Episode 146 | December 11, 2018

Untame Yourself with Elizabeth DiAlto


A Short Message from Orion

True happiness comes from living your life authentically, as your true self. But doing so is difficult, especially when we as humans are raised with complicated, outdated, and restrictive cultural norms that are designed to dictate how we live our lives. Everything from our expression of masculine and feminine energy, to the way we show our emotions to each other, seems to be regulated by society’s rules.

You may feel like others see you as “too masculine” simply because you are a boss lady who is building her dream career. Or being direct and to the point with your colleagues may cause you to be labeled as a ‘bitch’ because you do not follow the social norms of fluffing your feedback and walking on eggshells to avoid offending anyone. It’s time to forget about societal norms and all of the cultural repression of identity you may have been raised with. Because as long as you are living with integrity, not just to yourself but with others, you deserve to embrace who you really are and let her shine.

My guest today, Elizabeth DiAlto, is the founder of the Wild Soul Movement. Her mission in life is to help those who identify as women worldwide to reclaim and redefine their own womanhood and contribute to a new paradigm of culture where it is both safe and natural for women to love, trust and accept themselves fully.

About Today’s Show

Yo, what’s up? It’s Orion. How are you? Welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. Today we’re going to talk about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, which is how to show up in the world as your genuine self, especially for women. Sometimes we try to put a facade on or look and sound a certain way. I certainly have done that before and still do it in certain occasions. But in general, what I find that is working the best is to show up as yourself, to be yourself, no matter what. We respect your environment but you have to be yourself because everybody else is already taken.

We’re also going to talk about self-care and how to integrate your feminine essence into your life. And the lady that is going to converse with me today, her name is Elizabeth DiAlto. She’s the founder of Wild Soul Movement, and she does one-on-one coaching, she’s the host of Truth Telling Podcast, and also an author and a speaker. Her mission in life is to help those who identify as women worldwide to reclaim and redefine their own womanhood and contribute to a new paradigm of culture where it is both safe and natural for women to love, trust and accept themselves fully. How beautiful is that? I’m all about that. So now without any further ado, on to the show. Hello, Elizabeth, and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast.

Thank you for having me.

It’s so nice to have you. And before we start, can you share a little bit about yourself?

Where would you like me to begin? It’s a big question.

A little bit about what you’re doing in the world today and what brought you to your purpose?

Sure. So the core of my work is a practice I created about five years ago called Wild Soul Movement. At that time, I was transitioning out of the fitness industry and just realizing that I wanted to focus more on helping women to work in rather than to work out. For so many years, I’d been helping out people with diet, nutrition, and exercise and paying attention to the body but not really getting into the body, listening to the body, trusting the body and really getting on the same team is the body.

And around that time, I also got really interested in different healing modalities and energy work but also studying feminine archetypes. And one of the things growing up for me that had been hard as I played sports, I was more of a tomboy. And I always felt like I wasn’t girly or feminine. And it wasn’t until I started studying this wide range of feminine archetypes that I realized that.

I’ve always been feminine in my own way, just not particularly a way that our culture kind of recognizes. My way is a little more fierce. More of like, anyone who’s familiar with the Hindu goddess of yoga, more of like a Durga, right? That’s like the dynamic with those eight arms and different weapons, but also like, prayer beads and a lotus flower. And I’ve always been kind of loud and I’ve always not been afraid to speak my mind and so a lot of people put on that for me, that that was being masculine. But I realized that there’s a big difference between the masculine archetypes and the feminine archetypes, and everyone has, it holds them different and expresses them differently. So I got really curious about how to integrate all of these things that I was curious about that all felt like ways of claiming and defining womanhood for ourselves as individuals rather than trying to fit into the mold that our cultural programming or families of origin or religions or whatever give to us. And so that was kind of the motivation and that was how I stumbled into the purpose and I’ve been honing and tweaking the Wild Soul Movement program and practice for the last several years. I developed a teacher training program, I run weekend workshops now and there are online components to it, and it has just become deeply healing and transformational in ways that I didn’t even realize it would be when I first started.

You don't get to self-love without self-acceptance and trust first. Click To Tweet

What do you find that women are struggling the most with?

Well, everyone is different. But I would say the top couple of things, for sure, are self-acceptance and self-trust. I know a lot of people talk about self-love, but you don’t get to self-love without acceptance and trust first.

Self-acceptance and self-love. And before we dive into that, because I want to talk more about that. I want to know, what are the feminine and the masculine archetypes?

That would take forever. I would never be able to list them all. But I’ll give you some of my favorite resources. The book that got me started was a book by Sally Kempton called Awakening Shakti and she explores the nine Hindu goddesses of yoga. There’s also a book called Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss and she goes through tons of archetypes and also puts them in the context of masculine and feminine in some of their cases. So, for example, like king and queen would be complementary to each other. But then there’s also any mythology, any kind of mythology from any kinds of gods and goddesses or ancient wisdom, any of those stories are filled with archetypes. And a lot of the deepest work on archetype is all rooted in Jungian Psychology. So there’s also Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run with the Wolves that specifically looks at the wild woman archetype, which was really inspirational to me as I was developing this work. So I mean, people could go down the rabbit hole on the archetypes and there are tons and tons of resources but those are good and fun places to start.

Yeah, it sounds great. I own one of these books Women who Run with the Wolves and I love it. What do you define as masculine traits and what do you define as feminine traits?

I’m always really careful when we got into the masculine-feminine conversation because it literally has nothing to do with gender and there are other ways to express it. Like, it doesn’t have to be masculine, feminine. It could be solar or lunar. It could be Yin and Yang. I know some people, they just can’t separate in their brain that I’m not talking about gender. We’re talking about energies within that we all have, but for the purposes of just answering the question, the masculine traits tend to be more structured, more rigid, more regimented, more linear, more direct.

To put it in a metaphor, if you were at a riverbank, the masculine is like the bank of the river. it’s the container of the river whereas the feminine is more creative and flowing and unpredictable in the sense of being nonlinear. A lot more graceful and compassionate, less structured. And in the metaphor, the feminine would be like the river. Sometimes it’s still, sometimes it’s fast. Sometimes it’s more harsh, all the different ways that you see water running, but it’s definitely less predictable and less consistent and linear. But what’s cool is you need both. If there was no river, it would just be a patch of land and if there were no banks, the river would be a flood. Does that make sense? So they really work to complement each other and all of us.

Masculine traits tend to be more structured, rigid, and regimented while the feminine is more creative, flowing, unpredictable.

Yeah, we all have masculine-feminine energies inside of us and in my teachings, I get really deep into the integration of both and how we choose. There is no perfect harmony or balance. It’s very individual and it’s based in the choice of what works for you. But what I see is that in today’s world, women flex their masculine muscles so much more than their feminine and they lose their femininity or they don’t see it as power.

Yeah, it’s not honored. No one taught me how to be feminine growing up. And the women in my family, like my mom, was a working mom so she was very much in her masculine a lot of the time. I didn’t have feminine role models that were embodying the feminine traits of the feminine energies so well or modeling or showing them. But meanwhile, like everything we grow up in, school, everything is linear. Everything is massive. One of the things that I often say is we are trained in the masculine arts. School, showing up on time, following a schedule, competition, getting good grades, everything is about achievement, right? But connecting to our intuition, compassion, emotional intelligence, these things that would be more feminine, who trains us in that?

We actually are trained in not to do that.

Yeah, a lot of ways we are taught to suppress that.

Yes, press that this is a weakness. Being vulnerable is not a good thing, etc. etc. etc. So what was your journey to embrace those traits as well within you?

It was when I stumbled upon that Durga chapter in the Awakening Shakti book and I realized “oh, I’ve always been feminine, it’s just this is how I mainly express. This is probably my dominant archetype.” And so after that, I just started paying closer attention to my relationship with God and the divine or whatever you want to call that. It strengthened my relationship with my intuition because I feel like intuition is God’s way of communicating with us. And put that in whatever context you want, depending on what your listeners believe in.

But once I started realizing that and then started practicing surrender and trust more, I was able to be more open and more receptive and really soften. That hard exterior, that hustle, that work ethic, those things are important and they matter and we need them but to only be relying on that and totally disregarding more of the magical and mysterious aspects of life and womanhood, I was really missing out. So spending more time cultivating those things is really how I got there.

It’s interesting because I see parallels in our journey as individuals. I came from a fitness background and I moved into coaching and helping women and also doing this work around the feminine and at some point in my life I was really hurt in a relationship and I became super masculine, like super duper uber emasculated. I was strong because I was afraid to trust and I promised myself that nobody can hurt me again on any level. And so I really developed this shield, masculine shields physically, emotionally, and at some point, it became too heavy. At some point, I did not need the shield anymore and I was still carrying it. And then I journeyed into finding my femininity and I went from extreme- it didn’t happen overnight- but I went from an extreme masculine, still feminine exterior, but extreme masculine presence energetically to becoming really feminine and doing anything that is of the feminine art. And then I was, like, “I don’t know. I miss something… there is this power in me… there are things that I miss.” I missed punching the bag and I missed being this other persona. And throughout my journey- and  I still am exploring that and I believe that I’m still going- it’s about how deep do you want to go down the rabbit hole? I’m going to explore that until the end of my life. But for me, I had that a-ha moment where like, “wait a minute, I don’t have to be masculine or feminine. I can be both.”

No one is ever going to care for you as much as you care for yourself. Click To Tweet

Yeah. It feels a lot better when you just honor all the parts of yourself and then figure out how they work well together.

What was your personal journey of acceptance?

A lot of it had to do with getting over a fear of being too much and just realizing that there’s there are going to be people and situations and circumstances in groups or whatever that I am too much for. And if that’s the case, that’s just my indicator that those are not my people or things.  And just realizing that this sounds super cliche and personal development work, but it’s just true, which is that our greatest gifts can be found in our greatest wounds. So things that I had thought were wrong with me, or things that other people didn’t like about me, were not my business. And that’s another kind of cliche thing, but also really true and really helped me because no one is ever going to care for me as much as I care for myself. I don’t mean like, love me. I mean, like, take care of me, I’m an adult. So if I have needs, I can get the met or I can ask for help. Just accepting not just who I am and how I’m built but where I am in my life. What are my goals and my dreams? What are my values? What are my priorities? What’s my personality?

If there are things that are unhealthy, let me do some work on that and heal and transform that so I can show up better, be a better person, be better in relationships with people, be better in my work. But it was just about being this real trust in life that if I’m here at this time right now, and if this is who I am, and using my life circumstances, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. That’s just really helped me because instead of looking around and being like, “man, why is this happening?” Or why am I here in almost like a victim me kind of way or feeling sorry for myself kind of way, I would look around more with curiosity and wonder why am I here right now, why is this happening? And I could be excited about it and accepting and just work with where I was or what I had rather than constantly feeling like it was too much or not enough or something was wrong or needed to be fixed or whatever.

Beautiful. What are your practices for self-acceptance?

That’s a hard question. Because it’s something that I’ve just been in for many, many, many years. I think it’s pretty much just like everything I just described. Just like the practice of meeting myself in those places and spaces and being like, “this works, I’m good.” And just being sure that as I want to grow and learn and heal and transform, that it’s always coming from a place of excitement to just enhance or expand something rather than to fix. Nothing’s broken. But if I’m excited to do something differently, or make something better that comes from more of an accepting place than an unexpected place.

One of the big things in the Wild Soul Movement program is about learning to speak your own body’s unique language of the senses.

So one of the topics you love to talk about is a connection to your sensuality. Will you elaborate about that?

One of the big things in my Wild Soul Movement program is about learning to speak your own body’s unique language of the senses. So one of the ways that our intuition communicates with us is through the senses in our bodies. Like, how do we feel? Most people can relate to an example where, like, maybe you’ve been somewhere and you had a funny feeling, or you didn’t feel safe and you like, got out of there and you were glad you did. Or you had a feeling that you needed to say hi to this person, or meet that person or do this thing or go to this place and you did and it worked out. So we get these feelings and most people don’t take the time to go “well, what did that feel like in my body?” “What did I feel where did I feel it?” And even on the most basic level, just knowing when you’re a yes to something, what that feels like in your body? When you’re a no to something, what does that feel like in your body? What is the difference in your body between fear and intuition? What’s the difference between lust and love?

All these different things- expansion, contraction, the location in the body. If I feel this in my heart, it usually means this. Or one of my personal examples is, I study a lot and I read a lot and whenever I stumbled upon something that’s important for me- it could be even super random, or seemingly out of nowhere- sometimes it could even be like a TV sitcom or as a song lyric, and I just start crying. And it seems like I’m crying for no reason but I call those truth tears. That’s like my body going, “hey, pay attention. This is for you. This is important right now.” And then I’ll go look it up or investigate or be like, “I wonder what’s here for me?”

Noticing patterns and synchronicity and stuff like that, when I get goosebumps, or when I get excited, or the difference also between resistance and dissonance. These things will signal differently in our bodies but will often feel similar. So sometimes when we feel resistance, it’s because something is good for us and useful that we’re going to grow. It’s going to be hard, or it’s going to be challenging or whatever and we should do it. But when we feel dissonance, it’s when something is not resonating for us, and when something is just not for us, and so the big piece of sensuality for me is about two things. Number one, living life fully, like really fully being in your body and experiencing life with your full body and also discernment.

I think that some of the practices are really important, especially for women to own their sensuality. Because many women and men operate from the neck up, like there’s a disconnect between the head and the body. And so you can see people that neglect their bodies. They don’t have to be overweight, they can be also skinny and not eat, they’re on the computer the whole day, and they’re not aware. So people are not taking care of themselves physically. There is almost like a… like I said, living from the neck up. There is a disconnect to the body, to the sensuality. And I love your practice of mindfulness where whenever you get your intuition and the little messages, you feel it in your body, and you recognize it, and analyze it, and track it so you know yourself more and you are connected to your body more.

Some other practices that helped me, for example, is belly dancing and pole dancing. For me, it was so significant in… I mean, I was always connected to my body. I was a personal trainer, I did martial arts, dance, whatever. But when I did the practices of as I said, everything is linear, even exercise is really linear, like linear movements. But then when you move more in curvy ways that are more suitable to the curvy body of a woman, like a pole dancing like belly dancing, like free dancing, you are connected to the earth into nature. You can really awaken that connection to the body and that raw intuition and that beautiful feminine energy that can serve you so well.

Live life fully. Experience life with your entire authentic being all throughout your body. Click To Tweet

Yeah, I’m totally with you. One of the things that actually helped me originally began to connect to my sensuality was pole dancing.

Where?

Sheila Kelley, S factor, in New York.

That’s where we met.

No way.

I did it in LA and I went to retreats.

Oh, I never went to her retreat stuff.

So maybe that’s how we met because before we started the interview, I was like, we met. Oh, cool. Yeah, that’s what I did, Sheila Kelley. I interviewed her on the show. So if you, my lovely readers want to know more about feminine movement, then go look for the Sheila Kelley episode about feminine movement.

I love Sheila Kelly. She’s so amazing.

She taught me a lot about my body and connecting to my body. So tell me, what was your journey like with pole dancing?

It was funny because I was in New York, I was still a personal trainer and the class was 90 minutes. I was used to teaching group exercise classes that were like 50 minutes and the warm-up would be like, three minutes. Then I’m in S Factor and the warm-up is like 30 minutes. I’m like, “when are we going to get to the pole tricks?” But by the end of the class, you’re just so melty and in your body and it feels good. And the room was dark, and there weren’t mirrors and it wasn’t about how it looks, but how it felt. And I really, really enjoyed that a lot. And I really, really enjoyed the aspect of the movement that wasn’t so structured and linear like exercise. So… and at the time too, I also had for a couple years before that, I had been taking salsa lessons and I’d become a Zumba instructor. So I had started to do more dance and that, of course, connects you to your sensuality. And also partner dance. Any kind of partner dancing forces you to be much more connected because you have to follow, if you’re a woman- you have to follow a lead. And so yeah, all of that. So enjoyable. And I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it. Almost like something that I didn’t realize I had been missing my whole life.

I think we’re twins from another mom because I did Zumba well. I taught Zumba as well. Like, what’s going on here? What’s your favorite food?

Pizza.

Me too! That would be my first answer. Either pizza or chocolate. And I’m hungry now. That’s not good.

Or burritos. Like there’s nothing like a good burrito.

So you created, in a super short amount of time, an extraordinary movement. Tell me about your movement, and the ladies that are working with you.

Every woman’s journey of connecting with her body and changing her life is different.

The women’s age range is from 19 to 72, and that’s one of my favorite parts of it. Because every woman’s journey of feeling that call, or having that impetus to connect with her body and begin to question her programming and conditioning is different. It happens at all different times. And it’s triggered by different things like you mentioned earlier, coming out of a relationship. For some people, relationships ending are big ones. For some people, it’s having children are leaving a job or retiring or just something or there’s just been like this nagging over the course of time, like, “there must be more. What’s going on here?” There’s a book that I love by Sue Monk Kidd called Dance of the Dissident Daughter and that was one of those days where, over time, things just kept happening. And then finally, she dove into all of the things that she’d become curious about over time. It’s an amazing book. I’d heard of it for many years but didn’t actually read it until last year, which, of course, everything in divine timing was perfect. But specifically, her book is about the journey from Christianity to the sacred feminine. Because if anyone listening came up in a traditional Christian religion, you know, a lot of it is, men are really positioned to be there are a definite hierarchy and women are not equal in most religions. That was a really great resource there for that experience.

Cool. So these are the women that are coming and joining your movement, and what are the breakthroughs? What happened to a woman that discovers her strength in her and being a more integrated human being?

One of the biggest things is peace. Also, power. Self-love, self-respect, boundaries, energy. Huge difference in people’s energy when they stop thinking that they need to give, give, give, give, give to everybody else all the time and they actually prioritize themselves and see how that isn’t just caring for themselves, but for everyone else around them as well. And as well is the deep healing. Because when we do our own healing work, it impacts everyone around us in our lineage forwards and backward in time. Some people believe seven generations and I’ve certainly I’ve seen that for sure. My own family, all the work I’ve done on myself has had a ripple effect in my whole family.

How so?

Especially since so much of my work has been deprogramming things around women and bodies and femininity and even sexuality. And that kind of expression, faith, and trust, and I’m no longer in my family’s religion. It’s brought up a lot of stuff in my family. My family is really codependent and I came up that way. So deciding to have boundaries and do forgiveness work and have courageous conversations and move across the country and build my own life outside of my feeling. They had a deal with that because we’re close. I’m close to my family. But it’s a big adjustment. When one person goes rogue.

Doing our own healing work impacts everyone around us in our lineage forwards and backwards in time. Click To Tweet

I moved across the world. I moved to Japan. And then I moved to New York and then moved to LA. Very far from my family in Israel. And so yeah, I hear you. I totally hear you. it takes courage and it takes following your dreams regardless of whatever can or want to hold you back. But not because they want to hold you back. It’s because they want to hold you close and they don’t want you to change.

And keep you safe. Right? Because a lot of people view change as dangerous. So that’s also a huge thing, in terms of like just breakthroughs and healing, for the women and Wild Soul Movement is compassion. Self-compassion, and also compassion for others. Really being able to see that we can’t control… Oh, that’s another really big one… One of our mantras in Wild Soul Movement, which is a lot of people’s favorite, is “less control, more magic.” So really teaching people how to stop trying to control everything, and also trust and open themselves up to the truly miraculous nature of life when we allow it to be. There are certain things we can control and we should control but there’s so much that we can’t control that we spend so much time trying to and people get sick over that.

Yeah. It’s called, in acting, pushing When an actor is trying to speak his or her role, you know, like, “really push to bring out the power of the word so, they will understand what I am saying,” where you just allow and you own your power. And you really talk to that one person and really concentrate on helping them and in concentrate on connecting heart to heart You are way more powerful.

Yeah.

Yes. It’s Interesting. The whole world is a stage.

It is.

I like what you said about the controlling and losing your control and the art of allowing. Allowing yourself to go with the flow and to receive that gift from the universe and not being a resistance to whatever life throws at you because resistance is like… so in my time, I studied MMA mixed martial arts and which is very… it’s an aggressive art you are you are the attacker, you are the one who was like punching and kicking and it’s it’s always a conflict.

I also studied Aikido. And in Aikido, it’s not about conflict, it’s about manipulating the energy and flowing with the energy. So that small skinny woman can take down a 300-pound big guy with absolutely no effort just using his power, his energy and redirecting it. So boom, he’s on the floor. And she’s safe. And what I see is that when we are pushing life, it’s like doing MMA, we are pushing against, there’s a lot of resistance and it’s hard. And this is more of a feminine trait. I hear a lot of leaders trying to avoid using the words feminine, masculine and being politically correct. For me, I find it just easier to say, feminine masculine because it is this is what it is. This is how I see it. I don’t have other words for that. So Aikido is almost like using more of the feminine traits of allowing life to happen.

Allow yourself to go with the flow and to receive gifts from the universe.

Earlier this year, I got a tattoo with the word allow in it. It says “Allow, beloved…” because those two pieces, the surrender and the trust to me, the constant practice of both of those is the practice of allowing and that is the thing that I  sometimes forget. And I’m not really a tattoo person. I don’t have a high pain tolerance for it. I have three very little tattoos and they’re just very symbolic to me. And they’re things that I would only tattoo on myself so I could always remember. And so the allow and the reason for the beloved was, so it feels like it’s coming from God when I look at it, and not me.

Wow, that’s beautiful.

Thanks.

Really beautiful. And kind of romantic too. So we talked about controlling life and I want to move to boundaries. What happens when somebody else wants to control you, what you do, your opinion, or even like, you know, there was the passive-aggressive shaming and if you don’t do that, I’m going to get hurt… How do you assert yourself better and create more boundaries in your life?

You first have to zoom out on your life and realize, where are you feeling the most drained? Because usually where you feel drained is where you need boundaries. So that’s always a good start, right? Where do you feel drained? Or where do you feel resentful? Were you over giving? Resentment is always a sign of over giving.

Wow, that’s powerful.

Yeah, like you’re giving something you don’t have to give. Not that you don’t want to, right? It’s because you want to or you wouldn’t be giving it but maybe you don’t have the capacity for it right now. Or you wish you could or you want to give the care for that person but just not in that way. And so often we’re really, really compromising ourselves. And a lot of ways, a lot of women especially, have that. My friend Terry Cole calls with the “disease to please.”

That’s clever.

Yeah, it’s always easier to remember stuff of it rhymes. And I was never really like that. I was never really a people pleaser but I was a fixer. And it was the role I played in my family. The guy felt like it was my job to diffuse things or keep the peace or lighten up a situation that didn’t feel good. That’s the role I took on. And so realizing where you need boundaries is where you feel drained. Like, where you’re doing things that you don’t want to do. Where you are saying yes when really you want to say no. Like, your friends invite you to go do something and you’re like, “oh, I should go.”

If you’re using the word should, you probably need some boundaries. If you’re forcing yourself often to do things that you don’t want to be doing… and listen, some things are essential, right? Like if you have a job that you don’t love, but it provides for your family, that’s not necessarily a boundary that’s kind of like, “I’m taking care of my family,  maybe I’m figuring out what I’m going to do in the future.” “Maybe I have a plan to get out of this job.” I’m not talking about impractical, stuff like that. I’m talking about anything that violates your values and your priorities. So another thing that helps with boundaries is to know what you value and know what your priorities are so that you can see that when you’re saying yes to things you don’t want to it’s actually out of integrity. So having a boundary isn’t just about, you know, some people feel like I don’t want to be bitchy, or I don’t want people to not like me. Well, not having boundaries is a form of not liking yourself, right? It’s a way of disrespecting yourself.

You’re putting other people’s needs first, and you’re not honoring and you’re not respecting what you actually need, or what you value or what your priorities are. There are periods of times in our life sometimes where people do need us. Or when we want to help or when we don’t mind working extra hard or putting in the hours are spreading ourselves thin. But we cannot live like that all the time. Those can only be phases or only be seasons. And so with boundaries, it’s about boundaries with yourself, right? Making a promise to yourself, or making a commitment to yourself and keeping it but then also taking a look at what are you actually available for and what are you not? Sometimes the question I’ll ask someone is “what is something you do right now that if you never had to do it again, you would be doing backflips, you’d be elated and so excited?” Most people have an answer to that.

Cooking.

Yeah, right? Boundaries are not always with other people. Sometimes with ourselves. It’s like, “cool. Maybe I need to do meal prep.” “Or maybe I need to do a meal delivery service.” “So well, my income doesn’t allow for that. Okay, well, then, maybe I need to figure out a way to make this more fun. Maybe I invite a friend over while I do meal prep. So it’s at least more enjoyable. And I’m catching up with the friend while it’s happening.” You know what I mean?

There are ways to get creative to make things more enjoyable. But it’s also really important to clear out some space and to stop doing things that you really don’t want to be doing, don’t need to be doing and that’s a big one. There’s a lot of things that we think we need to do that we really don’t. That’s really not our jobs, we’re over functioning. We’re taking responsibility for things that other people really should be doing.

Right. You said that you were the fixer in your family, how did you get over that? Like, I’m sure you had to go through some kind of an inner conflict. Because if I’m not going to be there for my family, who will?

Yeah. Actually, one of my personal training clients back in the day was a relationship coach and I was chatting her about my relationship with someone in my family. And she said, “stop treating that person like they need to be fixed.” And this comes back to acceptance. So this isn’t self-acceptance. This is the acceptance of others. This is allowing other people to have their own experience and just trusting that they’re fine. Which also means relinquishing judgment. I don’t know better, I have a preference. I think that something would be better, I would prefer something else. But how can I know what’s best for that person? Or why they’re having that experience? Or why they keep making that choice, even though it hurts them? It’s not my job. It goes back to what we’re talking about earlier, trying to control things that are not in your control.

What if your highest value is your family but it also creates a resentment? I was like, “I have to be there for them but I don’t want to. But even though I want them to be well and I know that if I won’t be there for them, they will not survive.” Sometimes that dialogue that happens in my mind.

Yeah, that’s just codependency because that’s not true. They could and they would survive without you. Some people are like, “Nope! They would crumble.” But that puts us back to the dynamic that’s being created, right? Like, they need me but what if I start to gradually pull myself away but I have to become a little more self-sufficient? Or they have to figure out other ways. Or what if instead of being the one to do the thing I give them a resource or I connect them with something else or someone else or show someone how to do this thing so they could do it for themselves? You know what I mean? We’re taking a very complex and nuanced thing and boiling it down into a very simplistic thing.

I know and I get it. There are 50 shades of grey within codependence.

Yeah. I heard a perspective on codependence recently that I really appreciated. Which was that when you’re codependent, you’re just a really loving generous person with a lot to give. But you’re giving to people who aren’t necessarily receiving and reciprocating in a healthy way.

Wow. That’s powerful.

That was from Ken Page, to give credit, who wrote the book Deeper Dating, he was on a podcast with my friend Susana Frioni called Love, Sex, Desire. It was an amazing conversation.

I love how you quote your sources. That makes you a very credible and genuine person. Kudos to you.

I mean, I’m such a nerd, you know? And obviously, sometimes I can’t remember where I learned something and I hate that. But, you know, if it’s not my work then it’s important to say whose it is.

Yes. And sometimes knowledge or quotes, they just get recycled so much that you’re like, who… I got it from this person, and this person and this person. So, I don’t know. Let’s talk about courageous communication. What is it? How do you do it?

Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman

Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman

I wrote a book in 2015 called Untame Yourself and there’s actually a whole chapter in the book where I have this courageous conversation framework. And the basis of it is, first, there are these pre-conversation journaling prompts to do on your own, because sometimes, again, we’re trying to control someone else. And we really think like, “I need to talk to this person, I need to tell them blah, blah, blah.” But really, when you do those journaling prompts, sometimes you go, “Oh, I just needed to take care of this thing on my own.” Or “this is my stuff, I don’t need to put it on that person.”

So the purpose of the pre-conversation journaling is to just see whether or not you even need to have the conversation. And some of the prompts in the pre-conversation journaling are “why am I afraid to have this conversation? What do I not want to happen? What do I want to happen?” Because sometimes when we have a conflict with people, we avoid it because we don’t know what to say, we don’t know how to say it. And we’re not even really clear on what we would want the outcome to be. We just know that we feel bad and we’re trying to offload the bad feeling. So getting clear first on what you want from the conversation and also knowing that it might take a couple of conversations, right?

Just because you have the guts to have it doesn’t mean that the person is going to be receptive to it. But you open the lines of communication because fairly often people are having all kinds of assumptions and expectations that are unwarranted. And you literally don’t know, until you say something. Just earlier today, I was catching up with a former client who’s a friend now. And she was telling me about this trip that she went on recently with a friend. And leading up to the trip she started to have this feeling that she didn’t want to go, but she just went anyway because she didn’t want her friend to cancel, she didn’t want to ruin the whole thing for the both of them and then her friend would have had to go by herself, or maybe not have gone at all.

And two days into the trip, her friend tells her, “you know, I didn’t really want to come and blah, blah, blah.” And they didn’t have a good time and it wasn’t about each other, it was about the place and where they went in the environment. And she’s like, man, if we would have told each other we wouldn’t have had to go. So that’s just a simple example of how often we’re withholding things and not even realizing that we might be on the same page with people. Or sometimes we’re making up conflicts in our minds that aren’t even there.

The pre conversation drill is really helpful. The structure of the conversation just helps people with what to say and to actually say to people. So there is a vulnerability here, right? to actually say to someone, “hey, I really want to talk to you about this thing. But I was afraid to because I didn’t want it to have a negative impact on our relationship. But it’s really important to me.” The minute you tell someone like, I’m nervous, or I’m afraid or I don’t want to hurt you… I wasn’t sure what to say, or I was confused or whatever, their defenses come down, because you’re showing them your truth.

Codependence is like a loving generous person who's giving to people who aren't reciprocating in a healthy way. Click To Tweet

You’re showing them that you care. People want to know that you care about them.

Yeah, and you’re not tending to be tough or whatever, or be like, “oh, that thing is no big deal.” Because like you mentioned earlier, passive aggressive… When we’re passive-aggressive, it’s because we have anger that we’re not directly expressing. So we’re finding sneaky ways to do it. Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.

I’m Israeli and it’s a very direct culture.

I love it. I love Israeli people for that reason.

People perceive us as rude and sometimes we are like, “you go to Israel, a line is just a suggestion.” Like, if somebody will cut you off, you can see two cars, and you can see people getting out of the cars and yelling at each other “what’d you do and what do you think you’re doing?” kind of like New Yorkers? But the difference between here and in Israel is that here, people won’t argue, but will pull out a gun and just shoot you. And that doesn’t happen there. It’s like this weird passive aggressiveness… For example, gun violence in the US is super high. In 2017, the cases of terror attacks in gun violence combined, the losses of that were, in Israel, were 160 people, in the US were 4500 or something like that.

But in relation to how large the population is, means that the US is seven times more dangerous than Israel, for example. But the Israeli people are really rude and loud and aggressive but there is something really important in airing your feelings, maybe not exactly like that. But I think when people bottle their feelings down, it just ends up in like, “I don’t know what to say, I have a gun in my hand. I’m just gonna kill you.” It creates more damage than good.

Yeah, it’s so interesting that you said that because I was thinking I’m a New Yorker, I think that’s why I like Israelis because they are so direct. But that anger that gets built up built up built up, because there’s no healthy expression for it then has to come out and like a huge act of violence, which is crazy.

Yeah, and I’m not saying that one is better than the other. There is so much beauty in how nice people are here. And I love standing in line here. It’s so much better. So there is a balance. And also like for me, when I came here, I had to learn how to assert myself and kind of like, say stuff in different ways that people won’t get hurt because I’m used to it. And I think it’s very nice and respectful. And the way you give feedback should be very kind and respectful. Especially if there is a conflict.

This is something I really had to learn again, having that directness, like New York or my family is Italian and Puerto Rican which are also pretty direct. So what my friend Jade said many years ago, that I appreciate so much, she said, “Honesty without compassion is cruelty.”

In Kabbalah, truth without mercy can destroy the world.

Actually, Brene Brown‘s work really helped me with this. As long as I was coming with compassion and openness and kindness and the desire to connect, I can say very hard to hear things to people but it doesn’t have to damage the relationship. Because sometimes these conversations are conversations of accountability, where it’s like letting someone know, “Hey, I know you didn’t mean to have this impact. But you did. Here’s how I felt when you said this, or here’s how I felt when you did this.” And you know, they might feel ashamed and that there’s a big difference in the conversation a lot these days. People be like, “you’re shaming me.” There’s a difference between asking someone to be accountable for their actions or behaviors and they feel ashamed because they know they did something that wasn’t good and actually shaming someone. That’s a big one. I wrote about that on Facebook the other day, I’m like, this is a big difference. It would serve a lot of people to learn it.

I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Awesome. Before we finish, what are your three quick tips to living a stellar life and where can people find you?

Okay, people can find me at wildsoulovement.com or at my name Elizabeth DiAlto on Instagram. I have one of those handy little links in my Instagram profile, that if you just click that one thing, it’ll send you everywhere else you ever need to know about. Three tips for living a stellar life, number one is you to have fun. I get that life is hard and challenging and politics are crazy, there are all kinds of crazy stuff going on. But if we do not find joy and fun on a daily basis, at least a little bit, we will just drown in the despair of it all or the complexity of it all. So that is one. Sensuality is really another one, like connecting to your body, feeling your sensations, tasting your foods, smelling the smells, noticing the environment around you, and the people and the textures and the colors. Life is really beautiful and amazing if you just take the pause and give yourself the time to notice it. And then the third thing I would really say is to have some kind of consistent, amazing meditation practice for sure. Whether it’s moving meditation, something like Wild Soul Movement or I recently started doing Transcendental Meditation that has been like life changing and it’s only a week and a half. Whatever it is… something to get some quiet time with yourself where the minds can relax a little bit. The body can release stress and tension, but you’re connecting with yourself.

Amazing. Elizabeth, thank you so much. This was much fun. Thank you so much.

 

 

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ In order to truly practice self-love, you have to accept and trust yourself first.
✓ If you feel “off” with yourself, or unhealthy, commit to working on healing yourself so you can show up stronger in your relationships, your work, and your commitments.
✓ Look at your challenges with curiosity and excitement rather than anxiety and fear so that you may easily overcome them.
✓ Pay attention to how your body feels next time you say “yes” to something, and next time you say “no”. This will help you learn the difference between fear and intuition.
✓ Next time you find yourself crying “for no reason” pay attention – there are truth in those tears, and by reflecting on what is going on at that moment you can learn a lot about your body and intuition.
✓ Embrace your inner resistance – whenever you feel a pushback from the universe, it’s usually an experience that will help you grow, so take the opportunity.
✓ Embrace the idea of putting yourself first. You will quickly see how this isn’t being selfish, but it will help everyone around you when you take care of yourself.
✓ Stop trying to control everything, and trust the universe to deliver the miracle of life.
If you feel drained in a certain aspect of your life, you may need to set some boundaries between what is draining you and your mental health.
✓ Approach difficult conversations from a place of compassion and kindness, so that the other party drops their guard and connects with your vulnerability.

 

Links And Resources

About Elizabeth DiALto

Known for her raw, honest, and grounded approach to self help and spirituality, Elizabeth DiAlto is an Integrative Spiritual counselor, creator of Wild Soul Movement, an author, and the host of the popular Truth Telling with Elizabeth DiAlto podcast. She’s been a teacher, leader, speaker, coach and trainer to groups and individuals for 15+ years in three different industries.

Elizabeth works with women internationally through her digital programs and speaking engagements and more intimately through in-person intensives, retreats, workshops, Wild Soul Movement™ teacher training, and occasional one-on-one engagements. Her greatest mission in this life is to help those who identify as women worldwide to reclaim and redefine their own womanhood, and contribute to a new paradigm of culture where it is both safe and natural for women to love, trust, and accept themselves fully.

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