Hi, lovely ones. Welcome to episode number 37. And in this episode, I’m so excited to share with you a conversation that I had with just one of the most remarkable women.
I have the honour to call a friend, Julie Parker. Priestess, Julie Parker. And I spoke with Julie on her podcast the Priestess Podcast about all things courage and fear. And I spoke about my experience with anxiety and we got real about what it’s like to face fear on a daily basis, even when you’re out there helping other people do the same thing.
And I really want you to meet Julie, I want you to be able to step into the world that she creates. So, in case you have never heard of Julie, She is the founder of the beautiful you Coaching Academy where she passionately trains heart centred people to become life coaches.
And as the co-founder of priestess temple school, a global movement devoted to uplifting modern-day priestesses as they explore sacred leadership and service in the 21st century, Julie is committed to contributing to a world where presence, healing and social justice are honoured.
She is trained with high priestesses and modern-day Mystery Schools from all over the world. And it was absolutely my pleasure to be invited onto her podcast to have a chat with her about courage. I hope you love this conversation as much as I did.
Julie: I love it when people surprise you, in a good way, of course. And that’s what’s happened in the opening moments of my interview today with Dr. Rebecca Ray, author of the universe listens to brave Rebecca is a clinical psychologist and openly admits at the start of our chat, that she has experienced many personal and emotional issues of her own, that have seen her have to really wrestle with her own fear, inner critic, relationship with bravery and her sense of self.
Julie: It’s incredibly refreshing to hear from someone who was upheld as a professional in the area of mental wellbeing, and has such a significant online following as well. If you’re currently seeking some more courage, and bravery in your life right now, this episode with Dr. Rebecca is going to become a favourite.
Julie: Dr. Rebecca Ray, thank you so much for joining us on the priestess podcast. I’m so thrilled to have you on as the guest.
Rebecca: Thank you for having me. It’s such a pleasure to be here. I’ve been so excited about this conversation.
Julie: Me too. Me too. And so thank you again for being here, Rebecca. And we’re going to be talking today about all things, courage and bravery. And also diving into your latest beautiful offering to the world, which is a book called The universe listens to brave, how courage will change your life.
Julie: I would love to begin by asking you, Rebecca, to tell us how is it that you’ve reached this point in your life and career where you thought to yourself, I’m going to start to talk to everybody about courage and bravery because these are really big themes in our lives, even if we’re not consciously thinking about them.
Julie: So tell us more about your work and background and how you’ve reached this point where you wanted to be really passionate about delivering a message on courage and bravery.
Rebecca: Sure. I think my answer to that Julie is twofold. There’s a personal answer and a professional answer. The personal answer is I’m an expert scaredy cat. I am very good at fear. And I have a history of anxiety and just I worry about everything and I do feel really well fear and I have very close companions so on one level.
Rebecca: I move with fear through the world very closely, I understand it very well. And I have a lived experience of it. From a professional level, I come to this work obviously, as a clinical psychologist, I did work in hospitals and in government settings, and then in private practice for a very long time.
Rebecca: And to be honest with you, I did too much of it. So I got to a point where I got quite burnt out. And my frustration was, although I love the work, it’s such a privilege to speak with people about their deepest darkest vulnerabilities, I wanted to be able to continue making a difference in a way that didn’t impact me as much as what it was.
Rebecca: So I came to a place where I was like, I want to be able to put my work out into the world in a way that helps people to thrive, rather than his problem focus. So therapy was often problem focus, what’s the problem, let’s look at solving it.
Rebecca: So it can start to get quite a negative feel, you have to manage a lot of negative energy when you do that kind of work. And I wanted to come at the same messages, but from a position where I was helping people to cultivate hope within themselves.
Rebecca: And so what I did was step away from one on one clinical work into a place where I was putting my work out into the world, on fear, because I know it both professionally and personally, but in a way that encouraged them to take brave steps.
Rebecca: Because I think one of the things that we need to understand is that even though fear lives in all of us, this is not a new, unique experience. I’m not special, because I feel fear, we all feel it.
Rebecca: There are parts of us that are brave that we haven’t even met yet. And what I wanted to help people to do is to access those parts of themselves so that they can live into the most courageous version of themselves.
Julie: Oh my goodness, there is so much in there, that is going to make up the juicy part of what is going to be the rest of this conversation. Thank you.
Rebecca: Sorry, I picked too early.
Julie: Not Not at all, not at all. But you know what? I just Firstly, can I just say How refreshing it is to hear a professional person, a doctor of psychology, a clinical psychologist, basically put right out there on the table to begin with, in a podcast interview that’s going to be listened to by 1000s of people around the world.
Julie: I have issues with fear, and my own bravery and my own thought processes. And I’m still healing and I’m on this path, as well as a fellow healer, and somebody who’s a clinical social worker.
Julie: And in many ways, when you were talking about burnout seems to have had a not dissimilar professional path to your own just in a different modality. I just find that so refreshing, Rebecca, because I remember thinking back to my social work days, and even my supervisors at various times saying, you know, when I was struggling, truth be told I was struggling with clients at the time and struggling with myself, I was feeling overwhelmed.
Julie: And I think, quite anxious and a little bit depressed at the time, after many, many years of hardcore mental health work. And just it being met with the hand and the wall is like, Don’t say that, you know, don’t talk about that, you know, don’t admit that don’t
Rebecca: Keep those walls up. Because otherwise, no way on Earth will they see you as a professional.
Julie: Exactly, exactly. And so I just want to applaud you for that. I just want to say thank you for being so real, because it’s not like when you train to become a therapist that that all of a sudden then automatically gives you some kind of protective shield, that you would never then necessarily need one yourself.
Rebecca: That’s right. That’s right. And I guess my frustration is because I met with the same messages, I guess when I was training is that you must be a blank canvas, and that that’s a blank canvas emotionally as well.
Rebecca: If you’re going to feel then do it privately, make sure it’s pretty, make sure it’s quotable. And I guess we get to a point professionally where if we can’t talk about it, what does that mean for our careers?
Rebecca: What does that mean for our own mental health? One of the things that stands at the forefront of my message is please number one, don’t call me doctor. I’m not special. I just trained for a long period of time at university.
Rebecca: All that means is I’ve got a great memory. And I’m a little bit tenacious, you know, so put me up on some kind of pedestal. What I want you to understand is first and foremost when I’m talking about bravery and courage.
Rebecca: As a psychologist, I’m also talking to you as a human. I am here as a human first and foremost it’s just that i happen to know a bit about this stuff that might be able to help you as well and I can package it in a way that you might be able to receive a message which may make a difference to your own path i’m not special just because there’s a couple of letters after my name I can’t stand that particular position that some professionals might take so i’d much prefer you see that i’m sitting here as so imperfectly to perfection and yes my issues are at the forefront you know come on let’s be real if you don’t if you say that you don’t have them then you’re lying come on.
Julie: oh you are and you know this is one of the things that i hope that everyone who is a listener of this podcast really feels from me as well in that in my own spiritual and life journey that i am absolutely messy and imperfect and I often have guests on here that I deliberately choose because i think well i need to have that conversation for myself and then i just hope that in in me serving myself that that ends up being of service to others as well.
Julie: So i just really appreciate that just that rawness and honesty it’s wonderful and of course this specifically speaks to courage and bravery and one of the things that you mentioned in the first part of our chat today rebecca is that your work is driven by inspiring people to understand that there are brave parts of themselves that they have yet to even meet talk to us a little bit more about that.
Rebecca: i think sometimes we can look at the life that we’d like to create for ourselves you know imagining it sitting on the horizon in the distance and as soon as we consider it what happens is the fear system in us switches on and says unfamiliar unknown territory alert alert alert and that feeling in and of itself stops us in our tracks and we start to think oh goodness gracious i can’t go there because it feels so incredibly uncomfortable.
Rebecca: This is what keeps us stuck it’s what keeps us away from our dreams from our healing from our creativity from doing all the things that might create a meaningful existence for ourselves when fear shows up we get stuck we get pushed back into our comfort zone.
Rebecca: What I want people to understand is that you can’t be courageous unless some fear is present you don’t need courage unless there’s unless fear is present you know those that’s a duo act those two they occur simultaneously so the thing to understand though is there are parts of you that won’t show up.
Rebecca: Until you actually take the courageous step you don’t get to meet them until you start walking into courage the scary thing is though that you know anxiety and fear they feel really uncomfortable and then there’s sometimes really loud and they usually very easy to listen to.
Rebecca: To ignore that actually that’s that’s not true i don’t want you to to ignore your fear we need fear but to accept via acceptance is the word i want to accept fear and allow it to be a passenger rather than the driver is i guess the key in all of this is that we can allow fear to be there to then allow ourselves to drive forward to meet those parts of ourselves that are yet to show up.
Julie: yeah thank you for sharing that with us and your thoughts on fear are very similar to my own you know when i’m working with people either on their process path or training them to become a life coach with both of my hats on often fear is something that comes up in that journey which is understandable because as you say fear is a part of all of our lives.
Julie: But i think that many people actually don’t understand that they think that fear is something that only comes to us when something is very very bad and or something terrible is about to happen but in fact it is a companion in all of our lives and there is no such thing as being fearless like sometimes i see these instant quotes about you know being fearless and say oh there’s nobody that’s fearless.
Rebecca: We all know what there is but they’ve got they’re a psychopath or…
Rebecca: Yeah if you injure a part of your brain then you may end up feeling but you’re going to be in a dangerous position for your own safety and if you’re a sociopath or a psychopath you know if you’ve ever met one of those people they’re pretty damn scary that’s the only way that we can be feel as though for you and i feel lessness is a complete fallacy.
Julie: yes yes okay well thank you for that distinction you know I’m yes okay that’s very important but that we can’t live a life without fear it is a part of everything that we will not everything but it’s a part of our existence isn’t it and i love what you say about the fact that it can be a passenger and a teacher and a companion it does not have to be the driving force in our life because that’s when we make decisions from a place of fear that we end up stepping out of our soul place and out of that place where we’re sovereign and really in control of our life.
Rebecca: Can i just add there Julie you just reminded me of something I guess if we present this concept like that I’m concerned that people might see it in a black and white view and I’m a very black and white person i have to continually come back to flexibility within my own self my own emotions and my own acceptance that life is uncomfortable.
Rebecca: It’s not necessarily that you can get to this place where you accept fear and you’re always courageous i don’t find that in my own lived experience and I’ve never seen that in my clients
Julie: and certainly it’s not in mine either
Rebecca: okay yeah so i guess what i would love people to take away at this point in our conversation is this idea that you’ll be on track and off-track over and over again so it’s not like you’re gonna get to a point where yes now i’m you know walking with comparing one hand encouraging the other look at me that might be the case for a day or a week.
Rebecca: But then you might have the following week where you really push yourself out there and you get stuck again or you run away again what we do is a process of continually coming back to ourselves continually coming back to courage sometimes getting stuck in fear again and then coming back to courage.
Rebecca: It’s this really flexible to and fro it’s not necessarily the case that you need to expect yourself to get on this perfect path of courageousness and stay there because that’s not what we do as humans.
Julie: No because nothing in life is linear or perfect or really you know absolute in anyways when it comes to our own especially when it comes to our own thinking and our own way of being in the world and Rebecca this leads me into talking to you a little bit about healing.
Rebecca: So i love some of the things that you mentioned on your website and in your blog posts about healing i just want to read everyone something that you wrote in a blog post called notes on healing and you say:
Julie: That “Some wounds take a lifetime of perpetual tending and are prone to flare up occasionally others heal but leave a scar and the rest close over so that we may never even recall that they were there in the first place.”
Julie: and i think that speaks beautifully to what you’ve just been mentioning about the fact that nothing about what we’re talking about in relation to courage and bravery is absolute there will be some things that you get a handle on that might really minimise in your life.
Julie: But then there will be other things that are a part of your healing path that you will need to tend to over and over again right there exactly.
Julie: I love that can you tell us a little bit more about your thoughts on healing because i know that there are a lot of people who listen to this podcast that are authentically and genuinely courageously and bravely holding space for others in many many different capacities but of course just as we talked about at the top of today also undergoing their own life and their own path and journey of healing to how do we hold those things together and keep moving forward and not find ourselves in a position where we think i’m broken.
Rebecca: ah yeah the old I’m broken i think that statement really is abrasive against accepting our own humaneness and unfortunately that we live in a society in a culture that really throws at us unless you’re feeling happy all the time then something is defective about you and apparently there are all these ways that you can purchase happiness you know just go and get the latest iPad and you’ll be there.
Rebecca: If only it was that simple and i guess if you’re in a position or in a career path or you know you’re just a great friend or a great family member and you show up often to hold space for other people’s healing then you can come to a place where you’re convinced that there is no space for your own healing or in fact there shouldn’t be and you should have it all sorted out.
Rebecca: What i want to say to that is that’s not true number one that there is a time and a place though to do your own healing outside of that work and that’s just from my own experience so in 2015 when i came to decision that i really needed to do some work on myself i made a decision that i was feeling in such a way that i couldn’t do that work while i was also practising as a clinical psychologist giving therapy to other people things had come to the surface for me that were needed so much tending so much holding gently.
Rebecca: And if i was going to do the work properly i didn’t feel like i could be showing up to an office each day and doing work with other people so i took a break.
Rebecca: But that was my decision to make and i i can only honestly say Julie that i made it because i was feeling that deeply about the work that i was doing that i just didn’t have space for anything else i wasn’t feeling crash hot and i didn’t have much left over for anyone else.
Rebecca: If you’re doing your own healing in fact i would say that everyone is healed and healing at the same time there’s always parts of us that we’re still tending to you get to make the decision are you able to do that work in a contained way and then show up to hold space for others or do you need to take a break and do some work and then come back.
Rebecca: I will also say that as a person that might show up to see a life coach or a psychologist or a counsellor or social worker or whoever it is that you can find to hold your hand for this part of the journey if they’re not doing their own work and if they haven’t done their own work do you really want to be seeing them i really think we need to come back to this place where we understand the power of someone who’s gone and looked within over and over again.
Julie: beautiful and i couldn’t agree with you more thank you for that Rebecca. Rebecca theory is actually another blog post that you’ve written you’re a beautiful writer and that should not come as a surprise to anybody given that you’ve you know that you’re a published author and you also have an incredible Instagram account where you share such beautiful thoughts with everyone.
Julie: But one of the blog posts that i really loved when i was exploring your work was 40 things i refuse to do any more lessons in authenticity self preservation and brave living and you mentioned some absolutely wonderful ones here such as you know refusing to apologise for having feelings assess when it’s acceptable to hold your wife’s hand in public and so my phone to anyone other than my inner circle.
Rebecca: sorry I am so there with you
Julie: Tell us if somebody was really wanting to step into a more brave and courageous life for themselves would you recommend that this could be a fabulous thing for them to do like to just maybe write a list for themselves of you know what i’m not going to do these things anymore.
Rebecca: Yeah look I turned 40 like 10 days ago
Julie: and congratulations happy birthday
Rebecca: Thank you and it does feel like congratulations I made it here wow you know what a privilege but I made it here by fighting life Julie like really I am an expert no like no I don’t want to feel that no it’s too hard I don’t want I’m just an expert tantrum throughout really and coming to this place and doing all the work that I’ve done really is this position of feeling free like I am giving up so much of the hardness of life.
Rebecca: Hardness is not a word but it is now let’s go with it and I think writing that lists for me was about coming back to what have I been in the process of letting go of in the last decade and what am I now feeling free enough to I’m gonna write it down in black and white to go no actually for me what life is now is just as important as what I say no to is what I say yes to.
Rebecca: And so when I wrote that list I was like yes you know it’s as simple as if the shoes don’t feel good I’m not wearing them even if they do make my calves look better if it’s about making me having to manage someone whose energy doesn’t match with mine then the answer is no.
Rebecca: The whole thing was about going you know what 40 is bloody freeing i am so glad to be here the wrinkles that i’ve got you know go me because that means that i’ve lived but at any stage i wish i had have done this when i was 30 i wish i had done it when i was 20 but i’m not sure i was ready to back in.
Rebecca: But if you were to sit down and do it for yourself i wonder what you’d come up with because the answers really struck me you know and i didn’t always know what well i often i don’t know when i’m writing what’s going to come up but that list got me into a place where i was like you know what yeah yeah yeah let’s say no more because it’s so freeing.
Julie: well it is a wonderful list it’s inspired me to make my own and let’s just talk about number 11 for a moment which is where shoes that hurt me oh that’s my favourite of the entire list Because, you know, I gave up wearing high heels many, many years ago.
Julie: And in truth, I’m not even sure why I wore them when I was in my late teens and 20s, and even into my, my 30s and my early 30s, because they’ve always heard a, I just have faith that have just never ever taken two beautiful high heeled stiletto type shoes.
Julie: And I often used to find myself in a position of needing to justify that how crazy, especially at more formal occasions, do you know what I mean? And it’s like, Yeah, but you do you reach a particular point in time in your life where you’re like, hang on a second.
Julie: I mean, they’re just shoes. And you can get some amazing flat shoes, let me tell you, I’ve had plenty of practice, into purchasing them. But it’s a wonderful list. And I personally just think it is an amazing thing for people to do.
Julie: You know, if you’re really looking to inspire yourself to step into a more brave and courageous life, start to think about some of the things not only that you do desire to do, but things that you refuse to do any more out of a sense of obligation, and so many other things as well.
Julie: So really inspiring. Rebecca, one of the things that I really absolutely love about your book the universe listens to brave is that, first of all, it’s absolutely stunning, everyone, it is full colour, and it’s so pink and luscious.
Julie: Everybody knows how much I love pink. I don’t deny it and that it actually go on my list like refused. to how much that I love that I love the fact that this is one of those beautiful books that you can open up to any page and receive some divine wisdom.
Julie: And so I have just done that, while we have been here in this interview just opened up to a random page. And I’m going to read out what’s on that page. And I’d love for you to share some more thoughts with us Rebecca about it.
Julie: So it says here, “The walls of your comfort zone are not only transparent, they are actually imaginary, you can cross through them at any time, you just have to decide to take that leap.” Tell us a bit more about that, with that idea in thought and inspiration come from?
Rebecca: What I wanted people to understand is that we can always trust what our mind says. And your comfort zone is made by your mind. Thoughts are just thoughts. They’re just collections of letters and sounds.
Rebecca: And if you buy into what your mind says on a daily basis, you’ll live a shrunken shadow version of the life that you’re capable of.
Rebecca: So what I wanted to plant in people’s minds is this idea of Hmm, you know, that wall that you’re up against the wall that’s blocking you, it doesn’t actually exist, the life that you see the bravest version of your life that you’re out to create the one that’s sitting there in the distance, there’s actually nothing between you in it other than forward momentum that you are capable of creating to walk through those imaginary walls.
Julie: So, so powerful, Rebecca, I’m really glad I know that no matter which one I would have landed on, it would have been the perfect thing for us to talk about. But it really is true, isn’t it? How we can all fall into that trap of believing that just because we think something that that must mean that it is true? Yeah. And that’s a very hard thing.
Julie: It’s a challenging thing for us to unpack, isn’t it? Because it can feel so true. It can feel so real. But that’s just not the case, is it?
Rebecca: Yeah, exactly. And I’m a big one for moving towards the feelings that you want to create in yourself. But that also means that we need to take our feelings and our thoughts with a grain of salt.
Rebecca: Just because discomfort shows up doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop. And in fact, to do the most meaningful things in our lives, we often need to take a great deal of discomfort with us.
Rebecca: That’s what makes them meaningful. It’s the satisfaction of being able to overcome that discomfort. If everything was easy, then we wouldn’t attach the same meaning to it.
Rebecca: So I think it’s about being able to assess our thoughts and feelings for alignment, rather than just for what it is that they’re representing in that very moment.
Rebecca: alignment with values. Sorry, let me clarify how just throughout alignment, like a mean something, what was what I meant was alignment with values like is my discomfort in the service of doing something that’s important right now.
Rebecca: So for instance, I just recorded a whole heap of video content and I load the video when you said that. This was the What do I was like Julie loves me, she loves me, we’re doing an audio video because I love her for creating a comfortable experience to me. But when we work on social media, we need video, which I hate So, but it’s in the service of connecting with my community.
Rebecca: So we take discomfort with us to do things that are important and aligned with our values. Rather than discomfort for discomfort sec, like, if you get stuck in your comfort zone, you’ll eventually have the discomfort of stagnation and boredom and potentially loneliness.
Rebecca: That’s discomfort about discomfort.
Julie: That’s so true. That is so true. And that also aligns with my thoughts sometimes that I think that some of us can get to a particular point where the thing that we’re actually fearful of is fear. Mm hmm.
Rebecca: That’s right. about anxiety, fear. Yeah. Yeah.
Julie: Yeah, that’s right. And so this is all, you know, it’s all the challenge, isn’t it on our spiritual paths and our life paths, but it’s so so worth looking at, because we don’t think we don’t really function.
Rebecca: So true. And also, if we don’t feel then we don’t really have something grounding to come back to, we need our feelings, because they give us this unique sacred source of information.
Rebecca: But I just want people to be able to question their feelings, and based on their alignment with their own values, rather than just going well, I feel uncomfortable, therefore, I should stop.
Julie: Yeah, absolutely. Rebecca, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. It’s been really, really wonderful to talk with you. Your work is absolutely beautiful. And everyone, not only is Rebecca’s book, the universe listens to brave, gorgeous, but if you are somebody who is, and I personally think that this could be all of us, but that might be a bit of a stretch.
Julie: But if you are somebody that is really working through at the moment and feelings of fear and what courage and bravery means to you, and trying to live a more expansive and inspired life, can I please recommend that you follow Rebecca on Instagram, her Instagram feed is absolutely beautiful.
Julie: And it’s filled with not fluffy Insta quotes and things but actually really genuinely gorgeous things that can help you. And I’m going to finish up by reading one of those out today. But first of all, Rebecca, I just wanted to say thank you again for being with us.
Rebecca: Thank you, Julie. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Julie: Thank you, everyone. If you would like to find out more about Dr. Rebecca Ray’s work, please go to JulieSuzanneparker.com/Dr. Rebecca Ray.
And I’m just going to leave you today with some beautiful words that Rebecca has recently chosen to share on her Instagram feed because I think it’s just a beautiful wrap up for the conversation today.
“Today choice to stop waiting for the right time, the right place, the right person, the right lunar phase, the right season, the right celestial alignment, your ego to feel safe enough, a guarantee. Something better, greater courage, and go forward. Anyway.”
Lovely ones I hope you enjoyed listening to our conversation as much as I enjoyed being in it.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that Julie is just simply remarkable. If you’d like to find out more about Julie and her work, you can find her at JulieSuzanneparker.com.
And if you’d like to dive into any of the topics that we discussed more deeply, I have a stack of free resources for you at Rebeccaray.com.au/free.
I can’t wait to catch you next week when the next episode of Hello Rebecca Ray drops. Lovely ones. Thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray.
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