Do you find yourself constantly taking care of others but rarely finding time for your own self-care?

It’s a common challenge for many of us. We dedicate ourselves to our roles as parents, employees, caregivers, and volunteers, often leaving no room for personal rejuvenation.

And even when we do consider taking that much-needed time for ourselves, we often feel guilty or ashamed.

The result? We become depleted and may turn to food for comfort, using overindulgence as our only treat.

So for this week’s episode of the Thin Thinking Podcast, we are joined by our special guest, Dr. Zerri Gross, an international bestselling author, licensed marriage and family therapist, trauma-informed yoga instructor, and mindfulness facilitator, who will guide us through the essential topic of self-care.

Dr. Z will help us understand the importance of prioritizing self-care and more importantly, how to overcome the guilt and shame associated with it. She’ll show us how to carve out time for rest, rejuvenation, and what she calls “reclamation of ourselves.”

She also shares valuable insights on reclaiming self-care time and connecting with your inner goddess, regardless of gender. (Yes, gentlemen, you have an inner goddess too—who knew?)

If you are ready for an inspiring and empowering conversation, and if you are ready to take that transformative step forward and make time for YOU, then come on in! 


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Rita Black: Do take care of everyone else, but never leave any time for your own self-care? Too often we spend all of our time and our roles as parents, employees, caregivers, and volunteers in our lives, and leave no time for our own self-care. Or when we do think about taking that time, we feel guilty or ashamed. Often we get so depleted, we then end up turning to food as a way to get energy and look to overindulging as the only treat we are willing to give ourselves.

Rita Black: So today, in the Thin Thinking Podcast, my guest, Dr. Zerri Gross, talks us through our need for self-care and how not to feel guilty, but instead truly learn to create the time for our own rest, rejuvenation, and what she calls reclamation of ourselves. Are you ready to take that step forward making time for you? Well, grab your inner goddess and yes, that goes for you dudes too, and join me for today's self-care episode with Dr. Z.

Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right. The key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist weight loss expert, best-selling author, and the creator of Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hello. I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful week with time for you and just to love on yourself. Have you noticed that even though the summer is supposed to be relaxing, it hardly is. I have to laugh because I'm spending my time doing so much garden work, which I love, but my goodness, it is starting to get to be a lot. And even though my son is supposed to be 18 and acting all independent, he is high maintenance. You know? The other week, he came up to me and he said, mom, me and the boys are gonna go camping. And I was like, we've gone camping with you maybe three times and it's been car camping. So his idea was of camping. Oh, I laugh now, but you should have seen my face when he told me that they were gonna hike up to the top of Mount Baldy, which is the mountain near Los Angeles and take with them a big old car camping tent.

Rita Black: So any of you who have had a wilderness camp, do you know you take a lightweight tent and sleeping bags and water and it was gonna be a very hot weekend. And I said, so you guys are youth four guys are taking a 16 person tent up the side of a mountain. Where's the water gonna go? Hmm. Hadn't thought about that. Are you gonna wear a backpack? Well, I think I've got a backpack around here somewhere. I was like, oh, no, no, no, no. So I had to stop everything that I was doing at the moment, and I had to sit down with him and kind of work through this planning, preparing, shopping. Now, I wasn't holding his hand. I made him do all of the preparations and they ended up car camping. They'd end up going wilderness camping. Thank goodness.

Rita Black: I mean, I think it would be great for him to do that, but they have to take that first step first, you know, independence a little bit at a time. Right? So, but anyway, my point being that just when you think you've cleared your schedule and you've got some time for you all, hell breaks loose. So those of you with younger kids, isn't it funny that we look forward to more or less relaxed non-school schedule, but then having kids around the house or schlepping them to summer camps and activities and then vacations and camping, you know, which always ends up to be a chore, right? I love going away with my family, don't get me wrong. But if we are talking Airbnb, if we are talking camping, guess who's, you know, even with my son packing it all in bags, making sure we have everything, then when we get there, I am looking at a beautiful lake from the sink of the kitchen of the Airbnb as I am cleaning up the dishes after breakfast, right?

Rita Black: So that is not my idea of a vacation. I had a friend who said the same thing to me. She said, oh no, we're going to a hotel because I am not going to be doing dishes the entire time that we are away. So yeah. So the summer schedule that we think is so relaxing ends up being so much work. Or even retired friends, you don't even wanna see their travel plans. I have many friends who have retired and even my husband, and they are busy from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed. So I just have to laugh when we think, oh, we finally have got some time for ourselves or for relaxation. So even though these are supposed to be the lazy days of summer, I doubt that they are.

Rita Black: So this is why I thought you might need a dose of Dr. Z and we're lucky to have her as today's guest. So she's gonna teach us about self-care. Dr. Zerri Gross, Dr. Z for short, is an international bestselling author, licensed marriage and family therapist, trauma-informed yoga instructor and mindfulness facilitator that provides holistic psychotherapy in her group practice as greater self therapy. Dr. Z provides community support therapists, healers, service providers, small business owners via whole life coaching, cultural competency training, and wellness retreats to intentionally shift, transform, and manage how they spend their time making money as the embodiedness of their greater self. She also helps men and women reclaim self-care time and connect with their inner goddess. Yep. Even you men have an inner goddess! Who knew. So join me in welcoming Dr. Z.

Rita Black: Hello, Dr. Z and welcome to the Thin Thinking Podcast. We are really happy to have you here today.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Thank you for the offer to be able to come on and speak with you and talk with your awesome audience. I'm really excited that you reached out. So this is -

Rita Black: Oh, well I am excited that you're here and I'm looking at Dr. Z cause you know, obviously we aren't filming this, but she has this lovely, beautiful checkered shirt on and she's got this beautiful thing going on in the background with, it looks like ivy, it's beautiful. So I'm looking at her lovely face. So Dr. Z, I know you have a really interesting background and you really help people connect with themselves and really self-care as really at the heart and soul of what you do. But tell us, just tell us in, you know, a few words, what, how you help people, like how you serve people.

Dr. Zerri Gross: All right. Well, I'll start with even just the name of the company that keeps literally giving to me over and over again, which is Greater Self. So many, many, many moons and years ago I was like, what would be an awesome name for a business? And it was Greater Self. From that point, I decided, all right, well, what does that even mean? What does that look like? And then the smack in the head, you have to be a greater version of yourself. So working as a licensed marriage and family therapist at the time, I was like, all right, I'm doing that part. Let me keep going currently kind of to fast forward and I'll jump backwards. I help people really figure out, specifically people that provide services to other folks. So that looks like therapists, small business owners, healers, people that are helping other people learn how to start to intentionally schedule their time with how they'd like to make money so they can show up and live the life they want to and really help more people in a bigger capacity because they get it now.

Rita Black: Hmm. I love that. Now, how did you, on your road to helping people do that, how did this occur for you? Like what made you decide to do this? What made you decide to get into the self-care? Helping others business?

Dr. Zerri Gross: So having, I feel fortunate that when I was younger, I knew that I was going to help people. And how I did that was a lot of different ways I went to cosmetology school. Like I did all these different things. I've taken all these different trainings and certifications and -

Rita Black: Oh my goodness, how fun.

Dr. Zerri Gross: I loved it, but I was scared. Very, very, very scared. I wish I had known me back then because who knows how this process would've went. But I was really just in a space of I wanna help people. How can I help them? How can I do it more intentionally? And I started looking at, well, how about you start with helping yourself? Because if you are suffering and you are not effective, how are you going to the cliche and just it's facts. If you're not okay, how are you gonna help someone else be okay? There is a point where you will be depleted.

Rita Black: Right. And when you say that you're talking, not just because I know you help other people, like small business owners and coaches and healers, but you're also talking about people who are taking care of a family or taking care of their parents or taking care of anybody, right?

Dr. Zerri Gross: Yes. I am a single mother of two amazing, beautiful ladies. One is an adult who's doing her thing. And I love both of them. I like them too. I love them and I like them and they're awesome. And they're awesome because they are walking in their own space. But it's always been me. I've always been a single parent on my own. So looking at, I had to, I did need to give time to them. Like literally children can't grow themselves and raise themselves. I needed to figure out a way to make money to do so. I needed to figure out a way to eventually, and this is the kind of turning point, look at, I have to actually take care of me. I can't just keep showing up at work and taking care of work stuff. I can't just try to take care of my children and not actually model and duplicate what it looks like for me to take care of myself so that they could really learn vicariously through me how to start loving me, how I take care of me shows other people how they should take care of me.

Rita Black: I love that. It's so true.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So that kind of started this space of, oh my gosh, now I have to work with, I don't wanna be considered selfish which was a huge, like, what do you mean? I was like, if I take care of myself, then I'm being selfish and not taking care of them. If I spend my time alone, then that means I'm not spending time with them. If I take off of work, then I'm not taking care of the things at my job. If I go visit family, then I didn't take a real vacation where I could like relax, love family, but that's not a vacation. I talk about that in other spaces. So looking at, okay, I've got 24 hours every single day, how can I maximize the heck out of all of it? And to be fair, I was pretty ineffective and still accomplished a lot of pretty awesome stuff at the same time.

Rita Black: That's pretty cool.

Dr. Zerri Gross: It is. Until you find yourself burnt out and you as a therapist are now not only dealing with like whatever thoughts on being selfish but how can I be a great therapist if I'm depressed, if I'm anxious, if I'm not okay. And then I'm showing up at work and telling other people, it's okay, you got it. Just do it. And then coming home and being so burnt out that I can't actually care for my kids. I'm not pursuing healthy romantic relationships. And physically you could see it. I gained weight. Like I just wasn't, you could see that I was not okay during that period. The relationship I had with my father, there was a point where I real well, he told me, he was like, you don't look good. And I was like, oh, oh, oh my, like, but he was right.

Dr. Zerri Gross: He was so right and refused to allow me to push help away. So I started working with some folks and doing some health coaching and getting that in place. I eventually looked at, okay, well if I'm doing that, how did I start looking at healing the relationships that I have with women? Which I felt also reflected the relationship I have with myself because ding, ding, ding, I happen to be a woman so far as I'm aware of at this point. How about I start being kinder to me and gentler to me? Cause how I showed up was very masculine in my approach to getting things done, getting the degrees I'm getting, the certifications, I got all the jobs, working a million jobs always at once, and raising kids and then trying to figure out, well, how can I take care of me? And starting that shift of, let me just be around women, let me see what that looks like that aren't my friends that already know me.

Dr. Zerri Gross: And we have these established things. Let me see what it looks like to experience a different version of other women so that I can also experience a different version of myself, doing that work opened up so many doors. Like even the ideal being feminine and being soft and being kind and gentle. And then realizing as a woman, the most beautiful gift I can give is to allow other people to help me. To give myself time, to just rest, to give to myself what I give to everyone else in the world. And starting to do it on purpose.

Rita Black: Intentionally. How did you intentionally seek out these other people? I'm just curious.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So I won't say I'm an all or nothing kind of person, but I have historically functioned as that. So when I started working with like some folks on health coaching, I worked in a non-public day school at the time. So I was doing therapy on campus, unfortunately, we were very, I like to be outside of the therapy office and walked around and played basketball with the kids, like did things that they liked cause I worked with kids at that time. Some of the folks that were there were also like the PE staff, they were like personal trainers. So I reached out and was like can you help me? And they were like, sure, if you want to come at like five in the morning. And I was like, who's gonna watch my kids at five in the morning? I'd mean I, the whole, the cycle started and then I was like, no, you have to do this.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So I figured it out, sought help, actually asked my brother, I asked my dad, asked my brothers, because we all at least lived in California, so they were able to come over and start helping. And I started going to the gym like five in the morning. And to be fair, I also was going out. So I would come in sometimes maybe still hungover, but I had made this determination, I need to commit these hours of my life or this hour of my life towards physically shifting how I look. And then over time I was able to start changing additional things like maybe don't go out as much, maybe spend less money on being out because it always required babysitters and parking. Like all these things. Like, okay, well that doesn't make sense anymore if I'm giving to myself. I just gave away hundreds of dollars each weekend to other people and didn't actually get anything that felt that I could hold onto afterwards.

Rita Black: Mm. I love that.

Dr. Zerri Gross: It's like, yes, fun time, woo woo. And then I'm like, oh my god, I think, and it's like, oh, but you have to be a mom now. So maybe slow that down so you can show up in that role and be giving, a more nurturing and really enjoy it instead of feeling like it's a burden. Like this is a gift to care for someone else that didn't ask to be here in the first place. But totally, like, it's up to you. So beginning that with my time and looking at, okay, whatever I do in life, I need to be by my house by this time so I can go to the gym. And then looking at my work schedule and shifting, I used to try to multitask everything and do schoolwork and do work and like, I don't even know what the heck else I was trying to do.

Dr. Zerri Gross: But shifting that aspect and looking at if you love, you go to work and be at work. When you're done with work, shut it off when you're done, give yourself permission to take time before you pick your children up, before you transition back into the role of mom. So I would give myself maybe 30 minutes to about an hour and a half is max that I had at that point in time. And then I would pick my children up and then I could be present for them and not bring work, school or other things into it, spend time with them. And then yes, that meant I had to study late at night because I spent my evenings with them and these were choices that I had to start making and being okay with and understanding if this is what you would like to accomplish, the best way to do that is make sure you have your time for yourself.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Make sure you start spending time with people that also want to do the same thing. So being at the gym, it felt great to be around other people that cared about their physical health, that cared about showing up as the best version of themselves, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then moving into spaces of, okay, I think I need to find coaches now because I need more help in my life. So starting my journey of reaching out to other coaches and exploring things that I thought were taboo, like becoming a yoga instructor. Old story on that, that opened up for me, probably the biggest explosion of, well, how do you care for yourself if you're not attached to things, then let these stereotypes or roles that you feel like you have to fill according to what you think other people think. Let them be and do what actually works for you. If it feels good, you're not harming anyone, keep doing that because the version of you that gets to show up is pretty awesome. When I did it, when I didn't, that also was obvious and it didn't feel good. I didn't have good experiences. I didn't even feel great about who I was.

Rita Black: Right. I love how you're describing something that is, so what you're describing, what, how I'm hearing this story kind of is unfolding is that you started forcing yourself to be, and not forcing, but intent, being intentional about who you were becoming like, so who you wanted to become then sort of, because I really believe everything starts with identity. And so that shifting your identity, not from place of shame, but a place of intentionality, self-love, and then saying, if this is gonna be more love, you know, like who's the me that loves me doing right now? What choices would they make? And then what didn't work for you showed up differently rather than shame yourself like, oh, I'm staying out too late. It's just like, this doesn't work for me anymore. The who I am becoming, it just doesn't do this anymore. It's such a great, the way you're describing it, it just, so it's a beautiful description of somebody shedding that skin and moving into a different one. It's really cool.

Dr. Zerri Gross: And it started with my mind, with my mindset of like, okay, if I believe that I am my greatest self, literally going back to the business thing and it would keep coming back and my father would keep reminding me, well, your business is Greater Self, so would that be the greatest version of yourself?

Rita Black: What a cool dad you have.

Dr. Zerri Gross: No, it's not. Now, and he is pretty awesome. Now, my coaches will say the same thing to me too. I'm like, oh my gosh. Okay, okay, okay, okay. I will listen. I will follow, I will be kind, I will take time off. I will spend time doing nothing. I'll spend time having fun, but making sure that it works for me now. Making sure that I feel good with it and being okay that it may ruffle other people's feathers, but I actually get to be more nurturing, more kind, more giving, because I gave to myself first and the overflow is what people were getting instead of the foundational like love that I needed to function.

Rita Black: Yeah, I love that. So now you, when you work with people, you have a bit of a process of like mindset, body, self reclamation, like walk us through that, like walk through how somebody would start this journey with themselves of self-love. Is that, I mean, that's how you would frame it, right? Or how would you frame that journey? Self-Love, self-care, the goddess.

Dr. Zerri Gross: All those things. So I think at this point, it makes more sense to intentionally identify the feminine energy that comes into and the aspect of what feminine energy looks like and people being able to harness that female and male and all other declarations between, there is still the distinction of feminine energy that is very nurturing, kind and giving and how to help people do that and use that and access it from all aspects so they can shift the way they think and view life, which allows more opportunities for them to change their circumstances and their experiences. Then they can move into a space of noticing what's really our bodies tell us so much information and most of us ignore the heck out of it for whatever the reasons. But being now intentional on, okay, I'm shifting my mind, so how am I gonna physically take care of myself so that my mind is as sharp as it really can be so I can notice what does work for me, what doesn't work?

Dr. Zerri Gross: And then starting to explore, as you kind of stated earlier, like that self-identification. Like who do I wanna be? How do I want to get there? What steps need to happen to make this work? And going backwards and now relooking at reclaiming what that version of you will look like, which means being intentional and where you're spending your time and how you're investing in yourself and who gets to have access to you on this journey and process. Who do you reach out to to support you on this journey and process? And then what does the implementation look like? And being gentle and kind about that process. You don't know everything all the time, all at once. You know it as you need it. And being okay with that.

Rita Black: When somebody's starting to sort of look at shifting into that more feminine energy, what are some things that they can tap into? Like what, and starting to look at their time as well. Like, well let's start with the feminine okay, like what would that look like for somebody? Because maybe that feminine energy, I really get what you're saying, but for somebody who that might feel a little foreign to, what would that start to look like?

Dr. Zerri Gross: It would look like acknowledging what's actually masculine and what and how our society praises and worships more masculine actions, hence getting degrees, getting raises, getting certifications kind of conquering and not, I won't say so much dividing, but conquering different tasks and always being on the go and forward moving and just nonstop beast mode would be a way to kind of look at masculinization.

Rita Black: Do, do do do do do do do do do do. Busy, busy, busy. Do do do. Okay. Yes. No, I understand that completely.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So noticing that. And then starting to look at what were the, for someone who isn't maybe embodying much of their feminine energy looking at, we all need both, you need both. You function best when we have all things working together. This is kind of in that same sense where in therapy for my clients, I explained to 'em like, I am providing a holistic therapeutic process because you're not just, you're not just what you came to therapy for. It's how do you look every single day and how do all these things tie back in together and how can we start to look at, and you all the aspects, feminine, masculine your job, like all these things and be clear on when you're acting in one versus the other, so that there isn't an assumption that you are being kind and gentle because you took yourself to get a manicure.

Dr. Zerri Gross: That's self maintenance. That's not necessarily self-care, it's maintenance. You need to maintain your physical body, going and working out. That's self-maintenance. Maintenance self-care looks like, did you give yourself time for it? It looks like, did you, did you go spend time with people you love and care about? Did you allow people to help you? Were you curious about different things? And go explore and find the information and be okay with not knowing everything and allowing others to pour into you that is embodying an aspect of your feminine energy more than I'm gonna protect everybody and be the mama bear and like, be fierce. There's a space and time for that, but why not let others help you in the process?

Rita Black: I love that. Now I know people might be listening and going, well, I just don't have time to even make time. Right. Absolutely. The biggest pushback, right? Like, that sounds good. Yeah. But, and I hear what you worked through and had to, and this is probably part of your intentionality is the shame aspect, the self shame, the, like, if you do that, then you're a bad mom, if you take that time to go work out instead of being with your kids, we don't do that. You know, that's not what we, and I gotta make money, I gotta work. You know, how do you, if somebody is stuck in that place and it appears real, how do they start to shake that up? Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Well, some of the things that I think are really helpful is to be comfortable with picking one, one on purpose only. One thing that someone will choose to work on and picking the thing that maybe is easiest or has the biggest impact overall so that they can either, if this is a person that needs like quick successes so they can keep going, pick the easiest thing in any aspect of your life to start allowing others to help you with. So you're not having to do everything all at once all the time by yourself. If sitting down and planning out a whole schedule of how you do your life, it's cool. You cannot have time, but you'll always not have time. And then you'll always keep feeling how you feel. So at some point, give yourself the time to stop and just reflect what is what, what can I actually do? What five to 30 minutes can I change or shift in my entire 24 hour period that would afford me the opportunity to have a different experience of life?

Rita Black: Yeah. It's so interesting. It's, it's you know, I talk about offensive versus defensive living, you know, like we wake up into the day and it kind of just either happens to us or we take that moment to settle and create the day we want. And it doesn't take a lot of time, but it takes time. It takes thought, but it doesn't take. But like you said, that five to 30 minutes, I totally agree that five minutes can make a world of difference in how you live your day and starting at center. Now, how, another thing that I see come up for a lot of people in the area of self-love and self-care is just self communication. Like starting to be clear on the way they communicate with themselves. That critical voice versus the rebellious voice versus the more, like you're talking about like the nurturing, loving voice, the coach-like voice. How do people, how do you approach that like inner communication?

Dr. Zerri Gross: So looking at your self-talk and how that's going, I start with kind of just the observation, like what are the things that you tell yourself and people starting to notice when they'll make a statement or claiming that this is their reality or how life is going and then noticing how that impacts everything else. So if you're telling yourself words like, ugh, you suck at everything, the world is horrible, you don't do anything great, then energetically, the universe is going to ensure that it supports what you said. So you can be right. If you are telling yourself kinder things or gentler things and giving your yourself grace, you start to notice where there were opportunities for that to happen when you are like deciding, okay, we're amazing and we're awesome and that doesn't look like perfection, that opens up possibilities for something to be different.

Dr. Zerri Gross: But if we are constantly telling ourselves those negative things that might have been motivation to get you moving after a while, it doesn't support anymore. So flipping and being intentional about, as you said, offensive or defensive, I would, my guess would be that defensive would look more masculine and offensive would look actually more feminine because you're doing it on purpose. You're setting a stage so that you can have what you're looking for. So your words are going to sound different. Defensive is probably being startled, scared, and like, how can I eliminate this problem over here? Whereas offenses offensive and feminine may look more like, okay, I have the opportunity to see what could happen and decide what I would like to do and then pursue that. And if something changes then I have the option to change my mind and switch and pivot and do something different. But this is what I am going to start with because this seems most in alignment with what I would like to accomplish.

Rita Black: Very cool. I wanna ask you just a bit about the goddess, cause I know you work. So tell us about the goddess and how you approach the goddess and the inner goddess. Cause I love that idea. I hear it a lot, but I have, you know, I yeah, I just, I don't use the word goddess a lot, but it seems like this is part of your jam. So tell us about the goddess.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So, and again, this is all I just say, like I am my biggest lesson, so I totally use whatever I please.

Rita Black: I mean, me too. I'm, I, a hundred percent agree.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So I noticed that kind of goes back to the space of me noticing and I would say like the dating world is what really like bing, bing, bing, like red lighted, like, hey, danger, Will Robinson, this is not working for you. There were different women that I would notice and see and I could just, there was something about them that just made sense. I was like, I don't know what that is. And my thoughts were, let me get a degree or certification so I can be like them. And it was never about that. It was now in hindsight I'm aware it was them deciding that they would hold the title and role as a goddess. It was them deciding that how they would show up. They would look at how do I want that to look for today? So yes, it did include what you physically look like, but more than anything what they believed about themselves.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So for me, embodying my goddess energy or like the summit that happened not too long ago, goddess vibes unleashed was truly about people owning that aspect of themselves. And yes, it is realistically geared more towards women, but even men have an aspect of goddess and femininity. That needs to be released and it really nurtured and used, which looks different for men and women. But I like the way I feel when I choose to treat myself in a way that does model and exemplify being a beautiful feminine version of myself. Some days that looks like, like today the way my hair is done, it took me shifting some mindsets to feel like this is a beautiful representation too. You get to be soft and kind with this too, versus other to be fair, other hairstyles, I know, calling all the goddess things, but being comfortable with it, looking different and just noticing do I feel like I am in a space where I can be receiving of others, where other people would be able to come in my presence and feel welcomed? How do I welcome people? It starts physically, it starts with what I say, what I don't say the intentions on like how I hold my face because I'm sure we've all heard of resting B face. And believe it or not, most of the women that do that are really nice and kind, but you don't know because in that moment they may not be gifting themselves the aspect and that version of a goddess that would allow someone else to experience it.

Rita Black: I love that. And I love how the goddess is how you show up and how you're embodying. That's great. I get that.

Dr. Zerri Gross: And there's levels to it. So there's not a one way right way for anyone.

Rita Black: Right.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Or everyone all the time. Today's version can look different than tomorrow's.

Rita Black: Right. The goddess is ever evolving and fluid. Very fluid. Reclamation. Let's just dive a little deeper into that. Why do you see that as, is it reclaiming energy, reclaiming yourself, reclaiming it all.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Everything. But the reclamation part came to me because if you notice when not everyone, but a lot of people may have had a moment as a child where everything just made sense and it felt good and it was right and it was fine until they were either socialized or like had all these different things that now we have to retrain our brains and do all this work to reclaim being a goddess, believing I needed to reach certain heights and levels career-wise, personally. Like all these things, I won't say it robbed me of being able to embody my feminine energy and show up as the goddess that I want to, but it definitely added some stumbling blocks for me to like fall flat on and have to look at, okay, if I were five years old again, this wouldn't have even been an issue. It would have just been effortless. So it's reclaiming past versions and aspects of ourselves that were really awesome, really dope, and we just -

Rita Black: I love that. So nothing much that child I know, and I, you, you see it when you have children too, because you see how free they are when they're young and then as they get socialized, that changes, the fear comes out, the anxiety, the negative self-talk. Children don't have that, or they typically don't.

Dr. Zerri Gross: They don't start that way.

Rita Black: No. And it's so that's such a great frame for that reclamation. I, I really, really like that. So now. If, if somebody, oh, go ahead.

Dr. Zerri Gross: I was gonna say that kind of leads me to as, as I started learning and exploring new things, chakras became a thing that was like, so like, -

Rita Black: Tell us about chakras. Tell us about chakras.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So for the most part, people may be aware of like seven major ones. There's significantly more, but it is a lot easier to focus on the ones that are most commonly showed, explained, talked about. And I would say your foundation. Reclaiming who you are and embodying and owning your feminine energy and balancing it with your masculine intentionally so you can create this life that you want. Helping other people be amazing and great also looks like being able to tap into your energy, right? So chakras are energy and there's seven that, you know, speak to different aspects of what can be owned and like intentionally flowing through you. Learning about them allows you the opportunity to notice when you're, and I know people are using this word alignment, like just, it's a lot. It's out there, but it allows you to know when you're on the right path for you.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Because those different areas will either be open, blocked, underactive, overactive, but you won't know that if you don't even know what they are. And you won't know how to shift and do things differently to support that energetic field in your body. So if you imagine from like, when we sit from like the base of like our bodies kind of like the grind area up to the top of our crown. The seven chakras reside within a line from there. And as we know, when you have machines or things that are working, if we look at ourselves in a moment as one, when that machine gets proper sleep, rest, food, nutrition, the gas it needs to light fuel. Everything's working and firing on all cylinders For our chakras. When something is blocked or there's a trauma or there's a fear or something that's coming up, one or two of them may not be working.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So the energy can't flow fluidly up and down because an area needs more attention, love, and care. You won't notice where those are. If you're not aware of what that looks like, you wouldn't necessarily know how you could support it or help it. And sometimes it's as simple as where a color that embodies that particular chakra so that it, it's an unconscious reminder to be intentional about maybe if it's your heart wearing green or pink to be available for love. And I think it's really interesting that money happens to also be green and people are like, money is evil. It's like, it's actually not, it's just a tool. Yeah, side note, there's a whole little ebook on that too. But anyhoo, learning about them and being able to be intentional on how you show up, being aware of which ones are functioning or working for you, like us doing this podcast is opening up our throat chopper because we're allowing our truths to be heard.

Dr. Zerri Gross: We're allowing knowledge to flow freely. When you find yourself in a position where like you, your throat is sore, things are happening, like there's some aspect of your truth of you that probably got stomped out and were reclaiming it, that you then get the opportunity to start to share it again and that block opens up. So it allows information to keep flowing up and down, giving people the opportunity to function again as the greatest version of themselves for what's available for that day, for this 24 hours and holding space for grace for this is what it is for today.

Rita Black: So great. So when you work with clients, you work with chakras, like you educate them on lowing, getting their chakras aligned.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So I share it with people that are available and willing to hear about it. I otherwise may just reframe the information in a way that allows them to understand it if they aren't specific about chakras. So I ask people, especially with therapy, I'm like, whatever you are available for, that's what I'm gonna share with you. If you're not, I'm I gonna do that. That doesn't mean that I lost the knowledge of it. I just now have to look at a different way to share what could be helpful to you.

Rita Black: Yeah. Got it. So I wanna ask you how you work with people. If people are interested. I know you have a something for us because I know you talked about time management, you have a free tool. Tell us about this free tool that anybody listening can get in the show notes. Tell us a little bit about that. Dr. Z.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So one of, one of us, the suggestions that I got when I started working with a marketing person was like, create free stuff. I was like, I've got tons of free stuff. And they're like, well, not specific to what you're talking about now. I was like, oh fine, I don't have time for this. I made time and I wrote down some different things that are supportive with people being able to look at how to manage their time. But I created an ebook and even a really cool flippable one because I figured who doesn't want to be entertained instead of just scrolling through like pages.

Rita Black: Oh cool.

Dr. Zerri Gross: About how you can be intentional about how you're spending your 24 hours seven days a week. So that looks like support or help if you are someone that provides services that looks like, again, when are you seeing people as for therapists in particular and really any service, if you have the option to create your own schedule, people don't even realize that scheduling people and impacts their energy, it impacts what's going on with their body. If you schedule the people that are challenged all on the same day, back to back literally with no breaks, you're going to feel differently that day than you would if you had scheduled people where, all right, I have more energy here, so I'll schedule the people that maybe require less of my energy. Sometimes I'm available for the folks that need more and vice versa. So this lovely guide is totally available to anyone that would like it or free because I'll just love for people to be able to look at their time differently.

Rita Black: That's such a great tool. I love that. And I'll check it out myself. Even though you might not, those of listeners who aren't therapists or even people working with people, it sounds like a really great guide to look at where your energy lies in your day, where you have the most, where you can put those more difficult or more energy requiring tasks or things that you're up to in there. I love that. So thank you for sharing that with us. Tell us, I know you have a couple of events coming up and, and and those now it sounds like the first one it tell us about that. That said a local LA or Los Angeles based event. So tell us about that.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So I am offering the opportunity to be in person because I otherwise work virtually for lots of different reasons, but I wanna, I do know when people have the opportunity to be in person, it, it's different. It changes things. So with my love and care of like energetic build such as chakras and my desire to help people embody a feminine version and aspect of themselves to be intentional about it, I am hosting a Goddess Reclamation retreat here in Los Angeles. It will be a day retreat where I will be sharing with you, this will be a series spoiler alert, first time mentioned in the world. It will be an actual series. And we are starting with just giving some foundational information about chakras and how you can experience and access them through your five sentences. Seeing what that looks like, how that feels, what it tastes like, like all the things. And having a chance to capture your lovely goddess energy that you gave yourself through a professional photographer of how you cared for you for the day, took some time away, went to a different location. So we're shifting where we're at, we're shifting how we normally do things. We're embracing literally our five senses to access a greater version of ourselves and then capturing it so that you get to keep that for you. You look at that picture, you use that photo and you're like, I, I remember and it was amazing.

Rita Black: So you have you, you work with your chakras and then you and reclaim work on reclaiming your goddess and you have a photographer capturing that essence. That's a great idea. I love that. And the link for the retreat will be in the show notes. And then you have another coaching series. Tell us about that because there are quite a few healers and therapists and people who do work with people in this area in who do listen to our podcasts. So please tell us about this.

Dr. Zerri Gross: So after this retreat, because I, it's, it's really more of a like, I just wanna give this so freaking bad , I do have an actual coaching program that I have that had for several years and lots of success from lots of different folks, not just therapists. As the name has changed multiple times by the time you all hear this, it may or may not be the same, but the aspect and the concepts of it will only be better. The last version of it was greater therapist vibes and even a shift to greater self fives, which allows people to really start to look at how they embody their mind, body, and self to reclaim the greatest version of themselves through a five week coaching protocol where we're going through and shifting mindsets intentionally moving our bodies and nurturing and feeding them in a way that allows us to re-identify the roles that we'd like to take on so we can reclaim that version of ourselves. That's was pretty awesome already. Mm.

Rita Black: I love that. And I know you space it out, so if somebody's thinking, yikes, five weeks, I'm really, but you make it very doable by, it's over a 10 week time span. Correct?

Dr. Zerri Gross: Yes. And you have access to tons of information in the portals. There's like lots of support things and like other tools that I just offer because why wouldn't I want you to be successful and like, get what you came here for.

Rita Black: Fantastic. The link for that will also be in the show notes. Any last words like for somebody who's just sitting there going, I don't have time, I don't, you know, like who's feel is really resonating with like, you're so right. I'm not taking care of myself, I need to take care of myself. What would be that one thing that you would say to that person.

Dr. Zerri Gross: If they had the time to listen to us now, feel free to take that same amount of time and do it again for something else in a smaller scale that allows you to start to shift and have more time.

Rita Black: Beautiful. I love it. Thank you so much for being us with us today on the Thin Thinking podcast, Dr. Z. I really appreciated all you had to share. It was very, very helpful.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Thank you again for reaching out. It just gives me a chance to help more people also.

Rita Black: Thank you.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Thank you, thank you.

Rita Black: And listeners, I hope you enjoy that and thank you again. We'll have to have you back, Dr. Z.

Dr. Zerri Gross: Awesome. I greatly appreciate it. And thank you guys for listening and supporting Rita because she's awesome.

Rita Black: Thank you so much, Dr. Z. And don't forget to grab her time management ebook in the show notes of this episode and subscribe to that Thin Thinking podcast. So you never miss an episode. Have an amazing week and remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door, the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it and I will see you next week.

Rita Black: Thanks for listening to The Thin Thinking Podcast. Did that episode go by way too fast for you? If so, and you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release, head on over to That's, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book from Fat to thin Thinking. Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss and to learn how to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode.