Appearances

Rachel Rose Alexandria

How This Works

Psychotherapist and Difficult Conversations Expert Rachel Alexandria teaches corporate climbers and business owners how to get clear of their caretaking and conflict-avoidance and start leading the brilliant lives they are meant to live.

Rachel is truly a gifted, talented professional. I always walk away with a new appreciation or fascination from every experience.

Ruby Rayne

Empath

I was fascinated by your workshop and am still thinking it over and over, even a week later. I think one of the biggest feelings that I have is relief. A huge sense of relief.

Katie Munoz

Founder, CEO, Author, Moving Forward, Inc.

Good, real life examples helped me to confirm that this is an issue I have, and also something that I can work on with grace and ease.

Andrea T.

Independent Review

Kay Gillard and Rachel Alexandria

TITLE: Interview with Rachel Alexandria, Healing for Good Girls
SPEAKERS: Kay Gillard and Rachel Alexandria
COURTESY OF: Kay Gillard, Healer and Teacher, www.kaygillard.com

RECORDED ON: May 9, 2015
PUBLISHED ON: May 10, 2015

0:06 KAY: Okay, so, hi, everyone. Welcome to a very special video blog that I am doing this week. I haven’t had a guest interview on my video blog ever before. So, this is my first ever one and I’m really pleased to have Rachel Alexandria from Healing for Good Girls. Because we have been talking a lot in the past month or so about healer’s burnout and the importance of boundaries and self care. For all those of us that are working in healing, therapy, and care-taking professions. And all those of us that spend our time supporting other people. And, so, Rachel’s work is really resonant for me. Thank you, Rachel, for jumping in.

0:53 RACHEL: Yeah, happy to be here.

0:55 KAY: Yes! Very cool, first of all; Healing for Good Girls, what a brilliant name!

1:06 RACHEL: Thank you!

1:06 KAY: I just love it, and as soon as I saw it I thought, “you know what, I really know what she means.” But just in case, because I think this is really resonant for all of us that are healers, coaches, therapists, support workers, healthcare workers, all those of us that are kind of maybe a little bit pre-programmed to put other people’s well being before our own, what’s your definition, what’s a good girl by your definition?

1:36 RACHEL: That took me a little while to kind of crystallize that definition. Now what I say is that a Good Girl is characterized by two traits: They try to take care of everyone else emotionally, like they do a lot of emotional care-taking, believing they are responsible for the emotions and feelings of others, and the second thing is that they avoid conflict, and the first one is because of the second one.

2:09 KAY: Okay, so why do you think that such a phrase as “Good Girls,” which sounds nice, it’s nice to be nice, right? It’s something that’s not necessarily a good thing, and maybe when we wouldn’t consider ourselves to be good girls if we’re caring for other people. I found the word a little bit like “no, I’m not a Good Girl, no no no, I have rebellious traits, thank you, Rachel!”
(Both laugh)

2:48 RACHEL: You know, I had a friend call me a Good Girl years ago, I was just speaking with them about it the other day, and I was so angry about it, I was like “no I’m not!” you know? And it was years later before I really started exploring the concepts as a psychotherapist. Due to some conversations I wasn’t having in some of my most intimate relationships, and I really thought I saw some relationships start to fall apart, because of some things I wasn’t bringing up, some ways that I wasn’t saying “you know what, this just really isn’t okay with me.” And that’s when I really got honest with myself, like “well, you know, yeah I totally live my life out loud, and anyone who sees me on Facebook knows I have very little privacy or caution when it comes to sharing what I think and how I feel.” There was just this area of topics where I was internally “if I bring that up, things are not going to go well, and I don’t know to do with that, this person is not going to receive it well, or it’s going to be really troublesome in our relationship. So I’m just going to look the other way, or try to get okay with it.” A lot of good girls try to get okay with it.

So when I really started delving into the concept I was like “oh my gosh, me and almost everyone I know were being such good girls” and when I first was writing about the topic, there’s a lot qualities to being a good girl that are really positive, and it’s sort of like nobody wants to be called a good girl, but no one wants to be thought of as not nice either, well, there might be some people who would say “I’m not nice, I don’t care!” or people would say “I’m a bad girl!” And that’s okay, fair enough, and bad girls have similar issues, they just have chosen to deal with them in a different way, but I was like, yeah, you know good girls, we’re like super responsible, we’re really dependable, we really care a lot about other people, we really pay a lot of attention to impact, those are all really great qualities, it’s just when they’re over balanced on that side, and there’s not enough on the the side of, as somebody else I interviewed with recently, Joan Sotkins said, “If one of us has to be uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be me.” You know, we don’t have enough balance on that side of what is really my problem and what really isn’t.

5:31 RACHEL: I can still care and be empathetic about it, but that doesn’t mean I have to try to fix it for you.

5:31 KAY: Yeah!

5:38 KAY: Yeah, and I think that’s why I really wanted to bring you on to the blog and talk to you today because I think that it’s something that shows up a lot for those of us doing the kind of work that I do, and the work that my students and my clients are doing, these are all people who are in support and healing roles for other people. That rescuer thing that, we kind of tend to be very, sensitive people and I’m sure you are too, and you’re working and coaching and it’s therapy stuff, but these are things that draw in sensitive people, so we can feel the suffering that someone else is bringing to a situation. It can be so easy to try to go into that, and say “well let’s focus on that, lets try to fix that,” and kind of let people off a little bit for bad behavior`because we can feel the suffering that’s driving it. Do you think that it comes across, even when people don’t consider themselves to be sensitive in that way, maybe it’s just a habit or a learned behavior?

6:44 RACHEL: That’s an interesting question, like people who don’t consider themselves to be HSP’s, or empaths. Yeah, I guess I can answer that question this way, that when I first started talking to people, because it kind of became my life, this Good Girl topic, I was just so like “what? how is nobody writing about this!” Because back in 2011 there really wasn’t a topic. So I was just talking to everybody about it, and I used to think that this was a sub section of women who are like me, who do this thing, and then the more I started talking to women, the more I was like, “no, this is pretty much all of us.” Unless someone has really learned how to deal with conflict, but who teaches women how to deal with conflict? I mean, unless somebody grew up in a family where that was really an emphasized skill, which is almost no one, or if someone’s done a lot of therapy of a lot of really good intensive coaching, and they’ve pinpointed that issue and dealt with it, most women don’t know how to do conflict, or they do it only one way, you know, they run from it, or they head-on bull at it, so I guess I would yes, in that way, to that question. And the other side is that I do think a lot of women who might not identify as empaths or sensitive are just not aware of their abilities there, but that’s just my personal bias, is to say “it’s in there.” One of the things that can happen is if you’re continually being traumatized in a certain way is you just block the sensitivity, right?

8:37 KAY: Yeah, sure, sure. I know we’re talking about women, and I’m talking about it and I read your book and I was thinking, yes, I can see this is a thing that women do, and I took to Healing for Good Girls, and that felt resonant, and it felt resonant from the point of view of a healer as well, but it’s not just the ladies is it?

8:58 RACHEL: No, no it isn’t. There are definitely men who in the beginning were writing to me, “what about guys! I’m a nice guy, I’m a good boy, can I be included in this book? And when are you going to write about us” and I’m like “slow your roll dudes, I’ll get to you once I get this piece sort of set, then I’ll talk more to you too.” What I would say the difference is, is men are more allowed their anger, they’re allowed to be angry, so that makes conflict somewhat easier, if you can express anger, and you’re not publicly shamed for it like women can be. What I would say is that, especially in our generation, kind of like men in their forties right now and younger, there’s a lot more of what I would call “good boys” who grew up sort of seeing that archetypal masculinity, kind of Marlboro Man image, and they saw it vilified, you know they saw lots of women in their lives saying “too distant, too emotionally disconnected, you know, too much of an A-Hole, etc. And they were like “oh, I want to be more sensitive, and be more relational, and so, again, I’m not supposed to act angry or aggressive.” So they wind up with the same problem, of if I can’t have some sort of healthy way to deal with my anger and talk about it, I’m never going to be able to stand up for myself, or they even learn that standing up for themselves was that to be that aggressive A-Hole. But it’s like, no, any time you’re looking at a choice and it’s either this or that, you’re looking at an incomplete choice.

10:59 KAY: Yeah, and we do this in the world of, kind of, bringing in spiritual practices, living in a spiritual way, whether it’s healing or whether people are just working with their own prayers and following their own path in bringing that kind of divine energy into what their doing. It’s like, you can do that, or, you can stand up for yourself, but you’ve got to pick one! That comes up loads, right?

11:29 RACHEL: Yeah, and that’s always a lie, that’s the thing, is that you’re never, it’s a spectrum, it’s not a choice or choice.

11:38 KAY: Yeah, and it shows up all the time, all the time. And I find quite often when I stand up for myself, or just drawing a line and saying “no, I’m not interested in this, I’m not even interested in continuing the conversation, not even if I want to have conflict over something,” but just, well, I never want to have conflict, but, even if I’m just stepping aside from something that just isn’t for me, it’s like “wow, I thought you were a spiritual person”

12:05 RACHEL: Oh yeah, yeah when people throw it in your face it’s like, and that actually happened to me, when I started talking about being a difficult conversations expert, it’s like the universe went “Really?”

12:23 KAY: (Laughing) Let’s test that theory!

12:25 RACHEL: I will say that with more humility because it’s not like I want to have those all the time, no, few people enjoy a lot of difficult conversations, but I do enjoy the courage that I developed and the experience that I get to build when I have them, and I enjoy being happy with myself when I handle them well, but I had with people, mostly Facebook stuff, because I’ve cultivated the people in my life to be people who are open to feedback and open minded and open hearted. So, there’s not a lot of very difficult conversations, there’s things where we have to hammer stuff out, but they’re not usually really really hard. But I was connected to a few people still on Facebook, and they would message me and be like “you deleted my comment on this post!” or “you did all these things to me, and you’re doing all this whatever, and that’s not very spiritual and you’re all passive-aggressive,” and I’m like “wow! like, I don’t even know what you’re talking about first of all, okay, well let’s have this conversation” and them flipping out about stuff and me going, okay, I see how you are aiming for the thing that will trigger me most, which is to say “you’re not good at your job, Rachel.”

So I would say any time a person, this is actually part of my system, my self-rescue system, which is to identify the types of conversations that trigger you, that’s part of it, and to recognize what it is, what’s the fear underneath it, and what are they trying to do, and whenever I see people coming with that kind of attack, to me, they’re trying to emotionally manipulate me. At least, that’s my story. And so I can kind of just be aware of that and go “oh, well, is somebody that I really want to talk to, who’s really going to be open to a learning conversation, going to be accusing me in a bunch of judgmental stuff?” Probably not, and if I call that out and they’re like, “no, you’re the one who has all these problems” Okay, you’re not a person I can have a reasonable conversation with because a reasonable conversation is not one where you throw a bunch of accusations and judgements my way, and so, alright, fair thee well!

14:56 KAY: Yeah, well there’s a lot of not taking it personally there isn’t it, if you’re going to not be a good girl.

15:03 RACHEL: Yeah, there’s definitely some self soothing for sure, and there’s a lot of “what’s my stuff, and what’s your stuff?” Definitely I’m still continuing to be open to work on my stuff, how can I be a better communicator, how can I be a better friend, leader, role model, teacher, student, absolutely. But there’s also “what’s not mine to do, and how can i point that out with compassion, and when somebody else doesn’t get it, how can I be okay with the fact that they will continue to misunderstand me.” That was one of the hard ones for me, like, “okay, we’re going to separate ways and you’re going to continue to think that I’m a passive-aggressive person with lots of work to still do,” and it’s part of the Four Agreements, what other people think about me is none of my business, which sometimes I find challenging, because of course we all care, it’s the height of permanent enlightenment to not care at all, you know, in a compassionate way to not care at all what people think about you. I think we all sort of have our moments where we dip in and we think right, you have the freedom to think whatever you want about me, and that’s me giving us both grace.

16:36 KAY: It always takes me a while to get there when I’ve had someone really poke at a nerve with me, particularly around, that’s a big trigger for me, this “you’re no good at your job” and also, just general conversations where you’re responsible for this, like you need to hold this, because that’s a really old story for me, that I’m like “okay, I’ve got to hold this for everybody” that’s a really old thing that’s just simply not true. And I honestly, almost every day, have to remind myself that’s not true, and whenever I come across it, I can get to a point where I don’t really care about it, but I’ll be honest, that’s never instant for me, sometimes that take me weeks or months of sitting with that and going ” it’s okay, I can be alright with this, and I work through my prayers and my personal practices to let that go, sometimes it really takes me while! In a good girl, she lives.

17:38 RACHEL: Yeah, I totally get that, and I think what I’m always doing is restoring what matters to me, in a very deliberate way in that I get to choose my thoughts and beliefs about myself and the world and surrendering the one that says that I have to meet other people’s expectations in order to be okay. That’s one I’m still tearing off pieces of, and there’s a way that there’s a sacrifice, the more I do my work and say the things that I’m here to say and do, the more some people are going to be pissed off, just because it’s going to be about their story and whatever, and I really love that, there’s just certain mental mantras that I like, replace those old stories with, do you know what I mean?

18:40 KAY: Yeah!

18:42 RACHEL: Like, I’ve actually lately have been thinking about it, like, on the walls of our mind, our mental landscape, there’s all these beliefs from our family, and our upbringing, and our society that have been written on the wall, this is how stuff goes, this is how the world works, this is how you are, this is how you’re supposed to be, and you look at them everyday and it’s like “okay, the thought police say, here’s how it goes” and what people do through my system and what I do for myself all the time and I sometimes have post-it notes on my mirrors and my front door so I read it as I walk out the door, is “here’s what I’m choosing to believe instead. Here’s how I’m going to wipe that off and just tell my inner critics and everybody else, all the parts of me, we’re not operating under that instruction anymore.” So I’m okay as long as everybody else understands that I’m a positive intentioned good person, like I used to say “I don’t mind people not liking me, as long as don’t like me for who I really am, my real reasons and my real intentions” and now I’m like “you know what, it’s okay if some people don’t like me, if they’re in their story or they don’t know, like I’m not here to be universally liked, because that keeps me small, it keeps me running around caveating with everybody all the damn time, and you know what? Some people still don’t like me! It’s just such a waste of my time and energy! So, I mean, this is a lot of layers of peeling off, and you know because you’ve done that work.

20:23 KAY: I still do!

20:23 RACHEL: Yeah, yeah, and then you get to another level and it’s like “ahhh”, and then another thing comes up and you’re like “aww dangit! Dangit!” So the thing that really opens my heart and gives me internal grace is something that I got from a tapping workshop about wealth actually, by Margaret Lynch, and one of the things it talks about, I don’t remember if it’s through the heart shakra, she has these great sort of reversing your thinking about things statements, and it’s like, basically I give myself freedom and I give everybody else, like I grant everybody else the freedom to think and believe whatever they want. Doesn’t that feel good?

21:10 KAY: Yeah, that’s really nice!

21:13 RACHEL: And it’s like, yes, I want the freedom to think and believe as I want and they get the freedom to think and believe as they want, and there’s just something, I can’t even, obviously it’s still working on me because I can’t even get a meta-perspective on it, and to say why that’s good, it’s just good! It sort of soothes the control freak part of me that’s like “no! you have to think about the right thing about me!” no you don’t, you can think what you want, and I’m available for processing with people who are open hearted and want to come to mutual understanding of each other, like people who also want to give me that freedom. Then yay! Let’s play together!

21:59 KAY: Yes, and that’s a good space to work isn’t it? I find it ties into some really nice stuff around healing, and kind of just clearing out old situations when people find themselves in really difficult relationships or a bad job situation or any bad situation that they feel kind of trapped in. Quite often, when I go in and do that work, it’s really important for people to tell me that they’re in the right, and well, maybe maybe not I don’t know, I wasn’t there, it’s really not very relevant to the healing though is it, to be the one in the right? It’s okay for people to think that they’re right, it kind of feeds into that doesn’t it, like, you don’t have to convince them that you’re right, just do the thing that’s going to make you happy instead, because right and wrong doesn’t really matter that much in any healing and transformation does it?

22:50 No, and really all that’s doing internally is saying “I’m not a bad person, I need to be good enough” and it’s like well, you can do that work on the inside. You don’t need that other person to validate that for you, because your inner critics may or may not believe them anyway. So, you’ve got to start from within and say “regardless of what I did, or what my shadow parts did, or even what I wanted to do, I’m still okay, I’m still good enough, there’s room in spirit for all of me, spirit already knows, everything that’s in my heart, everything that’s in my mind and says I love you.”

23:32 KAY: Yeah, yeah one of my students said to me yesterday actually, it was really lovely, just like “I’m doing all this work, I’m really going to get stronger, I’m going to be stronger and going to be clearer and I’m going to be in this position but you know just right now, I’m enough!” and it was just so nice, such a simple statement, but really healing, really nice. So I want to talk about, a little bit about your self rescue system, because I went through that when I read your book and I found it quite cool and it’s a nice different perspective than a lot of what my audience would be used to looking at . I guess it’s kind of handy to look at the problems first, what are the situations you can find yourself in or like the feelings or the low points that come out of that programming of being a Good Girl.

24:30 RACHEL: Well, you know, some of the things we’ve touched on already, so believing that how other people feel or think about us is something that we have to act to resolve, which really makes us susceptible to emotional manipulation, for example. I just read this great article about how often narcissists and other kinds of emotional manipulators end up pairing up with co-dependents which I would say is part of what Good Girls often have a problem with, because we’re sort of drawn to each other, people who emotionally manipulate know exactly the buttons to push and people are like “I’m not okay if other people don’t think I’m okay” That’s our lever, right? That’s the strings that you pull for us, oh no! I have to dance over here!

25:26 KAY: That’s a Good Girl dance you just did! (both laughing)

25:33 RACHEL: And I know it because I lived it! I have a lot of compassion for it, and I still can get, I sort of go ” what’s happening, oh! Get away from me, stop it!” “You can’t pull that lever!” I was just reminded of that video of that dog whose back leg starts to raise up and it growls, you know, what’s happening in my own body?

26:01 KAY: And now I will forever see you growling at yourself!

26:10 RACHEL: And that’s exactly what we do, right? We’re like, “why am I reacting this way?” when instead it’s like, well, why am I in a situation where this is what’s happening, because a lot of the time what good girls will do too is go internal and attack ourselves, I’m just gonna say, where is my…I can see it, I’m going to go off camera, I have to pull it up, it’s hidden over here on my desk, I developed these six ways that we avoid conflict, so you could also interpret these as these are the six ways that good girls often tend to react or that they struggle with. So, what I’m talking about is the self-flagellation, the “oh no! People are upset with me, and therefore I have to kick and beat myself up all the time!” So, what does that lead to but depression? right? So, depression is one of the things because we think we’re trapped, we can’t get out of it, our inner critics are having a hay day, and some of the other things that happen for us, I’ll say this is what happened for me, and I see it with a lot of my clients, especially when they first come in, that we stay small because the bigger we get the more we’re likely to be susceptible to both our inner critic attacks and also attacks from other people. Especially when we don’t know how to set good boundaries, we’re sort of ripe for that kind of abuse. I’ll tell you, I get a lot fewer attacks of any nature now that I know what I’m doing and I know what I’m worth, and I don’t have any problem saying that. It’s not like I have to be better as wielding my armor and my swords and it’s actually just like that energy carries forward of like, don’t eff with me. You know, I’m here with big hearted love and also, don’t mess with me because it’s not going to go well for you. Or I’ll just leave, either way.

But when I was really more in the thralls of my good girl stuff like, I was much less successful in business, to be very frank about that, and I was much less successful in teams, because I would come out with my natural leader qualities and like “I’m going to do this and that and the other” and as soon as the group dynamics would get shaky, because they always do, because groups inherently have that white water experience, if I was anywhere near the leadership spot, which is sort of my natural place to be, and people would start being unhappy or getting weird and I didn’t know how to deal with that conflict I would be like maybe I shouldn’t be standing here, maybe somebody better than me should be doing it, or people don’t like me and I need to be getting out of the way because I’m causing them upset. LIke I literally had someone basically take the baton, like, the dry erase marker out of my hand and leading a group project back when I was grad school because they could see that I was just getting paralyzed by like “uh oh, people aren’t happy with me” and the project did not go as well as it would have had I been able to lead it. I couldn’t at the time, because I was getting sabotaged by own experience, but I think good girl-ism or the conflict avoidance and the emotional over responsibility especially keep up from greater success and greater influence.

29:59 KAY: Yeah, I can definitely relate to that, staying small and taking a regular step back to kind of hide from the world a little bit after kind of being on the receiving end of some of that conflict, because I was not having as strong boundaries before as I do now and that’s an on-going thing for me, you know, I grew up in a home with not a boundary in sight so it was definitely something that I’ve had to kind of learn what that is as an adult but definitely this idea of “don’t want to be too visible, don’t want to work with too many people, because then there can be more of those people coming in that same sort of difficult conflict situation is ore likely to come up as you say so it’s definitely a thing that we hide from I think. Much better to sort it out inside, internally.

30:52 RACHEL: It really is, and to know that you can, that you know how to handle it, that’s the biggest thing that came for me, when I developed this system for myself, I didn’t even think of it as a system, it was sort of like, how do I arrange myself so that I stop having this problem over and over? And once I had all the pieces in place and was living it, and then someone pointed out to me that that was something I could write about essentially, I was like “oh” and I started really system-atizing it, I was like ” you know, ever since I’ve started doing this, I just don’t feel afraid anymore.” Like I used to walk around with sort of that nervousness around certain situations, and now I’m like “no matter what happens, no matter if somebody is angry with me, someone that I love deeply or someone I don’t know very well but is attacking me in particular way, I know how to handle it.” It’s not like it’s going to be enjoyable, but I can stop, work the process that I’ve developed, and I know that I’m going to get good results from that, and that’s so, it just makes me less afraid in life, which is amazing.

32:09 KAY: Yeah, it’s so good to have, so good to have and the system that you’ve created for yourself and that you’re sharing with other people now, can you, I’m not asking you to give away all of your secrets, but a little example of something really simple, because it really is a simple process, isn’t it, a real simple, internal, and can become kind of a self-reliant thing, something that people can do when they come across that sort of conflict.

32:36 RACHEL: Yeah, I mean, it’s a four step process and it is both simple and also not. I had a friend read through the book as I was finishing it up and she was like “I mean, it’s not that long of a book, and the system is really four major steps with three minor pieces to each step” but she took a long time to read it because she’s like “it’s not long, but it’s dense, especially as you’re transforming” but I can talk about it fairly simply, the main pieces are to identify the warning signs of when you get triggered, so that it doesn’t sneak up on you, and then you’re like, in that sort of paralysis experience of the adrenaline and all the experiences we have when we get triggered. I’ve like, temporarily lost my ability to like, what’s the, prefrontal cortex versus sort of the lizard brain, like when we get triggered. What basically happens to the brain is the information doesn’t get up to our logical processing space in the same way it’s mostly sort of running through our animalistic like fight, flight or freeze and I call that the inner panic state. So, knowing when that’s starting to happen is really crucial because it gives you the ability to then interrupt that process, because we can. Tara Bennett-Goldman calls that “the magic half-second” and if you can interrupt that adrenaline, that sort of where the impulses are feeding then you don’t get the shaky adrenaline, full blown chemical reaction, you might get hits of it, but you can actually keep it less and keep more clear headed.

So then, to back track, the biggest secret of all of this is to have a plan ahead of time. So, anything that triggers us, you can work this system, like build a chart, basically a plan around it, so I have, for me I think I have three major charts that I built out for myself for the three strongest times where I get triggered and now I can really map, every time something’s happened I look back at I’m like “oh yeah, it actually was a version of one of these three things.” And that’s sort of like the warnings, what are my signs that I’m getting triggered, and the triggers section is like, who are the kinds of people who tend to cause this for me, what is the type of situation, like, what is this really about, so one of the things for me is aggressive men who are trying to have an argument or a debate with me but really they’re trying to shut me down. Like, it’s not actually an open conversation of exploration, they’re really being debate-y and trying to win by triggering me enough that I stop talking basically.

So, realizing that one was really eye opening and then looking at the fear underneath that, what about that is so upsetting, you know because things that trigger other people don’t trigger me and vice versa. We all have our sort of unique little, and they have similarities, there are some expected categories, but usually the fear is some kind of lie underneath that that is like, “I don’t belong in this group” or ” I’m not acceptable as I am” or “I’m stupid” you know, they’re just really basic wound experience stuff. So identifying that and then being able to deliberately address that internally is super helpful, those are some of the secrets from the system. And then there’s more about how to address that internally, like how to build yourself up and support yourself before you even say a word. And then there’s the sort of extra piece of magic which is how do you prepare for the intervention conversation, how do you intervene in this thing so it doesn’t keep happening to you and you don’t have to just self soothe through it, but like actually take a stand and do something different.

37:07 KAY: But making sure you know what’s really happening first and making sure you’ve strengthened yourself first is so important isn’t it?

37:14 RACHEL: Critical, and it’s the thing a lot of difficult conversations teachings don’t go a lot into, but since I’m a therapist and a healer, that was the stuff I already knew really well, and then I was like ” how do I have this other, oh! make a plan for how that conversation needs to go or what the intention of it is, let’s plan those together!” it’s kind of like peanut butter and jelly, like, these are super important companions!

37:42 KAY: Yeah, well I’m English, peanut butter and jam do NOT go together, just so you know. (both laugh) That’s just not going to fly with my audience, okay.

37:52 RACHEL: Okay, so what is it, like,chocolate and peanut butter? Does that work?

37:57 KAY: I don’t know, I’m not sure it should go with anything! Maybe we could say bread and butter or something, those things go together, yeah, that would be okay!

38:05 RACHEL: Tea and biscuits

38:06 KAY: Tea and biscuits! Yeah, there we are, we have it. Goes together like tea and biscuits.

38:12 RACHEL: Yeah, exactly, both are good, so much better together.

38:16 KAY: Yeah, but it was the kind of idea of this plan and this structure and kind of creating charts around it, I thought that was a very kind of coach-y thing to do, and it’s something that I spent so much of my time with, kind of real spiritual people,and creative people, and maybe we’re a little bit chaotic in our energy and stuff and I definitely sit with that camp like the organizing of my thoughts like that, isn’t something that I would naturally think to do. It’s kind of helpful, coaches are really good at that I find.

38:55 RACHEL: Well, and by trade I’m a therapist and healer which does, I mean I actually do energy healing you know, so there’s a way in which I really do sit in that camp of the woo also. And my thoughts were not organized and structured like that at all until I started thinking about “oh this thing that I have integrated and felt into myself how do I distill that, and bring that out into something teachable for other people?” And yeah, that took me a year, like, it wasn’t like a “oh it’s this!” bang bang bang! No, I have ability to think linearly like that, but I wouldn’t say that’s my main operating space, I’m think equally right brained and left brained.

39:46 KAY: In which case I’m even more impressed that you managed to put it into that format!

39:51 RACHEL: It was a lot of, I’m an external processor, it was a lot of working it through with friends and people I trusted, and my clients! I have iterations of that self rescue chart and I would bring it into my sessions and be like “I think it would be helpful for us to walk through this chart when thinking about that conversation, are you game?” and then I’d test it out and learn more stuff, like “oh this explanation needs more something, or this needs better wording, yeah, that’s why it took me a year of like, eat, sleep, and breathing it.

40:25 KAY: Yeah, and it’s like with anything, isn’t it, we’re refining something, even the process itself for our own work, like we’ve just got to keep going back to it and keep showing up for it, and think of the miracle inspiration that comes and that’s just like a bit of it.

40:43 RACHEL: That’s just the spark to get you going, right?

40:46 KAY: Absolutely! So where can people find, because I know your book came out really quite recently, it was this year I think?

40:53 RACHEL: It was December, yes.

40:56 KAY: December, and do you have one, are you reaching for the book? Yeah, there it is! Woman Overboard! Six Ways Women Avoid Conflict and One Way to Live Drama Free. Yes please to drama free!

41:13 RACHEL: I realize that the drama all comes from people who don’t know how to handle conflict. It doesn’t mean you never have conflict, it just means it doesn’t have to be dramatic. You can actually be with yourself, and then by skillful about bringing that forward, and also receiving the other person and their different levels of skill, but that doesn’t mean doing it all for them either, right?

41:38 KAY: Yeah, absolutely!

41:42 RACHEL: Just these, there are times when I might need to say “hey, you might want to take a break” or “let’s not talk about this for a few days and come back to it because wow.”

41:52 KAY: Yeah, so people can find that book on Amazon and have a little read through and it’s really, I found the book really great, it’s very practical, I understand what your friend said about being quite dense, because some of the things that I was reading I was like you know, yeah those were the bits that I follow and I work through really well myself so I could just read it and go “yeah yeah yeah,” and then I would hit a bit that would be like one of mine that I needed to do and I would have to spend quite a long time on that bit to kind of sit and use it, and kind of go through feeling into it and how I could use it in myself, so there’s a lot, it’s a really rich book for people to work through.

42:36 RACHEL: Do you remember, I’m just curious, do you remember an example?

42:39 KAY: Well, I think we spoke a little bit around the way that we voice some of those things and I was thinking about the dials of the way that we use our voice.

42:51 RACHEL: The dials of strategic, or is it adaptive communication or strategic communication, I don’t remember what.

42:55 KAY: I can’t remember!

42:59 RACHEL: It’s the four dials of strategic communication which are power, authenticity, charm, and compassion. And how we tend to sit with our dials fixed in each of those areas and we don’t think about tuning them.

43:10 KAY: Yeah, going through and just kind of adjusting some of those things, and sometimes even finding that sometimes my power dial was too high like if I was, so it’s not even just that you’re avoiding conflict, it’s just that sometimes when I would get pushed into conflict it would be too aggressive, like I was taking this real stand, so it was really useful to sit and kind of tweak with those things, that was quite fascinating for me.

43:37 RACHEL: Nice!

43:37 KAY: But there’s loads in there for people to work with and you have your website, www.healingforgoodgirls.com.

43:46 RACHEL: Yes, and it’s actually, that’s hopefully by the time, I don’t know when you’re going to air this, but it’s just on the verge of being a new site, but right now it’s still the old one. The nice thing is that they can find out about at woman-overboard.com. Or go to healingforgoodgirls.com and they can click on the book, and it’s the same page basically. That’s got the little book trailer video, which I did by hand, which was fun, and more information there.

44:16 KAY: Excellent! And just more information about you and your work, and all those kind of good things! Excellent, excellent, well I’ve loved talking to you today, thank you for Skyping me first thing in the morning, as it is for you.

44:33 RACHEL: Yeah absolutely! I am here, I don’t know if your viewers know, but I’m here in Seattle, Washington, so it’s not too bad, it’s nine in the morning so, that’s reasonable for most people although for me being self-employed that’s my first meeting of the day.

44:48 KAY: I don’t take nine o’ clocks so… (laughing)

44:52 RACHEL: Good for you! I kind of had to slide them in for certain areas I don’t take nine AM clients but I’ll take nine AM conversation, I could do that.

45:02 KAY: Yeah, and even if I take a slightly earlier or really quite late one sometimes I’ll secretly under here be wearing my pajama bottoms!

45:11 RACHEL: You know what, I am right now! I’m wearing sweatpants and my fuzzy slippers because otherwise I would be cold, and, you know.

45:20 KAY: This is how we roll! Glamorous on top, cozy on the bottom!

45:27 RACHEL: Exactly!

45:27 KAY: The Good Girl uniform! Brilliant! Alright my lovie well thank you so much for your time, and I will be putting links underneath this video for everyone to go and visit your website and so we can break the Good Girl dance, which I now love!

45:47 RACHEL: Those strings, baby!

45:47 KAY: Yeah, well listen, thank you so much!

45:51 RACHEL: Thank you too, it’s been a pleasure!