Ahri Golden

The Joy Of Creative Liberation with Ahri Golden

 This week is our second to the last episode of the season and it features Media Midwife, Ahri Golden. She’s an award-winning artist, producer, podcast coach, professor, and mother of two. Ahri’s work is informed by a passion for making meaning through stories and creative responses to the world that is unfolding within and around us. 

Together we talk about her journey of becoming the Media Mid-Wife and what that entails. Plus, she speaks about her anti-hustle perspective, the importance of listening to our bodies, and making embodied art. We also explore the three generations of mother-daughter relationships that helped her heal ancestral wounds. Especially when her daughter helped her wake up to the value of being versus over identifying with producing and doing. This galvanized wisdom and helped her current path to unfold. Plus, Ahri ends the episode with an exercise she uses with her clients on how to use creativity to transmute and access their stories.

Show Notes

Welcome back to Laid Open podcast. This is your host Charna Cassell and my guest today is media midwife, Ari Golden. She’s an award winning artist and producer, podcast coach and professor, a mother of two and formed by a passion for making meaning through stories and creative response to the world that is unfolding within and around us. Welcome Ari!

Thank you so much, Charna. It’s great to be here. 

And you’re someone who when you moved away from the bay, I felt like it was a lost opportunity that, you know, I knew you peripherally and really thought, Wow, that’s a woman that I admire from afar and would like to get to know better. And so I’m really excited to get to sit down and have this conversation with you and get to know you a little better. 

Thank you. Likewise, likewise. 

And we were having a brief conversation before I started recording. And I was expressing gratitude for your flexibility and your understanding and needing to move our scheduling time a couple times. And your response was really lovely. And I would love for you to reiterate it and just go into more depth. 

I mean, I think that we’re living in such a chaotic, ever changing time. And for those gripping to control what they think should be and how it should look. And you it’s the ultimate way to get through the mess of life, whether it’s COVID, or any other thing that is happening, that that’s jarring, or, or, or, you know, changing our schedule, about how we think things should be.

What happens when we’re open to being flexible, is that there’s, there’s an opportunity, there’s an opportunity to see what else is there. And so if you’re looking at change as an opportunity, it really can present some amazing options and possibilities. And so I guess, for me, raising kids, for me really blasted open my idea of schedules. And then I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful for my business and how I work with leaders, women and mother, visionary leaders who, you know, they have to change plans all the time. Yeah. Because they’re, you know, they’re can get sick, or their plane was late, or whatever. And it’s like, great, no problem. And they, too, are just so grateful that I don’t have a problem with it. I’m not tripping about it. To me, the ultimate productivity is to respond to the moment.

And what is needed in any given moment? Yeah, yeah, there’s self responsiveness, not just self responsiveness, but responsiveness to the collective and what is alive, or what is presenting itself in each moment. There’s so much generosity and empathy. There’s also the building of compassion for self and other. And I remember, decades ago, as I was starting to be in somatic practices, and something was starting to shift because I’m definitely a recovering and sometimes not so recovering perfectionist, and my ability to respond and be like, I’m tired, I’m going to rest or I’m hungry, I’m going to eat or I don’t want to see that person. All those little micro choices, started to build self compassion, self trust and self love. And this idea that if you put on enough lotion or goodwill spa or something, you’re loving yourself, it’s like, oh, no, what about those micro decisions you could make each day? Like, I’m actually going to do less today? I’m going to go to bed earlier.

And I feel like that’s what you’re what you’re also speaking to and so thank you. It’s an anti hustle perspective. I think, really, you know, I think there’s a lot of violence that happens inside of ourselves.

When we go against our gut if we’re tired, and we go anyway because we feel like we should, or we’re going to let the people down or we’re going to do that self betrayal that happens in those micro moments. It wears us down. And if we are living from the inside out where we’re like, what is Why is life giving?

You know, where is the lifeforce? How can I move toward what is nourishing? That, to me that perspective, it’s so empowering to do that, that in those micro choices, it builds up to a life. Yeah. Yeah. It’s also it’s so energizing. I don’t know if you’ve had this experience. But you know, maybe you’re supposed to go to a party, and you’re like, Oh, I really don’t want to go, I just want to rest. And then if you actually give yourself permission to not go to a party, you go from feeling insanely fatigued to suddenly energized. Right? Absolutely.

Right. Yeah. What do you what do you need to show up as fully as you can? Yeah, every day and so that that’s really, to me, the the work of life is really can we orient from that inside out place, as opposed to shame and fear and blame and all the things that feel so exhausting, and organ sustainable? Yeah. The last time we talked, I remember speaking about moving from a place of, you know, trauma bonding. And, and this tension and this kind of being hijacked by history in a way unconsciously and moving to more of a place of relating from a liberated, energetic space. I don’t know if you remember that. But that’s also what’s coming to mind as we’re talking about this. Yeah, I do. I mean, I absolutely think that in this kind of emerging regenerative pulse that is present, it’s happening, you’re, it’s, it’s a response to things falling apart on such a grand scale, that if if we can move from that liberated place, it’s quieter, it’s, it’s, it’s decisive, it feels energizing. It’s almost like a garden, where if you give the plant a space, and the nutrients it needs, it will emerge. And we are a microcosm of, of plants of the natural world of the universe. So to me, that’s a real kind of feminine leadership. Mm hmm. That is allowing for us to pivot and adapt to all the massive shifts and see the possibility in the devastation. Right. Yeah, I mean, seeing what when you say see the possibility of devastation? I’m almost seeing like old ways old structures as the compost for the soil. Yeah, right. Like seeing everything that’s like, okay, we’re so afraid of things D materializing or, like, ways that we’re like, okay, I need these rules the way they’ve always been, and always existed to continue, you know, I’m thinking of white supremacy or something. And then if it gets dismantled if it comes undone, what what do we do? What do we have in that moment? Where there’s all these pieces of wood? laying around us? It’s like, what else can be built from the same material? Or does it totally get composted? And then something else grows from that? Yeah. It makes me think about there’s there’s an interesting through line that I find in the clients that I’m working with, where these are women and mothers who have been in professional armor for years, who sort of played the game that they needed to play, they felt they needed to play to get ahead to do what they’re doing in the world. And then it was like, Oh, that’s not going to work anymore. I’m going to integrate this more kind of fluid part of myself, as a professional, my professional self is not cut off from my spiritual self, my intuitive self, my, the stories of our lives that that make up who we are, that that whole self is actually what’s necessary, to inspire to leave it to move have from that place of energized. Inspiration? 

And have these clients come to you once they’ve recognized that for themselves? Or is that something you’re facilitating them starting to see and emerge from? Both? Both? I would say that there’s something like one of my clients just wrote to me, she said, I need, I’m actually just going to read this to you. Yeah. That’s a great example of what we’re talking about. And obviously, this is I won’t say who it is, of course, but she says, she says, I think I attracted you because of my goal with storytelling. And so there’s a way that there’s this form saying that my intention is so clear. And how I’m communicating about it is clear that I am attracting the leaders who are feeling that like that, that itch that know that there’s more they know, there’s something deep inside of them. And they, they know that it’s just a matter of helping it move. And there’s an instinctive sort of attraction and gravitational pull that’s happening with my clients. I’m reaching out to clients, potential clients that I think would be a great fit. And I’m having people come to me and say, Wow, that really resonated for me, I’m ready. So it’s, it’s kind of, it’s just this kind of, it’s a crossroads. Also, this this transition or movement from the overdoing, which is also that masculine way, to being this. And, you know, you mentioned, it’s like, oh, I can blend my professional with my spiritual life and these parts of myself, and I don’t have to amputate a certain way of existing in the world in order to be successful at my job.

Yeah. And yeah, go ahead. No, please go. Oh, just, you know, I was just gonna say, so along those lines, that identity shift from doing to being and embracing that as enoughness.

What do you see with yourself and with the people you’re working with, it’s such a such an important point, I think, the amputation of our selves, the parts of us that we abandoned, because we don’t think that they are allowed in this professional space. Yeah, I’ve gone through my own deep work around this and split off so much and have re integrated so that because I’ve done that work for my own cell, there’s, there’s a safety in kind of reflection of my clients where they see, okay, this is a medium midwife, you put that out there, you’re like, that is right, left brain, there’s a sensitivity and also a precision, there’s a professionalism and an excellence, with the mystery and with not knowing and with emergent, group and so, that so I think, I think that the amputated part comes from fear and comes from not feeling like we are enough for that, that somehow, you know, there’s a self judgment around that. And when we’re just standing in it, we’re standing in our lane, and we are owning that, you know, we’re we’re, we’re spiritual beings in a human body.

And, and this is not woowoo. Actually, this is essential for humans thriving to know there’s something beyond us and to lead from that place. It’s, I think it’s very refreshing because it there’s, there’s an absence of shame. In the field, there’s an absence of fear in the field. It’s really just holding another person’s truth reflecting it and then making art about it.

They can media about it. Yeah. And, you know, I was having a conversation about shame was somebody else that I just interviewed, and I was talking about how, when someone has self respect, they’re in a long tall body, like that’s their structure. Shame is a collapsed structure. Shame also takes up all the space in the room. So from a place of self respect, the leading from that place, there’s so much more room for other people’s experience and you can listen and you can hear and you can receive feedback versus being defensive and collapsing and being righteous.

Absolutely. And the other piece when you just said, you know, media midwife, again, the image I got was you sitting in this glorious, spacious patients

Right, where you’re just like, take your time.

And it speaks to the thing. We were talking about the beginning, right? You’re like, just take your time, I’ll be here. I’m still here. Right? Come on out

There, listening for the questions. Listening, there’s something so profound about being witnessed your life, and having someone who’s so curious about who you are, and curious about what you’ve been through, and what you’ve learned from these gateways, been transformational, or that have brought insight and wisdom into your life. And that, that is the fodder for the work that I’m doing. And so there’s, there’s this, it’s an evolutionary process. And in doing that, for my clients, I’m doing it for myself, I feel this ecosystem of aeration. And yeah, there’s a lot of patients in the in the ways that I have been challenged in my life, there’s, I mean, there, there’s been such a long journey of you, inheriting stories that weren’t true about being stupid about eating all the things that, you know, were not true. And so the burn of going through the restoring of our lives, and really seeing like, that was someone else’s projection. That was lineage trauma. That isn’t my story. I’m actually creating a new story.

And, yeah, it’s, it’s magnetic, and it’s spacious. And there’s time to keep listening and keep deepening forever, for all. Yeah, by exam, one of the things that you spoke to is this idea that, you know, you’re because you’ve gone through the fire, your own initiation, and your clients can go, Oh, she’s gone from being a doer to a beer. I can trust her. And I know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. And so I’m curious, if you would share more about your personal like, then you don’t have to go into everything. But you know, the, the the main learning points or initiatory experiences that you went through in order to be where you are now. And then like, what’s the story now, compared to where it was? Yeah. Well, I mean, I’ve been through many initiations, but the one that has really took me into the depths of the underworld was when I was pregnant with my son in 2004. I had created a public radio documentary about birth, and one about born, the postpartum process, and then pregnancy in America, and was just really focused and had my son on my back and going across the country on this media tour. And I was like, Yeah, I’m a mom. And I’m, I’m like, in my zone with my work. And I like, get mother and, you know, I was just like, in his zone and getting interviewed and just he was sleeping really well. And he was a super easy traveler. And I was like, I’m in my zone. Yeah, I was with my, my media partner, Tanya, contend Jen. And she and I went across the country. And we had this 75 cities and towns were doing this birth tour that we created. So, you know, I was very, I was very sort of what’s the word?

And just blowed it bloated.

Such a good description. I have such a strong visual.

I look back and I’m just like, oh, sorry.

A Long Way to vulgar all you had to you had to get off of that.

Anyway, I became pregnant with my daughter, and I had a miscarriage between the kids and so, you know, I definitely had some, like humbling experiences, and there were many but but my daughter when she came to me, it was like, I just, you know, there are times in our lives where we’re, we’re really kind of elevated and we feel like we have it all together. And then these gifts come to us that blow apart our perception of ourselves. That

I mean, when she was it was it was an intense pregnancy and then you know, she didn’t sleep at all for three years. So no nap

Save up 10 times the night.

Like, it was crazy, it didn’t matter what you know, all the things that you tried to do to change, it’s like now this is your medicine. She’s coming to humble you clipped your, your, you know bloated self, your wings, whatever to really question what you’re doing and why are you doing it and I was such a perfectionist and so kind of career oriented. And so like, what I’m doing is who I am, and I had so much identity wrapped up in being a radio producer and doing all the things I was doing. And and yeah, it was really this dissolving of my me.

So that I could show up for what was needed actually really be there. And that process of, of dissolving ego, and really burning it to a crisp and really getting super real about. Okay, who am I if I don’t have all this stuff going on?

Am I a failure? Am I stupid am I could I not get it together, like all of this whole identity crisis was going on. And then it became the gateway to this next level of self compassion, of feeling incredible grief around the story that I had about not being enough or not being smart enough or, and, and allowing it to be there and really making a strong intention in those years that I was so focused on ensuring that my kids felt seen for who they are, or that that it wasn’t what they did that made them okay, it wasn’t like the external perfection or external validation that made them whole that that they were going to know that they were loved. And I was going to show up for this nourishment from the inside out. And it’s been a long journey. My kids are now 17 and 13. 

So it’s really that was a real turning point in my life a listening for what’s needed, allowing my empowerment come from an inner place, rather than the external projections of what success looks like. Yeah.

Yeah. And that leads into like, a whole interesting story about it being a radio producer, having the mic on, on all these women across the country, about birth and about their postpartum experiences, and really being silenced in my voice.

Really producing other people’s stories and visions. But being terrified of opening my voice. And so my daughter was about a year old and my son was going to music class. He was five at the time. And I was I said, easy. Come on, we gotta go. We gotta go to class, like, come on. We’re late. We’re late. Let’s go, let’s go. And five year old Izzy looks at me. And he says, Mama, I don’t want music. You want music?

I was. I said, Wow.

Okay, I’ll take over your lessons. And I’m going to explore my voice because I was so tense in my throat. So much judgment about my voice. So anyway, it was just an catharsis, of listening and being guided by this instinct to sing and write songs. And so I made an album out of that experience about motherhood. And it was just a profound release of all of these ideas of who I thought I was, hmm. Let’s keep your unraveling process since. Yeah. And it’s it’s really interesting that, you know, there was this period where you were producing and you it was all about other people’s stories and other people’s voices. And then you went through this period of learning how to access your own voice and fill out your own voice and be heard and be seen. And you’ve come full circle. So now that there’s this release and relief in your own system, where you can come back to a place of holding other people. And I imagine, like what you said about with your daughter, you learned how to like listening for what was needed, that that has then really served you

In your work with listening to other people’s stories and pulling their stories out? Absolutely. It it. It was like, the freedom I felt in opening my voice allowed for so much trauma to move through allowed for this profound kind of process of.

Yeah. Oh my god, man. I just fucking realized. Oh my god, this is one of those moments. Ah, yeah, well, you’re recording. I am recording. Thank God. I don’t know. Oh my god, Ari I unplugged it to compress the last interview, like, Okay, I loved it. It’s happening with you in this conversation. Holy shit. So basically what that means is my mic was not plugged in that whole time. Okay. So with all of your beautiful Wisdom, what does that mean?

It means that he died.

And we can start again. Do we have to start again? Or can we probably Oh, sorry, Kami. It’s totally you know what this is, it’s a great learning. This is Mercury in Retrograde, I will acknowledge that I have so much compassion for tech. flukes. And this is my first my first tech fail, but I love that it happened with you.

Oh, my God.

That’s nuts. It okay. Yeah, we can just shake it off and just lets you start getting SQL being your full glory of Your, your recording and bringing it in. You know, another thing that I mean, I’m totally open to, if you want to reschedule it, if you’re feeling like, it’s, you know, like, it doesn’t feel good to do it again, we can reschedule and I’m totally fine with that. Let me think, yeah, it’s okay. Well, so what I will say, I’m almost moved to tears by the generosity that you’ve shown me honestly, like this is it is such beautiful medicine. Because I did feel so bad. Every time I’ve had to shift things, and I’m in this funny place of my life is asking tremendous flexibility dating, you know, I’ve explained the situation with my boyfriend, like, moment to moment, day to day I don’t he’s like, there’s a lot, there’s lightning. I’m now on assignment and on hold, and I can’t come, right, like that, or like, you know, and just being flexible on a way that for 20 years, I’ve seen clients and haven’t, you know, it’s like, well, their attachment stuff will get will get triggered if I shift things around. And predictability and consistency is so important for certain people, but I really, at this point have like more flexible clients. And that really is this beautiful sign of a healthy muscle. Right? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s also a reflection of what you’re attracting? Yeah. I mean, I think it is an incredible superpower to me with the truth of what is here, and it’s not personal. And it’s not, it’s not dangerous. It’s just light. And life is messy. Yeah, it’s real. And it’s, it’s uncomfortable. And it’s that’s the beauty of it. Yeah. Can we hang in with where the lifeforce is. And it really does expand us in a way that the little stuff doesn’t freak me out. You know. That’s so good. It’s like, and for me, the life force really is, you know, I stayed up until 4am fermenting veggies from my garden, hook the other day, because I was like, I am an adult, I get to go to sleep when I want to. I have the energy right now. Tomorrow, this is what I want to do. You know, like, I just was so energized or I’m really energized by this relationship and prioritizing it and letting him know that he really matters more than me having my rigid schedule.

You know, it’s like, I love him. And I want him to know that and I want him to see and I can listen to books on tape while I drive. You know, he lives five hours away. Ooh, you know, I think

There’s something about rigidity that, you know, when you really peek under the hood of rigidity. You know, it’s like, operating from trust in what is that there’s an absence of fear in insurance. Right. And within that, there’s, you know, I deeply believe in form and structure.

I also deeply believe, in change and malleability. And that kind of sweet spot between the two is so critical need to have formed to have flow.

So I think about it like a dance, dancing in life. How do I want to be when I’m on my deathbed? Yeah, I want to be open your Yes, I want to feel like I have done the best that I could every day.

And sometimes that looks crazy and messy. And that’s okay. And just learning and growing and being this garden that is, needs to be pruned sometimes and needs to be pulled out by the roots. So it can be replanted? I mean, there’s just the metaphors.

There, right.

But to lead from flexibility is very, I feel like that’s the trend that yeah, that’s emerging for culture to actually be able to survive what we’re facing. Mm hmm. Yeah. It’s the brittleness, right, the breaking, that’s possible, I’m thinking about, like, certain kinds of wood or certain kinds of branches, you know, and but then applying that two ways of being and the, like the health of our of our world, what do we need to do in order to keep developing the capacity to be more flexible? And, you know, it’s like, what are the what are the practices that we need to be in? And and how do you how do you see creativity and the role of audio storytelling, playing a role in that it’s a very intimate medium, which I love, I love the idea of listening inside of ourselves, for what wants to be known. And then listening to the sound of why as human beings who’ve been through wild, you know, challenge in an immersive Sonic musical rhythmic experience, so that it actually becomes a part of you. It’s like an engaged listening experience, that it one story at a time, can be life changing for the listener, you’re here in another person, what they’ve been through and how they’ve used what they’ve been through, to bring them to their purpose, and bring them to what moves them in this world right now. And here’s like, permission in that there’s a sense of feeling seen.

And it’s a very intimate exchange. So I think that one story one episode, one kind of recording at a time, is, is medicine, for the culture, and so we all need to listen for what is our part to play in this, this collective trauma that we’re living through, and this idea that we’re going to do something, we’re gonna write something, we’re gonna say something that it’s going to change the world. It’s like, actually, it’s not about that, isn’t it? It’s not our business, what happens after we create something and put it out into the world? As long as we’re being honest. And as long as we are meeting the moment from that core of why, yeah.

That there’s a depth and a meaning and I’ve entered an energy behind whatever it is that we’re doing. That is a, it’s a pebble, it’s a seed, it’s a it’s a way of contributing to the life force contributing to what is alive for us. And so, to me, that feels like a really important contribution to respond to this time. Like, you know, you’ve you’ve repeatedly said this time and that could mean so many things, right? That could mean it’s like COVID Time

EIMs times have really examining, you know, structures of white supremacy and police violence. And, and me too, and like there’s all this building building awareness. And then there’s also this time of isolation that people have really, and time of reflection and time of potentially liberation and redirecting, that all has been happening. And when I think about the time of isolation, I think of you know, people’s stories and being able to hear people’s experiences, and how essential that is, because there could be people that that work from home, never see anyone and feel totally alone in their in their developmental experience or mothering experience or whatever it is. And to hear another person’s story, especially one that’s of an initiation where they’ve had enough distance and time and come out the other side.

That helps them see, this is how I can do that as well. Right? Likely, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And to this piece Valley, when you say this time, what do you mean? Yeah. And there’s an unraveling of the scenes. Yeah. Every way, I mean, existential crisis, we’re in as a collective as a species. And so we can be, you know, in total terror and fear about that is valid.

And we’re here right now, in this moment.

Breathing in this moment, coming back to this body, and this spine. And so the the muscle of just coming back to this present experience that we’re having, and we can’t know what’s coming. Yeah, we never do. We we don’t realize the mic is not plugged in.

Nope, we’re gonna say things. I know. Right?

Yeah. So the so uncomfortable. Yeah. And so in the mass of change, and breathe into that, relax into that, and listen for like, Okay, what, what’s needed, one of the things I’m really struck by when we’re, when we’re talking right now, and I’m watching you, and I’ve also danced with you before, and you’re really embodied.

And even when you’re talking, there’s a way that I can see you moving through the physical words. And, and I thought to myself, I’m really curious how that plays into your work with your clients. And also if you give them practices around how to cultivate more beingness, and more patience inside themselves, inherently just because of who you are, and how you are in the world. And so when we get to the end, I would love if you would, if you let that just marinate. And perhaps you’ll guide us in some kind of practice at the end of the episode around. Yeah, well, I would love that. Thank you for observing that, you know, that is definitely a dance has been a part of my life, since I could walk.

I’ve always kept that separate from my kind of professional self. And so I’m appreciating you recognizing that because movement is so much a part of my being. And I produce in that way too. Like everything sort of flows in the way that is heard and intended. There’s an embodiment

in storytelling, and so I would say I have some clients who are really embodied and some who really aren’t. And so I think one of the things that’s so important about working with clients is really sensing who they are in meeting them where they are, exactly. So with some clients, we start off our session with feeling feet, rooted on the ground, lifting a spine, connecting with all of those before who didn’t have the chance to speak in the way that my client is, is empowered to speak and share and that that it’s presencing the ancestors as if they are here with us, through you. So thank you for that. And, and that, you know, that kind of opening with that sort of awareness creates an embodied experience. Although I have another client who that that wouldn’t fly for, you know, and I know that and that’s okay. So there’s, there’s certain qualities of embodiment and speaking to it, that really helps feel someone feel feel helps someone feel really open and connected. And then I can sense when it would be really off putting and difficult to connect with that, I would say it’s sort of chameleon esque in that way where I’m really sensing from an embodied place, what they’re up for. Yes, yes. And, and so for those clients who are up for it, one of my clients specifically is in the process of, we’re in the process of producing her series. And she’ll, she’ll be kind of in the throes of editing, because I’m teaching her how to do it herself. And as she’s working, I’ll remind her, you know, how are your feet feeling? How’s your spine, let’s take a moment, let’s take a break. Let’s drink some water, you know. So breathing, remembering the body, and then connecting in with the mind. And so I’m always speaking to that connection, regardless of whether or not my client is embodied? Well, some of my favorite sessions have been with, you know, a fundamentalist Christian dad and a trans kid and, you know, helping bridge the gaps between spaces, you know, where people occupy themselves and their, their thinking and their landscape and all of that and meeting people where they are and seeing how I can translate. And I’m, I’m curious, because you’ve mentioned ancestors a few times and ancestral trauma. And so I’m curious about your conditioning and training around voice and embodiment and what was modeled for you, and often it can be the opposites. And so we find it somehow. But what did you see growing up?

I am, well, my mom always told me that, you know, or you were dancing in the crib, you’d put on music, and I’d be fully shaking my body to the rhythm. And she’d be like, Oh, my God, who is this dancer? Because my mom does not. She doesn’t consider herself embodied. I think we all are born embodied. And we just think that we’re not, because we’ve been told that we’re not. But we are primates. And we do move. And if you can move, you can dance. So I’m a big believer that it’s accessible to anybody, if you’re open to it, but yeah, my mom and my dad are anchors, in the sense that they’ve been married for 50 years. And they’re really, they’re amazing. I am so grateful for them. And they’ve been through so many crazy things that would definitely split up most people. And so that kind of steadfast container for being human was a very powerful model for me to dig for my truth, dig for, you know, where I felt cut off in my voice where I felt disconnected from my body from my dance coming back, coming back to my voice that, that life inside of a flexible container for being human allows for growth ongoingly and I’ve watched my parents continuously grow and follow up. And question and I would say particularly my mom and the mother daughter relationship for most of my childhood, I felt very voiceless and very cut off from my voice. I didn’t feel cut off from my dad’s I was going to clubs at a young age and dancing as my kind of liberation in a way or my my way of kind of rebelling, the intensity that my mom was when I was young, and she was just really underdeveloped and kind of trauma bonded and not conscious yet of that in her life, the legacy wounds that she carried. She was not conscious of them until much later. But even still with that she always got a kick out of my just my boldness, I’ve always been pretty bold and the first time that it really shifted

As I was 15 and I had a boyfriend who was in a horrible electrocution accident. And so I was at the hospital every day with him. And he was had 100 skin graft surgeries. And it was horrible. But I really showed up. Yeah. And I really was there. And we had a family party for my mom’s birthday, I think. And my grandfather, my mom’s dad was no se se, just a really mythic presence. And my mom was pretty scared of him for most of her life and never kind of asserted herself with him.

And he said something really inappropriate about me and my boyfriend. And I was so sad. And I went upstairs and I was crying. And my mom came up easily. She didn’t mean it. He didn’t mean it. And I just remember my spine lifting. And I looked at her and I was just like, there is no excuse for this. And I marched downstairs, and I was like, Don’t you ever talk about my boyfriend like that? Again, nobody talks to me like this. And he left the house. And the next day, he called my mom, and he was like, I was pretty mad.

But that kid’s got spunk.

My mom, my mom’s been in law school. And she had this paper that she couldn’t write, and she couldn’t write, and she couldn’t write it. And it was like this whole thing about not being able to write the paper. And it was due the next week. And my moment with my grandfather was so cathartic for her to witness me feel my voice in the Yeah. And she wrote the paper and the ways for ya paper that got her her first job. And she was able to graduate from law school because of that. And so it was really that was such a potent moment of anchoring into my embodiment and my voice and shifting a pattern. Well, and again, like a family pattern, her voice, you helped her midwife her voice in that paper and her career and her I’m not, that’s profound. It really was it really, in our whole journey of kind of learning from each other, and questioning why we do what we do and questioning ancestral trauma and how it’s worked out in our dynamic, and how we’re here to really liberate the ancestors. That’s how we feel in our relationship. Beautiful. And to really not pass it on to my kids. Yeah, the framing.

You were deliberate with your choice of words and how you describe grandpa mythic figure, and someone might be like, or maybe he was a narcissist. I don’t know. I’m just saying. Like, I just felt like there was a real, there’s a diplomatic generosity and the way that you’re retelling these stories and, and I really love, you know, what you got from your parents, this commitment to growth through the hard moments and times. And I’m really curious, because I know your relationship is something that in our community, people really admire, like you have a beautiful love story, and you’ve a beautiful companionship. And so how that kind of commitment to helping your clients evolve, how you take that into your relationship and into parenting. Yeah, thank you for saying that. Yeah. Jay and I have been together 20 years. And it’s a really, you know, it’s we’re a great fit, because we’re both so committed to growth and looking and being with all the things that are there that come up when you have a mirror that you’re living with, and and it really was a lot harder when we were earlier on and you grow muscles of expansion and inquiry when you’re safe to do that. Mm hmm. So I would say that yeah, our relationship and in Jays parents have been together for a really long time to that, that these containers of messy life, the non fancy stuff, the stuff is like so hard and so uncomfortable. And you’re like, Okay, let’s, let’s like really look at this

Let’s look at it from every angle. Let’s be curious. Let’s be kind. Let’s, you know, look at where we’re triggered and why and what happened and unpacking our healing stories. And we’re both story coaches, and we’re both helping our clients do this thing that we’re both reading and doing for ourselves. And so it’s, it is this interesting kind of, yeah, it’s like, it feels like a canvas of aliveness in that way. Because it is fascinating to know somebody so well, and to know, what is, you know, the deepest wounds and the deepest source of pain and, and loving that, being there for it, having it not scare us. But having it be like a safe space to transmute and transform trauma, which we both had plenty of it, and have had it and still do and are still working with it. So I do think that that kind of deep self inquiry allows for this container of humanity, that nothing that my clients ever say, scares me or freaks me out. It’s just like, I’m just holding space. I’m holding a mirror of validation that no matter what you’ve been through, no matter what you’ve experienced, you’re here right now. Yeah, you’re showing up for life now? And what is the silver lining? What is the growth? How is this here for us? To see, you know, the nuances of life? And so too, with our kids, I mean, they’re so you, when you from the beginning, if you’ve been held and nursed? And just Yeah, seen and, and sort of met?

There’s a whole I mean, I almost Yeah, they’re just, they’re rooted in a way that I am still learning how to do.

And so as Jay, I mean, it, sir, my parents and So Jason, I mean, there’s like, this generation coming up right now, they need to know who they are. And they need to know that they’re anchored inside of themselves, to be able to meet what’s commonly because this is it. I mean, this is, I think, I think that we’re in this like, really fascinating evolutionary time of integrating, and looking at all the ways we’ve been fragmented and armored, and allow it to melt, allow it to drop all the way through so that we can show up with the genius of our beingness. And that every person is born with a certain light, a certain fixing of what’s broken, and how can we illuminate that and reflect it back for each other, for our kids, for our clients? For our parents, so thank you for for naming that it does feel really woven into all the parts of life. Mm hmm. When I think about your kids, and having two parents, sometimes it’s wine, sometimes it’s none. But both parents being so committed to knowing themselves, knowing another.

Also fuzz and knowing community, right, really facilitating peep everyone’s voice being heard. And how can that not show up in in the family system and those kids like, you know, as you said, having that ground having that really enriched soil to then grow from, and as a as a gardener, I know that soil makes a huge difference. And you’re also the Son, and you’re also the water and you’re all the things you know, you’re the fertilizer.

I hear the words. You’re reminding me of this, we have the talking stick. Yeah. So when there’s like a total blow up in the house, you sit on the couch, and everyone has the stick and ever has the stick gets to speak what happened for them and what they need. And it’s really been super powerful that everyone has a voice in this house. And for me, it’s so healing to the part of me that felt so voiceless as a young kid. So that that sense of bringing in what I longed for, is like a it’s a cell self soothing kind of superpower that I feel has really helped me to develop this muscle of being in my truth, speaking it and naming it and hearing it in others and drawing it out of others to it’s a very cohesive kind of human alchemy that happens. And so if people wanted to have your support and facilitating their stories coming out into the world, so two things, right, I want to know, in a moment how they would find you know, your social media and website and all that. And before that, if they want to get a taste of how you would guide them, if you could give an example and guide the listeners in an exercise, and maybe it’s a bit involves embodiment, maybe it doesn’t, but something about how to use creativity to transmute and to access telling their stories for healing or to be of service. Yeah, thank you. Well, first, I would say as you’re listening to, to feel your feet on the ground, and pressing feet on the ground, and then lifting the spine up, and just taking a deep breath all the way up.

And all the way out and just feeling oxygenation. And in that, I would have my clients take just the inventory of their lives and identify in the mind, moments of transformation moments where it’s, there was a discovery, insight, a moment where you You never were the same moment that you change your lens forever.

And I would take them on a journey to find the stories, writing their journal, doing some some just freeform just downloading just just even a word or a name to a couple of words of what the story is just to just write it down. Without thinking about it even just what’s your first head.

Go through each story that comes from that intuitive place. And really examine it. What happened? What, what was learned, take me into the senses take me into where were you? How old are you? Who was there? What was the context what happened right before this moment. So I have them we go through 10 sessions of deep diving with each story.

And I have two offerings. One is a podcast series. And then one is a keynote audio experiences. And so creating audio stories that helped to facilitate live kind of research and data and kind of their leadership. But both both packages are stories of transformation are at the core of both. And so it really just take them into this sort of deep dive inquiry having someone who is deeply curious about what you’ve been through, and how it connects to your leadership to your purpose in the world. And oftentimes, there’s, there’s my gosh, I didn’t realize that, that connected to that. Ah, it’s like this discovery of your life process that makes sense. Oh, my goodness, this connects to that connects to that. And it’s almost like there’s, it’s this puzzle process of llearning about who we are and why we are how we are and what we’re doing in this world right now. And so, without me there, I would say write in the journal, each story that has come into your life, what did you learn from it? And how did it transform you? And really, how does it connect with the transformational leadership that you are bringing forward at this time? And that that journey allows for so much cohesion both internally, but then also whoever is listening and receiving what that story is at that moment, there’s a cohesion and a connection that happens. That is like who is the person behind this work?

Thank you. Yeah, thank you for the question. Yeah. Thank you. It’s so good to see you. You kill and I love I love that you and che together are you know, you’re both doing this storytelling helping people comprehend understand see themselves and helping awaken, like tell stories that that excite people that have moved people. Yeah. And enough to then engage them into whatever’s next you Yeah, it’s to say just one thing that I want to just add to this is that, you know, part of the podcast series creation processes, story. But then it’s also what are the themes that bubbled up in that story, and then have a conversation with someone that is connected in with the themes of the story.

And then from there, it’s an expression of, I have one of my clients is doing leadership prayers, like leaving the listener with something poetic, a poem, a meditation, a song. So it’s really this way for our stories can lead into these deeper conversations inquiry and our creative expressions as leaders as human beings alive right now. Yeah.

So good, new new wave of leaders, yet softer, more present more embodied leaders. Yeah, yes, che che is right.

Thank you so much for being here with me and all of your patience and generosity and do.

Thank you. Thank you for your presence and questions and making the show and also just our a golden H R i g OLDN. On LinkedIn, Instagram, my website.com Yeah, beautiful. Yes, go find her.

This has been Laid Open podcast with your host Charna Cassell. Please join us again next week. If this show feels beneficial, we’d love it if you would please rate and review it and share it with your friends so others can find us. If you have additional questions around sex and trauma, you can submit them at Charna caselle.com. Follow me at Laid Open podcast on Instagram and Facebook and read more about my work at passionatelife.org. Until next time, remember who you are.

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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