Ep #235: Why Words Matter with Heidi Metro

This week I’m bringing you an amazing conversation with my friend Heidi Metro. We’ve been going through equity-centered leadership training together for well over a year, and it’s been incredible. In a recent session, Heidi philosophized over the word “plenty” and I knew I had to get her onto the show to dive deeper into the words and language we use. We have an opportunity to flip the script and take responsibility for the way we speak about our lives, and this episode is all about that.

Heidi Metro is the Founder and CEO of Lead From Within. She provides coaching and consulting to high achievers and deep feelers to help them develop the clarity, confidence, and drive they need to become the leaders of their lives, careers, and communities. She joins me this week to share how she helps her clients trust their inner knowing and explain exactly why our words matter so much.

Join us this week as we discuss the language we use to talk about ourselves and our businesses and why it matters. We talk about everything we are unlearning and relearning, the reason we fall into scarcity so often, and joy that comes from a new paradigm of leadership.

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • The importance of the word ‘plenty.’
  • How Heidi helps leaders trust their inner knowing.
  • Our thoughts on leadership and how these new approaches benefit us and our businesses.
  • The differences in leadership now compared to what so many of us have learned.
  • What confidence is, how it shows up in your business and the importance of it.
  • How I have shifted out of the old leadership paradigm.
  • The importance of sharing responsibility with your team.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 235.

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.

Hi, friends. I’m so happy you’re here today. This episode really personally filled my cup, like they so often do. It’s a conversation with a friend of mine, Heidi Metro. So Heidi and I have been going through equity centered certification and leadership training together now for well over a year. It’s been so amazing. You’ll hear us talk a little bit about it in the episode.

But it’s been so amazing to truly, maybe for the first time in my whole life, find that group of people, in particular, mostly women in this group. So that group of women that I feel like really see me and I see them, and we connect on a different level, which is just soul fulfilling in every way.

So I wanted Heidi to come to the podcast, and we’ve been talking about this for a while because there was a moment way back in probably July or August of last year that she said something when we were first getting to know each other in one of our equity centered training sessions about a particular word. Which you’re going to hear us talk about in the episode, which is the word plenty. It was in response to this concept of like being enough and having enough and how we fall into scarcity so often. She said she was practicing plenty.

There was something about hearing her say this, not just to me, but to the whole group of people that we were in a Zoom Room with. But it just resonated with me at a really deep level. So I reached out to her on the side. I was like I want to talk about this. I want to connect over this. Which she then said yes, let’s do, and maybe it’s a podcast episode.

But really, it was this idea of us tapping into the words we use, the language we use to talk about ourselves, our businesses, the world, our worldviews, the impact we want to have. It really, really matters the words we use. So often the world is deciding for us what words we use instead of us deciding it ourselves.

So when the world picks a word like or even our country, the place we live, kind of the worldview and the collective consciousness of the places we live. But our world has kind of been on this idea of enoughness for a while. You are enough. Just that idea of you are enough or having to remind yourself really does kind of come from that lack or scarcity perspective.

So basically what Heidi was saying is we have an opportunity to change the language, flip the script, take responsibility for the way we think about and talk about things, and the way we speak into our own lives. Like breathe life and speak life into ourselves and those we coach and our family. So this episode is all about that.

So just a little bit, I think Heidi tells us in the episode about her, but just a little bit about her. She is the founder and CEO of a company called Lead From Within. It’s a place where she does coaching and consulting to help high achievers and deep feelers really have the confidence, clarity, and direction they need to become the leaders of their lives, their careers, and their communities. So you can see in this work that she does, it is so important the language we use to talk about ourselves and our work in the world.

So I’m gonna get out of the way. I’m gonna be quiet. I’m gonna let you hear my beautiful and loving and amazing conversation with Heidi. After you listen, Heidi and I can’t wait to hear from you. So I’ll be back on the other side of the episode to remind you, but take note as you’re listening of what really moves you in this episode because we want to know. We want to keep having these conversations with other likeminded conscious women in the world. Okay, so enjoy my conversation with Heidi Metro.

Tobi: Hey, Heidi, welcome to the Design You podcast. I’m really excited you’re here. We’ve kind of been planning on this for a little bit.

Heidi: Yes, I’m excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Tobi: Oh, you’re so welcome. So we have gotten to know each other through our work in equity centered coaching and leadership for the last, well for me it’s going on almost 18 months. Are you taking that long to do it as well? Or are you complete with your certification?

Heidi: I will be complete after this month. So there’s an end in sight and a new beginning in sight.

Tobi: Perfect, perfect. So we can tell everybody a little bit about that more if we want to. But we have had some moments where we really connected over just thoughts and language and words. At the time, we decided we should have a podcast conversation. We’re finally doing that. So why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about you? Because I don’t think my audience will probably know you yet, but they will definitely know you after today. So tell us about who you are.

Heidi: Oh, wonderful. Well, I think the first thing people should know is that at my core, I am a philosopher. I have always felt that even when I was a kid. I was told I think too much my whole life, and thinking is my superpower. When we use our superpowers for the greater good, I think that’s how the world changes. I think that’s how you and I met where we our superpowers met in our equity coaching program. So words are a big deal. But words begin with thoughts.

So what people should know is that at my core, I’m a philosopher, and I also have a background in bodywork. So I think there’s a real connection between how people think and how their bodies process. I love to know what people are thinking, but I also know what their body is saying because their body is going to tell the truth. So I love the combination.

Tobi: Yeah, and for us thinkers, a lot of times we want to ignore the body, I think.

Heidi: Bypass it.

Tobi: Yeah, totally. I’ve done that for years because I definitely live more in my brain than in my body. So it has to be very intentional for me to—It’s work I’ve been doing actually in the last several years of moving into that more intuitive process. I always had a really strong like intuition and gut like knowing, inner knowing. I would trust that in moments of big decisions, but like in the day to day, it was always in my head.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: It made things so much harder than it had to be at times. So I think it’s interesting.

Heidi: I think that when something feels hard, when it’s challenging, we think that the solution has to be challenging as well. Usually it’s not. It’s so irritating. So it’s like oh, this is a huge problem. It’s probably going to take a 17 million point process to make a difference. It’s usually like two steps.

Tobi: Yeah.

Heidi: So yeah, we stay in our heads a lot.

Tobi: Yes, we do. So you have a company called When You Lead. Tell us about that? Is it helping people who are leaders? Is that what you do?

Heidi: So we work with the high achievers who are also the deep feelers. Who are the you want to get it done. Like you have a vision, and you’re driven. But instead of being driven, what we’re shifting people to is being guided. So when you’re high achieving, it’s like I will get this done no matter what. When you’re guided, it’s I know this is getting done through me, and I’m going to trust the process a little bit more. So we have a core foundations program, which really teaches leaders how to trust that inner knowing. So I was kind of smiling to myself.

Tobi: Yeah, that resonates with me so much. Because the driven, which I’ve always described myself as, turns into forcing energy.

Heidi: Yes, I understand.

Tobi: Which is very depleting and not always in the right timing.

Heidi: Oh, my God. I know.

Tobi: Yeah. So I really resonate with what you’re saying.

Heidi: It’s disconnected, right? Most of our goals for those of us who are really high achievers, most of our goals serve a big purpose. But when that when that purpose turns to pressure, we miss a lot of connection. So I think it’s really important to have this core foundations where it sounds so trite, and usually the stuff that sounds trite is what I’m supposed to do.

So it’s like what are your values? It sounds so obvious, but what is your purpose? How do you enact boundaries? Those are such trigger words, but the basics matter. I tried to bypass the basics with being really clever, and dammit, if the basics don’t work. It’s so irritating at times.

Tobi: I know. Yes. Yeah, we do want to think that it takes like this like genius, profound, like new idea. Instead, we’re like oh, that? Oh, no, no, it’s for sure not that. It’s this other thing that no one’s ever thought of yet, which is never the truth. It’s always back to what’s right. Like right in front of your face.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: So when we first really connected in a call, you were just talking. I don’t even remember, you may remember, I don’t even remember the topic of the conversation. It was way back when we were doing the very foundational work in our equity centered coaching and leadership certification. I mean we were learning about like DEI work, and we were becoming trauma informed and all the things. You use the word plenty one day.

You said you were really leaning into this word plenty as opposed to enough. I was like it blew my brain up a little. I was like whoa. Because I think so often we want the opposite of like this lack thinking to be abundance, and there was something so reachable and so resonant with the word plenty because it didn’t feel like abundance, which for some of us in certain parts of our lives and businesses is like way out in the future. Like I’ll get there, but it’s so unreachable.

This idea of plenty, I was like wait, can we talk about that for a minute? So you’re like absolutely, which I think we did at the time. But that’s when we committed to doing this podcast. Since then, we’ve talked about some other words. We’re gonna get into really why words matter today. You like to be really intentional about the words you use because they’re your way of connecting with your values and making things actionable in your life, which makes so much sense to me.

Because if we’re trying to trust the “gurus” that are like oh, come from a place of abundance and all the things and the spiritual stuff that like we’re like okay, it’s just a little too. I’m woo, but like that’s a little far out there. Like this word plenty is completely different. Can we talk about that a little bit? Do you remember where you were coming from when you were chewing on and kind of birthing this concept of plenty, and what it was about for you?

Heidi: I do I remember teaching this inside of one of my group programs because there was this phrase, and we say it, and we share it when we see it unsocial where it’s like you are enough. The word enough really puts me, when we talk about the body, it puts me physiologically in oh God, I don’t have enough. If you have just enough food, if you have just enough money, if you have just enough time, there’s still lack.

Tobi: Yeah.

Heidi: So when someone tells me I’m enough, I’m like I know. That wasn’t in question. But that abundance piece, I’m with you where I’m woo man. Like I let’s talk about woo, but abundance for me, you use an expression where it was outside of you. You’re like pushing away almost. It was like it’s out in the future. I totally get that.

Plenty for me is like it’s immediately heart centered. It’s immediately when I say I am plenty, the physiology of that word. I exhale. So plenty is a value of mine. So when we’re as a team looking at how do we structure our days, how do we structure our meals, how do we have intention when it comes to resting? When we look at like that cycle of living where you’ve got the eight categories of your life, how do we have plenty and how do you experience plenty?

For most of us, we’ve been coming from we’re enough, which just makes me feel like I wash up on shore bawling my brains out. I’m enough. Plenty is like yeah, man, I am. I am plenty. That helps me tune into I think what they talk about when they’re talking about abundance, but abundance doesn’t ring for me. It’s too buzzwordy, I get irritated by it.

Tobi: Yeah, and just the difference like when I say is this enough time for this meeting or this this plenty of time for this meeting? Totally different.

Heidi: I know.

Tobi: One is like we might squeak it all out before the time the buzzer goes off. The other is like oh no, there’s some margin.

Heidi: Yes, buffer.

Tobi: There’s some space. There’s some buffer right. The same with rest. Is this enough rest or this is plenty of rest? Like enough rest is like six and a half hours, which is terrible feeling to me.

Heidi: Yes, me too.

Tobi: Plenty of rest is like nine hours. Right?

Heidi: Luxurious, right?

Tobi: It’s so different. An abundance of recipe like 12. I’m like I don’t even want that.

Heidi: I don’t want that.

Tobi: I don’t feel good after that. So like I think just the nuance of this word really connected with me, and thinking about even like planning your schedules, planning your days, planning your what is enough vacation and what’s plenty of vacation? They’re so different.

Heidi: It’s like your vantage point shifts. So luxuriousness and luxury and radiance, these are like core desires that I have. When I think of luxuriousness, it’s like I’m standing in the middle, and I have this vantage point. I can look all the way around 360 degrees. When I have enough, I’m right at the edge of the circle going oh god. Oh god. Do I have enough?

Tobi: Am I going to run out? If anything goes wrong, you’re back in the red.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: If anything unexpected happens, like it’s not plenty.

Heidi: It’s chase mentality. It is like your face is pressed up against the glass. Plenty is like oh, it’s just a different vantage point. It’s a different perspective. I have not perfected it yet, let’s be real honest. But when we center plentitude, we all show up going ah. That exhale.

Tobi: We’ve taught not to create margin. Like we’ve been taught that you can squeeze in one more errand and so you’re 10 minutes late. You can push snooze one more time, so you’re harried when you show up in the morning. We’re always stretching and just trying to fit everything into enough, and it doesn’t really work.

Heidi: It doesn’t feel good.

Tobi: No, it doesn’t feel good at all. It has us all frazzled. As you talk a lot about in just some of the language about your company, it disconnects us from each other and everything because there’s never not enough time. In enough, you don’t have time for small talk. You can’t connect. You can’t be interested in what somebody’s day was like. You can’t listen. You’re already thinking about what you’re gonna do next.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: Plenty is like, like you said, you can take that breath. Like when you say that word plenty, I think we all just collectively do that ah like you said. Like the sigh. You’re like oh, I have a minute to like check in with myself and other people.

Heidi: When I work with groups of women, or when I’m working with companies, and I come in and I do some consulting for them, the very first thing that I have them do is sit for one full minute in silence. If you want to mess with high achievers, make them sit quietly. The first time I said it, I remember I was an in person gig. I had them sit quietly for a minute, and the twitch and the energy of the room for the first 15 seconds was this, it was horrible. I almost ended it. I was like oh my God, we’re all suffering.

By the end of a minute, 60 seconds, that was it, they all open their eyes. It was like oh, what if we instituted even a three minute set or a five minute set, and it shifts you into plentitude. But yeah, you want to mess with high achievers, make them sit still for a minute, quiet. It’s hysterical.

Tobi: It reminds me that my daughter and I watched this on Tik Tok, which is a really weird thing to watch. But we watch these people who remove the outer shell of an egg, but leave the membrane intact so the egg doesn’t fall apart. So it’s this tedious process. They take these tools, and they run it under the edge of the egg shell. So you get this like almost translucent looking like membrane and the egg is intact. They try not to break it.

So I noticed when the guy that we were watching yesterday was almost at the end, I had so much anxiety because I wanted him to hurry. But you can’t hurry because if you rip off a whole piece, the membrane goes with it, and the whole egg runs out on his hand. So like it’s patience, and it wasn’t relaxing at all to me. It was like agony watching. I was telling my daughter, I’m like oh my god. I have so much anxiety. He needs to hurry up, rip it off. It’s like a scab. Just pull that shit off. She’s like Mom, it will break. I’m like what does this say about me?

But that’s exactly what you’re talking about. Like we’re so conditioned to be in a hurry. To be productive and to not waste time and to not have margin or take a breath. Yeah. That moves into some of the other words that we’ve talked about. So there’s a couple, saver that you talk about a lot, which let’s start there. Then the other one we’ll move into, which is about sacredly selfish.

Heidi: Yes. Oh, yes. Let’s do that too.

Tobi: First let’s start with saver because it’s like there’s plenty, and you take a breath. Then they’re saver where it’s like the next level, right?

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: What does that look like?

Heidi: Saver for me is a pace. So if plentitude is like your vantage point. If plenty is you’re in the middle of the circle, and you’re able to look around, saver for me is about the pace.

Tobi: Okay.

Heidi: Am I savoring this? So are you eating a meal because you’re starving, and you didn’t take a lunch again, and you’re so hungry, and your blood sugar’s low? Or are you sitting down and it’s like the table is set. You take a bite, and you put your fork down. You really taste a meal. For me, savor is about your senses.

So when I think of have I savored this moment? I’ve got kids like 13, 12, and nine. So savoring with them right now is different than it was when they were kids. But can I savor these moments? Am I present? Am I hearing what they’re saying? Am I looking at what they look like right now?

So savor for me is present moment. Sometimes the present moment is really painful. So I’m practicing savoring that as well. This is my growth edge right now is like can I savor this moment too? So the retreat that I’m doing is called This Too is Sacred.

Going back to that egg metaphor. So I think you can tell a lot about a person by the way they make a smores. Right? By the way, they roast their marshmallow. Are you a slash and burn? Like let’s like burn the hell out of this thing and eat the char? Are you the slow person? So we talk about, you know.

Tobi: That’s interesting.

Heidi: It’s a great experiment.

Tobi: So on my marshmallow, I’m really slow and I want it perfect.

Heidi: Are you really?

Tobi: I want it perfectly lightly brown and toasted all the way around, but I don’t want it to catch on fire. I don’t want you to black on it. When you bite into it, I want it to be completely like liquid in the center because–

Heidi: So you need to like out, adapt your smores personality to your business and see what happens. Because that’s a saver. That is a pace shift.

Tobi: Yeah.

Heidi: So I like to do exactly what you said. Then at the end, burn the shit out of it so that it’s like got a crust, but it’s gooey in the middle. Someone on retreat taught me that because I was always just like slash and burn. Let’s go. Like I want to eat.

Tobi: Yeah.

Heidi: When you savor, when you are in the space of plenty, it’s like you’re not going to run out of time. I mean we all will run out of time. But what happens afterwards? I don’t know. Maybe it’s abundant time. Maybe it’s like who knows. That’s where my philosophical brain goes nuts. But saver for me is senses.

Tobi: I agree. One of the things I noticed during the pandemic when I was most missing my family, especially my mom. So we were really, really careful with our family. We kind of stay in a little pod anyway. But for a long time, like from March until like Memorial Day, I think. So like three or four months, we just connected over Zoom. We tried to keep everybody really, really safe. My parents were in great health, but they’re in their early to mid-70s. So a really missed the hugs for my mom.

Heidi: Yeah.

Tobi: So then when we decided to get together at Memorial Day, and we were trying to keep ourselves away from other people so we could start to be together again. So occasionally, she lives like 45 minutes away, and she would come to visit. When she was here, a couple of times I noticed I was busy working, and I didn’t stop and look at her. I know. When she left and pulled away, I didn’t even know what she was wearing. It made me really emotional.

Heidi: Of course it did. Oh, honey.

Tobi: I was like if we don’t even notice what other people, like I noticed I wasn’t looking at—I didn’t like look in her eyes, and I didn’t look in her face. So then we started practicing what she had already told me about that she’d heard on a podcast like the power of a 20 second hug.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: So from that point on, when she would come I would make sure I looked at her face and her eyes and looked at what she was wearing and like took her in, and then had our 20 second hug. Because I didn’t mean to get so emotional.

Heidi: Oh, honey. Yes, of course.

Tobi: But think of all the times in the normal before the pandemic when we were taking things for granted. Then now as we’re getting back to the same behavior where we’re not literally even, we don’t even know what people look like. We don’t even know what they’re wearing. We’re not looking at our kids before they leave in the morning. We’re not looking in their faces when they get back at night because we’re distracted and on a phone and in a TV show and whatever, and we call that connection.

But when I noticed when those moments were taken away, I noticed that I couldn’t even remember. I wanted to burn it in my memory like the next time I saw her again like what she looked like and what she was wearing and what her face looked like. That was so moving and just like it was a shift for me. I think goes with what you’re saying.

Like we do think of sometimes savoring a meal or savoring a sunset. But are we really even, as you said about your kids, savoring even the hard moments and the bittersweet moments and looking in our people’s faces and connecting at a deeper level. I think for so many of us, we said at the beginning of the pandemic, I don’t ever want to go back to the other way. I think we’re already going back to the other way in a lot of ways.

Heidi: It’s definitely a creep, right. It’s that creep back in. I think that’s where the world is gonna make you go faster. I just want to honor how sweet this is, this recognition and this epiphany that you’ve had with your mom. Like I’m watching you process and it’s such an honor. Thank you for sharing that. I think that when we savor, and this words getting more trite, I guess but rebellion.  But there is something rebellious about savoring.

In the mornings, last year when Mike and I, my partner, would drop our kids off at school, we would walk around this lake, and there was a gentleman who we love. He has a basset hound named Buster, and we would stop and chat for well, it would end up being like 45 minutes. This gentleman would say I really hope that you savor the day.

It was that reminder because I was already past the walk and in my studio and coaching. In my head, I’m already gone. So I hope you savor the day was that reminder of like yes, this is what I teach. Like I teach savoring. Thank you, Ron, for reminding me, but it’s a pace shift. I do think that it dovetails into the sacredly selfish. Like it really does dovetail into you can interrupt the pace.

Tobi: Yeah, tell us about that. Tell us about sacredly selfish.

Heidi: It is a hallmark of what I teach with high achieving women because as much as they have their shit together, they’re still afraid. They’re still afraid to disappoint. They’re still afraid to appear selfish. There’s still a risk and being a woman who’s a leader because of the titles that can come with that and the accusations that can come with that.

So sacredly selfish was a way, I add the word sacred in front of everything that feels a little unpalatable because at least then they’ll flirt with it. So if it’s like sacred disappointment or sacred irritation, they’ll at least talk to it if it’s sacred first.

Tobi: Tell me about that. Let’s talk about that real quick before we go to the whole thing. Like talk about this word sacred. Like why does that change? What’s special about sacred that opens this up for people?

Heidi: Yeah, I think it’s that reminder of our divinity and not necessarily religious. But this ineffability, this ineffable quality of the fact that we’re human. Like how the hell did we get here? This is where the philosophical stuff comes in, but it’s what a gift and what a weird experience to be a human.

I grew up Catholic, actually. So I’ve had this love affair with Mary my whole life, even though I don’t consider myself religious at this stage. I’m very religiously curious. I’m incredibly interested in how people think and how do we all quantify this crazy experience that we’re having. So divinity is about as close as I can get to like what does this mean? Sacred, if you really look at the definition of sacred, it’s to sacrifice. It’s to lay at the feet of. I love this idea of like to make something sacred, to sacrifice, to lay it down. When I think of like when I need to—

Tobi: Like surrender. To lay at the feet of is like surrender.

Heidi: Yes. We talk about sacred surrender as well because a lot of times the physiology is really challenging. So when I add sacred, it’s like you get to set this down. You get to set the disappointment down. You get to set the fear down. You get to set the selfishness down, and actually have a frickin conversation with it.

Like what does your selfishness want from you? What is the need that is being presented? Your disappointment of sacred, what does she want you to know? We try to bypass it. We try to get rid of it. We try to like oh, that’s a negative quality. So when we talk about this too, is sacred. It’s like no, you being pissed off. That’s part of you, too. You being disappointed, you being overwhelmed, you being all of the things, that’s sacred. So let’s have a conversation with it. Let’s ask her what she wants.

Tobi: Let’s hold space for it.

Heidi: Yeah.

Tobi: It’s almost even back to the plenty and the saver. It’s like add margin around even this conversation of selfishness or disappointment.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: Like you said, anything negative, we’ve been trying to just move on. Either to drink it away, shop it away.

Heidi: Netflix it away.

Tobi: Whatever. Not that I’m against any of those things. Like I love relaxing and watching TV. I’m a binge watcher, for sure. But it’s like how we’re using it. Are we really relaxing, or is it just a way for us to bypass something that’s uncomfortable to us?

Heidi: It’s a temporary distraction for a lot of us.

Tobi: The thing that most of us want to get away from is something, like you said, that we don’t like the way it feels. We especially don’t like what we make it mean about ourselves.

Heidi: Yes, the stories that we tell ourselves are so—I mean, the women I work with, they’re so creative, and they’re super convincing. Like when they tell me their stories, and they tell me how they’re feeling, I’m like I bought it. I’m like oh my God, that sounds terrible. It’s like oh, I know better. I know this is very real for you and now what? That sacred now what?

Tobi: What else might be true? What else might this make possible? I love those kinds of questions.

Heidi: Me too.

Tobi: You talk a lot about getting curious. So when you’re really thinking about these sacred moments, sacred selfishness, sacred disappointment, sacred surrender, what is it? Like how do you tap into that? What questions are you asking yourself typically?

Heidi: Yeah, typically I want to know, especially with clients, like where’s that being housed in your body? Most of the time, they’re like it’s all in my head. I’m like yes and where actually is this being housed in your body?  Because there’s usually information there. There’s clues to be left. So a lot of women, it’s in your heart. It’s in your shoulders, digestion, all of that.

So it’s then we start talking about language, and I’m a sucker for it. I’m so fascinated by the origin. How are we even understanding each other right now? I just think that’s so interesting. I was at a park recently, and there was a little sweetheart speaking Russian, and there was another little sweetie speaking Chinese. We went out for ice cream. There was a Laotian family. I was like they know what they’re saying. I wonder how it feels in their body with different language. I just find it fascinating.

So anyway, asking them where this is housed? What is your body revealing to you? What would happen if you befriended this? What would happen if you sat on a park bench with these feelings and just let them talk until they were done? What might happen if you listen to the story all the way through. Even if you can anticipate where the story is going.

Hello, Heidi. My name is Heidi, and I interrupt people because I know the ending. But what might happen if you sit with it a little more fully for just a little bit longer. What does she want you to know? The wisest version of you has so much information for you. It’s amazing when you slow it down, and you find out.

Tobi: That’s so interesting. I’m the same with you. My name is Tobie, and I interrupt also all the time. Like that’s the thing I’m working on this year the most. With my team, like I’ve said it out loud and held myself accountable because I jump in all the time. A lot of times it’s because I’m excited. A lot of times it’s because I think I know better.

Heidi: You probably do. But I’m learning. So like that goes to the same thing back to the egg. Like watching the egg, the shell be separated from the membrane of the egg and not interrupting and not reaching over and yanking it off yourself, which I can’t do because they’re like in some other country on Tik Tok. We’re watching it live.

But that’s the same thing as interrupting. Of that feeling that you sit with when you’re like oh, oh, oh, I know, and you don’t always know. I mean you might know better sometimes, or you might know something, but like this urge. That even goes to the equity work we’re doing.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: Of like the whiteness in us and the way we’ve been conditioned to think we know better, and we should take charge. Like part of that is also, if we get to the root of it, that we don’t like to feel like we don’t know something. We don’t like to feel like we’re not perfect. We don’t like to feel like we’re not smart. We don’t like to feel like we don’t have every answer.

The feeling that comes up for that is the same feeling that comes up when you’re sitting with any of these negative emotions in a lot of ways. I mean like the feeling itself is different, but like the sensation in your body can feel so uncomfortable and like your skin is crawling and want to get out of it. Because you don’t know how to sit in that emotion and process it, right.

Heidi: When you sit in it. So the phrase that I use a lot in coaching is like don’t bounce. Sit here for one second longer. Then they’re looking at me like I hate you. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told that I was hated. And it’s like I can handle it, it’s fine. But sit with it for one more beat and one more beat. It’s a habit. It’s a practice. The physiology of leadership is can you sit with it a little longer?

Tobi: Which is the opposite of what people think leadership is about.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: It has been so profound in these trainings that we’re doing and these certifications. I mean I knew some of this, but at a whole other level understanding when we think what is the leader? If you were to ask anybody that just on the street, it’s like they know everything.

Heidi: Yeah.

Tobi: They have all the answers. They don’t make any mistakes. Well, look at the people that the world considers leaders. We would think of like all the white men running companies that are billionaires. We’d put them all on there. We’d put Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and the older like Henry Ford and Lee Iacocca and all of these people that we’ve been told our whole life are the leaders.

But when you really look at what leadership is, it’s actually the opposite. It’s sitting there a little longer. It’s investing in other people. I started thinking about this concept recently when I was going through the leadership training, and I was like oh, my gosh. Like leadership is not you just getting people to follow you so you can make more money or have more privilege for yourself, which is what a lot of those leaders we uphold are.

Leadership is basically building a movement around a concept or idea that people buy into because they consent to buying into it. You’re potentially just the guide or the organizer, but you don’t know everything. You’re not telling everybody what to do. It’s totally different.

Heidi: It’s such a relief, right?

Tobi: Yeah. It’s a big responsibility, but not in the way we thought.

Heidi: The physiology is different. So if you’re thinking about we call it outdated leadership. If you’re thinking about leadership as dominance, that’s outdated, and it’s not sustainable. It’s not equitable. Right. So this updated version of leadership, we talk about creating co-leaders. I don’t want to be in charge. Do I think I have great ideas and I think about things uniquely? Yes. But I want a team of that.

I’m shifting right now where I’m right on that cusp of like the team is being built. I’m taking more of a CEO position, which is like that’s a whole different skill set. That’s a really different physiology.

Tobi: Totally.

Heidi: But it’s such a relief. There’s a lot of grief that has come forward where it was like oh, wow. Oh. It’s kind of like being single, and then you get married, and you have to consider other people. Then you add children, and you have to consider other people. I feel like I’m growing up. I feel like the brand is growing up, and my leadership is growing up. The older I get the less I know.

Tobi: I just did the same thing. The last two years I built that team. Like you said, there was so much grief and detachment and unlearning.

Heidi: God, right, yes.

Tobi: Of everything that I thought I was supposed to be, and you’re exactly right. It’s like it’s both a relief. It’s like liberating. But it’s also—

Heidi: It’s destabilizing.

Tobi: It is. It is destabilizing. Oh gosh, I don’t know what the word is, but it’s basically unlearning everything that you were taught. But the difference I noticed like that goes along with the relief is what we started this conversation with is the old paradigm of leadership was forcing energy. Forcing things to happen. When I look at what it did to me physically, complete depletion, complete burnout, like multiple instances of burnout. Like you said, not sustainable.

Heidi: No.

Tobi: Then when I learned it could be in collaboration and gestion, there’s so much joy in the leadership. There’s so much. I mean, gosh, the descriptions are relief, but joy and fulfillment and like the sense of pride in the other people, and like nothing makes me happier now. I’m like what else can y’all lead? Because you are so much better at a lot of this stuff than I am.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: It makes me feel so needed to be the in a support role instead of just in the—

Heidi: The driver’s seat.

Tobi: The kind of role.

Heidi: It’s such a different level of saturation. Like there’s a saturated feeling of, I just said this to Mike. I was like how am I this lucky. Like look at what these people are capable of. I said they’re kind and they’re empathetic, and they believe in the same purpose.  They’re equity centered. Thank God I didn’t have a team a year ago or two years ago. I had so much that needed to come in first.

Tobi: I did, and it was a train wreck in a lot of ways. It was a revolving door because like people don’t want to stay in that. I didn’t want to stay in that.

Heidi: Of course not.

Tobi: I was always like let’s burn this whole thing down. Like I’m quitting. Like I mean how many times I was like I’m literally quitting. Now I mean, the only way I would quit now is if my people leave. I’m like if y’all pack up, I’m going with you.

Heidi: Yes. I’ll follow.

Tobi: I don’t want to do this anymore without this kind of connection and collaborate and joy. It’s so different. I don’t think most people understand that that is possible. That that is even the goal, or have really shifted out of the old leadership paradigm. That’s why we continue to see so much burnout and so much unsustainable business practice, don’t you think?

Heidi: Yes. I think we talk about the phrase that comes up a lot in team meetings is like is that on the menu? Because I feel like this type of leadership has never been on the menu. So if you go to the restaurant, you look at the menu, it doesn’t occur to you to order off the menu. Unless you’re me and you’re like hey, do you think that you could combine?

Tobi: Do y’all have any, uh, in the kitchen? Yeah.

Heidi: Yes. Can we combine this dish and this dish? It’s like just stay home because the chef has really prepared this menu intentionally, and how dare you go and mess with it. However, when it comes to the leadership menu, who knew? So that’s why I’m so grateful for the women that I’ve met and the coaching programs that I’ve been in, especially women like you who you own a room. There’s like oh, yeah, I love that. Like there’s, but you don’t suck the air out. I think there’s a difference. Do you know what I mean? Where it’s like–

Tobi: I probably used to. I think this is your grownup version. I mean, just being perfectly honest, I think it’s only helpful for us to admit where we’ve grown. I think the more mature, more evolved, and more really, truly educated by teachers like we’re learning from Trudy. Like this version of me probably doesn’t suck the air out of the room, but I’m sure there was a point in which I did because I didn’t know how to wield this amount of power or energy in a way that was not at some level exploitative or unintentionally like overpowering in some ways.

Heidi: I also think—We talk about this because you know how they talk about you have to meet your clients where they are, right? You need to meet them where they are, and then invite them in. It’s like no, I understand that on some level, but there’s also a part of like come and meet me here. So there’s a part of me that’s like nah, girl, like just do it. Be big and bold and take up space and have people come to the table trying to get a word in edgewise.

Like there’s also a part of me that feels a little protective. Like no, do it. Like make them show up differently. Because you’re taking up that space, and I think of us center stage, which I love. There are people that still want to be in the wings. There are people who want to be in the audience for that. It sounds like you’ve had kind of this maturation process where you recognize that you can share the stage.

Tobi: It’s more fun to share it actually. I thought for a long time. I think what made me not show up in this way that might have potentially sucked the air out of some rooms is it wasn’t intentional, and it wasn’t most of the time for me self-serving. It was that I felt like I was supposed to be responsible for everyone’s learning and responsible for everybody’s experience and responsible. Like I came in with such a story about how I was supposed to make everybody have a good time and learn and connect.

Instead, in that surrendering process we were talking about, maybe that’s sacred leadership. But like the sacred peace is to let things come to fruition. Let things evolve. Let things reveal themselves. Like you don’t have to control everything. I think that’s probably the maturing, the evolution that has made such a difference. I would say.

Heidi: Well, we talk about that in terms of confidence too where it’s like the opposite of control is actually confidence. The root word of confidence is fid, which means to trust. So when we talk about being a confident leader, it doesn’t mean that you know everything. It doesn’t mean that you feel ready. But confidence means you trust your values. You trust the story that’s been placed within you. So it’s a matter like confidence is about trust.

If we are trying to control, if we are trying to make things happen, if we’re forcing, if we are like if we’re trying so damn hard, it’s because we really don’t have trust.

Tobi: No, not at all.

Heidi: I trust, to the point of taking it for granted, that the sun is going to show up every day. I trust that gravity, please gravity, do your thing. But these forces of nature that we have confidence in, we are also a part of nature. We can trust our rhythms, and we can trust our values. You can trust that irritation. You can trust your disappointment. When you can shift from control to trust, your life really does change.

Tobi: That’s so good. It’s reminding me. I’ve been working for just a few months, actually, with one on one with someone that does tapping. Like a tapping coach.

Heidi: Yes. EFT.

Tobi: I love it. Oh my gosh. I was never that into this as a concept. Like when I just knew it from the people who had created it, or I’ve watched some videos, I’m like I don’t know. That’s not for me. But working one on one with this person, it’s been just really life changing. We were talking last week, it’s kind of like therapy too. Like we were talking about and uncovering because you tap into your subconscious really, and you learn a lot of things about kind of what’s in the way of growth and all kinds of things.

So we were really, like I guess pun intended, like tapping into this idea of how I’ve always felt like I’ve been told to kind of shrink and tamp down and not be so big and almost not trusting my own energy, my own like bigness, my own personality. Feeling like it did have to be controlled because I think I was given this impression that it can be dangerous, and I can harm other people.

So my coach, Melanie, that I tap with just changed the wording. I can’t remember right now what word I was using. It’s not ego, but I was using a word. I’d have to look back and see. I wish I could remember right off the top of my head. But anyway, whatever that word was that felt more negative. I don’t think it was power, but it was something in that world. She’s changed to life force.

Heidi: Beautiful.

Tobi: I had this big shift because it’s like you said about we’re all part of nature.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: She was like this life force, this energy lives within you. You create it. It’s part of who you are. When I shifted even that language around this thing that I had thought that I had to control, it was that same kind of sigh of relief. It was like ah. Like my life force is there, and I can surrender to it. I can trust it. I don’t have to manage it, control it, tamp it down. Be afraid of it. It was such a shift for me.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: I think so many of us as women have been told to all the things we’re talking about. Be quiet or be softer, don’t hurt people’s feelings, don’t harm people. When I got to shift in that moment to thinking about my energy being this lifeforce and what it could help me do and create and love and connect with, I had a completely different just kind of opinion of myself. Like a shift around my being, my humaneness, everything.

What you were saying was reminding me of that. That energy within us that we don’t have to apologize for. It’s not broken. It’s not wrong. There’s nothing that we’re supposed to do.

Heidi: No. That’s what’s right about you. I think a lot of powerful women who are tuned in to themselves. I had an experience in business probably 10 years ago where I kept saying you I can’t I make this work. It was being in relationship with two other women. I just kept saying what is wrong with me that I can’t make this work? How many times have we said some version of that?

The clear messaging that I got was the reason this isn’t working is because there’s everything right with you. I was challenged with staying in the room alone. Like it’ll be worth it. Stay in this room alone and get to know yourself, accept her fully. When I look at the people that are around me now, it was worth staying in the room alone for a little while. It was lonely, and I was sad.

But I look at—here they come a little bit. But I look at the quality of the women around me right now and the friendships that we have. I’m so proud. I had an astrologer friend of mine, actually. She was like you need to wait for the more accurate mirrors. I said I need to know that they’re really coming. She said they are. Just be willing to stand alone for a little while.

Being in a room of accurate mirrors and going oh my god, I love you so much. You love me so much. Like there’s a mutual respect and admiration and humility. I’ve never been in this season of a life where there’s so much reverence for one another, and people are cheering each other on. It’s like wow, there is enough for all of us, right?

There’s plenty for all of us. I don’t have to compete with your plentitude because it’s the same damn thing. There’s enough for all of us, but it’s accurate mirrors matter. I think for you to be in a room with accurate mirrors where people are going this is what’s right about you. This is what’s great about you.

Tobi: I feel that so much too. I feel that same connection and reverence. Like I feel the same thing. It’s hard to even put words to how I’ve never felt so connected. In fact, most of my life, I felt like people didn’t get me and didn’t understand me.

Heidi: Me too.

Tobi: Now, I feel literally like this thread is running through me and all these other, especially women, and we’re so connected. A few men too.

Heidi: I got goosebumps.

Tobi: Me too. I got goosebumps at the same time. I think you’re so right. But what you’re saying is, just to be clear, the way I’m hearing you is to stand alone in that room means that you’re also standing in your—I mean, I hate to use the word because it’s so overused, authenticity. But like in your realness. Like you’re being seen. You’ve lowered the mask and the facade and all the thing.

Because until we’re fully seen as ourselves, we can’t attract those mirrors, that true mirrors. Like because before we were attracting a mirror to show us back the facade that we were showing to everybody else. Then we were like I don’t know why this doesn’t resonate, right? Like we were putting out a false self, and it was mirroring back to us. We’re like no, that’s not it and that’s not it and that’s not it.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: But we’re revealing what we really knew to be the true self.

Heidi: It’s such a beautiful risk.

Tobi: Yeah.

Heidi: But again, the physiology shows up. I get breathless around that, but standing in a room like naked with your truth, right? Like no, these legit are my values. We talk a lot about boundaries. One of the boundary phrases we use in our family as this is as far as I go. It comes with that hand gesture, a stop sign. This is as far as I go.

Being willing to go I refuse to cross my boundaries one more day. This is not about other people crossing my boundaries anymore. This is about me going not one more day am I doing that. I have no idea how I’m going to structure my day. If I’m not over functioning or trying to make everybody okay, but not one more day am I going across my own boundaries. This is as far as I go.

Then watching people walk away from you. Watching people tell stories about you and going I can handle that. I know who I am. If there’s only one person on the planet who’s going to get me, it’s going to be me. Right? When I get me, everyone else is a bonus. Because I’m going to spend the rest of my life with myself. I can have compassion for the parts of her that are still healing. I can have compassion for the parts I’m still reclaiming.

Tobi: Wow.

Heidi: But I really genuinely like who I am. I really like who I’m becoming. I like this version of me probably the most. Right?

Tobi: Yeah, me too.

Heidi: Isn’t that amazing?

Tobi: Yes. Like I didn’t even know it was possible truly. I’ve heard people talk about it coming with age, but I don’t think it just comes chronologically. It comes with age and work. Like you have to do it comes with self-reflection. It comes with awareness. It comes with growth.

Heidi: It comes with community.

Tobi: For sure community.

Heidi: Yeah.

Tobi: For sure. I think that’s been the biggest game changer because for so long, I didn’t trust other people because I didn’t trust myself.

Heidi: Me either. Exactly.

Tobi: I also bought into the rugged individualism, meritocracy, bootstrapping, all of the lies of the systems.

Heidi: And women, you can’t work with women.

Tobi: You can’t. You can’t work with women. You can’t work with millennials. Nobody wants to work anymore. All the little shit. All the shit.

Heidi: I know.

Tobi: When I finally worked through all of those things and was like oh my god, there are people like me who care so much and who want to be connected. When you connect with them, I almost think of it as like I plugged myself into the like—Like if you imagine like plugging your phone in. I feel like I plugged into almost like the mothership of these connection of these people, this like of humanity really is what we’re plugging into.

Heidi: Yeah.

Tobi: When you when you feel that current running through your body, you don’t ever want to be disconnected from that again.

Heidi: That’s because you are who you are. That’s an expression of who you are. I think that that’s, I love the mothership. I’m going to play with that. Thank you for that word today.

Tobi: You know what I mean? When you feel like you’re plugged in.

Heidi: I do.

Tobi: It’s weird. Also, you can like see other people differently when you’re plugged in. You can connect. You can listen. I find myself saying so many fewer words than I ever said before when I was always trying to prove myself.

Heidi: Yeah or justify.

Tobi: I can be, and I can just surrender, and I can just connect. It’s like we know. We get each other, and we understand at a different level.

Heidi: Yeah, it feels like you’re starting at like mile marker 100.

Tobi: Yeah.

Heidi: That’s very different. Or like the 17th date, where it’s like yeah, I got you. Okay, let’s go.

Tobi: Yeah totally. I love it so much. This is has been so fun. This is how we experienced each other in those little, tiny moments in our sessions that we’ve spent a year kind of together or more. I’m so glad you were willing to come and create this, not only selfishly did I enjoy indulging in this with you, and we both got emotional at times. But I just I think this is something that other people need to hear.

Because those other people that want to plug in that want to connect, they’re listening. They’re also feeling like people don’t get them, or they haven’t quite ever like really connected with those people that they’re meant to connect with. I think it’s just hopefully giving a glimpse of like what’s possible. You show up as your real self. Yeah.

Heidi: It’s worth the risk.

Tobi: Yeah, it is. Thankfully, you said you have to be willing to be in that room by yourself for a little bit. That’s the hardest part.

Heidi: Yes. It’s also remembering that when you’re in that room alone, that there are other people in other rooms alone waiting for you too. I have a vision of that. Like we’re all, what does Ram Dass say? We’re all just walking each other home. So you might be in that room alone temporarily, and it might be really unpalatable for a while. But it’s worth doing that work. So. Hit me up, man. I want to know you. I want to know. Like let’s know each other.

Tobi: Awesome. So like let’s go there. How do they find you? Tell us like where they can connect with you, where they can learn more about you, all of the things.

Heidi: Oh, I love that. Yes, Heidi Metro everywhere. So Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook. My website is heidimetro.com. We do a lot of workshops. One of the workshops that we’re highlighting right now is From Burned Out to Lit Up because I want you to have that inner fire. Like let’s talk about that. Like let’s receive you as your burned out version because this too is sacred. She too is sacred. How do we tap you into that inner fire? How do we rekindle that inner spark so that you can—We got work to do.

Tobi: I love it. Just to remind everyone, what I love about the fact that you have done this equity centered work is I think there’s so much in the kind of spiritual and coaching realm that gets sort of a little iffy in the realm of safety and inclusion. It’s a really a worthy investment of people’s time and energy. So just to remind everyone too that you are doing this work to make yes that it’s an equitable space.

Heidi: Absolutely.

Tobi: I just posted something today as we’re recording this on, I shared something that someone else had posted. It was so good. There’s this person, I wish I could remember her name, but I’ll put it in the show notes when I find it. But there’s a person that’s coming out with a book in 2024 called, I think it’s called like Hood Self-Care. But it was saying if your self-care is not accessible, if your self-care practices that you’re teaching are not accessible to people who have $2 in their bank or who work three jobs.

Heidi: I just saw that. I think it was on Row House.

Tobi: Yeah, it was on Row House. It was on Row House, and they shared the author. Maybe they’re publishing her book. I think it’s gonna be called, like Hood Self-Care. Which it’s not Mikki Kendall, who did Hood Feminism. It’s another person. But I was like oh my gosh, this is so important. Because so much of coaching is only afforded to those with privilege.

Heidi: Yes.

Tobi: So I think the equity centered work is so important for people to understand that this is something that should be available to every human.

Heidi: Yes, amen. I wholeheartedly cosign that.

Tobi: Amazing, amazing. Okay, well, it was so fun to have you here.

Heidi: This is so fun. Anytime you want to do this again, I’m in.

Tobi: Okay, perfect. I will connect with you. Of course, we’ll stay connected. Anybody who wants to know more about Heidi, it looks like metro but it’s Metro. You can find her out on all the places she mentioned and on Instagram and connect. Let us know what you thought about the show. If you want to plug into our mothership, then come on because we’re here.

Heidi: That sounds like a workshop we’re gonna do together.

Tobi: Exactly. I think so too. Perfect. Okay. Well, we’ll connect on that soon.

Heidi: Awesome.

Tobi: Thank you so much for being here.

Heidi: Thank you so much. Oh, my gosh, thank you.

Okay, so I hope you were as moved as I was by this conversation. There’s just, I’ll say again, something, a different level of like soul quenching, fulfilling, kind of fill my cup thing that happens when I connect with women and with people like Heidi that are on kind of the same mission to create impacts in our own lives and on communities and the world in this way.

So we want to hear from you. Let us know. Reach out on Instagram. If you see us posting about this episode in our stories, just hit reply and tell us what you thought. But this one was particularly fun and moving for me, and I hope it was for you too. Okay. I’ll be back next week with a really fun announcement. Something we’ve been working on for a while. I’m going to tell you what that process was like and what it means for us. So find me here again next week. I’ll give you all the details on our fun, exciting reveal. I’ll see you soon. Bye 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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