In this episode we talk about:
What are you going to start today?
The food you eat has an undeniable impact on your life and relationships. How can you reform that influence and start over if you've had a restrictive approach to it all this while?
In today's episode, we explore the story of Elise Museles, a certified eating psychology and nutrition expert, creator of the Food Story Method and platform, and host of the popular podcast Once Upon a Food Story. Elise's upcoming book, Food Story: Rewrite the Way You Eat, Think, and Live, talks about changing your relationship with food to step into a new and more satisfying life that is healthy not just for you but also for the people around you.
She joins us to talk about her transformative journey, switching her profession from a well-established lawyer to a certified nutrition expert, how she learned to challenge the way she thought about food, and major snippets from Food Story, her latest book.
What was that pivotal moment in Elise's life that prompted her to take action about her "perfectionist" relationship with food?
It was the day Elise graduated from law school and was enjoying the milestone at a celebratory dinner in a restaurant with her boyfriend (now husband). They had booked the table three months in advance due to the high demand of the place and were over-the-moon about it.
It all changed when Elise realized that most of the food served on the table were those she didn't have. She was uncomfortable around the food, and her boyfriend sensed it too. He responded to the situation and explained how difficult it was for him not to see her eat. Elise realized that her dysfunctional relationship with food was also affecting him, and she broke up with him that very moment. She decided to mend her ways with food, not just for him but also for herself.
What did Elise's healing journey look like?
After returning to California to work with the US Department of Justice, Elise started to connect with food more profoundly. She began to search for the ingredients and different nuances of food and cooking. Elise tried to discover where the ingredients were sourced, started going to the farmers' market to see the processes behind it, and presented food more beautifully. This way, she let go of a lot of fear surrounding food and learned to build a more positive connection with it.
What resources did Elise use to help her in the process of rewriting her relationship with food?
Elise shares that books had a significant impact on changing her relationship with food. She learned the different aspects of diet-eating, nutrition, and food varieties, making her better aware of her choices. Elise, however, recommends not to go through any limiting "diet" beliefs, outdated theories, and restrictive ideas around food.
What are Elise's thoughts on food rules?
Elise doesn't have any rules when it comes to food now. She believes there's a fine line between food rules and being aware of what your body needs. Your body understands for itself what food is necessary and what is not. You have to be more mindful so you don't mistake unnecessary cravings as your needs. Remember, the key is to get rid of any guilt or shame around your food choices.
How does Elise describe the emotional aspects of food?
The food you eat can take you back in memory to those times you enjoyed having it or first had it. You reminisce about the moments and experiences surrounding those times. That's why Elise explains; food is emotional.
The best way to understand this is to think about how people's relationship with food changed during the pandemic. We resorted to comfort food because it made us feel better, and it's not wrong. However, if you regret your action, later on, you know your choice is unhealthy. Hence, if you know your food choice will make you happy after you have it, it's good for your body. And if it's not, you know you don't want it. It's all about being connected to yourself and understanding your body. This way, your relationship with food becomes happier.
How do your thoughts affect your health, metabolism, and nutrient intake?
You must've noticed how stress is a deciding factor when it comes to your food choices. Some of us tend to eat more when stressed, whereas others tend to be the other way round. No matter what you eat, you won't get the full value of the food unless your thoughts are in harmony with it. If your mind is occupied with concerns and worries about your food, your body lets out a stress response that stops you from imbibing the full value of your food. As Elise explains, "What's in your mind is just as important as what's on your plate."
What is the Story of Perfection (from the eight disempowering food stories in her upcoming book)?
Elise shares that many of us tend to have "unrealistic, impossible" standards around our food choices. We're caught in the rigidity of black and white, healthy and unhealthy, and often go after the wisest choice. All this is so that we achieve the notion of "perfect", which is hard to release.
What is the Story of Shame (from the eight disempowering food stories in her upcoming book)?
Elise's story of Shame tells us that we associate a lot of shame with our food choices and ways of eating. It is essential to have open conversations to help us get over the same.
What is the Story of Confusion (from the eight disempowering food stories in her upcoming book)?
Elise shares that many of her clients with perfectionist food attitudes tend to be confused around them because of the associated stress and overthinking. They feel overwhelmed and exhausted trying to abide by all the rules, opinions, and information. Elise explains that the key is to eat what works for you the best.
What is the Story of Escape?
According to Elise, the story of escape is more complicated than the other stories. And that's because, most often, we're unaware of what we're really trying to escape or why we're even feeling like behaving that way. You need to understand your "why" before making those escapes.
What is the Story of Not Enoughness?
It is a very common feeling, especially among people today. You see people post stories and content that seem too good to be true, and you keep pushing your bars till you reach just the right "enough". It's a human characteristic to feel something is not right in you in such cases. But this has to be overcome.
What is the Story of Overwhelm?
Tony Robbins says, "complexity is the enemy of execution". Our choices around food and diet could become so complicated over time that we begin to lose ourselves to the strategies and consecutive actions. We need to simplify these ideas to the simple thought that our body knows what's best for it.
What is the Story of Later?
Elise's story of later is especially applicable to parents who lose themselves in the process of caring for their kids. They postpone their happiness to a future that's far away and unknown. It's up to all of us to decide if we want to change the script of our lives and stop pressing the "in future" button on ourselves. Taking care of yourself needs to be on priority always.
What is the Story of Despair?
The story of despair, as Elise shares, is the most important to her. It talks about not losing hope even when the times are tough. There are times when you could feel you've practiced your food habits for so long that it's challenging to get over them. The real deal is getting over that trap, restoring hope, and rewriting your story.
What is the Food Story Method discussed in Elise's book?
Healing isn't linear, and it applies fittingly in the case of food choices too. You have to constantly go back, evaluate your disbeliefs around food, and get over them. You need to discard those messages that don't serve you any longer, release thoughts stuck in your body, and regain clarity on what works for your body at the moment and what doesn't. Adapt and improvise your food story as you progress over time.
What is a simple way to incorporate Elise's tips into your life?
Start by taking three deep breaths. It helps slow down your thoughts, reconnect you back to your body, and connect you to the present.
Connect with Elise:
Find her latest book here!
Our brain learns to take certain things, objects, thoughts, emotions, signs and anything else and associate these with other thoughts, emotions, feelings and things.
It's common to make generalizations. It helps to separate parts so that you can make correct associations.
"Usually we think that brave people have no fear. The truth is that they are intimate with fear." - Pema Chodron
I was twenty-five years old and living in a small studio apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As a girl who grew up in the suburbs of Maryland, I’d moved to New York City three years prior with big hopes and dreams for my future, but I was stumbling. I’d already had four different jobs, lived in three different apartments, and felt completely lost, alone, and isolated.
I was consumed by the voice in my head that told me all the things that were wrong with me, and I was worried about my future. Would I ever find my way in my career? Would I ever have a meaningful romantic partnership? How was I going to survive in this city financially? What if things didn’t work out and I ended up poor, unhappy and alone?
I obsessed over tracking my food; compulsively measured my belly, wrists, and chin, and constantly checked to see how much
I weighed. I desperately wanted to be in a relationship to make me feel better and further distract me from my problems. But my biggest addiction was that I believed my negative thoughts.
I wished there was a switch in my head that I could turn off. But I couldn’t. My nightly routine was to stare at the ceiling alone in the dark thinking I was seriously flawed. I was so consumed by the voice in my head that I spent several years like this— having trouble sleeping, not holding down a steady job, eating junk food, and drinking too much alcohol. I was so unhappy, my confidence plummeted.
But deep down, I knew there was more for me. I just wasn’t sure what was in my way or how to access the strength within me. That little seed of believing there must be another way became my guiding light to seek answers and solutions to overcome my largest obstacle: my mind.
I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling. In fact, I was the one many of my friends sought out to talk about their problems. Sometimes we would gab on the phone and complain about our lives for hours on end.
Maybe you too have been wondering how you can deal
with the voice in your head that tells you, “You’re not good enough, you’re not qualified enough, you need more experience, something is wrong with you, you’ll never be successful, you’re too young (or old) . . . ”
Is it possible to stop beating yourself up when you do something “wrong” or make a mistake? What would it be like
if you didn’t judge others, didn’t care what other people thought about you, and instead went for the things you really wanted, even in the face of fear?
Maybe you feel like you just weren’t born confident, that others have it all figured out, and because of your past experiences, you’ll never be the person you want to be. Maybe you’ve done everything you thought would make you feel whole, and checked all the boxes, but you’re still looking for a deeper sense of joy and fulfillment.
You know that you are meant for more. But how can you access your potential?
The way you think profoundly impacts how you feel and the actions you take. Listening to mantras help you rewire your brain for positivity and confidence.
Be Bold Mantras
I am enough just as I am
Failure is a stepping-stone to success
It is safe for me to grow
I can change my beliefs
I pay attention to intuitive nudges
I trust myself
Obstacles are an opportunity to grow
Adversity gives me strength
I create my reality
I am responsible for my actions
I always do my best
I engage in activities that fill me up
I take good care of myself
I am confident
Confidence is a muscle, and pushing through negative thinking and unfortunate events is how you build that muscle. It is important to recognize your vulnerability, but just as important is to not let it stop you but rather - empower you.
Tune in to this episode to reframe your thinking about confidence. Renew your relationship with confidence in this quick but useful listen.
00:01 Do this to discover your confidence.
01:43 Do you need to have your life together to feel confident?
02:14 What is confidence really about?
03:11 Why we should normalize negative thinking (real-life example).
05:01 How getting comfortable with your negative thoughts helps your confidence.
Value Your Opinion More Than Anyone Else
An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along, they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.
Then, later, they passed some people who remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk." So they then decided they'd both walk!Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey. Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.
The boy and man figured they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.
The moral of the story? If you try to please everyone, you might as well... Kiss your “donkey" goodbye! And even this ending won’t please everyone.
When you start to blaze your own trail there will be people who will tell you why you can't or why you shouldn’t do something you want to do. Everyone has an opinion.
For example, maybe your group of peers drink alcohol socially and now you’ve decided you don’t want to drink alcohol. Your friends might try to convince you to continue drinking alcohol - they might ask you why you aren’t drinking and continue to offer you a drink - even though you have told them that you aren’t going to drink.
And when you are confident in yourself, you don’t let others sway you - but rather you stand rooted in how you want to move forward with your vision. There is no need to look for approval when you approve yourself.
Here are a 5 steps to manage other's opinions:
When you decide to live in accordance with your highest vision, it might make others uncomfortable. Trust yourself.
Sandy Forster is an international speaker, bestselling author, renowned Prosperity Mentor, multi-award-winning Entrepreneur and a Wildly Wealthy Woman! She'll show you the exact steps she used to turn her own life around from welfare to millionaire. After discovering the Law of Attraction, she was able to turn her life around to become a money mindset mentor to women, and has since won many business awards including International Mentor of the Year as well as Australian Business of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year.
Listen in as she shares how she went from being $100,000 in debt and dependent on welfare to debt-free millionaire with a beachfront home on the Sunshine Coast.
How did you go from living on welfare to where you are now?
I have a life that I, once upon a time, absolutely only dreamed of. Right now, I live in a beautiful home on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. I have a business I adore. I run an international life coach training academy and I train people to be Law of Attraction coaches. I built this business out of absolutely nothing. I work with women and their mindset and help them really change how they think about and manifest money. I used to be $100,000 in debt and ended up on welfare. I attribute it all to discovering the Law of Attraction and taking action on that idea. When you combine mindset with practical steps, that’s where the magic happens.
Why wasn’t anything working even after all the books, seminars, and workshops?
I got married, had two children, and got divorced. I lost all of my assets, went $100,000 in debt, and became dependent on welfare. I saw a hypnotherapist and realized during my session that I had a passion for personal development. One day, I saw an ad which said “personal development, strong work ethic, make money”. I rang up the lady and discovered that the ad was for a network marketing company with a product based on the Law of Attraction. The company itself didn’t last, but discovering the Law of Attraction finally connected the dots for me. I had the idea for another business around the theme “Wildly Wealthy Women”, which would go on to become a training and support community on the mindset and practical steps toward being your own boss. In the first year, it made close to $2 million dollars. I went on to attend an Anthony Robbins seminar and discovered life coaching, which finally led to me launching my own life coach training academy.
How do you use the Law of Attraction to improve your finances?
You’ve got to take action. Step number one is to get your mindset in the right place—what I call a Millionaire Mindset. Step number two is to find a mentor. If you try to figure it all out on your own, you will waste time, energy, and so much money. Find someone who has already done what you want to do and is willing to guide and support you, even if you only start out listening to their podcast, reading their book, or attending their seminar. The final step is to take action. Stop wasting time getting your ducks in a row. Instead of “ready, aim, fire”, I go “ready… fire!”
Can you describe the timeline between getting divorced to earning your first million dollars?
What people need to understand is that there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes until you actually get to the point where you’re a good manifester. You don’t discover the “secret” and change your life overnight. Depending on the person, it can be very quick or very slow. I was a very hard nut to crack. It was a good ten years between my divorce and becoming a millionaire. I discovered the Law of Attraction seven years after getting divorced. Three years later, I earned my first million. Just know that your newfound wealth will never stay unless you’ve got your mindset right and constantly kept in check.
Do you think that most people get the Law wrong because they’re focusing all day on lack instead of abundance?
It can be hard when you have so many challenges around you. But what I learned is that your predominant mental attitude has to be around what you want more than what you don’t want. When we focus on what we want, it has what we call a higher vibration or higher energy. That is so much stronger than the low energy of what you want. It really comes down to the fact that you have a choice in every moment. Even if things aren’t going right, just swing your focus back on what you want. Thoughts are the order; feeling is the delivery. As long as I’m feeling good, I know that what I want is coming. I don’t know when, but I just have to trust that it’s coming.
What is your “68-Second Tip”?
Think of your thoughts in relation to Jell-O. When you focus on something for a certain amount of time, what happens is that your thoughts go out in the Universe and start to combine and coalesce and join together with similar thoughts and become stronger. Just as Jell-O becomes harder in the fridge over time, the longer you focus on what you want, the more efficiently things turn from the non-physical into the physical. It’s all done through vibrations. When you hit the 68-second mark, that’s when your thoughts become things, because that 68-second mark is where you start to affect manifestation, where the metaphysical becomes physical.
How do you manage distractions, especially nowadays?
Do you want to live the world and the life that everyone else is living, or do you want to create your own reality? You have a choice to stay disconnected from anything that distracts you from what you want. My business grew more this year more than any other year in spite of COVID. We get to choose. We just have to decide what to focus on.
How do you cultivate your Millionaire Mindset?
I just love focusing on the future: what I’m going to create, what I’m going to do, who I’m going to help, and how my life is going to be. To me, being wildly wealthy is all about choices and freedom. Those are the main two things that I aim for. Everything else is a bonus. If you’re focusing on what you want, you’ve got a mentor, you’re taking action, and you’re being consistent and persistent, the Universe will reward you. It has to. There’s no other choice.
What’s an example of an affirmation that you love?
One of the affirmations that I still love to this day is: I am now a debt-free millionaire. That’s the one that took me from welfare to millionaire. If you want to manifest, you have got to take action and think thoughts that light you up from the inside. You’ve got to find an affirmation that works for you—that makes you feel excited and alive and hopeful of the future. Everyone is different. It all boils down to: You create through how you feel.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be realistic. Expect a miracle.
Katie DePaola is the CEO and Founder of Inner Glow Circle, a successful training company for coaches and entrepreneurs, and has also authored the book, “At Least You Look Good“, which tells the story of Katie’s inspiring comeback after multiple life obstacles that came by. Having survived experiences that almost had her life done, Katie has emerged even stronger and more mindful than she’s ever been before. Exactly one hundred days after opening her business, her brother died from an accidental overdose. Also a Lyme Disease survivor, she built her business from her bathtub, taking the company from a self-funded startup to a million-dollar business. Through certification programs, memberships, and online courses, Katie has taught thousands of women how to “glow through what they go through.”
In a moving conversation today, we explore through her eyes the opportunities that birth from struggling scenarios and learn to revive our thinking to grab the learning out of any situation. If you wonder why life’s been hard on you, and feel like you cannot get up from where you’ve fallen, and want to assemble your broken pieces again.
Katie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiedepaola/
Katie’s Website: https://www.innerglowcircle.com/katie/
Life update: we're moving temporarily to Florida.
Jason Harris is Co-Founder and CEO of Mekanism, an award-winning creative advertising agency. Jason is the author of The Soulful Art of Persuasion that highlights the 11 habits you need to become more authentically or soulfully persuasive. He proves that persuasion is not a dirty word, but the most positive, productive, and ethical way of changing peoples’ minds through the cultivation of character building habits.
Become a person with more fulfilling experiences and more authentic personal relationships! Tune in to this episode to learn the power of positivity and persuasion, collaboration, storytelling, building lasting relationships, and actionable habits that you can implement to become a master influencer.
Why did you write The Soulful Art of Persuasion? What was the inspiration behind it?
He’s an avid reader, listener of podcasts, and loves reading business books. As an entrepreneur, he’s figuring out how other people approach business and sales, so he consumes that type of content. It dawned on him that there’s something different about the way he approaches business and the principals he follows compared to everyone else’s approach. He saw transactional, short-term methods of building a business rather than relationship and long-term focused methods. He had a different angle and a different thing to say in the business book atmosphere. To Jason, the idea of being a soulful persuader and influencer is being an influencer in your personal and professional sphere.
What are the core principals of your book and how did you develop these principals?
Jason worked at a lot of different companies before starting his own and he felt like he didn’t respond well to a lot of the company cultures he was experiencing. There wasn’t much of a space where people could feel truly themselves and be original, so he learned a lot of what he wanted to create and the ways he wanted to work from seeing what other people were doing, both positive and negative. He kept a journal of these ideas and beliefs until he developed the four core beliefs that he follows to this day. The four principals are: be original, be generous, be empathetic, and be soulful. His inspiration also came from books he was reading, the way people made him feel, and seeing success growing from long-term relationships.
How did you decide that those four, out of all the principals we could live by, were essential?
The 11 habits he mentions in the book fall under these categories. Being soulful came last to him, but the other three came from a balance of business, how he wants to pursue his life, and the type of person he wants to be. Some of the habits came naturally to him and some he had to practice and develop over time.
What’s an example of something that was not natural for you?
Jason isn’t a naturally generous person. He says he was born on the more self-absorbed and slightly selfish side. Through work and growing up and his experiences, he realized that it’s a characteristic that’s really important.
When working with big brands, how do you tell a story that can build a sense of trust, but that is also not transactional?
You can’t always do that. They’ll send you a brief of what to talk about and then you come up with the creative work off of that brief. You have to absorb what they’re saying and what they want to accomplish, then crack the creative and spit it back to them with ideas that position the brand in a way that you feel is right. It’s always a dance with what you feel the audience will respond to and what the brand thinks they will respond to. He tries to embody the principals of being original and knowing the audience.
Do you think the art of storytelling in a way that connects with the person or brand applies to long-term relationships?
Definitely, 100%. When he talks about relationships, there are personal and professional relationships and you have to approach them in a similar fashion.
Can you share with us your journey and how you got to where you are now?
Jason is an odd duck in the sense that he knew he wanted to be in advertising at the age of 12 or 13. Both his parents were teachers so he grew up in an academic household. He was a TV junkie and would always break down and study the stories in between the shows he watched. He realized that must be a fun job to create those advertisements and the first time he thought he was persuaded was around the same age when the band KISS transported him through storytelling.
Stories can be from your heart, your life, books you love, music, and movies. Success in a lot of areas is built on storytelling techniques.
Did you get your degree in advertising?
Jason got his degree in economics to make his parents happy, then he hustled to get his foot in the door at a design firm, then a few advertising agencies doing direct mail, strategy, and production. He got a feel for how business is done and what it’s like through these different areas of the companies. With a decade of advertising under his belt, he started a production company, and then a couple years later, he co-founded Mekanism which has been around for over 10 years.
Looking back, had your journey been a bit confusing but now makes sense?
Yes, when you start out, it meanders a lot and he did have aspirations to open his own company after college. He didn’t know exactly what area or that he wanted to be CEO but he had that entrepreneurial spirit. It’s interesting how your journey can be both focused and flexible. The hardest thing is figuring out the industry you love and what skills you have that you can apply in that industry.
What’s an obstacle, fear, or limiting belief that you feel like you encountered in your journey of figuring out the path that you really wanted to be on?
For Jason, he likes to have control. When he moved to having partners, from having all the control in his own company, the limiting thing for him was: can he learn to let go and let other people take the reins and control their areas? That was a really hard thing for him to learn and he feels like he’s good at it now, after a few years of learning.
How do you build trust?
Today more than ever, trust is so important because we’ve gotten so entrenched in our beliefs. We watch the stations and follow the social media that are going to tell us what we believe is right. We have to try and open this view about the idea about empathy and understanding and being curious about other people. That builds trust. When we, in business, think about techniques like mirror matching our audience to help sell something, that’s not building trust, that’s not being vulnerable or showing who we are. When you’re allowed to tell stories to people you might not even know, that allows them to do the same, and it allows trust to be built. Listening and trying to learn more than you might be judging other people also builds trust.
Empathy allows you to collaborate better. That’s another aspect of persuasion, joining forces with other people. Look at other people and see that we’re really not that different from each other. Seek the common ground and approach everyone as an equal, thinking about collaboration.
Can you share one or two of these 11 habits that can be really simple and practical that we can apply today?
One thing Jason always thinks about in business is this notion of never be closing. It’s an idea of shifting your thinking, when you’re thinking about any deal, and going against the transactional way of thinking that will sabotage your attempts at persuasion. Thinking about building a relationship rather than closing the deal. If you do that, the impact of what you’re actually trying to close magnifies.
Another thing is trying not to let your relationships drop to zero. Think about reaching out to five people every week to keep those relationships going. When it comes to social media, how do you think about sharing your interests with everyone vs reaching out and sharing with a particular person or group of people that would care about that issue.
Could you post something on Instagram and share it personally with another person?
Either way, it’s the ability of thinking about it as an act of generosity and thinking of who might benefit from this piece of knowledge and the connection. It’s the mindset that makes a big difference.
Can you share a story of a time where you didn’t have a relationship with somebody but you wanted to foster one and the process you went through to make that happen?
Jason shares about a business relationship where he met an interesting guy at a conference, how he wrote him a letter about how great he thinks his brand is and sent him a Mekansim hoodie. That meant a lot to him and about six months later, they decided to put the business up for review and threw Mekansim into the mix because he had that memory on his chest all the time. Now, they’ve been working together for over six years.
Let me know if you agree, I think complementing people is so underused.
Jason agrees! Reach out to your role models to express your thoughts and the impacts of the business on you personally. Let them know you’d love to have a follow-up conversation about it, that’s how you build a relationship. There’s so few people who do that nowadays and when someone does that, it’s super powerful. Part of persuasion is that awareness of the other person and generosity, acknowledgement, and research on who you want to network with can be very similar to complements.
What’s a question you ask yourself a lot in terms of business in order to move it forward?
He’s always thinking about: are the messages that we’re putting into the world positive stories? Are we filling the world with more positivity or are we just adding to the negative noise?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
This idea that business is a marathon and not a sprint. Building your career doesn’t have to happen as fast as you think it has to happen. Allow yourself to realize that you can take time with it. Allow yourself to know that relationships do take time and work and you always have to exercise that muscle.
I think the essence of business is relationships, what’s your take?
Yeah, that’s all it is. It’s relationships with people and that’s it.
Any last thoughts?
The idea of soulfulness in business – something that’s helped Jason is trying to be inspirational in whatever career or industry he’s in. It does help you become more influential and feel good, putting positive things out there and inspire by giving back. Direct your skill(s) towards something that’s bigger than yourself, like teaching tennis in low-income areas. It’s a very important aspect of success.
Do you use the word intention in your work?
He doesn’t but now he’s going to because he really likes it and it’s important!
Connect with Jason + Get his book: www.thesoulfulart.com
Jenny Fenig is the creator of the Get Gutsy movement, is a coach to spiritual women on a mission. Jenny’s mission is simple: help you touch more lives with your message and cash in on your calling.® After a successful (and stressful!) corporate career managing public relations campaigns for the biggest brands in the world and then producing premium business conferences, she realized she was far too much of a rebel to be employed by someone else. Freedom is her top value. After a successful corporate career in New York City, Jenny quit her 6-figure job to do what she was put on this planet to do: coach gutsy leaders to rise to their next level. She does this by empowering you to tune in, do less + make more.
The death of her 12-year-old sister Julie taught her not to stress about stuff that doesn’t matter. Surviving her death as a 16-year-old high school girl made her who she is today.
In this episode, we talk about how to connect with nature and why it’s important, how to do more in less time, how death can be a catalyst to create more meaning and so much more. Listen up with an open heart and mind.
It appears that missions have been a big part of your life. What would you say your mission is now?
Jenny’s mission is to remind women that they are magic makers and to reclaim the word “magic”. Magic is working with nature and the seasons to create something beautiful and sustainable and that helps make the world better. We do that so gloriously. We are designed that way. It’s such a trip!
When we rely on technology exclusively to fill us, then it’s really easy to disconnect from what’s really going on. So her mission is to remind women that they have wonderful gifts, talents and creations inside of them to bring forth and bring language and context to. They can put them into a very intelligent container, price them, sell them, and receive abundance for doing so… what a wonderful thing, that we can do this from home and on our own schedule! We have the tools to be able to create this magic and create whatever life we want.
Would you say that magic has an element of creation?
What if we’re not feeling the magic?
Be you. Know that when it’s time, transformation is beautiful. The butterfly doesn’t start out as a butterfly, it starts out as a caterpillar. The caterpillar just rocks the caterpillar life and when it’s time, boom! The cocoon starts being created, but then the cocoon has to get really tight and that’s also uncomfortable. These transitions are very uncomfortable and sometimes we want to rush through them, but nature never rushes. So can we get our cues from nature and say when the time is really right? Can we trust the timetable and know that it’s working and that we’re on the right path?
We’re all trained for instant gratification. We need all these conveniences and we think that can be applied to everything, but it’s just not the way that it works. We have to come to a place where we are so deeply connected to our intuition, our own inner knowing, that we know it’s working and it’s working because we are still showing up and doing the work. Making it easier doesn’t mean you’re checked out and not doing the stuff that you know you need to.
Children are often more connected to magic and at some point, it seems we get cut off. When did you reconnect with magic?
Space camp was a reconnection to the magic and Jenny would do things where she felt like she was in her genius. Being around people who are like her. Jenny moved to NYC after graduating and worked for a public relations agency. That’s what she thought she was meant to do. She was disconnected, she wasn’t treating her body well, she was drinking too much, and she realized it wasn’t working for her anymore. Jenny realized she was running from her feelings, the grief from when her sister died of cancer in high school, and never really stopped to process that because she didn’t really know how.
“Whatever I choose to do, I’m good at it,” she says. That’s her story and it works until it doesn’t, then you have your feelings to deal with. She came face to face with that voice within and that’s when she rediscovered her magic because that’s when she chose to trust that voice instead of pushing it away. She broke down into tears at work and asked for the support she needed. She took a little time off work which was an act of reclaiming herself and being available for herself.
Was there a moment when you lost your sister that you felt like you lost faith or magic?
She lost her faith in God when that happened. It wasn’t a huge part of her life and she didn’t have a strong upbringing in a religious context but she had a sense of God and her sister was a huge believer. Jenny saw her sister’s peacefulness around her death and towards the end, she saw her ability to find her way. Jenny found a diary of her sister’s that mentioned the moment she found God and Jenny wondered how.
Having three loved ones die in a short amount of time in her teenage years, especially her sister, made her sad, pissed, and confused. She wanted answers. She still felt them but couldn’t see them and because she was just thrown into the depths of it, she learned what she knows now and that the connection to source energy never dies. The classic religious environment never did anything for Jenny. She found her way on her own and she has yoga to thank for that. Through that practice, she found peace and the ability to not need alcohol or drugs to experience a feeling. She wanted to feel that through healthy habits.
How has your experience with death helped you to live a more meaningful and fulfilled life?
It’s been everything! Jenny watched her 16-year-old sister take her last breath and learned that time waits for no one and you don’t know what your last day is going to be on this planet. We must not just squander our time, complain, and bitch about getting older, we have to be better stewards of our time and stop wasting it on things that don’t matter to us anyway.
On a spiritually cosmic level, she knows that her sister was here for the time that she was because that was her journey and for Jenny, what a wonderful teacher she’s been. Her sister helps her get out and share this message. Her sister is championing it til the end. Jenny has a really distinct understanding of time, uses it really well, and can teach it to you too!
How do you think losing your sister has impacted you as a mother?
Jenny is able to tune into what this is really about and this gift that we’re given as a parent to guide these beings along as they guide us along. Let’s be real, we probably learn more from our kids as they learn from us! It goes by quickly and they’re absorbing it all. She’s not saying she doesn’t have moments of fear of something happening to them but she doesn’t entertain long periods of time in that realm of fear. Jenny tries to think of the big picture. So much suffering comes when we attach to a form or arrangement being the way it’s always been. When the time came around for her son to pursue homeschooling, she felt like it was a gift from her sister. She hears the voice of her sister just telling her to enjoy it and not to get too into her head.
With the state of the world right now, people can use the fear of death to not do something. When there’s so much fear around getting sick and ultimately dying, how do you recommend that people don’t let the fears stops them from living, but rather help them have more agency over their time and their life and create more magic in their life?
Every day, be intentional about the design of the day. How do you want to experience today?
Today is going to be _________. Call it in! Call in the value of the day. So much of the time it’s about adapting and then not getting attached to form. That’s where the suffering comes from. It’s a slippery slope. We can show up for what’s up and have some sort of spiritual practice that where you can come back to your center. This is the time to get it! You just may not have found it yet, but it’s there. For Jenny, the “there” has been through her body. We have a partnership with our bodies and they deserve to be nourished, loved, adored, honored, and listened to. All is well.
You’re a mom. You’re homeschooling. You have three kids. We’re moving along with this theme of time and it influences so much of how we live. What would you suggest are some key ways to talk about time?
There’s always enough time. I have plenty of time. I always get it done.
You have to know your own defaults. Hers is anxiety and instead of going to the place of not having enough time to get things done, she goes to the place of recognizing how lucky she is to have all these projects to work on; that she gets to help her son with this particular assignment.
If you’re alive, you have time. It’s a partner to you. We’re here, we’re alive, we have time. Are you harnessing your time intelligently or have you surrendered into the squandering of time? Notice your tendencies when you feel overwhelmed. Are you scrolling on social media? Are you comparing and despairing? Are you reading every news article and going down rabbit holes?
Prioritize what needs to get done today. Do it now, don’t wait til later. Once you do, you’ll start seeing things just get done!
What’s an action step that you would offer the listeners to take?
Get to know the moon. Really get to know her, she has your back. The moon is in us! Whether you’re in your bleeding years or not, we have the same cycle as the moon, which is pretty epic. Know that our own rhythmic, energetic cycle and hers are connected. You should know when the new moon, first quarter moon, full moon, and third quarter moon are. It’s usually in the printed calendars! All of her launches and projects work with this code and the season, but at least know it for yourself, you don’t necessarily need to build it into your business. You’ll know yourself more deeply and understand why at the new moon, you don’t really want to hang out with your family!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
This quote from The Velveteen Rabbit: “It doesn’t happen all at once, you become. It takes a long time.”
Tell us how we can get in touch with you and find out about your work.
Visit her website: jennyfenig.com
Follow her on Instagram: instagram.com/jennyfenig/
Free Reclaim Your Time Template: https://jennyfenig.lpages.co/schedule-template/
How to work with imperfections and get into action.
[02:15] Kelly’s first job was on wall street and investment banking
[03:35] How to use your experience from being in the fashion world now in the coaching world and in your business
[06:37] The way challenges can help you with your resiliency and your discipline
[09:03] Confidence, in essence, is being more focused on what you can do versus what you can't do
[13:23] The key is taking that step, eat, like feeling uncomfortable. In the feeling comfortable in the uncomfortable
[15:45] Know that there's always going to be a leap that you take to that you question yourself
[16:28] That's how people relate, when you're vulnerable and you mess things up and not saying mess things up purposely
[18:13] Health is so important, we need to pay attention to auto-immune kind of things going on
[19:12] At the end, you're done when you're on your death bed
[37:09] How slowing down helped Kelly become more grateful
[38:58] There's a lot of like this chasing energy, being grateful for what you have versus when things hit the fan.
[41:24] Ask yourself what are really my priorities right now?
[42:29] Having respect for like the growth process
“We're chasing this moment and it comes for a moment, but then there's another moment after that and it fades. So then you're left with what is, so the more that you can condition yourself to inhabit good feelings, then the more you're going to feel good.”
“Like we want the external validation or we want to, we want to feel accomplishment or we want to feel perfect or like all of that.”
“Nothing's an overnight success and it's just doing the action day in and day out. And it's not always going to feel sexy. It's not always going to feel glamorous, but you will feel in flow.”
Alisa Vitti is a functional nutritionist and women’s hormone expert. When it comes to hormonal biochemistry, functional nutrition, endocrinology, epigenetics, and neuropsychology, she is an avid researcher. She spent the past 15 years studying, personally applying, and teaching how to stop hormonal chaos and get into hormonal flow. 15 years ago, she weighed 200 lbs. Her face, chest and back were covered in painful — and very unpretty — cystic acne. She only had my period twice a year. She was exhausted, depressed, and she had constant brain fog. She didn’t know what was wrong with me, but there was no mistaking this for normal. Finally, after 6 years of seeing doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, while doing my own research on my mysterious symptoms, she discovered a condition that sounded exactly like what I was experiencing — polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Her hormonal breakdown led me to living in the FLO. One of her most significant discoveries was that you and your body have cyclical needs. They shift as your hormones shift in your regular cycle. And they shift as you move from your teens to your twenties to your thirties and forties and beyond.
[02:15] Hormonal health and what does that mean to you?
[03:35] How historical amounts, unprecedented amounts of content that are dedicated to menstruation and women's hormonal awareness
[06:37] Why women are being left out of medical fitness and nutrition research women in their reproductive years
[09:03] The way all of this research is being done on men and postmenopausal women, but being marketed to women
[13:23] Understand that we are very distinct based on our biological rhythms.
[15:45] Its all about eating the right way, exercising the right times, organizing your workflow in a way that works for your brain changes
[16:28] Success morning routines are really power morning routines
[18:13] Rhythm is left out of the conversation out of our cultural narrative, out of corporate culture
[19:12] Be in tuned with yourself so that if you find yourself out of the flow, you'll know why
[37:09] Benefits of incorporating both the circadian and in Freudian rhythm.
[38:58] Tips to rediscover aspects of creativity
[41:24]. Cultural narrative point of view is that there's this passed down understanding of this is how your body works.
[45:29] Methods to recover from menstrual disturbances naturally and safely and effectively and quickly with the right protocol
“Men have hormonal patterns. They have mood swings that happen within a 24-hour cycle. They have much shorter and more extreme mood swings, but because the society has normalized around their biological credit, they are not self-critical about it. They are completely self-aware of it and they just do what works for them when it works for them.”
“A lot of women don't know where they are. They just know when they're bleeding or if you're trying to conceive, you certainly are paying attention to oblation, but we don't know about the rest of them.”
“Once you have the right information, you do not have to be afraid of your body, which is how you have been made to feel. And there's no better example of that then when it comes to pregnancy and birth control and instead, what I want you to do is feel extremely empowered.”
Nicole helps passionate and driven service providers build a business and team that they love through a combination of leadership, management, hiring, and mindset support. After managing million-dollar TV projects, building a multi-six figure agency of her own, and mentoring other service providers to grow teams without sacrificing their sanity, she knows what it takes to step into the CEO role in your business. When she left her corporate job, she vowed to never put her happiness and well-being in someone else’s hands but just a year later, she was doing the same thing — just in her own business. At that moment, she made a decision. She was going to take everything she already knew about leadership, management, and power and apply it to herself… and when I finally took that step, things started changing -- pretty quickly too. Her clients started respecting my boundaries, my team stepped into their leadership, and I increased my take-home pay by 85%! What she figured out is that business owners needed to learn how to step into the CEO role of their business and develop their leadership and management skills so that they could feel confident handling ANY situation that was thrown their way. If you’re feeling booked out and burnt out, Nicole can help you reclaim your time and double your revenue. In this episode we talk about how mindfulness helps her be more effective in business and life, discovering your zone of genius, a question that changed her trajectory, and that you can ask yourself too, and so much more.
[02:15] How Nicole is supporting done for you service providers
[03:35] The transition to being more of the CEO
[06:37] Discovering herself when operating in that zone of genius
[09:03] Being mindful, especially even with social media
[13:23] How she overcame the struggle with an eating disorder
[15:45] The transition into theatre
[16:28] How to think clearly in the middle of fear or doubt
[18:13] How to practice great mindfulness awareness
[19:12] allow yourself the time to make decision
[37:09] The behavior of people who are at a level of success
[38:58] Thoughts on essentialism
[41:24]Embracing the process of transformation
[45:29] How powerful it is to control your feelings and state
“I think it's finding what is it that makes you feel like yourself and then, paying attention and practicing that as much as you can.
“There's a lot of value in reconnecting to that part of you that auditions, for example. For me, it's like tapping into the athlete within me”
“I find that sometimes business owners just don't know how to prioritize because they think that they're seeing all these people online doing all of these different things, and there's a lot of sugar. So usually it comes back to getting some sort of a financial return.”
“Pay close attention to what's happening and how you're feeling and start thinking about what's working, what's not working, what might need to be tweaked here.”
She spent 26 years as a highly regarded marketing and advertising executive stewarding some of the world’s most iconic brands like Harley-Davidson, Visa, McDonald’s, and AOL. In 2016 she walked away from the corporate world to nurture her soul and discover her purpose. She christened herself Chief Soul Officer and called the journey her Soulbbatical. It did more than change her life, it became her calling.
In 2018, Shelley opened the doors of her own company with the mission to liberate the souls of leaders and organizations, by inspiring them to realize their greatest purpose and potential. Shelley’s intention is to help her clients discover, as she did, a way of being that is aligned with their authentic self (soul) and deeply rooted in a commitment to living and leading courageously. As a certified professional coach, she works with individuals, entrepreneurs, and executives at Fortune 100 companies like Lowe’s, Inc. and Mars, Inc.
[04:15] Tackling the question “what are you pretending not to know?”
[07:35] The emotional roller coaster that she went through
[09:37] Discovering the path to reconnect with oneself
[12:03] Realizing that busy-ness is an addiction
[18:23] Setting priorities right: freedom, authenticity, and courage
[19:45] The beautiful simplicity of clear articulation
[23:13] What happened when you live so out of alignment with yourself
[30:12] Describing the book’s mission to liberate a billion souls
[33:28] How to find meaning in the madness while being a mom
[37:09] The importance of choosing conscious growth
[38:58] How to start sharing your beautiful talents to the world
[41:24] Why discipline leads to freedom
“It's about choosing to live more authentically, courageously, and purposefully, whatever that means for you.”
“When I finally shifted into prioritizing my life, tectonic plates move for me in my life.”
“ I stand for rebelling, for who we are, for what we want, and for the impact that we want to have in that world, in the world.”
“I have never felt more profoundly on purpose than I do now. Having found my true self, understanding who I am at the core and what my calling is in the world, and I say my calling is to liberate souls.”
“We create stability from the inside out. So that's like reconnecting with our GPS and true North.”
“When we believe in ourselves and we commit to something and we set that intention, we can do it.”
“My favorite question to ask everybody now is, what are you rebelling for?“
Christina Lecuyer is a former professional golfer, a three-time reality television competitor, turned public speaker, and mindset coach. She didn’t start playing golf until she was 18 and still managed to get a scholarship for college. Playing golf taught Christina about how your mindset can impact your performance and the challenges around basing your self-worth on external factors. She had a successful career, the look, the money, the house, and the man. And even then, her soul was unfulfilled. It wasn’t that something was missing. But she wasn’t doing what set her soul on fire! She wanted to make an impact. She wanted to do what I was put on this planet to do (& get paid well to do it!) More recently, Christina has taken her skills off the golf course and brought her knowledge and passion for inspiring people to design a LIFE THEY TRULY LOVE through coaching and immersive events! The highly sought-after Women with C.L.A.S.S. Mastermind and Decide It’s Your Turn: Women’s Weekend are just a few ways Christina is helping women break through barriers to become more confident, find their purpose, and truly live a life they love.
You started playing golf when you were 18. I was blown away that you won your first tournament
In fact, Christina won her first 3 golfing tournaments.
Were you nervous at all?
At the beginning of her career, there were no expectations on her and she didn't expect to win. She could just play. She struggled in the middle of her golfing career because suddenly there were expectations and that was when the mental stuff crept in.
Christina doesn’t believe she was particularly talented, but she was always good at working hard. In the beginning, no-one expected her to be very good and she didn’t have any expectations for her. She would practice for 5-7 hours a day. Then as she improved, people realized that she was really good, and the expectations started to appear. Fear and doubt started to creep in as she realized, she was supposed to be good at golf.
Then what happened? How did you manage those mental thoughts?
She won her first 3 tournaments, shot under-par and the next summer was offered a scholarship. She went to college and the first year she performed horribly. But in the next 3 years, she was an All American twice and won 5 times.
A lot of her doubts came from the fact that she only started when she was 18. Many of the people around her had started playing as young children. She would tell herself -’You have not been playing long enough. You do not deserve to get to the LPGA this fast. She went into her first LPGA qualifying tournament the same way she had in those very first tournaments – with the expectation that there was no way in hell she would ever win. But she got through to the final stage, her very first time, which doesn’t tend to happen. At the final stage, she told herself the same thing – that she wouldn’t get through. And she didn't.
Was it that mental thought of ‘you’re not going to get it’? Because it sounds like in the beginning it kinda helped you. But then when the real pressure was on that thought actually hurt you.
It was a 5-day tournament and in the first 3 days, she felt like she didn’t have a chance. Then she started getting interviewed by media and she realized that there was an expectation on her to actually get through. In the last two days of the tournament, she fell apart.
You are talking a lot about expectations. How do you think expectations play a role in our ability to succeed or perform?
For Christina, the expectations that she believed the outside world was putting on her, hurt her. She had 3 core things she based her identity on – being a golfer, being attractive and thin, and being financially successful. When those 3 things weren’t going as well as she thought they should go, her sense of self-worth would plummet. If she gained a pound, she thought her life was over. If she played golf horribly, she felt her life was over. Her life was based on external validation and she felt she needed to be great at those 3 things in order to be great at being Christina. When she was 29 she realized she could no longer live like that.
It sounds like you had a moment where you realized ‘whoa I am actually not happy even though I have all of these external things that I expected would bring me happiness’.
Someone recently asked Christina ‘When did you know you were broken? And when did you know you were worthy?’ It was not an aha moment. It was a series of moments that happened over and over. She had always felt that if she wasn’t pushing herself or forcing herself to get to the next level, then she was settling. Trough self-development and working on herself, she is now at a place where she knows that she is worthy, whether anybody else agrees with that or not. She loves herself now. She is still a great golfer. She looks about the same. Her life is the same but where she is internally is completely different.
Some people might say ‘yeah intellectually I know that I’m worthy.’ But there is a difference between telling yourself you’re worthy and being worthy. I’m curious about your experience of the distinction.
Christina believes that every person on the planet is put here for a purpose and a reason. If you are trying to be someone other than yourself, then you can’t feel worthy. Striving for something that you are not can cause pain and suffering. Christina cusses all the time. If she was to stop cussing to make someone else more comfortable, then she wouldn’t be being herself. She shows up as her authentic self every day. No matter what she does on a daily basis, whether she screws up or has lots of success, no matter who likes her or who doesn’t, she is exactly her.
It sounds like putting more emphasis on the way that you feel, versus the way that you think you should be. It takes a lot of awareness to know when you’re not feeling like you are being yourself and doing something out of pleasing or appeasing some external thing.
Knowing you were put here for a purpose and giving yourself grace are two of the biggest things. To know that you were put here for a purpose and all you have to do is be your authentic self should give someone a sense of calmness and worthiness.
One of my core beliefs is that our purpose is to be fully ourselves. If my purpose is to be myself and fully express myself, then what? Where do we go from there?
People think that in order to have a purpose you have to be like Oprah. You can have an impact on someone by doing something very simple. Christina has a 90-year-old neighbor who lives by herself. Christina put everything aside one day to spend time with her. Christina made her life better by just showing up and being there one day. It doesn’t have to be a huge dramatic thing.
When you are in alignment with who you are everything else makes sense. Christina has made more money, been happier, and attracted the best people in her life whenever she has been in alignment with who she is.
I know that you just climber Kilimanjaro. How present did you need to be to make that happen?
It was the most beautiful experience. For the past 3 years, she has put her life on Instagram and she thought she would do the same when she climbed Kilimanjaro. For the first two days, she didn’t have a service and used her phone only to record videos. It was so nice to just to be able to be present and enjoy the company of the people she was with.
Was it hard?
It is an 8-day trek and Christina found the first 6 days super easy. She was in good shape and mentally strong. On the last day she got altitude sickness and then discovered that she had an allergic reaction to the medicine they gave her. Her tongue and throat swelled up. The last 48hours were incredibly tough but somehow, she still managed to reach the summit.
What drove you to keep going? Did you think you should stop?
It didn’t occur to her to stop. She had signed up to the trek really late. She climbed it for a children's charity and was asked to join the team only a month before. The day she signed up she created an affirmation. ‘I will summit and return, healthy and safe. I will continue to be a blessing by living a blessed life.’ She repeated this to herself every single day. The day that she got sick she saw the screensaver she had created of the affirmation and for the next 3 hours, she repeated it over and over.
Thinking about your preparation. It sounds like you had a practice that included a bit visualization, a little bit of mantra, and some anchoring using a song. Those sound like the main components. Am I missing anything?
For her physical training, she would walk on the stair-master at the gym wearing hiking boots and w a 20lb backpack on her back. She would rather be laughed at in the gym for looking like a fool than to die on the mountain.
Did you use those techniques in golf?
Christina wishes she had known about these techniques when she was playing golf. Now she plays golf twice a week and plays better than she did 10 years ago. She is able to relax and feel grateful for being able to be out there playing her sport.
Let's go back into where we started. To not rely on these external expectations but really rely on your inner wealth and resources to guide you. To learn to connect to them through some practices. Would you say that’s the essence of being?
You have to know how to get yourself to your best being. Everything is a choice. How you think, how you react, what you do – it’s all a choice. Christina knows the choices she has to make to get to the best her each day. She admits that she doesn't always do it and she definitely has lapses. But she knows what it takes to be the best version of her.
Christina doesn't have a traditional meditation practice because that doesn’t work for her. But she will often spend 5 mins out in her garden, or in silence in her car and for her, that’s her practice. You have to find what works for you. The important part is showing up consistently every day.
The obstacle that you think you’re going to face is typically not what happens. It is something else that you have never thought of. But you handle it.
You will learn from it and you will prove to yourself that you can do it. You can do hard things. Most people can do hard things but choose not to. You can choose to do hard things and the most successful people in the world do hard things. Christina tells her clients to run towards something which is even a little bit scary or hard. There is so much growth in that.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Tell us how we can get in touch with you?
Alyssa Hall is a life coach for mom’s. She’s a single mom to her 4-year-old daughter. A couple of years ago her life was a complete mess - every part of her life felt hard; her job, her relationships, and taking care of her self. She didn’t know how much more she could take —so she took a risk. She signed up for the coach training program at iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching). She knew it wasn’t a good time, but that there would also never be a “perfect” time. She knew she couldn’t afford it. But also knew she was tired of being unhappy. So, she stepped into her fears of the unknown seeking a career change and left with a completely different life. Alyssa was able to see firsthand how changing herself can affect every single person in your life. When she completed the program, she had a mission. She needed to help mom’s overcome what I went through; all the overwhelm, guilt, frustration, communicating with her daughter's father, and more. She knew she wasn’t the only one who experienced life this way and was grateful to coaching tools early in her parenting journey.
Segment Time Stamps/ Episode Highlights:
“Children are a mirror, every action that I’m doing is being seen and reflected.”
“Finagle the bagel. Which means finesse everything so you can still get everything you want done.”
“It’s important to do what makes you happy not what people think you should be doing.”
“Remind yourself who you are at your core and fit that into your life… like a constant refresher.”
“It’s easier to work for someone else than it is to work for yourself and push yourself.”
Michelle Aspinwell had been operating at Wonder Woman speed, using determination and endurance, this is probably something you can relate to == especially since we are quarantined - I have been more aware of how much I have been rushing! She was starting to properly understand what a brilliant organism the body is, relying on powerful, internal interactions to function at its full potential. What started as a diet evolved into to discovering and embracing so many different kinds of foods—both on my plate and the food she fed her brain through her thoughts and lifestyle. She was able to move past the oughts and ought-nots of a restrictive diet to an enjoyable and worthwhile journey in itself — an awakening of strength, clarity, and calm. Now as she approaches 48, these practices and specific knowledge has made my peri-menopausal journey one of transformation in spite of my unique symptoms. I know how to listen to the language my body uses and work to support it. She blends her years of personal experience, applying Eastern principles of healing, studying over 100 dietary theories, medical chef work and my professional certifications through IIN and AADP to empower, educate and guide women to recognize their genetic predisposition doesn't have to be their fate. Women have the power to age timelessly, preventing chronic disease creating vital longevity with lifestyle medicine.
What was your awakening to Midlife?
Michelle experienced an unraveling around age 42 with the notion that it was a midlife crisis. She started to sense a “pang of time” and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a crisis after all. The feeling of unease gradually escalated as she became aware that her life was actually ok and the imbalance resided in how she felt as if she still wanted to run away. Over time as Michelle worked through her feelings and helped other women, she came up with the concept of aligning with time.
When you say unraveling, what do you mean by unraveled?
Michelle explained that it was a moment where everything was good and she had no reason to feel bad but, on the inside, she wanted to run and change things. Despite her normal tricks to feel better, nothing worked. She went inward to figure it out. During the process, she went to different doctors.
What were you experiencing, if it wasn’t depression?
It was a feeling of isolation and unsettledness in her life with no specific cause of it.
Did it then become apparent that this was hormonal and not midlife and you should just ride the wave?
She describes how it wasn’t so cut and dry. Michelle had to find people who used all different kinds of healing to normalize her feelings. Acupuncturists and Energy healers are examples of a few. Working with those people brought her to this current place. Harnessing and using the energy of her feelings instead of allowing them to be a storm was important.
What were you doing before this?
Michelle was a set and costume designer in Theatre. She was accustomed to talking to people in vulnerable states about their bodies. “How we perceive our body to look and how the world sees us are usually two different perspectives” That mindset really impacts her work as she takes women through this process of aligning with time. “It is really being present with the now.” What we as women do now impacts us years from now. You can’t be present in the past to create your future.
What do you personally do now to align with time in your life?
Michelle is particular with the quality of her food. When it's not available she will fast. She is gluten-free due to an autoimmune disorder which has its pros and cons. She washes her face every night and honors that ritual as being apart of connecting with herself and reflecting on what she is grateful for. Recently she’s become serious about who she surrounds herself with and set strong boundaries about what she tolerates. She doesn’t say yes to the “greater room at large” any longer too.
What are some positive things about Estrogen decline?
To be clear, she wanted to mention that there aren’t many positives but it helped her find herself. Michelle went from thinking food was everything to the great realization that consciousness, aligning with time and what we put on our body is just as important as what she put IN our body. She emphasizes how essential it is to clean up skincare and how getting chemicals out of your life is important because endocrine disrupters do a lot of harm to women. They wreak havoc on our bodies.
Michelle takes great care of her skin. Makeup is not clean but you can clean up skincare. Beauty is coming from good skin. It's an inside job, not an outside job despite popular belief. It's important to keep the chemicals at bay. Avoid fillers, preservatives, fragrances, colors… even deodorant. Lotion is a much bigger one. Use body butter and natural oils.
She created her skincare line, Askin because her son had a bad case of eczema. She started playing around with natural oils, butters, botanicals, and herbs. Through research, trial, and error She’s simplified her living.
She doesn’t drink plain water but Herbal teas really quench her thirst. She enjoys the task of being present as she makes her beverage. Sleep is crucial as well.
Michelle explains that we tend to live in Yang more and deplete the Yin. The more we deplete the Yin, we set ourselves up for a harder transition. Yang is the light side of the mountain, its awake and sunny, the Yin is quiet and dark. We need both to create balance. As we are younger we need to live more in the Yang and when we get older we tend to need more Yin but all in balance. As women get older, we really need more Yin.
Also, if women have trouble sleeping, they should nap during the day.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Women heal women.
Relevant Links: https://www.michelleaspinwall.com/
Donna Ognibene is a gymnast, marathon runner, middle school teacher, and actress. She has been professionally active in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years. Donna has been described as a world-class master trainer, passionate teacher, trusted advisor, empowering coach, curious learner, creative innovator, industry leader, and community advocate. While she is all that, her natural talent is in bringing out the best in people. Aside from her professional roles, Donna enjoys time with family, friends, good food, community events, the Boston arts/sports/entertainment scene, acting, writing, and international travel.
Donna knows too well the pain of being down in every aspect, which has led her into believing in the power of rising again. She shares her story of being exposed to risks so early in life and learning to deal with fear and challenges that came with it.
Listen in to this self-help podcast to learn how to look for the next big thing after your plans have been knocked down by unprecedented circumstances.
How has physical strength impacted her work and who she is?
She grew up in a family that encouraged both academics and athletics. Learning to use her body as well as her mind has shaped who she is and influenced her every choice. It compels her to keep at it whether its to get to a healthier place, to do something challenging, or to embrace fear.
Did she have a lot of exposure?
She was involved in gymnastics to senior year in college. She was injured when training and turned to bars even though it was something she did not like before. The lesson was no matter what sets you down, you have to look for the next best thing. She could have been a supporter of her fellow teammates or continue doing something else along the same lines.
Does she think being exposed to so much risk through gymnastics helped in her life?
She had a coach who was also a mentor that she wanted to perform for. The type of coach that doesn’t give up on you for a second and is always challenging you. She began interfacing with the world through gymnastics which is all about provoking potential and is probably why she respects how much it influences her work and how her work influences other people.
What is her story?
She moved to a different route after the injury and started in physical therapy school but wasn’t fulfilled due to her prior accident. She later decided to go into education which she combines to do all the things that she finds beautiful. She started running heavily and connecting with her body but got into an accident that has limited her from running as much as she used to.
What advice does she have for Anna who’s going to climb an equivalent of Mt. Everest?
The rule of threes says: always work with the foot, the hips, and the thoracic spine meaning you want to get mobilization around your ankle joints because that’s where all motions start when you move. Always find an extra resource you can draw from. Donna describes an exercise that gets you back into natural principles and how she’s using it with the swimmers she works with.
When did yoga come into her life?
She says she was the jack of all trades teaching so many different classes and started doing yoga instead of the Pilates because she couldn’t enjoy them. She felt comfortable with yoga and became a fan and is a huge believer in adding motion to it.
How life has forced her to see things differently even through injuries?
She has recently been telling her story which has made her realize that you can’t fight the flow. She has always had an option to keep moving and turn it into something. It is natural for people to want to retreat towards familiar. She is trying to talk more about the importance of keeping what we already have, keeping that foundation and continuing to learn, not necessarily looking for new answers but better fits instead. Just play around with the workout and find out what might be a better warm-up for you.
What’s the best advice she’s ever been given?
Never give up! It takes on a whole different meaning when you’re almost done and there’s almost no resource left inside of you.
Helena Escalante is a copywriter, content strategist, and creator of entrepreneurial thought leaders who love to learn by reading books. She was born in Mexico City but later came to the US to attend college in Austin Texas.
Helena believes her superpower is connecting people with resources they need to achieve their goals. She is fascinated by the human mind and tries to convey her copywriting messages compellingly and effectively.
Listen in to this entrepreneurial podcast to learn how you can become a copywriter who creates compelling and converting copies.
What was her inspiration to come from Mexico to the US?
She was born into a family of translators which made the US close to her heart and when the opportunity came to attend college in the US she took it. She studied history and Latin American studies and minored in marketing. She later got a job in PR with marketing knowledge even before graduation. Helena says her brain works in marketing and languages.
What does she love about PR and how she puts the message across?
She loves getting a message that resonates- seeing someone’s eyes light up because the message struck a chord is what he lives for. She has a passion for the human mind- the urge to understand why we do the things that we do. She can convey a message that highlights what the call to action is as a copywriter. She came with an acronym W-R-I-T-E that acts as a map to put out an effective copy message.
What is her favorite book?
The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Xander. The book gives you examples of how to manage either feelings or situations masterfully. She explains one example of how one can fulfill your goals and grow yourself by working towards it.
How does she handle writing marketing and PR copies?
When it comes to copywriting, the strategy should be to write a ‘vomit draft’ which is just throwing ideas out there. This gives you many ideas to work with rather than limiting yourself with what you think it should be or look like.
How do you distinguish between the right ideas from others?
Always keep in mind what your client wants or call to action.
How to master the art of the right call to action?
Many entrepreneurs think that the message is clear even though it may not be. Always give instructions on how to find that call to action button. It’s always the little things that could change everything. You can even get help from someone who isn’t as immersed in the process and is more likely to notice the missing call to action.
What is her favorite call to action words?
A call to action should always start with powerful action verbs. This snaps your prospect’s brain from the law of reading and into action mode. The clearer and the more imperative you make it the better.
What words does she use repeatedly?
Using the word ‘imagine’ takes on your prospects into the journey with you. It is a powerful word that sends our minds to wherever we want them to go. Other words include ‘discover’ which is like imagine and the ‘how to’. Picking people’s curiosity also works best because we are naturally curious.
What is the best advice that she’s ever been given?
Love yourself as you love your neighbor. As a perfectionist with invisible judges she always used harsh words that she would never use on anyone else.
Over the past 15 years, I have been studying how to manage the mind. In this episode, I talk about:
Gina Molinari is an online marketing strategist and public speaking Coach. She helps people confidently communicate themselves and their businesses, so they can make a massive impact with their work. Her unique background as a classically-trained singer.. gives her an edge with helping people communicate with confidence. She is a graduate of the Facilitator in Training program through Next Level Trainings and obsessed with personal and professional development.
What sparked your passion for communication?
Gina’s original dream from a young age was to be an opera singer. For the longest time, however, she was on the fence about turning her passion for singing into a profession. She truly loved performing—she just couldn’t imagine doing it for a living. Gina got to the point where she realized that she needed to reevaluate her life plan. She tried tackling the business side of the arts by pursuing a Masters Degree in Arts Administration. Even here, however, Gina still felt as if she didn’t belong. At this point, she decided that she had to take a step back and discover what satisfied her on a deeper level beyond singing or the arts. After a lot of soul searching, Gina came to the conclusion that her true passion was communication and connection. She loved influencing others by sending meaningful messages. Singing certainly did that; but for Gina, the sense of fulfillment she experienced was less about the performance and more on how it impacted her audience.
How did your interest in communication and connection lead to your becoming a coach?
Now that Gina had discovered her true passion, she dug deeper and realized that she loved the psychology of language underlying human communication. She found satisfaction in uncovering deeper meanings within other people’s conversations by honing in on the details: the words, tonality, and body language that people use when they communicate. The way you communicate is, according to Gina, “a red flag into your psyche.”
What happened to your level of confidence after deciding you wanted to be a coach?
Gina’s confidence soared once she discovered her life’s purpose. All the guilt she had previously felt for pivoting so much in the past disappeared. It also helps that Gina is in the business of improving the confidence of others via leadership development and nurturing one’s emotional intelligence. Gina surmised that every failure or “dead-end” she had experienced up until that point was only leading her closer to uncovering her passion for communication. In other words, she changed her mindset around what these past experiences meant to her. Instead of “failure”, Gina thinks of these experiences as “market research”. In other words, waiting until you become successful is not the key to confidence. Instead, staying consistent with doing the work it takes to reach your goal—failures and all—inspires confidence within you by default.
How did you come to the realization that success is in your control?
There’s this idea in emotional intelligence work that you get to take responsibility for everything in your life. This includes taking responsibility for failure, but it doesn’t mean that you need to feel guilty. Instead, this means that, while you can’t always control the outcome of something, you can always control your response to it. The bottom line is: “It’s always my choice.” Don’t blame “lack of time” for your failures, either. Blame your lack of priorities, instead. You, and only you, can choose to prioritize those things that will make you successful.
What made you decide to prioritize your health and lose weight?
Gina learned that her business would mean nothing if she didn’t take care of herself. Once she prioritized her health, everything else followed. By focusing on this one thing, Gina had renewed energy to tackle every other priority down her list. An accountability group also makes a huge difference! Finally, confidence through consistency once again plays a part here. Results may not be as quick as you want; but it helps to look back and see how much has improved since you started. It all paid off for Gina: She lost 60 pounds.
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