Dealing with Addiction and Putting Yourself First with Lisa Carpenter
Our fast-paced lives create so many opportunities for addiction to rear its ugly head. It can be difficult to recognize when we need to address it, or what the problem even is. When does a change in behaviour or mindset become necessary not just to survive, but to thrive?
The catalyst for change occurred for my guest, Lisa Carpenter when her husband went off to rehab. Lisa was a successful life coach, had a 6-month-old baby, two older boys and all of a sudden, her world was turned upside down. She had to stop and take a good look at why this was in her life. Lisa believes that there are no accidents and that everything is in your life for a reason. She had to ask herself how a smart woman like herself, ended up in a relationship with an addict.
After a lot of soul-searching, Lisa started to understand that she herself had an addiction. She was addicted to control and was highly co-dependent. In all of Lisa’s past relationships, she was attracted to partners that needed “fixing” and had issues of low self-worth. Lisa needed a project. She thrived on it. The downside of this was that she never put herself first. Through the counseling that Lisa went through to help her husband in his healing journey, Lisa was finally dealing with her own self-worth issues.
Lisa Carpenter is a successful coach for high-achievers and has been working in the field for over 20 years. Her program, Full Frontal Living encourages her clients to slow down and pay attention to how they're feeling so they can stop pushing their way through life. So they can get present and take control of their physical and emotional well-being.
SOME TOPICS WE COVERED:
Dealing with low self-esteem and self-worth
How to shift your mindset from needing to “prove” to others, to being there for yourself
Supporting a partner with an addiction
Putting yourself first so that you are the best version of you for others
Showing up as a “human doing” instead of a “human being”
The similarities between what’s considered a “good” addiction, versus a “bad” addiction
Recognizing co-dependent behaviour
Learning how to empower and love yourself
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THIS EPISODE:
The Courage to Be Disliked - Ichiro Kishimi
The Gifts of Imperfection - Brené Brown
Codependent No More - Melody Beattie
LISA: I realized how much I was showing up as a human doing and not a human being. That I was stuck in behaviours of control, people pleasing, approval seeking, every numbing behavior, I was suffering from it.
VITINA: Namaste and welcome, I'm Vitina Blumenthal and you're listening to the Soul Compass podcast. I'm here to help you find your inner calm and deepen your self-discovery journey. Take this moment and focus on yourself. For your mental health, your ability to find ease in your everyday life and your emotional well-being. It is so important that you nourish yourself not only physically but also emotionally and mentally. Here at Soul Compass, you'll learn practical tips from experts who will leave you with a sharper focus and a renewed commitment to yourself.
Are you the type of person that thinks you should have it all figured out? I know I've been there. You should be happy. You should feel accomplished and strong, but your achievements never seem to be enough. You know the systems, you've implemented the strategies, hired coaches and you're not afraid of the hustle. In fact, you love the hustle. You love reaching your goals, moving the bar higher, and ticking items off your to-do list. Yet you're not satisfied with your personal and professional life.
Today I'm here with an inspirational woman who has pushed, worked, got it done, and prided herself on her ability to muscle through anything and everything. She truly believed that if she put her head down and worked hard enough she would get there. She loved having control. From struggling with worthiness and addiction and after 20 plus years of coaching and focusing on her own healing journey, she helps her clients break free from being the last thing on their to-do list, and shift their perspective so they can feel more peace, ease, joy, and fulfillment. Her program, Full Frontal Living encourages her clients to slow down and pay attention to how they're feeling so they can stop pushing their way through life. So they can get present and take control of their physical and emotional well-being.
Today she's here with us to share her wisdom and even got me going deep on my romantic relationship struggles. Please welcome, the lovely Lisa Carpenter.
Lisa thank you so much for joining us today.
LISA: This is going to be a really good conversation because we typically do self-care, but we don't actually embody what it means to take care of ourselves. There's a really big difference and there's a huge disconnect and people are still getting burnt out, and women especially as we age like this is no joke.
VITINA: I'm part of the Young Person's Cabinet for Women's Brain Health Initiative, in my work with them I've learned so much about brain health. Women especially, 70 percent of Alzheimer's patients are women, and there's such a huge gap. In 2017 or 2018, there was a decrease in Alzheimer's patients, but it was only in men. So it just goes to show how the female brain works.
We are a little bit more complicated and I'm okay with that.
LISA: I have all boys and I can tell you, they are simple creatures. That's not to throw men under the bus. I think there are layers to men but women, we like to complicate things, we like to overcomplicate things, we like to get up in our heads. Then you add to that the emotional shitstorm that is our hormones that most of us don't even recognize are ruling us. We've picked up behaviours that have been passed down from generation to generation to help us cope and survive.
And then as women, we think we're going to change the world by adopting more masculine energy which is actually incredibly toxic to our health. We're trying to do all the things, and be all the things, and in the process, we're getting further away from what we really want for ourselves and what we want for the world.
VITINA: Well I'm really curious because we met and we sat beside each other I think the first night of Dovetail. We got to know each other pretty well in that short period of time. What I was always curious to know is, what was your driver in getting into this world?
LISA: So much of my life was driven by the things that were going to make me feel worthy. So many of us struggle with not feeling good enough. From the time we're young and we come onto this planet we have to figure out how to survive. By survive, it's not that you know our lives are at risk, although some people their lives are at risk but those basic needs of love, safety, and belonging. We pick up behaviours and just ways of being to help us fit in. This started for me from a really early age.
I had a great mom and dad you know, but I interpreted things the way I wanted to. Through my innocent little childhood brain that we don't have the filter, we can't really weigh out all the different perspectives. We just kind of pick things up. There were all these stories that I picked up as a little girl from my mom not wanting to buy me Keds, and thinking that my parents didn't love me. Literally, I embodied this belief. That's where my stories around money started from, and then in school, I really struggled to learn.
I began to believe that I wasn't smart so if I couldn't be smart I'd be pretty. Again, how can I be this person so I feel like I fit in, so I feel like I'm good enough? When I graduated high school I left home right away, and exercise became this place that I could go to and I would have some control over how I felt and how I looked.
What started my journey into wellness and working in wellness was just a personal desire to start exercising. Then I took a job in corporate and I worked in corporate for a lot of years. I wanted to go out on the road in sales. I was one of their top customer service reps. I loved it, but when push came to shove it was a man's world. They didn't think I could hack it as a sales rep. They offered me another position and I declined. Literally, I still remember that moment. My boss in the corner office, when I came in to say I declined his offer and I'd be leaving the company, he didn't even look up from his newspaper and I thought, "I've loved working for you guys. I loved being here. You don't even look up, you don't even care that I'm leaving?"
That was kind of the moment where I decided, I'm never working for someone again. I found my own outside sales rep position. I sold souvenirs and sold greeting cards, and then what finally moved me back into wellness as a profession was when I had my kids. I thought, "Well, I'm just going to become a personal trainer". My dad said to me, "Well you know Lisa, one day you're going to have to get a real job".
I thought, "Really? I'll show you". So a lot of the things that I've accomplished in my life came from this proving energy or the striving energy. It was like proving my worthiness whereas my worthiness was never on the table. I was worthy from the day I was born. As is everybody. It's our God-given right.
That's kind of what started it and that built my career. I grew a very successful personal training career, and then I transitioned into nutrition. I built up my own nutrition programs, I opened multiple studios, and then I moved my business online. Two decades later I have a book, I'm a master coach, so I do all these things now. Which is really cool, only to come back around to the place where none of them really mean anything...
VITINA: It's almost like you're of service but it comes so naturally, it's like your gift and so it doesn't feel like you're working. Even when you talked about when you were a little girl, it's almost like you're coming full circle from what you kind of knew as a child.
LISA: I think the cycle of life is. We go through life, we put on all these layers that are really who we are, we're striving, we're proving, we're looking for enoughness, we're looking for our worthiness. Then we get into our mid to late 30s - early 40s, and we start to look around and say, "Well this isn't working." I believe that most of us have our, "Come to Jesus moment," or whatever you want to call it, that forces us to grow. Then as we move into our 40s, I'll be forty-seven this year, things that used to matter, don't matter.
I'm here to make an impact. I'm here to make sure women are taking really good care of themselves. I'm here to share my stories because I think so many women carry the same stories as me, especially high achievers.
VITINA: I want to go back to that point of proving yourself and worthiness because men and women struggle with that, but I do have a lot of women in my life that struggle with that, and I know I did as well. It wasn't until I started working with a therapist that I realized, "Oh my gosh, I'm doing this all to prove my dad wrong," and I love my dad. He's the best don't get me wrong, but I too had that voice, "Okay, now you've got to get a real job with benefits and X, Y, and Z".
It's such an interesting shift in mindset when you go from a proving mindset, to just in complete flow. When did you find that shift in yourself?
LISA: So the real catalyst in my life was when my husband went off to rehab. I had a six-month-old baby and had my two older boys. I had to take a hard look at why this was in my life because the things that are in our lives happen on purpose. It's not by accident. We all play a role in the things that are going on for us. How did me, the smart woman end up in a relationship with an addict? He's seven years sober and we're still together so it's all good, but I really leaned into that as an opportunity.
It didn't feel like an opportunity at the time, so let's not paint this with rainbows and fairy dust. I was angry and I went in but with a proving mindset, "I'm going to prove to you that my relationship is going to work," because I was told that relationships don't survive that addiction. I very quickly realized that this wasn't about fixing my relationship with him or fixing him. I'd spent a lifetime dating and trying to fix wounded men so that they could see how worthy they were, not realizing that I was giving them what I needed for myself.
That was really kind of my moment where I realized how much I was showing up as a human doing, and not a human being. That I was stuck in behaviours of control, people pleasing, approval seeking, every numbing behaviour, I was suffering from it. That's why I ended up in a relationship with an addict because wherever you find an addict, you're going to find an equally loving and just as addicted co-dependent. The difference was I was addicted to my behaviors. He was addicted to substances.
VITINA: We have what we think are bad addictions and good addictions. Like someone who's super into their health, wellness, exercise, but that is taking away from something else that is going on. I'm so happy that you brought that up, and thank you so much for sharing that because I know that probably was not an easy time in your life.
LISA: It's such a pillar part of my message now because prior to that I'd been working with women around their bodies, nutrition, weight loss, and it was such an eye-opener to realize, food plays a role - we need to put nourishing food into our body, but why did people stay on this diet cycle?
Oh, it's not about the food. The food is the symptom, the drugs are the symptom, the exercise is the symptom, the hours on social media is the symptom, the not being able to set boundaries is the symptom. What's underneath all of it? Why is it that we're not really honouring who we are. Why is it that we're using things to numb out?
The things we can't be with will rule us. We want to believe that we're not being run by our emotions but we are. We're just using different behaviours so we don't have to feel what we feel. That's the power of therapy or coaching. You know when I first walked into my therapy room with a group full of people, I was resistant, arms across my chest. I was angry. I thought they were all crazy. I didn't get it.
Then I finally surrendered and I allowed myself to actually see what everybody else could see in me, but I was unwilling to see myself. That's when everything changed.
VITINA: That's unreal. Have you ever worked with archetypes before?
VITINA: Well because with archetypes there is the positive side, and then there's the shadow side. The shadow side, when we start suppressing it because we don't want to deal with it, it's the one that wants to sneak in the most. It's the one that's mirrored in everyone around you, it's the one that's triggered. It sounds like that shadow side - not that it's a negative thing, honestly, that's just part of who we are as human beings. If we honour that side it actually doesn't want to come out as much. It's really cool to see how you surrendered in that moment because I can only imagine how difficult that was.
LISA: It was horrible. I remember reading a book it was called Codependent No More because as a control freak, I'm going to fix this. That's what I did. Started reading all the books about addiction, started reading all the books about codependency, read this book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and it took me to my knees. I'm like, "I am broken. How did I not know these things about myself?" I remember that was the week I walked into the therapy room. That was the week I surrendered. That was the week my counselor said, "Are you ready to stop reading and to get present to what's available to you if you allow yourself to stay open and curious?" The tears started flowing and that's really when I started to have the courage to ask questions and to stop fighting because that was my defence mechanism.
We all do like fight, flight, or freeze. Some people run away, I would get right in your face and fight with you like I would literally fight for my limitations. I stopped fighting and I realized when that part of me that wanted to fight came up that there was something really big for me there to heal.
VITINA: That's such a powerful message because I've had a teacher in my life say that to me because we're such a society that wants to fill ourselves with knowledge. We're addicted to knowledge. That's what we're taught. He said to me, "Vitina, it's 5 percent reading and 95 percent practicing, or being," because you can read self-help book, after self-help book.
LISA: It doesn't feel good when you realize you don't feel good enough. So I spent my life doing everything I could to not be present with that part of me that didn't feel good enough. But in order to heal we need to slow down. We need to get out of our heads, we need to get into our hearts and I know that sounds like airy fairy woo woo. My high achievers really struggle with this because again, they want to go to like, "Well I'm going to go do meditation, I'm going to do yoga, and I'm going to do the reading, do the spa". It's not about that. It's about having the conversations. It's about being present to what you're feeling. It's about embodying this new way of being and literally allowing everything that isn't you to fall away.
That is disruptive. It is uncomfortable. It can be downright almost physically painful. We call it disintegration anxiety because every part of you is like, "This is how we do it, Lisa. You can't not control this".
It really is a process and this is why I get so annoyed with the term "self-care," because although it means well, it's still sending the message of self-care is something you do as opposed to self-care is a way of being. It's a commitment to the relationship you have with yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, whatever that means to you.
VITINA: Right and for you what does that mean? How do you just be?
LISA: I like to say that things we love we take care of. I listen to my body. I rest when it's tired and then I don't tell myself stories that I'm being lazy that I should be doing more. I tune into my intuition. I honour what I put into my body. So I eat foods that are going to allow my body to be its best physically and emotionally because foods impact our emotions, they impact our hormones. That doesn't mean that I don't get to have ice cream. It means that I make choices from a place of yes or no. Is this going to support how I want to feel? Yes or no. Not should or shouldn't. I shouldn't have this. I don't have enough time for that in my life.
Spiritually it means that my connection to myself and to the universe is not something that is optional. It is a daily routine. It's a daily practice and it can look different every single day. I am a priority in my life. I'm not an afterthought. My care is not an afterthought. Everybody else including my business does not come before me. That took some space and time to integrate because as women, what do we do default to? We become the martyrs, we put everybody ahead of us. What will people think if we're not taking care of them? Will we be liked? How could I possibly not put my children first?
I can't be a good mom if I'm stressed out and strung out. If we're constantly making ourselves an afterthought, what message are we sending to ourselves? That's what it means to embody it. You no longer become an afterthought in your life. You become a priority on all levels.
VITINA: Yeah. I don't know if you feel this, but I find that every time I make a commitment to myself and I follow through with it, I actually have more confidence and higher self-esteem. I've been doing a 40-day Kundalini Yoga Sat Kriya meditation every morning. That meditation doing it for eleven minutes each morning, it's day 50 now. I finished the first 40, now I'm on to the next one, but that commitment to myself...I have more energy, I feel more motivated. Not in a have to keep doing way, it's like I actually get to I feel fulfilled in the things that I'm doing. It's the wildest change that I've ever made in my life.
LISA: We're talking about self-integrity, which is doing the things that we say we're going to do for ourselves and following through on them. What does staying in self-integrity do for us? It builds trust. Let me put it this way if you're in a relationship with somebody else who is constantly telling you they were going to do something, and then never following through, and treating you like an afterthought, "Oh, you said we were going to go for dinner? We're not going out for dinner now? Oh, you said you're going to pick up this and you didn't?"
How long would you tolerate being in that relationship? Yet we're tolerating this in ourselves. Then women wonder why they don't trust their bodies, why they don't trust themselves, why they can't trust their intuition. They're not doing the things that support them being in a trusting relationship with themselves. If you say you're going to do something and then you don't do it, it has repercussions that run so much deeper than people realize.
I like to encourage my clients, which is hard for overachievers to wrap their brains around, commit to doing less, better. Like instead of giving yourself all the things, one thing and then do it and follow through on it. It doesn't mean you don't get to come back to the table and then say, "Okay, what's working and what isn't working? Do I want to continue or not continue, or do I want to try something new?" We always have the power of choice.
You have to follow through on the things you say you're going to do for yourself because that's how you build a deeply trusting and loving relationship with yourself.
VITINA: It's such a game changer. I work a lot with chakras and energy, and this is why I love talking to different people in different fields because not everyone gravitates towards the chakras. But the third chakra, that willpower, and where it sits is just above your navel and below your breastbone. If you like even feel that area there are no bones keeping that up. It's that willpower, that strength, that motivation that you have to carry through your biggest dreams your desires, but also just going through your natural everyday life and having confidence and courage. In relationships, I'm glad that you brought that up because that's such a huge point that we don't talk about.
I wanted to go back. I know that it was your husband's addiction and going to AA and all those meetings that it sounds like was a huge catalyst to the biggest transformation in your life. Could you say that?
LISA: So he went off to a rehab facility here and they had a family program that I attended. I'm not actually a huge fan of AA. I think AA keeps people sick, to be honest. Maybe I'll get pushback on this but, what happens is that everybody walks into that room and says, "Hi I'm so-and-so and I'm an alcoholic," which means they're claiming that as their identity. That's who they are literally being.
My husband has been in recovery for seven years now. Every morning he makes the bed, he says a serenity prayer, and he has gratitude for sobriety but he no longer sees himself as an addict. That's not who he is. He does not identify with that because he's become a different person. For him using is not even on his radar. He has the tools to navigate it. You know in a day what you're doing is you're sitting there in everybody's soup so to speak. It doesn't resonate with him. AA, I don't know the statistics on it but the majority of people relapse.
VITINA: Are there other alternatives that people can go through?
LISA: There are starting to become more out there. I think more people are recognizing that self-development, therapy, coaches, the right type of counselors...It comes with the person's willingness to truly want to change and letting go of the belief that anything has that much power over them.
VITINA: The, "I am an alcoholic," we say "I am" statements all the time. "I am depressed. I am anxious. I am this. I am that". A lot of these are just feelings and emotions that are going through us, or time periods that are going through us. That "I am," statement is such a huge game changer in mindset.
LISA: Our beliefs literally drive our thoughts. Our thoughts drive our emotions. Although some people say our emotions drive our thoughts, which then drive our actions.
So if you believe, "I am not good enough. I am an alcoholic. I am stupid it". It will literally drive every single action you take in life because that is an identity. That's your identity. We operate from our subconscious identity and we can't run from that, but we can change our subconscious identity.
Who I am today is not who I was seven years ago, or 20 years ago. I'm not that girl anymore. I'm a very different person. I am who I actually always was before all the garbage got layered up. But I mean, I've been running a successful business for years but I wouldn't give myself success because you know the money wasn't in the bank yet. One of the ways that I reprogram that for myself was writing on my mirror, "I am successful". Owning that and embodying that. The most powerful stories are the stories that we tell ourselves, and we have 100 percent control over the stories we choose to tell ourselves.
We get to choose what we are and aren't available for. But it's our work to find out what stories are driving us. If you want to know what you believe in your life look around at your circumstances and your surroundings because they will give you a big indication of what you believe to be true about you. The people you're hanging out with, your bank account balance, your health. If you're in an unhealthy body, you don't believe something about good health or having a fit body or healthy food. It takes a lot of courage to do that deep work.
VITINA: It's so true. Often times our thoughts, while they become our belief system, these thoughts are not facts. Then they're just repeated, and repeated, and repeated, and then it just becomes part of our belief system. I even know for me one of the biggest ones is I used to think men are all shitty. That was my belief system in that time period of my life. I definitely attracted men that were not good for me. I look back at that time period and where I was at, and the men in my life that I attracted were a mirror to where I was at.
Then it started getting better, and better, and better. I mean, I haven't found my soulmate. Not yet.
LISA: I'm going to go back a little bit because your thoughts don't drive your beliefs, your beliefs drive your thoughts. That's a really important distinction because we can change our thinking, but if the belief underneath it is still there nothing will change. You'll keep ending up in the same place. This is why people get on diets and then they gain the weight back because they actually haven't changed their belief about who they need to be in the world. So it's not about becoming somebody different. It's about stripping back the beliefs that don't serve you at all.
LISA: Underneath your stories about men...
VITINA: I just thought that men were all bad. I didn't think that they kept their promises. I didn't trust what they would say.
LISA: So what makes you say that?
VITINA: I would say at an early age...I was kind of an ugly duckling when I was a kid or at least felt like that. I didn't grow into my looks until I got a little bit older. I remember when I was in grade...I forget it might have been in high school. One of the guys said, "Whoa, Vitina got hot". I remember thinking, "Now you're paying attention to me?" I remember my walls all went up. I didn't trust that people were really seeing me for who I was.
Then on top of that, as a little girl...I'm going to reference my dad again, you can tell I have an attachment to him. Even as simple as him saying, "We're going to go to the candy store, the gummy store," that's what we used to call it when I was a kid. If we didn't actually go, every time I was disappointed. I took that into my relationships. Even now I can catch myself thinking, "Oh they're gonna promise something. I'm not gonna hold on to you and I'm not going to get excited because they're probably not going to follow through".
LISA: Where in your own life are you not trusting yourself? I like to say that the universe doesn't test us, it reflects us. You had the story that nobody paid attention to you until you grew into your looks. People were only going to like you, or be there for you based on conditions. It's like we almost put up walls so that we can find proof that it's not safe to let people in and it's not safe to trust people. We build our own conditions in.
VITINA: I can see that in my own life.
LISA: So I'm going to make sure I push people away because ultimately I don't trust them at a core level. But you weren't fully accepting of yourself. How can we fully accept somebody else, and how can we trust somebody else when we're not being fully trusting and accepting of ourselves.
VITINA: Yeah. I can see different areas of my life where I didn't trust myself. I mean the last year has been probably some of the deepest healing work that I've ever done, that it's hard for me to tap into that side. There definitely were times where even just like that simple not following through for myself. I wasn't taking care of myself and I could see that in my body having a reaction whether it was my weight or my skin, or even just physically my body would have a reaction. I didn't really realize that at the time but I can see how I treated myself and maybe how that was reflecting in my outer world as well.
LISA: One of my mentors says that in relationships people have this notion that, "I'll bring 50 percent and you bring 50 percent," but the truth is each person has to bring 100 percent to the relationship. If you're holding back because you don't really trust someone, you're not bringing 100 percent to the relationship. You're already setting them up to fail because you're not showing up the way you want them to show up.
VITINA: It's like you're speaking to my soul right now.
LISA: Just see what happens in relationships if you actually show up 100 percent. Not guarded, not wondering if they like you based on conditions, or you look a certain way, or whatever. You show up you. 100 percent. All of you, good enough, and see what shakes out. It's never them.
VITINA: It's usually us.
LISA: It's so much easier to point and blame though. The unconscious woman points and blames, the conscious woman takes full responsibility for everything. Every part of their life. And man some days it sucks to do that.
Can't I just put the blinders back on again? I don't want to take responsibility for my role. But the truth is, for us to have the lives we want, the businesses we want, the bodies we want, the relationships we want, we have to take 100 percent responsibility for how we're showing up and we have to stop blaming our circumstances. Because it's not about the circumstances.
VITINA: So when you work with these high achieving women, what are the steps that you generally suggest in tapping into more awareness and more consciousness?
LISA: So you see how you just want to like can you give me the steps?
LISA: There's no step. I talk about full frontal living. Full frontal living is having the courage to not numb out our lives. I look at different things. I look at their physical wellness and spiritual wellness. Physical wellness looks at things like, what they're eating, how they're taking care of themselves. We look at things like rest, we look at things like connection, what is their connection with self and others. What do their relationships look like? Number one though, what is their relationship with themselves?
There is no step by step process. Every single client is different. I have disruptive conversations. I ask a lot of questions so that they can find their way out of the soup. There was no step by step process for me to navigate addiction. I had to surrender, I had to show up, and I had to just figure it out. I remember at the beginning of that process I literally was like, "Wow, I feel like I'm crawling under barbed wire, gravel, naked. This is horrible. When am I going to feel better?" There was not a moment where the skies suddenly parted and the rainbow came out, but all of a sudden it felt like, "Wow, I feel better. My life is different and I'm not under the barbwire anymore. I'm on this mountain and there's this whole new perspective on what's possible from up here.
We have to stop looking for the step by step process. It doesn't exist. We have to start having the courage to lean in and have the conversations. We have to have the courage to let go of finding the way and realizing... Like, if you were going to start dating someone new, would you say to them, "Okay, what are the steps here to get to know you?" When I see it that way, it's so funny, but that's what we do with ourselves, "You know this isn't working for me. What are the steps for me to get to know myself?" There are no steps.
You decide that you want to have an intimate, nurturing, loving relationship with yourself which means you have to be in a relationship with yourself. Conversations, courage, be bold and be brave.
VITINA: Yeah and look at the good, the bad, and the ugly because sometimes on that inward journey, and starting that relationship with ourselves we have to admit things that we did wrong or our deepest traumas and pains.
LISA: Right. So here's the thing. If you can approach this with curiosity, judgment and curiosity can't hang out together. They can't coexist. If you come at this from a place of, "I'm not looking to find that I'm broken, because nobody is broken, we all have stuff. I'm just going to get curious about the things that might be holding me back and I'm not going to judge myself on what I find because there really isn't a good, bad, or ugly. Some of it doesn't feel good. I didn't wake up and go, "Oh my God, this feels so amazing to admit that I have low self-worth." Who wakes up and says that?
That is what I had to admit to myself, "Lisa you've been a coach for years and you are struggling with feeling like you're good enough and that you're worthy enough. Are you ready to really look at what that means, how it's been impacting you, and what we're going to do to change this? Because I don't want a life for I don't feel good enough.
VITINA: I can only imagine even as a coach too, you're helping people so there's that inner critic that's like, you got to have this image that you've got it all together. But going through your shit, I know you're an amazing coach, but I'm sure it even made you better as a coach.
LISA: For a long time, you know that perfectionism, "If I couldn't be smart, I'd be pretty," and that whole perfectionism...I used it so people wouldn't see how insecure I was. Now that's my superpower. Full frontal living and the podcast that I started was in an effort to have a conversation about the things people aren't talking about. About the mess, about sharing my stories of being in it. Knowing that I can do that and people will still be like, "Oh she's a really good coach," the women that gravitate towards me are inspired. They know they have their own stuff. And they want to work with somebody who is okay with their own stuff. If I see someone now who's too in that perfect, "judgey", they're not my people. I know they're hiding a whole bunch of garbage. I've seen way too much.
We need to show up more real, and raw, and I get that that's not easy for everybody. It certainly wasn't easy for me. It still isn't easy for me. Some of the stuff that I share, and I do it anyways. I do it because one: I'm not going to die, and two: I trust that somebody needs to hear my story. My life experience was given to me intentionally on purpose. I'm here to do what I'm doing and I don't have the energy to fight that anymore. I'm unapologetic about it.
If you're going to judge me, it's none of my business anyways. This is the thing. If somebody else is judging me it's none of my business. At the end of the day when my head hits the pillow, am I proud of how I showed up for myself first and did I impact somebodies life? That's what's important to me. Not whether or not Joe Blow down the street is judging me.
VITINA: Yeah, and that's a huge illusion on our journey, is worrying about what other people think. I know I have definitely been caught up in that world. I just read a book called, The Courage To Be Disliked and that was such a game changer. What people are saying about you is none of your business, and it's easy to say that, but to actually truly feel that at the core is a lot harder. It's easier said than done sometimes but there was a shift. I recommend that book highly, The Courage To Be Disliked It's a good book in understanding how to separate our tasks with other people's tasks.
LISA: I had a coach say to me once, "You know Lisa, somebody already doesn't like you. Is it stopping you from doing your work in the world?" I was like, "No," and there are people out there right now who don't like me. Maybe you don't like what I said about AA, maybe you don't like what I said about emotions. It doesn't matter. What matters is how I think and feel about myself.
Because again, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves those are the ones that are toxic. Those are the ones we need to be mindful of. I'm not going to die if somebody doesn't like me. If somebody says something that really hurts me, I've surrounded myself with people that I can go to, that I can be human with and say, "Wow that sucked". I'm not Teflon here. Things hurt, but I also give myself permission to talk about it in a safe place, with the people that I trust to hold space for my emotions.
VITINA: It's so important to have such a solid tribe.
LISA: One-hundred percent. As women, we really need to rise up and support each other and get over female wounds from childhood, because we all have them. We're so powerful together. We have to trust ourselves, and we have to learn how to trust other women again.
VITINA: I completely agree.
I have a question that I want to ask you and I usually ask everyone towards the end of the podcast. What are three pieces of wisdom you would share with someone who is embarking on a self-discovery journey?
LISA: You're not broken. You don't need fixing. Stay curious and remember there's no destination. It's a journey about getting to know you. You are the most important relationship in your life, so have fun with it. Don't make it heavy, and for the love of all things holy, take a break. We're not here to be human doings, we're here to be human beings. Grow and evolve, but also give yourself time to embody the lessons you're learning. You have to turn off the firehose from time to time, and really embody those lessons because that's how you transform. Doing more isn't going to get you better results. That was way more than three but all very, very, very important.
VITINA: Yes. All key pieces of wisdom. Do you have any favourite books that have helped you along the way?
LISA: Brené Brown's The Gifts Of Imperfection was a book that kind of knocked my socks off. Codependent No More by Melody Beattie was not an easy read but it really turned the light on to behaviors that I didn't know that I was struggling with. Pretty much every single client I've ever worked with, somewhere in our lives there's a lineage of addiction whether it was a parent, a grandparent. Wherever you have an addiction, you have codependency. They're called process addictions or addictions to behaviors. It's very eye-opening when we recognize how much addiction has played a role in what we're passing down from generation to generation. Those were some big ones.
One of the ways that things showed up for me in my life that really needed to be healed was my relationship with money. Especially if you're in business or an entrepreneur. So there's a book called Money Drunk, Money Sober that really helped me understand how much emotion I'd attached to money. Money is very much the same as food. Those books are some that were really impactful in my life.
VITINA: Do you have any words or a mantra that you live by?
LISA: Live by what you trust, not by what you fear. When my husband went to rehab the decision to stay in a relationship with somebody who's in recovery is 100 percent grounded in the faith that everything's going to be okay. The truth is, to have a relationship with anybody in this world whether they are in recovery or not, is to have faith that everything's going to be okay. Even if everything isn't okay. It really is choosing to not live in fear. Fear is about trying to control and avoid feeling sadness or anxiety or anything. I just try and stay out fear and stay in trust and faith.
VITINA: Lisa I'm so grateful that we got to connect again today. Thank you so much for just spreading your light.
LISA: This was an amazing conversation. Thank you for having me on.
VITINA: It was, and it was so raw you even got me talking about my relationship problems.
LISA: And your dad stuff right. We all have dad stuff. It comes back to that approval seeking and wanting to be liked. We're always wanting the approval of our dads. But the truth is we never needed the approval of our dads because our parents love us. My kids don't need to do anything to get our approval. But these stories that we pick up and then we carry forward, it's just unbelievable. The relationship that you want is there, but show it for yourself 100 percent, and show up in the relationship 100 percent, and see what happens.
VITINA: Absolutely. Going to take that into my next relationship.
LISA: Call it in.
VITINA: It's coming. I can feel it.
Lisa, thank you so much just for being authentically you. Just by being authentically you, you inspire so many people. I know right now that you're taking on one-on-one clients, so anyone who's really lucky to work with you can apply on your website.
VITINA: Can you tell people where they can go to connect with you?
LISA: The best place to connect with me right now is over an Instagram. I'm a little bit over Facebook because I am the keeper of what goes in my eyes and into my brain. On Instagram, what I love about it is we get to pick and choose who we see and what we watch. I've also recently just launched my Full Frontal Living podcast that's available on all platforms so I'm loving it. I know you love podcasting because it gives us an opportunity to just show up give with an open heart. It's free content for everybody that is so impactful. I'm really excited to be showing up on that platform. If you're interested in finding out more about coaching with me, just throw in an application.
VITINA: Yes you are. I love it. Thank you so much again, Lisa. I'm so grateful that we could soak up all your wisdom and knowledge. You're inspiring.
VITINA: Okay, that's it for this week's episode. Remember, to stay inspired in between our episodes you can head on over to Instagram and follow us @yoursoulcompass and @wanderfulsoul. For free meditations and mindfulness guides, you can head over to wanderfulsoul.com.
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Thank you. You beautiful soul for dedicating time to your self-discovery journey. Not only are you contributing to your own mental and emotional well-being but you are contributing to a healthier, more harmonious world and raising the consciousness of our planet. You are amazing and beautiful just as you are.
Thank you for being part of our journey. And thank you for letting us become part of yours.