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Ep #149: Emotional Survival to Emotional Resilience: What We Can Learn From Netflix 'Beef'



Embark on an insightful exploration of the tumultuous emotional landscapes portrayed in Netflix's "Beef" with me. I'll examine the emotional survival of the main characters, Danny and Amy, and uncover profound lessons in emotional resilience that you can apply to your own life. You learn how unchecked anger and impulsivity can mask the deep-seated pain and disconnection we face, especially during life's more trying situations like divorce. Their story serves as a mirror to our own, reflecting the critical need for emotional awareness to navigate the ebbs and flows of personal adversity.


I'll discuss the pivotal role that staying present with our feelings provides to be able to engage our prefrontal cortex for thoughtful decision-making. By sharing this fictional transformation, I offer you insights and practical resources to support your journey toward emotional clarity. Whether you're rebuilding resilience or simply seeking a deeper understanding of emotional awareness, join me in this episode that promises to inspire and guide you along your path to healing and growth.


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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it shows up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.


Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.


Full Episode Transcript:

This is episode number 149 of Becoming you Again, and I am your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. All right, my friends, welcome back to the podcast today. I am very excited for you to be here for this episode because it's going to be kind of fun. I know I say that a lot, but this literally is going to be very different because today I am talking about the show Beef on Netflix. If you guys watched this show and I'm not just going to talk about the show and be like this show is completely fucked up and what is even happening it's so great and also so terrible, all of those things if you've seen it. But I'm going to talk about some lessons that we can learn from these two main characters who are so insanely out of touch with their emotions and it's so crazy which is funny to even say because, on first glance, if you know anything about this show, beef, come on. It's like if you don't know anything about it. It's basically like road rage incident taken to the worst possible outcome through eight or 10 episodes or something like that, and all these things just pile on top of each other and so if we take the word beef, it's like you got a beef with me, I got a beef with you. We're going to go at each other kind of like that's what we mean by the word beef. Okay, but when you think about, like this idea of this road rage incident, your first thought might be what do you mean? They're out of touch with their emotions. They're completely in touch with their anger. It's all they do throughout the entire episode and I would push back on that and say, yes, number one, they are very angry. They are very angry at each other, at their own lives, at everyone else in their life, at the world, at just like life in general, and sad and frustrated, and they're feeling all of the emotions 100%. It's a show full of emotions, but what I mean by out of touch with their emotions is that they are living in reaction to their emotions. They are not opening up and allowing the emotions to be present, creating space to then intentionally decide who they want to be, how they want to show up. So we're going to talk about it. I'm going to get to that explanation, but let's just like first take a look at this Show about Danny and Amy. So if you haven't watched the show, first of all just go watch it, because it's great and terrible, it's all of the things, and you're gonna feel a lot and you're gonna have a lot of thoughts about these two main characters, because I know I did, and even at one point I was just literally like these might be the two worst human beings on earth. They are Terrible, but also so human, so, so, so, so human. And so I know that, like, when I'm watching a show, I like have a lot of judgment of people, but also I can, when I really distill it down, I can understand, like, exactly what they're feeling, exactly what they're going through, exactly why they reacted in that way makes sense. Not saying that it's okay to react in that way or the ways that they do. I'm just saying get it, it makes sense, okay. So, and if you have watched it, great, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, Maybe have your own thoughts, come tell me on Instagram at Karen Nelson coaching, and like we'll have a little conversation through DMs. Go for it. But if you haven't watched it and you don't want to know anything about spoilers, I'm not gonna go into like super great detail, but like I will kind of talk about the ending a little bit, because I think it's really important to take a look at the ending and then, if you don't want to know the ending before you've watched it, like maybe go watch it and then come back and listen to this podcast. So, all right, we've got these two main characters, danny and Amy, and, like I said, it's like this road rage incident, crazy stuff ensues and it's literally like they both as we start to understand more about the characters and where they're coming from and what they're feeling, what's going on in their lives, they both basically feel this immense social and cultural pressure to Perform, to achieve, to support their families, to be a certain way, to show up in a certain way, to have certain things in life to like. They just feel so much pressure coming from all sides, all directions, and Because of this and lots of other things too. But this is one of the main reasons because of this. They each Kind of took the emotions that were coming up, that we all feel like those emotions of like shame, guilt and adequacy, frustration, anger for sure, uncertainty and they just took all those emotions and they just shoved it Deep, deep down inside, like I don't have time for this, I Got too much on my plate, too much important things are going on and if I mess up it's all gonna go to shit into hell, and they just shove it down. And because of that and this is something that we all do as humans, right, we all it's very natural for us to Repress, to avoid, to pretend we're not feeling things. But when we do that and when these two characters, danny and Amy, did that, they would began living in a heightened nervous system state, which basically means you go into survival mode. You are reacting to every situation when you're in survival mode from fight, flight or freeze. And if we really think about like this show in general, it's pretty obvious that these two main characters, they had a natural tendency to react with fight, like it's literally why the show is called Beef. Right, they are in a fight the entire show. I think everybody kind of has a natural tendency. I think sometimes it might depend on the situation and that could have also like lent to the way they reacted. I know we're talking about characters here, but we can learn so much from fictional characters for our own life If we apply what we see right. And so, by reacting in every sense of the word from this fight heightened nervous system, they created this beef with each other that truly ends in some horrific consequences, like truly horrific consequences. And so what I really want you to take away from this painting, this picture of like what's happening for them, and what I really want you to understand, is, if we are feeling these emotions, as we all do and we all will, and especially when we're going through divorce and things are heavy and hard and there's a lot of anger, usually going back and forth, there's a lot of hate, there's a lot of jealousy, there's a lot of shame, there's a lot of guilt, there's all of these heightened emotions right that are going on when we're going through a divorce, and if you don't want your life to end up having unimaginable consequences and I'm not saying like, listen, I understand that this show is fiction, it is the absolute worst case scenario in every sense of the word. Everything is taken to the extreme level. I understand that that is most likely not going to be happening in your life. However, I do think that it is in these extreme types of examples that can best help us apply those lessons to our own lives. So if we don't want to like live our lives out of survival mode, which so many of us are doing, so many of us are living out of a heightened nervous system state. We are living out of anxiety, we are living out of anger, we are living out of fear. We're constantly heightened and that has us showing up in our survival mode of fight, flight or freeze, whatever your natural tendency is. For me it's flight. I'm like get me out of here. I do not want to deal with this. I do not want to see this. I don't want to talk about this. I don't want to like look at the reality of this like that's my natural tendency. Yours might be fight, yours might be to just freeze and to just go apathetic, to go numb, like all these things come up when we're in survival mode. But if we want to be able to live a life where we actually make decisions that are intentional, that are for our best interests, for our best interests of our future, where we feel empowered in our life, where we actually feel motivated to make change in a healthy, good, loving way, then what we need to do is learn how to create space between the stimulus and our response so that in that space, we have the power to choose our response instead of just reacting, reacting, reacting, reacting, which is what Danny and Amy do every step of the way throughout this entire series. It's reaction, reaction, reaction. We don't want to be living our lives in reaction right. When we don't have time to process or allow the stressful emotions to flow, to process through us while our nervous system is heightened, then our brain literally gets less flexible. It has been proven that our brain goes into a lower IQ state. When our emotional state is heightened, our brain becomes less flexible, which then starts a chain reaction of more stress, more fear, more anger, more hate, more shame, more guilt, all the things right. It creates a reaction which continues to lead to a lessened ability to feel capable of handling the situation, to know what to do, to make conscious, intentional, smart, even decisions, and we feel stuck and we feel worried and we feel uncertain when we again, just get to this state of reaction. Victor Frankel has this amazing quote that I absolutely love and I think that you should write it down if you're in a place where you can write things down, but I think it's so, so smart and it literally is exactly what we're talking about here. It's this idea of stimulus and response and creating that space. So he said, between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom, like boom mic drop right, he is 100% right. In that space is our power to choose and that is where our freedom and our growth lies, right there in that space. That space is where we heal ourselves. That space between the stimulus and the response is where we open up to allow what needs to be felt. And by allowing what needs to be felt we can find clarity to choose who we want to be in our response, how we want to be, and then we get to actually show up as that person. And what's really really, really interesting if you've watched Beef and here's the bit of the spoiler that we're going to go into, because I'm going to talk about the end and so if you haven't watched it and you don't want to know, this part fast forward like a minute or something. What's really interesting is at the end, danny and Amy. They actually kind of figure this thing out, this idea of like creating space to take a look at things, to create healing, to find clarity. They find it after doing all of these terrible, terrible, terrible things to each other, to their family, to strangers, to themselves even. They figure out how to create the space, to choose how they want to respond, to choose the person they want to be and show up as that person. Instead, they open up to the emotions that they've actually been feeling, that they've actually been repressing, that they've actually been pretending aren't actually there, that they don't have time for that, they can't feel because it's too hard or too heavy or there's so much judgment. There's so much judgment about themselves, about feeling this way, about being this way. They open up to that and they accept who they are instead of pretending to be something that they're not, and that's where they are able to do healing. But what's really interesting is they're kind of forced into this space because, if you see in the show, they get stranded in the desert together. There's no food, there's no water, there's no one around, they don't have like a car, their phones aren't working, they're stuck and they eat some like poisonous berries. That kind of makes them go on this weird hallucinogenic trip. But they're together and together in that moment they're able to slow down in that space of the stimulus and the response. Right, they're able to feel, they're able to show self-compassion and compassion for the other person and kind of get to this place where they understand more about why decisions were made, what was happening, why they were feeling. And then they what's key here is they drop the judgment about themselves, about who they are, and they're able to create so much healing in this like 24-hour period that they go through in the desert to get to a place of reasoning to then decide how they want to respond, moving forward. And it's a beautiful ending, like a crazy, amazing, beautiful ending to this terrible story, these terrible experiences that they have created in their lives. But here's the really cool part for you and for me Like, luckily, all of us, we don't have to go to the extreme of being forced into this space between the stimulus and the response, like these insanely crazy fictional characters were All we have to do to get out of survival mode and create the space where we can choose intentional response is to learn, number one, how to ground yourself. Ground yourself, get into your body, figure out what it is that your body needs to feel and then open up to those emotions, like literally be present in it, allow them to be inside of you, process through them in whatever way you need to, without reaction. That's the key. We don't want to feel them and then react to them. We want to feel them and let them be inside of us and process through us. If you don't know what that means, go listen to one of my previous processing emotions episodes. I've got several of them and I literally walk you through exactly how to do that. But once you do that, once you ground yourself, get into your body, get into the present and then you allow the emotions to be present inside of you. That's when your prefrontal cortex, that part of our brain that is not the primal part, the survival part, the prefrontal part, that is the thinking, the reasoning, the decision-making part it's gonna come back online and that's where you have all the power, because that, my friend, is where you get to decide your response. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Alright, go watch Beef if you got nothing else to do, if you need to kill some time while you're trying to decide where you go next in your divorce, and then go ground yourself and open yourself up to some emotions. Thank you for listening to this kind of more fun, silly episode, but I do think there is some power in the message that I've shared with you and in this show as well. But, like the power comes truly in now applying this to your own life. Alright, my friends, thank you for listening. I love you. I will be back next week. Hi, friend, I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real-life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to KarinNelsonCoaching dot com. That's wwwkarin nelson coaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.

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