Heidi - Creative Coach Discusses Misophonia and Advocacy

S1 E20 - 3/25/2020
Heidi Bennett, a coach for creative professionals, shared her journey with sound sensitivities, focusing on her adult experiences rather than her childhood. She discussed the significance of creating a pleasant environment in coffee houses she managed, linking her meticulousness to her misophonia. Bennett highlighted less common triggers, such as visual cues and certain frequencies, detailing how these sensitivities impact her daily life and relationships. Advocating for compassionate self-advocacy, she shared techniques for addressing noise disturbances in public spaces and emphasized mindfulness and recognizing personal suffering as coping strategies. Additionally, Bennett shared insights on destigmatizing sound sensitivities, encouraging personal experimentation to discover what aids in managing misophonia, and the importance of self-compassion and advocating for oneself.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misfonia podcast. This is episode 20. My name is Adeel Ahmad and I have Misfonia. This week I'm bringing conversation ahead with Heidi Bennett, a coach for creative professionals and a fellow podcaster, host of the Vibrant Visionaries podcast. Her links are in the show notes and we also mentioned them during the show. We obviously talk about her experiences. She has less childhood memories of miso, but lots of experience dealing with miso in her adult life and has some great insight on approaching people in restaurants and workplaces, as well as mindfulness techniques that she uses. I know most folks are still in quarantine, so I hope everyone is healthy first, and second, that they're in a good place misophonically, and that anyone else in the house is not driving them insane. Please share your quarantine miso stories on social if you have any. We're on Instagram and Facebook at Misophonia Podcast, and on Twitter at Misophonia Show. Well, here goes my conversation with Heidi. Heidi, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you.

Heidi [1:12]: Yeah, thanks so much for inviting me on and, you know, throwing the idea out there to just, you know, basically invite anybody with this affliction, so to speak, to join you on these conversations.

Adeel [1:28]: And I'm excited to have a fellow podcaster. You're the first more experienced podcaster than I am. So you want to, I guess, tell people, why don't we jump in and tell people what you do and where you're located?

Heidi [1:40]: Sure. So I'm presently in Oakland, California, and I'm a California girl. So I grew up in Southern California. I lived in the foothills of California, lived a long time in Sacramento, California, and been in Oakland, actually, in the East Bay for about 15 years or so.

Adeel [2:00]: Why don't you tell me about your current misophonia situation? What's bothering you currently these days? How's your life?

Heidi [2:10]: Yeah, it's interesting. It's been fascinating listening to your previous guests. I'm quite a bit older than they have been. I'm actually going to be 53 in February. I don't recall... childhood of sound traumas like a lot of people do I I recall a family of learning you know the way that you eat and act at the table it wasn't like extremely formal but it was you chew with your mouth closed you know there wasn't a lot of like hitting your your teeth on a fork things like that So I don't have trigger memories of childhood around the table issues. I tried today I was listening to your I think your third or fourth episode and was thinking about that kind of a thing and thought, oh, in junior high, I remember a friend. who had new braces, and I won't go into great detail, but she was eating an egg salad sandwich, and it's still fresh in my memory how absolutely repulsive that was.

Adeel [3:25]: Yeah, we can imagine.

Heidi [3:27]: Yeah, so... it was really and so i my a little bit of my background i'm a singer i'm not currently in any bands but i've performed live on stage recorded music with people been submersed in music and grew up listening to a lot of music my parents always had you know records playing and so i've always been around music and singing and my aunts are singers and then i also used to manage a lot of coffee houses. So like my 20s and 30s was a lot of coffee house management. And I was always the kind of person who wanted to be in control of the environment. And so what I'm thinking about that is like, I want to set a mood or a tone for people in a coffee house. You know, I want the music to be at just the right volume or, you know, to have clear paths for people to walk from one spot to the other. So, you know, that like design of how a room. works is really important to me and so now I'm sort of connecting the dots that that there is something about not just audio triggers but like visual triggers and I remember even the last coffee house I worked at which was about 15 years ago I remember my employer was putting um signage up so we had paper menus but she was putting um you know like she had had somebody go out and hand paint this beautiful menu signage that was going to go up inside the cafe and instead of it being where it would traditionally be in most places which would be behind the counter behind the employees up on the wall so that you know as you walk up to the counter you would see that menu and be able to you know talk to the employee and she had decided to put the menu to the right on a different wall which would be very difficult to turn your you know crane your head to the right and order you know and then turn your you know you'd have to like look and then sort of memorize so this isn't an audio thing but what i'm recognizing is i i think i do have some real sensitivities to like visual stuff and the audio stuff because when i walked in as a customer that day i wasn't working and they put the signs up I started crying because, and I didn't understand, you know, now I understand that I feel like I have more of an empathetic response to things that something in my brain, whether it feels rational or sounds rational to anybody else, doesn't really matter. You know, we're having our own experiences, our emotional responses. is that i just started crying because i didn't understand why somebody would be so illogical as to put that sign up to the right where it would be difficult for every single person to turn their head look at the menu and then turn back and so audio wise I'm lucky in that a lot of things that traditionally misophonia people do respond to in an emotional fashion don't seem to trigger me too much. I've worked in restaurants, I've worked in music, but I think I've had an extra sensitivity. I definitely have, like if I'm hearing somebody stirring a spoon in a mug, you know, that clink, that is extremely, not repulsive, but just distracting. And as an adult and a married woman now with my husband, I realized, like, he doesn't drive me nuts. But when we go out and do things, you know, like when you have a partner, they're kind of a mirror of your experiences or, you know, you're reflecting on, like, your choices that maybe you're used to doing, things that you've learned to kind of compensate or figure out on your own. Like when you're with a partner, you kind of go, oh. I can't be in this restaurant. And they're like, well, why? Like, because this person way across the room has decided that they think it's a great idea to play, you know, replay a football broadcast or something, or, you know, they're playing a video or their kid is playing a game. And it's like, it's certain frequencies, it's certain tinniness, it's certain, you know, and it's way across the room. And, and, I've become a professional coach for creatives and also taken training in compassion. So I've learned about compassion and like how to help yourself with mindfulness and compassion, deal with some of this stuff. And so what I've recognized and what I wanted to share with, you know, our listeners is like, I've noticed that, you know, yes, there are a lot of different ways we can advocate for ourself compassionately and like put in earbuds or, you know, do things that will, you know, headphones or whatever things or remove ourselves or whatever things to help minimize these responses. But there's another thing you can do, which is you can advocate. If it feels doable, you can advocate for yourself in the room. And sometimes it feels riskier or like a little more embarrassing, but it's okay to, you know, and I have gone over to someone's table and said, you know what, I really want to, you know, just sit and enjoy a meal with my friend here. And I can't because all I can hear is your voice. you know, your video that you're playing. So could you put on headphones or turn off the sound? And, you know, most of the time people say, oh, no problem. You know, I thought I had it turned down to the lowest volume. And I'll say, you know what, I just have really ridiculously, irritatingly good hearing. You know, and that's how I just kind of leave it at that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and most people are fine with it. I have had some people go, oh, hey, I'm just, you know, kind of give me pushback. And I'll say, you know what, it's a bummer because we're all here at this restaurant. And all I can hear is the thing you've decided is the most important thing to view and listen to. And other times I will just leave, you know. And some of my favorite restaurants, I've actually told the management, you know. But as far as places that I've worked, I've always been an advocate for creating that nice environment. So, you know, I'll say, hey, let's, when we're talking about policies, let's have, you know, listen to your headphones. Or if you get a phone call, take it outside. Turn your phones on mute. You know, those are the kind of things that... it's not just for misophonia folk, it's for anybody. But I realize now that I have that extra ear for these kinds of experiences.

Adeel [10:30]: Right. That's interesting. sound sensitivities in the workplace has become a big issue also in the past year people have gone laid off because of it people are wondering you know how should i approach my workplace about accommodations um so so yeah it's interesting how you yeah it's a great way to approach it with um someone at a restaurant um how did you how do you make that initial step like in a workplace like do you talk to the hr person your boss

Heidi [11:01]: co-workers try to get a meeting yeah it's interesting because like i said most i mean let's just say pretty much most places i worked were coffee houses and most of the sounds were not irritating to me to uh you know except for like i said that little spoon tink yeah but you know i'd hear it and just be like huh well that's sort of irritating let me concentrate on something else you know wouldn't it wouldn't drive me to madness um so mostly it wasn't an issue and also like i said without really knowing it there has always been this this through the history of places I've worked, I've always risen to the management position. And I've always been the person that was the setting the policies and setting the parameters. And when I ran coffee houses before the rampantness of smartphones, it was really just the music. And then maybe there'd be somebody being kind of loud and speaking, but the You know, if somebody's eating. The thing I remember about working at a place is being frustrated by and irritated with somebody's voice, which of course, you know, anything that I say here. Anybody in the world can have any voice they want and no shame to have any kind of voice you want, of course. This is just like how I was recognizing that I was irritated by this person as they were an adult woman and had a very breathy, what I would consider like a child voice. But also they were very indecisive. And so the combination of this sort of baby-ish voice with a very indecisive, personality was super irritating to me because I just think dude you come here every few days like we have the same stuff like just freaking figure it out but there was something in me that was very judgmental of that voice you know now as an adult and now like I said after really learning about compassion and just like a real quick description of it is compassion You know, it's a common word that we use, you know, we think of like in a positive light, you know, so you can be, you know, empathetic or, you know, kind to people. You want to be compassionate. But compassion is recognizing suffering. So when you're being compassionate to someone, you're thinking like, oh, I'm recognizing their suffering. You know, maybe they've lost a loved one or maybe they're not feeling well or they just had a breakup or they just, you know. somebody just bangs you know bangs into something you know something as simple as that is like oh ouch i bet that hurt you know like you we kind of naturally know what that feeling is like so it's usually easy for people to be empathetic or have compassion for others and recognize their suffering and and you know reach out to them or say i'm sorry you're feeling that way or i'm sorry you're going through this The thing I've noticed the most and what I work with a lot in my coaching clients is how recognizing our own suffering and then figuring out how to help ourselves. And so a lot of things that I've noticed coping-wise that have helped me is just going, oh, I'm suffering right now. Like, this is very uncomfortable. Now what do I do? You know, there's some choices I can make. What seems like a good solution here? And it could be a variety of things, but that's helped me. learn now, you know, and then for myself how to check in. So it's a lot of mindfulness, you know, it's, it's meditating in the morning, but it's also just the simple checking in, you know, going, Hmm, what do I need right now? You know, like before getting on the phone call with you, I was like, okay, so talking in the afternoon. It'd be good to have a little food beforehand, have a little coffee. That is going to be my recipe for success. And I have nothing scheduled after this, so I can be relaxed. This is checking in and helping you feel better about, you know, life and be, you know, not harried or hurried.

Adeel [15:30]: Yeah, and that's interesting. Yeah, and I can see how that checking in could just hopefully train your brain to, when it's starting to approach that fight or flight rage, that you have that tool there that you can kind of like check in on yourself and calm yourself down.

Heidi [15:50]: Yeah, and I think the other thing that's really nice about it, that I've, you know, a lot of people say, you know, talk about, oh, self-care, self-care, we need to take care of ourselves. And that's just sort of like a buzzy thing that a lot of people talk about. But the way that I sort of talk about self-care in coaching or on my podcast, which is called Vibrant Visionaries, and I talk with creative people about process and projects and just their life as creatives. But we also end up talking about burnout. and self-care a lot because a lot of us just do a lot of different creative things and a lot of us work for ourselves and we get burnt out just by the nature of just doing a lot of stuff. And especially if you're like neurodivergent, if you've got sensitivities to things, sometimes I even think of it as like a social anxiety. Sometimes for me too, it's even heightened. Like right now I'm premenstrual. So it's even more heightened. all of this like response to sounds or other things where Part of me wants to hide, part of me wants to, you know, just like respond, just like, ah, you know, to everything. It's just like, ugh, you know. But so self-care is like not just recognizing that you're suffering, but being okay with it and like being kind to yourself about it. Like, oh, instead of being like, why do I have this? Or why, you know, why me? Or feeling embarrassed about it, right? my husband has ADD and so you know I need to be sensitive to things for him and then he's learned about my you know, some of my sensitivities, especially, like, biting nails, it's hilarious, because even, like, slightly bites one fingernail while we're watching TV, he can feel me breathing differently, you know? Like, I don't even have to shoot him a look. He'll just go, oh, sorry, I just, you know. And with him, you know, there's... challenges around his neurodiversity and that's a thing I've noticed with my clients too is like we're working really hard we're working for ourselves we have you know creative whims that might keep us up until four in the morning or something like that so to take care of yourself part of it is checking in a part of it is saying you know what I think today is a nap day or you know I had a bunch of things I needed to do let me do the one thing that kind of has to get done today But I'm also just going to go into a room where I listen to a soothing podcast or soothing music or curl up in something very warm and soft and comfy and just take care of myself and not worry about getting so many things done. That's a thing that I think is super important for us because we're so used to hustle culture and saying yes to things or that being rewarded for, like, you know, kicking ass and taking names, that it can be counterintuitive to go, oh, actually, I just need downtime. But especially when we're sensitive to sound. And living here in Oakland and living in the area, like you described, like this right off of High Street.

Adeel [19:17]: Pretty industrial.

Heidi [19:19]: Oh, industrial.

Adeel [19:19]: You never know what you're going to hear.

Heidi [19:21]: Oh, my God.

Adeel [19:21]: Get the Bart overhead and everything, yeah.

Heidi [19:23]: Exactly. It can be... Right now, it's very quiet in my neighborhood, but it can be very loud. So some days I say I literally cannot leave the house, and that's the best thing I can do for myself.

Adeel [19:35]: Yeah. In your coaching and in your podcast, have you dealt with misophones, basically? Or has there been other issues that you've been helping people with? Has anyone happened to have misophonia?

Heidi [19:53]: Anybody that happened to have, mostly what I found is people that I coach will have something either, like I said, ADD is pretty common or some amount of diagnosed depression, things like that. but there is at least one person that i another artist who i talked with on the podcast and we didn't know that word when we were talking but we were both talking about he, him moving from San Francisco up into the foothills and saying, you know, part of the reason is, is because it's just so much quieter. And we both talked about the social anxiety of sometimes going to restaurants and having to turn around and leave or just being like enraged. And then it was, I think fairly soon after recording that, that my husband said, um, What's the name of that podcast? It's Something Hurts?

Adeel [20:55]: Yeah, 20,000 Hurts. Yeah, it keeps showing up on Google. Right, right, right.

Heidi [20:59]: So they have an episode about misophonia and he said, he said, you might want to listen to this. I think this is going to blow your mind. And he said, but, but forewarned, and I haven't listened to it since then, but he'll say, but he's also going to almost going to say spoiler alert, but spoiler alert, but no trigger warning there. They do make some sounds on that episode that are, can be triggering. But knowing that I listened to it, And I said, oh, yeah, this is definitely me. So this is just within this last year. This was in 2019, I think.

Adeel [21:37]: Yeah, I met Josh. I think Josh Furtis was on there. He was at the convention in Denver recently. Yeah, I heard about that one. But yeah, they do make sounds, which, you know, that's kind of what you end up getting whenever Miss 20 hits the media is like...

Heidi [21:55]: yeah you're lucky if you don't get somebody it's very one-on-one sounds in there yeah and in fact i mean that's that's been a whole thing that i think would be an interesting database to put together is like podcasts that are generally misophonia friendly versus ones that definitely aren't because I also, yeah, like my foray into listening to podcasts were pretty basic conversations, you know, like you and I are having today, but with between comedians, just, you know, yucking it up and talking and talking about their life, their projects and everything, which, you know, really is what inspired me to do my podcast. there wasn't all the sound design and like, you know, somebody I've noticed that like I get triggered by when somebody starts talking and they haven't been introduced, you know? So there's this, that NPR man on the street style, you know, it's like somebody comes in and says today we're going to talk about blah, blah, blah. And then somebody starts talking blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then You go, that's Jeannie Smith. Don't tell me afterwards. Tell me beforehand. Give me context for who I'm listening to. And that, I've noticed, bugs the crap out of me to the point where I can't listen to them because I don't know what's going on. And like I said with my husband, he and I, you know, would like say it's the evening and we're hanging out. Used to be, and he doesn't do this anymore, is that he'd turn on YouTube and just like start playing something. And I go, wait, stop. And he'd go, what? I go, I don't know what we're watching. Like, I don't know what this, is it a trailer? Is it? something somebody told you was funny. I need to know what this is before we start watching it. And I don't know if that's misophonia or not, but it's definitely something I've realized is important. And what I've noticed with my family, which I know that's a common subject you talk about, is once I figured it out, I did send out an email to everybody. And my family's always very supportive of things. a lot of creative and kind and nice people. And so it just kind of, you know, it kind of set the tone for me saying, you know, so as a family gathering goes on, if I decide to go in the other room and like lie down or put my headphones on, that's why. And everybody's like, oh, cool, you know. And my brother, he's definitely realized that he has misophonia too. And so we've realized that again. I don't recall any gnarly things in childhood, but we've played music together and we've collaborated creatively over the years. But I would notice like a few years ago, I remember having... A phone being at his house and talking on my phone and kind of like walking around, you know, different rooms and talking on my phone and he walked in and was like giving me the signal of like I was like, oh, sorry. But over time, he's recognized like, oh, yeah. If the fan is turned up too loud for me, that's something. If I walk into a room and the fan is at a weird frequency, that's all I can hear. like i said the nail biting oh nail biting is one of the big triggers for me but my brother and then i mean i'm not here to diagnose anybody but my nephew he's five and he does commonly will say that's too loud you know and he'll just say it which is great you know kids are so like they're just right in the room no filter the no filter and he's just like that's too loud and even when We were talking about taking the ferry, them visiting from Sacramento and taking the ferry over from the East Bay over to San Francisco, which can be a really fun day. Go over there. take the ferry and he said that sounds like something loud and i said yeah it can be with the you know like the foghorn or whatever you know yeah and he goes i don't want to do that that sounds loud that sounds scary i was like oh that's great so you know whether he has misophonia or not he's definitely very much uh comfortable advocating for his comfort you know which i i think is great

Adeel [26:30]: And what do his parents say? They're cool. They're accommodating.

Heidi [26:34]: Oh, yeah, totally. Like we said, they did actually come down that day, the day that we had scheduled to do it. But we just hung out and, you know, went to lunch.

Adeel [26:45]: So you told your you just found out what the name was in the last year. Is that when your brother found out, too, when you sent that email?

Heidi [26:53]: Um, I don't remember. I just, I just know that like just recently we were talking, we were at an event and walking around and he said, I got to leave this area. It's too loud. And I said, yeah, you know, I definitely, now that I know what misophonia is, I definitely know like, oh yeah, this, I just need to move out of this because this is too loud. He goes, yeah, I definitely have that too. I definitely have.

Adeel [27:17]: sound sensitivities and it really can be you know irritating like yeah that makes sense to me are his triggers kind of similar to yours or is it just kind of like uh um that you know loud loud sounds or sensitivity to we haven't had like a full conversation so i don't have his i don't have a list of his Yeah, no, it's always been fast because as you've heard the other podcasts, there's always like, well, no, not there's always, but there have been, I've been surprised at how many cases of like siblings, people with misophonia have siblings that have misophonia too. So I was just curious if there's another data point here, but it sounds like that's an emerging story. Yes, yes. So, and okay, so what do you, so other than, so yeah, you do, that's very interesting. A lot of people, yeah, most people I talk to are doing the earbuds and, you know, leaving a room, which, you know, I'm sure you do a lot of that as well, but you have this mindfulness practice, which I think, yeah, I mean, more people should be doing that in general, but I can definitely see how it works. see how it would help here you haven't gone to like a um you haven't tried to get it like you haven't gone to an audiologist or uh or anybody to try to get it i don't know um looked at um or sorry listened or diagnosed maybe from a medical perspective or um no i mean what's anybody gonna tell me exactly they already know right i mean

Heidi [28:51]: I had some ear pain a long while back when I was a singing instructor. And luckily that has dissipated.

Adeel [29:01]: Yeah. So how was being a singing instructor? And, you know, obviously having been annoyed by certain voices, I was wondering, did any of your students kind of set you off?

Heidi [29:17]: Luckily, no. I think, you know, whatever my strain is or whatever. The thing that gets me with voices mostly or mouths in general is the mouth smacking. That is the thing. And so if I'm listening to a podcast where there's moisty mouth sounds, mouth smacking, and I've noticed, in fact, I was just watching a YouTube video yesterday of a someone on um bon appetit they have a a test kitchen okay have you yeah the kqd the where they review the restaurants oh no that's right this is bon appetit there so the magazine bon appetit they have a test kitchen of course and they've made these they've um kind of blown up recently as having these really fun youtube uh, channel and there's no, I mean, I would say no, 90%, 99%. I have not heard anything that's triggered me. Um, there's nobody like smacking their lips that I've noticed. Um, but I, so also that, you know, there's editing involved obviously in these. So whoever is editing this stuff does a great job with the sound editing. But, um, One of the guys that one of the Test Kitchen hosts slash, you know, he's an editor and a food recipe tester. He just said, I have that thing where I cannot stand hearing people eating. And a little thing popped up, a little visual, you know, popped up and said, he has misophonia. You know, I was like, oh, cool. And there's some podcasters I've listened to, like on, do you ever listen to How Did This Get Made? yeah yeah i've heard it for some of those yeah okay so i would say two out of the three of them have it But the funny thing is the third person, he, I have heard him on other podcasts eating on Mike and he has been given so much ration of crap for doing it. And he does not care at all. And, you know, I think he's just like, I'm a comedian. This is what I'm doing. I don't care. Don't be so sensitive. But the other two people, they haven't said the words misophonia, but they've both had like.

Adeel [31:38]: Clearly have it.

Heidi [31:39]: The way you just hear people and you kind of go, oh, yeah, that's a thing. So what was your question?

Adeel [31:47]: Oh, you're just right. We're going on tangent. I think it was, I think I was asking about singers, you know, your students.

Heidi [31:57]: Yeah, so singers, I don't... And then we started talking about voices, and then you started... Yeah, there is, like, I do have a thing with music, but whether it's misophony or not, you know, that's the thing, is like, once you start looking down, you know, going down the rabbit hole, could be anything, but like... I am a music lover and I love a lot of music, but it has to have a certain sense of rhythm that makes sense to my body. And the way I can say is like, it makes sense rhythmically to me. It makes sense in that I could move to it. I don't have to be able to dance to it, but like your body, just like right now, I'm just sort of like swaying back and forth a little bit. My shoulders are moving. That kind of music, like rhythm and blues and soul and dance music, that to me is like kind of at a regular kind of average dance swing your hips motion makes sense to me but my husband like I said he has ADD he has like certain music he likes to listen to that will get him in the zone while he's working or driving and that music is like industrial or like electronic and stuff like that he loves a variety of music too but that kind of music if it's a certain amount of repetitiveness and a certain amount of speed that to me would make me like hyperventilate like i cannot listen to it and he knows that you know we've been together for like we're getting up on to 15 years now He knows that, you know, so he doesn't even listen or he'll kind of start sensing if he's got his music playing on random and he's driving and I'm listening, he'll be like, this sounds like a no-go for you. And I'm like, uh-huh, you know, and he'll just switch to the next song. So more of that than listening to somebody sing.

Adeel [33:50]: I'm surprised by how many partners have been, well, maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but the support that people are getting from people around them, that's been, I was expecting to hear more interviews turn into big, you know, rants where everyone hates me, but because a lot of the ranting that you kind of see online, but it's great that... People who seem to be willing to come on the podcast and talk about it are very well, great communicators, good at advocating for themselves, in tune with themselves. And I think this is a good inspiration for people who are listening who just might be just finding out about it, maybe young, maybe confused. So this is great to hear.

Heidi [34:29]: Yeah, and that's a huge part of... working with my clients is is that i talk with them about you know whoever you are is okay and whatever you think and feel is fine and it's normal for you however you process the world is normal for you and that's fine and however you're going to you know as as as a coach for people i'm helping people figure out how to navigate navigate life and how to make life work for them. And it's not so much like finding the perfect productivity system. It's usually figuring out just how your, the rhythm of your way of being in the world is and not thinking it has to be like anybody else's. And so I think that's the same thing. Also, I think there's been such a huge movement to make people, to destigmatize mental health and mental illness and all that. And also because of like, because of the internet, you know, as many things can be negative about it. There's so many positive things. And I think part of it is something like a podcast like yours here. You're getting to hear other people's experiences and start to go, oh, I understand. I don't, it doesn't mean you have to. And that's the thing. So with empathy. And with compassion, you don't have to like go, oh, I get it. I'm the same. You could just say, oh, I understand you more because I'm hearing your story. And so I think people out there just like sharing more intimacy and more about their story and more saying like, this is who I am. And that's just it. It helps everybody else feel a little bit better about being themselves, whatever that means. And that doesn't mean we can't make improvements or learn processes or ways of navigating in the world that help us feel better or happier or more comfortable or even for other people to feel better. and comfortable and it just it's it's being curious and open and talking it out and sort of like you said advocating for yourself and then and being patient with other people as they kind of figure out your proclivities as well you know and just like that's the thing with with anything in life is like just because you tell everybody once that this is what's going on with you doesn't mean that we're all going to magically know how to be around you but you know over time we can gain these uh awarenesses about each other and be a little more sensitive to each other and stuff and i think that's what's great about learning about all sorts of people through watching different youtube channels or movies or tv or you know more just celebrities or up and comers or anybody in between that are sharing their lives is like it starts to um show us all how how a little bit different we all are from each other and then some of the things that we have in common and both of those things can be beneficial to all of us

Adeel [37:58]: Yeah, I like that line you said earlier, this is who I am and that's just it. I think that should be the quote for this, one of the many quotes from this podcast. But is there any, as we kind of like wrap up, is there, you said a lot, is there any other little good, I don't know, like epiphanies or tips you'd like to kind of share with people who are, you know, hungry to cope? Yeah. Maybe that kind of mental aspect.

Heidi [38:22]: Okay, so what are the things that have really helped me? So one of them, I think, is like be a scientist. Be, you know, conduct your own experiments and sort of learn what works for you best. And it just, it might take a while to figure that out as far as like headphones or listening to certain things or, you know, it's going to be individual, right, for you. So just always be curious and figure out what works for you. And then the second thing is you know, mindfulness, the very simplest, it doesn't have to be like a whole 10 point meditation program or anything. But to me, you know, just being mindful means without judgment, sitting with yourself and checking in and saying, what do I need in this moment? Okay. So saying, what do I need in this moment? There's no like, What do I need to get my crap together? You know, what do I need to get out of this? You know, like just without judgment means just like ask with no preconceived notion of what the answer is going to be. So like, what do I need in this moment? And just seeing what happens, you know, seeing what answer comes up, it might surprise you. But then... Listen to that and try to give yourself that. And sometimes that means like asking for some help or asking for somebody to, you know, like you might need to say, I really need to have a conversation with you about my needs. And I feel a little uncomfortable about it. It feels vulnerable. But if you could just sit and listen. I need to talk with you about my isophonia or about anything, right? This mindfulness thing is for your whole life, you know, for everything.

Adeel [40:06]: Yeah, right, right, right.

Heidi [40:09]: Yeah, so I think that's the main thing is like... Be kind to yourself. Advocate for yourself. And then, yeah, sometimes the best answer is to just leave the area if it feels unsafe. It's totally okay to just be like, this is not working for me.

Adeel [40:26]: Yeah, just do a forest gump and get out of here.

Heidi [40:29]: Totally just gump it.

Adeel [40:32]: Well, on the note of gumping it, it's been great to have you. Great talking to you, Heidi. Have you on the podcast. I don't put this in show notes, but do you want to tell people how they can get in contact with you?

Heidi [40:47]: Absolutely. So yeah, my podcast, again, is Vibrant Visionaries, conversations with clever, compassionate, multi-creative professionals about their projects, process, and lessons learned along the way. So it's me talking with filmmakers and cartoonists and musicians and comedians and just a whole variety of creative people. So that's at vibrantvisionaries.com. I do believe it's very misophonia friendly too. I meticulously cut out mouth smacks and I edit it myself.

Adeel [41:25]: Yes, I've heard some of it and I can attest to that. Cool, cool. It's totally fine to listen to.

Heidi [41:32]: Yeah, so vibrantvisionaries.com. And then if you're curious about the coaching or the mindfulness and all that stuff, that's at HeidiBennett.com. So it's H-E-I-D-I-B-E-N-N-E-T-T.com, HeidiBennett.com. And my social links are through those too. So if you'd like to follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you can find those at HeidiBennett.com and vibrantvisionaries.com.

Adeel [41:59]: Awesome. Well, thank you. Thank you for that. And thanks for the conversation and good luck with your struggle.

Heidi [42:08]: Yeah. Thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate the resource and I'm learning a lot.

Adeel [42:15]: Cool. Well, thanks again, Heidi.

Heidi [42:17]: Awesome. Thanks, Adeel.

Adeel [42:19]: Thanks for listening again. I hope you're taking advantage of all this solitary time at home and staying healthy. Or if you're listening to this in the future when you're commuting to work, congratulations on surviving coronavirus. Until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [43:00]: Thank you.