Episode 339 | October 10, 2023

Forgiveness and Transcending Darkness with Rhonda Britten

A Personal Note From Orion

Welcome to another enlightening episode of the Stellar Life Podcast! 🌟In this week’s episode with the amazing Rhonda Britten, we dive deep into the transformative power of forgiveness and transcending darkness. Prepare to be inspired as we unravel the secrets to embrace your fears and emerge as the fearless, authentic you.

Our extraordinary guest, Rhonda Britten, is an Emmy Award winner, a repeat guest on Oprah’s show, a Master Coach, and a true luminary in the world of personal growth and empowerment. She’s touched countless lives through her appearances on over 600 episodes of reality television, including her starring role in the hit daytime reality show, Starting Over. As the founder of the Fearless Living Institute, and with four bestsellers under her belt, including her seminal work, Fearless Living, Rhonda is a phenomenal guide on the path to unleash our inner power. She’s been named “America’s Favorite Life Coach” for a reason, and you’re about to find out why.

Tune in to discover how the neuroscience of fear can be harnessed to break free from the shackles of self-doubt and “not being good enough.” Rhonda’s groundbreaking “Wheels” technology offers you the tools to navigate the darkest corners of your psyche and transform your fears into authentic strengths. Get ready to rewrite your story and embrace a life filled with courage, self-acceptance, and unstoppable resilience. Remember, live fearlessly. Without further ado, let’s dive into the show!

In This Episode

  • [02:27] – Rhonda Britten recounts a traumatic childhood event involving her parents. She shares how she overcame guilt, shame, and fear.
  • [09:55] – Rhonda shares a dream where her deceased father appeared, which led to their forgiveness and closure.
  • [14:27] – Rhonda talks about her fear, which is rooted in her childhood trauma.
  • [16:44] – Rhonda discusses the wheel of fear and the wheel of freedom to help you transcend your fears and align with your true nature.
  • [20:06] – Orion and Rhonda share how they’ve learned to embrace their true identity and express themselves fully in the world.
  • [24:31] – Rhonda discusses the importance of recognizing and understanding one’s triggers, as they are the things that have been running us in the dark and hiding to protect us.
  • [26:24] – Orion wants to know how to develop our own wheel of freedom and wheel of fear, prompting Rhonda to emphasize the importance of understanding how our body and brain process information.
  • [37:48] – Rhonda describes her spiritual awakening, overcoming personal struggles through self-love and spiritual growth.
  • [43:01] – Rhonda describes an exercise for forgiveness and letting go of anger.
  • [47:14] – Rhonda gives her top three tips for living a stellar life.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hi, Rhonda, and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. Thank you so much for being here. 

My pleasure. Who doesn’t want a stellar life? I know I do. We all want stellar lives. Happy to be here. 

Before we begin, can you share your origin story and how you became the person you are? How did you discover your passion? 

Those are many questions, and I appreciate it. Of course, I’ll tell you about the worst day of my life. The origin story for most people is the very thing they don’t want it to be their origin story. The very thing that they want to be like, “I don’t want to tell that story.”

I can relate. 

We run from the place where our seed burst and where it broke open. I ran from mine for over 20 years. I didn’t want to talk about it, and I definitely wouldn’t have told you what made me who I am today because I thought everything that made me who I am today was bad, wrong, and shameful. 

Fearless Loving by Rhonda Britten

Again, I don’t think I’m alone in that. The place we broke open is the place where we broke down. I was 14 years old and grew up in a tiny town in upper Michigan—365 inches of snow a year, no fast food, and only two restaurants, Big Boy and the Douglas House Hotel. 

It was Father’s Day, and my father was coming out to take us to brunch. My parents were separated at this time. So he was coming over, and my mother made me a brand new dress because she sewed all my clothes. He knocks on the door, and he’s like, “Come on, come on,” because that’s what dads do. And my mom and I walked out. We were just in her bedroom, and she was putting on her beehive hairdo and her rose-colored lipstick and patting it down. 

My two sisters are in our one bathroom. We have one bathroom as in the old days. Hardly anybody has one bathroom anymore. My dad yelled, “Come on,” and me and my mom started walking out. My two sisters are still fighting in the bathroom. As we start walking out, it starts sprinkling, so my dad says he’s got to get his coat from the car. 

As he opens the trunk to get his coat, I notice that he hasn’t grabbed a coat, but he has grabbed a gun, and he starts screaming at my mother, “You made me do this! You made me do this!” and he fires. I’m 14 years old, and I just start screaming, “Dad, what are you doing? Dad, stop. What are you doing, Dad? Stop.”

He cocks the gun again, and he points it at me, and I 100% believe I’m next. He looks at me, and I look at him. He blinks, I blink. It felt like it lasted forever. 

My mother, who already had one bullet, looked up at that moment, saw that gun in my face, and screamed, “No, don’t.” My father, realizing my mother was still alive, took that bullet intended for me to shoot my mother a second time. That second bullet went through my mother’s abdomen, out her back, and landed in the car horn. For the next 20 minutes, all I heard was [flatline sound]. Then my father cocked the gun one more time, jumped to his knees, put the gun to his head, and fired. 

Within less than two minutes, I was the sole witness of watching my father murder my mother and commit suicide in front of me. I don’t know how other people would respond, but this is how I responded, “It was my fault. I didn’t jump in front of the gun. I didn’t grab it. I didn’t even protect my mother. I didn’t jump in front of her. I did nothing that magically stopped my father and was the only one standing.”

The wheel of freedom allows us to transcend blame, shame, and self-defeat –- to unlock our greatest potential. Click To Tweet

For the next 20 years, I lived with a tremendous amount of shame, a tremendous amount of guilt, and a tremendous amount of “You don’t get to be alive. You don’t get to be happy if you watch your mother die. You just don’t get to be happy.”

For the next 20 years, I eventually became an alcoholic, got three DUIs, and tried to kill myself three times. And it was that third suicide attempt when I realized I wasn’t good at killing myself—not skilled at it, need a coach for that—that I had to figure out another way. This wasn’t working.

Mind you, I do want to give myself a bunch of credit that during those 20 years, I went to therapy, I went to workshops, and I read books. I’ve been reading self-help and spiritual books since I was 12 and wanted to be a minister when I was 13. I was heavily into the personal development and spiritual path.

I did all those things during that time, and they were all helpful. They were all nice. But none of them took away the feeling that something was wrong with me. I couldn’t shake the feeling. No matter what work I did, no matter how much therapy I did, no matter what books I read, no matter how many workshops I’ve done, no matter if I worked the shaman or did inner child work, I just kept on having the feeling there was something wrong with me.

Surrender and self-acceptance are wings to carry us out of our darkest nights.

It wasn’t until I faced that something was wrong with me. I was the seed of the work I do today because I had to face the fact that fear had been running my life. But I never said I’m afraid or I’m scared. I think that’s very common. 

If you had told me at 14, 20, 25, and 30 that I would work on fear, I would’ve looked at you like you were crazy because I’m not afraid. I really believed that. I was like, “I’m not afraid, I’m not scared.” That’s the trick of high achievers and people trying to get on with their way. They want to find another reason that they’re stuck. 

“It must be because I procrastinate. It must be because I didn’t have a mother who loved me.” They want to use that. But, under all of that, it is just because we’re all afraid. Once I was willing to see and claim that, everything started to change. That’s why I do Fearless Living.

This story really touched my heart. It was quite shocking. What did you guys do? Why did you and your sisters end up staying? What was your life like? 

Change Your Life in 30 Days by Rhonda Britten

We stayed in that house for two years. The three of us. My sister was 18, I was 14, and my little sister was 13. My sister was 18, which allowed us to stay in the house. We lived there for two years. I was a straight-A student. I was the lead scorer of the basketball team. I ran on the track. But I felt like the whole world was whispering at me. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere.

Then, some parents wouldn’t let their kids play with me anymore because I was from one of those families. I’m from a little town, and these things don’t happen—murder-suicide. 

I felt ostracized, and eventually, we moved to Minneapolis. I went to the University of Minnesota, where I started drinking. I never drank in high school, but when I got to college, it was like, “Drinking! Nobody knows me. Nobody knows my story. Nobody knows who I am.” I felt like I could start over. I had a fresh start. It’s like nobody knows me. I made a commitment to never tell anybody my story. 

I thought I could run from it. I thought I could hide it. I thought I could dump it. I thought I could avoid it. I thought I could ignore it. Again, we all know the truth of that statement: that’s impossible. 

I found alcohol, and it numbed my pain and nightmares because after my father killed my mother, I had nightmares every single night for almost two decades that he was chasing and trying to kill me. I discovered alcohol. It made me black out, and I didn’t have to have those nightmares. “This was awesome!” That’s when I started drinking. 

My first suicide attempt was my last year in college. College was good in the sense that I wanted to get away from myself, but it was also the place where I didn’t have the wholeness within me. I didn’t know who I was. This is typical for high school and college students, but I didn’t know who I was. Let’s just say college was not fun. College was really hard, and I had the devil on my back, and I was still running. 

That’s so much to go through. When did the nightmares stop? 

It’s a beautiful story, actually, because I was planning to be a minister. The day my father killed my mother, people said, “Oh my God.” I said, “Well, I’ve forgiven him.” I believe I forgave him at that moment because I knew it was the right thing to do. So I just told everybody I did.

Authenticity requires deep inner work and the willingness to know yourself and understand how you process information. Click To Tweet

It became very clear to me over the next 10 to 15 years that I had some issues with my father. I did a lot of forgiveness work with him, but it didn’t stop the nightmares. Then, one night, I just had a car accident. I got hit by a car on my bike. My face hit the cement, so I had stitches all the way down my face. I couldn’t work. My boyfriend had just broken up with me, and I had just quit drinking. 

I had no man, no alcohol, and I couldn’t work. I was too wrecked up. For those years, I felt like my father lived in my closet. I’m sitting there alone and sober. I’m trying to go to bed, and I used to sleep with the light on because I had nightmares. I can feel my father in my closet, and I go, “Dad, just get out of my closet. Leave me alone. Just stop haunting me. Just go away.” And he won’t leave. 

A thought went through my mind that, “If you can’t beat him, join him.” It’s an odd phrase, but how I took it was I said, “Dad, come on over.” I got him out of the closet, and I was on the side of my bed, and he knelt beside me. I put my arms around him and said, “I forgive you.” He whispered, “That’s what I’ve been waiting for.”

Wow. I got goosebumps. 

The Little Soul and the Sun by Neale Donald Walsch

Then I fell asleep crying because it was just so moving. That night, I had the same dream. My father was chasing me again, but this time, I turned around and said, “Just go ahead and shoot me. Just do it. ” He took out his gun. He shot at me, and he kept missing. Then he tried again and again and kept missing. 

There was a little stone wall right next to him, and he took his gun and threw it down. He goes, “I guess that doesn’t work anymore.” He leaned over the stone wall, pulled out a picnic basket and said, “Do you want to have a picnic?” 

I know it’s wild. Then I said, “Yes.” He took a red and white checkered tablecloth, opened it up, and we sat down and broke bread together, and I’ve never had a nightmare since. 

That’s incredible. Do you feel like you’re psychic? Was this experience only with your father’s spirit?

My mother has only come to me twice. She came to me and said, “I had no other choice. I didn’t know what else to do.” She came to me just to let me know she was trapped. I feel my father and mother. I love my father and my mother. And I believe from a spiritual point of view,  I always imagine myself, my dad, and my mom. We’re not mom and dad and daughter. We’re three, let’s call them angels, for the sake of this conversation. 

“What are we going to do in the next lifetime?” “We want to go back.” “Let’s go back to earth.” My dad goes, “Oh, I got something.” We’re like, “What?” He goes, “Okay, why don’t we eradicate fear from the planet?” We’re like, “Oh, yeah, that’s good.” 

He says, “Rhonda, why don’t you be the one that brings freedom to the people?” I’m like, “Really? Me? Okay, awesome.” He goes, “But something bad has to happen to you.” We’re like, “Yeah, something bad will have to happen.” He goes, “I’ll be the dad. I’ll be the bad guy. You are the mom. I’ll kill you, and I’ll kill myself in front of you.” We’re all like, “Yeah, good idea. Great plan.” 

It seems like The Little Soul and the Sun. Do you know that book?

Yeah. I don’t believe that this was haphazard. This was part of my path and destiny. When I was able to forgive my father, and I got sober, those two things then allowed the unfolding of other things that allowed me to finally claim what I do today and who I am today. 

My core fear is fear of being a loser.

You said many people think they can’t move forward because they procrastinate or give other reasons. But nobody wants to face their fears. How do you discover what you are really afraid of? In your case, it’s pretty obvious.

Actually, it’s not. That’s the thing. If you ask somebody what they’re afraid of, most people go, “I’m afraid of bugs, spiders, heights.” I go, “Okay, those are physical fears. I want to talk about emotional fears.” Then they’ll say, “Fear of failure and fear of public speaking.” They’ll say those types of things. Those are all what I call fear responses. 

Most of us don’t have a fear of rejection. We have deeper fears, and they’re the fears that kind of ignite all the other fears. My fears were not born when my father killed my mother. My fears were born when I was five, as yours are, as everybody’s is. We learn these survival mechanisms. We learn the way the world works. 

During that time, I just want you to imagine that you hide a little part of yourself away, because it’s not safe to have that part. You can’t speak up because everybody gets mad, so you put that part away. Maybe when you’re happy, people go, “What are you so happy about?” You put that part away. Or you hear everybody talking about how stupid people are, so anytime you have a question, you put that away. We’re unconsciously and consciously taught and come into this world a little bit with our fears. They do research now that some of our fears are through our DNA. 

My core fear is fear of being a loser. It doesn’t have to be an A to A like my father killed himself and killed my mother and loser. No, those don’t necessarily go perfectly together, but they work perfectly for me.

If I am “procrastinating,” which I don’t believe in on one level, we can talk about that too. So let’s say, “I’m afraid of rejection, I won’t go to a party, I won’t write my book, or I can’t change jobs” because of all these reasons. It’s not all those reasons. Again, we’re smart enough to know those aren’t the real reasons. 

Do I Look Fat in This? by Rhonda Britten

The reason is that we are afraid that we will look stupid, be rejected, be a loser, or be incompetent. Those are the deeper fears that produce the kind of fears we think are okay, like, “I can say I have a fear of rejection because many people have that fear of failure.” But we don’t want to say, “We’re afraid we’re stupid. We’re afraid we’re incompetent. We’re afraid we’re a loser.” 

That’s the whole work I’ve developed, the wheel of fear and the wheel of freedom. The wheel of fear is how you operate when you have not surrendered to your destiny—when you are resistant, fighting, blaming, shaming, and beating yourself up, that’s all the wheel of fear stuff.

The wheel of freedom is when you’re aligned with your destiny, you’re aligned with your true nature, and you are free to be who you’re born to be. We’re all here for a reason, so when we’re on the wheel of freedom, we can transcend blame and shame, beat ourselves up, and procrastinate. We can transcend all that. 

What happens today is most people get caught up in a fear response like “Oh, it’s procrastination, if I just get rid of that.” They get caught on to that and think that if they can solve that, everything will change, and they will take a procrastination class. You’ll learn some great things. But then they go to bed that night or wake up three weeks from then and still feel the same way. 

I love that. That is so true and so deep. Tell me a little more about procrastination. What are some fears behind procrastination that you discovered for your clients?

You have a wheel of fear that’s unique to you, and I have a wheel of fear that’s unique to me. 

Identifying your fear is really important because it takes away the insanity. Sometimes, I think what I do is eliminate the question, “What’s wrong with me? Why do I do this?” I’m going to tell you exactly why you do this. 

People shift like, “I thought it was this, but now I think it’s this.” No. You have one wheel of fear, one wheel of freedom, and it stays that way your entire life. And so when I am feeling, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I doing this? Why can’t I get going?” or any of those types of questions, I know exactly what to do, and I know exactly what’s happening to me.

The wheel of freedom is when you’re aligned with your destiny, you’re aligned with your true nature, and you are free to be who you’re born to be.

I know that my wheel of fear has been activated. I know that I’m having hesitation. It’s about the unknown. It’s about failure. It’s about success. We could talk about all those feelings, but my first step is to get on my wheel of freedom. 

My wheel of freedom, because yours is going to be different than mine, my first is called the essential nature. The first part of the wheel of freedom that starts the wheel of freedom for me is to be authentic. 

I would never talk about my parents. I would never talk about my alcoholism. “Be authentic? What are you crazy?” Because in my family, being authentic was the last thing you could be. “You’re too much. You’re too this. You’re too that. Stop doing this. Stop doing that. Being myself? No, you could not be yourself.” 

Me being myself, me being authentic to my true nature. It’s like everyone talks about “Be authentic.” Being authentic for me, and for 10%, 20%, and 30% of the population, is the most frightening thing of all. 

I think it’s more like 80%. 

I’ll take it. Being authentic, we all say that we want to be and that we are, but being authentic is real subtle, deep work and a willingness to get to know yourself and understand how you process information and to fill yourself up with yourself between your bones and your skin. You’re filled up with yourself. You’re not filled up with your mom’s thoughts, your boyfriend’s thoughts, your spouse’s thoughts, your partner’s thoughts, or your grandmother’s thoughts. You’re not filled up with them anymore. You’re filled up with you. That takes time. It takes energy. It takes a choice. It takes a decision.

Yeah, it’s almost like my life’s mission in the last few years—becoming more and more authentic with myself, my audience, and my clients. Mostly with myself and the way I express myself in the world. And it is a process of discovery because I lived in many places. 

Profound growth unfolds in our darkest nights, and ultimately, this is where we uncover the deepest beliefs that shape our journey. Click To Tweet

I’m from Israel. I lived in Japan for three and a half years. I lived in LA. I lived in New York. I did this, I did that. In many places, I tried to adapt and be like other people, almost like a chameleon where I dim my light or change my colors to fit in just to rediscover over and over again that there is no way I can fit in anywhere by just being me.

That’s right. 

I cannot satisfy anybody else. I cannot fit into anyone else’s way of life or value system just with my own. There is a fear with me about this full expression because I don’t want to be too much. I can be too much. I can be a lot.

My definition of success for the last 28 years is full self-expression. You can have a book. I have four books. I have three TV shows. I’ve done lots of things. I’ve won an Emmy. But the success is that I was myself. 

I was an actress when I was younger, and when I quit being an actress, I remember saying vividly, “I don’t want to play another character. I want to play myself.” I always think God has such a great sense of humor because 20 years later, I’m the first life coach in the world on a television show, playing myself and being myself, and I’m hired for myself. 

That’s beautiful. 

I was on TV when I was younger because I didn’t want to be myself and now I’m on TV as myself. It was amazing. When I was on TV and writing my books, it was like being fully authentic. Authenticity is not just one-and-done. It is what you’re saying. It’s a journey. 

You don’t know who you are when there are different events happening. You think you know who you are. You think you have integrity, and then God tells you to do something, or you have to do A, B, or C, and you don’t do it. You say, “My value is integrity. I always do what I say I’m going to do.” We’ve all not done. 

But we brag about our integrity. We brag about our authenticity or whatever our value system is. Maybe it’s kindness. “I’m going to be kind.” Even in that greatest value, we’ve not been kind to ourselves as well as probably some other people.

A value isn’t just a one-and-done, either. That’s why once you understand your fears, you can actually live your value and temper your words and not be like, “I am going to keep every promise I ever made.” It’s like, “No.” 

It’s also about being in complete self-acceptance and accepting your shadows because we are everything. We’re good. We’re bad. I can be the kindest person on the planet, and I can be cruel. 

Being authentic is subtle deep work and a willingness to get to know yourself.

Every one of us, we all have those, especially if you are a bright light. The brighter you are, the darker your dark side is because it’s like a yin and yang. We are everything. If we have a lot of light, we also have a lot of darkness. 

It’s not about pushing it away. When you look at your fears, it’s almost like looking at your shadow parts and being kind of like, “What did you do with your dad? Come over here, let me hug and hold you.”

Shadow work is awesome. I love shadow work. When you say, “I’ve been cruel. Any of us have been cruel.” I would filter it through my work of Fearless Living if something triggered you— it could have been a week ago or a minute ago—that activated your wheel of fear, and so you were in protection mode, saving yourself mode, don’t want to feel stupid mode, don’t want to be a loser mode, don’t want to be incompetent mode, whatever that fear is for you and so you now have to cover, and so your cover was mean. When I’m cruel, when I’m mean, we’re trying to get our authority back.

There was a time when I had a tough cookie type of cover. I was physically very strong and emotionally. Very hard from the outside but very soft from the inside, as I am always. 

People walk around acting tough. Your true nature is resilient. Your true nature is strong. But your true nature isn’t tough. Like you said, it’s soft. This is true for men and women. It doesn’t matter what your gender is. It doesn’t matter anything about anything. We’re all whole human beings. 

When you’re having your “shadow” come up, it’s because your fear’s been activated. When you can look and understand how your fear works, if my fear gets activated, I won’t beat myself up anymore. I don’t say, “What’s wrong with you?” I just go, “Huh, my fear activated.” It’s a loving way to be with my whole self rather than “I shouldn’t have that.” This is in our neurobiology. There’s no changing this. It’s part of who we are. It’s how our brain is wired. Our brain is wired for fear.

We must shift our neural pathways so that we can live in freedom more and so our shadow does become a place of acceptance, a place of actually the subtlety of innocence. Without the shadow and understanding your fear, it’ll be very difficult to see your own innocence and other people’s innocence. 

We must shift our neural pathways so that we can live in freedom more and so our shadow does become a place of acceptance.

For me, that’s where I want to go. I want to see my innocence. I want to see your innocence. I want to see the world as innocent because then I can connect.

I love the symbol of being in yin and yang, where there are equal parts of darkness and light; within the darkness, there is light, and within the light, there is darkness. It looks flat when you see it on paper, but I imagine it to be a very 3D dynamic. 

Just think of those as energy fields. When you are in the darkness, that could be in fear of freedom because darkness is where some of our greatest growth happens. The darkness is where we have our dark nights and discover what we believe. It’s where we find out our roots. 

We create the most beautiful poetry. It’s like the diamond, peeling away the layers.

Yeah, exactly. I love it. 

Tell me how I can develop my own wheel of freedom and wheel of fear and look at it for myself so I can break free. 

There are many ways to do it. One is I’ll take you through my book, Fearless Living, and we go through the entire thing. I have exercises here that literally break down the wheel of fear and the wheel of freedom. I’m going to show you a picture of the wheel of fear. 

What happens is we get triggered. My trigger is “loser.” Don’t know what yours is, but I get looser. Now, did anybody call me a loser? Never. Nobody ever called me a loser. When I discovered this, it was shocking to me, and you’ll be shocked, too. Because if you were called stupid your whole life, your trigger isn’t stupid. You’re well aware of that. 

The trigger is that thing that has been running you in the dark, in hiding, because it has to protect you. It has to hide really good because it has to protect you. It wants to hide. It doesn’t want you to see it. I have a series of exercises in my book and my workshops, Fearless Living Training Program, to show you how to do this. You can do it yourself, with a coach, with me in Fearless Living because we have classes, etc. 

The trigger is the thing that has been running you in the dark because it has to protect you.

Let’s say you’re activated. Maybe I walk into a room at a party, and the first person I catch looks away from me. If I’m on my wheel of freedom, it doesn’t impact me. On my wheel of fear, “I’m not welcome here. These aren’t my people.”

It wrecks me, and maybe I say, “Be brave, go and party.” But all the time, I’m thinking, “These aren’t my people. I don’t belong here. That person doesn’t like me.” I am trying to get past it, but I’m not doing the internal work to get past it. I’m doing those fear responses.

Like I said, “I don’t belong. Something is wrong with me.” Then, when you do these fear responses and again, we’ve all done it, we end up feeling something. If we’re beating ourselves up, putting ourselves down, judging ourselves, we eventually feel something.

For me, my feeling on my wheel of fear is worthless. I feel just worthless—someone who’s unlovable. You might have the same, but you most likely have something different. I feel worthless. When I, Rhonda Britten, feel worthless, I go into self-destructive behaviors, drinking, eating, sleeping, and staying awake. We all know our self-destructive behaviors. You know yours. I know mine. 

I’m going to go and grab a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and I’m going to eat the whole thing. That’s one of mine. Maybe I’ll stay up all night, I won’t sleep, I won’t take care of myself. Some people drink. I used to drink. Some people do drugs, etc. That’s our fear response. 

Then, we start doing self-destructive behaviors. It only makes our wheel of fear go, “You better get better at hiding that loser thing. You better get better at that.” It doesn’t free me. It just gets stronger.

Let’s go over the wheel of freedom and do that same example. Here’s the wheel of freedom, and here’s my essential nature. I grew up in the Midwest, so I have righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. So the wheel of fear is righty-tighty. You’re getting tighter and tighter and tighter, and the wheel of freedom is lefty-loosey, so you’re going left, and you’re loosening up, you’re being more gentle, you’re kinder, you’re being more loving, you see your innocence, and you don’t beat yourself up. 

True success is the full expression of your authentic self.

My essential nature is authentic. Let’s say that guy gives me that disgusted look, and I say, “Rhonda, wheel of freedom, essential, authentic. What would I do right now if I was being authentic?” 

I’d go up and say hi to him. I would test my judgment. I would test my made-up story. I’d ask myself, “Am I making it up, or is it a fact?” Then I would say, “I made that up.” If I made that up, why don’t you go find out really what’s going on? Why don’t you talk to him? 

I can’t tell you how many times somebody has given me a look or whatever’s happened in an environment where I was like, “They hate me,” whatever those thoughts are, I go, “Rhonda, are you making it up or is it a fact?” “Well, I’m making it up.” “Great. If you were being authentic right now, what would you be doing?” 

If I were being authentic, I would go up to him and say something to him. Not mean, but just go, “Hey, hi.” Who knows if he just had indigestion? Who knows if his partner just broke up with him? Who knows if he just lost his job today? You don’t have any idea, so go check it out. 

When I go and do something authentic, then I’m taking a productive behavior, and this is me being my greatest advocate. Then I eventually feel my wholeness, which you brought up earlier for me is self-acceptance. When I feel self-acceptance, I, Rhonda Britten, feel full self-acceptance, and then I get into self-affirming behaviors. 

When I do something authentic, then I’m taking a productive action.

When I’m triggered, I have to practice being patient. When I’m in my wheel of freedom, I am patient. I have to practice on my wheel of fear. “Don’t judge, and don’t beat yourself up.” On my wheel of freedom, I don’t do those things ever. It’s about understanding how you process information in the world, how your body and brain process information so that you can be like, “Wait a minute. Am I on my wheel of fear or wheel of freedom? Oh, I see. I’m on my wheel of fear. Do you want to get on your wheel of freedom? Would you like to get there?”

It doesn’t mean the wheel of freedom is all happy and joyous. You might be on a dark night and be on your wheel of freedom. I was on a dark night in 2010, and I remember somebody saying, “Why are you stuck?” I looked at them and said, “I’m not stuck.” They literally were, “What do you mean you’re not stuck?” “I’m going through a dark night. I’m going through spiritual cleansing. I’m going through spiritual upheaval. I’m going through spiritual stripping.” 

Because I was hardly working and taking care of myself, they named it as “stuck.” I was like, “I’m not stuck at all.” Literally, they were shocked. It doesn’t mean happiness is a wheel of freedom and sadness is a wheel of fear. You can be sad in freedom, and you can be sad in fear. You can be angry in freedom and angry in fear. 

I’m confused about that.  You say that the emotion is irrelevant as long as you know you are going through some progress or growth. 

Yeah. Let’s say I was going through my dark night, which I did. It was tough. I was crying. I felt like God abandoned me. I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore, “Who am I? What I meant to do?” I felt lost. But I understood what was happening to me. I understood it so I didn’t get triggered by my wheel of fear and try to run from it, label it bad, or say, “Oh my god, this can’t be happening to me.”

Instead, I went, “Okay, I’m going to stay in this dark night on my wheel of freedom, so I am going to practice being authentic while I’m in it. I am going to do proactive behaviors of authenticity and be authentic, and I will then automatically have more self-acceptance,” which is what I did. 

It doesn’t mean happiness is a wheel of freedom and sadness is a wheel of fear. You can be sad in freedom, and you can be sad in fear.

How it got me out of my dark night is not pushing me through. It was total, full self-acceptance. Surrender and self-acceptance transcended me out of the dark night. It wasn’t being tough with myself on my wheel of fear and going like, “Do better, work harder, come on, get with it.”

You just have to be. Being is the most important thing. 

But it’s very hard if you have a partner, kids, a job, parents and grandparents, and things happening. I think to myself how many people in the world, which I think is a lot, are going through a dark night right now. They don’t know how to honor it because they don’t have the time, the money, the support, or things to help them get through it. Then they beat themselves up, put themselves down, and have a drink to shut down. 

Understanding where you’re responding from and where your thoughts are coming from frees you to be in freedom. It frees you. It doesn’t mean it’s easy to be authentic. It’s not easy to be authentic, but it’s a fearless act. 

It’s also for people who may not have the money to attend specific workshops. I remember when I went through my dark night of the soul, where I was in an abusive relationship and ended up in the hospital. I was a wreck for a long time, and I had no money. But I had this spark inside of me. 

I held onto that light and said, “I’m going to do everything I can to get out of that.” I read motivational books, and I went to YouTube. It was almost my life’s mission to get myself out of this in any way possible. Talk to anyone I can. Listen to motivational YouTube. There are a lot of free resources. We are never helpless. We need to be resourceful, believe in ourselves, hold onto that fate, and talk ourselves out of that funk.

Some people can’t. They don’t have that resourcefulness, they don’t have that reservoir, they don’t have the resilience. It’s not that they don’t have it; they have it somewhere. 

Everybody, yeah. 

Absolutely. Everybody has it but can’t access it because they’ve been beaten down.

They’re too attached to their own story. 

Fearless Living by Rhonda Britten

Yeah. Well, it’s a story that will eventually set them free. They have to shift how they see that story and what’s happening to them. Because we’ve been through some tough things, it’s a decision. 

Yes, that’s what I think

Once you can decide that you are willing to save yourself, the universe, God, source, and everything starts coming towards you. People are listening to us right now, and somebody out there is resonating with us, and we are your answer. We’re your yes. 

If you’ve been feeling that place, “How can I do it? I don’t know how to do it. I can’t do it myself. I don’t have any support. I don’t have any money.” I get it. You’ve been there, Orion and I have been there, we get it. You have to decide if you are going to become your greatest advocate. You have to decide if you are going to practice the act of loving yourself enough to take one tiny step a day, one video, one page of a book, one A, B, or C. 

People that go into my free Facebook group, I have two or three courses in there. I have the whole description of the wheels. I have some things they can do right away to help them, which I’m sure you do. 

It’s Fearless Living Community. Then you also get my ebook called Fear to Freedom. I will talk you through some steps to start helping yourself, but it’s a decision. That decision, just like you, I’m sure, Orion, I had to make that same decision every day for months. I had to keep making that decision.

I had so many opportunities to make this type of decision in my life. You don’t even know. Over and over and over, like the phoenix from our ashes, because we all have a light inside of us. We are all here for a reason, and God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. You’re strong enough to handle if you want to get out of the story and decide to rise because life can be incredibly beautiful, and you can achieve your wildest dreams like you did. 

I was going to be a minister at 13, so I love that you said God will not give you more than you can handle. I just told my mom I was going to be a minister. Then, when this happened, I was on the porch, my father just shot my mother, and I heard, “God will not give you anything that you can’t handle.”

My goodness. 

When they were on the ground, I ran into my mother’s room, got on my hands, and prayed to God, “Please God, keep my mother alive. If she lives, I will do your bidding. I will be a minister. But if she dies, all bets are off.”

If you are going to become your greatest advocate, you have to decide if you are going to practice the act of loving yourself enough to take one tiny step a day.

What happened at that moment for me is I never stopped loving God. I didn’t stop loving source, universe, whatever word you want to use, but I didn’t think I was capable of what he gave me. He believed in me more than I believed in myself, and I was like, “I can’t take any more tests.” I literally put a line between me and God, and I put God on the other side and said, “Okay, great, God. Love you. See you over there.” But I could not surrender my life to him anymore because if that’s kind of the test, he will give me, “No, thank you.” 

For almost 20 years, if I heard God, I’d go light, source, universe, spirits. I changed it because I could not hear the word God. It wasn’t until I forgave my father and started doing deeper spiritual work—I still did spiritual work, but I couldn’t say the word God—that I started to think about saying it. 

God’s always nudging in my ear, telling me, “Rhonda, Rhonda, Rhonda.” One day, I remember coming from a spiritual class in my SUV going on the 405 and coming over the hill, and it was pouring rain, and God was literally like, “You cannot deny me.” I had to pull over because he was literally not stopping.  

I pulled over on the side of the road, and I had it out with God. I told him everything and did all the yelling and hollering, everything that I could possibly do. I felt like I was wrestling with God. 

About 40 or 45 minutes later, I remember waking up, going through the process and at the end of that process, “I can no longer deny you.” I was always afraid  God was going to take my sisters. I think I unconsciously kept my sisters alive by not believing in God. Loving him, but not trusting him. I remember that night saying, “Okay, if they have to die, they have to die. I can no longer deny you.” 

I didn’t know if they would live or die. I really didn’t know that. Logically, you’ll say, “They’re not going to die.” No, my whole body was like, “They’re going to die.” But that night, I wrestled and got to the other side, and I and God have been talking ever since. 

That’s beautiful. When I started this podcast, I always said spirit, consciousness, whatever, trying to put these new-age words that will make others feel more comfortable.  It wasn’t a conscious thing like thinking, “Now I’m going to say the word God,” but somehow, I realized this is what I believe in. This is part of my authentic expression. 

If somebody has a problem with my authentic expression, it’s their business. I love God. I believe in God. Sometimes, I use new-age words because it makes me feel smarter and cooler.

I went through five years of school for metaphysics and spirituality, and I use them because I trained in them. 

Me, too. With all the million or trillion, I don’t remember how many workshops I’ve studied. 

When you forgive somebody else, you are claiming your power back.

I love it. I want to ask you about forgiveness. What’s your take on forgiveness? How fast or slow can someone forgive, and do you have any aha moments? You’re a master of forgiveness with what you’ve been through. 

I have the forgiveness exercise I used with my dad. Before I ended up forgiving him, I created this forgiveness exercise I used. My whole philosophy on forgiveness is it’s you breaking the ties. It’s you severing the string. It’s you claiming your sovereignty. It’s you no longer being a victim.

When you forgive somebody else, you are claiming your power and energy back. You are claiming that string that’s been attached to them. Because of our unforgiveness, we’re always attached. If you have unforgiveness, they’re attached to you, draining your energy, and you’re letting them. 

Sometimes, we’re not ready to forgive, and I get that. You don’t force yourself to forgive. There are layers of forgiveness. Remember, when my father and mother died, I immediately said I forgave my father, and I believed that. Then, I did other forgiveness work. Every time I did it, I believed I forgave him, and I did. I forgave him to the level of my awareness. I gave him the level of my access. 

You just forgave him to the level of where you were at that moment. The more you expanded yourself, your awareness, and your connection to your authenticity, the more it was a buildup for that moment that you fully forgave him. 

Yeah, the dark night of the soul. Remember, I had that beautiful experience with my father and fully forgave him. The dark night of the soul is years later now, 20 years later. I’m in my dark night, and it is again about forgiving my father.

I was shocked. I was like, “I’ve done what?” You are going to hit the wall of forgiveness as you grow spiritually, and that’s okay because you’re more able to forgive the next part, but I’m going to give you the exercise that I created for myself to forgive my father. 

You can be in human reality and the spiritual world all at the same time.

One of the things that I believe is that you have to be willing to be in both worlds. When you become masterful, you can live in both worlds. You can be in human reality and the spiritual world all at the same time. You can live in the past. You can live in the present. You can live in both those worlds. 

You live in the paradox. Paradox is where we want to get to. The paradox is fine and natural for us. We’re not confused by it. It’s not unknown. 

This is the exercise I created: Put a line down the middle of a piece of paper and, on the left-hand side, write the name or the organization you know you must forgive—you have anger or resentment towards them. Even if it’s a little bit, just put somebody’s name there. For this exercise, I’m going to put my dad’s name. 

Then, on the right-hand side on the top, I’m going to write, “I’m willing to forgive you.” And this is how the exercise goes. I want you to think of your dad, think of that person, or whatever you haven’t forgiven or are struggling with. Just think of the first sentence you’d say to him. Let’s say mine would be, “I can’t believe you killed mother.” 

Then I will go over to the right side, “I’m willing to forgive you.” Then I’m going to go to the left-hand side and go, “No, I’m not. I’m not forgiving you.” I go to the right side, “I’m willing to forgive you.” “The last thing I’m going to do is forgive you.” “I’m willing to forgive you.” “You ruined my life.” “I’m willing to forgive you.” “I couldn’t have A, B, C because of you.” “I’m willing to forgive you.” “I became an alcoholic because of you.” “I’m willing to forgive you.”

You just keep going back and forth, and you do that until you’re exhausted emotionally. The first time I did it, it was seven pages long. On the left-hand side, you’re just writing whatever comes through you, and you’re doing it sentence by sentence. You’re not writing a paragraph; you’re just writing a sentence, and “I’m willing to forgive you.” What you’re doing is you’re training your brain to live in both realities. You’re creating new neural pathways. 

When you find yourself facing your shadow self, it’s because your fear is activated.

What if “I’m willing to forgive you” makes you want to throw up? You’re like, “I’m not going to do this exercise, Rhonda Britten.” Then I want you to do this. “I’m willing to forgive you one day.” You’re going to make the right-hand side palatable. “I’m willing to forgive you one day in the far future, not in my lifetime.” 

Then, keep going back and forth. What people do is they stop too soon because they don’t want to keep feeling the left-hand side. But really, what ends up happening is if you stay with it, the left-hand side transforms. It’s like you might be angry or frustrated right in the minute, and then it changes. It starts changing, and you start softening.

Remember, we all know that forgiveness, we don’t forgive because we think it’s our protection. We think it will protect us from this in the future, from the person, from other people like that, so we have to not forgive so that we can stay angry and tough. I get it. If you’re not ready to forgive, if people aren’t ready to forgive, so be it. 

As we all know, if you don’t forgive, you are the one that’s attached to the person, the one letting them drain your energy, and you are the victim of the situation. Don’t forgive if you don’t. You’re like, “Rhonda Britten, I’m not going to do it.” Okay, alright. 

To live in freedom, we must reshape our neural pathways, transforming our shadows into a realm of acceptance and embracing the subtle innocence within that acceptance. Click To Tweet

If you want to touch a little, just put your toe in. Just do this exercise and allow yourself to feel all the feelings, anger, frustration, loneliness, procrastination, anger, whatever it is. At the same time, say, “I’m willing to forgive you one day in the near future, maybe in my third lifetime from now.”

That will start opening the door. You’ve got your foot in the door, and it’s going to start opening, and you’ll start being able to breathe. You can start breathing a little bit more, and you’ll start feeling more freedom not only in your heart but in your entire body. 

Wonderful. That’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. That’s a very unique experience. 

You’re welcome. 

I loved it. Before we say goodbye, for now, I have two questions for you. One, what are your three top tips to live a stellar life? And number two is, where can people find you? 

There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just fear.

The first one is there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just fear. If you took on, “There’s nothing wrong with me; it’s just fear,” your world and how you saw yourself would change. Two, memorize this question, “Am I making it up, or is it a fact?” I know you’ll think it’s a fact when somebody says, “My boss doesn’t like me.” I ask, “Are you making it up, or is it a fact?” “Oh, it’s a fact.” I go, “Well, show me the evidence.” They go, “It’s the way he looks at me.” I go, “But did he say it to you?” “Well, no.” “If he hasn’t said it to you, you’re making it up.” Memorize that question. 

The third is to be willing to see your innocence and practice your innocence. When we are willing to separate our made-up versus fact, when we’re willing to say there’s nothing wrong with me, it’s just fear, it’s a lot easier to see your innocence, and when you can start seeing your innocence, and you’ll start seeing other people’s innocence and all of a sudden there are no enemies anymore. It doesn’t mean you have to be friends with those people. It doesn’t mean you have to have lunch with them. 

But, you are in touch with your humanity, and you’re in touch with the highest spiritual principle possible because innocence is what’s preached in every high spiritual book. Those are the three things. 

How people can find me is fearlessliving.org, and I am happy to give you a little gift. If you go to go.fearlessliving.org/risk, you get to download my Stretch Risk or Die course, and I talk about the wheel of fear some more and show you how to move through procrastination. I’m going to show you and break you through that. We no longer want to call ourselves procrastinators, so Stretch Risk or Die, and of course, go to my Facebook group. It’s free—Fearless Living Community

Beautiful. Thank you so much, Rhonda. I really appreciate it. 

Thank you. I love it—stellar life to everyone. 

Thank you, and thank you, listeners. Remember, nothing is wrong with you. It’s just fear. Memorize, “Am I making this up, or is this a fact?” Probably not a fact. Be willing to see your own innocence and have a stellar life. This is Orion, until next time.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓}Take time to reflect on your past and identify any deep-seated fears or emotional wounds that might be holding you back. Self-awareness is the first step towards healing.

{✓}Acknowledge and confront your deepest fears, even if they seem irrational or uncomfortable. These fears often underlie other surface-level anxieties.

{✓}Understand that forgiveness is a powerful tool for healing. It doesn’t mean condoning the actions of others but releasing yourself from the burden of carrying resentment.

{✓}Embrace vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness. It takes courage to face your fears and share your story.

{✓}Set realistic goals. Break down your goals into manageable steps. Avoid setting yourself up for failure by expecting too much too soon.

{✓}Accept your shadows. You are both light and dark, and this duality is part of being human. Embrace your shadows and learn from them rather than pushing them away.

{✓}Recognize that each person has a unique “wheel of fear” that drives their behaviors and reactions. Take the time to identify your specific fears.

{✓}Be kind to yourself on your journey. Self-compassion is essential in accepting your shadows and embracing your authentic self.

{✓}Embrace the philosophy that forgiveness is about taking back your power and sovereignty. Forgiveness breaks the emotional ties that bind you to past grievances.

{✓}Explore Rhonda Britten’s resources on fearlessliving.org. You can also download her course, “Stretch Risk or Die,” at go.fearlessliving.org/risk. Join the Fearless Living Community on Facebook for additional support and insights.

Links and Resources

Connect with Rhonda Britten


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About Rhonda Britten

Rhonda Britten – Emmy Award-winner, Repeat Oprah guest, Master Coach – has changed lives in over 600 episodes of reality television, including starring in the hit daytime reality show “Starting Over.” She is the author of four bestsellers, including her seminal work, “Fearless Living,” and is the Founder of the Fearless Living Institute, home of the Ivy League of Life Coaching Training. Named “America’s Favorite Life Coach,” she brings the neuroscience of fear down to earth, giving you a path out of “not being good enough” using the “Wheels” technology she developed that saved her own life.

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