Strong Heart.
July 25, 2022

Boonie Sripom - Highly Sensitive Children & Alternative Paths to Education


Boonie Sripom, MA (Organized Messes, organizedmesses.com) is a psychologist, peer mentor, and writer. Boonie joins Think Weird to discuss being a sensitive child & the influence games had on understanding her psychology. Later, she explains how to undo the "supposed" role we had to take on in early childhood & feel safe as an individual. Boonie also discusses video game design and its relationship to understanding archetypal modes. Boonie and Helen talk about human archetypes, plant analogies & growing. Boonie explains why it's okay that people change. She also describes how our society/environment influences our personality. 

Transcript

[00:00:00] Helen: This is a think weird podcast.

[00:00:02] Boonie: I kind of see it, this dynamic of, as I'm filling the pieces and cups of other people's lives, they're helping me put it back together too. It's this, the dynamic of us helping put the pieces together because it's, it's, it's just so confusing. But if you have a mirror and someone sees your humanity, They can help you too.

[00:00:21] Helen: You were just listening to today's guest Boonie, CRE poem now, I don't often admit this, but my mind was completely changed in the area of video game design and psychotherapy. It's very rare that you talk to someone and you're understanding is completely blown away.

[00:00:38] Now, if you're someone who wants to be ready to have their minds, Please get ready for this conversation because if you felt alone your entire life bony helps us understand why the arena of video game design can actually pave ways for people to engage in conversation and to be part of a larger community.

[00:01:00] My name's Helen Garcia, and this is think weird.

[00:01:08] So I actually read a lot of your blog articles about video game design and interaction. How did you end up getting into finding the correlation between those two

[00:01:19] Boonie: things? I've always been observant and curious about who people are, who I am. And when I met more people who leaned towards being a type of hybrid or healer of people who wanted to embody.

[00:01:34] More than just one thing. When other people told them who they were it felt home, you know, that's what I think gaming can do, especially for people me who had a harder time connecting with friends or talking about things that other people didn't wanna talk about is just I was little, I had.

[00:01:56] Big heart and a connection to the world. I wanted to save the oceans. I was seven years old and there's this one assignment to make an invention. And I was why don't we find a way to end world hunger or clean the oceans? Cuz it was a big problem. And it still is. It's even worse. Now we have microplastics in the ocean, but as a little kid that's what I wanted to do.

[00:02:21] And it's been. I'm turning 40 this summer. So it's been 30 something years. Plus there's this part of me who trying to carve out this space for myself. I'm allowed to exist, but the people in my life have told me don't exist in this way. It's dangerous. The world will consume you. The world will destroy you.

[00:02:42] Your two sensitive you're too quiet. You're too passive. You think about things, but you'll do anything. And for me, thinking is the most playful thing I can do. You, you read my blogs, right? I love thinking it is my form of play. I love thinking about systems and, and interconnected things and what possibility can be.

[00:03:01] And it's so fun that people, a lot of people don't think that way are you didn't do anything. Yes, I did. I got to make things that didn't go together together. and I feel that was so fun. I made something, but you can't see it. So I, it's hard for people to understand

[00:03:20] Helen: you have such a unique mix of artistry gaming and an understanding for human dynamics and interaction.

[00:03:28] And one of the things that I don't wanna skip over is how delicate your childhood was as a sensitive child who just didn't really connect with what other people wanted to talk about. One of the things that you said is you're you're too sensitive. I actually heard that a lot growing up as a highly sensitive kid.

[00:03:46] What was your healing process and how did you begin to heal from those childhood wounds and pains?

[00:03:52] Boonie: So the divergent path is very much divergent. People who come to me or when I look back on my life too, or see other people who have pursued similar paths, it's Scattered mess, which is why my website and my, my work organized mess is right.

[00:04:13] It it's so messy and chaotic , but there is an order it's if you just trust yourself, there is an order that comes out of this madness. Right. And so what I wanted to do, I was, I was 23. I was 22 or 23 and I woke up from this deep depression. So I had a friend died by suicide in my, in college. And that's what kind of.

[00:04:37] Rocked everything because he was literally my only friend and. I didn't have anyone to talk to and people didn't understand that they're so you just fell for a boy. And you're in this deep depression, because of a boy I'm that wasn't, it is because he was the first person I could connect with on a certain level, a spiritual or cognitive level.

[00:04:56] He was a poet too. And he was very pained. And so it was hard. Yes. And then he took a certain way out. And so but after that, I didn't have anyone to talk to. And so It wasn't because it was just some boys because I didn't have, he was the first person who I could actually connect with and talk to.

[00:05:13] So I felt I was an alien on this planet. So after a while I, I actually studied computer science first because you know, I'm smart. I, I can get it. I wanted to be a video game developer do storyboard art. So combine the world's right. Science and art. But I kept failing because I had PTSD.

[00:05:32] I, I. Consolidate information. I couldn't get the tests right until the day after I had all my exams, everything started clicking and my professors were are you okay? I'm not okay, but I don't know what to do. But cuz back in the day I think counseling and mental health wasn't done spoken of.

[00:05:51] So I just wandered the campus by myself suffering. And so after drudging through that graduating even. in art instead. I woke up in my apartment cuz I was by myself. I spent the weekends by myself, all my apartment mates, they did their thing, went home to visit their families. I was just such a loner.

[00:06:12] I woke up one day and saying, I don't wanna do this anymore. And I decided to pursue child development and education classes. That was always my first passion. I wanted to learn about learning and there was a part of me who was. There's this younger part of you. Booie you haven't honored her for a real long time.

[00:06:28] Let's go play. Let's learn something to figure it out. Cuz I know a lot of people who come from deep, painful, past experiences, they wanna figure it out. Where did it come from? Why am I this? And so a lot of people will pursue psychology, child development. They'll work with people to help others.

[00:06:45] And part of that process is while you're helping others, you learn about yourself as well. And so I worked with children since I was. I don't know, 19 years old. So this is gonna be year 20, one of working with children, families, and schools. And I'm still not done putting it all together. But as I, I kind of see it, this dynamic of, as I'm filling the pieces and cups of other people's lives, they're helping me put it back together too.

[00:07:15] It's this, the dynamic of us helping put the pieces together because it's, it's, it's just so confusing. But if you have a mirror and someone sees your humanity, They can help you too. And it's so it's always, I've always seen it as a, a community effort, which is why I gravitate towards school systems and education systems.

[00:07:32] I think that there is merit in helping people one by one and also systemically. Right? The big picture is we have to start with systems and the people who are the most marginalized and ignored with resources or education or opportunity to. Is the community from the ground up. So that's why I stayed in school systems.

[00:07:55] Helen: You're. Passionate about larger systems and how it relates to human dynamics.

[00:08:01] And so can you, for people that don't know, can you explain the different types of archetypes and how it relates to the systems? That we're a part

[00:08:09] Boonie: of? Sure. So let me define what an archetype or personality is in the first place. So depending on whoever you [00:08:20] subscribe to, there's so many people that talk about arche.

[00:08:23] Doesn't really matter where you get it from, because there's this collective unconscious archetypes are universal. There are these personality sets of traits that, that make a role. So you either can have many, many roles, archetypes and personalities inside of you. They can be given to you. You can have them inside of you.

[00:08:44] They, they sometimes have opportunities to speak and grow and be authentic. Other times we. Adopt certain roles or masks to survive. And that can come in terms of oh, your environment, wasn't safe enough for you to be your whole self. So this what archetype's gonna come out, you know? It could be for us collectively Asian family systems we're supposed to be do dually diligent.

[00:09:11] Good with academics. We are not supposed to be so, so expressive. Right. And, and stand out too much. So if you do that, that archetype probably got silenced when you're a kid and young adult as well. And then the thing about, so that's kind of the general kind of touch on what an archetype or role is.

[00:09:31] It, it comes down in different ways and depends on culture as well. Environment, culture, a lot of things, life, experience, and safety to express. Another part is the persona. So this is different from a personality. A persona is what we do to get by. It is similar to a mass because you're not your personality.

[00:09:52] So the joke is when I talk about personalities, is that at the end of all this personality work, you're not your personality. That's the joke. Our personality is a set of life experiences that kind of put pieces onto who you think you're supposed to be. Society tells you, oh, femininity is expressed a certain way.

[00:10:13] Family systems and histories of trauma say you can't behave this way because our family has struggled to survive. If you want our lineage to continue, we're telling you to survive this way. So put on this persona, you. And so the journey of archetypal work is to constantly examine where things are coming from.

[00:10:34] Cuz if you're living in a way where you're not examining where these roles mass personas are coming from, then you might be living for some other people and that's not good or bad, it's just a truth. So archetypal work is just identifying what the truth. When you're living in a way where you just on autopilot, which a lot of people are because of stress economies, problems, trauma, violence.

[00:11:02] We have reasons for why we put the mask up. We have reasons for why the persona is there. If someone sees me vulnerable, I'm gonna die. If someone sees me express myself authentically, when this environment is so unsafe, I am gonna die or a part of my body or my. They take damage and then I have to recover from that.

[00:11:24] And so it's this constant testing of safety for can all my parts show up. Am I allowed to be myself right now? And then you have to be truthful with yourself. Examine, can I trust these people? Are they awakened to see that there's more than one way to live a life? Are they awaken and open to being wrong with how they treated me?

[00:11:45] So it's, it's this constant dance of And then the, the part that's with shadow work in terms of archetypal work is how did I contribute to being inauthentic? What are the lies that I believed about how other people told me to be? So as a sensitive person, I believed that I was less than if I was sensitive.

[00:12:06] I believed that I didn't deserve love and attention because I wasn't what people believed to be strong and confident. But for me, I'm C. In a quiet way. And I, I think that, you know, , and my kids call me ancient the old ancient one now. So I will take that archetypal term. I, I, I have no problem with that though.

[00:12:28] I I'm leading from one feminine archetype is there's the made in mother CR I skipped mother. I'm gonna be Aron soon. So I have no problem being CR with my, my kiddos and any young adults I work with. There is this wisdom that comes with age and femini. You know, and so I have accumulated by being an outsider by observing inward.

[00:12:51] And that's not my words. It's from Clarissa pest as she is one of the great, great minds of feminine archetype for work. And I'm listening to one about the wise woman archetype and the wild woman, archetype of one who just never seemed to fit in, you know, and, and on this podcast, there's a lot of us who just never seem to fit in.

[00:13:11] So when you don't seem to fit in, what are you. You're on the outskirts of society. You're constantly on the outside looking in and you're why is society this? Why are people automatons drudging along the day? The one thing that boggled my mind when I was a kid, it still does. But I'm more comfortable saying it now.

[00:13:30] Cuz again, ancient. Why do people accept that this is the way life has to be eight hour work day, come home. You're so tired to enjoy anything. You feel ashamed to enjoy anything and you have to ask for permission to take time off when you're just struggling. I know that millennials and gen Z.

[00:13:48] Wait. Yeah, we're, we're trying to change the system, but we're fighting the, again, the generational patterns of keeping it the same. And so society wise, systemically we have the, the larger archetypal systems of keeping order. So there's this one archetype system of the, the traditionalists, you know, that's a type of archetype, that's a type of role.

[00:14:12] We need order in society, but if you do it too much, What happens, we don't grow, we don't evolve. So the change makers, the people who think differently, the people who think there's strength and sensitivity, we have an archetypal duty to stand in our power. However, that is, and so that's our job to define it.

[00:14:33] So there's different groups and subsets of people who have absorbed a role. But again, you have to understand. The role that I am supposed to be doing, or I I, I kind of brainwashed myself or did society brainwashed me to think that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And when you get to that point, though, there's a cognitive dissonance that happens.

[00:14:52] There's a ego death that happens. You feel your world and internally you're psyche falls apart, but it's supposed to, you know, so archetypally systemically the change makers are the people who were able to look inside, see their shadow. identify the things that they don't want to attribute to who they are, cuz we're everything, you know, where possibility is endless.

[00:15:19] And sometimes when we believe that we're supposed to be a certain way, we develop shame, we develop this anxiety imposter syndrome. Right. And we don't think that we can go beyond this box, but look at this, there's so much more space. The, the, and the one thing actually gave a really cool quote to one of my clients, a long time ago.

[00:15:38] They were growing and I told them, well, you're supposed to you're just the universe is expanding so good. ever so beautifully. Right? And so if we are just the cosmos, you're supposed to get bigger, you're supposed to think about what can be. And so when you identify which archetypal roles are multiple, because it can change across the lifespan.

[00:16:02] That's part of growth too. You think of family systems, you think. Families where you're a baby, you grow into a teenager, you grow into an adult, you grow into an elder. You're supposed to be a role model. Now you give back. So everyone has to evolve with their, it doesn't have to be chronological either.

[00:16:19] Some people have this wisdom within them when they're super young and. I think they should embrace it and just give back however they're supposed to be. And some people could be the forever child, you know, yeah. Maybe we're supposed to nurture you forever and you're supposed to give us that whimsy.

[00:16:36] Right? You could be 90 years old and your, [00:16:40] your job is to inspire us to stay young right. At heart. So it depends. And that one thing that I'll emphasize is it's just constant introspection, is this the right role? That's it, you know, if it's not think about something else, what did you ever want to do that you didn't get to do?

[00:16:58] Because at that time you were surviving, you know, at that time and place you were hiding because it was safer to hide. But now that you're a grown up and you can choose your environment to be safe, what would you to do? Yeah,

[00:17:14] Helen: you've brought up so many good points. Just survival versus actually living and growth.

[00:17:21] And one of the things that I, I don't want to. Look over because I think what you brought up is so key it's that we're easily embedded by life stressors and become accumulated and our personalities and who we think we should be end up clouding our judgment as to who we really are and standing in our power.

[00:17:40] And in this cultural moment we've been through COVID, we've been we're going through what might be another recession. Another possible COVID outbreak that is plaguing people. Economic stressors. And so I think it's easy now. It's easier than ever to be caught up in, in everything. So for someone that's listening to this podcast right now and saying, yes, bony is so right.

[00:18:08] I recognize all of what she's saying. What daily practices can they start to take on to start embracing and figuring out who they really are?

[00:18:20] Boonie: So the one of the first things I teach anybody just for fun too, cuz I one of my fascinations, I said, I thinking about concepts and thinking about ideas.

[00:18:31] The, my most favorite thing to think about is change, change cycles, change systems transformation. I love nature and trees and plants. I will look at a plant grow and think about this. Is gonna die. So am I, this plant will fight to live. This plant will take in the nurture of the sun, the soil and the water as much as it can.

[00:18:58] And that's it. You cannot give it anymore. I think sometimes when someone's ready to grow, they're all gung ho I wanna learn all the things. Now. I wanna grow 180 degrees from what I used to be. I wanna do it all now. You can't look at a plant. Look at a seed growing, how much can it grow in one day?

[00:19:18] You know, and what happens if the environment shifts, what happens if you forget to water, it things happen. And so the meditations of really being present with the earth and the plants around you, help me remember, I gotta go slow. You know, and then my environment sometimes, so here's a story I'm with my aunt right now.

[00:19:38] And I don't know why, but her plants don't grow. We're doing

[00:19:43] Helen: everything in our there's studies though. There's studies though that show that there's just, I believe in the connection that humans make with nature, cuz we are inherently nature. We are part of the universe and I, I do believe that there, our environment really can shift.

[00:20:00] The chemistry of a plant or our spirit, you know, but tell me more, I wanna

[00:20:05] Boonie: hear about this. Oh, that's a good point. Actually reminds me of et and the flower. Yes. So that, that, that scene, that scene where the flowers wilt and come back to that guy that always spoke to me. So when I look at the plants, I'm what the heck is going on?

[00:20:18] I will go to the neighbor's house. Growing. Okay. I go down the street, growing and I'm what is the heck is going on? And so I'll go visit my parents too. And they love plants as well. It's they're thriving, they're lush. They're we're not even growing watering too much cuz of the drought, but they're happy.

[00:20:38] And so I'm wondering. Is it the soil here, it might be the soil here. And so I'm just saying it might be the soil, but then also it could be the food. I don't know. So anyways, I keep on thinking environment changes. It people's energy changes the way the plant grows. You just said, I, I keep on walking around the block, looking around all these plants, their native plants, they're drought, tolerant plants.

[00:21:00] Somehow certain houses have things that are growing certain houses do not. And. It's not magic. It's just, there is energy that affects things, but also environment too. So we have to be patient with is my environment nurturing a certain thing. And if you're stressed out, take that into a huge account.

[00:21:21] I'm not growing right now because it's stressful. Because imagine if you are growing when it is stressful, you're taking a hundred times more energy. Then another person who has the freedom and the, the safety to thrive and sprout, right? It, there is this, there's a safety component.

[00:21:38] You did it when you were younger, you did it when you were unsafe, you're doing it. Now, if you have to stay safe and small, or not branch out in certain ways, then it's intentional. Give yourself credit for unconsciously, knowing when and where you're supposed to be. And that's kind of the game as well, too.

[00:21:56] If you're working, if you're in certain relationships where you can't speak your truth and it's not safe to do so, don't do it part of this cultivation of growing into your power and authenticity involves examination of, do I even have people that I can express myself without judgment without feeling I'm being trampled on?

[00:22:19] Can I even experiment and that's for me. The power of going to spaces where nobody knows you. You could put on any personality hat you want and no one's gonna judge you cuz they don't know your past. They can't say, well then you were this back then even a week ago, what are you trying to do?

[00:22:40] We're allowed to reinvent ourselves whenever we want to. That's the big lie society tells us too, you chose an archetypal role. You can't change. That means other people have to adjust. So once you start trying other hats, the affirmations you tell yourself, I have I'm in charge of my life.

[00:23:00] I have the power to choose how I want to be it really. And then the, one of those things is it doesn't hurt anybody. It may make people uncomfortable, but really it's not hurting anyone. If you decide to I wanna be something else now, or I was never my authentic self, I'm gonna be authentic now, you know?

[00:23:20] So the environment really.

[00:23:22] Helen: I have to thank you Boey, because reading your work@organizedmesses.com, it was . It was one of . It just kind of helped me UN unlearn my shame because I loved video games growing up. I actually have my parents never let me buy video games because they thought it was ruining my mind.

[00:23:45] And there are a lot. Misconceptions out there about video game design and its impact on kids and, and even the neuro divergent community. And I think that your work it's so detailed, it's so explicit as to how it has the capacity to help parents and children understand who they are. And you know, one of the things that I wanted to ask you.

[00:24:10] You didn't have the best childhood growing up when it comes to just the mother wound you'd had to heal from how did, how does that affect the way that you raise your kids and how have you done your work in healing?

[00:24:25] Boonie: I, so I guess, it's funny cuz you know how there's large, subtle Asian groups on Facebook.

[00:24:32] There's millions of members and then there's all. Splinter groups. One time I commented and my mom has never given me a hug before. She never said she loved me. And someone was are you for real? I know that our parents are kind of distant, but really, and oh, okay. I guess that I went too far.

[00:24:51] But, but then she did hug me. I think I was 28 years old when she first wow. Went to start hugging people. I, I know, what was that? [00:25:00]

[00:25:00] Helen: When you got your first hug from your mom at 28, was it awkward?

[00:25:03] Boonie: It was awkward. My cousins were there too. They're did she just hug us? We, we were visiting for family Ave or something and she went in to hug them and I watched her hug, who is this woman?

[00:25:16] she's warm, she's smiling. Hmm. Interesting. . And so I, I, I know that she's doing her own work, so again, so the separation of. And this is the thing I wanna kind of do a, a side note of if people have wounded you so much that you can't do this work, you don't have to, you know, I, I I'm at this place where I can separate from my pain, my past experiences and, you know, she had her own thing going on, as an okay immigrant.

[00:25:51] Right. She gave up everything. She didn't decide to come. Her, her family made her come, you know? And she's the oldest of seven. and then she had to give everything that she made back to the family so they could come here. So she had a huge burden, I will never understand what that feels to give up your whole life, your, your, your, your youth and your money to, because of duty and cultural expectations to bring everyone else in.

[00:26:17] And then in more expectations, more taking, more taking, I'll never get that. And so I get why she's cold. People just want money from you. I don't want that. So and, and then people never see the other side because she's had to have this protective layer. Right? So her archetypal journey is so different from mine work because she was able to be strong and diligent and so hardworking.

[00:26:39] I don't have to have that armor on ever I'm squishy because of her I get to cry because of her. She's only cried maybe five times in my. And she never cried, cried. She's always a tear and it's because of funerals, people dying. I've never seen her have any other emotion, cause she's always had to be strong and stoic.

[00:27:01] And so I'm crying cuz I'm grateful. Right? I know it's been hard for her. So again, if you are not at this point, I'm not gonna force you to, because your context is so different. If someone has wounded you and hurt you so much that you can't get to the place where you can see their perspective.

[00:27:19] Be be safe for yourself and stay away. The walls are up for a reason. The, the armor is up for a reason. We, we put on certain personality, hats, our persona exists to protect us from the people or the systems that harm us. And so again, if you can't get to that point, I'm not expecting you to, it's not a failure.

[00:27:42] It's just is right. The beauty of self acceptance and accepting. Some of the things about this world is there's a release of burden, a release of expectation, oh, I mean, if it happens great, if it doesn't, eh, you know, maybe next lifetime, cuz I, I don't know that, you know, and that's again, it's not my burden to fix it all.

[00:28:02] I give it back to the universe. It's not mine, you know, if things fall into place, great. If not, you know, oh, well,

[00:28:13] Helen: It's not my burden to fix the world. I have to, that's a mental note that I'm, I have to put in my head. You're not someone who engages in black and white thinking you don't, you're very careful not to label people or to antagonize them.

[00:28:29] I think. We, and this is not a critique on culture. I think it's just a critique on the way that we advertise and we market where it's so easy to villainize people nowadays based on one thing that they say, and I'm, I'm so grateful to have this conversation with you because you really think in nuance, you think in grays, and you're able to understand where people are coming from and it's so evident in the way that you speak.

[00:28:54] How did you get there?

[00:28:57] Boonie: Oh gosh. Let's see, so I'm trying to backtrack.

[00:29:02] Helen: I wanna get there boomy. That's it's a selfish question that I just asked you. Cuz I think for me, my protection is okay, you said this one thing get away. I still haven't healed from what you said. So I think that it takes so much strength as a woman and also a woman who has been through so much.

[00:29:23] where you kind of, you're able to walk in understanding and compassion. So that's where my question was coming from.

[00:29:29] Boonie: Okay. So I actually have something to explain that then. So going back to plants. Yeah. And cycles of change. Cause I didn't get to explain it too much. So there's this, I still wanna draw it cuz I think it's insane.

[00:29:42] I said the word insane. How change processes work? So it, I started out by saying there's a pendulum of change. So here's one extreme, the black, another extreme, the white, when you start off here and you say this isn't working for me, I wanna try something different. You let go. The pendulum swings to the complete opposite.

[00:30:04] Cause we don't know nuance yet. We don't know that yet. So you go from one extreme to the next and that's probably how you see people. You quote unquote, call dysregulated. They might have a manic episode and I don't actually see it that way. I actually see that people are learning how to regulate themselves, but society gave them a label.

[00:30:24] Society, stopped them from integrating this new position and being able to let go and go back. But what happens when you use a pendulum, you ever watch it where it just goes this and it slowly reaches the middle. So integration of. Is the letting go of the, the confines of this one personality that you had to do to survive.

[00:30:46] It involves ways of thinking, feeling, doing, believing this truth. You have to let go. Then when you swing, this is complete opposite. It's not working. Of course it's not working. It's too far removed from what you're used to. So you swing back. But when you swing back, it is never as extreme as the original point of your melting point.

[00:31:06] Your, your extreme low. your aha moment where life is not supposed to be this way. Right? The problem is most people don't go with the flow of swinging back and forth. People have detours, they have self doubt. They're this is not working, cuz it didn't fix itself. When I went to the opposite way, of course it's not, that's not how change works, change, work that way.

[00:31:28] But we, we lose hope. And so it's you know what? This didn't work. I'm going back this way. And then you stop here. And then you believe that this well, I tried, yeah, you did try, but really there's another, here's the lie again? Here's the trick again? How personality is not you, this trick about changes.

[00:31:46] It's perpetual. You have to do this for the rest of your life. So you're going back and forth for the rest of your life because you believe in this process and then you no shame. You just accept that this is the flow. I did this part. I moved back. That's. I'll stay here for a little bit, cuz it's comfortable.

[00:32:06] Then my brain and body be okay, let's try again. You go back and say, I learned something new. Let's pick and choose what we're gonna take with us. It's still too uncomfortable to change. Cuz I'm so used to this part, go back, you know, again with acceptance, with knowing that you're not gonna stay there forever and keep on going back and forth.

[00:32:24] And that's how you develop this grayness. There is so much nuance, but again, we give ourselves the shame, the should. The it's not good enough perfectionism, as a creative, we have huge perfectionism in the artwork that is our life. Right. And so it's a lot of this, you're a beautiful process of art.

[00:32:47] Probably never gonna get complete that's okay. You know, I think that when something negative happens, you know, The process of also being something sensitive and, and, and, and dramatic, you know, feeling intensely is that will pass, but I don't know how long it's gonna pass. I remember one time I had a really long bout of shadow work, took me about two and a half years to get through.

[00:33:16] I felt the lowest in a really long time. As [00:33:20] opposed to when, in my twenties, this was just maybe five years ago. And. I challenged my role as a woman. Right. I thought, oh, people kept telling me that's the thing. People kept saying Ney, you're gonna be the perfect mom. You're gonna be whoever Mary using me, so lucky.

[00:33:38] You're just so good at with kids. I can't imagine you not being a mom. So I internalized that and look at me only 40 year olds, no kids not married. And I felt I. I felt I, I, I, I failed at life. You know, people told me I believed them. And so I came down this complete shame spiral.

[00:33:57] I destroyed my ego, trying to figure out what happened, what did I do wrong? I didn't do anything wrong. You know, my role, my purpose is something different. I have been an archetypal mother to so many kids, you know, and, and the reframing and really believing I still work through it. That's the problem that I have right now.

[00:34:16] I'm still working through truly believing. I have worth outside of being a biological mom, you know? And so that's my wounding. That's one of my woundings and I, I, I embrace it. I honor it. Other people have to identify. What's one of the themes that has been pulling you down that makes you think that your, your life has no meaning that you've been doing something wrong.

[00:34:35] That's really personal. It takes a long time and it will come up in different parts of life. Again, the pendulum, your themes look different every time you do it. And so while you're doing this, that's one component of change. It's also a spiral where you're going up. So you're going to this chaos.

[00:34:55] So you're swinging, but also going up this. And as you elevate yourself, as you transform, it gets easier because, so I actually equate it to levels in a video game, you play easy mode first, which is actually hard mode because of the traumas and things you're going. You do one cycle of it, all the themes that you're kind of touching, you're just naming the themes.

[00:35:17] Don't even know them yet. Right? What am I fighting? What's inside of me that I hate about myself. You know, what's society telling me to do that. I, I, I think I'm supposed to do, but I actually don't want to. So that's the first level. The second level is you instead of easy mode, you do normal mode. You know, it gets a little bit harder, but you, in your inventory, you have all this.

[00:35:36] You all this insight, you know what the boss fights look so it's a little bit easier, even though it's harder. Right. And then you do it a couple times in normal mode, then you level up and you do apocalyptic mode. Right? And so that's the part where you have to maintain the change and knowing this is who I really am.

[00:35:54] This is me now. I'm probably doing apocalyptic mode where I'll who, you're not a mom get over it. You know? So I again, joke about. Deal with it, cry in the corner, you know, honor all feelings and be okay, all right. BU you're not a mom. And so changing the language instead of, but its, and, and you're an archetypal mom, don't worry about it.

[00:36:14] You got this, you know, so what's my archetype that I thought I was supposed to be. So that's the lie too. You're doing a role that you thought you're supposed to be. I thought it was supposed to be the mom, the, the white picket fence. I believe that, you know, and so I have to challenge myself in.

[00:36:30] What is the real archetype that I'm supposed to be living my truth in. It's probably the crone, you know, I'm a crone. I have wisdom to share, because again, I've been observing for so much. I, I love sharing wisdom. I love sharing stories to help uplift others because that insight, again, sometimes it's not safe to have insight.

[00:36:50] I've been an outsider for so long. I'm not as affected by other people because I'm not integrated into society as much as other people who have to do it. There's no shame here. Sometimes you have to be in the system because that's for survival to make ends meet to the, the powers of the families and the bonds that you have.

[00:37:09] You got to be there. Lucky for me, I'm a hermit. I get to be on the outside, watching people and taking my little notes and my little invisible notebook. And how are people behaving now? What's the wisdom I can get from this, you know? And so I can pass that on. And that's my archetypal journey for me.

[00:37:26] I'm on apocalyptic mode and you could be in easy mode now because it's so hard. You're learning how to play the game because you never learned it. You just again, autopilot now, get there. Maybe you won't because you didn't have the insight. But now that we talked about. You could start examining the role that you're playing in this life.

[00:37:45] Is this where I wanna be? And if not, who's an inspiration, archetypes heroes, superheroes, video games, if I had to choose a different role, what could I try? You know? And that's why video games are so powerful. I, I played healer for so long and I decided, you know, the, the, so there is the shadow and the, the, the good and bad of every architect, right.

[00:38:09] As a sensitive person, People did take advantage of me. You know, people did assume people did take my kindness for granted. And then all they did was take, take, take my job. My archetypal role to grow up is to have these boundaries and express them, say explicitly, I'm not doing this anymore. And naming it.

[00:38:31] You're, you're actually using me. You're you're taking from me and you don't get to take anymore, you know? So. There is a power in gentleness. There's a power in having sensitive boundaries. It's just that again, when we have a persona, we only have a facet of a personality trait, a PA passive of personality, instead of all of it.

[00:38:56] So I have to do my work too, of as the sensitive person, as the artist, as the creative, as the helper, am I doing it in a way where it's unhealthy? Did I do it in an extreme way where I thought. Part of this archetype was only allowed to exist and not all of it. That's what you have in terms of the helper.

[00:39:14] We usually have the wounded healer, right. People are trying to do the work. If I help enough people, I can help myself. If I help enough people I'll fill this void in my heart, you know? And so that's. Examining it you don't know what you have until you look at it from take a step back and look at yourself, look at the patterns, look at how you've engaged with certain people and who filled you and who drained you.

[00:39:40] That's important too. Again, autopilot does some dangerous things, again, two sides, right? Survival autopilot. You don't have to deal with cognitive burnout cuz you're ex I'm not living too much true potential. I have to fight the system that I. Possibly change. I have no power right now. If you shut that part of yourself off just to survive, that makes more sense.

[00:40:04] So if you're also in this path of, I have a safe little, little corner of the internet, or I have video games to play, what's a role that you wanna try. That's why for me fighting games are so powerful. I play first person shooters all the time and I wanna talk about this because there's all these, whenever there's a shooting or something, only when we have something bad, you wanna start blaming the game?

[00:40:30] Mm-hmm really? Did I, did I go out and hurt people? did all the thousands of millions of people online? No, it's there's this again? Systemically, you have a trait that could have been maybe supported. It could have been something that was inspired, but really. we belong to a collective there's that out of the blue.

[00:40:58] Oh, a game major, violent that to me, never made sense in the first place. It it's weird because there's this one thing I think about, in terms of medicine and, and health sciences and stuff, you can never prove something didn't happen. So right. So if you're, if you got rid of eradicated, Or you help people feel safe in a video game and they didn't cause violence.

[00:41:25] You can't prove it cuz it didn't happen. You know? So we're, we're fighting a this battle we can't win. And so back to using the games in archetypes to be more in your authentic self I do fighting games [00:41:40] because that helps me see that I can fight. I can be powerful. I can have a role where. I can get this aggression out of me because it's important.

[00:41:49] I'm a human being. I have these desires. I have these inclinations I'm not peaceful all the time. That's impossible. But my voice people are can I just be around you? I love your voice. it's it feels great. Right. But it. I'm gonna go scream on the internet, cuz so I used to scream on Twitch and I love screaming.

[00:42:11] I love laughing because I'm a really bad gamer and that's the beauty and the fun of coaching gamers. They're you suck so bad and here only help you, you know? So that's the thing too. A powerless demographic gamers, gamers have been marginalized blamed for a lot of things. I have my role of being a sucky ancient gamer.

[00:42:32] I come in and my gamers are. We love you Boey. Let me help you. So it's a new role. They're practicing, helping an adult in their lives that cares about them. They get to be compet. In and mastery of their own field, their world. I get to see them show me around. Especially when I play with my nieces and nephews.

[00:42:52] They're auntie, I did something for you or auntie, let me show you round. Or I, I found something for you. Let me give it to you. And that's so powerful too. I did write about yet, kids own nothing. They own nothing. They have no money, but if you go to a video game, it's virtual, they found something for me, they spent time digging diamonds up in Minecraft or something, right.

[00:43:10] Or they built me a house or next to their. They've made me something it's it's real. And so I'll always cherish that because it is a real gift that they can give. Someone's people have been giving me things my entire young life. I don't own anything. And I wish I could give the adults that I care for things too, because it matters it's reciprocal.

[00:43:31] Right. And so there's this power in gaming, even if. something simple, oh, here's my, my last pot here. You can have it. You know, things matter to kids and it's very symbolic. If we could see it in that way, there's just so much more we can do when we play with each other.

[00:43:49] Helen: The love of play. I still feel a kid.

[00:43:52] I still feel one of these five year olds and I still viscerally remember what it was to dig in the sand or to go to the park with my dad and go swinging. I actually live a couple steps away from a park. And it's, it's just one of the things parents will look at me and, and give me judgment, but , I still, I'm still that person that loves climbing monkey bars.

[00:44:17] And I love indoor rock climbing, cuz it reminds me of my childhood and I, I just have to acknowledge you for a second bony where. I'm just so grateful to be having this conversation with you because you're clearly someone who's done her own deep work and has honored every part of herself. Do you have any book recommendations?

[00:44:38] Cause I, I also wanna be sensitive to time in that time. Just flew by for us.

[00:44:44] Boonie: Let's see. So, you know, and to honor the feminine, there is this one book with a workbook called the warrior goddess. Training in, let me look it up.

[00:45:01] Yeah. Warrior goddess training. Yes. I love that. I also love let's see, my architect books are back there, but I there is.

[00:45:14] Carolyn miss. She has a series on archetypes as well. She talks about these systems of core archetypes and I, I believe in them too. I just, it helps me with my perspective of seeing certain people you have four main archetypes and then there's 12 total. And in that system, you have your child archetype.

[00:45:35] There's a range of different child archetype. there's the saboteur, we all have a saboteur. We have a victim and we have a prostitute. So the prostitute is everyone has a price. And your archetypal journey is will you succumb to being bought in a certain way? And that's again, there is no good or bad of it.

[00:45:56] It's just again for survival, we have a price. If you're struggling and you're starving. I'm sure you're gonna have a price, not about integrity, really? Just for me, I have certain disagreements with how she frames certain things, but we do have a price for certain stuff too. And then Jean Shinoda Boen, she talks about architects as well.

[00:46:17] She writes about women archetypes. One of 'em goddess is an every woman she talks about. Yes, Western archetypes. And I want to read more. Eastern archetypes. I think that, you know, the more stories we have the better, oh, and one more Clarisa pink, Estes, a women who run with the wolves. That's the wild woman archetype, for sure.

[00:46:43] She's a west street and the way she story tells is just fricking amazing. My goal is to, to honor her influence, but also be kind of my version of her for Asian communities. I think that we have different, maybe there's overlaps with differences, with how our femininity and individuality is, is hindered.

[00:47:09] We just don't have a chance to fully express ourselves. And I'm sure this, this fighting inside of us to to just show up and be seen. And, but I know it's hard, especially if you're an Asian creative, Any industry outside of science or money.

[00:47:28] Helen: Tell me about .

[00:47:31] Boonie: Yeah, there's pain.

[00:47:32] Helen: I we both share this I'm I work as a clinical therapist and I also am a huge creative and I've I have a background in radio and sound design and things that.

[00:47:43] And I think that I'm, I'm just starting my career and I think you're somebody who I. Honor your influence on my life just in the weeks that I've, I've read from your work, because it's just, you know, one of the things that you just said a few minutes ago, it's people just tell me that I, they wanna sit beside me cuz they love my voice and they think that I'm calm, but I love screaming into the, into the internet, you know?

[00:48:13] And I love, I love the nuance. It goes back to this black and white again, where we are not just. Persona that we think that we need to take on we're multiple things and we can take on several archetypes and change and evolve. You're allowed to do that. And I've just learned so much. And I think that the people that listen to this podcast will learn a lot from you, especially honoring my Asian heritage as well.

[00:48:41] You know, being an Asian American immigrant, a creative someone who works in the field of psychotherapy. There's you're more than just your job and you're more than just what you studied. You're an evolving human being who does have a shadow side. And I love how you will give people permission to honor that based on your example.

[00:49:02] So I just wanted to say, thank you.

[00:49:06] Boonie: Thank you for, for having me. And then really seeing me it's it's, it's, it's a constant journey. And I think again I wish I could talk more about different archetypal system, but we'll have my arch. Oh, great. So one of my archetypes is dramatically screaming for, I'm not worthy of this attention.

[00:49:24] I'm no, hi. No, ,

[00:49:27] Helen: I, I, I actually just experienced that the other day I had I teach classes on mindset education, and I had a student tell me, you know, you're just so articulate and I wanna be you and I, I looked at her and I said, oh, I finally understand what my heroes felt when I gave them a compliment, because when you're in the work and digging deep and, and trying to find out who you are, I think Marcus really has said this in meditations.

[00:49:53] He said, people who pursue good character are rarely if ever going unnoticed. [00:50:00] And I think that the reason for that is because so many people are satisfied with going through the motions and being on autopilot. And so I think that. Refusing to stay in survival mode has, has given me permission to do, to do the same.

[00:50:17] It kind of reminds me of the matrix, you know, so many people live inside of it. And then you finally discover someone who is willing to be on the outskirts of life that recognizes that you're kind of woven into the same fabric of your being. And then you're oh, there's other possibilities outside of what?

[00:50:36] I think that I.

[00:50:38] Boonie: Oh, God, I, the matrix was so influential. Yeah. I love the matrix. I love cyber punk. Oh, that's a whole, that's a whole conversation. I wanna

[00:50:47] Helen: hear more, you know what? Let's have a second part of this interview, cuz I feel there's so much for us to talk about. Just, I feel there's so much that I can learn from you Bo.

[00:50:56] Yeah, this journey is just so much more fun when you have other creatives, especially Asian American creatives who understand where you're coming from and, and your blueprint. Ah, thank you so much. This was a water to my, my personal human plant. You know, I

[00:51:13] Boonie: love this. Yeah.

[00:51:21] Helen: Think weird was not recorded in front of a live studio audience. This episode was written, produced and edited by me, Helen Garcia and starring Boey. The platform used to record this podcast was riverside.fm. The podcast hosting this podcast is sounder.fm. Thanks for listening. And this was a production of think weird co by Helen Garcia.