At times we all need a little escape, to de-centrate and reduce stress. What’s the healthy way to escape vs. the unhealthy way that often leads to addiction and isolation?

In this #fireandearthpodcast episode we explore how to go into escape mode for the right reasons and how to set boundaries.

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The Fire and Earth Podcast gives you practical advice and keys to unlocking your potential in life and business, hosted by Dr. Kathy Gruver and Jason Mefford. Real, raw and unscripted.


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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of the fire and earth podcast, I’m your co host Jason Medford

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Kathy Gruver: And I’m Kathy gruver coming to you live from my not green screens backyard. It looks very weird.

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Kathy Gruver: Today we’re speaking of being in the backyard and green screens. We’re going to talk about escape today not escape in the get out of a milk.

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Kathy Gruver: Crate kind of thing that Houdini used to do escape from reality. And when that can be a good and bad thing. And how can you can use escape as a tool to actually help you move forward. So it’s gonna be an interesting one. Today, Jason.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and it’s good that you put that caveat of the beginning because we’ve had so many magicians on the show to

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Jason Mefford: What we’re talking about escape. People may be thinking about the Houdini you know getting out of the handcuffs.

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Jason Mefford: All that kind of stuff, which yeah

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Jason Mefford: I think you’re a lock pick two, if I remember right

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Kathy Gruver: I do know how to pick locks.

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Jason Mefford: You do know how to pick locks.

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Kathy Gruver: And I do think for handcuffs. But that’s a whole nother

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Jason Mefford: But yeah, it’s escape and like you said you know when when it’s healthy when it’s not as well because it can be a very powerful tool. We just have to make sure that we don’t you know let it start to control

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Jason Mefford: Us.

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Jason Mefford: As well. Right.

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Jason Mefford: Yep. So Premier not green screened area Kathy think. So what are we, what are we talking about here wins. How, how can we use this to help us, I guess, right.

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Kathy Gruver: Well, I think it depends on what you’re escaping into, you know, if you are escaping to get out of pain.

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Kathy Gruver: Both emotional, physical, spiritual, this is why a lot of people turn to drugs and alcohol and I’ve done a lot of studying and psychology and mental illness and I’ve read some of these statistics, saying, you know,

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Kathy Gruver: Women have such a higher rate of depression than men. Well, it’s not that women have a higher rate of depression. It’s men don’t report it because they self medicate, typically with drugs and alcohol.

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Kathy Gruver: So it doesn’t mean it’s not there, it means they’re escaping to get out of pain, we’re not necessarily talking about that kind of escape either we’re talking more about the

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Kathy Gruver: I’m going to turn on Facebook and escape into that. Or I’m going to watch funny cat videos, which is an escape.

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Kathy Gruver: Or I’m going to play Dungeons and Dragons, which I did last night, which was very fun. And to me, that’s a kind of healthy escape because it takes you into that creative fantasy world kind of thing.

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Kathy Gruver: And I could tell you all about my character. I’m blue, by the way, um, but it’s really fun because it sparks that different part of your imagination.

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Kathy Gruver: And to a certain extent. I mean, video games, kind of do that to you know it’s a skill thing, but it also does allow you to escape into another world that isn’t your real world.

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Kathy Gruver: Where you can let your problems go for a little bit. We don’t want to escape too far out of that or else or to come back.

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Kathy Gruver: But yeah, so it’s like I’m finding myself escaping into that fantasy is actually a really good thing that gets my brain going and takes me out of real world problems for a little

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Jason Mefford: Yeah. Well, it’s funny that you’re picking up Dungeons and Dragons. Again, I used to play that when I was a teenager and

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Jason Mefford: Yeah, I haven’t, I haven’t thought about that for a long time until we were talking about you getting back into it. Right.

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Jason Mefford: And and it’s it’s one of those two where you know Dungeons and Dragons you play with other people. Right. So it’s, it’s, you’re still being social you’re with other people.

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Jason Mefford: It’s not like you’re escaping and pulling up the covers over your head right you know and woe is me kind of a thing. But, you know, sometimes we just need a break from everyday normal routine life.

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Jason Mefford: Right.

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Jason Mefford: And so these can be a great way to to help us kind of get out of that. But also, I think, to think a little bit differently to

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Jason Mefford: Right, so

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Jason Mefford: So escaping into, you know, a fantasy area. Let’s say for a little while. How can this actually help us, you know, as well as kind of being a form of recreation. How can this also kind of unlock or help us with our potential and with living a better life.

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Kathy Gruver: Yeah, well, we’ve talked about on other episodes. If we’re so busy concentrating on work we do have to decent rate at some point, we do have to get out of that intense concentration

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Kathy Gruver: And with something like a video game or Dungeons and Dragons. It’s allowing you to decent rate from that part of the world. But the thing that I found that’s cool specifically about D amp D.

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Kathy Gruver: Is for those of you listening who know how to play your movements and how successful you are depends on the roll of the dice, it’s left up to chance at that point.

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Kathy Gruver: And it also depends on what people before you have done.

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Kathy Gruver: So it’s kind of like real world in that, in that, you know, our decisions are based on sometimes fate. Sometimes the luck of the draw, but also what people have done that have come before us that informs the next decision that we make. So

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Kathy Gruver: My dad was a big card player and when he would go to Vegas or go to the casinos, he would play blackjack. He was incredibly good at it. But I can’t tell you how many times you like, Oh, that guy totally screwed up. He took my card.

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Kathy Gruver: And I was confused about that for a while and I was always terrified to play blackjack. And I’m like, I don’t want to screw up somebody, but somebody would hit on something that wasn’t right.

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Kathy Gruver: And it would take the card that my dad could have used and, you know, so our reality now is based on what people have done.

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Kathy Gruver: That came before us. So it’s kind of interesting when I played d&d last night of, you know, what am I going to do well what did that guy do first, because you go in a really specific order and you make your decisions based on what came before. So it was

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Kathy Gruver: I liked it because it gets your creativity going

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Kathy Gruver: It is an escape for a while, from real world, but you also do have to think and use logical thinking and you only have so many skills. So, I mean, it’s this great parallel for this great parallel for sort of our business lives and our personal lives.

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Jason Mefford: Well, it’s kind of interesting that you say that because it’s, you know, D amp D. Yep. Is that way. I mean, if you look at a lot of other games even like chess or

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Jason Mefford: Other stuff right i mean you, I think. And this is true for us in life. Sometimes we want to plan out like the next 10 steps.

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Kathy Gruver: Right.

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Jason Mefford: You know, if you’re playing d&d or you’re playing chess or something like that. It’s like, Hey, you know, there’s these 10 next steps that you kind of want to take

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Jason Mefford: But the hard part is you don’t know if you can actually take those steps until the other people actually take their steps. So that’s, that’s probably a little bit of a learning for us to is, you know,

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Jason Mefford: Because when we go back, you know, things like the you know law of abundance and manifesting things

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Jason Mefford: I think sometimes we try to push or force certain things to happen and have to realize that we can’t make can 10 step decisions in advance. Most of life. We just have to respond to the circumstance that we’re in and you know again playing some of those games, having some of that escapism.

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Jason Mefford: Helps us kind of remember that right

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Kathy Gruver: Well, and you, you also have to be able to pivot and you also have to be able to go with the flow of that and I’m going to keep using D amp D references. So when last we left we were dealing with a cyclops

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Kathy Gruver: Because when is that not happening.

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Kathy Gruver: So like all week long. I’m thinking, oh my god, we’re

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Kathy Gruver: Going to go have to fight the Cyclops because they want this goat that they named Jeremy and I don’t care about the stupid goat. So why are we dealing with us. And so we went into last night’s game. I was sure we’re gonna have to deal with the Cyclops Cyclops wandered away.

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Kathy Gruver: Later, we had to deal with Griffin’s and Al bears and all you know

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Kathy Gruver: So it’s like, but I had built all this stuff up of, oh, we’re gonna have to fight the Cyclops and we end up having to fight to have the creatures that we didn’t even expect. We’re going to be in this forest that we ended up in

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Kathy Gruver: For those people not into fantasy, they’re going, What the hell you talking about

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Jason Mefford: No, there’s Cyclops is and sit in Santa Barbara. Right.

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Kathy Gruver: Oh my god.

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Kathy Gruver: Everywhere. Everywhere.

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Kathy Gruver: States three. I mean, especially now they’re wandering. Uh, I think.

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Jason Mefford: But it’s funny because what you said there is, you know, and we’ve talked about this on previous episodes as well. Right. So even in this game.

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Jason Mefford: You were kind of building up this anticipation this anxiety this fear of having to fight the Cyclops

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Jason Mefford: Yep. And when you actually got there the Cyclops was gone.

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Jason Mefford: Yeah, right. And so how much of that in our life to do we build things up.

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Kathy Gruver: Yep.

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Jason Mefford: That probably will never come to pass. Right, right. So again, another learning from playing Dungeons and Dragons. Now the other thing that you mentioned too is that is decent trading. Yeah.

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Jason Mefford: Right, which again I don’t know if we coined that term if there actually is a term.

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Kathy Gruver: Filter.

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Jason Mefford: It is an actual term. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Just thinking we just added to the dictionary. Okay, but decent trading.

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Jason Mefford: Because, you know, again, how much of the time when we’re trying to solve a problem we’re trying to do something. And we’re staying in a certain type or path of thinking

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Jason Mefford: And this goes back to the old Einstein quote right that the, the, you know, to paraphrase right that the the level of thinking that got you the problem.

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Jason Mefford: Right. It’s not the level of thinking that’s going to help you solve the problem.

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Jason Mefford: Right, and so a lot of times these escape or decent trading activities allow us to kind of shift.

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Jason Mefford: In our brain shift our thinking. And as a result, when we kind of relax shift or shift our thinking. A lot of times the subconscious brings us the answer.

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Jason Mefford: So it’s the same thing. Like, you know, before on one of our what’s on your desk episodes.

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Jason Mefford: I think I showed you the Rubik’s cube that I have online. It’s the same thing. It’s a hemispherical shift that sometimes I’ll just stop in the middle of the day play with the Rubik’s Cube. Now I can’t get all the sides the same color. But I can get one side the same

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Jason Mefford: So I pick a color and then I work on that. But it’s that same

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Jason Mefford: Sort of thing. So these little escape isms can help us as well.

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Jason Mefford: To kind of work through change our thinking and help us be able to kind of crack through some of the

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Jason Mefford: Things. We’re trying to get answers for. Yep.

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Kathy Gruver: When we shift. Now this is tough, because when you’re in the middle of writing the thing that screws it up. Most is being interrupted.

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Kathy Gruver: Because you are in that concentrated state and you want to just pour that creativity out, but for the most part, when we take breaks when we do something to decent right we’re actually more productive.

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Kathy Gruver: Because like you said, it’s just hemispheres of the brain. It allows us, especially with something like the Rubik’s Cube.

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Kathy Gruver: It’s a physical kind of repetitive motion thing. This is where the fidget spinners as weird as I thought they were when they first came out.

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Kathy Gruver: It’s this repetitive physical thing that allows us to get out of our heads to help solve problems. So sometimes that escape into something like that is you know it’s beneficial for us. It’s not a bad escape until

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Kathy Gruver: You lose yourself in this world and all you want to do is escape into another world. That’s not good.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s where the crossover starts to happen. Right. And so again, I mean that’s that’s where because again it’s it’s the

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Jason Mefford: That’s the dark side that we have to talk a little bit about right and so there have to be certain boundaries. Yeah. Because like you said, whether

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Jason Mefford: Whether it’s escaping into Dungeons and Dragons or, you know, scrolling Facebook, whatever the escape happens to be there needs to be some boundaries around it, or else three hours later, you

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Jason Mefford: Pop your head up and realize you just wasted three hours of your time. Yeah.

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Kathy Gruver: So let’s talk about Pokemon.

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Kathy Gruver: My when we started the whole pandemic thing my boyfriend said, I want you to try something. And I went, Okay, and he handed me his old Gameboy

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Kathy Gruver: And said, I want you to play Pokemon and I went okay because he plays Pokemon Go where you actually walk around you find Pokemon you battle the Pokemon and he does it a lot. It’s looks kind of fun. I’m going to try to get out of the sun, okay. Speaking of going to the dark side I’m going

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Kathy Gruver: To go to the dark side.

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Kathy Gruver: Or at least the shady side of the street. Okay. Except for that one beam that’s lighting me up. Beautiful.

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Kathy Gruver: Okay. Um, but it’s fun, I like the game. It’s fun.

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Kathy Gruver: But it’s easy to get lost in something like that. And there was one day where I said, you know, all make dinner. And when you get home. It’ll be ready.

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Kathy Gruver: And I’m laying in the habit playing and next you know I get a text from him, saying, Okay, I’m on my way home, and I went shit I laid there for two and a half hours and play Pokemon.

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Kathy Gruver: The time just flew. I didn’t even realize it had been that long. I lost myself in that game for God that I was going to stop after a certain amount of time and do some work and make dinner, and I was just gone.

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Kathy Gruver: Now, since he gave me the game. He was like, I, I’m happy you escaped to the podium and

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Kathy Gruver: I wasn’t because it felt like I wasted the day

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Kathy Gruver: And so, I realized I actually put a timer on now and I will play for a certain amount of time.

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Kathy Gruver: Or I’ll say I’ll explore this one region. And when I hit this spot. I’m done. I feel like we have to put hard limits on things. And for me, my personally I have such a

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Kathy Gruver: My brain works in such a way that if I put a limit on that I actually stopped. So it’s not, you know, I actually stick to that. Whereas a lot of people have to become a forced out of it though 10 more minutes 10 more minutes 10 more minutes. And next thing you know the whole day is gone.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and there’s there’s two good tip takeaways right for people, as far as from a skill standpoint, from what you just said.

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Jason Mefford: So the first one is, again, if we’re if we’re choosing Right to escape then before you go into that escape areas set a little time.

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Jason Mefford: Limit or some kind of limit before you start the activity, you know, for the next half hour for the next hour, whatever it happens to be. I’m going to choose.

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Jason Mefford: To do this, right. And so, deciding in advance. There’s, there’s, there’s actually this amazing thing. You know, up here called your brain that

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Jason Mefford: You know, when we decide and we tell ourselves certain things, those things happen, right. Like, I haven’t actually used an alarm clock.

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Jason Mefford: For a little while so I when I go to bed. I say it is, you know, whatever the time is. And normally, because I go to bed early it’s nine or 930

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Jason Mefford: I’m going to wake up at 530 or whatever the time happens to be. And guess what happens, you know, between 530 and 540 in the morning thing my eyes go open right

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Jason Mefford: So setting that boundary before you go into the escape area, but then also another tip is, you know, especially if it’s time bound

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Jason Mefford: We have these things called our phones that have things like audible timers on it you know say to yourself. I’m going to spend a half an hour doing this set your timer when the timer goes off, you’ll walk away.

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Kathy Gruver: Right.

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Jason Mefford: And as long as you can do that regularly, then you’re fine. If the timer goes off and you’re like oh 10 more minutes timer goes off again. Oh 10 more minutes. Ooh 10 more minutes. Right.

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Jason Mefford: Then you’re not actually being true to what you told yourself to begin with. And so if you don’t come out of that escape, that’s when you can start going down that rabbit hole and have problems.

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Kathy Gruver: Yeah, and it’s fun and it’s a great, great way to shirk responsibility and lose yourself it out, but it’s also not healthy. That’s when it takes over into an addiction, where it’s a problem.

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Kathy Gruver: And I know clients who have kids who that’s all they want to do is play certain video game and at some point they actually unplug it and so you’ve got to stop doing this. This is become a problem if you were there was a

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Kathy Gruver: One of the NSA national speakers Association, the winter conference where I spoke. Were you at that one in Baltimore.

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Jason Mefford: Know,

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Kathy Gruver: I think you were someplace else. There was one of the one of the speaker said, How many of you are addicted to your phones and you can see the audience kind of go

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Jason Mefford: Nobody wanted to raise

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Kathy Gruver: No, no, no, of course, none of you are. How many of you have a friend or a family member that you think’s addicted to their phones. Every hand went up. She’s like, uh huh.

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Kathy Gruver: She goes, for those of you wondering what an addiction to your phone looks like do you wake up with your phone.

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Kathy Gruver: And we all kind of looked at her and she goes, let me explain what that means.

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Kathy Gruver: When I say do you wake up with your phone. I mean, is it in bed with you. Is it on the nightstand with you. Is it on the floor next to your bed. Is it two feet away plugged in.

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Kathy Gruver: She goes, because that’s a problem because if you woke up with a beer in your bed on the nightstand on the floor, two feet away from you. That’s an addiction and we all went oh

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Kathy Gruver: You know, it’s an addiction and we have to be aware of when we were really overstepping those bounds, whether it’s addiction to shopping or gambling or video games are crack

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Kathy Gruver: On the weekends only on the weekends.

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Kathy Gruver: But yeah, we, we have to be aware when we’re pushing those boundaries were escaping too much. Yeah.

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Jason Mefford: Yeah. So again, I think it’s, you know, again, some big takeaways, because I think we’ll probably run it up on our time this episode right but you know escaping is a good way right for us to kind of release to de stress decent trade.

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Jason Mefford: You know, but, but, again, some questions, probably to ask yourself, to make sure. Why do I want to escape. And if the answer is I’m trying to avoid pain. I’m trying to avoid

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Jason Mefford: You know, some accountability. It’s probably not time for you to escape that would not be a good because if you follow that pattern then it goes into any other addictive type behavior that we can talk about

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Kathy Gruver: And where does it end. I mean, if you’re trying to escape something that’s a constant, you will never be able to escape from it and it will just be a consistent running, which is definitely not healthy.

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Jason Mefford: Yeah. So instead, if you say if you’re saying to yourself, Hey, I want to escape for a little while because I just need to let my brain, relax, and you do whatever. Go for it. Right.

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Jason Mefford: But then again at before you jump into that escape, kind of, you know, tell yourself. Look, I’m going to do this for

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Jason Mefford: Whatever 1530 minutes an hour, two hours, whatever it happens to be kind of set some boundaries to begin with.

00:17:52.470 –> 00:18:02.580
Jason Mefford: And then use tools like your phone or other things to help keep you accountable for it and make sure that then you come back and and deal with whatever you need to be dealing with next

00:18:03.240 –> 00:18:15.420
Kathy Gruver: Absolutely. And maybe choose an escape like something like Dungeons and Dragons where it’s creative, but you’re also escaping with other people, you know, it’s a group effort with something like that. So yeah, there’s different ways we can escape in good health.

00:18:16.920 –> 00:18:24.480
Jason Mefford: There is so. All right, everybody find some time this week to escape, escape for the right reasons. Set yourself the boundaries.

00:18:24.930 –> 00:18:33.600
Jason Mefford: Right. But when you do, like you said, I mean, amazing things end up happening when we take that little pause. We decent trade a little bit

00:18:34.380 –> 00:18:45.750
Jason Mefford: A lot of really good ideas come through. We get answers to questions that we’ve been asking ourselves. So take a minute, find some time this week and escape for a little while, but do it in a healthy way.

00:18:47.130 –> 00:18:47.730
Jason Mefford: All right.

00:18:49.050 –> 00:18:49.620
Kathy Gruver: It’s been another

00:18:49.650 –> 00:18:53.520
Kathy Gruver: Fun EPISODE OF COURSE I’M GOING TO GO slay some dragons and figure out where the Cyclops went

00:18:54.720 –> 00:18:57.240
Kathy Gruver: Got the groove where I can be reached at Kathy Gruber calm.

00:18:57.570 –> 00:19:07.710
Jason Mefford: And I’m Jason effort. I can be reached at Jason method calm, so go out, have a great week and we’ll catch you on a future episode of the fire and earth podcast. So, yeah.

00:19:08.250 –> 00:19:08.670

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