How Grief Recovery Impacts Our Mental and Physical Health

August 16, 2023
real talk with susan and kristina podcast

In this episode of Real Talk, KJK Student Defense Attorneys Susan Stone and Kristina Supler are joined by Samantha Pierce, CEO of Renegade Soul.  In this episode, they talk about topics relating to health and fitness.  They discuss why physical fitness is more than just lifting weights, how grief recovery impacts our health and physical fitness, and ways we can plant seeds to effect someone’s trajectory change.

3 Main Points:

  • why personal training is so much more than lifting weights
  • how grief recovery impacts our health and physical fitness
  • how we can plant the seeds to impact someone’s trajectory change


Show Notes:

  • (02:57) How Samantha is Much More than a Personal Trainer
  • (04:11)  Sam’s Plan to Build Confidence
  • (06:33)  Shut Negative Self-Talk Down
  • (08:10)  What Age Should Kids Start Exercising
  • (10:08)  What Parents can do to Get Their Kids Exercising
  • (13:44)  Body Dysmorphia: What We Can Do
  • (17:06)  When to Tell If You Should Cut Back on Indulgences
  • (19:13)  Why We Numb Ourselves with Food, Alcohol, Sex, etc
  • (20:56)  Why Numbing Doesn’t Work
  • (21:58)  Grief Training:  Why We Numb Ourselves
  • (25:20)  How Tragic Loss Changed Samantha’s Trajectory
  • (28:11)  How Grief Recovery Impacts Our Health Physical Fitness
  • (31:14)  Alarming Stats with Grief Recovery and Prison Populations
  • (34:22)  How Anything Can Plant the Seeds of Trajectory Change
  • (36:34)  Reframing How You View a Bad Situation Into Something Positive



Susan Stone: We are going to talk a little bit about exercise and wellness and the benefits that you might not think you’re getting when you get up and go to the gym in the morning. And I know that. A lot of our podcast, Kristina, is dedicated to mental health as it pertains to our clients. And just that when you find yourself in crisis, you get stuck.

You think it’s gonna last forever, whatever you’re going on. 

Kristina Supler: And some, sometimes it lasts longer than others, but I think today we are here to talk about how to get unstuck or to use the phrase of our esteemed guest effectuate a trajectory change. 

Susan Stone: You know, when we learned about that phrase, I sound like my 17 year old mic drop trajectory change.

Yeah, we love that phrase. Oh my gosh, I wish I had coined it. Because no matter what’s happening in your life, no matter how dark things seem, Until it’s over, you can do a trajectory change. And I’m really excited about this guest because she’s gonna teach everyone out there who’s listening to this podcast how they can have a trajectory change no matter what the circumstances.

So with that, Given Invi an intro. 

Kristina Supler: Sure. So today we are pleased to be joined by Samantha Pierce, who is the C E O and founder of Renegade Soul. Sam is a master’s level social worker, a certified personal trainer, and a grief recovery specialist. With her background in social work, she really brings a holistic approach to her personal training.

Sam designed Renegade to take care of black women of childbearing age in particular, and today she works with child, clients from all different backgrounds, ages, shapes, and sizes. And I have to add, I’m pleased to note that I am one of Sam’s Renegades. 

Susan Stone: You are. You have joined the Renegade Supler. 

Kristina Supler: So happy to have done so.

So Sam, welcome to. 

Samantha Pierce: Thank you. Thank you. It’s such a pleasure to be here with you ladies. 

Susan Stone: So Sam, you are so much more than about just squatting and pushups. You, isn’t that the truth? You are about trajectory change. So could you tell everybody about how you are so much more than just a personal trainer in what you do and what you bring to those clients?

It’s really incredible. It is. 

Samantha Pierce: It’s a loaded question, really. When people ask me what do I do, I just look at them like, well, where do you want me to start? Okay. So personal training is what I wake up in the morning and head out the door to do. But when you said trajectory change, the reason that I say that is because your life trajectory is something that we often study in social work.

Especially when you get a person in front of you and then you just can’t look at the person in front of you. You gotta look at their past and their parents’ past and all those different pasts that sets them on this trajectory. But we are actually really in control. So when I’m at the gym with personal client, with personal training clients, a lot of times they come to me because they wanna lose weight.

Sure. Literally, they have no idea that I have a whole different plan for them, right? Yeah. You gonna drop this weight, but we gonna work on, we gonna work on that gut that you’re trying to lose. We’re gonna, build arms and muscles and legs and all of that. We are also gonna build confidence. are going to work on where you are in your soul spiritually.

Like you, you just never know what you’re gonna walk into in the gym. On at any given time, on any given day. 

Susan Stone: How do you do that? 

how do you I think that 

Samantha Pierce: I’m very open as a person and the conversation. I’m never, I am never afraid of a conversation. So I don’t veer away from any conversation.

Someone says, Tim, I really need to ask you this. Go right ahead. Because I’m an open book. But I think that is just where my life trajectory has me. That I’ve gone through a lot of hard things in my life. And instead of being quiet about it, I’m very verbal about it. I’m very open about it. And I understand, it might be too soon to even say this, but I’m just gonna say it. I understand God’s plan. 

That a lot of times things happen, but it is not, to put you in a bad place, but it’s to put the next person in a better place because, oh, you’re ready to come and master this thing. You’re getting ready to move this mountain. So that you can teach the next person how to move that mountain.

And there are people that are just watching you and they don’t even need you to teach them to move, how to move the mountain. They’re watching you do it, and they’re already motivated. So things happen for a reason and sometimes it has nothing to do with you. So when we talk about getting into the gym and being able to talk to different people about different things and putting them on.

Programs that will not only change their body, but also change their mind. That comes very natural to me, especially as a, I’m a I, I call myself a recovering community organizer and a social worker, so that’s what I am, and then I use all of that energy and personal training. 

Susan Stone: Sometimes I go to the gym and I have all this internal negative talk.

My thighs look like this. My stomach looks like that. I’m getting old. Do you ever have that internal negative self-talk? 

Kristina Supler: Oh my gosh. Every day I. 

Samantha Pierce: Every day. I think I, yeah, 

Kristina Supler: it’s and it’s one of those things where you feel frustrated at times when you put in all this work or at least what you believe to be hard works ’cause it isn’t always right.

and don’t see results. And then that affects your mind, your spirit and it can continue on through your day. So it’s something I’ve been working on personally is how to, Hold onto those endorphins and feeling good when I leave the gym and carry that through my day and not get bogged down in negative self-talk.

Samantha Pierce: in Renegade land you aren’t even allowed to come in with negative self-talk. Nope. 

Susan Stone: But how do you know Sam, if it’s going on the inside? 

Samantha Pierce: How do you check that? 

Well, you know what, it comes, it always comes out. If you’re thinking it, it comes out. if a client says, I can’t do that, that’s automatically self negative, self-taught.

And so before a client even comes into the gym, when they sign up, I send a welcome email and I send this link to a video that I did about I am statements and how careful you have to be with your I Am statements. And Kristina, I don’t know if you watched that video or not, but it talked about, how God referred to himself as I am.

And so anything that you say after I am is invoking the power of God himself. And in fact, if you say something negative, you might be just using his name in va. So you gotta be careful what you say behind I am. Because when people say I can’t do a thing, or I’m fat, or I feel fat, or my stomach is that, and it’s like, no, no, no, no, no, no.

We gonna re we gonna rephrase that altogether. So I am fat, meaning I am at the gym changing how I look because I want it to. 

Kristina Supler: Love that I do too. Sam, let’s roll it back to basics. As many of our audience listeners are parents who are raising children of all different ages. So at, for our parents out there who are listening who maybe have a child who seems to be a little stuck, particularly as we’ve gone through Covid these past couple years, what should parents know about the age at which children should begin exercising?

Samantha Pierce: oh, that’s easy. So exercising should begin. act actually exercising does begin at crawling. they’re scooting, right? They’re trying to move their bodies, trying to move their legs, move their hands a little bit. That’s exercise. And as soon as they start walking, they take that first step and boom, they take off.

You gotta chase them all around the house. ’cause now they know how to walk. I would say to cultivate that energy from that moment on, get them out into the park. They love that stuff. Anyway. They’re gonna do whatever you wanna do anyway. And so I remember when my kids were younger that we would go into the mall when it’s cold outside.

So we are in Oh, wonderful. Weathered Cleveland. And so we get mostly cold weather and then three months of hot weather, right? So during the cold weather, we used to take our kids to the mall and we would just let them walk and just, that’s just a way of moving your body a little bit. But there, it’s never too soon to start your children on exercise.

And exercise looks different for everybody and it doesn’t have to be regimented like that. So when we think, oh, I gotta do my cardio, some people think, oh, I have to be on the treadmill, sweating my, my, my hair out in order to consider it as cardio. And it’s no, not necessarily. you just have to undo.

So Renegade needs to. to subside what you thought as societal norms is regular, right? So renegade is you have to forget everything you thought you knew, right? So everything you thought you knew isn’t necessarily it. So when you think about your kids and exercise, just get them out there walking, moving.

And then as you become, as they become older and you become more active, they will see what you are doing and they will automatically become more active. 

Susan Stone: But how do you fight that teenager who just wants to stay in their room, play 

Kristina Supler: video 

Samantha Pierce: games? Yeah. I remind you, you’re the parent. Oh yeah. Oh, Touche.

Oh yeah. Say to them, you know what? Put the game up or you’re gonna lose it for the month. We gonna go for this walk. And they’re like, I don’t wanna do that. You’re the parent. Take it. Take that game away and make them go for that walk or wherever it is that you’re trying to go.

Susan Stone: not only are you a parent, and I love how you say you are the parent, but you are so in charge. When you’re in the gym training, it’s not just, like you say, get on that machine and. Do that leg lift, but you also have that I’m in charge. Go do it. And I think that really helps, don’t you? 

Kristina Supler: Oh, absolutely.

I think that, something that’s really important and wonderful about working with you, Sam, is this balance between. Go do it. But then also encouragement and positivity when there is a little like,no, it’s no, go do it. You can do it. Which is refreshing and nice. 

Samantha Pierce: Yeah, I wouldn’t tell you to do it if I didn’t think that you could do it’s right.

So here’s the thing about that though, you have to have a certain level of confidence. And so you have to find as a parent what you’re absolutely confident in. And so as a parent, I know for a fact that if I don’t get my kid exercising, they’re gonna grow up to be unhealthy. As a parent, I’m like, oh no, that’s not gonna happen on my dime.

You could do that on your dime, like when I’m long gone and you decide you’re gonna sit on your butt for the rest of your life. I’ve already given you all that I can and I’m gone. But as long as I’m alive and you’re under my care, then I am confident that if I tell you to do a certain thing, it is for your best interest and you’re gonna get up and you’re gonna do that.

And it’s the same way with dealing with clients. Kristina, grab those 20 pound weights and go lunch and you’re looking like, what? And I’m like, yeah, I’m confident that you can make it down that aisle and back and that your legs are gonna be stronger and bigger because of it. So go do it. Like I said, it’s the same thing as parenting you.

You just gotta be confident in what you’re telling them. Like when you give them that Tylenol, when they have that toothache, you know that Tylenol is gonna work. There’s no question about it. You don’t even leave room for, I don’t wanna take the Tylenol. Nope. Take this Tylenol. You gotta have the same confidence when you’re dealing with your kids and exercise.

Susan Stone: How do you balance, because I know I struggle with this wanting to never, I grew up, Sam, I’m gonna share something with you where every girl I knew struggled with some level of body dysmorphia was. Either throwing up or starving themselves. And then I saw a positive shift of body positivity. 

Kristina Supler: I was gonna say that those issues were still in my generation as well through high school and college.

Everyone had some sort of issue going on. 

Samantha Pierce: Right. 

Susan Stone: So you wanna be potty body positive. But is there a point where you’re also saying to someone, You don’t wanna have that cookie and you do need to exercise. Like how do you balance those thoughts? And I know we’ve talked about this on prior podcast.

And I’m bringing it up again, so it must be a real issue for me if I’m bringing it up again. 

Samantha Pierce: So here, okay. I don’t know if you’ve ever talked to a bodybuilder about this. has this conversation ever happened with a bodybuilder before? no, I have not had this conversation with therapist.

Kristina Supler: Therapist. Okay. Or pediatrician. Or pediatrician. So

Samantha Pierce: here it goes. We all suffer from body dysmorphia. Every last one of us. We all have something, especially as a, so what you didn’t say is that I’m a bodybuilder and that I actually compete on stage. And let’s just backtrack for two seconds and let you know that in itself is one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done in my entire life. And that is because every bit of body dysmorphia that I’ve ever had and is encompassed in that journey by itself. It is a 24 week journey to the stage, right? 24 weeks to get to the stage, and the body does so much in those 24 weeks. So we get to eat.

Then we get to do all of this cardio, all of this lifting, and then all of a sudden we begin depletion and he starts cutting everything to expose the muscle, right? So when you are dealing with, how do you come away from the stage body? Because to get to the stage body, you have to do so many things that is not sustainable. So the stage body is not a sustainable body, no way, shape, or form. And I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures of all of the bodybuilders in the hallway. That is a body that we cannot maintain even if we wanted to because of how hard it’s to get to there. That there is a point and the journey where we’re literally eating about maybe 700 calories per day.


Susan Stone: can’t imagine how I would think. 

Samantha Pierce: Yeah. Yeah. I still don’t know how I was thinking. But anyway, commitment and dedication, it gets to that point, and then you get, you hit the stage, it’s lights, camera, action, and then boom, you’re done. I don’t know if you can think about how much of a a brain fart that could cause It’s 

Kristina Supler: whiplash. Yeah. All of a sudden you’re done 

Samantha Pierce: trying to balance, right? Do you run to Mitchell’s to regular people? Regular people who struggle with a cookie? So I, and trust me, we get donuts every Wednesday in my house for the kids. It’s donut Wednesday. We go get donuts before school and everybody eats donuts every Wednesday except for when I’m on prep.

And so when it comes down to what the discipline is that is necessary to maintain, what I tell my clients is, when you’re beginning a journey, you need to do what you regularly do, and then as the journey progresses, you start progressing. So I don’t expect any client to come in and start training two to three times a week and then cut everything out of their diet.

No, I tell them not to even change anything that they’re eating. Let’s get into the regimen of the workout first, and then as you progress and you want more, then you’re willing to give up more. So then you’re saying, eh, I plateaued. I’m gonna give up. I don’t know, wine. Whoa. Those are Sam Wine.

Kristina Supler: Sam, you struck a nerve. My gosh, Sam, 

Samantha Pierce: anything but the wine. 

Susan Stone: Okay. I’ll fight you for my wine. 

Kristina Supler: Okay. 

Samantha Pierce: Wine and only have wine on the weekend. You’re not gonna have wine every night. Maybe, oh, that got very personal. I had so many conversations with Susan where I’m like, it’s real. 

Kristina Supler: girl, you know you’re not gonna cut the wine. 

Samantha Pierce: But you never know. There may come a point in her fitness journey where she says, I can’t get rid of this Pudge right here. And her trainer might say, give up wine for seven days and take a picture every single day, and then see what happens with your pictures and if you see a difference. And then at the end of seven days she’ll say, wow, there’s a huge difference here.

That’s a lot of sugar. And she might say, I’m not gonna drink any more wine, I’m gonna switch to vodka. True story. That is exactly what happened to me. So anyway, so the journey is the journey. But you have to be patient in any journey. Not just the fitness journey, but in any journey, you have to be patient and know that evolution is natural.

You will evolve into the person that you need to be in order to do a certain thing. That is how God built us. So as you progress, you’ll say to yourself, Kristina, one day you’ll just come to me out of the blue and be like, This ain’t working. And maybe I need a meal plan, and I’m gonna say, perfect.

I’ve been waiting for you to say that. And then, because only when you say, I’m ready to make a change in this area, will you actually make the change in this area. And the meal plan may be something simple okay, what are you eating? Okay, let’s do that every single day except cut this rice at the end of the night.

Or, whatever the case may be. Something simple, but it. It’s an evolution. And so the cookie that you struggle with is a matter of what do I want more? Do I want this cookie more? Do I want these abs? Because if what I really want is abs, then I, a cookie is nothing. I can say I forego that cookie.

Let me see what my body does. If I don’t do the, I already know what my body does when I eat the cookies. Lemme see what my body does when I don’t. 

Susan Stone: How does this mindset help college kids or kids of any age. Who suffer from anxiety and depression and wanna turn to alcohol or drugs 

Kristina Supler: well or numbing out with food even, or 

Susan Stone: numbing out with, 

Samantha Pierce: we can numb out with just about anything.

But can you numb out with exercise? You can actually, in grief recovery, I’m a grief recovery specialist. We call this, it’s a disturb. Give me a second to pull this out of my brain. It is a temporary relief of of what you’re feeling. I can’t pull all of the S T E R b, I can’t even pull it outta my brain right now, but it’s a temporary relief of whatever it is that you’re feeling and it comes out in many different ways.

And exercise is one. Alcohol. Definitely one. Sex definitely one. There’s so many different things that you can use as comfort, right? And so when you’re talking about college age kids and, and high school age kids and anybody before and after, as a matter of fact, these behaviors are learned through just living.

So they may have seen a parent do it that way. My parent comes home from a long day of work and what does he do? He grabs a beer. And so that’s the behavior that we just learn, right? And what I would say when we are dealing with kids of any age and even adults our age, is that, sometimes it’s, it is better to sit in the feeling and sometimes if uhoh, what did I, strike a nerve again, Susan.

Susan Stone: Yeah, you struck a big nerve because I know that it is so hard. Just sit in the feeling. ’cause sometimes it just hurts. Feels yucky. Oh, it just hurts so bad. Yeah. It just gets you and you cry. But that’s not bad is it? 

Samantha Pierce: But it is hard to explain to children and young adults how bad it’s gonna hurt when it comes back around.

So you can numb this with alcohol, drugs, whatever, exercise, food, whatever it is that you’re gonna numb that with. But when you, when the numbing subsides, you are going to feel it anyway. And it’s hard to explain to children and young adults. It’s easier to explain to an adult. I can say that to you and you say, oh dang.

I hadn’t thought about that. But kids, it, that’s just not gonna sit with them. So a lot of times what they need is, we are talking about children and young adults. What they need is someone who can sit in it with them without the judgment. Now, are you a parent that’s going to be able to sit with them?

I’m a trainer that can sit with clients. So a really good example is a client comes in and she’s in full blown tears. And you know her. She’s I can leave if I need to. And I’m like, no, you here. You’re here for a reason. Let’s sit in this and, figure out what needs to happen next.

And so a lot of times though, I do a lot of grief, not a lot. I do grief training, right? I have clients that come to me out of grief, and their training looks different. In fact, a lot of times their training is separate from everyone else because what they need is a quiet space where nobody’s around and like a million wrecks of something that they can just say, okay, she told me to do a hundred squats. I’ll never get through these a hundred squats, but at least now I have something to do. And distraction. and they just start moving, right? And I’m just standing there like this,just, waiting for them to do whatever it is.

They might do 20 of them and then they’ll turn around and say, was that a hundred girl? Yes, that was a hundred. Let’s move on to the next thing you know, and that as long as you can move your body, Grief and pain and things like that, it just helps. And but I know that because I am a grief person, like I work in grief recovery. I, my specialty is child loss, parents and grief.

So what I, 

Susan Stone: What could be more painful? What could be more painful? Nothing. 

Samantha Pierce: I’m sure there is some things that could be more painful, but I think it depends on who you’re asking. Like I think that the child loss has been my greatest pain. But somebody else could say that rape has been their greatest pain.

Okay. It just depends on, see, child loss can happen to, to two different people and it affects them differently. Sure. And that’s not to negate abortion as child loss because that affects people differently too. People come from different backgrounds and what they view as the most painful thing they’ve ever experienced is going to differ from person to person. I 

Susan Stone: remember I had two miscarriages. And I remember after both miscarriages, my mother saying to me, that’s just God’s way of making sure you only have a healthy child. And I remember thinking, that does not help. That was not helpful, mom. I know she meant to help.

She meant well. But she missed. Missed the mark. She did mean well. But she missed the mark on that. ’cause I was grieving. 

Samantha Pierce: Yes. And so your mom is of a different generation. And they don’t know how to put that into a healthy place. And grief recovery, we talk about this all the time, spiritual truths that are just not helpful.

And then people, people come to you and say, God gives, and God takes away. And it’s I know. That don’t help. Just like you just said that don’t help, and that doesn’t mean that God didn’t want me to have a, an unhealthy baby because there are children out here with autism and children with other special needs that are born and that are good.

So it’s not like God was just trying to protect me from a thing. It’s just, this just happened and now I have to deal with it. Yeah, I think different things hit people differently, and generationally speaking, we are differently equipped to deal with certain things. 

Kristina Supler: Sam, I’d like to hear a little bit more about your grief recovery training.

That’s something I’ve never heard of before and I just think it’s interesting ’cause it sounds and please tell me if I’m wrong, it is a combination of in many respects, meditation and exercise in a way. 

Susan Stone: And this is great because I know you may not know this. Kristine and I both love yoga, so 

Samantha Pierce: I think I did know that.

Yeah. Love my yoga. I’m a yoga instructor. So grief recovery is, it now, after the twins, I have twins that passed away. They were born at 21.6 weeks, and they had no chance of living because they just didn’t have lung function. And they each lived about an hour after they were born, and they were born on separate days.

One came. And then we had to induce the other. Oh my gosh. And so after that, my husband and I went to tons of counseling. We saw, we saw a group,which was great. We went to phototherapy, we went to individual counseling. We did all kinds of different counseling. And it wasn’t until during my work on a pregnancy and infant loss committee for the county that they brought in a grief recovery specialist.

What they were doing was, and I did not know this, they threw me into this mix. But what they were doing was they were going to make everyone on the committee go through grief recovery method. And then they were gonna train us to become grief recovery specialists. So they signed us up for the Grief Recovery Group.

And I went to it as an eight week group. This one in particular was an eight week group. And I was like, yeah, I’m here for child loss. yada, yada, yada. And when I got there, we were talking about all kind of other losses. We were talking about losses of teddy bears when I was six years old and what that did to me and what that meant, and loss of keys and job interviews and stuff like that.

I’m sitting there, I’m confused, I’m just like, what? What are we doing here? And it was the most thorough, I actually called the, my, the chair of my committee, and I was like, I’m not doing this. This is not what I signed. 

Kristina Supler: I think they put me, I’m in the wrong group. I belong in 

Samantha Pierce: the group down the hall.

Yeah. what are we doing? Like, why are we talking about all these different losses? And I’m tore up from the floor up, like I’m just gone. And she was like,no. This is accurate. You are okay. Just stay with the group. And so when I completed it, what I realized is that this was the most thorough grief class I have ever participated in.

And it starts from childhood and then it takes you through a relationship. So what we say in grief recovery is that grief begins as soon as you come out the womb, right? You come out of that warm space, you are covered. You come out, it’s cold, there are bright lights, you cry and some doctor slaps you on the butt.

And this is your intro to life. 

Susan Stone: How do you incorporate that knowledge in the Renegade Group you run? 

Samantha Pierce: Oh, honey, I spot them. Actually, in fact, I’ve had several renegades go through, grief recovery method. I offer them a discount. I did a group of Renegades, but when, like for the example that I gave you a little while ago, the lady that came in absolute tears, I said, you need grief recovery and we’re gonna start that next week.

And I took her through the for one-on-one and seven weeks, the seven week program, and she was like, I didn’t even realize I was dealing with all of this. Because a lot of times listen carefully to this. We did not talk about this before, so this was never in any of the prep questions, but a lot of times you get stuck a journey. Journey. And it’s related to grief. It’s not related to anything else. 

So you think you’re stuck because you wanna eat macaroni and cheese in a fitness journey. But the truth is, you’re stuck because you’ve got this unresolved relationship of a person that is gone from your life, has been gone from your life for 20 years, and you’re stuck in emotion that you didn’t realize and that has got you not able to make other changes because this person loved macaroni and cheese, they always made it for me. And so I’m gonna eat it. It was my beloved mother. Whatever the case may be. And this is just a wild example. So this is not anything that has actually happened, but this macaroni and cheese is in your way of your ads.

And so when we go through the grief recovery method, when we start talking about what different relationships affected you, and you start working through relationships for the unresolved things that happen and unsaid things that you never got to say before they left your life, whether it was from death or just Estrangement, it is, it just opens up a different world in your brain of being able to deal with other things because now you can see, oh, this was compounded with that and this, and I’ve never been able to deal with this particular situation, and so I’ve never been able to trust another person.

With this part of me, you, it just opens you up to something totally different and a different piece. A different piece of healing that can occur. 

Susan Stone: We, Kristina and I deal with sex issues every day. Every day we talk to college kids about sex. We help students on their journey dealing with either defending against an allegation of sexual assault and what that feels like to be accused, or people who have been have 

Kristina Supler: experienced sexual violence.

Susan Stone: And we talk every day about that. I’m wondering, and we’re seeing a lot of. Violent behaviors in the college dorm room. And I’m wondering if grief ties into sex and in the way we have sex and the way we make love with each other. Do you have thoughts on that? 

Samantha Pierce: I got a lot of thoughts on that.

Let’s back up. I saw a study, a long time ago that said that 60% and this number could be off. And I don’t recall where I saw the statistics, but we probably can find this somewhere, but it was something like 60% of the prison population was heavy in grief. And can we just add, oh my gosh, 

Susan Stone: that’s 

Samantha Pierce: amazing.

We put every single person that’s sitting in prison and took them through grief recovery or some other grief, acknowledged their grief and help them work through whatever it is that they’re grieving over and allowed them to begin a healing process. How that might change. 

Susan Stone: How about getting them before the crime is committed?

Samantha Pierce: If we could only get them before the crime is committed, right? Then our prisons would look totally different. but it’s hard to get to people because again, grief begins at such a young age. We all have this backpack and every little loss that occurs, we add rocks to the backpack. It just becomes heavier and heavier.

So when you’re talking about sex, grief, hurt, people do hurt people. I hate that saying, but it’s absolutely true, right? If you are a hurt person, you don’t know any other behavior than to hurt the people around you. A lot of that has to do deal with you not being able to trust the people around you, and so you cut them off and you hurt them.

So when you’re dealing with dorm rooms and violent sexual behavior and people, young people, young minds trying to deal with a social media parents. Siblings school and grades and studying and parties and Greek life. I wanna join a sorority, fraternity, whatever. All of this other stuff is happening.

And then by the way, I haven’t healed from whatever happened to me back home before I got to the dorm room, right? So if you are dealing with all of that, and this is a very young mind, this is not a mature mind. You are going to need some help in placing things in the right compartment and dealing with things and healing.

So even though we didn’t talk about grief recovery and our preparation for this, I would thoroughly suggest that college age students, so we do grief recovery method for 18 and up, that college kids all go through grief recovery like that would almost be. That should be a curriculum change actually, because then you start to work through relationships all the way up until they got to 18 and then moving.

Susan Stone: That’s a trajectory change. That’s a trajectory change. Jack. That is a, that was, yeah. You gotta start that business. 

Samantha Pierce: Oh, here you go. And I’ll

Susan, you know me well and you haven’t even known me long. I see 

Kristina Supler: you. I think seeds are planted. Seeds are planted. 

Samantha Pierce: And that’s So what is trajectory? What is the trajectory change? It literally is seeds being planted. It literally is. If you can plant a seed in the mind of you got it else, then you can change the trajectory of the life of a young person simply by introducing a thought.

That something else is out there. I remember I took, my, my neighbor at my old house. She thought that the world was right there in our little corner of the street, right? And so I took her with me and the children. We went to my doctor’s house, and she lives all the way out in her Aurora. She’s got this big swimming pool in her yard.

Sauna and closed in deck and it’s like this big mansion, right? And I’m like, we’re going to, see my doctor, do you wanna come? And she’s yeah, I’ll come. And I took her over there and she saw this place and she was like, people live like this. This isn’t just on tv. And I’m like, yeah. we don’t live like this yet, but We’ll, like This is just, you sometimes all you need is a level of exposure to change your whole outlook on life. And if you want it bad enough, you’ll change your trajectory on your own. 

Kristina Supler: Wow. I’m just processing that. 

Susan Stone: That’s, I’m about to break down and cry. Yeah. I’m feeling very, I’m a little f clumped.

Yeah. You say it’s a really 

Kristina Supler: powerful,I gotta be honest, I think that’s our ending thought. It’s just powerful. The idea that we can effectuate our own trajectory change bit by bit, and then even more so with community around us, helping to lift us up and empower us. But it, so much does start from within.

Samantha Pierce: From within. And if it’s not within and you have somebody around you to input it, that’s even better. Like the work that you ladies are doing with these children, I say children because even college kids are, They’re children. Oh, 

Kristina Supler: that go on and on, on 

Samantha Pierce: and on about that. If you could just, feed them positive thoughts, like they’re in a bad situation.

It looks grim for them, but if you could just say to them, if you can input this thought of Yeah, but God’s gonna use you anyway. You’re gonna have this really abundant life. Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard what God has for you, honey. And when they, you look at that and you say, and you can give them examples of that, and you can point out people that have lived through really hard times, like start looking at these celebrities that they love so much and find out their backgrounds.

Oh, so and so did this and they come from the projects. whatever the case may be, if you can overcome a thought process. And Susan, Kristina, y’all think about back when y’all went to law school. There was something that made you go to law school, right? There was something there that said, this is what I’m gonna do, and you showed up every single day.

There has to be something in each of these children that makes them show up. But if you can find out what that is, then you can tap into that and you can keep them either moving in the right trajectory or changing it. This bad thing. Yes, it happened to you, but it doesn’t have to define you.

maybe it happened for you. Not to you. Maybe this was an eye-opening thing that’s gonna change the way you affect, and I’m talking about the children. You went through this thing so that you can help change the world. 

Kristina Supler: Powerful thought. I 

Susan Stone: really powerful thought. I just think about, we do a lot of talk with, especially with my K through 12 practice, and those kids who are on IEPs, individual education plan about transition planning.

But we don’t really, we talk about sex ed and we talk about occupational advice, are you gonna be a doctor, lawyer, candlestick maker? But we really don’t prepare people for just the pain of life. Yeah. And that’s what you can offer the world. And that’s what you do. You are the navigator of that trajectory change once you get stuck in life.

And we thank you for the work you do with people. 

Kristina Supler: Oh, thank you. I agree. And Sam, we are so pleased that you joined us today. Thank you for sharing. So much insight and food for thought and wisdom with our listeners. Thank you so much. it was really a pleasure chatting with you today. 

Samantha Pierce: So much for me y’all.