Reclaiming Personal Power

January 01, 2024 Debra Jones RM with Christian de la Huerta Season 3 Episode 66
Reclaiming Personal Power
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Show Notes Transcript

Unleash Your Inner Hero: Rediscover Your Self Authority

Your journey is nothing short of extraordinary; it's a true testament of your inner strength and resilience! Join me for a captivating conversation with Christian de la Huerta as we delve into the reasons why you should reconnect with your true purpose. Get ready to be inspired and unleash the hero within you!

Christian's website: Soulfulpower.com
Christian's book: Awakening the Soul of Power

Additional links:
About Jeremy Griffith's book: Freedom

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[00:00] Debra Jones: Welcome to OWN THE GREY. I'm Debra Jones, and I am excited to start off season three with a focus on self empowerment. I'll be talking to people who inspire us to ignite our inner power so that we can start living our passions and talents. 


The word power - it's often misunderstood and misdirected, and today's guest will help us understand the difference between ‘power over’ versus ‘power with,’ or more simply, between egoic power and soulful power. This confusion often prevents us from stepping into our power. But before I introduce him, I invite you to take a moment to consider the life you've created. Are you happy with your choices? Do you feel empowered? Or do you tend to give away your power to other people or circumstances? Have you had enough of saying yes when inside you really mean no? Well, this episode will help you to get back on the path you came here to walk on your hero's journey. 


Welcome to OWN THE GREY, a podcast to dispel the notion that aging is undesirable and setting new positive attitudes. I'm Debra Jones, and I believe you can be vibrant and healthy throughout the best years of your life. Your hero's journey is the one where you are the hero who goes on an adventure, makes critical choices, and wins a victory that changes or transforms you. It's a courageous, meaningful journey that we all have the option to take. And on this journey, you make choices, the consequences of which lead you to greater self awareness and self confidence. Well, I believe there are no wrong choices, but lessons on every path. And I like to think we're playing a game, the game of life, and that no matter whether we choose the high road or the low road, we arrive at the same place. The only difference is the story we get to tell. Well, my next guest has an interesting transformation story, from being shy, introverted, and filled with self doubt to becoming an internationally renowned speaker and an award-winning author. And for 30 years, he has helped people gain personal empowerment, filling their lives with meaning and purpose, and having the kind of relationships they've longed for. I've just finished reading his new book, Awakening the Soul of Power, and in this introspective guide, he offers a blueprint for self awareness and introduces a concept called deconstructing our relationship to power. Now, if you've ever struggled with relationships, self doubt, or questioned your purpose, this book explores how you can step back into your power in a new way that's not about egoic power, but a more authentic OWN THE GREY Christian de la Huerta.


[03:42] Christian de la Huerta: Hi, Debra. Thank you so much for having me. What a beautiful introduction. I'm touched. Thank you.

[03:48] Debra Jones: I'm so thrilled that you've chosen to spend some time with us to transform more lives. And there's something about. Well, I loved reading your book. It's a very easy read, and it's got lots of really useful tips and things in it. But you write about your observation that humanity is at a critical juncture in our evolution. I've heard it as the sixth extinction, and it's a time where we either make it or break it. And you suggest that if you've had just the slightest suspicion that you've got work to do as a teacher, a healer, or an activist for change, that the time is now. And I wanted to ask you, what is your vision for the work that you do?

[04:32] Christian de la Huerta: Yeah, that's a really great question, because I do share that sense of urgency. I do think that it is all hands on deck at this point. And paraphrasing Einstein, who said that you can't solve a problem from the same level of consciousness in which it was created. When I look at the world and the shape that we're in and all the problems that we're facing, any one of which can feel completely overwhelming, I think, how can we possibly dig ourselves out of this hole that we have dug ourselves into collectively? And the answer that I come up with is, it's got to be a shift in consciousness, a leap in revolution. A leap in consciousness, a spiritual revolution, something that's going to shift the way we see ourselves, the way we see each other, and the way that we see the earth, this tiny pebble that is our home in this humongous space in which we live. And so I see my work. That's how I frame it. What can I do to support that leap in consciousness? How can I continue waking myself up and healing myself and impacting and inspiring as many others to do the same? And, yeah, I work with so many people who've had that suspicion. I work with coaches that have been, in some cases, had a certification for ten years, and I say, you know what? Sorry, but we just don't have that kind of time anymore. It really does feel to me like it's all hands on deck and not from a fear based perspective. It's more from like, all right, let's get to it.

[06:12] Debra Jones: Yeah, that's exactly how I'm feeling, too, is that I train healers to become healers, and it's okay. Getting, as you said, the studies, the certifications and things like that. But you've got to do something with it because that's why you took it in the first place, even if you didn't realize it at the time. But it is like a rallying call for everybody to step into their power. That's the way I see it.

[06:42] Christian de la Huerta: Exactly.

[06:43] Debra Jones: But not everybody knows how to do that. And that's why I'm really excited about your book, because it's telling us how to do that. It's kind of deconstructing what we've learned, what we understand, and you're really telling us the truth about power and what it is and what it isn't. It's that rallying cry that we do need to step into our power. And that's really been my message the whole time that I've been working with clients. So that stepping into the power, why do you think that that has been so difficult? And what is that all about?

[07:24] Christian de la Huerta: Yeah, you know what, Debra? It's such a good have, because I think we all have. And the more that I think about it, the more that I see it, the more that I work with people around this issue, the more that I see that, I hate to use generalizations. So let's say most of us, the great majority of us, have a conflicted, ambivalent relationship to power. I think really we all do. But let's say the majority of us. And it's understandable why I think that we fear that if we really stepped into our power, if we really stepped into all that we are, that other people might not be able to handle it and that we might end up rejected and alone and no fun. Who wants that? I think we also fear that we might abuse it. And no wonder. How many abuses of power have we witnessed in our lives? And all we got to do is turn on the news on any given day to witness at least one. And then when you add to that the fact that we've been conditioned to believe that power is a bad thing, power is a negative thing, power is a scary thing, with quotes like power corrupts an absolute. Power corrupts absolutely. Who wants that? What good hearted person wants to be corrupted? So when you put all that together and you add to the mix that we've been conditioned to be afraid of the emotions, to run away from our feelings, to avoid conflict, what happens is that we end up giving away our power, our innate, inherent power that nobody can give to us, nobody can take it away. And that's really important to get nobody can take away our power unless we give it away. And that's what happens. And to me, the tragic reason is the reasons for which we give it away. Because, as you were saying in the intro, how many times have we said yes when inside it's really not okay with us? How many times have we overridden our preferences, our beliefs, our dreams, our desires, our perceptions, and settled for an illusion of acceptance, for a false sense of security, and for crumbs, morsels of pseudo love? So it's not a good strategy. And what this book talks about is like, how do we step into power in a different way? How do we resolve this conflicted, ambivalent relationship that we have with power so that we can figure out a way to step into it, to own our inherent power in a way that is a match for us, in a way that doesn't require that we push anybody down, step on them, abuse them, in a way that's not about fear, control, force, domination, manipulation. In a way that is a simple, congruent match for who we are and that doesn't require putting our knee on anybody's neck in order to prop ourselves up and feel powerful.

[10:23] Debra Jones: I'm having a hard time finding the words to follow that because that is making my heart sing. Because that is exactly the way that I have been seeing. The suffering that my clients come to me with is it's all about the lack of empowerment, for whatever reason. Maybe we've been brought up to believe certain things. Well, we've definitely been brought up to believe certain things. And when I reached age 50, and most of my listeners are at that point and beyond, I noticed a difference in giving myself permission to live differently. And I think that is the key that I believe it's. The key is that we've got to give ourselves permission to do things differently. Would you agree?

[11:18] Christian de la Huerta: Yeah, because nobody else is going to give you permission, right? Power is not just given away, like the existing entrenched power structures are not just going to give it away. We have to claim it. And we can see that the existing power structures are not going to give it up easily. That's part of what we're witnessing in the world today. All this dramatic change is the shifting power structures. One way we can look at it is the end of the patriarchy, which can be characterized as this hierarchical power over my way or the highway, this cowboy mentality. Even in leadership styles, in the corporate world, it's like, you do what I say and there's no discussion about it. So we're moving into what we can call a more feminine power with, which is, by the way, no less powerful. If you ask me, I think it's even a more powerful way of relating to power, because the other hierarchical nature or expression of power is fear based. And that can only go so far. And if I'm standing in my own power, why would I be threatened by anybody else being in their own power? So it really is a much more powerful perspective. It's like, hey, I know who I am. I can handle whatever comes my way. And the book is for everybody. Everybody. I think we all struggle with power, but it has a particular message around women's empowerment. And to me, it's not to idealize women. It's not to put women up in a pedestal, certainly not to give women more crap that they have to clean up in this mess that we have made in this world. It's because when I look at the world, we've been running very off balance, very off kilter between the balance between the masculine and the feminine energies in the world, which, in the cosmos, in creation, they're balanced. Right? There's a balance between masculine and feminine. It's only in our minds, in our little human race, that we have turned the feminine into something, weakness into something less than, which is a completely faulty way of looking. There are so many faulty assumptions made around that. So I believe that when women are in 50% of power in the world, we're going to have a very different relationship to war and to poverty and to hunger, how we treat the environment and to all the other issues that we face as a species. So that's why I believe that the empowerment of women is the single most important thing that needs to happen in this world.

[13:59] Debra Jones: Yeah, and you also talk to the men in your book, too, because it has been so imbalanced. The men have learned how to be a certain way because of the expectations upon them from society. But I read a book, Jeremy Griffith called freedom, and he's talking about how that story, when we realize it's just been a story and that it has not been the truth, that men have to act this certain way, that we have been teaching them for hundreds of years, that it's just been a story that we can get back to the truth of who we are, which really is a balance of masculine and feminine, isn't it?

[14:48] Christian de la Huerta: Yes, you're so absolutely right. This hierarchical power over patriarchal approach to power hasn't served anybody. Obviously it hasn't served women, but it also doesn't serve men. And the reason for that. Let's look at a couple of numbers. Longevity in the US, women outlive men by five years. You look at those numbers globally, it's seven years suicide in the US. And I only have numbers for the US for this. Men commit suicide four times as frequently as women do. And in fact, 70% of the suicides in the US are committed by middle aged white men. Which is really interesting to me because that, to me, pretty obviously, the group that holds still the majority of the power in the world. So one would think, well, they hold the majority of the power. They have the most privileges, the most benefits. But what's going on? Why are they so unhappy? Why are they taking their lives so disproportionately? And I think it's what you were pointing to, is we have a misunderstanding about masculinity and what it means to be a man. It's a very limited and limiting way of looking at it. And it begins from childhood. Little boys don't cry. And again, what a misunderstanding. What a misinterpretation. The assumption in that is that only little girls cry. And so what's wrong with that? It's because of the assumption that the feminine is weakness. It's like, wait a minute, you want to talk about power? You want to talk about strength? You want about courage? Let's talk about the power of creation that resides in the female body. And I hope nobody gets offended by this next story that I'm going to tell. But it's really funny, but it really makes the point. Betty White, who left us last year in her own inimitable way, she was apparently being interviewed in one of these communal, multiple celebrity interviews, and somebody said something about having balls and she goes, wait a minute. Where do we get this connection between having balls and courage? You thump those little things and the guy bends over, collapses in pain. You want to talk courage, you want to talk strength? You want to talk resilience? Let's talk vaginas. Those things take a pounding.

[17:17] Debra Jones: And don't forget the childbirth part of it.

[17:19] Christian de la Huerta: Seriously? Are you kidding me? And so that's part of what I try to. And then the other assumption in that is that the emotions are weakness. It's like, wait a minute, the emotions aren't strength. They're not weakness. They're not good, they're not bad, they're just energy. What used to be spiritual teaching that everything is energy. Now we know from quantum physics everything is energy. Even what feels solid, like this chair that I'm sitting on. Might the body, it's all energy. It's all vibration, even when it feels solid. We also know from physics, energy cannot be destroyed. So when we stuff for the thousands of times that we have stuffed our emotions that we haven't said how we felt because we were afraid, we were afraid of the impact that it was going to have on a relationship. But the thing is that those repressed emotions don't just disappear. You can't just sweep them under the rug. They get lodged. Those emotional energies get stuck in the body. And after years and decades and a lifetime of suppressing our emotions, we walk around with layers upon layers upon more layers of repressed emotional crap. And here we are in the present, trying to have a relationship. And all of it gets filtered through that lifetime of unhealed past trauma and repressed emotions. Yikes. Yikes. It's amazing to me that any relationships can work, and then those emotions have to come out one way or another, because what happens is we stuff it and we stuff it and we stuff some more, and then the next poor, unfortunate soul, wrong time says something to us in the wrong way, and boom, like volcanic eruption, and we cause harms, harm to our relationships, or suppress, suppress, suppress, suppress. Those emotions have to come out, and so they start seeping up and seeping out and showing up as physical symptoms. Heart attacks, ulcers, cancer. And I think that's the part that also connects to the mortality rate between men and women. We walk around like we've been taught to believe that to be a man means you have to walk around like this uncaring, unfeeling robot. And that's not a very healthy approach to life.

[19:40] Debra Jones: It's not even truth.

[19:42] Christian de la Huerta: Not even truth. You're right.

[19:43] Debra Jones: Yeah. And that kind of leads into the work that you do with the breath work. And I've been working with breath work with my clients, too. And it is such a simple idea, but it has such profound changes on the body and the mind. Do you want to talk a little bit about why you believe the breath work is one of our healing modalities that we all need to start paying some attention to?

[20:19] Christian de la Huerta: That's a huge question, too, and one that I'm really passionate about. I've been facilitating breath work for over 30 years. My dad was a psychiatrist. My degree is in psychology. I was on my way to get a PhD until I discovered breath work. And after my very first session, I jumped tracks. I never went for the PhD because it works so fast and heals so profoundly at so many levels. And with all due respect to the psychotherapy practice, in the right hands, with clear goals, it can be incredibly supportive and even life changing. And we all know you can sit on somebody's couch for 10, 20, 30 years rehashing the same old crap and nothing happens. And here's the reason for that. That trauma no longer lives in the mind. It's been somaticized and now lives in the body. So no amount of talking about it is going to get to. It's going to clear it. And sure, understanding the effect of what happened to us when we're five or ten or 15 beats, not understanding for sure, it's better than. But the blessing, the gift of the breath work is that it bypasses the mind and it goes to the source of where that trauma now lives in the body, and it clears it quickly. I should probably clarify, too, that breath work is a really large umbrella. There's a lot of things that are called breath work or conscious breathing practices. Anybody who's been to a yoga class and knows the importance of the breath, the breath work modality that I'm talking about is longer. You breathe in a certain way for about an hour, an hour and a half, and amazing things happen. I've yet to come across, Debra, anything that clears that psychological and emotional trauma as quickly and as effectively as it does, like one session, can change your life. It did for me. And they haven't studied breath work in the same way that they've done a lot of research on meditation. We know the benefits of what's happening in the body in terms of health, of having a regular meditation practice, in terms of productivity at work. Lot of research. They're just now beginning to research breath work. Here's a really interesting part of it, because I know that sounds too good to be true, because I got to tell you, it also heals physically. And I know that sounds too good to be true to the scientific, more skeptical part of me. I know you're going to tell me that just breathing, I can heal myself. And yeah, I am, because I can't argue with results. I can't argue with results. It works, and it works fast, and it works with permanent effects. And here's one way that can begin to open the door to understand, at least it does for me, how it works. And it's more from a psychospiritual perspective. If we think about the fact that in most spiritual traditions in the world, and even in several secular languages, one word, the same word, can mean breath, or it can mean spirit. If we think about pneuma in ancient greek pneuma, from which we get pneumonia, that word meant lung and soul, from the latin speedada. From that root, we get both respiration and inspiration, or expiration. So that breath spirit connection is everywhere, all over the world, in the sacred texts. And that's what allows me to begin to understand how it can heal so profoundly, because it does.

[24:02] Debra Jones: Yeah, I concur. One of the very common things that I work with my clients with is using the breath as a vehicle to move energy.

[24:14] Christian de la Huerta: Yes.

[24:14] Debra Jones: So that stuck energy that's in your body, if you're holding your breath, you're still holding on to that energy.

[24:22] Christian de la Huerta: Exactly.

[24:22] Debra Jones: So really just the conscious breathing part of it. I don't get into breath work, but the conscious breathing part of it. It's so amazing to me that people don't even pay any attention to how they're breathing, but it is the window into what's going on with you, isn't it? It will tell you exactly how you feel, totally.

[24:48] Christian de la Huerta: And if you pay attention, just noticing your breath will change your life. And you'll notice, like, you're referring to the first thing that goes. When we get upset, we stop breathing, or we start taking really shallow breaths. If you just notice that pattern, you can unwind that. And when we stop breathing, that's what anchors those emotions in the body, those emotional energies. So really important, if you can, by becoming more present to yourself, more aware of what you're doing, when and what's happening in your body, when you get triggered, becoming paying attention, what triggers us, what situations, what people. It all begins with that self awareness, because we can't do anything with what we can't see. So any practices that we can do to become more aware of what we do and why and when it's going to change our lives. And just by beginning to do that in relationship to the breath, we can override those trained tendencies of swallowing our breath, swallowing our emotions. Like, even if you're stuck in traffic and you find yourself, like, getting really angry and upset and worried about being late to a meeting, which is not going to help you get there any faster, that's the moment to slow down your breath, right? Take some really slow, deep breaths so that those energies of frustration can just cycle through you. You can feel it. Of course, we don't want to suppress them, feel it, and then just let them go. Let those energies think about a two-year-old or kids. They have a total meltdown. Two minutes later, they're playing like if nothing happened. The reason for that is because they have their emotions fully, so they're not filtering them. So then, yeah, right. They felt that emotion, they got it out, and then onto the next emotion. We get into trouble with emotions as adults because we filter them and we stuff them and we don't allow ourselves to feel them. And of course, we don't want to walk around like a two-year-old having total meltdowns and temper tantrums. Part of that process of emotional self mastery is not only learning what we're feeling, right? Because most of us, if you would have asked me 30 years ago what I was feeling, I had no idea. I couldn't tell you what I was feeling. And the son of a psychiatrist studying psychology about my own emotions, I had no idea. So that's the first step. That level of self awareness, then learning how to feel them and communicate them responsibly and responsibly means owning that there are emotions like we were talking about earlier. Nobody can make us feel anything unless we allow it or unless we have that little trigger unhealed area in us that gets triggered by somebody saying or doing something. And it doesn't excuse or exonerate what they did or didn't do. We're just talking about taking responsibility for our own emotions, which is actually empowering and liberating when we think about it, right? Nobody can make us feel anything. And then learning how to express them with gracefulness in a way. In a way that they can hear them, in a way that the other person can hear them and not just shut down and fight back or tune out.

[28:05] Debra Jones: Yeah, that makes me think about. Because I don't know if you've finished it already, but I know you are working on the next book about relationships. So what I'm hearing you saying is knowing this and being self aware is likely to be key to having good relationships. Is that right?

[28:26] Christian de la Huerta: Oh, my God. Debra, you know that it's true. The more self aware that we are, the self awareness. Awareness opens the door to self acceptance, and self acceptance opens the door to self love. And to me, this isn't theoretical. Hypothetical speaking is like, I know self doubt. In fact, I know self hatred. My entire adolescence was one long depression with suicidal fantasies to boot. I'm an unlikely person to be talking about the hero's journey and to talk about personal empowerment. But that's, I think, what makes the message effective is like, I know what that feels like and I know how to get out of it. And that's what the book is about. How do we get out those self made prisons in which we find ourselves stuck.

[29:18] Debra Jones: Yeah. I talked a little bit at the very beginning about if you're a teacher or a healer or an activist for change. And I do see and have seen the correlation between such a disempowered part of our journey to that being the gift that we offer those that we can help. So what we've experienced is what we end up teaching people, which I think that's what you were just saying, is how unlikely. But really, I think that's how it works.

[29:55] Christian de la Huerta: I think so, too. For better or for worse, I wouldn't want to have to do it over. I wouldn't want to go back. But I also wouldn't change it, because that depression, that feeling like there was something wrong with me, that I was different, that I was damaged goods, that's what allows me to have empathy for an understanding for what another human being is going through so that I can help them by the hand to get out of their own self made prisons. And so I wouldn't give that away. I wouldn't trade that ability to empathize with and feel what somebody else is going through.

[30:33] Debra Jones: And your book is all about awakening the soul of power. So awakening that power within us so that we can do something good with it. What are you hoping that the reader of your book is going to take away from that.

[30:54] Christian de la Huerta: Message that we were talking about before, that there is a way that you can tap into your power and express it in a way that is a match for you? So, in the interview, we're talking about the different kinds of power, which to me is the first step towards deconstructing a relationship with it is realizing what our relationship. How do we think about power? How do we feel about power? Where do we get those beliefs and being willing to question them? And then the whole other layer of self acceptance. Where do I give my power away? I mean, self awareness of observing ourselves as we go through our lives and look, figuring out where are our triggers? Where did I give my power away? Do I tend to do that with impersonal, romantic, intimate relationships, or do I tend to give my power away with authority figures, like parental figures, bosses, religious leaders, coaches, that kind of thing? And nobody can answer those things for us. But it takes self awareness, but it's not hard, right? It's just paying attention. Once we know, then we can do something about it, and then to begin to understand that there are different kinds of power. So you were talking about ego power, the way that that's the way that the world relates to power, in contrast with spiritual power or soulful power that we all have inside of us. So we tend to think about power or relate power to people who have money, who are famous, who are high up on some kind of hierarchy, whether it's a corporate ladder or some kind of other organization, religious or otherwise. But the thing about all those kinds of powers, that they're external, they're outside of us, which makes them fickle. Here today, gone tomorrow. It's dependent on that job or that role or that amount of money in my bank account, and there's a correction in the market, and boom, there it goes. Or a worldwide pandemic. Whoops, there goes my job. So that's why they're fickle. That kind of power is also very ego driven. So it's self aggrandizing. It's always making itself to seem bigger than it actually is. Like blowing itself up to come across as bigger and more powerful, which is really overcompensating, but for not feeling good enough or powerful enough. And it always has an agenda. So it's always trying to grab something for itself. It's mine, mine, mine. And it's mine. And I want it. And I want it now. So contrast that with what I call spiritual power or soulful power, which it's not about proving anything. It's humble, doesn't need to prove anything to anybody. It's about service, about making a difference. It's what we sometimes call the servant leader or the servant queen or king. It's somebody who owns that role of leadership, not because they need to be stroked in terms of their ego, but because they're about service and making a difference in the world, which is the more leadership styles that are popping up now, the more conscious leader are more about that. And so I think of Gandhi or Gandalf. If you're into the Lord of the Rings and their simple monastic rows, their sandal feet, from looking at them, you would never know how much power they hold until it's necessary, until it's needed, and then get out of the way. Gandhi brought the British empire to its knees when it was at its highest point in terms of global reach and influence. And he did that without ever shooting a gun or landing a single punch. That's power. And that's the kind of power that we all have access to.

[35:00] Debra Jones: I think we need to send a copy of your book to everybody that's in power right now so they can start to look at things a little differently, maybe. Let's hope.

[35:11] Christian de la Huerta: Wouldn't that be something?

[35:13] Debra Jones: I have a vision that we are all going to find our power and then we can live in harmony. And I hope it's in my lifetime. But I really don't care if it is or if it isn't. I'm on a mission just like you that we can build each other up and to really be who we're here to be. We came to earth for a reason. We've got a job to do. The idea of owning our power, we can't do our job until we do that. And so that's why I love your book. I love the way it's laid out for everybody that's listening. Definitely pick up a copy of this book. Christian, where can people learn what to do next when they're inspired and they want to go further? What do you suggest?

[36:05] Christian de la Huerta: Well, first of all, I want to thank you because having said that, how we share that sense of mission and that relationship to the times in which we live, I feel like I have a new sister. I'm so glad we're on the same team. So thank you for doing all you do. Thank you for having the show. Thank you for having me on the show. The book is available wherever books are sold. You can get it on Amazon. You can get it at your local bookstore. Just order it there. If you want to support them, the best way to reach me probably is my website, which is www.soulfulpower.com. From there they can access my social media. And for anybody in your audience who goes to my website and gets on my email list and you know how easy it is to click unsubscribe if it doesn't work for you. And I'm not going to take it personally, I promise. We'll send them a sample chapter of the book that talks about what it means to live heroically in the 21st century. We'll send them a PDF of power practices that are designed to help us in that process of self awareness, becoming more aware of our relationship to power. And we'll send them a guided recorded meditation that I did in the middle of the pandemic that talks about how do we maintain a place of center in the midst of chaos. Thanks again, Debra. Thanks again for all you and thank you.

[37:32] Debra Jones: And those are such wonderful gifts. Thank you for being so generous, and thank you for spending that time with us.


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