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Your Kick-Ass Life
53 minutes | 4 days ago
Episode 387: Diet Culture and Reframing Your Body Image with Summer Innanen
This week I explore the topics of diet culture, body image, and intersectional feminism with guest, Summer Innanen. Summer is a professionally trained coach specializing in body image, self-worth and confidence. She is the best-selling author of Body Image Remix and creator of You, On Fire – the online group coaching program dedicated to helping people get free from body shame and live life on their own terms. She is also the host of Eat The Rules, a podcast dedicated to anti-dieting, body image, and intersectional feminism. Personally, I succumbed to diet culture for decades and have been going through a process of unlearning all of the internalized messages that never served me. Extricating oneself from diet culture is a unique journey for every woman. To echo Summer’s words, “Acceptance is not a destination, it’s an ongoing practice of meeting yourself where you are at and where you need to be.” In this episode you’ll hear: A brief definition of diet culture and what it revolves around (various layers of oppression). (8:24) For women, worrying about body image is a universal condition and is rooted in internalized misogyny. (12:10) Summer talks about how the way to feel better in your body isn’t about “liking the way you look” and how this can make it harder for us to accept ourselves. (14:14) The importance of knowing the truth about weight science. (23:04) Summer’s response to the assumption that if you accept your body, you're “giving up” and not going to “take care of yourself”. (25:27) We can reject diet culture and go on to do amazing things. (32:40) “Tools of avoidance,” dieting and fixating on our bodies. (36:00) How diet culture is related to patriarchy and white supremacy. (48:09) Resources mentioned in this episode: Follow me over on TikTok or Instagram – I’m @heyandreaowen YKAL 1:1 Coaching – visit AndreaOwen.com/apply Summer’s website Tell Me I’m Fat – Lindy West on This American Life Body Respect, Linda Bacon Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison,MPH, RD Body is Not an Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor Fearing the Black Body, Sabrina Strings Summer Innanen is a professionally trained coach specializing in body image, self-worth, and confidence. She helps people all over the world to stop living behind the numbers on their scales through her private and group coaching at summerinnanen.com. She is the best-selling author of Body Image Remix and creator of You, On Fire – the online group coaching program dedicated to helping people get free from body shame and live life on their own terms. She is also the host of Eat The Rules, a podcast dedicated to anti-dieting, body image and intersectional feminism. Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT Summer Innanen 00:00 I really want people to just know that their body is just this vessel. Maybe they're gonna like the way it looks sometimes, maybe not. But they can still really live a kick ass life, know that they're a badass and know that they're just valuable and worthy to this world. Andrea 00:16 You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast Episode Number 387 with guest Summer Innanen. Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable competence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go. Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you're here. If you are curious at all about what my home office looks like, the place that I record all of these podcast episodes, check out my TikTok, yes, I'm on TikTok, I love TikTok. I've learned so much and been wildly entertained over there, during the pandemic, and forevermore. Also on Instagram, and my Instagram reels. I’m @HeyAndreaOwen on both of those platforms, and I did a short little video. It's like 30 seconds of my office, which has recently been redone. I'd been wanting to do it for a while and finally had a little bit of time on my hands last year, as some of us did. And I did a gallery wall that wasn't going to be like raging feminist gallery wall, that wasn't my initial plan. But alas, I couldn't help myself. You'll see some Golden Girls in there, you'll see a picture of my daughter, I love it. And then wallpaper on the other side. And I just, you know, and I'm very lucky enough to have the resources to be able to do the, wallpaper is not cheap. I didn't I didn't know. And I was like, I need how many rolls to do this. Well, that seems excessive. But I guess if you want it to match up all of that good stuff. And I love it. I love it. I spend so much time in here. And when that happens, I just feel like your physical environment matters so much. And I have been guilty of not fixing up a room until people are going to come over, or you're going to sell the house. Or your parents are coming and you're like, well, shit, I guess we should probably hang some stuff on the walls, or, you know, fix that thing that's been broken. I've done that many times. And then you're like, why didn't I do this before? It’s so nice. That's sort of how I feel about my home office. It's been a slow process. So if you want to go check that out, go over to my reels on Instagram, or my TikTok, HeyAndreaOwen, I'm over there, and you can check it out. Also, if you are feeling like you could, I don't know you guys know me springtime always makes me feel like I'm being reborn. And if that's you, if you feel like you could use some support, you and make some changes in your life, we have some openings for private coaching. I was on a consult call with a prospective client a couple of weeks ago. And I thought, you know, might be interesting for me to tell people what happens during those calls. First, you fill out an application. If you go over to AndreaOwen.com. Did you hear that? AndreaOwen.com. More on that in a second. AndreaOwen.com/apply there's an application, we get that application, we check it out. And it's not always a great fit more often than not, yes, we are going to refer you to either get on the phone with me or one of my lead coaches, either Liz or Sabrina. And then we go from there, and we set up a call. And so I'm talking to this woman and she had filled out her application. I had more questions based on some of the things that she wrote, I come from a place of curiosity. Tell me more about this. Say more about that. What did you, what do you mean by this? Tell me what this looks like in your life when you talk about this struggle. So the client tells me more. And then I tell you, this is how I do it personally, whether or not I think I can help you. Sometimes I can't. And it's clear that it's more of a therapy topic. And I will say you know what, I think this would be enormously helpful for you to process all of this with a therapist. But I know pretty much from the first few minutes if it's something that is in my zone of genius and that I can help the client with. Here's the thing too, is that yes, there's going to be some aha moments when we are on the phone together or on Zoom together. But a lot of the work happens in between. I give assignments, we co-create these assignments together, you do them. And that's where the magic and the change happens. And I want you to be equipped with the tools to be able to do the work on your own. in your life going forward. I don't want you to need me forever. If you need me forever that means I'm not doing my job. Personally, that's how I view it. And I do also believe that we can use different coaches and therapists throughout our life because everyone has their specialty, everyone has a different personality, they are trained differently. PS also hire a coach who's trained little side note. And let's see if we can make some magic AndreaOwen.com/apply. Yes, we are moving everything over from Your Kick-Ass Life to Andrea Owen. I want to emphasize that there is no S on the end of my last name. Anybody out there with the last name that gets people get it wrong? Because the other spelling of it isn't, is a common last name as well. So my maiden name was Fry. Which honestly, I feel like I should have just just kept. But I didn't. And it was F-r-y, a lot of people put an E on the end of it. Which I didn't really care because it doesn't change the pronunciation of it. It's it's Fry. Either way. It's common with an E. It's common without any we were without an E family. But when people say Owens, I'm like absolutely not. No. And my husbands like I've been dealing with this my entire life. Anyway, AndreaOwen.com/apply if you want to apply for one on one coaching. Speaking of interesting last names, our guest today is Summer Innanen. And we had such an amazing conversation about diet culture, which is something I love to talk about. I was, I succumbed to diet culture for decades, probably three and a half decades, and am unlearning all of the internalized things that never served me. And maybe you can relate. We also talk about body image, a little bit of intersectional feminism in there as well. So for those of you that don't know her, let me give you a quick introduction. Summer Innanen is a professionally trained coach specializing in body image, self-worth and confidence. She helps people all over the world to stop living behind the numbers on their scales through her private and group coaching at summer internet.com. She is the best-selling author of Body Image Remix and creator of You, On Fire. The online group coaching program dedicated to helping people get free from body shame and live life on their own terms. She is also the host of Eat the Rules, a podcast dedicated to anti dieting, body image and intersectional feminism. So without further ado, here is Summer. Summer, welcome to the show. Summer Innanen 08:21 Hi, Andrea, thank you so much for having me. Andrea 08:24 I am so excited to have this conversation as I was telling you before we started recording, I have such a passion for this topic, but but many times don't feel researched enough and, and you know, well versed in all of the things and I think that that things are changing quickly in terms of what our culture is understanding and becoming aware of around diet, culture and body image and body positivity, etc, etc, etc. So I'm super excited to have you on. I want to jump kind of not so much in the deep end yet. But can you give a brief description for people that may be new to the term of what diet culture is? Summer Innanen 09:05 Mm hmm. Yeah, you know, I, so I'm gonna kind of like paraphrase something that Virgie Tovar who wrote the book, The Right To Remain Fat. She's an incredible fat activist. You know, she sort of describes it as like the culture where, you know, everyone talks about food in terms of good or bad and they feel guilty if they eat something and you know, that kind of just the way that we sort of look at food through this moral lens. And it's all really connected to this belief that being fitter is better and being and being bigger is is bad. And so the entire culture sort of revolves around these fat phobic beliefs, which are also rooted in sexism and racism and everything else. All the different various layers of oppression that cause us to feel Like there's something wrong with our body. And that in order to fix it, we need to always be in the pursuit of fitness and always be dieting, and that sort of transpires into our entire culture with the way that we interact and behave around food and exercise and everything else. So that's kind of like a very short summation of it. Andrea 10:18 It sounds a little bit like Lindy West is someone that I follow. I read her books, and she had, she was on NPR, it's been a handful of years. And I feel like the title of it was something like coming out as fat or something. I'll put the link in the show notes. It was it was really good. And she's talking about this. And one of the things that struck me is she said that for so long, she felt like she was only a good fat person if she was actively trying to lose weight. And she would you know, it made her friends more comfortable. And I might be misquoting her, it might not have been her friends, but it made other people more comfortable if she was telling them that she was on some kind of diet or doing something to not be fat anymore. And she was done with it. Summer Innanen 11:00 Mm hmm. Yeah, yeah, that's the whole, like, it's called in fat activism spaces. It's called, like, the good fatty paradigm. And it's like, you know, you can you it's, it's kind of acceptable to be fat, as long as you're trying to be thinner. And I think that that permeates into our existence, regardless of our body size, obviously, like, if you're in a larger body, it's much more significant. But, you know, we're all sort of born into this world, particularly as, as, as women, or people who identify as female that to that, you know, it's it's your purpose in life to be smaller. It's like, if you're not trying to lose weight, well, what's wrong with you like, of course, everybody wants to lose weight. And it's such a damaging paradigm. And it's such a damaging belief system that we inherit, that makes us constantly feel like our body is never good enough, and that we're inherently never good enough. Andrea 11:52 And that our value is most definitely at the top of the list of things that make women valuable is the size and shape of our body, and our appearance as well. And I know that men struggle with this, too. But I do think that women have a unique way of struggling about it. What do you think? Summer Innanen 12:10 Oh, yes, 100%? I think it's because so much of this is rooted in sexism, and then in this in, in the belief that, you know, our worthiness is in our desirability. And so that really comes from like that's in our DNA, our survival as women dependent on depended on us being likable. And that equates to being desirable. Like our survival, literally, survival literally depended on that before we had any kind of independence. And so that's kind of wired into our DNA. And so for us, it's, it's a lot more significant because it comes down to like our survival like that, you know, and our love ability and my desirability and my success. And everything about that is I think that yeah, men definitely struggle with body image. But for for women, it's just like, it's like a near universal condition. Andrea 13:03 It's at the forefront. Yeah. And it's really interesting. This is another topic for another time, but I've been reading more about internalized patriarchy, and misogyny. And it's, it's fascinating. And it definitely is one of those things, you can't unsee it once you see it. So I'm just telling everybody listening, you might want to do a quick Google search and your life's gonna change for the better. But there's first a little bit of whiplash around yet how we have participated in this so much. Summer Innanen 13:32 Mm hmm. Absolutely, absolutely. But I think it's a helpful framework for that understanding, you know, why we compare ourselves to others, or why we judge other you know, other women and things like that, like, that's all really rooted in internalized misogyny and internalized sexism and, and I think it's almost like a more helpful framework, because instead of seeing it as like this internal defect, we can look and see, okay, it's actually like the way that I've been conditioned that I that some of these behaviors and beliefs that I have, are because of this conditioning versus like, I'm defective and there's something wrong with me, which is something that I always try to really instill in people and that like, none of these thoughts or beliefs are your fault. Andrea 14:14 Exactly. No self-blame, or you know, if there is any try to lean on some self-compassion, but also I think it for me, it really put under the microscope, the stereotypes that that we as women face around being backstabbing, and catty, and gossiping, and those types of things and where they originated from I even looked at the science around it. Super fascinating. Anyway, I don't want to get too far off track. But I want to ask you, because you talk about how the way to feel better in your body isn't necessarily about liking the way you look and how trying to do that can make it harder to accept ourselves. So can you talk about that for a minute? Summer Innanen 14:51 Mm hmm. Yeah, I think that you know, when you sort of look at like mainstream body positivity or body image advice you sort of get this understanding that like, okay, we should just all like love our bodies and embrace our cellulite and all this stuff. And I sort of find that message. I mean, that messaging is a huge ask. It's a lot. I mean, it's better than, like, you know, diet culture or not phobic messaging, but it's, I still find it kind of problematic because it's keeping the focus on our body, it's keeping the focus on finding ourselves attractive. And, you know, like I said, when are when we've been told that our, our worthiness is dependent on being attractive, then we're still kind of holding the upholding that belief system. What I want for people is to know that they are good enough, regardless of how they look, I want them to be able to look in the mirror and maybe like what they see or not, and still know that they're inherently good enough and be able to go on with their day, and know that they are a value to this world. And that's like a very, very liberating place to be. And the other issue I take with sort of this, like, trying to like, the way you look, is that I mean, it's, for one, it's also kind of unrealistic, especially when we know like, we're all going to age out of beauty standards. So if we're constantly sort of measuring ourselves through the perception of beauty standards, even if those beauty standards evolve, and change, and start showing people in larger bodies, we're still kind of hedging it on, like, whatever that beauty standard is in the in that moment, and it creates this kind of like unrealistic expectation that we're then hindering our self-worth on something that's still very external. And I want us to really know that our worthiness doesn't come from any of these external things. It comes from who we are and knowing that who we are is valuable and worthy. And the other problem I see is just that I have people who come to me and they feel bad for feeling bad about their body, they're like, I know, I should love my body, or I know I shouldn't care how my stomach looks. And I'm like, no, like, you don't feel bad for feeling bad. Don't beat yourself up for beating yourself up. Andrea 17:05 I call that the ultimate ass kicker beating yourself up. Yep, I see that a lot. Summer Innanen 17:10 Yes. And it's putting this other like, ‘should’ this other expectation on ourselves, that is piling onto this already huge mountain of expectations that we have on ourselves. And so I like people to just kind of drop that expectation at the door, I don't want people thinking they need to like the way they look or that they're gonna think that they're hot. Like, that's not the work I do with people. I really want people to just know that their body is just this vessel. Maybe they're gonna like the way it looks, sometimes, maybe not. But they can still really live a kick ass life, know that they're a badass, and know that they're just valuable and worthy to this world. Andrea 17:44 I'm kind of a little speechless over here, because I'm thinking about, and I'm just gonna be really candid for a second. I'm thinking about what I make up this being for many a lifelong process to unlearn and undo what we have, how we've been conditioned to behave with dieting, what we've been conditioned to think and how we've been conditioned to feel. Summer Innanen 18:08 Mm hmm. Absolutely. Andrea 18:10 I feel like you're never gonna go out of business. Summer Innanen 18:15 Well, I mean, it would be great if I did, because it feels… I have some clients that are like approaching 70, I have some that are very young. And like the the thing that I've noticed is that it's just, it doesn't matter how long you've been in it, like it can still you can still unlearn it. And I think that's it. But it is a practice. Like, I also like to tell people that acceptance is not a destination. It's not this place where you wake up one day and you're just like, I accept my body, everything's fine. Like, that's it, I'm done. It's really this ongoing practice of always kind of meeting yourself where you're at, accepting that there's parts of you that you don't like parts of you that you do like welcoming those parts in that you don't like healing those parts that are showing up that are creating issues like it's really, it's an ongoing practice. It's like how are you going to show up and accept yourself today versus this destination that we get to and so it can be kind of like a life, it's like a lifelong way of living that's that's about being there for you and treating yourself with kindness, compassion, and trust and respect. Andrea 19:19 I am super glad that people are even talking about this nowadays. And we definitely some arguing we see some arguing going on on the internet about you know, there's there's the camp of people who think it is their job to judge someone's health based on the size of their body. It's ugh. So I have an interesting background. I don't know if you noticed this about me, but I'm just I'll be brief. I went to college for exercise physiology. This was around 2005 to 2007ish. I took a long time to grow Because my life fell apart. At any rate, that was during the quote unquote, obesity epidemic, when it was all over the news. And what was interesting that I, when I look back on this is that we looked at research in a handful of my classes that body size does not equate health. And they were they were looking at someone who would not someone, but like a subject of people who would be classified as even obese. But their stats were healthier than other people. And I remember my, one of my professors talking about this, and he was so matter of fact about it. But we quickly switched over to it's almost as if that topic kind of got swept under the rug a little bit. And then we went back to talking about how exercise is weight loss, you know, that that's kind of the ultimate thing. And I'm not articulating this very well. And I think part of it is because it's traumatizing to be educated in this particular topic that is so waited for women, and a lot of people and then walk away from it. And I walked away from the fitness industry, because I felt like it was toxic. And it's it's complicated, I think, is what I'm trying to say. And it's complicated, not just for people who went to college for, for anything around weight, or food or fitness or any of that. Switching gears a little bit, I wanted to give a personal anecdote of something that's currently happening. And I'm sure you've seen it if you're on social media, how you know, skinny jeans are out and the flared jeans are coming back in. And there's this whole argument about bringing back low waisted jeans, and I about died because I was like absolutely not. No, no, no. So I was in my mid 20s, when those were popular. But I am…I feel validated that there's so many women talking about how that created such those genes, that style of genes created such disordered eating for them. Or your you know, just anyway, I feel like I'm not being articulate at all. And it's probably because I'm like, ugh… Summer Innanen 22:13 Yes, well, yeah, the height of my own disorder eating was when those genes were most popular. Andrea 22:19 Oh, gosh, it's not good memories. Summer Innanen 22:21 Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But I mean, just like besides the point, it's like, are they like, where are the Gen Z men telling the Gen, like the millennial man, what they shouldn't be wearing? Like the whole thing. It's like such bullshit. Andrea 22:34 Well, she's like, for like one body type. When Paris Hilton was and you know, Nicole Richie and Britney Spears for like, 17. And they just they are, they're the worst, I will never wear them again. And I'm mostly upset because my daughter's 11. And I'm like, absolutely not. No. And besides, like, your butt crack shows, it's just kind of, it's not that cute. And sometimes like pubic hair. There's…. Summer Innanen 22:58 I mean, where, where what you want to wear, like, wear what you what you want to wear? Wear, what's the comfortable. Andrea 23:01 High waisted is so much more comfortable. Summer Innanen 23:04 I mean, I I would agree with that. But I am on low waisted but yeah, we have very good body types. But I just you know, I do want to circle back, because you're talking about weight science. And I think it's really important for people to know, like to know, the truth about weight science. You know, like you mentioned kind of reading all these studies that suggested that you could be in the higher in a higher BMI, which the BMI is kind of arbitrary and based on my conversation. Andrea 23:47 Make it go away. Summer Innanen 23:50 But you know, like for people who want to learn more like there's there's a couple of really good books like Body Respect, by Linda Bacon, as well as Anti-diet by Christy Harrison like those, those books really go into the nuts and bolts of all of that research what it really says, and so I always encourage people who are still really struggling with that, like, can you be healthier and a larger body like all that to if they're struggling with that belief system to, to read the research, because it's so important and to read it by people who can put it in layman's terms for you, because you can get lost in the weeds. But it's just I think that that's like, I didn't want to just leave that hanging there because you did bring it up. And I think that that's so important because we think that our, like one of the aspects of our worthiness is also health, right? Like in our culture, it's like, oh, you should be healthy as long as they're healthy. And it's like your health is your business. It's not entirely within your control. But it's also up to you like if that's your job, that's your bodily autonomy, it's your decision. It's no one else's business. And as a culture, like we need to stop, you know, make comments about commenting on people's bodies commenting on their health and know that like someone else's health is is entirely it's it's their business. It's not up to us unless they've invited us into the doctor's office with them to give our opinion. We need to just take the back seat there. Because the whole like kind of “concern trolling” thing and and putting that in quotation marks is so harmful for people, it's not helpful in any way, it just makes them feel more ashamed. And the impact of weight stigma is greater on someone's health, like has a greater it's a greater document on someone's health and being in a larger body. And that's really important to understand. Andrea 25:27 Yes to all of that. And I want to ask you, because this is also something that that we hear a lot in our society is people assume that if you accept your body, and maybe it is a larger size, or perhaps a woman has gained weight, as she's gotten older, or gained weight, if she's had a child or children that she's essentially giving up and not taking care of herself, she's let herself go, what is your response to that? Summer Innanen 25:52 Well, other than, like just sheer rage? Andrea 25:54 Other than punching them in the face, yes. Summer Innanen 25:58 I have so many responses to this, but like we really have to look at like what are you know, if you stopped dieting, what are you really giving up on, you know, you're giving up on, you're giving up on a culture that you know that that values certain bodies over others, you're giving up on deprivation, you're giving up on, you know, decreased mental health and chronic stress, like limited social interactions, like what you're really giving up on when you're really letting go of is all of these things that are extremely harmful to both your physical and mental health. And the other thing that you're you know, when we talk about, like acceptance, like acceptance is really the practice of treating yourself with kindness, compassion and respect. Like, that's literally the opposite of giving up. When people kind of challenge or they have hesitations towards accepting your body, they're like, well, like, I'm not gonna, like, I'm afraid I won't look after myself. And I'm like, I'm teaching you how to treat yourself with kindness, care and compassion. It's literally the opposite of giving up. And so I think that that's, that's just like a really important reframe, for people to keep in mind. Diet culture has taught us that if we're not dieting, we're giving up. But who profits off of us believing that? The diet companies because yeah, we keep coming back for more if we think that if we believe that. Whereas like, if we can really break free of that, we'll see that what we're truly giving up on is this really, really harmful system. And when it comes to taking care of yourself, I mean, that is such an individual thing. I mean, sometimes taking care of myself looks like sitting on the couch and eating Oreos. Sometimes taking care of myself looks like going on a walk, and or going to the gym, like it's just it taking care of yourself, we have to look at it beyond just putting food in your mouth and exercising. We have to look at it as our emotional, our mental and our physical well-being, knowing that not sometimes we're prioritizing one of those over another and that's a really kind way to look after yourself. And so we I really tried to help people understand and, and form like a new version, a new definition of what taking care of yourself means to you. And it's really about like honoring your body's needs. Tuning into what feels best for you, what's going to be the most nourishing for you, you know, and it's almost like the way that you look after like a child, you know, we're able to kind of figure out what their needs are and take care of them. And, and no one is is like making their kid exercise all the time. And I are pleased to help not in depriving them of food and stuff, you know, we have to kind of treat we have to kind of like reparent ourselves, where we're taking care of ourselves, and really give ourselves the same kind of kindness and grace and compassion that we would give to somebody that we love. And so I hope that that helps people like see it differently and know that you can, you know, you can be healthy emotionally, physically and mentally by just looking after yourself in a way that feels best for you and having it completely detached from whether something is going to make you gain or lose weight. And just tuning into what your body actually needs. And that's really what I want people to be doing. Andrea 29:19 I love that reframe. And I also love Oreos. So I will sit on the couch with you Summer and we can eat Oreos together. Like you were talking about stopping dieting and I I've had many a conversations with various female friends on here. I had podcast episodes, I have a series called Conversations About Shit That Matters With Unqualified People where we've talked about this topic and our own journey, you know, into our 40s and one of the things that I stopped doing, so this was a couple of knows a few years ago. So it was around the time that my father passed away in 2016, I decided to stop exercising, because and I don't recommend this. I'm not saying everybody personal choice. Because of someone who had been immersed in that industry. And also because I had to look in the mirror and admit to myself that I had never exercised within the top priority. The top of reason that I was doing it was to take care of my body and move my body and you know, do it for my mental health and well-being it was solely to keep my body a certain shape and size now was the main reason that I was exercising. And I wasn't even necessarily punishing myself with exercise, like I had done in my 20s I had definitely gone down that route and, and was participating in some very dangerous behaviors around eating and exercising, or I should say, lack of eating. However, you know, I was, I was 41. And I just, I was just done Summer I just was, and I knew it wasn't permanent, but I just knew I had to go through some stuff emotionally and, and I gained weight and also went to the doctor and she told me my cholesterol was high. And I was like, damn, okay, so they're not lying when they say diet and exercise matter. Summer Innanen 31:05 Well, stress is really connected to cholesterol. If you're father passes away then… Andrea 31:09 And it wasn't like, it wasn't hugely, you know, like, dangerous. But anyway, I after two years, I started exercising again. And I, I can say that I have seen a massive difference in my own, I've chronic anxiety, my own mental health. So I do it now because honestly, I really love it. I love the kind of exercise that I do, I wouldn't do it if I hated it. And it just, it makes me feel better. But I am two pant sizes bigger than I was 10 years ago. And I'm like, I just am so happy that I can afford to buy bigger pants and bigger underwear. Like that's really. And it's taken me a long time to get to that place where I'm just like, okay, I'm 45 and I'm, I'm bigger than I was and my body is happy. I genuinely feel like my body is happy. Summer Innanen 31:53 Mm hmm. Yeah, I mean, I think it's like that's, that's, that's, that's an awesome place to be. And it's important. Andrea 31:59 It feels revolutionary, like revolutionary, someone you know, in her 20s, who had disordered eating, and it was an eating disorder, like it very well could have killed me had it kept going. And it's very scary. And that was that was my way of quitting dieting. Because I felt like it was a form of dieting, exercising to keep it a certain size it is. And it's totally different now. I'm not saying I don't have moments where, you know, I see someone who my age who's super fit, you know, and she's and I'm like, oh, maybe I could be like that. But then I'm like, no, I don't I don't want to put in all the effort it takes to be like that. Like, Iove Oreos. Summer Innanen 32:40 Well, yeah, I mean, I think it's like, that's the thing is that all those when you're engaging, and all that stuff, you have to look at how that time, energy and money that it takes that it takes away from you. Like, diet, culture literally steals our time, energy and money. Yeah, and that's the biggest thing, like when I work with people is when they when, you know, when we start to kind of close out our time together, when we finish a program with me, they're like, I just have so much more mental space. Like, I just feel so much calmer. And I'm like that's amazing. Like, that's what we want. Because it's just, it's this constant chatter that we're sort of experiencing. Um, and like, you know, especially as women like we, you know, our purpose in this world is, is so much bigger, like we have so much more potential, if we're not wasting our time and energy, like hating our body and dieting. And I'm not saying again, that's not your fault. It's not a personal defect all but we can reject it and like what's possible is reclaim reclaiming that and then you can go on to like really amazing things. You know, whether that like I've had some clients that one went on to like volunteer at a rape crisis center, I had another one who went on to become a foster parent, like just all these, like really amazing things that we can do when we have that mental space back or maybe it just means being more present with your kids. Like that's, that's also very important, but it's just yeah, like, it's such a it's such a waste. And when it comes to healing your relationship with exercise like that, I I was an exercise addict. I had to, I definitely that was like my main coping mechanism was over-exercising and I had to as well take like a very big hiatus from the stuff that I was doing, to completely detach that from like, the pursuit of thinness to come back and really be able to just take my ego out of it and listen to my body and do what I really liked and what felt good for me and it's such a better place to be Isn't it like to just be able to move your body because it feels good… Andrea 34:44 That’s why I said that it felt revolutionary. And I'm not being dramatic when I say that it felt like a completely different mindset even to say mindset doesn't feel like it, it does it justice. How different, I almost feel like I got a part of my brain removed that was obsessed with the size of my pants and all the things that are related to that. And it is so freeing. Again, I'm not saying that it's perfect, I still have moments where I'm like, whew, get a little squirrely, but for the most part, it is it is totally different. And I, I definitely, it's my own personal experience. That's why I like having people like you on who know the science and, but I just I do think it is such a unique journey for every woman, and women listening are probably on all different parts of the spectrum, you know, just starting to understand what diet culture is in their eyes opening up to that, to women have worked on it a lot, all of it. And I just, I just want to say that wherever you are, is exactly where you need to be. And I want to ask you to directly related to what you were just talking about is that you say that dieting and picking apart and fixating on your body are what you call tools of avoidance. So, is that what you mean by what you were just talking about? Regarding like, the mental space or something? Summer Innanen 36:08 It's all it's kind of a sort of, well, little bit that we can tie them together. So yeah, so I think that you know, so so a couple things. Dieting and fixating on our body are really coping mechanisms like they're, they're ways that we deal with other emotions and traumas in our life. And they're because they're they're easier to fixate on, it becomes something that we can problem solve. It feels like something that we can control versus a lot of the other stuff that we're experiencing, that we can't control. And that feels really anxiety inducing. You know, a lot of people don't like to feel their feelings and fixating on your body is a really good way to avoid feeling your feelings and getting to the kind of the deeper stuff that's really going on underneath. And to give you just a bit of an example. Like you mentioned, your dad passing away, my dad passed away a couple, like a year and a half year and a half ago, yeah, a year and a half ago, I really hadn't had a lot of moments of body shame leading up to that. But when he passed away, like I remember just about a month afterwards, I was like really starting to like fixate on my body again, and all of that stuff. And I was able to just take a step back and be like, okay, like what's actually going on here Summer and I was like, okay, well, I'm, I've got this, like my world had just exploded like it was it was sudden it was traumatic, like it was just this whole thing that happened when he passed away. And it was. And so my go to coping mechanism has always been to fixate on my body, it's a way to kind of like, soothe and avoid feelings. And so I was able to like take a step back and be like, okay, no, it's not about my body in this situation. It's really about this, like this overwhelming grief and everything else that I'm experiencing at this time. But on like an even on a smaller scale, I noticed this with people even if just they're having like a conflict with their partner or anxieties about work, or the pandemic has brought this up big time for people. They've been fixating on their body more or having these urges to diet because it gives them the sense of control. Yeah, it's like we've medicate ourselves with dieting to kind of try and soothe and fix our feelings, which is another reason why it's so hard to break free of dieting, because it is so addictive. It is it is this thing that like keeps us coming back because it gives us this like dopamine hit, it gives us a sense of control. And so it's really hard to let go of that because we're sort of left with like, sometimes a lot of these more difficult feelings underneath that we've been really trying to avoid like maybe loneliness or rejection or hurt or anxiety. And then so that's something that I always encourage people to look at is that if you are having a moment where you're experiencing body shame, to really look at, like, what else am I actually experiencing right now what emotions are going on in my life for myself and try to really identify those because a lot of times, like it's, it's not about your body. It's about this other stuff that we're experiencing. And and so I guess to tie it back to the point of like freeing up mental space, I mean, sometimes it just frees up mental space to be able to look at like what's really going on underneath and to really feel the feelings that are happening underneath. And instead of instead of like avoiding those and pushing them down and trying to diet our way through them to be able to sit with them and acknowledge them and move through them. Andrea 39:39 Yeah, yes. And it's it's interesting when I wrote How To Stop Feeling Like Shit, you know, there are 14 unhealthy coping mechanisms is what those are. And I knew that dieting was one of them, but I couldn't write about it because I'm not an expert in that but I'm glad that you brought that up because yes, it is. And it's directly tied to perfectionism and overachieving. And control, like, all those that I wrote about. So yeah, thank you for pointing to that about it being a coping mechanism that that, you know, we're used to doing it since we were very young. Summer Innanen 40:12 Yes, yeah. Andrea 40:16 It’s a lot of practice. Summer Innanen 40:12 Yeah, totally, totally. Andrea 40:16 You know, we’ve seen our mothers do it many times, not always, but many times. Summer Innanen 40:20 Oh, I mean, everyone, I work with us other mothers. I think, you know, it's like one of those things that people talk about, like emotional eating, and I'm like, can we just talk about emotional dieting instead, because that's the bigger problem. That's what leads to people thinking they're emotionally eating. But really, they're usually just like, having kind of like, responsive eating. So restriction, but that's another story. But anyways, I just, I just think it's like one of those underrecognized things that, because again, it's just so accepted in our society to be dieting, but really, it's just it is such a like, it's like emotional diet. That's what it is. Andrea 40:56 I'm guessing, I don't want to assume that you do possibly get clients who, they're, they're overweight, and it is affecting their health, maybe it's like putting pressure on their joints or something is actually going on that their doctor that they trust has has said like, yeah, you should probably consider losing, you know, 20-25 pounds. A) my first part of that question is does that ever happen? And then B) how do you work with someone with creating a balance to be able to do that without fixating on it and and kind of working with really the whole culture of fatphobia? I know, that was a huge question. Summer Innanen 41:36 Yeah, no, it's really good. I think it's like, it's a common concern that people have, because we've learned not saying this is true, but we've learned that there you know, there's a lot of like health complications with being in a larger body, which is a lot of that has been like, again, if you read about weight science, it's not not necessarily true. But you know, first of all, I don't use the word overweight, I use the word like larger bodied or self identifies as fat because overweight is based on the BMI which we know is arbitrary. And and like, just complete bullshit. Andrea 42:09 Well, and you make a great point. I want to pause there and apologize if I've offended anyone listening. Because that points to that there is a normal, I’lI say a.k.a good weight. And any weight that is outside of that we usually don't talk about you know, underweight as being bad. From a, you know, society, the way it looks standpoint. But yes, I, point taken and thank you for pointing that out. Summer Innanen 42:32 Yeah, no, no, it's totally fine. I think it's like, it's really common, right. But it is, it is, in essence, like kind of stigmatizing language, because it's, it's really referring to like the body as being diseased. And that's like, how, like, it's so stigmatizing. And so, so that's, I just wanted to mention that for people and, and because even just take that out of your own language repertoire can be really powerful and starting to rewire beliefs that you have. But you know, when someone's doctor tells them that they need to lose weight to manage a certain condition. Like there's, there's a few different ways to go about it. You know, first of all, if you look at all of the research, there is not one diet that works in the long term for the majority of individuals. So 88, 88% of individuals are going to gain the weight back plus more, some, a lot of them plus more. And so, you know, until there is a proven form of losing weight, like what we're really recommending to people actually becomes more harmful. And so what I recommend people do instead is try to find a doctor that is going to be more aligned with the ‘health at every size approach’, which is an approach to health that looks at focusing on health behaviors, versus versus weight loss as the outcome. And so you know, you can still make changes to your diet and make changes, like make changes to what you're eating or make changes to how you are treating, like what you're doing to your body, whether that's sleep or movement or stress. But taking the outcome of weight out of the equation and looking at managing health through that lens and that perspective. And there's a lot of amazing registered dieticians that work with people in that so I'm always recommending that to people if they do want if they do want someone to give them like a specific specific recommendations on how to manage a health condition without it being tied to weight loss, because in the long term that's usually more detrimental to someone's well-being and someone's health. And the other thing that you know, you can say to your doctor is like what would you recommend to a thin person because there is not one health condition that only people in larger bodies get that people in thin bodies get all the same conditions and some doctors aren't recommending weight loss to them. There's ways to manage these conditions without it being about weight. I think it requires it requires a bit of education on an individual’s part, it requires a bit of like, it's hard, right? Because you kind of have to advocate for yourself, which is really, really hard for people, especially if you experience discrimination and stigma. But there's a lot more resources available online now to point you to practitioners who can help you and are going to treat you with the respect and dignity that you deserve. And I think that that's, that's really critical to understand. Does you feel like that answered it? Andrea 45:28 Yeah, I have a yes, it did. And I just I have this really strange feeling that this episode is gonna piss some people off. I don't know why. Summer Innanen 45:39 Well, they should come listen to my podcast. Andrea 45:45 Just irritate some people, and for whatever reason, but I think the last question I want to ask you that you can speak to is, what is the, what is the biggest argument or pushback that you get from people, when they might be newer to this conversation? Summer Innanen 46:04 I think that like people feel like I'm attacking them for wanting to lose weight. And like, that's not what I'm doing at all. Like, I'm not, I do not want anyone to feel ashamed… Andrea 46:09 People get pretty defensive. Summer Innanen 46:11 Or wanting to lose weight, or yeah, are they you know, they feel bad. And, and I think that, like, you know, all all that I'm talking about here is, is is looking, treating all bodies with dignity and respect. And I like I really hope that ultimately, people can get on board with that, like, do you want all bodies to be treated with dignity and respect, that we have to, you know, look at treating people in all body sizes, the same way and giving them that same treatment. And so I think that, you know, any kind of pushback is generally just like, it's challenging these, you know, this kind of conditional bias that we have, and, and really shaking this belief system that we've maybe invested a lot of time and energy in and within ourselves. And that's really hard for people, you know, I'm not telling people to go out and be unhealthy. I'm telling you the exact opposite. I'm telling you, again, to go and care for yourself in a way that feels good for you in a way that is really about honoring your body and who you are, instead of punishing who you are, and coming at it from a punitive perspective. And so and so yeah, but just circling back to like, I would never want anyone to feel ashamed for wanting to lose weight, that's an innocent response to living in a culture that demonizes larger bodies and praises thinner bodies. You know, I think that it's totally natural to want that it's totally normal to participate in that. But I also think that, you know, if it's taking time and energy from you, if you feel like your self-worth is really conditional on maintaining a certain body size, or being in a smaller body, then there's another way forward, that can give you a lot more freedom and liberation. And so I hope that it doesn't piss people off. I hope it actually just opens their mind and that they're on board with this notion of like, let's, let's be respectful to all body especially. Andrea 48:09 Not not to anything that you said, I do feel like I talked about myself a little bit too much, but try not to center myself and make it about me. I just I have, I think so much personal experience in this. This still feels a little bit that it rises to the surface when we talk about it. And and I lied. I have one more question. I know that. I know that part of your work revolves around intersectional feminism, and that's important to you. So I'm curious in your words, how would you describe how diet culture is directly related to both patriarchy and white supremacy? Summer Innanen 48:44 Oh, okay. That's a big question. Andrea 48:47 I know. Right. Floor is yours Summer. Now we’re really going to piss some people off. Summer Innanen 48:50 Now we're really good people. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh, my gosh, I guess. Andrea 48:53 Well, my show I can ask what I want. Summer Innanen 48:55 And here's the thing like okay, so I come from a place of privilege. So I'm probably not even the best person to be answering this. So I'm going to refer to a few people and a few resources for people to read more I know you've had Sonya Renee Taylor on your show. She is… Andrea 49:01 Oh, I love her. Summer Innanen 49:03 Like my number one that book the book The Body Is Not An Apology. Like I would go there. Yeah. Andrea 49:15 Her videos on Instagram are so good. I repost them to my stories all the time. Summer Innanen 49:19 Yeah, like so that's I mean, I'm referring people to to her work all the time because she is an activist and she is black and she's in a larger body and it's just I think that that's who we need to be listening to and centering in discussions especially as it relates to the intersections of these things but but you know, that like the fitness and beauty ideals are really rooted in like Eurocentric beauty standards so it's the beauty standards are really white, thin, young you know, and so yeah, and so it's it's it's racist yeah, but point blank and there's a really honest there yeah… Andrea 49:57 To afford to be that way. Summer Innanen 50:00 100% and there's a really good book called fearing Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings, which really goes into the depth of where the where beauty standards came from and how they were rooted in white supremacist, right supremacy. It's a very detailed book. So again, like that's another resource for individuals to look into if they want to see more, but I think that from like a very kind of basic and surface level, just look at who's representative in the media, and what bodies are really valued. And which ones are kind of framed up as the ideal. And if the vast majority is again, like, you know, thin white young. And so that's all, that's not what everybody looks like, right? So, and again, it's coming down to this idea that like, in order for you to be worthy, you have to be desirable, you have to be attractive to the male gaze. And so I always like to say to people, I'll leave this one, it's horrible for you, but it's like your purpose in life is not to give somebody a boner. You know, so… Andrea 51:10 I can't wait to tell my daughter that. She’s only 11. Summer Innanen 51:12 Yeah, but it's true, right? But that's where it's like this connection with the patriarchy comes in. And it's because it really steals our time, energy and money. Like when we're fixating on our bodies and trying to look a certain way. We're not participating in the culture, we're not actively like trying to, you know… Andrea 51:19 Giving our opinions, and yeah. Summer Innanen 51:20 And yeah, exactly. We're told to be small and just, you know, be pretty and like, your everything else doesn't matter. And so it's all very much connected. And that's like a very brief way of saying it. But I would really look to people who are the ones in the marginalized bodies talking about this stuff to really understand it further, because they have the lived experience. Andrea 51:49 We'll drop those links in the show notes, and I shoot you referring to them, and I am so loving this conversation. Thank you so much. And thank you for letting me talk about myself so much. Sorry, listeners. Summer Innanen 52:00 Thank you so much for having me. It was great. Andrea 52:02 Well tell everyone where to go to find out more about you and what you offer. Summer Innanen 52:07 Sure. So the best place to find me is if you go to TheBodyImageCoach.com that will take you to my website, which is SummerInnanen.com. And in case you can't spell it just go to TheBodyImageCoach.com. I have a podcast called Eat The Rules. And on my website, there's a free 10-Day Body Confidence Makeover that will that will kind of set you on this path if you're interested in learning more. Andrea 52:30 I love the name of your podcast, Eat The Rules. That is so incredibly perfect. And thank you so so so much for being here. Listeners, thank you so much for listening, and you know how grateful I am for your time and remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves a better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place by everyone. The post Episode 387: Diet Culture and Reframing Your Body Image with Summer Innanen appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
55 minutes | 11 days ago
Episode 386: Sacred Leadership and Embracing Your Shadow Side with Julie Parker
Julie Parker is back on the show! We jump right into the deep end and talk about embracing the parts of yourself you don’t necessarily like, aka your shadow side, and why anyone would want to love their fears. Julie Parker is the Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy where she passionately trains heart-centered people to become life coaches. I had a list of questions prepared for Julie and we covered a few. However, when we recorded this conversation, it was in the midst of the Rachel Hollis debacle. So we veered off into a conversation about what it means to be a sacred leader and the role leadership plays within women empowerment and personal development. In this episode you’ll hear: Julie talks about “embracing your shadows,” the parts of us that we don’t necessarily like and holding us back and looking at these parts compassionately and learning from them. (9:22) The importance of keeping a level of curiosity and tapping into it. (13:51) How to love your fears and why someone would want to love them. (20:53) Julie’s experience with people-pleasing and how she came to an understanding about it. (21:18) You can’t talk or think out of the way the stories you make up. (28:52) Julie’s book Priestess and the topic of sacred leadership. (33:58) What it means to be a sacred leader and the role sacred leadership plays within women's empowerment and personal development. (36:31) Resources mentioned in this episode: Julie’s website Julie’s book Julie on Instagram Kate Kennedy’s podcast, Be There In Five Amber Rae, Choose Wonder, Over Worry Brené Brown on Power and Leadership Episode 346: Self-Reflection and Unpacking Unconscious Biases with Leesa Renee Hall YKAL is supported by: Better Help – Use code kickass to get 10% off your first month. Care/of – Use code kickass50 to get 50% off your first order. Julie Parker is the Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy where she passionately trains heart centered people to become life coaches. As the Co-Founder of Priestess Temple School, a global movement devoted to uplifting modern day Priestesses as they explore sacred leadership and service in the 21st century, Julie is committed to contributing to a world where presence, healing and social justice are honoured. She has trained with High Priestesses and Modern Day Mystery Schools from all over the world. Julie has inspired thousands of people as an in demand speaker, sacred circle holder, priestess and flower essence practitioner, and is the recipient of numerous leadership and women’s awards. Host of the top ranking Priestess Podcast, Julie has interviewed some of the world’s great spiritual thought leaders and has a committed spiritual practice that honours her Celtic lineage, connection to the Great Mother and self. Julie lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband, stepdaughter, and two much loved adopted cats. Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT Julie Parker 00:00 And so embracing our shadows. It's about going, okay, I'm imperfect, which makes me human. And I'm just going to lovingly look at this stuff. I'm going to work out why do I people please? What is this about? You know, why do I do this? And how can I look at it compassionately and learn from it. And so often what we find Andrea is just simply parts of ourselves that are not loved enough, not cared for enough. And once we start to do that, we begin to shift things. Andrea 00:35 You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast Episode Number 386 with guest, Julie Parker. Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast. Your guide for strategies, tools and insight into empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, an author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go. Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. As always, I am so glad that you are here. It's funny, I got a message recently from a listener, a longtime listener, who also happens to be one of my clients. And she said, “You know, I'm gonna miss the old music. I'm going to miss the old intro”. And I hadn't thought that anybody would. I guess when you listen to a show for a while, and you get used to the intro and the music and certain things, it becomes comforting and like home, and I've been so excited about this new iteration of the podcast and of myself and the evolving, I sort of pushed it to the side that people would miss it. So if that's you, I hear you, and I see you, and please find comfort that the change is all good. And I also very much appreciate that you have been with me for so long, and that you like the show so much that you are going to miss the old music and the old intro. Anyway, I hope I hope you like the new one. And we have a fantastic guest for you today. Julie Parker is a returning guest. She's been on at least once, maybe twice. And I had all these questions prepared for Julie. And when we recorded this a couple of weeks ago, it was right in the middle, it was really in the thick of what was happening over with the whole Rachel Hollis debacle. And we hadn't planned on talking about it. In fact, I was a little bit weary of having two white, two privileged white women come on, because there was also the topic of racism that was involved. And at any rate, we do end up talking about it a little bit because it was directly related to a question I had for Julie around leadership. So just giving you a heads up that we do sort of veer off into that. And if you missed it a couple of weeks ago, I put out a bonus episode that was originally a video that I had made for everyone who is an email subscriber of mine, that I remember that a lot of you don't subscribe to my emails, and then I turned it into a podcast episode. So if you missed that, you why, you might want to go back and listen to that. Speaking of that whole situation that happened. I was minding my own business on TikTok, which I want to talk about in just a second. And I was on the For You Page, which is accounts that you don't necessarily follow will pop up. And there was a woman who came on and was talking about this Venn diagram that she was making, and it was super interesting. And I ended up going down a little bit of a rabbit hole and followed her on Instagram and then found out that she had a podcast episode. Her name is Kate Kennedy. Some of you might listen to her show. Her show is called Be There In Five. And she does deep dives on various pop culture topics, which I find fascinating. And she has two two-hour episodes on not just what happened with Rachel Hollis. But things that are connected. And I mean, this woman is so incredibly smart and thoughtful the way she puts her episodes together again, I've only listened to this one, one show. I do recommend it. I'm going to drop that in the show notes. I have not listened to part two. As I'm recording this. It just came out and I only listened to part one. The reason that I'm very interested in this and that I am telling you about it is that it's something I've been thinking about, I started thinking about it. Well, actually, I started thinking about it when I had a lot of questions around the teachings of the law of attraction, which I very much take what I want and leave the rest. And was questioning its validity. And not just like, does it work? But there are problems, there are problems, I had questions and started to pull away from it, mostly because I felt like it doesn't take into account so many things like privilege. And there's so many, there's so much nuance to people situations and circumstance and resources. Your but anyway, I won't get into that too much. But I started to question that pulled away from the law of attraction, had one of my colleagues start talking about, you know, white women in the wellness industry and our responsibility that was around 2015. And then really started to dive in around 2016. And the whole concept of toxic positivity, and white feminism. And this is more or less what Kate is talking about. And it's a huge problem. It's a huge problem that I have been a part of. And that I felt like it was kind of tapping me on the shoulder on the last over the last few years. And I want to make sure that I am doing what's right. And that I am constantly checking myself in terms of not just what's helpful. But what could potentially be harmful. I'm still learning. And I'm often, well I'm not often quiet. I am quiet when I really need to pull back and listen and do some research and tap in what deep within myself and lean into my values and figure out what is the next right thing. My business values are courage, responsibility and transparency, hence having this conversation with you right now. Yeah, I just felt like Kates’ episode was, in some ways pointing the finger at me and what I do more so in like, the early, yeah, you know, like 2011 through 2015ish. And then I sort of I took a turn a little bit, but like I said, the main reason that I would encourage you to go listen to it, I think critical thinking is so important. It's so important, and learning to check in with yourself and ask yourself, okay, do I really feel empowered? When I read this person's book or listen to this person's podcast? Could I be empowered without any of this work? Am I feeling like there's something wrong with me or that I'm broken? Even though this person or this company's promise is to make me feel better or teach me to how to feel better? I think that's critical in pop culture and personal development, especially in personal development in the wellness industry. Alright, that's enough about that. Let me let me tell you a little bit about Julie for those of you who don't know her. Julie Parker is the founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy where she passionately trains heart-centered people to become life coaches, as the co-founder of Priestess Temple School global movement devoted to uplifting modern-day priestesses as they explore sacred leadership and service. Julie has inspired 1000s of people as an on-demand speaker, sacred circle holder, priestess and flower essence practitioner, and is the recipient of numerous leadership and women's awards. Host of the top-ranking Priestess Podcast, Julie has interviewed some of the world's great spiritual thought leaders and has committed spiritual practice that honors her Celtic lineage connection to the great mother and self. So without further ado, here is Julie. Julie Parker, welcome to the show. Julie Parker 09:17 Oh, Andrea, thank you so much for having me on. I'm delighted to be back. Andrea 09:22 My favorite Australian is back on the show. And you and I go so far back, back, you were like my first Twitter friend when I was. So my kids were babies. And I was so desperate for friends. And Twitter had had only been around for a short time and I was making friends on the internet with strangers and you were one of those people. And it's been a long time and I so appreciate the work that you do in the world. And I'm so glad to have you on to talk about your book and other things and I want to jump directly into the deep end. Let's go ahead first and I want to talk about embracing your shadows, because that's something that you like to discuss. So what does that mean embracing your shadows? Julie Parker 10:09 Yeah, well, I think that this is a very important area of our lives that we should talk about more because of the intense and beautiful and rich benefits it brings to us. But a lot of us are a little bit afraid to do that we all have a shadow. And a lot of people talk about it in terms of it being our darker side, our fearful side, the side of us that, you know, we like to keep hidden. And so it's a given then that we start to freak out about it, you know, as soon as we start to talk about it in those terms. But essentially, our shadow is the parts of us that we don't necessarily like that much that we know, hold us back, that keep us small, that challenge us deeply. And that we may therefore want to ignore or bury, so we keep it in the shadows. Andrea 11:07 So what can I ask you what an example would be like, I'm thinking, So in the 12 step programs, there's a term called, oh, character defects is what it's called. Julie Parker 11:18 Oh, that's harsh. Andrea 11:21 I know, it's not my favorite it for sure. And there's a lot of people who, who, you know, choose to not use that language that are still affiliated with, with AA. But anyway, it's things like, like, for me, when I worked on that step, mine our selfishness and entitlement. And that's like, my shadow side. And I don't like that about me. And also, when I see it in other people, I'm like, ugh, but I think it's because I do it too, and have to be careful. So are those examples of shadows? Julie Parker 11:55 Absolutely. They are examples of shadows, and I would be one of those persons that would not use character defects. I think that were defect is very harsh. Julie Parker 12:06 Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily go there. But those are two fantastic examples for, um, you know, for me, one of the examples of my own shadow is at varying different times, at neediness, I can be a people pleaser, and I can be quite needy for approval. And I recognize that that is a part of my shadow, it is a part of me that, you know, is not the blooming beautiful, positive, shining side, the sides of ourselves that we can own, you know, with more confidence and love, but the thing is, is that these parts of ourselves that we might keep in the shadows, or don't like about ourselves, are still there, we can ignore them all we want, and we can deny that they don't exist. But that doesn't mean that they don't. And the more that we ignore them, and we don't open up and look at them with love and compassion, the more that they will stay hidden in those shadows. And the more that will never work with them and address them. And so embracing our shadows, is about doing just that. It's about going, Okay, I'm imperfect, which makes me human. And I'm just going to lovingly look at this stuff, I'm going to work out why do I people please What is this about? You know, why do I do this? And how can I look at it compassionately and learn from it. And so often, what we find Andrea is just simply parts of ourselves that are not loved enough, not cared for enough. And once we start to do that, we begin to shift things. Andrea 13:51 I love that. So it sounds like you help people kind of settle in on a foundation of compassion and curiosity. And what is it? Can you give us an example of like, if you had a client where you were specifically working on this, or you were working on it at a retreat? Is there an exercise that you would have people do to sort of uncover and gain some insight from their shadows? Julie Parker 14:16 Well, I think I don't think there's one that sort of covers everything. It really does depend upon what somebody you know, is looking at, and I think that there are individual things that you know that different people do, but one of the ones I can share with you is a lot of the women that I work with sometimes hold in their shadow quite deeply. A lot of comparisonitis, a lot of comparing behaviors to others. And one of the exercises that I get them to do or explore is just simply journaling around that and getting them to write about. I find is often very powerful, what they consider the link to be between comparison, not comparisonitis, comparing themselves to others, and procrastination. And a lot of women look at me when I sit and go, Well, they're two completely different things. They don't they don't have anything to do with each other. And I go, no, I really want you to think about this and explore it deeper. And I've got some key questions. I don't have them with me right now. But basically, you know, to cut to the chase, what a lot of women that I work with find out in relation to that particular thing in their shadow, is that comparing themselves constantly to other people, whether it be their body, their bank account, their business, is an absolutely magnificent form of procrastination. Because as long as they are doing that, and more invested in looking at the lives and businesses and careers and parenting of someone else, they then completely distract themselves from themselves. And it stops them in their tracks. And they start to spin their wheels. And they don't have to do as much, or they can't do as much because of the time that they're investing there. And so that uncovers some fears about being in action and stepping forward, and you know, all of those sorts of things. It's not necessarily just a self-esteem thing. It's actually an action that people engage in, because it allows them to just be safe, and to remain where they are. And so it becomes about busting out of that. Andrea 16:48 That's an exhausting place to be. And I've been there. Julie Parker 16:52 It can be. Yeah, absolutely. It can be for sure. Not easy. This work is not easy. Andrea 16:58 Yes, it's, it's exhausting. And it's, it's one of those things, too, that I think happens so often in different areas of our lives. So you know, if somebody whether she owns her own business, and compares that to somebody else, or works for a corporation and compares to her, her coworker, or relationships is a big one. Body and appearance is a huge one. Art, parenting you mentioned, it's just, it's never-ending. And what I I like to offer the same piece of advice actually is is just and you, you threw out a bunch of questions to a few minutes ago, that you know, people can skip back and listen to those again and use those as journal prompts. And I just, I am obsessed with curiosity, it has saved me from so so many rabbit holes of negative self-talk. So instead of comparing myself to Julie Parker's business, I would stop and say like, I wonder why I feel the need to compare myself. I wonder, I wonder what stories I'm making up based on someone else's life? About my own life? Julie Parker 18:17 Yeah, exactly. All the layers of things that we take on and that aren't even ours to own. And I completely agree with you, Andrea, that curiosity is one of the things that allows us as human beings to peel back those layers. It is underrated. Curiosity in our lives. It is. Andrea 18:39 Yes. And it's one of those things too, that in my experience when you are more curious and just wonder rather than coming to conclusions and making up stories about things and beating yourself up, that it takes the attachment out of it. It's just like I had, one of my trainers when I was at the Coaches Training Institute many years ago. They said they use the metaphor of going into your walk-in closet or your regular closet with a flashlight and it's totally dark and you're peeking in all the pockets. What are you going to find? You're going to find a $20 bill, a lipstick, just some lint like you don't know like it could be anything and it's so much easier to me and it's become a habit now just curiosity that I would so much rather walk down that path than the path of jumping to conclusions. And as somebody who struggles with anxiety, that is an easy place to go. To many problems. Julie Parker 19:44 Yes, absolutely are all of those things that you say are just incredibly powerful, and they do link back to curiosity and it's one of those things that within the self-help and personal development industry that I don't think is spoken about enough in relation to the power that it can bring you, you know, one of the core tenants in our life coaching academy that we teach new and upcoming life coaches is to remain curious about yourself and your clients, as a core tenant, because as soon as you lose that you absolutely are not as good a coach, there's no question in my mind about that, because you start making assumptions about people, you start saying, oh, she's a mom of three children, she doesn't have time for that. Or he's a man, he won't feel as emotionally connected to his goals as that other client, you know, that's what we begin to do when we tap out of our curiosity. And so tapping into that is, ah, it's so vital for a loving, compassionate life too. Andrea 20:53 It is, I had Amber Rae on the podcast, and she wrote a book, choose, or sorry, Choose Wonder Over Worry. And we'll pop that link in the show notes. I want to ask you about, let's talk about fear, because who doesn't struggle with fear from time to time. You teach women how to love their fears. So why would someone want to love their fears? Like what's the lesson in that? Julie Parker 21:18 Well, I think this is very connected to embracing your shadow, because it , our fears have so much to teach us. You know, they can be a loving guide, and a portal to brilliance and awareness and openness and action in so many different ways, if we're prepared to go there. And so we have to connect with ourselves deeply enough, like ourselves deeply enough, love ourselves deeply enough even, to be able to go, okay, I'm not going to ignore that constant fear. More often than not, that's made up in my own mind, you know, we're not talking about tigers chasing you down the street. We're talking about constructs of our own mind fears that say, I'm not good enough to do that, I will fail if I do that, I will be criticized wretchedly if I try, I'm not as good at that, like everybody else, you know, all of those sorts of things. And it comes back to going, okay, no, I'm going to stop and breathe into this. And I know that unsafe and I'll be okay, just exploring it, you know, even to begin with. And so we have to have the courage to go there. And then find out what these things are telling us. Like, I know, for example, for me, when I began to address my people-pleasing and neediness after years of being fearful of looking at that stuff, because of the stories that I told myself about it, and myself, as a result, as soon as I started to do that, this whole world and portal of sovereignty, and sacred leadership began to open up for me and independence as a woman to and realizing that I didn't need permission from other people to do certain things that I wanted in my life, that I didn't need to be praised all the time, for something to feel good. And for something to be right for me. And they're just two examples of that. And I would never have known those things if I hadn't decided to just okay, I'm just going to love myself through this. I'm going to work my way through this. And I'm going to look at these fears and the deeper meaning of what's going on underneath them. And as soon as I started to do that, portals opened up, and newness opened up for me around what it meant for me to be whole healing, you know, humane woman. It's not to say any of it's easy. It's not but loving our fears and giving them a chance, you know, giving ourselves a chance to really look at them for what they're trying to tell us is life-changing. Andrea 24:13 I've never heard it spoken about that way. And you know, if someone said like, who's the person on your podcast that you think would talk about this like you would be at the top of the list? Probably really, Parker, but I love it. It's so fascinating. And I love to hear different perspectives, or especially around the bigger topics that are just universal to people and I just like I want to go down a side road for a second and ask you about your people-pleasing because I'm curious it because it sounds like you've worked on it a lot. And it's been, you know, one of the main themes in your life, and were you able to find out the connection to it? And if you wouldn't mind sharing, like you know, where do you think it stemmed from in your lives? I know a lot of people listening struggle with people-pleasing as well. Julie Parker 25:03 Yeah, I absolutely was able to, without any shadow of a doubt, and I think I probably always knew that it was there. But again, just didn't have the courage or the love for myself enough to stop and breathe into it and look at it. But my people-pleasing stemmed from a very faulty belief. And I know that a lot of women have it as well, a lot of people have it that if I was just nice enough, did enough for other people was good enough, you know, helpful enough, all of those sorts of things that everybody would love me. And that would mean that I would never have any conflict, I would never have any difficult or challenging relationships, because why would I because everybody would love me, and I would love them and everything would be okay. And this stemmed from being a child of essentially an abandoned father, at a very young age. My father left our family home in very sudden circumstances when I was four years old, and my sister was one at the time. And essentially, I only saw him a handful of times, like, you know, literally less than five. From that day on until he passed, which is about 18 months ago now. And so, I grew up in a very loving, strong, amazingly connected family with a single mother, but also living in an intergenerational family with grandparents. And so I had a grandfather, father figure, but there was clearly something unresolved for me that went on for many, many years, about not having my dad's love, and, and thinking that that was due to me, I internalized that I blamed myself, and thought, well, I wasn't a good enough girl, I wasn't a good enough daughter. This then stemmed into other relationships with men, I found myself in my early 20s, throughout that phase, and my mid-20s, as well, often in very one-sided relationships, I cared for and loved them a great deal more than they did me: classic people-pleasing. I had issues with female friendships at that time as well. And so it wasn't until I recognized that this was what was going on, and that it was playing out as people-pleasing in many other areas of my life when I had the courage to really look at it, that I was able to address it and stop it. And I, yes, I had some therapy around it. But really, it was about coming to the realization of it and going, Well, isn't that just ridiculous Julie. Like honestly, like, let's just look at this first. Second, it had nothing to do with you, you will, four years old, you where a child is nothing but you've internalized that in some way you did, ideally internalize it. And then as soon as I knew the silliness of that story, the ridiculousness of that story that I was taking on, I was able to start to break it down with lots of compassion, curiosity, love, all of that sort of stuff and go, Oh, hang on a second. This is ridiculous. And of course, coming to the complete understanding that we can never get everybody to like us. That is impossible. And by the way, we don't want everyone to like us, I'm in some way that you just you don't want anyone. And so coming to that conclusion was very empowering as well. Andrea 28:52 That's so interesting. And I'm sure that there are people listening, who see parallels and, in your story, so I appreciate you sharing that. And I want to, I want to touch on something. And because I had a similar experience, and I've talked to my audience about the pretty intense trauma therapy that I went through last year and a little bit into 2021, I ended with my therapist, and I had after many sessions with her because we were talking about worthiness, and I, and she does muscle testing too. So she can tell about these, like subconscious beliefs that we have, and the worthiness wasn't the issue. And I could, I could honestly tell her that I felt like even sub, subconsciously, I have a healthy dose of worthiness, like sure there are times every once in a while, where I get a little shaky there, but for the most part, I'm grateful that I've done enough work where I feel good about that, but there was something else. And it was sort of random. We were talking about my family of origin and I said you don't remember what exactly it was that I said, and I started crying. And I said, I just feel like, I have this unconscious belief that nobody really cares about me. And I was like, oh my god, that's what it like in my whole body was, it just was such a strange experience. But logically, as you said, I knew that was ridiculous. Like, of course, my husband, and my mom and my sister and my best friend and my children like there, there are a good amount of people that truly care about me and my well-being and all these things, but it was deeply embedded into my core into my cells. And I say that because I find it very interesting that on a practical, logical, almost surface level, we can understand that our, quote, unquote, stories are dumb. But they're still there. Yeah. And I think that can be so frustrating for people. And the point I'm trying to make is that you can't talk your way and think your way out of that. And I know you do a lot of deeper work with your, with your priestess work. And it took somatic therapy for me to be able to start to release that. And it was difficult and uncomfortable and weird. And weird. I am not, I am skeptical of that kind of stuff. And oh, man, it was rough. But it was worth it. And I just want to emphasize that to people that if they're still if they're like, I logically know that I'm worthy, and I'm worthy of love. But it's like this deep down. Go find a somatic therapist, trauma therapist. Julie Parker 31:50 Yeah, different things work for different people. Right. Very, very true. And we know, of course, that we store trauma in the body. Right? And so for many of us, what the past that you're suggesting someone opened themselves up to their Andrea is a really sound one. And it's one that often people don't necessarily think about because they think it's all about the words and the thoughts and the processes. And that can be a very, very significant part of it. But there is no question that what you're saying, for some people that release through the body is the missing link. Andrea 32:26 I'm interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from some of our sponsors. You've heard many of the guests here on the podcast, who are licensed therapists. And you know, I encourage everyone to go to therapy. I'm proud to have Better Help as one of our sponsors because there's so many things I love about their service. When you sign up for Better Help, they'll assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. You'll get timely and thoughtful responses. Plus, you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions. It's more affordable than traditional offline counseling and financial aid is available. They're licensed professional counselors who specialize in things like depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, sleeping, trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBT matters, grief, self-esteem, and their service is available for clients worldwide, I want you to start living a happier and more fulfilling life today. As a listener, you'll get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/kickass, join over 1 million people who have taken charge of their mental health again, that's BetterHelp H-E-L-P.com/kickass. And thank you for supporting our sponsors, because that, in turn, supports this show. Well, I want to shift over and talk about your book, which is called Priestess: Ancient Spiritual Wisdom for Modern Sacred Women. And I know there are various topics in there. And I would love for you to talk to us about sacred leadership. Julie Parker 33:58 Well, this is such a core tenant of the book because essentially, I consider being a priestess to be a modern spiritual sacred leader. She is somebody that holds deep space for other people more often than not other women. And in particular, that space is there to help someone see their own divinity, see their own light and beauty, and allow them to be able to create the life that on a spiritual path is most aligned for them, which of course looks different for all of us. And so when I think about sacred leadership, Andrea, I just this is a topic that is just lighting me up so deeply right now because I feel as though it doesn't take a lot to look around the world and realize that the type of leadership that we almost have being force-fed constantly, is very much not within the sacred realms. It's very white, it's male, it's hierarchical, i's patriarchally infused, it's top-down. And it does very little, to really see people, and children and animals and the environment as interconnected, vital, sacred beings that contribute so deeply to our way of life. And so anything that breaks down those paradigms and really uplifts sacred leaders that are all about, in particular, seeing how their thoughts and actions, impact their lives, and the lives of other people is absolutely key here. It's about how do I make sure that every decision that I make as a parent, as a partner, as a leader, as a business owner if we are one, how can I make sure that that has a positive impact on people closest to me and the wider world as much as I can. And if people keep those thoughts, forefront, to their mind and really thinking about those things, then they're absolutely beginning to step into a sacred leadership space. And boy, do we need that right now? Andrea 36:31 I think it’s so beautiful, how you talked about that I was taking notes, because I was like, I love all these words that you're using around leadership. And, and I don't want people to think that, you know, you have to be an entrepreneur or have a podcast or a blog, or a large social media following to be a leader. No you are leaders in your homes, in your communities, and your job it those of you who are mothers, like I think that personally, all the women in my community are leaders, whether they are whether they identify as that or not, I'm like, I'm just gonna put that label on you. No, I'm kidding. But I just do think that that leadership is so important. And I'm obsessed with Brené Brown, and she talks about leadership. And I've mentioned this in another podcast episode she did. I think it was in her interview with, with Joe Biden, like even before the election, but that's that wasn't the greatest part about it. But she was talking about power. I don't know if you caught it, Julie, but there's a PDF that you can google if you just Google, Brené Brown power, power over versus power within. And she gives such great examples of leadership and power over versus power within. And it's such a huge contrast. And I also love that you brought up how I think, especially when we're talking about if you kind of shrink it down a little bit into our industry, and the work that we do in women's empowerment. And it is like you said it's it's very white, it's very, there's a certain kind of image of what it needs to look like. And there are some examples of it not being done. Well. And you and I chatted before we started recording and like, should we talk about this? Should we not talk about this? Let's be really candid. As we're recording this, this will come out a few weeks afterwards. But Rachel Hollis, for those of you that aren't familiar with her, she is a very well-known author and speaker and entrepreneur in the wellness space. And her first self-help book exploded, sold millions of copies. And she messed up not for the first time online and talk to me about and this is not to bash her at all. Like that's not what we're going to do. Everyone's human, everyone makes mistakes. But I would love for us to talk about that and how it relates to sacred leadership, in your opinion. Julie Parker 39:14 Yeah, well, thank you for qualifying that, Andrea, because Rachel, and the example of her behavior, which is unfolding right now, is just one of many women, in particular, I'm going to call it white women in this space of the personal development, wellness, spiritual industries, that has exhibited harmful and hurtful behavior before and it won't be the last example there will be many more to come. And which is a shame that I think we know from past experience that it's likely to continue in many ways because for some people, the past takes longer to get. And I guess one of the things that we're seeing unfold here is that an example of not taking responsibility for one's own actions and behaviors and the impact that those actions and behaviors have had, and are having and how hurtful they are. This is something that sacred leaders do not do. When they screw up when they make a mistake, when they do something wrong, when they cause harm, which let's face it, all of us have done yeah, before, right… Andrea 40:43 I call it stepping and shit, you say… Julie Parker 40:46 Right! Okay. But we have all done this, I have done this before I have been called out I have been called in. And I am sure that I will be again, this is not personal, it is just simply the very large example that many of us are witnessing unfold right now. And sacred leaders, when these things happen, do not blame anyone else. They do not deflect, they do not throw other people under the bus. They do not try and minimize it. And this is where seeing all of the above ABCD, and probably a lot more. If you want to be a sacred leader, and really take responsibility for the impact that you have in life, you will own everything that you do. And this comes right back to the shadow stuff that you asked me about at the top of this interview. Andrea, that is you are prepared to honor, look at, pull apart, love, be curious about, dissect, work on fix, look at, work your way through all aspects of yourself. That's exactly right. You're not just there for everything that someone praises you about. You're not just there in an echo chamber, you don't just surround yourself with ‘yes folk’. And dive after all the hearts and the loves and the positive comments. You look at all the stuff that is also not right and in the shadow and barking at you and needing to be cared for and looked at. Because at an even deeper level. That's the stuff you need to look at even more because it's causing harm to others, which ultimately in the end is causing harm to you. That's what really amazing sacred leaders do. They're not afraid to get in, as you said the shit, they're not afraid to get in their mark, and look at this and go, I want to be better. I want to do better. I don't want to cause harm. And this is not easy work. But it is even more necessary when you have a huge platform. And you are influencing people in the way that Rachel is. And let's hope that happens. Andrea 43:21 I hope so too. I'm always eternally optimistic. But you know, last year, you named all those things. And there was also a diversion, when she was called out for speaking out about, you know, what is your stance around racism and Black Lives Matter. And then she decides to announce her divorce. And I just, I was so disappointed then that, that she created that diversion. And this is not to say, divorce, you know, divorce is terrible. I've been through one, it was one of the worst times of my life. And that woman is probably going through some stuff right now. And also, life still happens. And you own this huge, you have a huge community that you are responsible for. And I also want to just point to one thing. And I know you'll appreciate this and understand what I'm talking about, Julie, is that one of the reasons I hesitated to talk about this is because I thought to myself, maybe two white women to privileged white women shouldn't come and talk about something like this because it points to exceptionalism. And that is what exceptionalism is, for those that don't know, at Leesa Renee Hall was on my show, and I'll put that link in the show notes. I've learned so much from her. She's a race educator, she's so fantastic. But it's when white people get together and they talk about things and in this case, it's race issues and in order to look better than other white people. And I have to be very careful of that. I have done it before and don't want to do it. And so I just want to call that out for what it is. And I also want to say like this is, I want to underscore what you said, in this is largely what white women do. And I think part of the reason that just was a gut punch when I saw what Rachel's behavior was that I have done things like that, before, you know, she posted this apology, and it was the very last slide where she said something like, I apologize for misquoting her, but I'll try to get it as close as I can. She said, ‘I should have listened to my gut instead of to my team, I should have posted sooner rather than believing them when they said it would all blow over’. And I was and I thought to myself, that is manipulative to make yourself look like the victim. And I know that because I've done it, where you're you're trying to take response look like you're taking responsibility, like, ‘oh, I really am a good person. They were the ones that made me do it’. Do you know what I mean? It was and it was contemptuous like the video there was just so yeah, I have I have such a value around responsibility. And I also want to underscore the part where you talked about how uncomfortable it is. And when I thought when you were describing the work that needs to happen. For her or any leader who behaves that way. My stomach started to hurt and my armpits started to tingle. That is a secondhand shame. I am such an empath my face got hot, I was like, oh my gosh, I've been in that place where it is. I'll just gonna say it is diarrhea-inducing. It’s so uncomfortable. Like, of course, you don't want to look at it. Like who does. And I think I can speak for so many white people like we are fragile. We are not used to this. And it's okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stop talking. I'm like…. Julie Parker 46:56 Everything that you say is the truth. And yes, we are fragile. And this is challenging and difficult. But it's even more reason that we does. Andrea 47:08 It is necessary. Julie Parker 47:10 And you know, Andrea, everything that you say about white exceptionalism is very true. And that's why I'm glad that we've spoken to the fact that neither you nor I are perfect, or even exemplary, or even okay, in this realm, we have screwed up here before and we will do so again. I also think that these conversations are important between white people as well. Because I just feel so deeply for black, brown, indigenous and people of color that are constantly needing to clean up, or trying to clean up the mess that is left behind in circumstances such as this, and we've got to do some of the heavy lifting there, too. You know, we yeah, so there is a fine line between all of this. And you're right, it is uncomfortable, and it's difficult. But essentially, if we want to change the paradigm of leadership in the world right now, it absolutely involves looking at people that are in very influential leadership positions already, and calling them to account. Now, some people get very nervous when I use language like that and think, oh, it's all about canceled culture and ripping people apart. And so it's not that at all, it's about saying, and reflecting back to people, this is harmful, this is hurtful. And you do not blame your team or other people when you make a mistake, right? If you want to be a sacred, divine, uplifting leader in this realm, you will not do that. And you will show other people that you have the courage to take full responsibility for your actions and what you will do to get better at it. And better at everything that this is connected to. What is there's no harm there. There's no shame there. It might feel shameful. But there's a big difference between something feeling that way. And it's stopping someone from moving forward. And it actually being that is a big, big, big difference. Andrea 49:33 There's a big difference between holding somebody accountable and shaming them, which I think is you know, people are confused by that. And no one's ever died from a hard conversation or looking at their shadow side and um, becoming a better leader. It's, it's necessary and I think we as leaders have a response, and I commented on both of her posts and that was part of what I I said, as I said, you have a responsibility to your community to get better, to behave better and clean up the mess. And, and I also take that particular situation personally because she represents our industry and women's empowerment specifically. And I, I take personal offense. Yeah, that behavior. I mean, again, everybody makes mistakes, I have screwed up royally before here on this podcast on social media, etc. And it is all about cleaning up your mess. And it's there is no excuse nowadays, for you can google how to make a proper public apology, there are countless YouTube videos, blog posts, articles, etc. about how to do it. It's very, it's not complicated, it's uncomfortable, but it's not complicated, and that was missed. And so I just I appreciate your work around leadership, it's a big responsibility. I just wanted to say this, my friend, Sarah Dean says, there's a difference between a marketer and a leader. And so pick who you follow wisely. Julie Parker 51:14 All that is so powerful. And you're right, Andrea, and I think that this is one of the greatest areas, even though it might feel only small that we can have an impact in. And that is to be incredibly conscious of the so-called leaders, and influences and marketers and folks on social media and elsewhere, that you are allowing your eyes, your mind, your heart, your soul, to view and be impacted by every day. Because the choices that you make, in that realm influence the type of person that you become. Andrea 52:01 Mm-hmm. Exactly. Thank you for being so eloquent and kind around that. And is there anything that you wanted to circle back to that you feel like you want to say before we close it down? And also where can people find more of you? Julie Parker 52:15 Oh, look, you know, I just feel called to say that there is a sacred leader inside all of us. And we need that leader to come out so desperately right now. For the love, the compassion, the sacredness that we need in the world, and to uplift us and keep us moving forward in incredible ways. And for all our children and children's children after us. We need a new paradigm, a new way here in so many different ways. And that starts with all of us. So thank you so much for having me on Andrea, I really appreciate it and people can find me at JulieSuzanneParker.com. Andrea 52:58 Julie Suzanne Parker that link will be in the show notes, as well as your Instagram, handles. And thank you so much for being here. You are a delight, always. And everyone thanks you so much for your time. I appreciate it. And I'm so grateful that you choose to spend it with me and my guests. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye, everyone. The post Episode 386: Sacred Leadership and Embracing Your Shadow Side with Julie Parker appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
49 minutes | 18 days ago
Episode 385: How to Be a Boundary Boss with Terri Cole
Terri Cole is back on the show! Terri is a licensed psychotherapist and global leading expert in female empowerment. And, has experience in many topics, including codependency and boundaries. In this episode, she joins me to talk about boundaries and her new book, Boundary Boss: The Essential to Talk True, And (Finally) Live Free. Terri busts common myths about boundaries, as well as the beliefs bestowed on us of what a woman should be and how it plays into having disordered boundaries: “It is more important to be perceived as nice, then perceived as authentic.” According to Terri, that is a setup for a boundary disaster. In this episode you’ll hear: “You teach what you need to learn.” Why Terri decided to write a book about boundaries. (6:58) The art of drawing boundaries with ease and grace does not mean creating conflict. (9:50) Having a unique “Boundary Blueprint,” and common themes Terri sees in her work. (10:49) The biggest myths around setting and enforcing good boundaries. (15:09) How good boundaries can help enhance relationships. (19:09) How boundaries have been tested for people over the last year and how can we use this time to recalibrate. (35:00) A step you can take to stand in your boundary when someone is extremely unhappy with it. (42:30) Resources mentioned in this episode: Terri’s website and book Terri Cole is offering a free gift to all MSN listeners: Visit Boundaryboss.me/kickass to grab 5 kickass boundary strategies + scripts Episode 193: High functioning codependency: What is it and how to heal with Terri Cole Getting the Love You Want, Harville Hendrix Keeping the Love You Find, Harville Hendrix YKAL is supported by: Green Chef – Use code 90kickass to get $90 off including free shipping. Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist and global leading expert in female empowerment. For two decades, Terri has worked with some of the world’s most well-known personalities from international pop stars to Fortune 500 CEOs. Terri has a gift for making complex psychological concepts accessible, and then actionable so that clients and students achieve sustainable change i.e. true transformation. She empowers over 250,000 people weekly through her blog, social media platform, signature courses, Real Love Revolution, and Boundary Bootcamp + her popular podcast, The Terri Cole Show. And now through her new book Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and Finally Live Free. Learn more about her work at terricole.com. Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT Terri Cole 00:00 When someone has trauma in their life, what ends up happening is that our defense mechanisms that are so securely in place like our, we have habitual behavior, habitual thought patterns, I get up, I do this I burn through the day I come home, I do this. All of that changed for lots and lots and lots of folks. And so as much as people felt a lot of anxiety and felt very unsteady about that. This moment has been in still is an opportunity to do a lot of growth, a lot of growing in a short period of time. So, anything dramatic or traumatic, therapeutically speaking, it's like it opens the window to transformation. You just got to like stick your arm or your foot through, and then throw your body through and decide you're going to do something different. You're going to learn something different. You're going to, instead of just being afraid you're going to uncover why it's so hard. Andrea 00:56 You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast with Andrea Owen Episode Number 385 with guest Terri Cole. Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, a life coach since 2007, an author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, Master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go. Andrea 01:48 Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I'm so glad that you're here. Does everyone love the new intro music? I hope you do. Because I am mildly obsessed. I love it so much. I can't not wiggle my butt around in my chair when I hear it. So again, that's why I knew it was perfect intro music for this show. And so, I'm recording this on a Monday. And on Saturday due for yesterday. I got my Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and it's the one-shot. And so I got it. Let's see, it was like 12:30 in the afternoon. And then I went home you know, like all anticipating the side effects. Felt okay, went to bed woke up twice throughout the night, which isn't that unusual. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night. Welcome to middle age. And I woke up at five in the morning feeling like I got hit by a truck. Yes, it and I don't get sick all that often. I'm very grateful for my strong immune system as it seems. And I woke up and it felt like a hangover. So, it was mildly triggering to feel that. I was like, oh my god, just a really bad headache in the front. My ears felt a little bit clogged. I got up, took some ibuprofen, went back to sleep, slept for a couple more hours. And then when I woke up felt a ton better. I think it was the ibuprofen honestly, that helped and the extra sleep. And throughout that day, I felt a little bit rundown kind of like I'd been fighting something off yesterday. And then that was it. I woke up this morning and feel almost 100%, probably like 97.3% myself. But I'm just I'm glad to have that done. And hoping that we can move away from all of how hard it's been and that kids can go back to school. People can go back to work if you want to. I know a lot of you are going to continue to work from home and just get on with your lives. Also, just a quick reminder, if you're not following me on Instagram, I'm @HeyAndreaOwen and over there. You know what is one of my favorite things, a couple of my favorite things on Instagram when you tag me on Insta on the gram and that's what we're calling it these days. When you're listening to the podcast, I am going to start to always repost those and sometimes I would miss them and then I was gone for eight months. So, from nowhere on out, if you take a screenshot of listening to the show, tag me and/or tag me while you're reading one of my books, I will always give you a shout out I appreciate you sharing so much. All right. Let's talk about our guest today. Terri Cole has been on at least twice before. She is such an incredible expert around many topics mainly codependence and boundaries. So, if you're like many of us, you might struggle with some codependence and when we struggle with codependence, we have poor boundaries. And so these two topics go hand in hand. If you haven't listened to the two additional shows that she's been on, I'm gonna drop those in the show notes because especially the one around codependence so incredibly insightful and helpful. But today she's here to talk about boundaries and her new book. So, for those of you that are new to Terri, let me tell you a little bit about her. Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist and global leading expert in female empowerment. For two decades, Terri has worked with some of the world's most well-known personalities from international pop stars to fortune 500 CEOs. Terri has a gift for making complex psychological concepts accessible, and then actionable so that clients and students achieve a sustainable change. She empowers over 250,000 people weekly through her blog, social media platforms, signature courses, Real Love Revolution and Boundary Boot Camp, and her popular podcast, The Terri Cole Show. And now through her new book Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen and (Finally) Live Free. So, without further ado, here is Terri. Andrea 06:09 Terri Cole, welcome back to the show. Terri Cole 06:11 Thank you so much for having me. Andrea 06:14 I have a very short list of people's voices, who I think are the best ever. One of them is George Michael. The other one is my mother. And Terri Cole. Terri Cole 06:25 I love that, thank you. Andrea 06:28 Your voice is just so soothing and wise and matches who you are as a person. And so, I'm excited to have you back on the show. I think this is the third might possibly be the fourth time. It's extra special to have you on because we're talking about your book about boundaries. And I know that you've taught you've come on in the past and talked about codependence, you've talked about recovery. You've talked about love and relationships. So why did you decide to write a book on boundaries? Terri Cole 06:58 Well, you know, what do they say, you know, you teach what you most need to learn, Andrea 07:02 Oh okay. That’s true. Terri Cole 07:05 And what I found being, you know, been a psychotherapist for the past almost 25 years. And I started seeing all of these, um, it was like patterns in pain of my clients. And as I continued on, once I became more seasoned as a therapist, I was like, wow, all of these things go back to an inability to set limits, having no language, like not knowing the language of boundaries. Not being able to as the subtitle of the book says talk true, like, just tell the truth about how you feel. And so, I took copious notes over many years. And I just started becoming fascinated because of my own journey to write I, I was my clients, I am my readers, you know, where I was a boundary disaster. And part of you know, what I share in the book is how I went from being a boundary disaster to a boundary master and then thought, wow, if other people just had this, this methodology that I've created with my therapy clients, this step-by-step process to understand why you relate the way you do in your relationships, when it comes to boundaries, and how to change what isn't working, that would be something really valuable. And so that's how I chose this topic. Andrea 08:28 Well, it's, it's so essential, and I noticed that too, so I didn't know early on, you know, when I started my life coaching practice, and started writing books, how important and universal boundaries struggles are, but what I came to notice, especially after I wrote my second book was that if someone struggles with, and especially you know, my audience is largely women. They struggle with perfectionism, people-pleasing, any kind of addiction. codependence numbing out like you hit the root of it. You have a boundary problem. Terri Cole 08:58 Yep. Andrea 08:59 And no one really teaches it. I don't even think I knew what that word was until I was in my 20s. Terri Cole 09:05 Oh, nobody does though. Because we're putting out the fires that are dysfunctional boundary behavior creates. And we're focusing on that fire, that thing what that person said, not realizing that if we can get proactive with our boundaries and our precise communication, we wouldn't have all those fires. Andrea 09:28 You made me think of something that I want to ask you because I hear this all the time. And I'm sure you do too. I hear people say well, I just don't like conflict. I have my opinion about that. I want to know what you think when you hear a woman saying that? Terri Cole 09:45 If someone says I don't like conflict I want to be like ‘Hi welcome to being a human being on planet earth. Andrea 09:48 Right. I don’t want to know anyone who likes conflict. Terri Cole 09:50 Yes, like we're not WWE like wrestlers. Do you know? Most most people don't love it. So, if you say I don't like conflict, what I would really say is, why do you think that learning this, the art of drawing boundaries with ease and grace equals conflict? Andrea 10:18 That's the question to ask yourself. Yep, start there. I love that. Terri Cole 10:21 Because it's a limiting belief, right? That brings us to, you know, all of us have this paradigm in the unconscious mind. Very unique, right? Yours is unique to you. Mine is unique to me. I call this your ‘boundary blueprint’. And it's basically what we learned in the family we grew up in. The culture, the country, the people we hang around with all of it, about boundaries. And we don't even know that, you know… Andrea 10:49 Yeah, okay, the ‘boundary blueprint’. I love that. So, can you give us some examples, even if you gave them in the book, but like, the common themes that you see with a lot of your clients, and the people that that follow your work? Terri Cole 11:00 Well, one of the top ones for women, you know, folks who are actually, you know, raised as women, is that niceness becomes this quote, unquote, virtue, above all other things. That it's more important to be perceived as nice than it is to be perceived as authentic, or honest. And that is a setup for being a boundary disaster from the get like, literally from the beginning of life, where if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Really? Why? How about I could say something real, that maybe isn't nice, but it doesn't have to be mean, either. Andrea 11:40 It can still be kind. Terri Cole 11:42 Without a doubt, all about. As women, we are socialized to believe that, you know, femininity means being completely selfless. It means giving someone else, anyone else, the shirt off your back, so to speak, giving, giving giving, like being this endless, you know, as Dr. Harriet Lerner one of my faves says, you know, it's like we're raised to be there, you know, endless, like fill-up stations, right? That that we're we feel guilty if you know, people just come on by we fill them up and they leave. Now I butchered her quote, but you get the point. Andrea 11:58 Yeah. Terri Cole 12:00 Where we learn that to be a good partner, to be a good mother, to be a good friend, that you need to not have good boundaries. I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. You shouldn't hurt someone's feelings. You're like, okay, so here's the question. So, when we really break it down. If you're saying yes, when you really want to say no, because you're trying to be nice, hi, are you actually being nice? Are you just being dishonest? But we're taught that you know, yeah. Andrea 12:58 Yeah. I remember in high school saying yes to this boy, I think I was only a freshman or a sophomore to the homecoming dance. And I didn't want to go with him. He wasn't creepy. I just didn't, I didn't want to go with them. And I said yes because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. And, and I know that my story is not uncommon. But that is the first memory I have of doing something. There was a pretty big action, like going on a date with this was to a formal dance. And I didn't I didn't want to go but I also didn't want to hurt his feelings. Terri Cole 13:26 Right? But look, that's a perfect example, Andrew, because look at that. It's basically saying, how this person feels, and what he perceives, is more important than how I feel and my truth. Right? Because now, now you go to a fancy dance where the guy is gonna be like, hey, as next Saturday night, let's do pizza. You're like, Oh, my God, no, like, like, and then we get bitter because we're like, dude, if you knew how much, you know, I had to force myself to do that. But why are you forcing yourself to do it? I mean, I know why you did. But we're talking about being grown up in our lives. And these things are still happening, as a different version of going to the prom with someone you don't want to go to the prom with. All-day, every day. Andrea 14:20 Yeah, yeah. And it became a theme for my 20s and into my 30s until I finally figured it out and had to, and I don't and I don't want to be flippant about that it was and I would love for you to maybe talk about about this a little bit is that I have found that unlearning these old beliefs that have been bestowed on to us that have been probably the beliefs from our mother and our mother's mother and our mother's mother. Long before we were even a twinkle in our parents’ eyes. It's complicated and it takes a lot of work and introspection and self-compassion. And to me, if this feels like PhD level work is unlearning the conditioning and, for lack of a better word training that we have had as women. What do you think? Terri Cole 15:09 Um, yeah. To all of that. And you know, the way that I described the ‘boundary blueprint’, it's like an architectural blueprint for a house that someone else designed decades, even centuries ago. And if we don't look at it, if we don't bring it up from the unconscious mind, or the basement, as I call it, and bring it into light, it goes unquestioned or unchallenged. We think, ‘oh, this is just the way relationships are, I need to give in to what my partner wants’. That's being a good partner, or, I need, to whatever the limiting belief may be. And now that's not to say, of course, whoever raised you your parental impactors, as I called them, the adults in your life. Of course, they taught you great things, too. But the great thing is they're not causing you pain. So, I focused on the things that are limiting your ability to create the life, the relationships, the friendships, the career that you want. Because having disordered boundaries, and we're not going to say good or bad, you know? Because there are so many myths around boundaries, where it isn't good or bad, it's are they effective? Or are they ineffective? Do they get you closer to what you want in life? Are they aligned with who you are? Or are they dysfunctional, they get you further away from the things you want in life. Further away from people knowing you, like actually knowing you because we could do this forever. We could go on forever and ever. And it's not, that's just one way of having disordered boundary boundaries that are too malleable, right? That they're, they're too porous. They're also boundaries that are too rigid. Yeah. If you get super defensive, if you can't be in the presence of someone who thinks something differently of you, if you can't accept another person’s ‘no’. And if you take that super personally, and you know, I'm shouting out to the codependents in the crowd, because I feel you, I know you, I was you. I am a recovering, high cut, recovering high functioning codependent, as I call it. And so, it's again, none of this is judgment. So back to what you said, I agree that it takes time. But it is such a worthy endeavor. And as the book that just came out yesterday, can teach you. It's not my book is not just a book, it's also a workbook. There are also meditations. Like, it's an entire way of shifting your mindset and realizing that you can do all of this with ease with grace and when it's appropriate, with love. So that's what being a boundary master means. It doesn't mean you go around balling people out all day or having a fistfight in the supermarket, where you know how people think that, like, the myths around boundaries are like, if you have good boundaries, you're a bitch. Andrea 18:11 Yeah, you're like shaking your finger in people's faces. Like, that's not what it looks like. Terri Cole 18:15 It's so not. But I do think that, that I'm hoping that this book, you know, that I've poured my heart and soul into, will be dispelling those myths and having being a ‘boundary boss’ is something that is aspiration, it's becoming literally fluent in the language of boundaries, because how can you know when people go, I'm so bad at this or I don't know how to do it. I'm like, hi. That's like, expecting to know how to do it is like thinking that you could just pray hard enough to wake up fluent in French tomorrow. Like, how can you know you need someone to teach you. And you need language scripts practice. Exactly. It's just like, think of it as like, Babel, right? Isn't that like one of those language things or whatever? Andrea 18:55 Or Rosetta Stone. Terri Cole 18:58 Rosetta Stone for boundaries. That's what the book is. Andrea 19:09 Awesome. So Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen and (Finally) Live Free. The link is in the show notes, everyone. We're going to talk about some free gifts that you can get that that will help you with this book from Terri in just a minute. I'm interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from one of our sponsors. One thing I've been focusing on a lot over the last couple of years is how to unload some of the mental labor it takes just to be an adult. Deciding on meals, making a shopping list, doing the shopping, preparing the food and then cooking are several things I needed help with. So, my husband Jason and I turned to Green Chef. Ingredients come premeasured, perfectly portioned and mostly prepped. Because of that, that's one of the many reasons I love Green Chef because it's so easy to have My kids help us cook these meals. Green Chef is the most sustainable meal kit offsetting 100% of its direct carbon emissions and plastic packaging in every box. So, you can not only feel great about what you're eating, but also how it got to your table. Green Chef is a USDA certified organic company includes recipes that are paleo keto, And plant-powered diets. They are the number one meal kit for eating, well go to GreenChef.com/90kicKass and use code 90KICKASS to get $90 off, including free shipping. That's GreenChef.com/90kicKass and use code 90KICKASS to get $90 off and free shipping. And thank you for supporting our sponsors, because that, in turn, supports this show. But I want to ask about good boundaries. And what that has to do with relationships. Like it's sort of obvious, but can you talk about? I think specifically how good boundaries will help someone in their romantic relationships, whether they're single or dating, or, or in a partner relationship. Right? Terri Cole 21:13 Okay, so let's say that you're single, when you're dating, if you are a ‘boundary boss’, you can set boundaries and expectations early and often. Meaning, so let's say you're dating someone you know, you're texting back and forth with or whatever they say, ‘I will text you on Friday, and let's get together Friday night. Does that work for you?’. You go ‘Okay’, then they don't text you until 11pm on Friday night. And they say, ‘What's up?’ Andrea 21:45 Ew Huh? Yes, that would be my response. Terri Cole 21:48 Imagine if you just wrote back gross. Anyway. That's it. But what do you do? You know, a lot of times, if we don't like quote, unquote, confrontation, we're like, um, nothing, but we're short. We'll tell them you know, how we feel with indirect communication. We don't respond at all exactly. Right. Maybe we don't respond. Or we say, ‘oh when I didn't hear from you today about the plans you said we'd have tonight. I just thought you had a flaky moment. I hope you had a great day. I'm reading a great book about hitting the sec’… or whatever, right? You can call the person out without being demanding. Expecting someone to keep their word is not unreasonable. It doesn't make you difficult but colluding with the lowest part of that other person is literally you. Like, you know, closing the door and locking it in the prison of like a bad relationship. Andrea 22:54 I think people are having like the moment where, you know, they get that pit in their stomach listening to this, they're like, Oh, no. Oh my gosh, yeah, you could reply to that text and say I'm reading a really great book. It's called Boundary Boss. Exactly her text to you. Yeah. Terri Cole 23:16 And let's do that. Let's do the committed relationship one. Andrea 23:19 Okay. Yes, give us an example. Terri Cole 23:21 Okay. So if you're, especially if you're in a committed relationship, and it's even been only a year, but then I have a lot of people write to me, and they've been in committed relationships like me for 24 years, for 30 years, for 15 years. You know, you have established a boundary dance between you. I do this, you do that. You do that I do this. So, I teach in the book itself and in the courses that I teach and boundaries, how do we slowly change the dance? Because a lot of times, we agreed to certain dance steps when we were a lot younger, that we're really resenting the crap out of now. So, the first instinct a lot of people are like, ‘I can't wait to tell them everything is gonna change. I can't wait to like get the Billboard and be like, there's a new boundary sheriff in town’. You know what I mean? So, we're not doing that ever because nobody ever wants to hear that and is not they will not be…Andrea 24:21 On that used to be like, I can't wait to tell him all the things he's doing wrong. Terri Cole 24:27 I can't wait to tear that one down. Yeah, I can't wait to tell them what a boundary bully he is. I can't wait. It's gonna be amazing. So, we're not gonna do that. But you can slowly but surely first I have you do an inventory of like, what about the boundary dance you're doing right now, what behaviors and all of your relationships, not just your romantic one because clearly, we have boundaries or dysfunctional or healthy boundaries with every person we have a relationship with. So, you start by doing an inventory and going oh, I really don't like that. Every time my person is always late. I'm home making dinner, or you know, that sounds like gender normative. But you know what I'm saying whatever, or I've done whatever the thing is, and they're supposed to be here. And they're 20 minutes late all the time. And they never call me, although I've repeatedly asked them to just send me a text, that they're going to be late. So, there is a proactive way of having the conversation, instead of I mean, who the hell wants to have the same fight for 55 decades? Like, you can. Andrea 24:55 Yeah. Terri Cole 24:57 And with no intervention, you probably will. But you don't have to. So, you can say, hey, we've had this conversation before, I'd like to make a simple request, that if you're going to be late tonight, that you just text me and let me know. And if you're more than 10 minutes late, and you don't…, this is what the repeat offender, like someone who you've already asked them to do it 44 times and they haven't, I'm going to eat without you, and put yourself back in the fridge. Because I don't want to spend another night fighting with you about this or being resentful. Like I put in the effort. And I would like or whatever. So, so you can back. That's like adding a consequence. And now you don't do that the first time. You you set a boundary. So, let's say you never said anything to the person. When you go, hey, I'd like to make a simple request that if you're going to be more than 10 minutes late, you text me. And then I'll know when when we're going to eat or whatever. The first time, they don't do that. You can say, hey, three days ago, I asked you and you agreed, because part of it is you want to get the person to enroll and kind of agree with it. Can we agree to that? Will you agree to that? They say yes, yes, I'll do it. And then you can say, hey, you know, three days ago, you said you would do it? Today, you were 25 minutes late, and you didn't let me know. Oh, why are you being so difficult? It's whatever and say, okay, I'm going to tell you though, I will, you know, I really need you to keep your word. And it bums me out. Because now we spend the rest of the night and I'm annoyed. Like I don't feel like hanging out with you. I feel unimportant to you. I feel unappreciated, I feel resentful. Exactly. And then we pick a moment if the person continues doing it where you have to set a consequence. And it may not seem like a big deal. But when you change the dance, even if it's just in that might be a silly example, but saying, I'm going to eat without you. And you actually do it. Even if the person acts kind of pissy or offended in the beginning, what you've actually said is, I'm a person who keeps my word. And I really do not, I'm not doing this dance with you anymore. I don't want to fight about the same crap. And that is a better way in sometimes then drawing a boundary than having the same conversation with someone who is not respecting that, because if you haven't enforced your boundaries, they kind of already know you're not going to do that make sense? Exactly. Yes. So now you're saying that that's how you tell them there's a new boundary sheriff in town? Is that you gently? And you don't have to be super aggro about it. It is totally unnecessary. Yeah, because taking that action is a very powerful beginning of changing things. Speaking up more, prioritizing your own preference. Maybe you're someone in a relationship who's like, I’m easy. You know, me no fuss, no muss. That's, you know what I mean? Like, were a lot of us that used to be a badge of honor. Or maybe that is a badge of honor. And hey, man, maybe you are easing, but I can tell you from being in the trenches with my therapy clients for 25 years. Nobody is that easy. That is a way of avoiding. Like, there's no possible way you have no preferences ever. And so, I'm not saying make up a preference about something you don't have one about. I am saying know your own preferences. I do a huge inventory in the book which is like the okay and not okay list, where every area of your life you start looking at and being like, does this work for me the way we're communicating the amount we're communicating, you look at your finances, you look at everything, because that, it's your life. And so much of the time we become habituated in like settling in areas where we don't need to. Andrea 29:22 Yeah, settling or worse. Having someone take advantage of our quote unquote niceness taking, basically taking advantage of our poor boundaries. Terri Cole 29:32 Yeah, but here's the thing we, listen, I promise you that the cracked boundary pot finds the cracked boundary lid. Just like in relationships where you know, Harville Hendricks will talk about that, you know, we attract people who mirror our childhood wounds, and from an optimistic point of view that is so that we can hopefully work them out. And then from a therapeutic point of view of being in the trenches, I can say a lot of times, we just are repeating the painful crap we saw and experienced as opposed to working it out. Andrea 30:06 That is that that is a great book that has helped me in my marriage, I want to put that link in the show notes. There's two versions, there's Getting The Love You Want, which is for couples, and then what is it finding the love you need? Is that the one that he wrote for singles? Terri Cole 30:15 No, it's it's Finding The Love You Want, and I think it's then then there's Keeping The Love You Find. Andrea 30:26 Okay, thank you. Well, we'll work it out. It will be in the show notes for, for anybody who's kind of interested in that theory that Harville Hendricks came up with, it's fascinating. I love everything you said. And one of the things that's been helpful that I just want to sort of tag on to the lessons you just gave us is what I have found helpful in my marriage is the way that I come from when I'm making a request, that is an uncomfortable conversation, is I am very honest, and say, if I don't say anything, it's exactly what you were saying. If I don't say anything to you about this, I'll become resentful and be passive aggressive, and then be possibly mean and nasty to you about things that don't matter. But the real issue is this other thing over here. And I love you too much. And I love us too much to do that. I think has a different feel to it, then you're doing wrong, and I need you to change it. So I'm happy. Terri Cole 31:19 Yeah, yes. And also, the whole sentence starter thing, right, like, figuring out how to best approach your person. And I'm not talking about managing, right in the way that like… Andrea 31:25 Or manipulating. Terri Cole 31:27 Yes, both. You know, I mean, I learned well, from my mother, you know, men were people to be managed. That's it, you know, and that's not what we're talking about. What we're talking about what you just shared is a way to be successful and to own your part of it, right, because you are 50% of your marriage, and your spouse is 50% of your marriage. And no matter who's doing what, that's literally all it can ever be. You're 50 you have your side of the street. The other person is 50. They have their side of the street. And so, so much of learning to have good boundaries, especially if you have a tendency to go towards codependency is knowing what is your side of the street. Andrea 32:20 Yeah. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. So, I have one more question for you. But before that, let's tell everyone about the free gift that they are getting from you. So, do you want me to tell them or you to tell him? I'm very excited about this? Terri Cole 32:34 No, I'll tell them where to get it. So, BoundaryBoss.me/kickass. And you're going to get five kick ass boundary strategies plus scripts. Yes. Because the words so much of the time. It's the words. And again, these are scripts that you will then make your own. But sometimes, you know, like, when you're writing something, you're like, I just need to, I just need that route, that beginning statement, I just need, how do I open this up? How do I approach it? And so, there are definitely full scripts, but that you can make your own because and the thing with the scripts, though, is that as you go down this path, if people are actually becoming ‘boundary bosses’ and do the whole thing is you realize that having the the words is so important. But getting all of that stuff your, your boundary blueprint, that stuff in the unconscious mind, the basement of your mind, is also incredibly important because you are the way you are for some really good reasons, which doesn't mean you can't change it. But like nothing is wrong with you. You know what I mean? Right? Andrea 33:48 I’m glad you said that. Exactly. Okay, so BoundaryBoss.me/kickass, kick ass is all one word, and that link again, is in the show notes. I'm just I'm, I got really excited that you have scripts, because again, that that's what I hear so much from people is I don't know what to say. And every time I'm working with a client one on one, and I'm helping them I'm like, well, you could say here's what I would say. They're furiously scribbling. And they're like, hold on, write that down. And it's really it. I have to also acknowledge that how much work I've done to be able to help people through this and I just know that they appreciate those scripts so much. So, thank you so much for forgiving that to everyone else. And… Terri Cole 34:26 Everyone…I want to say that one of the actually there is a whole entire chapter in the book that is all scripts like what do you say when you're nosy aunt’s like, why don't you have kids yet? What do you like, all the questions? All the scenarios. So literally, there's like, I don't even know 800 there's a zillion scripts in the book itself but towards the end of the book. Andrea 34:49 Oh my gosh it’s like the glossary. I love it. Terri Cole 34:52 Someone grossest hitting on you. Where do I get that? Okay. Here we go. Andrea 34:54 Here's my book. They're gonna have to carry this around in their bag. Terri Cole 34:59 Indeed. Andrea 35:00 Okay, I want to talk about 2020. And how difficult it was for so many people. And I think what happened in terms of boundaries is, obviously, people were home, starting to work from home, having to change things with their coworkers. You know, the political, racial, and civil unrest that was happening, you know, the divisiveness, and I feel like boundaries got tested a lot. And not that they weren't before. But how can we use this time to recalibrate and hopefully 2021 will be a better year for boundaries? Terri Cole 35:36 Well, part of it is the way that I look at the pandemic up and even till now, you know, I mean, is that the change in our lifestyles, nobody was immune, right? Most of us were sheltering in place, and in a way spending a lot, a lot of time with folks that we love, but that we were spending maybe three hours a day with before, and now you're spending all the time. What it really did is like it shone a spotlight, on the boundary dysfunction in so many relationships, and then bring that to the, you know, the public-facing view. So, you have that which is in your own home, and in your own relationships, in your own family, then the public-facing views. Are you, everyone had different? You know, some people were like, I don't believe in science, and I'm not gonna wear a mask. And if you wear a mask, it's a political statement or whatever. You have to decide, well, if grandpa refuses to wear a mask, I actually was interviewed by the Boston Globe during that time around, what do you do? My father is, you know, wants to see my kids and won't wear a mask? I'm like, but he will. Or don't let him see your kids. Like, how about it's, they lived somewhere warm, I was like, how about they come to the backyard. And if your dad does not have a mask on, and you can give them the choice, he's not even coming on the deck, and he can talk to the kids from the backyard. And that's that, like you, as a parent, have a job, you know, and this woman actually followed up with me, and she was able to do it. And even though the father was kind of a little pissy about it, but she felt really good about herself, because she was protecting what she believed, and wanting to keep her kids safe and really wanting to keep her dad safe as well, because she didn't know if her kids were carriers with no symptoms, like we don't know. And this was relatively early on when the pandemic were really, nobody knew. So, I think that we were put into situations where that was a woman who would never have drawn a boundary or asserted herself, or spoke truthfully, in that way if it meant going up against her father. It was a very patriarchal family system. And so many of us have been in these brand-new situations where you have to call someone out even though or avoid people altogether, but it's so much anxiety for my clients to of have having people have disagreements about it. And the political thing had already been bad in especially in the US where there people who were like, well, the only way I can still talk to my family is if we, you know, politics is off the table, you know, and I'm like, okay, that that's a boundary, or you can talk respectfully to each other. But it seemed that there was so much polarization that became very difficult. But how is it an opportunity to recalibrate, because that's really the exciting thing is that anytime our regular routine gets interrupted, so when someone has trauma in their life, what ends up happening is that our defense mechanisms that are so securely in place, like our way of habitual behavior, habitual thought patterns, I get up, I do this, I burn through the day I come home, I do this? All of that changed for lots and lots and lots of folks. And so as much as people felt a lot of anxiety and felt very unsteady about that, this moment has been in still is an opportunity to do a lot of growth, a lot of growing in a short period of time. So, anything dramatic or traumatic, therapeutically speaking, it's like it opens the window to transformation. You just gotta like stick your arm or your foot through, and then throw your body through and decide you're going to do something different. You're going to learn something different. You're going to, instead of just being afraid, you're going to uncover why it's so hard to have that kind of conversation. You're going to have compassion for yourself, and the little kid inside of you, and these are all the things that I teach in the book like it, there's a step-by-step process, that no one expects you to not be able to do this and then to be able to do this like a pro. There is five pillars of self-mastery that I created over the many years I've been doing this and it's baby steps one step at a time. Because it's that consistency that actually creates sustainable change, which is what transformation is, you know, Andrea, because it's like we can change, you can be a vegan, then you're not a vegan, right? That's just a regular change. Transformation is the change that the foundation, something has changed so much that you would never be able to go back to that small box you used to live in. Andrea 40:27 Yes. Can I? I lied, I have one more question. Terri Cole 40:29 Sure, of course. Andrea 40:31 Well, I want to share a story, a personal story, and I'm gonna have to be very vague about the people involved. And then I would love for you to give your advice about what to do when this happens. And I know that you talked about this in the book, but and I've seen this with clients as well. And it happened to me for the first time really in my face. So, I had set a boundary with someone. And then this person was going through a really hard time and I reached out to this person, this person expressed that they were hurt, basically, by the boundary that I had set. And I made suggestions about you know, like, maybe we should have a conversation with a therapist, and this person got really angry, and started to be really hurtful, like saying mean things hurting my feelings on purpose. And this was our old pattern. And I refused to do that dance anymore. And for a moment, I thought, am I the asshole? Like, did I set a boundary and shouldn't have done it, like, I found myself going to that place of, oh, this person is hurt. And maybe I'm a jerk. Maybe I'm holier than that when think I'm too big for my britches. And, and luckily, I have, you know, friend like you and who can who I can say, am I the asshole and they can talk me off the ledge. And also, if I was the household, they would tell me, but here's what I found is that this person that I set a boundary with didn't like my boundary, they liked me better, and in so many words, this person told me that they liked me better before they liked me better 15 years ago. And it was rough. For me having to stand in it knowing that this person was hurt and knowing that this person was unwilling to evolve themselves. It was grief, it really was grief. Terri Cole 42:25 So, what's the question? Andrea 42:30 I’m asking for a friend. For someone listening, who might be hesitant, because I like to be really transparent with people. And I'm like, here's the here's what might happen. Like, it's not all unicorns and rainbows over there. It can be hard. And I'm thinking of family members when you were talking about the political divide that's happening and a lot of families. And I also see this in parents and their adult children, and also adult children with their parents, that this can get complicated. And so, I guess the question is, what is the step people can take to stand in their boundary when someone is extremely unhappy with it? Terri Cole 43:10 Okay, that's, that's a great question. So, in the book, I talked about the desire to undo the boundary, when you first start drawing boundaries. It's called boundary reversal, where every part of your every fiber of your body wants to call them back and be like, Nah, you know, I was just kidding. I mean, it's okay. You could keep doing whatever you're doing is fine. Because and we do that. Like, sometimes the person will be like, oh, okay, well, I'll change that. Well, it's fine. No, it's fine. Listen, whatever. So, we don't let them correct the behavior. And we desperately, we want to be seen when we say the thing when we draw the boundary. But then we want to be loved and accepted. And we don't want to be rejected or have anyone be mad at us. So that's where the desire to reverse the boundary comes in. So I always suggest that you you don't do anything, no matter how much you want to reverse it for at least 48 hours, take a beat. Andrea 43:30 Yeah, I like that. Take a beat. Terri Cole 43:33 And if the person goes on to say, like you're saying hurtful things, they're like this. They're you are now being a jerk. Because you drew this boundary, I would say, you know what, Betty, I'm really sorry that you're hurt. And yet, my job is to honestly express my boundaries, my limits, taking care of me is my job. So, if you don't like that, I'm sorry. And if you don't like this boundary, but here's the thing, it's my job. You don't have to like the boundary. But if you want to be in my life, you need to respect it. And if you can't, then perhaps this is where we part ways. So, with family though, it's not that easy, right? Friendship is one thing. And family is another thing, but with family, you can stay lovingly attached. I've had people like pitching a hissy fit over a boundary, saying, no, you used to be so much this than that, whatever. Yeah, I'm sorry that you feel that way. And I still am not doing those four, I'm still not lending you money? Well, I don't I don't understand why you have the money. You don't whatever, Mike. No, it's just my policy, now, I'm not mixing my relationships. I'm not doing that anymore, which actually, I told you the last time that you borrowed money from me, and PS didn't pay it back. So, the reason why I don't is that I actually love you. And I want to continue to have a relationship with you. And that getting involved financially in this way. Now, that's so bad for the relationship, because I resented you for so long after that first time, and I love you, and I don't want to so I'm sorry, you're disappointed, I can see that you are. And I love you. But on this one, we're gonna have to just agree to disagree or whatever. So just to does it make sense that the first thing is that we have to be able to tolerate that's, that feeling of not having everyone's approval every second of the day. You know, there's, there's a meme out there. That's like, what, why worry about if everyone likes you, you don't like everybody? Like, we won't eat, we won't even people we don't like to reject us, right? I think you're an idiot. And I still don't want you to reject me. So so so part of it is being discerning about the relationship, because what I find is that a lot of times when you start on this path of becoming a ‘boundary boss’, what you realize is that there are VIP like we make the distinction in the book, and you do a whole inventory where there are the real VIPs in your life, right? The relationships that feed you that are mutual, that are emotionally safe, you know the ones right. And then there are the people who think they belong in the VIP section of your life because they're your second cousin, or because their family, or because they want to be and what you have so much of the time we don't realize is that hey, man, you're the only bouncer of the VIP section. Yeah, so you got no rope and you got no guestlist then you're literally twisting yourself up in a pretzel and rearranging your life for people who are not adding value to your life. And that's bad boundaries. Andrea 47:30 Yes. Oh, Terri Cole, I'm obsessed with you and this book, stop it. Oh my gosh, okay, Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and (Finally) Live Free is for sale, wherever books are sold and you can get the link in our show notes. And then make sure that you go to BoundaryBoss.me/kickass to get your free kick-ass boundary strategies plus scripts. Before we go, is there anything that you want to circle back to and say that you may have forgotten? Terri Cole 48:00 I just want every single person listening to know you can become a ‘boundary boss’. You literally can do this because I've helped 1000s of women from 95 countries do it already with teaching it through a course. So just have the courage to think that you're worth it because what you think how you feel what you want matters. Andrea 48:26 Matters. It matters so much. Thank you, Terri Cole, and thank you, listeners, for spending time with us today. I highly encourage you to check out the other episodes where I had Terri on as a guest. I thought for sure especially if your ears perked when we talked about codependence because we did not get into that today. But we did in another episode. So, remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye, everyone. The post Episode 385: How to Be a Boundary Boss with Terri Cole appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
10 minutes | 24 days ago
Episode 384: Introducing MAKE SOME NOISE PODCAST w/ Andrea Owen
People evolve and change, right? Well, guess what…this podcast is evolving and changing too! Your Kick-Ass Life has been my baby since 2010, and the name of this podcast since 2013. Because a lot has transpired since that time, I felt it was time to make a change. In this episode, I wanted to share a little bit about what the new name, Make Some Noise, means and why I decided to make the shift. Making noise is about speaking up, shining bright, and asking for what you want. It’s about disrupting the narrative about the “box” of conformity we were all taught to fit into. It’s about taking action BEFORE you’re ready in order to build your confidence muscle. All of this and women’s empowerment is an act of rebellion; an act of making noise. Now for those of you a bit uncomfortable with change – things will mostly remain the same around here. I’ll continue to bring you interviews, coaching sessions, conversations about shit that matters with unqualified people, and occasional solo episodes. And here is a sneak peek of what is to come: The title and cover reveal of my new book is coming in May. A new special podcast series that is all about motivating you wherever you are in your life is coming in June. And finally, beginning August 11th I’m doing a special series with a select group of women who come on the show to talk specifically about what it means to make some noise and how to do more of it. I want to leave you with a question to think about, today: How are you making noise in your life? Are you going after your goals and dreams? Are you looking at areas of your life you want to change? Are you setting boundaries? Choosing radical self-care? Disrupting systems of oppression? Interrupting things like misogyny and sexism? Using your voice by voting? The way you make noise in your life is yours, it’s unique to you, and I’m so happy to guide you in empowering yourself. Ready? Let’s go. Resources mentioned in this episode: Andrea on Instagram Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT MSN-384 Andrea Owen [00:00:00] You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast with Andrea Owen, Episode Number 384. Andrea Owen [00:00:13] Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast: your guide for strategies, tools, and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries each week. I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience, and make some noise in your you ready? Let's go. Andrea Owen [00:00:49] Hey everyone. Welcome to Make Some Noise podcast. Did you like the new music? I personally love it. I hope that it makes you happy and at least makes you wiggle a little bit in your chair or whether you're working out or on a walk or in the shower or whatever it is that you're doing. I just thank you so much for being here and choosing to spend some time with me today. Andrea Owen [00:01:12] This is a short solo episode, the inaugural show for Make Some Noise podcast. And I just wanted to give you a quick reason why I changed the name as well as what's coming up. And I'm going to leave you with some powerful questions for you to ask yourself. All right, first things first, as people evolve and change. Andrea Owen [00:01:38] So does this podcast, Your Kick-Ass Life has been my baby since 2010. That was a long time ago. It was 11 years ago. And it was also the name of this podcast since 2013. It was May 8th. I believe 2013 when I launched my very first episode and it felt like it was time to make a change. We all evolve. And I know that's a large part of why you're here to get tips and strategies and tools to be your best self. Andrea Owen [00:02:09] I certainly have changed and evolved over the years. I have come a long way since my very first episode in 2013, a long way, and especially a long way since 2010. And again, I just felt like it was time to move on and. Make some noise. So, so what does that mean? So what is, why did I choose the name Make Some Noise and what does that actually look like? Andrea Owen [00:02:38] So here's my take on it. Making noise is about speaking up. It is about shining bright and asking for everything that you want. It's about disrupting the narrative of this box of conformity. We were all taught and pushed to fit into [00:03:00] making noise is about taking action before you're ready in order to build your confidence muscle. Andrea Owen [00:03:10] So all of that, and women's empowerment in general. In my opinion, is an act of rebellion. It is to push against the culture that has raised us is an act of rebellion. And it is an act of making noise. Things will largely remain the same over here. I will bring you interviews and coaching sessions, uh, conversations about shit that matters with unqualified people, and solo episodes every now and then. Andrea Owen [00:03:49] I've also started to become very selective about who I have on this show and am picky about who comes on. I asked specific questions [00:04:00] before they come on. Things like, are you trauma-informed? What are your views in alignment with mine are your values in alignment with mine and make sure that they know what they are because I want to make sure that I'm exposing you to experts who are in aligned with my values. Andrea Owen [00:04:19] So that again, a lot of the podcasts will stay the same and coming up title and cover reveal of my new book. That's coming out in August. The title and cover reveal is coming in May, and a new special podcast series is coming in June. Maybe you're at a place where you have been largely inconsistent with your personal development. Maybe you are consistent at self-sabotaging. Andrea Owen [00:05:00] I'm raising my hand over here because I certainly have been in that place for sure. Or maybe COVID kicked the emotional shit out of you and in more ways than one, maybe financially as well. Andrea Owen [00:05:13] You're just in that place where you're, you're feeling like you took, you maybe took two steps forward in 2019, and then in 2020, you took three giant steps back. There's a podcast episode for you. And then on the other side, there is a podcast episode for maybe you are just killing it. You're crushing it. Andrea Owen [00:05:32] You're feeling consistent. You're feeling really great. And you want to keep up the momentum and feel inspired and motivated to keep going. I have a podcast episode for you too. And then if you're somewhere in the middle, You kind of like straddling both of those depending on what day or what hour it is. Andrea Owen [00:05:50] I have one for that as well. Obviously, you're more than welcome to listen to all three and see which one resonates the most with you. I am making these three [00:06:00] episodes so that you can have them in their own special place. There'll be in their own podcast feed. That's separate from this one. So that you can come back to them over and over again. Andrea Owen [00:06:10] When you need to, when you think to yourself, I could really use some compassion from Andrea. I could really use a kick in the ass from Andrea. I got you covered and you can go and listen to it. It's going to be absolutely free. I cannot wait for you to have that. That's coming in June and last, starting in August, I'm doing a special series. Andrea Owen [00:06:31] Over here where I'm having a select group of handpicked. Bad-ass beautiful women who are coming on the show, and we're talking specifically about what it means to make some noise and how to do more of that. I don't want you to just hear about how to make noise in your life for me. I have my own take on it. Andrea Owen [00:06:51] I am looking at women who have made. So much noise in their lives and asking them, how did you do it? What obstacles did you have to [00:07:00] overcome? How did you get past the fear and the voice in your head that said, don't do it? You're going to upset people. You're going to make people uncomfortable. Nobody likes ambitious aggressive women. Andrea Owen [00:07:12] How did you overcome that? That's what you're going to hear from them starting in August. I, I just can't. I'm so excited. All right. This is the part where I leave you with a question. Actually, I never really asked one question. It's a series of questions. So if you want to get out a pen and paper, or maybe come back to this, when you have more time to think about it, that question is this, how are you making noise phase in your life? Andrea Owen [00:07:39] My dear. Are you going after your goals and dreams, are you looking closely at areas of your life? That you want to change, you know, the hard stuff, the dark shadowy stuff that we really don't want to. Are you setting boundaries? [00:08:00] Are you choosing radical? Self-care I'm not asking you to check off every single one of these. Andrea Owen [00:08:07] I'm throwing a lot of examples at you, so you can remind yourself about what it means to. Live your best life to move forward towards that woman that you want to be and to make noise in your life. Of course, are you maybe disrupting systems of oppression and interrupting things like massage, Nini, and sexism? Andrea Owen [00:08:31] Are you using your voice by voting the way you make noise in your life is yours. It's unique to you. It's not up for judgment or criticism by anyone else. Certainly not your inner critic. And I am just so happy to be able to guide you in that direction and help you empower yourself. So thank you. For being a listener. Andrea Owen [00:08:56] Thank you for being here. Thank you for prioritizing [00:09:00] yourself because when you do that helps empower other women. I'll see you on social media. Follow me at, @HeyAndreaOwen on Instagram. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans. And our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye, everyone. The post Episode 384: Introducing MAKE SOME NOISE PODCAST w/ Andrea Owen appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
46 minutes | 25 days ago
Episode 383: Vulnerability and the Will to Change with Andrea J. Lee
This week I have one of the OG’s of the coaching industry on the show, Andrea J. Lee. Andrea joins me to discuss verbal abuse from the perspective of the abuser and being vulnerable enough to sit in that intensity in order to make a change. We also explore how to be bold and kind in a world full of injustice and misgivings. I am excited to share our conversation with you. Plus, after 8 years and almost 400 episodes, the podcast is getting a new name! The unveiling is coming tomorrow. So keep an eye on the podcast feed for the official announcement. In this episode you’ll hear: Andrea J. Lee explains what she means when she describes herself as a futurist with her finger on the pulse of the human spirit. She also explains her experience as “A Canadian-born Taiwanese, cis-gender woman (she/her) who has been brought up with white privilege inside the model minority myth.” (6:06) Andrea J. Lee offers a different perspective on emotional abuse through her digital newsletter – how do you not become the thing you suffered and not become an oppressor yourself. (10:15) How Andrea J. Lee realized she was being verbally abusive to her husband and why she decided to share publically about her experience. (17:35) Being vulnerable and why vulnerability might be held against someone. (19:57) If we are not willing to fully experience the pain we are going through, if we can’t sit in that intensity, we are not going to make a change. (28:53) “It’s possible to be fierce, outraged, bold, and go for your goals while also being kind.” Andrea J. Lee shares some ways to do this when you see injustices happening that anger you. (35:35) Resources mentioned in this episode: Follow Andrea on Instagram Andrea J. Lee’s website We Can Stop Being Abusive Brené Brown: The Call to Courage Episode 358: Healing from Narcissistic and Traumatic Relationships with Britt Frank YKAL is supported by: Better Help – Use code kickass to get 10% off your first month. Green Chef – Use code 90kickass to get $90 off including free shipping. Andrea Lee is a futurist with her finger on the pulse of the human spirit and how it can change the world. Throughout her life, Andrea has done one thing – help the people she cares about achieve what they think is completely impossible. Not once, but twice, she helped reinvent the coaching profession and knows one thing for sure: humanity is essentially good, and astonishingly powerful! Andrea is a trusted source of coaching innovation, and a force for change in the field of emotional abuse and interpersonal violence. Her business was once named an extraordinary ‘Bull Market’ company by Seth Godin and Fast Company Magazine, and her clients often like to call her names. Things like Morpheus, the Jay-Z of Coaching and …the Hello Kitty coach. Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT Andrea J. Lee 00:00 The kind of thing that you see done when people are restoring art is extremely inspiring to me when it comes to repairing and strengthening relationships. The love it takes to mend a piece of art, because it is so beautiful, and so worth mending is extraordinary. Extraordinary. There's so much history, their shared experience. There is something even more beautiful that comes out of a restored painting. I can say to you as a 25 year you know, married for 25 years gone through this abuse cycle, the intimacy, the joy, the hot damn sex. The amazing, like it's really going through it has incredible awards. Andrea 00:57 This is Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast Episode Number 383 with guest Andrea J. Lee. Andrea 01:04 This is Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast with Andrea Owen. A BS guide to self-help and badassery. Because ladies, let's face it. Life's too short. And here's your host, the girl who serves it up straight with a side of crazy. Andrea Owen, Andrea 01:25 Hey there ass-kickers Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here. So after nearly 400 episodes, and almost eight years of the podcast, it's getting a new name. I'm not leaving. Are you kidding? Do you think that I would retire my microphone, but there's no way. A) I love to talk to you much and B) I love to connect with amazing experts. And C) I love all of you way too much to walk away from this podcast. So new name coming tomorrow. If you're listening to this podcast the day it comes out, which I know a few of you do. April 15th is my birthday. It's a Thursday. We're dropping a bonus episode. So, when you see that episode, I guess it's Episode 384. It will have a new name, it has new art, new intro music, which I can't wait for you to listen to. That was fun sifting through so much stock music to pick. And there was this one particular song that I could not stop dancing to. I was like, well, this is it. I guess this has to be the one and a new intro. I'm just really really excited. It's, it's just it's something fresh. It's something new. I'll talk about more of the reason why and what you can expect in that bonus episode that's coming out on April 15. But we do have a guest for you today. I am pumped to have you listen to this conversation. One quick another announcement. It's really not that dramatic even though I kind of made it sound dramatic. Just wanted to invite you to come and hang out with me on Instagram, I have a new Instagram name. And so many great changes happening over here for so many people in 2021. I’m @HeyAndreaOwen on Instagram and I'm having some fun with reels, I am giving book recommendations and some quick tips and tools and strategies to live your best life as we all want to do. And in my stories, you'll still see some quick videos of my dog Gisele who is napping peacefully right now. She's a senior, my senior dog, as well as some behind-the-scenes of making the podcast and writing books. I'm gonna be doing more of those for you because that's always just like fun and exciting to get a little peek behind the curtain. So @HeyAndreaOwen over on Instagram. All right, let's move into this fantastic interview with my friend Andrea Lee. For those of you that don't know her, let me tell you a little bit about her. Andrea J. Lee is a futurist with her finger on the pulse of the human spirit and how it can change the world. Throughout her life, Andrea has done a one thing help the people she cares about achieve what they think is completely impossible. Not once, but twice. She helped reinvent the coaching profession and knows one thing for sure, humanity is essentially good and astoundingly powerful. Andrea is a trusted source of coaching innovation and a force for change in the field of emotional abuse and interpersonal violence. Her business was once named an extraordinary bull market company by Seth Godin and Fast Company Magazine, and her clients often like to call her names, things like Morpheus, the Jay Z of coaching and the Hello Kitty coach. So, without further ado, here is Andrea. Andrea 04:52 Andrea J. Lee, welcome to the show. Andrea J. Lee 04:53 Hey, thanks for having me. Andrea 04:54 Did you like how I said your full name? Andrea J. Lee 04:57 Yeah, I sat up straighter. Andrea 05:00 Oh, it's so profesh. And to differentiate you, you know, because we do have a shared the same first name and same pronunciation. I'm excited to have you on the show. And and I was I was looking at your website before we jumped on together. And I'm like, how many books have you written? And I didn't know this, but you're I think it was your first book, Multiple Streams of Coaching Income was actually published in 2003. And that was my introduction to you. Andrea J. Lee 05:24 Oh, my gosh, for real! Andrea 05:25 That was a long time ago. 18 years? Andrea J. Lee 05:28 We're totally dating ourselves. Oh, my gosh. Andrea 05:31 You have a book that is a legal adult. Andrea J. Lee 05:34 Exactly. That's exactly what we say about it. Andrea 05:37 Yeah. You were like one of them, you're kind of the one of the OG’s of the coaching industry. And I know, you've sort of branched out and done a lot of different things now that we're in this, you know, new era, but I'm super excited to have you. Andrea J. Lee 05:53 You know, what, if you can't go back in time and get to know new people? Does that make any sense? So, it's fantastic to be here with another Andrea, we have like 18 years of shared history, let's do it. Let's go deep, let’s go. Andrea 06:06 Well, and I have you know, you and I, we just kind of formally met a few weeks ago, and you're, you know, contributing to my new book that's coming out which thank you again for that. And I am enjoying getting to know you a little bit more. And one of the things, the first thing I want to ask you is, is this is from your bio, and I was like, I need to ask about this. It's the first sentence of your bio, it says, ‘Andrea Lee is a futurist with her finger on the pulse of the human spirit and how it can change the world’. I was like, I don't know what that means. But I want to know more. So please, like what? How do you describe that? Say more about that. Andrea J. Lee 06:40 Okay, so it. Are you a Star Trek fan? That's… Andrea 06:43 maybe that's why it makes me so curious. Okay. No. Harry Potter. Yes. But Star Trek, no. Andrea J. Lee 06:51 Well, Harry Potter works also. So, in Star Trek, very briefly, there's a character called Counselor Troy. And for our Trekkers out there that that will be very familiar. She's the character like kind of like Hermione in Harry Potter, who's just like, you know, feels a lot picks up stuff between the lines is that I'm not gonna say psychic, that's not a word that I relate to, Oh, that's cool. I'm just kind of a deep feeling kind of person if I could put it that way. And because of that, I often feel like I'm listening between the lines. And I can sense when that something is happening, let's say within the coaching profession, I can sense that right now there's like a return to roots and stuff like that. So that's what I mean, finger on the pulse. The heartbeat of things is something I'm tuned into quite a bit. Andrea 07:43 That's so interesting. Okay. And then it goes on to say, and I can't remember if this is in your bio, or somewhere else on your site, and this made me also super curious. So, you say I am a Canadian-born Taiwanese cisgender woman who has been brought up with white privilege inside the model minority myth. Can you say more about that? Super intriguing. Andrea J. Lee 08:05 Yeah, well, you know, I am Asian. So, I look Asian. But I was born in Canada and brought up like, speak only English, you know, at school, but go to Chinese school on Saturday. So, I'm this person who looks Asian on the outside, and I'm Taiwanese, but a lot of my education and who I am my makeup, like the values that I have, very much of Canadian culture of white culture. And so, it sounds like, there's this word. It's a big, it's a big, big ass word. It's like hegemony. I don't even know if I'm saying it. Right. But it's like you see through these eyes of the system that you're in. Andrea 08:24 Yeah. Andrea J. Lee 08:25 And because I grew up in, you know, like Catholic boarding school, and I was one of like, only three Asians in my whole class. But that I surprise myself sometimes, Andrea, honestly, I realized, like, I'm behaving very white. And that's not bad, per se. It's just a little surprising. When my own mother looks at me, it's like, you know, I guess you are married to a white guy. So, I'll let that one pass. It's a culture shock. That way Andrea 09:20 A culture shock for you? Andrea J. Lee 09:23 A culture shock for me a culture shock for the Asian people in my life. My family. Andrea 09:30 Okay, interesting. Thanks for explaining that more. And I just always get so curious about it. I just, I also feel like for anyone listening who's ever written a bio, I feel like those are some of the hardest things to ever write. And, of course, you have your professional credentials, which for many women can be a struggle, you know, sort of bragging about yourself, but then also kind of trying to infuse who you are as a human into it. And when people write interesting things like that, I always get really curious. Like, tell me more about It's such a, I feel like it's such an intimate peek into your life in just one sentence. Andrea J. Lee 10:06 Hmm, yeah. And you're also making me realize I have a couple of really long sentences in my bio and…. Andrea 10:15 Critiquing run-on sentences. Well, what about um, okay want to sort of jump over to, to this new-ish topic that and you please tell me like when you started writing about this and we have a mutual friend Samantha Bennett, she's been on the show a couple of times. And she sent me the link to it. She's like, check out Andrea's blog about her work that she's doing. It's called Stop Being Abusive. And I was like, wait, what? And I thought I my immediate thought when I saw it was like, Oh, you were in an abusive relationship, and now you're healing from it. But it was not the case. So, can you tell us about that? Andrea J. Lee 10:52 Sure. The full name of the blog. So Stop Being Abusive is you know, the short name, but really, the premise behind it is that you can stop. Or maybe even better, we can stop being abusive. And I started writing that my first sort of public outing with this topic was in 2018, so, three years ago now in the Washington Post, where they very kindly, Lisa Bonos, very kindly took a big risk and published this article, I verbally abused my husband. Here's how I stopped. And that thing took off. Like, um, it was really sweet the way it took off, you know… Andrea 11:37 The Washington Post article went viral? Andrea J. Lee 11:40 Yeah, well, what's viral? I guess? Yes. Yes, ish, viral-ish. But lots and lots of, you know, hundreds of comments. And there's a video that goes with it. That was up on Upworthy. That was millions of views within a couple of weeks. So ish, viral-ish. It is a topic that I think concerns all of us. So, before any of our listeners today, I think he was not a not for me. You know, I like to say, especially now, given American politics that, you know, the violence that we see on TV, you know that the violence we saw, on the news, all the signs. That starts at home, every single person who we see on TV behaving violently, grew up in a home that somehow added, contributed, or did not support something different. This thing about being emotionally abusive, and verbally abusive, or psychologically abusive concerns all of us. My particular story is that I grew up in a verbally and psychologically abusive household. So, I really, I do have that experience of being a victim or survivor of abuse. But then I internalized it. And it felt like I got a taste of what power was like when I've raised my voice. And in my marriage, which is now you know, thank you to all the powers that be 25 years and better than ever. I was really, really just an asshole to my husband for like, a long time. And that that has turned around now and slipped into something really beautiful. And so that's what I write about is how do you not become the thing that you suffered? How do you fight racism, genderism, ableism, all the things classism, elitism, and not become an oppressor yourself? How do you not propagate the cycle? Perpetuate the cycle of abuse? Andrea J. Lee 13:45 Or if you are, how do you turn things around? Andrea 13:51 Yeah. Well, I'm definitely gonna send people over there and the link will be in the show notes. But can you, can you give us a sneak peek? And where I'm really curious is, how did you kind of come to admit, and realize because I've been in that situation before. And this is a much smaller scale, but like, if I've been in an argument with somebody, and I realized that I'm wrong, you know, and that they have like, a really excellent point. And I'm like, oh, there's kind of that sinking feeling of, okay, I have two choices at this in this moment. I can either keep arguing my point, which I know is wrong, just for you to know, to save face. Or I can back you know, say I'm sorry and say actually you're right. I apologize. Like so. When that crossroads for you. Like was your husband telling you, was it a therapist that was telling did you, did you realize that on your own? What did that look like? Andrea J. Lee 14:44 It definitely was in a relationship like it was it was the reflection that my husband was giving me of my behavior being unacceptable. So, whether you know you're working in a job and you are supervising someone, and somebody you who's on your team, you know, gives you that look like you know, what the fuck did you just say to me? Andrea 15:07 Shocked face? Yeah. Andrea J. Lee 15:08 Right or you are a person who is working for somebody and they are treating you poorly and you're making that face. I think it's all in the reflections for me. I'll put it very openly, very delicately, but very pointedly, I could tell that there was fear in my husband, about me. Like, it's like, an analogy that I use in one of the posts on the blog, it has to do with the fighting dog rings that are so sad. And we hear about them, you know, these dogs that get abused to make them fight for money in these fighting rings. And this is a perfect analogy. When an animal, let's say in this case a dog, flinches when you stand up, that's when you know that that dog is abused. Yeah. And that's similar. Humans are not that different. If you have circumstances around you where you know, your child flinches, because they think you're going to raise your voice at them again, which by the way, is so normal 100% of parents do this, right? That's your signal that you could probably back down or you could say something different. But to the point that you were making around that, that moment of that sinking feeling. I think that I think that's a really easy thing to do and try to embrace is just own from the beginning that X is true about you or us. In this case, I'll say me. I needed to get to a point where I was like, You know what? I'm being abusive to my husband, right? Yeah, that's what that's what's happening. It's the default. It's not the thing that I have to take a deep breath and go, oh, my God, I can't believe I have to admit this. But I guess I think I might be like, no, yeah, it's similar to within the Black Lives Matter movement. You know, one of the great, great teachings that have come out of that is just to say, we are all racist. racist. So, if I say blah, blah and I use a bad word or phrase like, ‘sold them down the river, which is a very terrible racist phrase. Apparently, I learned. Now, if I accidentally say that, because it's a habit, and I'm still working on it. I’ll say, ‘oh, totally racist phrase, let me back up, say that differently’. And that's just normal to do that. Andrea 17:35 Yes, I thank you for sharing all of that. And it's, gosh, what a different world we would live in if more people were more, was more paying attention a little bit more to the people that they're in close relationship with? Who are you know, like, giving those reflections back to you know, and just a just, I think we would live in a totally different world. But was there ever a moment where you decided because I remember when I first got sober. And it was one of those things where I thought to myself, well, shit, I have this big thing that's a part of my life, and I know that I can help people by talking about it. But I really don't want to. Because, you know, this was in 2011. And I was still, you know, a fairly new-ish life coach, and, and feeling like, what are people gonna think? Did you ever have that moment? Or were you far enough along in your work where you're like, nope, I have no doubts about this? I'm going to talk about it publicly. Andrea J. Lee 18:34 Oh, hell, no, I was not that. Andrea 18:36 Okay. Okay. Andrea J. Lee 18:38 No, no, no, no, no, I had serious misgivings. Andrea 18:44 Because this is something you could have just kept in your marriage and kept it private. Andrea J. Lee 18:47 Totally. Andrea 18:49 What made you feel like you needed to go public with it? Andrea J. Lee 18:52 It's probably a combination of things. But what's coming to me to share at this moment, is that you know, it was gonna be work to keep it a secret. Andrea 19:01 Really say more about that. Andrea J. Lee 19:04 Like, you know, like, okay, so let's say I'm out and I'm socializing with girlfriends, and someone talks about the fact that they're being abused in their marriage. Or a girlfriend talks about how they yelled at their kid and they feel really bad. It was gonna be work for me to not say anything in those moments. Andrea 19:27 To share your experience, you mean? Andrea J. Lee 19:29 Yeah. Andrea 19:30 Okay, I see. Yeah. Andrea J. Lee 19:31 And just kind of like be a bystander and kind of be like, Well, I'm not gonna say anything because if I sound like I'm too smart about it, I'm going to out myself and I don't want to admit, I just I for me a definition of a kick ass life is a life where I can be no holds barred all of me, not checking in, you know, like censoring and wondering what am I giving away about myself that I am somehow hiding that's work that I don't want to do. Andrea 19:57 No, I agree with you. I would be that person. too, that would, that would go publicly for it. I just I don't think it's for everyone. So, I don't want people listening. If you have these very vulnerable moments in your life, you have to start a blog about it. Andrea J. Lee 20:11 Yeah. Oh, you know, thank you for making that distinction. I love that. And I, I, I want to join you. Like, I'm not saying you should start a blog or write to the Washington Post. But how about transparency within the relationship? Like, if you have something going on, you could say, you know, I know that I yelled at you. And I don't like that. And I, I think of it as wrong as well, I see that it's hurting you. I want it to be something we can talk about. I'm really sorry. Andrea 20:48 Yeah. That conversation has taken it took me two marriages to get through, not that I'm on my third, I'm on my, only on my second. But I know that to get to that place where you can admit your wrongs, and then ask for forgiveness and apologize appropriately, and then do the work to right your wrongs. That is an incredibly vulnerable place to be. Because for some people listening, and I just want to acknowledge this, they fear doing that, because that has been held against them at certain times. And I know, I know, the amount of courage that it takes to actually. I remember the very first time I very vulnerably apologized wholeheartedly to my husband and admitted that I was wrong. The look on his face was just like, it was like, I don't know if he'd ever never heard that before or anything, but I was like, okay, this is this has the, this has the opportunity, this is the opportunity to completely transform my marriage. Yeah, and it has, it has not been easy. But I know how it. I would rather be super vulnerable about my own, like addictions and alcoholism on my blog to a bunch of strangers than admit to someone I truly care about that I have completely fucked up to make it right. Like, it's a different vulnerability. Andrea J. Lee 22:07 Totally. It's a more venerable, more vulnerable vulnerability. The thing, I think that's key in that area, which I love if you're willing, I mean, it'd be very curious to not to turn the tables on you, but maybe a little, that when you're vulnerable in an intimate setting, and it's been held against them. Like, I'm curious about that, and what the roots of that are because that's where the gold is, in that scenario, in my opinion. Like, if we can get to the conversation around why it's scary, what is the fear around vulnerability being held against us, then we can find a way to do it anyway, and protect, you know, get what we need, protect ourselves, blah, blah, etc. So, apologize, be wrong, and, you know, be able to take care of ourselves. I want both, that's what I want. Andrea 23:02 Yes, ideally, that's fantastic to have both. And when in when the outcome is that way, I think it's a very beautiful outcome. In my experience, both in my experience, in my personal experience, and professionally, just in what I've been trained to do, is that vulnerability is held against someone when the person you know, will call them the oppressor, is is shaming them is it typically happens when they have grown up with the model that we don't do vulnerability, that vulnerability is weakness. And then I need some kind of, for lack of a better word, ammunition to have against this person, so that I can't get hurt. Andrea J. Lee 23:44 And so, what happens when the oppressor sees that like vulnerability and is like a predator in that moment? And like, like, gonna jump in on that? Like, what, like, is it used against you? And it's, you know, like, hard words and, you know, violence and you know, stuff like that can happen. I totally see that. Yeah. Andrea 24:02 Yeah. And I'm not I mean, I think this is definitely something if people are experiencing this to work through it with a therapist. But off the top of my head, my advice to that would be to, as kindly as possible, call it out in the moment and just and say, you know, this is, this is an example of, you know, this is a trust problem, and I want to have a better relationship with you, I care about us, you know, whether it's a friendship or a romantic relationship, and this kind of behavior, throwing it back at me and holding it against me and essentially shaming me for it is moving us farther away from each other and not closer, and I would like to be closer. Andrea J. Lee 24:46 Oh, I love that so much can we like cut that out and framed that piece. Andrea 24:51 That would be really hard for me to do in the heated moment. Normally, I would throw shit back and then have to circle back later. And say those nice words when I've calmed down. Andrea J. Lee 25:02 Wait, let's do this and see that that's perfectly I think you've just described every North American’s experience is that, you know, like when you get poked with a stick… Andrea J. Lee 25:10 When you get backed into a corner. Yeah. Andrea 25:12 Yeah, totally. And so, this becomes a conversation around who's going to blink and how to blink safely for yourself, right? Like, there are definitely situations where you should not be being vulnerable, if you know that the person is going to hurt you because of it. Don't, don't be vulnerable in that moment. It's only when you feel like you can, you can find a way to do it, like, you know, a 1% vulnerability, test the waters see what steps have, right have the conversation, frankly, about, you know, I was listening to a podcast was really an awesome podcast was two Andrea's about vulnerability, and I was thinking that, you know, maybe that would be a way to try and have an even better relationship. So, I'm going to try and be a little bit more vulnerable, and I need your help to feel like that is going to be okay and safe and not used against me, would you be open to that, Andrea 26:08 That's a good entry point. Also, the Netflix special Brené Brown’s, I think it's called The Call to Courage is really great for for people who, you know, I'm imagining people listening to this, who might have partners who are new to this work and suggested that for a Netflix night, and I think it's a great introduction to the topic, and then maybe have a conversation about it afterwards. And my experience, too, and I imagine there's a decent amount of people listening who have been in a relationship where they have been verbally or emotionally abused or psychologically abused. I have. And it was actually, what was interesting is that I didn't grow up in a house like that. And I got into this relationship when I was 17 and we were together for over a decade. And then when I got out, it wasn't until probably several years later, where I realized, oh, that wasn't okay. I had, because the process happened over time, that I, essentially, I was groomed. And I didn't know that until a long, long way, either. Because it's sort of like the frog in the water, you know, and just you don't know it's heating up. And it's, it's interesting that when I got into a new relationship, I was trying to repeat the old patterns. And my now husband was like, I don't, I don't do this. So, we need to figure out another way. Not that he's perfect at communicating, we've had to work through a lot of stuff. But my whole point is that I think that you can use that as a gift. And believe me, it's taken me a long ass time to be able to say that, but now I know exactly what I don't what I will and will not tolerate as far as communication. As far as manipulation, as far as intimidation, immediately now. No, no, I can spot it so fast now. And, and also, I am I am not the same person that I used to be. And so all that to say, which I think is the whole point of you writing about this, and speaking about this, is that people can change, there's hope. 100% people can change. Andrea J. Lee 28:22 Yeah, you just like preach it. That's exactly what I'm saying. I think that sometimes in this like kind of very self-help world, we can get discouraged, you know that it's like, ugh, I tried to change in cat. The main thing that I would love to say, Andrea, just in this little moment is that if we're not willing to feel the pain of the things that we're going through, we're not going to sustainably change Andrea 28:52 Say that again. Andrea J. Lee 28:53 So, if we're not willing to fully experience the pain of what we are going through, whether we are being abused, or we are being abusive, if we can't sit in that intensity, the acidity, the pain. We're not going to get that changed done. So to the degree that we can take those deep breaths, right right now listening to this right now, you and I like to remember that we have toes be in our body, wiggle, wiggle those toes. Remember that where we have an animal body and kind of take it out. It's like, you know what, what I said that time? Ouch. Like, ouch. And I, I promise that getting with that ouch is what fuels and nourishes real change that you really, really can change. Yeah, Andrea 29:57 Yeah, yes to all of that, and I just want to tack on one more thing around this topic is very recently. Well, I think it was last fall, I had a guest on my show, Britt Frank. And if anybody missed that episode, I definitely encourage you to go listen to it. And she talks about being in relationships with narcissists, and how, you know, what does that really mean? What does it look like? It's kind of a word that gets thrown around. And she either she was on her website, or she had talked about on the show, I can't remember, but she talked about reactive abuse. So, one of the reasons I poo-pooed that my ex-husband was an abuser was because I did it back to him. And I didn't know what reactive abuse was, it was when what it is just kind of the Cliff's Notes version is that it's when you are pushed and pushed and pushed to the brink of I can't take it anymore, you get back into a corner, and then you lash out, and you're not your best self, you might name call or, or strike out physically, I did that a few times. And so, I kind of felt like, well, how can I call him that when I was doing it back to him. And so, learning about reactive abuse was extremely helpful to see everything for what it was and also to be able to forgive me and have compassion for where I was at. And then I was just trying to survive and get my needs met, and you know, try to make this relationship work. And so, I just wanted to throw that out there for anybody listening, who's really interested in this topic. Andrea J. Lee 31:24 I so love that that that is such a helpful thing to insert in this moment. And I mean, the thing that I would say, just zooming out, because this is, like a very important kind of principle of the writing at my blog is that most I would say, except for like real personality disorders, perpetrators of abuse are reactive. And so somewhere this cycle started, right. We talk about ancestral lines, we talk about lineages. And so that compassion that you found for yourself, which I'm so glad you did, and it's so beautiful to hear. Similar to my story, were just like, well, how do I swallow this about myself? Reactive abuse totally, and when we look at people who we think of as perpetrators, even people across the political divide, you know, people who we think are doing bad things that is reactive in some way. And so hopefully that gives even more of it like a big picture bridge, to understand people who are behaving differently from us. Andrea 32:25 Yes, thank you for that you were pointing that out. And it's such a big topic, and I appreciate your, your transparency on it. Andrea 32:30 I'm interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from some of our sponsors. You've heard many of the guests here on the podcast, who are licensed therapists. And you know, I encourage everyone to go to therapy. I'm proud to have BetterHelp as one of our sponsors because there are so many things I love about their service. When you sign up for BetterHelp, they'll assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. You'll get timely and thoughtful responses. Plus, you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions. It's more affordable than traditional offline counseling and financial aid is available. They're licensed professional counselors who specialize in things like depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, sleeping, trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBT matters, grief, self-esteem, and their service is available for clients worldwide. I want you to start living a happier and more fulfilling life today. As a listener, you'll get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/kickass. Join over 1 million people who have taken charge of their mental health again, that's BetterHelp.com/kickass. Recently I've been mildly obsessed with organizing everything from the coat closet to the laundry room to our pantry. Yes, I bought those airtight containers for pasta, cereals and chips because I'm telling you organizing is self-care for me. And since we spend so much time meal planning, shopping, prepping and the reward is eating, I recently turned to Green Chef to help me stay organized and one step ahead of any chaos. 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Andrea 35:35 And I want to kind of switch gears a little bit, because there was there was something that something else that jumped out on on your website, and I'm gonna quote you, and you say you say, “It's possible to be fierce, outraged, bold, and go for your goals while also being kind”. So, can you talk more on that? Like, what are some ways to do this when people are seeing injustice is happening that probably anger them and hurt them? Andrea J. Lee 35:49 Mm-hmm. So it's interesting, I think the way that I like to talk about this in a certain direction, so I would love it, if I could just I'll give the definition of trauma that is used a lot in psychotherapy and psychological circles, and that is that trauma is too much too soon and too fast. Andrea 36:09 I like that short and sweet definition. Andrea J. Lee 36:13 It’s so interesting because you know, like, so let's take, let's say somebody's near and dear to you passes away. It's a lot. It happened quickly. And it's happening amongst a busy life already. So that might register then on the trauma scale. It's like, too much too soon. And too fast. Andrea 36:34 COVID is an example of that. Andrea J. Lee 36:37 Well, yes, yes. So, it's really helpful to have that definition because then you can walk around in your life and kind of go, ‘whoa, pump the brakes, too much too soon, too fast’. Chill, just like, flow it down, you know what I mean? And that we can protect ourselves from re re-traumatizing ourselves or creating new traumas for ourselves. And the reason I bring this up, in answer to this particular question is, like, if we can find ways to understand that slowing thing down, doing less, is going to prevent us from lashing out is going to prevent us, other people from behaving badly. Like that, that's like, all you need. Does that make sense? And so, I like simple, like, if we can hang on to just one thing. Be watchful for when things are feeling too much too soon too fast. And a lot, a lot will change. Andrea 37:45 Yes, I wish I would have heard that advice. I'm not sure if I would have taken it though. When I was first starting my business and I had two babies and I had just gotten sober. It was too much too soon, too fast. Yeah. Andrea J. Lee 38:00 So the reason I say that an answer to your question about the yes. And you know, you can be you know, angry and kind is that if you bear in mind that, you know you can be angry but not too angry too fast too soon, you can be angry at someone who was really, you know, behaved in a bad way. But also be kind, like say, you know, ‘I would really like to talk with you about this issue. It was hurtful to me. I think that you know, there's opportunity to do better what's a good time and you know, good space for you to have that conversation. So that's respecting that there is a good time there is maybe a busy moment in their life or now would be a bad time to talk to them about this. And then when you do get to that place of talking to them in that good spot that you could say you know, it makes me really angry that this happened. I know that there must be reasons for it. But it was brutal what happened, and um I really need for you to know that see how it can be you can be like outraged? Andrea 39:13 Yeah, and still talking to a calm voice? Yes. I want to add on to that if I may, in that you know, I entered the quote-unquote coaching world with like zero tools. Like I had been to therapy, but I still wasn't totally and completely admitting that I had like my own flaws. I know that sounds incredibly arrogant, but it was more so like I was afraid to look at like my shadow side and, and things like that. So, I was really good at blaming and deflecting and dismissing and it just, you know, I was just, I was just doing what I was taught. As I walked into the work. And it was incredibly uncomfortable for me to have these hard conversations. Like when I went to training for life coaching, I didn't know that it was going to affect my personal life so much like I thought I was just gonna get training in new tools like, like, you go to beauty school, like do your cosmetology license, you're just gonna be like that, but a little bit different. Well, it wasn't, it was very, it was very personal and dove into my personal life. So, one of the things, I think that was helpful for me to be able to receive, like what you just said, and typically the people in our life, maybe not typically, but sometimes the people in our life are not going to say it as beautifully and as kind as you did. You know, when someone's pointing out something that we did, that they don't like, when someone is, is telling us something that hurt them. One of the things that helped me be able to hear that is to understand that that person's first priority is not necessarily to make me wrong, to point out that I'm a bad person, because that's where I would go. And I'm like, oh, this person thinks I'm a terrible human, then I would beat myself up for it. That person's priority is our relationship. Most likely, that's why they're bringing it. Yes, you are going to get the occasional person who wants to bring something to you. Just to point out all your flaws. But I think for the most part, like if your partner or your best friend bring something to you, it's because they care about the relationship enough to try to give you the opportunity to clean it up and make your relationship better. That shift in perspective, changed a lot for me, because I was like, oh, this isn't about I mean, this is just about my behavior. It's not that I'm a terrible human being because I would fall into these shame spirals, and then not be able to listen, let alone try to apologize and, and, and make things right. I was all caught up in like, ‘oh, my God, I'm a terrible human being’, like, paralyzed. And it's still very uncomfortable. Like, I do not like hearing that I've been a bad wife. Or that I've hurt my best friend, which I still do from time to time, like on accident. But I'll tell you what, it's a whole lot easier to get through it. If I think to myself, wow, this person loves me enough that they're coming to me as kindly as possible, so that we can have a better and closer relationship. Andrea J. Lee 42:13 I mean, just like drop the mic. I'll wrap it up. That is so stinking gold and beautiful. Like, it's like… Andrea 42:20 It was hard to get to that place. Andrea J. Lee 42:24 And it's a spectrum. It's not a yes, no, like, right this way, you know, there's always a, like, more growth, right? This human, being human thing is so freaking weird, you know, to whatever degree that you can give yourself the safety to hear what you've just said is, that's the progress that we're looking for is that you're not centering your needs, you're putting the relationship at the center of the conversation, so that that relationship can get better. I could not love that more, honestly. Andrea 42:58 Yeah, it's been that has been like next-level work for me. And I do credit my best friend, her name's Amy Smith. And she, she's helped me a lot. And this she's sort of like guided the way I'll say that. And I still you know, when she comes to me and says like, so there's this thing, I need to get off my chest. And I'm like, I immediately feel that pit in my stomach where I'm like, ‘oh, no, what did I do?’ And I'm not saying I don't feel that I don't go to this magical place of like, Oh my god, I can't wait to hear what I did. So we can better our relationship like no, I'm still like, ‘oh, shit, I’m in trouble’, because it sucks. I would so much rather her say something to me. So, I can do my best to clean it up to be a better friend instead of just ignoring it and not saying anything and then she feels resentful. And then she might say something passive aggressive later, which is how I used to behave, you know, let me just be passive aggressive about it and hope that they figure it out on their own. Andrea J. Lee 43:54 There's a thing that I love. Like ‘if you can't talk about something that's bugging you, then you no longer have one problem, you have two’. I've never heard that. Like you have the original issue. Right? And then the problem of not about it. Andrea 44:11 That was my childhood. My god bless my mom and dad. But yeah, that was how they grew up. Andrea J. Lee 44:18 Everybody has it. It's conditioned to being human. I think, honestly, Martians were to come down and be like, this is part of the test of like, as humans are we going to do like the good thing and stay with this stuff and get better because we know we can. That's what we're all being called for. I mean, that analogy that comes to me is sort of interesting. Like in the art world, you know, there's new art that's created every day. That's awesome. And then there's this specialty area, it's restoration art. And it kind of has a parallel to reparations and restorative justice. The kind of thing that you see done when people are restoring art extremely inspiring to me when it comes to repairing and strengthening relationships. The love it takes to mend a piece of art because it is so beautiful. And so worth mending, is extraordinary, extraordinary. There's so much history, there's some shared experience, there is something even more beautiful that comes out of a restored painting. Kind of like you know, the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi where a piece of pottery breaks, you fix it with gold. I can say to you as a 25 year, you know, married for 25 years gone through this abuse cycle, the intimacy, the like joy, the hot damn sex. Amazing. Like it's really going through it has incredible rewards. Andrea 46:07 Yeah. Well, I think that's a beautiful note to end on. Unless there's I always want to ask my guests like, is there anything you want to circle back to or, or just say in order to feel complete in this conversation? Andrea J. Lee 46:19 Thank you, I love that. I think all I would say is just like the seed of an idea. You know, if you're going through something like this, whether it's on the abused side or on the abusiveness side, you know, every hour of greater peace every day, every single day you can go without being abusive, you know, is one unit of peace that did not exist before and it is worth it. Andrea 46:51 Thank you for sharing so vulnerably and we'll put the link to the blog in the show notes and your other website is AndreaJLee.com. And I think that they can get to your, your other blog from that site. Correct? Okay. I just thank everyone for being here and for listening. And remember everyone, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye, everybody. The post Episode 383: Vulnerability and the Will to Change with Andrea J. Lee appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
29 minutes | a month ago
My thoughts on Rachel Hollis and women’s empowerment
You may or may not have seen the latest incident on social media from mega influencer, Rachel Hollis. I made a video talking about my thoughts; mostly because this is an important piece of the women’s empowerment industry. If you’re unaware of what happened, there are links below, and I highly encourage you to watch the links posted, as there are women who’ve broken down why her actions are so harmful. You can either watch the video or listen to the podcast episode. *Please note that in the podcast episode, I do give a few minutes of my additional thoughts. Important links: The video I’m referencing Trudi Lebron on RH, Leadership, and What We’re Really Doing: live podcast Jam Gamble on Instagram Austin Channing Brown on the problem with white feminism Weeze Doran on Instagram Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall Right-click to download the .mp3 The post My thoughts on Rachel Hollis and women’s empowerment appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
46 minutes | a month ago
Episode 382: Asking for What You Want and Betting on Yourself with Melissa
Coaching sessions are back! This week I am coaching Melissa, a production company owner from Southern California, about boundaries within her personal and professional life, as well as, knowing clearly what she wants and asking for it. If you are new to the coaching episode format, my style is a mix between traditional coaching and intuitive consulting. And yes, more coaching session episodes will be coming. Also, keep an eye out for some changes on the podcast too. Don’t worry, I am not going anywhere! But, the show is getting a new name and some other fun adjustments. Announcements will be coming next week! In this episode you’ll hear: Clearly knowing what you want and asking for it. (6:48) Establishing boundaries at work and at home, and enforcing them. (8:35) Betting on yourself and not waiting for confidence to move forward. (24:15) Determining what you will or won’t tolerate in relationships. (31:36) A kick-ass update from Melissa, plus some of her biggest takeaways from our coaching session. (43:16) Resources mentioned in this episode: Follow Andrea on Instagram Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT Andrea 00:00 There's that little girl inside of you, who felt hurt by getting that nickname and felt like she had to kind of go along with the joke because everybody thought it was funny except you. And that more or less inner child could really use some love and attention and compassion. I wish I could go back in time and hug you and tell you that there's nothing wrong with you. And I love how loud and boisterous you are. And I would love for you to maybe… I don't know how much inner child work you've done, but maybe that's an extra assignment for you to think about. What you would go back and tell that little girl who was nicknamed that. ANNOUNCER 00:52 This is Your Kick-Ass Life podcast, episode number 382 with Andrea Owen, a no-BS guide to self-help and badassery. Because ladies, let's face it. Life's too short for it to not kick ass. And here's your host, the girl who serves it up straight with a side of crazy, Andrea Owen. Andrea 01:14 Hey there, ass-kickers. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad you are here. Very excited. Because next week is our last episode, officially known as Your Kick-Ass Life podcast. The show is going to be birthed a new name starting on Thursday, April 15, which also happens to be my birthday. So good news. Next week, there will be two episodes. We have an interview on Wednesday. And then the following day, I'm doing a quick solo episode talking about the new name of the podcast and the reason why I changed it. So I'm just pumped to bring you that. I also wanted to send a quick shout-out, congratulations to Jennifer and Annika for winning copies of our book giveaway from a few weeks ago when Karen Wright was on the show The Accidental Alpha Woman. Congrats to Jennifer and Annika. Also, before we get into the show today, do you follow me on Instagram? I'm back I took a break. And then I came back and changed my name. So many changes going on over here. Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. I'm heyandreaowen on Instagram. Now if you already follow me, it's no big deal. But in case you're trying to tag me, it might be a little bit awkward. So I'm @heyandreaowen. If you don't follow me on Instagram, you might want to consider it. I've started doing reels I'm giving you behind the scenes. As we put the finishing touches on copy editing for this book that is coming out in August, it goes to print not long after copy edits. We're all very excited about that. And just general musings about life, lots of Instagram stories about my dog. So please give me a follow over there. Alright, today we have a coaching episode for you. I haven't done one of these in a minute. I don't think I did any of them while I was writing my book all of last year. And I have this one today and a couple more coming up for you over the next handful of months. Today we are talking to Melissa. And I'm going to let her tell you a little bit about what her struggle was. And then you can listen to the conversation that we have, make sure you stick around because I have an update at the very end of the episode. And for those of you who might be new to listening to these types of episodes, I wanted to kind of repeat what I did in the very beginning. Long, long ago as I was talking about how I like to coach. So in the world of life coaching, there are many different ways, styles, I suppose is the right word to coach. Traditional life coaching is all about asking the right questions you lead from a place of curiosity. You never give advice. You never offer direction. It is really leading the client to their own answers. It's incredibly powerful. I, on the other hand, have a slightly different approach. I do ask intuitive questions that seem to me, they kind of pop up in different areas. Sometimes I feel like someone's tapping me on the shoulder to ask a question. Sometimes I feel like someone else is in the room. Sometimes it feels like it's in my head just sort of nagging at me like I have to ask this one particular question. Sometimes even if it feels like it doesn't make any sense. And I also give direction, sometimes I do give advice. What I like to call this is directive coaching. It's kind of a mix between consulting and guidance and life coaching. Again, there's really no right or wrong way to do this. The reason that I say it here is because when you are looking for a coach if you think that that might be something that would be helpful for you to get support in that way, you might want to ask, I mean, you really might want to ask your coach, what's their style? Do they do just traditional, straight up and down powerful questions having absolutely no agenda at hand? Or are they more directive in the mix of life coaching and advice? Or is it straight up and down consulting, because although that's not life coaching, that is a service that's out there for people and there are some, they call themselves advisors or consultants, something of that sort. I just wanted to explain a little bit about what my style is. And I am going to let you listen to this conversation with myself and Melissa. Melissa, thank you for joining us today. Melissa 06:00 Good to be here. Andrea 06:01 I am so excited to kick start these particular episodes again. So the way that we start these is obviously everyone knows your name now, but why don't you tell us who you are. Tell us a little bit about you. What do you do? Where do you live, that kind of good stuff. Melissa 06:17 I live in Southern California. And I have my own production company where I consult and produce and direct and develop programming that is geared at making an impact with an audience. So most of the genres are sports or women's empowerment or kids and have a particular interest in outdoor programming as well. Andrea 06:48 Okay, awesome. And when you reached out to be coached on the show you filled out, you know, the infamous application, and one of the things that you said that you wanted some help with is… I'm going to just like briefly read what you wrote. And I would love for you to go into a little bit more detail about it. So you said, something you were currently struggling with was clearly knowing what I want, and using my voice to ask for it and set boundaries. Can you say a little bit more about that? Melissa 07:19 What I find in my life, which tends to present itself in most, if not all, areas of my life is this inability to sometimes know what the correct action is. People talk a lot about intuition. You know, I might have gut feelings every now and then. But I tend to question them, rather than act on them. And that can, I don't think it necessarily gets me in trouble anymore. Because, you know, I'm in the latter half of my life, it does prevent me, I think, from really being able to take strong actions. And part of it is related to my inability to sort of to speak about what it is that I want to feel confident enough to say, what I believe, whether it's a core belief or value, whether it's a political thought, or it's something that has to do with setting boundaries around my family or people in my life. I can give you five or six… Andrea 08:30 Were you going to give an example? Melissa Yes. Andrea Okay. Yes, please give us an example. Melissa 08:35 I'll give you one work example, which is I recently engaged in a consulting relationship with a company and they're interested in having me come on board full time as a CEO in a less than traditional pay scale. So part of it is bringing in business and then sharing in the profits of that business, eventually building a company to where a salaried position and had multiple conversations with this potential partner. I've gotten a deal memo from them, I've reviewed it with a lawyer. Essentially, what I've decided is that it doesn't feel right to me to work without getting paid right now. There are parts of the deal that I'm comfortable with and parts of them that are not. I've spoken to advisors and mentors, my lawyer, talked about how to get back to him what I want to say and I have been sitting on this deal on memo since mid-January. I haven't sent it back to him with my notes from my lawyer. Because I am afraid to speak about, Hey, I only want this to be part-time here are the parameters in which I can feel comfortable doing business with you on and part of it is I don't know him and so I want to walk into it slowly. I haven't been able to use my voice to set the boundaries around that even though I know exactly what I want to do. And speaking to you right now I can feel my throat chakra tightening up at the fear of telling him. And there is no, I can come up with absolutely no reason not to respond to him, and he's waiting for this deal on my comments back. So that's one work-life example. Andrea 10:27 Okay, let's pick that one apart. Is that okay? Sure. Okay, so is it fair to say that that is a fairly common example of how this shows up in your life? Melissa 10:40 Yes, I think that certainly in work it's a pain point. And it also shows up in my love relationship and my relationship with my kids, all of it. So I'm assuming it's the exact same core root issue. Just keep bumping up against it. And it always looks different every time. But it's the pattern is similar. Andrea Totally. When you were talking about that, especially that last part about it happening in, you know, different patterns in your life, it reminds me of something that my therapist said to me very recently, and she said, and I wrote it down, she said, human beings are a bundle of conditioned responses. And that struck me because what I'm seeing more and more in my clients, and even my friends, and very much myself too, is that especially with women, and then it's not that this doesn't happen with men, it does, it just looks different. So especially with women, we become conditioned, very young, to be… generally speaking here, seen and not heard, to very much be accommodating to not rock any boats, to not make other people uncomfortable with our requests, with our negotiations, with our asks and etc, etc. It doesn't surprise me that this is the case. I think that where I would love to go next with you is to dig in a little bit. I'm very curious for you to tell us more, a little bit about what you are afraid might happen. This very much might be your inner critic talking like what do you feel like is the worst-case scenario? If let's stick with this example, if you come to him and say, thank you for sending me this proposal, here are my requests, or here are my conditions? Melissa 12:32 Like at that the core of it I'm afraid he'll walk away. Andrea 12:35 Okay, so you're afraid he'll say no. Melissa 12:38 Yeah, or not that he'll say no and we'll continue to negotiate because I think that's the point, but more that he will just walk away and say, Sorry, you know, if you're not agreeing to my terms, then let's not do this. Andrea 12:54 Okay. And then what would happen if he did that, then what? Melissa 12:57 Then I would be out of a job or out of the opportunity, wouldn't have the opportunity. Andrea 13:03 Okay, anything else that might happen that makes you nervous or afraid? Melissa 13:07 I'm a little worried that he is… and this may, as I'm about to say it, I think it also is true in other areas of my life, but that he may wind up being a bit of a jerk. He may not be or the situation not be, what I think it is or what I want it to be. By using my voice and saying what I need, it'll expose that this isn't the right situation. Andrea 13:40 Mm hmm. So it sounds like you would feel unsafe, Melissa 13:43 Correct. Andrea 13:44 Okay, the thing that kind of sucks is that those are valid possibilities. That could happen. He could say, No thanks. He could turn and become a complete jerk. And then what are somewhat are some more positive options that could happen? Melissa 14:00 Oh, we just negotiate, and I get my terms and everything is fine. And we move forward? We could, I mean, in the blue-sky version, I limit the amount of time that I'm actually working with him rather than going full time and other opportunities present themselves. And this is, as the most thing I'd like to think of most things as being a stepping stone towards what's next. Andrea 14:26 Yeah, that that could happen. And the other option, I'm not sure if he thought of this or not, is that he could say no. And you also walk away feeling brave and empowered, that you asked for what you wanted. Even though it didn't work out in your favor. Melissa 14:48 Yeah, that's a great way to live. Andrea 14:51 Yeah, it's a different perspective. The other option, well, I guess it would be the same option and a feeling that could come from that last one. Is that you also would walk away from that deal, not having said yes to something that you knew you did not want to do. My friend Rachel Luna has this great saying, and she says, if not this, then something better. When she's faced with a situation like you're in where we, we get attached to the outcome that we want, right? I'm not telling you that it is as simple as just shifting perspectives or having an empowering affirmation or mantra. But I am giving you those kinds of seeds to plant in your brain. I also, absolutely don't want to step over what you said about your throat chakra tightening up when you were talking about it. Can we kind of take a few steps back to that? And can you open that up a little bit more and talk to us about that? Melissa 15:56 Sure. One of the things that we had touched on briefly in our pre-interview was that when I was younger, I was a really loud kid, I was always getting into trouble, I was always bumping into things, breaking things. Andrea 16:20 Sounds like a typical child to me Melissa 16:22 Potentially louder than others, also a middle child. So I needed to really assert myself to get any sort of attention. And because of that, I had this nickname in my family called Lissa Dammit. Whenever I would do something wrong one of my parents would say, Lissa Dammit. And so that became my loving, joking, loving nickname in my family and because there was always so loud, and they were always telling me to quiet down, quiet down, quiet down. I feel like in that kid management perspective, I just shut up. And haven't really gotten my voice back as an adult, in any real way. I think the more internal work I do, the more yoga or meditation, the more I can really feel into my body. And I am curious because I would like to heal from those old wounds, I don't want these things holding me back at all. And I feel it in my throat. I feel the resistance in my throat. And that's always been not always, but it's recently been an indicator for me of like, oh, maybe you're afraid to speak about this. I think the backstory I guess about the throat chakra. And I guess I'm grateful now that I'm able to feel that when I haven't been able to do this, use that as an indicator, and then take a nice, bold action when I'm feeling it. Andrea 18:02 I so appreciate you sharing that. And I do feel like there are people listening who might not actually feel the physiology of that happening to their throat, but they might have other places where they feel some kind of tightness, or it gets hot in their belly or in their neck or shoulders or back or wherever it is that they feel it. Here are my thoughts about what's going on here. And then I'm going to put a question on you, is I think that there are two things happening, and I would be negligent, I think is the word if I only just pushed you to take action, which I could do. We could figure out a strategy, exactly a script for you to say, what to tell yourself ahead of time, and in terms of mantras and things like that, which I do think would be helpful, but it only is a band-aid for a bigger problem. And then you would turn around the next week and be faced with something else again, and more or less be back where you started. And I don't want that for you. So I think it's twofold it's the element of taking action that is scary for you and makes you feel unsafe. And then there's also this larger part which you're aware of, of there's this trauma was what it is living inside of your body that has been with you forever, that you have, you know, like as I was saying, my therapist said we are we just these conditioned unconscious responses. That's what's happening here is that you are responding unconsciously, in situations like having this conversation with this man negotiate this deal of that it's absolutely unsafe for you to do so. So you haven't responded in several weeks. My question for you now is why I have some suggestions, but I always want to put it on the client first to see because you know you best and you know your body best. What it? Is there anything that you're feeling that might help you in this situation that maybe you've been afraid to work on? Melissa 20:16 Yes, as you have been talking, another sort of situation came into my head. And you know, I apologize if this is the incorrect direction from a coaching perspective, but I aim to get as much out of this call as I possibly can. You, I want you to be the one to drive the bus, I'm just going to throw it out there. So one of the things that just came up for me too, is, is my current romantic relationship where I've been in this relationship with a man for the last 10 years, very on-again, off-again, we have very different value systems, he bumps up against my teenage daughters quite a bit. Because of that, because my daughters and I share the same value system, which he doesn't necessarily have. And I constantly tell myself that at his core, and at the root of our relationship, we are symbiotic. But that there are many other ways in which we're not and a lot of it is socioeconomics and our perspectives on the world. Being a giving place versus taking away a place and that is also a place where I don't, so you ask what's at the root. And I think in that situation for me, where I also really have trouble finding my voice and telling him what I feel or what I need or what some of his things, the impression they leave on my kids and towards what you were saying before in terms of not wanting to really look at the situation in an honest way and know that it's not right. I feel like it's the same with the work situation like I so want it to be a certain way. Because outwardly, all of the things are amazing. And it may not be the perfect thing. And if I expose it, if I really use my voice and say my truth about here's what I'm not sure about, or here's the way that I really would like it to be in terms of like, living my best life, then either it falls apart, or it becomes what I want it to be, which is miraculous and amazing. Or, I stood in my truth and said my piece and it fell apart. And that's okay because I stood in my truth. I think it's the same with this romantic relationship, where I'm so afraid to we had another sort of separation, and then coming back together and this coming back together he said, I'm really willing to do the hard work and want to be in this with you forever. And the other day, he sent an inappropriate political text to one of my daughters, and she was like, why is he doing this? I had a real conversation with him about it. And no he couldn't see. And he couldn't say he was sorry. And he went all black and white. And then, you know, as was said, I'm not judging you, but I need to draw the line here. And like, there's no reason for you to be sending these things to her because it upsets her. And he was able to come back around and say, okay, I'm willing to do willing to not do that anymore. And I want to stay in this with you. But it's like, all signs keep telling me that there's something better out there. Like, there's another human being who I can love just as much, who isn't going to send these texts, it's almost like an internal need to settle when you talk about those old programmings that I'm constantly in a state of settle. Instead of even working with the situation I have and making it the best possible or not working with it and moving beyond. Andrea 24:15 Okay, I have an assignment for you. This is probably the first of many I'm going to give you I would love for you to listen to this back. No matter what you know, some people have no problem listening to themselves. And I know you're in this industry. So maybe you are fine with hearing your own voice. I would love for you to listen to this back from the perspective that you are one of your very best friends or one of your daughters and think about what you would be telling her. Okay, that's sort of like a little self-love exercise. The other thing that jumped out at me as you were talking, and you actually came to the conclusion before I even had to say anything you said, you kind of looked at it as like a polarization. You said, what if it falls apart or something like that, or I get what I want? And then in the next sentence, you said, basically or what if it's both? What if it does fall apart, whether it's with this negotiation with this particular contract, or with your partner, and you do end up getting what you want because you are betting on yourself. Because what your pattern has been, and like I'm raising my hand over here to Melissa, because I've done this so many times, and I know that there are so many women listening who've done the same, they're betting on someone or something else, they're putting themselves second or third or last because we don't trust ourselves because we are second-guessing ourselves. Because we are trying to get counsel from anybody and everywhere so we can make the decision that we already know is right for us. You start betting on yourself before you are ready to do so. I think that if I have learned nothing else, in the last 12 years, I've been coaching, talking to hundreds of experts on the topic, reading so many self-help books, it's coming out of my ears is that we can't wait for confidence. Or you know, whatever you want to call it. Self-assuredness whatever we can't wait for that to happen first. I remember you said something in our little pre-chat. You said something, I wrote it down. You said I want to feel like the woman I want to be before I take action. Is that fair? Like did you say that? Or did I write that down wrong? Melissa 26:50 Totally. You'll feel it so I can be it. Andrea 26:59 I don't know anyone that's done that, like if anyone's listening who has, please write to me, because I want to talk to you. But I beg you, Melissa, do not wait for that day, because you are going to be a very old woman if it ever happens. And I'll be damned if I bump into you in five or 10 years and you're still waiting for that day. We have spent decades being conditioned to be a certain way, to not bet on ourselves. And the scariest part of all of this is not necessarily that guy might say no about the negotiation, or that your partner might say, I can't be the man that you want me to be. It's the action of the action that you're going to take to actually tell these two different people that what you're looking at are deal-breakers that you cannot accommodate and bend anymore to what they want. That you are betting on Melissa. So when I say all that, what are your first thoughts and or feelings in your body? Melissa 28:11 Feelings in my body actually are great, more frequency, energy, no real, no clogging, if you were energy clogging here, which is great. And it also seems so simple. Like I guess I'm used to controlling and manipulation as my tactics. And this takes away that. So let go of the results do the work. If I can take that action of betting on myself every single time then life just continues to unfold. Andrea 28:49 And open up for you. I know that you would not have filled out the application to come and talk to me. If you thought that you couldn't do it. If you truly believed without a doubt that you couldn't change, that things are just always going to be the same. That there's no hope for you that you might as well just continue on being this way. You would have just deleted the email. Or not even opened it up when you saw the subject line like come and get coached on the show for me for free. But you opened it up. You filled out the application, you sent it over, you said yes to get on the phone with me. That tells me that you know that it's possible for you to start betting on yourself and taking action before you are actually ready. Melissa 29:40 Correct. Yes. And similarly, as you're talking about reading every single self-help book and consulting with everyone to get triple confirmation before I take action and then still sitting on the actual… Andrea And get a tarot reading. Melissa Yeah, exactly. And then waiting for that star alignment that may not come in this millennial, I absolutely know that it is possible. And I also know that it's super freeing, and I still have a ton of fear around it. Andrea Yeah, absolutely. Melissa But I am getting more practiced at doing it regardless of the fear. Andrea 30:20 What I've come to learn is that fear is information. Fear tells us sometimes that someone or something is actually dangerous. Sometimes fear tells us that what we are about to do means a metric shit ton to us. In this situation, I feel like it's the latter, I highly doubt that this professional that you're working with is going to turn on you and it's going to be a disaster. Yeah, if you spent a decade with your partner, I highly doubt things are going to go terribly bad. To me, it's the latter. It's the fear of disappointing people. It's the fear of being alone. It's the fear of economic, you know, all of those, those things that are understandable that are trying to keep you safe. But in the long run. If you bypass that fear, you are actually in alignment with the values and the woman that you want to be. Is there anything else you want to say before I start diving into assignments for you to take the next steps? Melissa 31:35 I may interrupt you, but no. Andrea 31:36 Okay. Okay. Here, here are my thoughts and when I give clients assignments, I always want you to, understand that you can either say yes, no or counter offer. So we kind of co-create the assignment, I always put the expertise on you, you know, your life best, you know what's going on in your head. I'm just here to make suggestions, and we co-create them together, I would love to have two different things that you do. One is more of a kind of logistics base to like, okay, I am going to, I don't know what else you have to do for this contract. It sounds like you have it all laid out with lawyers and all those important people, maybe it's just emailing this guy and setting up an appointment to talk to him, whatever it is. And maybe the same thing with your partner, I don't know if it's like having like writing out what your kind of deal breakers are like, here are my values in the relationship. And here's what I will and will not tolerate from this relationship anymore. That type of thing and having the conversation. You tell me what that is. And then the other one, the other assignment would be to… I love that you do meditations and more somatic exercises like that. So it might be looking for a therapist that does specific embodiment, trauma therapy for you, something like that. So where do you want to start with committing to some homework? Melissa 33:09 Let's go to the first logistical one about deal breakers and emails and appointments. Andrea 33:17 Okay, so my first question is, what are you committing to do? And by when? Melissa 33:22 I would commit to emailing my response to the… I have the information, I just need to put it together and send it out to him. And I can do it by end of day today. Andrea 33:35 Okay, amazing. And that feels okay? Melissa Yeah. Okay. Andrea I mean, you have enough time in your day to do it. Melissa 33:45 What often happens to me is when I put something off like this, which I have been, then I'm almost confirming this is probably another coaching layer, but like confirming that things are going to go badly. So because part of what I want to tell him is that I can't be available full time, I haven't been full time. And so I'm not doing the amount of work that I should be doing. Or that in his in his mind, because he's requested my full-time presence. And so then I'm confirming that it's not going to end well. Andrea 34:23 It’s just giving you time to make up stories, it sounds like what happens. Melissa 34:25 Yeah. Andrea 34:28 Okay, good. I love that you know yourself well enough to put that end-of-day timestamp on it. Yeah. So before we go into the stuff with your partner, what do you need to put into place, if anything, to be able to support you to do that task so that might look like that you get the help of a friend if you need to text like an SOS type of thing. If you need to go for a walk afterward. Like is there anything self-care-wise that you need to do? Melissa 34:55 Getting some exercise or doing a little meditation or some exercise around it, I think would be helpful. So my head's clear. Andrea 35:05 Yeah, good. Good. And then would you be okay with committing to texting me once you shoot the email? Melissa Yes, of course. Andrea Okay. So when we're done, I'll make sure you have me so you can text me. And it's fine if it's late because I know you're in a different time zone than I am. And then what about any action you're going to take around your partner? Melissa 35:26 If that's a big one, I think writing out that the deal breakers is a great exercise, having the conversation is more difficult. Can you say I guess because he's super sensitive and immature so if I bring up these things he's going to run, or he might run, I think, your reference about, you know, what would my advice to my daughters be one, listen to something like that story? And as if it was their boyfriend, I mean, my advice would be, you know, cut your ties, you need to find someone who is, who meets you where you are, Andrea 36:09 Or at least is willing to work on me where you are, at the very least. Melissa 36:13 And that's always where I think that he nets out. But it involves him, you know, shutting down, running away, building his, up his brick walls again, and then coming back, and being willing to work on it. And it's just she's at a different, his, he doesn't sit well with fear. And he doesn't choose to understand fear or look at it. And then he only looks at it, because I make him or ask him to Andrea 36:51 These topics are a little bit tricky. Because I know we could have a whole conversation about that because he's not here. I wonder if maybe, for now, you would get a lot of clarity around writing out like you, like we mentioned that the conditions and guidelines of what you're willing and unwilling to tolerate. Maybe it's something I mean, I don't know if you guys have been to couples counseling before. Maybe it's something like that, where you can go somewhere and have kind of a mediator where you work on both of your stuff. So it's, of course, I think you're great, but probably also stuff in the relationship that you can work on. That's how I would present it. I don't know if that's something that… Melissa 37:33 Yeah, I mean, I've, of course, brought up therapy with him before we've gone once, you know, maybe like seven years ago, to a few sessions, and it was just too painful and annoying and expensive for him. So I did bring it up again, while we were getting back together this time. And he said he was willing to do the hard stuff, but I don't see him following through on that. Unfortunately. Andrea 37:59 I'd be very curious, like, what does he mean by that? Specifically, what is the hard stuff to him? Yeah, because it's not opening jars and you know, painting your kitchen. Melissa 38:08 No. That's a good question. Because obviously, I think it's something other than he thinks it is. Andrea 38:14 So I will very curious what he thinks it is. Melissa 38:16 Yeah, me too. Okay. I think that's an easy question to ask. Andrea 38:21 Yeah. Like, what, what does that mean to him? Or is that something that, that he just kind of thought you wanted to hear? I hope it's not and that he, I just, yes, therapy is annoying. And like therapy is never fun. I have never had fun at therapy. Like it's, and I love this work. And it's just, oh, especially couples. Is, I think extra annoying and hard. No one has fun in therapy. And also, yes, it's expensive. But you know, what else is expensive is being in a long-term relationship with someone and being financially tied and having it fall apart. Like, like, it's a life partner is worth everything like that's, you know what I mean? Like, to me, that's worth being expensive. Melissa 39:14 I agree. Completely agree. Andrea 39:16 I don't know him. But it sounds like that might be a little bit of an excuse. Because he doesn't want to go face his stuff. Yep, I agree. So that assignment is just so I'm clear on what your assignments are. You're going to write out what your deal breakers are what you will and won't tolerate in that relationship and then kind of take a step back and look at it. Melissa 39:33 Correct. I think I can also commit to asking the question, like, what, when we talked about the hard stuff, what was he thinking? Andrea 39:42 Yeah, cuz you said that's what he said when you got back together? Melissa 39:44 Yes. Andrea 39:45 Yeah. What is that? What does that mean? Melissa 39:48 Yeah. Andrea 39:53 Melissa, I have all the faith in you in the world to bet on yourself. And I hope you listen back to this and see a side of yourself that you can have compassion for. Because I really feel like there's that little girl inside of you, who felt hurt by getting that nickname. And felt like she had to kind of go along with the joke. Because everybody thought it was funny except you. And that, that more or less inner child could really use some love and attention and compassion. I wish I could go back in time and hug you and tell you that there's nothing wrong with you. And I love how loud and boisterous you are. And I would love for you to maybe I don't know how much inner child work you've done. But maybe that's an extra assignment for you to think about what you would go back and tell that little girl who was nicknamed that. Melissa 40:58 I have not done really much of any of that work. Although, somewhat recently, I did put a picture or someone suggested I put a picture of my young self as my screensaver on my phone. I think my kids thought it was completely selfish and self-centered, that I thought I was so cute, but as a reminder, to be nice to that person. Andrea 41:22 Yeah, I invite you to be selfish and self-centered around this topic, we need to do more of that. I have an ongoing joke with my friend Samantha Bennett, who's been on the show, and we call each other conceited cunts. Melissa 41:41 That’s the best usage of that word I think I've ever heard. Andrea 41:43 It's really because it's so shocking. And we are on a mission to take back the word conceited, because, you know, in middle school, that's like, the worst thing you could have been called. And I have a picture of myself from when I was 17 framed in my office because that was such a difficult year for me. And when I do really hard things like speak up for myself or have hard conversations with people from my past and set boundaries I look at her and I do like a little fake cheer with a cup in my hand. Because I'm doing it for her, I'm also doing it for my daughter and doing it for all the women who listen to this podcast. Sometimes having that perspective can be helpful. And you may want to check out and just even read about it. Internal family systems. So it's I forget the name of the psychologist who coined it. But my friend, Rebecca Chang was on recently. And she was talking specifically about that particular mode of therapy, and you can find IFS therapists near you. But that might be something for you to look into. That can be very helpful for childhood stuff. Melissa 42:58 Great. I will definitely do that. Andrea 43:01 Any last thoughts that you want to say before we close up today, Melissa 43:05 Just to thank you. I love what you do. I think you do it really well. And I appreciate what you're doing for all the people out there, including myself. Andrea 43:16 You're so welcome. I appreciate you for coming on and being so vulnerable and telling your story and talking to us about the things that you feel challenged by and I know that there are so many people listening who are raising their hand and saying Me too when they might not have the same circumstance. But they feel the same way about showing up in their lives and speaking up. Alright, everyone, I hope that you enjoyed that episode, I hope that you probably saw some parts of yourself in what Melissa was being so gracious and vulnerable to talk to us about today. A week or so after I had this conversation with her. We had an email conversation and she said that she did reply to the person that we had talked about regarding their proposal that she was procrastinating on. And at the time of this recording was still waiting to hear back. And she did make the list we talked about regarding her relationship. And she said it gave her clarity about where she's at, and the decision she needs to make. And that at the end of the day, her biggest takeaways from the things that helped her the most were to always bet on herself and not wait for confidence. I hope that that resonated with you as well. I'm going to repeat it the one person that we need to always bet on is ourselves. And that can be tricky and complicated. Sometimes we need some support with therapy. Sometimes we need to do some journaling and get things out as to why we have a history of not betting on ourselves may be why we don't trust ourselves completely and fully with our whole heart and our whole self. So again, I sincerely hope that this episode was helpful for you. Stay tuned to additional coaching episodes coming up on the show that we have for you. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye, everyone. The post Episode 382: Asking for What You Want and Betting on Yourself with Melissa appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
85 minutes | a month ago
Episode 381: CASTMWUP: Andrea Owen and Amy E. Smith talk about Mental Health, Getting Support, and Friendship
Joining me to discuss mental health, as well as, my journey through somatic therapy is my dearest friend, Amy Smith. This isn’t an expert-on-expert episode; instead, it’s two friends talking about a topic from a place of curiosity. Here’s some background as to why I wanted to bring you this episode: Last week, Mia Hemstad joined me on the podcast (episode 380). She vulnerably shared her story of her suicidal ideation and major depressive disorder. And, I shared a little bit about my journey too. I wanted to share more of my story, so I decided, this week, to bring you a Conversation About Shit That Matters with Unqualified People. In this episode you’ll hear: My breaking point – what led me to a point of complete anxiety and terror. (7:16) About my FaceTime call to Amy, where I opened up about thoughts of suicide ideation. (7:31) How having a friend there to listen, comforted me. (17:03) Amy’s experience being on the other end of that phone call and how she was able to compartmentalize what was happening. (18:23) My somatic therapy journey and how it helped me work through trauma. (26:24) Some thoughts about being supportive to a friend going through a mental crisis. (49:14) Resources mentioned in this episode: Suicide Prevention National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800-273-8255 Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle Episode 358: Healing from Narcissistic and Traumatic Relationships with Britt Frank Episode 380: The intersection between mental health and social justice with Mia Hemstad Psychology Today Amy’s website Follow Andrea on Instagram YKAL is supported by: Better Help – Use code kickass to get 10% off your first month. Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT Andrea 00:00 Really what's the worst that's gonna happen, we have to sell our house and move in with our parents to live in San Diego? Poor me. That would make me feel worse, and then not want to tell anybody and not want to talk about it. And again, just totally made it worse. And so, I had to really learn to be self-compassionate and know that it really kind of get to know my anxiety disorder again because it had been mostly at bay for a long time. And so, it just, it just came back with a vengeance and just sort of roaring back. And I also realized how powerful it can be and how I don't have control and the best thing to do is surrender and ask for help. This is Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast, Episode Number 381…This is the Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast with Andrea Owen. A no-BS guide to self-help and badassery. Because ladies, let's face it. Life's too short for tonight. And here's your host, the girl who serves it up straight with a side of crazy, Andrea Owen. Andrea 01:11 Hey there ass-kickers. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here. This week, I have a conversation about shit that matters with unqualified people. If you are newer to these parts, these episodes are where I bring on a friend and/or colleague, and we don't so much come at the topic from the place of being an expert. But more so everyday things that we are currently walking through. I've had people on where we talk about body image, about aging. I think I've done a couple now on mental health. And this week we're also talking about mental health, I'm bringing on my very best friend Amy Smith. And she has walked with me through many topics of my life as she and I are very close. And I thought she would be perfect to come on. Sort of as a follow up to last week if you remember I had Mia Hemstad on where she was kind enough to share her story around major depressive disorder, and suicidal ideation. And I wanted to share more in-depth about my own story and what has been going on for me over the last year. I've mentioned on the show a couple of times over the last several months that I hired a new therapist in 2020. And we got down to business with some trauma therapy. And I wanted to let you know what that kind of looked like. So that's what this episode is. I also wanted to let you know, a trigger warning, we do talk about suicidal ideation. So, if that is a very sensitive topic for you, I just wanted to give you a heads up on that. A couple of other quick and exciting announcements. There's a new podcast name coming. After let's see eight years almost of the show, I'm going to be announcing it on my birthday, April 15. So, the next few podcast episodes will be the same with Your Kick-Ass Life and coming up on April 15, I will announce the brand-new name of the show. Nothing really different is happening over here. But I am excited to sort of freshening up a bit if you will. And also, I have a new Instagram name. I am @HeyAndreaOwen over on the gram. And I am back to posting, I am back to sharing stories. I'm also going to start making reels, which I'm super pumped about. And I would love for you to give me a follow over there. Hey, and DM me, I still at the moment, am the one that responds to DM’s. And I love hearing you know when you guys are sharing about the show when you're just lol’ing to the dog videos that I post on my stories. So, I would love to connect with you over there @HeyAndreaOwen. I also wanted to give you a quick heads up about this particular episode. So, the episode will carry on as usual. And then at the end, I wanted to share with you a story that Amy shared with me when I started recording the episode. She told me this story just as friends share funny stories with each other. And I thought it was so hilarious, I wanted to share it with you, but it didn't feel right putting it in the beginning. You'll see why. It's a, I don't want to say it's an adult story. It's probably PG-13. And for reference, because it might be confusing if you're listening to it and you're like what in the world who are these people that they're speaking of? Who are these women that they're speaking of? Delilah and Fiona are her dogs. She has two cute little Japanese chins, Delilah and Fiona. And Gisele is my dog. So, we refer to them, and I know they have human names. So just so you're not confused as we're telling the story. It's Delilah, Fiona, and Gisele, who are our dogs. So that story is coming at the very end of the podcast. Alright, so without further ado, here is my conversation about shit that matters with unqualified people with Amy Smith. Andrea 05:18 All right, Amy Smith is back on the show. Amy 05:20 Yes, I am. Andrea 05:22 Well, and I just did an Instagram story where I was, I was precluding to this episode coming out and saying, we're gonna have a serious episode about mental health. And then you come on, and I just had to pause the recording because I was laughing so hard, I started coughing. Yeah, I always hear to lighten the mood. Amy 05:36 That's right. That's right. We can't take things too, too seriously. Andrea 05:46 No, and I think that's one of the reasons we're such good friends is that we have such a similar sense of humor. And, and that being said, I wanted to kind of it's not really a part two, from last week's episode, but I want to point people to the interview that I did with Mia Hemstad last week, and she came on and talked about and talked about the work that she does in the world with women and self-care. And she also was super vulnerable and shared her story around major depressive disorder and, and suicidal ideation. And, and then I shared my story, and I hadn't expected to do it until I read her story. And I asked her ahead of time if she wouldn't mind sharing it. And if you wouldn't mind me, you know, also sharing my story. And, and so that's what we had decided to do. And I was really nervous for the episode to come out. And I had, I had put it in my marketing calendar for like, May. And then Prince Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah came out, and I was like, well, if Megan can do it, and she's part of the royal family, then I think it would be a good idea for me to put it out there. But I also wanted to add have an episode where I added more context as to what got me to that point because it wasn't just COVID that I think got me to that point. It was really years sort of in the making. And COVID was kind of the breaking point. Amy 07:12 So, it, cuz I remember this, it's kind of the anniversary time of when that happened. Right? So, we're about a year out. Andrea 07:14 Yeah, exactly. Mm-hmm. Amy 07:16 For people who don't know what the last year was like, which is pretty much everybody. What was the impetus? What was the straw that broke the camel's back? Andrea 07:31 It was probably, you know, it was multiple well, that if I had to name one thing, it was the onset of COVID. And just the massive uncertainty that it unleashed. As someone with anxiety disorder, that's really been, I've been well around my anxiety disorder. And I think maybe that's why it took me much by surprise. But it was coming also, because that same week, my husband had left his job, which we had been planning for six months. 2019 was probably my best year. And we needed help around the house, we had hired someone to help us, and it didn't work out. And so, we just decided through careful deliberation and planning, to have Jason leave his job. And he wasn't retiring as much as he just like, let's try this. And he's a woodworker. And he wanted to be home and work on that, and maybe get something off the ground with that. But it was really scary becoming the sole breadwinner, right, and, you know, switching gender roles, essentially, with my husband of 12 years, and the both of us having to walk into these new roles. You know, like we kind of, we knew what we were getting into, but we had no idea what we were getting into. So that was super stressful. You know, the school was canceled for all children, my kids came home. And I had signed a really big contract with the biggest publisher in the world, which was exciting, and a dream come true, but also just a huge amount of pressure. And I think I had also now, and I want to talk about this more too because I know you've read the book as well, Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski, wrote the book Burnout. And now that I'm almost totally through that book, I can, I can look back and see I've had periods of probably three or four burnouts over the course of the last like 11 years of my career. And I just kept getting up and going. Yeah. And I had like some other kid stuff that was happening, and it's not my story to tell but just really big, heavy things going on and also feeling the weight of just the collective scariness that was happening with everyone in the world and it was late April, I Facetimed you because I needed to see your face to gauge your reaction to what I was about to tell you. I knew that it was serious. And the way that I also make sense of things because I think I, like many women, try to pretend that things aren't as serious like with my mental health, and I'm like, it's not that bad. Like, I'm overreacting. Amy 10:10 People do that with just trauma in general. Andrea 10:11 It's right, which I've been doing for like over a decade. And I wanted to see your face because I knew that if, if I could gauge your reaction, I would know if it was it was serious or not. I never told you that. Amy 10:27 So, I'm curious now in hindsight, because, I have my own experience with what that was like. What did you think about my response? Andrea 10:35 Um, I think you responded as I thought you would, as far as being my friend, you know, you were super compassionate. And you were listening, and I felt like I had your undivided attention, which is all I could have asked for. But I think when I knew that was really some weight to it was when you I could tell that you compartmentalized a little bit and I'm making this up. I may be wrong. But I felt like there was a moment where you compartmentalized and you were like, asking me if I had a plan asking me, you asked me some other kind of like, checkmark questions that you're supposed to ask someone that it was the same thing my therapist asked when I told her a couple of weeks later. And that's when I started to get a little bit scared. Amy 11:18 Well, do you want to share exactly what you said? Or? Andrea 11:21 Yeah, yeah, I should probably say that in case people didn't listen to the episode from last week. So, I had probably been sitting in it for about three days of just acute, severe anxiety. And what, how that manifests for me is rapid heart rate, my armpits tingle, sometimes my fingers go numb, my palms sweat, I get dry mouth, I also get tunnel vision and all these physical symptoms, but also mentally, I start spinning. And I can't stop them. It's like a runaway train. And I was, and I was also googling things that I should not have been googling. Like, about, I was reading about the Great Depression, I was reading about just the economic collapse. Yeah, that was possible. Both, you know, here in the United States, as well as globally. I also was like, this is mass extinction, right? This is where we're going to lose billions of people on the planet. And it's going to be like this apocalyptic. You know, like we see in movies and read in books, and I was terrified for my, the safety of my children, for my entire family, which is sort of like spread out all over the United States. And I couldn't stop them. I couldn't stop the thoughts. I couldn't. It wasn't just fear, it was terror. It was complete terror, coupled with the pressure of I need to show up for my community. You know, here I am this self-help expert, yeah, who's supposed to have her shit together. And I'm failing. And I'm failing really, really fast. So, it was both of those things combined. And I knew about all the tools because I have them because I've written about them because I teach them. And I, it was as if I could not even begin to try to use them. That's right. So that's when I knew that it was beyond just like, oh, you're a little scared. Like, this was like clinical anxiety that was happening. And then I thought, well remember, I was sitting here at my desk, as I am now. And I was just kind of like daydreaming and just, you know, spinning, spinning, spinning. And this the thought came of like, well, I can always kill myself. And it sounded like a reasonable solution. As if, like, here are all the options. Like, we could, you know, try out a new stream of income, we could sell our cars, we could, you know, move back in with our parents and granted like, this is like the first week of COVID like, yeah, nothing truly bad had happened to me yet. And it scared me so bad because it seemed so calm and just like a regular thought. And then my next thought after that was, this is how it starts. Amy 14:19 Yeah. Andrea 14:20 You know, people who do succeed and taking their own life, yeah, I, I had a feeling that this is how it starts just like this almost innocuous thought. That sort of swoops in from seemingly nowhere. And then if you don't tell anybody or don't get help, it just becomes more frequent and more frequent and more clear and more clear and more and more reasonable. Amy 14:45 Yeah, especially if the pain that you're experiencing continues to escalate and continues to be more and more unbearable, but I also think there was this interesting thing that happened with you too were before that little season, things were pretty fucking amazing. And it was almost like this light switch. Because it was, I remember at our Christmas party that year, you and Jason, which was only a handful of months before this, we're celebrating the book deal. That was a massive professional accomplishment. And the biggest stress was gearing up towards being the breadwinner, and Jay stops, stopping working. And then it was like, it was the worst possible time for that to have been the plan. Because that just happened. And then COVID hit like a week or two later. And then it's like, oh, by the way, the kids are going to be home and… Andrea 15:51 And we don't have insurance and… Amy 15:53 And everybody's dealing with collective trauma. And I remember, I remember the amount of angst that you went through around that time because I remember thinking, Oh my God, I've got I remember I was having conversations about generating income and, and I didn't feel as holy shit, this is really gonna fall apart. And I had some conversations with my husband about it a little bit. And one of the things that he said that was so comforting to me was, we will always have the ability to make money, you know, and I, but I remember just having that conversation of what if I'm not capable of making money? What if I'm not, you know? Right. So, anyway, so when you said that do you remember what I said to you about that? Andrea 16:46 Do you mean when I said it to you when I called you? Like, couldn't even talk. Yeah. I was like hiding in my office. Amy 16:53 You were like, crouched down. Andrea 16:54 Next. Yeah, cuz I didn't want Jason to hear me cuz I hadn't told him yet. No, I don't remember. I hardly remember that conversation at all. Amy 17:02 Really? Andrea 17:03 Yeah, I remember being comforted by you. And feeling like and feeling relief that I had told someone. But before you share your experience, like there was real fear. My hesitation in telling anyone even you who like you, there are only probably two or three people I trust in this world. And you're one of them is that if I tell someone that I've had thoughts of taking my own life, they will come and take away my children. Yeah. I will be deemed an unfit mother. Like, I at that point. I didn't trust my husband enough to tell him because I was afraid of his reaction. Yeah. And I think that that's what a lot of people fear, especially mothers, you know, like, we have this fear of being seen as mentally unstable, right. And it's used against us. And I was terrified to tell anyone, right, Amy 18:01 Right. I mean, that's the whole word. Hysteria is the same root word of hysterectomy. It's like women's madness, right? Well, I remember thinking, Oh, yeah, me too. Andrea 18:16 Yeah. I talked to another friend later after I'd calmed down. And it was the same with her. And I felt so much better. Amy 18:23 I remember a couple of things that I thought one was, I need to figure out where in this process she is. So, fortunately, because of the work that we do, we're privy to this sort of information. And so, I wanted to know, do you have a method? Have you thought through a method? Like, how you would do it? Do you have an actual plan? For doing it? You know, like, I'm going to say goodbye to these people. And then I'm going to do you know, and do you have a time, like those three elements? Had there been any of those? I would have been way more involved, I probably would have started by making you check in with me, like on a really regular basis. But those are I mean, that's part of the whole as a professional, there's a law specifically that started in Supreme Court in California, that had to do with mandatory reporting, if you are a therapist, or you know, too, and so I kind of recognized okay, if any of those things are in place, obviously, you're not my client. I'm not a therapist, but those are the elements that would say, hey, yeah, you probably need another additional type of intervention. Yeah. But what I think people don't realize is, and I don't want it I don't want this to come off dismissive at all, but rather inclusive of how common it is when you're under such extreme stress. Where the idea of that all going away is it's, that's what you're searching for is like I want the alleviation of this pressure. And the idea that that is a possible way to do that. There's that like appeal in that mental thought process when you're carrying so much trauma, and rapidly incurring trauma. Andrea 20:31 Right? For me, and we've talked about this since then, is that when I calmed down enough to be able to think a little bit more clearly and talk to you about it, and my therapist, I was clear on that. I didn't feel I didn't have like major depressive disorder where I couldn't get out of bed, or I felt like, truly, nobody would miss me. Or that I, you know, like, I could live with wanting to leave my child-like none of that, like I knew that that would people that would be devastated if I did take my own life. And I, I didn't actually want to die. I wanted to just the way I described it is I felt like I wasn't getting an ROI from the effort I was putting into my life. Like, this isn't worth it. Right. Yeah, I just wanted relief from the terror that I was feeling total and complete terror. Amy 21:23 I mean, if you think about what anxiety is, it's a fear response. Right? So, it's like being in this heightened fear response. It's like being like, you're about to be attacked by a bear all the fucking time. Andrea 21:38 I would stand outside of myself and beat myself up, because like, here I am this fucking privileged woman, really, what's the worst that's going to happen, we have to like to sell our house and like move in with our parents to live in San Diego, like, oh, poor me. And then that would make me feel worse, and then not want to tell anybody and not want to talk about it. And, again, just totally made it worse. And so I had to, I had to really learn to be self-compassionate, and know that it really kind of get to know my anxiety disorder, again, because it had been mostly at bay for a long time. And so it just, it just came back with a vengeance and just sort of roaring back. And I also realized how powerful it can be and how I don't have control. And the best thing to do is surrender and ask for help. Amy 22:27 Yeah, for sure. But I think, you know, that's, that's one of the hardest parts is, I mean, you've danced around it a little bit here. But how we, we make up that it's not that bad. We make up that that's something that we surmounted, we already got through the anxiety disorder, that couldn't possibly be it, I'm just stressed, we make up all of these ways that we override what we're really feeling and not really giving it credence. It's like you had to have that sobering moment of, this is how it starts. Andrea 23:01 Yeah, and I don't know if that was some kind of divine intervention like intuition thought that sort of whispered and tapped me on the shoulder. Because from there, you know, I ended up telling Jason and ended up telling him like, I really need to hire, hire a therapist and get to the bottom of this trauma. I also decided to go to my doctor and got on an antidepressant, which was hugely helpful. And then I hired Helen. Yeah. And it's been like quite a year. Amy 23:20 It's been curious to watch you go through the different iterations of therapy, as I've known you, you know, and the various levels of things that you've worked through. And I don't know as if you if you hadn't had that breakdown I don't know as if you would have actively sought the healing the way you have. Andrea 23:40 I think you're right. Amy 23:45 Overstuff that was still affecting you still looming still showing up in dream right. Andrea 24:04 Now. I think you're absolutely right. And I think I have a very high pain tolerance which so many women do have a very high pain tolerance for emotional and mental pain. You know, you and I met in ‘09. And I had my last break. In ’06 and ‘07, which was, you know, my first husband had an affair with her neighbor got her pregnant was a complete dick about it. Then I met someone who ended up conning me and lied about having cancer and was a drug addict. And it was a crazy 18 months, and I met you only like, a year and a half after that. Maybe two years. Yeah. And it's interesting. I didn't know you when it happened. You've been my closest friend, as I have walked through the healing portion of this journey. And I was, you know, my good friend Anna Maria, we were really good friends when I went through all of that. And then we lost touch for several years and have since reconnected in our friendship. And one of the things she said to me when we first were talking again, this was a couple of years ago, I can't even remember what it was that we were talking about. And she said, it was so hard for me to watch, you go through so much. And she broke down and started crying. And I was so taken aback by that, like, for a few different reasons, but the point I want to make is that I, it made me realize, like, holy shit, that was a big deal that that happened. Yeah, it was a, it was not just incredibly painful but just was incredibly painful for other people to even watch me go through who were dear to me and the weight and the magnitude that it had on my life. And so, it was just kind of these, like small things that were happening. And like you said, I kept, I kept dreaming about my ex-husband in various ways. And I, it just was irritating to me. And I'm like, why is this happening? And it was me pointing to the fact that the trauma was still living in my body. I had healed a lot of it on a surface level, I had done some EMDR and healed somewhat, but I still needed to like I felt like I had gone snorkeling in it. And I needed to go scuba diving like, right? Amy 26:23 Yeah. Andrea 26:24 I really needed to spend some time and do some true somatic trauma therapy. So, I looked specifically for a therapist that did that. And I hired her and she, she asked me like in the beginning, like, what is it that you? What is it you're trying to clear? Yeah. She said, what are the thought or behavior patterns that keep coming up that are keeping you stuck? And I thought that was such an interesting question. And I said that you know, I want to just really get to the bottom of these dreams and, you know, decrease them, I want to really work through the shame around the choices that I made back then, just ignoring red flags, just, you know, so many things. I had a lot of disillusionment around. what it came down to, it wasn't just my former relationships, it was my family of origin. So it was all connected. And, and really just disillusionment. You know, to get a little bit more specific. I didn't trust anyone, because I had had the rug pulled out from under me both from my family of origin and to relationships, which I thought people cared about me. And it turns out, they didn’t. And I mean, that's I'm being a little bit dramatic there. But that's definitely what it felt like and what my subconscious was telling me. Grieving the loss of, of my former family, you know, both my family of origin and my ex-husband's family, we had been together for so long, I think that was pretty much everything that I told her, I wanted to clear, and also, you know, the feelings of when these really big things, feelings of I always, for a long time, even after he passed away, have felt responsible for my dad's feelings and his emotional well-being. You know, my dad was an alcoholic, a high-functioning one. And I always poo-poo that as well and thought, like, you know, my dad wasn't a drunk, he wasn't abusive. He was emotionally absent. And there were, you know, like emotional stuff, but no abuse or anything like that. So really, what do I have to complain about? Right? And my therapist said, she was like, virtually no one comes out of a family where there is an addict or alcoholic, unscathed. You just don't, you know, she had all these diagrams, and she was showing me all these different things about like the parent-child relationship. And it was super interesting to from a clinical standpoint to have her talk about that. Yeah. And also validating that the reason I am the way I am and how I get triggered in my marriage now is because of what I was modeled for me growing up, Amy 28:55 I think what's really interesting, just about the evolution of how everything came to a head, you know, this time last year, when you talk about all of those things that you've just spelled out, you spend a lot of time snorkeling, right, like, and that's to say, like, oh, I worked through some of that stuff. I did. I didn't, I did my work. But something that I see constantly with the impact of the last year and what that's meant for different people, is that the new trauma has kicked up old trauma in such an unbelievable amount. That it's, it's a reckoning, it's kind of forcing everybody to look at that stuff. Right. So, you know, you were chronicling your severe anxiety, all of the terror that will remind you of past trauma of when I have spent time being fearful of what was happening with my dad or fearful about what was happening with my ex-husband when you're going through that same emotion. It's emotional memory, right? It's like, right oh, I remember this other type of trauma, and then if it hasn't been rectified it compounds and it just creates this an actual breakdown. I've had one myself circa 2018, a breakdown in 2018. But I think what one of the things that I want to emphasize about all of this stuff is, is that it doesn't matter if somebody else has had it worse, if somebody else has a worse experience has a bigger T trauma than you. If you are experiencing something that is causing you such severe unrest, it is worthy of healing. It warrants searching out support. So, you don’t, and many people think that they're like, well, I haven't been to war, I haven't been had a near-death experience… Andrea 30:59 Or sexually assaulted. Amy 31:00 I can't, I can't actually be going through trauma. And that's not how trauma works. It's directly relational to what your experience was, like. You know, and your experience was calling for support. Andrea 31:18 Exactly. And that's what was also interesting about that book, Burnout is that Emily and Amelia Nagoski, talk about the stress cycle. And, and, and I kept saying to you, I don't know if you remember me saying this, when I would talk about the work I needed to do with my ex-husband, I kept feeling like there was unfinished business. That's what I would call it, I would either say, I feel like there's unfinished business. Or I would say, I feel like there's a loop that I need to close. And then when I heard them talking about that, the stress loop and closing the cycle, I was like, that's exactly, I think what's going on in my body. Yeah, that it's not clear. Amy 31:59 I remember talking to you early on because you were so frustrated about still having dreams. And I was like, it's because your subconscious isn't healed yet. And that's okay. Because we don't always have the continuity between the conscious and the subconscious, like, consciously you were like, I'm fucking done. Andrea 32:18 Yeah, I don't want to have a conversation with him. Like, if that's what closure means I don't want it. Amy 32:21 Right. You know, it's something else that's that I've really watched as you as our relationship has grown, is, and this is true for everybody. It's like you, you're only ready to go a specific depth until you're ready to go deeper. You know, and I don't think because of the severity of the trauma that you went through, not just with him, but then the relationship after that. And all of that being in such a short time period, I have really recognized that our healing is not fucking on our timeline. It is not. I mean, it's not when you think about somebody who has a broken ankle or something like that, they are so ready to get up and go running far earlier than their ankle is actually fixed. Right. It's like our healing is not on our timeline. And I think that was the case for you. It was like, I don't think you were ready to do the work that you've done with Helen. All through the other different chapters that we've discussed this like five years ago, six years ago, I don't think you could have gone to the depths that you're going to right now I think you had to have these additional experiences that illuminated it in a different way. Andrea 33:43 I agree with you. And it also made me very frustrated that I wasn't ready. Because on the surface level, like on a conscious level, I was more than ready. And I was yeah pissed off that. I felt like I wasn't over it. Like I made it mean something that I didn't need to make it mean. And I remember you telling me about cord-cutting work or something like that, or that, you know, one of our mutual friends knows somebody who we always know, we always know a guy. We always know a girl. And they were talking about cord-cutting. And I told you I'm like, I don't know if I'm ready to do something like yeah, and I was so mad at myself. Amy 34:21 Yeah, I remember that. Andrea 34:22 But I had to be honest. Yeah. And I was like, why would I not be ready to do that? And it was like my body knew, like, nope, not yet. I needed to hold on to that identity. That was a couple of years ago. I'm interrupting this conversation to bring you a few words from some of our sponsors. 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Join over 1 million people who have taken charge of their mental health again, that's BetterHelp.com/KickAss. And thank you for supporting our sponsors, because that, in turn, supports this show. Amy 35:50 I always love when I tell you something. And then you go to Helen and Helen's like, I agree with Amy and I'm like, fuck yes. Andrea 36:08 I love that your ego… Amy 36:10 I get so excited about it's like, oh my god. Oh, I think that's a little bit of like… Andrea 36:08 Well, it's a huge compliment. She has 40 years of experience as being a therapist. Amy 36:12 I also think it's I read too much true crime. And so, I'm always like, sociopath! Yeah, which is its borderline personality disorder now. But I remember you were it was the discussion about I can't remember if the word was abuser like if he was abusive, or if the relationship was an abusive relationship. Andrea 36:36 Early on in my, in my therapy with her and I was describing the relationship and telling her some particular stories. And she asked me to look up this one particular cycle of abuse. And I was very taken aback by it. I had a really hard time calling it abusive. Was that what you're with? Amy 36:55 Yes, because I was I kind of remember I remember thinking like, okay, well, this sort of behavior is abusive behavior, this sort of this that is abuse, that is abuse, that is abuse, but I also recognized that you were grappling with something. I was actually just talking to some students about this today. Where when you are a good, moral, loving, compassionate human, you don't want to ever think that somebody else could be other than that, or that. So, first of all, there's like the holy shit, I can't believe I fell for that. So, there's the shame in who you are. Then there's the grief of did they never mirror how I felt. There's all these various, it was loaded. Andrea 37:43 Yeah, it might have been we're talking about reactive abuse because I had a hard time labeling it that I think it was when Britt Frank was on my podcast. It was a great episode. I'll drop it in the show notes. And she specializes in helping heal people heal from being in narcissistic abusive relationships. And I think it was her that told me about reactive abuse because I was saying like, I have a hard time categorizing him as abusive because I used to throw it back at him. I learned from him. What was happening is that he would gaslight the shit out of me. And then me being the fiery personality, the outspoken woman that I am, I would lose my shit guess and be mean and call him names and sometimes throw water glasses at him. I only did that once. And I missed it. And you know, I've slapped him across the face many times. And so, I felt like, I'm no better, right? And then she told me about reactive abuse when you're basically defending yourself and someone pushes you to your absolute breaking point by gaslighting or abusing you. And then you react with abuse because you learn how to do it from them. And also it feels like it's your only defense mechanism kind of like if you can't beat him join. Amy 38:56 Yeah, well, gaslighting is abuse. Like that is abuse. Andrea 39:02 I had no idea what that even was until 2016. And then I was like I had a hard time coming to terms with that that was a thing. I'm like that was that was my whole relationship. And then also what you mentioned just a few minutes ago about if this person if my ex-husband, which all signs point to yes, that he I mean, it's for sure he was a narcissist. But there were some sociopathic tendencies. At the very least, did this person ever even love me? Like, right? How did I spend almost 14 years with this person? Like, was it ever really real? That shows the undoing with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant at the very end she says, I don't know if he ever loved us or if he loved us loving him. Right? And that hit me like a ton of bricks because I was like, I don't know if he loved me, but I definitely know that he loved me loving him. Yeah. Was that it? Yeah. Is that what he kept me around? And I'll never know Yeah. I'll never know the answer to that. And that is what I've had to grapple with over the last year that I spent all this time. And, you know, when Helen was telling me when she said she looked at me, and she said, what you're describing to me is an abusive relationship. And he was like, I can't say for sure, because I don't know him. I've never treated him. But it sounds like he was a sociopath. And… Amy 40:22 And you said, that's what Amy said. Andrea 40:28 Yes, I did say that. But I also had such a hard time I wanted, I immediately wanted to defend him, right? Of course, I didn't. But I told her that I said, I'm not going to but my first thought and reaction to you saying that is that I want to tell you the great things that he did, and how much fun we had and how normal we were. Amy 40:52 Wait, because first of all, you're never rooting for the person that you were with to actually be a sociopath. You're never like, I bet that's what it is. You want to find every reason why that is not what this is. And you're rooting for them. Right? You because you're a good human. Andrea 41:10 And, you know, to make it about me. I felt fucking stupid, right? You don't like what kind of my inner critic says what kind of stupid idiot girl stays with a sociopath for 13 and a half years, right? And the truth of it is I was a 17-year-old girl when I met. My parents got divorced a year into our dating relationship. I was engulfed, and just, you know, enveloped by his loving family, a loving but dysfunctional family. And it was a slow burn of abuse. It didn't just like wake up that way. And then that another TV thing that totally threw me for a loop was that documentary, The Vow About NXIVM and all those people in that in that self-help group, oh god, and then talking about adult grooming, which up until then, and this was literally like six months ago, I didn't think grooming happened to adults. Amy 42:09 Yes. That's what religion is. That's what religion is. Andrea 42:15 And I saw, I saw that, and I had to stop the documentary and walk away because I felt physically sick to my stomach, it was towards the end of the docuseries. And it was so painful because it very much is obvious that the relationship that I had with the fake cancer guy, that was grooming, like, hands down, no arguing with that he groomed me, and it was abuse. In my long relationship with my ex-husband, I was like, oh my god, and then I googled it and looked at, you know, what is adult grooming and there were these bullet points, and I read all of them. And I was like, oh my god, that was my life. That was totally my life. And so, it was just all these things that happened over the last year that I do think it was some divine intervention was like pointing me to the answers that I needed to hear that I was finally ready to accept yeah, as painful as it was, for me to be able to do the somatic work that I did with her. And it was rough. I mean, there were days after sessions with her that I had to like, go take a nap, or headaches learned to not have any classes or like the headaches I had. I had headaches after almost every single session with her. And I was extremely thirsty. Yeah, it was weird. So, I mean, to me that was saying like, something's happening to my body. Sure. And when we would do these somatic exercises, my body would twitch and she said people have different experiences, but that's energy moving through you. It was spooky. Amy 43:42 Yeah. I was wondering about feeling dehydrated or feeling really thirsty because water is is a conduit for energy. You know. Andrea 43:55 I never thought about that. Amy 43:56 Because we talked about that sometimes in with EFT work, like if if you're not getting the results that you need that it's like, you need to drink more water because it's a conduit for energy. So, I wonder if there's something like that, that it was just zapped up all your energy was just zapped up that water. Andrea 44:14 That's interesting. Maybe? Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me. The kind of therapy that she did with me, there were a couple of different kinds, but it's called AIT. I forget what it stands for. But you can find someone who's certified in your area. Unfortunately, my therapist is retiring this month, you know, as we wrap everything up, but one of the things one of the more recent things that we talked about the conclusion that I came to, you know, cuz she kept talking about you know, worthiness and things like that, and I would stop her. And I would say that's an, I don't feel that way. Like I don't feel unworthy, and I think it's because I've done so much work and I've worked so hard to get to a place where, of course, I have my moments where I feel not good enough, like, as we all do, but for the most part, I do feel like I have come to a place of worthiness. And I was taught, I was talking out loud. And that's, especially for people who are extroverts. We process out loud. And sometimes the way I describe it is like, I walk in a big circle, and come to my own conclusions. And we're talking about my issues with trust. And I said, it's not that I think that I'm unworthy. It's, I think, that nobody really cares about me. Amy 45:38 Like, you don't believe what they're saying? Is it a belief? Andrea 45:42 I do on a conscious level? Okay. I do on a conscious level, like, I know. I know that, that you care about me so much, and my well-being I absolutely know that my children do my mom especially, my husband. But it's, it's when people describe, you know, the feeling of unworthiness like they know consciously that they're worthy, but it's like the deep dark core secret or feeling is my deepest fear is that people don't really give a shit. Yeah, even though they say they do. Amy 46:17 Well, that is a direct parallel to the trauma that you've experienced. Andrea 46:23 Like, totally, my family of origin, and my romantic relationships. I thought that they cared, and the action showed me otherwise. Amy 46:31 That is a defense mechanism, 100% of I mean, all fear is real, but that that is my deepest fear, based on evidence of what it feels like to actually have that happen. Right? Like, it's, it's rooted in a real-world experience. So it's not like it's outlandish or crazy or anything like that. But then it becomes, and this is what I think is kind of the nucleus of all personal development. It's not that you stop having those thoughts of, maybe they don't really care about me, or it's not that you don't have triggers, it's that you choose to contend with them differently over and over and over. So, it's even though you have those thoughts, still choosing to confide in me. Andrea 47:26 Right, right. And work on my relationship with my husband being more vulnerable, like all those things. It helps to, and I just want to say for anybody listening, I think when I had that the day, I had that epiphany with her. I was totally crying. And I didn't cry a whole lot through our therapy, a few times. But that sort of told me like I was past the part of feeling really sad about it. I don't I don't know. I don't even know really the reason. But when I had that epiphany of It's not that I I feel like I'm unworthy. It's, I feel like nobody really cares. Again, like, palms totally started sweating, like my stomach hurt. And I want to emphasize that because what I have come to learn over the years is that I need to listen to my body and that my body's always talking to me. And that the more I listened to it, the more I do think that my body talks to me and gives me clues. Right? Amy 48:25 Right. And that I mean, gosh, that opens up such a can of worms that I don't even want to go down. I've been, for me personally, I've been exploring how my religious upbringing was so focused on discounting the messages from the body. And you're you can't, your intuition cannot be trusted. And so, you know, that is a whole other level of trauma, right is religious trauma. But one of the things that I think is so important with this discussion, and what we've talked about is that trauma comes in so many different forms. And it's highly likely that you are gaslighting yourself about your own trauma that you're saying. It's not that big of a deal. It's not that serious. Yeah, comparing… Andrea 49:13 I did that to myself. Amy 49:14 Comparing it to others. Well, so and so is such a has such a worse experience. This couldn't possibly be. Meanwhile, it's stacking and stacking and stacking and you're reaching this breaking point. That's exactly what happened for me in 2018. I was like this can’t. I was comparing stuff to my stuff to your stuff like, well, Andrea can handle it. Why can't I can't You know? So, but that doesn't ever get you healing. It doesn't get you to know, where you need to go. I also remember very distinctly when we talked and that day that you called me hiding behind your desk and telling me that you hadn't told Jason and that to me was not necessarily any about the relationship, but it was, she does not have to carry all of this on her own. And she is. She's carrying all of it on her own. And granted, I know you have very solid reasons why that was the case. But I think that is one thing that I want everybody to hear is, that's not heroic. You know, we make it we make this notion of I don't want to burden other people. I don't want to bring anyone down, right? Like we've both said to each other. I feel like you're gonna get sick of hearing the same story from me. All of that stuff is bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Like you deserve to actually get support for things. You don't have to carry it all on your own. And that is one thing I do remember talking to you about. Like this is I'm glad you brought this to me. Jason needs to be looped in. You need to get some support and therapy. This is not about muscling through. Andrea 51:02 Yeah. And I it took me a few days, actually, even after I talked to you to talk to him about it. And that afternoon, I sat down at my computer and I wrote about it. And I, because I thought of the metaphor of an I titled this piece, what did I call it something like ‘Enough Licks Before the Meltdown’ or something like that. And remember, when you were a little kid, and like the ice cream truck would come and it was like summertime, and it was super hot, and you would get a popsicle. And you would lick. And if you were too slow, then the popsicle would break. And it would hit the street, and then you were super bummed. Like that's how I felt my life. I was always trying to stay one lick ahead of the meltdown. Yeah, that's what I called it. And, and I was so close, you know, like, I had all these plates spinning. Yeah, my popsicle broke. And I felt like it hit the pavement. It was melting. And I didn't, I couldn't. I couldn't save it anymore. And I was scared. Like, there was a moment, there were a few moments where I was, I was really scared for my mental health and knew that if I didn't tell my husband that you were probably going to intervene and drive up from Charlotte. Amy 52:11 Yeah, I would have gotten way more stern with you. If I didn't feel like you were going to take any action. Yeah. But one thing that I've seen you consistently do, you know, you've definitely done this with your sobriety. And recovery. Is to is really recognizing and kind of surrendering to what's actually happening. I think that was a really, pardon the term, sobering moment for you when you went, this is how it starts, is these suicidal ideations, and you to your credit, same thing with any sort of stress that may have led to drinking years ago. You've called in the support right away. You know you said like, okay, I need to get ahead of this. It's like, it's like, the minute it becomes evident that this is fucking serious. You're ready to, to handle it. Andrea 53:12 But I think as hard as it is, yeah. Amy 53:15 But for most of us, I wait, we wait till that breaking point. Andrea 53:19 Right. And that's how I used to be. I mean, first and foremost, I learned that I had to nurture friendships around me that that fostered that, yeah, because it wasn't just about my friends, like it was about me, I had to be a better friend. In order to have these reciprocal relationships, to ask for the right kind of help. I sure wish that I could just muscle my way through it. And Lord knows that I've tried, but it just, it wasn't going to work. And I think that the conclusion that I came to, was that I was not going to get the kind of like, perfect closure that I wanted. And even if I got that I don't think that it would have mattered because it wasn't about you know, what my parents could say to me to apologize or make up for it, or my ex-husband could say to apologize and express remorse or, or you know, what Mr. Fake Cancer could come, you know, come out of the woodwork and do it was really about me, and I had to take responsibility. And I had to create the kind of closure that was my own way. That's right. Amy 54:27 And this is what I will say for anybody who is in a friendship situation like that, where you, you where you have the honor of somebody turning to you, you know like I feel so honored that you called me. And that's not that I always know because we converse through a very specific app. And so I know if you're actually calling… Andrea 54:51 It wasn't just calling, I was Facetiming you, and it was like a Blair Witch Project type of situation with like snot. Amy 54:58 I know. It's not really, really serious, but and we've had a couple of those throughout our friendship. But that is such an honor to be on that receiving end. And I think that there's some distinction. I was thinking about this as we were preparing to talk about this. Because I do think that there's a difference between supporting a friend through a breakdown like that, or a really rough, like mental patch, and having a friend who bitches and moans about the shit that's going on in their life and never takes action. So, because I could see people listening and going, Yeah, but my friend always has shit that's going on. And it's always dramatic. And it's always hyperbolic. And it's always the end of the world. And they never take any action. And I started thinking about, like, what are those delineations and how, for our situation, there's always been active investment in wanting to heal that you, it wasn't about, I'm just, I'm upset. And I need you to hear me. We have plenty of those times. But that you were like, I'm in a crisis point, and I, I know that I need to reach out and get support. And you were ready to actually do that, like, take some steps to do that. So, I think one of the best things that you can do in those types of situations is for the love of God, do not tell somebody how they should or should not feel. Don't say “No, you shouldn't feel like that”. That's the most dismissive thing that you can say to somebody when they're in such a heightened emotional state. So do not do that. And then one of our things we've talked about plenty of times is saying, “What do you need from me?” or “How can I support you the best?”, “How can it be amazing for you?”. You and I both have gotten very specific in are there specific things you want to hear or do not want to hear? like things that are helpful for me to say, semantics, phrases, and things that are, are an or not. And I can't say that there's like a blanket way to always handle this. But I do think that really leaning into compassion be just being with somebody. Being seen by you can be so unbelievably powerful, because a lot of times when people are in those places, the other party wants to fix it. And most of the time, we just need to be witnessed. There's so much power in that. Andrea 57:38 Yeah, never once did I say like, what do you think I should do? Amy 57:43 Yeah, I'm like, well, that's an option. No. Andrea 57:50 Oh my God. Well, and then I forgot to mention our super fun burning party that we had a few months ago. Amy 57:57 Oh, yeah. I'm still trying to get the ash smell out of my two coats that we dolled ourselves up in. Andrea 58:02 So, I came over to your house and I brought hundreds of pictures from my former relationship. And we had a bonfire in Amy's backyard and had a little trouble getting the bonfire started. Almost had to ask your husband for help, which we did not want to. Amy 58:21 I really didn't want to do that. I’m so glad we didn't. Andrea 58:23 But we figured it out. dressed up for it. Amy 58:28 And that was another example of a friendship vulnerability to like you. Like, you ask me, “Hey, I'm thinking about doing this thing. What would you be actually would you witness me doing this.” And of course, I was fuckin thrilled. I was like, “This is my ideal situation!”. I love vulnerability. Andrea 58:48 Well, it was kind of it was like Valentine's Day they were doing, they kind of made it be like this witchy thing where they were burning, I don't remember it was pictures of their old boyfriends or something like that and had to call the fire department. It was a burning ceremony. And actually, I think it was Hannah Mercati that gave me the idea to do it. Because I couldn't bear the thought of having all of those pictures in a landfill somewhere just like throwing them away, but at the same time, I don't want to keep them. So uh, you know, I had the idea to this idea to burn’em and didn't want to do it by myself, but kind of did want to do it by myself. And the only person I could think of to do it with was you. And so yeah, it was super fun. We dressed in ridiculous outfits that didn't match and just had a lot of fun. Amy 59:34 Because it was winter bundling up and… Andrea 59:37 I was outside. Coats. And I felt okay like I had no idea how I was going to feel looking through my old wedding album and the album from my honeymoon and just so many pictures from my 20s, early 30s. And I was okay. Amy 59:52 You were ready. You know, for the first so many years. even getting rid of those pictures was not an option. Andrea 59:58 Even asking my sister to ship them to me because they were at her house like I didn't, I wasn't even ready to see him. I didn't know how it was, I feel. Amy 1:00:06 You know, we had a moment then too, doing all of that, where again, this is something that I've really tried to employ, instead of trying to fix things for people is to just say, do you what can I? How can I support you? Even that night, I remember saying, ‘Do you want a little bit of time by yourself? Do you want me to step inside? I'm good. Either way. I'm not over it. I could do it all night.’ A lot of times the instinct in really intimate friendships or partnerships is to say, here's how you should behave. Here's what you should do. Instead of what do you need from me? Yeah, you know, and definitely, we have advice portions of our… Andrea 1:00:50 Well, I'm curious, you know, before we wrap up, I would love for you to talk a little bit about it, and I don't know the answer to this. So actually, curious myself, like, do you work with clients on things like this? Because I know through hypnotherapy, that's another somatic modality that people can use, who want to quit smoking and all kinds of different things. So, what do you see? When people have issues as I brought to my therapist? Amy 1:01:16 Yeah, so typically, I advise people to go where, where it hurts the most because this is what I see the most commonly. The primary work that I do that is in it's a medley kind of multiple modalities, but hypnosis and coaching and NLP and etc. The entry-level, sort of what we work on is usually that worthiness. Right? It's usually that notion of, I recognize that I'm the only, I'm the one that's in my way. So, I keep thinking, if I get this perfect career, if somebody loves me, if blah, blah, blah, then maybe I'll be happy, maybe then I'll be valuable. So, what I find is that we kind of go through that, that baseline, and then once they graduate, then it becomes some of the more systematic or deeper levels that they work through. So, I've seen a lot of people then, as their next step, sometimes we do it one on one, sometimes it's through my graduate group, sometimes it's with other practitioners, then they'll go through oh, shit, I'm realizing that there's a lot of my worthiness that's tied to religious trauma, or I've realized that this worthiness issue, the stuff that we've worked through, or about money, or about this past relationship. So, it's not dissimilar to the journey that of yours that we've chronicled, it's like, you're only so you're only ready to peel away certain levels, layers of the onion. And spoiler alert for everybody who doesn't want to hear this, but you're never fucking done. Yeah, you know, even all this stuff that you've shared today, there will be the next level, there will be the next thing that you work through. And it might be completely unrelated to any of the stuff that we've talked about today. So, I think everything is rooted in the subconscious part of the mind like all of that is. But we have to recognize that that's also a protective mechanism. So, we're not always ready to process things. Yeah. So, it's about meeting yourself, where you are currently. Just talking to my brother about this, because he was like, shit, I've got sexuality stuff. I've got religious stuff. I've got mom and dad issues I've got, he's like, I've waited too long, you got to jump on this. You started working on this early, and he's like, overwhelmed with the amount of stuff. And I'm like, okay, let's just start where it hurts. Like, let's start where it hurts right now. And go start peeling that layer of the onion and just know that it's, it will continue. You don't have to do it all in one sitting. You don't have to do it all in one interaction. And that you and I are still doing it. And we're teachers of it. Yeah. You know, that's part of it. Andrea 1:04:03 Yeah, I love hearing about the work that you do, because it's been so clear to me that it's all about the subconscious, mostly because of the dreams that I keep having. And, it was interesting. I don't know if I told you this or not, but the more recent dreams that I've been having about him, and I was telling Helen this, I was saying they I'm back at his parents’ house where I spent a lot of time and it's a mess like there was some kind of party or someone just like didn't clean up their laundry and didn't make the bed. It's not dirty. It's just messy. And I have to clean up and its present time like he, you know, we're this old and he has, you know, the child that he had with another woman and there's typically another family member there. So, it's like either his mom is also there or one of his brothers or somebody and I have to clean it and I'm cleaning up. Yeah, I have to clean up and I feel like I need to clean up. I didn't get the connection until I told her and she like stared at me for a minute. Amy 1:05:04 I'm looking at I'm holding my hands up like, Hello! Andrea 1:05:10 And then I looked at her, I was like, oh my god, and I'm like, I'm cleaning up the mess. And I feel it's not that I feel frantic in the dream, but it feels like it's my top priority. Amy 1:05:23 Right? I'm gonna have to agree with Helen on this one. Andrea 1:05:30 There's, there are other dreams. Since I've been working with her, they've definitely sort of loosened their charge, so they don't feel as emotionally charged. They're still weird. And this is another reason like the subconscious I think is so interesting, is that I could not tell you right now, like details of his face, and his mannerisms and stuff. But when I dream about it, it's there. Right, that tells me like your subconscious hold on to these memories. And it kind of seems like a ‘well duh, but when you're dreaming it, and you wake up the next morning, and like you have like that visceral feeling like, ugh. I feel that we want to have drinking dreams. Still, it's just like, right, all these old memories that are living in your subconscious, it was a clear indicator to me that these old traumas were still living inside my body. And then I needed to close the loop. Amy 1:06:19 It's imprinted. It's imprinted in your cells, it's imprinted in your psyche. You know, what do they say we use as such a small percentage of our brain's actual power, like, of course, you have records of that. But what I think is really interesting. And this is, at least from what I've learned around dream therapy, that a lot of times, you will get context clues of whatever it is that you're dreaming about, that will be in reference to a specific time period. If you are actually a different age, in your dream, that's typically indicative of something that wasn't rectified at that particular age. So, for you in that dream that you just shared, that's very different because of your present-day self, so it's indicating that it's something you're contending with right now. But you have these context clues of the people who were around during a very specific time period. So, it's quite clear that the metaphor of cleaning up is you're doing it on your own, right? It's that whole thing you just said about closure. You don't have him to have a sit down with or to have any sort of, you know, quote, closure. It's you cleaning up the influence of these people. And that I would think the symbolism of the other family member who's there is representative of the layers of grief that you've experienced around losing this relationship. That it was not just the loss of the marriage, but the community and the connection each in the family. And this that that whole, does anybody really care. Right? Does anybody really care? They’re all tethered. Yeah, it's, it's all completely tethered. Andrea 1:08:21 Yeah. Fascinating. It is. Thanks for coming on and doing this with me. Amy 1:08:26 Are you do you have a headache now? Andrea 1:08:27 I don't. Amy 1:08:28 Okay, good. I'm glad. Amy 1:08:32 Yeah, I have my kombucha and my dog is near me. I'm really, really hot, though. I don't know if it's because our heaters up too much. Or it just is it's a difficult conversation. And I am proud of myself, I've come so far in this, and I would not have wanted to come on the show and talk about this like, of you know, in May of 2020. Like I needed to come all the way full circle to March 2021, to be able to share this with the audience. And I hope it was helpful for people I just, I like to be really transparent about things. And I think before I went through it, I always wondered what somatic trauma therapy looked like. And this is what I went through isn't the only way there are. There are, you know, therapy, I was about to call them camps, but they're like, they're just, you know, therapeutic workshops and that you can go to for like weeks at a time I looked into those. They're very expensive, but and I also didn't want to do group therapy and I wanted, yeah, so I specifically looked for someone who because I had done talk therapy for so long, and I knew this was an issue that I could not talk my way through anymore. Amy 1:09:40 Right. Right. And, you know, if if you go to Psychology Today, the online publication, they also do a physical publication as well, but they have an amazing resource where you can search by all sorts of modalities, you can search for therapists who also do EMDR or who also have coaching
55 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 380: The intersection between mental health and social justice with Mia Hemstad
This week Mia Hemstad, mental health advocate and social justice activist, joins me for a discussion about major depressive disorder, the intersection between mental health and politics, and how women can make themselves a priority by doing one small thing a day. Mia and I had recorded this episode several months ago. I was waiting to release it for various reasons (which I share in this episode). Like many, I saw the recent interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, where Meghan shared her story of suicide ideation. During my conversation with Mia, she shared her own story of suicide ideation, as did I. Therefore, I felt it was important to share this episode now. It’s relevant and after the year we’ve experienced, an important one to discuss. I hope this episode is helpful to you. In this episode you'll hear: How Mia became a mental health advocate and social justice activist out of necessity. “Mental health and politics are connected.” (6:34) How women can make themselves a priority by doing one small thing a day to nourish themselves. And, a reminder from Mia that, “Healing is not a checklist.” (15:56) Mia’s major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation story.(26:48) How to handle overwhelming emotions. (46:32) One last thing, next week on the podcast, I have a bit of a follow-up to this episode. It’s a Conversation About Shit That Matters with Unqualified People with my dear friend, Amy Smith, as I talk more about my mental breakdown last year, the decade that led up to it, which brought me to intense trauma therapy and what that looked like. Resources mentioned in this episode: Suicide Prevention National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800-273-8255 The Writing Experience with Amy Ahlers and Andrea Owen Follow Andrea on Instagram Mia’s website Mia’s 3 part blog post about suicide ideation Episode 355: CASTMWUP with Andrea and Liz on Aging and Mental Health Mia Hemstad is a wife and mom of two kids (ages 2 and 4). She works full time as a social justice activist, and runs her personal company online where she talks about her daily life with PTSD and depression and the importance of doing the hard, inner work of overcoming trauma and taking care of yourself. A recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, Mia wants women to learn to take their power back by making themselves a priority. Mia’s raw and honest content about mental health and stepping into her power has earned her features in media outlets such as Romper, Parents.com, Cafe Mom, and several others. Some of Mia’s favorite pastimes include trying out new coffee shops, taking naps, watching anything about food, and buying yet another journal from the planner section at Target. Right-click to download the .mp3 SHOW TRANSCRIPT 00:00 It's not about your planner. It's not your time management. It's not because you don't, you're bad at time management sister, it's because everything around you is telling you to hurry up, hustle up, get over yourself, and don't spend too much time on yourself or you're going to look like you're too big for your britches, those people telling you that are exhausted and bitter and resentful, and we need to leave that way of life behind. And we need to create a new way of life where we really honor and respect ourselves and to see the positive ripple effects that happens from that and I will never go back to the old way of doing things because my career started blossoming, my health started to improve my relationships got better the way that I mother, my children improves once you do it enough that you see the positive ripple effects, all the naysayers, all that noise just gets quieter and quieter. This is Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast Episode Number 380. With guest Mia Hemstad. This is Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast with Andrea Owens, a no-BS guide to self-help and badassery. Because ladies, let's face it. Life's too short. And here's your host, the girl who serves it up straight with a side of crazy, Andrea Owen. Andrea 01:10 Hey, ass-kickers welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here. I have three important announcements. So, if you're a skipper like I know some of you are, that's okay, I'm not mad, I just want to invite you to listen to these quick announcements. The first one is that starting tomorrow, if you listen to this podcast today that it comes out, starting on March 25th, Amy Ahlers and I are kicking off our second round of the writing experience. This is a six-week online program for anyone who, whether you're an aspiring writer, whether you're a seasoned writer, if you want to write a book and self-publish, or traditional publishing, if you want to start a blog, if you want to write poetry writers come with us. We are inviting you to join us with this program. It's going to be amazing it was last year and I have no doubt that it's going to be incredible. I am going to just let you go read about it at WritingExperienceProgram.com. And if you're listening to this, like you know the week of the 29th of March, shoot us an email if you still want to join because there's plenty of time and you didn't miss much. All right. My second announcement is that I have a new Instagram name. I switched over and I am now @HeyAndreaOwen on Instagram and on Tik Tok. What more about that later. And on Twitter. I am just sort of streamlining everything, @HeyAndreaOwen is the new handle. And more on that a little bit later. There's some other changes happening over here as well. I cannot wait to unveil them all to you as the as the months go by here in 2021. And I know that I had promised you here's the last announcement. I know I had promised you that this week we were going to have a coaching session that we haven't had in a long time over here that is coming. I decided to push it back a couple weeks and instead bring you an interview that I did a few months ago with Mia Hemstad. She came on and we talked about her work. And she was also generous enough to share her story around major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation. So, I wanted to give you a trigger warning about that we do dive into that topic in this particular episode. So, if that's very sensitive to you, you may want to skip it. It's one of those things where you put it off for a few months for no real reason. I just wanted to make sure I was really ready to put it out there because I go into a little bit of my own story as well. And I saw the interview like many of you probably did with Prince Harry and Megan Markel, as Megan shared her story around the same topic. And I feel like it's incredibly relevant for many of us. And I think COVID really sort of, you know, it was hard. I'll just say that, and it still is for a lot of us. So, I'm putting out this episode a little bit sooner than I had originally planned. But I am incredibly ready for it. And I hope that it is helpful to you. And next week, I have a bit of a follow-up. My best friend Amy Smith is coming on and we are having a conversation about shit that matters with unqualified people around this topic. And I'm also going to dive in and share with you and be incredibly transparent about my year of trauma therapy that I did in 2020 and a little bit in 2021. I am very, very ready to share that with you in hopes that it can inspire and perhaps motivate you to do your own therapy that you might need to do. You'll probably see some of yourself in the story that I tell. So, the conversation with Amy and me is going to be next week and now you're going to hear a conversation with Mia Hemstad. So for those of you that don't know her, let me tell you a little bit about her. Mia Hemstad is a wife and mom of two kids. She works full time as a social justice activist and runs her personal company online where she talks about her daily life with PTSD and depression and the importance of doing the hard inner work of overcoming trauma and taking care of yourself. A recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, Mia wants women to learn to take their power back by making themselves a priority. Mia’s raw and honest content about mental health and stepping into her power has earned her features in media outlets such as Romper, Parents.com, Cafe Mom, and several others. Some of his favorite pastimes include trying out new coffee shops, taking naps, watching anything about food, and buying yet another journal from the planner section at Target. So, without further ado, here is Mia. Andrea 06:05 Mia, thank you so much for being here. Mia 06:09 Thank you for having me, Andrea, I'm so excited. Andrea 06:12 So, our mutual friend Sara Dean hooked us up and she said, I really think you would your listeners would really love Mia’s story. And I was reading your website and I was really kind of completely immersed in like devouring your mom like oh my gosh, I can't wait to talk to her and have you come on to help everyone with all of your expertise. And I'm really interested in in how you got here. Because on your website, you say that you're both a mental health advocate and social justice activist out of necessity. And I know you do your body of work goes beyond that, which we'll get into. But tell me about your journey and how you got there? Mia 06:50 That's a great question. So, this all started in 2017, May of 2017, when I posted my first YouTube video, about my experience with anxiety and depression. I was just waking up to the fact that I could potentially be struggling with a mental illness or two or three. I was really dealing with a lot at the time that I honestly couldn't articulate. But I knew that what I was experiencing needed to be brought to the surface because I had stumbled across a YouTube video of a gal sharing what it feels like to be depressed. And I think that video quite honestly saved my life. And it really opens me up to the power of people just sharing their stories. And it kind of opened me up the to the fact that we don't need to just have people who are quote, unquote, qualified or quote-unquote, experts to only be talking about mental health. And we need everybody. And so, I come from a family that did not talk about mental health. I did not talk about mental illness, it's still super taboo. And I wanted to just be one of the first to just start breaking all of that stigma down and just opening up that space. And honestly, since then, it's just been this ride of continuing to show up as best I can, continuing to share my journey of healing with other people giving people hope, but also being honest about the hard moments, you know, as much as I wish. And I still do have days where I'm like, maybe I should wait 10 years when I've really overcome a lot of this crap, and then come back and help people. But that just feels so selfish. It feels it doesn't feel right to me, it feels very like ego preserving, like, oh, I only want to show up when everything's great. And I honestly get so many messages from people that just appreciate that I show up with whatever I have right now. And so that's kind of where it all started. And then the more I started, to dive into the issues of postpartum depression and anxiety, and also just general, you know, mental illness struggles, like anxiety, generalized depression, and PTSD. You know, I started to really look at things from an infrastructure level. So, you know, what are the systemic issues that are perpetuating these problems? And as a black woman, there's no denying that, you know. I have dealt with racist doctors, racist pediatricians, racist OBGYN’s, you know, you know, having to fight for my life in the delivery room having to fight for bodily autonomy in the delivery room, and so many things like that. And it's like, why is that this way, and then I started to do research, and I started to learn that I wasn't the only black woman facing this that statistically thousands of us, millions of us are dying at a higher rate than white women. We are being mistreated. We are having social services called on us for no reason that black women are just facing these incredible obstacles. And so that got me started in politics, specifically in policy advocacy for paid family leave, which is a concept that a lot of people don't know about. Honestly, I didn't even know about it before I actually started in this work. But essentially, it's a public program that enables people to take time off to bond with a new child or to be a caregiver for a certain amount of time so that you can take leave from your job to do that and why that's so important and tied to mental health. First of all, there are numerous studies that have been done in other countries that have these programs that have shown that when people are able to take time off and have economic stability, they're able to preserve their mental health, they're able to preserve their relationships. If you have, if you're in a bad domestic situation, women are able to leave because of that economic stability. And so, you know, this issue of paid family leave became one of several that I hope to tackle throughout my life of how can I actually support people's mental health at the policy level at the systemic level? And it was really through policy advocacy. So that's what I do in my day-to-day job is, I talk with legislators, I educate people about their rights. I work with immigrant populations and African American populations. I'm just making sure that these women and mothers and caregivers know their rights at work, and also that I am helping to improve them. Because currently, a lot of the rights we have in the US are so limited when it comes to supporting women and mothers. It's really sad, we really have women and mothers have very little agency in the workplace. And I think that's why a lot of us get shoved out. Wow. I know, I know, it was a lot. And it's a lot. But yeah. Andrea 11:01 I love it. I mean, I don't love that all that happened to you had to go through that struggle to get where you are today to fight for the things that matter to you. But I just was sitting here like with my eyes big like this woman has just been through it in order to get to where you are. And I just want to highlight what you were saying around and I know so about half the listeners here are mothers and the other half are child free. And for those people that don't know, I was completely clueless when it came to birth and labor and, and babies and that whole business and the United States. And I know it varies from country to country. But so, I had my first child in 2007 and he was in the breech position. From what I understand that breach vaginal births are what they call a lost art in obstetrics, I will not find a doctor in the city who will allow you to birth that baby. So, I ended up having a cesarean section with him. And then when I got pregnant again, I wanted to have at least attempt to do a vaginal birth. And so, I had to educate myself. I did not realize the politics involved in that whole industry. Yep. And how, how much mothers are shamed. Yeah, for trying to listen to their own bodies. Oh, yeah, have body autonomy, and that we should we're pushed to believe and trust our doctors implicitly. Yep. And I felt like I was not listened to. I felt like I was bullied. And I am a white privileged woman. I imagine that a woman of color who did not have the class status that I did, who did not have the resources that I did, would feel backed into a corner much more than I did. Mia 12:55 Yeah. Andrea 12:56 And I won't get into it, but I did end up having a successful vaginal birth. That's It's also known as a V BAC vaginal birth after cesarean. It went off without a hitch. Wow, I knew it would. I knew that my baby was fine. She was great. And I didn't want to have a second cesarean section unless it was absolutely necessary. Wow. And I point blank asked my doctor, and I'm like, am I at risk? Actually, it was my husband that asked him because I was crying? Yeah, my husband said it, “Is my wife and child at risk if she had if she tries for this natural birth?” and the OBGYN said, no. And he said I wanted I actually want to be the one to deliver her baby. Wow. That's why the main reason he wanted me to have another cesarean. Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent. Well, I just wanted to underscore that, that that is a whole separate conversation. Mia 13:47 It really is. It really is. Yeah. And you know, it's challenging whenever I sit down for an interview, because it's like, there's really not one little like, you know, perfect package message here, because it's just like, I came into diving into my mental health. Because I had, because of becoming a mother. I think I read one of your Instagram posts that said, like, you became pregnant and realize you really needed to deal with like your struggles and your addictions and things like that. And it's just so true for me, too. It's just like motherhood became a catalyst for me to face my past to face all the other issues. But first, I had to really deal with like, the crisis of having a tragic traumatic birth, the crisis of dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety, and all of that. And also, this the crisis of waking up and realizing and what I was dealing with, just as a black woman that now became a mom, it came with a whole slew of issues, and then the policy I never would have thought I was going to be in politics like I can't tell you how much I hated it. At first and thought, I'm never going to go into that and then I just got sick and tired of telling people just hold on, it's going to be okay, because, for a lot of us people of color, it's not going to be okay. It's not, it's not and it's just garbage to sit here and say just like, you know, You know, I meditate and I do yoga, but I also sit there in hearings and tell senators and assembly members to vote for the right crap. Because it's just not enough to sit here and act like we don't need systemic change. So, you know, I think that I think that our, our laws in our country are like this invisible infrastructure impacting every area of our life. But we've been taught our whole lives to avoid politics because it's seen to be divisive. And I think that, especially for women, especially for women, and I think the people in power are so grateful that they painted that narrative because it keeps women from meddling with the people who are in power, because guess what someone's writing the laws, is it going to be you? Or is it going to be someone else who doesn't care about you? So, like, that's really what I was faced with. And I think a lot of us were faced with this in 2020. A lot of us were faced with this reality that politics and leadership are happening with or without us, and we're all now dealing with the collective consequences as we've all lived together through this pandemic, and still are and seeing kind of what happens when we don't engage. So that's like a whole other soapbox like I could get on about it. But you know, I want to be respectful of like, however, you want to take this interview. But it's just like, it's just I basically just want to make sure people understand that mental health and politics are connected. Maternal mental health and posits are connected, you know, the ability for a black woman to have a healthy and safe birth is connected to that as well. So that's how I found myself and social justice activism in addition to the work I do with mental health. Andrea 16:31 Well, let's shift gears slightly because I know that you know, another large part of your body of work is that you encourage women to make themselves a priority. And you say that doing one small thing a day to nourish themselves can be extraordinarily helpful. So, can you tell us more about your philosophy and some small thing examples? Mia 16:51 Yeah, I love that question. So, this really came out of me trying and failing and trying and failing to figure out how to live with my mental struggles, I came into working on my mental health after having a child and then becoming a caregiver full time for my brother, and then having another child. So, I never came into this with all the space to like, go on retreats, or have a solo vacation or, you know, go to intensive therapy or anything like that. And so, I really want to address the people who are waking up to all the inner dragons that they're trying to slay every day. But they also are making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and dealing with multiple schedules and stuff. I had to find a way that was realistic. And so, I had to really let go of all the ways I was seeing to approach healing, like on Instagram and on a lot of like influencer stuff that was just very, like time-consuming and very inaccessible for me as a mom that was like breastfeeding and stuff. And so, I just decided to accept my circumstances and to work with what I had. And it started with really small things. Like making sure I took a bath at the end of a long day, and then making my bed every morning, and then finding exercise that really worked for me. And slowly but surely, these, these one-off, self-care practices became full-on sustainable self-care rituals, I like to call them because they're practices and rituals that I go to every day now to keep me afloat, because that's the thing about being in it, you know? I'm not talking to listeners from a place of ‘oh, well, that one time I went through this dark time with depression and anxiety. I currently live with it. And so, I like to tell people and teach people through my example of how I live with it. And so, it's a variety of things. And for everybody, it's different. But for me, it's always been kind of a collection of tools, I like to say, that I have in my toolbox now that I've cultivated over the last few years. And then I started to teach it to other women. And then it started to really pick up and really resonate with people, I think, because we're all really busy. And we don't have the privilege and the luxury to just stop everything and spend all day trying to get to the bottom of what's going on. And like all of our childhood wounds and things like that. And so, it's just, it's a way of being sustainable with it. Because I think that burnout is such a common thing, not only in American culture but also especially for moms. I think there's this weird, competitive nature out there that we're all supposed to be doing the most always. And, you know, it caused me to burnout and become resentful and bitter and exhausted and just not the mom and the wife and the person I want it to be. And so that's really kind of what birthed the philosophy of doing one thing every day. But then even more than that was what comes up for me and other women when we try to do something for ourselves because it's truly a huge shift. It's truly a massive thing, an undertaking because then we're faced with ‘well, why is it so hard for me to ask for a couple of hours on a Saturday to be by myself?’. ‘Why is it so hard for me to spend an hour in the tub instead of laboring over the dishes and making sure every inch of the kitchen is clean?’. And that's kind of where the deeper work started happening, the deeper conversations with women. Like I have a monthly group where we like, meet, and see each other face to face over zoom. And we have some really intense conversations where people are like realizing like, ‘Oh, well, I never saw my mom take a break’, or ‘I never saw my grandmother ever sit down’ like, or ‘I never night out’. Yeah, or have a girl’s night out. Or, you know, when I did go out and do something for myself, all my girlfriends were like, ‘oh, must be nice’. Where do you find the time to do that? How do you find the time to read, and people are not being encouraged? And so, I think people are realizing that it's not just about like to say it's not just it's not about your planner, it's not your time management, it's like, it's not because you don't, you're bad at time management sister. It's because everything around you is telling you to hurry up, hustle up, get over yourself, and don't spend too much time on yourself or you're going to look like you're too big for your britches. And I want you to know that those people telling you that are exhausted and bitter and resentful, and we need to leave that way of life behind. And we need to create a new way of life where we really honor and respect ourselves and to see the positive ripple effects that happen from that. And I will never go back to the old way of doing things because my career started blossoming, my health started to improve. My relationships got better the way that I mother, my children improve. And so, it's like, once you do it enough that you see the positive ripple effects, all the naysayers, all that noise just gets quieter and quieter. And you just stop listening to it. So yeah, that's kind of the philosophy behind it. It's like it's it's an evolution. It's a healing journey. It's a process. I like to say, healing is not a checklist. And when you work with me, I will not give you a checklist. It's not about and people want that. Don't get me wrong. If you're like me, I can't you just tell me exactly what I need to do. And I'm like, the things that nurture you and that heal your soul are not the things that looks different. Yeah, that's not my thing. So, you know, it's really a journey. And I just try to be a guide in that and a mentor and a supporter but not a checklist giver. I can't be a checklist giver. Andrea 22:12 I love the philosophy of small things. Because I think that we like you were saying, we can see people on social media who seem to be going on these, like really amazing vacations and having personal trainers and, and so many big things. And yeah, I really either think, either they worked up to that, or that's not that's just like a prop. It's just yeah, really what their life looks like. Yeah, but I did the same thing. You know, I started my business when my kids were one and three. And it was rough. I'm not gonna lie to anybody. Mia 22:47 So, encouraging to hear though, because my kids, I started mine when my kids were one and three, too. And I feel like everyone I know on Instagram started their business in their 20s. And yeah, they like they grew it to six, seven figures. And then they had their first child at 30 when they had a house, and I'm like, what am I supposed to do? And I'm like, Well, I guess we're gonna figure it out. Andrea 23:09 I'm gonna figure it out. Yeah, there's I, I'm making this gallery wall in my office and there's a print that I'm it's in my shopping cart. And it says, ‘you'll figure something out. I love that. Because like, that's been my philosophy it because I just I'm like, well, I guess I'm gonna fly by the seat of my pants. I'm just gonna have to figure it out. But I won't like it was super rough. And, and I remember I had a friend over a childfree friend over and she stayed for a couple of nights. And she, I didn't even notice this. She said, “I have not seen you sit down to eat the whole time I've been here. You've been eating over the sink”. Oh, wow. Like I am. I didn't even know. Yeah, and my husband is in the room. And he said, being a parent is very opportunistic. You have to just whenever you can. Yeah. And so, I decided you know that I'm gonna sit down even if I have to as a few times. I'm going to sit my ass in the seat to eat and the small things that we don't think about and even for the people that have children. It is the small things. I love to make your bed one, yeah, and for me, it was also get dressed because especially in the, I know a lot of people haven't gone back to work yet. And they're loving being at home and getting to work in their pajamas and things like that. Even if it's just their pajama bottoms. I and if you thrive in that way. I applaud you. I personally don't. Mia 24:24 I don't know. Yep, Andrea 24:25 I yeah, I have to get dressed and people are aghast when I tell them I wear jeans. Mia 24:30 Oh my goodness, you know, and I have something to say to that too. Because I'm the same way and I never want to get out of my pajamas I never want to get but if I don't, I will not be productive. I will feel like crap all day. And so, a solution I had at the beginning was I bought looser, like straight leg pant jeans like not skinny jeans so they're more comfortable. And then I'm going, to be honest, I've gained weight since I've bought those jeans and so I went on target.com and I got these cute, they're called paper bag style pants, where they have like a nice drawstring tie at the top. And they're like, really loose, and they're made out of like a good fabric. So, they look I look put together, but I still feel like I'm wearing comfortable pants. So, like, I think that we, it's so interesting how so many of us live in these extremes. It's like all or nothing, right? It's like we're wearing skinny jeans and a blazer or wearing our pajamas. And it's like, I think we can find something in the middle. And that's my approach to self-care. It's not like you're going on a two-month vacation to Tibet and having a monk guide you or nothing. It's, you know, it's I, you know, truly what you mentioned about sitting down to eat. Yes, as a parent, we know how extremely meaningful that is to us, you know, to not be eating our children's leftovers. It's such an act of love to take the time, 10-15 minutes, to make your lunch and then sit down and eat it. If you can just give yourself that 20 to 30 minutes a day, one meal, to just really pay attention to yourself. It's crazy what it started to do for my self-image and the way that I respected myself. It's so self-nurturing, especially after two years of just feeling like I slog through motherhood and just was like, everyone was like, ‘oh, that's just the way it is like, you're just going to be burned out and exhausted all the time’. And I'm like, no. I really wish someone had told me that there's another way it's not all or nothing that you can find these moments where you can take care of yourself in these small ways. And it does matter. It really does matter. And it requires a little bit of planning. Like, you know, one of the things that were really self-nurturing was taking the time on the weekend to actually make a meal plan so that I'm not eating peanut butter and jelly crusts all week long for lunch do that, too. Yeah. And you know, these little things. So, I try to just make sure people understand that I'm not asking you to spend an exorbitant amount of money on self-care because self-care has become this like, almost like this luxury status thing. It's really these everyday choices that a lot of times we don't want to make, like putting on better clothes or making a meal plan but that throughout the week, it's just so self-affirming that it changes how you show up in every area of your life. Andrea 27:03 Mm-hmm. Do you have a link to those pants from Target because I want a pair? Mia 27:07 I will have to find it for you. They are so good. And you know, I worry I was starting to feel this weight of like, ‘oh my gosh, I don't fit any of my jeans. Not comfortably anyway. Andrea 27:19 Yeah, good. Good. And I'm gonna put in the show notes. The pants I have on right now there are these high-waisted Levi's, okay, that were only like 40 bucks on Zappos.com. And I'm obsessed with them. They're so stretchy. They go over my belly. And it's amazing. Andrea 27:36 Like, I’m all for these high-waisted mom jeans? Mia 27:37 Yes. All my jeans are high-waisted. Oh, yeah. I mean, a good pair of pants just help to make your day because then you just feel so can change your life. Andrea 27:47 Well, I want to shift over at this point. And I did chat with you about this before the show to get your permission and give you a heads up that I would like to share my experience with this too. And you are open about this. I think you have a three-part blog post series on your website. And we can definitely drop that in the show notes, too. People can read more about it if they want to. But you have experience with major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation. So, trigger a warning for anyone who might not want to listen to this part. We're going to talk about it a little bit. Can you tell us all your story on that? Mia 28:23 Yeah, so thanks for wanting to bring this up. I very much like talking about it. Well, like is a strong word. I feel it's very important to talk about it. So yeah, I first experienced major depression in 2013. And it's kind of been an on and off journey for me but then it kind of came to a head in 2019 around Thanksgiving yeah, around Thanksgiving time it just had gotten so bad that I started dealing with what's called derealization or disassociation where your brain has had enough and you start to disconnect from reality to the point where you know when you space out and like your eyes blur over like you could do that on purpose sometimes. Like my body would do that involuntarily and I couldn't snap out of it. So, I was, I had stopped driving. I had to stop going places. I got scared to leave the house and I was kind of like this slow breaking down and then it got to the point where then suicidal ideation became a thing. Andrea 29:22 I want to stop you for a second and back up to Thanksgiving 2019. What were your depression symptoms? What did that look like on a kind of day-to-day or week-to-week basis? Mia 29:31 For me, it was difficult to focus for sure. I can't focus on anything. Being present in my life was super overwhelming. I was constantly on my phone. That was my negative still is my negative coping. It's a habit I have to really work against that I was having chronic nightmares. So, I also have diagnosed with PTSD. Part of that is I have these chronic nightmares where they're very vivid and it feels like they're real. And so, I wasn't sleeping either. That's also a symptom of that. And then just having really no energy at all, like I truly could have laid on the floor all day and all night and not have moved. It's just you just have no energy. And yet, I was taking my kids to preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I had an infant who was just turning one and still breastfeeding, and just, man shout out to all the moms that are navigating mental illness because it's like you have to, you have to be emotionally available to your babies while you have literally no capacity. It's truly one of the hardest things I've lived through. And I'm living through, and then this utter hopelessness and self-worth issue, just feeling like there's no hope for me, I'm worthless, there's nothing I can do to contribute to the world. The thing about it about depression is it feels like all of that crap is being imposed upon you. Like, it doesn't feel like you're choosing it. It doesn't feel like you need to just repeat some positive mantras. I've read all the books that I love me some good self-help books, but none of those things were working for me anymore. That's when I was like, okay, I think I'm back in this phase again, where I really need to take this seriously. But I had had some bad therapists in the past who had dismissed those symptoms and didn't really help me. So, I was very much in denial about it, because I thought it wasn't that serious. As a previous therapist told me, I was told that unless I have an actual plan, date, and time for when I plan to take my life, then I didn't have anything really to worry about. I had had like three days straight of suicidal ideation, which means is, you have thoughts of dying, thoughts of wanting to kill yourself, thoughts of getting killed accidentally. Like you just don't want to be on this earth, and your brain is imagining so many scenarios for that to be possible. And that was really scaring me. I don't even think I told my husband because it sounds scary. And again, I did have a poor experience with one therapist. Not bashing all therapists. I honestly owe my life to some of these amazing professionals out there. But I had a therapist who told me, ‘oh, that's just attention-seeking behavior if you don't have a plan’. Yeah, it was really terrible. If you don't have a plan, it's not real. So, I was really shoving it down and I wasn't telling anyone about it. Then it just got to a point where it was just really scary. And I called, I Googled it. I Googled it and read from a psychiatrist that this is called suicidal ideation. It absolutely is serious. And it requires psychiatric help. And so, it's crazy how just hearing that outside validation that what you're going through is real can change everything. Because I don't want to have to think about what would have happened to me if I just kept ignoring what I was going through. Andrea 32:47 And keeping it secret. Yeah, exactly. Think that it mattered. It probably made it worse. Mia 32:51 Oh, yeah, for sure. Because then you're just like using all your energy as well, to keep it to yourself. And I think another thing too, though, I don't want to say is like, even if I did tell my husband, you know, he's such an amazing guy. But he's not an expert on these matters. I think it overwhelms him just as much as it overwhelmed me. And so, when I did tell him, I called him after I did that research and was like, okay, this is a real thing. I told him, he was at work and his work at the time, that he doesn't work there anymore, but they were horrendously strict like almost would never let him leave. But I told him like you need to come home. And while he was on his way home, I call the National Suicide Prevention line for the first time in my life and just having someone on the phone was lifesaving at that moment. Like at that moment. Yeah, I was crying uncontrollably, like thank God, this was all happening. My kids are taking a nap. But I was just like at my wit's end. So, it was truly a lifesaving moment, my husband came home, and instead of asking him to be out of his depth, and to help me, I was like, “I need you to Google, how a partner can support another partner who's going through this”, because I think one of the challenges that people face, especially in relationships, is we try to make our partner our therapist, and that's not fair to them. And it's just they don't have the tools. If anyone can be your therapist, and why do therapists go to school for 4, 6, 8 years, and have to get licensed like, it's a real thing. So, you know, he did research and he read, he read about what he could do to help, and that made all the difference because it helped him feel supported and helps me feel supported. We took it seriously. We made a plan I got to psychiatrists, I got officially diagnosed with major depressive disorder and PTSD, and then from there, I just started to make so much progress. So, I'm definitely still in this battle. But like I said, I have my sustainable self-care practices. I have my tools and I've cultivated a level of self-awareness where I know what I need when I need it. And I just feel so lucky to be in this current position right now Andrea 34:55 Wow. Oh my gosh, Mia, thank you so much for sharing that story. Yeah, I'm happy to have you share it. The reason that I asked you to back up and talk about what did your symptoms look like, yeah, is because I think that there's still some misunderstanding and misconception and myths about what depression looks like as well as suicidal ideation. So, I was, I did a podcast episode. Several months ago, it might have even been over the summer of 2020, and I had Liz Applegate, who's my lead coach, come on, and we talked about, we talked about perimenopause, because we're both around the same age. And we talked about depression. And I shared it with my audience, and for those of you that missed it, I can drop that link in the show notes. But I shared that over well, it was probably around April that I was really struggling. I hired a new therapist, was diagnosed by her and my general practitioner with depression and went on an antidepressant for the first time in. Well, actually, it was an anti-anxiety medication in the early 2000s, for pretty severe anxiety disorder. But I hadn't been on any medication in a really long time and it, and it helped immensely. So, I didn't dive too much into the story because I wanted to be farther out of it yet. And I really need to think about how I wanted to share it. And it's such a great segway with you having a very similar story. Yeah. So, when COVID hit I had, I had just signed a contract to write my third book. It was a major level up. It was you know, my dream publisher with Penguin Random House, I was ecstatic. And my husband had also quit his job to stay home with our kids because it just made sense. That's huge. Huge. Yeah. And he first didn't want to and then it just completely made sense. So that way, we wouldn't have to hire someone to help us with rides. And all right. So, he put in his notice on February 28 of 2020. And then his last day was March 13, which was the day that they started canceling schools. Mia 36:47 Yeah, wow. Andrea 36:50 We’d be losing our health insurance. It all felt like it was falling apart. And I was like, oh my God, we are going to be destitute. And so, my anxiety shows up as spinning downward spinning, spiraling thoughts. And sometimes it's negative self-talk, but most of the time, it is absolute doomsday. So COVID was the perfect storm, I was convinced that this was a mass extinction. Oh, wow. Probably. I was like, maybe the entire public population is going to be wiped out by the end of 2020. I mean, that's, that's where I was, completely crying in my office. That was the world was ending. And then also, I was googling images of the Great Depression. You know, images are like those black and white photos of like the mothers that are dirty and starving and their kids on the porch with them and they're in rags, and like that's gonna be me. I was convinced that we were gonna lose everything our house everything and be completely destitute. I had no evidence for this. Mia 37:52 I understand though, what you're talking about. I've I still struggle with that crazy, spiraling, chaotic dumpster fire at me. Andrea 38:01 Yeah, that hadn't happened to me in over a decade. happening since my first child was born. And I was convinced someone was going to steal him. And I was crying, and, like, my mom didn't know what to do or say. He was a newborn. And I was like, I was like, someone's gonna break in and steal him. I was oh, yeah. I was convinced of it. And I was almost paranoid. Yep. Yeah, I couldn't even drive like that anxiety was really bad. Yeah. So, it was feeling like that. And I was starting to get scared. And then I started to think and here's what the thoughts were like, for me. Tell me if this is a similar experience to you. I have one other friend who said that. It was sort of similar. The thoughts were, they kind of felt like they swooped in like a bird. And it didn't feel like my normal thoughts. And so, I thought to myself, well, I can always kill myself. Mia 38:49 Oh, my goodness. Andrea 38:51 And it scared me. I almost like it. Like, was like, What was that? Yeah, it was new. And I was terrified. And I know that my next thought was, ‘is this how it starts?’. And I didn't know what to do. I was afraid to tell my husband because I'm like, he's gonna rat me out. And I'm going to have my kids taken away. My reputation as a professional is going to be ruined. It's going to be over. And then and so I was sort of having like this push-pull of you need to tell someone you trust verses don't tell anyone. You can't trust anyone. And I was just a mass in my office for several hours. And then I decided to call my best friend, Amy Smith, and she's been on the show a few times. And we both know that if we actually call each other if the phone rings. You need to answer it’s probably an emergency. Yeah. So, she answered, I Facetimed her and I was in the corner in my office so nobody would hear me and I Facetimed her and I could barely talk and I just I just unloaded everything and I told her everything. And she said, she was asking me all the right questions, you know, like, ‘do you have a plan?’. And I'm like, “no”, like, I knew I was conscious enough that if I did take my own life, there would be people who would be devastated. Like, I didn't exactly want to end my life, I wanted to end this pain and suffering. Mia 40:24 Yes. And that's what people do not understand. It's like, it's not about creating some catastrophic event for everyone to watch. It's to end the pain and the suffering. It's like, it feels like the only way out of this hijacking of our brains that we can't control. No one likes to feel out of control. I'm just so glad that you describe suicidal ideation in that way. Because there's this crazy misconception that it's like this desire to just put on theatrics or something, again, attention-seeking, right, that horrible label. And it's like, it's because there are people who are in extreme amounts of pain, and we have no idea how to get help with it. Andrea 41:03 I found so much comfort in the term suicidal ideation versus being suicidal because I did not feel like that fit. And I told Amy, I said, “I'm not suicidal”, like, a) good news is we don't have any guns in the house. But yeah, I was thinking about it, because I thought it was gonna be like, The Walking Dead. Andrea 41:24 And, you know, I'm reading news reports that there was a break-in actually at the gun store in our town, and that people were talking about guns and ammo. And I'm like, do we, should we get some like, and so I knew that I didn't, I didn't really want to, and I didn't have a plan. And I could not – it made me emotional. To think of my family, either finding me or hearing the news of it. I couldn't be with that. And so, but the suicidal ideation and googling that, and going, ‘oh, yeah, that's what it is. And then I asked, talked to a couple of my friends. I'm like, yeah, I felt that way before and realizing that it's more common than I ever thought. Yeah, both made me sad and comforted. And a little bit, yeah, none of my friends had ever talked about this before. And I work in personal development, and I was like why isn’t this a conversation. Mia 42:14 It's so sad that it's not and I and I would be lying if I didn't say that I have wondered how I should be sharing this because it's scary. It's scary to share this, I guess, in a sense, like, I've never really labeled myself, but some people have been saying, like referring to me as like, oh, you're like a life coach, or like a self-care coach. And I never thought of myself as a coach. But it's like, okay, I guess that's where I fit in, like kind of the world of things. But then when you look at other coaches, they're not talking about depression and anxiety, they're not talking about these very personal like inner challenges, I think, because that makes them look weak or something. And it's like, it's up to us to change that narrative, then, like, it's up to all of us to change that narrative by how what we share and how we share it. And I'm not telling everyone they need to spill their guts online. But I think just normalizing the fact that we go through this. And, you know, it is scary. And I do think that this whole idea of, it's only serious if you have a written plan or something crazy like that is such a limitation to the human experience because it completely excludes all the people who might take their life suddenly, and who might like do something completely rash that causes them to end that, causes them to die. And it's, you know, it's just, I just want people to recognize that we're always learning and all these professional fields, and like researchers, and professionals and experts, they're still learning about mental illness. It's only become a real conversation recently. And we only are discovering that the way we treated it in the past wasn't the right way. So, you know, it's just be open to the fact that we are discovering new things and like, guess what, we can't study things that we don't talk about. So, we have to talk about them. Andrea 43:59 Exactly. And I want to just circle back to something you said. I wonder I mean, I don't know. But my opinion is that other life coaches or you know, spiritual mentors or whatever, what have you, they may or may not struggle with anxiety and depression. And I’m, that's a thing, you know, yeah. But I do think that everyone, you've struggled with a broken heart, you've struggled with betrayal, with not knowing how to make a decision like these hard things in life. And when I first started blogging in 2008, I just couldn't stop talking about it. Because I'm like, you I grew up in a family where we didn't talk about these things. And so, I always kind of have joked that I was making up for lost time. And I was really pleasantly surprised how many people were on board with reading my blog and commenting and saying thank you so much. You've articulated what I've been feeling, and I've been afraid to talk to people. So, I wanted to say that I do think that maybe there are some people who aren't talking about it because they just don't struggle with it. But then the other thing I want to say too before I forget is that I want to apologize to you or anyone if I have said the wrong thing during this conversation. And I always say, you know, I'm going to step in shit when I'm having these more, not just vulnerable, but these are complicated topics. And if there's anyone out there who has lost someone to suicide or has had suicidal ideation or been actively suicidal themselves, and I have said something offensive or wrong, I deeply apologize. And you can shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to lovingly, I hope, correct me. I just want to say that before I forget. Mia 45:36 That's really sweet of you and thoughtful. That's another reason why so many of us like, I get worried to go on Instagram sometimes to just sharing my own experience because I am worried about, you know, getting kind of like some pushback. But I think it's so important just for anyone listening who wants to share who's also scared of that to remember that no one can tell you what your experience is. No one can tell you what you were you were supposed to feel. Yeah, we're like, label your feelings like that therapist I had so incorrectly done that day. You know, what you're feeling. And I think one of the things that I just think it's so important for women to do is to learn to trust ourselves and to honor how we feel like trust our intuition. I can't tell you how many times in my life, I've gotten into situations that were not ideal, and always because I didn't trust and respect myself. So, I think it's just one of the most important things that we can do. And whenever someone's like, Well, how do you build trust, and it's just like, well, you have to start by respecting yourself. And as silly as it sounds, that can be built by making sure you sit down while you eat a good lunch every day. It's just like, the way that you treat yourself is the way that you build trust. In the same way, when you nurture a relationship with a friend, someone that you're getting to know, you have lunch with them, you take care of them, you support them, you encourage them. And it's just like, that's also how we can build trust with ourselves too. Andrea 46:57 100%. And this is something I talk about in my book, my next book that's coming out because we are conditioned and socialized to not trust ourselves Mia 47:04 Oh, 100%. And always looking to other people for the answer. Andrea 47:09 I also believe yeah, second-guessing ourselves seeking outside counsel. I also think that it's questioning, my friend, Elizabeth DiAlto says, ‘Is this my conditioning? Or is this my truth?’. And even just asking the question, you might not know the answer. But getting curious about it is a great way to start looking for clarity on that. Mia 47:27 Oh, I love that so much. And I think it's so important to ask that question. Is that your conditioning? Because that's yeah, I asked myself something similar. It's like, is this my pattern? Or is this like the path and is usually the pattern and I'm like, you know, and that's why that self-awareness is so key of just getting to know all your patterns and the negative coping habits and stuff. Because it's really what blocks you from connecting with what you really feel. And it's the way that we protect ourselves, right? We don't want to feel grief, we don't want to feel sadness, we don't want to feel anger, like a lot of us really stuffed down anger because anger is was is I don't know about you. But when I was growing up, anger was not an appropriate emotion for a girl to show. It was not I was not allowed. And so, then I think you have all these women that just like are dealing with all this repressed anger. And then, it's really just we needed an outlet for all of that. Andrea 48:20 Yes, we could talk about that all day long. But I want to ask you one more question before we close up, and it's definitely on par with what we've just been talking about. So as a mental health advocate, can you talk about how to handle what some people might call their overwhelming emotions? Mia 48:35 Yes, I have a lot of videos about this on my Instagram IGtv. It's all about, managing overwhelming emotions. I get questions about this a lot because I live with PTSD. And it's like I can deal with my brain getting hijacked at any moment. So, there's a variety of techniques that I use, and they're all grounding techniques. And the main one that works for me, is breathwork. So diaphragmatic breathing, you can Google it, it's a really great, easy way to kind of bring yourself back into your body and out of the overwhelming emotions that can be hijacking your brain. So essentially, what it is, is you inhale deeply through your nose and you allow your belly to expand. And what this does is it stimulates the vagus nerve, which is like the biggest nerve in your body that kind of touches all your vital organs and helps to calm them down. Because when our brains are being hijacked by overwhelming emotions, our stomach feels a certain way right? Our muscles contracts our you know, all of our organs are doing something that's telling us like fight or flight. And so, Andrea 49:39 I start to twitch, my body starts to twitch. Mia 49:40 We all have something different. We all have different chronic pain that can show up when that happens. And so, it's being aware of what does your body do when your fight or flight is stimulated? Do you twitch? Does your stomach get cramped? Does your chest get tight? Does your face get hot? Does your throat close up? And so first becoming aware of the physical sensation because your body knows you're overwhelmed before you actually know in your brain. So, for me, the telltale signs are always in my body. And then I check in with myself. And I start to take a deep breath, and I do that diaphragmatic breathing. And if you're first starting out, it can be really hard because we're very conditioned chest breathers we breathe very shallow into our chest. And so, what helps us if you put your hands, Andrea 50:20 Especially since we've been wearing masks, I've noticed that. Mia 50:24 Yeah, yeah, well, I think just going out so stressful, we don't want to take a deep breath. So being aware of that, so putting your hand on your belly to feel your belly expand or laying on your back, helps as well, and putting on a timer sometimes so that you don't have to think how I've been here long enough. How long has it been getting out of your brain and into your body? Take that deep breath. And then after you've done all that, which only takes about 60 seconds, mind you, then it's like, okay, well, what am I feeling right now? And why am I feeling it? And then you can start to question those feelings from a calmer state of mind and a calmer state of your body. So oftentimes, for me, it's like, I'm feeling really anxious. Okay, why? Well, because I have this deadline coming up. And it's like, is it the end of the world, if it doesn't get done at five? Should I ask for an extension? Should I do this, like you're able to problem-solve, rather than being in this state of I'm, I'm threatened, and I need to run Andrea 51:14 Emergency, emergency. Mia 51:16 Yeah, you know, you get out of that. So, you know, I wanted to spend a lot of time on that, because that's probably one of the techniques I employ every hour of the day. To be honest, like when I'm in a particularly stressful phase of my cycle, I have to practice that breathwork a lot. But other than that, writing down how you feel, obviously, is a super undervalued tool, like breakout that paper and pen and also guided meditations are great. I have, there's a lot of great ones on Audible and also free ones on YouTube, where someone's just walking you through deep breathing and telling you some really calming affirmation. So those are some regular things that I utilize. But I also want to be clear that after I was dealing with suicidal ideation, and I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression, I went on medication for I think it was about 10 months. Like I only recently got off medication two months ago to start full-on EMDR trauma therapy. Medication is an incredible tool and gave me my life back and helped me feel more like myself. And it was actually a woman sharing her story on a podcast that helped me to make the decision to go on medication. So, I always like to make sure I share that that was a tool that I use. And then therapy as well has been a great tool, along with self-care and support groups. Andrea 52:27 Thank you. Yes, me too. I went on an antidepressant and also started when I felt better started major trauma therapy. So, thank you so much for being here. Well, I want to send people to be able to find more of you. Mia 52:38 Well, I'm on Instagram almost every day @MiaHemstad and my website is MiaHemstad.com, and you can find links to my YouTube channel there. I do have a couple of blog posts. I do post more frequently on Instagram and YouTube though. So those are great places to find me. Andrea 52:52 Those are the two best places. Okay. Yes, MiaHemstad.com. All those links are going to be in the show notes. Thank you, listeners, for joining me. I know how valuable your time is. I appreciate you so much. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye-bye. Andrea 53:10 Hey everyone, if you or anyone you care about is struggling with suicidal ideation or thoughts of ending their life, please know that you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is available 24 hours at 1-800-273-8255 The post Episode 380: The intersection between mental health and social justice with Mia Hemstad appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 379: The Power of Legacy with Chelsea Stevenson
What do henna, legacy, and living unapologetically all have in common? They are just some of the facets that make up Chelsea Stevenson’s work. Chelsea joins me this week for a conversation about the power in legacy. Chelsea is a professional henna artist, business strategist, and homeschooling mother of three. During our time together, we discussed a variety of topics including her motivation for building a table rather than taking a seat at an existing one, and honoring your values. She offered poignant takeaways, including this one, “The decisions we make, the actions we take, and the words we say are powerful. And, we have to own how they impact the world around us.” In this episode you’ll hear: A brief history of henna and its use as a medium to create art. (4:47) Why Chelsea’s motivation is to build her own table instead of taking a seat at a table that already exists. (7:26) The power in the legacy we leave and why it is important. (8:23) Living unapologetically and honoring your values. (21:58) How Chelsea went from a social worker to a Hennapreneur. (26:56) Struggling with negative self-talk and negativity bias. (33:05) Steps to stand in your authority and position yourself as the artist/entrepreneur/changemaker you want to be in this world. (36:55) Resources mentioned in this episode: Chelsea’s website The Writing Experience with Amy Ahlers and Andrea Owen Episode 352: What Holds Women Back in the Workplace with Sara Laschever YKAL is supported by: Better Help – Use code kickass to get 10% off your first month. Calm – Use code kickass for a special limited-time promotion of 40% off a Calm Premium subscription. Chelsea Stevenson is a professional henna artist, business strategist, and homeschooling mother of three. She employs henna as her medium for encouraging self-celebration and empowerment at her five-star henna boutique based in Baltimore, MD, and teaches henna artists and other creative, niche service-based entrepreneurs around the world how to build vibrant, profitable businesses doing what they love (and getting paid more for it!) through her online brand, Hennapreneur, with a focus on brand positioning, sustainability, and the unapologetic outward living of one’s values. She believes above all things that there is power in the legacy we leave — and that this legacy is built every single day. When she’s not working with her clients and students, you can find her shamelessly indulging in a good Netflix binge with a craft mocktail in hand or daydreaming about her next big move. Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 379: The Power of Legacy with Chelsea Stevenson appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
59 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 346: Self-Reflection and Unpacking Unconscious Biases with Leesa Renee Hall
Leesa Renee Hall has helped over 33,000 leaders explore their unconscious biases using her signature process called Explore Biases Now. Author of ten books, Leesa was known as a technology pioneer before turning her attention to disrupting the misinformation hardcoded deep in the mind. I am thrilled to be able to share our important conversation with you this week! Today Leesa and I discuss reflective writing and self-reflection as an investment in your own life and your own healing. We explore the topic of stumbling bravely through understanding and processing our humanity. And, finally, we discuss how to stay in the work of unpacking your unconscious biases so you stand with and not for, black, indigenous, and people of color. In this episode you’ll hear: Leesa shares how she transitioned from working in tech to questioning her legacy and then moving to help others explore and unpack their unconscious biases. (3:33) By developing a habit around self-reflection, you begin to accept the nuances and complexities within yourself. (11:00) Why there is a disconnect between what we believe versus how we behave. (19:00) Leesa’s work with introverted, highly-sensitive people. (23:07) What happens to your nervous system when unpacking unconscious biases. (27:11) How to begin unpacking your unconscious biases, some first steps you can take. (43:00) Why perfectionism is a tool of white supremacy. (46:53) Resources mentioned in this episode: Leesa’s website Unpack Biases Leesa’s Patreon for access to The Inner Field Trip and more Leesa Renee Hall has helped over 33,000 leaders explore their unconscious biases using her signature process called Explore Biases Now. Author of 10 books, Leesa was known as a technology pioneer before turning her attention to disrupting the misinformation hardcoded deep in the mind. Her tips have been featured in The Guardian, American Express OPEN, Globe & Mail, Choice, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Profit, and Inc. to name a few, along with television, radio, and podcast appearances. Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 346: Self-Reflection and Unpacking Unconscious Biases with Leesa Renee Hall appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
49 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 343: The Enneagram and Personal Development with Jessica Denise Dickson
How does the enneagram relate to personal development? Well, today we find out. Jessica Denise Dickson is a life empowerment Enneagram coach (and Black mermaid) who believes that when Black women heal, the world heals. She joins me to talk about the enneagram as a transformative tool for personal development. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this topic and guest– as I’ve wanted to have someone on for eons. Today, we discuss what the enneagram is, how it can help you become more self-aware, and help you address your blind spots. We also discuss what the enneagram has to offer during this time of global pandemic and global reckoning with systems of oppression. In this episode you’ll hear: There are a lot of ideas about the enneagram – Jessica breaks down what it is and what it is not. (3:59) How the enneagram can help with self-awareness and empathy. (10:38) Learning your type can be a personal and private experience, as well as, one of validation. (14:20) For systems to change, it comes from doing the work. Jessica shares some information about her course for people who identify as white. (29:31) Enneagram and relationships – there are no rules for making it work between different enneagram types. (37:27) Conflict resolution through the lens of the enneagram. (42:58) Resources mentioned in this episode: Jessica's website Disrupt the Narrative TrueSelf.io Enneagram Institute 1:1 Coaching with Andrea Jessica Denise Dickson is a life empowerment Enneagram coach (and Black mermaid) who believes that when Black women heal, the world heals. Her stand is to support women of color heal and live authentically with self-trust, self-safety, and fully-embodied freedom. Jessica also believes that our desires call us to our future and supports women to get in touch with their dreams. Jessica finds that we have deeper healing when we combine the inner work of the Enneagram with identity work and supports people who identify as white to explore their bias to create a new future. These things have ripples out into the world. Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 343: The Enneagram and Personal Development with Jessica Denise Dickson appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
44 minutes | a year ago
Episode 342: Are we all in this together? With Mike Robbins
This week I am sharing my conversation with Mike Robbins. Mike Robbins is a speaker and author of five books, including, Bring Your Whole Self to Work and We're All in This Together. I had a bunch of questions ready to ask Mike about his newest book. But our conversation went in an entirely different direction. And for that, I am grateful. In this episode, Mike and I discussed the value and importance of talking about race, white privilege, and why being vulnerable is so important, now more than ever. Being vulnerable forces us to ask of others and of ourselves, “Can I trust you with my time, my space, and my voice?” The world is divided – vulnerability is just one way we can begin to open up to talk about and take action for social justice, equality, and civil change. In this episode you’ll hear: Mike’s idea and journey for his book, We’re All In This Together. (3:14) When he realized we are not all in this together. (7:05) Mike’s experience with understanding what white privilege means. (17:42) Acknowledging how our conversation is an example of centering whiteness. (18:59) One entry point to anti-racism can be helpful is if white people call forward other white people. (21:57) The importance of being vulnerable. (30:38) Resources mentioned in this episode: Mike’s website Mike’s books How to Be an Anti-Racist White Fragility Miss Representation The Mask You Live In YKAL Coaching YKAL Consulting for Coaches Mike Robbins is the author of five books, including, Bring Your Whole Self to Work and We're All in This Together. He's a former pro baseball player whose playing career ended due to an injury. For the past 20 years, he's been a sought-after motivational speaker who delivers keynotes and seminars for some of the top companies in the world. His clients include Google, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Schwab, eBay, and the Oakland A's. He and his work have been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on ABC News and NPR. He's a regular contributor to Forbes and his books have been translated into fifteen different languages. Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 342: Are we all in this together? With Mike Robbins appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
44 minutes | a year ago
Episode 341: The Human Condition and Liberation with Makenna Held
This week I have an episode featuring Makenna Held. Makenna is someone who is wise beyond her years. She is a writer, educator, and serial entrepreneur. While she's most known for being ‘the woman who bought Julia Child’s house’, that is one of the least interesting things about her. Her business, personal, and leadership coaching is committed to exploring paradigms of the human condition including liberation, human potential, obliterating capitalism's hold on our souls, and the essence of suffering. Today, Makenna and I discuss the inheritance of whiteness by white people and why it is our job, (as white people), to unpack and dismantle it. We also discuss putting the focus on the value you provide to people rather than putting the focus on the value of money, how to begin to dismantle the patriarchy, and sitting with the uncomfortable in with personal growth. This episode is a perfect reminder that it’s never too late to make a change. In this episode you’ll hear: What Makenna means by “Whiteness is a sickness white people carry.” (5:00) Obliterating capitalism's hold on our souls and putting the focus on the value you provide, instead. (12:30) Where to start: dismantling the patriarchy or patriarchal structures. (18:03) Human design and why it is so important for women to trust their intuition. (32:12) How the concepts of cooking tie into personal development. (38:00) Resources mentioned in this episode: Makenna’s website Episode 340: Self-help and social activism with Andréa Ranae Makenna Held is a writer, educator, and serial entrepreneur. While she's most known for being ‘the woman who bought Julia Child’s house’, that is one of the least interesting things about her. Her business, personal, and leadership coaching is committed to exploring paradigms of the human condition including liberation, human potential, obliterating capitalism's hold on our souls, and the essence of suffering. Through her cooking schools, coaching, writings, and live events she inspires humans to live lives of purpose and intention through unfettering oneself, dissipating conventional wisdom and cultivating their own ‘recipes’, to allow deeply resonant, and personal truths to shine through. She and her work has been featured in Vogue.com, Today.com, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Forbes, CondeNast Traveler, and more. Right click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 341: The Human Condition and Liberation with Makenna Held appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
36 minutes | a year ago
Episode 339: Living Healthy Doesn’t Have to Suck with Talia Pollock
Talia Pollock is on the show this week! Talia is the author of Party In Your Plants, speaker, storyteller, plant-based chef, TV personality, and health and empowerment coach. I was a guest on Talia’s podcast, Party in My Plants, last year. She has a fantastic sense of humor, and we hit it off well. Talia has a unique and refreshing approach when it comes to being healthy. Today, Talia offers ways to take the hell out of being healthy. In Talia’s words, the world doesn’t need more recipes. Instead, she believes we need more courage, confidence, and boldness to take action and make the right choices for our health. In this episode you’ll hear: Healthy eating, yeah, it kind of sucks. Talia offers some ways to take the hell out of being healthy. (7:36) Why energy is the main benefit of eating plants. (15:48) How Talia’s work is intended to help, people thrive outside the kitchen. (17:57) Confidence is the missing piece for executing our healthy lifestyle. (23:49) What surprises Talia the most about the women she works when she takes them through this journey. (29:05) ============================= ***I need your help! I’m writing my third book and would love to hear your story. Visit yourkickasslife.com/story for details!*** Talia Pollock is an author, speaker, storyteller, plant-based chef, TV personality, and health and empowerment coach. She’s the host of the popular Party in My Plants Podcast and the proud founder of Party in My Plants, an internationally-celebrated wellness platform that helps real, busy, everyday people skyrocket their positive energy to boldly take on the world in any way they wish. Talia’s simple recipes and spunky lifestyle advice have been featured repeatedly on the Dr. Oz Show, The Huffington Post, mindbodygreen, Buzzfeed, Bustle, Success Magazine and more. Her first book, Party In Your Plants, 100+ Plant-Based Recipes and Problem-Solving Strategies to Help You Eat Healthier Without Hating your Life will hit kitchen counters and nightstands on April 21st. She lives in New York with her husband and her goldendoodle, both of whom love kale and one of whom eats it off the floor. Resources mentioned in this episode: Talia’s website Talia’s book Andrea on Party in My Plants Podcast Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 339: Living Healthy Doesn’t Have to Suck with Talia Pollock appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
38 minutes | a year ago
Episode 338: Overcoming Overwhelm with Dr. Samantha Brody
Dr. Samantha Brody, author of Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress From the Inside Out, is on the show this week. And y’all, who doesn’t deal with overwhelm, right? When she reached out to be on the podcast and told me the title of her book, I thought, “Hell yes, when can we speak?!” Samantha is a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, and the founder of Evergreen Natural Health Center. Together we discuss what it means to be overwhelmed, how our values can help reduce overwhelm, and how our subconscious beliefs might be undercutting our goals. Finally, Dr. Samantha shares what food and our food choices have to do with feeling overwhelmed. In this episode you’ll hear: What women do to try to combat overwhelm that isn’t working. (7:51) How your values affect overwhelm, how they help you vet your choices, and reduce overwhelm. (9:38) Subconscious beliefs and how they might be derailing your goals. (16:52) The “overwhelm inventory,” what it is and how it helps. (26:21) What food has to do with overwhelm. (31:01) Dr. SAMANTHA BRODY is a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, and the founder of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, OR. For decades in her private practice and virtual consulting business, Dr. Samantha has helped thousands of people transform their lives with her innovative, personalized approach. She is the author of Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out (Sounds True Publishing). You can find her online at www.DrSamantha.com and on social @drsamanthand. Resources mentioned in this episode: Dr. Samantha’s website Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress From the Inside Out The Body Keeps Score Overcoming Overwhelm Core Values Exercise YKAL Coping in Uncertain Times Series: Episode 325: How to Cope in Uncertain Times Episode 326: How to Cope in Uncertain Times, Part 2 Episode 328: What do you want your behavior to be? Episode 330: Your Best Work Happens in the Dark Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 338: Overcoming Overwhelm with Dr. Samantha Brody appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
49 minutes | a year ago
Episode 337: Your Power, Your Voice with Alexia Vernon
Alexia Vernon is on the YKAL podcast this week! Alexia is a sought-after speaking and leadership coach to female (and male) executives, entrepreneurs, media personalities, and change makers who want to spread their ideas, positively impact people’s lives, grow their businesses, and advance their thought leadership. Alexia and I have an amazing conversation about visibility and using your voice. I am super pumped to bring you our conversation. Together we discuss how most problems can be solved with hard conversations. Alexia shares some of her thoughts and advice on how to have tough conversations, what to do when a conversation goes wrong, and how to turn toxic conversations around. In this episode you’ll hear: Using communication to move you to take action (7:04) How to find their voice in high-stake situations when there is a lot of fear (11:12) What to do if communication goes wrong (17:54) Alexia’s experience with online bullying during a Facebook ad campaign (25:00) How to turn toxic conversations around with compassion and empathy (41:26) Resources mentioned in this episode: Help Not Another Self-Help Pod get adopted! Alexia Vernon’s website Step Into Your Moxie with Alexia Vernon 1:1 Coaching with Andrea Life Coaching with Andrea Consulting for Coaches with Andrea and the YKAL Team Branded a “Moxie Maven” by President Obama’s White House Office of Public Engagement for her unique and effective approach to women’s empowerment, Alexia Vernon is a sought-after speaking and leadership coach to female (and male) executives, entrepreneurs, media personalities, and change makers who want to spread their ideas, positively impact people’s lives, grow their businesses, and advance their thought leadership. Alexia is the creator of the Spotlight speaking community, and she has supported thousands of speakers through her online trainings, live events, The Spotlight Speaker Accelerator coaching program, and her premier mastermind, the Spotlight Speakers Collective. Alexia has presented for Fortune 500 companies, professional associations and industry events, TEDx, and at the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women. Alexia’s advice has been featured by media including CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Inc., Forbes and Women’s Health Magazine. Alexia is also the author of the book, Step into Your Moxie: Amplify Your Voice, Visibility and Influence in the World. Alexia lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her partner in business and life, Stephen, and their precocious, wide-eyed daughter. Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 337: Your Power, Your Voice with Alexia Vernon appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
49 minutes | a year ago
Episode 336: The Girl on Fire Manifesto with Cara Alwill Leyba
This week I have Cara Alwill Leyba on the show! Cara is a long overdue guest, and I am thrilled to introduce you to her. She is a New York City-based creative entrepreneur who encourages women to live their most effervescent lives, celebrates themselves every day, and make their happiness a priority. I love having other guest experts on my show with similar messaging who can offer their unique spin. There's always a new perspective, tool, or strategy to learn. In this episode, Cara and I discuss some of the ways women can show up for themselves, how to learn from past experiences, and how to give yourself time to daydream. She also reminds us to ask, “What is the best-case scenario?” instead of, “What if I fail?” Last, she shares her perspective on failure: specifically, that failure is a possibility, but why you should do it anyway. In this episode you’ll hear: Why choosing yourself is so important (9:00) How Cara actually got to the point of ‘choosing herself’ (10:00) Why women have the capacity to give themselves a permission slip and don’t need to seek approval from others (14:00) Spending as much time with yourself is the best way to get the answer you need (18:00) Viewing rejection as redirection – it’s an opportunity to look at yourself and ask, “How am I going to handle this?” (20:00) Speak kindly to yourself and think optimistically about your dreams (29:25) Cara Alwill Leyba is a New York City-based creative entrepreneur who encourages women to live their most effervescent lives, celebrates themselves every day, and makes their happiness a priority. She is a best selling personal development author, mentor to women entrepreneurs, and creator of The Champagne Diet blog. Over 6 million listeners worldwide tune in to Cara’s podcast Style Your Mind each week for powerful conversations and a mega-dose of inspiration. Cara is the author of 9 best selling books, including the worldwide sensation Girl Code, that have inspired women around the world to step into their power and fulfill their potential. Cara’s books have been translated into multiple languages like Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, Mongolian, and Vietnamese. Her message continues to transcend cultures and break barriers for women across the globe. Cara’s stylish and edgy approach to personal development has attracted thousands of women to attend her workshops and events. She has been featured in Forbes, Glamour, Shape, Entrepreneur, Success, Cosmo, Marie Claire, and many others. Resources mentioned in this episode: Cara’s website Cara on Instagram Girl On Fire: How to Choose Yourself, Burn the Rule Book, and Blaze Your Own Trail in Life and Business All of Cara’s books Jeanna Gabellini 1:1 Coaching with Andrea Life Coaching with Andrea Consulting for Coaches with Andrea and the YKAL Team YKAL Bonus Episode for Coaches ============================= ***I need your help! I’m writing my third book and would love to hear your story. Visit yourkickasslife.com/story for details!*** Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 336: The Girl on Fire Manifesto with Cara Alwill Leyba appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
34 minutes | a year ago
Episode 335: Bonus Episode for Coaches
I don’t very often write about or talk on the podcast specifically to coaches. Personal development is my game, BUT, I know there is a decent amount of you that listen to the podcast as well as those of you who are interested in pursuing this profession. First, the world needs more great coaches. This pandemic has whispered in all of our ears how precious and fragile life is, that no one gets out of here alive, and the time to live our lives is NOW. Second, many newer coaches might be worried their business isn’t viable right now. You may believe that life coaching is a luxury afforded to few. But, just like there are many ways to coach, there are many ways to offer value and help your clients and audience. And before I jump in, we do offer consulting here (both with me and my team), click here if you’re interested. Here are ten things I highly recommend doing if you are in the beginning stages of your coaching business, and many of those hold true even if you’re a seasoned coach. Get training. Since the coaching industry is currently unregulated, anyone can call themselves a coach, hang a shingle outside and be open for business. And I know some good coaches who have no training, only years of experience. However, coaching requires specific skills that matter for your clients. Plus, clients tend to bring emotional and heavy topics to sessions, and an untrained coach can end up causing more harm than good. So, please, get trained. Get support. Building a coaching business is like building any business, you can’t do it with zero dollars and zero support. I’ve talked to people who’ve got their training, and think it’s like moving from one job to another. You just quit your other job and start life coaching, right? No. Coaching is not a business, it’s a skill. You still need to build your practice. You are going to have overhead and need time to build, so have savings, a business loan, or a partner with income that can help (and is clear on the fact that they are supporting your business). Make goals but be flexible. Like anything, make goals. You don’t necessarily need a traditional “business plan”, but you need something in terms of goals and not just fly by the seat of your pants. How many clients do you want or need? Do you want to build your audience to offer group coaching? Speaking? Write it down like you would any other goals. And if you find out you don’t like or aren't good at one aspect, pivot and try other things. Once you make goals and plans you don’t have to marry them. Have a mastermind ALWAYS. This is a group of people who are doing things similar to you (not necessarily coaches, but it’s good to put together that group). I’ve been in a mastermind continuously for the last decade. The people in the group have changed over time (the last one I’ve been in has been together for about 3 or 4 years), but the support I’ve received in these groups has been invaluable. You can’t build a business and maintain your mental and emotional health alone. In the beginning, have a niche. And always be clear on your messaging. Like any business, in order for people to buy from you, they need to know what problem it is that you solve. Have you ever purchased anything when unclear about what problem you’re having solved by your purchase? Have sore muscles? Buy a massage. Bald tires that are unsafe? Buy new tires. Have marriage problems? Buy time with a therapist. No one pays for a life coach unless they are clear on the problem they are having in their life that they want someone to help them solve. (I go into more depth on the podcast episode on this one as to why my niche now is much more broad than it used to be.) Tell everyone what you do. Life coaching is still a new-ish service, so if you want people to know not only that you do it, but what it is, tell everyone. Tell your hairstylist, your dog groomer, people you start chatting with in line at Starbucks, everyone. Hold the vision. Your vision may waver. It may get really hard and you’ll want to quit. Your parents or other family members might tell you you’re crazy for leaving your steady paycheck. Also, I hate to break it to you, unless you LOVE building businesses, your coach training will have been the fun part, and now the real work begins. But, one of my favorite questions to ask myself is to fill in the blank, “Wouldn't it be awesome if…” Wouldn’t it be awesome if I had a full practice and had a waiting list? Wouldn’t it be awesome if I had a best-selling book? Wouldn’t it be awesome if I got paid 5-figures to speak on stages?” In other words, keep dreaming and hold on to those dreams. Have a model but be flexible. Like any business, you’ll have a business model. Mine has continued to change continuously over the last decade. You might have a funnel, you might not. You might do lots of free sessions to get clients, you might not. You might offer group coaching, you might not. There is no perfect model (and people who tell you that are just trying to get you to buy their model). The only perfect model is one that works for you that you’ve experimented with and honed over time. Do your personal growth work. You can have all the business acumen in the world, an MBA and have been taught by the most successful business people on the planet. And that will take you far. But, if you aren’t working on yourself, none of that really matters. Owning your own business will bring up self-worth stuff, inner-critic, comparison, exhaustion, overwhelm, life balance issues, family role issues, you name it. If you don’t work on those, they’ll just stick around and keep you stuck. Also, you can’t take your clients further than you’re willing to go in your own life. Sure, you can coach them through anything, but if you’re stuck on a topic they bring because it’s the exact same thing you’re stuck on, it’s extremely hard to self manage. Do you own work for you, and because you want to be a role model for your clients. In other words, walk your talk. Be consistent, persistent, and persevere. Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re in it for the long game– which you probably are– don’t be fooled by stories that you hear of a brand new coach who made 1 million in revenue in their first year (which if they did, I’d bet all my money they spent $800,000 in ads, business coaches, and other help to get there). This business is just like other businesses, it takes time and consistency to build and nurture. If you’re a coach and you feel like you need support– we offer consulting, as well as coaching packages. We can help you with nailing down your messaging, figuring out what’s the best way for you to market yourself, and even if you want to write a book or start a podcast, we can help with that too. Click here to read more and apply. Plus, if you’re like, “Wow, I should probably work on my fear of visibility or my nasty inner-critic so I can really get my coaching business off the ground”, we're epic at helping people do that too. (Andrea facilitates specific deep, transformational work here, or you can look at a shorter package here.) Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 335: Bonus Episode for Coaches appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
39 minutes | a year ago
Episode 334: unHidden: An Episode for Men and Those Confused By Them with Robert Kandell
Today I have an interesting episode for you. When Robert Kandell approached me to be on my podcast, I was like, “Wait, whaatttt, who is this guy?” I started looking into his work and he also sent me a copy of his book; I knew I had to have him on the show. He is known as “The Modern Mantor,” is an interpersonal communications and relationship expert, speaker, and podcaster. He is also the author of the book, unHidden: Book for Men and Those Confused By Them. Most of the listeners of this podcast are women…but obviously you have men in your lives – whether it be father, brothers, friends, or spouses. And sometimes it can be complicated. Robert and I discuss the different ways in which we can be better communicators with each other, how practicing telling the truth can build stronger relationships, and where and why men tend to hide from their own truths. In this episode you will hear: Where men tend to hide and why they hide, plus Robert shares some brain science and explains some of the reasons why men (and women) don’t do the work. (5:18) How Burning Man and an orgy led Robert to a new path in life and relationships. (10:32) The effects of withholding your truth from your intimate partners. (14:58) We are trained to be mediocre communicators, Robert shares one way men and women can have better communication. (19:31) The #MeToo movement was a huge wakeup call to society that the toxic habits of men and women supporting those men can no longer hold up and how the movement has affected men. (25:18) The imbalance of personal development between women and their male companions (whether it be partner, brother, etc). (29:21) Resources mentioned in this episode: Robert’s Website unHidden: Book for Men and Those Confused By Them. I’m writing my third book and would love to hear your story. Visit yourkickasslife.com/story for details! ===================== Robert Kandell, known as “The Modern Mantor” is an interpersonal communications and relationship expert, speaker, podcaster and author. His focus lies in navigating and educating the public around the modern man and his many nuances in the modern era. Kandell is the host of a podcast called TuffLove – Your Pragmatic guide to relationships, sex and purpose in the 21st century and author of an Amazon #1 Best Seller – unHIDDEN – A Book for Men and Those Confused By Them. Right-click to download the .mp3 The post Episode 334: unHidden: An Episode for Men and Those Confused By Them with Robert Kandell appeared first on Your Kick-Ass Life.
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