Is It Possible to Move From Triggered to Trigger-Free? A Conversation with Rino Murata
Is it possible to move from triggered to trigger-free?
Join my guest, Rino Murata and me as we explore this very topic. Reno bravely shares her personal story, from her early years of identifying triggers to her experiences as a mom of three, demonstrating the power and growth that comes from understanding our triggers.
Together with Rino, we look at what triggers are, healing from past trauma, and the critical role of boundaries. Ever felt worthless or out of place when triggered? We dive into those feelings and the path to getting past them. We also stress the importance of trusting ourselves, expressing our needs, and leaving when boundaries are crossed. Furthermore, we explore how working with our triggers can lead to cultivating trust and worthiness in our relationships with ourselves, children, and intimate partners.
Reno shares tips for self-compassion and self-care practices and how important both are for our healing journey.
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Welcome to the Relationship Diversity Podcast, where we celebrate, question and explore all aspects of relationship structure diversity, from soloramary to monogamy to polyamory and everything in between, because every relationship is as unique as you are. We'll bust through societal programming to break open and dissect everything we thought we knew about relationships, to ask the challenging but transformational questions who am I and what do I really want in my relationships? I'm your guide, K Jeroslow bestselling author, speaker, intuitive and coach. Join me as we reimagine all that our most intimate relationships can become. Today's episode is part of our conversation series. I'm just one voice in this relationship diversity movement and it's important to bring more unique perspectives into the conversation. Today I'll be talking with Rino Murata, a relationship coach. All about triggers, what they are, how to get in touch with your own triggers and how to move from being triggered by something to becoming trigger-free by the same thing. But first a little about her. Just in Vancouver, canada, reno is a relationship coach who helps clients get their romantic relationships right by getting a clear understanding of themselves first, through a holistic body-mind-soul approach and emotional intelligence. Reno believes love and relationships are worth pursuing. She discovered through parenting her three sons that love itself cannot build a strong and healthy relationship, but being able to have mutual trust, honesty and respect is what makes relationships meaningful to everyone involved. Reno is a certified integral life coach and certified trauma-informed coach. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Sophia University in Tokyo. When she's not working or furthering her training to be a better coach, reno enjoys cooking for her blended family with five kids or zoning out in front of the TV and not remembering the show she watched for the third time. Let's get into the conversation. Hello everyone and welcome to this week's episode of Relationship Diversity Podcast. I've got a great guest for you today. I've got relationship coach Rino Murata, and we are talking about a big subject, or maybe when we make it bigger, I don't know but we're talking about triggers. I really love this topic because I think that a lot of times we go through our lives and something happens and we react and respond and don't do anything with it, and that is a moment in time that has a lot of information information about our past, information about how we view ourselves, information about how we are allowing ourselves to be treated, the boundaries that we hold. There's so much information in that moment. So when we become aware of our triggers. We are empowered to then do more than just react but learn and grow and create healthier boundaries and healthier circumstances and experiences for our lives. So with that I want to say welcome, reno, I am so happy you're here.Rino Murata:
Thank you very much, Carrie, for having me on your show.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, so I always like to start out with you telling us a little bit about yourself and how you came to working and specializing in triggers and helping people to go from being triggered to trigger free, because there's always a story of why we do our work. So would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself?Rino Murata:
Yes, thank you. I would look back at my life and say that I've been triggered a lot pretty much in my entire childhood. A lot of my or all of my relationships that I had with my boyfriend's from teen until I got married and I am divorced and those triggers just kept repeating. I would say it wasn't the same incident, but it was the same feeling. So that raised questions eventually, when I was 40 a few years ago, and how it led to me wanting to work with my triggers was actually beginning to question what it means to be not triggered. What is it? Is that even possible? You know, what does it feel like to not have these feelings and is it possible to get rid of these? So the journey was that about 10 years ago and during my parenting, I have three boys and two of them are neurodivergent, so I was being triggered that they were not being, they were not learning fast enough. So it was more of a societal trigger than a personal trigger back then. But that was the door, the gate that opened the journey.Carrie Jeroslow:
Wow, that is, yeah, that's our kids. I find I have two boys and they definitely reflect lots of things back to us as parents and many times feel like I'm learning more than being a guide for them, or maybe it's we're both being guides for each other. So I'd like to start with defining, or how you define, what a trigger is.Rino Murata:
I would say that's two folds for me. I'm a trauma-informed coach. So there's a definition of trigger. That is, our bodies are reacting. It is a fight-flight, freeze-fond response and we react faster than our logic and our brain kicks in. So it is a survival mechanism at that point. But is it happening now? Those are questions that only come after you can regulate yourself. So that's one portion of what a trigger is, and the other, more human, aspect is it throws you off like a door handle. You don't know why you're reacting that way. You know somewhere in your head, back of your head, that this doesn't seem reasonable. Even to me, those are triggers.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, and I found that when I become more aware that I get triggered, like okay, that is just an awareness within itself I get triggered. I think everyone does. And then, looking at, how does that show up in my body? It always shows up in my body. So you know, for me it starts kind of in my belly and I start to feel, like you said, dysregulated but also just emotional. I start to feel emotional, I start to feel hot and warm in my body. So I look at the sensory aspects of these responses and just yesterday I was in a conversation, right, and I got triggered and the thing is, the person I was talking to was actually wonderful, beautiful, just said one thing that I felt my whole body get. I felt sensation in my body that was not a normal or not normal, I don't wanna say normal, but calmness, and it took me all night to kind of figure out what was that bringing up in me. And I found that it actually was connected to something that happened 30 years ago in a job that I was in. It was an experience, a certain thing that happened that was still, that was unresolved within me, and so you know, that was where my work started, my questionings. So I wanna ask you like where do triggers come from? You have much more experience in that than I do. Where that was where it came from, I found, oh, 30 years ago that happened at my job. But where do triggers come from? Or where do you find in your work?Rino Murata:
So triggers, they do come from trauma, and trauma is a big word, but it's only, it's an impact that had on you, on your nervous system. So it doesn't matter how small or how big. If it meant something to you, then it shook you somewhere in your core that you didn't like. And you know we can talk about boundaries too, because your boundaries were violated, whether you were you know, you knew it or not. So I'm sorry, I think I lost your question.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, just where do triggers come from, Right?Rino Murata:
right. So yeah, it is the past, it is an event and it might not be what you thought it was. I think that's what I found a lot with the clients I work with. They think they know what it is. So that's where they work. They work on For years. Maybe you know it's not that they're not working on their triggers, but they are therapists or you know healing and whatnot. But it's actually something else and I find that a lot of times it's a sense of work. When you start approaching your sense of work, then the triggers start to heal.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, so how does one go about working on their sense of worth?Rino Murata:
This would have to be by working with and talking with, you know, talking through it and through a lot of questions. But it could be as small as I don't deserve to buy new socks, you know. It could be something as small as that, and we find it very interesting, surprising, how small those things are.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, so taking small steps and moving in the place of slowly showing yourself that you are worthy of. Okay, so this is. I liked your definition of trauma, because I think trauma is spoken about a lot these days. I was traumatized by this, I was traumatized by that, but can you define that one more time?Rino Murata:
the way that you talked about trauma, yes, it is an impact that had on your nervous system.Carrie Jeroslow:
Impact on your nervous system. I really like that. That brings, I guess, some more tangible understanding to me about trauma, and when someone has that trauma they get dysregulated and they don't deal with it. What does that? That was kind of what you were talking about in your story. When you got to I know it was you were triggered societally by your sons, and by your sons not maybe following social expectations of how they should learn. What did that trigger within you? It?Rino Murata:
triggered my entire sense of belonging my worth in my place in society, all those things that I carried in my childhood, that I needed to prove to my mother that I am worthy to be loved.Carrie Jeroslow:
So I did everything.Rino Murata:
I would check, all, check out all the boxes for approval, and achievement was a big thing for me. If you give me a task, I will achieve it. And then children were different story. They had their own agenda.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, yeah. And so what was your process of moving? Because that brought up all of your feeling, you know, lack of worthiness of being a good mom, probably of something you were doing, and you're trying to check off all those boxes, just like you said, but still they have their own way of being in the world. What was your process to heal those triggers?Rino Murata:
The process was that we ended up homeschooling after going to about a dozen different schools and we homeschooled for five years and three of those were unschooling the end of the last three years. So unschooling allowed me to question everything. Why do we do what we do? Why do we go to school? What is success? What is the mother's role? What is happiness? It was really about digging really fundamentally like to the core of what things mean. And when you start questioning everything, then you know we have something to compare Is it important or is it not? And then you have to compare it with is it important to me? So that was the process of understanding and just demystifying. Things really aren't what they seem to be, right right, but we take on.Carrie Jeroslow:
We take on so much right from our childhood as just truth which creates those that wounding. So I can see how really digging down to the core of who you are and re-identifying yourself, Recreating really.Rino Murata:
Recreating From what's important to me. So core values were a thing. I didn't know the word, I didn't know I was working with core values, but when I look back now as a coach, there was something that had you know, there was a thread that just carried me through that journey and that's what was really important to me. So connection and relationship, understanding, love, you know, those are really important values to me. So I wanted to build a relationship with my children based on those values and have to trust that. Trust is also one of my core values, that with that having a good relationship in your childhood years, I believe that that will carry us through life, that they don't have to go through the same kind of healing journey that we do. Right, I wished my mom, my dad, would have trusted in me more, believed in me more and didn't make me work for my worth, sense of worth. And we all have like, really, really dark days right in our life. There's storms in our life and sometimes people can make it is, sometimes people can't. I had to think I'm not going to be in my kids life forever. What will carry them through life, no matter what? And the answer to me was that there are. They are able to trust in themselves. They are able to believe in themselves.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, that's really powerful as a parent to be able to cultivate that as much as possible within the relationship with children and then also within the relationship of any intimate partners. Trust is essential, and when trust is lost for one reason or another, the triggers seem to come up a lot more, would you say.Rino Murata:
Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Trust is so many things. It's about also being able to believe in something that you can't really have logic or reason to. You know trust can be short-term, it could be long-term. You know there's so many layers to trust.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, yeah, it's deep, and trusting yourself is also really, I find, trusting who I am and my path and my truth and my worth is something that I'm working on as well. I have a question in terms of, I think, like triggers fall in a couple different categories. Right, we can be triggered by something like, let's say, what happened to me yesterday. This was nothing that someone was doing to me, nothing that someone said to me that was actually anything mean or, you know, unaffirming, like it was. It was just said in just the midst of a conversation, but it triggered something from my past. Okay, so there's that camp, but there's also the camp of being triggered by someone who is overstepping either boundaries that were placed or is bringing to light the need for boundaries that have not been specified for one reason or another, in which case, you know, like the first circumstance or situation that I was talking about, that I feel like, is about me going in and doing my internal work. The other is also, but it's also going to be me expressing my needs, my boundaries, first understanding what those are within me and then being able to express that and implement them in my life, in my relationships. Can you speak to those two different kinds of triggers. Yeah, we could talk for a few weeks. Oh good.Rino Murata:
Either way, the triggers, like the first one that you mentioned the conversation you were having yesterday that evoked an emotion. I think those are. All of them are unresolved, and it just reminded you of something I can relate to, that a couple months ago for my birthday I wanted to have 45 candles on my two chocolate cakes and someone said I'll never do that, it's just a waste of candles. I bawled, it's like why, right, but like you, I had to sit with. Why did I even go to that reaction? And it was that I didn't have any memories of having a happy birthday in my childhood and at age 45, I found something that makes me happy in that moment. So I felt that I didn't deserve that so inconsequential, but it led to that. You know that memory. But realizing that allows us to also come back into the moment and realize that it's not happening now. It is not happening anymore. We get to choose what we want to do in our life. You know what we want. So those are definitely moments that something is healed. As for boundaries, it takes two. We know we can do. We can only do so much. We need to know what it is. We need to learn what our boundaries are and it is also our responsibility to lay that very firmly and to let people know. There are ways to let people know in a kind, non-offensive, challenging manner. But also it's our responsibility that if someone keeps overstepping them, or even once you know know is a no Right, If they overstep the boundaries that you have asked to be respected, we get to walk away and we don't need to explain to anyone. You know we told them. If it's someone that is close to us, like you know, in our intimate relationships, we talk about it. But if they don't choose to respect that boundaries, then it's still up to us. What are we going to do with that information?Carrie Jeroslow:
Right and having that sometimes I call it, you know, a choice point I can choose in this moment. How am I going to respond in both situations? In both scenarios, do you feel that it's really possible to be trigger-free?Rino Murata:
Triggers will always stay with you and you'll always have triggers. But what I think about trigger-free is that we get to choose what to do with it. And you know there are levels and variations of triggers. They're like extreme triggers that you lose your calmness. You know you can't be in that moment anymore. And there are triggers that you can laugh about, such as I have a certain way I like to fold my laundry and if anyone else is, you know other ways I might redo it. But you know those are things that people there's a little quirks, right, and you know in our family we can laugh about it and we show understanding. It's not a big deal, as long as it doesn't become like a controlling thing. I think those triggers we can learn to live with it. And by trigger-free I really mean about Trigger-free, I really mean about those extreme ones that so dysregulate you that it would bring you down for days and actually having to live that trigger for years. That definitely can become a lot more minimized and I don't have the same triggers. I don't feel those kind of extreme triggers anymore that I used to feel for 40 years. I'm 45 and I just don't have it anymore. So if it's possible for me. I do believe it's possible for others.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yes, I have had the experience where triggers that I never thought I would get over or not get over but just move through and heal have healed. It is possible and it takes patience and guidance, because in the times where the triggers were so deep, I had to work with someone because I will hide from them If I don't. If I can, and having a good, compassionate coach or healer however you wanna look therapist, counselor to ask questions in a compassionate way to help you think through things and feel through things and move through things is really helpful at times. How, if someone was listening to this and they feel like they've felt those feelings right in their body so they've identified, oh, that might be me getting triggered. So now I've got this awareness that, oh, okay, I never thought about it before, but now I'm realizing, when I feel that feeling in my stomach, I'm feeling triggered. What is the first step that you would give them? They're not working with anyone, they don't have anyone, but they wanna start the process of moving from trigger to trigger free. Step number one what would you tell them to do?Rino Murata:
Step number one is the awareness really. If you don't have awareness, then you don't know what to do. You don't if you don't feel like you have a choice. But when you do have that awareness or I earlier said that the incidents were different but the feelings were the same and those, I think, are really really big hints. Have I felt this before? And if you have, then that is definitely a trigger and if you can realize that even for a second, because it takes practice actually to be able to be aware and do something. There are two separate things. We need to create something called the window of tolerance, and that window of tolerance is the tolerance level you raise as you regulate yourself more. So that is an increments. You know the first thing might be I have to step outside or I have to stop talking. I have to. Whatever it is that is going to help you in that moment is the first step, without judgment.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yes, I love that. And that leads me to the other question that I had was I think people are all different, we're all unique and we all deal with our triggers in different ways. That initial step that you were just talking about I tend to withdraw and go do the things that I do take a shower, lay on my yoga mat or just listen to some calming music or walk or something like just by myself. That's what I tend to do and that comes from my childhood, because when my nervous system was most dysregulated during my parents' divorce, I would put myself in my room and put on music and just listen to music. So a lot of times music will help me to just accept where I'm at which, I agree with you, acceptance is imperative. We never want to gloss over what's going on within us. We want to accept what's going on, accept the feelings, the thoughts and the sensations. So what are other ways? Because I'm like me, that's how I do it. But what are other ways that you found people, when they get triggered, how they can kind of start to regulate their nervous system or just become aware or just accept their feelings? What are other ways besides just pulling themselves away from everyone?Rino Murata:
You may have heard that emotions there's no good or bad in emotion. They are merely messengers. They are only there to tell us something. So, with that non-judgmental approach to yourself, for yourself to be able to look at, no matter how uncomfortable it is, there's some sort of message that your body, your heart, your soul is trying to tell you. So, with tenderly, hold that emotion in your heart and sit with it and just be curious about why. Why am I feeling that way? If someone that is physically injured, you're not gonna start questioning them while no one else has that kind of injury, and I think goes to not compare ourselves that there are people who go through much more difficult things. But it's yours and that's really important to you. You feel something in your body and it's really, really trying to tell you something. So it's that compassion for yourself, no casual compassion to yourself. Try to have empathy for yourself, and it doesn't have to be sympathy, because you might go into a cycle of validating. You can stay there. So I think there's a difference.Carrie Jeroslow:
So I guess my question is have you found that when someone is unconscious of their trigger but something happens, they feel it and then the next moment that tends to whatever that reaction is whether it's to attack, whether it's to defend, whether it's to belittle themselves get upset with themselves, get upset with another, go get a drink, go get any of these kinds of reactions? Do you find that that comes from maybe how they grew up? Like I was just saying, like that was how I reacted when I was most upset. I would pull myself away from everyone.Rino Murata:
As long as that healed the trigger, I think that means it worked for you. But if you've been doing that pattern or trying to walk away or get a drink of water, whatever, but you still see this pattern, it means it's not necessarily working for you. So I think, like in coaching, one of the first things we do is what are your self-care go-tos and what is it that makes you feel safe or calm or happy or whatever? We go through a lot of things that, either way, that kind of makes you feel good and it takes practice. No, they got to choose what it is, but you have to know it. But it's like having a tool in your back pocket and knowing that and practicing it. Might not go well in the first try, but actually when you're triggered it might remind you oh, actually I could have pulled out that tool. I could have done that and then you know it's just small steps, but that's also an awareness and then the next time you can pull that out, that tool, and do it and see how you feel.Carrie Jeroslow:
I love self-care. I'm a huge self-care advocate. Can you give some examples of how self-care can show up for people?Rino Murata:
I hear music, meditation, I hear eating fruits. People like to go to the gym or watch a movie, anything that really they enjoy. It's very different. It could be allowing themselves a piece of chocolate or cookie or whatever. Really anything, people, what people enjoy doing.Carrie Jeroslow:
Right, right. So coming up with a list of what do I enjoy, what helps bring me what you said was a sense of safety and nourishment for myself, by myself, and I think, like those two steps, I'm speaking to you out there, listening to this, if you're feeling like you're getting triggered a lot. Step one is awareness. Step two is acceptance without judgment. Step three is engaging in some kind of self-care practice that, ideally, you've already thought of what that is, because when we get in that moment where triggered, we're like I don't even know what I want to do. But you've already got the list. Maybe you've written a list of three or four things that feel really good to you. So maybe it'll help.Rino Murata:
One of the questionnaires I send to my clients before we get into that self-care is I ask them what are all your favorite things to do? What are your food, your favorite restaurant, your favorite music, favorite shopping, online or offline? For your body, for your heart, for your ears, for your eyes, your scent, your scent smell All those things are something that you can turn to.Carrie Jeroslow:
Right, yeah, that's really helpful and I do a daily self-care practice because I was so lost. I was 2017, I started and I was just so lost. I didn't know who I was and my self-care practice helped to reconnect me to or connect me to the person that I had become and, after having two kids and no personal space at all and losing myself, I helped myself to learn who I was in that moment as a mother of two, a business owner and everything. So self-care is really invaluable. And so let's say, people have done those steps and they're saying I still need help. I want to reach out to Reno because I want to. I need help to move through it. How would people work with you? How do you work with clients?Rino Murata:
A lot of times it's worth mouth and referrals. But I do have a website. It's reno maratacom. My Instagram is reno maratacoaching. Email, direct messaging, whatever it is. You can book a call and share with me what it is that you are wanting.Carrie Jeroslow:
So you work one-on-one with people and is it like a per session? Do you have a program that you help people with?Rino Murata:
Yes, it is a eight-week trigger-free relationship coaching program, one-on-one. Recently I have been certified as an EQI practitioner Emotional Intelligence so we will use that assessment. It has shaved weeks off. It's something you know. Emotions are something we think that is fuzzy and we can't see, but it is a level B assessment. It has been. It's valid scientifically and reliable. So it's governed under the Canadian Psychology Association or the American Psychology Association and I have found that this has been a very powerful tool to move forward very quickly because it allows you to see what works for you. What has it, what were the emotions that carried you through this life, no matter how messy it looks, and in order for you to move to a direction that you desire. There are skill sets, that emotional skill sets that you can develop. You know that's the thing about emotion is it's developable. You can develop them. It's not a sudden stone and when you take that assessment it's only a snapshot of that time. It could change.Carrie Jeroslow:
Yeah, that would be really interesting to see the snapshot at the beginning of your work and at the end of your work and then a year into the future, to really get this idea of how we can become more emotionally intelligent, with perseverance and resiliency, and focus, focus on ourselves, which is important. I think we all, many people, focus on so many other people and all of their responsibilities. So I would say, if you are feeling, if you're hearing this and you feel like you are triggered left and right in every which way, please reach out to Reno and try these few tips to get yourself started and reach out to Reno to get some really focused one-on-one attention. Thank you, reno, so much for being on the podcast and sharing your knowledge.Rino Murata:
Thank you, Carrie.Carrie Jeroslow:
Thanks so much for listening to the Relationship Diversity podcast. Want to learn more about relationship diversity? I've got a free guide I'd love to send you. Go to wwwrelationshipdiversitypodcastcom to get yours sent right to you. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to the podcast. You being here and participating in the conversation about relationship diversity is what helps us create a space of inclusivity and acceptance together. The more comfortable and normal it is to acknowledge the vast and varied relating we all do, the faster we'll shift to a paradigm of conscious, intentional and diverse relationships. New episodes are released every Thursday. Stay connected with me through my website, carriejeroslowcom, instagram or TikTok. Stay curious. Every relationship is as unique as you are.