Owning Your Story with Hina Fatima | #56


“You have these different elements in your life, which become your triggers or you can make them your anchors.” 

Hina Fatima is a doctor and NLP practitioner and Trauma Relief Coach who coaches people to own their own stories to see themselves in a new light. In this episode we discuss how to separate yourself from the emotion of your experiences to start to see the power in your story and take a more active role in creating it.  We’re talking forgiveness, trauma processing, and living in your authenticity, integrity, and self-worthiness!

Learn more about working with Hina, including her self worthiness workshop taking place September 28 – 30, 2022, at HealWithHina.com and follow her at @HealWith_Hina on Instagram! She also has a Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/healthetrauma and an in-person meetup in the Fresno Clovis area in CA: https://www.meetup.com/fresno-clovis-trauma-healing-meetup-group/.

If you’re still not on my email list, I don’t know what you’re doing y’all. Sign up at bit.ly/CaitNotes to get my chaotic love notes delivered straight to your door (aka inbox). Thank you to Leave Nelson B for music and Jen Hearn for photography! 


Caitlin: Hello, everybody! Welcome back to the podcast, I am super happy you’re here with me. And today we are going to talk about living within your integrity and authenticity and self worthiness. And it’s going to be delicious. And I love it. With me today is Hina Fatima – did I say it right? 

Hina: Mm-hmm

Caitlin: I did! I’ve been practicing. Hina is a doctor and neurolinguistic programming trauma coach who helps people feel emotionally safe, confident, worthy, and in control, all things that we really want. So, hi. Hello. Welcome to the show. Tell us a little about you and your journey.

Hina: Hello. Thank you so very much for having me on this show. You said my name beautifully. I love it. Thank you very much. So yes, I am a doctor, but just to clarify that I do not work as a practicing physician here in the US because, for some personal reasons, because of some personal commitments, I was not able to complete my residency here in the US.

And, and so, but that doesn’t mean I do not have the background or the knowledge. I am an NLP master practitioner. So NLP is neurolinguistic programming. And just to let people know what it is, Neuro is for the mind or the brain, linguistic it’s language. And it’s basically how our language affects, or it influences the way we think, process, and store information. Okay. 

And I use NLP to coach clients who have experienced some kind of trauma. Or are diagnosed or not, even if they’re not diagnosed with PTSD, because a lot of times, whatever traumas we’ve had in our life, sometimes they’re current. Sometimes we’re, we’re having them, you know, they’re present in our life currently. 

Sometimes it’s something that happened way back 20 years ago, but it’s still there stored in our subconscious and it drives us. It drives us when we’re not aware. It drives our reactions. It drives our mood swings. It drives how we perceive people, how we perceive things, because our traumas, our experiences, our past relationships have created this certain, you know, conditioning in our mind, so certain programming in our mind and we see the world through those filters.

And so it’s so very important to understand that the reality that this world does not function does not really exist the way we see it. And so that’s why I use NLP to help people work around, uh, traumas in PTSD. And now coming back to today’s, um, topic, which I was, which is about like self worthiness and which is living your life with integrity and authenticity, that is so important. And that comes with when we start owning our stories. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hina: When we start owning ourselves, you know, and with start, the word story is so important, because story is literally a story. Okay. Say I talk about Anne Frank, what happened to her, the Holocaust. Okay. Or you talk about anybody, any, any incident, any event that happens in the world, you know, any school shootings that happen, any wars that happen, or any domestic violence cases that happen, rape cases that happen, you know, they’re very true and very real and very painful to the person who’s affected.

But for other people, it’s a story.  We know Anne Frank’s story, as a story. We may cry with the character in that book or in that movie, we may well laugh with them, but at the end of the day, after a few days, it’s a story. We, we learn from them. We as an outsider, as an out, as a third person, we observe the different characters in that movie and we try to analyze who did what.

And what different could have been done. You know, how many times do you watch a movie? And we go like, oh, the child should not have done this. Or the mother should not have reacted this way. We’re, we’re analyzing right. The child behaved this way because the father said this, if the father wouldn’t have said this, the child would have reacted differently.

Caitlin: Right. Right. 

Hina: And we’re empathizing with the characters sometimes when, after reading a book, we’re so much in that book. That we stay in the story for a couple of days. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: And then what happens? It’s over, we move on. So our lives are stories and I teach people to start seeing their lives as stories.

Caitlin: This is so interesting. I’ve never like, you know, I share my story, but I’ve never conceptualized it as like a tale I am telling to people. So, that seems like a very powerful shift. 

Hina: Mm-hmm  it is powerful. And the thing is the beauty of NLP is that you’re, you are actually making people experience it, visualize it. So once you start actually seeing a movie where you’re disassociated from yourself, and you’re seeing yourself as a character and you’re giving names to the character. To the different people in your lives and giving them different characters, you can give them the names of celebrities, you know, or you can just create, make, make belief stories, you know, and it’s so powerful and it works.

You know, I’ve seen it work. It, it has worked for me, you know, now when I relive my traumas, I’m able to, for a minute,  put my emotion aside and look at it that something happened to a 14 year old me or a 17 year old me and today I am not that 14 year old person. I’ve grown. We grow, we grow every day.

That’s how we move on. You know, it’s very easy to tell people to forgive, to forget, to just move on, to focus on the present, to think positively, but people don’t know. I didn’t know, you know, for a very long time, I used to question myself, I want to forgive. I want to forgive the people so that I can be at peace.

And I used to ask myself, like people say, forgive, how do you forgive? How, how, what do you want me to do? How, how do I forgive? How do I forgive that person who hurt me say 15 years ago, that person is not in front of me. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm, right. 

Hina: How do I not relive those, those trauma? And it’s just, I realize just saying to myself, this repeatedly that I wanna forgive and that I don’t want it to affect me. You know, it’s like, because I’m saying it so many times that my mind automatically trains, you know, it’s like a habit, you know, when you’re, when you teach a child to write or read or, you know, tie a shoelaces, it takes time. It takes patience. It takes practice. Yes, it doesn’t happen in one day. So we have to train our minds.

Our minds are a certain way because of certain things that have happened in so many years. So if, if I’ve been traumatized for 14, 15, 20 years, and I’ve been thinking a certain way, it will take at least 14 days if not 14 years for it to get fixed. Right. And it has to be a conscious effort. 

You know, people say time is the best healer. Yes. Time is the best healer, but we have to put in that time, there are people who are still living in their traumas even 20 years later. 

Caitlin: Yeah. That’s, this is so cool. So. The, the NLP work is the storytelling. So that’s like the linguistic is the telling of the story and the neuro is how that’s affecting your self-concept and self worthiness.

So do, are we adding like fantasy elements to it or is it literally just talking about literally what happened to you as if it was a story?

Hina: Whatever works for you, whatever comes up for you automatically, you know? So like when you start visualizing things, what’s coming up. For example, if I just tell you, uh, if you think of the color pink, what comes up, you know, different things will come up for people.

Somebody because they associate the color pink with different things, you know, something maybe nice, maybe a flower, maybe a dress, maybe a perfume, uh, maybe somebody they visited, it could be a horror story for somebody, you know? So you have these different elements in your life which become either your triggers or you can create them, make them your anchors, right?

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hina: And so when we’re fantasizing with helping people fantasize, you see the.  again, story, everything that we’re thinking is a story, whether it’s true or not, if it’s the past or if it’s the future future hasn’t happened yet. So we’re worried about what if we fail, we’re worried about what if people make fun of me?

What if I can’t do do this? You know? So what, what if this relationship doesn’t work? What if he doesn’t like me? Right. So what are these? These are stories that we’re creating.  and negative stories. We’re imagining it. We, we don’t realize it, but that’s what we’re doing. We’re actually imagining failing.We’re actually imagining making a fool out of ourselves. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: That’s what we’re doing. We’re creating it, we reliving it. And then that fear stops us. Okay. I don’t wanna do this because what if it’s it’s, you know, I, I just, I don’t succeed. And so if you can create. Such a horrifying story based on some experiences, you can also create positive stories.

Caitlin: Yes. 

Hina: You can create positive fantasy stories and that’s fine. 

Caitlin: Yes! I like to think about, what are the possibilities? For or example, literally today, a friend of mine said that she was heading to a naturopath doctor and she had been reading a book about, um, how emotional pain is stored in the body as physical pain.

And so she wanted to talk about acupuncture for that purpose. And she said to me, I’m really nervous. I’m worried that she won’t take it seriously. I’m worried that she won’t like, believe me when I say that, like my pain has been reduced just from reading this book and like working on this concept and I said, you know, like that’s valid also you’re in charge. And if she does, you can just leave. But it might be possible that she has been waiting to do like the more emotional and like non-mainstream medical approach with some clients. And my friend was like, you know what? That’s just as possible. Like, thank you.

And it turned out that the naturopath was super into it, had read the same book and my friend had a great session. 

Hina: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s looking into, again, as you said, different possibilities, you know, and, and again, you know, at the end of the day, the outcome is never in our hands. You know, we don’t know the outcome, but we want to think positively.

We want to hope for the best and we want to strive for it. You know, the thing is outcomes can change and even our goals can change. Maybe we’re trying to get from A to B and we realize all of a sudden that that’s not where we want to go. We want to go to take a different path. That’s okay. You know, uh, it’s, it’s owning our, our process and just living with the day, you know, having those goals.

I personally, my experience has –  again, this is me personally, I don’t impose on others. Everybody has their own things, but you can never think too far ahead of yourself and make too far ahead of goals because life changes. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: You don’t know where you’re going to be tomorrow. You don’t know what your next step’s going to be next year. So you may be planning to do something. You may have a goal, you may have a vision, and then when you don’t achieve it,  and then you start feeling stuck and you start feeling like a failure because you’re not achieving that goal. So it’s important to understand that that goal at the end is not important because your goal can change.

Caitlin: Yes. 

Hina: You can move around it. 

Caitlin: Yes. I teach the same thing when it comes to goals. I say we need adjustable goals.

Hina: Flexibility. You know, for example, if I could not become a doctor it’s okay. You know,  what was the purpose behind me becoming a doctor? I wanted to serve. I had this innate ability or innate passion in me to be able to maybe serve people, help people, right.Or make myself useful in some way. And if I couldn’t do it by becoming a doctor, I can do it in other ways. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: So start looking at like, when you create goals that what’s the, what’s the reason what’s the intention behind it. You know, some people want to say maybe, you know, like when you’re a child, I have people do this.

And when I work with self worthiness, this is the first thing that I do. I have them go back to a time period in their life where. Felt safe and they were very authentic. And even if you had a very traumatic childhood, even if you were abused as a child, but I still believe, you know, in our lives, we do have moments where we’re good.

You know, there are moments where we’re, where things are ok. We may not be thinking about them too often because we’re so much in our trauma that we’ve skipped the good things in life, and that’s what I help people do. So when you go back to a time when you’re safe and you’re authentic and you’re yourself, what is it that you’re dreaming of at that time? What kind of a future? Thinking of, so a lot of children go like, oh, I grew up, I wanna become a teacher. I wanna grow up and become a pilot. I wanna grow up and become a doctor or whatever, you know, so they have these dreams. And so what’s behind that dream? Why did the child want to become a teacher now that you’re a grown up?

And I just did this yesterday with one of my clients, you know? And she was like, probably because I am nurturing and I like kids. And so I want, I want to make myself useful and help the children because I believe I, I can work with children and I like that, you know?

and, or maybe as a child, she liked her teacher because that’s true with my kids. You know, my kids, my, when I ask my little one, she goes like, I want to be a third grade teacher. I’m like why? Because she actually loves her third grade teacher. So she’s so specific, when I grow up, I want to be a third grade teacher.

Caitlin: I did the same thing.  I, as you’re talking, I’m like, I wanted to be a high school, sophomore year biology teacher, because I loved my biology teacher. I loved that class. I felt smart. I felt good. I loved it. And I set out to emulate my biology teacher. Because he was a really safe, good person for me.

Hina: Yeah. Yeah. 

Caitlin: And then I got into like the education program at my college and I was like, whoa, I don’t think I actually wanna be a teacher.  And that’s okay. 

Hina: But the thing is the idea. Why did you believe in that person or believe in whatever goal that was, you know, there, there was something that clicked, you know, and that’s the authentic part.

You know, that’s where you’re like, okay, you’re actually diving into yourself and trying to find that, that passion in you, that thing that clicked. Right. And that’s what I help people do, you know, find what they’re passionate about because that’s where you find your authenticity, what you are passionate about.

So, this is the first thing that I do to help people find what they’re passionate about. And second thing is, I emphasize that there are five areas in life and all five of these are very important. The first one being health and fitness, the second one being relationships, the third one being, um, your purpose in life, your, you know, ambition, your career, the fourth one, Self care, hobbies, something that you’re doing for yourself and the fifth one being money and finances. 

And I just wanna talk about two of them here right now, very quickly. Why I have put money in finances and career and purpose separately. A lot of times people are making a lot of money.

They have jobs where they’re making money.  but it doesn’t satisfy them. They’re not happy, they’re missing something. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: And they end up not being happy because they’re not doing what drives them, what, what they’re passionate about or what they had thought they would be doing when they grow up.  right. And so your passion in life, your purpose is separate from money.

It could be the same, you know, some it could be like, okay. Yeah. I wanted to become a doctor and now I’m a doctor and I’m making a lot of money. That’s good. That’s fine. Right. But sometimes it’s not sometimes, uh, maybe you’re passionate about being something, say you’re passionate about being an artist or something else, or be a teacher, but maybe.

You’re not able to do it, or it’s not enough for you to survive on, and then you get a job because you want the money. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm 

Hina: and that’s okay. So that is why I keep money differently because sometimes for some people they’re working, not because they want to work because they like it. They wanna work because they want money. They need or they want money and that’s okay. 

If, if you, your goal in life is to say, be a millionaire and live in a very posh area and have a huge mansion and, you know, two Ferraris standing out of your house. And if that’s what makes you happy, go for it.  

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: But if for somebody they say I’m happy being a teacher and I’m happy earning whatever — I know teachers make, I mean, no offense to them, but I do know teachers do not make a lot of money — but if they’re happy with it and if that satisfies them and it’s enough for them, go ahead. Do it. If that makes you happy, go ahead and do.  

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: But finding that purpose is important. How many times we know people committing suicide who have, who apparently have everything, but they’re still unhappy because they’re lacking in any of these fields either they’ve not taken care of their health or their relationships.

So they’re alone. They may have a lot of money. They may be famous. They may be living the ideal life, but they’re lacking they’re they haven’t taken care of themselves. So many people I know who are unhappy, have made a lot of money. They’ve put in a lot of time making money and providing for their families, but they never did things that made them happy.

Caitlin: Mm-hmm 

Hina: and then they regret later on in life and wish they had done something for themselves where they had. Become selfish for maybe one day and gone out and did something where they were not just trying to provide for their families. Yeah. You know, so that’s why all these five are important because if you will not focus on these five things and even leave any one of them, right.

At some point in time, you will feel that emptiness.

Caitlin: Yes. I, so I approach this, I think, from a similar place, but I call it something different. So I talk about work, life, play, rest balance, um, because a lot of people will talk about work, life balance, like, oh, you go to work and then the rest of it is your life. And I don’t think that’s specific enough. Your work, whether that is like your life’s work and your purpose or your career and what you do for money that’s work, life is like your, your social community needs the things that you are doing.

Like yeah. Relationships, the things you’re doing to fill that cup and then play and rest because we don’t just like, have fun and pursue joy anymore. We think it’s not productive. So, you know, as children, we know that playing is learning and playing is working. And then throughout adulthood, we get told like, no, no, like you don’t get to play anymore, but we need that.

We need joy and passion and fun to, you know, like you’re talking about to be fulfilled. And then the rest portion is like, you can’t just be getting like six hours of sleep a night and burning the candle at both ends. Like you need to actually have time to rest, restore, replenish, recover. And so I love this like multiple approach.

And another thing I teach is that in some seasons you will have perhaps a little more work, less rest. 

Hina: Yes. 

Caitlin: But you can’t sustain something like that forever. 

Hina: Yes. 

Caitlin: So I love what you’re talking about here that, you know, You will eventually notice that there is a lack, something will feel missing. And so you really simplify it and give, give people like really just a five point checklist.

Like how’s, how’s this, how’s your health. How do you feel in your body? How are your relationships?

Hina: So what we do it is, we kind of create priorities. So there are, you know, like you have… one are goals, like your life goals, and then one are goals, which are like, okay, say where do you wanna be in five years?

Or where do you wanna be at the end of the year or a monthly goal or weekly goal? Okay. So we create, uh, a list of priorities, which are current, and these can change, but when we have this list of our priorities, and then we look into each criteria of each of the priority, are you meeting those criterias and you set to create, uh, find those criterias because how, how do I measure success or happiness in any of that area?

Say if it’s self care and hobbies,  I do not get to tell you what you need to do. You have to create your own set of criteria for your self care for your play time as you put it. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: And so I have people create out those lists in, within these areas as well. And then what they’re doing, say daily level, weekly level. I had one of these clients, you know, just a few days ago. And she told me, you know, when I asked her in the end, like how did her week go? And she was like, well, I didn’t achieve, I achieved 50% of my goals that I had for this week, the intentions that I had for this week. And I was like any particular reason, were they not achievable? Maybe you set your bar too high. And she was like, no, they were achievable. It’s just, my son was sick. And then I was spending too much time taking care of him. And then I had other things because of that reason that popped up that were not initially, uh, you know, taken into consideration and because of which, and then I had to take, I decided to put in some time for self-care as well, you know, and then I was like, well, there you go. You’re fine. 

So when you’re using the words again, the story, the narrative that you’re saying, when you’re using the words, I only achieved 50% this week and I will try, and this, these are, this is actually what she actually wrote that, uh, and I will try to do better next week. So what you’re telling yourself is that you failed and that you didn’t try enough when you are saying that I will do better next week and I will try to do better next week. You’re actually telling yourself that you didn’t try enough. And when I went into the depth, why did that happen? Was there any particular reason, was there a valid reason or was it like you really didn’t just do it? 

And she was like, no, there was a valid reason. And when that valid reason popped up and I was like, you need to appreciate yourself here and acknowledge yourself that you did more than you could, and even that 50% that you achieved, despite the challenges you had. I mean, if my child is sick and I have to take them to the hospital and I’m running here and there, and I have to now make a special food for them or take, be with them because they’re not in a good mood, you know, probably that’s all I’d be doing that week.

Probably there would be nothing else on my mind. So I’m like, no, you need to acknowledge that. And you, you need to say I did my best, you know, and again, so now in that priority, their relationship and your self care came on the top.

It was temporary, because it was unexpected, but it came on the top and the rest went down and the rest were, you were like, I don’t care about this because it’s my son. He needs me and that’s okay. Yeah. You know, acknowledge it, appreciate it. Give yourself, you know, that pat on the back and, you know, tell yourself I did my best and it’s okay.

Caitlin: Yeah. I would even say that it’s ideal. It’s good that she focused on her son, because if she was like, I got everything done, but my son is sick and I haven’t seen him in three days. Like that would not feel good.  that would not feel fulfilling. Right. Like I can’t, I can’t help you son. Uh, I am busy.

Hina: Yes, things shift minute to minute, day to day. Of course, of course. So being able to go with that flow is really important.  And that’s sort about living with authenticity and integrity is that you’re just doing the best you can and acknowledging it, you know, never let self doubt or that fear come in between because you are doing your best.

So if you did it that day, because you weren’t feeling well, you didn’t want to get out of bed because you were depressed for some reason. It’s okay. Allow yourself that time. But  keep a check of how much time you’re putting in there because our lives are never linear. They’re never going straight, neither upwards, neither in a plateau. They’re always up and down. 

And so if, if we there’s a peak, there’s a trough as well. And so we have to just — what is in our control is for how long do we wanna stay in that depth. Okay. And you get to choose. I’m not telling you to do it in one day. In one hour. You get to choose. If it, if you require one day fine, if you require five days fine, your view or your body.

But then, but still you have control in your mind, you know, and make that decision. Okay. That, I think one day or two days is enough, you know, I’ve cried over this shit for two days and now it’s over. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: I have to get back. 

Caitlin: Yeah. That’s a really powerful decision to make, to just be like, okay. One of my clients actually said that  she was sick of her own shit.She was like, I’m just, I’m sick of my shit. I’m ready to move on and do something else. And I’m like, great. Let’s write a memoir. 

Hina: You know what, it’s that, that decision. The day you decide, that’s it, this is it. I’ve done living like this, you know, I’ve done. Uh, you know what I was saying when I was ready to forgive the people, because I was literally, I was like, when I’m dwelling in it and I’m full of hatred and I’m cursing in my mind, what am I doing?

I’m burning my own blood, you know, I’m hurting myself. Nothing is happening to those people. Also, let me tell you, we think nothing has happened to the other people. That’s not true. You know, I had the opportunity. I was back home this winter last year, to Pakistan, that’s where I’m from.

And people who had hurt me, reached out to me and they apologized and they actually told me how their lives were miserable and how they wanted to get back in touch with me. And I was like, apology accepted. Thank you very much. In fact, I apologize too. I’m like, okay, I’m sorry. Because of course in relationships, it’s both ways, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, probably the other person did something to hurt me. I probably must have done something too. Right. I may have reacted. And, uh, so I apologize too, but then I was like, I’m sorry, I, I have moved on and I’m very happy in my life. I have children, I have a husband. And so there is no way we can become friends because I cannot. You know that part of my life, that story, as I said, has ended, that chapter has ended and I cannot reopen that chapter.

Fine. I needed that closure. You needed that closure. Basically the person needed the closure more than I did. And so I allowed it to happen. But when the person came and told me that they were not happy in their lives, I told them, well, you have a choice how to live your life. And this person was so surprised because when I just listened to him very, very calmly.

And in the end, you know, when he said like, when he was trying to justify why he had done whatever he had done, um, you know, 15 years ago, and I just listened. In the end, I went like, well, it’s okay. Because you made a choice, it’s your life. So you made a choice. And in that choice, I wasn’t, I wasn’t part of it.

You made the best choice you thought was for you and it’s okay. And I’m no more stuck over there and I no more dwell in that moment. I no more question why it happened, you know, because I understand you made a choice and you have, you had the right tool, just like I have the right tool.


And so this understanding that we all have choices. We have the choice to suffer or not suffer. And so when he was sharing his current struggles, I tried to give him tips again, being an NLP coach. And that’s the reason why he had actually reached out to me because he knew I’m working as an NLP coach.

So he thought, oh, okay. Now this probably will be a good way of reestablishing a relationship and becoming friends again. And maybe she can help me too. And I’m like, oh, I can tell you other NLP coaches who you can go out to. I can refer you to other people, but I’m sorry. And this was because I could not allow myself to go into that unsafe space again and jeopardize all the work that I’ve done on myself and on my current relationships to be where I am.

And so I acknowledge him and I acknowledge myself and I do not hold any grudge against him. And I actually helped him. I told him what he needs to do so that he could be happy in his life where I’m like, but I’m like, I will not be the person holding your finger out of your crisis because he has his family too.

Imagine his family finding out that he’s in touch with me. No, I can’t afford that. 

Caitlin: No, and that’s good boundaries too. Boundaries around, around business and around like relationships saying no, that that chapter for us is over, you know, we have now closed that chapter. Best wishes. 

Hina: My sister, in fact, my sister asked me, you know, why did you even allow this meeting to take place. I was like, because he requested me and he requested me knowing that I was an NLP coach. And so, for a minute, I just, again, I removed the emotion and again, that younger me from that situation. And for a moment, I became that doctor who I was.  And, you know, I’m like, if my enemy comes in front of me, who’s dying and if I can save their life, I will.

Right. And so at that moment, that was what my mindset was. I had created that strength to be able to go in front of him, speak to him, help him in the way I could. And I knew exactly, you know,  what my, what my boundary was or what my limit was, you know? And I listened to everything he had to say, I did, you know, I listened to it all somewhere.

I was happy, you know, I was like, oh, see, see, we think that the other person is living the best life. And we’re the only one suffering. No, it doesn’t happen that way, you know? But then I was like, oh, well, it’s unfair. You. I mean, he has his life. I mean, we all have our struggles, you know, and then, so of course we’re humans,  we do have those moments where we become evil, you know, it’s, I wouldn’t say evil, but like where we become selfish and we start saying.. 

Caitlin: yeah, we’re the villain.

Hina: But, uh, then again, you have to reach a point where you’re able to differentiate your emotions and you’re able to put them.  And it’s an everyday struggle. It’s an ongoing process. So nobody can say that they’ve achieved it all and that they’ve mastered it. You know, that’s important to understand.

Yes. It’s an ongoing process. It’s an ongoing process, you know, just just two days ago, I had an argument with my husband also, and again, I was in my dumps. And so I was kind of journaling and some emotions were coming up and some travels were coming up while I was trying to journal. And then I just shut it down and I spoke to a friend and she was like, well, you are still upset about certain things that happened.

And I’m like, I usually am not. But because in those moments I was weak. I was vulnerable. I was hurt because of what had happened between me and my partner. So all that emotion had resurfaced and I had thought I had healed from it because I was talking about it without getting hurt. And I was so proud of that. I was able to, you know, meet with this other person six months ago and with my past people and overcome it. And so I thought I had healed. Then it resurfaced and I’m like, oh no, it’s still there. So that pain is there. No, it hasn’t healed completely. So it makes me believe that it really doesn’t really heal completely ever.

It’s how we deal with it. We learn to live with it. We learn to put those emotions aside. We learn how to regulate our emotions.

Caitlin: Yeah. I also have a lot of trauma in my past. Um, even my recent past and you know, there’s a lot that you can do to heal, but there’s also a lot that it’s, it’s like an onion.

Like I heal one layer and then something will happen and I go deeper and I’m like, oh, there’s stuff underneath that. And I think that that’s what healing is like, is like you get to a place where you’re pretty good. And then you gotta go deeper and then that gets okay. And then you gotta go a little deeper.

Hina: And because that trauma, especially trauma, that’s been there for a very long time. I mean, that’s, that’s been part of you. It is part of us. It will not go away. And so this idea that when you heal or recover, it goes away is, is, uh, not. You know it. Yeah. It’s just always part of the story. Right? It’s part of the story.

And you just have to remember to close that chapter or close that book, that’s it. And you, we have to learn to figure out how we do that on our own. I mean, on our own, in the sense that my method may be different from your method. And so as a coach, I help people figure out their methods. What will help them regulate that emotion and close that.

Caitlin: This is so interesting because I am writing a sci-fi trilogy that is literally me just rehashing my own trauma and childhood through time travel. 

Hina: Oh, wow. 

Caitlin: And it’s so funny because like, I didn’t plan for a lot of it. I plan like major kind of like plot beats. And then there’s a point where this character goes back in time to try and make her mother a better person. Right, because she had childhood trauma, because she’s me. So I’m back in time and I’m hanging out with my mom and she’s a teenager and I’m an adult and 

Hina: That’s exactly what NLP is! That’s what it is doing. 

You know, that’s so, so interesting. 

Caitlin: So I realize sometimes as I’m writing where I’m like, I feel empathy. 

Hina: Yeah. 

Caitlin: Toward my mother’s teenage self, because she also had trauma and that does not excuse or allow the way that she treated me. But I do understand her better, even though I’m fictionalizing part of it. It’s giving me a way to explore. How deep that pain must go in my family line. 

Hina: Yeah.

Caitlin: Generationally, to have created my mother. 

Hina: Yes. 

Caitlin: To be the way that she was. 

Hina: Yes. That’s the key. That is so important. That is exactly what it is. That is, that is when you understand this point that you just said is when you are able to move on, you know? 

Caitlin: Yeah. It’s, it’s been doing a lot. I think that actually might be why this, this particular — it’s a trilogy and I’m working on the second book. So the first book was a lot more pretend. And then this book is a lot more of my actual life details that I’m fictionalizing and playing with. And I’ve been having a lot more trouble writing this. And I’m now seeing that it’s because I’m actually imagining, well, what would happen if I went back in time and just fiddled with my childhood and, uh, and all emotions are coming up probably.

Yeah. A lot of them, and I’m very resistant to getting, that’s just so interesting that I’ve been like, NLP myself. 

Hina: Ooh, you did. That’s what I said. You know, when I was doing my journaling and I figured, you know, like, why are all these emotions coming up? Because I’m trying to journal what happened with my husband today, but it’s taking me back to things that had happened in the past, you know, and I’m somehow hurt and I’m angry and I’m upset and I’m disappointed, you know? Uh, and, um, it’s, it’s bringing all those emotions that I have experienced in the past. And so kudos to you for writing this book, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s hard.

I know it is, and let me know, let us know, you know, when it’s done, we would love to read it. I would love to read your first book also. Is it, has it been published? Is that out? 

Caitlin: Not yet. No. So this trilogy, I wanted to kind of draft them before I started the process of getting them out into the world because I need to make sure there’s no, like plot holes.

Hina: And, and you wanna do all three of them. 

Caitlin: Yes. 

Hina: And then publish them together. Okay. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Or at least do all three of them and then like do the edits on book one and get that published and out so that I can work on it. But you know, they’re very rough drafts, but, um, they’re very powerful and interesting. And yeah, I actually run an incubator for people’s writing projects. And I’m always very interested in trauma and approaching trauma through a creative lens. And I’m thinking that perhaps writing your story as a story could be an aspect of that program, uh, which I love, but speaking of programs, you have some coming up, so.  can you talk to us a little bit about your, your self worthiness workshop coming up?

Hina: Yes. So I have a three day workshop, which is on the 28th, 29 and 30th of September. It’s going to be two hours each day, 12 noon, uh, Pacific standard time, which is. 3:00 PM for Eastern time zone. And so in the self worthiness workshop, basically, I have kind of, shrunk my program.

So, I have a six month program, which is called, Be Your Own Hero Project, for which I am not enrolling right now. I will re-enroll for it next year, sometime in January, the program opens in January. So I cover four aspects or modalities in that program. First one being confidence, which, you’re feeling good enough about yourself. And the second one is safety. Third one is, feeling worthy, feeling that you deserve and that you have a purpose in life. And the last one is to be in control. And so I feel a lot of trauma and PTSD patients, you know, have symptoms in these four major areas.

You know, they’re, they’re, they’re doubting themselves. They have a lot of negative self-talk. They do not feel emotionally safe. They have these intrusive memories or flashbacks, or, you know, they’re constantly guarding, threatened, by either internal stuff or outside stuff. And then of course they don’t feel worthy, they are questioning their worth. Why they’re here, why it happened to them. 

You know, they have some kind of guilt for something they did, or maybe even if they didn’t do anything, but maybe somehow they are responsible for things that have happened to them. And lastly is being in control where they wanna learn how to set boundaries, where they wanna learn how to control their emotions, their anger, you know, because at the end of the day, we all want to feel in control.

It’s natural. We wanna be in control of our lives. And so, the self-worth portion, it basically has six, I do six different processes, to help people feel worthy. And two of them, I talked about, I talked about the five, five areas of life. I talked about them accessing a state where they’re, they’re creating their futures, which is finding their purpose.

They’re finding a self-fulfilling purpose, a purpose that fulfills them a life that they dream of. And maybe that’s a life that they can create right now. What, what is it that they want to change? Like if they are coming to me, they’re ready for change. Okay. And so helping people understand what that change is for them.

The third thing I work with is co-dependency. And co-dependency not necessarily with your partners, with your intimate relationships. It can be with constantly seeking approval and validation from other people, you know, because you were always criticized or you always felt you’re not good enough. So you’re constantly looking for other people telling you, oh, you’re, you’re doing fine or you’re not doing fine, you know? And so you lack that again, that authenticity, you know, you don’t trust yourself, you don’t trust that whatever you’re gonna do, it’s okay. Even if you make a mistake. Right. And so coming out of that phase of codependency, and then again, people pleasing, you know, one of the aspects of trauma responses.

You know, like when we say we have a fight freeze, what is it? Fight and flight, freeze and fawn. So fight is of course fight and flight and freeze, we all know. But what is fawning? Fawning is people pleasing that you surrender and that you’re, you’re trying to please everybody, because you feel again, that you’re not worthy.

Or that you’re not good enough or you’re not, you can’t do anything on your own. Right. So you’re, you’re seeking other people’s approval all the time. Yes. Right. And so being able to feel happy in your body and that the need to please other people is not important.

So how, how do we do that? There are certain processes we can do. Okay. There’s like if maybe there’s some internal belief that you’re holding. So we have a belief change process. We have a triple description process in which I make people if they have conflicts with other people, you know, again, like what you’re doing in your trilogy, you know,  you’re looking at the story as a third person, you know?

So there’s the first person, a second person is the other person like your mother 

Caitlin: mm-hmm  

Hina: and the third person is an outsider, like right now as an author, you know? So now you’re looking at your own story as a third person’s point of view, and you have these characters in your book.  okay. And so, again, all these different, there are so many different things, you know, there’s a new behavior generator that I do in order to teach people how to create new behaviors, how to create, how to create new anchors and anchors is like something similar to triggers.

You know, triggers are mostly, we automatically assume them to be negative. If we’re triggered by something, it means it’s taking us back to a negative memory, right? It’s evoking a negative emotion. And so an anchor is something positive. So say again, when I was saying maybe the green color is a trigger for you, every time you are exposed to this color, it takes you back to a certain time where something happened and this person was wearing it.

And so that’s why you don’t like this color. It’s, it’s a trigger for you. And maybe a pink color is not, it’s an anchor because when you think of the pink color, it takes you back to another beautiful memory, a time where you spent with your mother, maybe doing something, she got your nice doll, maybe, which had a pink dress, and you held that doll very you close to you and it was your safety, you felt safe.

Right? So we try to create these anchors and establish them in your brain so that every time you’re getting triggered by that green color, we replace it. We consciously replace it. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: and we do it so many times that it becomes a habit. Now it’s a habit now automatically you see something green and your mind can go like, oh, okay. Now think of something.  I need to hold something pink. Maybe there’s, there’s a locket. There’s this one girl who holds her onto her locket. You know, maybe something that you can do physically, or you can visualize, or you can hear, smell — a perfume, some music that can evoke the positive response and calm you down.

Caitlin: Yes. Yeah.

Hina: There’s so many processes that we do. And so in this three day, so the three day workshop I’ve. Again, as I said, shrunk it, you know, I will not be going so extensively, but if somebody is interested in that extensive one, you can get information on my website, HealWithHinacom. Very easy, simple to remember: Heal With Hina.

You will get the information for the six week program that I have, and you will get the information for the three day workshop that I’m doing. You can also join my Facebook group, which is Heal the Trauma & PTSD. You know, you can find me on Instagram, which is @HealWith_Hina.

I’m on these platforms. And you can just reach out to me anywhere from anywhere. Reach out to me on messenger. You know, I also have a meetup group actually. So if you don’t know what meetup is, meetup is a platform, a website where you can arrange different meetings, so there are a lot of, uh, like for example, hiking meetups or, um, brunch, or going out meetups, you know, so people who meet in person as well as virtually.

So I actually have a, I am not sure what the name is, but it’s something maybe healing trauma, and it’s a Fresno Clovis group. So there also, I do twice a month, I go there and I schedule events, so that we’re able to communicate and meet. And it’s, again, it’s a free platform for you to reach out to me.

Caitlin: Yes. Thank you. That’s so cool. So many great ways to get in touch with you, and I will put links to everything for people to get in touch with you into the notes for this episode. Yeah. Your self worthiness workshop sounds absolutely incredible. There’s so much, so much that you are packing into just six hours over three days.

So thank you so much for the work that you do. This was, this was a wonderful interview. I really loved getting to know you and your work and thank you so much for being here. 

Hina: You are very welcome. It was my pleasure being here. And it was great talking to you. Great knowing about your trilogy. I can’t wait for it. I would love to read it, you know? Do you know what the name would be? Do you have a name yet? 

Caitlin: Yes. These, the first book and the series itself is called Lepidoptera. That is the scientific family name for butterflies. 

Hina: Oh, cool. See,  so cute. 

Caitlin: Yeah. So it’s got a lot of like butterfly effect sort of references in it

Hina: metamorphosis, you know, the different phases they have. Oh, it’s a beautiful analogy, you know, with the butterfly, with the concept of butterfly. Now I can understand what your book is about. Yes. 

Caitlin: Yeah. I actually read a short story in, I think middle school, about people who time traveled to do like a safari to kill dinosaurs. So they would like, they would send agents back or whatever to mark a dinosaur that was going to die naturally  so that you didn’t mess up the timeline.

And, um, this guy got scared and so he ran and when they got back to their present time, everything was wrong. And he looked at his shoe and saw that he had crushed a butterfly. And so this idea that the death of a single butterfly changed the entire world, um, has stuck with me since I, I think I read that short story one time, it’s called A Sound of Thunder. It’s by Ray Bradbury. And I read it 20 years ago. And one day in the shower, I was just thinking about, you know, that story, I guess. And I was like, what if? Like, what if you could change something in the past? Yeah. What would that look like? So yeah, this, this series is, it’s already incredible and like it’s not even in its final form yet.

Hina: I’m so excited. I’m excited to read it now. 

Caitlin: It’s it’s, it’s caterpillar. It’s in the caterpillar version.  

Hina: all right. Thank you so much for having me.

Caitlin: Yeah, it was so nice speaking to you and getting to know you. Thank you so much. And I will let you know when this episode goes out. Thank you so much. Bye 

Hina: byebye.

Published by Caitlin

Caitlin writes and coaches about trauma recovery, relationships, motivation and confidence, self-love, queer identity, and social justice. They are the author of The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation. Find their work at caitlinlizfisher.com

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