EP91 Discover the Healing Power of Personal Stories: Empowerment Through Embodiment With Author Debby Kerr-Henry

Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
EP91 Discover the Healing Power of Personal Stories: Empowerment Through Embodiment With Author Debby Kerr-Henry
Loading
/

In a world full of responsibilities and societal expectations you may find that instead of the self-discovery and empowerment you crave, you’re left feeling disconnected and unseen. It’s all too common for women to lose themselves in their various life roles, especially under the immense pressure of helping a child struggling with substance use. Yet, this journey of being lost can often serve as the catalyst for finding your true self, awakening to your heart’s desires, and ultimately unleashing your empowerment as you embrace the path aligned with your true desires for yourself.

Author and speaker Debby Kerr-Henry empowers women to embrace their true selves and live a life of authenticity with embodied storytelling. Through her own personal journey of self-discovery, she has gained valuable insights into the challenges and rewards of embracing one’s identity. Debbie’s dedication to personal growth and her commitment to continuous learning make her a trusted resource for women seeking self-discovery and empowerment.

In this episode:

  • Cultivate a healing environment in your family
    by embracing personal stories and fostering understanding and empathy.
  • Release your conditioning about self-care being selfish
    and experience the benefits of daily wellness practices and receiving support.
  • Discover your inner strength and unlock your full potential through self-empowerment and personal growth.
  • Step out of the scripted narrative about who you’re supposed to be and embrace embodiment as a transformative tool for self-discovery.

Contact Debby:

Website: https://momentousliving.com/momentous-health/debby-kerr-henry/

Embodiment: https://momentousliving.com/embodiment/3/

Resources From Heather Ross Coaching

If you want answers and support to help you and your child Sign up for a 45-minute $17 Road to Recovery call with me using the link below

https://heatherrosscoachingcalendar.as.me/RoadtoRecovery⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

September Invitation to Change Learning/Support Group Use the link below to find out about the
Invitation to Change support group Heather is hosting.

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Learn More & Sign Up For The Invitation To Change Group⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

GROUP COACHING PROGRAM – Join the waitlist – New Group Starting in January! Be the first to get details. https://heatherrosscoaching.com/peace-of-mind-community/

Guide about enabling – If you’ve ever worried about enabling, this guide is for you! https://heatherrosscoaching.com/perspective-about-enabling/

Follow Heather on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/heatherrosscoaching

Follow Heather on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/heatherrosscoaching/

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Join the free Facebook group for parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Important moments in this episode are:
00:00:00 – Introduction
00:01:27 – Empowering Others
00:03:39 – Losing Yourself in Caregiving
00:07:34 – Identity and Awakening
00:11:02 – Daily Practices and Support
00:16:58 – The Importance of Personal Change
00:18:23 – Learning from Mistakes and Seeking Self-Improvement
00:19:35 – Balancing Self-Reflection and Self-Acceptance
00:21:47 – The Importance of Family Recovery
00:25:28 – Overcoming Beliefs and Conditioning
00:33:34 – Importance of Prioritizing and Decluttering
00:34:13 – The Wholeness of Embodiment
00:37:14 – Scars as Symbols
00:40:08 – Empowering and Supporting Others
00:42:22 – Everyone Can Write
00:48:55 – Embodiment Workshops
00:49:16 – Show Notes and Updates
00:49:16 – Accessing Information
00:49:16 – Importance of Show Notes

Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/heather-ross9/message

Transcript

This transcript has not been formatted or edited.

00:00

So today our guest is Debbie Kerr-Henry. She is a creative nonfiction writer, introspective speaker, and often by default a leader. Her themes revolve around life and its many people. Debbie’s peaceful place consists of meaningful relationships, books, fitness, and good food. Traveling off the beaten path and mermaids, they live deeply.

00:27

Back in the day, Debbie earned her bachelor’s degree in English journalism. Debbie doesn’t view herself as an expert at anything really, except striving to be herself while empowering others to do the same. Her rhythm resonates deeply with the swirling of both dark and light. Like a musical arrangement that goes high and low, soft and loud, fast and slow, Debbie believes in the wholeness and fullness of life.

00:56

She perseveres triumphs, struggles and trips. She’s inquisitive, wants the best always, and sometimes sinks in the sorrows of too much. Debbie can’t help but see, hear and feel stories everywhere and can’t help but engage with as many as possible to then release them back into the wild in hopes of contributing to a better world by a way of a better, more secure self. So Debbie, thank you for coming on the podcast today.

Debby

01:26

Oh, you’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. 

Heather

So let’s start with what got you started with empowering others to be themselves. 

Debby

Yeah, that’s a really interesting question, Heather. And I don’t know if I can really pinpoint a time. It probably started with me learning how to empower myself and really always having that natural desire to support and encourage others.

01:56

I would say that I’m a lifelong learner. I love to read. And even though I don’t read fiction, I would like to read fiction, but I’m always consumed with nonfiction books of how like personal development type books, because I learn so much from them. And so probably through that process and going through the different seasons of my life and learning so much and growing and expanding in my own life.

02:25

I have seen and have experienced the benefits of that and naturally just want to put that out there into the world to others too. 

Heather

Yeah. And I think the messaging we get so often in life is that to be a certain way, this conditioning of who a mom and a woman should be in the world with so many expectations. So I think that it’s really important. I like that idea of.

02:54

empowering people to be themselves and even allowing, exploring who you really are. Because I was in my 40s before I started really questioning that and exploring or even thinking about my identity. 

Debby

Yeah, and I would have to say that was part my story too. And I think that is because we are focused on raising children and jobs or

03:22

supporting our spouses in some way and contributing into so many other places and other people’s lives that it’s easy to not think about what’s going on with our own selves. My kids were older. It was like they were teenagers before I started realizing who am I? Because they were off doing more of their own thing. And then I was left wondering.

03:51

Who am I in all of this? 

Heather

Yeah. And I think you captured that really well in your book, which we haven’t mentioned yet. It’s called Momentous Living. And then I just want to read this one paragraph because it really spoke to me in my experience as well, where that one day I just realized like, wow, how have I been living my life? It starts with “I was a wife, a mother, a homemaker.

04:17

I had set aside my bachelor’s degree to fully devote myself to others, to sacrifice for the betterment of all. In hindsight, I see that I lack the courage to pursue anything beyond director of home affairs. Convinced that a writer’s compensation couldn’t possibly justify the disruption, so I remained available at home. The irony is that looking back, I believe I could have been more available.

04:45

had I not always been available. As it was, I was giving all I could, but what I had was less and less.” And that’s, to me, so powerful and really also captures like what I, what was highlighted by Helanna’s substance use for me, that I hadn’t really seen it before. And initially I blamed it on her substance use.

05:13

But then really it gave me this gift of reflecting to me all of these things that I needed to change. And I could see so much of myself in that paragraph. So I’d love for you to talk about like how that played a part in your change process, like realizing that’s where you were. 

Debby

Yeah, there’s a couple of things in that question. I think, first of all, it doesn’t have to be a struggling child, right? It can be anything really

05:43

that consumes our time and energy. It can be your job. It can be maybe a parent that you’re caring for that’s aging or sick. It can be volunteering for your child’s school or your community, your place of worship. There’s so many things that can pull us away from ourselves because we are supposed to, I’m using air quotes there, supposed to be selfish, selflessly giving.

06:11

to everybody else, right? And it’s so easy to lose ourselves in all of that. So that’s my first point. It doesn’t have to be a struggling child, but I will say in the area of recovery, I do agree with you that when there’s a loved one that we’re supporting and who is struggling with substance use and or mental illness.

06:38

That can so easily become our identity. And it’s really difficult to find your way out of that. But I will agree with you. It’s a blessing too, isn’t it? I know for me, if everything was just so perfect in my life, in the sense that everything was going well and all the people in my little world had it all together.

07:06

I would not know how to connect with, at an authentic level with anybody else. And so although it’s difficult when you get lost in those periods and those seasons of your life where you’re giving and giving and giving to others, there is a lot that you can gain from it too, but it’s important to be able to come out of that and look back on it and learn from it and expand from it.

07:34

Heather

Yeah, and you mentioned how that can become a part of your identity. And really any of those things you mentioned, not just having a kid struggling, but your job caring for a parent. I mean, that comes up a lot when I’m coaching people that. And I noticed at one point with Helena, when people would ask me how I was doing, I would always answer with how she was and never even like.

08:01

I just realized one day, like, wow, every time I’m asked that question, I answer with how she’s doing. And I’m not even taking into account how I’m doing. But at the same time, I was having these simultaneous awakenings, I guess I would call them, where I was noticing this kind of emptiness inside of myself because I had…

08:25

Like I had a successful career, I had a nice home, a marriage. Like I had all these things that I thought that would make me happy. But then I still felt this emptiness inside me. Like something was missing. I felt unfulfilled and I didn’t know how to name it or what it was, but it was happening at the same time that I’m realizing like my identity is completely wrapped up.

08:50

in my job and being a mom and a wife and all of these titles outside of Heather. So I’d love for you to talk a little bit about finding your way out of that identity of all the all the identities outside of Debbie. 

Debby

Yeah and unfortunately it was really difficult for me. I felt like I bought into a scripted

09:18

narrative of who I was supposed to be according to very rigid religion and that belief system and really believing that the best way I can serve everybody is by being this great wife and wonderful mother and giving, giving, giving. And so I had to relearn all that. And my husband and I went through a divorce because of it.

09:48

Not because of that, but I should say we went through a divorce and because of the divorce, I was able to get out of that script long enough to really start exploring what just happened because I had been married, I guess, 21, 22 years at the time. It was a long time and I was very committed to my marriage. So it was very, very difficult.

10:16

And my story too is interesting. We got divorced and then five years later we remarried. But under a new script and I stepped back into this marriage being more sure of who I was and having a better foundation of Debbie. And it’s still very much a struggle. But I am much more confident and self-assured than I was.

10:45

in my first marriage. 

Heather

So do you have some daily practices or things that help you to stay in touch with really the core of who you are? I do. And I am not afraid to ask for help and support. I always seek support. For example, well, let me start with my daily practices. When I get up, there’s several daily readings that I read.

11:14

And they’re all very different. And I like that because I get a perspective from three different places, that they all kind of interconnect in themes that speak to me. And so I always start there and I always do stretching and just get my physical body ready for the day. And fitness is important to me. I schedule in fitness.

11:43

I feel like I need, the stronger I am physically, it’s interesting, I feel more mentally strong too. And this has been a new realization for me because I’ve always been involved in fitness at different times in my life. I like to be active, but I never was involved in any kind of strength training until recently. And I’ve been doing CrossFit since March. And that’s a lot of strength training. It’s been very new.

12:12

to me and so I’m experiencing now what it’s like to have a stronger body and going through the process of having a stronger body and what that does for me mentally. So I do do that and then going back to the support, I read a lot of books. I’ve never really had a mentor. If anybody out there wants to be my mentor, I would love to have a mentor. It seems like I’m always falling into the mentor role and

12:40

I would love to be the mentee, but so I read a lot of books and that’s kind of where I glean a lot of information that is helpful for me in my process. But then I also seek out services like yours, Heather, that has been extremely helpful. Your group coaching is, to me, has been a game changer. It’s an affordable way to get support.

13:07

in an area in my life that is very challenging. And to not only receive information, good information and coaching, but also to have the support of a group of people who are going through similar challenges. So your services have been helpful. I do have a counselor. And again, in the recovery area, in my immediate community, there are…

13:34

resources, one in particular called Volusia Recovery Alliance. So that’s in Volusia County in Florida. And so I’m always seeking out resources and support. I’m not afraid to ask for help. 

Heather

Yeah, that is something I had to learn to do. I initially like when I started going to counseling, I thought, well, I can go to counseling one hour a week and my life is going to change.

14:00

And I did that for a couple of years and luckily I had a very patient counselor who never fired me because I wasn’t making enough progress because it all came together eventually. And I really did start showing up for myself, but I was missing pieces of the puzzle. Like I, like you mentioned, like I had to, I started doing like energy healing and meditating and doing what she asked me to do outside of.

14:29

counseling and then I started getting into the coaching world and my, I would say that that first coach was actually my first mentor. So I get what you’re talking about. I think before that, the last one was maybe Wonder Woman when I was like five, but she’s the one who taught me that coach was the one who taught me like how you do need to work on yourself, your mental health, like we do our physical health, like you were just talking about. And,

14:59

I feel the same way when I feel physically strong. It does help my mental health. It does make me feel mentally stronger. So that didn’t sound strange to me at all. But I think that we have to have permission to invest in ourselves, our mental health, just the way we do our physical health. Nobody would think anything of hiring a personal trainer, paying for extra coaching for your kid, whatever.

15:28

their sport they play, all of those things, but we think there’s something wrong with us if we have to get help with our mental health and it has to be built. And that was like so freeing to learn like, oh, there’s nothing wrong with me. The reason I’ve struggled is that I didn’t know I was supposed to be working on this. 

Debby

Yeah, I know it’s so interesting to me. We humans, what we think sometimes, right?

15:57

Like our heads are part of our bodies. Why do we like think we don’t need to pay attention to what’s going on in our heads too? To me, it’s just so obvious that yeah, mental health is key to our overall health, and it should not be ignored. 

Heather

Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. So on your website, you have this another quote that I really liked. And it was my story is about being all that I can be.

16:26

For when we focus on being our best, regardless of what others may or may not be doing, the rest of the world in spite of us will naturally be at its best too. And that really spoke to me because it’s so easy when you have a child struggling or just anything else happening in your life that’s taking…

16:50

that feels like it’s keeping you from having the life that you would have without that thing happening in your life is the best way I can think of to explain it, that we get so focused on that thing and trying to change it that we don’t think about the thing, one thing we can change, which is ourselves. So can you speak a little bit more about that? 

Debby

Yeah, and you know, I really landed on that philosophy because of my story.

17:19

starting as a kid. All of our stories are unique. And my story happens to begin with childhood abuse from my biological father. My grandmother is the one who stepped in and I love my grandmother. She really changed the trajectory of my life because she stepped in. And as a result, my mom divorced my biological father. She remarried.

17:49

A wonderful man, gentle, strong, well-respected, funny. He adopted my siblings and me. And so then we had this family that was pretty healthy, but there was still a lot of dysfunction in it too, because the past abuse had never been addressed. It was like keep the past in the past. And so that really affected communication and emotional health in my family.

18:18

And when I got married, my husband, a lot of great qualities, very strong, independent, but very opinionated and set in his ways. But I took all of that into my marriage and wanted in that first year of my marriage to not have my story affect my kids. And so I started counseling at that time. And through that process landed in this place of,

18:49

I can’t change anybody else, but there’s a lot about me that I do have control over, that I need to figure out and need to understand so that I can do life better and so that I’m not doing the same mistakes that I saw happening in my family. But also in that process too, I got to this place of just always looking at me and seeing all of my faults and flaws.

19:18

not seeing anybody else’s, but realizing I’m the only one going to counseling. And I think it was at the point when I was like, that was kind of an aha moment for me, when I realized, yeah, I do have things that I need to work on, but so do other people. And I don’t have any control over that. But at the same time, I was allowing so many other people

19:48

I would take on what I always viewed other people as being smarter than me and knowing better than me. So that whole process of my story finally landed me at this philosophy that if I can focus on myself and really work on myself, it really is the best thing I can do to contribute to the world and do it in a way where it’s not just like what I said, where it goes to the other extreme of

20:17

everything is wrong with me and everybody else is okay. So I had to learn, learn to find my faults but not live in my faults. 

Heather

Yeah, there was a couple of things that I thought of when you were sharing. One, I totally agree with you. Like we’re always so hard on ourselves. I always, I was the same way. I also believed everybody was smarter than me and therefore,

20:46

It kept me from developing that sense of self and tuning into my intuition and creating confidence in myself. But when you said like, I’m the only one working on myself, it made me think of our kids and how why family recovery is so important because it’s easy for them to feel that way, right? Like we want them to do all the work.

21:11

and to work on themselves and how they can feel alone in that, just like you were just describing. If the family’s not working together. I just wanted to point that out. It’s just a good way to think of things. And another thing was when you were talking about your story and like what you’d experienced in your life, how like when a couple gets together, they’re bringing two families generational trauma together.

21:39

Right. And like, wondering why marriage is so hard. You think about trying to work through that. 

Debby

That’s right. It is a lot and it takes the effort. Both people. And I totally agree what you said, Heather, about going back to your comment about family coaching and the area of recovery. It’s so true. It’s recovery as a family.

22:05

effort. It’s not just one person. And there’s typically things going on in the family that is either not helping or can be done differently to help the struggling person along. Not that the person who is struggling with substance use or mental illness, it’s ultimately up to them to figure out how to, what they need to get better.

22:31

But the family has a huge support of that. And there are so many things that we can do to make that process better. I think creating an environment that is more of a healing environment and not one that hinders. 

Heather

Yeah, I agree. And you think about just going through anything in life. When somebody is going through it with you, it makes it so much easier. I’m so lucky my best friend and I talk pretty much every single day.

23:02

when we walk, we have, we call it our walk and talk. And like, so we do life together and it just makes things so much easier for both of us. Like every day we do a gratitude list and it’s on both of our gratitude lists that we send to each other that how grateful we are for each other and that time to have that support that we have like that’s unconditional and always there. It just makes everything feel easier.

23:31

Debby

I just was going to interject there that I think that’s so true. And that was part of what fueled my husband’s and my divorce initially is we didn’t know how to walk through challenging times together. And so the difficult times were already difficult enough, but they became harder because we couldn’t partner well through them. And I’m not saying that was just recovery stuff in our family.

24:01

it was just any difficult thing. If life was going well for us and things were pretty good in our marriage, but you know, that’s not life. Life is filled with challenges and difficulties and so learning how to partner through them with someone is such a huge, huge blessing. Definitely something to be grateful for. You’re lucky to have a friend like that, Heather. That’s good. 

Heather

I am, I thank her every day for that and I’m very grateful for it.

24:30

And I’m thinking about how like that’s so we we pass down generational trauma, but it’s very that’s on the regular. But it’s very rare that we pass down healthy skills to get through life like to until we have something like this that pushes us to get out and do all this personal development and change and grow and and do this work that.

24:57

that you and I both do on ourselves all the time. So I’m thinking about like this back to what we were talking about as far as not spending so much time on yourself. Like the conditioning we get that we should be putting other people’s needs first. Like what kind of beliefs did you have to change or shed in order to really give yourself permission to start really focusing on taking care of yourself?

Debby

25:26

Yeah, so the big one had to do with, well, I had a couple really, I guess, the rigid religious beliefs that I had were, and I’m not trying to bash any kind of religion. I am a very religious spiritual person, but I had to kind of redefine what that meant for me, because there were things that I learned that just were not healthy for me. And this is one of them. I just felt like

25:55

Anytime I was taking time for myself, I felt bad about it and guilty about it, that I should be using that time to be helping or, I don’t know, supporting or which seems ridiculous now that I’m saying that. I’m almost 60 now and I’m like, that’s ridiculous. But you know, when I was younger, I bought into that. And I realized now that if I’m not healthy, there’s no way that it’s not sustainable to

26:25

live a life like that where you’re always giving. And there was something that I read years ago that helped me with this too. And I wish I could remember the book that they talk about the gift. We all have the giver and the taker within us. And they’re both important. They both serve important roles. So when the giver is giving, giving, giving, the taker will say, Hey, hold on a second, you need to take a little bit more for yourself. You’re not giving anything to yourself.

26:55

Or if you have the taker taking over in you and you’re always taking, taking, taking, the giving part of you is there to say, hey, wait a second, you are being too selfish. It’s all about you. So there is a balance and both are needed, the giver and the taker, they’re both needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. And the other part of it too that I had to figure out differently was

27:22

All of the stuff that I learned growing up in a family that really struggled with communication due to our past abuse and not dealing with that. So I grew up in this family where you just didn’t talk about hard things. And then when anybody would behave in a way that somebody didn’t like, instead of talking about it, there was just a lot of criticism and shame put on it.

27:51

So for me, I could never figure out why when I was around my visiting family, why I would be so stressed out and just feeling sick inside because I felt like I was always being judged like my every move. Because I was, I would always be criticized for something I didn’t do or something I did do. And so I had to get past that. I had to learn how to start communicating differently.

28:20

And that was another thing that was part of the marriage challenges. For me, I would try to communicate, but I didn’t really know how to do it in the best way. And if I couldn’t enter into a healthy conversation with my husband, I would just shut down. I didn’t know with it. And oftentimes, I didn’t feel listened to or heard or validated to, so I would just shut down. So those are the two big ones I had to learn how to do differently.

28:49

Heather

I think that communication, like a lot of people would say that they’re good communicators, but I had really no idea until I started like learning about Invitation to Change and Craft about actual ways of communicating and how listening was so much more important than talking and body language and all of those things. And I think it’s a huge part of healing is having

29:19

the communication skills to convey to the person you’re talking to that you hear them and understand them. And then even for our own healing like that, the communication we’re having with ourselves. So it is really important, 

Debby

I agree with that. I think that’s a big one, Heather. The messages we send ourselves, isn’t that so true? That monkey mind can really get to us.

29:49

Heather

places that are not helpful. So I have to say that I have learned how to kind of move that stuff along. And when I’m not doing that well, I have learned to ask myself what’s going on. Why are you listening to those messages more than you know you need to or should? So it’s really about self-awareness.

30:13

pieces of it, I think, just really being aware, okay, this is what’s going on. I recognize this, but why? Why is this happening right now? Yeah. And for me, I always know 99% of the time, it’s because something is out of balance. Like, for me, it’s usually sleep. But if I have a lack of sleep, then my brain is going to be really mean and judgmental and all of those things. And all day, I’m just like, okay.

30:40

I’m tired. This is what’s going to happen today. Rather than… I’m like… 

Debby

Right. I’m like that too. Sleep is important for all of us, isn’t it? Yeah. It is so over easily overlooked. But another one for me that can really overwhelm me is when my environment, my home environment, physical environment gets disorderly and I can’t keep up with kind of the piles of paper or I haven’t had time to sweep my floors and…

31:10

Just all of that starts becoming very overwhelming to me. So keeping my physical space orderly and clean is important to me because it just relieves this weight from me. Especially if I’m in a place already that’s requiring a lot of energy just to navigate through it. So I’m already directing all this energy into this one place. And now if my physical space is overwhelming,

31:40

really affects me in a negative way. In the same way. It’s like my outer world tends to be a representation of what’s happening in my inner world. Like when I’m really taking care of myself and I’m sleeping and I’m staying on my schedule and eating right, all of those things, my outer world stays nice and clean. But if I’m not like not sleeping well, not eating right, all that, it just starts to see like,

32:10

I’ve got a pile of clutter in the chair next to my bed, you know, and that’s where it always starts. But it makes such a difference to me and how I feel if I’ll sometimes that’s where I’ll start with my outer environment, like cleaning up my room. And my office is like a great way to change the tone of the day for me. It is for me too.

32:36

If I can just throw out a little pointer there, which I’m still trying to figure out how to do this well, but I love it when I am doing it well. And that’s just the word simplicity. Like the American culture, just generally speaking, we love lots of stuff. And we love to have a packed schedule and going here and there and everywhere. And I just think if we can really simplify our things in our house, so we’re not having to maintain and clean.

33:05

as much. So when we get into those places that are like a crisis or just even a place that’s just really hard, our physical space doesn’t need to require as much energy because we’ve simplified it. Yeah, I got into minimalism a couple of years ago and

33:25

I’ll never be somebody who counts the number of things that I have. Yeah. Or, you know, I was trying to live with under 100 items in my life. Yeah, it did help me prioritize what was important and see how these the clutter was taking up space that like energetically even and how hard it is to keep things clean when you have so much stuff that doesn’t have a place. It’s impossible.

33:52

So let’s switch over and talk about embodiment because I wanted to talk about the workshops that you do. And when I asked you about embodiment and what it meant to you, like one of the things that you said was that all parts of our body with the stories they hold contribute to the wholeness and holiness of who we are. And that word wholeness, W-H-O-L-E, wholeness really

34:21

stuck out to me because like when I’m being critical, talking about that critical inner voice, like I look at other people as whole, right? I look at the all of them on the outside and inside and I’m not picking apart different parts of them. And then but when I look at myself, I’m not doing that. I have a tendency to look at the things that I don’t like. And so I really liked that explanation of…

34:48

that living in that wholeness. So can you share a little bit more about embodiment? Yeah, so embodiment are writing classes that I facilitate and they’re not for people who want to write their stories and have a New York bestseller book. That’s not what it’s about. It’s really about coming together with other women and talking about our stories and in that

35:15

process learning more about ourselves in community with others. It’s very difficult to do that by ourselves because community brings a whole other level to this writing of our stories. So what I do is I offer a one word body prompt. So for example I think today is, I meant to check, I think today is go without wearing a broad day or something like that. So if I’m starting my class today my prompt

35:44

would be something, I don’t know, maybe breast or something. I don’t know. That one might be too, I don’t know. Maybe that would not be my first one. But my point is I would use, I use these body prompts and hair is a better example probably. We all have stories that go with hair, right? Like, so Heather, what’s something you think about when I say the word hair, is there a story that comes to your mind? I just have such a love hate relationship.

36:12

hair. I get so many compliments on my hair. And I’m like, you just don’t even know what this life is like with this hair and all the products that it takes to have it look halfway decent. So that’s what I think of. And that that is a story. Like I would love to hear that story. You don’t even know about this hair, you know, tell me tell me about that hair, you know, and your hair says something about you. And so it’s so interesting how when

36:42

we talk about the different parts of our body, hair, eyes, feet, legs, whatever. Everything that we have experienced in our lives is captured in our bodies. So all of our stories are right here in our bodies. And so when we do these body prompts, it’s truly amazing the stories that come to life through these exercises. Yeah, and I was just thinking, this makes me emotional, but.

37:10

After Helena passed away, I was thinking, I have these huge scars on my body. I have a huge C-section scar. I had to have a classical incision because it was an emergency C-section. And I had a double mastectomy. And I think these parts of my womanhood and my motherhood, I am physically scarred on the outside and on the inside. And I think like,

37:37

I didn’t expand on that story, but there’s a story there. Yeah, most definitely. And those stories come out in my embodiment class. And what’s so interesting is, especially when we spend more time with the small group, it’s a small group, I don’t, I cap it at seven. And I do that on purpose because I want the women to get to know one another and trust. Trust is huge.

38:06

And to be able to write authentically and not try and write a story that just sounds good. To really be authentic and find themselves in these stories. But the stories that come through are like on all parts of the spectrum. There are some hilarious stories and there are very sad stories. Your story, Heather, is one that hopefully you’ll tell.

38:34

you know, write down. I don’t know if you have, but it’s an important story and it’s part of your story. So, but yeah, so all kinds of stories come out. Funny, very serious, sad stories, happy stories, historical stories. There’s a lady in my group that’s been in my group every time and she’ll be in the in-person group this time around. She’s almost dying. And so her stories are…

39:00

She grew up in a different time period, and it’s just so beautiful to hear her story. She actually weaves rugs with her arthritic hands. I don’t know what that’s like. So you get to live life through all these other women too. And it’s, I bet, empowering because, you know, when I think about like taking that story I just shared like the first sentence of, or maybe the middle of, like it would be really empowering to take that story and

39:29

Be really intentional with it. Absolutely. I think when you were talking, I thought about you having a C-section and that what that means to you now, there’s probably a mixture of thoughts and emotions that go with that. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s a symbol of probably my greatest heartache and the absolute best times of my life. So there are so many feelings wrapped up in.

39:59

that one thing. Yeah. And you know, you bring out something that I wanted to mention in all this, as again, as I have gotten older, I keep saying that because I my birthday is like a few days. And it’s my last year in the 50s. So next year, I’ll be 60. So I’m realizing that I want to be one of those women that can

40:23

can support and encourage and empower other women. I want to step into that role as I get older. I don’t feel like I really had that a lot in my own life. And I want to be that person who encourages the younger women that are coming up behind me. But I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that I used to think in terms of either or, like you’re either good or you’re bad or you’re this or you’re that. But I’ve…

40:52

to embrace the word and more. And what you just said is an and statement. Your scar from your C-section is both heart wrenching and both such a blessing. And to me, that’s what life is about, that we learn how to live in the and of life because it’s all of it. It is the ups and the downs and the lows and the highs. It’s all of it. And when we can learn

41:21

how to be in all of it without checking out or without getting angry or without blaming somebody else, but really truly being ourselves in it. That’s when I think we truly know who we are. Yeah. Yeah, I love the idea of living in the and and that in my peace of mind program, I call it 3D emotion, right? The layers of every single experience and that

41:49

Like I can be experiencing simultaneous pain about my loss and joy that I had such a great love in my life and such a funny kid and all these wonderful experiences. So it is really powerful to embrace both. But what about people who like because I don’t consider myself to be a writer. Like is that the kind of people that you have in this class? People don’t consider writers or?

42:19

funny to me because so many people say that I’m not a writer. It reminds me of, do you remember Robert Fulgham? He’s the one who wrote the book, All We Ever Needed to Know We Learned in Kindergarten. Did you ever read it? I heard of the book, but I never read it. He wrote, I think I read this in another one of his books so long ago and it’s still so true. He talked about how when we’re kids, you ask children,

42:45

So how many of you are runners? How many of you are swimmers? How many of you can write or read or whatever? Everybody, they all, I can’t, I can’t, they all can. They can do it all. But at some point in our lives, we start saying, I’m just this or I’m just that. I’m not a writer, I’m definitely not a writer. And it depends on how you define writer. To me, in my class,

43:14

First of all, I do provide foundational writing resources and exercises that we do because in my mind, you don’t have to be a great writer to write your story. I can provide you with the basics so you can have a good sound story. And to me, that’s all that matters.

43:36

And if we have time, I’ll share another little story. I wrote a book about nutrition years ago and I didn’t know a thing about nutrition. And in that process, I was so overwhelmed by all of the information about nutrition. And you should do it this way. No, you should do it that way. You should eat this. No, you shouldn’t eat that. It was so confusing. And I was writing a curriculum.

44:01

nutrition curriculum for a kids camp. So my audience was kids and their parents, mostly their moms. And I was a mom of young kids at the time. And I thought, okay, none of this information is helpful to me, but what is helpful is the foundational stuff that applies to all of us. Drink more water, reduce the sugar, and try and eat more things that grow from the ground as opposed to the drive-through and out of packages. That’s foundational.

44:30

That can apply to writing too. There are foundational things that if you get the foundations right, the rest of it to me doesn’t really matter unless you’re trying to be on the New York bestseller list. And a lot of times that has to do with other things like marketing and who’s paying what, you know. It doesn’t have to do sometimes with how good the book is. But so in embodiment, I do provide foundational stuff and we learn the foundations that we focus on.

45:00

the stories, your stories, in your authentic voice and getting the story down. So no, Heather, you don’t have to be a writer, even though I don’t. I don’t believe that about you, but well, it doesn’t matter. And when you were sharing that story, I was thinking, oh, I’ve got a outline started for a book. And I’m like, am I going to finish this book and still say I’m not a writer? Like, what does it take for me to say?

45:29

I’m a writer. I write constantly blog posts, emails, social media posts, like a program. Like, what’s it going to take for me to own that I’m a writer? Absolutely. And it’s like that with everything, isn’t it? It’s like, oh, I’m not a runner because I don’t run fast enough. I’m not running at this certain time. I’m not running enough or.

45:54

I’m not like I said in my bio, I don’t really consider myself an expert at anything really except just trying to be myself and helping others do the same. So what’s it mean to be an expert? It’s all relative. I think it goes back to who are we and what do we want to claim? Yeah, I think I’m going to claim Heather Ross. That’s right. I think you need to put it on your bio. Heather Ross, writer. Sounds good. It has a nice flow to it.

46:22

first thing before anything else. Yeah, it has some alliteration. It sounds nice. Yeah. All right. So is there anything we didn’t talk about that you want to get in before we end this? I don’t think so. It’s funny, I did write a little disclaimer and maybe I’ll read it and you can include it if you want. Yeah. I said I wanted to preface this interview. Well, we’re already done with the interview. So.

46:49

But I wanted to preface this interview with a bit of a disclaimer. What I often talk about, momentous living, better self, better world, is what I do strive toward, but don’t always do so well. As I’ve gotten older though, I have learned to engage without the self-induced pressure of feeling like I need to have life all figured out and tidied up before I can start speaking about it. My story is ever evolving, but…

47:18

I have also learned to be courageous enough to step into it regardless of how pretty or how difficult it might look at the time or what chapter I might be living out in the moment. So Heather, here I am. And I do thank you for that opportunity to spend some time and talk to you today. Yeah, I enjoyed this episode. It’s nice to ever so often focus on like what we need is.

47:44

women, and I say women because that’s like 95% of the listeners of this podcast. But what we need is women just in everyday life, what’s important, not just like that we were talking about earlier, getting away from that identity of just being a mother who has a kid struggling with substance use or a person who’s caretaking their parents or whatever it is. And just focus on ourselves and

48:13

in another way to live a fuller, richer, more authentic life. So it was nice to have this conversation with you today. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing that. And if people want to learn more about your embodiment workshops or your book, Momentous Living, where do they find you? Yeah, so they can get to my website. I have a virtual embodiment class and an in-person.

48:41

embodiment class coming up in November for any of those people who are in Florida, like in Volusia County area. But the virtual dates are November 6, 13, and 20. And the in-person dates are November 7, 14, and 21. And all that information you can find on my website, momentusliving.com. And there’s a tab called Embodiment and all the information is right there.

49:10

Okay, well, I will put a link in the show notes for that and always check the show notes Because there’s always links in there anything that i’m doing currently and that’s where you can find all of the information about What’s going on right now in one place? So Thank you for okay. I’m at your time today debbie No, I appreciate your time. It’s always a pleasure.