Ep #142: Renegotiating Purpose with Ryan Haddon

Renegotiating Purpose with Ryan Haddon

I have the perfect episode for you this week, friends; it’s a great reflection as we get closer to the end of this year and move into the next. This year has been a tremendous recalibration of our priorities and many of us are thinking about the year we want to have next year. Today’s guest joins me to talk about renegotiating purpose and why you can change your life at any point you want.

Ryan Haddon is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Meditation Teacher, Life and Spiritual Coach who has worked with all kinds of celebrities and high-profile clients, and who found her purpose later in life. She now runs a thriving practice, writes for a range of publications, and helps others by sharing the message about the relationship to self and something greater, and how we show up in our relationships to others.

Tune into the podcast this week as we discuss the effects of the unconscious mind, how to shift our perception to find gratitude in our life, and how to change the narrative we’re thinking and the reality we’re creating. We discuss how to stop thinking from a place of scarcity and start to think from abundance and why everybody has innate wisdom, purpose, and something to bring to the world.

If you want help in creating financial freedom and building a business that’s fun and thriving, get on over to the Design You Coaching Program! We only enroll a few times a year, so be sure to sign up for the waiting list ASAP to be notified when we next open our doors!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How to design a life you love in 2021.
  • Why your situations mirror your beliefs until you assess them.
  • How to get out of victim mentality.
  • Why changing your life’s direction doesn’t make you a failure.
  • How to release yourself from your own expectations.
  • How to coach yourself and change your mindset.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 142.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. Here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey friends, as we are getting closer to the end of the year, I’m so excited to bring you today’s episode. So a lot of us are planning for next year hoping that it doesn’t quite look like this one. Some of us are still doing holiday things although the hustle and bustle of that is a lot lower than a lot of years. So maybe we’re not quite as uptight or stressed out about that, you know, the holiday scene and plans in general. But we all know we’ve come through the last what, nine or ten months now of uncertainty and things that have really had us really thinking differently.

And so I think today’s podcast episode is perfect for us really as we close this year and move into the next year. And today’s guest is Ryan Haddon and she is a certified life and spiritual coach. She’s a hypnotherapist, she’s a certified meditation teacher. And she has worked with all kinds of celebrity and super successful type A clients all over the world and I’m sure just normal people too. And she works on a lot of things, like stepping into your purpose or renegotiating your purpose, even though we talk about it today on the episode and she says it’s kind of cringey.

She does do some work in the area of work life balance or at least rethinking what that is, which we do talk about today on the show. And just in general she has a lot of wisdom about how we can start to notice when we’re staying in the have to thinking, instead of the want to or get to thinking. And that simple shift from lack and scarcity and we don’t have options to a more abundant open place I think is one of the best things that you may get out of this episode.

So enjoy this episode with Ryan, it’s so good. I’m going to listen to it again. I’m doing a lot of work in general in my life just to be softer, to be less forceful, to be more loving. And I think all the things we talk about today really play right into that. And I hope that they are a great, great resource for you as you move into the new year. Okay, enjoy.

Tobi: Hey Ryan, welcome to the Design You Podcast.

Ryan: Hi Tobi. It’s so good to be here, thanks for having me.

Tobi: You’re so welcome. This is going to be a good conversation. This is a great way to get people thinking about the year they want to have next year, I think, because a lot of things came to light for us in the last several months, all the things that were working and a whole lot of things that weren’t working. So tell them a little bit, everybody that’s listening a little bit about you. And then we’re going to get into talking about a lot of things kind of in that realm of what you want more of, what you want less of, what your life really looks like, all of that stuff. But first, yeah, tell us about you.

Ryan: Well, I am a life and spiritual coach. I’m a clinical hypnotherapist and a meditation teacher. And I found my purpose later in life. I thought it was doing a lot of other things that were more smoking mirrors, and I thought it was journalism, I thought it was over here. And I really found it through service to others in a way that I was also healing myself alongside it, that was many years ago.

And today I have a beautiful thriving practice, I write a lot for different publications. I do all kinds of different podcasts, basically just sharing the message about relationship to self, relationship to something greater. And how we show up in our relationships with others, that’s kind of my sweet spot in my coaching.

Tobi: That all sounds amazing and wonderful and I love how calm you are, which to me is an indication that you do really have a lot of things figured out in a different way. Because so often people that are running business, as you and I have chatted about a little bit before we started, that are on kind of the hustle train and all of that stuff, trying to keep all the balls in the air. Calmness is not really afforded to that kind of lifestyle.

But one of the things that you just said already that I’d love to start with as we start to talk about kind of how they can design their life really is what we’re talking about in 2021 differently. Is you said you came from a lot of smoking mirrors and that’s a term that I use a ton and I think a lot of other creatives use especially in industries like the one I’ve been in for 20 years, the interior design business. Because we end up creating this façade version of our life that looks glamorous and amazing on the outside. And everybody’s like, “I want to be her.”

But on the back side as you so eloquently said earlier when we were chatting, “It’s a shit show.” And I mean shit show, I mean there’s degrees of shit show, I mean it depends on the person. But in other words it’s not all amazing looking all the time, nobody’s life is. But we put on this beautiful façade especially because we feel like kind of we have to because of the industries we’re in, put all these pretty, pretty pictures up in the world but it’s a lot of smoking mirrors.

So talk to us a little bit about that, your own journey and your wisdom to how you start to get out of that whole smoking mirrors thing and start to really find the version of your life that feels so much better.

Ryan: Well, I think first off there’s a time and place for smoking mirrors. I mean this whole world that we live in is about attaining, and persevering, and being very busy. And what’s next and how am I going to create my next masterpiece in the creative world? And how do I stay relevant? And it’s a tremendous amount of pressure and you talked about finances, how do I keep producing something and hitting that number that I need to hit? So it’s always an aspirational, aspirational in the best sense.

And in the worst sense always this striving for something outside of us that’s not quite attainable. And that’s the burnout that we were talking about earlier. And of course not everybody has the shit show going on. We were just jesting when we said that. But oftentimes we think that if we’re in a period of recovery, or we’re in a period where we’re incubating for new ideas, or certainly as a creative, that is equally as valuable as moving into productivity.

So we have to know for ourselves where that line is of I am taking time to be able to deliver something better later, and need to work that into our work life. And I think this year has been a tremendous recalibration if you will, of what our priorities are, how much time we can allocate to our work. How much time we want to allocate to family and you and I talked about that we’re both so tired of the work life balance. It’s something that working people use to bludgeon themselves over the head. And [crosstalk] it’s not enough, I’m not doing it right.

I should be able to be the perfect spouse, parent, daughter. There’s just all these balls up in the air. And I think it’s safe to say that that’s just an exercise in futility. The most vital thing you can do and this is where I have a lot of clients that come through, they’re super high functioning in an area of their life. So from CEOs, celebrities, everyone’s got some corner of their life locked and it’s moving quite well. Or they’re feeling like somehow there’s not enough time or value put on other things in their life.

And I think that’s what we’re feeling versus looking at yourself from the outside in and saying, “I don’t have this figured out. I’m not the best at this, the best at that.” Instead of coming at it from lack and more just saying, “Hey, guess what? I get to reevaluate where I show up in pockets of my life at varying times. And I have freewill to be able to do that.” And if some train of work has left the station and it’s going too fast I can always stop it. Somehow we have that ability to do that. We think we don’t.

But we are co-creating our reality all the time. That is the freewill that we’ve been given as humans. So certain things can leave the station, certain projects, then we finish them up. And then we say, “Okay now do I want to keep moving at this velocity or does it serve me best, am I going to put value on having like I said before, that time to be with myself to fill the tank up before I redeliver something else?” And do I need to deliver at that velocity?”

Tobi: No, just there’s so much goodness in everything you’re saying. I mean the kind of lack versus abundance, the fact that we can stop things when we think we can’t, the fact that we’re setting ourselves up for failure. And like you said, it’s an exercise in futility. All this not giving ourselves permission, it’s so interesting. And I want to dig into some of those a little bit at a time because I think there’s a lot there.

And so one of the things I have done personally in my life that’s been problematic in this realm of work life balance is what you’re saying, we’re looking at it, and I guess the easiest way to describe it is we’re looking for problems and we’re finding them. We’re looking at things and we’re like all areas should be optimized all at once, we’re believing that and what is optimize? There’s some high standard of what that should look like, a lot of times it’s compared to someone else. And then as our brains are designed to do, it goes and looks for a problem and it finds one.

It’s like, yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time on work and I’m ignoring my children, or I’m not working out, or I’m not eating well or whatever those things are. But the whole thing is under the belief or the guise that getting all of those things fixed is even a thing. And so I love what you were saying. And I want to talk about this a little bit more because we often come from lack.

And shifting into this abundance approach that you’re talking about that sounds so much more, not only beautiful, but maybe the word I want to use is healthy, or just loving to ourselves like you’re saying, to say everything’s fine the way it is. It is what it is. But I have the option to look at places and say, “Do I want to play with this a little bit? Do I want to tweak this a little bit?”

So can you speak to that a little bit more because I think giving us permission to stop looking for problems and telling ourselves everything is broken and what you described is so much more expansive and spacious. And gives us permission to kind of design things the way we want to. And I like it so much better.

Ryan: I think it’s giving us the ability just to look at our life as our own masterpiece. So the compulsivity is what we’re talking about. Where do you feel compelled to have to keep being at that frequency of productivity, of moving, of getting things sorted. Is that necessary? This is where you can do an inventory about your life, write it on paper. Are these things I think I have to do? Are these things I want to do? Is this how I want to spend my time? Is this important to me?

And sometimes there are go moments where this is a dream of mine or this is where I found my purpose and there has to be some crunch to it, I have to do that. But then if you’re in crunch all the time then you might want to reevaluate things, just because it’s not fun. It should be fun. If you’re a creative then you have felt that feeling of that flow moving through you and feeling wow, look at this. There’s so much magic to it. But if you’re not allowing space to be able to enjoy that because it’s onto the next, and of course everyone has to earn a living, so I understand.

Somebody might be listening and saying, “Well, that’s easier said than done if I have to keep cranking out projects.” Well, then renegotiate your work a little bit. See where maybe things can be maneuvered around. What are ingenious ways that you can create time and space for yourself? And that might look like picking up a meditation practice. Because I guarantee you, when you anchor into you and you drop past all your 80,000 unconscious thoughts a day that really run you ragged, which is the monkey mind. And no one’s immune to it.

When you can find space to drop, and even for five minutes then you’re going to have more energy that you can maybe even keep your life the way it is. But you’re coming at it because you’ve plugged your, you know, into a socket that just creates more energy within yourself, more intuition, more flow, if you will. So I’m all about less hustle, more flow. And that’s how I define flow. Where are you filling your well? And it doesn’t have to be – it could be pampering, it could be a spa, it could be being out with girl friends, could be having a drink, whatever that is for you. It’s great.

But where does it really feed you from a place that you’re able to – what it should do, the definition of it, it should be able to give you more ability to show up in other areas of your life as a result.

Tobi: Yeah. And I think something you said, you said a lot of beautiful and very helpful things there again. And one of the things that I heard was, when we’re believing we have to, versus we want to. And I think a lot of times that narrative of I have to, I have to work, I have to make money, I have to do this thing, I have to go to this event. I have to, like some level of even in the day-to-day work we do, doing things in our job that we hate, but we think well other people in my industry do this, or successful creatives do this.

And so that narrative brings me to a question of how do we stop that story? And I think the problem in my experience is that the want to piece, which is really what our desires are. We don’t somehow believe we have permission to indulge in. It sounds indulgent, it’s not even indulgent, it’s just to listen to our heart or our gut, but we don’t. That feels indulgent. I can’t just do what I want to do. And we believe firmly these other things are non-negotiable, although they’re painful, they’re miserable. So how do we start to break into that want to space and step away from the have to space?

Ryan: I think you’d make a list of what are the things, I mean obviously we all have to do billing and we have to write checks for employees. And we have to do all of these things that not all of us want to do, it’s not the creative fun side. But it supports the dream, it supports that creative impulse, if you will. So I’m not speaking to that, those are things that we just have to show up for and we put on our big girl pants or big boy pants and we do it.

But I’m talking about if that’s a frequency of the shoulds and the have to’s, that would be the part where you are able to say, “Guess what? If I’m feeling like I have to earn this amount to keep this house.” Well, then maybe if the job isn’t commensurate with that then get a smaller house. [Inaudible] these are the parts where you’re designing other people’s spaces and homes, and design your own life with that same excitement, with that same freedom. And stop looking at yourself from the outside in and start feeling it from the inside out.

What do I get to do? I get to do this. Change your language around it too. And that changes, when you change your thinking around it and your language around it, sometimes I write checks. I have people who support me in social media and different things. And I say I get to write this. And I don’t have a contraction around it. Money’s going out, oh God, where am I going to get? Just that is not part of the frequency of how my relationship with my finances. Do you know what I mean?

Tobi: Yes, absolutely.

Ryan: So it’s like how can you renegotiate even those areas that aren’t as traditionally fun? And how can you get to say, “This is my privilege that I get to work.” And I love the people that I write checks to. I have curated who’s around me so I enjoy them and they deserve it, they’ve worked hard. I love writing them a check. So it’s look who you’re working with, look at your work environment. Look at all of these things.

And moving into a new year, you mentioned that, it’s such a great time to, you know, we have our inventories of our business, and the checks, and the balances, and the ledgers, where there’s not enough and where we didn’t meet the quota. Do the same thing in your life, come at it with that same integrity and that same curiosity. Where am I at in this pocket, this pocket, this pocket? What could be maneuvered? Where is a belief I have that it can’t be and cannot be renegotiated? So that’s learning how to life coach yourself really.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that. And something you had mentioned before we started was this concept which is a perfect kind of segway into it, of renegotiating purpose. Because you talked about being in the place of smoking mirrors and you thought this other job was your job. And so I watch a lot of people, I was this person at one point in my life as well, that there were some sweet spots in the job you do.

For me installation day as an interior designer, when the client was super happy and you put all the beautiful things in and the culmination of the project. Those were the moments that you live for. But then in between those, depending on how far apart they were, there was a lot of suffering, and misery, and this is not fun. And so I think that it’s interesting to look at your life and say, you know, not that every day is going to be fun. Like you said, we all have stuff that we do in our business that are not our favorite.

But if there’s way more suffering than there is fun or there is pleasure, is that a time to start to take a deep look at the work you’re doing or your purpose? Is that what you mean by kind of starting to look at renegotiating your purpose? And can you speak to that a little bit?

Ryan: Before you make a huge decision and just throw the baby out with the bath water, just see where you can shift your mindset around things. I hate that word ‘mindset’ actually, just see where you can – it feels so male. It feels just so like I’m shifting my mindset.

Tobi: Forceful, yeah.

Ryan: It’s forceful and just like I don’t think it works like that, I really don’t. We have subconscious patternings, I’m a hypnotherapist, I’m going to bring up the subconscious. We have these patternings and these beliefs around things. So that’s why I’d say start there. Start around the check writing, start where you can renegotiate reality and shift it and try to find the gratitude. Try to shift your perception of what already is. And you might find you might be able to bring another perception to what’s actually already unfolding. See if you can bring more joy. See if you can bring more gratitude.

See if you can start changing your language around things like I get to do this. And this is fun for me so it’s worth it to be able to have these grunt moments, to like you have your installation. I can’t wait to see. And so you would say things like that to yourself, I can’t wait to see that day of installation. So that would be the carrot that’s dangled and it makes the work. And watch where you’re like, I hate doing this.

And then yeah, and watch all your self-talk around it. Because that’s what’s honestly creating the pain of what’s unfolding, is how you are constantly, you know, dialog, you’re having this inner dialog around whatever’s unfolding. And if you can shift that, that is the power of shifting mindset. If you can shift that and say, “Wow, God, I’m so negative. Wow.” Even if you’re not even saying them out loud, just watch, what’s that narrative that’s going on under the surface? And see if you can wedge some positivity or another way of looking at it.

And then just maybe, maybe your work will change. So that would be one tier. The next tier would be how much of those moments are you having in your career? And I think many people have had to renegotiate with 2020, this was the year of 2020 vision, same things, were peeling the smoking mirrors back, pulling the veils back of their businesses. And sometimes people had their hand forced in it, and sometimes they’ve just said, “This doesn’t fit for this world anymore and the world I operate in.” And so it’s kind of a combination of that.

But knowing that we are being directed in some way, we do have a purpose. Everyone has some way that they show up in the world and bring good. I know this, everyone has their own blueprint. But that said, it can change. And I think if we’re being intuitive, if we’re connecting to ourself, if we’re meditating, that’s one modality to use, where we’re dropping past the mind. We’re much more able to take that direction of you know what, it might be time for a change. Wow, this feels complete to me, the way I’ve expressed myself in this career.

And I might want to find a new expression somewhere else. And that can be really scary. But if you anchor it into yourself, you are your own best relationship. You are your own best champion. And that’s – a lot of people, it’s a lot of work to get to that place. But if you can start putting value on that then you know, you take yourself wherever you go and you’ll be fine. You’ll figure it out. You’ve built up before, you can build up again. So it’s just being flexible and not holding on because you’re afraid of what’s next, which we all have to varying degrees.

And sometimes we’re pushed off the cliff and we have to pull the parachute. And sometimes we willingly jump off and we’re like, “You know what? I’m ready for something different.” And so it’s knowing and the universe is kind of working with us on that. Sometimes it gives us a push on the back. Whoa and off you go. So I think it’s just intuiting that, it’s deep diving into your own self and knowing that you have innate wisdom. And you are the keeper of your own creativity and your own destiny. And you can at any time shift and change that.

And it can be baby steps, it can be small steps, it doesn’t have to be a huge career change. It could be, you know, I have clients who have come in and decided I want to run – this happens quite a bit, I don’t want to run my own business anymore. It’s too scary in this climate. So they have taken all their skills, all their bounty, everything that they’ve curated and they have slid into a bigger umbrella of another company. And that way they have all the freedom to do the creative things that they want to do and without worrying about being a business owner themselves.

So that’s happened a couple of times with different clients I have had, they closed shop and they’re like, “Oh my God, I would never have done this because I had this idea of myself that I had to be. Have my own shingle, or I had and it wasn’t until this pandemic happened where I got shoved off the cliff. And I had to change my expectations of myself and allow myself to be directed to something else. And all I get to do is the creative part now. I love it.”

Tobi: Yes. I had this very conversation with one of my private clients yesterday. We were talking about that exact thing. And the difference in, because when you have to step up as the leader of your company, although yeah, you still, you know, you get to decide which things you hold onto in your business. It is not the same thing as just coming to work, getting to be creative and then hoping everybody else does what they’re supposed to do and then you get to go home at the end of the day. It doesn’t work like that.

You’re signing up to lead this company or this team. And I said to her the very same thing. I said, “It’s fascinating, we think we get into our own business to be creative and free. It’s kind of the opposite. That’s working for someone else, where you come in, you do the thing and you go home at 5 o’clock.” And there’s something to be said for that, I think you’re right.

And us listening and being willing to say, “You know what? I thought I wanted to own my own business and now I really see that I don’t. And that’s okay, I’m not a failure. It doesn’t mean anything about me. It just means I have different information now and I’m going to make a different decision.”

Ryan: Exactly.

Tobi: Yeah, that’s so good. A couple of other things…

Ryan: And I just want to say, it’s so, so brave to renegotiate your destiny, your path. And it’s not for the faint of heart, it’s not knowing what could ever – and who cares what anyone thinks. And I mean truly, we’re done looking through the lens of other people to see ourselves. That is such just an exercise in futility, yeah, and again just another waste of spinning our wheels, because we can’t get in anyone’s head. And we can’t, no matter how hard we work to shift that narrative of how they see us, they’re going to think what they want anyway. They’re going to project their stuff all over us.

We might remind them of someone and then that’s it. You know what I mean? So it’s just letting go of that and knowing that it is supremely brave to take a bird’s eye view of your life or your work and say, “You know what? I’m going to try something different”, at any age. And if you have a value in owning your business and that’s important to you then stay with it for as long as you can. This isn’t a conversation about join corporate or do anything like that. It’s like if that’s your dream, hang on and try to make it work.

But when you’re doing that don’t play the victim. Don’t be like, “God, this is so hard.” Just keep saying, “This is of value to me, and it’s non-negotiable and I’m going to go and take this as far as it can go. Because anything less than that at this time is not doable for me. And I’m inflexible with that in this moment.” There’s something to be said for that too, that’s a warrior. And so we highly respect that. They think it’s going to be different for everybody and it’s a powerful time.

Tobi: Well, and I love what you were saying about even if you’re not at a place where you decide to renegotiate your purpose, or make big changes. I love what you said about shifting how you’re thinking. And you just kind of layered on top of that with don’t be the victim, because we don’t even notice where we’re doing this, we don’t. We have no idea we’re doing this so many times, even some of us who are really self-aware.

And one of my recent experiences, I’m certified as a life coach, I work on thought work daily and I’ll never stop doing that work, it changes everything. But you still find yourself stuck in an old pattern of thinking or something that’s not serving you. And I was doing this around some of my team members. And I was having a belief of, you know, I’ve been in business x number of years and I keep changing people. And why isn’t this working? And this should be working. And I was not noticing that I was being victimy there.

And I was like, “I just need to do my job.” And it was blaming the other person, which is what you’re doing when you’re being victimy. They’re the villain, you’re the victim. And so I started working on this and now what I’m working on in 2020, which feels so abundant, and so expansive, and so amazing was a 180 degree shift.

And I was like, “Okay, instead of being frustrated, they’re not supporting me. What if I pour all my energy in how do I support my team. How do we invest in them? How do we put money in them? How do we, you know, we have life coaches on our team that are in our program. Can we have them get life coached as part of their, you know, the perks of their job?” It changed everything for me to just make that one shift to open up to that. It’s like a softening.

And so I loved when you were talking about that, I was like, “yeah, that’s such a good example of what I just did.” It doesn’t mean that I’m like okay, close up the whole business. I’ve tried for 20 years and the people still aren’t working. It’s how do you get into abundance and think differently, flip this on its head, pour into other people. And that was my experience. So is there – when people are bumping up against whatever emotions they’re struggling with, a lot of the have to, is there something to look for that they can make that shift?

How do they start to notice if they’re being victimy, or if they’re being, you know, if they’re not being aware of their thoughts, what could they look for? Is it physical, is it like their body’s going to tell them or is it – because a lot of us are in our head too much and our body’s telling us. We’re tense. We have a feeling in our core, or our gut, or whatever and we’re not listening. But help us to understand and break that down a little bit more.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that it’s going to show up that way. And I think you have a mood, and you notice what was I just thinking that I’m feeling this way? What was I just saying to myself? I was really comparing myself to that person on Instagram and coming up short. Well, then you can walk yourself through that. Well, I don’t know what they’re living. I don’t know what’s actually going, and they’ve got their own smoking mirrors going in play. But how am I feeling right now?

So what we can do is redirect ourself to our own experience again, and again, and again. What am I feeling? What am I doing? What’s my next right action? Those are three really great questions to turn the focus off of other people and bring it back to you, because that’s just an obsession. It’s just a leak for ourselves. So where can we do that and where are we leaking out all the time in doing that?

And so noticing the thoughts, noticing our moods, or starting there and noticing that, and then also you can sit and write down what are your habitual thoughts around things. There’s not enough. It’s usually scarcity consciousness. I’m not enough. These are the humanity’s basic, just hamster wheel.

Tobi: Loops, yeah.

Ryan: Yeah, loops, exactly. I’m going to be abandoned. Or nobody’s going to take care of me, or I have to do all the work myself because it never gets done. Anything you hear like that is a habitual thought, it’s a subconscious patterning in some way. So you could sit, and I bet you most of you listening probably know what yours are because they’re also your triggers. So just sit down, write them down. Sit down, take five minutes, take a piece of paper out, write down, what do you think are your recurring ones.

Or when you’re living your life, write them down on your phone as they come up. Oh God, this is so familiar, I feel this way all the time. You just [inaudible]. And so what the truth is, is that it’s going to keep coming around until you heal it. So every situation’s going to keep mirroring that belief that you have until you drill down into it and release it. So it’s like I always say triggers point to where you’re not free. And the reason they do that is so that you can become free of them and move into wholeness, because it’s just that.

Tobi: Yeah, it’s so good. And they all – my husband always points these out, he’s an attorney. And he’s like, “It’s always hyperbole with you.” But kind of what you’re saying is when we are in that victim place, it is the no one ever does this for me, or you always do this. Or it’s a lot of those kinds of extremes which aren’t even true, because it’s like occasionally your husband or wife does something that annoys you. But it turns into you never support me or you always leave your clothes on the floor or whatever.

And so wherever we’re seeing that you’re saying in general in our life, in our work, in any place that we’re seeing those repeating loops or stories, that’s when we want to stop and really dig into those. And not necessarily believe them, because we’re prone to believing our own thoughts. We just keep thinking it and we’re like, absolutely, that’s a 100% true, he is a horrible whatever person, employee, husband. And we want to look a lot deeper than that.

Ryan: I think so and I think we want to first bring awareness to them. Here I’m doing that thing again. So it’s not like, again, it’s that gentleness and that curiosity, why do I do that? What am I getting out of this narrative? Because there’s something it’s delivering me. Just like how if you’re a merchant of chaos, or you vibrate at a frequency of drama all the time. You know what I mean?

Tobi: Yes.

Ryan: There’s something that it’s delivering or if you’re always the rescuer and then you’re like, “Wow, I always have to do this for them.” There is something that that is delivering you, so it’s knowing that, so you’re shifting the narrative like, “Okay, well, what is that, what am I getting out of feeling like I have to do everything myself?”

Tobi: Yeah, because if we weren’t getting something out of it we wouldn’t keep doing it. So it’s propping us up somehow, making us feel better about ourselves, or that we’re even better than other people sometimes. I’m a better mother, or I’m a better boss or whatever, because look at all the people I’ve saved every day. Yeah, the thing that we want to stop doing, that’s exhausting is that behavior. It’s so interesting, yeah.

Ryan: Right. And it’s also an avoidant, because then it’s somehow we’re afraid to face what’s in front of us. When we have the lens looking all around us, and when you do this, and you do that, and you get that done. We give up self-responsibility. So just I think if we just change our definition of being helpful or managing other people’s lives, the flipside of that is it’s controlling. So that’s shifting the narrative, wow, I’m being super controlling right now rather than super helpful. So it’s getting real about how things operate in your life and what they’re delivering you.

And shifting that narrative around it and also knowing that it’s part of your avoidance, either it’s procrastination, either it’s fear of not facing what’s in front of you, of not changing jobs, or you’re bored, there’s something that’s happening. And it’s a way that you can spin your wheels over there with all these other balls moving. It’s also why a lot of people keep super busy, so they don’t have to deal with what’s in front of them.

And it’s just that mindless busyness. Well, my life’s so full, I’m doing so much. And yet they’re not anchoring into what drives them, how they can express themselves next.

Tobi: Yeah, that’s so good. And if you’re busy doing all of that stuff, whether you’re controlling other people or just kind of things that aren’t fulfilling you, that is just a distraction to you really looking at the what you really want. Kind of having that courage to admit what you really want. That’s so good.

So before we wrap up let’s talk a little bit about meditation, because you’ve talked about that. And I think that there’s, you know, like a lot of other things we’ve talked about today, work life balance and mindset, which both of those you’re like, yeah, kind of cringey, because they get so buzz wordy. And I think things like what I would call a tool, like meditation which can be so helpful gets kind of lumped in that category of no, everybody’s got to drink green smoothies and meditate.

And I would love for you to speak a little bit about the power of it because my experience has been for a long time it was one more thing on my to do list, I should be meditating and wasn’t. And then when I really started making more space for meditation, and mindfulness, and yoga, and things that were slower, what they actually became was a tool to get to where I was trying to go. They helped me create the feeling I was looking for. And so I think there’s a difference in saying I should be meditating and why, because somebody told you to.

And the opposite which is using it, trying it, making space for it, like you said, and actually getting a different result. So speak to that a little bit because we’re not trying to say, “Yes, for the new year you all should go do all these buzz wordy self-care and meditation and smoothie things.” We really want you to get the benefit out of the tool, that’s why you believe in and teach it. So how would you have people think a little differently about something like meditation?

Ryan: Well, again, we’re not going to use it to weaponize against our not doing it, like on the to do list. I think meditation just feels easy, it’s just breathing deeply. It doesn’t have to be – I mean from the School of Meditation that I went to, there’s four types of meditation, and not everyone’s suited to every type. So maybe someone listening is like, “I’ve done meditation, it doesn’t work for me.”

Anyone who comes through my practice, either is a meditator or has tried it and given up on it in some way. Or they’re like, “I just can’t do it, I have a too busy of a mind.” That’s the great excuse that I hear over and over. Well, your mind’s no different than my mind, we all have our 80,000, that’s the high end of things, thoughts a day. And so we all want to drop past that because think about it, we just want some relief from that, it’s just dogged. And we don’t even know that that’s happening. So what would it feel like to be in that yummy space?

And once you get a taste of that yummy space of quiet, and stillness. And the way you get there doesn’t really matter. There’s no right way to do it. I think for a beginner meditator, present moment awareness is one of the types of meditation, I think it’s really easy. So you just watch your breath coming in and your breath coming out. And maybe you count, one on the in breath, two on the out breath, three on the in breath, all the way up to 10.

And if you find you lost count, start over again, because you might have spaced out at seven. Just you notice, I’m at seven and I don’t know, start back at one. And just do that, set your timer for three minutes. It’s all you’ve got to do. And what that does is it gives your mind something, like a little dog with a bone to ruminate on by counting. But in the meantime you’re breathing in and you’re breathing out. And in that space, magic happens. You can drop into some quiet and you’ll see it, and then increase it for five minutes.

So that’s just one, it’s a great one for beginners. But again it could be, you could have a meditation walk, and all it would be is bringing yourself into the moment. Take a walk, maybe you put on some music, but don’t listen to this podcast. No offence, Tobi.

Tobi: Right, yeah, don’t take your phone, don’t talk, yeah.

Ryan: Yeah, people go for nature walks and then they’re like productive, they’re like listening to podcasts and they’re catching up on their talks and stuff.

Tobi: Having a walking meeting, yeah, all those things.

Ryan: Better that you do that than sitting at your desk and having a meeting. Or if you’re going to listen to that podcast, better that you’re in motion. But I’m talking about if you want to do a walking meditation and maybe do three minutes of that and then you listen to Tobi’s podcast. But then you see you start and you just bring yourself into your senses, feel the earth beneath your feet, smell the smells, feel your arms moving through the air. Hear the birds.

You just go through all your senses and bring yourself into that moment and then come in with the breath and watch the breath come out. And if it’s cold, you’re going to see the breath coming in and the breath coming out. And just watch that, a couple of minutes of that is meditation, people. So it’s not like you need to get into a cave and be meditating for an hour like we once had to. It’s just redefining that notion. It could also be when you’re falling asleep at night, just consciously breathing in and breathing out, and maybe repeating.

At that point is people do affirmations. That would be a productive time to do them. To say, “All is well and I am safe”, on the in breath and the out breath, “I am love and love is me.” Yeah, so whatever those are for you, find out and that can be meditation too.

Tobi: That is so good and that’s exactly what I was hoping that you – I didn’t know what you were going to say obviously. But I love that you did exactly what I was hoping for is to just break it down and redefine it. And if people don’t even want to call it meditation, if it’s just they want to call it breathing, whatever it takes for you to believe that it’s an important thing that changes you, changes your state, gets you closer to the feelings you want to feel every day. And out of the hustle and the forcing.

It’s really for me what it does is just a softening and an opening kind of, or expansiveness, both of which when I’m working hard or hustling, I’m closed down. My hands are clenched. I feel tight. And just like you said, two or three minutes of breathing changes everything. And how often I don’t even believe I have time to do that, which is ridiculous. Or I’m just not even noticing, right?

Ryan: If you’re telling yourself you don’t have time for it, you need to do it more than you ever have before.

Tobi: Right, exactly, yes.

Ryan: Yes, because you’ll be able to – I think I said that earlier in the podcast, you’ll be able to bring more to the table in that crunch time when you have had those minutes for yourself to connect to that part of you that is wise, that is all knowing, that is intuitive, that is divine, if you will.

Tobi: Yes, amazing, thank you. Well, you’ve had so much wisdom today. I’ve loved so much of it, can’t wait to listen again. I don’t always listen to every podcast again. Sometimes I get what I need with one listen. But I can tell this is the ones that I’m going to listen to more than once because there’s a lot here. But if people want to find more of you, hear from you, tell them where to find you and yeah, how they can get more of this wisdom.

Ryan: I am on Instagram, so if you’re on Instagram, come on over, I’m at Ryan Haddon Coach, and I actually post a lot there about different thoughts around different things. And so that’s really my most current place to find what’s going on. And through that you can get to my website, which is ryanhaddon.com, yeah.

Tobi: Perfect. Well, thank you so much. I’m ready to go meditate now.

Ryan: Yay. We just did it, we’re good, we’re done for the day.

Tobi: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Well, it was a pleasure, thank you so much.

Ryan: Thanks. Thank you. Bye Tobi, bye.

Tobi: Bye.

Alright, what do you think? Wasn’t that great? I think this is an episode that we might want to listen to a couple of times. Maybe it’s on repeat, but as Ryan said, not when you’re supposed to be meditating. Well, let’s not say supposed to, not when you choose to meditate, not when you’re doing your breathing exercises. But just reminding ourselves that we get to decide, that we don’t have to compare or please anyone else. And it’s really about just taking that journey inward instead of looking outside of us for the things that fulfill us.

So again, I hope this was helpful for you and I wish for you as you wrap up this year and move into next year that you can find a lot of space, a lot of breathing room, it’s definitely what I’m looking for myself, and creating myself. And I wish that for you too. So thanks for being here today. I’ll see you back again next week when I’m going to talk about a little secret, what happened this year with me, what it means for me and what it’s going to do for my plans for next year. So I’ll see you back next week with that episode. Goodbye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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