This week I am talking about emotional regulation with Eliah Prichard. This was such an insightful conversation around boundary setting and more. Eliah is an educator, coach, and founder of Kaleidoscope. We also talk about emotional empowerment, how to speak your truth, and regulate emotions rather than mirror those around you.
Eliah helps people who are ready to feel epic in their bodies and confident in expressing their unique identity. Her hope is to equip people with the tools they need to adapt effectively to change in their lives.
We talk about:
- Self-abandonment as a behavior: how it manifests and what it looks like (5:44)
- The best place to start with boundary setting is learning how to regulate your emotions (12:33)
- Eliah shares an experience from childhood where embarrassment trumped physical pain (19:10)
- Using feelings an indicator for growth and change (22:31)
- What to do if you break down or get emotional during a boundary-setting conversation (16:01)
- “When you learn to be with your own emotions and have self-compassion for yourself, you are so much better being there for other people.” -Andrea (43:05)
“All you have control over is showing up. You can create the safety you crave and bring that to your relationships.” Eliah Prichard
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Eliah on TikTok
Compassionate Boundary Setting Scripts and Speech Detox Freebie from Eliah
Coaching with Andrea or lead coaches
Register for the Daring Way Retreat
Episode 143: Breathing for freedom with Kathleen Booker
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Eliah Prichard is an educator, coach and founder of Kaleidoscope, a self-development community inspiring people with emotional empowerment and boundary setting skills. Utilizing her Master’s degree in Couples and Family Therapy, Eliah works 1:1 with people who are ready to feel epic in their bodies and confident in expressing their unique identity. In an effort to reach more people with the tools they need to adapt effectively to change in their lives she has launched a variety of courses, including the Compassionate Boundary Setting Course, Boundary Setting 101 and Annihilate Anxiety.
Eliah was raised in Oregon and attended The University of Oregon for both her undergraduate degree and masters. She spent the last 7 years in London and Los Angeles as life coach for upper echelon creatives and high-end residential interior designer. She loves vintage silk Hawaiian shirts and is more likely to be found hiking a mountain than chillin on the beach.
All of those emotions are an aspect of our human experience and that's what makes living in these bodies so incredible because they emote and they feel all of these nuanced sensations and you can take that approach of being seen and apply that to your journey and make sure that you are seeing yourself through this process of self-development that you are witnessing, with honor and with love everything that you've gone through.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 442 with guest Elia Pritchard.
Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insights to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. Are you ready? Let's go.
Hi everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here. Have you been liking the minisodes? First and foremost, I want to ask you that. I appreciate it so much when you all, I mean I wouldn't assume that all of you would be…a lot of DMS, but I would read them all. When you tell me something that you liked about the podcast or something you would like to see if there's a guest that you think that I should have on you can always either email us support@AndreaOwen.com, You can send it to @YourKickAssLife too. I'm so used to saying it'll still come to us support@AndrewOwen.com. Or you can DM me on Instagram. I'm a little bit slow over there lately, but I do read them all. I am the one who still checks those. And do you like the minisodes? Do you have a question that you want me to answer on minisode? Kind of like the last one that I did. This one coming up is my birthday. I am supposed to record it this morning and I still have no idea what I'm going to do. I will come up with some. I've been stewing on some ideas. But thank you for any and all feedback that you give us. We read everything. We appreciate everything. The show is for you. And I want to make sure that we are giving you the best content that we possibly can.
If you are interested in working with us, if you're interested in working with me, yours truly, you can two ways you can work with me two different ways privately. AndreaOwen.com/apply. If for some reason I end up not being a fit for you, I have two amazing mentor coaches right now I call them lead coaches, Sabrina and Liz. Sabrina might be full right now, but we will find the best fit for you.
Also my Daring Way, also known as Daring Greatly retreat, it is the curriculum from Brené Brown's book Daring Greatly. It's the stuff that she's probably the most famous for, learning shame resilience. We go through vulnerability, connection, trust, so many important things that are life skills, in my opinion. And coping skills really is more specifically what they are. If you go over to Andrea owen.com/retreat, that retreat is in Asheville, North Carolina in September, there are a few spots left. Don't wait to sign up. Because especially if you want a solo room, I think there's only like one or two left. Don't quote me on that, but you can head over there and see what's available. We do that in September if I didn't already say that.
And we're rounding the corner here with the last of our therapy guests talking about different modalities and things like that. Next, we're going into relationships. I've been recording these episodes, and I'm really excited what's coming up. We're talking about all different stuff, all different stuff. And then we're gonna do spirituality and creativity. So I'm loving this I love organization and, instead of just kind of like whatever, willy nilly, but I hope you're liking it too. Today we have Eliah Pritchard on and I love this conversation with her around emotional regulation specifically. I know that you're gonna love it too. And let me tell you a little bit about her life. Eliah Pritchard is an educator coach and founder of The
Rebound Way, a self-development community seeking to empower people with emotion regulation, and boundary setting skills. Utilizing her master's degree in couples and family therapy, Eliah works one on one with people who are ready to feel epic in their bodies and confident in expressing their unique identity. Eliah was raised in Oregon and attended the University of Oregon for both her undergraduate and master's degrees. She has spent the last seven years in London and Los Angeles as a life coach and interior designer. So without further ado, here is Eliah.
Eliah Welcome to the show thank you so much for being here.
I'm so excited to be here. We're going to talk boundary setting and emotion regulation.
I am excited. I know let's talk about everything boundaries. Like who doesn't like check out?
No, none of us avoid that conversation at all, ever.
No, nobody does. But I can assure you that probably everyone who listens to this show, at the very least, likes to learn about it. You know like, how do I do it properly? What happens if this happens? What do I say in this situation? So we're gonna, hopefully get into to as much ass we can. But I would love to ask you, what I'm really curious to, how did you how did you get into this work? Did you set out to like, be a boundary setting person or did something…
No, like, I think I lived most of my life as a very dedicated people pleaser, who just self-abandoned all the time, in order to connect with people. But I ultimately was in psychology, I worked as a behavioral trainer supporting children in residential centers in healing, post trauma. So I did a lot of attachment therapy, a lot of kind of neural reconstruction behavioral therapy with them. And then I got my master's in couples and family therapy and that work that kind of collected five, six years of experience for me, made such a huge difference, because in order to be A) a good therapist, and B) support children in healing from trauma, like I had to ground in my boundaries, I had to learn how to speak my truth, I had to learn how to set limits, and regulate my emotions so that when the kids had these big behaviors, and the sort of violent or traumatic experiences, instead of escalating with them, which is our natural inclination when people escalate around us, you know, our nervous systems want to mirror that. Instead of doing that, in order to be effective in my job, I had to learn how to go down like super Zen Buddha mode, so that I was very grounded and very calm and could handle other people's big emotions, which, as people pleaser, who really like let other people guide my emotions for a long time, that was a big job to learn how to do, but it made such a huge difference and kind of propelled me into alright, like, as a coach, and as an educator, what changed my life and what content can I bring to people, that almost potently changed theirs. And wading through everything, it came down to boundary setting, and it came down to emotional regulation and emotional empowerment. Those two things.
I feel like that is the foundation of personal development. I always say, definitely, your values are at the center of it, but I think that that's, that's values are great when you are of sound mind, when you can think clearly, when you're not in a trauma response. That's great. Like, let's go in that direction, which is, which is fantastic for coaching. And but I love the kind of trajectory that got you there. You gotta be curious about something, and this is a term that I know that I've heard on this podcast from a few guests, but I don't think that I've touched on it. When you say self-abandoned, what does that look like? Like, how does that manifest as a behavior?
When we were younger, our natural inclination is to seek love and support and connection from the people in our lives, right, so that we can survive and depending on the context in which you grew up, depending on your relationships with your parents, and your kind of family setting and your family environment, you may have needed to, quote self-abandon in order to get that connection and that support. So self-abandonment is anything from shutting down your emotions in order to make other people feel more comfortable, talking yourself out of your inherent boundaries or your truth in order to sustain a relationship or connection. You're essentially…
Is that just like, kind of like making excuses and justifications for someone else's behavior?
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. In order to keep the peace, right, you know, or setting your needs aside in order to meet the needs of others. So be the person that is giving, giving, giving, rather than having a balanced relationship where you're able to receive and to give and have some reciprocity there. So self-abandoning, really covers everything from shutting down or ignoring or avoiding your emotions, to not speaking your truth, and putting yourself aside. Right? So not bringing yourself into the picture in order to keep a relationship going with somebody. What do you think? How do you guys kind of conceptualize that over there?
The same? You articulated it beautifully. Thank you. And I don't I think I've… Well in my last book I wrote about how women in particular are socialized and it's just our culture to, to raise little girls to do all of those things that you said, you know, to put everyone else's comfort before yours never rock the boat, make a scene or, you know, speak out against something, people please until the cows come home. All of those things. And that aside, I saw so much of myself in what you were saying. And here's the kicker. I had a I had a happy childhood. Like I was not abused. I was very lucky. I was loved and my parents were affectionate. And all of those things that you mentioned still happen. And I think that that's not that uncommon. You know, we talk about or hear about people who had childhood trauma, I think what comes to mind is these very obvious and egregious things that are that will bring you to your knees, these stories. And there can be more subtle things that happen that still carry with us into adulthood. You know, that that was you know, the birth of my own pretty severe codependency, my love addiction, and then my alcoholism and I kept thinking like, where did this come from?
Yeah, it's such a valid question. It's such a valid question.
Nobody talked about emotions, it was shoved down, feelings were made fun of all of those things. So I just I wanted to say the personal anecdote, because I know that there's people listening who, you know, had a variety of childhoods, and it all matters.
It all matters. And ultimately, none of us were taught how to emotionally regulate and access our own individual needs and our truths and learn how to speak boundaries and if we did, then I think that would mitigate some of these situations where you may not have gone through something that was traumatic or abusive, and caused you to need to adapt in very severe ways. But you were still never taught how to be empowered in your body and clear all those overwhelming emotions like anxiety and guilt and shame and fear and anger and depression that get in your way of speaking your truth and fully stepping into the life that you want to live. Or you like you weren't taught how to use your body as a vehicle for empowerment.
So where does someone start? Like if we're talking to a woman who's listening, you know, she's anywhere from probably 30 to 55, and she's like, yes, Eliah, that was my life. And where do I even begin? Or maybe they've gone to talk therapy, and they kind of like, logically see their quote, unquote, issues. But when it comes to the physicality of it, where can someone start?
The best place to start always, always, always is with your emotional regulation and your body. The thing with boundary setting is it doesn't really matter if you know the scripts, and you know, the right words. Like if you can't emotionally attune yourself to the emotions that you want to feel right compassion, connection, love empowerment, then the words aren't going to be able to come to you anyway. Right? You're going to be in a state of defensiveness when you're trying to speak your truth when you're trying to stand up for yourself or express your needs. So the place to start always is with whatever overwhelming emotion shows up in your body most frequently. So that question in and of itself, just answering that is the very first step, no matter what self-development journey you're going on.
So I'm assuming that's typically fear, sadness, frustration, anger…
Anxiety or guilt. Those are huge ones that come up frequently for people. So when you identify that, then you can start to dig into okay, how do I respond when anxiety comes up in my body for instance? Do I project it on to other people with blame or content or resentment? Do I project passive aggression? Defensiveness, or do I shut it down? Do I like compartmentalize, withdraw and isolate? Right?
Say everything's fine. Don't worry about it, talk yourself out of it.
Rationalize other people's behaviors. Yeah, so you identify the emotion, you identify how you respond to it, and from there, you're gonna start to build awareness, right? And that's where your value systems can start to come into place because you started to build awareness around your behavioral patterns and then you can start to self soothe and self-regulate those and slow the roll a little bit, slow down that process so that you can start to disrupt it, you know, with breath work practices, or meditations or exercise or dancing. We could do a whole separate conversation just on self-soothing practices,
I'll bet. I've had some guests on recently who talked about self-soothing for practices, and it's, it's exactly the same as what you just mentioned. And I'm thinking about, like, what do I do during those moments? And it's what you just mentioned. When it's in the moment, I usually I've told my listeners this before, I am quick to jump to anger that is my go to, when I am scared or hurt, you know, afraid, I immediately get angry. And then I start crying. So I let myself have the tears because previously I wouldn't I would shove it down and try to put on this strong armor and then I also I named what's there, and you know only to save people. And I also exactly what you said I have to breathe because I'm or I'll hold my breath. And that exacerbates the problem, I realize.
Yeah, so you're compartmentalizing all these feelings, that's sort of the natural inclination, and then it explodes into anger and then, like, the expression of the body wants to come up in those tears. But when you're shutting that down, it just like continues the cycle, right? So it's so beautiful that you're letting it out and witnessing your body and just allowing it to go through the process it needs to go through while you support it, learning a different way of emoting and communicating.
Thank you. And my body would like laugh a little bit because I swung the pendulum so far the other way, when I realized, okay, you can't do anything you want. But it's not healthy to have outbursts of anger and name call and yell, which was my former marriage. And now, I swung it so far the other way where I would shove it down, and I'm like, okay, and I kind of made up a story like, well, feelings, maybe it's not that bad. Maybe I'm making up that it's worse than it really is. So I wanted to say that too. It's like, okay, you can go too far in the other direction.
So I'm still after all these years, like learning what the middle ground is, and learning how to how to manage, to self-manage enough, so I can have a healthy conversation. It's very tricky. And I want to get into this too, because then the, and then I'm also I find myself wanting to take care of the feelings of whoever I'm having the conversation with. Which is another thing to learn if like, okay, I'm not responsible for their emotions, as long as I'm showing up with kindness and clarity and all those things. So, okay, before I do want to circle over to that, like, what people can do like in a moment of these hard conversations and boundary setting. But can you tell us what, what is the circus ball story? Very curious about that.
Okay, the circus ball story is essentially, when I was eight, seven or eight years old, I had this moment, for the first time in my life, where I realized that I was in charge of determining the emotions that I felt in my body. I had this, like, aha split, second insight drop, moment of realizing, you know, I actually get to choose my internal experience. And what it was, as I was on a stage in my elementary, it was one of those old elementaries with like, the oak stages in the gym, you know, and I've no idea why it was…A couple centuries old school kind of thing. And we're on the stage, me and a couple of friends just passing time, I have no idea what we're doing and why we're in in class, but we're just passing time. And there were these like, two foot by two foot, you know, kind of diameters hard circus balls, like you'd see an elephant kind of prancing around on and like a classic circus poster and scene setting stuff. We had had some circus performers there for our PE class or whatever. But we were passing time. And as a classic middle child, I was like, oh, I bet I could just like glideacross the top of that circus ball and like, impress some people and do the entertaining thing, you know and I'm pretty confident in my abilities, so I'm just gonna pop up there and like, it can't be that hard, and everyone thinks they're just gonna think I'm great. And this is gonna be awesome. You know? Of course, I climb up on the little mats, and I take one step on the circuit board. I'm like, this is going great. Okay, I'm going to impress… yeah, cuz you know, you we balance on it.
Oh, I thought you were gonna like belly roll over them.
No, that's not that. No, we just seen in my PE class these adult gymnasts like I am not a gymnast. I have never been like, just to clarify a terrible balance. We have just seen these adult gymnasts like walking along the circus ball and like having a glide effortlessly below them. So I was like, I just can't be that hard. And of course, I took one step on and then the next thing I knew, like my feet were in the air above my head. I was crashing down onto the floor. But there's this micro moment when I fell onto the floor between when I fell and when I got up there, like changed everything. So in that moment, I hit my tailbone super, super hard, right? So I felt this rush of pain through my body. I don't know if you've ever bruised or hit your tailbone. Yeah, constantly, right? So like your legs start instantly, like throbbing with severe pain, your gut kind of starts to turn, your whole body just sort of cringes. And I felt that rush of pain go through my body. And then a split second later, I felt this intense heat of embarrassment take over all of the pain. And I had this thought, before I even like moved, just as I was processing this sort of intense experience of like, why would embarrassment take over physical pain?
And I was a kid who, you know, I wanted to hide my feelings. So even expressing physical pain around people is something that I didn't feel comfortable doing. But then the idea that embarrassment would rush in, and trump actual physical damage didn't make sense to me at all. And the thought dropped in and I'm like, Well, if that's the case, then embarrassment isn't a logical emotion. And I'm not going to feel it anymore and those were the words I was like, embarrassment doesn't make sense. It's worthless to me. And so as I stood up, I like consciously decided I'm not going to feel embarrassment anymore. If it doesn't make sense, that emotion isn't serving me. And it's not following any rules of logic. And I never did. And that was kind of the first moment in my life, when I realized the emotions that we're taught to feel, by our social environments by our family, are just that they are tied to the context in which we're taught them and we can choose how we feel at any point in time As we're adults, as we are changing the environments and the relationships that we're in, we can choose to renegotiate our relationships to our emotions, so that they serve us, and they support us in speaking our truth. And we can change yeah, the way that we make meaning out of what comes up in our body, essentially,
Yes, the meaning making. Okay, I love that story. I'm so sorry that you had to get hurt. But I'm curious, because I've always really disliked that alleged Eleanor Roosevelt, quote, of like, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. And I'm like, try telling that to someone who has a trauma response, or who has complex PTSD? Like, I've always felt like, there are some feelings and responses, I shouldn't say responses to, to words, to certain people who trigger us, like, where we really don't have any control over it. So is what you're describing kind of like a PhD in personal development? Or is that, or do you teach people that just for kind of anyone,
I teach it for anyone. Absolutely anyone and everyone. And I believe we should start teaching this very, very early. You know, and part of that is just allowing parents to have education right on emotion regulation, boundary setting, so that they can separate their challenges from their children's right? And just educate their children to be empowered in their body. But an emotion is just like a sensation in your body, it's a physical sensation paired with a cognitive thought, or a meaning making, right? So you have a nervous system response that makes you feel whatever sensation you feel in your body. And then you pair it with a thought. And that's how the emotion is created.
So take anxiety, for instance, anxiety might be the flipping of the stomach, tingling in the hands kind of nervous, uppity energy. Well, you can take the same sensations and apply them to excitement. Right? So how we make meaning out of what's going on in our body is something that everyone can learn how to do, and how to process and they can use those feelings that feel overwhelming, like the anger or the fear, or the guilt, to start indicating to them. Not oh, my God, this is terrible, I've failed, nothing's ever gonna work out, I'm gonna be alone forever. They could take those feelings and be like, oh, I'm feeling that sensation in my nervous system that I used to pair with guilt and now I'm going to use it as an indicator for growth and for change. Right, so…
Yeah, okay. I gotcha. And I and I'm also assuming that that that's a, a process, you know, it's not just a flip of a switch.
It’s absolutely a process. Like you were talking about in your journey, when you went from exploding and loving the anger to be you to using your brain to redirect it, right? You went from being fully embodied, to being fully in your cognitive world all up in the head and now you're seeing embodiment paired with the kind of logical meaning-making side of things you're finding that balance between being in your body, witnessing the nervous system, right? It's all neural pathways that you've got going on. Like you got to witness your nervous system. Appreciate that the brain does take time to change, but it does change. And so you just have to find that balance between having compassion and curiosity for what your body is experiencing and I allowing it to go through that process while sort of slowly feeding in new self-soothing practices, you know, new experiences of communicating in ways that are safe with yourself and with other people, and just giving it the time to develop this new neural pathways. But also being in the body and allowing it to, to be in its process, right, because we can't go from zero to 100. Unfortunately.
Right. Thank you, because that's what I was, I was kind of like, interpreting it and I'm like, surely she can't mean…
Come on, get with it. Just have these, like, deep insights. She's, you know, I mean, she sure. Like, I cleared embarrassment when I was young, this one little moment, but then, like, had all the other emotions to experience. You know, I had another sort of…
It's probably not linear. And yeah, but it is possible. That I truly believe. And I can attest that it's changed a lot. And I will I will mention this quickly, too, because recently, I had, I recorded a podcast with a dear friend of mine, where I was talking about… Do you follow Brené Browns work at all? Okay. So she has a book out recently and in the book, and on her podcast, she talked about some new research that came out around the emotion of humiliation. And I have a situation that happened about 15 years ago, my husband had an affair with our neighbor, got her pregnant, it was like, truly awful, and profoundly humiliating. And when I was in training around Brine’s work, they kind of just the focus was on shame. And I took it as like humiliation has the same physical manifestation, it feels the same in the body, but it's really… I made up that they were kind of saying it's really not that big of a deal. And so I was like, oh, maybe my experience, maybe I'm just overreacting feeling this way. So the long and short of it is she came out recently, and on her podcast and said, I'm rethinking how we're looking at humiliation. And it can have really profound effects on people. You know, homicidal and suicidal violence. I turned the violence onto myself after that happened. All that to say, the experience of really feeling seen and the emotion, I can't tell you how healing that was, and this was fairly recent, and gave me the ability, it was immensely helpful. I say all of that, because I think part of the problem for many of us, myself included, who grew up, where we didn't talk about feelings, or feelings, or many times, we were told we were wrong for having them especially as children and young adults. It's dehumanizing and, and we don't feel seen as like a three-dimensional person. So I think when we can finally experience that, in my experience, I should say, I felt like that was really part of the puzzle for learning how to regulate.
And I just want to say one more thing. One of the things I vow to teach my children which I which I have in there, kind of like even sick of hearing it, as I've always told them, since they were little, your feelings are never wrong. Whatever you feel, that is your experience and my job as your parent, is that I will never make you wrong and tell you that you shouldn't be scared, that you shouldn't be nervous, that you're overreacting to anything. But what you're responsible for is your behavior from said feelings. Absolutely. That's what I might hold you accountable for. If you're nasty to me, if you're being mean to someone, right, because you're upset, whatever. So I think even just that I feel like just allows these children, hopefully, my kids to be truly seen and all of their humanity.
Absolutely. Because the reality is sure you get to choose how you feel. But at the same time, it can be crazy making when these big emotions come up and society tells you, you shouldn't be feeling those. But you're like, but you taught me how to feel these. You told me that this is an instance where I should feel embarrassment or this is an instance where I should be humiliated. Like you taught me how to do that and now you're telling me that it's wrong, that I feel that way, like what am I supposed to do from there, right? And you really do need to slow down and acknowledged like, all of those emotions are an aspect of our human experience and that's what makes living in these bodies so incredible, because they emote and they feel all of these nuanced sensations. And you can take that approach of being seen and apply that to your journey and make sure that you are seeing yourself through this process of self-development that you are witnessing with honor and with love everything that you've gone through rather than resentment, right? Because we can project onto ourselves as well. Shame for feeling the way that we feel, resentment for feeling the way that we feel. Right we can have emotions about our emotions.
Totally. You said something really important. You said you know making sure that we see ourselves was not just about you know, having other people that we trust see us but actually seeing yourself as an emotional being.
Yeah, that's important. And just witnessing that, because everything that you've gone through can be used to support you moving forward in a way that feels really good. Like, you're never going to shame yourself into a better place. You're never gonna shame other people into a better place. So you gotta find compassionate center. I know it just doesn't work. Unfortunately. It doesn't work. You've got to find that compassionate center, and allow your body to be in the state that it's in now and just witness it. And then slowly start to renegotiate your relationship to those sensations in those emotions. Right? You mentioned working on your codependency. And of course, if you are in habit of tying your emotions with other people's emotions, then someone else's behavior in your marriage is going to feel like it reflects directly on you. Even though from a cognitive place, you know, that thought person's behavior had nothing to do with your ability to be a respected, loved person in the world, who is valued.
Codependent person can hear that all day long, but it won’t really matter.
It won’t sink into the body. Yeah. So you have to go through that process of really witnessing how their nervous system and how your body is reacting. And going, I got you, I got you. We're going to self soothe brand, do some breath work, I'm going to show you tons of love, and I'm gonna slowly start to introduce these new tools and these new ways to interact with my center of empowerment and my voice and who I'm wanting to be in this moment.
I feel my calm already. I want to tell everybody too, I had Kathleen Booker on my show a couple of years ago, probably I'll put that link in the show notes and she talks specifically about breath work and even does a breath work exercise on the show. So I'll pop that in the show notes.
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Can you give us advice about what does someone do if they have prepared for a hard conversation with someone and maybe it's a boundary, whether it's with a parent or a partner, or maybe even you know a manager at work or a good friend, and they get emotional during the conversation? Because I found that sometimes you may not even have specific feelings so much, but even just being vulnerable in the moment makes us emotional. I've certainly been down that path before, where I kind of don't even know why I'm crying, have a good reason. It's just that I'm kind of exposing myself to someone that I have an emotional connection with. So what can someone do in those moments? Like how can they practice emotional regulation, when the stakes are kind of high?
Absolutely. Well, imagine what you would do if you felt really nervous about getting up on stage to speak. But it was really important for you to say what you were about to say and to show up for that opportunity. Right? In sort of a more neutral business-oriented experience, you would do whatever self-soothing practices you need to do before you go on stage, you would take some deep breaths, you would use whatever affirmations you find helpful in that moment. I am powerful, I am safe, I am confident I am capable, I am excited, I'm ready for this opportunity, I really grow, everyone wants to see me succeed. And you would start to integrate that. But ultimately, you would step on stage, despite the anxiety, despite the fear. Trusting that the more that you do that, the more comfortable your body's going to get with it. And it's the same with these intimate conversations that we have, it can be very stressful and scary to start speaking your truth and to show up when your body doesn't trust that that's safe yet, and hasn't learned that that's safe yet.
So what I would encourage you to do is to regulate first, do what you can to center, take some breaths. And if you're in the middle of a conversation, and this is just sprung on you, this is permission to take space and come back to the conversation. Right? To take space to say I need a few minutes to regulate my body. I need a few minutes to go on a walk and just kind of clear what's coming up for me right now. Or to get some air, yeah. And then to come back to the conversation. And you might only feel 2% better, but that 2% is going to build over time. You get to the place where it's not so jarring to be vulnerable with other people. In fact, it's not vulnerable anymore because you know, and your body knows that it's safe to have these conversations. Maybe for the first time in your life, right? Especially if you grew up in contexts where it wasn't safe to speak your truth.
If you're in the middle of a conversation, what I recommend people do, and this might as well just start as a practice with yourself, is to acknowledge what's coming up for you and your body, right? To say, you might see my body start to cry, or I'm feeling very activated right now and I want you to know that I'm trying to be present with you in this conversation and it's really important to me. So please just understand that, like, my body's gonna be processing, whatever it's going to process, I might be crying, I might feel like I'm shaking, my chest might get red and splotchy. But like, that is just my body learning that it's safe. Okay? So I'm showing up with you now as my most conscious self, but my body is going to be doing whatever it's doing. Right? So just speaking that into the space takes the embarrassment out of it, it takes the shame out of it, it brings some of that empowerment back into your present moment, and then you can start to speak from there knowing that like, you don't have to worry about what the other person is thinking because you've just defined what your body is doing to them. You've told them it's fine. It's going to be what it is. And now I'm here to have this conversation with you.
Right, I love that. I love that. I often say the same advice by prefacing the conversation and just like in coaching, we call it saying what's there.
And just allowing transparency.
My son is autistic and he has taught me so much about honesty.
It's so something he would do, like…
How freeing that is.
Here’s what's happening. There are no elephants in the room when he's there. Because he’s… That's there, that's there. Why isn't anyone talking about it. But I often give the advice to have exactly what you said, plus, if the person that you're having a conversation with has a tendency to want to take care of you, is to tell them that they don't have to. I'm okay, I really need to get through this conversation. Please don't, please don't interrupt me, even if I do break down. I love how you said it, you use such beautiful words. I would say something like, I might lose my shit. And you're like, my body might be activated, I love that. It’s so much prettier.
I might lose my shit. I know, well, you know, years of practice, right years of price, sort of stepping out of the emotional experience and just witnessing it, right? Being with it rather than within it allows me like that was what makes me feel most comfortable. When I'm explaining to people what my body is experiencing, or when I'm just witnessing what my body is experiencing. We're like, ah, that's just my body. Yep, doing its thing. And this is now my mind coming through and my voice coming through. And those two things can work together. They don't have to be in opposition. But I also don't need to control my body, because I know that it will slowly develop to follow my mind and follow my intentions for my life and for my relationships. If I give it the opportunity to do so. How have you navigated that in your more recent relationships, kind of the overwhelming things?
Similar, but where my mind was going, it was definitely to what you were touching on in the beginning of our conversation about learning how to self-regulate. When we start to do that, and I don't know if it needs to go in any particular order, because it kind of just they follow each other, but when you learn to be with your own emotions and have compassion for yourself, you are so much better at being there for other people. Because I, and I think a lot of people listening who grew up in families where, you know, we didn't, we didn't talk about feelings or emotions, and we learned how to shut them down, as I grew up, and saw people… Especially when I went to coach training and emotions come up when people bring coaching topics. I was scared shitless I was like, What do I do? How do I fix this? How do we get out of this situation? What strategy do I need to implement? What words do I need to say? And it took me a while to learn how to just sit with people in their vulnerable state and really, truly the reason was, was because I couldn't even be with my own feelings.
And I actually, so our coaching training was in five different weekends. And I went to the first one and then didn't go back for 14 months. I was having a baby, that was part of it, but it was so overwhelming. And I realized how much work I needed to do on myself before I could show up for other people. And then I got sober. I have 10 years of sobriety and as soon as I got sober that was when like, oh, I need to actually like learn about emotions and like my own feelings and because when you can't shove it into a bottle of wine it’s….
Right. When you have to be present with it and you can't dissociate from it. Suddenly, it's very real and you realize that you are in control of all of the sensations that come up in your body. But that's such a paradox as well that comes up with people.
It felt like a raw nerve. For a while, and but it gets better, it gets easier. And like I don't want people to be like freaked out as we're talking about it, it gets better and easier. And the connections that I have now with people are so much different than they used to be I highly recommend it.
Absolutely, yeah. You got to reconnect. I was gonna say that's the paradox with people who are in a habit of codependency or people pleasing, is that it's comes with this narrative of being people first, and people focused and just being like, I have so much love and compassion for other people. And that is why I prioritize them over everything else. But ultimately, because you're not connecting to yourself, you're not regulating your own emotions, you're not differentiating your identity from the identity of other people. When you do show up in those relationships, you're showing up from like a shell, of who you actually are under the guise of supporting people, but ultimately, you're not even there. You're not stepping into your life, you're not stepping into the picture. And so you can't actually be in alignment with that value of supporting other people until you're willing to do that work. But it does get easier.
It does. And like, I remember that codependent place of feeling like I was just in a panic all the time of trying to control other people's emotions, trying to control my own emotions and behaviors. And it was just exhausting. And it was, it honestly was from a place of, like you said, self-abandonment. Like, that's what I have learned and how it manifests many times as codependency.
Yeah, it's impossible, right? You can't control other people's emotions in order to feel in control of yours.
Which is why I try.
I did too for a very long time. I really, really, really tried, I really tried. You know, and it's the same with the kind of like anxious attachment styles as well, or the avoidant attachment styles. You are attempting to control your own body and sensations and your own emotions, by either avoiding or over controlling and manipulating other people. To hold on to a connection that you don't have control over or holding on to, all you have control over is showing up in your heart, in your grounded centered self. and with your truth, and feeling the way that you really want to feel in your body. Whether that be joy, or peace or inspiration. Right? But that can be scary and you have to just slowly step into the idea that you can create the safety that you crave, by yourself within your own body and resource that yourself and then bring that to your relationships.
I've also found I don't know if you had this epiphany to when you were during doing the work. And I say this because I really want to encourage people to move forward if they're feeling kind of stuck. The amount, the sense of freedom that I felt, not having to worry about anyone else’s, not having to try to control anyone else's behavior or feelings, except I was like, Oh, this is so. So less stressful.
I don't know how to take responsibility for your dysfunction. Oh my God. I feel amazing. The world of possibilities that opens up after that.
It's nonlinear. But I distinctly remember that feeling of freedom of just, oh God, especially if you're involved with addicts, or just people who really are struggling with their decisions. That's a whole other conversation for another time.
Well, it's major, but you have that ability to step in, right? You have to you're like, I'm going to step into something and I don't know what it is but I'm pretty sure there's a different experience I can be having on this earth. And it's okay not to know what it is even if it's freakin scary to not know what the other options are. But there are other options, right? And there's so many people that have tools and mentorship and wisdom and 90% of it isn't going to be relevant to you. It's not going to land, you know? But just making that decision, I'm going to choose to step into something different and explore and allow myself to go through that process is so major. So I want to honor you for that too because it's huge to witness that.
Yeah and I hope this whole episode, everybody isn't coming across as like, Yay, Andrea gets a pat on the back. Congratulations. No, I'm very transparent about my journey and you know, when I fell backwards and what the whole thing looks like, and I know that there are people listening who see a lot of themselves in either how I used to behave, how I still behave sometimes, or how I want to be and, and I like to give people real life examples, but not always show them just the good parts like because it's messy. It's messy, and it's beautiful and it's all of those things.
It’s definitely messy, and it can definitely be beautiful. And there's no one path, all you have to do is take one step, like one new thing, one new podcast, one new book, one new mentor, one new blog post, one new like documentary. And eventually, as you continue to integrate those new options into your life, you're going to find the things that work for you. And things will change.
100%. And I'm sure that you're going to be the next mentor on their list. And everyone I know I mentioned it in the intro, but I found Elia on TikTok, and we'll drop all of your social links in the in the show notes, of course.
Okay, this has been so informative, and wonderful and helpful, I'm sure to so many people. Is there anything before we go, is there anything that you want to say that I may have not asked you or just that you want to close up with so you can feel complete?
Yeah, well, first, just thank you for having me on. It's been really lovely to sit down and talk about this with you. I'm also self-development nerd, so I can relate to your community. Just all of it and all the time people ask me what fiction novels I read. And I'm like, babe, I'm all nonfiction. Like, give me all the self-development…
I’m the opposite I really, I follow a lot of those people online but at the end of the night, like one way that I regulate is fiction, because I don't drink anymore so like I get lost in like a thriller snd that helps me wind down. Yep.
I'm working up to that stuff. No, I mean, I just want to encourage people to just start taking the baby steps and trust that when you start turning towards your body, and learning how to negotiate your relationship to your emotions, all of those things that you are wanting for your life will start to, you'll start to have access to them, and they'll start to fall into place.
Some people want to while a lot of people, in general just want to skip to the end, they want to say I want the words for the boundaries, I want to know how to communicate with my partner, I want to know how to go get that job and talk myself into a position that inspires me. But you have to get your body ready for those new experiences in order to effectively adapt to all that change that you're calling in. So while it can feel like there's a million options, and it can feel very overwhelming, the formula is very simple. Right? You just create that space, you start to regulate your emotions, and find empowerment in how you interact with your emotions. And the words for the boundaries will start showing up because now you're gonna have access to your truth, right? Your body's regulated, you're gonna have access to your truth, you're gonna have so much inherent wisdom and genius that comes through your intuition, and you're going to have the words, and you're going to know what to do from there. Right? So I'm just encouraging you guys to not feel too overwhelmed by the process, not need to have all the specific answers yet, and just to start small there, even if it feels elementary, it is elementary We should have been taught it at the beginning of our lives. We weren't right? So now we're going back to basics and really building that foundation for ourselves.
We love all of that so much I love when you said renegotiate our relationship with our emotions. And I love the way that that was worded. So where can everyone like where do you want them to go specifically to learn more about you or consume more of your work?
Yeah. To places TikTok is a great place to find me. And then if you're looking for kind of low cost, bite sized self-development courses on emotion regulation and boundary setting, I've got this up at TheReboundWay.com.
Amazing. Thank you so much for those for those resources. And as I mentioned, all of the links will be in the show notes, everyone. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.
Hey, everyone, thanks again for listening to the show. And just a quick reminder that if your company needs a speaker or a trainer, I might be the right person for you. I speak and do keynotes on competence and resilience for mixed audiences as well as do trainings on the daring way which is the methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. So if you think it might be a good fit, hit me up at support@AndreaOwen.com. or head over to my speaking page AndreaOwen.com/Speaking.