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Diving Into Coaching Transcript – Drakso Raicevic

Diving into Coaching – Drasko Raicevic

[00:00:00] All right, so I’m super excited to have Rasco Raic with us today. He was with us last year in an actual interview. Today we’re gonna do something different. We’re gonna do some coaching of each other. We’re both coaches, we’re both super similar in the types of people we coach. And, um, This is just an experiment I wanted to try.

So in this episode, I will be coaching Draco and then there’ll be another episode where he’s coaching me and, um, I think it’s gonna be fun. So Draco, thanks for being willing to just do this and hang out a little bit. Oh, you, you’re so very welcome. And, and I was super happy when uh, you sent the invitation my way to, to do this cuz for people that don’t know, so my, my whole podcast is bringing on entrepreneurs and then coaching them through their head trash on the show.

So it’s, Only fitting that, that I would be willing to, to walk my own talk and do the exact same thing, cuz I know for [00:01:00] all the people that I bring on, it’s like it takes a certain level of vulnerability and courage. So it would be very unfitting of me to say no to an invitation like this. I’m excited to, to dive into it and, and to go through the same experience on the opposite end.

[00:01:13] Intro to Drasko

Excellent. Excellent. It’s so good. Okay, so a short recap, and you’re gonna correct me if I’m wrong, but you had originally had a weight loss center, a gym that over time morphed into because you did all your own kind of SEO and funnels and all of that. You learned how to do all of it. You ended up doing that for entrepreneurs.

In developing that skillset, what you found out you really liked doing was coaching them more than fixing their funnels or all of that sort of stuff. Right. So, um, why don’t you give me kind of the best and worst of being a coach and then let’s dive into kind of the topic you wanna talk through. Yeah. So I think, uh, actually your question, I think we’ll probably dive into what I wanted to, to [00:02:00] bring up, right?

Because it was like, okay, what, what’s the best and the worst of Yeah, like coaching, right? So I think. It’s the first thing that comes to mind, and it was like, I think the thing that I wanted to bring up with you today is one of the ways that I got good at coaching and continue to like sharpen my saw is I, I’m very diligent about using my own tools on myself, right?

So the, the way that. I got good at, let’s just say, working with the entrepreneurs that I work with now. Like I use what would traditionally be thought of as like therapeutic, uh, counseling or psychology type modalities in my work. And it’s like, okay, well I’m not a therapist. Like, how could I possibly use these?


How could I get good at them? So I, I do, you know, if anybody’s watching some video, a lot of my own reading, so I, I studied these people, but more importantly, it’s not about just. Theory, like I, I want to be able to apply it and I’ve had others apply it to me. I’m like, oh, this worked really well [00:03:00] to like, get me through X, Y, Z I wanna get good at it.

So I, I go through, and my minimum standard for these things is to do like a hundred reps of a particular modality, right? So like, let’s just say if I learn a new way to bust beliefs, I would do a hundred. Uh, instances and record these of how I do it. Or like, I use parts work, like if, anyways, familiar with Turtle Family Systems.

I, I use a lot of that in my own coaching. So I would go through like a hundred reviews of doing it to myself, right? So that’s obviously work really great to not just build up my skillset, but to allow me to work through a lot of things. So that’s been, you know, one good thing is like I, I have the reps to help my clients.

And you ask like, okay, well what’s the bad part about that? I, I think it’s inevitable you’re gonna get to this point where, as I always say, it’s like hard to see the building when you’re standing on the balcony. Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. Like at some point you reach with certain things and it’s not with everything, but like you, you reach your point.

Outside Support

Like you just need that [00:04:00] outside support. And in default as well, I know I should know how to do this. I should be able to work through it myself. Why can’t I do it? Right? And you get into, it’s like it’s own negative loop. So, I don’t know if that answers your question, but that’s kind of what’s present and And I figured that that’s what I would bring in today.

Okay, let me rephrase and then you tell me where I’m wrong. First of all, I wanna say anyone who does a hundred reps of anything that feels like your background in weight loss in the gym and keeping track and wow, I’m impressed and you have now sparked my thinking. Like, okay, doing it 5, 6, 7 times is not.

So good on you for that. But what I hear you saying is, um, Uh, perhaps you’re saying you feel like you have maybe reached a ceiling in your own growth and development, and you’re wondering how to lead people in places that are beyond where you have gone. Is that what you’re saying? So I would say yes and no.

I, I wouldn’t say I’ve reached a [00:05:00] ceiling in that like I, I. Have coaches as well, right? Like, so like I, I, I do reach for support and certain things, let’s just say we’re cordes near the beginning of the year. So I made like a huge investment in really upping my business skillset to take my business on nights level.

Asking for Support

So I’m like, let’s just say invested in getting supported in that area. Um, and I guess what I’m more saying is, let’s just say with my own inner work, I guess what’s present for me right now is I, I, I’ve relied on myself so much. I’ve maybe not asked for enough help here because I’m kind of going on to the business end because I’ve been so successful at doing it myself, which I know is ironic because that’s exactly why I work with the, the individuals who have all the support in business or have done it in business, but they can’t put it together cuz the personal isn’t there.

So it’s kind of like I’m being my own best client here and asking for support, uh, in this [00:06:00] way as well. So yeah, that, that I think would be to, to rephrase it or just add the nuance to it. That nuance. It’s not like a cap cap, it’s just in this moment I feel like that’s what’s most present. Yeah, I think I hear what you’re saying.

[00:06:16] Keeping up with Momentum

If you were to imagine, um, this particular problem being solved or better or bigger, how does that, you look different than this? You. Hmm. Um,

there’s a sense of freedom with that. Um, there’s a sense of, I think clarity would be the big one. So, okay. I guess I’ll, I’ll bring to the container like what it is that I’m struggling with. So the beginning of this year, like business-wise has been one of the, the better. Certainly the [00:07:00] better starts to the year, but like, just the momentum that’s been generating this year has been really great.

And despite that, it, it, it’s like that there’s almost a part of me, there’s a part that’s excited and, and I’ve like committed to really making this the biggest year thus far. And then there’s another part of me that really. Anchors into the old and is like pulling me back. Right? And so for me, I, I tend to, in like unregulated times, I tend to like underperform or like fawn, like that, that’s generally my stress response.

And I’m just finding it interesting that like when I get into these states and I underperform, so I don’t take enough action, I put like on, on the surface it looks like procrastination, but I, like, I can feel myself, I’m, there’s something that I don’t want to face. It’s like I’ve gone through so much work in so many different areas around this that I’m.


Don’t [00:08:00] have the clarity on like what this is all about. It doesn’t feel specifically like, it’s like a fear of success, but it’s somehow in and around, like related to that area. Um, so yeah, I’ll, I’ll just leave it at that and you let me know when. Yeah. People who do a lot of self-development work get really good at understanding the nuances, and what I hear you saying is your life looks super successful.

But you know, something is off. You know that in a place where you could or should be facing into the wind, you’re turning your back and letting it sort of roll off your shoulder. It’s not bad. It’s not pushing you backwards, but you’re like, what is this? What is this? And a part of you is stirring up trouble inside you.

Correct. Yeah, so I would say the parts that resonate with that reflection, definitely the, the stirring up trouble, definitely the, the lack of clarity of like, okay, well what, what [00:09:00] is this part that wants to, again, on the surface, I know it’s self sabotaging, but I, I know there’s some component of it that’s keeping me safe from something.

I’m not really sure what that something is. Yeah. Do you have any hunches I. Bigness in magnificence is things that I’ve been exploring on my own that are coming up. So I think it’s probably something to do with that. I don’t think it’s necessarily success as like maybe success from the point of. Bigness in the sense of like, okay, well, that I can’t turn back like this has gone so deep and it’s becoming so big, like this is now who I am.


And as I verbalize that, like I feel. Like a stirring of like fear through like my chest, right? And it’s kind of like dissipated now. But as I verbalized at the first, I was like, [00:10:00] oh, okay. There, there, there’s something there. There’s something there. When you think about bigness and I mean, there’s two things about, you know, I can’t turn back.

That sounds scary. That part of you that says, Ooh, if we get too big and I can’t turn back, what is it afraid of at a granular level? That’s a good question. Uh, and a good catch. So what would this part be afraid of?

[00:10:35] Identity Change

So identity change is the first thing that comes to mind. Um, there’s a sense of loss like this when I tune into that part of like my chest and torso. It’s like a combination of, it [00:11:00] feels like a soup of like fear and sadness and grief all at the same time. That’s kind of intense. Yes. And does the, the more that I speak, I think the other part that’s coming up now is like, All of the vices that I would normally go to, to self sooth.

So again, with the Fawn pattern, I’ve had a lot of like predictive patterns that I’ve overcome with time. It’s like those would all be gone, like there wouldn’t be any space for them. So it’s like the, the fear is like I will lose the historical like vestige of how I’ve. Centrally numbed or self self-medicate, like who am I without those things?

What am I gonna do? Am I ever gonna be able to like pleasure or like self-soothe and self-pleasure from that way? Yeah. Like if, like say food was a big one. Like if I [00:12:00] move into this life and I express in the way I want to express, it’s kind of. Overeating on, you know, chocolate doesn’t belong there. So what, like what, what am I if I don’t do that?

Yeah. Is it if I move into this next level, if I become this magnificent, I don’t get to be human. I don’t get to fail. I don’t get to overeat on chocolate or I, I don’t know what these other vices are. You know, numb out with alcohol or whatever they are. If I become this big, clearly the big grates don’t do this.

Making the Choice

So I don’t necessarily think it’s the greats that don’t do this. It, it’s like the, the sense is like there’s no room for [00:13:00] these things there. Like, these things don’t belong because they don’t belong there. because, so I guess the sense is it, it, it’s like a. It’s almost like a binary choice. Like either you keep, you know, these like vices or you give them up completely to succeed. Yeah. Do you think that’s true or does that part think that’s true? Yeah, logically I don’t think it’s true. Um, internally, Yeah, I would say that, that this part believes the path.

Like there’s just no room for that. Like I, I’m getting the visual of like, like if I [00:14:00] wanted to be an athlete like that, there’s certain compromises that, that just go with that. Like your sleep has to be on point, your training has to be on point, pulling it. You have to say no to, you know, social things, et cetera.

It’s like, The two don’t go together to be at that level and have these patterns. Yeah. When you think about this internal roadblock, Do you think the solution is working with the parts that wanna keep the vice vices? Is the solution working with the part who thinks there’s no room for the vices and feels kind of all or none or black and white in my mind?

Or is there a third solution? What’s your internal sense of the way forward? That’s a good question. Um, okay. I don’t have a clear answer, so let me just [00:15:00] tune in and see.

Tuning In

So I don’t have my eyes closed right now, so it’s just, I’m trying to like tune in. Um, and I can feel like as soon as I. And ask that question. There’s like a part that covers, like, I, I, I describe this feeling as like, I, like I drop a d IQ points. It’s like I, I just, I’m, I’m blank. Like I don’t Yeah. Like I can’t process.

Yeah. I mean, part of it is when you’re being recorded, there is this sense of, I gotta figure it out now. And I’m gonna say, feel free to take your time, because I can always edit out long pauses. Okay. But also ask that, I’m gonna [00:16:00] call it like a smothering or blanket part. What does it need from you to feel safe?

So there’s a sense of,

so to not like ostracize and cut off, like, I, I, I get the visual of like, it’s afraid that I’m gonna go in there almost like a SWAT team and just like destroy Yeah. So it’s like I, I think it’s afraid of, I don’t like these certain aspects, I don’t like these parts, so I’m just gonna completely and utterly obliterate them.

Yeah. If you asked for permission to go in as a negotiator, not as [00:17:00] a SWAT team, to go in and learn. Not necessarily take action, would that part Believe you?

So it’s interesting as I listen to you and I prompt to do this,

I actually feel this part ballooning out. Like I’m, I’m, I’m dissociating away. Like I know I’m here, but it’s like I feel like I’m, I’m, I’m up here. I’m disassociating from this feeling and sentiment, like there’s a lot of. Aspects of me that don’t even wanna go here. So, yeah. Yeah. It, I, you’re creating pressure, more pressure than it wants to sort of, um, engage with.

Leaving Things Behind

It’s, [00:18:00] if it were a tiger, it’d be growling at you. Back up a little bit, buddy. Back up a little bit. So, back up a little bit. Give it some. Okay, and let’s, let’s play. What if, what if we ended, I’m not saying we have to end the conversation here, but if we ended the conversation here, what is your insight from just these few moments of asking these parts questions?

So insight would be, There’s a very tender, conflicted,and scared part to all of this. Yeah. That it’s not as simple as saying, okay, this is [00:19:00] this or this is that, and, and it is just like a simple reframe. Like there is a very. Scared part of me. Yeah. Yeah. That doesn’t want to leave these things behind. Hmm.

If you promised your system not to make changes, could, could you reach out to that scared part and just ask it to help you understand more?

[00:19:42] Feelings

So it’s like the, the first thing that I feel is before I can even go there, the

disassociation like, like a, like I feel like it’s like a [00:20:00] hot air balloon. Like it’s so. Massive that these parts are too high. It’s like the first thing I would actually need is to like deflate and ground. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Take a couple deep breaths and do what you know to do to ground you. Yeah.

So I’m just reaffirming to myself that at the end of the day, I’m here curiously and compassionately, that I’m in a container that is safe and that those same things are wanted for all of the parts and for me as well. Mm-hmm. And [00:21:00] I’m celebrating all of the parts for allowing themselves to be witnessed in this way as well.

Mm-hmm. And I’m honoring them for like, I can slowly feel like all of that and disassociation. Shrinking slowly but surely. Sure. Sometimes people can see internal parts or they’re aware, this is my small part, or this is my part who does X, or sometimes they have names and personalities. You don’t necessarily have to say this out loud, but I wonder if you could ask each of those parts.

Um, What do you notice right now just physically present in this room and see if we can get each of them kind of in the room in each of them [00:22:00] grounded.

Stepping Out

So the only visual I get is like all of the parts we worked or brought up initially are kind of like on this bench, on the ground, and in this top, most. Protective. Is kind of up in the air looking down and it’s kind of saying, okay, like, yeah, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll make my way down. I’ll allow it. Yeah. Yeah. Just ask each part.

What are they literally noticing in the room? Like for example, I can see your sword, I can see your books, but if you go like visual, audio, tactile, Let each part say one thing that they’re noticing. Okay. So obviously one part is, is hearing you. Mm-hmm. [00:23:00] Another part is feeling the chair underneath me. Uh, another part’s feeling the feet that are touching floor right now.

Another parts feeling. Um, my hands. And then another part is actually hesitant to open my eyes. Cause I feel like if I open my eyes, I will snap that balloon out. Mm.

And my inclination, obviously I know I can open my eyes, but before I do, I wanna just make peace with opening my eyes. Yeah. And then just snapping abruptly out. And don’t feel like you have to, it’s entirely fine to do the entire conversation this way.

Whatever is best for those various spaces in you to [00:24:00] keep them feeling safe. So yeah, when I ask it, okay, do you, how do you feel about. Me opening my eyes, it’s like, Nope, no, don’t do that. Okay. Okay. That’s fair. How, um, how big does the above you part feel? Is it more grounded or still it’s a lot closer to the ground.

Stop or Continue

I feel like, you know, I’m back in the room. Good, good. Not a hundred percent there, but back in the. Yeah, so out of gratitude to each of these parts being willing to work, maybe you can ask them what they need from this moment, whether that’s to stop or to continue or I, I don’t know what each one of them needs.[00:25:00]

So when I ask that, I feel like those lower parts that we started with, the ones that were on the ground, they’re kind of like, you know, tapping their hand being like, Hey, like look at the time, like, wh when is it our turn? Mm-hmm. And then the, this associated part, it’s, it’s.

It’s kind of like the, the kid that knows it’s time is up on this like ride. It’s like, okay, I don’t really wanna leave, but like I am aware that I have to give this up and go. Mm-hmm. The ones who are kind of tapping their hands, when is it our turn? Is it when is it our turn to speak? Or when is it our turn to coach?

When is it our turn to speak and be. Ah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ask your kind of dissociative balloon part. [00:26:00] Would that part allow you to speak to the parts that want to, to, or I guess a better way of saying it is, would it allow those other parts to speak so that you can listen? Yeah, it’s okay with that. Okay.

[00:26:18] Disassociation

What do those parts want to say?

They’re quite angry and frustrated at the disassociated part of like, Hey, uh, there’s something here that we wanna solve. You’re wasting all this time. Like, let’s get the show on the road. Yeah. Some impatience. That’s okay. I will speak to those parts and say that’s okay. We have plenty of time. It’s all good.

Something I’ll say to each of your parts is that they’re equally valued and valuable and they each have a voice. They each need to be heard, but not [00:27:00] at the expense of the other ones. So, Everybody has to have respect for the other part. So it’s not okay when somebody shuts somebody down. It’s not okay when somebody like silences someone else.

So tell your impatient part. We’re good. We’re all good.

Okay. It was. Reluctantly received that message. Yeah. Who else has something they wanna say?

So it’s like, when you asked me that question, there was this part, almost like all these bickering parts kind of looked behind them and then stepped aside the side to reveal. It’s [00:28:00] not distinct, but it’s like a smaller light, very delicate

tender. Like a, like a shy child. Like there’s something that that part wants to say. Yeah. How old is that? Part three is the first number I get. Oh, he’s just little. Yeah. Ask him what he would like to say.

So he is asking, why do you keep covering me? Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Your Truest Self

Draco can your truest, wisest self. In internal family systems, they would call this the self, I like to call it your wise [00:29:00] self. Can he get down on one knee with this tiny little person so that he’s eye to eye and say, I know sometimes they cover you, but I am fully present and I’m willing to listen and I’m here.

So, yeah, I, I can do that. Um, the little part of me is not trusting of,

I guess, my intentions mm-hmm. To make that last. It’s kind of, it gets suspecting that I’m paying it. Lip service not being genuine. Yeah. Why, why does he, [00:30:00] uh, suspect that of you?

Because, Every time this part wants to come out and shine, it gets stuffed down. Yeah. By whatever it gets stuffed down with any possible thing. From food to scrolling, to porn, to video games, to YouTube, to like, whatever. I can throw its way. To just stuff it down. And I’ve done that for the majority of my life. So it doesn’t really trust, yeah.

That I have its best interests at heart. That’s fair. Is [00:31:00] he your magnificence?

[00:31:19] Pushing Back

What if rather than asking him to speak? And if I ask you to do something that doesn’t feel genuine, you know, push back and make a, make a counter offer. But I sense in you that there are pieces of you right now that are. Maybe seeing this little vulnerable tender part for what it is and that you feel regret for the ways you’ve pushed it down and smothered it and not let it speak.

I wonder if you said to that little one, Hey, could you look in my eyes and could I [00:32:00] apologize for the way I’ve treated you, and I get why you don’t trust me. And that’s okay.

So it, it gets like, the little part of me

like starts to get angry. It’s saying, It’s like, it’s basically scolding me to be like, look, here you are. You need a proxy. You need somebody else to like speak on your behalf with all the things. Like, why can’t you just connect to me?

That’s why I don’t trust you. [00:33:00] Is he saying that about me? That I’m the proxy? Yeah. Um, what if you said some version of I’m learning and I don’t do it perfectly all the same time. Mm-hmm. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It just means I’m learning and getting better at it. And you don’t have to trust.

Until I get better at it,

so it’s in okay. Once they hear the same words from me to it.[00:34:00]

So I’m gonna speak directly. Yeah. To it. Yeah. And I’m gonna start by saying that it’s actually awkward for me to speak to you, but I’m willing to do it because. I care about this relationship. I care about the integration of this relationship,

Drasko’s Childhood

ultimately I really miss, oh, when I’m clearing something, I do cough. So that’s what that’s happening there. Makes sense to me. Um, what I do miss. Quite a bit when I look at flashbacks from my childhood is[00:35:00]

how unfiltered and bold and like unbridled

I’ve been in, not even thinking about owning my magnificence and bigness, but just being and embodying it. And I know that there’s probably times when that was too much for my parents to handle, so it was probably stuffed down quite a lot more than you would’ve liked. And then I know I continued to stuff it down to just appease them and that it took me a long time to actually make peace with.

Prioritizing myself and that[00:36:00]

I’m doing this specifically to ensure that that connection is not only broken or never broken again, but it’s actively celebrated and nurtured.

And actually as I do that, I can feel that light like growing bicker and deeper and like I, I, I can feel it in my extremities of like, it’s going into my hands, it’s going into my feet like it feels.

Not like I’m putting it on, but it just, it just feels like it’s finding itself in like the crevices of my body. Again, like it’s, [00:37:00] it’s, it’s finding ways to embody itself into me

and it feels very natural and good to do that. Yeah. Yeah.

Well done. That’s risky on so many levels. So well done. Do you wanna ask if anybody else needs anything from you in this moment, or is this complete?

The Visual

So, yeah, when I asked that, I get this [00:38:00] visual of like, uh, almost like a, you know, 1930s, 1940s, like construction worker being like, okay, and who’s gonna pay for like our wages as. I know it is like these other parts have been doing this labor and this work that now seems like, it’s

like it’s old and unnecessary and I guess they don’t feel compensated or appreciated for the work that they’ve had to do to, I don’t know, do do whatever it is that they. Yeah, so could you speak to each one of them and thank them for the work that they’ve done and say, oh no, you’ve been incredibly necessary.

Without you, I couldn’t have gotten here, and I don’t wanna get rid of you. I’m [00:39:00] wondering if you would like a little bit different job, if you would like to take what you used to do and morph it a little bit.

It was funny as, as soon as I try to do that, I just get the visual of him like spitting on the ground and being like, yeah, I don’t need your lip service. Like, I need payment. Ask him what payment means.

[00:39:46] What does Payment Mean?

It’s saying energy and emotion like it. It doesn’t need me to say things. It needs me to pay in kind with like emotional [00:40:00] appreciation and gratitude. Like that part wants you to feel gratitude. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Is that something you could practice allowing yourself to do right now?

Yeah, I definitely can.

So yeah, the f it’s like the first thing that comes up is. Just curiosity. Like, okay, well what, like what does he want to be thanked for? Like what was his actual like role? And he’s saying like he spent so much time building up all the scaffolding around that tender magnificence part. Cause they kept trying to like pop up and then they would just keep having to rebuild all the [00:41:00] scaffolding to stuff it down.

And it’s like a lot of redoing and rejigging. And again, like, it’s like so much energy, like keeping a beach ball down underwater.

So I’m acknowledging it like, yeah, that’s. A lot of years spent on this hamster wheel of just stuffing that down. And even though in this moment it feels like it was unnecessary work, like it was just work for the sake of work, at the end of the day, if I had known better, I would’ve requested better.

Mm-hmm. And it was important in those times to [00:42:00] move. Me through whatever it is that I was going through. It was the best that I could do with the tools that I had at the time. Yeah. And that realization was the best payment I could possibly provide to that part. Are you saying that to me or are you saying that to them? It was the best compensation that could provide to you. So speaking to the part?

Being Genuine

Does it feel your genuineness?

Yeah. It’s kind of gimme the wink and the handshake of like, okay, yeah, you’re, you’re not so bad yourself. And it’s, but it’s hat back on. It’s like, okay, I’m gonna be on my way. Yeah. [00:43:00] Does anybody else need anything or are we complete?

No, that feels complete. Hmm.

And the part that wants you to keep your eyes closed. How does he feel about you kind of reengaging with this world? Uh, no, he is not present here anymore. He’s totally fine with it. Okay. All right. Well, if that feels complete, then a deep breath and thank you for your courage.

Yeah, [00:44:00] I’m back. Yeah. Was that, uh, unexpected?

I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s unexpected from, uh, an experience perspective of like, yeah. Had many experiences like this, both myself and facilitated by others. Um, it was unexpected in terms of how I thought my magnificence would be. Like by definition, I expected it to be big, big, but it was actually extremely small and tender and can constantly beat down, which after the fact makes sense.

But yeah, it’s not how I would’ve expected that piece. Yeah, yeah. Do you have any inkling or anticipation of how your life might be different moving forward?[00:45:00]

I, I’m not sure. I, I don’t know if I could bring it to like a day-to-day thing. I, because I, I think it, it is just gonna take some more iterations to like, interact with that part. Yeah. Um, it’s almost like we’ve been reintroduced and now it’s like, okay, we, we, we gotta get, we gotta get each to actually know each other.


Yeah, you have to get him to trust you before you’ll see, you know, your true magnificent shine. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That feels right. Yeah. Oh my gosh, Draco, I’m so excited to just see how this plays out over time and, uh, yeah, thanks so much just for being willing to go here with me. Well, thank you for facilitating it all so beautifully, and, uh, allowing me to go there.

Excellent. [00:46:00] Okay, well, we’ll, I’ll cut that off after our thank yous and like I. I don’t know that I have any questions because in my mind I, I was not expecting to go there. Okay. Fair enough. Yeah. In my mind that is like, I mean, I do a ton of ifs or have done a to ton of IFS therapy. That would be one of my favorite modalities for sure.

Um, I just in the, in, in the coaching vernacular. I mean, I definitely would call, I don’t know, I, I, you’re like breaking my head open into, you know, maybe I’m trying to compartmentalize myself in a way that’s not the best, maybe I should allow myself to do. You know, this hybrid thing of coaching and therapy [00:47:00] more.

[00:47:01] Therapy and Coaching

Oh. So like, I guess, like you were saying, you stay away from including this in your coaching work cuz it’s technically a therapeutic. Yeah. Okay. Um, speaking from a experience, it’s, it’s a complete opposite for me. Um, I, I, I’m all for. It’s kind of like, you actually have more credentials than me to do this work with people.

Right. So it’s like, why would you not do it? Yeah. It’s interesting. I mean, in the therapy world, therapists hate coaches. Just hate them because they’re all like, you know, you’re doing all this and you’re not qualified and blah, blah, and all this stuff. And I try and keep them very separate. This is this and this is that, and whatever.

But I, I think that this experience, Can show me like, there’s a lot of joy when I help someone navigate through something like that. You know, [00:48:00] for me, that piece of me feels like, ah, that was valuable for him. So then I feel valuable, you know? Yeah, a hundred percent. And I mean, again, I’ll just give you my perspective, uh, on it.

It’s like, so like I had no. Like I had no business being in fitness. Like I went to a business school, got a business degree, and then the only other thing I did was, look, I did it, I did martial arts. So it’s like, how do you go from there to like personal training and nutrition? It’s like what allowed me to be successful in that is like when I.

Needs Differ

Like coaching people, like exercise. I was doing cardio kickboxing class, so I knew how to like run that. But then people started coming to me for weight loss and I was like, okay, this like, it is kind of dangerous to have somebody [00:49:00] this overweight do this type of work. I was like, I can’t do that. It’s like, well, what else would I do?

So like that led me into personal training. I was like, okay, we’ll do squats. Squats are good for people. Cool. Hey guys, like do a squad. He’s like, well, my knees hurt. I’m like, okay, well that’s interesting. Why do your knees hurt? So then that led me down the road of like, uh, rehab and physiotherapy and anatomy and like learning proper biomechanics.

Like I had no. Business doing any of that. But it was the needs of the client that got me Yeah. To do that. And like that’s what led me to, you know, the only reason I got my personal training certification was at one point early on I was like, oh, maybe I could work on a cruise ship, but they need like a certification.

So that’s the only reason I got it. But it’s like nobody ever asked me, like, and then I got certified nutrition cause I just wanna learn more in nutrition. Sure. And ended up being a certification. But long story short, just to say it’s like. Coming from the outside in, it’s like, I [00:50:00] don’t, I never bought into the dogma of like, this needs to be, this way’s, like, I’m not a physiotherapist, so I can’t like use this, you know, test of movements.

Not the Profession

Like, why, like if, if it helps me coach my client, who cares? Why not? Yeah. Right. And even now in this space, it’s like, Because it works both ways. Like coaches also like, don’t necessarily have a good experience of therapists. Yeah. Right? Yeah. But it’s like the same with any profession. Like you have crappy contractors, you have crappy personal trainers, you have crappy nutrition.

It’s like, its not the profession, it’s, it’s, it’s the person doing it. And it’s like, coaches always say, well, we focus on the future and like, moving you ahead and the therapists are gonna make you look in the past. Okay. But it’s like, what if the things in the past are directly impacting? The stuff that you’re doing now, and what if that business action you don’t want to take is because of some trauma response that you know, okay, you weren’t raped, but like your third grade teacher told you that you suck.

Like, yeah, who am I to say that that was or [00:51:00] was not traumatic enough for you to keep you? You know what I mean? So it’s just like, yeah, I know you know all of this, but it’s like. I don’t see why you would, from my vantage point, say no to a modality that can actually help somebody make peace with it or get there faster.

Yeah, right. Like, yeah, you could iterate your way through a whole bunch of actions to like, Install a new sense of being, but like if I can just heal. Yeah. An integrated part of me that didn’t wanna do that to begin with, like why not go with a faster way around it, you know? So for sure. I thought that’s just my thought process.

Gaining Traction

I, I agree with you entirely, and I do use it. I just don’t. Maybe use it quite as much. I mean, I love that you were familiar with the, the therapy model and you’re so open and so connected to your parts that in a very short amount of time, you can get some real traction, you know? [00:52:00] Just felt like together.

That’s just, like I said, reps, right? Like I, I can, I, I know for somebody who’s never done it, it’s like a totally different, uh, experience of like, okay, well I feel my shoulder cause I slept bad. So like, that’s the only thing I feel and like yeah. You know, and, and you gotta get through that. But yeah. So yeah, I understand it.

It’s a non-typical like maybe experience for people listening in or whatever, but yeah, I would say if, if, and and I, I’m like you, like I, I, This, like to me, this is such a. Not just quick and easy, but it’s just so fulfilling to watch somebody make that connection and connect and integrate and, and be with those pieces.

So, yeah. YeahI’m all for it. A hundred percent. Ah, that’s so great. Thanks so much for the time and the experience.

End Credits


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head shot Miriam Gunn

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As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

Talk about Love: Part 2 – Transcript

Love – Callum Wilson, Elaine Lajuenesse, and Miriam Gunn

Callum, Elaine, Miriam, Pt 2 – Love (and men and emotions)

[00:00:00] Hey friends. So if you are tuning into this for the first time i would encourage you to go back and start with last week’s episode because that’s the first part of this conversation

and you’ll get to know my friends Callum and Elaine from that conversation.

I split it -this is the second half last week we talked about being versus doing and this week the continuation of this conversation is talking about love I hope you enjoy

[00:00:28] Love

Elaine Lajuenesse: Should we talk about love because

Callum Wilson: Yeah. Okay.

Miriam Gunn: You know, because Sounds good to me. Yeah.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Yeah, since we’re talking about the real thing here, like how often do you say I love you to your client?

Miriam Gunn: Okay, so, you know, my training is in, I mean, my early training was theological and I said, I love you to the people I [00:01:00] was working with all the time. Then my midlife training was psychological and there were tons of boundaries around that, and people would say, yeah, I wasn’t allowed to touch anybody. People would say occasionally, and I just like you so much, or I love you, Miriam, or whatever.

And I’d say, I know, always felt very like I mean, I cared for them too. I, in my coaching clients, I’ve had several say, I love you and I’ve said I love you back. I, what’s, one of the reasons I moved into the coaching space is that the, the constriction of the medical model of therapy in the United States.

I mean, it’s there for good reasons. It is there for good reasons, but it was confining for me and I needed to be able to say, I genuinely love the person that you are. And when you see the real person, I mean, many times I love the [00:02:00] doing person too, but when you see the real being of someone, you always love them because the real being is, you know, it’s the good stuff.

Judging People

Callum Wilson: Yeah, I’m, I’m quite glad you sort of went there because I had a sort of, you know, wondering how I was gonna approach that recently, just realizing that, like I said before, I think we’re all the same. I think we’re all just part of nature. And I also, I weirdly don’t feel that, I don’t feel that separation.

I used to. So I kind of see myself in everyone. And I also re understand that if I live this exactly the same life as someone else, I would be exactly the same as them. Even evil people. And I think even evil people, there might be evil acts, but I don’t think there’s a genuine evil intent. I think that in some way, even the worst people in the world are [00:03:00] thinking, their reasoning in some way, they see it as a positive. So there’s this part of me that goes, you know, what if I, if I, if I lived your life, I could be exactly the same as you. And then, and then when I look at people when I’m, and I might in the previous, you know, earlier in life, I’ve judged them. Now I look at them, I’m like, I get it like cruel human.

It only takes a few bad decisions or a few moments where you’re not, you don’t stand up for your true self and you end up in a, in a bad position. And I, I feel like. I don’t know if luck’s the right word, because we all make these choices, but like, I kind of feel lucky that in some ways to, I’m, I’m really grateful to my younger self for making several of those decisions that mean that I can now be in a position to talk about it like this.

Loving People

But to answer the question, like, how often do I tell people, oh, my clients, I love them. Not that often actually. But I do love them because I kind of love, like I was trying to explain, I kind of love everyone now. I’ve never, I, in the last few months I’ve had this really [00:04:00] different feeling inside me.

It’s, it is bizarre. Like I’m kind of constantly feeling like looking at people and being like, oh, deep down, like, I really love you. I heard love being explained as like being able to kind of see. It’s like, see through someone else’s eyes and understand them from that position. And I was like, oh yeah, geez.

That’s actually what I’m experiencing a lot in life. I’m able to go, yeah, I get you. Like I, I understand. On some level. So interesting. And I’m actually taking that as kind of a challenge, Elaine. Maybe I’m gonna try it. Tell them that I love them because I do. And why hold back the truth? Yeah.

[00:04:43] Connection

Elaine Lajuenesse: Yeah.

Because I come from a place where like, I, I grew up in a, an environment where my dad was telling us he loves us all the time. And in my life I went the other direction where I was not, I was kind of cheap with my, I love things. And [00:05:00] and my last assistant we had a really, really nice connection.

Her and I, and, and, you know, when I lost my job, still lost her job. That’s how it works. And she decided to go to the states and stuff and and I remember the first time I told her I loved her, it was like, we’ve worked together for a year and a half or maybe even more. It was six months after we both got got out of the job and, and she said, oh, I thought you were gonna say to me, but I just thought it was gonna be a year later.

Like, she, she kind of knew who I was and and then today morning I was, I was coaching a client and I just like, blurted like, I just, I love you. And it felt really good. And so, like, I really wanna bring this more cuz for so long I’ve been really cheap with I love you to people and, and I think people need to hear it more, not less.

Callum Wilson: Yeah. A hundred percent do, do you, are you guys [00:06:00] familiar with Byron Katie’s. Loving what is book? No, that’s a great book. She, she, she has something called

The Inquiry. So it’s four questions.

The Inquiry

Is it true?

Absolutely true. The effect of, so it’s about belief. Sorry. You have a belief, a new question. Is it true?

Absolutely true effect of holding this belief and then life without the belief, and then you do a turnaround to make it it’s called Loving What is.

But yeah, it’s, it’s kind of like the basis of doing the work, I think is what you’d call it. But what I love about it is it always brings you back to reality.

The idea is you do this inquiry to find the truth behind the beliefs. And I was just thinking as you were saying what you, what you were just saying there, Elaine, is like, in some ways when you don’t. When you don’t tell someone that you love them, it’s not like you are lying, but you are also holding back the truth.

And probably the reason it feels so great to [00:07:00] tell someone you love them is cuz you’re just living in reality. Cuz loving what is, is basically the ti the title is just to say like, loving reality. And the reality is if it’s, you know, if you love someone, you are, you are living in reality. And it, and it actually feels quite nice to be there.

Like it’s totally honest, basic, I think.

So in some ways I guess I’m holding back honesty by not telling more people that I love them. I, I only really recently started doing it to my mom and dad a bit more. And it feels so good. Yeah. Miriam, have you got any thoughts?

[00:07:36] Love and Society

Miriam Gunn: Yeah, I was thinking about what you’re talking about is true love, un unselfish love, and I feel like modern society, western society has sexualized everything to where it’s, it’s made it very difficult for people to say, I love you, and know what you mean and not question, and what, well, what are you saying?

And [00:08:00] whatever.

And this notion of unconditional regard, I a, a true heartfelt, “I love you” is an a simple way to say, I accept you. I want you in my presence. I see the value you bring on the planet just by the human that you are.

It’s like so many things wrapped up and you know our brains are full of mirror neurons and if you’re, I can even have this happen through the Zoom screen, but when you’re present with someone and you say something like that, it reaches deep in them and their brain responds.

It’s why, you know, when you say, I love you, most of the time people say, I love you back in a genuine way.

Their brain is responding in their heart and their soul. It’s such a huge package. And what I, what I hear you doing both of you, [00:09:00] and it’s encouraging me to do this more, is you’re sort of like, I don’t like these crappy rules that we’ve been handed by society that we’ve grown up in.

And I’m gonna change ’em and I’m gonna choose to be maybe vulnerable or this is in air quotes, but like soft.

I’m gonna choose to extend to the other person the fact that they have meaning to me.

Saying “I Love You”

Those are some of the things that I’ve been thinking about as you guys have been talking and how healthy and healing it is for them and for you, like Cal, I’m thinking about your parents and going, what are they thinking when you’re saying this semi out of the blue?

I bet they get a teeny bit uncomfortable also. They love it.


Callum Wilson: they didn’t, yeah. I, I, I, I think I just used to say bye. Like, I see you soon and, and probably in the last couple of like the year, last year or so, I’ve said I love you a lot more int it. [00:10:00] And I, I feel I’m like, oh, you know, saying that to my dad, like, I would say it previously, but not every single time that Yeah, I, I expect that they do feel something.

I think it’s important as well because, you know, every time we say bye to someone, it really could be the last time, so, You know, so many people regret not having let you know the thing, the thing that I think if I, if I was to die tomorrow, what would I need to do to feel fulfilled today? And it probably would be to let people know that I love them.

That would be it. If I had to do one thing, let people know that I love them. So why am I not doing that? Yeah. Okay.

Miriam Gunn: That’s so good. I had an experience about 15 years ago where I really thought I was gonna die. Like really, honestly. And I went through the huge, like, okay, if I die, do I, is there anything on left?

Having Conversations

And there were actually two people I needed to have conversations with and I didn’t die, obviously. And I did have [00:11:00] those conversations and it really put into me this space of live every moment as though it might be your last. I’m grateful to that moment in my life because it changed the way I live.

And my kids and other people who I. Care about. We, we always end conversations with, I love you.

But there was this funny influencer that my kids were watching and exposed me to, and he would always say, love you so much, bye. And they started doing it. And after a while, and I did it too, we all were doing it. And after a while I said, Hey, I actually wanna stop doing that because I actually do love you.

And the way we’re saying it sounds sarcastic and it doesn’t reach into me the same way.

They’re like, you’re right. So now we just say, love you. I so important.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Hmm.

Yeah. Because that’s the risk, huh? So, so the risk is to go on auto automatic [00:12:00] pilot. Mm-hmm. Just a force of habit. I’m gonna say I love you because that’s what I do.

So the intention is critical.

[00:12:13] Intentional Love

Callum Wilson: Mm-hmm. Yeah, it probably doesn’t and as you said that Elaine, I was thinking like quite often those moments of feeling, that deep connection of love actually isn’t at the end. It’s during like a, a meeting with someone. So potentially like the most authentic time, you could say it might be halfway through, you know?

Mm-hmm. Maybe, yeah, maybe, maybe it is a bit a piloty to leave it to the end.

Elaine Lajuenesse: But I’m wondering something Callum, because you know, I, I have lots of, I grew up surrounded by men or boys at a time when now is it true that it’s harder for men to have real conversation?[00:13:00]

Callum Wilson: What than, than women? Yeah. I think that’d probably be, Like generally probably quite right. Like if I was, I mean, I haven’t been a female in a female conversation, so to speak, but like listening into my girlfriend and, and my mom, and although women who talk to other women, they bare themselves more vulnerably more often it seems.

And there is this, this feeling of like wanting to look strong. I’ve always been quite

as long as physically I felt strong, like I was always okay with like opening up and being vulnerable. I think we’ve all got. We all, I dunno. I guess within my social groups, a lot of people would come to me with big, like this type of thing. So, but there is, yeah, I definitely think men really struggle. I a hundred percent.

And it’s, it’s just that wanting to look strong.

Looking Strong

Elaine Lajuenesse: Really. [00:14:00] Yeah. I’m asking because I have lots of male friends who would come and tell me and, and, and I will talk, I’ll take my brothers. I have three brothers. Yeah. And they come to me with certain stuff, with, you know, women and stuff, and I’m thinking, why are you talking to me and why are you not talking to your brothers?

Like, yeah. What’s my lived experience to help you here?

Callum Wilson: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I’ve got, I’ve got friends that I’ve been, you know, I, I, I’ve known them for 20 years and like a few of them we’re in our late twenties and I’m like, I don’t, I don’t really know you like I do and I don’t. There’s this part of you that you don’t show me.

And then recently I’ve been seeing more and more of it, and I’m like, oh, wow. Because there’s some people in my, in males in my life and I was like, they’re just kind of robots, but I know they’re not, but they’re only showing me that side. So but I think that, you know, men, male [00:15:00] suicide rates are, are higher.

Well, I actually, let’s, that could be for other reasons, but I think men do struggle, you know, with, you know, one of our biggest threats to ourselves in the western world, especially as men is ourselves. And that has to be something to do with deep sadness and my experience of opening up as it lets a lot of sadness out.

Mm-hmm. I, I still really struggle to cry, but I’d love to cry. Sometimes I’m like, come on, let yourself cry. But it’s so hard,

Elaine Lajuenesse: like, have you seen the movie The Holidays?

Opening Up

Callum Wilson: Yeah. I’m like, sometimes I’m sitting there and I’m like, right, yeah. There’s something, there’s something sad in there. There’s something that needs to come out and I’ll be like, nah, it’s not happening.

Yeah. So yeah, it’s, it’s tough because obviously like, you know, I’m just talking really generally I’m, and, and I suppose it is just a tiny bit of average difference that makes a big difference on the edges. Mm-hmm. So from what I can tell, I do know a [00:16:00] lot of men that open up to women more than other men.

That’s probably something that, that resonates with your experience, I suppose.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Yeah.

You know what, the more you talk, the more I realize the real assign. Like you’re a little bit of I never cry either. Yeah. I almost wear it as a badge of honor. Yeah. Which was really sad. Uhhuh, I’m working on it. What about you here, Miriam?

Miriam Gunn: Wow. I think all sorts of things. All sorts of things. I, I wish I knew men from quite a few other cultures. I wish we had some other people in our group on this call for this particular question, because I don’t think it’s the same everywhere. But I do really resonate with what you’re talking about.


Both of you and I, I wonder, I know, I know two men who think their ability to weep is a strength. Like, they see that [00:17:00] as “I’m strong enough and secure enough that I can cry” and they have access to that place in them. Which is remarkable in a, in a place where, you know, I think a lot of young boys are told, don’t be a crybaby, be a man.

Tough, be tough. You know, stuff like that where little girls who fall are scooped up and, oh, are you okay? And what happened? And let me kiss it better. And, you know, there’s an acculturation that happens.

But I think I, I think Latin cultures might be more open with that space, you know, whether it’s South American or Spanish

[00:17:39] Love in Cultures

Callum Wilson: Yeah. When I lived in France which is sort of got its parts of Latin There’s, there’s threads of it anyhow, especially in, in the South. And the guys were more, way, way more emotional than British guys, like British cultures mm-hmm.

Were pretty held back, I think. Mm-hmm. But [00:18:00] the guys would cry at training and stuff. I’m like, what is going on here?

Partly because I was just like, why are they so emotional about it? But I think as well, I mean, I consider like it de, you know, a lot, I, I suppose men and, and Miriam, you, you’d probably know that potentially the most about this, but like the, the anger is often a secondary emotion.

There’s something that precedes that. And when I consider how many angry men that I know, including myself at times, but you know, I see it all, I see a lot of angry men that there must be. There must be that’s come after a sadness or, or, and a negative emotion, let’s say. So there is that emotion there.

It’s just that it gets built up and then expressed instead of in tears, it gets expressed in anger. Mm. I think anger probably doesn’t, it doesn’t often my experience of crying and I, I have cried a hundred percent, [00:19:00] but is like, it is really like, lets everything out. Whereas anger tends to just stay in me until I make a big mistake with the anger, and then I’m like, that was, that was stupid.

Emotional Skillsets

So yeah, it’s, it’s interesting. There’s some experiences I found that, that being someone that doesn’t cry much I ki I’ve, I’ve stood up to do speeches at funerals and cannot do it. I’ll weep. I’ll weep a weep. My brother who’s probably like, He’s very, very strong guy, but like in a kind, much, much kinder way than me.

Like he’s very soft and calm. He, he can, he can handle those situations in ways that I can’t. So it’s almost like my lack of ability to be soft in other areas at previously in life, I think I’m probably a bit better now, but I mean, I think his ability to express himself more allows him to actually do really tough emotional stuff better than me occasion.


Miriam Gunn: I, I think that these [00:20:00] are skillsets we never think of- oh, your ability to feel emotion or express, express emotion is a skillset, but it is. And I used to, this was years and years ago. I used to lead court- ordered domestic violence therapy groups. And those guys, I, I grew to just care for each of them so much.

You could see the hurt little boy in them. And it was exactly as you mentioned, Cal, you know, the anger was a secondary emotion, and underneath it was sadness or fear or regret. Embarrassment. All, I mean, all sorts of emotions. Like there was this kaleidoscope or rainbow of emotions that got turned into only one thing.

Talk About Emotions

It was like, you know, if the only thing you’ve got is a hammer, all your world looks like a nail. And that’s how it played out. And what you’re describing with your brother, you know, he just, he [00:21:00] a, he’s a different person, but b, he acquired a different set of tools and he handles them differently.

I have the flip problem where I was raised in a household that was full of anger and so I don’t express anger ever. And people are like, oh my gosh, what makes you really angry? I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t get angry. I just, I mean the, the, if I get super, super angry- years ago, it might make me cry.

I just get silent. It’s like, you know, those like anenomes in the ocean, you touch ’em and they just go, that’s like my response to that sort of thing.

So this is a fun and interesting discussion about these emotions. Obviously if you were to say, I mean, my family knows well enough, the quieter I am, the angrier I am, and they’ll just go, whoa, she is losing it.

Because I’m just,

Elaine Lajuenesse: yeah. [00:22:00]

Callum Wilson: Elaine, how about, how about you? Any thoughts going on?

[00:22:05] Other Emotions

Elaine Lajuenesse: Yeah, I think there’s, there’s so much common le live experience here. Mm-hmm. Because I’m like Miriam. When I am really angry, I totally clammed out. At the same time, I have lots of energy. And so I will go and walk very fast or do something like just to get the energy out of me.

I also know that any decision I’ve made in under the anger is, was a really bad decision. So, so I’ve learned to kind of try to take a distance. Yeah. It’s a, it’s interesting, eh, because you, you, you don’t, you meet stranger, like we are strangers I’ve met maybe four months ago, and then just when you scratch a surface, there’s so much [00:23:00] commonality between all of us.

Hmm. It’s fascinating to me.

Callum Wilson: Yeah. So this is something happened for me. I realize, so I keep referring to like an old version myself, but before I got  the truth is I don’t think I really knew who I was. I was talking about having the courage to be myself, but I didn’t have the kind of knowledge around what is the survivor like, the egoic part of me that is, is fueling the frustration, the sadness, the anger, and what is the real version of me.

And so for years it was just like this really reactive state. When I refer back to, I didn’t used to, it’s because I was just constantly in an egoic reactive state with everything. And, and that was anger. But quite often manifested as anger.

But actually like [00:24:00] now when I feel anger, and we talked about it on our last call, like, you know, that framework that I said, I go,

oh, have I not accepted myself?

Better Version of You

Have I not believed in others? Have I not contributed? Have I just not had the courage to say what I think?

And I can suddenly find the real, well, the, the, the higher, the better version of myself and detach from the little, the little boy who acts out of fear and all those things. But now I can, now I kind of understand that I’m this, I’m the secondary voice, the responder.

It all feels a lot easier than it did, but I didn’t understand what was going on in my head before. It was just that first voice that’s like react, react, react, react, whatever that means. Whether that means like people please, or whether it means be angry, whatever it was, I didn’t, I don’t really understand why and like who it was coming from, whether it was coming from my head or from my heart.

And now I know that my heart is abundant [00:25:00] and all the decisions that come from the best version of me are basically with like love and understanding probably right? But all of the versions that come from here, They’re, they’re very reactive and sometimes they’re really nice, but it’s quite often they’re, they’re angry and stuff like that.

So think in the last few years, like I’ve got emotionally, like you talking about Miriam, my brother, having different skillset set now that I can find myself, like the best, the real of me, in my essence, I, I feel like way less angry and I don’t even need to have to handle the anger in some ways cuz I’m like, oh, that’s, that’s just that little boy.

Do you know what I mean?

Elaine Lajuenesse: Feel like I, it feels like you’re starting to love yourself Callum.

[00:25:46] Love Yourself

Callum Wilson: Yeah. Well, yeah, I guess so because yeah, I guess so. A few months ago I was like, I accept myself. I dunno if I love myself, but now, because the way I look at it is like, I love you guys. I love [00:26:00] Lucy, my partner.

I love my mom and dad. I kind of love everyone. So, and I think I am part of everyone, so I ki I kind of have to love myself.

I also understand like the versions of me that once were, and I understand they’re just doing their best. I feel like a massive compassion to the angry guy or the, yeah, the defensive guy or the guy that didn’t quite, wasn’t quite himself in his rugby career.

It’s not like I don’t regret it. I, it got me here to be able to have this great conversation mm-hmm. With you guys. It got me to be on the program that we’re all on. It got me to coaching, so I love all of it. Yeah. Yeah. The answer is, Yes, I do.

Miriam Gunn: Oh, that’s so good.

This is so good. And I’m really glad you bounced back and said it’s not so much that I didn’t have the courage, I didn’t have the knowledge because when you were talking about this, you know, 40 minutes ago, [00:27:00] I was like, you have more courage than anybody I know.

You’re facing stuff head on. It had nothing to do with courage. You didn’t know any better. And I also appreciate your compassion for that earlier version of you. He was just doing the best he could. And sometimes I look at decisions in my life and I go, Ugh. And then I have to wait, say, hang on a second.

Doing Your Best

You were doing the best you could with what you had, with the resources you had and the knowledge you had, and. You know, I was doing the best I could with what I had at the time.

And Elaine, I assumed the same of you as well.

Each of us as people, you know, nobody. If one of my professors in my therapy space, I was arguing with her about somebody doing something and why were they doing this and this didn’t make any sense and blah blah.

And she really stopped [00:28:00] me and said, Miriam, people’s actions, if you understood their internal context, they always make sense. You know, which even goes back to what you said earlier, Cal, about, you know, people doing evil things.

I also did some work with juvenile sex offenders, and when you understood their context, Hmm.

It made sense. Didn’t mean it was the right thing to do. It didn’t mean there wasn’t a wake of destruction that came from it, but you could see how their brain got from here to here to here, you know?

And this business of Elaine, what you said, Cal, it seems like you love yourself. And then Call, you say, well, I accept myself.

I’m beginning to love myself. Yeah. Actually, I guess I love myself.

Goodness and Joy

Look at the goodness that ripples out from that and the joy,

Callum Wilson: my thought when I got asked the question, but I was like, am I about, I’ll tell you what, because if you [00:29:00] asked me and this wasn’t recorded, I’d be like, yeah, I love myself. But I thought about people.

I thought this was recorded. And it was only as I caught myself realizing I was holding myself back cuz people would hear this, I was like, I’ve just gotta say it cause it’s true. So yeah, I, I, I think that actually I kind of do, but I just, I yeah, sort of, and this is actually to the point where I agree with you that I did my best and, and we all probably did.

And we can be compassionate.

[00:29:27] Courage

Callum Wilson: But I, and when I speak about courage, the courage is framed through the courage to be disliked by the people and the courage to fail by being myself as well. I, I see. Yeah. That’s, that’s why I lack courage. I, I lack the courage for someone to tell me they didn’t like me. I let the courage to throw a pass or do something in a game of rugby that might result in bad things.

And I, I know how naturally human that is, because if you’re not like social death leads to biological death. Failure could [00:30:00] lead to people starving.

I, I understand it, but I do know deep down that there was a voice in me that was like, no, this isn’t right. Say what you think. And I, and I, I do. So yeah. I, whilst I understand why I do, I do, I do really think that there was, like, there was still choices going on is, and I, I did make those choices.

Elaine Lajuenesse: And yet you made the courageous one once again.

Callum Wilson: Yeah. Oh, just now I was saying I love myself. Yeah, yeah,

Miriam Gunn: yeah.

You know, this is such a good phrase. There were still choices going on. I, I appreciate the tension between giving your previous self not a pass, but grace, you know? Mm-hmm. I, my previous self was doing the best that he could.

In my case, my previous self was doing the best that she could, and yet there were a series of choices I made. That led to a series of sadnesses, [00:31:00] and I could have made different choices, and I didn’t.

Making Different Choices

And you know, Elaine, you were saying, could my 24 year old self have done that? I don’t know if my 24 year old self could have, I’m standing and saying, could my 24 or 30 year old self have made those different choices?

And it’s sort of like, yes and no. I don’t know. It’s that, that’s one of those spaces where do I believe in myself to know if I could have, I would’ve, I would like to believe that I would’ve. So how do we hold ourselves accountable for those things and give ourselves compassion and grace, because Yeah, Cal, you didn’t have the courage for those various things you mentioned, but.

Had you had the courage, had it been within you, the skillset you would have, you just hadn’t learned it yet.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Okay. I wanna bring another [00:32:00] dimension here because, you know, we talk about this, but I, 16 year old was really brave. My 16 year old was really bold and, and, and that person made a, a lot of really good decision.


So at that time, for that period of time and, and based on the information they had, so like, I don’t think the, that per, that 16 year olds could have made the decision to be a coach at that time. Hmm.

But they made, they still made a lot of really, really good decision. Mm-hmm. They made the decision or carrier that I was, sorry, I thought I was gonna take, made the decision to save money.

They like all of these things. They made different type of decision and I’m, I’m a true believer that you do the things when the timing is right for you. Mm-hmm. And, and to ask like the version of 16 or [00:33:00] 24 to make this decision. It was not the right time.

Callum Wilson: Yeah. A lot of what I’m experiencing in my life now wouldn’t have made sense to me at, at that time I was just gonna, I brought my phone up not to, I, I wanted to read something that I, I wrote that I sometimes share with people that probably explains how I feel about that younger version of myself.

So it’s about like whether we actually make mistakes or whether we just get information. Basically

[00:33:32] Failure

Callum Wilson: I said we’re, we’re able to make the decisions we currently can because of the information we got from the past. Failure gave us the information to be who we are. Today. When I critique, critique my mistakes, number one, I’m looking at the, in, at the situation with information and clarity that I didn’t have before, but I’ve got new information that I didn’t have then number two, I’m assuming that person back then is me. It’s not. I’m me now, not today, a week, month, a year ago. I’m not a 16 year old that made mistakes. I’m not the 20 year old that made mistakes. I’m not the 30 year old that didn’t have the courage. I’m me right now. Number three, the actions from previous versions of me mean I now have the information to make better decisions.

That’s a massive one for me. Number four, the mistakes I make now are going to give me the information. So in my current state, the mistakes that I make today are gonna give me the information to make even better decisions in the future. It allows me to relax into difficult times, especially knowing I can handle the worst outcome.

And number five given I always did my best and I’m in a good place now, I can’t critique form a versions of myself, Ned negatively actually. I feel compassionate and love.  I’ve since added a six, which is that [00:35:00] like I couldn’t look at all of that and then apply that to other people and just go, you are just getting the information that you need to get to where you need to be.

You are exactly where you need to be. Those mistakes are exactly the mistakes you need to make.

Self Compassion

Da dunno if that I, I sometimes copy and paste that to clients just as a like little checklist so that you’re not, so that you can find that compassionate self compassionate.


Elaine Lajuenesse: I love this and it reminds me what my, my husband says about his children.

Like, you know, your raise children to have the same value that you have, but they don’t have the same experience, so how can they be? Yeah.

Miriam Gunn: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Well that sounds like something that needs to be on a poster. Yeah. That’s a good, that’s a good and wise saying, Cal, what you just read feels to me like such a kindness to your younger self.

You know? Mm-hmm.

Callum Wilson: Yeah. Have you guys had much of that [00:36:00] coaching where you are like, talk to your younger self? Not

Elaine Lajuenesse: much.

Miriam Gunn: I’m, I’m really trained in something called Internal family Systems, and so I, I do it with people all the time and it’s so powerful. Mm. So, so powerful and all of my work with other people in that way I think taught me how to do it for younger Miriam.

Mm. Because she really was just doing the best she could.

Listen to Yourself

Callum Wilson: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I had a really weird one. I was like talking to my younger self in my classroom and I was like young and he was like really angry and misunderstanding and then he turned into like me, but before I had a beard and he’s kind of like, we are facing each other.

And I was like, I’m gonna win the fight, mate, but if we both hit each other, we’re both gonna hurt. I’m, you are gonna lose, but I’m, it’s not. And [00:37:00] we’re gonna have to keep doing that for the rest of our lives. And eventually sort of came to the agreement with him. I was like, look, I fucking really love that you stood up for me, but like, I’ve got this.

And he’s just like, thanks so much for like, recognizing that. And I said to him, what, what do you advise me to do now? And he goes, you know that you’ve got the right answers. Like, just listen to yourself. Don’t listen to me, but I’ll, I’ll be here, but like, you can, he basically, my younger self gave me permission to trust my intuition.

And then he turned into like, little, little boy again. It was, it was bizarre. I was lying on this sofa, like, what is going on as this coach took me forever, but it was like the best thing, the best, probably the best thing I’ve ever done really in terms of coaching because I, I just totally like, Yeah, that self-compassion just allowed, he, my ego kind of released me in some ways.

[00:38:00] Past Experience

Miriam Gunn: Ah, I love that so much. I have an example that’s radically different, but similar in form. So I have a lot of medical trauma in my background and I went into the ear, nose and throat person to just have them look in my throat and tell me something. And she said, yeah, okay, we’re gonna inject you with this and then we’re gonna spray this, and then we’re gonna do this scope.

And I was like, hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. I just came in to have a conversation and I just want you to look in my throat. She said, no, I can’t see your vocal cords without this, that, or the other. And my younger self, who is the one who went through the medical trauma, was freaking out. And I knew my present day self could muscle her into it.

I mean, I’m paying who knows how much for this appointment, and this is the thing that needs to happen. And an earlier version of myself would’ve said, suck it up Miriam, and just do it. You can do it. It’s fine. But I’ve learned to be kind to [00:39:00] that earlier version of myself who was traumatized in all the medical things.

And I said to the doctor, Hey, I’m willing to come back and do this test, but there’s a piece of me that’s traumatized by medical things. And while I could make myself do it, I’m not going to, because that’s not kind to that version of myself. What I told her is, we were coming in and having a conversation, so that’s what I’ll do today.

Honoring Yourself

And she was like, okay. And then she charged me, I think $257 for, for that like five minute thing. But it didn’t matter. I walked out of there triumphant because I didn’t let somebody else’s expectation of what needed to happen. I didn’t let that force me into bullying me. You know? Mm-hmm. I honored the me who went through that other stuff, and boy, I’ll tell you, I’m super glad I did because then two weeks later I had to do a whole bunch [00:40:00] of medical tests and I was like, you got this.

You’re fine. Just breathe. Mm-hmm. No, I wasn’t like anxious, like I wasn’t anxious. I was present with that other part of me that needed me to be present, which is Cal, what I heard you doing is you had this conversation with this younger version of you who like showed up and you had a conversation and you showed up and you were kind, but firm didn’t let him take over.

And you had I don’t know, it was a good parental conversation. You were a good parent to him and you gave him what he needed and he responded.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Yeah. Yeah. So, so it sounds like it, it’s a triumphant notes to finish this conversation.

Callum Wilson: Yeah, I, I just, okay. I just want last one, last bit cuz I think this wrap up quite nice.

Love is the Answer

Like what I figured when I gave myself, like in the world, if I look at the [00:41:00] world, I don’t think war and hate and fighting is probably the answer to happiness. I think that love is probably the answer externally. We’re like, if I’m just part of nature and nature’s answer should is love, then how could I not treat myself the same so I could even be at war with myself, which is not what I think’s best for everyone else.

Or I can like be in love with myself and that be the, you know, do you understand what I mean? It’s kind of like the same answer for everyone else, has to be the same answer for me, cuz I am one with everyone else. So love is the answer.

Elaine Lajuenesse: That sounds like a great way. That’s a good way to end.

Callum Wilson: Oh, guys, I really, really appreciate you coming on.

Miriam Gunn: This was a really uplifting conversation. That’s great. I appreciate both of you guys are so amazing.

Elaine Lajuenesse: I have to say. I’m,

Callum Wilson: that was awesome. Thank you so much.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Okay. I’ll have good rest of the day guys.

Miriam Gunn: [00:42:00] Bye. Absolutely. Bye-bye.


End Credits


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Being vs. Doing: Part 1 – Transcript

Being vs. Doing – Callum Wilson, Elaine Lajuenesse, and Miriam Gunn

Callum, Elaine, Miriam, Pt 1

 [00:00:00] I’m super excited to try something incredibly different, at least for me. I enjoyed doing all of the interviews, but I also think that the format was getting a little bit stale.

And so we are going to spend the next three months doing something a little bit different. I’m going to have conversations in here between high level coaches. I’m going to have examples of coaching.

And I might do snippets from other interviews that I have been a part of, or even other interviews that I’ve done.

It’s going to be a little bit of a free for all. And I would love to hear from you guys what it is that you enjoy or don’t enjoy of this new format.

So this next interview or conversation actually.

Is part of a larger 90 minute conversation that my friend, Callum Wilson, Elaine whose last name I can’t say because she’s French Canadian and is wonderfully French [00:01:00] and myself- we are going to have a conversation about being versus doing, and you might think, well, what does this have to do with self-development or business?

Actually it has everything to do with it.

And i know as astute listeners you will be able to make the translation as to how this can benefit your life. So welcome.

[00:01:22] Introductions

Miriam Gunn: My name is Miriam Gunn and I live in the Western United States. I am a transformational coach, primarily for entrepreneurs and high performers, and I’m so excited for this conversation.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Awesome, Elaine. Okay. I’m Elaine Naes and I’m starting to own the word coach. And I don’t know that I have a label, like I know I say executive coach, but I, I love change, so maybe I’m transformation and I’ve just heard last week that I was a life coaching, which kind of really kind of puzzled me cuz I don’t think I’m a life coach, but maybe I.[00:02:00]

Callum Wilson: Cool. Yeah. I’m Callum. I help people beat all of themselves so they can create deep happiness and high performance. In what ways? I do that a bit like Elaine. I’m not too sure. It’s a mixture of a lot of things. But yeah, it’s, it’s about helping people create that deep happiness and high performance that I think comes from embodying all of them themselves.

Okay. So my, my topic was “purpose”. And I wanted to start by asking you both what purpose means to you.

So maybe Elaine, what, what does purpose mean to you?

Meaning of Purpose

Elaine Lajuenesse: That’s such a great question. For me it’s a, it means to serve

because first too long I’ve just been grinding. Mm-hmm. In, in the second purpose for me is to have real conversation. I [00:03:00] am so fed up with the superficial conversation where I was just reading a post today about somebody saying, you know, you answer, how are you with fine, without even thinking.

and what I love about what I do now is people show up, how they show up, no filters. I’m lucky my client trusts me, but. This is so refreshing and I’m feeling that y I yearn, is it yearn, is it an English word? Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yearning to, to really just have this conversation all the time. Like, I meet somebody and I’m going deep into how are you in what’s going on in your life?

So that’s the purpose for me.

Miriam Gunn: Mm.

I appreciate that. I love that so much. I, this a quote is attributed to all sorts of people mark Twain and quite a few other people, but -The [00:04:00] two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day, you know why?

And I think that so many people are struggling with this question of purpose. Why am I on this planet?

And I, I don’t think it becomes acute until you hit midlife. Definitely younger people are asking the question, what am I gonna do? But it seems like as you mature into a different space, it, it shifts from what am I gonna do to who am I gonna be and why?

Why am I here?

[00:04:37] Why am I here?

Miriam Gunn: So one of the things that I think is A pro thought provoking, a provocative kind of exercise is to look at your lifespan and to see what sort of things have I done consistently throughout my lifespan. And that gives insight into purpose, you know, and you find that some [00:05:00] people will say, well, this was my job in my twenties and this was my job and this was my job.

But all through those times I was doing this activity.

And I think that’s my calling, which I find kind of purpose and calling are an interesting dialogue between those two words.

What do you think, Cal?

Callum Wilson: Yeah. Oh, I I guess I wanted to bring it up because I wanted to have a better, I wanted to think about it myself, to be honest, cuz I wasn’t too sure.

And I think purpose for me, I think the number one, probably human purpose is happiness.

A and the second one is a contribution, which is in line with what Elaine said about service, really. Mm-hmm.

But in line with what you said, Miriam, I think that happiness comes from being not doing. So if I had happiness and [00:06:00] contribution as my two, or the purposes that I, the, the first one happiness comes from being from, from being my true self.


And then the second bit contribution, I don’t necessarily think I could decide it for myself because so much of this just comes from, I can’t like think, oh yeah, I’m gonna be I’m gonna contribute like this, this, and this. I, I think nature kind of just tells me how I’m gonna do it, you know? So I let, it’s kind of like letting nature tell me what I’m gonna do and I can’t really describe that other than a feeling.

A lot of my ideas just come out of the middle of nowhere, don’t really feel like I own them. So happiness through being and contribution through whatever I’m kind of being guided towards.

 Does that ring any bells with anyone here?

Elaine Lajuenesse: Like to me it’s a challenge. I have to be very honest cuz I spend so many years in business where being is made [00:07:00] very, very small.

Like everyone tells you that they want you to bring your, their authentic self to work. That’s not really true. That’s a dirty little secret there. But the reality is that you get really busy with doing a lot of things, and some of them make you happy. I was really happy when I had a busy day. I was less happy when it was a grinding day where it’s, let’s just go through the motion and doing all that activity that, you know, add no values.

So, so, and, and I, a lot of my clients, because we coach people are like us. I’m, my clients are all here and not at all here. And I’m learning to trust that part a lot more. But it’s a very difficult challenge. It’s hard to be, it’s hard to be, it’s really easy to think. Yeah.

Practice Being Authentic

Miriam Gunn: Yeah. I would agree with that. I think it takes practice to learn how to be, unless your parents [00:08:00] have taught you that space.

Going back to what you were saying, Cal, and then I want to bounce back to your comments, Elaine. This notion of, is your purpose created by you or is it in you and discovered by you, or is it, you know, out there? And the universe creates God, in the universe, creates, you know, scenarios. That’s a very thought-provoking and challenging thing for me to wrap my brain around.

I come from a deeply held spiritual tradition that would say God has placed in you a purpose and it’s your life’s exercise to discover it. And of course, other people think and believe very different things and but I will bounce into that space.

I’m gonna use the word joy more than happiness. When you are living out your purpose, you experience joy.

I would, I would, yeah just like [00:09:00] wave a flag over that for sure. You know, for each of you, when have you experienced that happiness or joy where you were like, oh, I’m doing what I was meant to do, or being who I was meant to be.

[00:09:19] Who am I Meant to Be?

Callum Wilson: Yeah. Well, my, my answer is pretty much the second question that you asked, like, being who I’m meant to be. That is when I feel joy and it, it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing. My deepest joy is that unfiltered version of myself where I’m giving all of me to the situation. And I’m not, it’s not, I’m not thinking like, what’s the best for me?

What am I gonna do here? I’m just like, from a place of being, I’m just doing, I’m not kind of having to, there’s nothing personal about that, that space for me. And just to link back, I think to probably what Elaine was was saying about the, [00:10:00] the kind of, I know you come from a business background, Elaine, and, and like my experience in sport is, is is pretty intense as well.

And there’s just, they don’t care who you are being, like, they’ll pick awful people least authentic versions as long as they get results.

So I think you sort of mentioned it’s very hard to come from the being, but for me, like I, I lacked the courage to, to be the type of person I wanted to be during my career.

I was so worried about what people thought about what I was doing. I forgot about being entirely almost, and I. I was sort of like being who I thought other people wanted to be, to be. And I, and the funny, funny thi thing with that is like over a long cur, over a longer period of time that actually reduced my performance.

Being All of You

So in some ways I kind of lacked the courage to be myself, which actually dropped the performance, which is what I was being judged on any how. [00:11:00] So it’s kind of a funny situation, but I didn’t really have the courage to, to bring all of me to it, to say what I thought to play, really to play the way I wanted to play.

I was so worried about what other people thought of it. It became a filtered version of me. So yeah. Ellen, I, I know Miriam asked us a question there, if you wanna grab a hold of that.

Elaine Lajuenesse: so it’s an interesting question. Cuz like you Callum I used to to say, I don’t care what business I lead, as long as I lead people.

And that was my happy place. Mm-hmm. And I would say that for most of my career, I was trying, I was really, judged. I was, I guess my assessment from my boss was the overriding, I was judging my worth based on the fact that he was, oh, he or she told me that I was meeting expectation or exceeding expectation.

And if I was [00:12:00] not exceeding expectation, it was devastating.


And then to your point, Miriam, when I got to my fifties and I said, screw that. Like I’m not letting one person determining if I’m good or not, or if I’m doing the right thing or not. There was a lot of freedom that came with that, and then it didn’t get attached to will they fire me?

Most likely. Hmm. But am I doing the right thing for the team, for the organization and for myself and sometimes in that order? Absolutely. And was, I had, like, I decided at some point that there was two things that I wanted to, to really be. The first one is I wanted to be able to look at the person in the mirror and feel joy or proud.

And the other thing is that I wanted to treat people the way that I wanted to be treated. Yeah. [00:13:00] And, and I didn’t even think it was courageous cause they just said, okay, I w wouldn’t have been able to do this at 24.

[00:13:08] Being vs. Doing

Miriam Gunn: You know, Elaine, what you’re saying when Cal was talking and now when you were talking, I’m so curious.

I wish I could put you guys in an a functional m r I machine when you’re really being, versus when you’re doing and seeing which parts of the brain light up.

And when you say, Elaine, I couldn’t do that as a 24 year old. I, I just don’t think our brains are even fully developed and what makes me think, you know, bouncing into your story, Cal, I’m wondering who was yelling at you in the midst of all of this rugby- coaches and other players and the expectations and there was no emotional safety and being able to be versus [00:14:00] do requires some form of emotional safety that you then either you- each of us has created that by pulling out of those various spaces and saying, this is toxic and I’m gonna do something different.

I do think people manage to stay in organizations and create their own safety, but that’s something I’m thinking about is how do we create psychological safety so that we can be our best selves, and how do we create that for the people around us so that we can serve and help them be their best selves?

That’s something that this conversation is kind of stirring in me

Elaine Lajuenesse: and, and to me. You know, you didn’t ask me, but I’ll just jump in. This is how

Miriam Gunn: we’re doing this. We’re, we’re all jumping in to,

Elaine Lajuenesse: to me, this is these two principles that I mentioned, like looking at yourself and treating others the way you wanna be treated.

Being Yourself

Mm. To me, this is how you do [00:15:00] it. That’s how you create safety. Mm-hmm. And, and delivering on what you say.

Miriam Gunn: Mm, keeping your word. Keeping your words.


Callum Wilson: I, I couldn’t I kind of wanna, I don’t wanna retract what I said, but I wanna make it clear that like, I, I, I feel like I lack the courage to be myself.

Don’t think there’s anything toxic, per se within rugby. I, I think it was, it was me. I wouldn’t like to blame anyone else cuz no one said, I, I think I kind of, I mean, hmm. I’m gaining experiences throughout my life that have led me to potentially see things. But at, at, at the end of the day, I, I, I don’t believe in sort of determinism.

I think I, I can be who I want to be in every moment, and I chose not to be the fullest version of myself. So yeah. I, but I think when I, think about where that came from I, there’s undercurrents in it, in, in, in a [00:16:00] lot of we’ve already spoken about this, but maybe I, I’ve sort of mentioned this to the group, that like in Western cultures, a lot of it is around you kind of, you feel more able, more loved and more complete as a result of doing things.

You’re constantly getting rewarded for doing, doing, doing. And so by the time I got to rugby, cuz I’m not coming, I wasn’t coming from a place of like, I’m complete, I don’t need to prove myself, what you might call abundance. Cuz I wasn’t coming from that place. I was constantly feeling incomplete and feeling like I needed to do things to get there.


And then, because other people were, because that that doing was being judged by other people in my mind, not through self approval, which is that looking in the mirror, that self approval part. I, I was kind of like flipping, flipping a coin in heads or tails, whether it was gonna be. I was gonna feel good after doing or not because it was someone else’s opinion.

And, and really I think the answer for me would be like, if I understood that I was enough as a [00:17:00] base and then, and then whatever I did in terms of actions, I could, if I could have judged it myself through self approval, that would’ve been, that would’ve been the key to me to get into that. Like deep joy coming from enough and then self approval of the doing.

Whereas I kind of externalized a lot of it and lost control of my ability to feel happy in myself and feel happy about my performance. Like sometimes I knew I played well and then someone would be like, oh, no, you didn’t, and it would make you cr crumble. Or I play badly, and someone would be like, oh, you played really well.

And I’ll change how I, I literally changed how I valued myself between then and the next game, which is like, it’s a crazy way to live.

Knowing You’re Enough

And, and what, what, you know, just to, just to explain, I was like, so I, I know you guys are, so in North America, there’s not heaps of rugby, but like, I was playing rugby and I wasn’t playing because I was excited to do things.

I was, [00:18:00] well, like, oh, I really want to throw that pass. I was like, I’m worried about what people are gonna say if I mess this up. So, mm-hmm. That’s, that’s what was going on for me. I was, I was so worried about mistakes, which is coming from complete lack. It’s all ego, it’s all, it’s coming from complete scarcity.

Whereas if I could have come from a place of knowing I was enough, because, you know, like, you guys are enough, you don’t need to prove yourselves to me. The postman doesn’t need to prove themselves to me. Why am I the only person in the world that needs to prove themselves to me? Yeah. De that’s sort of my chain of thought.

I dunno if anyone’s got any resonance

Miriam Gunn: with that.

[00:18:35] The Game of Life

Miriam Gunn: Yeah, no, I have some questions that I wanna ask and of course you can defer, but I, I think each of us finds us in places that are similar, different context. You know, I haven’t played rugby, but I’ve definitely been in that game where I’m wondering what the other person’s going to think and, you know, I play big or small based on that.

What changed for you or what helped you understand this is the way [00:19:00] I am playing and I wanna play differently? Not rugby, but the game of life.

Callum Wilson: Hmm. I realized that it’s funny, but I got injured and had to change career, but I dunno if i’d, I dunno when I would’ve got there in my rugby career, but leaving it, I was like, I don’t want to be in that situation again mentally.

And someone mentioned already that freedom. I didn’t create mental freedom for myself. That’s on me. I didn’t have the courage to have mental freedom. But leaving it and going on this journey, even at the start of coaching, I was very like remedial with how I was going about it. You will do this and that will make you happy, hard work works, all of this sort of stuff.

And as I’ve just gone deeper, I guess the answer for me is realizing that like, this is gonna get deep, but I think we’re probably all the same thing. Really. Like not feeling separate to the world, but feeling part of it allows me to be myself really. I don’t, when I think [00:20:00] of myself as this individual, life can get really hard.

Being More of Yourself

But when I think about us as a collective and just expressing us all coming from. In, in some form of unity. It allows me to be myself more so I think living life a lot less personally. If that, if you see what I mean. Actually Elaine, just I’ll hand over to you, but you said when you are at your best, you do the right thing for all.

Like when you grew in those environments and you were doing the right thing for the organization or what felt right. That’s exactly it. It’s not thinking about you singular. It’s like us. As soon as I start thinking like that, I can really, yeah. It’s not about me anymore. And I can give I love that you said doing the right thing for all allowed you to be sort of like, look in the mirror.

I can’t remember the exact quote, but I think that’s what you’re getting at. Am I right in thinking about

Elaine Lajuenesse: Yeah, I think you’re right. I think it’s just, it’s, it’s about feeling like, to me it was getting out of my head like, [00:21:00] so what if this particular boss doesn’t value what I bring? I don’t know what they want, but I see how they behave and that’s not the behavior that I wanna do.

And if, for me to be successful in this environment, I have to be that way. I don’t wanna do, I don’t wanna get on that train. Hmm. And I’ve seen a lot of clients do this like, I don’t know about you, but like I have a, it’s not even client colleagues where, you know, their boss asks them to do something that’s totally against their grain, totally against their value.

Place of Fear

Because they come from a place of fear. They do it, it impacts their brand. You know, and I, that’s one of the things I teach now to people. Like even if your boss is the biggest asshole of this planet, and I’m sorry, but French speaking, not really get offended with words like this. And you still have a [00:22:00] choice of how you execute their ask.

You can be like them or you can be different. Mm. You’re still doing what they want, but the how is always in your control. Mm-hmm. But that’s something I didn’t really appreciate until I detached myself from wanting to be loved and appreciated by the person who owned the pen on my paycheck.


Callum Wilson: Miriam, have you got any thoughts?

[00:22:37] Locus of Control

Miriam Gunn: Well, both of you are talking about, I’m gonna use the word internal and external locus of control. Where are we saying ownership of our lives exists. You know, is ownership of Miriam is a worthwhile person? Does that exist outside of me? In other  words, you know, Cal, if you say, I suck, or Elaine, if you say, I don’t like you anymore, does that mean I’m a terrible person?

That would be external locus of control. Internal locus of control is I know who I am and I know what I bring, and my desire is to bring goodness to each of you. You know, it’s a completely different feeling. And I think each of you have referenced that in a variety of different ways. It’s something I think about all the time.

Am I outsourcing my, I don’t really like to use the word power, but maybe my power to act or my power to choose. Am I outsourcing that or am I continuing to move that inside and say, I get to choose how I respond. I get to choose how I act or don’t act. I get to choose.

And I really don’t think unless you’re taught that so many of us don’t get to that space until midlife, which I [00:24:00] think is a shame.

Why, why were we not taught this? You know,

Elaine Lajuenesse: a lot of teenagers are, are teenagers and young adult are lacking so much confidence. And it’s not because they grew up in a big family like me, where, you know, you needed to, whoever were the fittest with us or wherever, survival mode, not survival because you’re not loved, but just that, you know, there’s not that much attention on, on any of us.


Like in my life, when I look around in the, in, you know, I’ve, I’ve mentored a lot of very young people, like in their early twenties to early to early thirties. There’s a lack of belief in themself. They have options that we never dreamed of. And really, it’s really interesting to see. I was you know, I don’t know if I, if [00:25:00] she’s not a she’s a friend and she’s a new mother, and I just ha just heard to say I am a great mother, and I forced her to say it and she was crying.

She’s like a wonderful mother and she, like any kid would be happy to have her as a mother. So I guess I agree with you, Miriam, that it’s hard to do when you’re in your twenties and thirties and I don’t understand it. They have so much more opportunity. They’re so much con, much more connected and there’s, they seem to be somewhat less materialistic and, and sometimes

Miriam Gunn: more, I guess.

Callum Wilson: Yeah, it’s interesting. A lot of people around my age, I’m 32, are, I don’t know if lockdown and Covid really might have actually sped up this process

I think it’s also the thing that allows you to eventually be yourself cuz you’re just like whatever. I don’t like I’m fed up of, of living up to other people’s expectations. And I, [00:26:00] I think Covid showed a lot of people like, geez, I was about to go down a 20, 30 year career, which wasn’t gonna be on my term.

So like, right. I’m just gonna create something new.

[00:26:11] Moving Forward

Callum Wilson: So I’m having a lot of those types of conversations with people in their early thirties, which I think is probably quite early. It’s almost like a midlife crisis, but slightly before midlife. I wrote down that I think, I think just love for people in general is, is, is so conditional in our world and I think that is a massive problem from the day you go to school.

It’s like you are valued more or less according to your skill level in maths or whatever. And you are literally made to feel more special and more worthy according to results.

And I think that conditional way of being I, I, I, I, I prefer the idea of instead of approving doing, I prefer the idea of appreciating being, and if we can [00:27:00] always appreciate people being themselves.

And I feel like that is a key to us moving forward in a world where people don’t get stuck in these states of like, proving themselves or worrying so much about what other people think. If they just felt great because they are great. Cuz everyone deep down is like, we’re all this, we’re all in this together.

If they could all feel that unconditional love, I, I think that would allow a lot of us to express our best selves. And then I thought it was really interesting, Elaine, you said it’s about how you do things and and, and you were talking about the boss could tell you what to do, and then it’s, you get to choose how to, how you respond.

And part of me almost tackles that question, thinking about like who you respond as.


When your ego flares up, you can either respond from that place worrying about what they think inside you is like all that she, the shadow version of Callum.

Or it can be, I’m doing this cuz it’s right. No matter what [00:28:00] you think about it.

So I agree it can, you can do the same thing, but it just comes from a different place. One comes from your head and one comes from your heart.

My experience is actually when you, when it comes from the true self, like when it comes from your heart, it’s normally filled with energy.

And when it comes from like bowing down to a, a boss or an intimidating person or whatever, it’s an energy taker.

So I, I found that quite interesting. Thought.

Elaine Lajuenesse: Should we talk about love because

Callum Wilson: Yeah. Okay.

Miriam Gunn: You know, because Sounds good to me.

Okay guys. I hope you’ve found that to be interesting and thought provoking.

I split the episode here, stay tuned next week. We’ll drop the same group of people talking about love. I enjoyed this conversation so much and i hope you did as well.


End Credits


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

Full audio episode found here.

Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

All Leave Better podcast episodes can be found here.

Music by Tom Sherlock.

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you are curious to know more, please contact me!

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

Managing Time and Money Transcript – Miriam Gunn

managing time and money

Managing Your Time and Money – Miriam Gunn

 Hey friends, today’s interview is a little bit unusual in that I’m the one being interviewed.

this is an excerpt from the podcast Launchpad with Kelly Smith. We had a lively conversation about

how the undisciplined use of time and money really sabotages yourself and ways that you can do something different.

If you would like to hear the full episode, you can look in the show notes and the link to that will be there.

I hope you enjoy this conversation we had.

Kelly: Welcome to the podcast launchpad, where you’ll learn the tools you need to use your podcast to be a go-to expert in your field, expand your audience, and get more clients. I’m your host Kelly. Enjoy the show

I am really excited to chat with today’s guest because we’re gonna talk about how the undisciplined use of time and money creates stress in our business and in our podcast journey.

Miriam Gunn has fostered growth in others since 1985 as a mentor, a licensed therapist, and a certified coach. Currently, she’s passionate about helping businesses and high performers become successful so they can add their influence to this amazing world we share.

[00:00:43] Why a Coach?

Kelly: So tell us a little about your background and why you decided to become a coach.

Miriam: Well, I, I mean, if I go way, way back, I was mentoring university students, and did that for about 25 years. And in the context of that, so many [00:01:00] times they needed a therapist and I would join them and go with them to therapy or help them figure it out.

And at a certain point I said, why don’t I get this degree?

I look at therapy as, let’s look back and figure out where we got off our path and let’s fix some of that stuff back there. And I look at coaching as, let’s look forward to where we wanna go and land.

And so at that point I got a certification in, coaching- began working with people, loved it, and found out that the people I liked the most to work with were entrepreneurs because entrepreneurs know how to take action, which really is at the heart of coaching.

Then at that point, I got another certification in business coaching specifically, just so I could better serve the business owners I was working with.

Kelly: That’s fantastic.

[00:01:49] The Undisciplined Use of Time and Money

Kelly: So would you give us some examples of the undisciplined use of time or money or other resources?

Miriam: Sure. Let’s, let’s go with two versions of the undisciplined [00:02:00] use of time and then I’ll bounce into the money space.

There is the undisciplined use of time that creates issues, negative issues for the person, like they’re just not good at leaving margin, or they have a magical thinking about what can be done in five minutes. Usually what can be done in five minutes is not a four point list.

So the, the, the five point lists can’t be done in five minutes.

But if you just say, I’m not gonna try and do any of those things. I’m gonna get my keys, I’m gonna get my things. I’m gonna sit in the car for 10 seconds and think, did I leave anything at home before you zip out of the driveway to do your stuff?

That’s a space that really helps people not get frantic. When you’re frantic, you’re secreting adrenaline and cortisol, and now you’re missing stuff. You’re not driving as well or whatever. Or you’re in a. And you’re not thinking clearly. So that’s a space [00:03:00] where an undisciplined use of time like pulls you down.

Being Better

But then there’s an undisciplined use of time where you’re already doing well, but you could do better.

And I think that comes down to the sort of space where you maybe on Sunday look at your week and you plan out your week, and then maybe you batch things like for example, Today, we’re recording on a Monday, which is really unusual for me. Normally, I only do podcast things Tuesday afternoons and Thursday afternoons, and that way my brain knows this is what we’re doing, and when I schedule other things, I schedule them in other places.

The undisciplined use of time, am I doing responsively, not responsibly, but responsively with a V, what it is I’m setting out to do, or am I doing reactionary what they, whoever it is they out there are asking me to do.

So I try not to get into my email until [00:04:00] midday. I try to work on my big projects in the morning. My brain knows this is how my schedule is blocked out. This is where I am going to put my energy, and then I don’t waste a bunch of time to trying to figure out the, the decision making.


Kelly: makes so much sense what you’re saying, so when should, before we get into the money, When should we take a break then?

Miriam: I’ve heard a lot of research say a variety of things. Some people will say 90 minutes, some people will say 50 minutes. I think there are, these, you know, various programs that say X many minutes on and X many minutes off, and.

What Worked Before?

This is my opinion, but I would say work with what worked well with your brain.

My brain wants to be done at 50 minutes. So why don’t I let it, I’m gonna waste the next little bit anyway, so I will often set an alarm for 50 minutes [00:05:00] and then I’ll take 10 minutes and I’ll do something.

I live on a little farm and so I will go out and check on something. I’ll go look for eggs or I’ll put fly masks on animals, or I’ll just take a quick walk around the yard and then get some sunshine and then come right back in and do another 50 minutes.

That’s what works for me, but I think you have to know yourself.

Kelly: Mm-hmm. .

I haven’t done that before, like setting an alarm because I don’t wanna break the flow if I am caught up in something.

Miriam: Yeah.

Again, I think it comes down to knowing yourself. If you’re the kind of person who can get into flow and stay in flow and go two or three hours, my goodness, do it.

Mm-hmm. . Um, if you’re the kind of person whose brain gets fatigued and you need a 10 minute break, and then you come back with like more vigor and the ability to think creatively again than do that.

I, I do think that [00:06:00] we are in the habit of maybe taking direction from everyone outside of ourselves. But there also is a deep knowing inside yourself that sometimes says, I just need a break. Yeah. Gimme a break. And I will go back to working. You know?

Kelly: Yeah.

Very true. So let’s talk about, undisciplined use of money.

[00:06:23] Talking about Money

Miriam: As a therapist, I can tell you that the things that people fight about the most are money and sex. Mm-hmm. . And as a coach, I can tell you as a business coach, I can tell you that if you get yourself into a space where you don’t have enough money to cover your expenses, The stress is through the roof.

Like it’s just visceral because it’s not just you that you’re in charge of. Now, if you’re a company that has team members, employees, now you’re looking at other people’s lives and the, the stress is astronomical. And sadly, it’s not [00:07:00] uncommon when business owners get into this space where they can’t cover their expenses, they, they get suicidal and some of them actually even take their life.

And I’m here to say nothing is worth that. All these problems can be worked out no matter how many zeros are after that number.

But I’m gonna say, you know, dialing this way back to a much smaller space. I encourage people to get into the habit of really understanding their finances and understanding what they’re doing with their money.

There are so many people who are unaware and they just sort of spend, they, you know, if they feel like it, they sort of have a general idea, and if there’s money in the bank, it’s like everything’s good.

Like I said, I’m on a farm, so I have animals. So I have an animal emergency fund, I have a vehicle fund, I have a health fund. And when the money goes in initially, it’s automatically pulled out on such and such a. [00:08:00] I don’t have to think about it.

Money Decisions

But then when, one of my animals needed a, it was an emergency surgery, it was $1,200. I didn’t bat an eye. I just said, yeah, that’s fine. Do do what you need to do to save her life. Mm-hmm. , and it wasn’t stressful.

But when you don’t have that money in those accounts, it’s extremely stressful.

Years ago, I said the ideal scenario is that I never make a decision based on do I have enough money?

I make the decision based off of is this the right decision, whether it’s for the animal or the vehicle or the vacation or whatever. Is this the right decision for my life based on a whole bunch of other principles.

So then I ask the question, how do I set myself up for that?

And the way you set yourself up for it is similar to time. You can be reactionary with your money and just deal with things as they come. Or you can be proactive and responsive and set it up ahead of time. [00:09:00]

So that’s a lot of words, but the principle’s the same, whether it’s you’re an individual or whether you’re a business, it’s just at a different scale. And when you’re looking at businesses, the question really becomes, is my overhead exceeding my cash flow?

And if it is, you’re gonna be uber stressed out and your business isn’t gonna do well.


[00:09:22] Be Proactive

Miriam: Yes. I’m a, I’m a big fan of, it is easier to stay, not stressed than it is to talk yourself off the ledge. Mm-hmm. , you know, whatever’s causing the ledge. This is intuitive with time and not as intuitive with money. But people are amazingly willing to be in the dark.

I know another entrepreneur who lost, I, don’t remember if this was in a quarter or in a month, but it was like $17,000 one quarter or month Then later $13,000 [00:10:00] one quarter or month, mostly because he didn’t have enough time to check his emails and figure out who was supposed to be doing what.

It was entirely avoidable. All he had to do was basically hire someone else to stay on top of that, and he had the resources to do it. He just didn’t get around to the organizational space to do it. He was running so fast fulfilling the business that he wasn’t working on the business so fast fulfilling the business that he wasn’t working on the business.

And I, I guess what I would say for individuals or business owners and I, I would say most are pretty good at having a general idea, but they are not good at having maybe like a quarter by quarter idea of what is happening with our revenue, what is happening with our profit? What is happening with our products?

Which product is making us the most money? Which products do we need to triage, and which ones do we need to basically accelerate going with that 80/ 20 rule? Hmm. That’s on the business side.

The Personal Side of Money

[00:11:00] On the personal side. It’s crazy how many people have high, high credit card debt.

And what’s fascinating about it is it creates so much anxiety that they won’t open the statements, whether it comes electronically or in paper, and they avoid it, and then they of course, make the problem worse, which gives them worse anxiety, and it’s a very, very negative feedback loop.

So open your statements, create a plan. Take action. Don’t put your head in the sand.

Kelly:  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Also with, when you’re mentioning like re in the in business, really look at your products, let’s throw in your services.

I would add and see which ones are costing money. Do you need to promote it more or do you need to start letting it go and, you know, not just let [00:12:00] it peter out, but actually. You know, have it come to a conclusion or things like that. Absolutely. Yeah.

Miriam: Being active in the decision making process rather than being passive and letting just the currents of life float you down the river.

It’s an interesting space because when people get too overwhelmed, they stop taking the vital signs of their life or their business, and that’s where these problems, you know, creep up.

[00:12:28] Don’t Become Your Own Bottleneck

Kelly: So one thing I just thought of, would this be considered another resource that we may not be making great use of? And that would be, team members, you know, whether it’s someone we’ve hired full-time or a virtual assistant, where again, we may not be making best use of them. We’re not giving them enough to do or we’re not providing proper guidance.

Miriam: A lot of times, and it’s never anyone’s intention, those assistants or team members aren’t given, you [00:13:00] know, those maybe tasks. In part because the c e o or the owner doesn’t have enough clarity around them. Like you have to have a system that you can communicate to someone.

I remember hearing moms say this when they were in therapy, and I’ve heard CEOs and owners say the same thing. Oh, it’s so much easier just to do it myself. I don’t have time to teach someone how to do this.

And it is easier in the short term, you know it’s gonna be done right. And you know, there’s truth to that statement, but in the long term, you absolutely cannot grow.

You become your own bottleneck and you burn yourself out.

But teaching someone else to do it is a bit of a process, and you have to be willing to put up with the mess a little bit and also have some iterations around all of that because everybody’s learning.

Kelly: Yeah, do you have [00:14:00] any other suggestions for us or any other tips? What you shared was really great.

[00:14:07] Social Contagion

I do  know that there is kind of a social contagion If you hang around people who are chronically late, you will be chronically late, and if you hang around people who are punctual, you’ll become at least more punctual. If you hang around people who spend money without any sort of sense of, is this in my budget or I’m saving for something, you’ll become a spender Who you hang around with really influences what you do. Because we’re social creatures.

We have this thing in our, in our brain, actually on the back of our retina, we have these mirror neurons and, and also within our brain that cause us to mirror what we see in other people.

So if I smile, you smile, and if I get angry and hostile, you have to work really hard to not get reactive. [00:15:00] and if I’m spending money like crazy, you’re gonna be tempted to buy, you know, something that you might not have done on your own. Mm-hmm . So I guess I would say to people,

pay attention to who you’re hanging around with. Pay attention to what it is you want and start looking for people who are also doing that.

Your Environment

And you know, sometimes that means reading books by people who are doing that, following people on social media who like espouse these ideas.

They don’t have to necessarily be in your physical presence, but you have to put some inputs in that encourage you to make the behavior change and then you reduce, like I have a friend who spends a lot of money on things I would never spend money on, and when I hang out with her, I always end up spending more.

I don’t have to get rid of the friend, I just have to stop going places with her. Mm. And I have another friend who’s incredibly healthy in what she [00:16:00] does. I go to lunch with her because she orders healthy stuff and she reinforces what I’m trying to do in my life.

Kelly: Yeah, that makes sense.

Miriam: Surround yourself with people who are better at what you want to become and you’ll become it.

Kelly: That makes sense. Wonderful. Something to strive for.

[00:16:20] The Leave Better Podcast

Kelly: Awesome. So let’s talk a bit about your podcast, the Leave Better Podcast. What made you decide, decide to start a

Miriam: podcast?

Oh my gosh. Well, I mean, I was, I mean, to be honest, I was a little bit jaded with the kind of conversations I was having. I live in kind of a remote area and I just made the decision.

I wanted to have engaging conversations with people doing extraordinary things, and I thought, well, I’m really interested in self-development. I’d like to magnify my voice and get, you know, away from the [00:17:00] one-to-one and get more into the one to many. And I. I’m gonna win either way because even if nobody listens to it, I’m gonna have engaging conversations with people doing extraordinary things.

So that was my initial, you know, space and I thought, well, any, anything else that it, it happens beyond that is just icing on the cake.

Kelly: From a practical perspective though, what has been the most, like the biggest practical benefit you think you’ve gotten from podcasting so far?

Miriam: I would say probably three. The first benefit is that I had to learn a whole bunch of new technology. I like to learn, but also it’s very difficult to make yourself learn something without a practical application. So I. It’s not gonna stick if you don’t have a reason, at least for me. So I had all sorts of software and actual equipment and best practices [00:18:00] and platforms and this, that, and the other. So I just learned a lot of things and I loved it.

Hiring Help

The second thing, what I would say is I had recently hired an administrative assistant, or I guess I would, I call her my executive a. and I was in the process of that struggle we talked about earlier where it’s easier to do the vacuuming than to teach your kid how to do it.

And it forced me to systematize so many things that I was doing, and the podcast allowed me to do that easier because we were learning together. I hired her right at the time. I started the, well, maybe two months before I started the podcast, or maybe a. and so we were using, are using still a product called Asana as a project management tool.

And I said to her, okay, we’re gonna figure out how to do this, but every time you figure it out, I want you to document it as though you are teaching the next person. Mm-hmm. and I, I just love her to death. And I said, I don’t ever want you to leave my little company, but if you do, [00:19:00] we’re gonna have this documented so the next person is very easy to train. So I loved that benefit. It’s been huge. It’s, and I, I can’t say enough about that. Mm-hmm. .

And then I would say the third thing that I’ve gained from having my own podcast is I have a list of things that I’ve learned from each person that I’ve interviewed. It’s been great because I’m choosing extraordinary people.

It’s been super fun and I have learned so many things. I’ve talked to people from all over the world, and it’s been a, a big win. .

Engaging with People

I love being able to engage with people at a heart level, at a self-development level, and have somebody else come away better.

My whole premise is I want you to come in contact with me and leave better, but then as you’re better, I want you to leave them better your family, your business, and ultimately your world.

There are so many people doing good, but [00:20:00] there are also so many people who are somehow constrained there’s just so much negativity.

And it’s like, no, you can make a difference. Yeah.

Listen to somebody who inspires you and then go inspire someone else. Totally. I don’t know. Yes. I’m, I’m just a big fan of, you’ve only got one life, so do something with it.

Kelly: All of that is so beautiful. I just love everything you said there.

[00:20:26] Finding Miriam

Kelly: So how can listeners find you to learn more about you and your services?

Miriam: I love working with entrepreneurs and high performers, so if you are someone who is passionate about growing, I’m passionate about helping you grow.

I say reach out to me and we’ll have a conversation, and then we decide how to work in a way that fits what it is you’re, you need.

Kelly: Thank you so much, Miriam. This has been fabulous. I really appreciate your being here today.

 Photo credits: Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash


End Credits

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Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

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Music by Tom Sherlock.

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you are curious to know more, please contact me!

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

Risk and Rewards Transcript – Ernest Prabhakar

risk and rewards - ernest prabhakar

Risk and Rewards – Ernest Prabhakar

Ernest Prabhakar

[00:00:00] Hey guys, today I had a little bit of an issue when we first started recording, and so we’re gonna bounce right in here with dr. Ernie Prar. He will introduce himself and I hope you enjoyed the interview,

[00:00:16] Intro to Ernest

Ernie: I’m Dr. Ernie Probhakar. I have a PhD in physics and like many physicists, my generation, I went into management consulting to study the business world, and I went to it with the eyes of a physicist to try to understand how business works. And it was really fun at 40 hours a week and a waste of my life at 80 hours week..

And so looking for something more meaningful. I actually ended up joining Apple in 1997 during the second coming of Steve Jobs, and I thought it’d be fun to kind of just hang out and watch what happened for a few years. I didn’t really think that I would stay, I didn’t think the company would survive.

It did as you may have heard. And so I got to be there during the entire Steve Jobs second era from 97 through 2014.

And I still looked at [00:01:00] it with the eyes of a physicist. How does this place work? Why does this place work? And I was really struck by the extraordinary personal growth and productivity that was generated.

But also saddened by the deep emotional toll it took on a lot of people.

So I left with my, and to do a startup in 2014 trying to really answer a question like, is it possible to get those levels of performance in a more humane way?

And this has led to an extraordinary series of misadventures.


My first, my first startup was a, a glorious learning experience. I don’t like to use the word failure, but that’s certainly an the way it felt at the time. And since then I’ve been working at various startups and working with various startups and nonprofits and actually got a certificate into this discipline called spiritual entrepreneurship, which is one of the things I think that got us connected is that.

I’m passionate about this idea of entrepreneurship, of helping people bring new things into the world to serve their community, whether that’s the [00:02:00] corner store or a multinational startup.

But I’m also equally intrigued by this question of what kind of human beings do we become and do we need to become in order to deliver that value to the world.

And this is, you know, a raw tension for me, you know, almost every day of how do I balance being the person that I want to be with, making the impact I want to make in the world.

Working for Apple

Miriam: Yeah. Wow. Ernie, this is so timely because I have been asking some of those same questions more or less my whole life, but. Like more intensely the last month and, you know, six weeks or whatever. This is gonna be a very thought-provoking conversation.

So before we jump into that latter half, you’re the first person I’ve talked to who has actually worked for Apple, and I’m like, I, love all things Apple.

I took a class earlier in the fall that required me to buy a pc and it’s my first pc ever, [00:03:00] and I hate it so much.

I hate it so much. So I’m constantly Googling on my Mac. How do you do X on a pc? Because I just don’t know.

So anyway what did you observe in this nexus between whatever made Apple successful and also being a physicist?

I’m, I’m not well versed in physics, but I’m fascinated by physics.

[00:03:28] Asking Why

Ernie: So the way I describe a physicist, it’s the two year old who never grew up, and you just keep asking why, why ? Yeah. And so the best framing I have for what I learned at Apple,

the thing that struck me that was underappreciated, that Steve Jobs, you know, had an amazing taste, an amazing drive, an amazing passion, but he had this unusual gift for what I like to call human system design.

And he said, how do I make something that is obsessed over [00:04:00] quality and greatness, but also scales to a massive corporation.

So I think people have talked about this idea of the top 100, where you get the top a hundred people in the company, which is not just the top senior people. It could, it’s like half really senior people, but half people who are just subject matter experts on what the company needs to obsess over for the next year.

And it gets them in a room for a week. And they all get on the same page about what’s real, what’s important and what’s necessary.

And then they have those relationships and that shared grounding in reality that they use to drive all the microscopic decisions and decentralized activity that takes place throughout a massive multinational corporation.

And. Since leaving Apple I’ve discovered what many people do when they leave Apple is that the rest of the world is not intentionally designed and people don’t obsess over, like at Apple, it’s just [00:05:00] sort of a given. We worship at the altar of design, as I like to say.

There’s a wonderful quote I heard, which is that there is no user error, there is just bad design.

Will and Desire

Hmm. If you take that seriously, it profoundly changes the way you look at the world when you realize like, okay, the world is this way, but as Steve jobs like to say, it was designed by somebody no smarter than you, and you can change it if you have the will and the desire.

But the second thing is you realize that and this is perhaps the hardest lesson, is that if people aren’t behaving the way I want, then it’s my responsibility to design a better environment, a better context for them to make decisions.

Cause if they don’t see what I see, then I’m not embedding those values and that vision in my storefront, in my marketing material, in my onboarding process.

That’s a heavy lift. [00:06:00] It is much easier to whine and complain about why people don’t buy my product about why, you know, this politician doesn’t solve this problem.

But to say no, it is my responsibility as a designer to deeply understand the world I am living in, and find the path of leverage where I can make the difference I seek to make. And that is probably the biggest thing I got from my time at Apple was A, this is possible. B, this is insanely difficult cuz you have to unlearn so many things.

You have to bear so much emotional weight. You have to confront so much institutional shame. But then the third point is that this is totally worth. This is the most human thing that you can do is to look at the world with fresh eyes and [00:07:00] not harden your heart, but engage with it in a deeply personal, vulnerable way that will make the world better than it was when you found it.

Spiritual Journey

And that to me was sort of the spiritual journey that I experienced at Apple that I’m still sort of trying to unfold and unpack in my various endeavors since then. Yeah. Wow. I feel like my brain is exploding because there’s so many places, , you could go with that. There’s just so many questions I have about this whole notion.

very counterintuitive to like business at large and everybody talks about corporate culture, but you’re talking about a ton of unlearning and I think I want to ask you know, in, in terms of a bottom line and efficiency and all this other stuff, There is this notion that you go slow to go fast and that at at a a more superior level, go slow to go fast.

Because if you’re trying to go [00:08:00] fast, you’re gonna just bundle it up. And yeah, you’ll initially get there, but you won’t have the infrastructure and the ideas that allow you to go really further. And so I guess my question would be, What did this look like? How were they teaching you to unlearn some of this stuff?

[00:08:20] Journey in Innovation

Ernie: I mean, Apple, far and away has been incredible with their design. And not to just harp on that company, but they really changed the standard of doing business, of making products. And I remember at some point someone saying, you know, that Steve Jobs said something about the interior of the computer that nobody was gonna see.

Had to look elegant and had to look a certain way. You know, so, Let me see if I can parse out a question there. . That was a lot of words. Yeah. Let me, let me say one I think useful context so people understand what I’m talking about, because [00:09:00] there is a world where it’s bad to care about your customers, and that is when you are doing invention, trying to create new things that haven’t existed, like the Wright brothers trying to build an.

They weren’t worried about sales and marketing, they were just trying to get the stupid thing off the ground to fly. Sure. Right. And there’s this journey in innovation, which used to be something that happened in generations and now it happens in months. Mm-hmm. , which is that you have to sort of cut off the world and sink yourself into invention and produce something, and you have to be very sort of producer centric and you just need to do whatever you can just to get the airplane off the.

Shifting Mindsets

But what happened was is that, you know, like a decade later, you know, Curtis Wright and the airlines and everything all happened, but now it’s like you’ve got maybe a, a couple of months, you know, maybe a year or two if you’re working on something really hard to figure that out. But soon afterwards, you have to start shifting from this [00:10:00] producer centric mindset to a consumer-centric mindset.

And that’s the hard transition. It’s like if you’re just trying to get the factories running and stuff out the door, you know, you can’t afford to think about things. You have to focus. And it’s important to have that focus time and just follow the routine and work the process and grind through. But as soon as your, your idea, your product hits the customer, the world changes.

And then you have to untrain yourself from all those habits of mind and say, I had to have an irrational belief in myself and in my product. To get this far, I have to surrender that irrational belief that carefully constructed box I was living in and start unfolding myself and saying, okay, what if I’m wrong?

What if You’re Wrong?

What or what if part of my vision is wrong? What are my atomic assumptions? I have to break apart into subatomic particles to realize that they were half [00:11:00] right and half wrong, which are the parts of my identity that third me so well to just brute force my way to this point that are now destroying not just the people around me, but the impact I want to create.

And so it’s that cyclical process. Like, yes, there is a place for focusing on the bottle line and efficiency and tuning, but those places are becoming rarer and shorter lived. And so the, the meta skill is precisely learning how to recognize the context you are now in and let go of the things that made sense in other contexts that are my favorite word is mal.

They don’t adapt well to your current situation, even if they were incredibly valuable and precious and just grieving that loss of identity. Is I consider the master skill of the 21st century. Wow. That is impressive to string these thoughts together. I also [00:12:00] love that word maladaptive, and I use it all the time.

[00:12:03] Executing Visions

Ernie: I was thinking as you were speaking, you’re talking about two totally different personalities, and usually one person has one or the other, but it is extremely rare for someone to have. Or to be able to like navigate through those different spaces. I was talking about this with someone earlier today, talking about vision and the kind of person who has vision versus the kind of person who executes and who is strategic in their you know, just putting things together.

There’s the one guy who designs the Lego thing and there’s the other guy who builds it often. They aren’t the same person. Well, what’s funny, Is that that was the way the world used to be. Mm-hmm. , right? You had a job for generations. Yeah. Like there are communities in India where like they have a city which is just does washing

Like that’s all those people do. Their ancestors like, and the thing that’s, that’s fascinating about that. [00:13:00] In many ways, those people are happi. Because their future is predetermined and they just find joy in their relationships and doing the same thing over and over again. Yeah. The problem with those worlds is that they are not adaptive.

Right. And the danger, and there’s this, there’s this tension between sort of a low energy state of contentment and a high energy state of responsiveness and the world we are entering in. Those islands of consistency are, are disappearing for sure. Right. And we should treasure them where we find them and honor them.


But we shouldn’t be nostalgic or diluted. I mean the arc of human history. You know the arc of modernity, you know, and I as an Asian American, Indian American, I live in this borderline between the traditional culture my parents grew up in and the modern culture that, you know, the [00:14:00] hyper modern culture of Silicon Valley that I live in now.

And I realize that the price of modernity is to become less happy and more neurotic because there are more things you can. Yeah, right. If you have, if everything’s up to the gods, if there is no technology, if there is no way to make things better, you just follow the rituals and either you live or you die and you’re just, you’re happy when things are going well.

You grieve when things are going bad, and then you move on when you live or you die. It’s just what it is, but it’s like, Hey, why did that person die? That we have changed? Could I be, you know, planting crops and improving my yield so we don’t starve? And there’s all these things to worry about in the modern world because we have all these options and we celebrate the options.

Even as, you know, we make a lot of work for people like you to therapy because we’re so stressed by it. I actually have a framework that I’ve been using to help think about [00:15:00] this, which I think kind of ties into this, thinking about it as a. There’s places for different things. So the joke is everyone tells you to follow your heart.

Following Your Aorta

I think you’re off by a an inch. You should follow your aorta instead. Which is another, the big blood vessel that comes out of the heart. And aorta is an acronym that stands for ambition, openness, risk, thankfulness awareness. So you start with the ambition, the desire of the thing you wanna bring in the world.

And I, I think people who, in your audience here, some of them are entrepreneurs who have an outward focus on, I wanna build this business, I wanna hit these revenue goals, I wanna impact this market. I wanna prove that I can build this thing right? And then there’s people who have internal ambitions. I want be happy, I want to have a healthy family life.

I want to be able to improve my relationships or connect more deeply with certain significant people. and all ambitions are useful because they su, they’re a signal that you are not just a lump of [00:16:00] rock existing in peace with eternity. You have something within you that is different than what is out in the world, and that is what it means to exist, to have this tension between being and becoming.

Be Open

And so you start with that ambition and, but the next point I think is so critical is open. Is that you don’t wanna just act on your ambition. You want to be open to what has been done before, what are the best practices, what are the realities of the market? And so that you take the time to pull in all these different things, both understanding internally what’s driving you, and then externally what is out there in the world.

And then the third level, the R A O R is. The, the second danger, the first danger is going off, you know, half cocked without thinking things through. The second danger is getting stuck in analysis paralysis. And this is something that we don’t teach well. One of my, my heroes, Seth Godin, talks about we shouldn’t teach math.

We should teach poker. Yeah. [00:17:00] Because if you teach poker, you, you, you’ll learn, learn math. They’ll learn risk. They’ll learn finances. They’ll learn empathy. Yeah. They’ll learn all these things because learning like the old, the old world in like the 20th century, it was bridged. Everything was on the table.

[00:17:14] Learning Risk

Ernie: You could count the cards and make a calculated risk based on the probabilities, which were easy to define. Right. We live in what’s called a VUCA world volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Yeah. And in that world, The skill of learning how to estimate, manage, and take risks in particular, like this is the big one for entrepreneurs and even in relationships.

What is the smallest risk you can take that will increase your understanding of reality? And this is the thing that, you know, destroys so many entrepreneurs. They like mortgaged their house. They bet everything and they kill themselves when their thing dies. Where it’s like, you know, Hey, could you do a market survey?

Could you get a job at your nearest competitor? , [00:18:00] could you do small things that would dramatically increase your understanding and reduce your uncertainty? But it has to be real, right? You have to be actually risking something, spending ego points as like to say burning ego to buy learning. Mm-hmm.

is the risk. So ambition, openness, risk, and then this is the thing, which is where you have to stop and sort of retreat to your ancestors, which is to be. After exercising your ego and your will to try and make a change, to take a risk to bet something,

stop, breathe. It’s like, okay, that was awesome. That was awful. I learned some things. I unlearned some things. I gained some things. I lost some things, but I choose to just. And be thankful. A friend of mine said something profound. He says, you know, the [00:19:00] reason the truth doesn’t set me free is I don’t let myself dwell with it long enough to get uncomfortable.

Dealing with Discomfort

Mm. Once I start getting uncomfortable, I reject the truth and move on. Either I try to fix it or I try to forget it. Yeah. And to have the spiritual capacity to dwell with the discomfort. To face the uncomfortable truths and be thankful for the opportunity to learn them is the place where learning happens.

That’s how you break these cycles, and I, I’ve come to realize that like the, the, the depth of the problem you can solve, the, the breadth of the problem you can solve is really to the depth of discomfort you’re willing to dwell. That perhaps is the biggest thing that you would see modeled at Apple where they would say, okay, we’re gonna take years to figure out the right way to solve this problem.

And I have some friends who spent two years locked in what they call the purple dorm to build the [00:20:00] iPhone. Wow. Right. They had two teams competing. One to build something based on the iPod, one to build something based on Mac o s 10. And they basically said, okay, we have to make a decision in two years.

Knowing Your Discomfort

We don’t know the right way thing to do. So if you’re willing to sign up, you know, and devote two years of your life. You know, you could be a part of finding out and perhaps building the real solution. And they had to live with the uncertainty of not knowing if this would ship, if they were doing the right thing but believing it in their hearts and then doing whatever it took to bring that thought into reality.

And that dwelling with the discomfort sitting with it and. knowing yours. You know, I, I, I often find it difficult to get people to imagine even doing that outside of Apple. And I think part of it is they find it just hard to believe that there’s anything worth that level of sacrifice. Sure. And the, the healthy way to look at it.

And it’s not always possible and you [00:21:00] make shortcuts when you have to. It’s to say, look, this is the thing that is so important to me. That I would rather fail trying than be content. Never knowing. Yeah. Yeah. You know, let me, let me ask a question. Lemme just give you the last point just as to Oh yes. The aor.

[00:21:18] A.O.R.T.A

Ernie: Yeah, right. Sorry. Yeah, yeah. Ambition, openness, risk, thankfulness. And then the last aid, which I kind of already teased, is awareness. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. is you get, this is where you come to, and this is the thing that you’re most thankful for, is I suddenly understand. My strengths, my weaknesses, my insecurities, my dreams, much better than I did when I started this cycle.

And I understand reality. I understand other people. I understand what is ultimately of value and importance to me, and then now I can have a much more refined ambition and start this cycle all over again. You know, and maybe it’s like a refinement of the same thing. It’s like, okay, I’ve succeeded in my business now I wanna succeed in my marriage.

And [00:22:00] you pivot and that’s fine. Like, the point is, is that there’s no shame when you realize the point of the universe is to learn and grow and failure is just one step. That helps us. Unfold as my friends at Al l a, I like to say . This idea of unfolding is very curious. So somewhere in between r and t, you made a comment about the ego and being willing to risk some of the ego.

I’d kind of like to push into that space because this notion of building something. Requires ego, it requires you saying you have something to bring to the world, whether that’s a product or a service or you know, whatever. I have something to bring and I even have a responsibility to bring it. And there also are all of these spaces of you have to get ego out of the way and, you know, surrender your [00:23:00] ego.

Surrender Your Ego

So I kind of would like to hear where you go with that. Yeah, so this is where I’m still working on this, this framework. I actually have this role playing game. I’m designing with my teenage son called Quintessence, which is about these four or five phases. And, you know, one phase is all about you know, self-development and we call it you’re building ego points.

Because you wanna try and prove yourself, put yourself to the limit. You know, listen to the fire within you, right? And then the next phase is karma points. Every, all the ego points you built up have generated karma in the world. And now you have to work off all those ego points. Which have turned into karma points and you’re trying to decrease your Karma Point score.

And this, this framework is a lot about you push out into the world and then you pull back, like you have an idea that you’re pushing the world and you pull back and listen to the ideas and you push, you know, and you know, try and change the world and that the world pushes back. And and, and it’s funny cuz.

Before, it’s like, [00:24:00] oh man, I have all these karma points. I wish I hadn’t had so much ego. What did I do myself? Why did, but then when you discover in the third turn of the wheel is that all those karma points become race points that you can share with others. And you say, wow, thank God I made all those stupid mistakes.

[00:24:19] Making Mistakes

Ernie: And like I’ve had all this epic failures in my startup life because these become the treasures that I get to share with other people. So it’s that sort of reciprocal thing. I, I have this picture in my head. I haven’t worked out yet of like a four stroke engine and you can do the two-stroke engine, like a motorcycle, but it’s very noisy and, and efficient.

But if you have the grace to do the four stroke engine, you know, reciprocal motion, push, pull, push into the universe, pull back, push on an idea, pull back and learn. That reciprocal motion is where you actually build these engines of sustainable in. Oh, that is such a thought provoking image. I, while you were talking, I was [00:25:00] thinking about, okay, where’s the intersection with physics?

And it’s like, oh, right there. Right there was the intersection. And and yeah, physics is very much one of these things where you withdraw from the physical world, the material world, the financial world, to just try to contemplate the pure essence of how things are connected and relate to one. And it was a great educational experience, but it was also deeply artificial.

There’s the old saying that graduate school is the snooze button on the alarm clock of life. Hmm. You know, because apart from the occasional atomic bomb, there isn’t a lot of real world consequences to the things you’re studying. And a lot of my journey since leaving higher education, I did 11 years at places like m i t and Caltech is really trying to grapple.

Emotional Realities

The emotional reality of who I am as a being and the economic realities of ordinary people’s lives. And I’m still very much, you know, an elitist ivory tower [00:26:00] place, but I’d like to think I’ve learned a little bit about what it means to actually live in the world and care about other human beings. And, you know, it is hard because like you have to forget that in order to be able to think deep.

And grapple with what is the reality inside you? You need those places of withdrawal and seclusion. But if that’s all there is, it ends up becoming very hollow. You have to reemerge into the world and face the brokenness within and the brokenness without, to really get to the next level of actually understanding what is real and what matters.

And it’s just those rhythms of. And the and one of the things that I’m learning is that like I need to have patience with those who are in the phase right before and right after me, because I get frustrated that they’re not where I am. But I’m trying to, I was thinking this last week, I was talking about this with my son on Saturday.

You know, I realized that, you know, [00:27:00] They may be in a parallel phase, and rather than me trying to drag them back to my phase, I need to push them forward away from me to make their own mistakes. And this is hard when you’ve got a 14 year old son, you can only imagine the kind of mistakes he’s likely to make.

Being a Parent

But realizing that like, hey, if the goal is not to be a rock, to just be safe and comfortable, then we have to take risks and you know, It’s probably better at this stage. It was different than when he was younger. And maybe it’ll be different when he is older, but at this stage it’s probably better for him to make his own mistakes rather than repeating mine.

Sure. Yeah. You know, and not just my past mistakes, but saying like, well I think you should do this. He could be wrong. That’s the mistake I would rather make. Cause it feels safe. Sure. But you know, isn’t it better, you know, within some boundaries. But probably larger bound, less than he would like, but more than I would like , where he has the freedom to make his own mistakes and discover the [00:28:00] consequences and learn from them.

And. It’s hard because either we don’t want them to make mistakes or we wanna rescue them when they do. Yeah, for sure. And a lot of it, frankly, is actually self-compassion cuz it’s actually not about him. It’s about the shame I feel, the pain I feel am I as a parent processing my own shame and grief and pain so that I have space to let my son experience his own.

[00:28:27] Taking Moments

Ernie: And this is where I think the, the. The phrase I’ve been using, which I think is a, applies to business or family or whatever, is the idea of a moment is this realizing, Hey, you know, I was gonna sell something to a customer and I thought they would love it. And the customer says, eh, maybe we’ll get back to you.

Like, that’s embarrassing. It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing. It’s can be scary, but it’s like, hey, let me just take a moment and if I could take a moment and. Release the stress and [00:29:00] say, okay, let’s forget all the consequences. Can I be curious? And if I’m really lucky, I can be curious with them in real time and say, Hey, thank you for your honesty.

What I’m hearing is that what I pitched to you doesn’t really address what’s bothering you the most right now. I apologize for wasting your time. We just take a moment and help me understand what exactly is the problem that bothers you the most. That if you could solve, if it would solve that problem, you know, it would transform your life.

And if it’s not something that our company makes, maybe we can help you find someone who does. But I just wanna understand what is it that really matters to you? And being able to get out of my own hand all the emotions I’m feeling, and be curious and live in that state of wonder. And invite them in rather than trying to, as my usual instinct to try to, you know, browbeat them into agreeing with me , that is when these generative possibilities of unfolding open up.

Different Ideologies

Sure. Yeah. I really [00:30:00] like that illustration of that. I was thinking about just across, I mean, I don’t know if you mind telling us in general or specific how old you are. I would like to understand how these various. Ideologies developed throughout the different decades because the way you’re talking about things, I think would be very difficult for someone like your 14 year old to wrap his brain around.

Like, his brain isn’t even finished cooking yet. You know what I mean? , like, he’s, he is just not quite there yet. And I do think that we get frustrated when people are not in the same place that we are. Anyway. Yeah. Take that question again where you’d like it. Yeah, sure. So I think that I mean, I’d like to say you can put it onto decades these days.

It’s probably gonna be more like every four years because the world is growing. My son is growing up way faster than you know, I ever was. Sure. Yeah. Right. But I think the my journey was, I mean, for me it’s mostly a spiritual journey. [00:31:00] I chronicle my journey based on the understanding of my faith and the religion I grew up in and the religions I chose and.

the places my residents seem irrelevant and then, you know developing a spirituality. But I guess there’s this there’s these different levels people have of spirituality and one is the world is just the way it is. You know, we, and this is like, let’s call us the first 10 years or so, right?

The Way it Is

Is that you know, my parents believe what they believe. Technology is kind of the way it is. You know, everything works the way it. And like, that’s cool. You, you may like it, you may hate it, but it’s just the way it is. And then the next decade, the teens, you will, it’s a wait. I have agency. Maybe let’s, let’s, let’s look more, more generous.

The first state is a world of wonder, right? Everything is new. Everything is say you, it just, the fact that it is, is amazing. But then the next level is the state of agency. It’s like, Hey, I don’t have to just accept the world the way it is. I can have agency in it. I can change things. I can be my own [00:32:00] people.

I can choose my own friends. I can choose my own music. I can choose the way I dance. I can choose to do things. And that aligns with this idea of ambition and desire that I want things this idea of want. But then the next level, if you go on like the, the adult development scales is you identify with your wants, but then you identify with your values and you say, well, actually actually no, sorry.

The next thing Joshua wants is actually relat. I identify with, you know, the, my romantic partner with my peer group, with this company I joined. And these relationships are actually what defined me. And it’s really important that I be with my friends and so forth. And then the third level, if I remember is values.

Differing Values

It’s like, okay, I like these people. They’re my friends, but I realize they actually want more different things out of life than I do. I have different values than they do, and these values, And so I started thinking about my values, whether it’s truth or equality, or ambition or success[00:33:00] or love. And then the next stage after that is self authorship.

Is that I’m not defined by these values. I am defining, I, I, it’s not that I, I am not defined by the value. I have a value and I’m choosing consciously to have these values. These are things I can hold and say, well, you know, I do value justice but I also value achievement and there’s a tension there, and I can kind of define what I mean by those things to fit with the life I want to.

And then I think there’s a level beyond self-authorship, which is probably self forgetfulness, which maybe, you know, almost is returning the full cycle back to a state of nirvana. And then you reincarnate in and either literally or metaphorically and the cycle starts all over. But I think that the thing, look, you know, and I don’t wanna blow people’s minds too much and I wanna thank it to was like, boys realized like, We are all in this journey and [00:34:00] the journey’s happening faster, right?

[00:34:02] Self-Compassion

Ernie: You know, I go through the levels of spiritual development in a year that like, it takes my, took my, you know, my father decades to, to do, right? Sure. Cause the world changes and there is this competitive aspect as if the people that you’re depending on or the people you’re selling to are changing faster than you.

You know, you’re stuck. You, you, you become irrelevant. And so but I think the biggest phrase that I would wanna leave your, you know, we don’t have to wrap up just now, but I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned and I wanna leave, is this idea of self-compassion. You are exactly where you are supposed to be at this point in time.

Every success, every failure, every dream, every vend. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The universe willed for you to be here at this point in time. Receive it as a gift drink the bitter cup and say, okay, this wasn’t what I wanted. I’ve [00:35:00] lost a lot of things that I thought I had, but most of them I didn’t really own anyway.

And I’ve gained something much more precious, which is I can see reality in myself more clearly and I may not like. But it’s, I choose to believe it’s better to see reality as it is, than live in comfortable delusion and be thankful. And if you can find that point of thankfulness, then you can find that place of self-compassion is like, I don’t have to beat myself up for failing to be something other than what, what I am right now, but to dare to believe that this is a gift, and this is the starting point to become something more, right, is to.

Start with Thankfulness

Start from that place of thankfulness and then say, okay, I can be thankful, but you know, I feel like there’s still something left within me that I want to bring out into the world. What’s the old saying from the artist is to die empty. . I don’t wanna die thinking I didn’t write that novel. I didn’t sing that [00:36:00] song.

I didn’t tell that person I love them. I didn’t try to at least, you know, sell or ship a product. Right? And so then say, okay, I don’t wanna do it the way I did before cuz that was incredibly traumatic. , what’s a smaller you know, what is the openness I can. To like think about my ambition more precisely and more wisely.

And then what’s a small risk I can take to force myself? Even as just telling my friends, Hey, at the end of this month I’m gonna give you a blog post about this thing I wanna do. Like tell somebody that, and you know, take a small risk that’s achievable with a deadline, with people who care about you, who keep you accountable.

Slowing Down

And then, Or you know, if you’re, you know, going crazy, trying to keep a young family going or a business running, say, I’m just gonna take three hours on a Saturday morning to just sit with my journal and ask myself how I’m feeling. Cuz I never do that because I’m so busy being there for other people. But I’m just gonna carve out three hours just to be there for [00:37:00] myself and maybe I’ll just slam that bunk shut and not look at it for another month.

But at least I’ll have done that one wrist to look and see what’s hiding. All the striving and the achievement. And you know, that’s the exciting thing is that we do live in a world of extraordinary abundance. We’re not worried about being eaten by a sabertooth tiger and starving to death when winter comes most of us

[00:37:25] Being Peaceful and Compassionate

Ernie: You know, and a lot of the anxiety we create is because we don’t know what’s important, what’s important for us to survive, what’s important for us to thrive. And if we can accept that, yes, there are things that have to happen. Life is challenging. People we love are at risk of catastrophic failures in many cases.

But the best gift I can give the world is actually to be grounded and at peace so I can see them and their reality [00:38:00] clearly, rather than distorted by buying, need to be able to fix things quickly. We can create. That’s how I think we create this spiritual entrepreneurship, the sense of unfolding our own psychological development in a way that actually helps us build better product, build better companies, build better families, build better communities, and it is hard.

It is really, really hard. You know, I’ve been trying this in various forums since nine 11, and I feel like I’ve described more things I don’t know how to do than things I do know how to do. Sure. But I am encouraged that a, I am a more peaceful and compassionate human being than I was when I started, and certain things that were opaque to me are now translucent.

And certain things that were murky are now clear. Even if some things that were clear are now murky . Sure, sure. [00:39:00] And, but, but, but, and I guess maybe that’s the second thing is hope. This idea that hope is not guaranteed, but it’s realistic that I have a grounded hope that the world can be better than it has been, and that I can be better than I have been because I have seen.

Feeling Failure

and perhaps even more importantly, understood what can be done. You know, I saw an extraordinary miracle where Apple was six months away from bankruptcy becoming the most valuable company in the world. Yeah. Crazy. Crazy. And it’s like, you know, I, but you know, on a more personal level, I was having some real conflict with a family member a few years ago.

And I just ran out to Trader Joe’s just cause I couldn’t deal with it. And I was sitting there and this was like April of 2020 and it. It was Sunday afternoon, the parking lot was half empty, which never happens at Trader Joe’s . No. And then people were wearing mask lined up every six feet. And it’s like, [00:40:00] I, it was like God was saying to me, Ernie, you have no idea what’s possible, how much the world can change in a matter of weeks and months.

It is arrogant for you to feel despair, , you’re just not smart. Hmm. And, and maybe that’s the a, a good line to close on as a microscopic sale, I was going through, I, you know, building all these startups. I went through like seven startups after I left Apple. And just feeling failure after failure.

Like none of them were commercial successes. None of them got traction in the marketplace. And I went back to my hometown and I discovered that a bridge I had built as an eagle scout in high school had gotten torn away by the floods. Oh. After like 30 years. Yeah. And the guy from the Hark District who I worked with, he’s retired, he handed me a photo of the bridge and just left it at that.

Building a Bridge

And I looked at it and said, that just broke my heart. And it’s like, and I’m only here for a week, what can I do? But I went and talked to somebody at the park district and. [00:41:00] We just hashed the plans. Like, well, you know, and there, there’s no more Boy Scouts in our town. But he says, you know, there’s a young rotary club I think they call it Impact.

And he says maybe they’d be interested. So I called them and they said, yeah, let’s try it. And before we knew it, they had done a Kickstarter, raised a money, bunch of money, and they built a bridge. And I went back there and I told these kids, it’s like, you know, I was in a place where I felt like everything I had tried to do had fallen into.

And somehow this thing like, and ask the kids like, how many of you, like I asked the leaders, did you even think this would work? And they go, no. None of them really thought it would work. They’re just going along with it. And miraculously, a bridge was built. In fact, they built two bridges cuz they inspired enough people to, the partnerships donate enough money to build a second bridge.

Open Yourself  Up

People can walk. And it’s like, the thing I learned is that you are more powerful than you think. You. Yes. And you are not as smart as you think you are. [00:42:00] Yes. and living with those two truths is like, I’m not, and that’s like I have infinite power and in living space. Right. It, it’s, it is realizing that I can do anything.

If I’m willing to open myself to the universe to learn the hard lessons, it has to teach me. There is no limit to what we can accomplish. Sure. Ernie, what would you say to the young version of you? I’ve thought about this a lot and you know, like, what could I say that wouldn’t, that would change the trajectory?

Because all the mistakes I feel like I made were the necessary ones. I think the one thing I would say is you’re not gonna believe me, but someday you will discover that you are deeply, deeply loved. . Hmm. And that everything will have been worth. Yeah, that seems like something probably every young person in this country and the world probably [00:43:00] needs to hear.

[00:43:00] Mercy Ships

Ernie: Yeah, and possibly a few of us older folks too, from time to time. , . Oh my gosh. Ernie, thank you so much for just a very engaging and fun conversation. I appreciate you and your time and the work that you’re doing in the world. We mentioned at the beginning or before I started recording that I like to do a donation as a thanks for your time and you chose Mercy Ships, so we’ll send that donation to Mercy Ships in your name.

And again, just thank you. This was very fun. And actually, if I may ask you a favor, I’d like to do it in the name of my father, Dr. John Probakhar, who is a surgeon. Totally. I think he’s an a mercy ship. He’s done similar Crips like that. But I, it would mean a lot to me to just do that in the honor of my father.

And, you know, my father’s a little disappointed that I’m a PhD and not an actual doctor like my brother . Like, this is my one little way to kinda give back slash give back to him. So . Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s great. Of course we’ll do it.


End Credits

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Changing Lives as a Coach Transcript – Anne Roche

fighting fire with fire

Changing Lives as a Coach – Anne Roche

Anne Roche

Miriam: [00:00:00] Hey folks, today it is just my pleasure to have a new friend. Anne Roach she used to be a defense attorney for the poor, and at some point she made the decision to become a coach and . You know, you and I are both coaches.

I love coaches, they make for great interviews. But also I wanted you to know that in general, I’m not interviewing a ton of coaches anymore and I chose you specifically because there’s something about you that is really unique. I’m so excited for this interview. So welcome Anne.

Anne: Thank you so much, Miriam.

I’m so honored and I was thrilled to say yes cuz I really enjoy being in conversation with you as. Good. Good deal.

[00:00:43] Attorney to Coach

Miriam: Okay. Well, I think the obvious question is why does someone go from being an attorney to a coach? You know, and I think before I let you answer this, coaching is such a strange beast because.

anybody in their dog can call [00:01:00] themselves a coach. It’s not regulated in the United States. I don’t know if it’s regulated anywhere in the world. And I find that coaches a good coach can transform your life and a mediocre coach can take your money and do nothing with your life. So you already had a prestigious job. and you made this decision. So tell us a little bit why ?

Anne: Well I don’t think anyone’s more surprised that I left law and became a coach than I am frankly, . I loved, loved being a lawyer and I mean, I didn’t even know what a coach was., I mean, I grew up on the East coast and. I mean, very judgmental,  very judgmental.

I mean, life coach, like, that’s not even a real thing, you know? That would’ve been one that would’ve been what was in my head. And law, you know, law is a real thing. That’s a real thing. So I, I mean, I was all [00:02:00] kinds of, Things in my own head, and I never ever imagined leaving law for anything. But I kind of hit a wall.

I hit a wall in my late forties. I was far away from family and friends and I loved my work, but everything in my life started feeling hard.

My parents were aging and, and their health was declining, and I knew something had to change and I didn’t know what it was. And I, so I started looking around for different positions.

Getting to Be a Coach

I was a private attorney, but I took public defense cases, and so what that meant in Massachusetts was that I spent a lot more time on the administrative part of my work than I did with my clients.

And I, I really loved being with my clients. And so that started that balance, started feeling out of whack, and I started looking around. and then I had this conversation with my sister. I talked to my sisters every day and I was, we were talking [00:03:00] through some problem and she’s like, you should get paid for that.

This, you’re so good at giving advice, you should become a coach. And I was like, I, I don’t, you know what you’re talking about. But anyway, fast forward, I, I went. To a weekend of a very intense, a, a year long intensive coaching program through ipec. I went and it just changed my life. I, I thought, I have to do this full-time because everything in my life changed internally.

Nothing on the outside changed my, I still had teenage PA kids. My parents were still declining. I still lived in the same place, but everything about my life felt different. I was deeply connected to the people in it, to the work I was doing to every part of my life. I felt more connected, more joy, more present in my life than I had in years, and I thought, I didn’t know that it was possible to change my life without [00:04:00] blowing it up.

And when I discovered that that was possible, I thought I have to help other people do this too. Wow.

[00:04:08] Changing Lives as a Coach

Miriam: So in general, you help other people how they can change their life without blowing it up? . That’s a nice tagline.

Anne: Yeah. I mean, not, you know, when I was in my coaching program, the people who I really resonated with.

Were the other men in my program who had, who were leaving big jobs or positions of leadership or And, and which is not to say that only the men in my program were doing that, but they were going through an identity crisis. The men in particular were going through an identity crisis that involved their work.

If I am not this person who I have so deeply invested in professionally and, and this persona that I have, that I put out there publicly, who am I? If I’m not a lawyer? If I’m not this intellectual, [00:05:00] you know, whip, smart, hard, edged attorney, , who am I? Who have you and I that I really, that was the struggle I was having.

And that first weekend in Ipec, I felt like my, I, I’ve said this often, but I felt like. I was unzipped and my heartfelt fell out and I thought, what is this? What? I don’t know what this is, . I didn’t know that this was part of me, that it was something I had permission to use and that it in fact held most of my power, and that was the changing point for me, that I am so much more than this identity.

and in fact, there’s so much more power in me than I, than I ever imagined.

Miriam: I love that you’re one of the only one of the few women coaches that I know that specifically, I wouldn’t say target men, but you’re not afraid to work with men.

Return on Investment

Many women coaches [00:06:00] only work with women and I think something that I felt a kinship with is, I would say probably 80% of my clients are men something that I think you have conquered better than I have is that I noticed on your website you talked a lot about joy and the increasing of this and different things, and I have found myself hesitant to.

Talk about some of the softer spaces because I’m afraid that I will be I don’t know, dismissed, I guess is the sort of word. And so I talk about ROI and your business will do X. And it’s true. Any of the business owners who care about return on an investment.

At least doubled, if not tripled their revenue. Now, I’m not gonna take credit for that. They did the work, but I was walking along on the path. So I talk about ROI and all this stuff, but what I would like to talk about is that when you get your life in [00:07:00] order, you experience more joy. And when you experience this joy and this freedom, you start doing good for other people.

That’s where my heart really lies, and I know that you have some of that same thing, so I’d kinda like to hear where you got the courage to just be you and let the chips fall where they may.

Anne: Yeah, it’s such a great point, Miriam, because I felt the same way. I mean joy. The only thing less real than a life coach is joy.

Feeling Joy

I had never used any of that language . You know, total bs both of those things. It, it was my mindset. And yet it was true. I had this moment of clarity for myself that what I needed in my life, what was missing in my life was joy.

And when I had that moment, Miriam, I was like, what, is that? I’ve never used that word in my life. But I, I [00:08:00] also had a, a moment of clarity that what brought me most joy, where I felt most alive in life was when I felt connection when I felt deeply connected to the work, to the person, to the conversation, to the whatever it was I was involved in.

And yeah, it took me a little while to To call BS on myself and really say those things out loud. It took me, I really fought, I mean, I was in that program for a full year and I never ever thought I’d call myself a life coach. You know?

I was like, well, I’ll be an executive coach or a career coach, I’m a life coach. It because whatever the external issues are, it’s about how you show up. In your life, how do you show up? How do you lead yourself? And you get that figured out. All external obstacles will shift.

That was a turning point in my early career as a coach when I started sharing my own story, because that’s what people [00:09:00] resonated with, men and women. All of my clients resonated with that moment of, there is something missing in my life.

It’s making all the other stuff around me hard, and I know there’s a shift in me that needs to happen.

[00:09:20] Phases in Anne’s Life

Miriam: Yeah. Yeah. Ooh. So well said. I was thinking earlier about the phases in our life and how each phase maybe has a tagline, and I wondered if you would walk me through some of the phases in your life and how your mentality shifted.

Anne: It’s an interesting question. I don’t know that my brain works that way. Mm-hmm.

I don’t know that I think about things in terms of, you know, when I was in my twenties, I, I will say I, my. I have three children and my first two are in their [00:10:00] twenties.

And so I remember the angst of my twenties. There was a lot of angst in my twenties. Stress. I remember that.

Miriam: Yeah, just I, I remember that in my twenties too. And I also have children in their twenties and I’ll, we’ll have a conversation and they’ll bring up some sort of something, an issue and I’ll.

Unfortunately be a little too coachy or momish with them and say, well, you could do X or you could. And unfortunately, sometimes I say, well, you should just do X. You should just say X. And then I have to catch myself. Well, my daughter is savvy enough to say, well mom, when you are my age, could you have done or said that?

Right? And I’ll say, no. Right? No, I couldn’t have. And but then I say, but you. You were raised by me, so I’m pretty sure you can do it now. . Yeah.

Being Ready to Change

Anne: You, so that bring, that brings up an interesting point and I think [00:11:00] it, it goes to both the, maybe the blocks you have around using those, the words of the soft skills and also of those moments of transformation that we’ve all experienced or have yet to experience, which is, until somebody’s really ready for it, until they’ve reached that moment where the cost of not doing it, of not stepping forward totally is too high.

They won’t do it. You can, you can say it until you’re blue in the face to somebody, but they have to be ready for it. And so part of what I do as a coach is

It’s not my plan. It ha it’s not my process. It has to come from you. And so if you are not understanding that, the answer lies within you. And if you’re not ready to really face that, you’re not ready for coaching. Yeah. Yeah. And, and that happens, you know, I get people who. [00:12:00] They want me to tell them how to do X or just give me the process.

And you know what? As a former attorney, I love to tell people what to do. , one of the reasons I thought I would never give it up. I love to tell people what to do, what I have discovered by becoming a coach when I, when I became, became a coach, and again, something I never thought I would, I would believe in is it, is there is so much more joy and so much more power in watching somebody else come to their own solution.


and then it’s more sustainable for them. It’s something that they have ownership over that they can do themselves, and it takes such practice for me to be quiet and really create the space for someone to do that, to ask them questions that help them to pull out the answers [00:13:00] from deep within, but that’s so much more fun than just telling somebody what to do.


Miriam: Well, and when you tell someone what to do, they tell you all the reasons why it won’t work. , which is no fun at all. . So I hear and agree for sure. Yeah,, one of the things I like to talk about on the podcast are mindsets because I believe that. Your actions come from your thoughts or sometimes your feelings.

And I, it’s a debated, do your feelings create your mindsets, which create your actions or vice versa. I’m sure over the course of your lifetime, you’ve had some mindset changes that you have said, I used to think this and this kind of self sabotaged myself. Now I’m thinking this, and it’s opened this space in a way that I hadn’t anticipated, and I wondered if you would share a story or two about that.

Anne: I used [00:14:00] to be and still am very, very hard on myself. That was, I would say an overarching predominant trait, very hard on myself. The biggest mind shift I have had in the last.

10 years is that it isn’t about me. It isn’t about me. Hmm. And that makes so much more room for so many other things to come forward.

Miriam: Yeah. Define it a little bit because I think we could take that a variety of different ways. What isn’t about you?

[00:14:44] Getting and Giving Answers as a Coach

Anne: Sure. Well, the difference between giving somebody an answer and letting them figure out an answer that works for them is my ego.

It’s either you’re listening to me, give you the answer, and then I’m the expert , and it’s about, aren’t I so [00:15:00] smart? Aren’t I so clever? Yeah, I have the right answer, versus. Creating a space for you to find your own answer is not about me at all. It’s about you. So I, I think about that in terms of, you know, coaching.

I think about that in terms of parenting. I didn’t have children for me, I had children. For them. So their lives are not about me. Their lives are about them, and it gives me the ability to give them some space to grow and make mistakes and not be worried that it’s a reflection of me or about my parenting or what I did or didn’t do.

I think about that too in the work I am doing. In the advocacy work that I’m doing, I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you, but I’m working with a [00:16:00] group of coaches who are also former law enforcement and we’re working on, working on evolving the culture of law enforcement.

If I made it about me, That this is something I was doing or responsible for, I would be limiting what’s possible in the outcome because it’s all about stepping away from ego and opening up a space of humility.

Making it Smaller

What is there to learn here? What opportunities are here? How am I showing up to this? What am I learning about how I’m showing up to this? It’s expansive. It goes from, you know, like needing an outcome, expecting an outcome, being disappointed if that outcome doesn’t come. I mean, even as I’m talking about it, I’m getting smaller and smaller.

Right. Narrower and narrower. Into this expansiveness this. What else [00:17:00] is happening? What else is possible? If it’s not about me, what else is happening here? Yeah. And what am I not seeing or what can I see now that I didn’t see before? Cuz I was so focused on self.

Miriam: Sure. Let me, let me zoom out just a teeny bit because you had mentioned one time that you were working on these projects and I have been fascinated by it, so I’m so glad you brought it up.

I think my initial curiosity goes back quite a bit to say, how did you get involved in this to begin with? Like I, I agree with you entirely. In this expansive space, you’re trying to not only create but nurture and help other people in and help people in law enforcement see things differently, but let, can you get like super concrete mm-hmm.

Getting Involved

and say, this is what was happening. This is the need I saw. This is how I got involved. [00:18:00] Because I think that there are a lot of people. Who have these skill sets and they want to do good and they don’t know how or where to get involved, and it seems so messy, and I only have so much time and they end up writing a check.

Well, nobody writes checks anymore, but they end up sending a credit card payment to someone. Out there. I’m gonna even put that in air quotes. Someone out there who’s doing something and you know, I support these projects that are out there somewhere, but I’m also always asking the question, how can I do something locally?

And I do not have an answer for that because it’s, yeah. It’s overwhelming. It’s weird. It, it’s not weird, but it’s, there’s weirdness to it.

[00:18:42] A Messy Process

Anne: When you used the word messy, which is a thousand percent. Yeah. I will absolutely be concrete about this. When Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, I was on fire. On fire because Yeah.

COVID had hit and the world came to a complete halt. [00:19:00] Yeah. Everybody in the world, it turns out the world can stop for a moment. It turns out we all can stop what we’re doing and pay attention to something. Mm-hmm. . So that was that was a moment of major clarity for me and I. Everybody we talk about it’s too late.

It’s too late to turn the ship around, or it’s too late. It turns out we can all stop literally and pay attention to one thing. Mm-hmm. as a world. And then Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd and I went on fire because I used to be a defense attorney for the poor, and that was a moment. It’s not that we can’t stop racism.

It’s not that we can’t address. Racism. It’s that we don’t want to . And it turns out that the world can look at this and is looking at this and here’s a moment.

And I, I was [00:20:00] at that time a coach and I had found this light in me that was lit up. And I, you know, I had gone from this fire of law into this light of coaching and the fire.

Sprang right back and I thought, tag me in. I gotta get back in the trenches there. I, I gotta, I’m gonna leave coaching, I gotta reinstate my law license, I gotta, I gotta get back in. Coach put me in,

Coach Training and What If’s

and then somebody in my IPEC Facebook group asked the question, what if law enforcement had gone through the coach training that we went through, what would be different? Oh my gosh, yes. In that, in that outcome and what would be different for George Floyd? And that moment just blew my brain open and I thought,

I don’t know the answer to that, but I am really curious about it

there is so much that is hard in this culture in in that is That is really hard in law enforcement and we, you know, having this training has [00:21:00] changed my life completely. And it, it showed me the humanity of law enforcement. Mm-hmm. and I mm-hmm. . That’s, that’s the, that’s the current, I stand in the love of humanity and I thought, what, what is possible here?

And I was a coach for men and I was really drawn to ask these questions and to listen. And again, here I am on fire, here I am in advocacy mode, and that there was ego in this. Like, I’m gonna come in here with my coaching skills. I’m gonna turn this ship around , I’m gonna, I’m gonna teach everybody how to do this.

Well, of course, that’s a recipe for disaster.


I was so curious about this experience of law enforcement and what made me most curious were people of color in law enforcement and the pain that, that they were experiencing. [00:22:00] Yeah. On so many ends, and I.

I, I can be in this space. I don’t wanna be in this space, but I can be in this space. Mm-hmm. There is clearly a need here for. Coaching in law enforcement.

Miriam: Can I pause you for a second and ask? Yeah, please. How did you even start the conversations? Did you go down to your local precinct and say,

Anne: no, no, no, no. It was, this was all online. This was all in first it was in this IPEC Facebook group.

Okay. So that’s where it was happening.

[00:22:31] Having a Conversation

Anne: So I start, I kept, I just kept, you know, let’s ha let’s jump on a call and let’s have this conversation. And I started Just saying, you know, we’ll have a meeting. Let’s just have a, let’s have a conversation. And so I start, because we were all in lockdown. Sure. And were some of those people in, in law enforcement?

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And so, And then other people got very interested and started coming into these meetings. There were a lot of people talking about it and so there was a lot of presence on clubhouse [00:23:00] by law enforcement wanting to talk about the culture of law enforcement and where it needed, I don’t even wanna say the word help, cuz that was the word I was using originally. Yeah.

Where it needed attention and where were opportunities for change and where they were hungry for change. And I think that’s what was so astonishing to me was that, that the people kept, who kept saying, you’re onto something. Keep asking these questions, keep holding these forums, keep reaching out, keep making this space.

Were all people in law enforcement.

And so it just snowballed. I mean incrementally, I should say incrementally. I spent, I wanna say a year and a half in constant conversation with a small group of us two people who. Retired law enforcement. One person whose father had been in law enforcement was a person of color and me having very messy, very challenging, very [00:24:00] love-filled conversations about their experiences and what we saw as problems.

Blind Spots

And really leaning into our own blind spots, what we didn’t know and how we were showing up in ways we didn’t realize. We did a lot of work and it was messy and it was hard, and It wasn’t easy, but we kept showing up to it because it was so grounded in love.

I had thought I was, you know, wide awake to racism and to my own biases and I thought I was an advocate and I realized that a lot of that was Words and not actions.

I did not at all understand the difference between not being a racist and being an anti-racist. I did not understand that at all, . I couldn’t see where I had kind of turned a blind eye [00:25:00] or where I had been unwilling to be uncomfortable.

And it, it’s hard to even, it’s hard to even. I mean, it’s still present. It’s still present. It’s an ever, it’s sort of like, you know, any practice, you never master it. It’s,

Miriam: no, you just continually become more of this other thing that you’re focusing on.

Help Again, I’m gonna ask you to get a little more concrete.

The difference between being.

You’re gonna have to even say the words not racist versus anti-racist. What did that mean in terms of your actual behaviors? Because again, ideas and mindsets turn into actions at some point.

Anne: Yeah, I mean there are, so, there are so many. Ways in which I, I recognized I recognized that difference, you know, both in conversation, both, you know, when somebody [00:26:00] says something, That’s a little like, Hmm.


What are they, what were they saying there? Or, I’m not sure. I, I’m, I’m not really sure what that was, but I don’t really wanna go there instead of just saying, tell me what you meant when you said that, or, tell me, tell me what you’re thinking there and really going towards it as opposed to away from it.

Mm-hmm. . I think one of the things that you were, you were just touching on is, For me, it was the recognition that it isn’t about me and that that’s what I meant more concretely that, that the. That the conversations that the learning I was having, the more I recognized this wasn’t about me and my ego, am I wrong?

Am I right? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I, you know, how do I do the right thing? That’s all ego. That’s all about self.[00:27:00] What was more what I was able to show up to more joyfully.

connected to was curiosity. Tell me what you’re thinking and, and where did that come from and where does that show up for you and how does that feel for you and what else might be happening? It’s not about me being right, it’s about me being curious and it just, curiosity creates.

Miriam: So when you’re curious and you create space for the other person, what what do you see that doing for them?

[00:27:38] Creating Connection

Anne: Creating connection? Yeah. One of the things I just wrote down last night.

I care less about what you believe in. I care more about how you feel. Mm-hmm. , because I have felt the same things. Mm-hmm. . And as soon as I see [00:28:00] you in your, as soon as I can hear you and see you and feel you in your feelings, I connect to you and then you can connect to me. And that’s the bridge between us.

Right, right. That’s, that’s where the magic happens, I think, in that space where, You create enough space that that person feels seen, now they’re able to do some big things things that they might not have been able to do before.

Anybody who wants to do something big, and I assume, I hope the people who are listening to this want to do something big and meaningful with their life. I wanna do something big and meaningful. Well, that starts. Little concrete actions of seeing and listening and being curious and understanding, and out of that space something new happens, [00:29:00] a response is different, or an action is different, and the machinery of better living moves forward. You know, I think so much of the bad living that’s happening is out of thoughtlessness and rote habit where people aren’t actually thinking about, what does this mean that I am doing X? There’s no thought about that.

I, I, I disagree. I think there is a lot of fear. I think there is a lot of fear.

Big and Meaningful

When you say something big and meaningful, when I was an attorney, I wanted to do something big and meaningful because that was about me. Mm-hmm. . Now I just wanna show up in love and connect. And it changes what happens. And so this work I’m doing with law enforcement, it doesn’t [00:30:00] have to be big and it doesn’t have to be meaningful.

I just have to be present to it and show up in love and connect. And the outcome is I may never see it, and that’s okay. I may never know it, and that’s okay. It’s made a big difference in my life.

Miriam: Sure. So I love that you would push back and disagree, . We’re gonna, we’re gonna circle around to that later, but I’m gonna push back on your pushback. If we were playing, you know, a game of cards and you trumped something, I would trump over it and say Yes. But in, in my opinion, That is doing really big things to see people, to get people talking where they formerly weren’t talking.

I think it’s Mother Teresa who said something about remember the little things are the big things, and to, to get to a space where people will be [00:31:00] vulnerable enough to actually talk and see each other is huge.

To get people from different races and different walks of life. And different genders to have these kinds of conversations where the paradigm can be shifted to get ego out of the way enough to have some sort of forward movement. I think that is a big thing, you know?


So I wanna take a little bit of a pivot here and something that I have respected about you is your ability to have high empathy. I think you said something about on your website, I have enormous empathy but no tolerance for BS , and that is a really unique.

Gap to span because I find, I mean, if, if we wanted to jump into the spiritual language, speaking the truth and love, there are many people who can speak the truth and they don’t do it in a loving way [00:32:00] whatsoever, . And there are many people who are incredibly loving and they don’t have the ability to just call a spade a spade.

Where, where’s this skillset coming from? If someone wanted to grow in their ability to do that, how would you coach them to grow?

Anne: I think kindness is clear. I think clarity is kind. Yeah. So it, that is a work in progress for me.

But you know what’s interesting? Empathy is not about holding somebody else’s stuff. It’s about seeing it. Mm-hmm.

allowing them to put it down, but seeing it. BS is picking it up. I, I don’t have time, patience, or interest in picking up anybody else’s stuff. . Yeah. I got enough of my own . Yeah. Yeah. And I think that I see clearly.

No Drama

Why? What is this thing? You’re, what’s all, you’re coming to me with all this noise or this [00:33:00] drama? Why? I don’t, I don’t want this. This isn’t mine. This doesn’t belong to me. Have at it, but you know, I’m not, I’m not here for that . Yeah, no, I, you know, that I, that has, that has not served me in some ways. I think, you know I didn’t have a lot of friends girl friends when I was a kid.

I think that was I, I wasn’t, I didn’t understand drama. I didn’t understand like the, the noise. I was like, I don’t, this is not interesting to me. I don’t, I don’t care about it. And so definitely there is you know, being very empathetic doesn’t always mean you’re cuddly, right? So, there’s definitely been moments in my life where I’m like, Ooh, I don’t think that landed well, because, you know, I think somebody really wanted me to be cuddly there, and I was like, yeah, I see you and you’re full of it.

Like you like, you know, you’re, this is like, this is stuff you’re buying into because it allows you to avoid the stuff you don’t wanna do. That [00:34:00] doesn’t always go well with people. .

Miriam: No, but wow, that’s powerful because very, very few people are willing to say, I see you, but also this thing, this thing that you’re doing, it’s not serving you.

[00:34:15] People’s Needs

Anne: It’s such a mean thing to say to somebody , like, not everybody needs that. I, I have had to learn to ask and I’m not, not always good about that. How do you want me to show up here? Do you want me to show up? You know, sympathetic sympathetically, are you asking for comfort?

Cuz I don’t always know it. . Yeah. Are you asking for coaching? Are you asking for Sometimes people don’t need to hear. That’s not serving you. They know it’s not serving them. Mm-hmm. , but they’re not ready for change, you know?

I have definitely lost friendships over it. People who want are very happy in their misery and would like company there and. I don’t, I just don’t do it. Sorry.

Miriam: Well, you offer many things, but that’s not one of [00:35:00] them. You know, I, I do think it’s a superpower because many people, you know, are so far one direction or the other, and you’ve managed you’ve managed to live in that space.

That’s powerful. I see you, but this is yours and I I don’t wanna take it on, so I’m not gonna give you even a seconds of letting you feel like maybe you should be something else cuz No, that’s, that’s, and and do you even know that it’s yours? You know, are you even aware that this is yours? Right, right. I do think over time Some of my clients whom I have coached have learned how to say, I know this isn’t serving me, but I’m just wanting to say it for a second.

Creating Space

Yeah. And I’m like, no problem. Yeah, totally. No problem. Totally. Yeah. As long as you’re aware, you’re welcome to. I mean, I had somebody say the other day to me, I know this is what’s going on and I have no intention of changing it at present. And I said, good to [00:36:00] know. Yeah, that’s good. I won’t bug you about it.

Anne: Yeah, . And I have to say, you know, as a coach and, and as a person, I, I think it’s really valuable to, to a, to create a space for somebody to come in and put all their stuff down. . That was something that when I was, when my kids were becoming teenagers and before I became a coach, I realized they were not actually asking me to pick it up for them.

Yeah, yeah. They were just asking for a safe place to put it down. Yes. So that was, you know, before I was be becoming a coach, and I recognize that in order to be that person, in order to create that space for my kids, I had to be quiet. I had. , I had to manage my own stuff so that I wasn’t putting that on them when they came home either.

Being Messy

Mm-hmm. . And so I shifted how I was working so that when they came home from school, I was quiet and calm. Yeah. And they could come in and be messy. And [00:37:00] I don’t just mean physically, but like emotionally just, or quiet, and then put it all down. And then they could decide what parts they wanted to pick up or not put up, pick up.

And I, I do that for my clients as, as well. And I, it’s, it’s such a simple thing. It’s just not easy to do, but it is so simple and so useful. Yeah. Oh, what a good skill.

Miriam: Oh my goodness. Anne, this has been such a great conversation. I feel sad that I’m gonna need to draw it to a close. Given your schedule and my schedule, I wanna ask one other quick question before I have you tell how people can reach out to you.

[00:37:41] Finding Anne

Miriam: What is a book that you feel like has shaped your thinking of late or you just feel like has been a value?

Anne: The Art of Possibility by rosemond Xander and Ben Xander is a really, really great book about. [00:38:00] Changing your mindset. Not necessarily even changing your mindset, but just seeing things a little differently and opening up possibility as a result.

Miriam: Wonderful. That’s great. I love these book recommendations.

I generally read every single one, and that’s one I haven’t read yet, so thank you. How can people find you?

Anne: Well They can visit my website, which is anne roach coaching.com. I also have a space where I have some podcasts and stories@fireandlight.org. But I. I am less interested in people finding me and more interested in people finding themselves.

So , . Spend the time asking yourself those questions to to everyone in your audience. Yes. What is it? What is it? If it weren’t about you, what else might be happening? What else might be [00:39:00] possible?

Miriam: I love that. Oh my goodness. Well, before we started this conversation, I mentioned that we like to do a donation in your name to one of three charities and you chose Mercy Ships.

Such a great charity. They give free surgeries to people in need. And the more I hear about kind of your background, that makes sense to me why you chose them. So we’ll do that as soon as we get off there, here, and This has been great. Thank you, Anne. So generous of you, Miriam. Thank you. And it’s such an honor to be here.

Thank you so much.


End Credits

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