Jan. 21, 2021

E52 Turning Trauma into Triumph with Emily Grant

E52 Turning Trauma into Triumph with Emily Grant

In this episode I sit down with fellow coach, mentor, and survivor Emily Grant. Listen as we break down understanding how to take your power back, how action means everything, and how to become the hero of your own story.
Emily Grant is a trauma survivor.

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In this episode I sit down with fellow coach, mentor, and survivor Emily Grant. Listen as we break down understanding how to take your power back, how action means everything, and how to become the hero of your own story.

Emily Grant is a trauma survivor who has transmuted her pain into purpose. She now serves as Transformation Coach helping people discover the confidence and freedom to heal their wounds and reclaim their power.

Read the Transcript here: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e52-turning-trauma-into-triumph-with-emily-grant/#transcript

For more on Emily: https://emilygrantsays.com

Follow here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilygrantsays/

This episode is sponsored by Think Unbroken: Click here to get your copy of my #1 selling trauma healing book: https://www.linktr.ee/michaelunbroken.

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Michael Anthony: Hey, what's up unbroken nation. Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world. Today, we are greeted by my very great pal. Who is also a trauma informed coach and mentor. So two peas, one pod, or however that goes. Emily Grant, Emily, how's it going? How are you? Welcome. Thank you for being here.


Emily Grant: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so happy to be here today. Everything is going well. Everything's going well here in New York.


Michael Anthony: Nice. Yeah, the world is very odd right now, especially in New York. One of the, one of my favorite places on planet earth what's happening in your world right now?


Emily Grant: Yeah. Well, so today in New York, actually, the weather is kind of the today. So I’ve had some clients this morning and yeah, everything in my world is going well. I am a trauma informed coach, and I am helping people transform their lives and heal their wounds from trauma. And I also help people heal through movement as well. And somatic exercises. I look at everything as a mind, body connection. So yeah, that's the path that I'm on right now.


Michael Anthony: Yeah, that's really awesome. And you know, we connected through Instagram because I started reading some of your posts and I'm like, Oh, I resonate with this human being because we're both in this space, which in the path of what I’ll call mental health care in 2020 Western society, I think about trauma being the elephant in the room of mental health, people are terrified to talk about it, yet statistically one in four people have experienced a traumatic experience at some point in their childhood. And we know that we are shaped by those things that happen. And I was like, Oh, well, this person really resonates with this idea and this concept of healing and moving and understanding trauma through coaching. And you use the word mentor, which I do as well. How did you even get to this place, this journey, this place where you're like, okay, I'm going to take the really fucked up shit that happened to me and I'm going to flip it on its head and I'm going to step into this place to making the world a better place.


Emily Grant: Yeah. So first I just want to acknowledge you for saying that, you know, trauma is like very prevailing and I think it's really something that people fail to recognize, like how many people have experienced trauma and how it affects them. So that's like super important something I would love to touch upon it again later. But as far as like, my journey is concerned I’ve experienced a lot of trauma throughout my life from childhood up until pretty much my mid-twenties. So a trauma was very prevalent for me and it affected me in multiple ways. When I was really, really young, my father took his life, and I was nine years old at the time. And I was put in therapy, play therapy and basically in play therapy, they came back and said, Oh, she's fine. Like I'm a nine-year-old in play therapy doing okay, doesn't seem to have any signs of anything, you know, that's affecting her. So I never realized how the trauma of losing my father to suicide, which shaped my existence as I navigated relationships at through adulthood at the same time, I was also experiencing narcissistic abuse. So I didn't necessarily feel as though I had a stable secure relationship in my life, but I couldn't really detect that at the time because I was young. So all I just knew is that I didn't feel safe, but I didn't really have a language. I didn't know what was going on at the time, as I progressed on my journey, I started to recognize that, you know, I was always very anxious, depressed, hypervigilant, sometimes shut down and I couldn't really figure out what was going on with me. I just knew that, Hey, like this isn't right. And because I went to play therapy as a child, I just figured that like, Hey, everything should be fine now. Well, I was very, very wrong. Basically when I got to college, that's when I started noticing my life really taking a turn. I was trying to become, you know, independent break away from home, really like get my feet on the ground. And basically what I noticed was that I was struggling really, really hard, mental illness. That's when I started recognizing, okay, like this doesn't feel right. I didn't feel like I fit in with anyone in college. I felt like people didn't understand me. I was starting to feel really broken. So I started seeing a therapist actually on campus. And then when I started going to therapy on campus, I realized like, Hey, like this is the first person in my life that I feel like I can talk to and share with and I started to feel like for the first time in my life that I was understood, and she started helping me make sense of everything that I had previously experienced. Anyway, to make a long story short from that moment all the way I would say, because I was with her for almost 10 years. And then of course also doing a lot of my own healing work. I realized, I’ve been through some shit. I have been through some. It was like that moment of like actually allowing myself to acknowledge how much shit I’ve been through and really like understanding too that just because I recognize that didn't mean that the healing was over. It was at that moment that I actually had to start peeling away the layers. And even though I was in therapy and doing a lot of healing work, becoming more aware and conscious to how these traumas affected me, it took years to start to regulate my nervous system.

And it was, you know, at that point too, when I started to realize like, Hey, this is a lot, I had to go a lot of toxic relationships. I had to, I ended up in the hospital near death to, I woke up at a hospital. They asked me, are you trying to kill yourself? And I didn't think I was on the surface, but subconsciously what I was doing was working myself to the ground, taking substances to numb my pain. And that was the root of my awakening. And after that moment, that was when I realized, how can I transmute all this pain that I’ve been shoving under the rug and really turn it into something that allows me to tap into my resilience. 


Michael Anthony: Yeah, that's super powerful. And I resonate that in such an intense way, you know, coming from this background of trauma and being embedded in it from youth, you know, at four years old, my mother cut my finger off. My father was hyper abusive. And by the time I'm on my teens, I'm getting high every day. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, hit the twenties. I'm very like promiscuous and a workaholic and chasing money and doing drugs. And next thing you know, I'm like, Oh, I'm trying to take my own life. What I think people kind of miss. And this was my experience is like the behaviors and the experiences that you have in your youth shape you. And like you, I did play therapy also. And I was also labeled as perfectly fine. Well, you come to look at the way that trauma manifests in us, in our adult or late teens and adult years and a lot of our youth as well, but primarily it became avoidance, right? What can I do to numb this experience? What could I do to hide myself from these things. I constantly am in this place where I'm chasing this idea of how do we mitigate what I will call rock bottom, right? That place Emily, where you and I both were like, fuck we got to hit the switch, change everything now, we're going to die if we don't. Some people are not capable of doing that. What was it about that moment? That rock bottom for you where you're like, I got to do something different. Cause it's really easy to not change course. What happened there?


Emily Grant: Yeah. So that's really interesting. Cause when I say it was the root of my awakening, it wasn't like a light bulb went off, but what did happen was I actually felt numb at first. I felt like I couldn't believe what I had just experienced and gone through, but what it did help me to do is take these glasses off and I feel like I had been living with, for so long and helped me to really, really see what I didn't want to see. And to help me stop running because that's what I was really just doing, running, running from the pain, trying to escape the pain. And I thought that I was working through it right, in talk therapy. And yes, I was to a degree. But what I can say it was after that realizing that I was dying when I was living right. It was that time where I had the numb feelings for a while and then they started to dissipate, and I started to really just get more clarity on everything that was happening. And I realized like I can't live while I'm dying anymore. So little by little after that happened. And that was actually in 2017, I realized that I had to take action to really then take, where was I unhappy in my life and take action to shift those, to shift what was happening in those areas. And even though they kept me safe for so long, right. I was in a relationship and actually I was in a relationship that wasn't really toxic at the time. We just weren't for each other. But I was holding on because I feared loss so much. I knew in that time, like, well, I'm not happy in this. And even though it's so scary to take the leap and leave this relationship, that's something I need to do if I want to start feeling alive and not dead while I'm living. I had to start basically taking actions that were going to help me start to really think about how I want to live and what feels in alignment for me, as scary as it was.


Michael Anthony: One of the biggest areas that I think is a pillar of creating change in your life is by taking action. By stepping into this place where you're so incredibly uncomfortable that the other side is death, right? Where you go, what am I willing to do to have the life that I want to have? And I think that place of taking action, especially in the beginning, because it is so uncomfortable, it almost feels like you mentioned like numb. I felt numb to this idea of stepping into not only recognizing the inheritability that I had to shape the life that I want, but also like putting myself in precarious situations on purpose to self-sabotage, right? Because what is harder in the world than becoming the hero of your own story? The easiest thing to do is stay that path and continue down that road. What was it like for you when you started to notice that the actions you were having in your life were like manifesting change? Because what I want people to get out of this as the understanding that it doesn't matter necessarily how traumatic your life was or was not, but there is a level of choice and ownership embedded in what happens when you step forward by putting yourself first. And so I would love to know like just what that journey of acceptance and understanding and literally like forcing yourself into change.


Emily Grant: Absolutely. Yeah. As I started to really take this action, I started to see that how everything was unfolding was so different than before. And when I say take action, it means to have to really take the really challenging steps. And I don't really like to use the word, like get out of my comfort zone. Because at the same time, like I was at a certain point, everything, all the coping mechanisms and the self-destructive ways served me. But it was at this point in time where, what was one serving me no longer was. And then I had to let go of the fear and really just say, I need to dive in no matter how scary this is. And that's when the power of choice was revealed to me. So I can't necessarily say that, like I can say that, like I maybe would have been able to take this action that I took early on, but I still had to work through all the wounds early on, but how the journey unfolded for me felt like it was just in divine timing. And the actions that I was able to take at that point were really more tangible actions. It was more about like owning my choices, knowing that I have the power to leave a relationship that's not making me happy, knowing I can quit a job that I'm not fulfilled in. So for me it really just liberated me and allowed me to access the freedom inside of myself to know that like, Hey, trauma doesn't have to be a life sentence anymore.


Michael Anthony: Yeah, it doesn't. And I totally believe in that. How do you discern like what serves you and what doesn't serve you? Because I think we live in this place where it's do yoga, meditate, journal, eat well, run 10 miles a day, then stretch for four hours, go to bed on time, wake up in the morning with a plan and an agenda and do all these things. And people get overburdened by the cumbersome state of the environment that we live in. How do you even decipher, like this serves me, this doesn't serve me.


Emily Grant: Yeah. That's really, really like a wonderful question because I think a lot of people, when they are experiencing trauma or have experienced it in the past or are vulnerable, they have trouble figuring that out. And I do think it's a lot of trial and error. And I also think it's about really learning how to trust ourselves and what feels good. I say that so much of that honestly is bullshit. Like I’m, you know, I have to be honest with you. Like I'm all for it, trying new things, new routines, morning routines, this, that, but I think so much of what society says to do is so commercialized and that trauma survivors especially need to really learn how to trust their and heal, the wounds, trust their intuition and find what works for them. So society is constantly trying to shape us, I think, to be a certain way and live like these carbon copy robots when we're human beings and we all need to discern what's best for us and what works for us. And a lot of that is just simply trial and error. Like for me, I know that like, especially even with my trauma, like I still experience anxiety. You know, I still experience from time to time what you might want to call it trauma responses. And for me, I know that certain things will trigger that anxiety. So what I do is honor the fact that, Hey, this isn't going to work for me today. Like right now, I don't need to get up and move. I actually need to just allow myself the space to rest in bed today. Other times I’ll know like, Hey, I'm feeling kind of lethargic getting up and moving right now is exactly what I need to feel good. So it's really learning our body is, what it is that we need to self-soothe. And I believe that all comes in time with trial and error.


Michael Anthony: Yeah. I agree with you and I'm totally a proponent of like hitting the pause button when I need it and pressing the gas when I have to. I've also done something really important though in that, as I have put myself in a position where I trust that I'm making the right decisions for myself. Rewind 10, 12, 15, 25 years ago, trust is, okay, I trust that I can go get this joint and get really high and not do anything today. How do you even step into trusting yourself? Like paint that picture. Because I think so many people, especially if they're first stepping into this journey, this idea of trust is so far removed because our baseline of understanding of trust is coupled with the idea of ramifications behind everything that happens. Every time we trust someone, something's taken from us or hurt, we're abused, we're lost, whatever that thing may be. And then because of that baseline, trusting ourselves almost feels impossible. So as someone who says, I found that I had to trust myself, like, what is that journey? How do you give somebody an understanding that this is how you step into that place?


Emily Grant: Developing trust is certainly not an overnight process. That's for sure. I believe that as we're healing on this journey, which is not linear, we may feel disappointed, right. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? Like we were never taught to trust our own reality. So then what happened is situations that are familiar to us. People invalidate our reality and then we get disappointed. And then it just makes us feel like we're living the past all over again. I think it's learning how to build a tolerance to the fact that we may experience these situations that make us feel like we're reliving the past. But also recognizing that what it is really just subconscious, subconscious beliefs that need to be rewired. And as we rewire these subconscious beliefs, we get to learn that everything that's happening in the present moment may feel like it's reminding us of the past, but it's not. And we get to start establishing situations for ourselves that disprove that. So it's like, can we start to find a time where maybe we thought we couldn't trust someone, and they did show us that they came through at the time they said they were going to come through. So it's also creating relationships, getting that support that we needed to help disprove all these subconscious beliefs that we may hold. And it's really a process. It's a journey. It really doesn't happen overnight. I can say that I really strongly follow my intuition at like where I am now in my life, but it really, really took rewiring those programs and those patterns in order to get to this place and to find those safe people that could prove to me that they're not going to, you know do what was done to me in the past. So I would say it's building that tolerance. Building capacity too, because even when we may be presented with those situations or those people that disprove it, we may not even trust that.


Michael Anthony: Yeah. I found that one of the two things, one is I had to let go of the idea that on the backside I was probably going to get hurt. I leveraged it and held onto that idea because it kept me from showing up for myself in many different places. Because I did take that self-fulfilling prophecy, as you said. And I was like, Oh, okay, I'm going to leverage that to not show up. I recognize on the backside of this thing, something bad may occur. And I had to take into consideration a special with people. Who hurts children, people, adults, and being around people and removing myself from being ostracized from community meant that I had to be willing to accept the idea that there was potential that I could actually get hurt again, perhaps not in a physical way, because I'm like measuring the safety of my environment, but in an emotional or mental way. And I think that you have to take into consideration within the framework of understanding that there is always space for you to be hurt because we are humans. And that is what we do unfortunately. The other thing that I think probably played a bigger role and you can speak to this and I'm very curious of your thoughts is I had to learn to create trust within my own body, right? Because I was so dissociated. And if you don't want, that means it's, my brain was completely disconnected from my body. So I never felt like I was in sync. My brain is over here in my body, seven miles down the road and being in this constant place of dissociation, I felt so incredibly removed from myself that I had to take my body and put it through this series of dare I say, torturous events in a healthy way to move into being able to resync that was through yoga and meditation and hitting the gym and eating right and not smoking and doing those like really important things. But it was through movement that I regained this ability to feel, not only connection with myself, but trust within this framework of this machine I'm in. As someone who talks about movement, being such an important part in this, how does that work and why does it work?


Emily Grant: Yeah. So movement is super, super powerful because it really allows you to connect with what's happening in the mind to your body. And while I will say though, movement, it's not for everyone dependent upon where they are in their healing journey, but it is super, super powerful, especially if you're feeling like you're disassociated, shut down, numb, right? Because sometimes we really just need to regulate our system and show our own system that we can get moving, especially if we're depressed or whatever the case is. And I’ve noticed that in a lot of my clients, even just shaking. A lot of the energy that we have is that stored in the body that's stuck and stagnant gets released when we start moving. And some clients I’ll even say, it's like, you can move a finger. You can start with literally moving a finger to allow yourself to build, you know, like your window of tolerance to then slowly progressing into moving other body parts and then maybe just dancing. So people think movement and they automatically think it has to be like this like big activity. But movement could literally just be rolling a shoulder, right. It starting to really connect the mind with what's happening in the body. And also when you're engaging in movement like yoga, like dance or whatever the case is, it's really allowing you, if you ask yourself to get in touch with the feelings that are stored in the body, the energy, the feelings, the emotions that are, you know, in the body. And it's really, really a beautiful thing when you can start to really tune into what's happening there because when you have trauma, you're so far removed from the body, it almost feels like, I don't know if you can relate, but like you're ahead. And your body's over here. And the head is just like walking, like rolling around and then your body is just headless standing there. That's literally what it felt like for me for so many years.


Michael Anthony: Yeah. What was the role that movement played in your life?


Emily Grant: Yeah, so I was always a dancer. I was in dance classes at the young age of three. And what's funny is actually I was born with a submucous cleft palate and I couldn't hear, so I had to have multiple surgeries later in life actually to repair my speech and I would go to dance class and it was interesting cause I couldn't really hear well. My speech was unintelligible, and I actually didn't have the surgery until eighth grade. I didn't dance. I would just feel like, I would mimic the teacher's movement. And for me, even at a young age, it was such an outlet of expression. Because I literally couldn't really speak well. I couldn't hear and I had surgeries on my ears as well, but so for me, even at the young age, I just knew that, Hey, this feels good to me.

It good to move my body. As I got older, I continued to dance, and it was in more of a competitive way. I then opened up an entertainment company where I staff out performers and performed at nightclubs, Back-Up dancing, the whole thing and movement always played an important role, but it wasn't until about, I would say three years ago that I started looking at movement and saying it served such a purpose for me and my life as an outlet of expression. And I know that it can do the same for so many other people. And that's when I started looking at it as less of just like a fit, you know, like movement dance as a physical thing who can dance the best, right or in a competitive way, or and I started looking at it at the healing modality and developing my own, you know, healing tools and strategies using movement. And it really was at that time that I started to say like, Hey, people have a misconception about dance and movement. Like I think often people just, I'm not a dancer or I can't move. But the reality is that if you can just move anything, that's a form of self-expression that can eventually help you really shift the energetic state that you're in.


Michael Anthony: That's powerful. And you know, I’ve actually challenged myself. I believe that like challenging yourself as so incredibly important to actually like go and dance and to do Kundalini yoga, which to me is like terrifying. And to just step into these places where you move your body, you move your body without the fear of judgment and without the fear of ramification, right? Because even movement could be trauma for you as a child. I grew up in this home where children are better to be seen and not heard and you probably shouldn't even be seen so you shouldn't even exist. So you put yourself in this place of constantly hiding, but that freedom of movement is an expression just like writing or journaling or things of that nature. As you kind of step into this, you talk about crafting and taking this talent that you have and this passion and dancing and applying it to, you know, creating a pathway of movement and trauma for other people. How did you get to this place? Because I think that a lot of people step into, and this was my thought process was for a long time. Cause I had such a fixed mindset. It wasn't until I really started to adapt a fixed mindset across the board in my life about a decade ago that I recognized that the only thing keeping me from really stepping into growth was me. And there's so many modalities. How do you trust that you're going to like step into the right one?


Emily Grant: Yeah. That's really, really interesting. You know, I would say like A, assessing where you're at. And asking yourself, what is it that I need? And also if you have support systems, it's really great as far as like getting guidance from them too and like I said, before trial and error, right? Like sometimes you have to just take the action, what we talked about before, and really put yourself in a situation that may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar in order to assess whether or not this is something that works for you. But it's important at the same time, obviously not to be putting yourself in a situation that can retraumatize you. So I would say easing your way into these types of classes is really, really important. Asking yourself, what is it that I need to do for me today. And if you find that, like, you know, you are in a space and it's making you feel uncomfortable, you're not ready for it, but it's okay to also give yourself the permission to walk away, if it's not making you feel safe. So it's really important to also work with people who are trauma informed, whether it's a therapist, a coach, there's trauma-informed yoga instructors. And I would say taking action and really just sometimes doing the very thing that scares you the most is the thing that will end up really freeing you in the end. But it's really, really important to just stay in your window of tolerance.


Michael Anthony: Yeah. Yeah. I agree with that. Cause I’ve put myself in situations that I thought was going to make my life better or teach me something. And only to discover like two minutes into it, I'm like, Oh, this is definitely not for me. So I need to leave. A perfect example is you talk about dance, a static dance. Not for me, not in my wheelhouse. I cannot do it. To me, it brings nothing to my life, but I know for certain, there are people where that is such an incredible and palatable thing for them that they must have it. Whereas I lean towards like Muay Thai and jujitsu. That is my movement of expression. So I want to shift gears here because I'm really, really curious. How do you transform your story? And now step into this place where you're bringing my into the world, what does that journey like?


Emily Grant: Yeah. It's been a beautiful journey of learning and unlearning because even as I shift now into being a mentor and a guide for others it really allows me to A, see how far I’ve come in my own journey. And with my lived experience, be able to use that to really demonstrate for other people that, you know, life after trauma is possible. And I’ll say that I feel like everything that I’ve endured up until this point was for a reason. And I can know that's triggering for a lot of people to hear, you know, a lot of people are like, you know, nobody should have had to suffer, and it is true. Nobody should have to suffer more. We're not all going to perceive our trauma the same way and that's okay. But for me and my life, it feels as though I was called to do this work. And you know, why I went through everything I did was to be able to provide other people with the tools that they need to survive their trauma. Because, you know, I do think, you know, as prevailing as trauma is the world is very misinformed when it comes to trauma. So people who are struggling, who don't have safe support, do need people to lean on. They need people to show them that they're, you know not alone that they can be understood. They're not broken. And what I offer for a lot of people now, and I'm sure you can relate is everything that maybe I didn't necessarily feel that I had when I was in the midst of my trauma. And I also integrate a lot of what I feel that I did have. So it's been really just rewarding to be able to finally feel as though I'm in this place in my life where I can give back and also reclaim my own power and my own life.


Michael Anthony: Yeah. And there is something really empowering about it as well, you know, as I stepped further into this and I resonate with you. I don't believe that anyone deserves to have any of the things that happen to them happen, you know, but I do like even though it's this really hard juxtaposition and this thing that I constantly battle within myself on, everything does happen for a reason. You can't change anything that's happened in your life, but you can do things about it moving forward. And I look at that in the very much delight of think unbroken, because when I wrote the book, it was because it was the book that I needed in this journey because it didn't exist otherwise. I read all the self-help books, nothing was like think unbroken, right? And in the coaching and the mentoring, I did, like, I’ve now taken bits and pieces from, and I still have a mentor and a coach because I think it's super important. And every part of my life is informed by those things. I always get the question and I would love your thoughts here. I don't know where to begin. Where do I even start to heal? How do I do this? I know all these really dark, fucked up things happen to me, but I don't know what to do about it, Emily, what do I do? Where do I even start?


Emily Grant: Yeah, I get that question a lot as well. And one thing I’ll say is it's never too late to start. I have people that come to me saying, you know, is it too late? I'm 40 and 50, you know, and it's never too late to start. The first step that I always recommend, if someone has access to support is finding someone that they feel safe and secure with. And that can be difficult when you're traumatized and vulnerable, because you may not even know. But again, it's really just taking that first step and being proactive to find someone can help support you. Cause I do think it's really, really important to co-regulate. And also even just reading, look, reading your book, and looking for materials and resources that can help support you on your journey. If finding support is not an option. I read a lot of books when I was in my, you know, healing. And I did have my therapist. I also went to workshops, you know, I did whatever I could to just try to start getting out of this hole that I felt that I was in. And I think a lot of people they're frightened to do so, or they don't even feel that they are deserving to heal, you know, their trauma. So I think really just taking that leap and finding something that works for them, even if it only like creates a subtle shift, a subtle shift is better than nothing. 


Michael Anthony: How do you navigate like the shame attached to that? Because Emily, like, yeah, Great. That sounds fucking awesome. Sure, I’ll go and do all those things, but I feel so much shame. Like what do you do? Like how do you navigate the shame of trauma?


Emily Grant: Yeah. Leaning into compassion really is huge and something that I always say and people they hear me at first and they're like, what? But, like hear me out. I always say, it's okay to feel sorry for yourself. We've been taught in our society, all stop feeling, sorry for yourself, you know, don't play the victim. But if a friend or someone was telling you that they're suffering and struggling and you care for them, wouldn't you say, I'm so sorry, I'm here for you, but yet we never say to our own selves, I'm so sorry. I'm here for you. Because if we say that we're automatically, you know, playing the victim or, and I feel that it's just so important to really allow ourselves the space, to expand into compassion, to learn how to tell ourselves that we're there for our own self, the way we are for everyone else. And a lot of the compassion helps to reduce the shame that's associated with our history, our trauma and leaving it to compassion. That's work in itself. Because that's not easy either, but it's little by little right. Reinforcing being able to say to ourselves, like, it's okay. I do a lot of inner child work. And just being able to continuously hold ourselves.


Michael Anthony: Yeah. I think about this often. I get a lot of pushback from people because I'm very aggressive in the approach that I take to this. And I'm in the very small minority of people on planet earth who has an ACE score of 10. And there is a level of intensity that I live my life with. And one of the things that I always say is no excuses just results because I really truly believe like deep down, you can have anything in life that you want, but you have to go with it. And that includes compassion for yourself. Often people kind of think like I run my life from this tyrannical standpoint where I force myself into doing things that I hate because like, that's the moniker. Realistically, I think about the idea of no excuses, just results living in this space of how are you going to show up for yourself today? How are you going to be compassionate for yourself today? How are you going to take all the and the ideations that have been buried within you since youth and flip them on their head? You know, one of the things you briefly talked about is reframing, right? How do you, as someone who's stepping into this place to help people become compassionate with themselves, how do they even reframe that narrative?


Emily Grant: Yeah. It really depends exactly how others talking to themselves, right. Because depending upon where they're at, like, if someone is saying like, I'm a piece of shit because of everything that's happened to me. And well, A, it's not your fault. And two, how do you get to rewrite the story based on where you are now in your life. And what is the quality of the present experience that you want to have now, in the now, right? Because when we're living in that past story of who we were, or who we perceive ourselves to be, or who society tells us, we are, we stay stuck. So it's really, really important, depending upon where someone's coming from to shift that story that they're telling themselves, which is so much of a belief, you know, it's just a belief system. Most of the time, those beliefs are not real. Are you really a shitty person, who says?


Michael Anthony: Yeah, I think there's a huge level in which you have to measure all of the things that you convince yourself against what determines that. Because very much to your point earlier, we live in a society that is building us to be conformists. And like, I'm not sitting here waving the anarchy flag, trying to burn down Congress and all this shit, but there is a level in which you have to make the decision and choose who is it that you are and move towards that with understanding and grace and patience and all of those things. Because I would have to imagine, and this is how I think about the Michael that you're even talking to at this moment. This is a caricature of the idea of the person that I thought I could be come to life. I created this person through this unbelievable amount of very difficult, hard work. Do you relate to that?


Emily Grant: 100%. I'm the author of my own life. And one of my journal prompts to all my clients is how does it feel to be the author of your life? Because when we understood that we are the creator and we cultivate the life that we want to be living, that's a form of taking our power back and rewriting story and the narrative that we've allowed other people to write for us. And the version right now of myself here today is, yes, it's an extension of who I was, but all of the labels and the narratives and the stories that I was telling myself that I'm unlovable, I'm unworthy. I don't deserve abundance or success like rewiring the patterns and the programs and changing that narrative allowed me to stand in my power today and do the work that I do. And if it's possible for us, it's possible for everybody. I truly, truly believe. Granted, I understand that, you know, a system plays a role as well in how people you know, how people heal. But I do believe that when we really look inward and reclaim those parts of ourselves that were lost and step into our power and take action, we can create the life of our dreams. 


Michael Anthony: I agree with you completely. And part of that is ownership. Part of that is recognizing that you are capable of it. Part of it is also being willing to accept that on the backside of all that effort, you might actually get what you want and that's fucking scary, right? That you could actually become the person that you say that you're going to become. And I agree with you entirely. I believe that we are all capable of doing this. Even though every time you say that you will get pushback from people who go, well, you don't understand my scenario. Like, look, Emily, this isn't a race, but I don't know anyone who had a worst childhood than I did, literally don't. And again, it's not comparative, but I take that from this aspect of understanding. And it's fuel for me with this chip on my shoulder, that I go, okay, if it was this fucking bad for me, how do I help empower other people who quote unquote had it less bad, become powerful? And so the biggest part of that is just recognizing that all of this, everything that happens is a mind game, all of this is in your head to an extent. And yes, I have the ramifications of the physical elements and the problems that happened to me in my youth. I carry a finger that is half missing, that will never go away. It's a constant reminder of trauma. But the thing is, I get to determine how I show up for myself from this moment, moving forward. What do you think is the most important thing that people can do to start showing up for themselves?


Emily Grant: Yeah, it really is relative again to where somebody is. But when somebody is experiencing trauma or is a trauma survivor and has experienced trauma and they're facing trauma responses, I think the first and most important thing that they can really do for themselves is take the first step, whatever that means to them, to nurture themselves and to say like, okay, what do I need to shift in my life in order to elevate and ascend and progress, right? Because so often I think our mentality holds us back and we stay stuck because we are not taking intentional action. And that's another thing, right? Like people all the time will say, take action, take action. But what does that really mean? Intentional action is taking action that's aligned with the person that we want to be and the person that we want to become. So for one person that could look like, you know, booking a session with a coach. For someone else, it could be hopping into that yoga class. For somebody else it could literally be getting out of bed and brushing their teeth that day. Like it's just has to be one step forward. And yes, on the journey, you may end up feeling as though you're taking steps back. That's really part of it because it's not linear, but every single time you take a step forward, you get to remind yourself of that whenever you feel like you're stagnant and you're stuck, what did I have to shift that day? Or what did I have to do that day to really get to the place that I was in? And then you have to do that again and again, and again and again. And that's really how you build a capacity I believe to withstand, you know, the pain and the struggles, and to start to really say to yourself, like, I can do this. You know, I refer to myself as a warrior all the time. I always say that like, I had been through hell and back. And I used to feel sorry for saying that. I used to say like, because I internalize a lot of shame from people, Oh, you want to people to feel sorry for you. These are all stories, right? That I ended up internalizing. And then I said, screw it, right. I am a warrior. I have been through hell and back. And it's okay for me to fucking say that. And now I'm here standing on my two feet, cultivating the life that I want to cultivate because I took action. And I took intentional action every single day, even when it didn't feel that way.


Michael Anthony: Yeah. Literally, I couldn't say it better. I totally resonate. So now let's say that you're in this position where you've step seven, right? You're on the journey. You're on the path. You feel healing, your friends notice, the people around you notice, you notice, you put your feet on the ground. Life feels different, right. But you still have anxiety. You still have depression. It's still kind of there. You still have flashbacks of memory. How do you step through that? How do you work through that?


Emily Grant: I always say honoring the experience and the physical sensations in the body that come up for you and really showing them grace and not, you know, yes, like it's important to really push yourself and be like, Hey, I got this, but it's also important to really understand that you're a human being that experiences a wide spectrum of emotions. And that part of being human is still sometimes feeling anxious, depressed, stress. The goal obviously, is to feel good, right? But it's also to understand how to embrace our, you know, all of our emotions. And I just put something out there the other day. And I said, the goal is not to be happy all the time, but to learn how to accept and embrace the full spectrum and range of our human experience and to show yourself compassion, when that does happen and then get to ask yourself, what do I get to shift in this moment to feel different, to feel different. And it's all about really being able to come back to the body and tune in and connect. And maybe sometimes you may want to do a meditation if you're feeling anxious, right. Breathing exercises, you know I'm always really, like real with people. They'll be like, how are you today? And if I'm not doing that great, I’ll be like, [45:03 inaudible] and I'm a coach. And I recognize that like sometimes, you know, people may look at that and be like, but the truth of the matter is you can heal your wounds, but you're always in different phases and chapters of your healing. And it's a never-ending journey. And it's really about learning how to accept where you are in the present moment and know that you still have a lot of room to grow. 


Michael Anthony: Yeah, absolutely. There's always going to be a spectrum and a range and a competitiveness that we have within ourselves of where we were yesterday versus today. And I frequently come back to this. I literally might have to get this tattooed on me cause it's such a part of the way that I think about my life is, if I can have more good days than bad days, then I win the week. If I have more good weeks than bad weeks, I win the month and more good months than bad months I win the year. And ultimately, I come with this in the understanding that, fuck, I'm going to have some bad fucking days, ask my friends, they know, ask the people who are close to me, ask my clients. Sometimes the conversation is literally, I'm not doing great today, but I'm showing up for you today because my intention is to help you become the best version of you while understanding that me as a human being has a full range and spectrum of human emotions.

And that means, guess what motherfucker? I'm not always going to be happy go lucky. I'm going to have some rough days. And that's okay. And I’ve accepted that. Whereas I think a lot of people and especially in this industry and in this growth and coaching spectrum, because there are so many snake oil salesman, they play this role of everything is perfect. But guess what? Everything is not always perfect. And it will never be perfect, because perfect is not real. But what is real is honoring what is true for you. That doesn't mean you on people or dump your range of emotions onto the world and woe it is me. But it's okay to be okay.


Emily Grant: I love that. And like just being real and authentic, right? Because what happens is if we model this standard of unrealistic perfection for people, right, and someone has trauma, it's going to exacerbate that, right? Because then it's almost as if people feel that they need to now attain this level of happiness every single day, which is not authentic. It's not real. And that's another big problem. So I really admire the fact that you just said that. And I think being realistic and being honest and transparent is so, so important, as a coach, as a healer, you know, whatever the case is especially in, you know, helping somebody else in their journey, they need to see it real, especially as a trauma survivor. I know for me, when I was in the midst of my trauma, you know, if I was scrolling on Instagram and I just saw all these bloggers with their, you know, lattes and blenders in the back and everything like that, I would just feel like, what am I doing wrong in my life? We all have different experiences. I'm not bashing them. But the point is, it's just so important to really show people that we are human. You know, we're a human being.


Michael Anthony: Yeah, absolutely. Your journey has been incredible, and life is always changing and shifting and tomorrow you're going to wake up and be a different person than you are today. What does Emily's future look like?


Emily Grant: Well, my goal for myself is to publish a book, publish a book. I will speak on stages around the world, helping people heal their wounds from their traumas and also sharing my story. And you know, I want to just continue expanding my coaching business and make sure that I can reach as many people as possible. I want to travel the world and, you know, live the abundant life that I deserve to be living because I'm no longer locked into that story that I'm unworthy, that I'm unlovable. And I think it's just so important for us to really set the intention and the vision for where we want to be. And I do that for myself every day and it's not on a timeline, right. I really trust my unique process. And I'm really excited for what the future holds.


Michael Anthony: Powerful. Yeah, I’ve deployed patients as my best friend with recognizing that though, my goals are going to be met. It might take me longer or faster than I have projected. And I think that's really important. Patience is patience is a virtue used to sound like bullshit to me. And I'd be like, what the fuck are you talking about? I want it now. And now I recognize patients leads you to where you need to be. Before I ask my final question here, tell everybody where they can find you.


Emily Grant: Excellent. Yes. So on Instagram at Emily Grant says, and my website as well, which is www.emilygrantsays.com, which actually the new site is launching within a couple of days. So I'm super pumped for that. And I can also be reached by email as well, which they can find the contact for that on my website.


Michael Anthony: Awesome. So as we wrap up here, my final question for you, my friend is what does it mean to you to be unbroken?


Emily Grant: I'm going to take a moment to sit with this. For me, it means to connect back with our innate wisdom and our wholeness and not dismissing our traumas but learning how we get to build resilience out of them.


Michael Anthony: Beautiful. Thank you so much for being here and being a part of this today. Unbroken nation, if you found value in this episode, please like, subscribe and share and check out Emily at Emily Grant says because she's absolutely incredible. And until next time my friends be Unbroken. I'll see you.


Emily GrantProfile Photo

Emily Grant

Psychology / Coach

At the tender age of 3, I was enrolled in dance classes and although I didn’t speak a word, I didn’t have to: movement quickly became the outlet through which I could communicate and express myself.

More than a dozen years later, I’d wind up going through a series of surgical procedures and therapies that would correct the speech and hearing issues. So, these days, you can’t get me to shut up–but for most of my life, especially those most formative years, movement was more than an outlet; it was my primary method of personal communication and artistic expression.

Because of this, dance became the core of my professional and academic pursuits. Dance earned me scholarships to school, paving the way for my degree in Psychology.

It took almost dying to snap me out of it–AND to realize I needed to transmute my pain to transcend into my purpose.

To serve people and help them break the cycles they’re in.

To help people avoid the breakdowns and chase the breakthroughs.

To teach people how to move towards healing, and through trauma, and skip the detour to the hospital.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.