound of the feeling, not using words. Most people are a little reluctant to do this at first – the sound might come out like a little ‘Ooooh’ or something really tiny, but once you get into it, the sounds can be ‘Ughh’ or really rich and deep.
I had a session with someone a couple of weeks ago who just had so much anger inside of him. I was really surprised at how loud and how long he was able to make the sounds. Afterwards, he said to me ‘I have never felt this calm in my life’. Isn’t that amazing?

Jason:
Yeah.

Joan:
Now, I think the fact that someone was listening to the sound was important. Most of the feelings get bottled up because you’re expressing them around and around in your mind, but when they come out, particularly when someone hears you – so much dysfunction comes from no-one hearing what you were saying when you were a kid. They push it away, saying ‘I don’t want to listen’, and parents do not necessarily learn how to listen to the child’s feelings.

Just getting them out makes a really big difference. That’s the most basic form of expression that I teach. Others are where you write in a journal – ‘I felt so disappointed when…’, ‘I feel disappointed when…’ and you just get used to the idea of expressing or saying something about the feeling without getting any negative push-back. Part of the process of releasing emotions is allowing yourself to fully feel the feeling. This is a thing that really scares people, and yet when you allow yourself to get into the depth of the feeling, that’s when it dissipates.

There are a number of techniques that can be used to do that, one of which has got a number of different names – harmony integration, spiritual technology – and it was developed by this Fellow in Bulgaria. Part of the process takes you into memories of these difficult periods and works with you to allow you to fully feel the feeling, and then it only happens for a couple of seconds. Then you take a deep breath and you go to the next level. You keep taking the person through the levels until they’re finally in this really high space, and it’s as if they can see the situation from this entirely different point of view, and everything is just let go.

What’s amazing to me, and one of the reasons I went on the training for this is when it was done for me, I was amazed at how my life changed as a result of doing this. Not that I had to consciously make the changes, but it’s like when your energy changes, what you draw in changes. That’s what’s important.

Jason:
Okay, so explain what you draw in. When your energy changes, what you draw in changes. What do you mean by ‘draw in’?

Joan:
It’s like of all the billions of people on the planet, why are we talking to each other today? To me, that happens through some kind of attraction that goes beyond our understanding. We can only think in 3 dimensional concepts. This gets into what’s beyond us, you know? What is more than us?

You’ve probably noticed that you draw in the people who are attracted to your message, right?

Jason:
Yeah. Well, I do, but here’s the hard part about that. I might be splitting hairs here, admittedly, but I just want to throw it out there for being a little devil’s advocate. There’s a principle in economics, and I talk a lot about economics on many of my shows. It’s called ‘You can’t hear the dogs that don’t bark’. Of course, if I put out certain content on my show, or you do that on your show, people who are interested will be listening. Then you don’t know about who you didn’t hear from, right? I don’t know how much that relates, but I just wanted to make the point.

Joan:
To a certain extent. The ones that didn’t release, or didn’t show up, there wasn’t a necessary connection at that point for either of you. Once I tried to describe how life works. I’m just describing it from my point of view, because these things go beyond our understanding because there’s so much that goes on in other dimensions. One of my favorite references – did you ever read the book called Flatland?

Jason:
No.

Joan:
Okay, it was written in the late 1800s. My mother turned me onto this book, and it’s about a 2-dimensional reality where there are lines and points and squares and trapezoids, and only 2 dimensions. One day, a sphere comes into this 2-dimensional flatland, and of course, all the people saw were two intersecting points. The sphere starts explaining this Spaceland where it lives in 3 dimensions. The people were really offput by it and were a little scared of the whole concept, but gradually they came around and started asking questions about that other dimension. I think that’s where we are now. We’ve been kind of stuck in the 3-dimensions, and we’re beginning to see that there really are other dimensions, and if we open ourselves to them, it can enrich our life.

Jason:
Yeah, absolutely.

Joan:
I’ve been into this metaphysical stuff for a very long time, and part of it is because of my wanting to understand the nature of reality. I know that you know about quantum physics and the quantum thinkers. I find that all so fascinating, and realizing that our lives are far more flexible and changeable than we have been willing to believe. I’m impressed with your curiosity and your ability to look into all these different things and have them not threaten your reality. A lot of people are put off by this stuff because it’s like ‘If I go there, it’s threatening my concept of how life works’.

Jason:
Well, you know Joan, the world is flat and the sun revolves around the Earth, right? If you think about it, people were burned at the stake for those ideas.

Joan:
I know, I know. And I’ve always been kind of an early adopter and ahead of the curve and I’ve sure that you have too. You have some very definite ideas about Wall Street and how the financial world works.

Jason:
The modern version of organized crime, Wall Street.

Joan:
Yes! I love how you talk about that. And you have no fear in saying what you believe.

Jason:
I always like to say ‘if I wind up dead, just look for Merrill Lynch or someone from Wall Street. Someone from Goldman Sachs probably murdered me or something!’

Joan:
Right, so you have a different way of looking at things and that, to me, is what pioneers are. They see it differently and they’re not letting go of what they’re seeing. They have the courage to speak out, and so I’ve been doing this work for 30 years, and people have finally gone ‘Oh wow, I understand that now.’ It takes a while to get there. The idea is to help people understand that what’s going on with their money, which is something you deal with a lot, has as much to do with what’s going on inside of them as what’s going on outside of them. When you go into an investment, you’re bringing you to the table.

Jason:
Good point.

Joan:
And you have a power of creation. We’re co-creators with a universal force, whatever you want to call it. And you’re going to create based on your emotional needs and expectations.

Jason:
Even not on a metaphysical level, but I love how you said ‘Whenever you go into an investment, you bring you into the equation, you bring yourself into it.’ One of the things that’s definitely part of that, and nobody has to make any leaps in belief to understand, is that managing our emotions and our own psychology when things don’t go well – do we just run for the hills and sell at a fire-sale price, or do we hang on and ride out the storm and have a good experience, ultimately? It just depends. Managing out own psychology is very, very important.

There’s so much of this stuff, and I think just 10 years from now, or even 5 years from now, with all the incredible technology we have access to, whether it be the functional magnetic resonance imaging (FRMI), I think that’s just a huge area and there are so many other advances. We’re going to look back and think ‘Gosh, of course this is true’ 5-10 years from now, whereas now, you do have to make some leaps in thinking on this. We certainly see these inputs and these outputs so there’s got to be something there, but we just don’t quite understand it yet.

Things that seemed impossible or like science fiction 10-20 years ago, even, and that’s not that long ago – today we go ‘Of course, duh’.

Joan:
It’s like the Internet. Before 1995, I didn’t know there was an Internet. Once I got on the Internet, my life changed. I used to say to people ‘You’ve got to get on the Internet’ and they would say ‘Oh, I don’t need that’. It was 1995, there weren’t that many websites and I just started building websites because we had to get on the Internet. And then it was social media where I said ‘social media, you’ve got to get on social media’. People would say ‘Oh, I don’t need that’. Well, then you need it. The idea is to be able to do what you feel you have to do and not allow what other people think to get in your way. For you to be able to say what you do about Wall Street and stock investing, and you’re presenting an idea that is foreign to a lot of people. They know about real estate but they don’t know that it’s available to them.

You stick by your guns. Now, not everybody has that ability to say this is what I think and I’m going to stick with it. I think that you have to be able to develop the courage to not care what other people are thinking. In Co-Dependents Anonymous, one of the affirmations that I loved was ‘What you think of me is none of my business’. I think that’s so important.

The other thing that my clients love is the saying: ‘If one of us has to be uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be me.’

Jason:
Right.

Joan:
When we learn these things and we learn that it’s okay to be who we are, that can make a huge difference in our lives. When I decided it was okay to be Joanie Sotkin, which has not been an easy assignment in this lifetime..

Jason:
And it takes a long time to get there for most of us.

Joan:
Yes it does. And my goal – I’m in my Seventies and I want people to get there before I did. I say that I’m not old, I just got here early. It was like I was learning the ropes so I could teach it to other people, which is what I’m doing now. One of the things I’m teaching is that you just have to let yourself feel who you are. Your feelings are the notes you play. It’s as if your bonny mind is an instrument and your emotions are the notes you play. You can be playing in a minor key or you can decide to go into a major key where it sounds a little better, your choice.

Jason:
Very good stuff. Give out your website, Joan, and tell people where they can find out about you and your show.

Joan:
Well, the best thing is my site www.ProsperityPlace.com. I’ve got my book Build Your Money Muscles and the podcast, and there are lots of articles. You’ll find lots of information there. If you sign up for the freebies that are on the sidebar, then you also get my newsletter which comes out periodically with interesting articles. Every time I learn something new, I like to share it with people.

Jason:
Very good stuff. What closing thoughts do you have just to wrap this up for our listeners, Joan?

Joan:
Love yourself. Who you are is perfect, just the way you are. When you can really feel love, acceptance, acknowledgment and appreciation for yourself, your life is going to be beautiful.

Jason:
Very beautiful, good advice. Joan Sotkin, thank you so much for joining us.

Joan:
My pleasure.

Outro
This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, all rights reserved. For distribution or publication rights and media interviews, please visit www.HartmanMedia.com, or email [email protected]
Nothing on this show should be considered specific personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own, and the host is acting on behalf of Platinum Properties Investor Network Inc. exclusively.