07 May Ep. 17: High Functioning, But Anxious with Heather Tydings
So you are working hard day and night. You are pounding things out like they are your job because let’s face it, it kind of is right? Yet on the inside, you feel like a complete train wreck. You are anxious, you are overwhelmed. You’ve got so many things going on that you feel like if you turn your head the wrong direction, all the sands gonna drop. So how do we set those boundaries? How do we endure just comfort to make changes that lead us to feel like we can live a large and fearless life? I mean, can we truly work smarter and not harder and also feel fulfilled?
Guys, I am so excited because today on The Gutsy Podcast we have our first ever guest, Heather Tydings, and she is going to dig into all these things. She is the owner of Own Your Evolution. She’s a psychotherapist and certified Martha Beck Life Coach for women and teen girls who want to live a soulful, mindful, and potent life. She works with them to design a vibrant life by tuning into their internal wisdom using mindfulness practices and spirituality. She presents as an extrovert, but she is a true empath (which I can completely relate to) and has a deep abiding need for quietness and stillness. She’s a mama bear to an adorable 11-year-old son, she’s a writer, a pilates lover, and a lifetime vegetarian.
Heather, welcome to The Gutsy Podcast.
Thank you, Laura baby. Thanks for having me.
Absolutely. This is a joy for me and I know for all of our guests. Now before we begin, icebreaker/fun fact – You met Oprah? So we need to talk about that.
I totally did meet Oprah!
How’d that happen?
Oh, well I started getting into vision boarding, um, kind of as an experiment after I think I saw Martha Beck on Oprah. So I started to play with vision boards and I was going through a really big transitional period of my life. And, um, I created one and on the Vision Board, I put a picture of Mrs. Winfrey in a big purple, bold purple sweater. And I thought I’m going to meet her. I want to – she kind of grew me up. I learned so much about life and myself by watching her show in my teen years. And I wanted to meet my mother, though she didn’t know she was my mother.
And funny, I found out that she opened the window on her website for one day a month and you had to go and put your information and you had a watch it every day and put your information in to get on her show. And so I did that for about a year and I was not giving up. Um, they did not call me. And finally, I thought this is brilliant because you could put your name and four other people’s names. So I called three of my girlfriends and said, I will let you know when the window opens up every month. I want us all to go in, we’ll all put our names in so we, you know, quadruple our chances of getting on the show. And so it worked. And Mrs. Winfrey called and invited us to her show and it was on the Amanda Knox story actually.
So my girlfriends and I flew to Chicago and the whole time I was manifesting I was going to meet her and they were like, hmm, that’s cute. You’re not actually going to meet her. And I’m like, no, I am. And I honestly felt very convinced that Mrs. Winfrey and I were going to have a hug. And so we get to Chicago and once we get to her chef’s restaurant, I’m like, can we send her dessert to her penthouse? And they’re like, okay. So everywhere we meet, everyone we meet in Chicago, I’m like, we’re going to meet Oprah. And my girlfriend’s sort of giggled, like she’s kind of delusional.
So we get on the show, we get VIP seating, we have no idea how. We’re right behind the Amanda Knox story. Like I am so close to Oprah I can see the Fendi on the bottom of her shoe. And at the beginning of the show she stood up and she’s like, welcome to Chicago. You know, I don’t meet anybody after the show. I know, I appreciate you all coming here. And I’m like, mm, that is not my vision. I am going to meet you. And so my girlfriend, my Italian girlfriend at the very end of the row, as Oprah’s exiting the stage after the show has wrapped up and I am willing her to grab Oprah’s hand and stop her and she does. And she said, Oprah, you know we’re your girls from Baltimore, where you got your start. And she said, I have a girlfriend here and she actually has to meet you. And she was like, come on up Baltimore.
And so we went up on stage and her producer came over and got pictures of us. We gave her hugs and we rolled out. And that is how I met Mrs. Winfrey.
That is insanity to me. I love it. Ok, so there are so many things that go into this: perseverance, resiliency. Like literally a year you manifested and dedicated a year of your life to make this moment. But it happened, right?
It totally did. And then she announced during this whole process of me being convinced I was going to meet her, that she was like going off air and I think 2000, I wanna say 10 or 11. And so it was even more tenacious with like, no, I am. I’m going to.
I love it. I really love it. Ya know one of these days me and Mrs. Winfrey are gonna be rubbing elbows, too.
Hang out with me, sister!
You got it. So, take me back, tell me a little bit about how you got started as an entrepreneur. What the story?
So, I was working for a healthcare company for a lot of years late at night. And um, I kept being pulled to the Martha Beck Life Coaching Program. That was about 2008 and I kept going to her website and I thought, you know, this program is for people who have it all together. It’s too much money. It’s very high rollers. I can’t, it’s not for me. I’m not enough to, you know, get into this program.
And finally about four years later, it just kept pulling me. And so I signed up and it’s a like a nine or 10-month program. And during the life coach training, I just felt the pull that it was time to create my own bang. And she had a lot of business coaches. So I just learned slowly how to create my own business. And that’s what I did. I did it really slowly. I went down from 40 hours to 20 hours. Every day I would do like 10 or 15 minutes building my business until I opened my practice in 2013 and have been rocking and rolling ever since.
I love it. So I’m curious about that turning point because you said you felt like you weren’t enough, but you also made the decision to invest in this large program. And I know that’s something that a lot of entrepreneurs face or like, I know when I see the thing that I want to do or could do, but financially I can’t do it or something is standing in my way. So what was kind of that turning point for you?
I was in my office at midnight on a Wednesday before the life coaching program closed for the next launch, and I was sort of like a caged animal in here and had been doing this intense crisis work since 96. So I was pacing around my office and like desperately wanting something new and fighting the unworthiness demons. And so I said out loud – I have no idea why Laura, this came to me but – I am going away this weekend and I wonder if they’ll extend the close. If I see these certain signs. I know it’s a go. I have the green light and I’m going to sign up no matter what, just do it. So I asked to see, I have no idea, a bluebird, find a feather, and oh for I think 8 or $10,000 to fall into my lap! I mean, I made the stakes really high.
So my then husband came home – and they did extend it a week – and he said, he randomly got this $10,000 raise. That was on Friday. We went away to the eastern shore that weekend. And as I was walking, I found this large feather, you know, not unusual. I was like, oh my gosh, I asked for this. And then when we got home, my neighbor, she was four at the time. She came outside, I was dumping the cooler out, sort of, you know, unpacking from the weekend and she started to tell me how she was looking at my house and there was a bluebird sitting on my balcony. And her father came out and said, it was so big. We saw these gorgeous eastern bluebirds sitting on your balcony this weekend.
I said to the universe, but I didn’t see them. So the next day I went to the grocery store and I was coming home to my neighborhood and this bluebird literally skimmed my windshield and so I was like, all right, done. $10,000 whatever it was, $10,000 in the program and I signed up.
I love how I do my life!
I love how you do life because it’s how I do life as well. So it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that asked for feathers. And you know, I would bet that this is kind of a new concept for a lot of people like tuning in and manifesting and asking for signs, all that stuff. Some people might think that’s kind of woo woo and that’s totally okay. But when you tap into it, there’s a ton of power with it.
So, what are some things that you coach through some of your clients on how to tap into that portion of their life?
Well, it is woo woo and it does, you know, ask you to suspend this belief to go into a different realm that is unseen and unheard in a lot of ways. And so I never try to convince anybody that this is the way, right? So what I asked them to do in the session, if they’re open to it, is just to experiment with it. So they can prove that maybe I’m completely wrong, you know? With this way of creating an intention and then just showing up and noticing where the hot tracks start to show up for you where the breadcrumbs are laid out in front of you.
So that’s the verbiage I use. Just experiment with this. You don’t have to believe it. In fact, don’t believe it, but at least play with it and just see if anything opens up. If it doesn’t, you’re right. If it does, when you have this whole other field to play in.
So what’s the first thing someone could do? Like what can someone do to maybe try and incorporate this into their life?
Let me think of a good client example I’ve had. Um, so I guess when they’re in session and it feels like there are no other avenues and they’re really grappling with something big and I don’t have the answer, right? So I don’t have the answer on which way to go. I asked them to say or state a very clear intention before they leave the session and then ask them to notice what shows up.
So what happened.. Something just happened recently and I remember saying, can you believe that opened up for you? I’m not recalling the…
Well, even just like your birds, right? Like you yourself set a very specific intention – something that’s kind of very visually measurable. So it’s not just even a feeling, but it’s something very physical. And then they showed up. So it’s almost like a checkpoint along the line to say, yep, you were in the right space doing the right thing at the right time.
And often like a book will show up or you know, angels in the form of human beings will say something to them about an opportunity for a new job that was absolutely not in their awareness. And then they explore that and it’s a viable option. They’re in a toxic work environment. They go and interview on a whim thinking they’re not good enough. But going, they just keep showing up to the next thing and that may not pan out, but maybe that leads to something else. And so to ask and then really show up and follow what is presented, I think that’s the big thing – asking. But you also have to really keep your eyes and heart open because when you ask, things show up for you.
So true. I’m always fascinated that when I’m in a certain place, I’ll start a book for instance, and I’ll set it down for like three weeks and forget about it accidentally. And then I’ll go and I’m like, what am I going to read today and I’ll open up a chapter and the words are exactly what I need in that exact moment pertaining to the exact scenario that I’m going through. And that’s kind of one of those like, if you’re tuned into it there’s a lot of power in it.
Yeah, absolutely. Or a song will come on that you’ve heard 8,000 times. One of my clients just had this about a month ago. You know, she’s on her Peloton bike —
Ugh, you know I’m a fan!
–and a song came on, and she was crying and just breathing, you know, a big marital transition and this song she’s heard so many times and she said, but I heard it with new ears and it’s settled into my spirit. And I knew I was going to be okay cause I intended to find calm and that’s exactly what I needed to hear. And my nervous system could settle and I just felt at peace with – I am in my home, I am home. So when/if my literal home changes, that’s okay.
Wow. That’s amazing. So how does that play in the business? How do you feel like that could be a tool that business owners, particularly entrepreneurs, could utilize?
Um, I did start a business several years ago and it was a very typical start up with, you know, a business model and all the steps that one can go through to create a new business and abundance. And it just, it was so not my way. My way really is intuitive hits and paying attention. So recently, you know, I had this wonderful space that I loved for several years, but I just kept feeling this tug to explore a new space closer to home. And there was no real, like there wasn’t anything bad happening at the old space. But I knew if the charge in me was strong enough that I needed to like go out and explore and I followed it. And long story short, now I’m in this new gorgeous light-filled peaceful, safer space just because I followed my intuition. Just ’cause there was the charge in me to change, to make a change. It was time to make a change for a lot of different reasons.
So that is the real woo woo way of how I follow my intuition. And I do it with even taking on clients. When a client calls, texts, or emails and finds me, I feel it in my body whether this is a green light – this is a yes. I know it really from the first interaction. I feel like, okay, this is at least a step forward or not a good fit for maybe them or me. And I just have learned to listen to it. Cause when I don’t – and I hadn’t for a long time – it was always revealed to me later, maybe not initially, but why I should’ve followed that or I shouldn’t take that or I shouldn’t go in that direction.
Is that way too woo woo?
Oh, nope. I can get real woo woo. So, it’s really about feeling. So a lot of times we talk about like the feelings of bricks or butterflies. So when you have that really heavy brick, low sinking feeling something usually is not right versus a very light kind of upper almost makes you want to puke. Kind of feeling, um, is, is almost like its own version of a green light to say, yes, you’re in the right place. This might feel scary, but it’s not a bad scary. It’s an exciting scary.
So, well stated. I think reliable intuition, that information comes through more neutrally. It feels right in your gut, there’s a lightness to it a lot of times, it has a really affirming tone to it. Um, it’s different than the kind of irrational fear, which is that like kind of highly emotionally charged or really demanding sense. Does that make sense?
Absolutely, it sure does. So, today we’re talking lots about high functioning anxiety. Entrepreneurs, specifically business owners, but just people in general – everyone – is hustling a hundred miles an hour faster than they should be every day or doing a lot of stuff. And they feel like if they’re not doing a lot of things, they don’t feel accomplished.
So talk to me a little bit about it from like a psychotherapist standpoint about the concept of high functioning anxiety and maybe some things that we can do to fix that.
Well, I think, okay, when you’re overtaken by the anxiety, you’re not going to function or make good decisions anyway. There is an element of being energized. You know, to move you forward with momentum, that’s very energizing. But when you’re literally hijacked by anxiety and you’re making decisions, a large percentage of the time, you’re not making really clear, informed decisions.
And so for me, when I get in that like crappily – I’ve overstepped the threshold from the energized juice anxiety into a crunchy, fatigued, worn out anxiety – I know it is time for me, no matter what the drive and motivation are telling me, to settle in and seal for a while because I’m not going to make good decisions. And so for me personally, and everyone has their own way to settle their nervous system, but my way is to go out in nature. It really, I can ground to the earth.
There’s the Japanese term forest bathing, going out into the earth and nothing seems to matter as much when I’m out in nature. Like the bigness of the earth, it sort of drains the crispy charge out of me and I can return maybe the next day or two days later I’m feeling like, okay, there’s more clarity now I know what to do with this energy instead of just pushing, constantly pushing through it.
Yeah, and I think that’s what a lot of us do, right? So it takes time to build momentum, whether it’s good momentum or bad momentum. So you’re almost creating habits when you’re getting into this. Like you’re down in the weeds, you’re down in the trenches, and you’re just like literally pounding it out day in and day out. I think it’s the transition of stepping away from that because we feel like if we stopped we’re going to lose something.
Absolutely. That is so true. And I find that we do lose something, we start to lose ourselves. We start to come out of our bodies and we’re not doing things in an embodied way, right? We’re outside of ourselves and I don’t think we’re nearly as effective and it will take 10 more steps to do something then when we’re creating from an embodied place of more stillness.
So how do we break out of that? How do we maybe 1. recognize that we’re in it and then 2. what are some things that we can do to transition out of that mindset?
Of the hustle mindset?
Yeah. Just that ‘if I don’t do all of these things, it’s all going to fall apart.
Yeah. I was just listening to another podcast and this life coach was talking about Slacker Magic, Abigail Steidley, and I just loved it because she really went into listening to your body’s wisdom and that will guide you. And there are times when you’re pushing forward that you have to pull back and slack and she didn’t say this part, but to rest and rejuvenate. When you feel like you need to push harder, it is so counterintuitive to pull back to rest or rejuvenate for just a period of time so that you move forward with more clarity.
So I don’t know, what do you do when you start to get really crackly? What do you do or like, what do you do to pull back?
Well, first I’ve had to master the art of recognizing it because for much of my career I would just go and go and go until the point where like my body decided for me that I was done. I would get sick or you know, I would just be down and out for a couple of days. I wouldn’t be able to get off the couch or out of bed. Um, so my first area of success I think has been to recognize that hey, something’s got to give. And if I don’t reroute something, then my body’s going to kind of go down on me.
So at that point, for me, it’s 1. what can I delegate? A whole lot of times when I’m in that mode, I have absorbed everything because I feel like I have to do everything. And then if I recognize that I don’t have to, I can delegate the things that other people are amazing at and let them help. And then also I need to, to do something for myself. So a lot of times when I’m like super anxious and super overwhelmed, I have not been tuning into myself enough.
Yeah. And I think often another thing is we get to go into those numbing behaviors now, whether it’s binge-watching Netflix or overeating or, you know, even numbing out by answering all of our emails and texts like we have to get back to everybody. That’s always an indicator. We start to numb out that we need to pull back.
And I think you made a good point to delegate but also choose, like really thinking where do I have a choice? Because I think when we start to have that momentum, we’re full speed ahead and we forget that we are actually the CEO of our fucking to do list, right? Like nobody is putting this stuff on our to-do lists. We are in charge of it. So where is their choice? Why do I feel like I have to do all these things?
And some of them we genuinely do, you know, there are deadlines and there are things to attend to. But some of them we actually, when we question them, we don’t have to do. We don’t. But we get caught up, especially women, in the fear of disappointing other people. And so when we go and look at our list and look at where is their choice and how do I sit with the discomfort of feeling like I’m going to disappoint or not shine. Be okay with the discomfort of perhaps disappointing or maybe it’s just a mind story we’re creating then our to-do lists sometimes can be cut down by a third or what’s pushing us so hard.
I freaking love the reminder that we have a choice. That concept almost goes out the window when we’re in that high functioning but anxious mindset. Like it’s as if we are, um, you mentioned earlier like as if we’re out of our body, it’s almost like this machine has taken over and our mind and our heart are just like, well, let me know when you’re done with that. I’ll come back around.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go hang out over here and not function for a while. Knowing that you have a choice, you have a choice to make decisions, you have a choice to delegate, you have a choice to stop and take the afternoon off or go into work two hours later or take a long weekend or even just sit by yourself for 10 minutes. Like it doesn’t always have to be an excursion.
Yeah. Or cancel, you know, cancel, postpone. And yes, people don’t like that. And I don’t mean, you know, not fulfill your commitments. That’s not what I’m saying. But I did this a couple of weeks ago and I was fried and I thought, who is running the show? You know, I am running the show. I need to step back and really write down what I think I quote have to do and where can I edit? Where can I eliminate? What can I purge? And what can I add that’s going to bring some stillness to me? Or I’m going to lose my mind! I mean, I really did have to have this talk with myself in the last, you know, couple of weeks.
Yeah. In a realization that I’ve come to as well is at the end of the day, none of those people are in my mind or in my body and know how I feel. And none of those people care necessarily if I burn out. No, certainly there are relationships that do, but you know, theoretically speaking, they’re all going home with their own stuff. None of them are thinking about, you know, how’s my mental stability, how’s my stress level, um, what’s my load like, what have I overpromised on? Like ultimately at the end of the day that’s mine to own.
And if I continue to allow – if people continue to allow – all those things to embed themselves in your mind and your body, you’re the one that’s going to have to bear that load. And that’s where I think a lot of that anxiety comes from.
Yeah. The next thing to do too, and I have to do this, is turn toward my anxiety because what I find often is that when I’m over that line again where the anxiety starts totally running the show and I’m not embodied, I want to run faster because I don’t like how I feel. And so that never works because you know what you resist persists, and you know when you’re ready to deal, you can heal.
So turn around. And for me, turning around and looking at the anxiety and what is the message like – what is it? Where am I holding it in my body? You know, for me, I can hold it a lot in my chest and heart or my diaphragm. Where are you holding it in your body and what is the message you’re trying to tell me?
So turning toward anxiety, initially it’s incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t know if you know Jill Bolte Taylor, she wrote a strip of insight and she talks about how an emotion or a feeling state when face takes about 90 seconds to go through. You can tolerate the extreme discomfort for 90 seconds.
And you do. You feel like when you turn toward anxiety, I’m looking in the eye or fear or grief or sadness. It is. It is gripping. It feels like your throat’s closing a lot. You just want to get out of the feeling state. But really what softens it is turning toward it, looking at it, acknowledging like an internal nod of yes, feeling it in your body and allowing it to be there so that it can send you the message that it’s supposed to send you and then leave you.
That’s really brilliant. I mean that whole 90 seconds is really true. If you just break down and think about some of the hardest things you’ve had to do, either hard conversations or an initial decision for something or just like literally walking into something after that initial thing is over, like your whole body and your mind just kind of settle down in. But it’s the mental trip up that we get hung up on.
Yeah. And it’s the not wanting to feel. We live in a culture that really teaches us more about moving forward. We don’t feel and numbing outs. When we turn and feel who wants to? It feels terrible. You know, I remember the first time I learned to do it and I’m like, this is crazy, who wants to feel this? But ultimately, our emotions march through us to give us wisdom. They have information for us.
When we turn toward them we can hear it and when we hear it, then we know what direction to take and then the emotion can leave our body. They don’t want to stay, right? They don’t want to, we don’t want to hold fear and anxiety. We want it to move through us. It’s going to come into all of us, you know, on a pretty regular basis. So learn how to feel it, get its message, and let it pass through us.
So that really ties into your concept of using your body as a compass. So tell me a little bit about that and how it’s associated with making decisions or knowing when to let things go. Because I think sometimes we hold onto things because we’re afraid. Is it too soon to let something go? Do I need to do something more with this?
Tell me a little bit more about the body compass concepts.
Well, I learned that from Martha Beck. She taught us how to hold in your mind almost like a movie or watching an event that happened that was painful, maybe not the most painful yet, you know, as you’re learning to do this, but something, a period in your life where something that happened that had a negative charge to it. Go into your body. Literally scan your body from your head to your toes and feel what feels like pain and suffering in your body.
And then to also hold in your mind a time in your life that was beautiful and open and free. It just felt juicy and yummy and feel how that feels in your body. And then also just a neutral holds, something neutral to see what or how your body feels when it’s neutral. And you will start to notice that in your body. You will register pain, discomfort and a no in a certain place.
Like for me, I know my body when I really tuned in there was always a tightening of the right side of my throat, almost like the words didn’t want to come out. And so I practiced this a lot because I wanted to learn how to not only do it myself but how to teach other people because ultimately you want your clients to learn to leave knowing themselves. How to find their north star and what feels like a no and a yes so they’re not dependent on psychotherapy or other people.
So I practice this with little things on what felt like a no in my body, what felt like a yes in my body. And so I got really good at knowing how my body registered those things. And so when I am making decisions about, for instance, the clients to take or how to move my business or who to join with, for instance, meeting you honestly. It was such a yes in my body and then walking into your space I could feel the lightness and softness and the ease I felt – even though I was excited. Even though there was that sort of, you know, slightly anxious, energetic charge. There was still ease in my system. I knew I was in the right place ’cause I could feel my body settled.
A no feels a little sharper and it feels a little more grippy for most people. Some people will describe it, actually, a lot of people will describe it as a weight wherever they hold it in their body. So that is the quick and dirty body compass and how I use it.
I love it. It really goes into, you know, sometimes we mentally make decisions on a whim or in a moment or because of need or how to, but if we can just pause for a second and really learn to feel the situation and have your heart and your body and your mind work together unanimously. Like I love to make decisions off of my gut, but then I also like to fact check with my brain just to make sure.
I feel a lot of things, on a daily basis. So you know, even after I’ve gone kind of through some of those initial steps of does this feel right? Are these bricks or butterflies and where am I feeling it in my body, like you mentioned. Then, okay, let’s kind of come out of that. And then let’s look at the facts afterward.
I even do it at like weekend activities now because for so many years I didn’t realize how empath I was and I would do things and put my body in places it didn’t want to go and then I would be drained for the week and ineffective. So just as much with little things like, do I want to go into that restaurant? Does that feel like the right place to put myself in?
Recently I overrode it. My fiance wanted to go out to dinner and I knew I was totally fried. My body compass literally wanted to just tether me to the house and I overrode it and it was all kinds of reasons and I went into the restaurant and it was packed with all kinds of people I knew and I had no emotional energy left and I was so anxious the rest of the weekend because my body told me to stay home, rest, rejuvenate. I overrode it to please other people and I was completely depleted.
And what a sure fine reminder like, hey, this shit actually works if we work with it.
Yes. And there’s an emotional price when we override it a lot of times.
So, that also comes with setting boundaries, you know, the life and business and work and kids and commitments and extracurricular activities and nonprofits and events. I mean, we could go on and on and on.
So what are some things that you do to help coach some of your clients are setting boundaries for mental health?
For mental health. Yeah. Well, I talk to them about really trying to find what their boundary type is. The levels of personal boundaries. So, first educating on what soft boundaries are. They’re usually people who are a lot of times in the healing field; nurses, therapists, they’re really giving, nurturing people. They’ll be easily manipulated and people can kind of get to them with very little effort. And then there are people with really rigid boundaries. And often these are people who have trauma or for whatever reason, they’re very guarded. The heart’s very guarded. They don’t want anything, you know, they’re very closed. I don’t let anything in and out. So they never really connect or have a sense of belonging. And then there are mushy boundaries. So they go soft, rigid, soft, rigid – they’re back and forth.
Ideally, we want to get the flexible boundaries, which they’re very selective, but they’re very strong and they keep you from being or feeling exploited much of the time. And they change. What feels right in one circumstance might not in the next. So I educate them and get them to identify like how do they walk through the world, what kind of boundaries do they have when they walk through the world, and what feels more integrity and aligned for them. And so typically if they have soft or rigid boundaries, it’s very different how you work with them, but they’re very fearful on changing them because of either fear of intimacy or fear of disappointing people. Does that make sense?
Yeah, absolutely. So it sounds like there are different levels of boundaries. They can be softer or they can be like your hard line, like absolute no. So, maybe identifying what some of your softer, more flexible boundaries are, but then also like where do you draw the line? What is a non-negotiable for you?
Mhm. And having them play with setting boundaries in the beginning. Let’s say somebody has really soft boundaries and they let everybody cut them off and they never can finish a sentence and you know, the world reflects back to them, their soft boundaries. So having them go out in the world and set boundaries with people who don’t really impact them, the person who cuts them off in a sentence or in line. So having them practice how to set these and they learn, they don’t die. Like nobody dies when we set a boundary. Yes, people may not be happy with it, but nothing really bad happens.
Or if somebody has super rigid boundaries and they’re really closed off to the world, I’ve had them and I’ve actually walked with them at the park and just had them look up and make eye contact with everybody who comes toward them just to see what it feels like to walk through the world slightly more opened. So that’s kind of a starting point when working with different types of boundaries with clients.
I love that. That’s really, really powerful. So I feel like therapy in a whole has become just maybe slightly a little bit more, let’s say, socially acceptable in my opinion. It’s 100% acceptable. I’m a huge advocate for therapy. Therapy has helped me through some of the most challenging moments of my life. Do you see a lot of owners, business owners and entrepreneurs? What’s the misconception that you would like to bust a little bit to say like, hey, you know what, coming to this, it’s not a weakness. This is actually a really powerful tool.
Yeah. Well, I just recently had a guy, very tough, you know, first responder kind of not kind of guy. And I don’t usually work with a lot of men, but my body compass said to take this. Take this client. And you know, I think with somebody specifically who’s not open to it but they’re in enough suffering that they just are willing to try anything and it’s a little easier. Um, but it’s, for me it’s a really collaborative approach with them.
As soon as I feel like they think I’m not the superior person telling them how to run their life or what to change, but a collaborative partner with them on how they want to heal, they open up a little bit more. They’re resistant to therapy. Especially when I go in and use their wisdom and I asked them what their thoughts are and we hone in on what they already know is true and they feel a part of it, it can change their idea of health therapy.
Did that answer the question?
Yeah, it makes sense. I think one of the most challenging parts of actually going and accepting going to therapy is the unknown. Right? Like anything new that you do is there’s an unknown factor. But I feel like a lot of people think that there’s a stereotypical thing like, oh, my whole life has to be a complete train wreck or you know, that’s not for me, that’s only for that kind of person.
And I just feel like there’s this stereotype and I want to help bust that. Because a lot of times its people like you and I. Regular people, hardworking people, that just are stock, are tired or don’t have the right type of, you know, we all have beautiful friends and family that we can vent to, but they don’t necessarily always have the tools or the means to help us overcome those humps.
And I do, I work with mostly really high functioning humans, and often they just need tweaks or they’re thriving in many areas of their life. But there’s one that they need to tweak or get some insight into or honestly sometimes just have somebody who’s completely not involved listen to them. And I think the beauty of coming into somebody that doesn’t know you, your history, is there is this ability to see patterns and point out things because you’re not mired in their emotional state or what’s happened to them. So you can see it from a much more removed perspective. And the feedback comes from that removed perspective. So it feels safe for the person to receive it.
It makes a ton of sense. And that’s one of the things that I’ve told a lot of people. It’s like a really great friend that has an unbiased opinion. That also has to use to help you get over it.
Yeah. You can see patterns and people, they can’t. You could probably see patterns in me that have been reflected that I didn’t have, you know, that I don’t have insight into because I am me and I just can’t, I’m too close to myself. And so, you know, somebody completely outside can really pick up on, wait that happened to when you were 4 and then 18 and then 22, you know, so that makes sense that you walk through the world holding that. And I think that can be really helpful.
And there’s real power. It can feel a little scary at first, but there’s superpower behind qualified people calling you out on your shit.
Yeah. Well, intended people who you really feel have your best interest at heart. I mean, I think a couple of things. I think first the trust has to be there before you call anybody out. You really have to develop some rapport and trust and then calling people out with so much love and with really good intentions is really what can turn and things can shift.
For sure. So what is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in business?
Biggest lesson. Um, surround myself with people and in an environment that feels really nourishing to me because if my business is thriving but I’m surrounded with negativity, toxicity, dependency – I get too distracted. So for me personally, being really empathic, I have to have my environment and the people that I have close to me feel nourishing. I mean, it doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges and there aren’t, you know, crucial discussions, crucial conversations that are sometimes going to happen. But that for me is what helps me thrive doing what I do. To have my infrastructure feel really good.
I can vouch for that a hundred thousand times. And then last but not least, what is one piece of advice that our listeners could implement in their business right away?
Like healing practices are really what I work with a lot. But I think pulling back, for me, and assessing quarterly where I’m rocking it out, like what is flowing, what feels good. But also on the flip side, looking at where am I stuck. Where am I getting anxious, what is not working? And then again, knowing I have a choice to impact these, especially entrepreneurs.
We’re not in the corporate environment. We can impact and tweak more of what doesn’t work. So for instance, recently I did this and I’m noticing that seeing clients back to back with no break leaves me at the end of the day, depleted and wanting to come home and pour that glass of wine immediately. So noticing, I want to numb out slightly. And so how do I tweak that? Because I want to just get through. I want to get home, back home after I see my people, to my son.
But noticing how I felt and putting 15 or 30 minutes between each session and having time to eat and drink and sometimes clear my energy when I come home. I’m again more present. There’s no need to numb out. I want to be out in the sun. So that’s a simple way that I recently assessed, evaluated, and tweaked.
I love it. Something as simple as literally just giving yourself a little bit more time between all the shit that you’re doing. It’s okay to just like pause and breathe. The world is not going to stop turning and the lights are not going to be turned out. If you take a 20-minute pause between the things that you’re doing, yeah, that’s phenomenal.
Heather, first, this has been amazing. I could talk to you for hours. And I can definitely see like a podcast version two of this stemming. But I want to thank you.
How can our listeners find you? How can they connect with you and learn more about what you do?
I love it. See that just sends a sense of goodness out into the world. Just in that one sentence. Thank you so much for being on with us today. This has been a joy for sure.
Thank you, Laura baby. I so appreciate it.
Absolutely. All right guys, and you know to follow up, this Thursday you can join in on our #powerback as we’re going to extend on this topic a little bit further about protecting your energy. Your energy is such an important and vital part of your every day and we’re going to take it into the depths on how you can protect that.
Until then, follow The Gutsy Podcast on Facebook and Instagram or for more business insights, follow me on Instagram @thatlauraaura. See ya next time!
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