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Sex, Love & Elephants with Dr. Cheryl

Ever notice that everything you thought would make you happy ever after...didn’t?Me too. Turns out Shaun Cassidy was NOT my soulmate, orgasms only last a few seconds, and happiness is an inside job.As a psychologist, Bud
Latest Episode5/23/2022

It IS Possible to Be Happy For No Reason…Even When Your Dog Is Dying

Ep. 54
Have you ever looked at someone who exudes happiness despite all they have gone through and wondered, how can I be like that? Or, that has to be a facade? Spoiler alert: it IS possible to always be in a state of grace, even happiness - no matter what is going on in your life.Now wait. I’m not saying that the difficulties and hardships you go through in life aren’t a valid cause for sad or difficult emotions. What I am saying is, we control the impact that external factors have on our happiness. Whether that is losing a loved one or getting a promotion, if we depend on events that are outside of our control to bring us happiness, we are playing a losing game.But this is GREAT news. It’s liberating to discover that our minds are 100% in control of our happiness. So happiness is an inside job.Today, I am talking about how we can all be happy for no reason…yes, that means you too. Throughout this episode, I share my thoughts on happiness from two main sources: science and Buddhist psychology. I talk about a personal experience with my best friend (she has 4 legs) that is currently reminding me that happiness is a choice, how to stop depending on external factors for happiness, questions to ask yourself, and more. When you choose to be happy in your mind, you will find happiness. Enjoy!In This Episode, You Will Learn:Why nothing can ruin your happiness but you (03:38)My dying dog and how that is currently challenging me to choose happiness, not grief (05:23)To stop depending on external factors to bring you happiness (10:10)To become curious about what is currently bothering you (17:55)This week’s LoveByte (22:32)Q&A:How can I be happy despite loss? Life is special because it is not guaranteed. Remember that we are all destined to die and although it is sad when we lose someone, that sadness does not need to define our happiness. These emotions are not mutually exclusive.What can make me happy? Choosing happiness is how you can be genuinely happy amidst events outside of your control. Depending on other people, things, and events to be the source of your happiness will only result in a temporary high followed by a depressive crash.Is it possible to be happy for no reason? YES! It is possible to be happy for no reason when you understand that happiness only comes when you are happy in your mind.Resources mentioned:Become Passion TestimonialsBecome Passion waitlistLet’s Connect!About MeWebsite - Sign up for Weekly LoveBytes hereFacebook PageYoutubeIf you want to rate your relationship, take the Passion QuizBecome Passion - Create Love that Lasts A Lifetime immersion program waitlist
5/23/2022

It IS Possible to Be Happy For No Reason…Even When Your Dog Is Dying

Ep. 54
Have you ever looked at someone who exudes happiness despite all they have gone through and wondered, how can I be like that? Or, that has to be a facade? Spoiler alert: it IS possible to always be in a state of grace, even happiness - no matter what is going on in your life.Now wait. I’m not saying that the difficulties and hardships you go through in life aren’t a valid cause for sad or difficult emotions. What I am saying is, we control the impact that external factors have on our happiness. Whether that is losing a loved one or getting a promotion, if we depend on events that are outside of our control to bring us happiness, we are playing a losing game.But this is GREAT news. It’s liberating to discover that our minds are 100% in control of our happiness. So happiness is an inside job.Today, I am talking about how we can all be happy for no reason…yes, that means you too. Throughout this episode, I share my thoughts on happiness from two main sources: science and Buddhist psychology. I talk about a personal experience with my best friend (she has 4 legs) that is currently reminding me that happiness is a choice, how to stop depending on external factors for happiness, questions to ask yourself, and more. When you choose to be happy in your mind, you will find happiness. Enjoy!In This Episode, You Will Learn:Why nothing can ruin your happiness but you (03:38)My dying dog and how that is currently challenging me to choose happiness, not grief (05:23)To stop depending on external factors to bring you happiness (10:10)To become curious about what is currently bothering you (17:55)This week’s LoveByte (22:32)Q&A:How can I be happy despite loss? Life is special because it is not guaranteed. Remember that we are all destined to die and although it is sad when we lose someone, that sadness does not need to define our happiness. These emotions are not mutually exclusive.What can make me happy? Choosing happiness is how you can be genuinely happy amidst events outside of your control. Depending on other people, things, and events to be the source of your happiness will only result in a temporary high followed by a depressive crash.Is it possible to be happy for no reason? YES! It is possible to be happy for no reason when you understand that happiness only comes when you are happy in your mind.Resources mentioned:Become Passion TestimonialsBecome Passion waitlistLet’s Connect!About MeWebsite - Sign up for Weekly LoveBytes hereFacebook PageYoutubeIf you want to rate your relationship, take the Passion QuizBecome Passion - Create Love that Lasts A Lifetime immersion program waitlist
5/16/2022

Let’s Talk Buddha Dharma: Practicing The Six Perfections

Ep. 53
What qualities do you consider the most important to cultivate as a human being? While we each have our unique characteristics and personality differences, there are specific traits that distinguish human beings as good or… not so good.Sometimes, moral ethics can seem blatantly obvious. You may think, “Of course being honest is a quality of a morally ethical person!” or “No one is THAT perfect”. However, moral ethics is not that easy to remember to do when actually applied in our everyday situations. Consistently going to the “Gym of Ethics” will help you to grow your ethical muscles and show up as a better person in all aspects of your life.Today, I am sharing with you the Six Perfections from Buddha Dharma and how practicing them can transform your life. I talk about what each of the perfections are and some examples of how you can begin to effectively apply them within your life. Practicing the Six Perfections will help you be kinder, more compassionate, awakened, and ultimately lead you to embracing your elephant. This recording is from a talk I gave last week on Vancouver Island and if you are interested, you can watch the talk here.In This Episode, You Will Learn:The common actions taken by people we consider as generous (06:27)My interpretation of the second perfection, Integrity (15:20)Why patience may be considered an antidote to anger (23:30)Examples of when you should apply diligence and energy (29:47)How meditation and wisdom require the other perfections to be productive (41:27)This week’s LoveByte (53:42)Q&A:What are the six perfections to practice from Buddha Dharma? Generosity, Integrity, Patience, Energy, Meditation, WisdomWhat is the antidote to anger? Patience! Before you send that snarky text or say that petty remark to your partner, take some time for yourself. Just like when you find yourself flooded - which I spoke about in a recent episode - patience helps us to take a step back from the heightened adrenaline and irrational thinking that comes with being angry.How can I control my thoughts during meditation? Does it seem like all of your thoughts wait to show themselves until you are trying to meditate? One of the great lessons that meditation teaches us is to be more diligent and focused towards our thoughts. Meditation isn’t about avoiding our thoughts, it’s about learning to be in the moment and apply the right energy so we can be in control of them.Resources mentioned:YouTube Video - The Six PerfectionsBecome Passion TestimonialsLet’s Connect!About MeWebsite - Sign up for Weekly LoveBytes hereFacebook PageYoutubeIf you want to rate your relationship, take the Passion QuizBecome Passion - Create Love that Lasts A Lifetime immersion program waitlist
5/9/2022

Nothing Can Stop Your Elephant - Not Even the Monkey Talk!

Ep. 52
What do you think of when you see an elephant? When I am hurt, in pain, confused, or frustrated, I turn to the symbol of the elephant. Elephants are an analogy for our inner wisdom, and nothing can stop yours from moving towards awakening and freedom.One year ago, I made a commitment to myself to release one podcast episode a week for a year. I have always loved being behind the microphone from my years on talk radio, so it wasn’t a coincidence that I was drawn to podcasting. Throughout this podcasting journey, I have incorporated my education and experience with psychology, psychotherapy, meditation, sex therapy, Buddhism, and countless other tools to help individuals and couples tap into their elephants and transform.Today, I’m reflecting on why I began this podcast 52 weeks ago, what the elephant symbol means to me, and how I hope to continue helping listeners. Now that I have accomplished my commitment of releasing a podcast episode a week for a year, I would like to thank each and every one of you who have tuned in and been a part of this incredible journey. If this podcast has impacted you, please send an email to cheryl@drcherylfraser.com with your feedback, suggested topic, or questions. I will select 3 lucky winners to send a personalized copy of Buddha’s Bedroom!In This Episode, You Will Learn:About the commitment I made to myself a year ago (02:38)The reason that I began this podcast (07:45)The reassuring analogy and meaning behind the elephant symbol (09:36)Why the sun is there to dissolve the clouds of confusion(16:24)This week’s LoveByte (18:10)Q&A:What does the elephant symbol represent? The elephant symbol represents our inner wisdom, plodding along, continuously moving towards awakening and freedom.What is monkey mind?Our monkey mind is our ego trying to keep us safe. When you're in fear, in selfishness, in greed, confused, hurt or you feel you're the only person on the planet right now, that is monkey talk, my friend.How can I get an autographed copy of Buddha’s Bedroom? Email cheryl@drcherylfraser.com with your feedback about the podcast and suggested topics or questions you’d like answered. We will select 3 lucky winners and send you a personalized copy of Buddha’s Bedroom!Resources mentioned:Become Passion TestimonialsBecome Passion waitlistLet’s Connect!About MeWebsite - Sign up for Weekly LoveBytes hereFacebook PageYoutubeIf you want to rate your relationship, take the Passion QuizBecome Passion - Create Love that Lasts A Lifetime immersion program waitlist
5/2/2022

Why the Time Out is Your Relationship’s Best Friend

Ep. 51
Are you guilty of judging others for their primary response when they are flooded? Next time you find yourself judging a friend, couple, ex, or anyone else for acting irrationally when experiencing high emotions, STOP and take a good look in the mirror! Think back on a fight with your current or previous partner - what was the ugliest, most hurtful thing that you said or did when you were flooded? What did they say or do to you? Was your primary response fight, flight, or freeze?On last week’s episode, I talked all about the science behind why Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. To sum it up: Will Smith was triggered when Chris Rock spoke about his wife. Will, became flooded by his emotions and went into the primary response of FIGHT. If you want to learn more about what flooding is and the role it played in the infamous slap, be sure to check out last week’s episode.Today, I’m talking all about what couples can do when either one or both partners are flooded. Having the tools to handle difficult, emotional arguments with your partner can completely transform your relationship. I can almost guarantee if you learn this ONE powerful relationship tool - that you will never have an ugly, irrational, hurtful fight again. I explain how logic takes over our brain when we are flooded, why we are most likely to become flooded in our romantic relationships, the three ways our body reacts when we are flooded, what the Time Out technique is, and when couples should utilize it.In This Episode, You Will Learn:How logic flees the building so we can make bad decisions when we are flooded (4:33)To look back on an example in your current or previous relationship where you or your partner were flooded (6:31)Why situations surrounding our romantic and sexual relationships are where we are most likely to become flooded (8:32)The three ways that our body may decide to react when we are flooded (11:10)What the Time Out technique is and when couples should use it (21:01)This week’s LoveByte (31:34)Q&A:In what situations am I most likely to become flooded? Because we are our most vulnerable in our romantic and sexual relationships, our emotions are more likely to become triggered surrounding conversations or situations that involve them. This is another factor as to why Will Smith became flooded when Chris Rock spoke about his wife.What are the reactions and behaviors when we are flooded? Our body can respond in one of three different ways: fight, flight, or freeze. Whichever response you find yourself doing most often is your primary response, this is our animal brain taking over.What can I do when I become flooded while communicating with my romantic partner? The Time Out technique! If you are flooded, it is likely that you are not able to communicate effectively. Agree with your partner on a symbol or word that means “We need to take a timeout” that can be used when one or both of you is flooded - and yes, the “We” is necessary. When either of you use this symbol or word, you then both take 30 minutes by yourself to do things that soothe you, in order to return to the issue in a more calm, and reasonable mindset.Resources mentioned:Become Passion TestimonialsBecome Passion waitlistLet’s Connect!Website - Sign up for Weekly LoveBytes hereFacebook Page
4/25/2022

Will Smith was Flooded! The Science Behind “The SLAP”

Ep. 50
When I got back from my retreat, I caught up on some of the world news and events that I missed - including the now infamous slap that Will Smith gave Chris Rock at the Oscars. Will losing his mind for a moment is a fantastic example of the irrational actions we ALL can take when we become flooded. Yup, you are just like Will…so stop judging him and look in the mirror. What is the worst thing YOU’VE ever done when you got triggered?Today, I’m talking all about flooding - that fight-or-flight feeling we all experience at certain times. But most of us do it behind closed doors, and avoid the ugly backlash that comes with being in the public eye. I share my definition of flooding, some examples of common scenarios that may cause flooding, how to recognize when you are flooded, what to do in these situations, and more. I hope this episode reminds you to watch the judgment that you pass on to others and reflect on the times in your life that you have been flooded.When was the last time that you were cool, calm, and collected until something suddenly happened - maybe you thought someone insulted your wife - to cause feelings of distress or danger? Our body believes what our brain tells us and in these moments of being triggered, we either fight, flee, or freeze. This bodily state is one that I like to call being “flooded”. Think back and reflect on moments in past situations in relationships that you became flooded. How did you react and what actions did you end up taking? And would you like to be judged by a billion people for your worst mistakes?In This Episode, You Will Learn:Why the Will Smith incident is a perfect example of flooding (02:21)My definition of flooding and a few examples that we can all relate to (4:12)Why we might take regrettable action - in other words, screw up badly - when our body is flooded (09:50)How to recognize when you are flooded while in an argument with your romantic partner (15:52)Why it’s important to understand whether your own reaction to distress is to fight, flight, or freeze (18:15)Why everybody should stop passing judgment or criticism on Will’s reaction to Chris Rock and work on your own damn self (23:30)This week’s LoveByte (29:14)Q&A:What does it mean to be flooded with emotions? Flooding is the layman's term for Diffuse Physiological Arousal. This is when you get so stressed during an argument that your body goes into fight, flight, or freeze. In this state, you are unable to make rational decisions or actions. A great example of this is Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.How can I recognize when I am flooded with emotions? Next time you are in a stressful situation or conversation, check your pulse. If your heart rate is above 100 beats a minute then you are flooded and that means you are not entirely rational.How long does it take to get back to a calmer state after an argument? After the cortisol and adrenaline are in our bloodstream, it takes 20-30 minutes for your body to unflood itself.Want more of Cheryl talking about Will’s Slap? Watch this video now - https://youtu.be/syZPGseAArAResources mentioned:Become Passion TestimonialsBecome Passion waitlistLet’s Connect!About Me
4/18/2022

Death, Cake, and Living Large: Birthday Presence Part Two

Ep. 49
All of us have an expiration date. It’s a simple reality… None of us know exactly how long we're here for. Maybe you find that frightening, maybe you find it downright depressing. But here’s the thing: we can take it as simple fact and an inspiration to really live life fully—to tilt our lives to doing more of that which deeply matters to us. Instead of wasting time on the things that are more trivial or distracting or not important, we can use it as a catalyst to live the way we really want to.Today, I’m sharing a Dharma Talk I recently gave to my own group here on Vancouver Island. I hope it is of great value to you and I’ll be back with a fresh episode of Sex, Love, and Elephants next week.In this class, I talk about how we would live if we knew our time was limited. We also play with the concept of birthdays and how they may mean we’re a little closer to death, but that we can use that idea as a call to action to live life fully.In This Episode, You Will Learn:A short, simple exercise to prepare your for mind for this talk (04:38)Notice when you’re thinking about things from the past: is it wholesome? Or is it unwholesome? (06:17)To help educate the mind and have a better sense of your experience, meditate, brief review, and move on (10:33)What if, instead of calling it our “birthday,” we called it our “one year closer to death day”? (15:13)We're busy because we have patterns, because we're trained, because our minds are used to running down sets of stairs… and we often miss the alternate path. (38:49)Q&A:How can I make my thoughts of death and dying less scary? One of the roots of suffering, sadness, loss, loneliness, despair, confusion, anger, irritation, and hurt is that we're not living enough. Spend time with those you love, do interesting things— take advantage of it all.How can I start my day without stress and anxiety? If you want to reprogram patterns, you need to practice new patterns. Look carefully at how you start the first 30 minutes of your day. Don't look at your phone, put on a bit of music, brew yourself a beautiful cup of something, and have an extra long shower and see what difference it might make.Is there an easy way to make the changes I want to see in my life? Ask yourself, “How do I want to live this day?” All of us in our lives can make changes today, no matter how small. Watch one less episode of your show, go for a walk and look for a daffodil, phone a friend and have a chat and really hear what's going on in their life.Watch Cheryl's live Dharma TalkHead to Island Dharma for more information on Cheryl’s meditation and Buddhist teachings and retreats.Let’s Connect!About MeWebsite - Sign up for Weekly LoveBytes hereFacebook PageYoutubeIf you want to rate your relationship, take the Passion QuizBecome Passion - Create Love that Lasts A Lifetime immersion program waitlist
4/11/2022

Silence and Birthday Presence

Ep. 48
Have you ever noticed the incredible effect that total, utter silence has? It can enable us to see shades of nature we’ve never noticed before, connect to the song of the treefrogs, and even form a never-before-had appreciation for the gentle buds on the springtime trees. Maybe the thought of being alone with your mind for a month makes you a little uncomfortable, maybe it makes you introspective—or maybe it scares the hell out of you! Whatever your feelings on it, we can all agree that silence can be incredibly powerful… if we slow down and listen.For the last month, I’ve been on a solo, silent meditation retreat and I’m ready to share with you what I learned while I was 100% off the grid. Join me as I break down my experience and talk about some of the realizations I had while I was alone with just me, my thoughts, and my 18-year-old dog.Today, I’m talking about the power of slowing down, the power of being present, and the power of silence. And here’s the not-always-pleasant truth: when we strip away the distractions of life, we will experience some of the beauty of a calm, settled mind—but we also experience the stuff we’ve been avoiding.In This Episode, You Will Learn:A bit about the silent meditation retreatI’ve recently returned from (05:04)When we are running for a distraction to make us feel better, we're not setting ourselves up for success (07:00)If you're not able to feel happy, open hearted, and compassionate without your phone, you're in trouble (10:38)The transcendent experience of a simple, solo birthday (12:42)Not being able to allow the mind to settle—like not allowing the dirt and in a glass of water o settle out—is a cause for concern (15:06)This week’s LoveByte (22:39)Q&A:I can only turn my brain off when I’m scrolling on my phone—help! Research shows that if you have difficulty turning off your mind, you tend to sleep poorly, which may cause cognitive anxiety, physiological anxiety, moodiness, etc. Training your mind to embrace silence and stillness is imperative.Why can’t I get myself to meditate when I try? Most people meditate unsuccessfully because they haven't been properly instructed. Instead of trying to completely clear your mind in the first go, try letting your thoughts gently dissipate.Why do I feel anxiety as soon as I let go of distraction? Many of us use distractions as a bandaid to avoid thinking thoughts that need to be addressed. Instead of ignoring them, try to gently acknowledge what you’re trying to avoid and then explore why you feel compelled to do that.Resources mentioned:The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-Fulfilling Gem of the Noble TeachingsMisery or Happiness? The Buddha's Four Facts of LifeLet’s Connect!About MeWebsite - Sign up for Weekly LoveBytes hereFacebook PageBecome Passion - Create Love that Lasts A Lifetime immersion program waitlist