Rebecca Ray: Lovely ones welcome to episode number 20. I’d like to start this episode with an apology. In Episode 19, I referred to cows as my spirit animal.
Rebecca Ray: I was waffling on about how much I love cows. And I use the term spirit animal to refer to them. I realised now this is cultural appropriation. My anti racism work is deeply important to me, and it’s ongoing.
Rebecca Ray: I am constantly unlearning and learning how to be a better ally. I apologise for any offence that may have been caused by me using that term. I should have just said I love cows.
Rebecca Ray: Thank you for your patience with me, as I do better.
Rebecca Ray: In this conversation, I’m talking with Danielle Brooker on being human discomfort as a necessity and living bravely.
Rebecca Ray: Danielle Brooker is a joy coach, working with highly ambitious stressed out women in their 30s who are stuck at a crossroads.
Rebecca Ray: She takes them from questioning Should I or shouldn’t I quit my job to living a joyful life regardless of what job they’re in. Spending over a decade building a career in economics and policy, working for government and health charities.
Rebecca Ray: She kept finding herself in great jobs, she didn’t feel great in questioning what her next career move should be. A stressful burnout led her to take time away from work and to begin to build a new relationship with busy to get back to feeling like herself again.
Rebecca Ray: Danielle is passionate about growth, great coffee, and all things well being. Through her new coaching. She now supports women who are transitioning through phase of life issues, from wanting to change careers, figuring out a relationship break down, or when to start a family. at their core.
Rebecca Ray: They’re wanting to reclaim their lives from busy and people pleasing to finally feel like themselves again. And in this episode, I had a great conversation with Danielle talking about discomfort and what’s necessary for anything that’s important in your life.
Rebecca Ray: And we also talk about your fearful and your courageous selves and having a sustainable approach to busy and the power of joy as a stabilising mechanism. I hope you enjoy it.
Danielle Brooker: We are going to be joined by the lovely Dr. Rebecca Ray. And I’m just so grateful for the conversation that you’re about to tune into because I first connected with Rebecca over on Instagram, I started seeing her posts and these beautiful quote cards popping up in other people’s stories.
Danielle Brooker: And I kept thinking, Who is this woman? Because every time I saw a quote from her I was like, Yes. Well, I was like, Oh, damn, yep, that’s true. And I would click through and read, you know, all the beautiful content that she creates. And I was like, it always came with a kind of like a teachable moment for me.
Danielle Brooker: I was always like, not only does this feel good for me, or it gives me some sort of way to move forward. It also felt really honest and really open and really warm. I then during this whole stay home stay stay safe restrictions that we’ve all been under a place most of us across the world as far as I’m aware.
Danielle Brooker: For the last few months, Rebecca started to do this really cool a live gig in her living room with her beautiful wife Nyssa, who you’ll hear more about in the episode.
Danielle Brooker: And what that really showed me was even more of Rebecca’s spirit, even more of her. I just this lovely, open, warm nature that she has, she is hilarious, or at least I think she is. And these gem sessions was Nyssa singing and Rebecca kind of leading the benta and I just felt so welcomed in her presence.
Danielle Brooker: And I just feel like that’s such an incredible quality to have, particularly for the field of work that Rebecca’s in.
Danielle Brooker: So she is an author, a clinical psychologist and her message has really centred on the task of living bravely and in the truth of our experiences as finders and seekers of meaning and connection and we talk a lot about it.
Danielle Brooker: This principle that she really has in her life around living bravely and meaningfully, and I and she really, she has a lot of practical examples throughout the episode of how you can, how you can show up more how you can do something with more courage, but also, like, get to know that all these different selves that you have inside of you.
Danielle Brooker: And she’s been a clinical psychologist for the best part of two decades and has created digital courses, including overcoming self sabotage, from paralysis to progress and radical courage.
Danielle Brooker: She’s also the author of self kindness book, be brave and happy. She’s also got a brand new book coming up on boundaries, which is just a mega topic. And it’s incredible, you know, transformation to be had.
Danielle Brooker: So much more I could say about Rebecca. So let me come to the conversation that we had. And first and foremost, I want to acknowledge that the conversation that we had, and the time of the recording was middle of June 2020, I really want to acknowledge all of the global events that are going on right now.
Danielle Brooker: And particularly the Black Lives Matters, movement. And Rebecca, and I really sparked, you know, offline off record, before we hit record, you know, about what was going on, and what we stand for, and what we believe in, and we stand wholeheartedly with the movement.
Danielle Brooker: And we really are taking an opportunity, you know, I’ve used the language personally for myself around being quiet, not silent, I really want to make that distinction being quiet as I learn as I educate, as I unlearn as, you know, as I listen, as I hear.
Danielle Brooker: And we agreed that in honour of amplifying black voices, particularly at this point, in time, when this episode is coming out and being aired, we just wanted you to know that in honour of that we chose not to talk about racism, and anti racism and the movement during our particular podcast recording.
Danielle Brooker: So please do not take that to equal Silence, please do not take that to, you know, be in action on our behalf, we really wanted to, you know, draw that out front of this episode, I think it’s really important that, you know, we take a little bit of space to really amplify other’s voices right now.
Danielle Brooker: So if you want to know more about, you know, where, you know, particularly where I stand, I guess in terms of the quiet, quiet, not silent, I did write a blog post about this, and I will link it in the show notes, just to give you a little bit more context for this conversation.
Danielle Brooker: So what did we talk about? Right? We talked about discomfort, because that’s a pretty awesome skill to have, like, why does comfort I think I said to Rebecca Ray, I know you love talking about this company, like i’d love it.
Danielle Brooker: But it’s really important. And I really got what she meant. Because she says that most things that are important are going to come with some discomfort. And she she has an incredible story from her own life of how she really had to sit with that and learn to transform it and you know, get comfortable with discomfort.
Danielle Brooker: And we talk about these different versions of ourselves that show up and how they could get you stuck and not moving forward on something in your life.
Danielle Brooker: And she shares a really great exercise that she does almost daily, around talking to this kind of courageous part of yourself versus the fearful part and how can you, you know, how can they each share different things, and, you know, share different things with each other to really bring things to the surface for you. I love the technique.
Danielle Brooker: And I’m really looking forward to trying it for myself. She’s she says she’s just had like entire book outlines pop up out of out of that process.
Danielle Brooker: So it’s really great, particularly if you’re feeling stuck right now, I think, train into that. And we have this conversation towards the end around boundaries and buisiness and how to really choose to operate your life in a sustainable place.
Danielle Brooker: I mean, I’m just I’m looking at my notes here going, I’ll just tell you everything I want to give too much away. And then I will close on this one piece because as you know, I love talking about joy.
Danielle Brooker: And in particular what I’m most interested in when it comes to joy is how you’re cultivating that practice in your life that brings you back to this joyful, grounded place.
Danielle Brooker: And what I want to know is like why, you know, why would we do that? Why would we have that infamy it’s really about having this foundation and the way that Rebecca talks about joy I love she talked about it as really being the stabilising mechanism.
Danielle Brooker: I’m not going to share too much more, you’re gonna have to tune in to listen.
Danielle Brooker: So without further ado, let me stop talking because I know you’re on the edge of your seat. And if you do not already follow Rebecca, please go follow her over on Instagram, all of the links will be in the show notes, Dr. Rebecca Ray.
Danielle Brooker: And the most exciting thing, at least, I’m assuming all of you because you are listening to this podcast that you are avid podcast listeners, I am too.
Danielle Brooker: So she’s just released a brand new podcast. So if you love this conversation, you can go and get more of Rebecca, after tuning in.
Danielle Brooker: And I mean, I’m already loving our conversation. For those tuning in, I’ve already had a lot of giggles. It’s It’s It’s early, early morning here in London, but it is early than I would be normally talking to someone.
Danielle Brooker: So thank you for bringing so much energy to my day already, Rebecca, and thank you for being here.
Rebecca Ray: Thank you so much for having me, Danielle, I think that the timezone issue that we were talking about is something that needs to be acknowledged. Because there’s a lot that goes into making these chats happen.
Rebecca Ray: And my the exciting part for me is that when I’m working behind a screen all day, this is actually one of my favourite things to do because I finally get to connect.
Danielle Brooker: Yeah, awesome. I’m so looking forward to our conversation. And let me start by sharing maybe a couple of things that I know about you like a little bit less of the official bio that I’ve, you know, introduced the episode with, but obviously, I know that, you know, you’re a psychologist that you know, share these incredible things on Instagram. And I say things because I mean, it’s a very vague term, isn’t it?
Danielle Brooker: But there’s a lot of quotes, but it’s not just quotes. It’s like you actually teach us on Instagram, which is how I first connected with you.
Danielle Brooker: And you’re incredibly human, and you’re incredibly authentic, you’re very much every time I’ve read anything that you put up, I’m like, Oh, yes, I feel okay.
Danielle Brooker: Now, like, I feel like I’m okay. And I know what to do with this. And you’re also very funny.
Danielle Brooker: So I, which, you know, the last 10 minutes has proven even more to me, I tuned into you were doing a lot of live sessions, from your living room with your beautiful wife, who is a musician during, you know, during your more restricted kind of quarantine period in Australia, and you were just jumping on I think it was a Friday night, and you’re just doing these live jam sessions.
Danielle Brooker: And I just felt like you were bringing the comedy and Nyssa was bringing the beautiful music and and I’m just I don’t know whether it’s the dynamic between the two of you, because I obviously haven’t met you in person.
Danielle Brooker: But there was just this beautiful feeling of humaneness of love and the laughter So that’s, that’s that’s kind of where I’m coming up for this. This is what I know about you.
Rebecca Ray: Well, that’s a good start.
Danielle Brooker: Yeah.
Rebecca Ray: I mean, I guess it’s debatable How funny I am. But it depends on your style of company. I’m glad that it works for you. Because that’s all I’ve got.
Danielle Brooker: Look, it’s on the record now. So if anyone in your life of a dispute this, you know.
Rebecca Ray: We will refer them to this episode.
Danielle Brooker: Exactly. And I mean, obviously, there are more topics that we’ll get into in a moment that you’ve actually written more deeply on.
Danielle Brooker: Courage, bravery, you’ve got a new book coming out around boundaries. Oh, my God, I’m already excited about that one of my favourite topics to keep learning over and over and over again.
Rebecca Ray: Yep. Yeah.
Danielle Brooker: But one of the points that I know that you love to talk about is discomfort in particular, and how accepting discomfort can really support us and I guess, following our dreams, or you know, moving forward, or if dreams is too big of a concept, or you just like, following the thing that’s kind of itching at you right now.
Danielle Brooker: So I’d love to I guess start by hearing your maybe from your own personal experience, like when was one of the first times that you can really recall that, you know, that level of discomfort and you kind of learning that, hey, I need to sit with this, I need to do something with it in order to get where I want to get even if it wasn’t the first time just one of the most pertinent.
Rebecca Ray: Yeah. I think the most if we’re talking about the most pertinent then I can’t avoid the story of my love for Nyssa.
Rebecca Ray: So in terms of talking about discomfort, it’s not my favourite topic. It’s not like I love talking about it. I talk about it out of necessity.
Rebecca Ray: It’s the first topic that I go through because so many people miss thanks to our pop psychology, Instagram culture, the fact that to do most important things in life, most things that are meaningful to us at the end of the day.
Rebecca Ray: It requires us to sit with some kind of discomfort and if you don’t understand that, you’ve got to find a way through that discomfort and you’re constantly going to trip yourself up either way.
Rebecca Ray: With some version of self sabotage, or by client trying to go over under around the discomfort whenever you can to avoid it.
Rebecca Ray: Avoiding discomfort does not usually get us where we want to go. Instead, what it will do is get more discomfort, or sorry, bring more discomfort to you. And so they take you back a few years, I was about 33, at the ripe old age of 33.
Rebecca Ray: And I was looking for the right man, specifically, a six foot four cowboy, thank you very much. I have a thing for farm boys. And I was convinced that now that I was over 30, thanks to Western societies conditioning very, thank you very much.
Rebecca Ray: But I was on the shelf, and I would be single for the rest of my life. And I’m an introvert 150%. And at this time, I was forcing myself to do internet dating despite the fact that the whole concept horrified me.
Rebecca Ray: But because I had, I felt like I needed to be able to say to the significant people in my life, that at least I was trying to find this right man.
Rebecca Ray: myself, a dreamed of going to Africa ever since I was a little girl.
Rebecca Ray: So I went for I think it was like three weeks and went on safari in various countries in Africa and had the holiday of a lifetime alone.
Rebecca Ray: And then I came back and I thought okay, well, I guess the next thing is I’ll go back and learn piano I learnt when I was a kid but never continued around the local music school and said, I want a lesson on Saturday mornings who can teach me and they said, Nyssa is your teacher.
Rebecca Ray: And your lesson will be at 9:30. I think it was on Saturday mornings. I was like brother, and I started piano lessons.
Rebecca Ray: And eight weeks later, I wondered why I was thinking more and more about my 9:30 piano lesson that I thought was actually other people might think about their piano lessons and why I was becoming obsessed with this woman.
Rebecca Ray: And what unfolded was I can’t even describe I don’t know, I don’t have words for it. But what unfolded was she just became my person. And in a quite a short space of time, I heard her sing.
Rebecca Ray: So I need to full disclosure, I heard her sing. And I was like, Whoa, okay, we’ve crossed a line here. You know, there’s no going back after I heard this thing. But no one knew I didn’t tell anyone.
Rebecca Ray: But I was falling in love with a woman Nyssa identifies as a lesbian, I don’t. And so this was a big thing that this had never occurred in my life before. And it certainly wasn’t the plan that I had for my life. And it wasn’t the plan that I ever wanted to share with my family.
Rebecca Ray: And there was just something about her that made me realise that she was my person. And she created such a sense of emotional safety, that this was like no other relationship I had ever had in my life, I finally felt like I could show up as the fullest version of myself, the biggest version of myself the most emotional version of myself, and it would just be welcomed, there was no part of her that would look away.
Rebecca Ray: And so what I was faced with is, sit with the discomfort of the judgement that might come your way or walk away from what will potentially be the best thing that’s ever happened in your life.
Rebecca Ray: And I didn’t sit with the discomfort. I told my mom and dad and I bawled my eyes out while I told them and while they weren’t in any way rejecting, I still knew that it was something for them to have to process.
Rebecca Ray: And I then sabotage our relationship for quite some time trying to force her to break up with me, essentially, in very unconscious ways.
Rebecca Ray: I wasn’t trying to push her away, but I was unconsciously because I didn’t think that something nice good could be allowed in my life. And I was just so scared if the judgement that was placed upon us.
Rebecca Ray: So what a good psychologists do when they get stuck with their own emotions, they go off to therapy, and that’s what I did. I went off to therapy. And I said to my psychologist, I am about to lose the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Rebecca Ray: What do I need to do? And we did a whole heap of trauma work and we did a whole heap of work on worthiness and I Acceptance and what love looks like.
Rebecca Ray: And I can sit here today and tell you that that is the best work that I have ever done because I did not lose the best thing that has ever happened to me. That other room right now with our two year old.
Rebecca Ray: So when I am talking about sitting with discomfort, I’m not talking about anything. That’s easy. And I’m not talking about anything that’s pleasant. And I’m not talking from someone who’s living the pet fairy tale.
Rebecca Ray: I’m talking as someone who has hammered and, you know, basically got a whole heap of clay with her life and moulded it and moulded it and moulded it and done the work that I needed to do every time my roadblocks come up to then say,
Rebecca Ray: Okay, this, I’ve got these good things happening in my life, because I’ve done the work to keep them if that makes sense. Yeah. And that’s what sitting with discomfort is, is it’s just a it’s a practice.
Rebecca Ray: It’s a it’s an ongoing, lifelong practice.
Rebecca Ray: Yes, yes, it doesn’t end off to just that one event. And, oh, thank you so much. There’s so many parts of that, that I love.
Danielle Brooker: And I want to ask a follow up question in terms of that point of like, I love that you said, you know, what does a good psychologist do? If I go to therapy, and like, I’m ready, let’s do the work.
Danielle Brooker: And there’s a part of it that I really like resonate with, because, and maybe sometimes to my detriment, because I’m like, Oh, hang on, wait, that’s an issue.
Danielle Brooker: Let’s figure it out. You know, like, and sometimes it’s, it doesn’t need to be figured out. And but let me get back on track with my question, which is really for someone who is in this place of?
Danielle Brooker: I don’t know, like, you know how that that judgement wave just takes over and you’re like, Oh, my God, like, I just I couldn’t possibly act on this, because I’m just so worried about what will people think.
Danielle Brooker: And then, you know, but they can feel that sense of, there’s this other piece that they want it and they don’t know what to do.
Danielle Brooker: So they don’t necessarily know, like, you know, going to therapy could be a little bit scaryt,
Rebecca Ray: And it is.
Danielle Brooker: Thank you for saying that. Yeah,
Rebecca Ray: I have to, you have to look internally at the shadow parts of ourselves that perhaps we’ve never looked at before.
Rebecca Ray: With a stranger You might not know the therapist that you’re going to go and see. I mean, plenty of people have therapists over the course of years, but you might not have had a therapist.
Rebecca Ray: So you might be going seeing someone for the first time. And it is scary. Absolutely.
Danielle Brooker: Yeah. Yeah. And I, I’m someone who loves personal development, and is always reading self help books, and always has been.
Danielle Brooker: And you know that every single time I’ve gone to a counsellor or therapist or something like that, it has been this big, emotional, like, Oh, my God, Who are they?
Danielle Brooker: And I don’t know, and what do I do about it? So I’m sharing that for listeners to say if that’s where you’re at, it’s natural. And maybe that’s part of this discomforting conversation as well.
Danielle Brooker: What I would love to hear is like, what would you What would you tell that person? And what’s the first step? If it’s not immediately like therapy?
Danielle Brooker: Like, what can we do with that feeling of intense judgement? That’s kind of putting us even freezing us or Yeah,
Rebecca Ray: Therapy was not my first step. So let’s go back a few steps. Because this is a really good question. I did not go to therapy straight up. I went to therapy because of what was at stake.
Rebecca Ray: So we’re probably talking six months, eight months down the track of our relationship. We’ve been together for eight years this year. So this was very early on in our relationship.
Rebecca Ray: And I knew that my inability to find some way to be in this relationship with a woman and be okay with it, because a lot of it was actually my own internal misalignment with my life plan, you know, this is not what I have planned for my life and therefore, am I allowed to do it?
Rebecca Ray: Am I allowed to have it like, what, what is this about? So we’re talking quite a long time from when we first got together that I actually went to therapy because by then, I just knew that I was not being my best self.
Rebecca Ray: But before then what happened was, so there’s lots of discomfort before then I went to my support crew. And my support crew is my best friend of two best friends and I went to them separately. They they knew long before my mom and dad knew that I was in love with a woman because they’re my safest people. And I started with them. And I one of the things about discomfort is quite often we lose perspective, it’s really difficult to sort through your own stuff when you’re you
Rebecca Ray: That makes sense.
Rebecca Ray: In a space with someone else, and they Brain, particularly someone who knows you, someone who you trust, someone who’s not toxic, someone who has your best intentions at heart, and preferably someone who can hold you gently in an emotional space, and actually make room for that feeling rather than shove it down or try to make it something that it isn’t, if you can find that space.
Rebecca Ray: And that’s certainly what I did first. And I talked it through with my best friends. And they were the ones who said, why is this a thing? You found love? This is the most amazing thing ever.
Rebecca Ray: She sounds amazing. I can’t wait to meet her. They were her response, they would their responses. Then I was left sitting with my own stuff like, oh, but is this so Is this okay?
Rebecca Ray: Am I gonna be judged, and I was judged, I was I still am judged occasionally. But the difference is the level of what’s at stake.
Rebecca Ray: So if you’re just first dealing with something, perhaps it’s not something as big as who you invite in your life, to love.
Rebecca Ray: But it might be something like, you know, perhaps you’ve been offered a different job, and you’re quite safe in your current job, but you’ve been offered a better opportunity.
Rebecca Ray: So it’s not like this, your livelihood is at risk, or, or you’re backed into a corner and you need the first job that comes along.
Rebecca Ray: But it’s perhaps a job that’s a bit outside your comfort zone, but represents a potential that you’d love to live into.
Rebecca Ray: Even in that situation. My first encouragement for people is to sit with the discomfort, but allow you to be able to speak that discomfort aloud with someone that you trust, you don’t have to go and see a therapist.
Rebecca Ray: I mean, obviously, I’m a bit of a big fan of therapy from both sides of the couch. But therapy isn’t always the answer, because one of the things that therapy can do unintentionally, is make something seem like it’s a problem when it’s actually not. And I want to say out loud.
Rebecca Ray: As a clinical psychologist, I spent a lot of time sitting with people who were just experiencing life, not people who had clinically significant levels of distress. So people would come and see me just because it’s really helpful to talk with someone who’s a damn good listener. And we don’t often have that in our life.
Rebecca Ray: So people would then come and see me, but actually what I was providing them with was space and listening, and reflection, we weren’t actually creating a problem. And I think it’s really important for listeners to understand that your discomfort is very likely
Rebecca Ray: 95% of the time likely to be just you living life, and we’re all experiencing some discomfort in the process of living life, it doesn’t mean that that’s a problem.
Rebecca Ray: It just means it’s something that is shaping you and your life experience to be able to move forward.
Rebecca Ray: So the first thing would be to speak it aloud. Because when you can say, I’m sitting with this thing that’s interesting, I’m sitting with this thing that’s challenging me, then all of a sudden, it’s not you. It’s something that you then have some sense of empowerment to be able to work through.
Rebecca Ray: Does that make sense?
Danielle Brooker: Oh, excuse me. Yes, it absolutely does. And what was coming in for me just then is also when we talk about having a safe place to go, you know, a support crew, a best friend to talk to, if any listeners are feeling like oh, but I don’t know, I don’t even want to talk to them about it.
Danielle Brooker: It kind of feels like it revolves back to Okay, well then go speak it out loud with a professional and it doesn’t mean you have a problem. It just means that having the space.
Danielle Brooker: You know, I just love what you said about what sometimes just having space held and so maybe that’s just a small shift in perspective today training in that I can well maybe it’s just where can I get that space?
Rebecca Ray: True, but I have something to add to that. Please don’t. And this because I think it’s really important to talk to you’re in London, right? Yeah. Are you in London? Yes. So are you guys still on lockdown?
Danielle Brooker: Yes, we are.
Rebecca Ray: Right. So some of what we’re talking about, might even be unreachable because of lockdown right now.
Rebecca Ray: So you can just pop out to see a friend. So let’s bring it back to something that is more useful. Particularly if you’re sitting at home, you’ll have access to your people in the same way.
Rebecca Ray: And again, this technique might I’m going to try to explain it in the way in the weird fiance might sound weird, and I’m going to try to explain this technique in a way that makes it as accessible as possible.
Rebecca Ray: But also if you don’t quite get it. That’s okay. It’s kind of up To practice it to experience it, one of the things that I do is I write to myself. So there are things that I don’t talk to anyone else about, but I talk to myself about it. But I don’t just sit in my head, I actually write myself a letter.
Rebecca Ray: So I want you to imagine that there are different selves inside of us. And I feel like there’s multiple selves.
Rebecca Ray: But I’ll put that in my book, you can read that in my book, when you’ve got time to actually kind of absorb that, let’s just go with two selves, right now, a fearful self, and a courageous self, your fearful self is likely younger than you are right now.
Rebecca Ray: It’s the part of you that’s probably been wounded by previous experiences of hurt and failure, and shame and humiliation and mistakes and disappointment.
Rebecca Ray: And it’s the part of you that needs validation and nurturing. And just to be told that your believed in you believed full stop, and you are good enough, the courageous part of you is the part that sees your vision, your life. It’s the part that can imagine your potential.
Rebecca Ray: It’s the part that says what if, and looks at possibilities. And it’s the part that’s aware of all your other selves, and kind of acts as the CEO of your internal world. It’s the part that gathers you together and says, Look, I know this is hard right now. But this is where we’re headed.
Rebecca Ray: Let’s stick with the vision. I believe in you, I’ll hold your hand to move forward. And so I have a, this is the closest thing I get to a spiritual practice, right? I don’t meditate.
Rebecca Ray: Don’t ask me to sit on a cushion on the floor, it’s going to hurt my hips. So I sit on the chair where I’m comfortable, I just violate all the meditation rules, right? I sit on the chair, and I put on like some lo fi beats on Spotify.
Rebecca Ray: And I light a scented candle. And that’s as close to visitation as I get. And I type a letter to myself from my faithful self.
Rebecca Ray: writing it. But I’m not.
Rebecca Ray: I’ve written a bit of it, like a couple of pages. This thing needs a lot more than a couple of pages to get my publisher being happy with me. But writing a book is overwhelming. And my emotional self does not like it.
Rebecca Ray: Anyway, I like the outcome, but the process can be laborious. And so in order to be able to access my creativity, rather than getting stuck in fear, I start with this practice,
Rebecca Ray: I write to myself, deal leader, I call that the my courageous self, my leader, dear leader,
Rebecca Ray: I don’t have I’m not trusting today that I can come up with the ideas that I need to, in order to be able to get this chapter together the way I need to what happens if it’s not good enough?
Rebecca Ray: What happens if what I actually write is crap. And my publisher doesn’t like it. What happens if my editor She goes, are you serious, I want you to rewrite the entire first six chapters.
Rebecca Ray: And I write all my fears down actually taught. And I because I type faster than I can handwrite my thoughts move quickly. So type it and I also keep a record so that I can go back and then I write back to myself from my leader.
Rebecca Ray: So I say dear self, next page, change, change new page, do self, I see you see how hard you’re trying right now.
Rebecca Ray: And I see that you’ve kind of forgotten what you’re capable of. And I hear that you’re fearful here, but that old story about you not being good enough is playing again. And again, we know this story.
Rebecca Ray: And I’m just going to say that even while you’re sitting with it, and even while it’s hard, I believe in you. And in fact, I’m going to hold your hand and I’m going to be here the whole time.
Rebecca Ray: So we are going to write it, you’re not going to go and Netflix and chill. We are going to ride it. But I’m going to be here. And you’re going to come from a place of ease and flow. And I promise you that I will bring me ideas or you need to do is sit down and show up.
Rebecca Ray: And that’s a this is like a manufactured version of the letter that I’m saying out loud. But actually what happens when I get in that stage is I’ve had found answers with them that I never knew were there.
Rebecca Ray: I planned out my entire manuscript for my world of the skeleton of the manuscript for the boundaries book by writing a letter, almost crying to my leadership self that I didn’t know if I could do it.
Rebecca Ray: And my latest came back and said, Yeah, because we’re just going to do it like this banging my bet and all these points just came flowing. And I was like, I got to the end of it, I was like shit.
Rebecca Ray: That’s it. That’s actually it and my latest self was going yet is Yeah, cuz that’s what you’re gonna do.
Rebecca Ray: And so this is a practical technique that you can do on a daily basis it doesn’t have to take long it could be five minutes 10 minutes just long enough for you to sit there and access that other part of you where the conversation is actually happening internally
Rebecca Ray: and you’re able to access what’s the best word for it your intuition your your inner inner knowing there’s something bigger that happens for me where I can access a part of me that has wisdom that I didn’t know it had when I’m stuck in that fearful self.
Danielle Brooker: Yeah, absolutely. And even as you were you sharing that you know that the the script from each of those selves, you know, just that leader speaking back like I was just feeling so calm and centred and listening to you. I’m like,
Danielle Brooker: Oh, yeah, all right. Okay, can we can we end this podcast, I got stuff to do. Like, my leader gotta go.
Rebecca Ray: That’s how I feel, too. That’s exactly how I feel. There’s this. There’s this simmering groundedness to it.
Rebecca Ray: So my anxiety can’t run away with me, because it’s kind of like my re my late it comes in and goes Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, team, team, chill. Like, this is where we’re headed. Remember the vision.
Rebecca Ray: And I feel like my lifelong lesson as a human being is twofold. Patience, I am so crap a patient, I’m the most impatient person in history, the world.
Rebecca Ray: And second trust asked me to just I’ll just trust the process Rebecca, or for God’s sake. Hashtag trust the process not drives me insane. And yet, what do I need to do? It’s what I need to do most.
Rebecca Ray: And it’s what I forget to do most. And so most often, when I write to my leader, my leader comes back frustratingly, and says, it’s actually all unfolding exactly as it needs to.
Rebecca Ray: And it’s going to be better than you could ever imagine. You can’t even conceive of how good it’s going to be right now. I just need you to keep doing what you’re doing in trust.
Rebecca Ray: And I get goosebumps when I say that. Because that’s, it just feels true when it comes from my leader. But I forget it when I’m going about my day to day business.
Rebecca Ray: And I get caught up, you know, we get caught up in just the hassle of overthinking and overthinking and my mind moves really quickly.
Rebecca Ray: And when you get stuck in that, it’s really hard to listen to, or it’s really hard to have access to your own wisdom.
Rebecca Ray: And that’s why I create this form of daily practice of, that’s the first thing I do I sit down and I write to myself, even if I don’t have anything to say, even if I’m not feeling anxious,
Rebecca Ray: I sit down and still say, What do I need? You know, what do you need to tell me today? And that’s the grounding practice for someone who’s really impatient and really untrusting of the process.
Danielle Brooker: I love it. It’s so good. And the language I use a lot. And I’ve used it on the podcast, I’m going to share it with listeners is what I’m hearing from this process as well. And particularly with overthinking as it’s getting you out of your head and into your heart or out of your head and into your body.
Danielle Brooker: And so, you know, whatever word resonates with you, if it’s intuition, if it’s wisdom, if it’s, you know, body, if it’s heart, it is that process of just kind of Okay, now let’s access a different part of you.
Rebecca Ray: Yes, absolutely. It’s a for me, I would call it whole brain activation. So if we want to invite my psychologist self to the conversation for a second.
Rebecca Ray: So what happens is when you get up what happens is when we get stuck in overthinking or feeling anxious about something, and that can happen with uncertainty, especially not especially but even if the uncertainty is created by you.
Rebecca Ray: And what I mean by that is, nobody else is asking you to take a different jobs. You know, the jobs just come up and you’re thinking, should I show that nobody’s asking you to change your life?
Rebecca Ray: It’s you contemplating changing your life. And sometimes that’s the hardest anxiety to sit in because we have full control over it, you know, should I do it? Shouldn’t I do it? Should I take these risks?
Rebecca Ray: And what happens in that place is the emotional part of our brain takes over the fear centre of our brain takes over and it sets off alarms which are based on some
Rebecca Ray: The Bible that basically says either run, fight, or freeze, and most of us, as women will not really fight. So we like to flee. And what we’re fleeing from is the decision.
Rebecca Ray: So we’ll put off making the decision, or were fleeing from the anxiety. So we’ll choose the decision that feels most comfortable, which is the one that keeps us safe in this tiny little shrunken comfort zone.
Rebecca Ray: And will freeze, we’re just get paralysed and not be able to move forward. And when I talk about whole brain activation, what happens is, particularly when we stop and write something down is it activates something called the left prefrontal cortex.
Rebecca Ray: And I prefer just because I’m, I don’t love science to hurt my brain, I’m just going to call that our smart brain. Okay, this is the logical, rational part of your brain, when you stop and you access that other part of you. Yes, you’re accessing almost unknowing part of you.
Rebecca Ray: Sixth Sense, something that we don’t, I guess, very well described in western psychology in Eastern philosophy, they do, but we don’t. But if we imagine it as something bigger than ourselves, but what we’re also doing is activating that rational, logical side, so we get whole brain activation.
Rebecca Ray: What that means is, it’s a combination of the in emotional processing that we’re doing and emotional information that we’re receiving, as well as our logical, rational thinking side that can come together to create a kind of wise mind.
Danielle Brooker: Oh, yeah, I like that word wise as well. It feels more powerful than operating just with smart pipe wise.
Rebecca Ray: Yeah, that’s right. And that’s, I hear a lot of people say lead from the heart, you know, follow your heart.
Rebecca Ray: I don’t love it. The reason I don’t love it is if I followed my heart, I probably wouldn’t do anything like, I’m lazy, and really bloody lazy, like, I would probably lay on the couch, I would probably I just Netflix and chill.
Rebecca Ray: Let’s face it, let’s be honest, I certainly wouldn’t be creating a podcast and writing another book and doing hard things like I don’t like hard.
Rebecca Ray: Not a fad. But my leader does. And my lead is actually very interested in making an impact on the world and making a difference.
Rebecca Ray: And I know that if I am lucky enough to live to 80 years old, my eight year old, so wants to look back and go, Well, that’s a life we’d live again, isn’t it? You know, we do that one again.
Rebecca Ray: And in order to please her, and now I have to do hard things, because that’s what my lady gets on, is being able to do something meaningful with my life.
Rebecca Ray: Yeah, and so it’s not just about following your heart, because honestly, if you followed your heart, your heart just wants to live with rainbows and unicorns, and you know, all the nice things, where Netflix is 100% available all the time.
Rebecca Ray: Whereas if you also allow the, you know, wisdom that knowing as well as a bit of logic and rationality, then we have this whole brain activation to get to go, yeah, yeah, Netflix is totally acceptable.
Rebecca Ray: But you, you are working to a deadline, and you probably should write another few paragraphs, like, let’s be real, at some point, your publisher is going to be fairly unhappy if you don’t get your butt in the chair and start writing. And it doesn’t come from a place of attack, it doesn’t come from a place of shaming, it doesn’t come from a place of force.
Rebecca Ray: It’s just reality, like, and I say that with you out, because it’s just like, come on, like, it’s just something you’ve got to do. And when you have some self compassion about it, then for me, that just turns into humour. Like, you know, come on,
Danielle Brooker: I know you feel
Danielle Brooker: a lot of trouble because you’ve got that hand holding. And you know, yes. It’s interesting because it is it like how you describe it, its whole brain activation, where a lot of us it’s like, we’re just dancing in one little place the whole time. And it’s like, well, you’ve got this whole capacity.
Danielle Brooker: So can we segue this into then? You know, I talk a lot about dizziness and you know, stress Yes, but more this is how we get caught up in busy cycles. We’ve got all the things that I have to do it or you know, and what I’m hearing is like your leader actually does it more in a scented ground with like, it can it can kind of bring in all of those parts.
Danielle Brooker: So I know that you you know from the outside looking in have a look on Yeah, you know from someone’s you know, you know, I’m doing quite marks you know, meeting you for the first time on Instagram or you know, on your website or reading one of you Books and it can look like,
Danielle Brooker: Oh, she writes all these books. And you know, and she’s a psychologist, and she’s got this incredible family, and she’s got a toddler and a podcast. And so what is your approach to, you know, quotes again? buisiness? Like, how do you? Yeah, courts didn’t handle it?
Rebecca Ray: Well, let’s get real, I’ve got a wife, highly recommend 12 out of 10, recommend for everyone, get yourself a wife.
Rebecca Ray: Um, the reality is that what you see from the outside is someone who has worn business in such a way that almost made me psychologically and physically unwell. from doing business the way I thought I had to do it.
Rebecca Ray: And then someone that has trusted enough to unlearn the way we’re told to do business completely rejected the word and concept of hustle
Rebecca Ray: and to come back to a place of, if I don’t figure out a way to do this in a way that’s sustainable, then there’s no impact that’s been made on the world at all, because I’ll collapse.
Rebecca Ray: So the way I handle it is, I don’t do it all. My leader does not say you’ve got to do it all. And when we scheduled this podcast, I gave you times that we’re actually not recording it right now.
Rebecca Ray: But I can’t time. Sorry. No, that’s okay. Sometimes the world doesn’t help us with, with being quieter, and being on opposite sides.
Rebecca Ray: But one of the things that I do was I set limits and boundaries around when I’m available. And I just don’t do anything right now, after I leave this, the biggest task on my list on a Friday night is starting the fire.
Rebecca Ray: Because I live on a mountain and we’re in winter in Australia now. And I’ve gotten to a place now where I can’t have conscious conversations with Nyssa, around how we practice our tasks in the week.
Rebecca Ray: And we often say to each other, if we were coming from a place of abundance, rather than scarcity, would we be rushing on this task? And the answer is always No.
Rebecca Ray: Now, let’s talk about the realities of this, I am serious that I have a wife, I’m serious that that makes a huge difference to my world, some of you may be lucky to have partners who play a very equal role in parenting.
Rebecca Ray: Nyssa is absolutely an equal one. But in some ways, she actually does more than me, because I have work to do. But isn’t daycare three days a week, I don’t do it all, you know, I’m not homeschooling a two year old.
Rebecca Ray: And then she’s also an audio producer and audio engineer. So I just pop into the studio in the backyard to record my podcast. On top of that, I have an assistant who does all the things possible for keeping my brain in line.
Rebecca Ray: And so I’m telling you the realities of my work life, to make it very clear that what you see on Instagram is me just making time to post because I’ve made time like I it, I’m not sitting here with it all streamlined.
Rebecca Ray: And it all just happening. There is a lot of people that do a lot of things to make my business run, and to make sure that my mental health is intact at the end of the day. And it’s just not I don’t want to be.
Rebecca Ray: I don’t want to be in a position where I’m having to stay up late to do work. I’m a morning person. So we’re actually recording at 10 to five right now. You’re lucky I can even put a sentence together, because my brain shuts down after about 3pm.
Rebecca Ray: Right? Yeah, I am actually brightest The first thing that I get up and that’s when I do all my writing. And I still struggle as someone who put on a huge amount of weight in pregnancy, for finding time for exercise and eating well and rectifying the relationship with my body.
Rebecca Ray: I don’t do that well, right now. It’ll change. But right now, I don’t do it well. And I think it’s really important to be clear about the fact that I’m not doing all the things and not taking care of all the things. We live in an area where we don’t have family nearby.
Rebecca Ray: So my parents live two hours away. This is parents leave four and a half hours away. And so we don’t have people that we can just go and drop Bennett off to. But at the same time, that also means I don’t have family that I’ve immediately got to go and tend to because they’re they’re not here, you know.
Rebecca Ray: So I think it’s about just being really honest. Because one of the things that annoys me so much about social media is It’s just like there is just a whole heap of curation, colour coordinated feeds out there, that gives you the impression that someone’s got this secret to life and scheduling that you don’t have.
Rebecca Ray: And it’s not true. If someone is doing a lot of things, it’s because they’ve got help, I can promise you. Because if I didn’t have help, there’s no way in the world, I would have digital courses or podcast and be writing books.
Rebecca Ray: I had to get, I had to give myself permission to hire help to get to this point, because I knew if I didn’t hire help, then I would hit a ceiling in my business would not be able to move forward. So that’s a whole nother discussion we can talk about at another day. But the answer is I’m not doing it all. Just not.
Danielle Brooker: And I think for anyone who was feeling like because I, I know my own experience when my like buisiness nature takes out that like overachiever, but in a like draining kind of way where to really push energy, then it’s very easy to do it the comparison thing and be like, oh, but this is okay, because all these other people are doing all the business.
Danielle Brooker: So thank you for just sharing that, that snapshot, because I think that’s really relevant to be like, actually, your business can take you into this place of comparison.
Danielle Brooker: And you need to give yourself permission to put in place those limits and boundaries. Yeah,
Rebecca Ray: yeah. And I also think it’s really important to have people that we look up to and admire, and to know that they don’t do it all either safe.
Rebecca Ray: So I don’t ever want someone to look at my Instagram and go, Oh, she must, you know, have it all sorted out? No. And nor do I do all the things and nor could I.
Rebecca Ray: Like, I want you to know that if somebody ever looks at my work and thinks I’d like to write a book, I’d also like to have my own podcast, or I’d like to start my own business in this way you can, you can, but I promise you that in order to be able to do it, you need to have help.
Rebecca Ray: Don’t expect yourself to do it all because you will burn out I promise you that. That’s a guarantee. It’s not it’s not a matter of if it’s not a matter of you being strong enough, or having the right techniques, it’s a matter of when you burn out.
Rebecca Ray: That’s why there is a whole this whole shelves in bookstores devoted to the psychological burnout of women who are rushing and being too busy.
Danielle Brooker: Yeah. Ah, yes. I mean, we could do a whole hour episode just on that point. Because guess so much you’re on board.
Danielle Brooker: I want to switch the switch tracks a little bit because I want to, I want to bring the conversation towards you towards the end of this episode on to Joy. Joy is something you know, I talk a lot about this is the letter chain podcast.
Danielle Brooker: So first of all, I mean, I would just love to hear a little bit about what brings you joy, I already kind of know the answer, but what brings you joy in your life? and more. More importantly, like, why is that so relevant? Why is that so important to you. And
Rebecca Ray: I think for me, Joy is about connectedness with what is truly meaningful in life if we constantly so I’m an overachiever, I’m a person who likes to see goals happen and goals achieved.
Rebecca Ray: And if I only focus on that, then my life actually becomes really shallow. And I can easily get caught up in just work.
Rebecca Ray: That’s all that gives me satisfaction. And I have actually had times in my life where I’ve rewarded myself for working only and so my brain then starts firing dopamine, which is the neurochemical that rewards us and tells us to repeat a behaviour only in response to how hard I work.
Rebecca Ray: So I’m then stuck in this addictive cycle of work harder, work harder, work harder. And so now, now that I’m older and wiser, and now I have a child that forces me to watch Blippi and Peppa Pig kill me now. Pepper beings not my favourite.
Danielle Brooker: Honestly Peppa Pig grew on me. I have nieces and I hated it at first and now I really look forward to my visits to watch it.
Rebecca Ray: Yeah, I’m not a fan,
Danielle Brooker: but I’m an auntie. I’m an auntie. Not a mom.
Rebecca Ray: Yeah, that’s right. You don’t have to sit with them the whole time. Yep, it drives me insane.
Rebecca Ray: But what what Bennett has done has reminded me of the fact that if life is just about work, then what is life and I’m incredibly incredibly passionate about the difference that I’m trying to make in the world but it’s not it’s not who I am I’m absolutely a human first and a wife second and a mother a second B.
Rebecca Ray: you know like, if there was no Nyssa, there would be no Bennett you know, those things are absolutely at the top of my world.
Rebecca Ray: But what joy how joy features in that is as a stabilising mechanism for someone who is very easily swayed back towards productivities being the only measure of success and so I consciously redefined my measurement of success in life as am I leaving briefly and am I living meaningfully?
Rebecca Ray: And that’s been a rediscovering of what brings me joy to make sure that I have those facets of my life also filled, I was going to throw in the word balance. And then I had like a little, you know, piece of vomit in my mouth because I hate that word so badly.
Rebecca Ray: Please know that I’m not advocating for balance, because I think it’s unachievable. And I don’t believe in that word.
Danielle Brooker: I love that you call it enjoys the stabilising mechanism. And, yeah, that that appeals to me. I’m also someone who tries to use the word balance because yeah, yeah.
Rebecca Ray: I don’t, I don’t think balance, especially as a psychologist i think is I have a responsibility about the words that I use.
Rebecca Ray: And if I go and throw pop psychology at you, like we can have some kind of work life balance, if I can’t achieve it, how dare I place that expectation on you? Well, on our listeners that apparently it’s something that’s achievable.
Rebecca Ray: And so instead, I look at everything with with like a constant energy exchange, if I’m exchanging energy and productivity, then I need to replenish it with joy.
Rebecca Ray: And things that bring me joy are watching, I love obviously bingeing on Netflix, but I also, I especially love nature. And so we live in a hinterland area, and I go and talk to cows, and I’m not lying, if I get stressed out.
Rebecca Ray: And we live just like minutes away from cows, I don’t have to go far to find some cows. And I go and talk to cows and just stand and talk to them. And so I go and look at majestic views out to the ocean from the mountains.
Rebecca Ray: And then the moments when I feel like there is something so much bigger than me in the world.
Rebecca Ray: And it takes off any pressure that I was suddenly carrying on my shoulders, because I think that we naturally do that start to believe that our world is the only world and you need some kind of perspective taker to be able to bring you back to a place where it’s not just you.
Rebecca Ray: And then when we get practical for joy, actually really love touch. And so one of my favourite things to do is to go and have a facial because there’s something about having the pressure points on my face pressed, that just makes me go, oh my god, that’s amazing, or hot stone massage.
Rebecca Ray: And so I do that, obviously, with COVID haven’t been able to do that very often. But that would also be my first go to to have some kind of day, spa, afternoon. And then the rest of the time food. I love using food in a celebratory way.
Rebecca Ray: So we go out and we go to our favourite cafes and just favourite cafe with a view and some cows is like my perfect day. But also I’m kind of easily prayed place because I’m an introvert.
Rebecca Ray: So my brother would say, Oh, my God, you said boring. And he would have to have a party and go out on these boat with a million people in order to feel satisfied.
Rebecca Ray: And that’s cool. But if you did that to me, I would need to kind of sleep for awake and recover.
Danielle Brooker: Oh,
Danielle Brooker: I love so much about what you shared on joy. And you have a new podcast. I’ve seen the little trailer released.
Rebecca Ray: So it’s kind of by the time this episode comes out, I’m sure there’ll be, you know, a couple of episodes or you know, at least the episode official episode number one out. So tell us what’s it going to be like? Can we expect more of this?
Rebecca Ray: Yes, it’s just me at this point. So again, I don’t do all the things I don’t have time to be scheduling guests. And so right now because I have the luxury of having a recording studio in the backyard and my wife available to just record me In addition, my audio, it’s me talking on topics that constantly come up for my audience.
Rebecca Ray: So I think we’re up to Episode Four now. Episode zero was my intro and Episode One was talking about basically how I failed my way here. And Episode Two, I don’t remember what that was on episode three was on perfectionism.
Rebecca Ray: And I’ve just done episodes four and five, which are part one and part two of managing the fear of judgement. And so I’m always talking about how we live bravely and meaningfully and the challenges that show up as a result of that, and so, fi is my jam because it’s always on the other side of the coin of courage.
Rebecca Ray: And so that’s what the podcast is about. It’s about me kind of riffing more on these topics, because I want people to be able to do exactly the same thing that I plan to do, which is look back from their 80th birthday or the end of their days.
Rebecca Ray: If we’re lucky enough to know that that’s the end of our days and say, Yeah, I’d give that another run, you know, that’s a life worth worth living again.
Danielle Brooker: I’m so looking forward to tuning into your podcast thank you so much for this conversation today. And I mean of course is there anything that you would want to close with any closing words or I will be sharing all the different links
Danielle Brooker: Do not worry everyone tuning in, just go to the show notes. You know, the drill like you will get Rebecca’s everything, you know, Bob Graham, I highly recommend connecting on Instagram because it is a really, you know, beautiful puzzle, positive feeling in my feed and also a teaching feeling like it’s positive being practical.
Danielle Brooker: And yeah, your perspective, what would you love to close with? And where Where’s your favourite place to send people?
Rebecca Ray: I think I would just close by saying that courage and fear coexist. So please don’t ever buy into the pop psychology mantra of becoming fearless because it’s not possible unless you’re a psychopath or unless you have a particular type of childhood brain injury.
Rebecca Ray: If you feel fearful, that doesn’t mean that something is wrong. It means that you are well equipped. Obviously, we need to listen to legitimate fear. But if you’re feeling emotional fear, it’s likely because you’re stepping outside your comfort zone.
Rebecca Ray: And when you step outside your comfort zone, amazing things happen if you keep your eyes open for possibility, and I would love that for our listeners. But I don’t want you to feel like you’ve got to do it without feeling fear.
Rebecca Ray: I am a professional scaredy cat. I feel scared every single day. But the difference is it doesn’t stop me and it’s so familiar now that I’m just like, oh, whatever. You’re there again, telling me that I’m not good enough yet.
Rebecca Ray: Cool. I know this story. We’ve been here before yesterday, in fact, and instead it’s about choosing courage to move in that direction.
Rebecca Ray: I hope you love that conversation as much as I did lovely ones. Danielle’s business is the daisy patch, and she offers a range of support from private coaching group masterminds digital courses and her podcast.
Rebecca Ray: Let it shine. Find out more about Danielle’s work at the daisypatchco.uk or connect on Instagram @thedaisypatchcoaching and LinkedIn as @DanielleBrooker.
Rebecca Ray: Lovely ones, thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray. If you got something meaningful from this episode, the most meaningful thing you can do is to leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast.
Rebecca Ray: Because it’s these reviews that help this podcast stay here. Make sure to subscribe and share this episode. I’d love to see your shares, so be sure to tag Hello, Rebecca Ray. I’ll catch you next time.