The Antidote to Self Sabotage is Community | #64

Self sabotage is trying to protect you from the sticky, icky feelings of vulnerability and shame.

In this quick season finale, I’m coaching you on how to thank it and send it on its way. I’m also sharing what I believe is the antidote to self sabotage: a community of creatives alongside you, normalizing the process and sharing the journey.   

If you’re ready to get some community support for your creative goals, check out and   

And if you’re not ready yet… get your butt on my email list at


Hey friends. Hello. Happy Friday and welcome to the last episode of Run Like Hell Toward Happy. And I’m gonna tell you what I mean by that later in this episode. But for now, get your popcorn, get a notebook. If you are driving in the car, don’t get a notebook. And if you are not driving in the car let’s take some deep breaths.

Let’s close our eyes. Let’s get focused and grounded and feel amazing and celebrate the fact that we are sharing this space together. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being a listener of my show. I started Run Like Hell Toward Happy about a year and a half ago. The first season went out in May of 2021.

and it is now like, yeah, it’s exactly a year and a half, and this is our 64th episode, and I’m super thrilled. I love doing this. It’s something that brings me joy and makes me happy, and it is part of my business strategy moving forward. Not that you care about my business strategy. You’re just here for the tips, right?

And the pep talks and the advice and the, the relatability and the ADHD tangents and the Gwen moments. So let’s, let’s jump into today’s topic, which is self sabotage and the antidote to self sabotage. So first of all, self-sabotage can be any number of things, right? So self-sabotage is a phrase that describes a bunch of different things.

Now we know that the result is that we have sabotaged our progress and that we did it to ourselves. This is normal. So if you are someone who has totally fucked up their own goals, you are not alone, my friend, at all. So please do not feel compelled to hold onto shame about that because that’s not helping anybody.

And I think more people need to talk about their self-sabotaging habits. We need to be aware of them. Like for instance I self-sabotage by having my phone with me when I am writing. Today, I didn’t have my phone with me while I was writing and I wrote 2,700 words. It’s interesting how that happens, right?

But self sabotage. So that can look like deleting your file part of the way through, you know, you’re working on an art project or you’re writing something and you think this isn’t that, that it’s not that good. I’m just gonna delete it. I’m gonna start over because this isn’t going where I want it to go.

Well, okay, how are you gonna grow from that? How are you going to be able to look and see your growth and your progress over time if you delete everything? That’s a little question from me to you. It can also look like being unwilling to show your work to anyone else. So you’re alone with your thoughts about your skills, your talents, your passions, and you think this isn’t very good, but you’re also not putting it out.

You’re not asking for any kind of help or support you, you don’t even show your friends. You know, we all knew that that person in middle school, we might have been that person in middle school who, you know, they were always drawing in their sketchbook and then you kind of lean over and you’re like, What? Whatcha doin? Whatcha drawing? And they’d pick it up and they’d hold it to their chest and they’d be like, ‘Nothing.’ And then you finally do get to look and it’s absolutely stunning. Like it looks like a photograph and you’re like, Why were you so scared to share this? And it’s because we are all really, really, really critical of our own work.

And I’m here to tell you that that’s bullshit and that sharing it with other people is the way that we get better. So, What’s another self sabotage thing? Let’s see. When we don’t wanna be uncomfortable, right? So a lot of art, and I don’t wanna say that art must come from pain in order to be real art. That’s fake, but really deep moving art, music, writing… that often relies on the human experience. You know, when you want to call an emotion forward, when someone sees or reads or hears your work, you’re often putting a lot of personal emotion into it. And a lot of the times that’s uncomfortable. It’s vulnerable, and we don’t want that because being vulnerable means risking danger, okay?

But it’s 2022. Vulnerability does not mean that we’re gonna get eaten by a tiger, or that we are going to be shunned by our tribe. These are old, old, old fears that live in our brains and our bodies, and I’m here to tell you that those are normal. But I’m also here to tell you that you’re only going to grow when you get comfortable being uncomfortable when you notice what you’re up against when you notice, Oh, I quit every time X, Y, Z thing happens.

So if you’re someone who loves to make art, but then when it comes to actually getting your art out there into the world, you know, maybe you have a conscious belief that you’d love to be featured in a local gallery or a local consignment shop or something. Just having your art on the walls of a local dentist office might be your dream.

I don’t know your dream. You might love dentists.

But you’re too scared to do it because what happens if the dentist hates it? What happens if somebody else sees it at the dentist’s office and puts it on Instagram and says, ‘Look at this weird art.’ You have to make the decision to do it anyway. And that’s where the self sabotage comes in because self sabotage is trying to protect you.

It comes from a place that wants to save you from vulnerability. So you have to decide that the vulnerability is worth the end result, and that is a choice that you have to make for yourself. I can’t make it for you. So if you are a self sabotage and any of that resonated, please let me know so that I can continue to talk about it cuz it’s important.

And the other thing I wanna say about self sabotage is that the antidote to self-sabotage is community. Because all these things we tell ourselves about our work isn’t that good or it’s, it’s not perfect. It’s, I’m never gonna let it see the light of day. Like all this stuff, all this fake bullshit terror about being seen and being vulnerable and being known and letting our art.

It’s so scary because we think we’re the only one. You think you’re the only person who doesn’t like your first draft. You think you’re the only person who has ever fucked up a painting when you were getting it out of your brain and onto the canvas. You think you are the only person who has ever published a book that you would change.

You’re not. You’re not alone. And these problems are not uniquely yours. You are not the sole embattled creative who is just devastated by your eternal failure. When you are around other creatives, other writers, other musicians, other painters. When you are around people who are going through the same thing, self sabotage is like, poof.

It’s gone. It is like you ghost busted it because it exists in the vacuum of isolation. When we see other people going through the same thing, I swear to God, it changes our perceptions. We start to normalize it. We start to normalize what’s possible. So when we see other creatives really nailing it and really feeling confident and really being vulnerable and sharing their story, their words, their music, their art, we see that vulnerability pay off again and again because we witness them and we witness the growth.

That they get from those moments of vulnerability. You start to see that that’s possible. You start to see, Oh, it’s not dangerous. It’s not scary. I’m not going to die of shame, of embarrassment of having a bad first line in my novel. You know, it’s November now, so lots of people are doing national novel writing month, and the point of that program is to just fucking write.

Like you don’t have time to critique it honestly. You’re supposed to write 50,000 words in 30 days. And that can really work for some people. It doesn’t work for me because I’m tired, but the fact that you have to be going so fast that you can’t go get stuck in the weeds, you can’t go self-edit. You just have to like blah your first draft out onto the page. That’s kind of delicious. That’s kind of gorgeous and I’m really into it. I love this idea of just. Just do the thing. Right? And NaNoWriMo especially is really cool because of the community aspect of it. So you can join Reddit things, what are they called? Subreddits. You can join a sub Reddit, you can join a Discord server.

You can join a local writing group. You can, I don’t know, there’s 9,000 million ways that you can be involved in a writing group to help support you during NaNoWriMo if you are doing it.

And likewise ,my programs that I offer, my communities, my memberships, my services. I love offering community support.

That’s honestly the selling point of my programs, like passion pacers and working title. They work because of the community. They work because if we’re just meeting one on one every week and you say, ‘Caitlin, I didn’t reach my goals this week’ and I’m like, ‘Hey, here’s how we’re gonna work on that. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ You’re still a little bit isolated. That’s still one on one and it’s very hands on and it’s very supportive. But I have found that my clients do better, people like you do better in group context. Most of the time. Now, I have had some people who are like, ‘No, I need the one on one because I can’t pay attention to groups. It’s too overwhelming. There’s too many people.’

So there’s definitely a time and a place for one on one versus a community based creative support group, but, Yeah, Having a community showing you what’s possible, modeling the behaviors that you also want to have, that’s hugely powerful, and that is why I say that the antidote to self-sabotage is community. So whether you want to buy into one of my programs and get active support from me on a coaching basis and also from the community, or whether that’s just looking up a local writer’s group or a painting hashtag on Instagram or TikTok and hanging out with the people who post a lot on that hashtag or joining a Facebook group.

There are infinite ways to access a community that is supportive of your particular creative goals and dreams, and I think that you should do it. I personally think that you should work with me because if you’re here listening to this, and that means that you vibe with my chaotic bullshit and you love me anyway, and it’s like having this podcast, but alive and on your Facebook for all of your creative needs. It’s pretty rad.

So I’m gonna give you the pitch. I’m gonna tell you why passion Pacers is literally the place to be for neuro divergent, chronically ill disabled queer creatives with limited spoons. You don’t have to be all of those things, but most of my clients are at least one. Passion pacers is designed to help you unlearn the hustle, so it is all about pursuing your passion.

Whether you have a passion in mind already or not. If you don’t, there are plenty of activities to help you connect with what your deep down passion really is. Or you can just fuck around until you find something that you love. We’re not judgmental and we also don’t hustle, right? So what you get in Passion Pacers is the community.

You get the accountability of setting your own goals for your creative dream, your creative hobby, business, anything that you want. It’s not just for business. It’s not just for hobbies. It’s for anyone who’s creative and a little bit weird in their brain. Okay? It’s for weird creatives. That’s who we are.

Most of us have ADHD and we’re gay, so if that’s you, come on down. But it’s a place to set your own small, manageable goals and practice holding the boundaries around your self fulfillment, right? Because what’s the first thing to go when life gets busy or somebody needs you is you say, ‘Okay, I don’t have to work on writing my book tonight. I don’t have to paint this painting today. I don’t have to finish XYZ art project that I was making. No. I can stop. I can come make dinner because our dinner plans fell through. That’s fine.’

No, don’t do that. Hold the line. Your shit matters. And Passion Pacers is the place where we teach you that and where you get to see what’s possible when you see other people doing it.

So you will see your fellow passion Pacers posting about dancing more, just dancing around the house because it feels good, and they have made that intention to bring that little bit of self fulfillment into their everyday life. That might not sound like a big deal. But it is, I guarantee you, after one year of dancing more often, you’re a different person.

One year of focusing on your paintings or learning how to make music in a new way. It doesn’t have to be a year. I’m, I’m just saying like, you know, in a year, in five years, in 10 years, what’s that gonna look like? What’s it gonna look like when you have actually learned how to set and maintain boundaries around your own self fulfillment?

That’s what Passion Pacers is. It’s pretty fucking dope. And it’s $44 a month, which is like, I don’t know what lattes are going for these days, but like, let’s say like a, a really fancy Starbucks is like eight bucks, right? It’s a few starbuckses. I don’t care how many Starbucks is. It is. If it’s important to you and you have $44 a month, come on down.

If it’s not important to you, then I can’t help you.

Next is the working title, writing incubator. So, you know, in marketing you’re not supposed to do this. You’re not supposed to have two offers in the same piece of content. But I don’t give a shit. I am just a chaotic person with adhd. So you get both. Working Title writing incubator is a 12 month space, experience, group, incubator, right?

Think of like a nest. You’re cozy, you got little eggs. The eggs are your, your story, your book, your identity as a writer, it lasts 12 months, not because I think it takes a year to write a book. Obviously you can write a book in 30 days, right? We just talked about NaNoWriMo. You can draft a book in any amount of time that you want.

You can fuck off into a cave or book yourself into a hotel or just go into your own bedroom and say, ‘Nobody speak to me for three days. I’m writing a book. ‘That’s great. If that’s how fast you wanna write your book. This is 12 months, because I decided it was 12 months.

Because I want you to come out of the program A) with a book. B) with a sense of identity in being a writer and feeling confident about that and not having any weird shame about it because we’re gonna break through all the weird shame about it. And three, to have a sustainable writing practice that is made of habits and routines that actually work for you and your neuro divergent mind, and your chronically ill body, and your energy levels and your amount of spoons.

That is why working title is 12 months long. It is luxurious. I’m gonna say that because so often there’s all these bootcamp things, right? It’s like, write your novel in 90 days, write your novel in 30 days, get published and be a best seller in six months. Like, okay. That’s great for people who can sustain that.

That’s great for people who can go into a period of hustle. But I am here and you are here if you are listening to this to disrupt the norm of hustling the thing, I don’t want you to have a season of absolute hustle and then a period where you have to recover from that burnout. I want you to develop a sustainable writing practice where you’re like, Fuck yeah, I can write a book a year.

That’s incredible. We’re not trying to be Stephen King. We’re trying to get fulfillment for our dreams. So if your dream is writing a book, then come on down to working title. That program is $3,000. There is a payment plan available, but if you pay in full, you get a bonus 90 minute one-on-one call with me, your favorite, weird, ADHD gay person. And we will use that 90 minutes however you want. We can strategize, You can pick my brain about any topic except weight loss. It’s yours to do with as you please. I would recommend that you use it to maybe plan out your book, but you know, I’m not in charge of you. I also cannot guarantee that you will write a book because that’s up to you.

I can’t make you do shit. The end. I love you. Cool.

So those are two ways that I offer community to neuro divergent creatives. Just like sort of general practitioner, come in here to get, get your vibes right. That’s passion pacers. I wanna write the hell out of a book, that’s working title. There are links to both in the show notes.

Also, you can reach out and talk to me about them. Hit me up on Instagram. Or Facebook. I’m, I’m terminally online, you guys. Okay, so now I’m gonna wrap it up and go back to what I said at the beginning, which is that this is the last episode of Run Like Hell Toward Happy, because I am relaunching the podcast with a new name.

When I come back from this break, so this episode’s coming out on November 11th. Happy Veteran’s Day. Go get you some free pancakes somewhere if you’re a veteran. I’m gonna take the rest of November off because I love breaks and we don’t hustle in this family. And then I’m gonna be back probably in December cuz I can’t stay away from you too long.

And when I’m back we’re gonna have a new name. And that name is The Neurodivergent Creative can you believe that wasn’t taken? Like what? I feel so lucky because this podcast really is for the neuro divergent creative . It’s, that’s what I am, right? I’m sitting over here, I’m autistic. I got adhd, bringing on people all the time to talk about trauma and mental health and stuff, and it’s like, oh. Duh, you’re, you’re the creative coach for people with weird brains, so I’m embracing that and I’m changing the title. I’m hoping that it’s going to put us in the path of a lot more people who could use this advice, who could use this community that we are building. I’m not sure what the Facebook group is going to be called.

I may just keep that run like hell toward happy community, but I also might not, I don’t know. We’re gonna see, We’re gonna follow the vibes. So yeah, this is, this is your series finale of run like hell toward happy. I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear how your creative goals are doing. I would love to read your five star reviews on iTunes.

Please leave a review. It helps more people find the show, even though the show’s about to change, but we’re so close. We’re six reviews from the big grand prize giveaway in the run like hell toward happy community on Facebook. So if you are listening and you have iTunes when this episode finishes actually, like as soon as you understand the assignment, just hit pause.

Go to Apple Podcast, log in, find, run like hell toward happy. Rate it five stars and write me a couple sentences about why you love the show. You could even say like, ‘It’s great, really love it,’ although the more specific the better because I am a words of affirmation person and I eat your paragraphs for my soul.

So that’s that. This is. It’s the final countdownnnnn be ne ne neeeewwww

I had to. The meds wore off. Okay. It’s the final episode, but you know, it’s not really the final episode. I’ll be back soon. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. I love you. Drink water. Remember that Thanksgiving is a genocidal colonizer holiday, so if you celebrate, that’s cool, but maybe don’t make it about pilgrims cuz they’re bad.

And yeah, let’s fucking rock the next couple months of the year here and head into January… to write a book. Am I right? You definitely wanna write a book? Totally. Okay, bye.

Intuition, Bias, and Trauma… How to Tell Them Apart with Orla Kirby | #63

Intuition, bias, and triggers – what’s the difference and how can we navigate them?   

Sometimes listening to your gut can be confusing, when your gut is responding to trauma instead of helping you access your intuition. Join me and guest Orla Kirby to chat about this difference and how you can work through the triggering stuff to get to the goodies underneath, just a little bit at a time!   

Some MIND BLOWING revelations about trauma and the brain in this episode: Did you know that all the brain changes from trauma may actually be reversible? I cried a little bit when I heard Orla say this. Listen on to learn about your brain’s memory templates and how to do some minor exposure therapy to expand your comfort zone and get calm enough to hear your intuition.  

Orla Kirby is a therapist specialising in helping people to move themselves away from anxiety and/or OCD so that they can feel more deeply calm, and more easily create the life they want to create. She loves helping people to use their imagination more richly and fluidly, to communicate with themselves more gently and to release negative stored emotion from the past.   

Check out Orla’s amazing intuition meditation for FREE:  

You can also find her on IG @OrlaKirbyTherapy!


[00:00:00] Caitlin Fisher: Hello everybody. Welcome to today’s episode of Rum Like Hell Toward Happy, where we are talking about how to tell intuition from triggers. Because sometimes when we’re trying to trust our gut, that can be complicated by trauma. So with me today, I have Orla Kirby and Orla is a therapist who specializes in helping people move themselves away from anxiety and or OCD obsessive compulsive disorder, so that they can feel more deeply calm and more easily create the life they want to create.

She loves helping people to use their imagination more richly and fluidly, to communicate with themselves more gently and to release negative stored emotion from the past. Raise your hand if you need that. It’s me. I need that. She lives in Radstock in Somerset, uk and works with clients online and also in person in Bristol And Bath.

So we have, we have a British guest today.

[00:01:00] Orla Kirby: Yep.

[00:01:00] Caitlin Fisher: So, Hi Orla. Please say hello. Anything I missed in the intro? Just feel free to. Introduce yourself. Let’s talk about maybe your story, how you got specialized in anxiety and O C D and things like that, and then we’ll take it from there to talk about intuition and triggers.

[00:01:19] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Hi. Hello. I’m Orla! It’s always funny hearing something like read back that you’ve written, right? I’m like, Oh yeah, I went on. Put a lot there .

[00:01:27] Caitlin Fisher: No, no, it’s perfect. It’s perfect. You wrote a great intro.

[00:01:31] Orla Kirby: Oh, thanks. Yeah, it’s lovely hearing you read it. Yeah, I think I was drawn to particularly severe anxiety and O C D… well, it’s interesting, right? Cause I started off working with everything cuz with hypno therapy it’s really quite wide, right? Like at first I was working with people to help them get better at golf, right? And then another day it’d be people who got really angry or like addiction or loads and loads, everything you could possibly want to shift in terms of your mind I worked with.

Right? And I guess it’s just that I particularly enjoyed working with the people where that was their particular journey, right? Where they wanted to move away from severe anxiety. So I kind of mean like people who were having a lot of panic attacks. Avoiding a lot of things to not have panic attacks.

Right, that kind of level where it’s really interfering with your life. Or, and, or OCD because it’s just it’s such a big journey, right? Like it’s lovely working with someone and helping them get, you know, a bit more confident in their job and then they’re happier and that’s lovely, right? But it’s such a big journey, like having someone go from not being able to leave the house.

To then feeling great. It’s just so huge. Yeah. That I just found that really exciting I think. Yeah.

[00:02:32] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That makes sense.

[00:02:33] Orla Kirby: And I guess it’s particularly suited to the way that I work, cuz I work a lot with hypnosis and calm, so that’s obviously very helpful if you’re struggling with anxiety. Yeah. .

[00:02:42] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, for sure. I’ve never tried hypnosis, but I really want to.

[00:02:46] Orla Kirby: Oh, okay. Cool.

[00:02:47] Caitlin Fisher: I think it would help like sort of get to a lot of like, underlying stuff that I pretend is handled.

[00:02:54] Orla Kirby: Yeah.

[00:02:55] Caitlin Fisher: I, yeah, I have a lot of that. So let’s talk about hypnosis for a minute just so I can like nerd out. How do you use hypnosis and how, how does it work?

[00:03:04] Orla Kirby: Sure. Yeah. So it’s kind of in a way the same as meditation, right? So they are the same thing, more or less. Like if you put electrodes in someone’s head and study what their brain is doing when they’re in hypnosis, like deep hypnosis, or when they’re meditating, you will see the brainwaves doing the same thing, right?

So it’s basically the kind of busy, busy thoughts of every day thinking. When you’re kind of like, think, think, think, think that all dies away, right? The Beta waves dies away. . And you start to get alpha waves, which are more the kind of brainwaves associated with like really imaginative thinking and you know, visualizing stuff or really deeply imagining.

And then you get kind of you get theta waves coming in, which are associated with deep thought. And then after that you get really deep delta, which is what you would also get in deep sleep. It’s very similar to what happens when you’re dreaming, is kind of the state you go into when you are really in hypnosis or you are really deep in meditation.

It’s this wonderful state where kind of your whole brain lights up in this really diffuse way and it all joins together. It all focuses on the same thing that in a relaxed way. So it’s not like when you are very focused and it’s kind of a tight focus, it’s like a relaxed focus. So you feel very relaxed and you feel very absorbed in something at the same time, in a way that feels really good.

[00:04:19] Caitlin Fisher: That’s so interesting. I have adhd. And so I have a very hard time with meditation.

[00:04:24] Orla Kirby: Okay.

[00:04:26] Caitlin Fisher: because it’s like, okay, clear your mind. And I’m like, I’m Mm. That sounds fake.

Yeah. So do you, do you come up against that?

[00:04:36] Orla Kirby: Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. So I think I probably also, I’m pretty sure I also have adhd. Right. Like, I don’t have–

[00:04:41] Caitlin Fisher: Welcome to the party

[00:04:42] Orla Kirby: So I used to really want to meditate because you read articles right. About how great it’s for like everything. Right?

[00:04:48] Caitlin Fisher: Right. It’s like, change your life. Like, just, just sit on the floor, be so comfy.

[00:04:53] Orla Kirby: So, so I really want to, since I was a teenager basically, and I read these books, which were like, clear your mind and imagine an egg.

I was like, I mean, okay, but that sounds kind of boring and impossible, right? Like, or just imagine a candle and you’re like, I kind, but for 20 minutes, like really. Yeah. So I guess what I’ve really enjoyed about hypnosis is that the way that it’s taught, well, it depends on the kind of hypnosis, but the kind of hypnosis that I use and that I’ve studied is, it’s very imaginative. So it’s very richly… And there will be kinds of meditation that would be like this too, where you can imagine whole stories and scenes and there’s quite complicated stuff going on for you to imagine and it can change and develop. So you’re not having to imagine the same thing for a whole 20 minutes, right?

You, you to, to be in hypnosis. You can actually access it through a range of different ways. You can go in by deep breathing. You can go in through like eye defocusing. It’s a thing that you do with your eyes where you go into a relaxed focus. You can go in through just imagining something that you find beautiful or amazing or anything, any of those would get you into hypnosis.

If you combine them, then you go like more deeply in, right? So you don’t need to just imagine one thing. That’s kind of quite a key part of it is that that can actually be quite rich and enjoyable. Right. So then it’s easier I think if you’re someone who is quite easily distracted.

[00:06:08] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That’s fascinating. I love it. So how does this like, sort of get to like helping people create the life that they want to create? So what, what are they creating in this life? Like, like you said before, it’s, you see like a lot of people who are like very highly anxious, maybe agoraphobic, obsessive compulsive disorder.

So the hypnosis then helps them like not be limited by those, those issues and everything. So in, in the sense of like intuition versus triggers, Like how do you start separating those? Because I would imagine, I, I’m not an an agoraphobic person, but I would imagine that like, maybe I would want to be able to go out and be social and go to the store and feel normal.

Like, I want to want that, but I don’t want that because it’s, it’s too scary out there. So how do you start untangling like the, the mental illness and the anxious aspect of it.

[00:07:15] Orla Kirby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s very hard, right? If your stress levels are high to distinguish between kind of your own like wisdom and intuition and your triggers, like you’re saying. That’s why I think this is a really excellent thing to talk about, because I think it can be very confusing, you know, because if you’re an anxious person, you might be reading a lot of stuff, like, Oh, tune into your intuition. Like, what is your body telling you? And you’d be like, Well, my body’s telling me to run all the time, right?

[00:07:40] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. My body says nothing is safe at all. It’s, it’s, it’s terrible.

[00:07:45] Orla Kirby: Doesn’t seem like helpful advice, right? Listen to my body, my body’s telling me to run or like throw things at people. Right? So you know that that can be a bit confusing or sometimes it can, you know, someone can be thinking, well, I don’t know because maybe, and actually, you know, to be honest, with very severe anxiety, this would be some of anyone’s thoughts really.

We could, you know, you can get a bit stuck in ‘Oh no, but it actually is unsafe’ right? Like the thing about my phobia is that actually it is unsafe though, right? Yes. And that’s particularly confusing where it’s about stuff that actually is dangerous, right? Like if you’ve got health anxiety, you’re like, well, people do die of illness.

[00:08:19] Caitlin Fisher: Correct.

[00:08:20] Orla Kirby: Actually, it makes sense to check my body all the time or like, you know, if you are afraid of getting in cars, people do die in road accidents. That’s not untrue. Right. So with a lot of phobias that can, or you know, with OCD, you know, whatever your compulsion is, you can think that, ‘yeah, okay. But there is a reason, like, maybe I’m going a bit over the top, but there is, you know, actually this comes from something that is about safety, right?’

So that, that’s confusing. So basically in a way, and in a way, this is a bit of an annoying answer, but the only answer is to learn how to get really calm, right?

That’s the only way you can really tell what’s my intuition and what is a trigger, right? Because if I’m super, super, like deep level calm and I’m feeling very happy, very calm, very confident most of the time, right? And then I get a bad feeling about a person for example, then I can know, ‘Oh, like that’s, that’s maybe something I want to pay attention to.’

[00:09:19] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:19] Orla Kirby: Right. Whereas if I’m in fight or flight, like a lot of the time it’s gonna be really hard to tell whether it’s a trigger or not. Right?

[00:09:26] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That makes so much sense. So like if you, if you have a baseline where you’re pretty well integrated, you can like handle problems when they arise, like for example, I’m a creative coach, so I work with creative people to work on their passion projects. And there’s so much self-sabotage because there’s so many things that we have been told throughout our whole lives. Like, you can’t make a living with that. Artists don’t make money. You’re not a real artist if you don’t do XYZ things.

So a lot of my clients have beautiful ideas and beautiful passions, and then they give up on them because they just, they’ve been told that so many times and it’s, it’s kind of a trauma to have been like, to have had your passion and your art and your creativity, especially as a child undercut like that.

[00:10:17] Orla Kirby: Mm-hmm.

[00:10:17] Caitlin Fisher: Rather than sort of scaffolding and skill building and learning that it’s okay to try new things and even fail at them. So there’s also this deep seated like fear of failure and what we work on is like permission to be a beginner and permission to rest and permission to not have to reach all of your goals right now.

Yeah. And so as that sort of sense of calm and getting in touch with your intuition, like, oh, maybe today I wanna paint, maybe today I wanna write music. And letting that guide your creative process or letting that guide how you make friends or letting that guide what you wanna do with your life and your career, et cetera.

Then when something prickles and is like, this isn’t right, then, you know that, that’s, that’s an intuition saying like, ‘Hey, this is like a red flag. We don’t love this.’ As opposed to when you’re like really deeply sort of traumatized in this either like anxiety OCD way or like creatively, like maybe you actually have like an abuse situation where someone used your art against you or denied you access to it, or just actively like, broke it. Maybe somebody like ripped up all your canvases. That’s a real like fight or flight issue.

I had a client of mine who she had previously played the hammered dulcimer. And, but there was trauma associated with it, so she was like, I’m gonna like reclaim this instrument. I’m gonna reclaim it. But it just kept coming up for her, like over and over again. She was like, I hate doing this. It just puts me right back to where I was. So she like let it go. And now she does like wire wrapping of stones and loves that cuz there’s no trauma associated with it and she gets to be creative.

So I really, I like your approach a lot. I like this sort of, if you’re, if you have like a baseline calm. Then when like the red, the red alert goes off, you actually know to pay attention to it. Because when you’re doing red alert, red alert, red alert all the time, you can’t tell. You can’t tell.

[00:12:15] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Yeah. No, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, that’s really true. And I really like what you were saying there about perfectionism, Right. And. That we can go slowly at things like, that’s a lovely story in terms of just finding another way for a little while. And that doesn’t mean that that person couldn’t go back to the, like the dulcimer eventually, right?

because there would be a potential to clear that trauma and release the emotion, and then you’re more able to do whatever you want. It frees you up, it gives you more options but someone might not be ready to do that, right. And there can be, you know, there can be diff– it, it, it’s kind of like, well, you move what moves, right?

So what can I, what can I do now that’s gonna be helpful or that’s gonna be creative, or that’s going to move me forward a bit. That feels good, right? It’s okay to, It’s actually okay. To an extent, to listen to, you know, feelings of fear that are from triggers in terms of just pacing yourself, right?

[00:13:07] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:13:07] Orla Kirby: like if I get a really strong feeling of like, ‘No, I don’t wanna leave the house today.’ If I’m someone who can’t leave the house, like, it is okay to listen to that to the extent that I’m comfortable. Like you can go at your own pace as well. Do you know like in a way it is an intuition. It’s like a different, you know, but it is also from trauma.

It’s from trigger, but it’s okay to to, to listen to my own fear, to the extent that I want to. You kind of ideally want someone to be like pushing themselves a bit, but not so much. That’s overwhelming, right? It’s probably similar to the work that you do, right? So you are expanding your comfort zone gradually.

There’s no point–. Like if I’m working with someone, they’re terrified of swimming. I’m not gonna do like a little bit of hypnosis and then have them jump in a swimming pool the next week. Right, right. You know, that would be a terrible idea. Cause they’re just gonna have a panic attack in the swimming pool that creates more negative memories.

Right. So it’s more like, okay, that person might do a lot of hypnosis. Imagine going swimming loads and loads and loads, get more comfortable generally with other things in their life. And then go and sit beside a swimming pool , and like watch other people going swimming, but work on feeling really calm while that’s happening, you know?

[00:14:08] Caitlin Fisher: Yes.

[00:14:09] Orla Kirby: And then the next week maybe they’re gonna put just like a couple of toes in, Right. And you’re gonna build up gradually. And then at a certain point, and this is where intuition comes in, right? A certain point in that journey, and you couldn’t say as a therapist when this would be, that person is gonna know, ‘Oh, I can get in the pool now.’

[00:14:23] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:14:24] Orla Kirby: You just get a sense of like, ‘Oh, I think that would be, That feels okay.’ Because you can feel the emotion has shifted, right? Yeah. So that’s something that you would know yourself, that a therapist couldn’t tell you from looking at you.

[00:14:36] Caitlin Fisher: Right, it’s not like ‘So you’ve, you’ve completed 12 sessions, so now you’re ready.’

[00:14:41] Orla Kirby: Just there at the swimming pool and you feel like, Oh, do you know what I reckon? I reckon I could give that a go now, right? Yeah. And there’s no telling how quickly, or you know, slowly that’s gonna happen cuz it’s really different for different personalities and different learning styles. So in that way it’s really important to use your intuition in any kind of therapy process or I would probably imagine coaching process too, right?

[00:14:59] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Yeah. I like to go like… knowing where to like sort of tough love and like push someone versus where to be like ‘cool, no, like we don’t have to talk about that. That’s fine. We can keep that sort of in a container. Put it on a shelf. We’ll do it later.’ Is a really interesting part of coaching that I have appreciated from my own coaches and also that I appreciate that I can give to my clients because sometimes it’ll be like, ‘Well, you know, I, I didn’t work on this thing this week cause like this other thing happened.’ And I’ll be like, ‘I know, I know what you’re doing cuz you’ve done it before.’

[00:15:32] Orla Kirby: Mm-hmm.

[00:15:33] Caitlin Fisher: And they’re like, ‘Yeah, I know I didn’t write because I was scared.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, so just write like, like write a sentence. Think about your characters, You know, like what, what are– just make a Pinterest board that’s like the aesthetic of your novel.’

Like sometimes writing doesn’t have to be writing, but being able to focus on your project without doing like the thing that is like so scary is a great way to, like you said, like sit next to the pool.

[00:16:04] Orla Kirby: Mm mm-hmm.

[00:16:05] Caitlin Fisher: put a toe in the pool, like maybe just, I don’t know, talk to somebody about your novel or,

[00:16:09] Orla Kirby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Slowly. Slowly. Because you can’t force anything. Right? And that’s particularly true with intuition and knowing what your intuition is, is that you’re not gonna know, like the therapist isn’t gonna advance, but you are also not gonna know in advance when you’re gonna get to that stage where you will know. right?

But it’s almost like just having that faith that at a certain point you are gonna be relaxed enough that you will know. You do have your own like inner sense of knowing. You do have your own inner wisdom. It’s just maybe a bit clouded right now by anxiety. But eventually that cloud is gonna lift.

You know, you just, you do your commit to your breathing practice, your meditation practice, your hypnosis practice, and eventually you’ll get to a stage where, ‘I do know now what I want.’ Yeah. Or ‘I do know that this is the right time to do this’ or whatever.

[00:16:51] Caitlin Fisher: That’s so, that’s so interesting. Like I love the parallels between like mental health and like the creative work and everything.

I wanna go back to something that you said that I really liked and I think it’s probably a phrase that you use all the time, but it’s the first time I heard it, which is you move what moves. And that to me says like, you know, if it’ll wiggle, like let’s wiggle it. And if you go to wiggle it and it’s stuck on there tight, like that’s cool. We can, we can save that for later. So can you expand more on that phrase and what it means? Cause I am pretty sure I’m obsessed with it.

[00:17:22] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Yeah. So, and I, to be fair, didn’t invent this, right? This is very common therapy term. Yeah. But I love it too. And it, it’s essentially this idea of there’s always more than one approach. and sometimes in like, I might not be the right kind of therapy or the right kind of therapist or someone like, sometimes it means a whole other approach. However, even within any therapy process, there’s always different things you can work on and there’s always different approaches you can take and you know, like, you know, it can be very much tailored to the person and the particular situation they’re in, right?

So and again here we are relying a certain amount on like a client’s intuition and sense of things. If, if someone, like, sometimes someone doesn’t want to tell me anything about a traumatic thing they’ve been through, right? They don’t wanna do that at all. And that’s fine. I could absolutely work in that way.

Like with hypnotherapy, it’s not like counseling. You don’t have to go through all the details of something. There’s other, there’s other ways in. Right? At some point they might wanna talk about it with me in a different kind of way, but that’s not like he wouldn’t push that, right? Cuz there’s other things we can do. Right?

So. Someone might be, you know, sometimes I’ve worked with people who are like in an abusive relationship and they know that, Right? They’re aware of that, but they’re not ready to change that right now.

[00:18:34] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:18:34] Orla Kirby: And actually, that wouldn’t be what we’d push for necessarily, because that’s a huge change.

[00:18:38] Caitlin Fisher: It is.

[00:18:38] Orla Kirby: So maybe it’s better to like get that person feeling a bit better about their job and like, you know, focus on, it’s very open, therapy, right? So the person, in a way, whatever therapy process you’re in, the, the client themselves is leading it, right? In a way hypnotherapy is more led by the therapist than counseling.

But even within hypnotherapy, people set their own challenges, right? And they, they kind of, they, they have options to go this way or to go that way. Where do you want to focus, right? So that’s really important. And again, that’s using intuition. You know, someone has their own sense of like, ‘Oh, that’s too big for me to tackle right now, leaving that person when, I dunno how I would survive financially on my own. and I feel, you know, very, very stuck and very, very trapped is too big. And I’d rather talk about, you know, this thing, this project that I want to do. Or maybe making a few more friends first, or maybe I’m gonna…’ you know, So, you know, that’s an example of where this is too big and I need to focus on other things first and then even that might build the person up and they might thought like, Okay, now I’m ready. Yes, now’s the time. I can leave that, you know?

[00:19:41] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. That mirrors my own experience a lot. I left my abuser in March, 2018. Oh, okay. So I am now like, For almost four and a half years out of that. And yeah, it, I tried to leave him once. That was 2016 and he was, you know, he pulled me back in as, as abuse does.

You know, he apologized. He was like, [Dog bark] Oh, there goes Gwen. . He apologized. He said like, he would change, he wasn’t aware that he was hurting me, et cetera. And I was like, Oh, okay. This could be better. This could be the relationship that it used to be that I want it to be. And then things got worse as they do.

And the isolation, the gas lighting, you know, kind of escalated. And what happened for me was that I Had been going back and forth about getting on antidepressants for my depression and anxiety, and I finally did it, and I finally got on meds. I’m on Lexapro and within three months, like the whole, the fogginess, the like, Constant anxiety about like stepping on, stepping on his toes and walking on eggshells and stuff was gone. And I started standing up for myself more. And I think three months to the day after I started medication, I left. And like when I went in to talk to the psychiatrist about medication, I wasn’t like, I need medication to leave my abusive husband.

It was like, I just wanna feel better. I want, I want to not be so depressed. Yeah. Turns out I, it wasn’t so much depression as it was being traumatized on a daily basis. That’ll, that would do that for you.

[00:21:23] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Yeah. No, absolutely. Right. And, and, and that’s often the way, right? Like, you know, I, you know, sometimes you have, I have a client start with me and they’re like I’ve come because I want to be more confident in my business.

And actually they want to leave their partner. Yeah. Like, you know, or, or someone comes and they, you know you know, they, they want to like the other way around. They might think there’s a problem with their relationship and actually they, they want to do something different with their work. So we’re not always sure, we’re not always that in touch with our intuition, right.

We can be very, very separated from what we actually really want and what’s actually right for us. And just be very, we know there’s something wrong, right? And we know we’re not feeling great, but it’s not necessarily always that clear to us. What is right for us, Really like at all.

So yeah, it is absolutely all about, in terms of your intuition, you want to work on allowing yourself to feel better and doing anything, whatever is easiest for you to do first, to feel a little bit better, and that’s gonna be different things for different people, right? Absolutely. Sometimes it’s gonna be meds for people. Sometimes it’s gonna be just shifting something in your routine or doing some small thing for yourself that you enjoy.

Or sometimes it’s gonna be more time outside. For some people, like, it’s often quite small things at first, right? That you can shift a little bit and even a small, even like one minute or two minutes of something that you enjoy a day. I’m sure this is something you work on in your, you know, creative stuff of people can make like a huge, like an exponential change in your quality of life, right?

So yeah, that’s really important. It’s also worth saying though, that. Your intuition isn’t always right either. Right. So this is where it gets really confusing in that actually our intuition can be quite racist, and our intuition can be like,

[00:23:01] Caitlin Fisher: Oh yeah, bias.

[00:23:02] Orla Kirby: Yeah. It can be very,

[00:23:04] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Yes.

[00:23:05] Orla Kirby: So the unconscious mind not always correct about things, not always correct. However, it’s good to know what it’s thinking. Right? Yes. So it’s good to treat it as just, this is more information. This isn’t the ultimate truth or anything cuz no part of me necessarily has the ultimate truth. I’m gonna learn things and I’m maybe gonna shift my perspective and I maybe have beliefs that it could, I could do better from letting go of and so on.

However, it’s good that I don’t just know what the conscious part of me is thinking, right? Yeah. That unconscious is having all of these thoughts and experiences and it’s great if I know what’s going on there too, and I can use that as part of my decision. I might not want to entirely follow through with that.

Right. It, it, my conscious mind is allowed to be involved too . Right. So, but it’s good to know what my intuition is doing and thinking, you know?

[00:23:49] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I didn’t. Like, think about bias when I was talking about this because like when I, when I talk about intuition, I’m like, you know, listen, like to yourself about like what your passion is and like things like that.

Like I’m not thinking listen to yourself when you lock the doors in the car, when somebody walks across the street next to you. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But that’s so important because bias can feel like intuition because of how we were raised in like those different phobic….

[00:24:18] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I suppose what I’m saying is almost further than that. Bias is intuition. Like I know that seems a bit wild, but, but it, but it is like, and this is where the line gets a bit blurry between like a trigger and a– right. But if I, if I’ve believed something literally since I was three right? That’s not that separate because everything is influenced by beliefs.

So there isn’t some kind of pure intuition that is unaffected by what I believe. Right? Like my unconscious mind is structured by beliefs.

[00:24:46] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:24:47] Orla Kirby: you know? So whatever my beliefs are are gonna be there in my intuition. You know? And the only way to shift that is by actually changing the beliefs, which you can do in therapy, but that’s like a longer, slower process.

[00:24:59] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Yeah. And like bias training and things, I used to use this little app that it would show you like four or six photos or something and you had to like pick the one that looked the most happy. And it would be, you know, like a white woman smiling at a salad and like a black man smiling and like, I don’t know, four, four different things, like four different people.

And the app was essentially to like train yourself to see positive traits where you normally would have a negative bias. Mm. So I think people use it for like eating as well. Like. I am, I’m very anti diet culture. I’m very anti diet. I’m in recovery from eating disorder, so I don’t wanna talk about like healthy food versus unhealthy food.

But at the time I am pretty sure that I had it set up to like teach me healthy food. So it would be like, what looks the best, and it’d be like a salad and then like three sweets. Right. And I’m like supposed to pick the salad to like train myself to love salad. Yeah.

[00:25:58] Orla Kirby: so I’m not gonna like completely say that this sounds like it wouldn’t work, but, but at the same time does sound like it wouldn’t work, right?

For instance, for food or for bias stuff, because like, it’s quite deep, this, this kind of thing , right? Like my, my feelings about, you know, someone who is chinese or my feelings about someone who is gay or my feelings about or whatever that stuff is like early, early programmed in, and I’m not saying we can’t change it and shift it like definitely we can, but it’s more like the kind of things that shift it are something like therapy, like a deep therapy process or maybe certain kinds of coaching, like really deep emotional coaching or something like a big experience that has a real emotional impact on you.

[00:26:39] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm. That makes sense.

[00:26:40] Orla Kirby: So something, Yeah, like something big happens in my life that involves someone or something that’s connected with those things that I have negative beliefs about, I might go, Oh, right. And it might actually be powerful enough to shift something emotionally at a, at a deep level.

But it’s generally, I wouldn’t say that really picking pictures.

[00:26:57] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. It didn’t, didn’t, it didn’t seem like like a huge breakthrough kind of, kind of thing. Because, you know, you hear about like anti-bias training in police departments and things like that too.

[00:27:10] Orla Kirby: No, I don’t. You know, they’d all need to have therapy, right?

[00:27:12] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. They need a lot of therapy. They need, they need a lot of therapy and different jobs and like,

[00:27:18] Orla Kirby: well… yeah, yeah

[00:27:21] Caitlin Fisher: my, my opinions about, about cops don’t need, don’t need to derail the whole conversation. So . But yeah. That’s very interesting that like bias, bias and intuition are like occupying the same place.

Because that comes from like deep, very deep beliefs that have been there. Yeah. Since very early. Yeah. Like I don’t, I don’t think that I had, like, I wanna talk about like homophobia for instance.

[00:27:48] Orla Kirby: Yeah.

[00:27:49] Caitlin Fisher: I don’t recall having like, being programmed to be homophobic. I remember like getting to college and being like, Oh, gay people. Interesting. I think gay people should have rights. I am pro-gay. And then it took me years to realize I was bisexual. It just, that was like never a thing in like my family of origin or anything. But like, then again, my oldest brother is like kind of into Nazi shit, so like, He, he clearly got a kernel of something that set him off a very different path.

[00:28:24] Orla Kirby: Yeah.

[00:28:25] Caitlin Fisher: Than me who’s like a leftist who thinks people should be able to have healthcare.

[00:28:31] Orla Kirby: Mm.

[00:28:33] Caitlin Fisher: Must be nice to be in the UK where you have healthcare.

[00:28:36] Orla Kirby: It is lovely. I do appreciate it fully. Although of course you know there are incursions ever growing incursions. Unfortunately it is privatizing itself by the minute.

Oh no. Well that’s no fun.

However. You know, we’re in a much luckier place. Definitely. Yeah, I do really appreciate it.

[00:28:49] Caitlin Fisher: Get all your checkups.

[00:28:51] Orla Kirby: [Laughter] Yeah.

[00:28:54] Caitlin Fisher: But yeah. Yeah. That was, that was a, that was a good little detour down bias lane for me to like remember that that also impacts people.

[00:29:02] Orla Kirby: Yeah. It’s in our NLP training, Right. To make this really clear to people when we’re working with the unconscious mind that it’s not like, because the Undine has so much wisdom, Right. And emotions your body, like they’re very connect. And you know, the unconscious mind runs both, right? Yeah. So it’s kind of like a physical, unconscious, emotional, deep wisdom, right?

And there is wisdom there. There’s so much truth and wisdom. However, it’s important to know that there are biases there too. Right? I mean, it’s also where triggers live. Like triggers also live in the unconscious mind. It’s just that they might come in later, like, I might have an incident happen when I’m 25.

Right? Biases tend to go back earlier, but the, and in a way a bias is a trigger. Like it’s confusing. It depends what you’re calling what, right. . You can see how there’s a bit of a sliding scale here, right?

[00:29:47] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Like my, my abuser– You go, you go, you go.

[00:29:51] Orla Kirby: No, no, no.

[00:29:52] Caitlin Fisher: I was gonna say my abuser is from Northern Ireland. So like now when I hear a Northern Irish accent, I’m like, I can’t, I can’t even hear you.

[00:29:58] Orla Kirby: Yeah. And it’s very unconscious, right? You’re not consciously deciding that comes from your unconscious mind. Right? So all of our templates around triggers ,like a trigger is essentially… my, my unconscious mind, like my, my hippocampus has lots of templates stored up.

Right. And so you know, and apologies if you know those already. Right. But just anyone listening who doesn’t know,

[00:30:17] Caitlin Fisher: I don’t.

[00:30:17] Orla Kirby: Oh.

[00:30:17] Caitlin Fisher: So I’m learning.

[00:30:19] Orla Kirby: So, so it’s the shape, like seahorses, this, this part of your brain, Right? Two little seahorse. We’ve got in our brains.

[00:30:23] Caitlin Fisher: I love it. Love, I love my seahorses.

[00:30:24] Orla Kirby: That makes memory in the first place.

It’s kinda cool, isn’t it? And it’s kind of the sort of memories are stored there that like a badger would have, or a fox right. Someone tried to kill me over here. Right? Strong negative emotion, and it’s just like a snapshot of that, right? Mm-hmm. and then found food over here. Hooray. Strong positive emotion, right?

Those are the ones that get the most space. The strong positive, the strong negative, and it’s not like a detailed narrative everywhere. There’s lots of like, Oh, there’s a sunset, and then this thing happened, and then after that… there’s not lots of narrative and kind of continuity. It’s a moment in time, right, with a strong emotion and like a snapshot of what’s happening then. Not much detail, right?

and that’s because the, you know, that sort of the, the creature is needing to then very quickly flick through these, so they don’t want a lot of detail. It’s, it’s purely to be able to select what to do the next time something similar comes up, right? So it’s allowing that creature to survive more easily.

So that’s why, you know, it can be like you say, an accent or you have something really awful happen and someone’s wearing an orange T-shirt and you bump into someone else 10 years later wearing an orange T-shirt and you start, you know, freaking out and you have no idea why. Right? And that’s, that’s what’s happening is, is basically continuously our unconscious mind is accessing these templates and going, ‘What happened last time? What happened last time? What happened last time?’ Right? And if anything at all reminds you of one of a particularly negative template, then you can just flip straight back into that emotion, right? Because you’re trying to protect yourself from bad stuff happening again.

[00:31:52] Caitlin Fisher: So like that’s like complex ptsd sort of.

[00:31:56] Orla Kirby: It is, but it’s also all of us, right? We all have that happening. We all have thousands and thousands of templates. Absolutely they can be changed by therapy though, right? So if you’ve had very high levels of stress or trauma, it’s true that your brain is different. Like your amygdala is much larger and denser.

That’s the kind of fight flight center of your brain. And the hippocampus often has little bumps with complex PTSD or really intense trauma. There are little bumps that actually represent where the trauma’s happened, cuz those templates are so intense, right? So it is different. Your brain is physically different, it’s different shape, right?

However, we do know also now that that is all entirely reversible. So you can get the brain back to exactly how it was before anything happened, which is wonderful. And it takes the, the processing of that trauma, which can be done in different ways? Right? Like in counseling you would talk about it and you would kind of almost go through it again, and then you would get to experience the emotion you didn’t experience at the time, and you release it that way.

[00:32:44] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:32:44] Orla Kirby: with hypnotherapy, it tends to be more deliberate. And we kind of go back in, like, you go back to that time on like a timeline, right? And the timeline therapy that I do. And you you go back and you essentially get the person to be a bit connected with the memory, but not fully connected. And then you kind of go upward from there.

So you connect with your higher self. It’s a complex process and that changes the memory so that you release the emotion in a different way. And there’s other ways as well. There’s loads of different ways of releasing emotion, but it takes processing in some way. You basically need to kind of catch up and do the processing you didn’t get to do at the time.

[00:33:14] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Yeah. I’m familiar with emdr.

[00:33:17] Orla Kirby: Similar. Yeah.

[00:33:20] Caitlin Fisher: Fascinating. I did not know that you could un traumatize a whole brain.

[00:33:26] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Yeah. Isn’t that wonderful?

[00:33:28] Caitlin Fisher: That is, That’s fascinating. I thought that like once traumatized, always traumatized. Sort of like–

[00:33:34] Orla Kirby: No, no. Really not at all. Yeah.

[00:33:38] Caitlin Fisher: That… I’m just so excited. I’m like, I could have a normal brain.

[00:33:41] Orla Kirby: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:33:43] Caitlin Fisher: It’s gonna take a lot of therapy, but that’s ok.

[00:33:47] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. And like I say, we all carry some level of trauma because it’s not even like how severe was the thing. Like of course loads and knows people have horrific things happen to them or just quite bad things happen to them.

Right, Right. There’s loads of people that are in that situation. Yeah. However, you know, you could be a five year old and something happens that actually is kind of, you know, no one’s done anything really wrong, but you are really upset. Yeah. You know, five year olds, you don’t understand what’s going on. Like, and maybe people forget to explain it to you or you don’t understand the explanation or whatever.

You, if you are really, really upset or really, really angry when you’re five and you don’t get to process that for whatever reason, that is gonna stay with you and, you will still be kind of happier and freer in your life if you’re able to process that and release that, right? Yeah. So it absolutely does work for really severe, awful stuff, yes. And it’s obviously most important to do it if it’s really hampering your life, but actually most of us can benefit from releasing whatever trauma we have gone through.

[00:34:41] Caitlin Fisher: That… I feel so hopeful right now.

[00:34:44] Orla Kirby: Aw. Yeah.

[00:34:46] Caitlin Fisher: Like, Cause I have an incident from like when I was eight, like my dad burned a grilled cheese sandwich and yelled at me about it. And like I have. A heart wrenching poem. I wrote about it like that–

[00:34:56] Orla Kirby: yeah, yeah

[00:34:56] Caitlin Fisher: that moment told me that like, I can’t ask for things, you know? So like there’s like very deep and all I need to do is just be like, Dad, like I didn’t burn the fucking sandwich. You did. Don’t yell at me. Like.

[00:35:09] Orla Kirby: Yeah, yeah. No, exactly right.

But that just shows, right, that trauma isn’t just. You know, it’s not just these, of course, it’s hard to say this without sounding like you’re dismissing anything, right? And of course it’s very, very awful to have had horrific things happen to you, right? Yes. But it’s also important to understand what trauma is, which is just, it’s simply stored emotion, right?

It’s stored negative emotion from the past, which can be something awful happening. Or it can be something quite straightforward or just not ideal happening, and you having an intense emotional response. Yeah. . And, and either way it’s, it’s great to release the emotion and be able to reaccess the memory without then re-experiencing emotion, like strong, negative emotion.

[00:35:49] Caitlin Fisher: That’s fantastic. I’m like, I feel like I’m about to cry because like, I I didn’t know that. Like you could get rid of trauma . Yeah. Yeah. I love it. Yeah. Okay. Right. Not, I don’t, we don’t need to therapize Caitlin . So just. Let’s, let’s bring it back. I’m gonna take a drink of water and a breath.

[00:36:12] Orla Kirby: Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely.

[00:36:16] Caitlin Fisher: I thought I was broken, but I’m not.

[00:36:19] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s a one where intuition really comes in, right? Because quite often people say to me before we started therapy, they have a really strong instinct that they can’t get better, right? Yeah. Or a really strong intuition that like, well, maybe a bit better.

Like people often want to manage their anxiety or, you know, be able to deal with their OCD a bit better, like not have their OCD take over their life quite as much, right? That’s kind of someone’s pretty typical aim. So when you say to someone, Kind of like I just said to you, Oh no. Like we can just take that away completely.

People are like, Wow. But also I don’t really believe you , right? So my intuition is telling me I’m, you know, I’m broken or I’m, you know. Because I think it’s great that this idea of trauma is more commonly understood now to an extent. But often we don’t maybe hear enough about the recovery and how that’s possible, right?

[00:37:09] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:37:09] Orla Kirby: So people have an idea of being, I like you say, I’m traumatized, I’m broken, Like my brain is different, you know, Or I didn’t get what I needed when I was four, or I didn’t get what I needed from my parents. So that’s just, that’s kind of how I am. Right. You know, or people have metaphors, right? Like I, I had one chap who said, I, it’s like I’ve got a concrete wall that’s like 50 feet high around my mind, so I can see how this would work for other people, but it’s like never gonna work for me, right?

So yeah. That’s interesting. And, and that can feel like intuition when actually that very definitely isn’t like your kind of truest, highest intuition, right?

[00:37:41] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. So, yeah. That’s interesting. This is really opening up and like shifting a lot of things that I thought I knew to be true, which I love. I love –I love learning new things and changing my mind which is something that a lot of people don’t do. sort of like challenging a worldview here. That’s fantastic. I like, yeah, no, I can just go, like, fix my brain now. Like . I can’t, I can’t wait to fix my brain. I’m so excited to have a brain that is fixed.

That’s delightful. Let’s bring it back to creativity a little bit.

[00:38:13] Orla Kirby: Sure.

[00:38:14] Caitlin Fisher: Do you use like art therapy at all? Like, do you use creative expression in your therapy and have you found that creativity helps people process trauma?

[00:38:24] Orla Kirby: Yeah, yeah, to an extent I do. Right in that umprobably, the main way that I use it is helping people to create their own imagined scenes, right?

So for example, the easiest way to redirect from a really negative thought about the future, which of course is super common if you have anxiety you might have an overwhelming amount of those, is to redirect towards a really positive imagining of the future. . And it’s gonna be easier to do that if you’ve kind of done a little bit of work on that already.

Yeah. Right? So rather than having to come up with it in the moment, you might have three or four of these that you’ve kind of made and you’ve really created them and gone into, you know if it’s a holiday, you’re imagining like, where am I? And what can I see and what can I hear and how am I feeling? Like what can I touch? And also how am I feeling emotionally and like real detail about what are the colors and what can I smell? And, you know, just as much detail. You wanna write a page about this, right? Or speak into a recording device or draw it if that’s more what you do. So that you can really imagine being there.

Like I say, you were gonna make a film of that time. Yeah. And then if you’ve already got that made, you’ve kind of widened and thickened like the neural pathways around that scene in your mind. And then if I am having a worry about the future, I go, Oh, oh, . That’s me Imagining the future negatively there.

I’m gonna redirect. and there’s various processes for redirecting towards this scene, but because you’ve already got the scene made, it’s easier to access it, right? Cuz you’ve made it more accessible.

[00:39:44] Caitlin Fisher: That’s lovely and I love that. And I don’t know how that has not occurred to me because normally when I’m spiraling and thinking like I get some intrusive thoughts, you know, anxious worries about the future, and I’ll just be like, Ah, like I can’t stop imagining the increasing detail of the bad scenario. I just let that movie play until I’m freaked out. Oh, I can just stop this movie. I can just make another movie in my head, where everybody’s fine.

[00:40:10] Orla Kirby: Yeah, that’s quite a lovely thought in itself, right? So yeah. Yeah. And as I say, it works, but the more you can engage with your creativity, the easier that is. And actually this is one of those things that there’s actually studies that show that people who have, you know, particularly very imaginative or very creative, Can struggle more, you know, at least initially in the lives of the depression or anxiety because they’re great at imagining the stuff going wrong.

Right. They can do that in real, like vivid detail. Yeah. However, this can also be kind of like a superpower in the other direction in that you’re also gonna be great at imagining wonderful stuff that you really do want to happen. And I’m not someone for like, people should be positive all the time, right?

Yeah, definitely. No. There’s room for imagining awful things and, and for, for being in touch with the real awful things that are happening, right? Like climate change or, you know, we need to think about things that are really hard and awful sometimes, or what other people are going through that is not great.

Like absolutely. However, if we do that all the time, that too much, then we’re just gonna be like a ball in the corner, right? So, yes. Yeah. Balancing of sort of acknowledging the pain and the bad and the trauma and the hurt, and just anger and sadness. Yes, like we think that anger and sadness are like, I don’t know, to be ignored, To be repressed to like that you’re not a happy person if you’re, if you ever feel anger or sadness.

But I think that anger and sadness are very important human emotions that we should feel fully. Yeah. So they’re really important. Yeah. So I’m not suggesting like continuous redirecting all the time.

[00:41:38] Caitlin Fisher: Right, right. Just good vibes only, I don’t see anything wrong ever.

[00:41:42] Orla Kirby: Yeah. But if you, if you imagine if you are somewhere with OCD where you have a continuous running like program of like negative imagining, negative imagining like all day, every day.

Like no one can really survive like that and feel even reasonably. Okay. Right, Right. So, so then there needs to be quite a bit of redirecting, you know? And that’s often a bit of a quite early step really. And that will help then to work through some of the harder stuff later to just be able to give yourself a bit of a break, right? Where you go in, you imagine something wonderful instead.

[00:42:11] Caitlin Fisher: That sounds relaxing. That sounds nice.

[00:42:13] Orla Kirby: Yeah, it’s lovely. Right? and then the other way that I use it is for people who find it difficult to get into hypnosis in a kind of lying down and breathing. Maybe if they’re getting a lot of intrusive thoughts, or particularly for children as well. If I work with children as sometimes I have them like draw or use coloring or do something with clay like while they’re listening to a hypnosis track, because you can also drift into hypnosis that way. And for some people it’s easier to be, you know, doing something with your hands or doing something creative while you are listening to someone saying relaxing things rather than trying to just lie there.

For some people that’s an easier way in, you know, so that’s another way.

[00:42:45] Caitlin Fisher: That makes sense. I think. I think that would work better for me as well. Mm. Like the adhd, Like if I’m doing something like with my hands that I don’t really need to be like thinking about, Yeah. It’s easier to sort of input thoughts into brain from audio. .

[00:42:59] Orla Kirby: Yeah. Absolutely.

[00:43:01] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Fantastic. This was a really interesting and eye opening conversation. I appreciate your time here so much. Can you tell our listeners where to find you around and about the internet.

[00:43:14] Orla Kirby: Yeah, absolutely. So on Instagram, I’m at OrlaKirbyTherapy . And I’m also putting together like a little kind of free way into connecting with your intuition, Right. Which you could find at Right. And just a little audio recording that can take you into a kind of a meditated process for connecting with your kind of felt sense of your intuition.

[00:43:36] Caitlin Fisher: That’s great. I’m gonna go get that right now.

[00:43:39] Orla Kirby: Great.

[00:43:39] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Thank you so much. This, this was fantastic.

Yeah, I think this episode’s gonna come out like probably not till October, but I will send you a link when it is live. And again, thank you so much for, for what you do, for what you’ve shared with us today for how you have blown my personal mind. This was absolutely delightful. Thanks for being here.

[00:44:00] Orla Kirby: Oh, thank you so much, Caitlin. It’s been lovely talking to you.

Fear is Not Our Enemy with Dr. Emee Estacio | #62

Sometimes doing the scary thing can completely change your life for the best. Let’s talk about it!   

This week I’m speaking with Dr. Emee Estacio, who has learned to embrace fear and expand her comfort zone one decision at a time. Fear allows us to pause, assess the risks, and make an informed decision to move forward.   

Fear is NOT the enemy, it is just a sign to evaluate. WHAT AN AMAZING SHIFT!  

 In this episode you’ll learn: 

– Dr. Emee’s TLC Questioning Sequence to help you make a decision when facing down a fear  

– The science and body responses behind fear  

– How to question your fear when you’re scared of starting a new project or making a change  

– How fear can GUIDE you to the right decision 

– How to share your work with the world even though you’re GOING to get bad reviews and you CAN’T please everyone 

– So much more!  

We also talk BOOKS and WRITING! Why the world NEEDS your voice and your perspective. It’s such a treasure-filled conversation. 

Dr. Emee Estacio is the Founder of The PAME Code. She is a chartered psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in health, community, and positive psychology. Her passion is to help people embrace their true worth, so they can live happy and fulfilling lives. Throughout her academic, coaching, and research career, she has worked closely with individuals and communities to unlock their full potential using simple and easy to apply methods for limitless success in life. She is the #1 best-selling author of the “Psychology in Your Life” book series, including titles such as “The Imposter Syndrome Remedy,” “Change Your Life for Good,” and “Fear is Not My Enemy.” She is also now helping aspiring authors fulfil their lifelong ambition to write and publish their own books with her flagship course, “Self-Publishing Made Simple.”  

You can get in touch with Dr. Emee at her website, and on Instagram @emee_estacio.  

Grab Dr. Emee’s Psychology In Your Life book series on Amazon Kindle:  

And if you’re NOT on my email list yet… y’all what?? sign up at


62 Emee Estacio

[00:00:00] Caitlin Fisher: Okay. Hello friends, and welcome back to another episode of Run Like Hill Toward Happy. Today we have a special guest, Dr. Emee Estacio, the founder of the PAME Code. She is a chartered psychologist with over 20 years experience in health, community, and positive psychology. Her passion is to help people embrace their true worth so that they can live happy and fulfilling lives.

Throughout her academic coaching and her research career, she has worked closely with individuals and communities to unlock their full potential using simple, easy to apply methods for limitless success in life. She is also the number one bestselling author of The Psychology in Your Life book series, including titles such as The Imposter Syndrome Remedy, Change Your Life for Good and Fear is Not my Enemy.

She also now helps aspiring authors fulfill their lifelong ambition to write and publish their own books with her flagship course. Self-Publishing Made Simple, so I am so excited to have you here, Dr. Emee, and I’m excited to talk writing and books and coaching on that side of things.

But also we’re gonna really dive into this idea that fear is not our enemy. So say hello. Tell us a little about, about you besides, you know, the incredible bio that you sent along. But yeah, let’s get to know each.

[00:01:30] Dr. Emee Estacio: Well, I, I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for having me, Caitlin. And I do love talking about psychology as you read.

You know, I’ve been, I actually started my psychology degree when I was 15 years old. I never really intended to become a psychologist, but when I was 15, I was accepted to med school and my mom said You can go to, you can’t go to med school in terms of your academic, you know, academic skills, but in terms of your level of maturity, and, you know, and social development, maybe you’re not mature enough to go into med school.

Maybe you could do a pre-med course first before you go into med school. So I took her advice. I took psychology as a four year course and I absolutely loved it. So I ended up pursuing my post-graduate degree in psychology, my master’s in health psychology. I did my PhD in community and health psychology. And it just snowballed from there.

And as an academic, again, you know, that was something that I did in terms of my research, in my teaching. I was a university lecturer, but at some point it dawned to me that being in academia was, Constraining. It was quite restrictive and I felt this, this urge to, to go out of those four walls and explore what else the world has to offer and what more can I offer.

I know that I have more that I can give to the world. So I went out of academia. I now am an online entrepreneur based in Greece, you know, been moving around. We’re now based in the beautiful in beautiful Athens and. and now teaching other authors how to write and publish their books. So that’s me.

[00:03:15] Caitlin Fisher: That’s phenomenal. Also, Greece sounds like a gorgeous place to live.

[00:03:21] Dr. Emee Estacio: I know. You know what, Caitlin, That was also an out of the blue decision. It was like in the middle of the pandemic and I was talking to my coach and she said, “what are you still–” I was in the UK at that time. It’s like, “what are you still doing in the uk?”

If you already left your academic position, why are you in this cloudy, gray country? Why don’t you move somewhere sunnier? And I thought, Yeah, that might be a good idea. we had that conversation around April or May, 2020, and we ended up selling everything. Our house, our, our car, everything we owned. We just packed our bags and we, we were here in Greece starting a new life by October, 2020

[00:04:10] Caitlin Fisher: Wow.

[00:04:11] Dr. Emee Estacio: So it happened that quickly in the middle of the pandemic. So it was it was quite something .

[00:04:16] Caitlin Fisher: Wow. That’s an incredible just change to make. I love it.

Yeah. I, And I have to say, I mean, that’s where the fear is not my enemy.

Yeah. Let’s talk about if that was a scary decision for you.

[00:04:30] Dr. Emee Estacio: I mean, for me, with, with me being trained as a psychologist for all my life, I’ve been climbing the academic ladder 20 years of that and to make the decision to leave academia, I was really scared because I was within my comfort zone and I could just stay there. Why leave? It’s called a comfort zone for a reason.

but also my, my body was already telling me. Even years before I’ve made that decision that, you know, it’s time to move on. You know, you, you need to explore other things. You know, this is, you know, that there’s something else in store for you, something bigger for you. Why do you limit yourself here? And you know, it, it was in my mind, I didn’t do anything about it for several years because of the, maybe the fear of failure.

First of all, you know, I’m going into, you know, uncharted territory for me, the fear of judgment, you know, people thinking, “why did she waste her time training” and, you know, gaining all that experience just to leave it. And for me it’s that fear of uncertainty as well. It’s this is something that I’ve been doing for, for most of my adult life and to, to go into something new, it is very scary.

But for me, overcoming that fear, Understanding that yes, it is true that I am experiencing fear and I say fear is not my enemy because it’s a recognition, again, you know, from a psychological point of view, that it is part of our evolution. If we didn’t feel fear, we will just jump straight onto danger.

You know, we will be attacking lions without any preparations because we’re not afraid, right? So fear, Allows us to pause for a little bit, assess what are the risks, what are the dangers, what, what’s our ability or inability to confront that risk, you know, to, to, to manage that risk so that when we decide, you know, when we make that conscious decision to go for it, we could be better prepared physically, psychologically, socially.

That’s why, you know, fear is really important for us humans because when we feel fear, we can assess the circumstance, assess our abilities, assess the consequences, and we can make a more informed decision on what we need to do next.

[00:07:01] Caitlin Fisher: Yes, I love that. I love the idea that like confidence isn’t an absence of fear. It’s doing the thing anyway through the fear because… like we’re always gonna have fear, like you said, expanding the comfort zone and like doing something that is unknown is going to naturally bring fear. And whether that’s small scale fear of like trying a new… Just learning something new, a new skill you know, tiling your own bathroom or, or trying a new medium of painting or something like that.

Even posting a video of you singing online, that can bring a lot of fear, but then also deciding, I’m gonna pack up and move and go live in Greece now. I bet that brings a lot of, of discomfort and fear as well, so I love this idea. There will never be an absence of fear. If there’s an absence of fear, maybe like stop and and check with somebody else, because I think fear is very natural for us.

And fear just says, I’m not sure about this, Like, let’s assess. So —

[00:08:15] Dr. Emee Estacio: yes, it’s, it’s actually your, let’s, let’s take it from a scientific perspective, because you can take it from an intuitive perspective as well. Like your intuition is kicking in, telling you, it’s like, okay you know, pause here for a little bit because there are there are risks, but from a scientific, you know, psychological perspective, it, it is your nervous system actually just trying to protect your physical body, trying to protect your ego, trying to protect your reputation, whatever it may be.

But it is a kind of protection for your survival. You know, That’s why it is there, that that’s why it is in, in the primitive part of, of our brain. You know, it, you know, the, the, the experience, you know, the emotion of fear is so primitive that it allowed us to evolve and to still be here.

So, It’s really important because it, Yeah, it allows us to assess the risk, assess our ability to manage the risk, assess the consequences of taking action or inaction so we can make more informed decisions on what we’re gonna do next. The trouble is there are many people in this day and age that they, that take, they take fear as a sign not to go ahead, you know, because ooh, it is very scary.

But that’s you know, that’s, that’s telling that you actually can go ahead . You can, you know, you don’t really need to stop, but you just need to be better prepared that that’s all it is. And the sad thing is yes, some people get paralyzed by the fear that either their careers stagnate or they stay in a crappy relationship.

You know, because they are scared of what people other people would say or what would happen to them, you know, if they leave this relationship. Because if they are, let’s say for example, dependent on their partner and if they cut their ties with that partner, that is scary because now what? you know? Right?

But again, you know the fear is there. It’s telling you these are the potential risks. These are things that might happen if you do this. What are you going to do to better prepare you for this risk, for these consequences? So when you do do it, you are going to be okay.

[00:10:33] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. I love that. That is just a fantastic reminder.

So what do you recommend for this sort of risk assessment? How do you help people figure out, like, is this real fear, like, will my life actually end if I do this? Or is this just spooky comfort zone?

[00:10:54] Dr. Emee Estacio: Well, most of the time I, I would encourage my, you know, my clients, and actually these are all if, if you go to Amazon and look for my books, the series is called Psychology in Your Life.

Change Your Life for Good, Imposter Syndrome Remedy, Fear Is Not My Enemy. Even with the imposter syndrome aspect, you know, you, you fear you’re not good enough and you know, you, you feel that you are a fraud or something like that. These are all rooted in fear and one of the strategies that, that I teach in my box is called the TLC questioning sequence.

It’s not Tender Loving Care but I call it the TLC questioning sequence because it encourages you to ask three questions when you hear inner critics or when you’re having these thoughts about yourself, about the scenario that you’re about to embark on and you know, other things that might be bothering you.

TLC means is it true? , Is it logical? Is it constructive? So let’s say for example, you are offered a job promotion and you are afraid to take it because it will mean more responsibility, it will mean more attention. You know, you’ll be put on the spotlight and you are scared that you’re not up for it.

That, that you’re going to fail because you’re not good enough to take on that promotion . When you apply the TLC questioning sequence, TLC first is have a little bit of compassion to yourself. Take good care of yourself. It is okay to feel fear. It is okay to feel self doubt. It is part of our human experience.

And remind yourself that this is you telling yourself, recognizing that there are potential risks, you need to assess the risks, your ability to handle the risk and the consequences. So first of all, TLC, be self-compassionate. It’s okay to feel this way, and then start assessing what are your thoughts and where are these thoughts coming from?

So if you’re saying, I cannot take this promotion because I am not good enough, because I’m going to fail because someone else is better than me, some, whatever it may be. So first of all, you need to be aware of what these thoughts. And then ask the first question, is it true? So, is it true that you’re not competent enough?

Is it true that someone else will be better than you? Is it true that you’re gonna fail? So let’s, let’s dissect it one at a time. Is it true that you’re not good enough? Well, you, you, you’ll know the answer if you apply and if you’re not good enough, then you might get rejected. But until you apply, then you’ll never know the answer, whether that’s true or not, correct?

[00:13:49] Caitlin Fisher: Right.

[00:13:50] Dr. Emee Estacio: So, and then if you are asking yourself, I if, if you’re telling yourself someone else is better than me, let’s say that that is true. But you can move on to the next question. Is it logical? You know, just because someone might be better than you, does that mean that you shouldn’t take a, you know, apply for the promotion?

Does that mean that you don’t have what it takes or you don’t have the same opportunity to apply for it? So even if something is true, or even if you say something like, I don’t think I could take that promotion yet, because I don’t know how to do that aspect of the job yet. You know, I haven’t done my training in this aspect yet.

It might be true, but the next question is, is it logical? Just because you haven’t done that yet, does that mean, you can’t do that. If, if that makes sense. This actually is applicable to many people who want to start new careers. This would be applic applicable to people who are starting new projects. You know, it’s something new and they would say you know, I haven’t done this before.

It’s very scary. First question, Is it true that you’ve never done it before? Yes, it’s true, but it’s okay. The next question is, is it logical? Just because you haven’t done it before, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it at all. So that’s the second question. Is it true? Is it logical? And then the third question is, is it constructive with all of these thoughts that are spinning in your head?

Is it benefiting you? Is it helping you in any way? Or is there something that you can do about this, these thoughts to benefit you in any way? So for example, if you are saying you’re starting a project and you’re saying, I’m not skilled enough, I don’t have this skill yet to do this project, it is true.

The logical thing is okay, just because I haven’t done it before doesn’t mean I can’t do it at all. And the constructive bit. Okay. What can I do to, to upskill myself or what can I do to prepare myself as I go into this project? Yeah, so it’s, it’s not that the fear should stop you. The fear should guide you in, you know, in a way that you will make more informed decisions, so you will be better prepared when you make that decision to actually go for it.

So you can do the TLC technique. Be aware of what your thoughts, you know, your inner critics or what have you are telling you. Be aware of what they are. Show compassion to the, to, to yourself that you have these thoughts. It’s okay to think these thoughts, but once you are aware, ask, is it true? Is it logical, Is it constructive?

And in that way, you will understand whether they are lies , whether they are irrational. Or if they are true and rational, then you will also, you can also find ways to better prepare yourself, make informed decisions. So when you do what you are supposed to do, but you are scared to do it, you’re better prepared, then you’re more in a more confident position to go for it because you’ve, you’ve weighed your, your risks, the consequences in your ability to manage the risks.

[00:17:17] Caitlin Fisher: I love this. I’ve never heard of tlc, obviously, because you made it up. So I’m very excited to get your books and learn more about this. So I, I am someone who loves to explore thought work in my coaching, self-coaching, when I’m being coached, when I’m coaching others, I love to identify the thoughts individually and then sort of pick at them like this, like deconstruct them a little, take a look at what’s underneath them. And I often find that those not good enough thoughts or the imposter syndrome and everything that’s, that’s usually fear. It’s it’s fear of failing. It’s fear of wild success and not knowing what to do with it.

It’s, it’s fear of your family finding out that what you do on the weekends is, I don’t know, dancing intuitively at an art studio. And you think they’ll think that’s weird. Like we have a lot of fears and a lot of that comes from what people will think of us. So do you specifically work, work on that sort of the, the outside fear versus inside fear?

Does that come up for you and your clients?

[00:18:26] Dr. Emee Estacio: Well, actually it is. It’s both. It’s both. So I, I work a lot with, as you know, authors and the fear that they experience is imposter syndrome. Like, who am I to write this? People are going to judge me. And even after they’ve written their books they are like super experts in their field.

They’ve already finished writing their books. For goodness sake, like you’ve written a book, and they are scared to hit that publish button. Maybe because I’m attracting people who are very similar to me. , the maladaptive perfectionist, . You know, I’m talking about, you know, it’s like these

[00:19:05] Caitlin Fisher: Oh, I know, I know who you’re talking about cuz you’re talking about me.

[00:19:08] Dr. Emee Estacio: Yeah, I know, right? Like, it’s not good enough. I can make it better. Oh, know, what will people say? You know, that kind of stuff. We do look into that. We assess the internal fear first, like where is that coming from? And sometimes what comes up is it usually comes up from their childhood. Like a teacher will will tell them that your, your writing is so bad, you know, you should never even try to think about writing as a, as a profession.

Or maybe a family member told them. It’s like writing it is like, ugh. Why would you want to do that? So there are a lot of unresolved childhood messages that they have internalized or this thing around maladaptive perfectionism that everything needs to be perfect before you hit the, you know, before you do anything.

And we do understand that yes, there. There are many ways that we can still perfect or refine, you know, refine. It could never be perfect. There are still many ways that we could refine. Our work. But what I encourage my, you know, my clients to, to think about and, and this is one of the exercises that we do before we start working, is we talk about their reason for writing a book.

We talk about what is the purpose, what is the impact that you want to make by writing your book? And often, as I’ve said earlier, I do, I do tend to attract people who are very similar to me. People who are mission driven, you know, purpose driven, heart centered people who just want to help others. They, they want to, for example, help others leave an abusive relationship. You know, I have people who are animal healers. I have people who help other people to set, start their own business, you know, because that’s, you know, that’s the legacy that they want to bring. But these are people who are so mission driven that they want to write and publish a book because that’s the way that they can reach as many people as they can crossing borders, and even crossing generations.

So that’s their dream. That’s their passion. And when they get to the point where they are questioning the value of their work, whether they are questioning whether it’s good enough or not, we go back. You know, we go back to what they’ve told me, when, when we first met, The reason why you’ve written your book is because you want to help other people.

And if you’re holding onto this piece of work because you’re scared that there, there will be typos even if you’ve already given it to your editor and your editor gave you the green light already, like a dozen or people ad you know, a dozen or so advanced readers have already said, Oh my goodness, this is amazing.

You should publish it. And still you’re questioning yourself that it’s not good enough. Just trust that those people who are desperate to hear your message will not be so concerned about the things that you’re concerned about. Those little typos, you know, the editor would’ve spotted that already, but.

Just think about the people whose lives will be different because you had the courage to share your work. That’s, you know, that’s where sort of the, the, the fear melts. They take this recognition that, yes I am scared, I am scared. It is fine. There are others who are even more scared because of the kind of life that they are living.

And if I share with them what I have to share through my book then I have done my job. So that melts it away. It’s not about them anymore, it’s about the people they are serving. So dealing with that internal struggle and recognizing that there are external factors as well. We do recognize that putting your book out there to the public, it will be open to criticism.

[00:23:03] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:23:03] Dr. Emee Estacio: So if you are afraid that people are going to say, Just get ready, you know, just be prepared for people to say stuff because it’s gonna happen. Yeah. So that’s it, you know, we do acknowledge it. We do acknowledge the fear. We don’t try to crush it. We acknowledge where it’s coming from and then we try to resolve it internally and externally as well.

[00:23:26] Caitlin Fisher: That’s fantastic. And also, As someone who, I’m a published author and I would go back and change stuff like I would, I have changed a lot since I wrote my book, and I’m still really glad that I wrote it, you know? And who I was when I wrote it represents who I was. And I, I did it anyway. You know, so I’m, I, sometimes that fear comes up where I’m a little afraid to write more because I’ve experienced that once and, you know, had had a few regrets like, Oh, I wish I, I wish I had been more well versed on this topic.

Or, I wish, you know, like if you had caught me six months later, like, this part would’ve been different. And, but I can’t be mad because I wrote a book and that’s awesome.

[00:24:16] Dr. Emee Estacio: Yeah. And it, it’s a learning experience as well. That’s the other thing. And with self-publishing these days, you could always have a second edition

[00:24:25] Caitlin Fisher: Yes.

[00:24:26] Dr. Emee Estacio: With a Kindle version you could update the manuscript as well if, if you would like to update it. But I, I mean for, for, for our society. You know, it’s failing, quote unquote failing is something that we actually should experience in our lives from time to time, but it’s not necessarily should be considered a failure when you’re actually learning from it.

It’s a life experience. It’s called it that it’s a life experience.

[00:24:54] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:24:55] Dr. Emee Estacio: You can learn from it and progress from it. And it’s something that will help you to develop and grow as a person. So if you are afraid that, you know, there might be mistakes or you might regret some things, there might be some, but you know, it’s, it’s part of life and you could and what I tell my students as well is, no, don’t just hit the publish button, cross your fingers and hope for the best. You know, do get people to read it for you first, you know, Because sometimes we are so close to our work that, you know, we can miss a few things here and there, but if you had a good pool of people already telling you it’s, it’s good, you know, please do share it.

Trust that these are people who are honest. And you know, have, you know, they have the best intentions at heart. You know, when, when I ask my clients to organize their first batch of advanced readers, you know, I ask them to get people who can be brutally honest to them, who would not be afraid to tell them if it is really crap.

Because that way when they give the go signal, They have the confidence that, you know, these people have read my work and, and they liked it, and now it’s, it’s ready to, to be shared with the world.

[00:26:04] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, that’s great. And there’s so much fear in just that part too. Like I remember when my agent sent out my proposal for feedback, just the proposal, like he got feedback from three readers of the proposal, and it took me a week or two to even open that email and read their feedback.

I was like, Whew, I don’t know, what if it’s really bad. And no, it was all helpful. It was honestly true, logical, and constructive feedback. So we hit that, that TLC mark from an external place. And I also wanna circle back to what you said about reviews and critics. It’s, it’s hilarious how much people will give a one star review to a book that they haven’t read.

[00:26:49] Dr. Emee Estacio: I know, right?

[00:26:51] Caitlin Fisher: And like some of my favorite reviews are the one stars where I’m like, You clearly like didn’t read it or get it. And what I learned really early on was: the book’s not for them. Like that just wasn’t, I have started reading some books and been like, This isn’t for me. Even if it’s by an author who I love.

So, you know, Stephen King for example, he has a lot of sort of thriller psychological stuff and then he has some like really gory horror and I can’t read the gory horror.

[00:27:25] Dr. Emee Estacio: It’s not for you.

[00:27:26] Caitlin Fisher: It’s not for me. Even though Stephen King is for me sometimes. And that’s, it’s just gotta be okay. Yeah. I’ve also found typos in his books, so, I love Stephen King as like a writer because everybody knows that he’s famous and everybody, a lot of writers at least, know that he has like that, the railroad spike where he was putting his rejection letters, he just kept putting them on. And it used to be a nail and then he had to upgrade it to a railroad spike because he got so many rejections and he kept doing it. And he’s living his best writer life, being a weird guy who lives in Maine. And like, that’s what I wanna do. I wanna be a weird guy who lives in Ohio.

You know, like just, just vibing with my dog and teaching people about how to go for their passions. and sometimes there’s fear in that, and sometimes I’m not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean that my work is bad.

[00:28:25] Dr. Emee Estacio: Yeah. That’s, that’s a recognition that I think people need to understand. Not, not really to take it that personally, although some reviews will take it personally as, but it’s not your problem.

They have their own issues. . Yes. So just to have that compassion as well. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s some being thrown at you, not because of you, but because they are dealing with their own personal issues. So, . Yeah. Some of the, like with my students sometimes they will, There was one instance where my student got a one star review and it is clearly because it is a racist re- review if you like.

And when that happens, you, you, you can, you can be confident that, Oh, okay, this is the issue is not me. Yeah. Clearly that that particular person has their own issues. And the other thing is with, with Amazon, you could actually report it as abuse. Like if it is really unfair and really personally, like has nothing to do with the book and it’s just prejudice because of your background or whatever, you can report it as abuse, and Amazon can take that down.

[00:29:34] Caitlin Fisher: Nice. Good to know. Because yeah, sometimes, especially with, with people when they’re just angry about, Race or wokeness. I love, I love that when that comes out, like, Oh, you have a, you have a queer non-binary person in your book.

What’s with the wokeness? Like , we exist. Like why are you so mad?

So yeah, that separation of the review from your personal value as a writer or a creator or anything, because some people love heavy metal, and some people don’t. And that doesn’t make heavy metal bad. That makes people have preferences. And in my opinion, if you’re trying to make something that everyone likes, your product is very bland.

[00:30:25] Dr. Emee Estacio: It’s vanilla .

[00:30:27] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Yeah. It’s table salt. Like yeah, everybody likes, everybody likes put little sprinkle of table salt on their food. But what are you doing? What are you being like, I want to be more than table salt.

[00:30:40] Dr. Emee Estacio: Mm. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And yeah, you, you’re absolutely right. It’s not, if it’s not, you’re, you’re not going to please everyone.

So, Yeah. When, when it comes to the fear of judgment, you know, the fear of criticism. Especially as, you know, as my students are about to hit the publish button, that comes up a lot. Actually, the most common is the maladaptive perfection is I have to say like, Oh, I can’t do it. I’m here. I might have missed something.

You know, that’s the most common one. But the, the, the fear of rejection. The fear of rejection, actually what I’ve noticed, it’s not the fear of the stranger. Criticisms is the fear of their family and friends and the people who know them. What would they say when they publish their books? And, and again, I would ask the question, why did you write the book?

Did you write it for them? Is it for them? If you say no, then you are writing it for the people you want to serve. Think of them, think of what they will say and. It will benefit them rather than the people who don’t really have anything to do with your book, ignore them. You know, just brush it aside. It’s not really that relevant.

Don’t let that stop you from sharing what you have to share because of your fear of judgment from people who don’t really matter that much.

[00:32:03] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, That’s, yeah, that’s another great point, especially with I saw something recently about pre-ordering, and if you just have all of your family and friends pre-order, that can actually hurt your rankings on Amazon because if it doesn’t match stuff that they normally read, the algorithm gets very confused trying to figure out where your book fits in.

So the recommendation is like if you’re writing a crime thriller, you need to market that really hard to people who love crime thrillers, and then have your family and friends buy it later. You want the algorithm to know this is for people who love crime thrillers. So like kind of thinking about the criticism like that as well.

Like maybe if, if you’re just getting your criticism from friends and family, that’s definitely gonna feel different than criticism from strangers. But like, who was it for? And thinking about who it’s for and that why actually in my program where I help people write their, their books or courses or whatever, It’s, we go in like 90 day sprints to get like one goal done, and one of the first activities that I have them do is digging very deep into the why behind their work.

So it’s like, why are you writing this? And then why is that important to you? Why is that important? Why is that important? And by the time you have dug down, it’s like something very raw and very human and very elemental. It’s about how that work shows up in the world. Instead of being like, because I want to be a writer.

It’s like, because I want to normalize sharing this story of healing and I want to be. I want to be that for other people who have been through this, like I want them to know that they’re not alone.

[00:33:56] Dr. Emee Estacio: That’s that wider contribution. You’re absolutely right. And when it comes to asking the why, you know, what is your purpose?

There are many, many layers of, of what the purpose is at at the beginning. If, if you are just looking at it from. You know, a an outer layer perspective. You know, maybe you just want to write a book, you know, it’s a dream to become an author, da da da da da. But as you dig deeper, there’s more that why, why you want to be that person.

And for as, as I’ve mentioned earlier, for the kind of… for, for most of the people that I support in my community, they are very heart centered, mission driven, and these are people who want to make a contribution, like a, a lasting legacy or at least change the discourse or, you know, change the conversations around the topic that they’re writing about.

For example, I have one student, Wendy Andrew, she wrote a book about coping with pet loss, you know, coping with the death of your pet. And she didn’t write it just to help other people to cope with their pet. You know, that’s the main, you know, that’s the main topic. You know, the, that, that’s what she wrote about.

But the underlying reason is because she wants to show people that this is an emotion that in, in an experience that people actually struggle with that in society. Some people might brush it off. What? You’re crying for your cat? It’s just a cat. You know? She, she wants to show that for for many people who, who have pets and when their pets pass away, it’s a very difficult emotion because it’s a family member or maybe it’s, it’s, they consider it like a family member or it’s their only companion, you know. So her real purpose is to contribute to the discussion, making sure that you know, pet loss is not what do you, it’s like, what was the term that she used?

Disenfranchised grief or something like that. Yeah. It’s something that you recognize, an experience that people actually feel and, and they do need support. And it’s not something that you just brush on the side because it’s quote unquote just a pet. So that is her purpose and that, you know drove her forward, you know, kept her anchored in terms of why she’s doing what she’s doing, and it is so much bigger than her that whenever she questioned her value or whether it is worth continuing with her work, she has this mission, she has this agenda to contribute to this conversation.

[00:36:38] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, that’s, that’s so important too, because I, when I lost my cat, when she passed away and I had had her for 11 years. She was 18 years old, and she had been with me through like 10 moves, two divorces. She had been with me through every hardship in my life as an adult. I adopted her when I was 21. And so she had been with me like through everything.

And so losing her was so devastating. It absolutely wrecked me. And I am probably about to cry about it right now, but like I still cry about it. And she passed in January, 2021, so it’s been nearly two years and it’s still, It’s still hurts. And I think it always will. She was such a part of my life and she was such a companion to me and.

I love that cat so much, and, you know, I have since gotten a dog and that was like a great way to sort of start healing because she would never have tolerated a dog . So it’s always like, okay, when when Zoe dies, I will, I will get a dog. And it, that one took a while as well. But I love my dog and it’s nice because like, she’s definitely not a cat.

Like it doesn’t feel like I was trying to replace her , like I was trying to replace Zoe because Gwen, my Corgi is… Not the same .

[00:38:11] Dr. Emee Estacio: Yeah, of course.

[00:38:12] Caitlin Fisher: But it does, It gets like easier to manage, I think. And so I love, I love the idea of like writing and normalizing grief around pets because to some people, sure they’re just animals, but to others they are so important and such a part of the family.

[00:38:30] Dr. Emee Estacio: Part of their family. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah, for, for Wendy, she, she’s so passionate about it that, yeah, she wrote, she wrote the book to. The grieving, you know if, if your pet passed away, you know, it’s, it’s to help you cope with that. But her main mission was just to contribute to this discussion.

you know, she really wants to show the world that people actually do suffer. You know, did they grieve for the loss of their pet? And it’s not something that you, you can just brush away just because you don’t feel the same way.

[00:39:05] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, related to the idea of just being part of the discussion is like people who get kind of imposter syndrome around, Well, am I the best person to write about this?

Am I enough of an expert? And I actually had a client we worked together just for three months. Like that’s like the package that, that we worked out. But we did one on one work for three months. Something that I said very early on resonated with her and completely changed, like how she shows up in her, her creative work, and it was, Do you think that you have to be the first or the best in order for your work to matter.

And she was just like, Holy crap, oh my God, you popped the bubble. Because that that sense that we have to be the first, We have to be the best, we have to be the coolest. We have to be the most unique. Like yeah, if you want a niche, you can niche, but also no.

Like any… so I’ve sold less than a thousand copies of my book. And it’s traditionally published. So like I have publishers who, who sell it and they’re doing marketing, which is great. Cause if it was up to me, I probably would’ve sold like 10. So , so say a thousand people, and let’s say it resonated really deeply for 500 of them. That’s great. 500 people, I made 500 people feel seen and loved and like they are not crazy for wanting more out of life.

Mm. That’s a big impact. Even if it’s only 500 people. Even if it’s only 10. Just being part of the discussion. I don’t have to be a best seller. I don’t have to be the world’s leading expert. I can just be part of the discussion. I can be a voice that lets people know that they are not alone, and that’s very powerful when we’re dealing with this perfectionism and this imposter syndrome and all the reasons why we don’t wanna hit publish.

[00:41:00] Dr. Emee Estacio: Yes. And, and I have to say on that note, Caitlin, there are some of my students, one of their hesitations even before they start writing their books is they, they would say something like, Oh, but there are so many books on this topic already. What else can I contribute? There’s nothing else to say.

Well, actually, Your voice is not there yet. Your perspective is not there yet. Your experience is not there yet. And there are, there will be people like you who will resonate because who will resonate with what you have to say because you, you share the same values. Maybe you have the same background but there is only one you and your voice is missing.

So if you think that there are many books written about this particular topic. You haven’t written yours yet. Where’s your voice? You know, add your voice to the con- to the conversation. You know, add your voice to, you know, contribute there. If, if you want to be, you don’t, as you’ve said, you don’t have to be the best. You don’t have to be the first. You don’t have to be, you know, the only person there. Even if there are already other books or many, many books written about this topic. Your voice is not there yet, and if you are so passionate about this topic, that’s the reason to actually go for it and, and contribute through your book.

[00:42:24] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, I love that. That was, that felt very good, spiritually like, yes, your voice just matters because it does. So go forth and do it. And whether you wanna be traditionally published, you wanna find an agent, you wanna self-publish and market yourself, there’s space for all of that. There’s, there is a path for your book to become a reality.

I love it. I love it so much. So, as we kind of wrap up, come to a close here. Can you tell us a bit more about your publishing course and about how you work with clients, in case our listeners would like to, to get in on this?

[00:43:09] Dr. Emee Estacio: Oh, sure. Well, there are different ways to work with me. I do have many workshops.

So if you’re someone who’s, if you have a business, for example, and you want to use your book as a way to grow your business, I have a course called Content to Clients. It’s a mini workshop. If you are someone who’s already written a book and thinking about publishing it, I have the best seller Launch made simple mini workshop.

So these are like self-paced workshops that you could digest within, you know, an hour and a half and then implement it in your own time. But what I really, really enjoy doing is actually my membership. You know, the self-publishing made simple membership where we meet you know, we meet as a community.

We have monthly huddles, live q and a’s, we have co-working sessions. So I really enjoy that because Sure, the course is there. But yeah, writing and publishing it can feel quite isolating. And, you know, your brain can do silly things. , if you, I mean, you start hearing all these inner critics and, and where you’re gonna talk to.

So in my membership, we do get together in our huddles, in our coworking sessions, and chat and check on how people are doing. Are you getting on with your work? Are you know, are you stopping yourself from hitting that publish button. The sequence, how to do it, how to publish it is in the course. But yeah, the membership is really more about coming together as a community. Huddles, coworking sessions and just really encouraging each other to hit that publish button, follow the sequence.

Obviously have a strategy. We do have a strategy to launch your book. Particularly on Amazon doing market research, keyword research, category research, not kind of stuff, all the strategy stuff. But when it comes to the psychology and the mindset and the accountability, that’s where the membership comes in.

And if people are interested, they can follow me on Instagram at emee_estacio, you’ll see all of my stuff on there, and if they want to reach me, Hit me with a dm, you know, I’m very friendly.

[00:45:19] Caitlin Fisher: Excellent. Yes. You are very friendly. I can, I can attest. I think it’s so interesting because when I developed my course, this sort of like incubator with the 90 day sprints, I also have like a weekly coaching. I’ve got coworking. The next time I run it I’m gonna do like a workshop where we can read and sort of edit in real time. And I just think it’s interesting that both of us, having never met each other, developed something so similar, like this combination of like skill building and mindset work. It’s gorgeous.

I love, I love meeting new coaches

[00:45:51] Dr. Emee Estacio: it’s, it’s one thing to know what you need to do. Okay? The strategies there, we need to know what we need to do, but to actually implement it. Yeah, there are many mindset blocks, maybe even external blocks that will stop you from implementing. But when you are in a community, you don’t just limit it in your head and just let it brew in your head.

Talk with people, connect with people, get you moving forward and block what you need to unblock and, and that’s how you progress and that’s how you make things happen.

[00:46:22] Caitlin Fisher: Yes, I love that. I will say that I don’t have like those technical, Here’s how to publish on Amazon. So if you’ve got a book and you’re ready, you want Dr. Emee. And if you need to reach deep into your soul and yank your book out, you got me for that. So we are like, we got a dream team going here. Just dig real deep, rip it out, and then make it very presentable and publish it and make money.

[00:46:51] Dr. Emee Estacio: That’s the idea.

[00:46:53] Caitlin Fisher: That is gorgeous. I love it. And I will put all of your links and everything in the notes for this episode. I wanna thank you so much for taking time out of your evening. I know it’s, it’s getting toward like dinner and bedtime in Greece. The beautiful Greece where you get to live every day.

[00:47:09] Dr. Emee Estacio: I know. It’s just, Yeah, I feel, Can’t believe I’m here.

[00:47:13] Caitlin Fisher: That’s amazing.

[00:47:14] Dr. Emee Estacio: You know what, we actually live right next to the Marble Stadium.

This is where the first modern Olympics happened, and it’s just in our backyard, so it’s like whenever I need quiet time, I just go on top of that stadium and just, And I could see Acropolis from there too. It’s like I cannot believe where I am. It’s just absolutely beautiful .

[00:47:36] Caitlin Fisher: Okay, so I’m gonna go Google how to move to Greece, and yeah, we’ll be in touch.

I’m so excited to keep in touch with you. I’ll let you know when this episode is live and we can share it all over. And I just wanna thank you again for your time in this gorgeous conversation.

[00:47:52] Dr. Emee Estacio: Thanks for having me.

[00:47:53] Caitlin Fisher: Absolutely. Bye!


How to Create While the World Burns with Tamara Protassow | #61

When the world’s on fire, is it time to quiet down… or to share your gifts with the world? Let’s talk about it! 

This week I’m interviewing Tamara Protassow about why right now is the PERFECT time to embrace humanity, creativity, and making stuff. Tamara is a non-fiction writing coach, accountability coach and course creator. She specialises in developing non-fiction books with purpose-driven writers and holding space where creative inspirations become reality.Tamara has developed and edited books with over 50 authors, including Denise Duffield Thomas, Leonie Dawson and Lisa Lister, and has edited both freelance for self-published authors, as well as for Hay House UK. 

 Her favourite working space is the writing and creating incubators she runs where her clients bring their heartfelt inspirations into reality through listening to their intuitive answers to the simple question, “What’s the next step?”  Tamara lives in the hills outside of Melbourne, Australia with her partner, two teenagers, dog, two cats and five chickens.  

Find her on Instagram @Book.Write.Now, on her website or   

Since we recorded, my 90 day writing incubator has had a glow up of its own and is now a TWELVE MONTH incubator for you to write your book in 2023. Check it out and join as a founding member at And don’t forget to hop on my email list at


[00:00:00] Caitlin Fisher: Okay. Hello everyone. Welcome. Happy Friday. Today I have on a very fun guest and we are gonna be talking about how to create while the world is burning and chaotic and terrifying and turning to shit. So joining me today is Tamara Protassow. I did it. I pronounced it. We had to practice a lot. Ok.

[00:00:27] Tamara Protassow: We totally did. Oh my gosh.

[00:00:29] Caitlin Fisher: Tamara is a non-fiction writing coach, accountability coach and course creator, so we have that in common. She specializes in developing non-fiction books with purpose driven writers and holding space where creative inspirations become. Tamara has developed and edited books with over 50 authors.

That’s a lot of authors. It’s a lot, including Denise Duffield Thomas, Leonie Dawson, and Lisa Lister, and has edited both freelance for self-published authors as well as for Hay House UK. Her favorite working space is the writing and creating Incubators She runs where her clients bring their heartfelt inspirations into reality through listening to their intuitive answers to the simple question, what is the next step?

Tamara lives in the hills outside Melbourne, Australia with her partner, two teenagers, dog, two cats and five chickens. And we of course had pet comparison notes already. So Hi. Hello. Anything I missed? Yeah, say hi.

[00:01:31] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, hi everyone. And I’m so excited to be here and yeah, pet conversations, it’s a must.

[00:01:38] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:01:38] Tamara Protassow: Really.

[00:01:38] Caitlin Fisher: You gotta, you gotta compare pets before you record a podcast. That’s the law.

[00:01:42] Tamara Protassow: Yeah. Totally. Totally.

[00:01:44] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Also, Tamara is coming to us from tomorrow. Being in Australia, I had the, the little mind fuck of, it’s like 5:00 PM my time and 7:00 AM tomorrow

[00:01:57] Tamara Protassow: my time!

[00:01:59] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. It’s wild,

[00:02:00] Tamara Protassow: I know! Beaming at you from the future here.

[00:02:03] Caitlin Fisher: It’s, I know like time is meaningless.

[00:02:05] Tamara Protassow: Totally, totally. I mean, the earth being a sphere, seriously, what is that ?

[00:02:11] Caitlin Fisher: I know. I recently watched a documentary about flat earthers, like speaking of the earth being a sphere, and I was really trying to like understand where they were coming from, but every time, like they said something, I’m like, that would be explained if it were a sphere.

[00:02:30] Tamara Protassow: I so often have those conversations purely because I do work with people all over the world and time zones are a thing, and like when someone’s like, But, but you weren’t there at X, Y, Z my time, I’m like, that’s because the world is round . Like . Yeah. Yeah. And you know, we just got it wrong.

This is the time of year that it all goes wrong cuz different time zones are changing from summertime to, you know, non-summer time and we’re about to go to summertime, so it all goes out the window.

[00:03:00] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, that’s. That’s so much fun. We do our daylight saving time in October, I think. My favorite season is fall until that day.

[00:03:12] Tamara Protassow: Very short window there. Very short.

[00:03:14] Caitlin Fisher: It is. It’s a very short window. So anyway, yeah. Let’s talk creativity. I love… let’s just start with your question, “what’s the next step?” And the intuitive process of that, because I am a very intuitive coach myself, especially when working with creatives.

I encourage people to like listen to their inside voice because they know, they know what they want to be doing and creating. And then my work is helping them get out of their own way so that they can actually follow that dream.

[00:03:47] Tamara Protassow: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I, I like I’m right there with you. Because I was going to say, most of the work I do with people is helping them just get out of their own way.

Like, just get out of your way. Get out of your own way. What do we need to do to, to, to actually clear that path out cuz, yeah, we are just so bombarded with all the things like from when we are tiny of, you know, what we should be doing, we should be doing this, we should be acting this way, we should be, you know, productive.

We should be like, you know, polite and smiling and pretty and you know, like every single should gets piled on us from when we are tiny. And especially if we are not of the male presenting persuasion of person. And and even, even, you know, even men get fucked by patriarchy. Like, let’s just face it. You know, everyone gets fucked by patriarchy. This is a favorite saying in our groups. .

Oh yeah. That’s the patriarchy again. Oh dear. All right.

[00:04:50] Caitlin Fisher: I love it. I love it. Yeah.

One of my favorite phrases is we don’t hustle in this family.

[00:04:56] Tamara Protassow: I love that.

[00:04:57] Caitlin Fisher: And a hustle, hustle comes out so much like we try to even hustle our rest.

Like, okay, well I sat down for five minutes, so now I can get right back to it, right. Like I’m done resting. Like no. mm-mm, no, it takes longer than that.

[00:05:08] Tamara Protassow: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, you cannot hustle your rest. You’re right. So yeah, so much of what we do you know, people come to me mostly to write books, but most of what we do, like 50% at least, of what we do is unpacking why we haven’t written yet.

[00:05:26] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:05:26] Tamara Protassow: and clearing the way to getting on with it. And, you know, it can, it’s, it takes time to unpack all that. You know, people are like, Oh, you know, I wanna be like, finished my x, y, Z chapters next week. And I’m like, Okay, you give that a go. Like give it a go, give it a red hot go, go on.

And you know, next week comes and they’re like, Oh, I got about a paragraph. And I’m like, Yeah, I’m so sorry, but there’s a lot to unpack before you clear the pipes, you know. So once that mindset piece is done like once, and it’s never done, done, but once there’s enough cleared, there’s usually, you know, that’s when the next step really comes into its own and people can just kind of start rolling.

And once the momentum’s there, it’s off, but I find if we’re still clearing all that stuff, all those, you know, shoulds and reasons why you can’t, and you know, even self sabotage moments, like just, Oh, I don’t have the time. I can’t find the time. It’s like, wow, okay, we, you know, we’re stuck between, ‘I’ve got this idea that won’t go away’ and the ‘I don’t have time’ of the hustle, capitalist, blah, blah.

And we’re in the middle with all this tension because we desperately wanna do the thing, We wanna write the book, we wanna create the creative thing. But we, we are telling ourselves we can’t because we’ve internalized so much of that stuff. So even then, it’s like, okay, well what’s the next tiny step we can take?

What’s, what’s going to just ease that, ease those walls out a little bit to create that space. Oh, like I had someone right at the beginning she, she was like, ‘I don’t even know if I’ve got a book to write.’ And I’m like, ‘ , I am so sorry, but if you are talking to me, you have a book to write.’

Know, I set that intention years ago that if people were coming to me, they had books that needed to be out there in the world. So I’m like, well, if you’ve found me and you’re talking to me, then you actually do have a book. So I have news, firstly, but. You know, so she actually just started listening, making time to listen to just different little lessons in my courses or whatever while she was hanging the washing out.

And so just making, just kind of going, ‘Oh, I’m just going to like, not just hang the washing, I’m going to actually like use it for some time.’ And then she progressed to sitting down and listening, or listening while she went for a walk for her own like wellbeing. And so it was such little subtle steps.

So quite often we wanna take that really big step, and it needs to be our own inner knowing will be like, ‘Ooh, that’s just gonna like really push my buttons. I’m just gonna run away. I’m gonna not wanna do it.’ But, you know if we just, just gently, just gently, softly, softly, you know? It’s quite often gets us more traction. It gets, it gets a little more movement, I’ve found, anyway.

[00:08:37] Caitlin Fisher: I agree completely. I encourage people to take just like a very small step if they can, because the next year is going to pass whether or not you’re writing or not. You know, whether or not I said or not twice, it’s fine. Whether or not you are painting, whether or not you are journaling every day, like whatever the thing is that you wanna do.

And I have my clients do a 10 year vision and they hate it because they’re like, ‘I don’t know what I’m, I don’t know what’s going to be in 10 years.’ And I’m like, ‘But what do you want in 10 years?’ And then what little teeny tiny, what little small choice do you make today that creates that 10 year vision?

Because 10 years will pass. Like 2032 is coming, you know. So in 2032, what do you want? Like I would love to have a best selling book.

[00:09:35] Tamara Protassow: Oh yeah. Amazing. Great dream.

[00:09:39] Caitlin Fisher: Great dream, right? Because my existing book has sold less than a thousand copies, right? So we’re not, we’re not on a best seller list. That’s pretty cool for me, cuz most like indie writers don’t, I don’t think, probably sell a thousand copies. So yeah, I’m proud.

[00:09:53] Tamara Protassow: Great number. I love that number.

[00:09:56] Caitlin Fisher: Thanks . And yeah, like I’m, I’m helping other people write their books now. I have a 90 day goal incubator, and I started it as just like any goal, bring me any goal and I will help you achieve a 90 day portion of it. And then the only people I was getting were writers and I was like, Oh, okay. I’m a writer. I’m attracting writers. Love that.

[00:10:17] Tamara Protassow: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. I love that.

[00:10:19] Caitlin Fisher: So wordsmithing is happening, so now it’s like my 90 day writing incubator. Fantastic. Rather than like an anything incubator, but what has come up for people is like, ‘Oh, how do I like stay on task with this when like life is coming at me really fast?’ Like big, chaotic life changes, you know?

Or like, ‘I can’t think about writing because I’m dealing with all this other stuff.’ And so I’ve had some clients who like had to press pause and they’re like, Like, I, I can’t do it right now. And then other clients who were clawing their way through it. They’re like, ‘I’m getting something done , even though everything sucks right now.’

So like, And that brings us into the topic of sort of like while the world burns. So whether that’s on a personal level, like your personal sky is falling , because it happens. We have bad seasons, you know? Versus like just being so aware and connected through social media and the news of just everything going on in the world that is hard and scary and bad.

[00:11:24] Tamara Protassow: Mm mm

[00:11:26] Caitlin Fisher: We can almost feel selfish for wanting to be creative or wanting to sell a product or service online when other people. can’t afford rent. You know, I went through that myself. I was like, Well, I can’t possibly, I can’t possibly start a business right now and ask people to buy from me. Yeah. Cause it was right at the beginning of Covid, like when I was starting my coaching practice and I was like, Oh no. This is not the time to be a coach. I need to be a coach when everyone in the world is rich and can can hire me. Apparently Covid Covid stopped me. I’m glad that I had a coach at the time and she was like, You wanna, you wanna work on that? Yeah.

So, yeah, I’d love to get your take on that. What, what about that thing that like stops us like No, no, the the world being chaotic is like, time to be quiet and, and slow down and not make any noise. Yeah. Cause I say no, like light it on fire, like, let’s do it.

[00:12:20] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, yeah, yeah. My, I am a hundred percent with you. When, when either your, your life or the world or both are like on fire, just things just keep coming at you and you go, Yep, yep. Okay. Yep. No, I’m all right. I’m all right. And then the next day there’s something else and you go, Ooh, and then you expand a little bit more and you go, Yep, yep. No, I’m okay. I’m okay. Like having a creative outlet is a hundred percent necessary. Not only for yourself, like there’s a couple of, like, there’s just so much in this that, that, I wanna say it all at once, but I’ll just, I’ll just start with the self and expand out into the world.

You know, like yes, sometimes pressing pause is a hundred percent necessary. Like, I wanna start with that and just go, you know, it. Totally valid to just go, I need all of my attention for keeping myself going and sane, and I need that time for sleeping or resting or dealing with X, Y, z, You know, that’s a hundred percent valid.

And just going into a holding pattern is okay. Like, just wanna say that to start with. But if you do have that fire, and if you are, you know, feeling something about your situation then having that creative outlet is actually a really healing and it’s like a lifeline. So, you know, I know people who art journal and just you know, express themselves on a page.

I do a, I do a traveling art journal with a couple of friends and we each have a little like notebook and we do some art in there, and then we send it to the next person in the circle and it just goes around and around. And that’s a really great thing. You know, it means I’m not attached to what I’ve done.

I’ve just, you know, expressed myself on the page and out it’s gone. And I feel so much better because it grounds me, it allows me to process my experience. And then I just, I send it on. And of course they’re trusted friends, of course, you know, they can receive whatever I’ve put in there. But it, it really does give a thread of centered. and groundedness, and I think that’s super important for us. If we’re going through something, you know, it’s a little bit like just writing, journaling or you know, having a cup of tea with a friend and having a chat. Like it’s, it’s that kind of grounding force.

However, if you then look at the world and go, Holy crap, this is a situation where I don’t know how much worse it can get, and then the news the next day shows you how much worse it can get, and that just keeps happening. And, and you have a, a fire in you and a rage in you and an urge to express that then to me, that is, That is the creative fire. That is something wanting to come through you and actually be out there in the world to give other people hope, to give other people a thread to hold onto.

So, you know, I quite often get filled with feminist rage just purely existing as a person in the world, , who identifies as a woman, and I am just, you know, so quite often, like I have writing accountability calls and like, you know, I’m writing my nonfiction book anyway, but sometimes on our Writing accountability calls, I’ll be like, you know, today I just have to write from the place of feminist rage.

And I just, I’ve just gotta get it out. I have to get it out. And, you know, quite often that needs to go, you know, it can’t just sit on my hard drive, like quite often that needs to go on like medium or on my blog or a social media post, like it’s, it’s just got to get out there somewhere. And those tend to be the posts, those tend to be the like blog posts or whatever, I send it out to my list and they’re the ones that get people replying going, Oh my gosh, I needed to hear that today. I needed to hear that, you know? How do you, how like quite often it is, how do you justify what you do when the world is in such a state and it’s, it’s thinking about and answering that question.

So for whatever topic you are feeling inspired to write about, there’s someone out there who needs to hear it. That’s one of the basic things that I work with with people is if you’ve got a spark of inspiration, There’s someone out there who has wished that someone would do something in that area, you know?

And that us not acting on that inspiration. You know, if we are creatively blocking ourselves, if we are just there going, No, no, no, I need to hustle. I need to, I need to, I need, I, I should be this, that, or the other thing. Like, we’re actually not allowing that other person who’s wished for this to get what they need. So for me, the creative urge is a service as well as a an expression of ourselves.

[00:17:40] Caitlin Fisher: I really love that. That’s beautiful.

[00:17:42] Tamara Protassow: Mm, Yeah. Yeah. It always, it always makes me go, Oh my gosh, that is exactly what I am about.

[00:17:49] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, it is. And I have found. So I, I came to like my, my current present life from a marketing career, so I was a full-time content manager.

So I was writing blogs with SEO keywords, and I was writing a whole social media calendar, like months, even quarters in advance because, you know, I worked for a greenhouse and we plant content is not really topical really. I’m just like, Here’s plants, here’s a pun with plant names in it. And, you know, that was easy to sort of plan and create on a calendar.

And so I was doing that same thing, trying to teach about intuition and creativity and like joy and stuff. And I was like, Why does this all feel fake? And so I stopped. I stopped planning my post in advance in April. And sometimes that means I post several times a day and sometimes I go a few days without posting.

Like for instance, on Instagram or wherever, wherever I’m at, I’m most active on Facebook. But I like Instagram cuz it’s pretty. And I like TikTok cuz it’s just kind of like fun to play around with a platform that I’m not familiar with yet. But when I just show up, you know, like when I have an idea and I’m like, Go write a post about it.

Go, go do that. And it can be really short or it can be just funny, like, I just went out for sushi and I said, Guess who didn’t drop any soy sauce on their titties? And some like, I got so many people on that post being like, Oh my God, so funny. Yeah. Like I’m like, I never in a thousand years would’ve pre-planned that.

[00:19:37] Tamara Protassow: You can’t plan that. [laughter]

[00:19:38] Caitlin Fisher: So just sort of allowing myself to like be a person and not have to be like this sort of more corporate pre-planned, quarterly perfect content production farm has resulted for me in a lot more authentic connection with people. Yeah. And I’ve gotten that feedback a lot of, like, I really needed to see this today.

And somebody the other day actually commented on TikTok. They said like, the algorithm brought me to this, this one, and like I didn’t know who they were. It was like a new person that I hadn’t met yet. And so I was like, Oh wow, okay. Like the internet’s working, like the internet is taking what I, what I’m saying to the people who want and need it. And that’s awesome.

[00:20:23] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, absolutely. And that, that is the crucial piece I think. Yeah. It’s, it’s just so I don’t know. I think it also gets us out of our heads. Which is really necessary when you’re creating, Like, you can’t be there going, Oh, look at me, I’m doing the writing. Ooh. Or whatever, painting, creating, you know, whatever creations you’re doing.

You can’t be like, Here I am doing the thing. I’m– look at me. Look at me. Aww, that line. Look at that line. You know, like you can. It’s not the space that you can actually, and it’s really hard sometimes to get out of that out of that sort of self watching, you know, that, that feeling. Yeah. And it, and it’s quite often creation happens in a, in a little bubble.

Like you’re by yourself, you know, the, the stereotypical writing person is, you know, by themselves in a room kind of tapping away, looking wistfully out the window, like

[00:21:16] Caitlin Fisher: Right. It’s, it’s dark. There’s a, a whiskey.

[00:21:21] Tamara Protassow: Exactly. Having great thoughts, you know? And so often it’s really not, it’s, it’s stolen moments where you are like, I have five minutes.

You know, if, if you are, if you’ve got loads of commitments, sometimes it’s like, Oh, quick write that down. Or if you’ve given yourself time, it’s just like sitting there staring at the blank screen in front of you going, Crap. I feel like I’m writing, I feel like I’m typing with oven mitts on like, this is really terrible.

[00:21:51] Caitlin Fisher: You know, I had, that was this week for me. I write once a week on my novel. It’s, I call it novel day. I write on Wednesday morning and this trilogy came to me in the shower once and I turned the shower off and went for a notebook. I was like, I have, I have to write it down. One day I will find the notebook it’s in and the page will be wet, and I will frame it.

Ah, but I, like, I had this whole idea and I’m like, I gotta write that. And then of course it’s become a, a trilogy. Now I’m like midway through the second book. The plot of the third book just came to me in the kitchen a couple days ago.

[00:22:28] Tamara Protassow: Oh, I love this.

[00:22:30] Caitlin Fisher: the parts, like some people like authors, so I, I, I do more like writing community on Twitter than anywhere else, and people will be like, Oh, my characters are doing this.

And like, I didn’t plan that. And I’m like, What do you mean you didn’t plan that? NO. They do things. They go off book like, and it’s, it’s so crazy to me how much of a life like the book takes. My non-fiction book didn’t do that. Cause my non-fiction book didn’t have characters and chaos. But writing fiction for me has been an incredible process, but this week it just, it just was not really flowing. Yeah. I don’t know if I was distracted or if I, you know, my coffee hadn’t kicked in yet, or like, whatever. But it did, it felt like typing with oven mitts, like, I’m like, man, I had to have hit like at least like 1500 words, like 700 and something

[00:23:26] Tamara Protassow: Oh. I think, I think that’s an experience everyone can relate to. I mean, you know…. It. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:23:35] Caitlin Fisher: [muffled] It’s progress

[00:23:37] Tamara Protassow: it’s progress. And I think the, the great thing about you know, having a community like your 90 day kind of incubator and the, the like writing sort of membership thing that I, I run and write alongside people in is just…

the fact that, you know, when we check in there, there’s going to be someone having a great day. Like there’s gonna be someone going, Oh my gosh, I managed to get away for like an hour before the call and I’ve like written and written, I’ve written 2000 words and I’m in love with it. And oh my gosh, you know, there there’ll be someone on a roll and there’ll be someone else going, Oh, I’m the exact opposite.

I’ve tried to write this week and I’ve made time and I’ve faithfully sat down and did it, and, and. But it was really hard. And so they, But I think over time we get to see that we all have those times and it becomes normal. And so what I’ve found over time is that people will be, instead of going, so therefore I’m giving up , people will be like, Well, I guess like I just wait it out and I’ll probably be different next week.

It just gives that little bit of perspective cuz they’ve had the good times too, and that they know that it’s not a constant, even though we wish it was, we all wanna feel like we’re flying, you know? We just wanna always capture that feeling and never let it go and just, you know, create off into the sunset.

But for whatever reason, it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes like, you know, quite often I’m like, Okay, well if it’s feeling really stuck, how about you just stop? Like stop punishing yourself by making yourself sit there like you’ve got like 750 words or you know, 35 words or whatever. Like just you’ve done some stuff.

Like if you really wanna keep going on your book, then there’s heaps of other jobs you can do, like write your back cover blurb. Research other books in the same genre so that you can look at what people expect from a cover. Like decide what you, what colors you really like, like decide if you want graphic elements inside the book.

Start fiddling around with those, like there’s heaps and heaps and heaps of jobs on books that you can do that isn’t actually writing the words. .

[00:25:54] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. For sure. Sometimes I’ll go onto Pinterest and I’ll make like little inspiration boards for each character. I’m like,

[00:26:01] Tamara Protassow: Oh, that’s lovely

[00:26:03] Caitlin Fisher: yeah. I just wanna put some visuals together.

I made a book trailer and put it on TikTok, like that was super fun.

[00:26:10] Tamara Protassow: Yes, yes. All of that stuff. It’s just, yeah. You know, it’s all still working on your book. It’s really interesting how you were saying, Oh yeah, my non-fiction book didn’t, didn’t do this. It’s so odd, but so many non-fiction books do, like people will go, Oh, right, I’m writing this book.

It’s on X, y, Z, et cetera, et cetera. And we plan it out. And then part way through, they go, Oh, it just showed me it expanded. Oh. It’s bigger on the inside. Like . Yes. And, and it just like, you know, so, and it gets, I guess it gets bigger and richer. So suddenly they realize where the threads all come together and go, Oh, oh, I need a heat more in here and this is gonna help someone more.

And that’s where we come back to that self-conscious thing I was talking about. It’s, it’s kind of helped by remembering this is actually. Like an answer to someone else’s wish. You know, this is, this is actually service to someone like a fiction book that is such a like great service. Like people want to be entertained, people want to escape Reality for a bit like that is such a gift.

Like I read a heck of a lot of fiction, like I read so much and I love it because it takes me out of whatever I am feeling, doing, experiencing particularly when the world is on fire, when it’s going to hell in a hand basket, I’m like, and it’s time for a bath and book. That is me. No one can disturb that. I am ignoring everything and I’m diving in here, and I don’t care what’s happening outside my door right now.

[00:28:01] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Yeah. So I, I also teach not work life balance, but I teach work, life, play, rest, balance.

[00:28:09] Tamara Protassow: Ooh.

[00:28:09] Caitlin Fisher: Because we need things that are just for joy and pleasure and fun. We need the play and we also need rest. That is actually restorative. So like, not just, Well, I stayed up super late writing my book, and so I only get like five hours of sleep a night. But it’s fine. I feel fine. I’m like, You don’t feel fine. You have a Red Bull addiction. you’re not fine, my partner who doesn’t listen to this podcast, , like, I know, I know you’re hitting two red Bulls a day some days. Like, No, that’s not rest.

Rest is… rest is saying like, No, I am closing the door. I am sitting in the bathtub. I have a book. I got candles. I got a face mask. I got tea or wine, or whatever your thing is. Like the animals cannot come in here like, no. One time my ex-husband came in to, I don’t know, fake concern about me or something, and left the bathroom door open when I was taking a bath and all the cats came in and I had candles. I’m trying to read. I’m like, What? Shut the door, man. like, not restful.

[00:29:20] Tamara Protassow: No, very much not restful right.

[00:29:23] Caitlin Fisher: You’ve now taken my rest and made it work cuz now I have to manage all these freaking animals. Yeah, but also like the dichotomy of like, creativity. So when I’m painting, painting for me is play, but writing for me is work.

[00:29:36] Tamara Protassow: Mm.

[00:29:36] Caitlin Fisher: Both are creative, but they, I engage with them differently and so like, it doesn’t feel guilty for me to paint necessarily. You know, like I’m not, like the world is burning and so I cannot be creative in this way. Like the, the world burning really comes out when I’m, I guess trying to like write something like, say I feel inspired, like you said, like feminist rage is, is pouring out of me today, so I’m gonna write a blog about it.

And I personally, as a white person, get stuck in my head and I’m like, am I the voice that needs to be telling this? And. Man, just, just write it. Just be creative. Just get it out in the world. Like you’re not, you’re not acting like you’re the sole authority on feeling burnt out by the world right now.

Like, so, you know, I wrote about, I did a blog when Roe v. Wade was overturned in the us. That was huge. That was, that’s bad.

[00:30:32] Tamara Protassow: Very massive.

[00:30:33] Caitlin Fisher: Sent out an email to my email list and I was like, Nothing is fine. like, Hey, I’m here coming to you on a Wednesday or whatever. Like, I normally write you on Mondays, but I just want you to know that like, this is bad and nothing’s okay, and like, it’s okay if you are having any emotion.

[00:30:49] Tamara Protassow: Yeah.

[00:30:49] Caitlin Fisher: And I got people writing back and they were just like, Thank you,

[00:30:52] Tamara Protassow: Thank goodness someone said it

[00:30:54] Caitlin Fisher: right, like somebody, somebody said it to me like, I needed this. I needed to receive permission to be scared or angry or sad, like any anything, and. Yeah. Like, why not you? Yeah. Why not Your creativity, Why not your words in your work?

Like, yes, the world is awful. So be a source of light.

[00:31:18] Tamara Protassow: Back in 2016 when you had that infamous election over there it, it reverberated around the world. And I remember writing like just ev everyone watched in disbelief over here, just going, What the hell is going on? And we were all, everyone was scared and everyone was angry and everyone was, you know, we, we, we went through that with you, you know, not, not in the same way obviously, because we’re at a distance, but I just remember so many people feeling in despair. Over here as well.

And you know, I I, I remember so clearly writing a blog post that said, Right, this is your sign. You have to stand up. You have to stand up out of the darkness. Or don’t– not have to, I don’t like the have to word, but you know, if you are feeling some form of like, you know, energetic emotion, like stand up, say something.

This is, this is where we have to stand up because. You know, my my background is my grandparents were prisoners of war and in concentration camps in the second World War.

[00:32:32] Caitlin Fisher: Oh, wow.

[00:32:33] Tamara Protassow: And you know, I, I’m just here by, by pure accident that they survived those things. And, you know, my grandmother, my Bubba she just always told stories. You know, and she all, she told stories about that time from when I was very small, but she really calibrated them for children, you know, So it was, it was like sort of the, the brothers grim fairy tales, you know, They, they were scary stories, but they were also stories. But what really struck me as I got older is that she talked about the people who stood up.

She talked about the people who kept that flame of hope alive and that really informs a lot of my thinking in this area. Just if you, even if your version of standing up while the world burns is having conversation with your neighbor and making that connection with someone, that can be enough. You know, it’s, it’s, it doesn’t have to be a viral blog post or social media post or whatever.

It can be enough just to make a connection with another person, because that’s how we survive. Yes. And that to me, sort of underpins a lot of what I do. It’s like this is, this is the time to stand up. That’s why back in 2016, that, that blog post, it got the most replies I’ve ever had. I didn’t even know my dad was on my list.

Oh. So, you know, I sent this thing out and it was about, you know, now now’s the time to stand up now, you know, stand up. The forces of darkness are alive. Like we don’t want the conditions that happen prior to Second World War happening again. Like, we need to have our voices out there. We need to be heard and and stuff.

And even my dad, who, like, you know, he’ll talk on the phone or in person, but he never replies to emails. He, he replied to that email and was like, this is like, he’s very, very, he’s not a verbose man, so , he was like, ‘This was a good one,’ and that’s it. That’s all I got. And I was like, Wow, that must have done something.

Yeah. I’m like, Wow. Okay. . Yeah. Then I went through a whole period where I felt like I couldn’t be visible cuz my dad was watching. So guess who’s not on my list anymore? .

[00:34:59] Caitlin Fisher: Oh no!

[00:35:00] Tamara Protassow: I was like, I’m so sorry. He wouldn’t have noticed. I email him, you know, just occasionally going, This is what I’m doing, just to keep him happy.

But, you know, Yeah. And that’s created, that’s looking after me. It’s creating conditions where I can continue to do my, my work in the world without feeling like I’m being scrutinized all the time. Yeah. And again, so important for creativity.

[00:35:21] Caitlin Fisher: Definitely. The, a lot of what my clients have dealt with, and even myself, is feeling like we’re gonna get something wrong. Like if we stand up, we’re gonna get, we’re gonna get called out, like we’re going to, we’re gonna misstep, we’re going to somehow do it wrong and feel bad and guilty and shamey. And so we’re like pre shaming ourselves into never standing up. Mm. And I’m like, you know, we’re going to, let’s see, this episode we’re recording on September 1st or September 2nd, depending on if you’re in Ohio or Australia.

But this episode’s gonna come out later in October, actually. So previous to this episode, we’ll have some on like cancel culture and call outs and things like that and like Like how to stand up for causes online without sort of like this self censorship problem. So it will be discussed before this episode, but it’s so interesting to me.

Like I, I planned this season to be like discrete topics, right. But no, they’re all, they’re all part of it. Yeah. And that’s why I go with themes so that, like the theme of this season is like the renaissance, like art and creativity coming from a dark age.

[00:36:35] Tamara Protassow: Mm. Totally.

[00:36:37] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, like, so Yes. Stand up. Yes. Make noise. Yes. Light it up. Like burn it down. Whatever metaphor we’re doing right now. You know, be a bright, shiny light and like be willing to get it wrong a little. Like be willing to have to learn, like everything is a learning process. Writing a book is a learning process. Learning to paint, learning to draw, like it’s all learning process.

I can’t draw faces. I can’t draw hands. So when I do paintings, they’re very artfully… You don’t see faces or hands like, because I haven’t learned that yet, you know?

[00:37:16] Tamara Protassow: No, I love that.

[00:37:17] Caitlin Fisher: Being willing to be an amateur or beginner at something, or even just not an absolute master of the content. The way social media and the internet is we, we kind of like expect perfection, but that doesn’t exist and it’s not possible.

[00:37:36] Tamara Protassow: You’re so right. You’re so right. And you know, like you said, mistakes are how we learn. And if you put something out, You know, someone has a problem with it, you’ve made a mistake, you learn, you go, Oh, thank you for letting me know. I’m gonna go and learn about that. Like, you know, I’m going to like, take responsibility for what I have, what I’ve said, or what I’ve written or what I’ve done.

You know, Not putting the burden of educating yourself on someone else, like actually just going, Oh, that was a blind spot for me. I, I actually didn’t realize I’m gonna go and do this. And then you come back and do it better. Like you come back and go, you know, Okay, I’ve, I’ve learnt things. This is, this is, you know, my change here.

This is, this is my growth. This is where I am now. And I’m sorry. It’s, it’s about–

[00:38:31] Caitlin Fisher: exactly. I think that that’s the goal. Like when, when a call out happens we actually saw it recently with Lizzo’s new album and then immediately followed by Beyonce’s new album. Yeah. They both had the word spaz in their lyrics.

[00:38:46] Tamara Protassow: Mm-hmm.

[00:38:47] Caitlin Fisher: and spaz in the US just sort of means like woo, like kinda wacky, crazy but spaz in the UK and possibly also Australia.

[00:38:55] Tamara Protassow: Mm-hmm.

[00:38:56] Caitlin Fisher: Because I know there’s a lot of overlap there.

[00:38:57] Tamara Protassow: Yeah.

[00:38:58] Caitlin Fisher: Like is very specifically a slur. Used for people with spastic something, I think like cerebral palsy.

[00:39:07] Tamara Protassow: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:39:07] Caitlin Fisher: So it’s like actually like a medical ableist slur.

[00:39:11] Tamara Protassow: Hmm. Yeah.

[00:39:11] Caitlin Fisher: And so there was a whole lot of backlash and lizzo just changed the lyric and was like, I didn’t know. And now I know, and I’m sorry. And I fixed it. And Beyonce, same exact thing. Like those albums come out within one to two weeks of each other.

[00:39:25] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, yeah. I watched that with so much interest, purely because of the response. I was like–

[00:39:30] Caitlin Fisher: Yes! And so you see, like you’d see some people being like, Well, it’s still blah, blah, blah. Lizzo should have known better. And it’s like, you’re just being mad now. You’re just being mad to be mad. Like is it cuz she’s black? Is it cuz she’s fat? Like you wanna talk about it? Yeah. Cause she did exactly what you say that you want people to do when they are shown this problem, so,

[00:39:52] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, exactly, exactly.

[00:39:54] Caitlin Fisher: Also, just speaking of like creating while the world burns, how many amazing albums have come out since like 2020?

Right? Like we’re in this Covid pandemic. I would never be like ‘Beyonce, you need to stop cuz there’s a pandemic.’

No. Beyonce is bringing joy to the people. Yeah. I have been waiting for a new Lizzo album forever.

[00:40:16] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, I know, right?

[00:40:18] Caitlin Fisher: And just, I would never begrudge them their creativity and making money during a pandemic. So like, why would I do it? To me, a small business who like needs money to buy groceries.

[00:40:31] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, well, exactly. Exactly. And you know, they weren’t immediately born that big and successful, either, like they had to have their, I guess we call it a creative apprenticeship. You don’t start there, you know?

Or it’s very, very rare. I, I actually did know in high school one we were all in art class, you know, drawing like very, like painting, very simple fish, two dimensionally, and there was just this one guy. Just, we like paint a fish and he just did this perfect like scales, the whole, the shine, the like very gifted artist is, is now an artist as well, you know, and just has continued. But he was very gifted.

But that, that’s like so rare. , everyone else just needs to do their little creative apprenticeship. You know, the Mozarts of this world will just do their thing, but you know, everyone else is like, Okay, I’m just typing with oven mitts on today, or, you know, painting with the —

[00:41:34] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, it’s okay to be a beginner. I love talking about Stephen King’s railroad spike of rejection letters.

[00:41:42] Tamara Protassow: I love that so much. Oh!

[00:41:44] Caitlin Fisher: Like he’s Stephen King. He’s, he is well regarded as like one of the greatest authors, and he got a lot of rejections.

[00:41:55] Tamara Protassow: So many rejections that– Yeah. His book on writing is just one that I reference over and over and over again because he’s like, you know, Yeah, you, you can have talent, but then you have to have craft, you have to do the time, like you just gotta work it, work on it, work on it, work on it. It’s, yeah, it’s amazing. Mm.

[00:42:19] Caitlin Fisher: Yep. No matter what the world’s doing, like if, if there’s a talent within you, if there’s a dream within, you, if there’s a creativity and a passion within you, like Yeah. No matter what the world looks, you gotta do that. The, We had cave paintings way back in the day, like art and creativity and storytelling is part of humanity, and I think it comes out brilliantly when we really need the hope of that.

[00:42:47] Tamara Protassow: Mm. Yeah, a hundred percent. I, ah, you just keep, you know, every, every time you say something, I’m like, ah, that’s just what I was thinking. . Because yeah, I, I often say, you know, we are storytelling animals, whether that’s through words or pictures or, or song or whatever we, we are doing, we are telling each other stories, and quite often they’re the stories that, you know, make us feel something. And you know, for me it’s always about that connection. It connects us to other people, and that is basically what being human is. You know, we, we just try and get through together and if we can help other people get through by our own creativity or we help ourselves get through, then that’s what it’s for.

You know? That’s, Yeah, that’s what it’s for. You know? I mean, like, why should I do this thing? I’m like, Cause you’re human.

[00:43:36] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Cause cuz it connects with other people because you have art and passion. Like even if you just, if you take red paint and you just swipe it across a canvas, like that’s, that’s art. It is. Congrats. You did it. Yes. You know, like, Yeah. It doesn’t have to be high brow. It doesn’t have to be impressionism. Like, you don’t have to be Picasso. And even Picasso wasn’t Picasso until he was Picasso. Like.

Totally. So, yes, the, the resounding theme of this episode is like, make stuff. Because world is bad.

[00:44:18] Tamara Protassow: Yeah.

[00:44:18] Caitlin Fisher: Because make stuff helps us feel good.

[00:44:21] Tamara Protassow: Yeah. And because human. Really simplify it and because human, you know, because human, We’ve been making stuff since we arrived, however that happened. Like we just need to keep making stuff.

[00:44:33] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Mm. I love it. Thank you so much for being here today.

[00:44:38] Tamara Protassow: Oh, it has been an absolute pleasure and just so much fun. Thank you.

[00:44:43] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. And thanks for getting up early tomorrow morning to record this with me tonight.

[00:44:50] Tamara Protassow: Awesome.

[00:44:52] Caitlin Fisher: So tell us where we can find you online and if, you know, if you’re promoting anything. I think you mentioned an accountability membership, so yeah, tell us the deets on, on how to work with you, if any aspiring writers who maybe don’t vibe perfectly with meme and vibe with you.

[00:45:09] Tamara Protassow: Yeah, I was, I was gonna say, well, Caitlin’s right here.

[00:45:13] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Like I’m here. I know they hear my shit all the time.

[00:45:17] Tamara Protassow: That’s fine. Yeah, you can check out my website, which is And that’s got all my stuff on it. Or I’m also on Facebook, which is at Tamara Protassow. And spelling will be in the show notes here somewhere.

[00:45:29] Caitlin Fisher: Sure will!.

[00:45:29] Tamara Protassow: And I’m on Instagram as @Book.Write.Now. And that’s right as in w-r-i-t-e. So I’m on Insta as well. Yeah. And I don’t know, I I, the membership you were mentioning, that’s Book Write Now With Me, which is where I write my book alongside other authors writing theirs, and that’s just monthly membership. We do weekly calls where we write and one call a month where we talk and check in about our books.

[00:45:58] Caitlin Fisher: I like it.

[00:45:59] Tamara Protassow: Mm. But that’s, that’s, you know, it’s all findable websites, socials, blah, blah.

[00:46:04] Caitlin Fisher: Yep. I’ll, I will point, I will point them to the links in the show notes. So thank you again. Thank you so much for being here with us.

[00:46:12] Tamara Protassow: Oh, it, as I said, absolute pleasure and you’re so welcome.

Authenticity and Taking Up Space: How to Stop People Pleasing with Beth Koritz | #60

“You can’t be authentic if you’re people pleasing.”  

To stop people pleasing, you have to know yourself authentically and stop looking for outside validation from others. Your self actualization is not in those people! 

Join me and Beth Koritz as we talk about authenticity, synchronicity, trauma responses, and the people you might lose along the way as you stick to your boundaries.   

Highlights include: Why Rachel Hollis is THE WORST, how Beth turned her life around at age fifty and created her most passionate life, body positivity and Health at Every Size, what we sacrifice about our authentic lives in order to keep the peace, and SO MUCH MORE. This conversation was so good, it was hard for us to stop!   

Beth Koritz is a best-selling author, licensed professional counselor, and Intuitive Clarity Coach. Her passion is helping people create their dream life in alignment with the authentic self & purpose.  

After a lifetime of entrepreneurship, Beth came to her own realization that the checklist lifestyle she had been living wasn’t a true representation of her authentic self. At the age of 48, she did her own work to claim her purpose and break through the fears and excuses that were getting in her way. That’s when Beth returned to school and got her master’s degree in counseling. 

After years of serving hundreds of clients in her private counseling practice, Beth knew she had to find a way to help support more people on a larger scale. That’s when the Authenticity Academy was born, offering group and 1-on-1 clarity coaching.  

Now Beth combines her expertise as a licensed therapist, certified in body-positive psychology and thought field therapy with the insights she gained on her own personal journey to help hundreds of people live a life in alignment with who they were meant to be.  

Find Beth at YourClarity.Coach to get the scoop on working with her 1:1 to embrace your most authentic self.   

We also talked about a lot of resources and books, which you can find here:   

Intuitive Eating (Elyse Resch): 

The Fuck It Diet (Caroline Dooner): 

Beth’s Book “Resilience Road,” which you can get for free on Kindle Unlimited: 

My book “The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation”

  And if I missed anything, let me know!   

I LOVE hearing your favorite parts of the podcast every week, so shoot me a DM on Instagram @CaitlinLizFisher, and don’t forget to sign up for my email list at 


[00:00:00] Caitlin Fisher: All right everyone. Welcome back to Run Like Hell Toward Happy, the podcast where we unlearn the hustle and embrace our passions. And today we are talking about people pleasing and how to stop doing it. And how do you let go of wanting everyone to like you. And for this delightful topic I’m bringing in Beth Koritz, a bestselling author, licensed professional counselor, and intuitive clarity coach.

Her passion is helping people create their dream life in alignment with the authentic self and purpose. After a lifetime of entrepreneurship, Beth came to her own realization that the checklist lifestyle she had been living was not a true representation of her authentic self.

Same. Giant same. Big same.

And at the age of 48, she did her own work to claim her purpose and break through the fears and excuses that were getting in her way. That’s when Beth returned to school, got her master’s degree in counseling, and after years of serving hundreds of clients in private practice, she knew she had to find a way to support more people on a larger scale.

That’s when the Authenticity Academy was born, offering group and one-on-one clarity coaching. Now Beth combines her expertise as a licensed therapist, certified in body positive psychology and thought field therapy with the insights she gained on her own personal journey to help hundreds of people live life in alignment with who they were meant to be.

What a write up!

[00:01:29] Beth Koritz: Yeah, that sounded pretty good. .

[00:01:31] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, that did sound pretty good. So, hi Beth, welcome to the show.

[00:01:34] Beth Koritz: Hi. Thanks for having me.

[00:01:36] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. So something I have to touch on before we get into the people pleasing thing is that before we started recording, you told me that you hated writing, and as a bestselling author, I gotta hear more. So why did you write a book if you did not enjoy writing?

[00:01:55] Beth Koritz: Well, for years, so I have let, I have lived insane kind of life, not that I’ve had all these hundreds of crazy adventures and stories, but I’ve had many health things and so many, so many things that are crazy. Like having two diseases at the same time that you’re not supposed to be able to have both at the same time. Supposed to be impossible.

[00:02:24] Caitlin Fisher: Interesting.

[00:02:24] Beth Koritz: So, yeah. And right. So You know, paralyzed from the shoulders down and have to learn it all again. I broke my back. Was still doing my broken back therapy when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s like, it’s insane. So people have always been like, You have to write a book. You have to write a book.

And I’ve always been like, Why is anybody gonna care? Why is anybody gonna care about my stories? But then I realized that I could combine my stories with my therapeutic practice, therapeutic journey that I take my clients through, and the book could be a teaching and learning experience at the same time, then I was okay with it.

You know, people really could get something out of it more than just reading some stranger’s stories, even though they’re great stories. So I decided to write a book. Not gonna lie, I got some help. Right. I got some help from a writer who I, we sat together for probably 40 hours and I had just told the stories of my life.

She put it together into some semblance and then I took it and, you know, wrote it. filled in, you know, embellished. Did all that.

[00:03:47] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Connected the dots.

[00:03:49] Beth Koritz: Connected the dots. Then I hired a professional editor. And it was working with her. We were in her office. I flew to Denver to work with her, and we’re in her office and she was like, ‘Explain, I don’t understand, like this system that you take people through.’

And I started writing it out on this big piece of paper, like kind of a mind map for her, to help her understand. And then I was like, Oh my God, there’s a coaching program here. Like I had written the whole outline while trying to explain this to her. And that is where the Authenticity Academy came from.

[00:04:27] Caitlin Fisher: That’s awesome. So tell me a little about the authenticity Academy and this, this mind map thing, because I love chaos and this sounds like chaos turned into a really cool thing for you.

[00:04:41] Beth Koritz: Well, so you know, also before we went live We were talking about adhd.

[00:04:47] Caitlin Fisher: Yes, we sure were.

[00:04:48] Beth Koritz: And, right, how being neuro divergent, we, I just don’t think like everybody else. And you probably don’t either, I would assume, right?

[00:04:59] Caitlin Fisher: Correct.

[00:04:59] Beth Koritz: Yeah. So, and when something excites me, I go full bore, right? We all do that. I think. Full fucking bore. Like get out of our way. Yeah, we’re gonna steamroll you right through.

Right. So see, I kind of forgot the original question.

[00:05:16] Caitlin Fisher: What’s the authenticity academy and the…

[00:05:19] Beth Koritz: So I have a process for being living your authentic life because, What I found in my therapy practice is if I ask my clients to tell me about who they are. Tell me about yourself, and they’d all say, you know, whatever, I’m a mom. I have three kids. I volunteer at this, and I, I have a part-time job at that, or I work here. And I’m like, Yeah, but that doesn’t tell me anything about who you are. That’s all about what you do. Yeah, I wanna know about who you are. And I’m not exaggerating when I say 99% of my clients just stop. And some tear up and they hesitate and they say, I have no idea. I don’t even know how to answer that question.

Right? So you can’t start living your authentic life until you know who you are. So that’s step one. You know, you have to learn about who you are, I say at a soul level, right? These are the, the things that are a part of you, and they don’t change as your life changes.

They are who you came into this world being, right? So it’s, and I also say they’re adjectives. Write me a list. I want you to start with, I try and get them to do like 25 and they’re like 25? I can’t even come up with five. So I’ll work with them for a little bit on a few, but they’re adjectives. If it’s a noun, it’s a verb, it doesn’t go on the list.

[00:07:06] Caitlin Fisher: So I can’t say writer. I can’t say a writer’s who I am.

[00:07:10] Beth Koritz: No, that’s what you do.

[00:07:12] Caitlin Fisher: But I love it.

[00:07:14] Beth Koritz: Yeah, cuz it’s what you love what you do .

[00:07:19] Caitlin Fisher: Ooh. Ooh. 25 adjectives is hard, Beth.

[00:07:24] Beth Koritz: It’s not once you get rolling.

[00:07:27] Caitlin Fisher: Okay.

[00:07:28] Beth Koritz: Okay. Can you gimme five?

[00:07:32] Caitlin Fisher: I’m generous.

[00:07:34] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:35] Caitlin Fisher: I am loving.

[00:07:36] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:38] Caitlin Fisher: I am compassionate.

[00:07:42] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:42] Caitlin Fisher: these are all hitting me as things that benefit other people around me.

[00:07:47] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:48] Caitlin Fisher: Interesting. Okay, great. I’m funny.

[00:07:52] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:53] Caitlin Fisher: and I’m adorable.

[00:07:55] Beth Koritz: There you go. That wasn’t so hard.

[00:07:57] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. All right.

[00:07:59] Beth Koritz: That wasn’t so hard. Right?

[00:08:02] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:08:03] Beth Koritz: So if, if somebody, Oh, and then the next question always is, well, do you mean good and bad qualities?

And I, I initially chuckled because to me the very definition of quality, I believe is good. But if you come up with something not so good, I still want you to write it down because then we’re gonna go over it together. You might have it on the not so good side because the patriarchy has told you it’s not good coming from a female presenting person.

[00:08:32] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:08:33] Beth Koritz: Right. If you were a man, would it be on the good side? Obviously I deal mostly with women.

[00:08:40] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. So that, you know that assertive versus bitchy.

[00:08:46] Beth Koritz: Exactly. Exactly. Mm-hmm.

[00:08:50] Caitlin Fisher: this is delicious. And this leads us right into people pleasing.

[00:08:54] Beth Koritz: It does. It does. So, so first we have to get them to see it as good or work on changing it, because we do all have some, not some characteristics that we don’t love about ourselves, you know.

So people pleasing. Okay. You still have to go through this system in order to not people please. And here’s why. If you, in order to feel good about yourself, like really about who you are, not about how you look, not about the crowd you hang out with, but to feel good about who you are in a bubble, you have to really know who you are, right?

[00:09:35] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:36] Beth Koritz: So after knowing now, I work with you on feeling good about that person. Right, because you maybe aren’t… look, if you read that list, if a friend gave you that list or a stranger, wouldn’t you assume they’re a good person?

[00:09:54] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:09:54] Beth Koritz: Why don’t you see yourself as a good person, right?

[00:09:57] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:09:58] Beth Koritz: So we work a lot on that.

Now, once you like who you are and you see yourself as a good person, only then can you really stop people pleasing. Because you now can get all the validation you need internally. As long as you need external validation, you will people please to get it. Interesting. Yeah. It’s a pretty simple equation, right?

[00:10:29] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Like external validation feels good. It’s nice when people are proud of me or people say like, Wow, you do really great work. Like I love that. I love a testimonial. But yeah, when that, when that is the driving force when I’m like, Well, I coach people because then they tell me I’m a good coach, that’s, that’s not really helpful.

[00:10:51] Beth Koritz: What if you’re in a group? What if you’re in a social situation and you feel insecure and you need to hear something nice from somebody in order to feel secure? Yeah. Then you do nice things, right? That’s external validation instead of, you know, if you go to, let’s say you go to a party by yourself and you’re feeling insecure, right?

But if you know that you’re a good person, you’re a fun person, right? You, your presence improves the room, right? Whether people talk to you or not, right? It’s so much less uncomfortable. Because you have that validation from yourself, right? You’re not, you’re not freaking out at this party because you need someone to tell you that you’re welcome there.

Like, you walk in, like, you know, you’re welcome there. You’re at this party. This is a cool party, right? And if you’re sitting by yourself, like, I’ll go anywhere by myself because, and I will sit alone, I will be at a party, and if I wanna sit alone in the corner and watch what’s going on. I will do that.

And not worry about what somebody thinks because I’m alone. Yeah. Like if they think I’m the loser in the corner, I don’t care. I know I’m not a loser.

[00:12:18] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. I like this. That’s very good. Like being content with who you are, just down to your core.

[00:12:26] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:12:26] Caitlin Fisher: means like you don’t have to go double check that you’re a good person with other people.

[00:12:33] Beth Koritz: Right.

[00:12:34] Caitlin Fisher: I like it. I, That’s powerful.

[00:12:36] Beth Koritz: Yeah. And it’s not that hard. I mean Sure. Sometimes there’s trauma, especially childhood trauma. Yeah. That stops people there, right?

[00:12:47] Caitlin Fisher: Yep.

[00:12:47] Beth Koritz: And that has to be worked through, and that’s why I think it’s a good thing that I’m a licensed therapist.

[00:12:54] Caitlin Fisher: Definitely.

[00:12:55] Beth Koritz: You know, I, I will say, I’m gonna just put it out there. My pet peeve is people who call themselves coaches who have no, like business coaching on mental health issues like trauma.

[00:13:10] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. I always make sure to say, like, when I speak about trauma, I am telling you like, as someone who has worked through their trauma, Like myself and like things that I have read and stuff, but I am not a clinician. Like I can’t diagnose or treat. I can just tell you what has worked for me and recommend books and therapy and, and all that sort of stuff. So yeah, I wanna be a safe place for people to like share trauma, but at the same time I’m like, this isn’t therapy. I’m not licensed. To help you heal trauma, but like I can help you write a book , right?

[00:13:55] Beth Koritz: And probably if you referred them to a therapist, your work with them would go much faster. If they were also getting therapy. I once, back in the day when I was starting this, you know, eight years ago when personal networking was still a thing, you know, I think the pandemic just destroyed that. But I met with a coach. I met, I went to meet her for coffee because I was thinking coaches would be great referrals for my me as a therapist. And I said, you know, do you have a therapist you work with that you refer your anxiety cases to? You know anxiety, depression. And she said, Oh no, I know EFT, so I can do all those things.

[00:14:35] Caitlin Fisher: Oh boy.

[00:14:36] Beth Koritz: And I was like,

[00:14:40] Caitlin Fisher: That’s so funny because I’m like the opposite. I’m like, Should I go to grad school and get a counseling degree so that I,

[00:14:46] Beth Koritz: Well that’s what happened, right. What, what I don’t talk about a lot is right before I went to school, I was doing business development coaching and I realized that the people I was working with had these fears and blocks that to really help them, I needed a real education to help them get through. You know, and so that is Inevit in the end what got me that last push into school for my masters in counseling.

[00:15:17] Caitlin Fisher: Nice. So you have a master’s? No, PhD, just masters?

[00:15:20] Beth Koritz: No, I, I didn’t go for the doctorate because I’d still be doing the same job for the same money.

[00:15:26] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. PhDs are hard.

[00:15:27] Beth Koritz: Another $60,000 in debt and yeah, four years before I could start. I mean, I didn’t start until I was 50. So I didn’t really want to put another two years into school. That wouldn’t make a difference in my career.

[00:15:40] Caitlin Fisher: I love that. I also love that you made this huge pivot at 50. Yeah. Let’s talk about that because so many people, first of all, I, so I’m 34 and I have some people in my orbit who are just turning 30 and the way that like society acts like your life better beyond a trajectory by 30 or else is hilarious to me because hooo, my five year plan when I was 25 did not happen and I’m so glad it didn’t. Like 30 is still like, it’s, it’s when you barely start not giving a fuck what other people think. Honestly.

[00:16:25] Beth Koritz: Right.

[00:16:25] Caitlin Fisher: I think, I’m like, life starts at 30 for me. Like my thirties have been great so far, and so I love that you at 50 were like, Nope, something new, something different. Gotta follow that passion. Gotta follow that purpose, that authenticity. So that is gorgeous to me. I love seeing that. So what, just from like a coaching perspective, what were some of the fears and thoughts that came up? Did you…

[00:16:52] Beth Koritz: I had a lot of fears. I, This is a good story and it’s in my book because this was really, I’ve had a few, like, I don’t even… lightning strikes, you know, one of the first lightning strikes was when I was on life support when I had Guillan Barre and was paralyzed from the shoulders down, right? Because all you have time to do on life support is think. They don’t turn on a TV for you or anything. You’re stuck in your own mind for 24 7.

And then the next one, or another one, was this…. So I was looking for work. I had just gone through a bankruptcy because I had been building with a partner like million dollar homes, and this was in 2008. And the real estate, the market crashed.

[00:17:39] Caitlin Fisher: Right.

[00:17:39] Beth Koritz: And we went through, yeah. So my bank called in everything before it was due, and it, they threw me into bankruptcy, which was, for me, the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. And I’ve gone through some really hard things, right?

[00:17:55] Caitlin Fisher: Like compared to being like, your whole body paralyzed, you’re like, no, bankruptcy was worse.

[00:18:00] Beth Koritz: It was worse. It really was be because it was like a failure. Yeah. You know, I saw it as a failure. Now, bigger, richer, smarter builders went down too. Right? Everybody went down. Yeah. But it, it really, it hit, So anyway, I’m looking from, I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do next, and a friend– I never pass up any opportunities –and I was on Facebook and a friend posted, Hey, I’m going to this Dream University all day long retreat. I bought a ticket. I get to bring a friend for free. I was like, Me, me, me. I’ll go. Right? I mean, I immediately, but I didn’t even know what it was like. Is it dreams that we have for our life or dreams in our sleep. Like what we’re, are we gonna be analyzing our dreams? I showed up still with no idea.

[00:18:54] Caitlin Fisher: I love it

[00:18:54] Beth Koritz: but I knew a lot of people in the crowd and I was like, Ooh, this is my tribe here in this room of 300 people. And it turned out it was this woman who runs her company is called Dream University and she’d been on Oprah and the whole bit.

And she, me going through this with her, Helped me identify all my fears and the smartest thing she ever did, lessen to anybody who’s listening to this that is ever gonna run a seminar or a group of some kind. If you’re going to pair people up, you make it be strangers. So I could be so vulnerable.

Because this person in front of me was a stranger, and I just like, right, could have tears running down my face as I’m talking to her. And in the morning and in the afternoon it was two different strangers. But while they are, I’m like listing every fear and then I have a response to every fear. And you know, my fears were, I think what anybody’s fears would be.

I can’t afford it. What if I can’t do it? What if I can’t make it through school? What if I make it through school and I don’t like it? What if I make it through school and I’m not good at it or I don’t earn enough money? What if… Are people gonna think that I’ve done a million things in my life and now I’m moving into yet another one?

Like, am I just this flaky, can’t stick to anything? Is that their view of me? I know that if I go into therapy, I am never gonna make much money. Am I okay with that? Like all of these fears and I had, it turns out like I had an answer for every single one. Because I really felt like this was the right thing for me, right.

Once something is right, there’s all this synchronicity. Yeah. Like, it’s like dominoes, right? So, you know what if I’m too old who says how old you can be, You know, that’s just stupid. What? But I can’t afford it. But I’ll find a way. I’ll find a way. What will people think? I have to stop caring what people think.

If this is what I’m supposed to be doing, I need to do it no matter what. Like, it felt like a calling at this point, right? What if I am no good at it? I know I’m gonna be good at it. Like I just, I inherently knew I was gonna be a good therapist. Mm-hmm. , you know? You know, I just had a response for everyone.

So then I’m gonna tell you just a moment about the synchronicity. So the next day, no. So I go home and I’m like on the computer looking for programs, right? And I’m looking for social worker programs. At the time, I did not know the difference between a social worker and a therapist, and the social work school had just closed enrollment.

And I’m like, What? I just made this big decision. No, like my, my world is falling. Let me just see what else is still in open enrollment. And the school of therapy was, and then I’m reading the difference between the two of them and I’m like, Oh my God, I never wanted to be a social worker in the first place.

That’s not what I wanna do. I don’t wanna do case management. You know? And thank goodness the enrollment was closed, right.

[00:22:22] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:22:23] Beth Koritz: So I apply, I get full student loan eligibility, and the next day I see another thing on Facebook. Somebody is looking for a part-time program creator. I call her immediately, like the number was in the post. I call. I said, Hi, this is Beth Koritz and I– and she interrupted me and she said, Oh, Beth, I know exactly who you are. I’d love to talk to you about this job. Come in and meet with me. And, but like you, I could– , I didn’t even know what to say. She interrupted my spiel. And I like, How do you know who I am? Like, I couldn’t even recover.

I couldn’t even recover from that. You know, I go in, I meet with her, I get the job, the hours are flexible. I can make them whatever I want so I can study at the same time. You know, it was perfection.

[00:23:19] Caitlin Fisher: I love that. Like when you make a decision and then the universe comes in and it’s like, All right, cool. I’m glad you made that decision. Here. I’m here to help you. Like, it, I deleted all my dating apps in 2020.

[00:23:33] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:23:34] Caitlin Fisher: like February, 2020. I was like, I’m done with this. I’m done with assholes, like, I’m gonna meet somebody in real life, Which a thing that I had never done.

[00:23:43] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:23:44] Caitlin Fisher: I was a chronic online dater. And within days my favorite bar posted that they were gonna have speed dating, and so I signed up for speed dating and just celebrated one year in the house that I co-bought with my partner. So,

[00:24:01] Beth Koritz: Oh my gosh. Congratulations. I love that

[00:24:05] Caitlin Fisher: We’ve been together going on three years. And we met at speed dating.

[00:24:10] Beth Koritz: That’s awesome.

[00:24:11] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That’s really, I love, I was just like, No, I’m not doing it anymore, universe. The universe was like, Okay, here you go. I was waiting. I was waiting for you to be ready.

[00:24:20] Beth Koritz: Yeah.

[00:24:21] Caitlin Fisher: I made this for you. And I’m like, Thank you, universe. He’s perfect.

[00:24:25] Beth Koritz: That’s awesome. Now I’d like to go back and touch on something else you said about feeling like you’re doing something forever. Right. I tell all my clients the job you’re looking for is not your last job. It’s your next job. The school you decide to go to, you don’t have to graduate from, You can transfer, right? Nothing is permanent. Mm. So don’t be afraid to try something. Trying and having it not work out is not a failure. It’s an elimination.

[00:25:04] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:25:06] Beth Koritz: Right?

[00:25:06] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. The way I put that is that the goal police do not jump out of the bushes and beat you with a stick. Like I teach adjustable goals, like if you’re working on a goal and it sucks, please stop. Please don’t do things that you hate. Which is why I was so curious and had to ask you like, how did you write a book when you hated the process ? Cause it’s a lot of work.

[00:25:31] Beth Koritz: It is a lot. I just got so far down the rabbit hole that

[00:25:35] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. I think that you also really strategically used help.

[00:25:39] Beth Koritz: Yeah.

[00:25:40] Caitlin Fisher: So someone to take your, your verbal story and turn that into, A Word document that you could then go in and flesh out, and then an editor worth their weight in gold, like a good editor is fantastic.

[00:25:56] Beth Koritz: Right.

[00:25:57] Caitlin Fisher: Did you self-publish or are you traditionally published?

[00:26:00] Beth Koritz: I self-published, Yeah.

[00:26:01] Caitlin Fisher: And it’s a best seller.

[00:26:02] Beth Koritz: Yeah. It, it debuted as a best seller and stayed there for, you know, a couple weeks.

[00:26:08] Caitlin Fisher: Wow.

[00:26:09] Beth Koritz: I mean, not, no, no book unless you’re like a Stephen King or somebody is gonna stay there for a couple weeks. But yeah, the financially… my, my editor was also going to publish it and I kept asking her like, What are you gonna do to sell the book and da, da da da. And I wasn’t getting such great answers, but she was gonna take 25% of everything that sold.

[00:26:31] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:26:32] Beth Koritz: And I’m like, But I’m gonna be marketing it personally and you know, so I just decided, she actually, as I was doing more and more research and I was saying, you know, are you gonna do this and you’re gonna do that? She said, You know, Beth, it seems like at this point, you know as much as I do, and maybe you should just do this yourself, because I think what she was saying was, I don’t want you on my back the whole time. You know, I don’t, Your expectations might be more than I can handle.

[00:27:02] Caitlin Fisher: That could be a blessing. It,

[00:27:04] Beth Koritz: Yeah, it was.

[00:27:05] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:27:05] Beth Koritz: But more work.

[00:27:07] Caitlin Fisher: Little more work. Yes. But you know, those clear boundaries, I think, probably helped.

[00:27:14] Beth Koritz: It did help. And, you know, not to like toot my own horn, but I was on a panel that we have, the Jewish Book Festival in St. Louis is one of the biggest in the country, and they chose my book and they chose me to be there. They chose 10 and there were three featured and I was one of the featured. So,

[00:27:33] Caitlin Fisher: Wow.

[00:27:34] Beth Koritz: I got to speak, you know. At an event and I sold out my books there and it was, I love doing this because I can reach more people. Right. Yeah. That’s why I enjoy doing podcasts and speaking about the book and coaching, cuz I can reach more people. As a therapist, you’re limited to your state. Yes. You know, so I’ve coached people around the world and that is fun.

[00:28:01] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That’s really cool. Where are you based?

[00:28:04] Beth Koritz: I’m in St. Louis.

[00:28:05] Caitlin Fisher: Okay. Awesome. Not too far.

[00:28:07] Beth Koritz: Right in the middle.

[00:28:09] Caitlin Fisher: Yep. I’m in Ohio, so you know.

[00:28:11] Beth Koritz: Oh yeah. Close.

[00:28:12] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Not too far away. It’s, you know, Ohio, but the cost of living is cheap.

[00:28:19] Beth Koritz: Yeah. St. Louis isn’t bad either. I go to Ohio every year for a music festival.

[00:28:23] Caitlin Fisher: Oh, what music festival?

[00:28:24] Beth Koritz: Star Jubilee.

[00:28:25] Caitlin Fisher: I know nothing about it.

[00:28:27] Beth Koritz: It’s okay.

[00:28:28] Caitlin Fisher: I don’t know why I asked cuz I was gonna know nothing about any music festival that you named because I don’t go to music festivals, but I love that You do. That’s great. Yeah. Let me just collect myself. Cause I was like, Yeah, where’s the music festival? Why did I ask? I don’t know. Okay. I’m cool. I’m good. I’m collected.

So let’s jump over onto the people pleasing track. And I posted in like a podcast collab group and listed off a few topics that I wanted some people to speak on, and you raised your hand for people pleasing. So why did that topic jump out?

[00:29:10] Beth Koritz: Well, because you can’t be authentic if you’re always people pleasing. You lose your authenticity, then you know you are morphing every time, you know

[00:29:21] Caitlin Fisher: that, that social chameleon kind of vibe.

[00:29:24] Beth Koritz: Exactly. Exactly. So, and you’re sacrificing. Often. Not always, but you know. Okay. Tomorrow my brother asked me, and sister-in-law asked me if I could pick the kids up from school and I could have called a client and asked to change the time of her session, and I might have 10 years ago, you know, but this time I was like, Sorry, you know, I’m not going to compromise my integrity as a therapist to help you out. But I also know she would’ve switched with no problem.

[00:30:00] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:30:00] Beth Koritz: Right. But my integrity was more important than pleasing them.

[00:30:07] Caitlin Fisher: That makes sense. That’s, It’s good boundaries too.

I find that authenticity and boundaries really need to coexist because the people pleasing is a lack of boundaries. I ran into this at work in my last job, my last full-time job, which I quit to become a full-time coach, so our new manager started and I wanted him to succeed, and so I was like going kind of above and beyond to like give him information and be like, that’s not gonna work, here’s why. And I was sort of catching him up on things that I knew as someone who had been at the company for years. And at around like six months, I decided he should know things now. And so I basically quit like babysitting him and I started saying no to his ridiculous asks.

And before I would kind of roll my no in like, Oh, you know, I don’t think that’s such a good idea because this and this and this. And then at this point I was just like, No, I can’t do that. Or no, I don’t think that we should do that. And I was manager level. He was above me, but I was still manager level. And he got very angry. He was pissed. He was like, You’re being insubordinate. Like we’re really having some conflicts here. And being able to give my notice to him was incredible cuz that was not a good working relationship. And I had really, I was people pleasy

[00:31:39] Beth Koritz: Your boundaries.

[00:31:40] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, my boundaries. When they went up, they went up way too late. They should have been up very early.

[00:31:48] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:31:49] Caitlin Fisher: and I should have been very clear about like, here’s where I’m at. I am willing to talk to you about XYZ thing, but like, you really gotta like, kind of get your shit together here. Like if you’re gonna run a department, you need to understand how everybody in the department works.

Like I can’t be walking around behind you, like your personal assistant being like, you can’t ask them for that. That’s not what they do. But the damage was done, the people pleasing had gone on too long. The boundaries were way too late. And so that came across as me being combative and rude and inappropriate at work, when really it was how I should have been acting the entire time.

[00:32:28] Beth Koritz: Right.

[00:32:30] Caitlin Fisher: So yeah, people pleasing and boundaries hand in hand.

[00:32:34] Beth Koritz: They do. And you know, authenticity and boundaries go hand in hand. The people pleasing is, it’s just all about acceptance.

[00:32:47] Caitlin Fisher: I’ve also seen people pleasing described as part of the fawning trauma response. So people pleasing is a great way to avoid. Harm when you had a traumatic childhood. So like part of the reason I’m so good at anticipating everybody’s needs and noticing when your mood shifts two degrees cooler and I’m like, Ah, do you need a snack? Can I get you anything? Are you okay? Can I, can I help out here? It’s because I don’t want you to take out whatever just pissed you off on me in 10 minutes. That’s a therapy thing. That’s over here in therapy world.

[00:33:22] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:33:23] Caitlin Fisher: People pleasing in my experience, comes from trauma response as well.

[00:33:31] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:33:32] Caitlin Fisher: as well as just sort of losing touch with authenticity. And I think that trauma makes us lose touch with authenticity as well, because

[00:33:38] Beth Koritz: Sure.

[00:33:39] Caitlin Fisher: Right. Like I couldn’t be a wild and free child and find myself because I was really busy staying safe. So that definitely impacts trauma, right.

[00:33:49] Beth Koritz: Like there’s big T and little t traumas, right? Trauma can be not having a lot of friends as a little girl, you know, and so wanting to not upset any of the friends that you have as an adult. Out of fear of having no friends.

[00:34:05] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:34:06] Beth Koritz: You have a small friend circle. Although introverts, as an introvert, I also have a small friend circle, but still, I’ll never forget when I invited somebody to do something like that I had tickets for and they said, ‘No thanks.’ And I was like, What? Just no thanks? You can do that?

[00:34:27] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That’s wild. Cause I would be like, Oh, I’ll, I’ll have to check. I’ll, I’ll have to see. Can I think about it and get back to you? That would be incredible to just be like, No, thank you.

[00:34:38] Beth Koritz: I would be like, ‘yeah!’ Thinking, Oh God, I hate this person. Like I, I mean I hate like the act we were going to see or something.

[00:34:49] Caitlin Fisher: Not like, Oh no, I hate my friend. How dare they invite me?

[00:34:52] Beth Koritz: I have no interest in this show. But, but sure I’ll go because if I say no, what if they don’t ask again?

[00:35:00] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, right. Yeah. But when, when you are authentically yourself and you don’t have shame around that, you can just be like, you know, that’s not my thing. No thanks.

[00:35:09] Beth Koritz: Yeah. But thanks for thinking of me. Yeah. And I hope you ask me again.

[00:35:14] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, I think that’s great. That’s great. As an introvert, that’s great. As an autistic person, that’s great. As a traumatized kid, like that’s great on so many levels, just be able to be like, Hey, thank you. Not today. Yeah. But like, ask me next time.

[00:35:31] Beth Koritz: Yeah. So I’m trying to think, Okay. More people pleasing aspects.

Oh, I’ll give you my biggest one. I was engaged to be married. It was gonna be my second wedding, and as it got closer and closer, I was knowing with more and more certainty, I should not do this. And I remember about three days before I’m driving down the highway and I, I can remember to this day what piece of highway I was on, like to the car length.

And I thought if somebody would just tell me, I don’t have to go through with it, I wouldn’t.

[00:36:14] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:36:15] Beth Koritz: So first I needed the validation. Right, that what I was thinking was okay, and then I thought, but all of these friends of mine like have already bought their plane tickets and they’re flying out tomorrow to be here in two days. Right? I can’t do that to these people. You know, I have this whole everything going and 48 hours, I can’t do that. I would be so humiliating, right? All these things. So I went into a marriage that I shouldn’t have been in. I mean, that’s a big one.

[00:36:49] Caitlin Fisher: I did that also, like I even have a stretch of highway in my wedding like thing.

The stretch of highway was my dad on the phone telling me that he had he had paid in all that he could and that I was on my own for the rest of it. And it was like a month to go. And like the whole time he had been like, Oh, you only get married once if everything goes right. So, you know, don’t even, don’t worry about it. I got it. I got it. And I had been pressing him for a number. I’m like, How much can I count on you for so that I can plan things?

[00:37:19] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:37:19] Caitlin Fisher: And he’s like, Just don’t worry about it. And then he hit a limit and was like, Yeah, I’m out. And I’m like, What the fuck? But yeah, I was, I was literally at my wedding, like putting table decorations or signs or something together and I was like, I wish I wasn’t doing this. This doesn’t feel right.

[00:37:38] Beth Koritz: I actually, and this is in my book too, I got a black spot, a big spot on my nose that was black as night out of nowhere. Outta nowhere. I went to a a dermatologist and they’re like, Well, we’d have to biopsy it. And I’m like, Well, I’m getting married in seven days. I don’t think I can have a big ass bandage on my nose.

And I had my friend who was doing my makeup, apply makeup like it was sparkle on my nose to cover it. And a cousin comes up to me at the party afterwards and is like, ‘You have dirt on your nose.’ Like my whole body revolted.

[00:38:12] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:38:13] Beth Koritz: To the point. The nose, You know how they say it’s as clear as the nose on your face?

[00:38:17] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:38:20] Beth Koritz: did it anyway.

[00:38:21] Caitlin Fisher: Dang.

[00:38:23] Beth Koritz: That would never happen. I mean, not only would that never happen now, I would’ve never even gotten to that point with this person.

[00:38:32] Caitlin Fisher: So I take it that you’re divorced. Yeah. I’m also in the two divorces club. Yep. Yeah, Yeah. I found myself wishing like maybe I could just ask the officiant to like, not file it. And I would just keep that secret that we weren’t actually married. Boy, when you’re doing those mental gymnastics, right. Who am I getting married for?

[00:39:00] Beth Koritz: Yeah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

[00:39:03] Caitlin Fisher: No, sorry. I, I’m just marinating in my life choices.

[00:39:09] Beth Koritz: I think that the important message that you and I are trying to get out, and I think it’s worth actually laying out, okay, is that we’re not telling our stories to entertain, right? We’re telling our stories to show that no matter where you are in your life, you also can make this change.

[00:39:40] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:39:40] Beth Koritz: Right? I mean, we all have shit. Now, here’s one of the big fears about becoming authentic, and it’s a legit fear, is that as you grow into your real self and into the life that you are meant to be living, you can lose people along the way.

[00:39:59] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:40:00] Beth Koritz: And you know, that keeps a lot of people stuck.

[00:40:06] Caitlin Fisher: It really does because the fear of losing those relationships is a lot.

[00:40:11] Beth Koritz: Yeah. That keeps a lot of people stuck and you know, I don’t wanna be glib about this because it’s a big deal, but you have to understand that you are sacrificing what your life can and is supposed to be for a relationship, whether it’s a friendship or a intimate partnership or, but it’s a relationship built on inauthenticity. You know, a relationship that is not built on a strong foundation to begin with.

[00:40:54] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That’s kind of important to keep in mind because if, if that wasn’t really you, You know, it was part you, it was you playing the part of the, the dutiful wife or whatever that person wanted.

[00:41:11] Beth Koritz: Best friend.

[00:41:12] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:41:13] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:41:14] Caitlin Fisher: That was really hard for me after my divorce, my second divorce, when I left my abusive ex. I had a best friend who helped me get through all of it, and we ended up dating for a while, me and my best friend, but as I was sort of establishing these new boundaries and I was changing a lot and she didn’t like when the boundaries applied to her and that, that hurt a lot, that, you know, you, you were so excited for me to like stand up for myself against him, but I can’t stand up for myself against you. Like if I do that, I’m shitty. I’m being a shitty partner because I’m not just all sunshine and rainbows and unicorn farts all the time for you.

[00:41:58] Beth Koritz: Right.

[00:41:59] Caitlin Fisher: And that, that was really hard. That was a pretty short lived relationship, but the, the ending of a multi-year friendship was the, the hard part of that. So yeah, I’ve definitely lived that , that authentic, as you kind of expand and take up more, Space for your energy.

[00:42:18] Beth Koritz: Yeah. You allow yourself more to, you allow yourself to take up more space. We no longer are small.

[00:42:25] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:42:26] Beth Koritz: Right.

[00:42:26] Caitlin Fisher: I take up a lot of space.

[00:42:27] Beth Koritz: We no longer make ourselves Small, right? Yeah, exactly. People can’t see us, but we’re like filling up our room.

[00:42:34] Caitlin Fisher: We’re dancing.

[00:42:35] Beth Koritz: Yeah. But you know, we, especially women. I have been told for decades and decades to make ourselves small. And we’re damn good at it.

[00:42:49] Caitlin Fisher: Oh yeah.

[00:42:50] Beth Koritz: You know, it takes time to become comfortable taking up space.

[00:42:55] Caitlin Fisher: It does. I once was called Unobtrusive and I thought it was the best compliment I had ever received. And now if somebody told me that, I’d be like, How? Like I’m literally so loud. And so like… I have bright red glasses and a bunch of face piercings and platinum blonde hair. Like, how did you miss this?

[00:43:18] Beth Koritz: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, a synonym for unobtrusive is invisible. Yeah. I think, I mean, yeah, close enough in the dictionary that way, but yeah.

You know? Yeah. And. Oh God, I just, There’s nothing more freeing. It frees your mind. It frees your soul. You feel it in the cells of your body to be fully authentic in any given situation, to not dress like everybody else. If that doesn’t feel good on you.

[00:43:55] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:43:56] Beth Koritz: Right, to saying No or to turn left when everybody else is turning right and you’re okay with it because left looks Goddamn good to you.

[00:44:08] Caitlin Fisher: Right.

One of the biggest ways I shifted this was with body positivity. I used to, like, my whole life’s purpose was to lose weight. I was trying to lose 150 pounds and, I lost a hundred, and I looked sick as hell. And when you look at photos of me, I look like if you said good morning to me, I would burst into tears.

Because I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating near enough. I had a full like full blown eating disorder and was exercising way more than I should have been for the amount of food I was eating. But it was all about shrinking and shrinking and shrinking and taking up less and less and less space. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.

I was a shell. And when I started eating disorder recovery, the first thing you do is stop restricting. I don’t diet anymore. I do not restrict. So like if I wanted cake for breakfast, I would eat it. Turns out I don’t want cake for breakfast. I want eggs like every day. I love eggs. But I have gained weight because that’s what a body does after you starve it.

[00:45:19] Beth Koritz: Yeah.

[00:45:19] Caitlin Fisher: And I am now the heaviest I’ve ever been, but also I’ve never smiled like this.

[00:45:25] Beth Koritz: Yeah.

[00:45:25] Caitlin Fisher: Like my presence. I’m just full. I’m vibrant and I’m happy to take up space. Yeah. And it just hits different and like, yeah. I’m annoyed that like, the world doesn’t like to see me like this. And I’m like, Well, fuck you. I’m wearing a crop top to pride. Like look at my belly. I don’t care what you think. And that’s great. And I love. I love me.

[00:45:59] Beth Koritz: That’s awesome. You know, I I think that health, health at every size and intuitive eating is becoming more and more mainstream. I think so too. Right. Then when I became certified in it, oh my gosh, like seven years ago. Eight, eight years ago, not so much. Right. It was just starting to be, you know, words that people had heard before, you know?

[00:46:29] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:46:29] Beth Koritz: Ooh, I have one little brag.

[00:46:31] Caitlin Fisher: Ooh, do it.

[00:46:33] Beth Koritz: Elyse Resch, who is like, you know, the founder, the co-founder of Intuitive Eating, wrote all like the very first Bibles and still does on intuitive eating.

[00:46:45] Caitlin Fisher: All right.

[00:46:45] Beth Koritz: Wrote a blurb for the back of my book.

[00:46:48] Caitlin Fisher: That’s dope.

[00:46:51] Beth Koritz: Yep.

[00:46:52] Caitlin Fisher: That’s awesome.

[00:46:53] Beth Koritz: Yep. I was pretty excited about that one.

[00:46:55] Caitlin Fisher: That’s a pretty cool blurb.

[00:46:57] Beth Koritz: Yeah, cuz I just cold called her

[00:46:59] Caitlin Fisher: Nice!

[00:47:00] Beth Koritz: You know, and said I am certified in body positivity and I’m going through your certification program and would you read my book? And then if you felt it deserved a comment. That’d be so awesome. And then we became penpals

[00:47:20] Caitlin Fisher: Nice! I wanna read your book.

[00:47:22] Beth Koritz: Yeah, I will have to send it to you.

[00:47:24] Caitlin Fisher: Thanks!

[00:47:24] Beth Koritz: You’ll have to give me your address after this and I’ll mail you —

[00:47:27] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, for sure. I’d love to read it because

[00:47:28] Beth Koritz: — A real copy.

[00:47:30] Caitlin Fisher: I’ve had a memoir percolating right now. I’m working on fiction, but I really, I think I wanna do a memoir and I wanna, obviously I need to read more memoir.

[00:47:39] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that’d be awesome.

[00:47:42] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, that’d be great. I can send you a copy of mine too. It’s about millennials.

[00:47:45] Beth Koritz: Yeah, that’d be awesome. I’d love that. Yeah. I have a daughter about your age, who’s also a therapist.

In order, when I’m working with people on getting to know themselves and then liking that person and then stepping into their authenticity for about a hundred percent of them, we have to go through body image issues.

[00:48:07] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:48:09] Beth Koritz: I mean, there’s just not a person on earth. I used to say a woman on earth, but now I say a person because it’s really hit the other side of the population too that doesn’t have body image issues.

[00:48:22] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s why, you know, so my podcast is primarily about, Creativity and like self development and positivity and stuff like that. But I talk about body image all the time, like probably at least half the episodes.

[00:48:40] Beth Koritz: Mm-hmm.

[00:48:40] Caitlin Fisher: I mention body positive something or other. And a, a big thing about me, and this is also… I wanna write a self-help book, but I wanna write a self-help book that doesn’t have any diet references. Right. Because it’s so common. For self-help books, like Rachel Hollis comes to mind. I hate her. She wrote, Girl Wash Your Face.

[00:49:02] Beth Koritz: Oh, right, yeah.

[00:49:03] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. And she directly states that fat people are untrustworthy. Because they can’t,

[00:49:11] Beth Koritz: Where does that even come from?

[00:49:12] Caitlin Fisher: Because they can’t stay accountable to their body and their diet, and so therefore they’re bad people. And I’m like, Cool. All right. Bestselling asshole. Like, I’m gonna fight you with a better book.

[00:49:25] Beth Koritz: And it’s so, you know, that shit pisses me off because it’s, I mean, not only is it ignorant and hateful and spiteful, but it’s just plain, scientifically wrong.

[00:49:36] Caitlin Fisher: Correct.

[00:49:38] Beth Koritz: You know, So fuck her.

[00:49:40] Caitlin Fisher: Yes.

Fuck her. Fuck Rachel Hollis. That’s what this episode will be called. It probably won’t but

[00:49:47] Beth Koritz: it could be the The subtitle.

[00:49:49] Caitlin Fisher: The subtitle. Yeah. We’ll be like,

[00:49:51] Beth Koritz: I love that.

[00:49:52] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Body positivity, people pleasing and fuck Rachel hollis. .

[00:49:56] Beth Koritz: Yeah. I have read a plethora of IE [intuitive eating] books, right. And HAES [Health At Every Size] books, and I think you have to read the right one at the right time.

[00:50:07] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm.

[00:50:08] Beth Koritz: but my favorite. And it, it, it just didn’t say anything I didn’t already know, but it was the way she said it… was The Unfuck It Diet. No, not The Unfuck It Diet.

[00:50:20] Caitlin Fisher: The Fuck It Diet!

[00:50:21] Beth Koritz: The Fuck It Diet.

[00:50:22] Caitlin Fisher: Hang on.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE. Caitlin returns holding a copy of “The Fuck It Diet” by Caroline Dooner.

[00:50:33] Beth Koritz: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That one.

[00:50:36] Caitlin Fisher: This is the book that got me into recovery.

[00:50:38] Beth Koritz: Right? It’s the best. Yeah. We should all be getting commission right now. But it is the best. It’s so funny.

[00:50:47] Caitlin Fisher: And yeah, I loved her writing style and yeah, she did teach me a lot that I didn’t already know. So for anybody who hasn’t heard me talk about, this is the Fuck It Diet by Caroline Doer.

She is thin. I just wanna let people know she’s a thin person writing about health at every size. Because I do like to promote fat people writing about health at every size and uplift those voices as well. But this book is Fire . It’s so good.

[00:51:13] Beth Koritz: Yeah, it’s, it just, it just got me. Going in away all the other books, you know, I mean, the other times, another book’s gonna do it for you.

[00:51:24] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah.

[00:51:25] Beth Koritz: You know, it just depends where you are in your life that week, you know?

[00:51:28] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. It’s so fun. And I recommended this to my friend as well. Her name is Sarah. She’s probably listening, Hey Sarah. But she refers to it as the Dooner book, and she sends copies to her friends, all the time.

[00:51:42] Beth Koritz: That’s great.

[00:51:43] Caitlin Fisher: And she credits me with helping her unpack a lot of her own fat phobia. So she is thinner, she’s very fit very athletic and was recently, like within the last few years, diagnosed with type one diabetes. And so she will

[00:51:57] Beth Koritz: type one?

[00:51:58] Caitlin Fisher: I think, I’m pretty sure, type one, maybe type two. I don’t know. Diabetes.

[00:52:03] Beth Koritz: It’s weird to be, to have that diagnosis as an adult.

[00:52:05] Caitlin Fisher: That’s true. So maybe it is type two, but the fact that she is so athletic and slimmer. She, she will fight somebody. She fights doctors all the time. She will fight anybody who associates that with diabetes. And she’s like, No, it’s not true. And I honestly think that our friendship and my own ed journey really helped her process that. That diagnosis. And the fact that, you know, she does have to track some carbs, but she can do it in a non triggering, non-ed way. And that she really self-advocates in the doctor’s office. She’s like, No, it feels wrong. Like, just run the blood work like something’s wrong and I wanna figure out what specifically is wrong. And she’s just so aware and in her body. And I love that for her, for everybody.

[00:53:01] Beth Koritz: I, I have a therapy client who is type one and I got her to have a pack of cookies in her house. you know, I mean, she had been just depriving herself her whole life. and diabetes and health and every size can totally go together.

Yeah. You don’t have to live in a state of total restriction and denial, denying yourself things that you see as like delicious. Like Gratifyingly splendid.

I hope you can’t hear my dogs.

[00:53:37] Caitlin Fisher: I can, but it’s fine.

[00:53:38] Beth Koritz: Okay. Yeah. And you know, and then this is a whole nother topic for another day, but as people with ADHD eating, It’s hard.

[00:53:51] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, it is. I wasn’t,

[00:53:53] Beth Koritz: It’s hard.

[00:53:54] Caitlin Fisher: I was not hungry today for lunch, but I made myself eat something because yesterday I wasn’t hungry for lunch and then I almost passed out at four.

[00:54:02] Beth Koritz: It’s too, it, it’s work that paralyzes our ADHD brain in that moment. So, I mean, I, I’m, I’m gonna be 60 in a couple months and I’m still trying to figure this out.


[00:54:12] Caitlin Fisher: Food stuff is so steeped in diet culture and then there’s ADHD stuff around the food. So like with, I have Carl, my eating disorder. Also with the adhd. And sometimes he’s like, Hey, yeah, there’s adhd. Why don’t you just not eat lunch? And I have to be like, Fuck off Carl. I have to eat. And then I eat.

But it’s like–

[00:54:32] Beth Koritz: I don’t, I just work right through. Cuz I’m not hungry.

[00:54:35] Caitlin Fisher: I do typically get the hunger signals, but not always. Yeah. Eventually it kicks in and I’m like, Oh shit. What time is it? Yeah, we’re speaking of what time is it. Is we are, We are at our time. Okay, so , I don’t wanna keep you too long, so why don’t you tell us a bit about where we can find you online and what, what you’re offering right now.

[00:54:58] Beth Koritz: That would be great. So you can find me online at And my email is

Right now, and you really, you said something at the beginning that I would love to come back and talk to you about, but right now I am focusing only on one-to-one clients. You talked about like slowing down and healing at the beginning. I am in that zone right now.

[00:55:25] Caitlin Fisher: Okay.

[00:55:25] Beth Koritz: I’m not doing any launches or running any programs. I’m just doing one-on-ones right now.

[00:55:31] Caitlin Fisher: All right. I love that for you and I love that you recognize that you needed that. I’m doing the same. I’m about to launch a a 12 month writing incubator program.

[00:55:43] Beth Koritz: Wow.

[00:55:44] Caitlin Fisher: And I’m super pumped about it. And I’m gonna make that sort of my, my main offer right now, because it’s like,

[00:55:50] Beth Koritz: That sounds awesome.

[00:55:51] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. It’s like in the middle of like my lowest cost offer and then the, the one on one. I’m like, No, this is right in the middle. This is, It’s gonna be tasty. So

[00:56:00] Beth Koritz: that sounds awesome for somebody who likes to write

[00:56:03] Caitlin Fisher: Yes, it does. Not you. I will not see you there . Cause you do not want to write a book.

[00:56:09] Beth Koritz: done that, Been there, done that. No, but I’d love to come back and talk to you about so many other things.

[00:56:15] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, let’s do this again. For sure.

[00:56:18] Beth Koritz: Thanks for having me.

[00:56:19] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, thanks for being here. This was a really fun conversation. I think we have a lot in common. We do a lot of. Life experience that echoes each other, even though we’re, we’ve got a 25 year age gap.

[00:56:32] Beth Koritz: You know, that’s never meant anything to me. Yeah. I’ve always been like any age gap I can immediately relate to and have rapport with. Means nothing. I love that. I loved meeting you and your energy is amazing.

[00:56:45] Caitlin Fisher: Thank you. I don’t need that external validation, but I receive it and I appreciate it. And yes, your energy is also flawless.

[00:56:55] Beth Koritz: Thank you. Thank you.

[00:56:57] Caitlin Fisher: This was lovely. Thank you so much.

[00:56:58] Beth Koritz: Yeah, thank you for having me. Bye.


Write Your Story in 2023 with Me | #59

Doors are OPEN for the Working Title writing incubator. A year long, supportive community for you to embrace your identity as a writer and bring that incredible idea out of your mind and into the world. Listen in to learn all about what this offer includes – coaching, writing workshops and peer reviews, co-working, mindset training, and a lifelong approach to setting and achieving goals like never before. 

Visit for more info. We start November 1. 


[00:00:00] Happy Friday, hellions. Today I’m not bringing on a guest. I am sharing with you some mid-season epiphanies and updates and goings on from my brain and things I’ve been struggling with. Honestly, I struggle with selling. I struggle with telling you that I have cool things for sale, and you can correct me if that’s not your perception, but I think that I talk about my stuff for sale a lot. But people tell me that I don’t quite talk about it as much as I think I do.

[00:00:48] So this episode is, I’m gonna be telling you about something that is for sale and something that I think is fucking phenomenal. And it’s all about writing. It’s about writing a book. It’s about writing a book that you wish existed and that you want to see in the world, and that I am telling you right now, you can be the author of. You can write a book.

[00:01:21] I wrote a book. I was just a normal person. I was literally just an everyday person. And I wrote a blog post because I had an idea, and that idea resonated with over a million people. And my blog post went viral and that blog post was about millennials and how society has gas lit us into sticking with the status quo and the way that things have always been, even though it doesn’t make any fucking sense anymore, the world is not the same as it was 50 years ago, the world is not the same as it was when our parents were our age, and I had a lot of emotion around that. I had a lot of passion around that, and I put it on my blog and wow, it exploded.

[00:02:27] It exploded. Over a million views of that blog post. Huffington Post wanted to run it. But they don’t pay people. So I said No. Maybe they pay people now. I don’t think so. And a book agent reached out to me and said, This is a book proposal. You have the beginnings of a book proposal here. This could be a book and people would wanna read it. I was terrified. I was scared. I didn’t believe him, or I kind of believed him, but I thought it was too indulgent and I thought it was silly.

[00:03:08] I guess not silly, but it didn’t, I don’t know. It didn’t feel like the universe saying, Hey, you’re meant to write a book, but at the same time, it did. You know, like the Twitter verse opened up and just plopped this agent into my inbox and he helped me make a book proposal and that took me a year to write.

[00:03:36] I got really in my head about it. And I was like, What are all these chapters gonna be and what do I wanna talk about? And at first I wanted to fill it with like statistics. I wanted to do sort of like a by the numbers look at baby boomers and Gen X and millennials and talk about how we were different and similar, like statistically.

[00:03:56] and then I was like, I don’t wanna do that . That’s not what I wanna write. I just want to write it sort of in the style of my blog. I want to address myths and assumptions, and I want to share my thoughts. And so I did, and I think I revised what the book was gonna look like, two or three different times.

[00:04:20] I revised the title for a minute. I wanted to call it Millennials Are Killing It and my agent was like, No, you really have something with the Gaslighting of the millennial generation. And I was like, Alright, I’m gonna trust you cuz you sell books . And that just goes to show the power of listening to people who have done this before. You know, everybody’s new at something when they start it, but there’s so much opportunity to surround yourself with people who have done the thing before.

[00:04:54] People who know stuff about what you’re doing, about writing books and about writing book proposals and pitching publishers and negotiating contracts and what royalties are and all this stuff. So I’m like a little baby in book writing world and he, this agent, was an agent of the universe, honestly. He showed up and he guided me through the process of writing this book.

[00:05:31] First, just the proposal, right? Like the proposal took me a year. And a book proposal is essentially like a pitch for your book. If you’re writing non-fiction, you can get a book deal with just a proposal. If you’re writing fiction, you need a complete manuscript. That is something that I’ve learned from Twitter.

[00:05:51] You can learn so much stuff about writing and publishing and all this stuff from all over the internet, and Twitter’s actually a great place for the writing community and like help is literally all around you. This, it’s 2022. You can figure out how to do anything. You can figure out how to install tile.

[00:06:19] You can figure out how to build stuff. Like YouTube has everything. I learned how to outline a novel on with a YouTube video. It’s great. I love it. It’s very helpful, because now I’m writing novels like, Ooh, ooh, a pivot . And I just wanna point out that sometimes the universe opens up and says, That idea that you have is good and you should write it, and I’m here right now to tell you that I think the idea that you have for a book is good, and I think that you should write it and I can help you write it.

[00:06:59] That’s what I’m offering right now. That’s, that’s the new thing. That is the epiphany that I have had is that I let myself decide that I work with writers.

[00:07:15] And of course I love the general creative thing. I’m not gonna stop talking about creativity in general and passion in general. Passion Pacers is not going anywhere. That is still a way to work with me on more general creative stuff and just sort of getting immersed in your passion and your hobbies, but, When I told myself, when I let myself say, when I got really quiet and listened to my intuition, which I’m teaching you to do all the time, my intuition brought me back to writing.

[00:07:57] And writing is something that I have done my entire life. My first creative projects as a human being were written. When I was very young, I remember making a newspaper in the basement of my childhood home on notebook paper with a blue crayon. And I drew the outline of our county shape because we had– it’s Medina County, if you wanna look that up, it just looks like a little like set of three stairs. It’s very easy to draw. And I was like, That’s Medina County.

[00:08:34] And so I made a little newspaper and I don’t remember what I wrote. I was just like, Here’s the weather today, blah, blah, blah. I was bringing a message somewhere and that was fun for me. And I still have all these books from childhood that I wrote or narrated to my mom and she wrote where I cut out pictures from magazines or you know, told a story about my family and my school. Things like that. I always loved writing.

[00:09:08] I always excelled in English and language arts classes and like I loved learning about all the different essays. Do you remember that in school when we, you could write a persuasive essay or a compare and contrast essay or a research paper, I loved that there were so many different ways to write.

[00:09:34] and there’s creative writing and there’s nonfiction writing, or there’s historical fiction where you take something that really happened, but you put a creative packaging on it. You know, you tell it in a narrative way. There’s memoir and, and it took me a while to even think that I would like to write a memoir, but that’s been pressing on me as well, is that I’m gonna be working on a memoir.

[00:10:10] And for the longest time I was like, Well, I’m not important. How can I write a memoir? Memoirs are for people who are important, like a politician writes a memoir, or a famous actress writes a memoir, right? Caitlin Fisher, person who wrote one viral blog one time, Do I get to write a memoir? And then I think about the books that I’ve read. And I really like memoirs. I love just reading little pieces of someone’s life. And there’s a really creative approach to memoir as well where you get to decide which parts of your life fit together to tell a story.

[00:11:04] Because a memoir is not like, Just a biography where you’re like, I was born then I did some stuff and here’s, here’s early childhood and middle childhood, and here’s puberty. And then I was a teenager and here’s my marriage and then I had a baby and blah, blah, blah. My career and all this stuff. It doesn’t have to go in any kind of order. Memoirs are really creative and juicy. My memoir is called Fat Like Grandma, and it is about my relationship with my body and the ways that that was shaped by my mother and her beliefs about body image that came from her mother.

[00:11:53] And so it’s gonna talk, it’s gonna be about my life, but it’s also gonna talk about generational trauma and it’s gonna talk about being a daughter, and it’s gonna talk about knowing objectively that my mom obviously had a traumatic childhood. So I know that my grandma was not probably the best mother, but reconciling that with the fact that she was a really good grandmother.

[00:12:22] And what does that mean? Because my mom would never talk about her childhood, so I have to speculate.

[00:12:31] And all those same themes are in my novels that I’m writing. I’m working on a sci-fi trilogy about someone who invents time travel to go back and change her own childhood, and she accepts the fact that it might mean that if she heals her mother’s trauma, she might never be born. And so she goes back in time and she’s interacting with her mother’s younger self, and she’s falling in love with someone who’s, out of her time and she’s, she’s confused and she doesn’t know if she’s gonna go back to her regular time or if she should stay on her mission, and all sorts of shit is coming up. And it’s so much fun because I’m taking something very real to me, the fact that I had a bad traumatic childhood full of neglect and emotional abuse and fat shaming, like I had a bad childhood.

[00:13:42] And I’m, It’s like a ball at clay, right? It’s a big lump of clay, and I’m spinning it and I’m moving it. And I love videos of people making pottery, by the way, because I love the way that like with barely any touch to that clay on the wheel, you can change so much of it. Like just give it like a little bit of pressure and it can go from a tall vase to a shallow bowl.

[00:14:15] And stories are like that. Writing is like that for me. How do you wanna tell this story? Do you wanna tell it in a narrative way, beginning, middle, end, or do you wanna start in the middle and then do a flashback? How much fiction, do you wanna put in it? Do you want to take your real world pain and put it into a dragon and a knight and a princess?

[00:14:41] And all of this is coming around to say that I think that storytelling is hugely powerful for healing, for expression. For getting to know yourself on a totally new level, and there’s a sense of stewardship that comes with this story too. You have it. It’s in your hands, it’s in your heart.

[00:15:13] This story lives in your spirit. How are you gonna get it out? Does it wanna come out? Does it wanna come out in certain ways? And then how you bring that story out is a craft. It’s an art form. It’s gorgeous, and every single person listening to this has a story. Something resonates within you when I’m talking about these stories.

[00:15:47] and you might not trust it , but if it’s very small and kind of whispering to you, that’s your intuition. And if you have been having dreams or your day dreams kind of have you drift to a certain memory lately, that’s your intuition. Something is pushing on you just a little to bring that story into reality, and that’s what I’m offering you is I’m offering you a place to bring that story out of you, out of your mind, your spirit, out of the deep parts of you where you don’t have to think about it.

[00:16:40] And we’re gonna yank that thing out. Sometimes gently. We don’t always have to yank, It’s not like a lawnmower, but sometimes, sometimes we might have to pull a little harder. And so I’m gonna describe what this experience, this container that we are going to be in together is going to look like.

[00:17:02] So it’s called Working Title, and first of all, I need to just give a shout out to my friend Nell, who came up with that name because I had been struggling to name it, and publicly so. I was just posting about it and calling it the writing thing or the writer thing because I knew it was incredible and I knew it was something that was gonna change a lot of people’s lives. And I know, I absolutely know that this experience is going to get more books into bookstores. This is gonna make books, we’re gonna make books in this place, and it’s… I’m gonna cry about it. We’re making books, y’all. We’re writing books and we’re stewarding stories and we are doing really important, important stuff.

[00:17:59] So what this is gonna look like is you’re gonna join working title this month in October, 2022. Once we get about, I think our first 10 people in the doors, we’re gonna start the community aspect of it. And it’s a group program. So there will be other people alongside you who are also working on their books, their stories.

[00:18:28] Now when I say book, it doesn’t have to be like a traditional book. Maybe you wanna write an ebook, maybe you want to make a graphic novel. Maybe it’s just in, in some other container, but I’m gonna call it a book or a story. So we’re gonna kick off when we get our first 10 founding members in this container, in this experience together.

[00:18:52] And initially I wanted to hit the ground running and start like, Yeah, we’re gonna write, we’re gonna write these books like right away. But I, I don’t think that’s right. I think we need a bit of a slow build, and this is 12 months long because it is a restful, easeful space. It is a place where your book has time to incubate, and it is not a bootcamp.

[00:19:26] It is not getting a decade’s worth of effort out of you in one year. I don’t like programs like that because that’s not how our brains work, especially neuro divergent brains.

[00:19:40] Time doesn’t always work in a linear way in a neurodiverse brain. So I wanted to make sure that this, this container, this community, this group project that we are in, has the elasticity for rest full times and for focused times. So when we kick off, Which is a very actiony word. It’s gonna be more of like a, a gentle sway.

[00:20:13] Like we’re all gonna get in some cozy hammocks, and we’re just gonna talk together for a little while. We’re just going to join together and talk about the stories that we want to bring into the world and what we’d like them to look like. We’re gonna explore why they’re important. And we’re also gonna spend some time reading because like if I wanna write a memoir, I wanna read a few memoirs that are maybe comparable to what I’m doing and get a feel for different ways that a memoir can be written and decide how I want mine to look.

[00:20:54] Because like I said, there’s no one way to bring a story into the world. They are so malleable and just, you can’t see me, but I’m making like clay hands. I’m back on that Clay wheel. Stories are alive, I think. I think they’re alive and I think giving them the space to breathe.

[00:21:19] You know, like, let’s pretend they’re a bottle of wine. We’re decorking them. When you join in October and we are letting them sort of aerate, we’re sniffing the bouquet of the story.

[00:21:37] And honestly, because November to…. Let’s say mid-November to like January 1st is stressed out holiday time. I’m not gonna show up and be like, Great. Write a book. Write a book in the middle of Christmas .

[00:21:52] So the actual focused writing part where we like get down to brass tacks and set some goals and stay accountable to those goals and all that cool stuff that’s gonna happen in January. For several reasons, because that is the place, that is the time of year where we are used to taking a big deep breath and setting a big goal.

[00:22:22] And what’s gonna be different this year is that you are in a container, a group, an experience, a journey, a guided process. That you’re not gonna be able to forget about in two weeks. Okay? This isn’t going to the gym on January 1st. This is real accountability and real space for you to sculpt your self concept as a writer.

[00:22:53] If you are still listening to this episode, it’s because you want to write a book. If you have zero interest in writing, you have turned this off by now because I am just talking to the writers. We’re like 23 minutes in, I’m talking to a writer and it’s nice to meet you. I’m also a writer, and so you’re here because you’re a kindred fucking spirit and you have a story to tell.

[00:23:21] So in January, we are going to kick off the first of two 15 week sessions within our year together where we’re gonna have trainings. So there’s a training component where I will be teaching you a skill. and that skill could look like habit building, could look like time management, could look like recognizing negative thoughts.

[00:23:50] But we’re gonna be skill building. And this, this skills component has different phases. So the 15 weeks: in our first week, we’re just gonna be planning. So we’re gonna talk about how to make a plan for 90 day action steps. And that’s week one. Week two, three, and four is your habit building phase because it takes 21 days to establish a habit that is 50/ 50 with your preexisting habit.

[00:24:28] So it’s not all the way there yet, but you have at least committed to it so that your body and brain recognize that habit. You still have to actively choose it, but we spend three weeks creating a writing habit. Then we have four weeks of self concepting, because in those three weeks when you’re building your writing habit, you’re gonna be having a bunch of thoughts.

[00:24:54] And this is why this container works, because this program as a coaching program with me as your coach, catches you when you would normally freak out and quit. Okay? This program, if you show up, is freak out and quit proof.

[00:25:16] So for four weeks, we’re doing self concepting where all those little self sabotage thoughts like, Oh, I shouldn’t write this. I’m a bad writer. Who am I to even do this? My favorite when I was writing a book was, Who let me write a book? Hilarious. A publisher let me write a book because they wanted to sell the book. That’s pretty cool. I’m letting you write a book. So if you ever ask me who let me write a book, it’s gonna be Caitlin. Caitlin let me write a book and I’m okay with that.

[00:25:51] So after our four weeks of self concepting, where we are coaching through those negative thoughts, all those shitty little things, that imposter syndrome is whispering in your ear. Then we go into my favorite phase, which is five weeks of the ass kicking phase.

[00:26:08] This is where we continue to build an unshakable self concept in yourself as a writer. So if you are still with me here, if you’re still listening and you’re like, I don’t think of myself as a writer, that will not be true anymore because you will think of yourself as a writer because we’re gonna identify the parts of you that are throwing up all of these weird qualifications for what it means to be a writer in that self-concept phase. And in this ass kicking phase, the ass kicking phase is also where we’re gonna really hone in on those habits. And it’s sort of like the last stretch, five weeks, and then we have two weeks of evaluation.

[00:26:54] And evaluation doesn’t just look like I achieved my goal or I didn’t achieve my goal. This is where we’re going to actually evaluate the whole process. From the planning phase all the way through. So what was really great about your plan? Did you stay on plan? What obstacles came up and how did you deal with them, et cetera. The cool thing about this evaluation phase is that it’s gonna help you the next time we go through this 15 week focused period, because there’s two of them in your year long experience.

[00:27:31] So right, you’re gonna join in October. We’re gonna start spending some time together. We’re going to start reading things in our genre. We’re gonna start just talking about the stories, giving them room to breathe and come out in play, and be in a safe space while we get to know each other and build trust.

[00:27:53] Another great thing for writing accountability is having peer review. So people who are there doing it with you and who you trust to read or hear your material and give you honest feedback and critique to make it better. And that is why there’s going to be a workshop component where depending on how many people we have, we’re going to split into small groups where you will be able to send out your writing and/ or read your writing in this group and receive feedback, and that workshop component is going to uplevel your writing.

[00:28:35] The coaching components are going to uplevel your self concepting, and the workshops are going to up level your writing. Cool. So we have training and teacher teaching. We have the workshop. There is a community group. It will be held on Facebook for now because that is the place where most of my clients are happy staying. You can ask questions in there, use your memes about books, like anything, and it’s a community. It’s a place where we hang out and the vibe is very chill and it’s awesome in there.

[00:29:15] So we have teaching, we have workshop, we have community. There’s also co-working. So this is a designated time where there will be a hosted Zoom call where you can drop in and work on your writing project. It’s, there’s no time that you have to be there. It’s not like we start at this time on the dot, There’s not really much talking.

[00:29:36] We might just say hi at the beginning, but it’s drop in and work and the act of having other people on the call with you. This is called body doubling. If you are familiar with that from an ADHD or neuro divergent perspective, just having someone sort of doing parallel play or parallel work to you can help keep you on task.

[00:29:57] And so with those co-working sessions, you will have some pre designated time to drop in and work on your project because designated time and time management around that habit building is really key. And finally, there will be coaching. in addition to workshop time, which is going to be mostly based around your peers and their feedback.

[00:30:17] Coaching is time to ask me questions about writing, about self-concept as a writer, about imposter syndrome and obstacles and roadblocks and all this stuff. So those coaching calls are going to be a time where you have access to me to get coached through your writing questions, concerns, issues, anything.

[00:30:41] This program is gonna be incredible. It has developed from the 90 day goal glow up that I ran earlier this year. So this 15 week system is the 90 day goal glow up. It’s just getting its own glow up and has breathed into a year long container. So it’s 52 weeks in a year. I’m gonna give myself two weeks off coaching because vacation time is important.

[00:31:14] So there’s gonna be 50 weeks of coaching. I think the workshops will be monthly, possibly twice a month. The co-working is weekly, the coaching is weekly. The group is there constantly. And then so of those 50 weeks, 30 of them will have this guided training curriculum process where we go through that 15 week program together.

[00:31:50] And then the rest of the time is sort of that breathing room time, That time where you will be integrating what you have learned, planning for your next 15 week focus. and it’s just going to be such a supportive and nurturing environment for a book to come to life. And what I love about it is that it’s not hustle, it’s not bootcamp.

[00:32:18] It is a really comfortable pace that you can dial up or down depending on your needs. And because I’m autistic and I have ADHD and mental illness, and I’m disabled, it’s low spoons friendly, so you don’t have to show up a hundred percent. You just have to try. You have to come and learn and do as much as you can, and some weeks you’re not gonna be all the way there. And that’s fine because we’re human being.

[00:32:53] So you are hearing this episode on October 7th, and the doors are open. You can go to to learn more about it, to see examples of what other people have done. Actually, fuck that. I’m gonna tell you what other people have done. So the first time I’ve run this was the 90 day goal glow up.

[00:33:20] We had three people, I’m gonna be honest, we had three people, and that sounds very small, but it was very helpful and supportive to run that as sort of a beta testing experience to make sure that this approach and program worked and it did. So of those three people, two of them, were able to show up and use the trainings and coachings consistently.

[00:33:51] The other one had some life circumstances, so I am hopeful that they will be able to join us and get back to the project that they were working on because it sounded very, very cool . So, hey, if you’re listening, I will see you in working title.

[00:34:08] So one person was writing an online course. And they wrote it. They created an entire online course in this 90 day span. And what’s fun about that is that we actually used to do one-on-one coach work. So I used to coach this person individually and they came up with the idea for this course about six months before launching it. and then they had a bunch of life shit happen.

[00:34:37] Like they sold a house, they bought a house, they moved across the country, all this stuff. So like, life was kind of chaotic. And then during the Glow Up program, they really honed in on it and were like, All right, we’re gonna get this done. I’m gonna make it in 90 days. And life continued to, to just throw them shit storm after shit storm, like honestly.

[00:35:01] I’m sure that they will tell you about it. It’s Ash. So when you join, Ask Ash for the story. The cool thing is though, that they did it. They wrote the whole course. They launched the course, and they would not have been able to do it if it wasn’t for the accountability and the regular check-ins and time spent together that this container provided. 100%.

[00:35:32] It would just be a great idea that they had, and that’s why this program is so beneficial, because you have a great idea. You do. I know that you do. It’s been over half an hour and you’re still here. You have a great idea and you want to write it down and you’re scared.

[00:35:54] I will make you not scared of it or at the very least, I will help you to do it scared cuz I wrote a book scared and I did not die. Did not die. Can confirm I’m alive.

[00:36:09] Our other participant in Glow Up started out wanting to work on a memoir, which is actually why my brain has been so memoir. Because I’ve been thinking about this person a lot and she wanted to write about some really heavy topics from her own childhood trauma, and she found as she was working on them, That they, you know, first she started noticing which topics were a little too heavy and needed more time and healing and therapy before she could write about them.

[00:36:47] So she was sort of sorting them into two piles and working on the pile of stories that felt comfortable. But after spending some time with them, even those stories were too heavy right now. Just too much. And that’s okay. And that’s why I teach that goals are adjustable. And that’s why within these 15 week focused sessions, there’s a 30, 60, 90 day check in.

[00:37:13] If at 30 days you’re like, This is too much. I need to change my goal. That’s what the 30 day check in is for. It’s not there to shame you for not being done. It’s there to give you an opportunity to acknowledge what’s going. and what’s not going right, and it didn’t feel comfortable and safe to her to be working on these stories.

[00:37:35] And so she was able to pivot and work on something else instead, and that felt better. But the win here is that she didn’t beat herself up over it. Normally this would’ve caused a spiral, a panic, a, why did I think I could try and do this? A, my stories don’t matter. I’m broken. All these terrible things that you can believe about yourself.

[00:38:04] And if you’re listening, no, you’re not. You’re not broken. Those were hyperbolic examples.

[00:38:13] but she shifted her focus and felt empowered in that because the important thing that you get from this mindset coaching and self-concept coaching is that you don’t have to feel shame about basically anything, and you get to make decisions from a place of power instead of fear and panic.

[00:38:42] I have been a writer all my life. I’m a published author. I’ve maintained my own blog for 10 years. I’m a freelance writer. I’m a journalist for a queer publication, and they continue to pay me to write articles. I’m a writer. And if you are a writer or you want to be, but don’t believe that you are yet working title is the supportive place where you will come into that identity and self-concept.

[00:39:26] Without a doubt, I’m here to support you every step of the way, and I can’t wait to see you. So go to working title to learn more and to sign up this month so that we can have an awesome party and hang out and get to know everybody before we kick off. Let’s call it November 1st. Do we wanna call it November 1st?

[00:39:55] What day of the week is that? So Tuesday, That sounds great. Tuesday, November 1st, we’re fucking starting. So go buy this because you want it or you would not still be listening to this.

Community, Conflict, and Cancel Culture with Sarah Dixon | #58


“If we’re trying to get out of violent culture we have to figure out how to not be so violent ourselves when we’re trying to do some good.”   

Let’s talk about community, conflict, and cancel culture. In our earliest form as humans, we had communities, villages, and tribes numbering just a few hundred people that we would have known for most of our lives. The village has gone digital in 2022, which makes conflicts more common and means managing hundreds or even thousands of friends, followers, and strangers. It’s no wonder the comment section gets contentious!   

Join me and Sarah Dixon in this great interview where we talk about the evolution of community; how, when, and why to call people out (or “in”) for harmful behavior; how to promote good allyship without being white saviors; and the generational divide in online communication. Plus, Lilith and cops.   

As an artist, facilitator and coach, Sarah Dixon’s work supports individuals, communities and institutions to evolve and adapt, creating a more inclusive, healthier and equitable future for us and generations to come. Her approach is deeply relational, exploratory and responsive. It gives us the opportunity to do profound and meaningful work on the themes and patterns that affect us all, in a curious, playful and creative way.  

Get in touch with Sarah at and on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!  Sarah mentioned a great paper that you can see here — White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun:   

And don’t forget to get on my email list at for my latest updates and whimsy!


[00:00:00] Caitlin Fisher: Hello again friends. We are back with Run Like Hell toward Happy on a Friday. And today we are gonna be talking about call out culture, Cancel culture, how to call people in, et cetera, and helping us take this journey is Sarah Dixon.

And Sarah is an artist, facilitator, and coach, and her work supports individuals, communities, and institutions to evolve and adapt, creating a more inclusive, healthier, and equitable future for us and generations to come. Which we love! Her approach is deeply relational, exploratory, and responsive. And it gives us the opportunity to do profound and meaningful work on themes and patterns that affect us all in a curious, playful, and creative way. And you know, we love creativity here and play. So, hello Sarah, welcome to this show.

[00:01:01] Sarah Dixon: Hi, Caitlin. It’s great to be here.

[00:01:05] Caitlin Fisher: I am super excited to have you.

[00:01:08] Sarah Dixon: So I’m really glad to be here with you.

[00:01:10] Caitlin Fisher: Hooray!

So yeah, let’s jump in. Sorry, my dog has decided it’s play time already. Uhhuh . So what, what interested you specifically about the cancel culture topic?

[00:01:26] Sarah Dixon: I guess it came out of the pandemic, like for a lot of people.

We all got a bit shut in. I’m actually I have a chronic illness, so I was already a little bit shut down in my world and using Zoom and, you know, really happy online. I worked for long time as a website designer and graphic designer, so I was very happy on the internet, but it was like there was this massive pile on and suddenly everybody was online all the time wanting to talk about, firstly the pandemic. Then there was the murder of George Floyd. So then there was a big talking about all racism, anti-racism. So there’s been so many conversations happening. And also in the UK we were given Covid grants, so I’m self-employed and I was able to access a grant so I didn’t have to work fully for some time during the pandemic.

So that pressure was lifted, a space was opened up to start diving into conversations, which I found really interesting and so I witnessed this process as many of us have, you know, where there are topics that come up. People get excited, they’re emotional, they’re invested in a particular point of view, a particular perspective, and then through the channels of social media, that’s where those conversations are playing out and that’s creates a particular way of interacting and…

I guess in a sort of wider sense, you know, I studied biology originally. I’m now an artist. I have a lot of… I’m like an entrepreneur, so I’ve got like perspectives from lots of different ways of doing things and, and thinking about things. And I was particularly interested in how do we help each other get through a crisis?

And one of those aspects is what do we do when we have a conflict online and how do we navigate? And not damage our relationships in our communities, which we also need to maintain and sustain in order to be in a good place to get through some kind of crisis. .

[00:03:16] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. That’s, that’s such an important part of it.

The community aspect of being online in 2022, because we have so much access to talk to all sorts of different types of people we’re learning, we’re absorbing so much. I think that a lot of people’s, especially anti-racism, education and you know, gender concepts, like all sorts of things. You, you can see the, like the people who are on that journey of unlearning it and like being an ally and doing the work versus the people who are really stuck and set in their ways and like dedicated to the thing that they already believe.

And there’s nowhere that, that is more clear than in the Facebook comment section. .

[00:04:07] Sarah Dixon: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:08] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Where, where families can be torn apart forever, you know, like, . So we see all of this conflict online and people just, you know, canceling someone like some, sometimes the pile on is, is so harsh that the intent is literally to like destroy someone’s livelihood.

[00:04:34] Sarah Dixon: Yeah.

[00:04:35] Caitlin Fisher: For, you know, saying the wrong thing or being viewed as incorrect. So for instance, recently we had Lizzo, if you’re familiar, and Beyonce, both have released new albums recently and they both had the word spazz in lyrics. And in the US spazz is sort of like, just sort of a little chaotic, a little whatever, but

[00:04:58] Sarah Dixon: Okay.

[00:04:59] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. But in the UK, it’s, it’s a, it’s a slur.

[00:05:05] Sarah Dixon: Yes.

[00:05:06] Caitlin Fisher: And so there was a big blow up and it was like, Oh my God, I can’t believe Lizzo would do this. But she didn’t know. And so what she did was, correct herself and rerelease the song with updated lyrics. And you saw some people say, That’s great, that’s exactly what we want. And other people said like, it’s still not good enough. She never should have done it in the first place, but so where’s that? Where’s that line? Like where are we allowed to be on a journey?

[00:05:35] Sarah Dixon: That’s exactly it. You know, there’s like so many complexities. And we are so different in our different cultures, our different experiences, our different understandings.

There’s such a huge range, and on social media, it can all be condensed down into a very short span of time where. A tiny aspect. If one person is placed out and boom, there’s a, there’s a, some kind of trigger event thing happens. And yes, with a, with a pop song, that’s quite a big deal cuz that’s got a legacy to it and it’s kind of long lasting.

So great to just edit it. I think we are negotiating, how do we relate to each other? How do we function in this world when it, when these are the tools of communication. There’s a lot to think about, A lot to figure out together. And there’s a lot of I think also there’s an element of, you know, centuries really of layers of social constructs that are kind of unraveling or being exposed to light that they wouldn’t have been exposed to before.

Though it’s very glaring. Social media is really like shining spotlights on everything. And yes, it’s just fully intense, you know, And we are still just people trying to live in a kind of- biologically speaking, we would be in a community of, you’d have probably about 200 to 300 people that you knew and that would be it.

And you’d know them, a lot of them from like for your life like that, they would be fairly stable group. Yes. So it’s solution designed for, for maximum 200 people to cope with. But obviously that’s not what the world’s like.

[00:07:06] Caitlin Fisher: Yes, correct. I actually recently read research that we can only maintain. about maybe 150, like solid, stable connections.

[00:07:17] Sarah Dixon: Exactly.

[00:07:17] Caitlin Fisher: And so, you know, if you have 4,000 Facebook friends, you’re, you’re going to get some people who you’re not close to and who maybe only observe you from afar. And so they might have a take that you disagree with or you might have a take that they disagree with and then you… just the block button comes out. But I would love to go back to what you said about like the, we’ve got layers…

[00:07:49] Sarah Dixon: Well, all those layers of oppressive relationships and events and it’s all, I mean in, in the UK particularly, I kind of. There’s a very long history. It goes back thousands of years of, of people coming in and beating up somebody and taking over and implementing a different culture.

So, and they’ve been squabbling and fighting and fighting for centuries. So there’s just, and then there’s like one of aspect of the work that I’ve done is around the witch hunts and the persecution of, of people who were perceived to be casting spells in a bad way. And you know, there’s that and there’s like, there’s just been so many and suddenly… so we encounter somebody now, for me, we are a, a sort of representation of that history in some way. We don’t always know what that is, but we come into the world. I don’t think we come in kind of blank in the traditional sense. I think we come in to a culture and we are gonna be educated into it and we have like a certain level of like evolutionary history behind us of genetics and we have intergenerational patterns and traumas that come through that we’re not even conscious about and we are influenced by all of that.

So, and then suddenly we’re going and putting something out there online and somebody else’s location is somewhere else and boom, but, But there’s a lot to unpack. There’s a lot of layers and complexities behind that simple surface.

[00:09:15] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. And that brings us to sort of a topical thing that we touched on before we started recording, which is that the queen literally just died. Yesterday.

[00:09:25] Sarah Dixon: She died last night. And immediately, lots of people, not everyone, but lots of people have jumped online, whether it’s the arts council in the country, in the uk, which funds artists. So of particular concern to me. Immediately issued an email saying there was suspending, basically suspending funding application processes until they get information about how this is gonna be dealt with. So they are a government body. So the government basically has just got a new prime minister and it’s like, Oh, okay, everything’s off. We have to do a massive state thing. So, So they’re the big, the big institutions and stuff coming straight away, taking over the news, shutting down the football, and then And then everywhere everybody is piling on social media to share their views and yeah.

Already we’ve seen, like I’ve had a thread on my page, which is people not liking what I’m saying and then trying to figure out how do we negotiate that conversation when this is friends and family. So you mentioned the 150 people, but within that we can have a lot of difference. And you know, like you mentioned earlier, families can fall apart and fight over this stuff.

So, Really close family members can actually be really somewhere else in their perceptions and their, and their understanding of the world. And, and so that’s what we’re seeing now around the Queen, which is a national identity issue, is massive.

[00:10:48] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, I bet that sort of older generations are more traditional, more like, No, the, the monarchy here is very important. It’s, it’s an institution and then you have the younger generations that are like, Yeah, but all the colonizing and imperialism and. And that’s actually bad mom, you know.

[00:11:11] Sarah Dixon: But yeah, there may be some generational element, but I think there’s other factors. I mean, we have the class system here and people are invested in that at every level.

So, and at each, at different ages as well. So like, my parents are not particularly royalists but I’ve got friends of my age who are, and it’s them that I’m getting into. Conversations with where we don’t agree and we don’t see things in the same way, and it’s deeply symbolic. And this stuff has been built over the centuries, right?

So this whole concept of royalty was developed in some ways. It was about trying to bring people together and leadership, but it was also about tribes trying to kill each other. So you know, the idea of a king. Quite open and nebulous really over the centuries. That’s basically who’s got the biggest army is gonna win.

Yeah. And who’s got the most support and, And our history is very traumatic around that. I mean, there’s been some awful things have gone on within our own nation. And then over time, slowly kind of building up, piling up this concept that we are one nation and suppressing the conflict. And presenting a face to the world and having a very strongly enforced hierarchy of which the monarchy is an important part of, kind of symbolically enforcing that identity and, and, and, and creating a kind of, basically what I think is a kind of fantasy of who we are.

And a lot of people are very, very invested in that fantasy, and that’s where the conflict comes in because they’re not able to take on board different points of view. if they see it as a threat to that identity, to that perceived kind of goodness that they’ve built their self, their, their world around.

And that goes across the ages and across the classes. I think to some extent, yes. Younger people are asking more questions. They’re facing a much different future than maybe we’ve had. I mean, I’m 48, so it kind of hasn’t been too bad in my early you know, young adulthood. Now it’s sort of cracking open a bit more, whereas my daughter is gonna be entering a very, very different kind of world.

So yeah, I think there is gonna be those questions, maybe more energy, more passion coming through about it. But for me, I’m in a place where I’ve realized through the pandemic, you know, these are people I live near, these are people I need to get along with. So I don’t wanna get into some kind of cancel fight.

However, I also really can’t take the idea that the monarchy is all wonderful and there’s nothing wrong with it.

[00:13:50] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, that makes sense. That would be a little challenging. Yeah. I think that that echo is sort of how social justice and like the, the awareness of social causes is working as well because..

For example, let’s just say gender expansive ideology. So yeah. Transgender identities, non-binary gender identities. We have like millennials and Gen Z who are very open to this and they’re like, Oh, cool, I didn’t know that. I love it. Let’s explore it. Let’s really just dig our hands into that and try on some different hats and identities.

And then you have like parents and grandparents who are like, No, it’s girl and boy. Like what are you doing. You are unraveling the fabric of everything I know. And like you said about sort of people who have this, this fantasy, this ideal that they’re living, that like, no, this is how it is and it’s actually good.

Anything that challenges that it’s gonna feel like a threat. Yeah. Even when it’s just, here’s some information that might help you learn some stuff.

[00:15:00] Sarah Dixon: Yes. So what’s a threat? You know, the idea of calling in is like having some compassion as well, like realizing, okay, you’ve grown up, you, you have a reason why you see things where you do.

And cancel culture gets a bit like, Well I don’t care about you as a person, I’ve just seen you do something wrong and I’m just gonna squash and it. And it’s like, well, okay, But then, But then what? Like there’s still people, they still exist. You know, we can’t just cancel people cuz that like in the most extreme sense means killing them.

Right? So, you know, that’s really intense and kind of violent. So if we wanna build an inclusive world, that means figuring out how to include things we don’t like. Okay. And I think that’s a core part of what sometimes gets not really grasped and understood. And always, like, again, coming from biology perspective, we’ve got, and you know, I’ve done some like neuroscience for my coaching and stuff, and it’s about, you know, we’re wild, we’re wild creatures, essentially we’re, we’re animals.

Okay. And, and so we are, we are responding in, in very emotion emotive ways when but symbol symbolism as an artist, you know, you realize that that’s what I’m interested in really, is like how symbols are so powerful because there’s a big part of your mind, right, which can’t, which doesn’t see any difference between so-called reality and symbols.

There isn’t a difference. It’s not like I can choose one or the other. So, When, when the queen becomes really embedded in someone as a symbol, a positive symbol, that is their reality. Like, it’s not like optional. It’s not something where they could, It’s like gravity. You know? You, you can’t just say, Oh, well I’ll just flip that round.

You know, It’s, it could be quite a journey for some people and it’s, it’s a matter of trying to respect where they’re at whilst looking after yourself and, Seeking out what is possible, and sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes there’s just not worth the energy, you know? But what is the principle? Like is the principle we get to people or is the principle that you believe in really about trying to forge connection even when it’s really, really hard?

[00:17:21] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, I think that’s a good distinction because I am a big proponent of compassion and giving people space to learn. So if somebody says something that they don’t realize is actually racist or classist or sexist, you know, I will try to point that out to them and either in , like a Facebook comment, like if they’re up on one of my posts or something.

A big one for me is actually like fat phobia and weight bias. Yeah. I will call that out all day. So love that. Being in eating disorder recovery, that’s very important to me because we have a lot of diet culture and disordered eating metaphor in the self-help space and the self-improvement space. Comparison of like, Productivity and willpower and diligence to dieting.

And I don’t like that. I’m like, no. ‘Cause diets are bad and they don’t work and, and it’s bad. So like, fat people can be successful. That’s, that’s me. So, you know, where. , where is my responsibility to call things out when I see them? That’s a, that’s a great place as well, because obviously the things that affect me

[00:18:42] Sarah Dixon: mm-hmm.

[00:18:43] Caitlin Fisher: so autistic bias fat bias, things like that. Queer phobia, those are things that affect me personally. But then in my role, trying to be an ally, I also wanna be calling out racism. I also wanna be calling out anything that, that doesn’t affect me, but that I have learned.

So, you know please don’t burn sage. That’s an appropriation of a, an indigenous practice. Yeah. You know things like that. But I think. And I think white people do it a lot is we get, we get our little sword and shield and we’re like, I’m here to protect all of the minorities. I’m gonna call you out cuz you did bad thing that I learned was bad and we, we get really shitty about it.

I think like we take, we take up this mantle in a way that I think is kind of toxic sometimes.

[00:19:38] Sarah Dixon: Mm-hmm.

[00:19:39] Caitlin Fisher: rather than being compassionate and helpful and like guiding people along a journey the way that we were guided along a journey.

[00:19:47] Sarah Dixon: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that image you’ve just created of, of the sword and the shield and rushing into battle.

I mean, I’ve been there and, and I’ve examined it and I’ve thought about it and I’ve realized like, and I’ve, and I’ve learned as well, you know, reading there’s a paper which I wanna… it’s about the sort of culture of white supremacy and what that involves? I don’t know. You may have come across it. I’m terrible at remembering, so I’ll find the link and share it.

[00:20:10] Caitlin Fisher: Yes, please do. I’ll put it in our notes.

[00:20:11] Sarah Dixon: Yeah. And it, and it runs through basically white supremacy culture isn’t just about white supremacy, but it’s a set of kind of values and one of them is …well, it’s essentially a violent culture, and so we are, and we are totally steeped in that to the point where we can’t tell because we’re in it so long, we’re born into it.

And so yes, going into battle mode is a, is a classic mode and I would perhaps link that to the history in Europe where there was just a lot of battling going on for several centuries and people were actually literally fighting each other with swords and shields and politics in particular was very deadly and people were constantly chopping each other’s heads off.

So , you know, that’s pretty ingrained, right? And yeah, that’s, you know, that feels like cancel culture. We can feel powerful, but it’s actually is that really the culture that we want? If we’re trying to get out of violent culture, we have to figure out how to not be so violent ourselves when trying to do some good, which can be a good thing, You know, sometimes. I’m not against it completely, but it’s like learning to understand where your thoughts and feelings and behaviors are coming from and like give yourself space to step back and reflect before deciding to kind of take on a certain type of mantle or approach.

[00:21:30] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, I’ll, I’ll fight a Nazi or a Republican.

[00:21:33] Sarah Dixon: Right, Exactly.

[00:21:35] Caitlin Fisher: You know, some people I’m not going to guide gently on a journey. Some people want me dead and I’m like well–

[00:21:43] Sarah Dixon: exactly.

[00:21:44] Caitlin Fisher: Back at you.

[00:21:44] Sarah Dixon: Yeah. So that’s it. You see, it’s like knowing who you’re dealing with, knowing whether it’s Someone you want to build a connection with or you need to is like your deadly enemy.

And you know, that kinda thing, understanding, I learned so much from reading about Nelson Mandela, his approach and how he started with a very, very violent, where white colonizers were murdering black people constantly and making all kinds of apartheid rules. And how does he come from that? And get to a place where the country is legally at least, pretty much equitable.

I mean, the history’s still there. The things have happened. They’re not gonna vanish and dissolve overnight. But you know, he made an incredible journey and it was, How did he do that? He always treated his oppressor as a human being. That was one of the core things that he did. The other was the oppressor made the rules about violence.

So I didn’t make those rules. I have to play them. So he want, he advocated for a violent arm of their political movement because he knew that the oppressor would never change unless there was a threat of violence. Not because he thought, I feel like getting violent. Like maybe sometimes he did. Right. And there were a lot of young men in particular who were very much up for a fight.

However, he was trying to, he wasn’t quite saying, Let’s not have any fighting. He was saying, we need to use it strategically. It’s part of this game and we didn’t make the rules, but we are gonna use what power we have to shift the rules and maybe then the violent part is gonna be removed. Do you see what I mean?

Like yes. It’s thoughtful, it’s strategic, it’s understanding, and it’s holding the oppressor, the enemy, as a human being at the whole time. Because the purpose is to get to a point where you are in good relationship with that person, even if they are not seeking. That sounds hard. . Yeah. Really hard. Like he is incredible what he did.

[00:23:46] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. I only know a little bit about him actually. So yeah, I’m, I’m very interested to, to learn a little more about this, but that to me is taking me back to 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protest when there was, you know, quote looting and rioting going on, and the demonization of that, as you know, well, these black people fighting for so-called justice, like why aren’t they being peaceful?

And it’s because you won’t listen when they’re peaceful. Yeah. So, and this, it’s not new. Like this is not from 2020. This is Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Like Yeah. Forever. We have been looking at the dichotomy of like the peaceful civil rights activist versus the violent civil rights activist.

[00:24:39] Sarah Dixon: Yeah.

[00:24:40] Caitlin Fisher: But exactly what you just said about Nelson Mandela, that, that called this up for me is. The United States police state is violent against black and brown people. That’s what they’re for. They are to protect white power and profit. And we think that the police are here to protect and serve, but we never ask what they’re protecting and serving.

So, And boy, will that blow you up on the internet these days, but, Like it’s violent. It’s already violent. And if you meet that violence with violence, you’re criticized. Yeah. But if you, you know, they say like, Oh, if you just follow the rules, if you just listen to the officer, everything would be fine. That’s not true. It’s simply not because the officers are coming from a place of violence.

[00:25:33] Sarah Dixon: Yeah. So that is violence in itself to, to, to run that narrative. So violence can happen in physical ways, but it can also happen in conversation. It can happen in very subtle. Or less visible ways, let’s say. They may not be very subtle, but they can be very much less visible.

Like, you know, fat shaming, that’s a form of violence, like a comment on the internet can be violent. So, and that is very much a big part of the culture, very widely, and it’s really hard to be in a violent culture and live with that. Like how, how do you respond? Like, do I start fighting with people? Do I try and be the biggest sword on the block, you know, and smash everyone up and make everyone scared so they leave me alone or do I run and hide?

A lot of people prefer to that, you know, like, can I live in a small town? A lot of people come here because they’re a bit shaky and they just want to live in a nice, peaceful, beautiful place and not have any hassle and I don’t do politics and all of that. And then, you know, there’s trying to talk, like trying to explain, you know, there’s a kind of…

Well actually, interestingly, you know, again, going back to a coaching perspective, sort of psychology, Children trying to cope with a world of adults. If it’s a violent world, they’re gonna have tactics. How do I survive here? Do I become more violent like them? Do I try and negotiate and become incredibly good at making an argument? Do I run and hide? Do I ally myself with the bully so that I get left alone? Do I become the rebel and try and take them on and, and then just keep getting hurt over and over again? You know, there’s all these modes and it, it’s all to do with like, how do we get self. Aware of our position, understand power dynamics and understand what power do we have and how do we best apply it.

And sometimes getting in a fight in social media is just a complete waste of your energy. It’s not gonna change their mind. It’s not gonna really influence anything very much. It’s gonna make you stressed out and tired. Just go and make, like for me, I’ll go make a painting. Like it’ll be a much better use of my time.

And that painting might have a message. You know, I’ve got my one here, which is Lilith, who is originally known as the Baby Eater and

[00:27:32] Caitlin Fisher: Oh wow. I didn’t know she was known as the baby eater.

[00:27:36] Sarah Dixon: Well, yeah, she was in the Bible, you know, Adam’s first wife and was rejected because she refused to be submissive to him.

And So they went and made Eve out of Adam. So they made a kind of patriarchal woman who would be up with the patriarchy and go for it and do what she was told. Cuz Lilith was like this free spirit who was like, No, I’m not, I’m not gonna, you’re not my boss, I’m gonna do like how I live.

[00:28:01] Caitlin Fisher: Love Lilith.

[00:28:02] Sarah Dixon: Yeah. So I’ve got that in a painting that might have more impact over time than some Facebook comments. Yeah. And it felt good to make it, to look at that as well. I, I used to be a keyboard warrior. I would get in the arguments, I would fight and absolutely, you’re right. It’s just draining, it’s exhausting, and it’s not going to change those people.

[00:28:31] Caitlin Fisher: What it can do, and what I will usually do is leave a comment that is like, This was racist. You are wrong. You know, something. Or I’ll go onto… there was a library in, I think Indiana, in the US that had featured a bunch of queer children’s books and somebody got very angry and was like, They’re, you know, they’re grooming our kids here.

Yeah. And so that went viral and I left a very positive comment. I was like, This is so great. I love seeing all these families represented. That’s awesome. And then I turned off notifications. and left because I was there to show the people who were being targeted that they’re not alone, that they have support.

I wasn’t there to argue and change the minds of people that think that LGBTQ community is pedophiles. Like, I’m not, I’m not gonna change that. That is a deep cut in your, in your brainwashing process. Yeah. I can’t help you. I’m sorry. .

[00:29:34] Sarah Dixon: Yes. I like that you could put that, I’m really sorry, I, I can’t help you, but I am gonna say this.

[00:29:39] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. I can’t, I can’t save you from Q Anon on or whatever did this to you. Yeah. Yeah, so just leave a supportive comment and then use that block button liberally and yes, move on.

[00:29:53] Sarah Dixon: And the great thing is we do have choices. And absolutely those comments are important. They do help people feel that there is a different cultural vibe happening and we should put our chip in the ring.

And I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever do it, although some people might choose not to do it. Like some people will dedicate themselves to like behind the scenes lobbying with their political representatives and they won’t go on social. They don’t even have a profile, like they’re just out there doing some completely different.

So it’s kind of figuring out what, what, how do I use my life energy in a positive way in this really messy, complicated world? And it’s not easy. And, and yeah, I think those conversations do have big impacts. They do actually have legacy cuz they stay there. You can search someone’s profile from like 10, 15 years ago and see what they were saying.

And sometimes, and there is a lot of value in those conversations. I guess if I’m your coach, I’m gonna be saying, right, Well, you also don’t wanna be getting yourself stressed out, wasting your energy, getting upset, crying, raging. You know, don’t put yourself in that place if you don’t need to. Sometimes you’re gonna need to. So save it for that .

[00:30:53] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. I love what you said about turning it into a creative output. So making a painting for me, I might go write a blog post. Yes. Or paint something or I don’t know, just get really riled up and like go live on, on Facebook or Instagram and just like, speak my mind. But yes, like if I am using creativity to be a change maker and to share my ideas with the world and be in support of the, the society that I wanna see where we’re all treating people equitably and better, and not terribly. Yeah, I can go make some stuff about that instead of just fighting with some random guy in the comments.

[00:31:38] Sarah Dixon: Plus, we are giving our time and attention to a platform that has no interest in our interests. So most of the social media platforms are privately owned. They are there for shareholder benefit. They couldn’t give two little hoots about the people using. So long as they’re on there using it. Like who’s got the power in this situation? A lot of those people may be completely invisible in this thread, you know? Yes. Whose interests do we serve with our energy and our time, and our effort, and our thinking, and our feeling?

[00:32:11] Caitlin Fisher: That’s so true because even if you’re commenting on like, say an account, a profile, or page, You oppose, you’re giving them metrics, you’re giving them more reach.

[00:32:24] Sarah Dixon: Exactly.

[00:32:25] Caitlin Fisher: And there’s, there’s this algorithmic game when you’re getting involved on social media. So perhaps yeah, the best way to combat that really is to just go make something yourself about.

[00:32:40] Sarah Dixon: And the other thing is we can do is have offline conversations like go and chat to someone. When you’ve got a real human being, you’re gonna react very differently and speak differently than when it’s just some typing. Yes. You can’t see the person, you can’t see how they feel. You don’t know like what a shitty day they had. You don’t know how their dad beat them when they were a kid and they don’t wanna even think about it or they blocked it from their brain. They don’t even know it happened. You know, you just, you dunno what you’re dealing with when you’ve got a real human being. And maybe set up a little framework around a conversation so there’s some ground rules.

Then maybe those kinds of changes that we’d like to see could maybe start to have some possibility cuz we can start to encounter each other as more whole complex beings and not as reduced to little soundbites and moments in time when, you know, when I’m stressed out I say stupid things and I’m learning like. Don’t say stuff when you’re stressed out, Especially not in public . Yeah. You know, it’s simple.

[00:33:40] Caitlin Fisher: That’s so good too because, you know, so for instance, I have a friend who it took her a long time to start u to start, to start to stop using the, we just call it the R word or the R slur. Mm.

And she would be like, Oh, that’s so R-Word. When she meant like, that’s, you know, don’t like that. And I just one day turn around and I was like, What? Just recoil. Just what? Did you in the year of our Lord, 2000- whatever, you said that? And she was like, I know. I’m sorry. It’s bad. I know.

Talking to her as a friend in that moment where I could just be like, Dude, try harder. Yeah. Like that’s a, that’s a bad one. We don’t .No. was probably more impactful than me, like getting into it, like in the comments section with her somewhere where we’re detached from our friendship a little. Hmm. Where I can be like, you know, you shouldn’t say that because this and this and this, and I’m info dumping because we’re not just having a conversation.

So I love the idea of actually sort of doing your call outs or your call ins as I think is preferable because a call out to me is like a public shaming.

[00:35:02] Sarah Dixon: Exactly.

[00:35:03] Caitlin Fisher: And a call in is like, I care about you and I know that you care about things. . Yeah. So I want to tell you what I’ve learned and encourage you to do better.

And that to me should be private. Yes. Now if it’s a celebrity or a politician, by all means get on Twitter. Like, because they need the pressure of it. If one person had talked to Lizzo and said, You know, that’s a little, you probably shouldn’t say that. She might not have known that it was actually a really big deal.

But when Twitter erupts on you and. . No, this is a huge deal and you need to fix it. Yeah. Public pressure can be useful, but we don’t need to publicly pressure like a stay at home mom down the street who doesn’t know any better yet.

[00:35:49] Sarah Dixon: Yeah, exactly. There’s a public shaming element and that is really high triggering for a mammal, for a social mammal, like your inclusion in the group is a matter of your survival.

So public shaming is like actually what we used to do to the so-called witches, like the women accused and the men accused and the non-binary people , everybody who was accused of some kind of witchcraft thing. It was basically public shaming. And it wasn’t just that there was a lots of other patterns of like, take somebody for stealing, take somebody for whatever.

It was all about setting up these systems of hierarchy, of who’s right, who’s wrong, what you’re allowed and not allowed to do. And they were really intense, like properly terrible, and it was a matter of survival. Maybe now you might lose your career, which is pretty survival-y, you know? But at least we’re not chopping each other’s heads off and putting them in the On the stick.

[00:36:41] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Yeah. Burning them.

[00:36:43] Sarah Dixon: Yeah, so, but that intensity in public, which social media is a public platform that’s really hard for all these millions of people to all have to have suddenly a public life. So when it comes to public life, there’s that really interesting question, which has been a part of this discussion about the Queen, which is, you can’t say that it’s disrespectful because a grandmother just died.

Somebody’s grandma died. And I’m like, Okay, but thousands of grandmas died today. You know, then we’re not talking about them. I’m sad for those people, but I’m. That’s not what this is about. This is about a system where there’s a symbolic character who you’ve been tried to get you indoctrinated into it and think of it as a great thing so that we can then go ahead and do lots of, lots of really questionable practices.

Under this guise, this fantasy thing. And and so there’s this weird thing of like, so with with the singer who, who had this you know, the wrong words in the song. , those people are presented as individual human beings, right? So the queen is presented as a nice lady. Oh, there’s this, just this nice lady and she’s our queen, but she’s not, There’s a whole massive institution and she’s just told what to say and says it, you know, She was just a very good at doing, doing what she was meant to do.

And and, and so, It’s the same with the pop singers. They are in an in an organization. So why didn’t that organization have a system that knew this and filtered it out before it got put in public? So there is a question. It’s not really about her, it’s about the system that she represents and what is that doing?

And they’ve only reacted to it because they’ve got a PR issue. And yes, that’s a valid tactic. To create change, to push for change, but it’s totally not about that individual singer at all. She is just a, just like the queen, you know? It’s like a symbol and it represents an institution and it’s the institution where the violence is happening.

Yes, through individual people. Sometimes we need to just pick certain individuals out of the system and get rid of them, but we also, we need to looking at the system and what a system is creating certain. Experiences, modes, messages, narratives, et cetera.

[00:39:06] Caitlin Fisher: That’s very interesting. I am, I’m a Lizzo fan. , so, so like, yeah. I do view her as an individual rather than someone who participates in the music industry. Right. And she has a lot stacked against her, even within the industry. She’s fat, she’s black. She’s a woman. You know, so. You know, like I see her as like a groundbreaking person, and yet she’s still within this music industry that does have a history of, you know, they, they don’t really care what happens as long as they get paid.

[00:39:43] Sarah Dixon: Exactly.

[00:39:44] Caitlin Fisher: That’s so, thank you for that, because I was just like, well, you know, Lizzo wrote this lyric and then Lizzo fixed the lyric. Everything is great. But yeah, it is a symptom of the music industry as a whole, like you can say whatever you want as long as like you don’t get too many people mad.

[00:40:01] Sarah Dixon: Yeah. and then they’ll be like, Yeah, yeah. They’ll have a PR team that knows what to do. Right. And and absolutely the singer, the person at the center has their personality, their perspective, their talents, their power, and they can use that. So individual, it’s, it’s like, it’s both, you know, it’s, it’s impossible to separate the two, but you know, for me particularly when it comes to the Queen and the monarchy as a whole, but in lots of these things, it’s just useful to remember that and recognize it and see the power structure around somebody and not just individual people. Because that to me is part of creating inclusive culture, is understanding that we aren’t separate, We aren’t individuals at all. We’re born into something.

We’re trained into certain ways of thinking. We have experiences which inform our worldview. And and all of that is not, you know, I didn’t choose. Some people believe that somehow your spirit chooses to be born in a certain place and whatever. Okay. Then you’ve really got some big questions to answer moral questions, right. You know?

[00:41:02] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Like, oh my, my spirit wanted to be part of a monarchy.

[00:41:07] Sarah Dixon: Yes, exactly. And what lesser whatever. So there is a way to construct around that. But generally, you know, for me it’s about, it’s like evolution is kind of, it’s a bit of a, it’s a very creative, experimental thing. It’s like, let’s just chuck a bunch of possibilities in the forms of you living creatures into the world and see what happens.

And we have this amazing creative potential because of that. And you know, we absolutely can completely transform how we see the world, how we talk to each other, how we live. We totally can do that. We have the most amazing capacities to explore, but we are really, I’ve seen an amazing quote. There’s this writer called Sophie Strand, and she just pasted up a, a quote the other day, and it was really relevant and it was about that we are born into myths and we’re kind of tangled in them.

Like the idea of civilization is a myth that we’re trapped in. And she was talking about it like a web, you know, like little creatures stuck in the spiders web. And it really feels like that to me. And I’m like, Cut the threads and extract myself and yeah, it’s we are not, we’re not separate. We’re not individuals.

We’re part of something and we all can learn. What is my influence? How can I make some impact here? Maybe it’s a good conversation with a friend or my family member. Maybe it’s for me to be creative. Maybe it’s for me to enter politics. Maybe it’s for me to completely dissolve from the world and, and di and divest from everything.

You know, everyone’s gonna have their own path to their own power.

[00:42:38] Caitlin Fisher: I think that’s beautiful. I love that. We have, we have so many options. Every single human being, I think has a shared humanity. Yeah. And balancing the compassion of that shared humanity with what makes us individuals is, I think, something that challenges us.

But it’s, it’s, I love that you were so focused on community and being part of something in, in everything that we’ve talked about. So what would be, if you have like one piece of advice for people who wanted to support humanity, over social media, the internet in this modern age what would that advice be?

[00:43:25] Sarah Dixon: To support humanity? I think start with yourself. Like, look, after having deep self-compassion, you are a beautiful creature that came mysteriously out of the universe. Right? And beyond that, you know, our job is to live, function and hopefully enjoy life at least some of the time. And, you know, if you are passionate about something that’s upsetting you in your culture, take care of yourself. And then really think in a big way, a wide open way about where your power is. Think about your power and, and how you where your influences are, where you, where you can influence that culture and, and in a way that allows for some space for joy along the.

[00:44:12] Caitlin Fisher: That’s wonderful advice. . So can you tell us where we can find you around the web?

[00:44:21] Sarah Dixon: Okay, So yes, you’ll find me on Facebook and Instagram. So my website is called Sarah, d i x o n studio. And then on there there’s links to Facebook and so on a LinkedIn and on Instagram, you can see my Goddesses project. But yeah, if you go to my website, Sarah, you’ll find links to all the social media and I’m very happy to chat. I love to have a good conversation.

[00:44:45] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. I will put links to all of your things in the show notes. And also if you find that article you were talking about, shoot that over to me.

[00:44:53] Sarah Dixon: Yes, I’ll do that. It’s really good sort of analysis of white supremacy culture,

[00:44:57] Caitlin Fisher: Love. Yeah. Thank you so much for being here today. This was a wonderful conversation. I’m feeling a little more hopeful about humanity today, , after talking. So that’s powerful, and thank you. That’s, that’s a great place for us to come to a conclusion. So thank you so much for being here with us today.

[00:45:16] Sarah Dixon: My absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on the show, Caitlin.

Sunshine in the Storm: Handling Inner and Outer Conflict with Petra Vega | #57


How do you access your power and show up as you want to? How do you define healing? 

Join me and the incredible Petra Vega on a journey this episode! We start off talking about how to recognize and translate red flags in dating bios and move on to how to embrace passion, pleasure, business, and creativity in the context of our world being a giant trash fire. 

Next, we’re untangling trauma, talking about WHEN healing is done (hint: kinda never), and how to ask for what you need in relationships. Petra also flips the script and asks ME some questions about healing and how to develop the healthy relationships you deserve after a life of toxic crap (hint: it’s boundaries and consent).   

Petra Vega (She/Ella) is the Founder and Liberatory Leadership Coach of Create More Possibilities. Petra helps marginalized leaders (think BIPOC, Queer, neurodivergent, basically folks who’s mere existence challenges the status quo) cultivate liberatory power so they can show up powerfully and fully to make deeper impact in the world. Petra is also a Facilitator, Radical Social Worker and Emergent Strategist. Petra’s background includes over a decade of experience in building power with parents and neighbors, challenging toxic workplaces into care-centered spaces, developing facilitation as an art for consensus-based decision-making and inclusive, participatory engagement, as well as training the next generation of social workers to trust the people as experts in their own lives, interrogate the savior complex within us and to heal ourselves in order to heal the collective.  

Find Petra on Instagram and Facebook @CreateMorePossibilities and her website! 

Sign up for my email list at to get weekly pep talks and the latest insights to uplevel your creative confidence. Love you! 


[00:00:00] Caitlin Fisher: Okay. Hello everybody. Welcome back. Happy Friday. It is Run Like Hell Toward Happy. And I am once again, bringing you an astonishingly fantastic guest that I found on the internet. . So coming today is Petra Vega. She is the founder and liberatory leadership coach of Create More Possibilities, which is a stunning business name.

And we love it. Petra helps marginalized leaders, so I think black indigenous people of color queer, neuro- divergent, basically folks whose existence itself challenges the status quo. Which, we love to fuck up the status quo here. Helps them cultivate liberatory power so they can show up powerfully and fully to make deeper impact in the world.

Petra is also a facilitator, radical social worker and emergent strategist. Her background includes over a decade of experience, building power with parents and neighbors, challenging toxic workplaces into care centered spaces, developing facilitation as an art for consensus based decision making and inclusive participatory engagement, as well as training the next generation of social workers to trust people as experts in their own lives, interrogate the savior complex within us and heal ourselves in order to heal the collective. So what a bio.

[00:01:23] Petra Vega: Thank you.

[00:01:23] Caitlin Fisher: I am in awe of you already, so welcome to the show and tell us, tell us anything we’re missing so far.

[00:01:30] Petra Vega: Yeah. Yeah, I think this is like my, my professional bio, right? So I think some, some things that I would add just personally is that I’m a cat daddy to a new kitten. She’s about two months old.

I’m an introvert. I’m someone who would like be very happy not to leave the house. And so I. Virtual reality, virtual life is my jam. And if this is like just a little quirk that I think people feel opposite of how I feel. So I’m like, it’s important for me to name. Like, I really love online dating. I feel like it’s like a good place for us introverts folks who like to scope out the scene beforehand. And that’s where I met my beloved. So I’m like biased, but also I’m like obsessed. And probably like after this business, or maybe if I can infuse it into this one, I’m like, I’d love to help people find love that I’m like, it’s real hard out here.

[00:02:14] Caitlin Fisher: it is. It is. I actually found the love of my life, my current partner, the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in when I deleted all my apps and was like, I’m not doing this fucking Tinder fuck boy thing anymore. so, but I, I was very big into online dating met my first two husbands online. So I’m fucking nailing it. But no, I, I like it cuz it provides like some safety. Yeah. There’s some, you know, getting to know you stuff where you don’t have to like go out, especially for introverts. Like I don’t, I don’t want you to watch me eat. Like the first time I’m getting to know you. Like yeah, no, no stop.

[00:02:56] Petra Vega: Like, yeah. And I just feel like I used to be like, when I was like early dating before I met my partner, I would be like a, a bio detective. Right. That my friends are like, I don’t know what is this fuck boy thing. And I’m like, girl it’s this line right here. And I’m like, who, who wrote that? And they’re like, I was feeling or like whatever.

And I’m like, no, I’m like, you don’t, you don’t want that. And so like what, what’s the subtext that I’m like, okay, my, my background isn’t in English, but I’m like, there’s a subtext here that I’m like, just be like extra clear. And if people are really fucking with you, you’re like, oh wow.

You can totally watch me eat. You can watch me do some other things, but you gotta like, I’m like put it out there.

[00:03:32] Caitlin Fisher: I love it. I think we need more translation services for dating apps. Yes. Like the being able to take a screenshot and send it and be like, this just doesn’t feel right. Do you know why? And they’re like, yeah, no, cuz this, this right here is fuck, fuck boy shit.

[00:03:46] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:03:48] Caitlin Fisher: Or fuck girl shit ,they’re out there.

[00:03:50] Petra Vega: Yeah. And I’m like, and, and you might want that. So I’m also like, do you want that? Like, you’re just trying to have a good time, but like don’t, but don’t fall in love with this person. Right. That like, like, I’m just having a good time and I’m like, that’s an excellent sense. Then leave that. I know

[00:04:03] Caitlin Fisher: I’m unfortunately the type of person where like really good sex will make me think like, oh, I should date you. That’s not always the answer.

[00:04:12] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:04:13] Caitlin Fisher: sometimes you just need to leave that alone. Yeah. I, I already love this conversation. yeah. So we don’t really have a direction. I actually put this in like my notes as episode T B D because I knew that you were going to bring some spicy deliciousness to this show.

So. This overall season is about sort of a sense of Renaissance, like being creative during and after a dark age, such as the plague that is COVID, the plague that is police brutality. Like there’s some shit going on. Supreme court’s not really happy with us right now, and we’re not happy with it. So like people tend to, I have seen either like, get really creative.

Like I know somebody who’s doing a series, they’re calling it angry females and it’s just paintings of like women making really just pissed off angry faces.

[00:05:05] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm .

[00:05:06] Caitlin Fisher: And so that’s a very nice cathartic

[00:05:08] Petra Vega: mm-hmm

[00:05:09] Caitlin Fisher: way to like put your feminist rage into art and then other people might have a sense of like, well is now the time for me to be taking up space in the world when there’s so much going on.

So from your perspective, From your professional background. Yeah. What’s your feedback on that?

Hello. We interrupt this podcast for a brief technical difficulties, but we’ll be right back.

[00:05:38] Petra Vega: So I don’t know if it’s my internet or, or, but it kind of went in and now I lost the last piece. So if you wouldn’t mind repeating that last piece

[00:05:45] Caitlin Fisher: that’s okay. It could definitely be my internet. So basically just the like sort of dichotomy of either really leaning into creativity right now and using rage as creative inspiration versus people feeling like now’s not the time to be showing up in the world to be showing up creatively just because it sucks for everybody.

So like how dare I find an outlet for my joy, which can almost get like white saviory. Right. So you know, I’m like, well, my, my art and my business doesn’t matter. I only want to uplift the others. Meanwhile, like I am poor and also need to eat. So, yeah, I’m not really doing any favors by like martyring myself, et cetera.

And I really loved what your bio said about like working with social workers to get into that. Like I’m gonna save you thing

[00:06:35] Petra Vega: mm-hmm

so yeah just applying

[00:06:38] Caitlin Fisher: that to creativity. Let’s let’s just go and see where this conversation takes us.

[00:06:43] Petra Vega: Yeah. Thank you so much for, for repeating. And I was like, yeah, that was definitely the piece I was like, well, I needed to hear that again.

[00:06:47] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Honestly I said it better the second time anyway,

[00:06:50] Petra Vega: so, okay, good. I think about any time that we have like a, I don’t know that it’s debate or like a attention around I think activities around like joy or pleasure or creativity that I always think about. Like, I think it was either like Audre Lorde or some other black revolutionary that was like at the beach. That I’m like, and then there’s a picture of like this person at the beach. Right. And like the way that I think about folks who are fighting for justice, who, who stand for something, or who are like trying to dismantle shit in their life. I, I think we can imagine them as like, they’re always working, which I’m like, capitalism would love it.

If we always thought they’re like on the streets or theorizing or reading or like base building. And I was like, nah, they was at the fucking beach sometimes. Right. And they were fucking right. Or they were like writing, like sci-fi fiction that I love Octavia Butler. And I’m like, she wrote, she wrote about like monsters and humans.

And I’m like, that’s what, that’s how she transferred all this shit that when she was going through she metabolized and, and gave us something years later for us to like geek out over and being like, we came, we made it here. Fuck. What are we doing? What are we doing? Right. And so I think, I always remember those moments about folks in our past that I always look to around like, oh, this isn’t necessarily like new challenges for us. Right. But I think that we can forget that stuff right. If we’re like not aware of these things. And so I think that’s one thing. And I think the other piece too, is like, I can remember a time with my therapist that I like moved during the pandemic in the most beautiful apartment that I’ve ever had.

And prior to that, I like lived in a closet. Right. So like very small. I was grateful. I love my little closet. It was my first apartment that I had, but it wasn’t the apartment that I’m in now. And I would tell her that like, oh my God, the world is on fire. And I’m someone that I knows the world is on fire.

And I’m talking to people every day as like a social worker is back when I was in a nonprofit. And I’m hearing about the worst things that are happening. Right. And then what she told me that I was like, just gave me so much peace and I wanna offer it here for anyone who may be struggling with this thing that I was.

‘Oh, I feel bad about loving my apartment when people are like losing their homes’ right. At the height of the pandemic that people are just like, fuck people, you can’t pay? Goodbye. And I’m like, we cannot do that to people. And what she gave, what she offered me was like ‘you hating or wanting to neglect or not being truthful about the fact that you love your apartment doesn’t help that other person have an apartment.’

Like those two things are not related. And it’s really like, I think this is where the gratitude piece comes in. Right. And again, like gratitude can feel like, oh, everything is so fucked up. How dare I? Right. And so it’s a little bit about like, potentially some, some like likely some privileged stuff coming up of being like, I can only focus on the worst things ever as someone who knows about the worst things ever, but it’s like, we cannot exist in that place.

Right? Like we cannot live there. It’s a place that I’m like, I will frequent as someone who is hypersensitive and has mental health issues. I’m like, I’ma be there. I’ma be in the storm. But no one can live in the storm or the light. Right. And so if I can acknowledge that, when can I be, be aware that I’m like, oh, I’m at season of a storm right now.

Right. And at that moment, I’m like, there is a huge fucking storm happening in the world. And in my apartment, there’s a little bit of sunshine.

[00:10:04] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That’s really important. And that’s really. good perspective as well. I love the idea of seasons. Yeah, because I think that life is very cyclical and seasonal.

Like the days are getting shorter now fall is coming

[00:10:18] Petra Vega: mm-hmm

[00:10:19] Caitlin Fisher: and I get my, like my, my like five weeks of weather that I love before the time change starts fucking with me.

[00:10:26] Petra Vega: mm-hmm. I was like, and seasonal depression is gonna keep, like, it’s like one thing after the other, right?

[00:10:31] Caitlin Fisher: Like, I’ve been having all this sunshine. I’ve gotten more sunshine like this summer than I ever got, because we just got a dog. So like I’ve been out walking her every day and I’m like, oh, like you can’t tell, but I have what for me passes as a tan. I love it. My stomach would still blind you, but no, like my freckles are out. Yeah. But yeah, like seasons and cycles and the fact that even mood wise and even energy wise, we go through cycles.

Like every march, I have a bit of a hard time because I went through a really big trauma in March four years ago. And then August is also a little complicated for me because of like, there’s a bunch of anniversaries related to people that I no longer have in my life. Mm-hmm . And I just know that those are little seasonal dips and like, I might feel a little gloomy and at the same time, like I’m in love with my dog and like our new kitten and there’s, there’s nothing like a kitten who’s like pet me, you know?

And I’m like, yes. Okay. So the Supreme court hates me and wants me to die on the street, but at least this kitten adores me. This fucking kitten loves me. Right. You know, at least I finally finished that art project I’ve been working on, you know, like finding, I love that you call it like sunshine in the storm.

That’s such a great. like metaphor, analogy. Mm-hmm perspective. Insert cool word here. Yeah. yeah. That’s awesome.

[00:12:03] Petra Vega: Yeah. I think too, what, what you were offering around, like having a the self-awareness to know, like where where’s where’s the time that your stuff is happening. That I think that we can think about like, oh again, because like toxic positivity and capitalism is always telling us some feel good shit.

It’s like, do you not feel the happiest ever? And I’m like, have you look at the world? You’re like, yeah, like any, any like functioning, human, right. Where I think we can be like, oh, if we are not pleasant, then we are dysfunctional. But like nobody actually see the world for the, the magnitude that it is. And so I think like in, in a way that something that I’ve tried to work on is like, okay, when I’m not feeling like the most pleasant, I’m like, oh, how does this make sense.

Like how, instead of it being like, why what’s wrong with me, which I’m like, is our go-to because, you know, bless our brains, trying to like protect us from stuff that like is real or not real, but like also, like how does this make sense? Right. And so even during that moment of being like, oh yeah, this reminds me about like four years ago when, and you’re like, that makes sense.

Yep. Right. And even just creating that, like affirmation and that knowing for yourself and like, I, I adopted earlier this year, that’s like, I don’t wanna learn how to betray my intuition. And so even if I can’t pinpoint why I feel a particular way or why something is quote unquote off, I’m like, I’m just gonna trust that.

And like, if I need to know why I will, and if I don’t, at least I could be like, yeah, it’s here. I know.

[00:13:28] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, I love that. I’m very big on intuition as well. Mm-hmm and it’s been interesting seeing how intuition comes up in, in all the interviews that I’ve done for this season so far. because like, everybody’s got like a slightly different perspective on intuition and everything, but yeah, I think deep down, we know, like we know I don’t feel good mm-hmm like, even just today, I just felt like a little off I’m like, I feel I’m gonna probably take a nap today.

Like I don’t feel super great. yeah. And I don’t know what it is. I’m like, oh, should I take a COVID test? For what? Like your slightly upset tummy. Like I think you can like calm down. Yeah. I’m I’m the person who’s like, oh, it’s COVID like when I have choked on my own spit I know. And I’m coughing , but it’s real.

It’s it’s I somehow haven’t got it yet. Like, we’ve been. We’ve been going through this for, for almost three years now on yeah. On COVID bullshit. And I have not, our household has not, we have four adults.

[00:14:29] Petra Vega: Wow.

[00:14:30] Caitlin Fisher: Two of whom like go out to work. Yeah.

[00:14:34] Petra Vega: Good job for y’all. I’m like, where’s that sticker? I know people make like the profiles. It’s like, I stand with whatever and I’m like, we do it for a hot second. And I’m like, I haven’t got COVID. I’m like, that is a like gold star.

[00:14:45] Caitlin Fisher: it’s incredible. And I’m just like, I’m, I feel like I’m gonna get it cuz it’s ubiquitous at this point, but

[00:14:51] Petra Vega: mm-hmm ,

[00:14:51] Caitlin Fisher: you know, even that they’re like the, the latest strain is super transmissible. So I stopped going to the coffee shop to write. Now I write at home when I write and like, but the new booster covers the new variant. So maybe when I get new boosted, then I’ll go back out and it’s just, you know, we try and we try and balance like life. Yeah. With the fact that COVID, which again comes back to like the light in a storm. Like for me, like going to the coffee shop once a week to work on my novel is like a really happy, shiny spot. And I don’t have the kitten and the dog distracting me the whole time. So I usually write more when I’m at the coffee shop.

[00:15:27] Petra Vega: Yeah. Yeah. And I think the, the piece around being responsive, right. That it’s not like it’s not either or, which again is like part of the questions, like, do I hone in and go all in on my creativity or do I act like I don’t have this part of me. And it doesn’t exist and I’m just gonna live my life as that, not person.

Right. And it’s like, we could get stuck in this binary and it’s like, can we be like, with new data, can we make a new decision? Right. And like, yes, as we got new information around, COVID where people were like, it’s a cold. Like, I, I still remember, like when I left my office and we like, everyone took the plants home and I’m not like a plant mom and I was like, it might die but I’ll take one because I’m down for the squad. Right. Like everyone’s taking one. You’re like, yeah, we’re gonna be in on Monday. I’m like, we had no idea. We had no idea.

[00:16:11] Caitlin Fisher: You know, we quote like went home for two weeks, you know? Yeah. And then what was it? Six months later I quit my job.

[00:16:19] Petra Vega: good for you.

[00:16:19] Caitlin Fisher: Thank you.

[00:16:20] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm mm-hmm

[00:16:21] Caitlin Fisher: yeah. I’m part of the great resignation. It was really great. I love it. Yeah. I told them exactly where they could shove it. And I also told them to hire a black diversity educator cuz they needed one. Yeah, I love it. Yeah. I’m like, y’all suck in so many like white Christian supremacist ways and you need to fix that.

[00:16:39] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:16:39] Caitlin Fisher: If you like wanna get right with God or whatever. Yeah.

[00:16:45] Petra Vega: Yeah. There’s so much work to do. I was talking to someone the other day. I think it was probably, was it a conversation or podcast anyways, but they’re like, well, I worked at a, a nonprofit and my background is all in nonprofits and they’re like, I worked at one nonprofit.

I like never worked there again. Right. and I’m like, I think we hear all this shit about corporate or like fashion or like whatever the industries are. Right. And you’re like, but until you’re in your industry, it doesn’t feel, it feels like the worst thing ever. Right. In comparison to anyone else’s thing.

But I’m like, we all have so much work to do. And particularly like in nonprofits. And so I had a similar thing where I’m like, I went out with a bang that I was. I offered to share my exit interview, which is like the, no, no. Right. But I was like, y’all need to know what the fuckery is. Right. And so for anyone who wanted to know who was still there, who still cared about like making change and really challenging white supremacy culture, and I’m like, you need to read what the fuck happened to me.

[00:17:34] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. I think there’s great power in that. Mm-hmm like, they, it, you know, it starts at like, don’t talk about your salary, right? That’s when they’re like, oh no, that’s a no-no. I was literally told in those words, that’s a no-no. And I’m like, that’s illegal. Would you like me to get the law involved, Jose?

[00:17:52] Petra Vega: Good for you. Yeah. All of these little rules. Right. And if you, if you think about it, you’re like, oh, this is what it, what it means to be a professional, but I’m like, according to who. Right. And like always who does that benefit? Oh yes. Who does it benefit for you not to know?

[00:18:05] Caitlin Fisher: I have a coach and good friend of mine, Serena Hicks. She’s a money mindset coach. And she says that like, professionalism is just code for the patriarchy.

[00:18:14] Petra Vega: Yep. Mm-hmm

[00:18:15] Caitlin Fisher: and I’m like, oh, that changed like my whole life. Like, no, I don’t have to wear a blazer. I can get rich in tank tops. You know, like I haven’t yet, but I will.

[00:18:25] Petra Vega: Aaaahhhhh,


[00:18:26] Caitlin Fisher: I’m gonna get rich in tank tops.

[00:18:28] Petra Vega: I would, I was just telling my partner, she works at trader Joe’s and they’re telling her around like, well, if you take this particular shift, which like, they’re gonna give a, a bonus and more monies to that, you cannot, you cannot be sitting around or something. And I’m like, why are we so obsessed with controlling what people do with their bodies?

Right. And that made me think about the ways that, like, I don’t know if you experienced this when you were working for wherever it is that you were working from. Right. But just the obsession was like, make sure your cameras are on. And I’m like, can we not? Like people are living in a plague. We have no idea what the fuck people are doing or experiencing at home.

And you want us to stare at people while they’re experiencing all that shit. Like they’re here, they’re in the fucking meeting. They will engage as what is possible to do. Can we not, can we stop being so obsessed?

[00:19:11] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, exactly. That wasn’t a super big issue with my company, but my partner’s company is very much a like everybody turn your cameras on. Like they shipped everyone out a webcam. So that, you know, like there was no reason, no excuses, no excuses. And he would just be like, ah, mine’s really on the Fritz. And I’m like, good for you, baby. I love it. I say, say what you need to say.

[00:19:37] Petra Vega: Yeah. I had one student, she was like, it broke. And I’m like, I don’t give a shit if you’re lying or not. I just needed to do what you said you were gonna do. Yep. I don’t care. Like oh yeah. Just do your work.

[00:19:47] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, my sister’s a teacher. So when they were doing like distance learning, it , it’s like just funny, like kids would just be like sleeping, like their camera’s on, but they’re, they’re sleeping. It’s hard for the kids.

Like, no, I don’t, I don’t wanna look at like a wall of people staring back at me and like, I know they’re all just checking their email. We don’t, we don’t need this.

[00:20:10] Petra Vega: Right. And then you can see the eyes too. And I’m like, y’all, you’re making it worse. Right. Cause I’m like, you would do this normally, but like, we, I wouldn’t be staring at you. It’d be like, I could see you from the corner of my eye or you’d be in the farther part of the table. But now I’m like, Jamie is not paying attention.

[00:20:26] Caitlin Fisher: yeah. It’s good. Plus like, you can’t really like, hide like the secret, like ‘they said what’ kind of like, look, you know, everybody sees it.

[00:20:35] Petra Vega: That’s true too. Or like, yeah. Did you catch the moment? And I’m someone, I don’t know if you’re like this and I’m like, I have no poker face, but I’m like, I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I’m like, fuck did you, what?

[00:20:45] Caitlin Fisher: Mm-hmm

[00:20:45] Petra Vega: what?

[00:20:46] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, no, I can’t. I have to be like, I have to know what’s gonna happen if I’m gonna like mask it. No, I don’t. I don’t have an inside voice on my face. I’ll be sitting in my car, having a fake conversation and be like acting it out on my face. And I’ll be like you said, you did what to me? Just in the car. There’s no one here. Nothing’s happening. I’m making shit up in my head.

[00:21:07] Petra Vega: Oh, that’s so funny.

[00:21:09] Caitlin Fisher: I love, I love chaos.

yeah. so let’s, let’s talk a little bit more about, about you and what you do. What is Create More Possibilities? Can you tell us a little bit more about the magic that happens there?

[00:21:25] Petra Vega: Yeah. So create more possibilities is a company that started out as a little seedling. I left my nonprofit job at the end of June.

And so I’ve been working on this business for the past year. And when I thought about I was like, okay, I have been in lots of places. I’ve been a leader for a long time and seeing other people in their leadership and being like, why are you doing it like that? Like, why are you doing it?

Like that, me understanding why you’re doing it like that and still like, why are you doing it like that? particularly when I heard folks to be like, oh, it’s so there’s a, a facade that you need to put on or there’s all this pressure. Or most recently I was talking to someone that’s like, I can see the systems and the matrix inside of how I’m operating.

And I have no idea how to stop

[00:22:09] Caitlin Fisher: mm-hmm

[00:22:10] Petra Vega: and I’m like, yep. And I’m like, that’s what it means to live in the world. Right. That like, all of this… we’re in the water. So like, you gonna take a gulp right. You might get catch little water in your mouth, and now it’s in your intestine. And you’re like, how do I get it out?

And I was like, I have, I have some ideas. I have some ideas and some stuff that I practice with. And so it’s my way to offer that. Like, we can do leadership differently, we can do it in a way that really serves people that helps to free us and other people. And really, because I feel like that’s one of the ways that has prevented us from making the kind of changes that I think we talk about that we wanna make.

Right. That like, as someone who kind of grew up in social justice, something that I noticed was like, oh, someone can have like the most political, like liberatory freeing ideas and thoughts, but you’d be like a shit friend. right. And I’d be like, how, how are those two things happening at the same time?

Right. Or like, you’d be a shit partner or like not the most healthy partner in a kind of way. Right. And I’m like, but how do those things not transfer over? Right. And I think it’s partially that the way that we like separate what’s the work from the personal right. Which I’m like, I am grateful for feminist of all sex of all identities, right.

There was like, the personal is political, right? Like whatever is happening in our homes, in our classrooms, the relationship with our bodies, like all that shit is tied to a system . And that was the first thing that gave me like some space and some ease to be like, oh, it’s not just me that like, oh, someone a system is benefiting from this full people are upholding this idea.

And all of it is in support of me not acknowledging my power, my agency, my choice, and, and preventing me from connecting with other peoples in the ways that I would really like.

[00:23:45] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, I do. Like, I’ve heard that phrase, you know, the personal is political, but it never really, I was just like, yeah, cool. And it never, like, I never really like sat with like what that actually meant.

Yes. I remember seeing this, I don’t know a tweet, some kind of meme, Tumblr post, who knows, who knows these days, everything’s a meme. And it said like, sure, he knows leftist theory, but does he do the dishes? Yeah. And I’m like, oh yeah, that’s exactly it. Yeah. Right. So like, yeah, like somebody who’s , this is very much like, yeah, we, you know, the government should be like, this and society should be like this and we should be supporting everybody.

And it’s like, okay, but you’re still like, I’m still folding your underwear.

[00:24:26] Petra Vega: Yeah. Or you’re mansplaining to me or you’re belittling me in a kind of way. And then at the same time you could be like, women’s rights. And I’m like, yeah, you say it, but you don’t mean it. Yeah. That the, the first instance that, that I had was that I grew up in a super small town, mostly lots and lots of white folks, mostly older people. And when I went to college and I took like my first intro to women’s studies course, and it like gave me all of these words right around like white supremacy and patriarchy and hetero sexism. And it had like so many queer non-binary like this rebel, like classmates, we were all like figuring out a whole bunch of shit.

And the thing that like dawns on me was like, oh, I always thought that me being like a brown girl, quiet the exceptional, I guess, or advanced, I was always in the advanced classes, but I was like, Oh, this is it’s something specific to me. And the end, like the piece around, like the, I always lived in an apartment versus all of my white friends had houses.

Right. And like nice ass houses. Right. And I was like, oh, that’s classism. Like, that’s how shit shows up. And I’m like, and that’s racialized classism particularly. And I’m like, I had no idea. Right. But what I grew up learning about was like, oh, I just don’t have what they have. Right. And that, that made me less in a particular kind of way.

But so having that kind of aging and being able to have that language and, and having a, a larger structure and description to it that I’m like, oh, this is just a symptom. And I also think that we like can, can see the systems as the problem, but I’m like, yo, it’s part of a whole larger thing, which is why I’m like so obsessed with like theory and conceptual framework.

Cause I’m like we can get lost in like some of those particulars and the ways that like the system. Moving us to be against each other that I’m like, but we need to know how it works.

[00:26:04] Caitlin Fisher: yeah, I agree. And I’m like, I’m always learning. I am like the first to admit that I don’t know, not, not only everything, but like, I don’t even know a lot, like yeah.

There’s infinite knowledge out there? Yeah. And it’s like, it’s like my personal shame, but like, I still have to be proud of it is that I wrote a book. Like I have a published book called the gaslighting of the millennial generation, which is like super powerful title. Right. It either makes people go like you, I hate you. Or like, I’m gonna need that book. Thank you.

[00:26:36] Petra Vega: It’s good marketing.

[00:26:37] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. It’s great. but in it, I had a really limited understanding of capitalism. and I’m like, well, capitalism itself is just the exchanging of money for goods or surfaces. It’s this unregulated capitalism that causes all these problems. And then fast forward, like record scratch, noise, insert like, no, like capitalism is it’s baked in the inequalities and the systemic oppression is part of it.

The, the stolen wages, the surplus value labor

[00:27:10] Petra Vega: mm-hmm

[00:27:11] Caitlin Fisher: that’s, that’s just capitalism. And like, I, then I bring that into like a life coaching community. Right. Cuz I’m a creative coach. So I’m in some coaching spaces and I’m like, yeah, no, I teach people to like, get out of hustle, get out of internalized capitalism and like embrace their passions because capitalism would squish them and people respond.

They’re like, no, that’s just, you’re putting suffering into yourself. And I’m like, You’re no, you’re where I was when I wrote that book. Like you you’ll get there, give it five years. You’ll understand that like capitalism itself is kinda a problem. Yeah. But we still need to like exist in it because we can’t overthrow and dismantle capitalism tomorrow.

And I think if we woke up and it was just dismantled, we wouldn’t be able to agree on what the hell to do. So like what we need to do.

[00:28:04] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:28:05] Caitlin Fisher: like, you’ve like, we’ve been saying like this whole time is like find the little sun sunny spots. Build that build community there so that when the storms come, when the Supreme court is like, ah, you don’t need rights. When Donald Trump gets elected president, when there’s an armed insurrection at the Capitol, you know, we can be like, cool. I already know that I have a community of people who support me and. It’s it’s safe to be passionate. It’s safe to find joy. Like I don’t have to just be sad and angry all the time.

[00:28:39] Petra Vega: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I think too, it’s like I’ve listened to a podcast called how to survive at the end of the world. And so I’m like anyone who knows that it’s coming, I’m like highly would recommend I’ve grown a lot from that podcast. And one of the things that I’ve gained from it right, is that if we, if we know the fuck shit is gonna happen at some point, like, how are we getting ready for that?

Right. That, like, I think it’s kind of like this in between, or maybe outside of spaces. Like we could either hope for all the things to like that are, fuck shit now to not be happening. Or we could be like, it’s happening. We accept it. Love is light and all this other stuff. And I’m like …

we can have both of those or outside of those that I’m always like, it’s too simple. I’m like, we need to complicate this some more. And I’m like, but how are we getting ready? Right. That I’m like, the thing that I support folks with is really like, how do you. How do you muster up the courage, right?

Particularly if you’re someone that’s of a marginalized identity and I’m like, creativity allows us to do a part of that. Right. And also like, how do you harness your thinking and your action and alignment like that is power. Right? Cause we have a whole bunch of people that like say a lot of good words, but then they show up in there every day.

And like, it’s not what, they’re what they’re saying. And I’m like, so being able to converge those two things is powerful. Right. And also this piece around conflict that like, when I’m someone who’s like, it, the things that I’m working to dismantle now are not gonna happen in my lifetime, but I’m like, how can I make white supremacy mad today?

Yes. How can I make patriarchy mad today? Right. That I’m like, what are those incremental things? And I’m like, what can I, another questions like, I’ll, I’ll ask myself and I’ll even offer to folks that I’m working with. Right. That. What can I, what can I say to set this person free? Right. Like if I can, if I understand how the system works and I am close enough with you to know how it is that you’d like the delivery of particular information or what I may have to share, what’s the thing that I know you’re like it dangled with and what can I offer and say, or shift so that you like that stuff can fall a little bit more.

Right. And I just think it’s like, how do we in our everyday practice, just like untangle and untangle and untangle and untangle versus like capitalism is here. Right. Might as well get our shoes. We’re like riding the horse of capitalism. I’m like, y’all there are other horses.

[00:30:53] Caitlin Fisher: yeah. Yeah, for sure. I had something and then my brain was like stuck on horse metaphors now . I don’t know, but I like, I like what you’re putting down, I’m picking it up. Good content.

you ever play the Sims? And like, you like delete a task, like off their list and they just like, don’t know what they’re doing.

[00:31:12] Petra Vega: No, what we, the metaphor we use is that SpongeBob episode where pretty sure it’s SpongeBob where there’s like a whole office.

They’re like, and then they have all the SpongeBobs running, just screaming and like everything’s on fire.

[00:31:24] Caitlin Fisher: That’s exactly what’s happening in my brain right now.

[00:31:26] Petra Vega: I’m here for it, I like it.

[00:31:28] Caitlin Fisher: Perfect. So are you still a social worker? Like, are you still like, do you do like day job and coaching?

[00:31:33] Petra Vega: Yeah. So I’m just doing entrepreneurship now.

So I’m just working on create more possibilities, but I feel like I’ve social work for so long. Like it’s definitely part of my identity and how I show up. Right. So I’m like a trauma detective of sorts. I love to be in the hearts and minds, consensually of people that

[00:31:50] Caitlin Fisher: I just, I remembered the thing.

[00:31:52] Petra Vega: Yeah. Okay. Go for it. Go for it.

[00:31:54] Caitlin Fisher: When you said trauma. So like a metaphor that I love to use is that like trauma and like any learning, like any, any complicated thing. Right. And as you were saying, like, we kind of untangle it. We like let it loose a little bit. I think of like a ball of Christmas, Christmas tree lights.

[00:32:13] Petra Vega: I’m so glad this came back to you. Yeah. Keep going. Yes.

[00:32:15] Caitlin Fisher: It’s it’s such, it’s so good, right? Yeah. And you like, you wanna be able to use them so you can’t be like, well, to untangle this, I will simply cut it in half and like untangle the knot. You can’t do that. Like they have to maintain their continuity and everything.

But what you can do is just like, you just start at one end and you just kinda. As much as you can, if, if it gets really frustrating, set it down, go drink a cup of coffee or go for a walk, like come back to it later. Yeah. So often when we come back to something later, it’s like, oh, I didn’t even like, see this end over here.

Like that’s that was the, that was the part that was tripping me up

[00:32:50] Petra Vega: the trick

[00:32:50] Caitlin Fisher: And just the idea of untangling, the Christmas tree lights is something that I come back to because like, yes, it’s fucking annoying. But also if you want your Christmas tree to look really good, you better figure it out. Cause you don’t wanna go to the store and buy another one. That’s just gonna be another ball of shit.

[00:33:11] Petra Vega: Yeah. Eventually.

[00:33:12] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Right.

No, you have, you gotta do the work, unfortunately. Like you have to do the work in order to get the result that you want and that work is uncomfortable. And if one bulb is burned out, then you’re like, ah, everything is wrong .

Yeah. But you can get a replacement bulb. Mm. And that’s easier than getting an entire replacement string of lights. Yeah. And of course you can get a pre lit tree, but that’s always gonna look a little sparse and, and fucked up.

[00:33:42] Petra Vega: Yeah. And you and your, your touch will not be on that tree too is like, I think that’s the piece too, that I’m like that I, again, like social work background, that what I’ve learned is like, and I think this is very much probably similar to the work that you do with folks.

Right. That’s like the only way out is to through it. Right. Yeah. And I was talking to someone on a wellness podcast and they were sharing that like, oh, I asked my therapist, like, what am I gonna be done? Like, when am I done with healing and is someone who like, I am really committed to my healing journey, but also I’m not interested in like becoming a perfect un-, like sanitized high level of myself.

And I’m like, I don’t want that, but I do wanna be like thoughtful and aware of like when I’m in my own, fuck shit. Right. And because I’m like, that work is helpful for me, it’s helpful for the people that I support and for the world, for us to just be interested in that. But being like. It’s probably forever work.

Right. And so I think it’s also that like, again, we just gonna keep talking shit about capitalism, right? The capitalism is like, we can get it to you fast efficient. But I’m like, by, by, by what means, right. And who, who gets sacrificed by through efficiency is I’m like us. Right. And so it get fast, efficient and beautiful.

Right? It’s like, this is the new tree. Don’t you want the new tree on the block? And I’m like, I don’t want the new tree. Right. That I’m like, I want the tree that’s been through the storms. I want the, the tree who’s like deeply rooted with other trees. Right? Like even if you look at trees or know anything about trees, the tree is just like, they fucking hold onto each other.

And I’m like, how can I? And I’m also like, learning about like, what are the things in nature that we can apply to our lives? And I’m like, who are the people that I’m like, oh, I’m gonna fucking hold on to you. Right. That even would. The storm —

full circle, full circle, Caitlin. We’re like through the storm, right then, like, who are the people that I’m like, I’m fucking storming. And I’m like, and it might be a small storm or like an, a nap related storm that like, I just needed a nap to get through it. And other times I’d be like, I’m fucking off. Like, can you, can you say nice things to me that this is like literally conversations I have with some of my friends that I’m like, I’m not feeling too good. Can you say nice things to me?

And can we get a practice of like, here’s what I need versus like, let me operate from a place of like, I don’t know how to say what I need. And so I’m gonna use all of these other ways that are like harmful or hurtful or just like not how I wanna show up. And I’m like, Nope, let’s work on, like, I need this thing. Can you, can you give me some love? I need some love.

[00:36:04] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, I am. I am practicing asking for things especially in this relationship. And I’m also currently in the practice of saying the angst anxious shamey stuff out loud. So that, it sounds ridiculous when it is, when it has an audience.

I’ll be like, oh, like, I’m sorry that we’re out of butter.

And my partner’s like, why are you sorry?

[00:36:27] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:36:27] Caitlin Fisher: I’m like, cause I made the grocery list and he’s like, but you don’t eat that butter. You wouldn’t know that we were low on that butter. Hmm. Yeah. But I still could’ve looked and he’s like, I, this is literally not your fault. so we just, we just go back and forth like that.

And it’s so affirming and it’s so nice. And cuz both of us have had abusive relationships in the past. Yeah. And. Just the fact that it’s okay to need that reassurance and to need it repeatedly. Yeah. Because there’s even a worry where I’m like, okay, well, if I say what I need one time, then like, okay, cool.

I did it. I did it one time. I healed. Oh like, no, it takes practice. You have to keep doing it. And it has to keep being safe in order for that to become like a regulated thing. So even if I’m like, yeah, that iced tea looks really good. Can you pour me one too? Mm-hmm like something like so simple. Like I left my doctor pepper in the kitchen. Can you bring it to me? Or like, I really don’t wanna go outside. Can you walk the dog this morning please? And he does.

Yeah. He just does it. And then I’m like, thank you so much. Like I’m, I’m about to throw him a parade for walking the dog and he’s like, she’s our dog. Yeah. Like I’m here.

[00:37:40] Petra Vega: I’m also a parent. Yeah.

[00:37:42] Caitlin Fisher: We’ve, we’ve lived together for a year now. Like we just hit a year. We’ve been dating for two and a half and it’s so healthy.

[00:37:50] Petra Vega: I’m so happy for you cuz I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know how many people have that and I’m just like, oh, I just want that so much for people. And I’m and the thing that I was like thinking about, and I’m curious to hear your, your, your definition or your description too.

I’m like, I don’t know if I can ask you questions, but I’m gonna ask you questions

[00:38:07] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, do it

[00:38:08] Petra Vega: How do you define healing? Because I was talking to someone who I was telling them that I was doing some like inner gremlin critic work. And they were doing some inner child work and they were saying around like their issues are around like sexual trauma.

And so they were telling their partner that like, oh, I don’t, I don’t really wanna be touched right now. Right. And just being like that shit is. Earth shattering in terms of like the general discourse that like, what are the, the, the rules or the things that we need to do in order to be a good partner, like that breaks that ceiling.

Right. And I was sharing with them that I’m like the fact that that person like, that their partner could respond and be like, yeah, it’s all good. I still love you. Right? Like, don’t, don’t, don’t make you making a request or, or setting a boundary in this kind of way with me mean that like, I all love is gone.

Right. And I’m like, and I think we can be aware of like the stuff that is bothering us or not feeling right. And then we can commute it to someone else. And then that person can have the. Insert words here to respond to us in a way that is grounded in love. And I’m like, that is healing, right? Because the fear that we have is like, people are gonna hate me.

People are gonna think that I’m so needy people I’m gonna be excluded from the group. I’m no longer a part of this thing. And for folks that like, particularly folks with marginalized and it was like, we just wanna be long. Like we just wanna be out here living our best and beautiful lives and y’all, you’re just haters.

And so to have that confirmed that like, oh yeah, I get to have love. I get to have worth, that I’m like, that’s for me, I’m like, that’s where healing happens. Right. And so for me as someone who’s like, what does that look like in leadership that I’m like in the moments that I have people like, be like, can I have a self-care day, take it please like have 10 self care days.

Right. Because I’m like for you to even get to that point, I know that shit is fucking hard. And so I wanna make sure that you feel, yeah, someone was like, take more, take more time off that I’m like, I’ve never had that experience. And how can we use that to like replace that bulb, right? That like you might have 10 busted bulbs of people being shit to you, not treating you with the love, care and decency that you needed, that you deserved and like is innate as a human, but like, what are the other experiences that we can now replace with like this partner, right. Or this coach? Yes. Or this other thing, but I’m curious, like that’s how, what I think about healing is that like where, when people respond, I’m like, that’s the moment of healing, but what is that for you?

[00:40:30] Caitlin Fisher: I love that. Mm-hmm , that’s great. I also love that we have come back to the Christmas tree, like because that is like new bulbs. Mm-hmm just to do a quick dunk on capitalism before I answer your healing question. so I love five below. Do you have five below stores? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I, I, I fucking love bins and like, I love

[00:40:52] Petra Vega: yeah!

[00:40:52] Caitlin Fisher: Little organizing bins and just, I love it. And I know it is cheaply made shit and somebody didn’t get paid enough to make it. And I know that. And so I like limit myself and I try to get things at thrifting and stuff, but it’s like, Eventually, like I’m disabled. I have fibromyalgia, I’m chronically fatigued. Like I cannot thrift everything.

[00:41:12] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:41:13] Caitlin Fisher: You know? And so sometimes I need to just go by the fricking bin,

[00:41:17] Petra Vega: the nearest thing mm-hmm .

[00:41:19] Caitlin Fisher: And so I do, but I don’t like to throw away and some people are like, I mean, I just got that at five below, so just, you know, whatever, like just toss it and we’ll buy a new one.

And I’m like, oh, that, mm, no, what? Yeah. Like it’s, it’s one thing to like, do it again, but then like, you are now the steward of this item. And so that’s why I feel about like the Christmas tree lights as well. Like sure. You could be like, I don’t want to untangle this. I’m gonna Chuck it. I’m gonna order 10 times as many on Amazon for half what I paid. Cuz I bought that two years ago and the price of Christmas tree lights is way down. But what does that say about like how you value and steward those experiences?

And so that comes back to healing as well, because I think the healing. Part of it is doing the work. Some of it happens inside me, right. When I realize, okay, I should be able to ask for what I need. So if it’s like, I don’t wanna be touched right now, one of mine is like, if I’m sweaty, do not do skin on skin contact and my partner and I like, we’re very touchy, right. So he’s rubbing my back all the time. And he is like leaning against me and I’m like, oh, I’m so fucking hot right . This feels awful.

[00:42:33] Petra Vega: [ Laughter] STOP!

[00:42:34] Caitlin Fisher: Like I love you so much, but do not touch me when I am hot!

[00:42:40] Petra Vega: It’s like a cat, like stop touching me

[00:42:49] Caitlin Fisher: So healing for me is one being like, I don’t, I shouldn’t have to be uncomfortably warm. I’m allowed to tell him that I don’t like that. Mm-hmm . And then the next step of healing is me saying that out loud. Yeah. And then, so like that’s important, right? Because I do need to be able to say that.

His response then either helps the healing or hinders the healing because he can be like, well, you don’t want my affection. Ugh. Which would be like my ex-husband right. He’d be like, I’m gonna touch you more. Ugh. You suck. Right. Like, no, it’s like, no, mm-hmm no. Or he can be like, oh, I’m, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize, thank you for telling me, I’m gonna try not to do that.

And then the next time we’re going for a walk with the dog, you know what he does? Is he touches my back and rubs it and then he goes, oh right. And then he moves down to where my shirt is and he rubs me there instead. That’s, that’s healing, that’s communication.

All in every step of that was me realizing, okay, his need to be affectionate to me does not necessitate my suffering.

[00:43:59] Petra Vega: It’s not trouble.

[00:44:00] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Low level stuff. Like I’m gonna use the word suffering. I’m not like dying in the street. Yeah. Because he touched my shoulder while I’m hot yeah. and then also he learned, and he could need reminded and it’s okay to say it twice.

[00:44:13] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:44:13] Caitlin Fisher: And that is again where I think healing comes in. That’s like the next step is being like, Hey, can I remind you about this boundary that I set and he doesn’t feel unloved. He doesn’t feel like, oh, Caitlin hates me when it’s hot outside. Caitlin doesn’t want me to love them when it’s hot outside.

Like that’s not the move and that’s not what he thinks. So he’s also healing and it happens with him all the time too. He’s like, do you mind if I play a game tonight? Or do you mind if I go and write and I’m like, oh, why are you asking me? Like, go do that. Yeah. And he’s like, oh. Cause that would’ve been a fight with his ex you know?

Oh, why don’t you love me? Why don’t you pay attention to me? Wah wah wah. And I’m just like, no, please go do that. So that I can, I don’t know, read a book or go to bed early, late, like. watch queer eye. Yeah.

[00:44:55] Petra Vega: Right.

oh, I love, I love all of that. Cause I think about one thing that I’ve been obsessed with is like how change is made. Right. That I think about like, what are the moments that we can replace or create another possibility for something else to be true. And I think about like folks who I’ve worked with before, who are like, I’ve always been this way.

Right. And thinking about what are the things that people. Believe about themselves or other people have told them about themselves. And like, for me, I’m always listening to what are those things? And it sounds like in y’all’s relationships, you’re like that I’m like, oh, when you know someone deeply, you can like see them in the full breadth of that.

Right. That you’re like, I know that that’s not, you that’s trauma. Right. Or I know. And like also part of you, but also like that’s mostly trauma talking or that’s mostly anxiety talking or that’s like abusive relationship talking. And so how can I see that as like I’m with you, I’m with you in this whole thing.

But I think about like this one person that I work with that had this narrative around like, oh, I don’t, I don’t follow through with stuff, which I’m like, that is a, that’s a heavy thing to believe about yourself. You know, that like,

[00:46:02] Caitlin Fisher: it really is

[00:46:02] Petra Vega: with anything right. That it’s like, I can’t make a dinner decision. I can’t choose someone to love me good. I can’t choose a vocation like that just like is so perplexed. And for me as someone who like, I pay attention to those things is like, I think. Again, if you don’t have your eye or ear to it, you don’t notice it. I’m like, oh, that’s a moment. That’s a, a thing that is like, not true.

Like I don’t, and I don’t believe that for anyone. Right. That I’m also like why I do this work and why I do any work then I’m like, people can change. Like I’ve seen it because I’ve changed. I’ve seen other people, but I’m like, what is the right sauce? What’s the right temperature. What’s the right degree that people need.

Like what, what is that thing that I’m just like, obsessed with trying to figure out so that I can multiply that. Right. And just fit to offer that to other people to be like, oh, was this thing right? And for some people it might just be like, did you notice that thing you did, you fell through, you followed through with that.

Mm-hmm . So let’s talk about this other thing that you first told me how make it make sense. Mm-hmm make it make sense. Right. And for folks to like, be in the moment of like, oh fuck, I did follow through.

You fucking did. What did it, what did it take for you to do that? And how do we replicate it?

[00:47:11] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. Exactly. So like a lot of my work with people, especially in the creative realm is I could start it, but I can’t finish it. And I’m like, that’s self sabotage because you’re scared, scared of what happens when you finish it. Whether it’s that it doesn’t turn out how you want it or that you did actually a really good job. And now you’re scared. You can never live up to it again. I had a blog post go viral and I didn’t write for six months. I was like, I can’t, I can’t live up to that.

[00:47:38] Petra Vega: Wow.

[00:47:40] Caitlin Fisher: So that’s scary, you know, so, and what is that fear protecting you from? So we do a little bit of like, just imagine that self sabotage is trying to protect you because it is, that’s a, that’s a protection technique.

[00:47:54] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:47:56] Caitlin Fisher: and we get mad at it, but it’s just doing its job. and so we need to be compassionate with self sabotage and be like, okay, well, like of course you don’t want me to feel the way I did when I was in third grade and my art teacher held up my painting to the class and said, you think that’s a dog?

Like, that’s what, that’s what you’re scared of. So like, let’s go process third grade for a second. Yeah. And then also I just challenge them. I’m like, have you ever finished anything? Like, did you graduate high school? like you ever, you ever read a whole book? Like these are things that you have finished, so don’t talk shit to me. You’re lying.

[00:48:36] Petra Vega: yeah. I love that, that technique. I call the ‘where are the receipts,’ you’re like, what evidence do we have to believe this thing? You’re like you, but, and particularly if it’s like a strong one, I’m like, show me. Right. And, and when it, mostly, when I’ve done it, they’re like, there are nothing I’m like, yeah. So it’s just a thought like, and then we just let, let it, let it flow away if we want to.

Right. Or it’s like, If we, if there it’s like, Nope, but it’s like solidified, it might be in the corner of our brain. We can, can it be there? Could we, do we wanna talk to it? Do we wanna dance? Do we wanna act like it’s not there? We get to make that choice. Yes. And then I think the, the other thing that I was thinking about too was like, I think I mentioned before, right around the inner critic is like, well, what if we named it?

Right. Like, not just like this amorphous thing, but like I named mine, I gave him an image. I decided that his name was Walter. And I’m like, what is his name was Walter. He was this little it was a white grandpa that was like on the porch, like the most stereotypical, like older guy kind of deal. And I’m like, he’s lived a long life.

He’s like on his porch. So he is not gonna come closer to me. He’s not gonna be dangerous towards me or harm me in any kind of way. But he has a lot of shit to say because he is lived a long life. And so the things that he asked me during this moment that I had recently, like a few weeks ago was like, what if you fuck it up?

I was like, oh fuck, I might fuck it up. Right. That I’m like, I just have to just have to like, oh, I might fuck it up. Right. And then take a moment to feel it and then say like, what if I did fuck it up? Right. Cause then I think that’s the moment that you could be like, you forgot who the fuck you were. I’m like, well, if I fuck it up, I’m gonna fucking learn.

And if I fuck it up badly, that like I cause harm, which I’m like, I’m a human I’m bumping around with other humans. I might be harmful that I’m like that I’m gonna acknowledge that harm because I’m not above that. And then I’m gonna try to, to make good on how can I improve it. Right. And yes. And then I’ll learn from it.

And then I went back to, to Walter and I was like, what else you got? They’re like, I guess you got it. Like, thanks Walter. Yeah. Thanks Walter.

[00:50:30] Caitlin Fisher: I love that. My eating disorder is Carl Carl, Carl, right? Mm-hmm so Carl, I love eggs for breakfast. Like every single day I make eggs and toast. And Carl is like, you can only eat three eggs in a day.

If you eat more than three eggs in a day, You’re you have messed up and I don’t know what that is. So sometimes I have to eat four eggs in a day just cuz Carl’s bitching at me. Right? You’re like, yeah. I’m like, get outta here, Carl. Like who? I don’t need your shit. I don’t need your shit. Or he is like, you’d only have one soda.

One soda in a day and I’m like, yeah, I drank like three waters. Carl I’m drinking the Dr. Pepper. Cuz I want one. Cause I want one. Yeah. And even if I didn’t drink three waters, Carl, I can just, I’m just floating down soda stream today.

[00:51:16] Petra Vega: you’re the lazy river of soda.

[00:51:18] Caitlin Fisher: I’m tubing ,tubing in a vodka Sprite.

[00:51:23] Petra Vega: I love it.

[00:51:24] Caitlin Fisher: I dunno, that would, well, I guess like if you’re in a bathing suit in Dr. Pepper, you’re not really protecting yourself. It’s gonna be like, I don’t think I wanna be naked in Dr. Pepper, but

[00:51:32] Petra Vega: that’s fair. I mean, let’s say that this wouldn’t be like sticky would not mess with your pH balance or anything.

[00:51:36] Caitlin Fisher: It’d be like, it would be like me and the doctor.

Yeah. But we have to, we have to yell at Carl sometimes and I’ll even say it to my partner. I’ll be like, I don’t know. Like I already had a pop today and he is like is that Carl talking? Oh, and so like having. The support network of that.

[00:51:55] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:51:55] Caitlin Fisher: Is just really good. Like having people who have your back. Yeah. Very powerful. I even recently {gasp} told my roommate that something she did upset me. We, so our, our living situation. Right. So I live with my partner.

[00:52:11] Petra Vega: Okay.

[00:52:11] Caitlin Fisher: His roommate of 10 plus years from college owns the house. We all bought it together.

[00:52:16] Petra Vega: Okay.

[00:52:16] Caitlin Fisher: Like I covered like some closing costs. He did like the down payment. It’s all in his name. Cuz we were like, nah, the white guy with the job that’s who gets the mortgage.

[00:52:23] Petra Vega: And the better interest rates. I’m like, you better use that privilege for good

[00:52:26] Caitlin Fisher: yeah, no. I’m like when we get an appraisal, like me and Brennan are just gonna fuck off cuz like we don’t need the six three black guy with the locs here. You know, no, we know how this works. It’s not good. Yeah. And then they also have a friend from college who needed a place. And so she got in on this deal. And so four millennials bought a house because

[00:52:45] Petra Vega: that’s the start of your next book. Four millennials.

[00:52:47] Caitlin Fisher: I know four millennials bought a house.

Like this in this economy?

[00:52:53] Petra Vega: I will be, I will preorder love it, love it.

[00:52:56] Caitlin Fisher: And I told one of the, our roommates, like she just did something that upset me. And I was like, look like, this is really hard. And I did it over discord, like, cause I can’t, I still can’t do it in person. And I’m like, so that’s like, this is really hard, but like, I just need to tell you that, like this upset me and like, it just upset me.

Like, I didn’t say anything else. I was just like, Hey, this upset me. And sometimes that’s healing. Sometimes healing is I don’t have to like info dump every single part of it that hurt me. I can just be like cliffs notes.

[00:53:24] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:53:24] Caitlin Fisher: we got a little, we got a little, little thing here and she came home with chocolate and was like, I’m so sorry. and she was like, I’m really glad that you told me, always tell me. And I’m just like, what the fuck?

Cause I’ve lived in so many like toxic situations where any concept like that is just, it gets awkward and it doesn’t feel good. And it’s like, am I gonna have to move again? Cause I hate moving. I’m so tired of moving, but yeah. Now we’re healing over here. We’re healing over here.

[00:53:59] Petra Vega: I’m curious Caitlin, if you’re open to telling the people, cuz I’m like, again, just mind boggled. I’m like , I have a similar depth of relationship with people, but I have not had that before. And I know so many of the people that I have that depth with some do, but most do not have that depth with other people, but we have that depth and I’m like how, for people who do not have any of what we’ve been talking about, they’re like, I fucking want some that would, that sounds nice.

How, how, how might people do that? That I’m like, I don’t know if it’s like characteristics or descriptors, but I’m like, I have some thoughts, but I’m like, how do people get some of this?

[00:54:34] Caitlin Fisher: Goodness, honestly. Okay. It’s gonna be really hard at first.

[00:54:39] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:54:40] Caitlin Fisher: I call this the yikes rule.

[00:54:42] Petra Vega: Oh.

[00:54:43] Caitlin Fisher: Which is actually a working title of one of my next books. I’m working on many books. Okay. So the yikes rule is that like the first time, cause there’s a lot of convoluted thoughts and feelings around like red flags. Like what’s a red flag. Is that a yellow flag? Blah, blah, blah. A red flag seems like a really, really bad thing. Right? Mm-hmm but a yikes is intuitive.

A yikes is in your gut. A yikes is when somebody makes kind of an off-color joke on the first date. And you’re like, Hmm, I dunno if I like that. But you like, the temptation is to get benefit of the doubt and be like, yeah, let’s see. Like, no, the yikes is they’re a bad tipper. Like the yikes is they’re mean to animals, you know?

Like whatever, anything that makes you pause and think I’m a little uncomfortable

[00:55:33] Petra Vega: mm-hmm don’t know about that. Yeah. Mm-hmm

[00:55:36] Caitlin Fisher: you get a maximum three yikes.

[00:55:38] Petra Vega: Ooh.

[00:55:39] Caitlin Fisher: Per person now. I love specificity. I have had some, some fuck boys get more than three yikes. And it always comes back to bite you in the ass. Yeah. So three yikes is where I’m at. You are allowed to disengage at one yikes.

[00:55:53] Petra Vega: There you go.

[00:55:54] Caitlin Fisher: And so this makes for very… a lot of inner work around being a bitch.

[00:56:00] Petra Vega: I love it

[00:56:01] Caitlin Fisher: the first few times that you’re like, I am not interested in hanging out anymore after like one interaction with a person because they gave you a yikes, you will feel bad, especially if you are a people pleaser, especially if you were brought up and socialized as a young girl.

[00:56:17] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:56:17] Caitlin Fisher: you know, like patriarchy hurts boys too.

[00:56:21] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:56:21] Caitlin Fisher: But girls are literally taught, like, he’s mean to you because he likes you.

[00:56:26] Petra Vega: Oh yeah.

[00:56:27] Caitlin Fisher: And then I’m not here for it. Like, no, I have tolerated too many boys being mean to me cuz they like me supposedly to, they don’t like me mm-hmm they want an object to do their dishes and give them a fuck hole.

I’m not into it.

[00:56:41] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:56:42] Caitlin Fisher: we’re not doing it anymore.

[00:56:43] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[00:56:44] Caitlin Fisher: so. Just start disengaging from people. The first time they make you uncomfortable, quit giving out, get out of yikes free cards. And eventually you will meet people who do not yikes you.

[00:57:00] Petra Vega: Mm.

[00:57:00] Caitlin Fisher: But it takes a lot of really uncomfortable boundary reinforcement

[00:57:04] Petra Vega: mm-hmm

[00:57:06] Caitlin Fisher: but it’s also kind of easy because you can just, you know, if you don’t know somebody that, well, you can just be like, eh, and I’m ghosting you, like yeah. Or you can just politely say, you know, I’m not interested in a second date.

[00:57:17] Petra Vega: Yeah. No, thank you. Mm-hmm .

[00:57:19] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah, like I, I have a, a good friend on Facebook. And recently two of her partners– she’s polyamorous, they’re polyamorous, we got she/ they pronouns going on. And just, I didn’t like super click with one of the partners.

I was like, I don’t know, you’re posting some like, kind of like diet culture stuff. That’s a little triggering for me with Carl over here. And I was just like the, like, it’s nothing against you. The vibe is not right. And it’s a yikes for me. So like, I’m gonna choose to distance myself. So that can look like unfriending unfollowing blocking online.

[00:57:55] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[00:57:56] Caitlin Fisher: Online is a great low stakes place to do this. And coming back way, way, circling around online dating is a great place to do this because the first time you go to yikes, in that text conversation, right. When a guy’s like, what’s your favorite color? Oh, where you live? What do you do? Do you like anal?

Like unmatch him.

Mm-hmm that is a yikes. He is removed like, so that’s really like low stakes. So when someone is enough of like a healed person themselves to just be real and not get all up in your shit, mm-hmm then you get to, then you get to build the depth of that and the breadth of that experience.

So that’s my advice.

[00:58:41] Petra Vega: Yeah. I think I’m, I’m someone that I’ve always been, I’ve always had like a small group of friends. And so my, I don’t know that I would say task, but my protocol has been, and now I’ve done this funny thing that I’m like, we about to go to a new level. Are you ready? That I’m like asking permission?

I’m like, I’m gonna tell you, can I tell you about this thing? So I. One, and I know this like is not, is not the norm. It might be the more the norm now, but like, does someone ask for permission before dumping on you? Right. That like I’m going through something, is it okay if I share with you this thing?

Or like,

[00:59:13] Caitlin Fisher: I do love that, I love consent in all places. It’s so good. I’m like, and friendships are like, I feel I’m like, we, we talk a lot about romantic relationships or maybe if you’re not romantic relationships with like that partner ish kind of thing. But I’m like, I did, I did go like more kind of like dating in my example.

[00:59:30] Petra Vega: Yeah. You’re all all good. But like friendships mm-hmm yeah. So you wanna share about friendships?

[00:59:36] Caitlin Fisher: Just that I think consent, we think of consent as like a sexual and romantic thing. Like it’s about sex. It’s not just about sex. Consent everywhere. Consent at work, you know, do you mind taking on this new project and then the negotiation of that. Well, sure. But I’m gonna have to drop something else. Yeah. As opposed to just continuing to pile on work tasks without compensation, that’s a consent issue. Like you agreeing to come onto my podcast, me asking you if I could record the video, that’s consent. And in friendships consent, like you were saying, like when you start a conversation being like I’m in, I’m in like a low place right now, like, can I vent?

And then also clarity. Clarity’s a beautiful gift. Yeah. So I am a savior, solver, fixer person, and that comes from trauma. And I’m trying to just like, let shit exist and not have to like go out and save people. Right. Cause I’m like, oh, how can I fix this problem? How can I get really cre- like, mm, no, that’s brain cells they didn’t ask me to spend on this. So the clarity of being like, do you just need to vent. Do you want solutions? Like, are we coaching right now? Especially because some of my clients are also my friends.

[01:00:47] Petra Vega: Yep. That’s the dream! Insane.

[01:00:49] Caitlin Fisher: it’s, it’s wonderful. Like it’s gorgeous. And like, I’m still amazed that I have like some friends who have like bought every single offer I’ve put out and they’re just like, yes, no, I’m obsessed with this. Like do more. And I’m like, oh, okay. Like that’s the real deal.

Yeah. I love that. But like the clarity of like what, what we’re tackling and if you need fixing, solving advice versus like, if you just need to vent and you need me to be like, that does suck. Like yeah, we should bury Greg. Like ah, for legal reasons that’s a joke. I don’t even know a Greg

[01:01:28] Petra Vega: this is not directed at anyone. You’re like

[01:01:30] Caitlin Fisher: no, there’s no Greg, no Greg. But yeah, the, the consent, the clarity, the just establishing of boundaries. And I think boundaries are very important with friends as well.

[01:01:40] Petra Vega: Yeah. They’re just good all around.

[01:01:43] Caitlin Fisher: It’s really funny. Like my bestie has also an eating disorder but they, it’s called like ARFID.

[01:01:50] Petra Vega: Okay.

[01:01:50] Caitlin Fisher: It’s like, they’re just like food averse. So meanwhile, I love food. Like me and food, we go way back. You can tell. Yeah. but, and , and I love like, I don’t know, getting high and making like a really in depth Mac and cheese or something.

And so when I’m talking to this friend, I’ll be like, I’m gonna go make, and then I just put in brackets redacted. But we’ve gotten to the point where I have now, like redacted food talk so much. The last time I did it, they were like, Ugh, I know that you’re talking about macaroni and cheese

but the, just like the fact that. I’m aware of that limit that they have. And like, I don’t just like go right in with like, here’s all my food shit. I’ll be like, Hey, like, can I talk about food? Or I have another friend who we talk about like body image stuff a lot. And I’ll be like, Hey, can I talk about like some internalized fatphobia I’m experiencing, because that consent is really important.

And that like, going back to what you’re talking about about like building like depth and breadth of friendships and these relationships that are really fulfilling, mutually respectful and safe containers, even when fuckups happen. Like that’s the thing is me bringing you a conflict is actually trust.

That’s me saying I trust in this relationship and in us that I can tell you I am hurt and it will not break our relationship. And that’s really, really big and important because in the past, when you’ve been in abusive relationships, toxic friendships, things like that, when you’re like, Hey, it upset me when you did this.

And they’re like, oh my God, like, do you not even wanna be my friend? Like, why are we in middle school? Why are we 11, Rebecca? Like, stop. So conflict is trust. And when you bring a conflict and say, this hurt me, that models that then they can bring conflict and say that this hurt me. And that’s where we build this mutual trust.

[01:03:47] Petra Vega: Yeah. Yep. I mean, I was gonna add just the conflict piece, right. That I’m like also, I’m like really into risk that I’m like in relationship building and anyone who’s like trying to stand outside of whatever the norm is. And I was like, there’s risk there. Right. And I’m like, and, and there is a opportunity in that risk and there’s also a danger in that risk.

Right. And I think one of the… thinking about like, what are the skills that we could all use to build is around conflict, right? Like how do we handle conflict in a way that is generative? And so I’m someone who like, I start a lot of shit, cause I’m like, there’s a lot of shit wrong and I’m gonna say something about it, or I’m gonna like offer to do something differently about it.

And so it’s something that, for me, I’ve had to like understand conflict, to be something that can be transferred, can be composted, can form anew. And so when I get into conflict now I’m like, are we having a conflict? We’re about to go so deep. We’re about to like, figure something out then I’m like, I might be angry or stressed or anxious about the particular thing.

But again, because of the way that I think about conflict, I’m like, oh, I wonder, I wonder what will become clearer now. Right. Cause I think that’s also part of the reason that we don’t, that conflict happens. It’s like either I thought something or believed something and the other person believed something differently than I, and we didn’t know, or make space for it or give it the proper acknowledgement that we needed. And now we’re like doing this whole thing. Yeah. Where I’m like, now it’s the opportunity to be like, oh shit. Like you were telling me about your whack ass husband, my fault. I thought you wanted help. You just wanted be like, yeah, fuck him.

Like, let’s go find a lady like or what . Yeah. That’s–

[01:05:29] Caitlin Fisher: I’m done with men.

[01:05:30] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[01:05:30] Caitlin Fisher: I’m gay now.


Let’s go to pride. I got the BI eyeliner in the car. We’ll do bi-liner

[01:05:37] Petra Vega: I’m the friend. I’m like, let’s get on the dating sites. I’m like, we’re ready. I will help you build a profile. And I’m like, well, that’s what she wanted.

Right. And I had like a situation with that and this friend had the built the trust. And I’m also like, love that you named it as trust. Right. Cause we, I think. For those of us that like are into social justice or want liberation of freedom in the world, we may or may not be afraid of being canceled.

Right? Like what if someone calls us out, but like, yep. And if someone does though, they, they probably think you can do something about it. Cause like there’s a whole bunch of people that I know are doing fucked up shit, but I’m like, I don’t have access to you where you wouldn’t give a shit about what I have to say, or I’ve seen the history of how you show up. And I don’t think that there’s a likelihood of you changing. Or that I, I wouldn’t be the person to help you make that change. And so I’m like, I just need to pray and hope that the people that are connected to you will do something differently. But if I’m in relationship with you and I’m like, I know you care about such and such, but then you did this other thing, what happened, right.

That I’m like, that is, that’s scary for me to say, cuz as a friend, depending on how you’ve been defining that, you’re like, oh, you’re a ride or die. Like either you are down for everything I have to say, but like sometimes you be wrong. Like sometimes I be wrong and I don’t want someone to be So afraid of losing me that they’re not willing to help me put a mirror to myself, either in that kind of way.

[01:06:57] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. That’s really important. And I, I have a couple other episodes this season talking about sort of like cancel culture and call outs and like how to handle when you are called out and also like when and how and why to call other people out or in, right. Because I don’t, I don’t love like a public call out, but I do like, like a DM that’s like, ‘Hey, I saw that you were burning Sage. Not sure if you’re aware, but that’s actually like a culturally appropriative practice,’ yada, yada, as opposed to being like this person’s using Sage, everyone should unfriend them. Like we do not need to crusade.

[01:07:34] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[01:07:36] Caitlin Fisher: But like the, I saw white supremacy and like unlearning it as described as an iceberg. Right. So like, obviously, at like the tip of the iceberg, we’ve got like the KKK. we know that’s racist.

[01:07:49] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm

[01:07:50] Caitlin Fisher: but down here at like the bottom it’s like just

[01:07:53] Petra Vega: culture appropriation lives there .

[01:07:55] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah! And like biases that we’re not even aware are racial. Like when, when I was first apartment hunting, my mother was going with me because I was the helpless baby.

And she was like, look at the cars in the parking lot at the apartment complex. If they’re like really beat up, you don’t wanna live there. Oh, okay. And I didn’t know. And it took me like, I don’t know, 10 years to be like, oh no, that was racist and classist and not okay. Mom who grew up in Cleveland, like what?

And so just like, so I, I thought, you know, oh yeah, no, you don’t wanna live in an apartment complex with broken down cars and eventually it was like… oh, no.

[01:08:41] Petra Vega: That’s me.

[01:08:42] Caitlin Fisher: Yeah. Yeah. And we all do that. And so we’re all at different levels and there’s an ableism iceberg and there’s a sexism iceberg, like a misogyny iceberg. Sometimes the misogyny is coming from inside the house and a capitalism iceberg like thinking, oh yeah, no, you shouldn’t discuss salary with your coworkers. Mm, no, no. You’re down here in the iceberg. No, it’s bad. Yeah. Don’t do it. Up at the top is Jeff Bezos. We can tell that he’s bad and like down here is like little things like being like, well, no, you should go above and beyond. You should have to cover your coworkers shift or they can totally revoke your PTO that’s already approved because you got at will employment or whatever, like, no, no, that’s all to, to borrow your fantastic word that you’ve been saying, that’s all fuck shit.

[01:09:25] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[01:09:27] Caitlin Fisher: like, no, we don’t like it.

[01:09:29] Petra Vega: Mm-hmm mm-hmm

[01:09:31] Caitlin Fisher: so everything, everything’s an iceberg, every one is at a different level of the learning and unlearning process. And like, it’s pretty easy to be like, I’m not gonna hang out with people up at the tip of these iceberg. Like I am not, I’m not talking to Ben Shapiro. Yeah. but like, yeah, I’ll get in a brief Twitter fight with, with somebody in his comments for a minute. Like we’re, we’re further down here in the iceberg, you know, it’s, it’s all of it is a process.

[01:09:59] Petra Vega: Yeah.

[01:09:59] Caitlin Fisher: And some people want to learn and change and other people don’t and we can hope that something opens their eyes later, but you do not have to be the person who is saving everyone from themselves. You can’t, that’s so exhausting.

[01:10:15] Petra Vega: Yeah. Yeah. You can’t. And it’s like, I was talking to someone the other day around, like this piece around empower. Right. And it’s like, people already have power. Right. But it’s like, how do we learn? And I got this from someone who posted about it, who’s like, we need to learn how to be disempowering. Right. We’re like, that’s the shit that we’ve actually been learning. Right. That like we’ve been learning capitalism and patriarch and all of these things.

And we’re like, this is our culture. And I don’t know if you saw like Resmaa Menakem made a post around like trauma decontextualized is a personality, is family traits, is like a generation and all these other, other, other things. And it. What are we really looking at though? Right? Which is why I’m like, once we have language and clarity, as you’re describing, like once we know the names of these things, then we can be much clearer to then decipher, like what parts of these is like in our innateness, which I’m like our creativity, that’s part of our innateness, right?

Whether or not we like unleash it. And I’m like, people’s work might be the way that they funnel their creativity, which like, that’s very much for me. And now I’m like doing a course with my friend where we’re gonna be doing some like prompts and writing. And I’m like, well, I’m dedicating this to my creativity, cuz it’s not a thing that I think about.

But I’m like, well, I, I see the value in that stuff. Cause I’m like, that’s the, that’s the way that we’ve gotten through all of us across generations, right? Is that there’s some arts and some culture and there’s some singing and some dancing and some writing. And there’s all of this other stuff that like we gonna do to work.

Right. We’re gonna like theorize it and we’re gonna like go out in the streets and we’re gonna like call people in and be like, get, get, get yourself together. And we need to do all of this other stuff. That’s like, we need to play with our cats. We need to go walk our dogs. We need to go look at the sky and be like, I can still see the sky while we have it. Like all of those things get to all happen at the same time.

[01:11:54] Caitlin Fisher: Yes

[01:11:55] Petra Vega: mm-hmm

[01:11:56] Caitlin Fisher: I love that. Perfect. Full circle. We did it. yeah. I think we recorded a pretty rad episode here.

[01:12:02] Petra Vega: Yeah, I agree.

[01:12:04] Caitlin Fisher: Yes. And also we’ve gone a little over time and I don’t want to keep you. Yeah. So tell us where we can find you online. Yes. And the ways that people can work with you if they are interested.

[01:12:15] Petra Vega: Yes, yes. Yes. So you can find me at create more possibilities. I’m on Instagram and Facebook. My website create more Come say hi, if you wanna apply to work with me right now, I’m working with folks on a one on one basis for six months.

If you wanna take the values, any of the things that we kind of talked around. Creativity anti-racism boundaries care. Any of those things that you want to be more central to your life? I’m your girl. I’m like we gonna get you from thinking, wanting, desiring into practice. So come, come apply to work with me or a few questions. Come talk to me.

[01:12:49] Caitlin Fisher: I love it. I love it. All of those links will be down in the show notes. Thank you. And once again, thank you so much, Petra, for being here. This was a fantastic conversation and I’m proud of us.

[01:13:01] Petra Vega: Yes. Thank you so much

[01:13:03] Caitlin Fisher: for bringing it back around to creativity at the end.

[01:13:06] Petra Vega: We did that.

Owning Your Story with Hina Fatima | #56


“You have these different elements in your life, which become your triggers or you can make them your anchors.” 

Hina Fatima is a doctor and NLP practitioner and Trauma Relief Coach who coaches people to own their own stories to see themselves in a new light. In this episode we discuss how to separate yourself from the emotion of your experiences to start to see the power in your story and take a more active role in creating it.  We’re talking forgiveness, trauma processing, and living in your authenticity, integrity, and self-worthiness!

Learn more about working with Hina, including her self worthiness workshop taking place September 28 – 30, 2022, at and follow her at @HealWith_Hina on Instagram! She also has a Facebook Group: and an in-person meetup in the Fresno Clovis area in CA:

If you’re still not on my email list, I don’t know what you’re doing y’all. Sign up at to get my chaotic love notes delivered straight to your door (aka inbox). Thank you to Leave Nelson B for music and Jen Hearn for photography! 


Caitlin: Hello, everybody! Welcome back to the podcast, I am super happy you’re here with me. And today we are going to talk about living within your integrity and authenticity and self worthiness. And it’s going to be delicious. And I love it. With me today is Hina Fatima – did I say it right? 

Hina: Mm-hmm

Caitlin: I did! I’ve been practicing. Hina is a doctor and neurolinguistic programming trauma coach who helps people feel emotionally safe, confident, worthy, and in control, all things that we really want. So, hi. Hello. Welcome to the show. Tell us a little about you and your journey.

Hina: Hello. Thank you so very much for having me on this show. You said my name beautifully. I love it. Thank you very much. So yes, I am a doctor, but just to clarify that I do not work as a practicing physician here in the US because, for some personal reasons, because of some personal commitments, I was not able to complete my residency here in the US.

And, and so, but that doesn’t mean I do not have the background or the knowledge. I am an NLP master practitioner. So NLP is neurolinguistic programming. And just to let people know what it is, Neuro is for the mind or the brain, linguistic it’s language. And it’s basically how our language affects, or it influences the way we think, process, and store information. Okay. 

And I use NLP to coach clients who have experienced some kind of trauma. Or are diagnosed or not, even if they’re not diagnosed with PTSD, because a lot of times, whatever traumas we’ve had in our life, sometimes they’re current. Sometimes we’re, we’re having them, you know, they’re present in our life currently. 

Sometimes it’s something that happened way back 20 years ago, but it’s still there stored in our subconscious and it drives us. It drives us when we’re not aware. It drives our reactions. It drives our mood swings. It drives how we perceive people, how we perceive things, because our traumas, our experiences, our past relationships have created this certain, you know, conditioning in our mind, so certain programming in our mind and we see the world through those filters.

And so it’s so very important to understand that the reality that this world does not function does not really exist the way we see it. And so that’s why I use NLP to help people work around, uh, traumas in PTSD. And now coming back to today’s, um, topic, which I was, which is about like self worthiness and which is living your life with integrity and authenticity, that is so important. And that comes with when we start owning our stories. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hina: When we start owning ourselves, you know, and with start, the word story is so important, because story is literally a story. Okay. Say I talk about Anne Frank, what happened to her, the Holocaust. Okay. Or you talk about anybody, any, any incident, any event that happens in the world, you know, any school shootings that happen, any wars that happen, or any domestic violence cases that happen, rape cases that happen, you know, they’re very true and very real and very painful to the person who’s affected.

But for other people, it’s a story.  We know Anne Frank’s story, as a story. We may cry with the character in that book or in that movie, we may well laugh with them, but at the end of the day, after a few days, it’s a story. We, we learn from them. We as an outsider, as an out, as a third person, we observe the different characters in that movie and we try to analyze who did what.

And what different could have been done. You know, how many times do you watch a movie? And we go like, oh, the child should not have done this. Or the mother should not have reacted this way. We’re, we’re analyzing right. The child behaved this way because the father said this, if the father wouldn’t have said this, the child would have reacted differently.

Caitlin: Right. Right. 

Hina: And we’re empathizing with the characters sometimes when, after reading a book, we’re so much in that book. That we stay in the story for a couple of days. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: And then what happens? It’s over, we move on. So our lives are stories and I teach people to start seeing their lives as stories.

Caitlin: This is so interesting. I’ve never like, you know, I share my story, but I’ve never conceptualized it as like a tale I am telling to people. So, that seems like a very powerful shift. 

Hina: Mm-hmm  it is powerful. And the thing is the beauty of NLP is that you’re, you are actually making people experience it, visualize it. So once you start actually seeing a movie where you’re disassociated from yourself, and you’re seeing yourself as a character and you’re giving names to the character. To the different people in your lives and giving them different characters, you can give them the names of celebrities, you know, or you can just create, make, make belief stories, you know, and it’s so powerful and it works.

You know, I’ve seen it work. It, it has worked for me, you know, now when I relive my traumas, I’m able to, for a minute,  put my emotion aside and look at it that something happened to a 14 year old me or a 17 year old me and today I am not that 14 year old person. I’ve grown. We grow, we grow every day.

That’s how we move on. You know, it’s very easy to tell people to forgive, to forget, to just move on, to focus on the present, to think positively, but people don’t know. I didn’t know, you know, for a very long time, I used to question myself, I want to forgive. I want to forgive the people so that I can be at peace.

And I used to ask myself, like people say, forgive, how do you forgive? How, how, what do you want me to do? How, how do I forgive? How do I forgive that person who hurt me say 15 years ago, that person is not in front of me. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm, right. 

Hina: How do I not relive those, those trauma? And it’s just, I realize just saying to myself, this repeatedly that I wanna forgive and that I don’t want it to affect me. You know, it’s like, because I’m saying it so many times that my mind automatically trains, you know, it’s like a habit, you know, when you’re, when you teach a child to write or read or, you know, tie a shoelaces, it takes time. It takes patience. It takes practice. Yes, it doesn’t happen in one day. So we have to train our minds.

Our minds are a certain way because of certain things that have happened in so many years. So if, if I’ve been traumatized for 14, 15, 20 years, and I’ve been thinking a certain way, it will take at least 14 days if not 14 years for it to get fixed. Right. And it has to be a conscious effort. 

You know, people say time is the best healer. Yes. Time is the best healer, but we have to put in that time, there are people who are still living in their traumas even 20 years later. 

Caitlin: Yeah. That’s, this is so cool. So. The, the NLP work is the storytelling. So that’s like the linguistic is the telling of the story and the neuro is how that’s affecting your self-concept and self worthiness.

So do, are we adding like fantasy elements to it or is it literally just talking about literally what happened to you as if it was a story?

Hina: Whatever works for you, whatever comes up for you automatically, you know? So like when you start visualizing things, what’s coming up. For example, if I just tell you, uh, if you think of the color pink, what comes up, you know, different things will come up for people.

Somebody because they associate the color pink with different things, you know, something maybe nice, maybe a flower, maybe a dress, maybe a perfume, uh, maybe somebody they visited, it could be a horror story for somebody, you know? So you have these different elements in your life which become either your triggers or you can create them, make them your anchors, right?

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hina: And so when we’re fantasizing with helping people fantasize, you see the.  again, story, everything that we’re thinking is a story, whether it’s true or not, if it’s the past or if it’s the future future hasn’t happened yet. So we’re worried about what if we fail, we’re worried about what if people make fun of me?

What if I can’t do do this? You know? So what, what if this relationship doesn’t work? What if he doesn’t like me? Right. So what are these? These are stories that we’re creating.  and negative stories. We’re imagining it. We, we don’t realize it, but that’s what we’re doing. We’re actually imagining failing.We’re actually imagining making a fool out of ourselves. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: That’s what we’re doing. We’re creating it, we reliving it. And then that fear stops us. Okay. I don’t wanna do this because what if it’s it’s, you know, I, I just, I don’t succeed. And so if you can create. Such a horrifying story based on some experiences, you can also create positive stories.

Caitlin: Yes. 

Hina: You can create positive fantasy stories and that’s fine. 

Caitlin: Yes! I like to think about, what are the possibilities? For or example, literally today, a friend of mine said that she was heading to a naturopath doctor and she had been reading a book about, um, how emotional pain is stored in the body as physical pain.

And so she wanted to talk about acupuncture for that purpose. And she said to me, I’m really nervous. I’m worried that she won’t take it seriously. I’m worried that she won’t like, believe me when I say that, like my pain has been reduced just from reading this book and like working on this concept and I said, you know, like that’s valid also you’re in charge. And if she does, you can just leave. But it might be possible that she has been waiting to do like the more emotional and like non-mainstream medical approach with some clients. And my friend was like, you know what? That’s just as possible. Like, thank you.

And it turned out that the naturopath was super into it, had read the same book and my friend had a great session. 

Hina: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s looking into, again, as you said, different possibilities, you know, and, and again, you know, at the end of the day, the outcome is never in our hands. You know, we don’t know the outcome, but we want to think positively.

We want to hope for the best and we want to strive for it. You know, the thing is outcomes can change and even our goals can change. Maybe we’re trying to get from A to B and we realize all of a sudden that that’s not where we want to go. We want to go to take a different path. That’s okay. You know, uh, it’s, it’s owning our, our process and just living with the day, you know, having those goals.

I personally, my experience has –  again, this is me personally, I don’t impose on others. Everybody has their own things, but you can never think too far ahead of yourself and make too far ahead of goals because life changes. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: You don’t know where you’re going to be tomorrow. You don’t know what your next step’s going to be next year. So you may be planning to do something. You may have a goal, you may have a vision, and then when you don’t achieve it,  and then you start feeling stuck and you start feeling like a failure because you’re not achieving that goal. So it’s important to understand that that goal at the end is not important because your goal can change.

Caitlin: Yes. 

Hina: You can move around it. 

Caitlin: Yes. I teach the same thing when it comes to goals. I say we need adjustable goals.

Hina: Flexibility. You know, for example, if I could not become a doctor it’s okay. You know,  what was the purpose behind me becoming a doctor? I wanted to serve. I had this innate ability or innate passion in me to be able to maybe serve people, help people, right.Or make myself useful in some way. And if I couldn’t do it by becoming a doctor, I can do it in other ways. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: So start looking at like, when you create goals that what’s the, what’s the reason what’s the intention behind it. You know, some people want to say maybe, you know, like when you’re a child, I have people do this.

And when I work with self worthiness, this is the first thing that I do. I have them go back to a time period in their life where. Felt safe and they were very authentic. And even if you had a very traumatic childhood, even if you were abused as a child, but I still believe, you know, in our lives, we do have moments where we’re good.

You know, there are moments where we’re, where things are ok. We may not be thinking about them too often because we’re so much in our trauma that we’ve skipped the good things in life, and that’s what I help people do. So when you go back to a time when you’re safe and you’re authentic and you’re yourself, what is it that you’re dreaming of at that time? What kind of a future? Thinking of, so a lot of children go like, oh, I grew up, I wanna become a teacher. I wanna grow up and become a pilot. I wanna grow up and become a doctor or whatever, you know, so they have these dreams. And so what’s behind that dream? Why did the child want to become a teacher now that you’re a grown up?

And I just did this yesterday with one of my clients, you know? And she was like, probably because I am nurturing and I like kids. And so I want, I want to make myself useful and help the children because I believe I, I can work with children and I like that, you know?

and, or maybe as a child, she liked her teacher because that’s true with my kids. You know, my kids, my, when I ask my little one, she goes like, I want to be a third grade teacher. I’m like why? Because she actually loves her third grade teacher. So she’s so specific, when I grow up, I want to be a third grade teacher.

Caitlin: I did the same thing.  I, as you’re talking, I’m like, I wanted to be a high school, sophomore year biology teacher, because I loved my biology teacher. I loved that class. I felt smart. I felt good. I loved it. And I set out to emulate my biology teacher. Because he was a really safe, good person for me.

Hina: Yeah. Yeah. 

Caitlin: And then I got into like the education program at my college and I was like, whoa, I don’t think I actually wanna be a teacher.  And that’s okay. 

Hina: But the thing is the idea. Why did you believe in that person or believe in whatever goal that was, you know, there, there was something that clicked, you know, and that’s the authentic part.

You know, that’s where you’re like, okay, you’re actually diving into yourself and trying to find that, that passion in you, that thing that clicked. Right. And that’s what I help people do, you know, find what they’re passionate about because that’s where you find your authenticity, what you are passionate about.

So, this is the first thing that I do to help people find what they’re passionate about. And second thing is, I emphasize that there are five areas in life and all five of these are very important. The first one being health and fitness, the second one being relationships, the third one being, um, your purpose in life, your, you know, ambition, your career, the fourth one, Self care, hobbies, something that you’re doing for yourself and the fifth one being money and finances. 

And I just wanna talk about two of them here right now, very quickly. Why I have put money in finances and career and purpose separately. A lot of times people are making a lot of money.

They have jobs where they’re making money.  but it doesn’t satisfy them. They’re not happy, they’re missing something. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: And they end up not being happy because they’re not doing what drives them, what, what they’re passionate about or what they had thought they would be doing when they grow up.  right. And so your passion in life, your purpose is separate from money.

It could be the same, you know, some it could be like, okay. Yeah. I wanted to become a doctor and now I’m a doctor and I’m making a lot of money. That’s good. That’s fine. Right. But sometimes it’s not sometimes, uh, maybe you’re passionate about being something, say you’re passionate about being an artist or something else, or be a teacher, but maybe.

You’re not able to do it, or it’s not enough for you to survive on, and then you get a job because you want the money. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm 

Hina: and that’s okay. So that is why I keep money differently because sometimes for some people they’re working, not because they want to work because they like it. They wanna work because they want money. They need or they want money and that’s okay. 

If, if you, your goal in life is to say, be a millionaire and live in a very posh area and have a huge mansion and, you know, two Ferraris standing out of your house. And if that’s what makes you happy, go for it.  

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: But if for somebody they say I’m happy being a teacher and I’m happy earning whatever — I know teachers make, I mean, no offense to them, but I do know teachers do not make a lot of money — but if they’re happy with it and if that satisfies them and it’s enough for them, go ahead. Do it. If that makes you happy, go ahead and do.  

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: But finding that purpose is important. How many times we know people committing suicide who have, who apparently have everything, but they’re still unhappy because they’re lacking in any of these fields either they’ve not taken care of their health or their relationships.

So they’re alone. They may have a lot of money. They may be famous. They may be living the ideal life, but they’re lacking they’re they haven’t taken care of themselves. So many people I know who are unhappy, have made a lot of money. They’ve put in a lot of time making money and providing for their families, but they never did things that made them happy.

Caitlin: Mm-hmm 

Hina: and then they regret later on in life and wish they had done something for themselves where they had. Become selfish for maybe one day and gone out and did something where they were not just trying to provide for their families. Yeah. You know, so that’s why all these five are important because if you will not focus on these five things and even leave any one of them, right.

At some point in time, you will feel that emptiness.

Caitlin: Yes. I, so I approach this, I think, from a similar place, but I call it something different. So I talk about work, life, play, rest balance, um, because a lot of people will talk about work, life balance, like, oh, you go to work and then the rest of it is your life. And I don’t think that’s specific enough. Your work, whether that is like your life’s work and your purpose or your career and what you do for money that’s work, life is like your, your social community needs the things that you are doing.

Like yeah. Relationships, the things you’re doing to fill that cup and then play and rest because we don’t just like, have fun and pursue joy anymore. We think it’s not productive. So, you know, as children, we know that playing is learning and playing is working. And then throughout adulthood, we get told like, no, no, like you don’t get to play anymore, but we need that.

We need joy and passion and fun to, you know, like you’re talking about to be fulfilled. And then the rest portion is like, you can’t just be getting like six hours of sleep a night and burning the candle at both ends. Like you need to actually have time to rest, restore, replenish, recover. And so I love this like multiple approach.

And another thing I teach is that in some seasons you will have perhaps a little more work, less rest. 

Hina: Yes. 

Caitlin: But you can’t sustain something like that forever. 

Hina: Yes. 

Caitlin: So I love what you’re talking about here that, you know, You will eventually notice that there is a lack, something will feel missing. And so you really simplify it and give, give people like really just a five point checklist.

Like how’s, how’s this, how’s your health. How do you feel in your body? How are your relationships?

Hina: So what we do it is, we kind of create priorities. So there are, you know, like you have… one are goals, like your life goals, and then one are goals, which are like, okay, say where do you wanna be in five years?

Or where do you wanna be at the end of the year or a monthly goal or weekly goal? Okay. So we create, uh, a list of priorities, which are current, and these can change, but when we have this list of our priorities, and then we look into each criteria of each of the priority, are you meeting those criterias and you set to create, uh, find those criterias because how, how do I measure success or happiness in any of that area?

Say if it’s self care and hobbies,  I do not get to tell you what you need to do. You have to create your own set of criteria for your self care for your play time as you put it. 

Caitlin: Right. 

Hina: And so I have people create out those lists in, within these areas as well. And then what they’re doing, say daily level, weekly level. I had one of these clients, you know, just a few days ago. And she told me, you know, when I asked her in the end, like how did her week go? And she was like, well, I didn’t achieve, I achieved 50% of my goals that I had for this week, the intentions that I had for this week. And I was like any particular reason, were they not achievable? Maybe you set your bar too high. And she was like, no, they were achievable. It’s just, my son was sick. And then I was spending too much time taking care of him. And then I had other things because of that reason that popped up that were not initially, uh, you know, taken into consideration and because of which, and then I had to take, I decided to put in some time for self-care as well, you know, and then I was like, well, there you go. You’re fine. 

So when you’re using the words again, the story, the narrative that you’re saying, when you’re using the words, I only achieved 50% this week and I will try, and this, these are, this is actually what she actually wrote that, uh, and I will try to do better next week. So what you’re telling yourself is that you failed and that you didn’t try enough when you are saying that I will do better next week and I will try to do better next week. You’re actually telling yourself that you didn’t try enough. And when I went into the depth, why did that happen? Was there any particular reason, was there a valid reason or was it like you really didn’t just do it? 

And she was like, no, there was a valid reason. And when that valid reason popped up and I was like, you need to appreciate yourself here and acknowledge yourself that you did more than you could, and even that 50% that you achieved, despite the challenges you had. I mean, if my child is sick and I have to take them to the hospital and I’m running here and there, and I have to now make a special food for them or take, be with them because they’re not in a good mood, you know, probably that’s all I’d be doing that week.

Probably there would be nothing else on my mind. So I’m like, no, you need to acknowledge that. And you, you need to say I did my best, you know, and again, so now in that priority, their relationship and your self care came on the top.

It was temporary, because it was unexpected, but it came on the top and the rest went down and the rest were, you were like, I don’t care about this because it’s my son. He needs me and that’s okay. Yeah. You know, acknowledge it, appreciate it. Give yourself, you know, that pat on the back and, you know, tell yourself I did my best and it’s okay.

Caitlin: Yeah. I would even say that it’s ideal. It’s good that she focused on her son, because if she was like, I got everything done, but my son is sick and I haven’t seen him in three days. Like that would not feel good.  that would not feel fulfilling. Right. Like I can’t, I can’t help you son. Uh, I am busy.

Hina: Yes, things shift minute to minute, day to day. Of course, of course. So being able to go with that flow is really important.  And that’s sort about living with authenticity and integrity is that you’re just doing the best you can and acknowledging it, you know, never let self doubt or that fear come in between because you are doing your best.

So if you did it that day, because you weren’t feeling well, you didn’t want to get out of bed because you were depressed for some reason. It’s okay. Allow yourself that time. But  keep a check of how much time you’re putting in there because our lives are never linear. They’re never going straight, neither upwards, neither in a plateau. They’re always up and down. 

And so if, if we there’s a peak, there’s a trough as well. And so we have to just — what is in our control is for how long do we wanna stay in that depth. Okay. And you get to choose. I’m not telling you to do it in one day. In one hour. You get to choose. If it, if you require one day fine, if you require five days fine, your view or your body.

But then, but still you have control in your mind, you know, and make that decision. Okay. That, I think one day or two days is enough, you know, I’ve cried over this shit for two days and now it’s over. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: I have to get back. 

Caitlin: Yeah. That’s a really powerful decision to make, to just be like, okay. One of my clients actually said that  she was sick of her own shit.She was like, I’m just, I’m sick of my shit. I’m ready to move on and do something else. And I’m like, great. Let’s write a memoir. 

Hina: You know what, it’s that, that decision. The day you decide, that’s it, this is it. I’ve done living like this, you know, I’ve done. Uh, you know what I was saying when I was ready to forgive the people, because I was literally, I was like, when I’m dwelling in it and I’m full of hatred and I’m cursing in my mind, what am I doing?

I’m burning my own blood, you know, I’m hurting myself. Nothing is happening to those people. Also, let me tell you, we think nothing has happened to the other people. That’s not true. You know, I had the opportunity. I was back home this winter last year, to Pakistan, that’s where I’m from.

And people who had hurt me, reached out to me and they apologized and they actually told me how their lives were miserable and how they wanted to get back in touch with me. And I was like, apology accepted. Thank you very much. In fact, I apologize too. I’m like, okay, I’m sorry. Because of course in relationships, it’s both ways, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, probably the other person did something to hurt me. I probably must have done something too. Right. I may have reacted. And, uh, so I apologize too, but then I was like, I’m sorry, I, I have moved on and I’m very happy in my life. I have children, I have a husband. And so there is no way we can become friends because I cannot. You know that part of my life, that story, as I said, has ended, that chapter has ended and I cannot reopen that chapter.

Fine. I needed that closure. You needed that closure. Basically the person needed the closure more than I did. And so I allowed it to happen. But when the person came and told me that they were not happy in their lives, I told them, well, you have a choice how to live your life. And this person was so surprised because when I just listened to him very, very calmly.

And in the end, you know, when he said like, when he was trying to justify why he had done whatever he had done, um, you know, 15 years ago, and I just listened. In the end, I went like, well, it’s okay. Because you made a choice, it’s your life. So you made a choice. And in that choice, I wasn’t, I wasn’t part of it.

You made the best choice you thought was for you and it’s okay. And I’m no more stuck over there and I no more dwell in that moment. I no more question why it happened, you know, because I understand you made a choice and you have, you had the right tool, just like I have the right tool.


And so this understanding that we all have choices. We have the choice to suffer or not suffer. And so when he was sharing his current struggles, I tried to give him tips again, being an NLP coach. And that’s the reason why he had actually reached out to me because he knew I’m working as an NLP coach.

So he thought, oh, okay. Now this probably will be a good way of reestablishing a relationship and becoming friends again. And maybe she can help me too. And I’m like, oh, I can tell you other NLP coaches who you can go out to. I can refer you to other people, but I’m sorry. And this was because I could not allow myself to go into that unsafe space again and jeopardize all the work that I’ve done on myself and on my current relationships to be where I am.

And so I acknowledge him and I acknowledge myself and I do not hold any grudge against him. And I actually helped him. I told him what he needs to do so that he could be happy in his life where I’m like, but I’m like, I will not be the person holding your finger out of your crisis because he has his family too.

Imagine his family finding out that he’s in touch with me. No, I can’t afford that. 

Caitlin: No, and that’s good boundaries too. Boundaries around, around business and around like relationships saying no, that that chapter for us is over, you know, we have now closed that chapter. Best wishes. 

Hina: My sister, in fact, my sister asked me, you know, why did you even allow this meeting to take place. I was like, because he requested me and he requested me knowing that I was an NLP coach. And so, for a minute, I just, again, I removed the emotion and again, that younger me from that situation. And for a moment, I became that doctor who I was.  And, you know, I’m like, if my enemy comes in front of me, who’s dying and if I can save their life, I will.

Right. And so at that moment, that was what my mindset was. I had created that strength to be able to go in front of him, speak to him, help him in the way I could. And I knew exactly, you know,  what my, what my boundary was or what my limit was, you know? And I listened to everything he had to say, I did, you know, I listened to it all somewhere.

I was happy, you know, I was like, oh, see, see, we think that the other person is living the best life. And we’re the only one suffering. No, it doesn’t happen that way, you know? But then I was like, oh, well, it’s unfair. You. I mean, he has his life. I mean, we all have our struggles, you know, and then, so of course we’re humans,  we do have those moments where we become evil, you know, it’s, I wouldn’t say evil, but like where we become selfish and we start saying.. 

Caitlin: yeah, we’re the villain.

Hina: But, uh, then again, you have to reach a point where you’re able to differentiate your emotions and you’re able to put them.  And it’s an everyday struggle. It’s an ongoing process. So nobody can say that they’ve achieved it all and that they’ve mastered it. You know, that’s important to understand.

Yes. It’s an ongoing process. It’s an ongoing process, you know, just just two days ago, I had an argument with my husband also, and again, I was in my dumps. And so I was kind of journaling and some emotions were coming up and some travels were coming up while I was trying to journal. And then I just shut it down and I spoke to a friend and she was like, well, you are still upset about certain things that happened.

And I’m like, I usually am not. But because in those moments I was weak. I was vulnerable. I was hurt because of what had happened between me and my partner. So all that emotion had resurfaced and I had thought I had healed from it because I was talking about it without getting hurt. And I was so proud of that. I was able to, you know, meet with this other person six months ago and with my past people and overcome it. And so I thought I had healed. Then it resurfaced and I’m like, oh no, it’s still there. So that pain is there. No, it hasn’t healed completely. So it makes me believe that it really doesn’t really heal completely ever.

It’s how we deal with it. We learn to live with it. We learn to put those emotions aside. We learn how to regulate our emotions.

Caitlin: Yeah. I also have a lot of trauma in my past. Um, even my recent past and you know, there’s a lot that you can do to heal, but there’s also a lot that it’s, it’s like an onion.

Like I heal one layer and then something will happen and I go deeper and I’m like, oh, there’s stuff underneath that. And I think that that’s what healing is like, is like you get to a place where you’re pretty good. And then you gotta go deeper and then that gets okay. And then you gotta go a little deeper.

Hina: And because that trauma, especially trauma, that’s been there for a very long time. I mean, that’s, that’s been part of you. It is part of us. It will not go away. And so this idea that when you heal or recover, it goes away is, is, uh, not. You know it. Yeah. It’s just always part of the story. Right? It’s part of the story.

And you just have to remember to close that chapter or close that book, that’s it. And you, we have to learn to figure out how we do that on our own. I mean, on our own, in the sense that my method may be different from your method. And so as a coach, I help people figure out their methods. What will help them regulate that emotion and close that.

Caitlin: This is so interesting because I am writing a sci-fi trilogy that is literally me just rehashing my own trauma and childhood through time travel. 

Hina: Oh, wow. 

Caitlin: And it’s so funny because like, I didn’t plan for a lot of it. I plan like major kind of like plot beats. And then there’s a point where this character goes back in time to try and make her mother a better person. Right, because she had childhood trauma, because she’s me. So I’m back in time and I’m hanging out with my mom and she’s a teenager and I’m an adult and 

Hina: That’s exactly what NLP is! That’s what it is doing. 

You know, that’s so, so interesting. 

Caitlin: So I realize sometimes as I’m writing where I’m like, I feel empathy. 

Hina: Yeah. 

Caitlin: Toward my mother’s teenage self, because she also had trauma and that does not excuse or allow the way that she treated me. But I do understand her better, even though I’m fictionalizing part of it. It’s giving me a way to explore. How deep that pain must go in my family line. 

Hina: Yeah.

Caitlin: Generationally, to have created my mother. 

Hina: Yes. 

Caitlin: To be the way that she was. 

Hina: Yes. That’s the key. That is so important. That is exactly what it is. That is, that is when you understand this point that you just said is when you are able to move on, you know? 

Caitlin: Yeah. It’s, it’s been doing a lot. I think that actually might be why this, this particular — it’s a trilogy and I’m working on the second book. So the first book was a lot more pretend. And then this book is a lot more of my actual life details that I’m fictionalizing and playing with. And I’ve been having a lot more trouble writing this. And I’m now seeing that it’s because I’m actually imagining, well, what would happen if I went back in time and just fiddled with my childhood and, uh, and all emotions are coming up probably.

Yeah. A lot of them, and I’m very resistant to getting, that’s just so interesting that I’ve been like, NLP myself. 

Hina: Ooh, you did. That’s what I said. You know, when I was doing my journaling and I figured, you know, like, why are all these emotions coming up? Because I’m trying to journal what happened with my husband today, but it’s taking me back to things that had happened in the past, you know, and I’m somehow hurt and I’m angry and I’m upset and I’m disappointed, you know? Uh, and, um, it’s, it’s bringing all those emotions that I have experienced in the past. And so kudos to you for writing this book, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s hard.

I know it is, and let me know, let us know, you know, when it’s done, we would love to read it. I would love to read your first book also. Is it, has it been published? Is that out? 

Caitlin: Not yet. No. So this trilogy, I wanted to kind of draft them before I started the process of getting them out into the world because I need to make sure there’s no, like plot holes.

Hina: And, and you wanna do all three of them. 

Caitlin: Yes. 

Hina: And then publish them together. Okay. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Or at least do all three of them and then like do the edits on book one and get that published and out so that I can work on it. But you know, they’re very rough drafts, but, um, they’re very powerful and interesting. And yeah, I actually run an incubator for people’s writing projects. And I’m always very interested in trauma and approaching trauma through a creative lens. And I’m thinking that perhaps writing your story as a story could be an aspect of that program, uh, which I love, but speaking of programs, you have some coming up, so.  can you talk to us a little bit about your, your self worthiness workshop coming up?

Hina: Yes. So I have a three day workshop, which is on the 28th, 29 and 30th of September. It’s going to be two hours each day, 12 noon, uh, Pacific standard time, which is. 3:00 PM for Eastern time zone. And so in the self worthiness workshop, basically, I have kind of, shrunk my program.

So, I have a six month program, which is called, Be Your Own Hero Project, for which I am not enrolling right now. I will re-enroll for it next year, sometime in January, the program opens in January. So I cover four aspects or modalities in that program. First one being confidence, which, you’re feeling good enough about yourself. And the second one is safety. Third one is, feeling worthy, feeling that you deserve and that you have a purpose in life. And the last one is to be in control. And so I feel a lot of trauma and PTSD patients, you know, have symptoms in these four major areas.

You know, they’re, they’re, they’re doubting themselves. They have a lot of negative self-talk. They do not feel emotionally safe. They have these intrusive memories or flashbacks, or, you know, they’re constantly guarding, threatened, by either internal stuff or outside stuff. And then of course they don’t feel worthy, they are questioning their worth. Why they’re here, why it happened to them. 

You know, they have some kind of guilt for something they did, or maybe even if they didn’t do anything, but maybe somehow they are responsible for things that have happened to them. And lastly is being in control where they wanna learn how to set boundaries, where they wanna learn how to control their emotions, their anger, you know, because at the end of the day, we all want to feel in control.

It’s natural. We wanna be in control of our lives. And so, the self-worth portion, it basically has six, I do six different processes, to help people feel worthy. And two of them, I talked about, I talked about the five, five areas of life. I talked about them accessing a state where they’re, they’re creating their futures, which is finding their purpose.

They’re finding a self-fulfilling purpose, a purpose that fulfills them a life that they dream of. And maybe that’s a life that they can create right now. What, what is it that they want to change? Like if they are coming to me, they’re ready for change. Okay. And so helping people understand what that change is for them.

The third thing I work with is co-dependency. And co-dependency not necessarily with your partners, with your intimate relationships. It can be with constantly seeking approval and validation from other people, you know, because you were always criticized or you always felt you’re not good enough. So you’re constantly looking for other people telling you, oh, you’re, you’re doing fine or you’re not doing fine, you know? And so you lack that again, that authenticity, you know, you don’t trust yourself, you don’t trust that whatever you’re gonna do, it’s okay. Even if you make a mistake. Right. And so coming out of that phase of codependency, and then again, people pleasing, you know, one of the aspects of trauma responses.

You know, like when we say we have a fight freeze, what is it? Fight and flight, freeze and fawn. So fight is of course fight and flight and freeze, we all know. But what is fawning? Fawning is people pleasing that you surrender and that you’re, you’re trying to please everybody, because you feel again, that you’re not worthy.

Or that you’re not good enough or you’re not, you can’t do anything on your own. Right. So you’re, you’re seeking other people’s approval all the time. Yes. Right. And so being able to feel happy in your body and that the need to please other people is not important.

So how, how do we do that? There are certain processes we can do. Okay. There’s like if maybe there’s some internal belief that you’re holding. So we have a belief change process. We have a triple description process in which I make people if they have conflicts with other people, you know, again, like what you’re doing in your trilogy, you know,  you’re looking at the story as a third person, you know?

So there’s the first person, a second person is the other person like your mother 

Caitlin: mm-hmm  

Hina: and the third person is an outsider, like right now as an author, you know? So now you’re looking at your own story as a third person’s point of view, and you have these characters in your book.  okay. And so, again, all these different, there are so many different things, you know, there’s a new behavior generator that I do in order to teach people how to create new behaviors, how to create, how to create new anchors and anchors is like something similar to triggers.

You know, triggers are mostly, we automatically assume them to be negative. If we’re triggered by something, it means it’s taking us back to a negative memory, right? It’s evoking a negative emotion. And so an anchor is something positive. So say again, when I was saying maybe the green color is a trigger for you, every time you are exposed to this color, it takes you back to a certain time where something happened and this person was wearing it.

And so that’s why you don’t like this color. It’s, it’s a trigger for you. And maybe a pink color is not, it’s an anchor because when you think of the pink color, it takes you back to another beautiful memory, a time where you spent with your mother, maybe doing something, she got your nice doll, maybe, which had a pink dress, and you held that doll very you close to you and it was your safety, you felt safe.

Right? So we try to create these anchors and establish them in your brain so that every time you’re getting triggered by that green color, we replace it. We consciously replace it. 

Caitlin: Mm-hmm  

Hina: and we do it so many times that it becomes a habit. Now it’s a habit now automatically you see something green and your mind can go like, oh, okay. Now think of something.  I need to hold something pink. Maybe there’s, there’s a locket. There’s this one girl who holds her onto her locket. You know, maybe something that you can do physically, or you can visualize, or you can hear, smell — a perfume, some music that can evoke the positive response and calm you down.

Caitlin: Yes. Yeah.

Hina: There’s so many processes that we do. And so in this three day, so the three day workshop I’ve. Again, as I said, shrunk it, you know, I will not be going so extensively, but if somebody is interested in that extensive one, you can get information on my website, HealWithHinacom. Very easy, simple to remember: Heal With Hina.

You will get the information for the six week program that I have, and you will get the information for the three day workshop that I’m doing. You can also join my Facebook group, which is Heal the Trauma & PTSD. You know, you can find me on Instagram, which is @HealWith_Hina.

I’m on these platforms. And you can just reach out to me anywhere from anywhere. Reach out to me on messenger. You know, I also have a meetup group actually. So if you don’t know what meetup is, meetup is a platform, a website where you can arrange different meetings, so there are a lot of, uh, like for example, hiking meetups or, um, brunch, or going out meetups, you know, so people who meet in person as well as virtually.

So I actually have a, I am not sure what the name is, but it’s something maybe healing trauma, and it’s a Fresno Clovis group. So there also, I do twice a month, I go there and I schedule events, so that we’re able to communicate and meet. And it’s, again, it’s a free platform for you to reach out to me.

Caitlin: Yes. Thank you. That’s so cool. So many great ways to get in touch with you, and I will put links to everything for people to get in touch with you into the notes for this episode. Yeah. Your self worthiness workshop sounds absolutely incredible. There’s so much, so much that you are packing into just six hours over three days.

So thank you so much for the work that you do. This was, this was a wonderful interview. I really loved getting to know you and your work and thank you so much for being here. 

Hina: You are very welcome. It was my pleasure being here. And it was great talking to you. Great knowing about your trilogy. I can’t wait for it. I would love to read it, you know? Do you know what the name would be? Do you have a name yet? 

Caitlin: Yes. These, the first book and the series itself is called Lepidoptera. That is the scientific family name for butterflies. 

Hina: Oh, cool. See,  so cute. 

Caitlin: Yeah. So it’s got a lot of like butterfly effect sort of references in it

Hina: metamorphosis, you know, the different phases they have. Oh, it’s a beautiful analogy, you know, with the butterfly, with the concept of butterfly. Now I can understand what your book is about. Yes. 

Caitlin: Yeah. I actually read a short story in, I think middle school, about people who time traveled to do like a safari to kill dinosaurs. So they would like, they would send agents back or whatever to mark a dinosaur that was going to die naturally  so that you didn’t mess up the timeline.

And, um, this guy got scared and so he ran and when they got back to their present time, everything was wrong. And he looked at his shoe and saw that he had crushed a butterfly. And so this idea that the death of a single butterfly changed the entire world, um, has stuck with me since I, I think I read that short story one time, it’s called A Sound of Thunder. It’s by Ray Bradbury. And I read it 20 years ago. And one day in the shower, I was just thinking about, you know, that story, I guess. And I was like, what if? Like, what if you could change something in the past? Yeah. What would that look like? So yeah, this, this series is, it’s already incredible and like it’s not even in its final form yet.

Hina: I’m so excited. I’m excited to read it now. 

Caitlin: It’s it’s, it’s caterpillar. It’s in the caterpillar version.  

Hina: all right. Thank you so much for having me.

Caitlin: Yeah, it was so nice speaking to you and getting to know you. Thank you so much. And I will let you know when this episode goes out. Thank you so much. Bye 

Hina: byebye.

Social Media Boundaries with Alexis Bushnell | #55


Instagram has just dropped an all-new algorithmic bombshell and IG expert Alexis Bushnell has broken up with the platform for at LEAST a month while they get their shit together (or not). So let’s chat all about it! Join me and Alexis as we talk about social media boundaries, online activism, and how to stop doomscrolling and absorbing the constant horrors of our modern age. 

Love Alexis? Me too. Find her all over the socials at Alexis Bushnell, and join her FREE Facebook group Acorn: a nourishing environment for small biz at this link:

You can also listen to her podcast Social Media for Humans on all podcast platforms. Upcoming “WTF Do I Do with My Social Media Now” workshops are being held on the 19th and 28th of September 2022, so check out the Acorn group for the details as those become available!

Ready to dive in and join the Social Media for Humans Club at an incredible discount? Boom:

PS. If you’re not on my mailing list, you are missing out on all the delightful chaos! Sign up at to get on the list. As always, thank you to Leave Nelson B for music and Jen Hearn for photography. DRINK WATER, LOVE YOU!!! 


55 Doomscrolling

[00:00:00] Hello, my friends it’s Friday again, when you’re hearing this we’re recording on a Wednesday and, uh, today’s topic is how to stop doom scrolling, and, break free of social media addiction, and the chaos that it can bring. So, um, to help us with that, I am bringing on a friend of mine, Alexis. She is a social media guide and founder of Social Media for Humans, a movement changing the way social media works from the inside. She busts myths and provides an honest jargon free explanation of algorithms and strategy in order to help business owners and individuals use social media effectively, ethically, and in a way that is sustainable for both the human running the business and the planet.

Outside of trying to ruin Zuckerberg’s master plan, she enjoys walking, dog agility with TiLi, her Bichon Frise. We have to say it very French and my pinky is out, uh, and [00:01:00] playing chess. So hi, Alexis. Please please say hello and catch me up on anything we missed.

Hello, hello. I mean, I feel like the, the bio is kind of a misrepresentation of me at this point, cuz I just ditched Instagram, but uh,

that’s cool. I love it. Let’s let’s jump. Let’s jump right in. Tell us why you ditched Instagram. Why are you so mad at Instagram right now?

Okay. So rewind, rewind. When they first brought reels in, I was like, I hate reels. I hate like, I just hate short form content. I also don’t like stories. Doesn’t work well with my brain.

I don’t remember stuff. So Snapchat style stuff does not work for me. Um, and the short form video is just like, wow, it’s a lot of noise and flashy sound visual things. And I’m just like, wow, I cannot, this is not happening in my brain.

Um, but when they first brought them in, everybody was complaining. I was like, it’s fine. If you don’t engage with them, they show you fewer. Amazing. It’s all [00:02:00] good. We can just curate our Instagram experience to be reels free and happily mine was until until, uh, but yeah, they changed the algorithm and were like, you know, We don’t care what you personally want. We’re just gonna push reels at you.

And I literally couldn’t open the app without just being like, oh, I hate it. I hate it. Hate it, immediately closing it, which made my job quite difficult. Cause I manage social media for people.

Yeah. That’ll cause a conflict

For sure. So, over- we had a bank holiday weekend, which is like a three day weekend. For people who don’t have bank holidays.

we don’t call them bank holidays, really? Like, I guess we do. I don’t know. It’s a weird, it’s a weird UK U S thing. We just have like labor day, like the day that banks are closed. Like, but we don’t say like bank holiday. I imagine that you do you just like have [00:03:00] them on like, like a random Monday or something?

No, they’re on set days. They’re on set.


Um, so there’s like an, this was the August– is it August? Yes. August bank holiday. Yeah.

Um, that’s so weird. Nothing happens here in August May we have Memorial day and it’s September, we have labor day. Um, you know, but like somebody has to like, die or something in order for us to get– in February, we get president’s day.

Yeah, we get like, I don’t know, six, six a year or something. It’s fine. Okay. Bank holiday discussion over. So you had a long weekend

yes. Had a long weekend. Um, I did, I had plans with people, so I was like, you know what? I am just gonna log out of Instagram. Like I can’t even delete the Instagram app because I have clients who I post on Instagram for.

So I couldn’t even get the like buzz of I’m gonna delete Instagram from my phone. No, can’t do it. Can’t do it. so I signed out of like my account and I was like, okay, I’m [00:04:00] done for the weekend. That’s it. And, uh, on the Tuesday I came back and was like, yeah, I need to not be on Instagram.

This is so much better for my brain. Um, so yeah, I decided I am gonna have at least September. Off Instagram and see A) if they revert the changes, I don’t think they will, but you know, we can, we can wait and see, um, and figure out what my business looks like without Instagram ’cause, uh, Kind of viewed as an Instagram expert and now I quit instagram.

Yeah. Yes. So you, you’re an Instagram expert, like we just had you in passion Pacers teaching us about engagement on Instagram and hashtags and everything. And now it’s like, well that, I don’t know if that still matters. [00:05:00] Who knows? I actually put, yeah, hashtags if they still matter” as my little like, hashtag separator in a caption, I said, “hashtags if they still matter.”

And then I put like, you know, my, my block of 30 hashtags or whatever, and someone actually commented and said like “hashtags if they still matter” made me giggle. And I’m like, yeah, because I don’t, I don’t know. Like I get all my Instagram knowledge from Alexis and Alexis is currently angry at Instagram.

And, and I don’t know, I don’t know what’s going



So they, they killed hashtags as well, which really got my back up, cuz I, I love a hashtag.


And they were like, there was research that came out, I think HootSuite did it, that was like, if you post without hashtags, you get better reach and engagement now than if you use hashtags. And I was like, I hate my life.

That’s so frustrating. So, I mean, we are, we are gonna dive into the doom scrolling a little bit, but I also wanna talk about like, when you are [00:06:00] sort of existing as a business in an online space, right? So as a social media expert, first of all, you have to be so on it. Like, I, I can do content writing.

I like to do content writing for social media, but I don’t like keeping up with like the minutia of mm-hmm , you know, we use hashtags here. We want longer form content on here. We want shorter con like, you know, I know Twitter, I have a character limit. but you know, sometimes like a short caption on Instagram is doing really well.

And sometimes they’re like, no, Instagram should be a micro blog. Like you should give a lot of content in a caption. And I’m like, I don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. So if I wanna write a blog, I write a blog. If I wanna post something on Instagram, I post it on Instagram. And , I am just kind of vibing and that seems to be working for me, but you being an Instagram expert, a social media expert, like you have to keep up with all these changing trends and that would be exhausting to me.

and I’m sure it is exhausting to you [00:07:00] because we talk a lot. We talk a lot about how exhausting your job is when we have worked together. I love, and I want to call out specifically, that you, as an Instagram expert, decided for your own need to quit Instagram, because it was no longer a safe and sustainable platform for you.

And so can we talk a little about like your self concept and if that caused like an existential crisis for you? how did that affect your self concept as an Instagram expert to be like, well, uh, I guess not.

That is a good question. And I, not entirely sure I have answer for you at the moment. That’s definitely. I definitely like, it was definitely the right decision and it didn’t it. I wanna say it didn’t massively impact my self concept.

To a degree, because [00:08:00] a lot of what I teach is like “you do you,” like figure out what works for you. Do that. Find solutions that work for you, not like just the algorithm or whatever. So it felt very much like, well, I am practicing what I preach. Yes. But there is definitely also a part of my brain that is like, your job is Instagram and you just quit Instagram. What are you doing?

Yeah, I bet. I love it for you though, because it really speaks to, I think neuro divergent business owners. So as a neuro divergent coach to neuro divergent creatives, And you as a neuro divergent social media expert to neuro divergent people who need to put stuff on social media, We as the experts give this beautiful permission to people to be like, “if it sucks, don’t do it.”

You don’t have to follow what other people’s social media advice or creativity advice or productivity advice is. You can make the one that [00:09:00] works for you. and then we also get the lovely smack on the ass of being like, I have to listen to myself now. so just kudos to you for making that decision and making it fast as well.

I wanna say like within a week of Instagram’s latest, whatever nonsense changes you were like, and I’m out. Congrats, you win. Mic drop. Catch on the flip side. Like I’m not doing this anymore and you just refuse to negotiate with terrorists about it. And I love that for you.

Yeah. Yeah. And I think you’re right.

Like, it, it is, it is so difficult sometimes to take your own advice. And I think, especially because I feel a responsibility to the people who I teach to know what is happening on Instagram. The reality of what is happening on Instagram is different to “the research says this, they have announced this, they’re saying that it works like this.”

they are not the same thing. And so there is [00:10:00] stuff you can only know if you are on the platform and you are actually using the platform and testing things and figuring it out. At the same time, I really felt like the way they changed it meant I couldn’t teach it ethically anymore.

Because a lot of what I am about is like, yes, the algorithms kind of want you to do these things, which are unfeasible for most people, which are sketchy as hell in a lot of ways. They benefit really not cool content. Um, and people who just push out shit.


And I am just, I’m not about that. I have always been like, let’s find solutions that mean you don’t have to do those things. You can run your business ethically. You can put content out there that you’re proud of, that works, that resonates with the people who you wanna work with and who you wanna reach. [00:11:00] And let’s figure out a way to do that alongside how the algorithm works. And now that there isn’t a way to do that.

You can’t do it without reels and reels are inherently in inaccessible because you can’t even reduce the amount you see. They are just boom, in your face all the time. And, uh, nothing you can do about it. so, yeah, it’s definitely, uh, bit of a mind fuck. Um, but yeah, it’s, uh, it’s weird.

Yeah. It is, it is like, you know, I go in every week and like, check my numbers, my followers, my reach, stuff like that. And I’m like, ah, am I talking to people? Are, I don’t know, are people signing up for my shit? Like that? That’s my metric of success. Right? Like I say, stuff that resonates with people.

I love when they comment. They’re like, ah, like I feel like the algorithm gave this to me cause I really needed to hear this today. And I’m like, [00:12:00] great, awesome. I am glad that this floated across this, the stream of the internet to you, like, that’s why I’m doing this. You clearly didn’t get here from a hashtag cause Instagram decided no hashtags, but like.

I just put stuff out and if it finds the right people, that’s great. But what I don’t wanna do is be like creating and creating and creating because time that I’m spending creating, just to like appease the Instagram gods, is time that I’m not spending like focusing on my clients, who are already here and in my circle and need me, like to provide for them the services they have connected with me for so yes, I’m I’m with you on social media is very chaotic. Um, but you’re focusing now on Facebook and LinkedIn. So I’m excited to see how those go, especially whatever you learn about LinkedIn. Cause I think that could really work for me. Um, especially if I don’t have to be making all this a fucking Instagram content.

[00:13:00] Yeah. See I wanna love LinkedIn. Okay. I love the, the connections I have on LinkedIn. Amazing chef kiss. Love them. The user interface on LinkedIn just makes me wanna cry, it is so slow. It’s ah, it’s just a mess. And it makes it really difficult to use the platform. I will hit like on something and scroll, cuz I’ve got nothing to really add to it as a comment and I’ll scroll and I’ll find something else.

I’ll be like, oh, I’m gonna leave a comment here. And as I start leaving a comment there, it loads all the comments from the previous thing that I liked and the entire page moves and I have no idea what’s happening and I’m like, it’s 2022, uh, feel, feel like, maybe…

speed it up, y’all.

Like taking 30 plus seconds to load this might be an issue you want to look into. Yeah. I mean, on the [00:14:00] plus side, definitely not gonna get doom scrolling on LinkedIn. Cause, uh,

no, I don’t think

that is work

that is not where the kids go to doom scroll.

but yeah, like speaking of Facebook, I think. Facebook is where a lot of people get news. Um, like I get a lot of sort of breaking news on Twitter and Facebook.

I don’t really get news on Instagram. Instagram is more for like pretty content. Yay pictures. Um, so because you have broken up with Instagram for at least 30 days, let’s not talk about her. let’s, let’s talk about Facebook and doom and the burning of the world and the that…

Like we go on these, on this nice little platform that used to be about poking and farming and, uh, putting, I used to have like an app on Facebook called pieces of flair, where I made like a little bulletin board with the little buttons on it. And I was like, I gotta switch out my flair. Like that… that was Facebook. I remember when this was all farmland, you know, [00:15:00] and now it’s,

I, I really miss when you could throw, they had like super poke and you could throw sheep at people. It was, it was a simpler time.

It was a simpler time. And now it’s full of ads and sponsored posts. And Ben Shapiro keeps showing up in my feed and like, I don’t want him, but the, the doom and the, like, to me, it’s like two sides because like, we wanna be informed. We want to show support for the causes that we care about. But it’s like if I shared every single post about causes that I care about, there would be no space for me to like, I don’t know, show you my cat.

And you know, we’re all on Facebook for cats too. So like, how do we manage, how do we balance the very real reality of like, needing to talk about important causes versus wanting to just have a safe place to like exist online and chat with your friends and like be silly. [00:16:00] Because then we get call outs and we get “you don’t, you don’t share the memes about abortion rights.”

And it’s like, Ugh, do I have to care publicly about everything? So let’s, that was a bunch of stuff that I just threw at you. Let’s get your feedback.

yeah, I feel you. And I will say I have kind of for probably the past year, maybe now I have been very much like, action over sharing shit on the internet. I happened to actually put up a post when, uh, Russia invaded Ukraine. And, um, I was like, here’s some things you can do. Here’s some ways you can help, blah, blah, blah, blah. Uh, and like also this is hard and awful. And why is there just endless stuff that we have to process?

and somebody “called me out” in quotes. Uh, cuz they were like, oh I bet you only do this [00:17:00] for when it’s like somewhere close to you. You don’t care about the wars going on elsewhere in the world. And I was like, literally I write to my MP on the regular. He is probably incredibly pissed off from hearing about all of the stuff I wanna complain to him about.

actually, I am complaining a lot in private ways. Everywhere. Um, and so I feel it, but I also think I know what I’m doing. Mm-hmm and sometimes I will post stuff online and I am also very conscious that the more I post, like, you need to know about this, you need to know about that. Here’s this meme, here’s this thing that you need to read about whatever.

It just kind of fuels the hopelessness of a lot of other people, because it’s this constant onslaught of information and bad things. So I tend to try now to share stuff that is [00:18:00] proactive. So rather than like, here’s this other awful thing that is happening in the world, to be like, you can spend 30 seconds to sign this petition to yell at the government about sewage in our water.

because it, it feels good to take action. Like it helps our brain to actually be like, okay, I’m actually doing something.


And we have kind of, we use social media to get that by constantly sharing all this stuff that’s going on in the world that is awful. And instead of actually doing something that is useful, that’s not to say that sharing information isn’t useful, but I feel like, especially if you are on social media, you know, that there is stuff happening.

Like most of us are pretty aware of what’s going on those suppose who aren’t aware are probably maybe willfully ignorant of things. Uh, and [00:19:00] they’re not listening anyway. So I kind of choose the, uh, action, like I say, real real action, cuz I can’t think of a better word at the moment, over it’s

tangible, like in real world action.


Do stuff.

Yeah, exactly, exactly. because A) it actually makes a big impact, even if it’s only a like in a small area. And B) like, it stops to some degree, the spread of, well, the world is on fire. There’s nothing we can do about it. We might as well just sit in a hole and cry.

Yeah. yeah. The sitting in a hole and crying is the, the part that I really wanna speak to because it’s like, I do want to be informed about these things. And I do want to take action and like a lot of the action that I take is small and basic, and it’s signing [00:20:00] petitions and it’s donating, you know, a nominal amount to causes that I care about every month.

Like I have, um, I donate to my local rape crisis center because that’s important to me. I donate to, um, abortion funds because that’s important to me. I have some like budget set aside for like people in need, like direct funding. Um, that comes up in like a lot of groups I’m in, um, like every Wednesday, uh, group I’m in, they call it where the money resides Wednesday and it’s basically a reparations post it’s for, People of color to like post their needs and white people to fund those needs.

And I’m like, I can do that. Like, I can do that for 20 bucks a month. You know, I can buy half a tank of gas, cuz gas is expensive now. Or, you know, I can buy a pack of diapers. Um, like whatever that is. And I also, people tend to come to me for like, just spreading the word about their needs. So I’ll get like a DM and be like, can you please like, share that my car broke down?

And like I do door dash and I can’t make rent. Like I need to [00:21:00] fix the car. And so, um, you know, I can share people’s fundraisers like that. I can, I can do some things, but I try not to just be like, Hey, uh, here’s how the world sucks. Day number 2 million, uh, 400,072, you know, like I don’t, I don’t wanna be that, I wanna be a nice, bright, shiny spot on the internet, but I, I don’t want to ignore important causes. So like I do share, I share some memes, share some stuff.

but like, so I think that their pipes are finally fixed, but like, are you familiar with Flint, Michigan? Yeah, over in the UK, like, you know, about Flint, Michigan, because of all the memes, because of being like it’s been three years and Flint, Michigan still has dirty water.

Like cool. Now I know that. Are we yelling at someone about it? Like I can leave a really angry voicemail. What are we doing about it? Or are you just [00:22:00] telling me that it’s year four, that Flint has dirty water? Like, so balancing, just sort. Cool. Now I know that the world is a little bit worse and it just erodes me every day to learn that the world’s a little bit worse versus like click on this thing, vote for this guy.

Uh, send 10 bucks here. Like action is great. I love action. I can do action. Like if I’ve got 10 bucks, the cause has 10 bucks. But then then the problem is every cause needs 10 bucks. And I can’t afford to give 10 bucks to everything that matters all of the time. So then am I enough of an activist if I don’t give to every single thing, that’s when the sharing comes in and the, the blah, blah, blah.

Sort of amazing that we have let capitalism leak into our charitable activist stuff.

Right, right. It’s like, oh, if you’re not doing all of it, you’re not doing enough. [00:23:00] Like let’s hustle, let’s hustle this charity, let’s hustle the cause. Excuse me, you sneaky, sneaky. We don’t hustle in this family.

Yeah, it’s it’s is wild. It’s wild. And I think it comes back to like what you were saying when you were saying like, you donate to rape crisis because it’s important to you. And I think that’s what we need to remember is that there are different causes that are important to each of us. As a collective. We got everything covered.


like, we’re good. But we are allowed to have things that are specifically important to us, for whatever reason And it’s much, much better. We can have more impact if we focus on those things that are, that we know about, that we, we can do something about regularly than trying to be everything to everyone and making like very little impact anywhere.

Like I’m, I’m very much, I think a like go deep rather than go broad [00:24:00] person.

Yeah. Like grass. Sorry. I’m, I’m also very into soil health and climate change, right? so like, I’m gonna talk about lawns, like just grass, very shallow roots. it’s not sequestering carbon. It’s not, um, diverting like rain water, so you can get flooding also really susceptible to drought versus like native plants with very deep roots in the soil.

they’re more drought resistant cuz they can get water from deeper. they are native, so they’re not gonna like invasively spread. They help the native pollinators and they’re also sequestering more carbon. So like don’t be grass. Be be a really awesome native Bush with flowers. Like be supportive and go deep on a few causes versus trying to do a little bit of everything for every cause, because what all these causes need is people who care [00:25:00] deeply.


Oh, that was a great metaphor. I’m gonna put it on a reel.

You should do. It was beautiful.

Thank you. I make metaphors about plants. A lot.

Also, grass. Grass is a lot of work

It is! It’s a lot of work

No one wants to be grass.

You have to mow it all the time. And that’s that’s doom scrolling. Doom scrolling is like mowing the lawn of social media.

Mm-hmm right. Let’s see what shallow things I can just be upset about vaguely. But I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to care deeply about every single cause. Like, even if I do, like, I care, I care, but I cannot put deep action into every cause that I care about. I wanna rephrase that. You can care. Like we’re empathetic people.

We want the world to be better, but like I’m not a union organizer. I don’t know shit about that. [00:26:00] You tell me how to support a union being organized and like, I’m there. Like whether I have to go to the Starbucks and tell them they’re doing a good job, or whether I have to stay away from the Starbucks, I will do whichever one is correct.

but like, I can’t walk into a Starbucks and be like, y’all wanna unionize? Cause that’s not me. That’s not my deep roots.


I love it. I’ve I’ve created a new metaphor for myself. I’m very here for it. um, let’s also talk about curating the, the social media experience because I get a lot of unfollowing guilt.

Like if I’m like, you talk too much about shit, that just, just feels like downer all the time. I need to like snooze you for 30 days and like take a little break. Um, I do it a lot when people are like on a new diet and I’m like, we don’t do that here. So I gotta snooze you. Sorry. I love you. Bye. See you in a month, um, when you have chilled the fuck out and put the smoothies down [00:27:00] mm-hmm so.

Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about unfollowing and the guilt of that and like the block button. How do you personally curate, especially as a professional social media-er, like, how do you curate your personal and professional experience on the apps?

I am, uh, I I’m gonna blow your mind now. um, I do not see the newsfeed on Facebook at all. I only. I only use, desktop for like, I’m, I’m a dinosaur at this point. I love desktop. I hate mobile and I have a newsfeed eradicator for Facebook installed on my browser. I never see the newsfeed unless I go to someone’s profile. I have no idea what they’ve posted. I literally go on Facebook. I hit groups. I, I mooch through the groups. Even if I’m friends with you on Facebook, I do not see what [00:28:00] you are posting.

Oh my God.

Best thing I ever did

I didn’t know that was an option.

Yep. There is a, there is certainly a Chrome extension. I imagine it exists for other browsers too. It is called newsfeed eradicator. Amazing. Best invention ever.

What the fuck. That would cut down on the doom scrolling immediately. Cause what do I do when I go on Facebook?

I just scroll and just see people’s shit. I share it. I comment. I’m like, oh little Susie is so big. Look. First day of sixth grade. Like you can just not? That’s so weird because I do love seeing what my friends are doing, but so much of it is memes and posts and ads.

Oh, yeah. Okay. So your feed is just curated.

Yep. It really is. It doesn’t [00:29:00] exist. Yeah.

So you don’t know if you have people that are just posting constant chaos, you don’t even know,

not a clue.

That sounds so peaceful.

it really is. It is the best thing I did for my Facebook account ever.

Oh my God. Actually, a client of mine, um, recently made like a new profile and just added like a select few friends. And only joined, like the groups that she interacts with regularly. So like she’s in passion pacer, she’s in my run like hell toward happy group.

And she’s like, this is amazing. Like she just made herself a little bubble to exist and, and I was like, that sounds delicious. But like, I use this for work. Like I have to like reach other people, I guess maybe I don’t, maybe I can just go be a hermit on the internet.

You can turn it on and off. You know, you can set times like in your [00:30:00] calendar so you can be like, okay, I’m gonna look at the actual newsfeed on between three and four this day. And then just hop on, turn it off, have a doom scroll for an hour, then turn it back on again. But yeah. Wow. It’s a good time. There is also a, uh, an extension that hide the trending topics on Twitter. Cannot tell you how much that changed my life.

That’s so good because when I get on there and I see it’s JK Rowling, immediately, I’m like, what did she do? And I click it and you know what? I don’t care what she did because I know it’s bullshit.


like her latest thing. I’m just gonna tell you, I don’t know if you know yet she wrote like one of her new Robert Galbraith books, uh, about like a poor embattled author. Who is being canceled. And she says, it’s not about her.

This is my, my Mora [00:31:00] Moira, Moira rose voice. Oh, she got canceled and doesn’t understand why we’re making fun of her. Um, You bitch, like, why didn’t you just stay quiet? Like just write Harry Potter, which has… it doesn’t hold up to critique.


it’s got, it’s got bad vibes in it. JKR it’s got bad vibes. You’re making a whole bunch of millennials very sad every time you speak


and she doesn’t care, cuz she’s got a butt ton of money. And a TERF army, but like, yeah, if I could like not see her name, that’d be, that’d be great. But that’s also how I find out the celebrities die. But I guess I could find that out on Facebook.

That’s true. That’s true. Yeah. I will say on Twitter, it’s more difficult because even though I have like the trending topics hidden, people still tweet about stuff just in my feed. [00:32:00] So I do still see like news and stuff, but there is so much less temptation to just go down that hashtag hole. Like here are every angry post about JK Rowling it.

I totally do that

— getting more and more infuriated.

My God, I do that like on Joe Biden’s posts. Right. Because, you know, I think maybe let’s eradicate all student debt. That’d be, that’d be tight. And I like retweeted somebody and hoooo, my like mentions because in the act of retweeting it, now anybody who’s commenting, it tags me in it. I don’t care. I don’t care about your argument about student loans. I was just here to dunk on Biden for one second, and be funny, and go away. Stop tagging me.

They’re not doing it on purpose. They’re just arguing on the internet. So I like didn’t use Twitter for a week while that died down.

You can, there is a mute conversation option now, which stops you getting notifications, but there is, it’s [00:33:00] not the most. Yeah, yeah,

yeah. I’ve seen people post that they’re like, well, I’m gonna mute this now because my mental health and I’m like, I’m proud of you. I’m proud of all these people on the internet I don’t know.


I love them.


Okay. So yeah, you answered that fast. I was like, how do you curate your feed? And you’re like, it doesn’t exist.

Yeah. I have no feed. But I do think we need to sort of disconnect from this idea that being friends on Facebook is some like personal judgment on us and also the other people that we are friends with and like be okay with not being friends with people on Facebook.


Like it is kind of wild to me, I think because I’ve, I’ve been pretty ruthless for most of my life on Facebook, to be fair, about just unfriending people. because I [00:34:00] don’t need that.

I really need to get better at that. I it’s like a six month process for me and I have to feel really bad and like journal about it three times before I unfriend someone like more recently, I’ve just been like, you know what?

This is not for me. Like, it’s nothing against you. I just don’t want your Facebook posts up in my shit. And so I must set you free.

Yeah, exactly. I think like from like a coaching perspective, is it not good to demonstrate boundaries so other people can learn, Hey, it’s okay for me to unfriend people when I don’t wanna see their shit in my feed.

It’s okay for me to not like this person, even though everybody else does

yeah. I’ve had that breakup. I’m like y’all are gonna find out , but it’s like even like taking a break from Instagram [00:35:00] itself, like you’re unfriending Instagram for a month, you know, like everybody else loves it. Everybody loves reels.

I will go down a reel hole myself. Just scroll ’em scroll, scroll, scroll. I find that a lot of the reels on Instagram are like people teaching you how to do reels on Instagram, which is interesting. They’re like this, grab this trending audio and put five pieces of text like this and kick, kick to the music.

And I’m like, I don’t, I don’t care when I do a reel, I’m like, look at my cat and I’ll just like zoom in and out on my cat. Like I’m not, I don’t think I’m Instagram’s target audience and maybe my target isn’t on Instagram. Like, I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe they’re not.

But I think a lot of the problem is that Instagram’s target audience is not on Instagram and has no intention of being on Instagram, but they’re determined to build a platform for those people when they don’t want it.

Yeah. So the people who actually are on Instagram, Instagram [00:36:00] don’t want, and the people Instagram want don’t want Instagram. Yeah. So, uh, like that’s gonna end well.

That’s just TikTok. You’re just trying to make it TikTok. Yeah. They’re and people who want TikTok are over on TikTok.

Yeah. But we can’t, we can’t let another social media platform do well. We have to have all of the people all of the time!

Capitalism needs to stop. Yeah. because you’re just making everything boring. You’re just making everything the same shade of beige. Stop it. Let tick TikTok be chaotic. Like let quit buying each other, like stop it. we’re at like a good place right now.

Social media’s hard. Yeah. It’s hard. Anyway. I think we have ADHD squirreled away from the topic at hand, which is great because we’re coming up on the end of our recording time. So, let’s tell the people how to find [00:37:00] you and especially about your, what the fuck do I do on social media now, workshops coming up because, um, you, this episode is coming out on the ninth.

So your September stuff, please, please tell us about it.

Okay. Um, yeah, I run the social media humans club and, uh, we are having sell it September through September. And I’m also rerunning, a workshop I did, uh, in August. I’m rerunning it three times so that I can cover all of the time zones, which is called, what the fuck do I do with my social media now, because that is a question I am getting asked a lot.

So basically, the workshop is literally you come and, uh, you tell me what you’re currently doing on social media and what is not working and what is working. And we figure out what the fuck you’re gonna do with your social media, or indeed without social media. Um, so it is very bespoke, uh, in a group setting, but, uh, it is bespoke.

So you can join [00:38:00] the social media for humans club. It is 30 pounds for a month. Uh, and you also get just tons of accountability calls. So you actually have to show up and do stuff, which can be hard, but it’s okay. Cuz we got you.

I love it. I love it. Uh, what are the workshop dates this month?

the 19th and the 28th. Um, the big biz ideas, brunch that is just a little social chit chat event where anybody can turn up and be like, oh my God, what do I do with my business at the moment? I have this business problem. And we just kind of throw that ideas about and figure out stuff for you. It’s very organized, as you can tell, uh,

I love it. We’re neurodivergent we need, we need space to like finger paint our thoughts, so, okay. I love it. So refresh with [00:39:00] the workshop dates. Those are 19th and the 28th, you said of September? Yes. Okay. Wonderful. And your social media for a humans club is 30 pounds, which is, I don’t know, I’m gonna call it like $35.

I I think so, uh, depending on the exchange rate


on the exchange rate, it’s under 40 bucks a month. Um, so if you are a person listening, struggling with social media, especially a neuro divergent person, struggling with social media for your business, Alexis is your guide and expert, and just Sherpa up that mountain.

and she is also not telling you this, but I think is the best part, uh, running an amazing sale on an annual membership. So you can now get that for 250 pounds, which is about like 310 ish dollars. I wanna say it’s like 3 12 when I looked at it yesterday because I was tempted, um, [00:40:00] which is like 44% off regular price.

And that gets you this social media club for a year. And honestly, like as a person who exists in a lot of online coaching spaces and buys a lot of courses, that is, it’s basically free. Like , that’s such a good deal. So you should buy it. That’s that’s my testimonial. I have learned nine thousandy amazing things from Alexis in just the conversations that we have had and free trainings that I have received from her. Um, so it’s, it’s about time I pay her for something. So I’m probably gonna go, I’m at least gonna sign up for a month so I can, I can do one of these what the fuck do I do now workshops. So that’s my pitch for Alexis.

Well thank you, you’re so much better at doing this than I am.

It’s it’s because I have just gotten comfortable being uncomfortable and it’s much easier to like talk up somebody else’s thing than mine. [00:41:00] yeah, Alexis is rad and knows so much things and you’re just a really affirming person to work with.

Thank you.

Like, like we had a conversation, I’m just gonna tell the people what I learned from you about, like, I felt like Twitter was better for my writing and not like necessarily my coaching. And you were like, so just talk about writing on Twitter and it hadn’t occurred to me that that was a fucking option that like I could just do writing stuff on Twitter.

And I was like, what the fuck? I thought my strategy had to be all encompassing and really complicated. And you’re like, no, just do what you like to do. Blew my mind, blew my mind. That’s worth 30 quid.

Well, I certainly hope so.

Yeah. Yeah.

I hope so.

For sure.

And I, I am, I am definitely very affirming is a good word, but I, I tend to feel like solutions focused. I very like, okay. Tell me your problem. And I will find a [00:42:00] solution for it. You will, might take me a few days, but I will get there. Yeah, I guarantee it

I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. Okay. All right. I know that it is, uh, a little bit later for you there probably like dinner time when it’s lunchtime for me. So I will set you free now. Um, but give us all your social handles except Instagram. Cause we’re not talking to her, but where can we find you on Facebook, Twitter? your podcast, like gimme all the things.

Uh, the podcast is, uh, social media for humans. You can find it on all good podcasting platforms. Um, I have a Facebook group, which is acorn a nourishing: ecosystem for small biz. Uh, so you can come and join that and get some free support over there. I am on Twitter as a Alexis Bushnell, and I am on LinkedIn as a Alexis Bushnell if anybody is out there and on LinkedIn. Hi.

Yeah, I’ll go find you. It’s weird. Cause I feel like my LinkedIn has to be like very polished and like professional. No, I need to just go be gay and chaotic there. Like I think I would kill on LinkedIn. [00:43:00]

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

People need gay chaos. Okay. Mm-hmm um, I love you. Thank you for being here. You are a treasured human in my life and I’m so excited.

Thank you for having me.



um, And here is a bio of Alexis that was solid, uh, solid talking there.

My coffee hasn’t kicked in, but Hey, here’s Alexis .