Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation: In this episode, we have amazing guests speaker, Angie Hejl, Paris Prynkiewicz, Christine McAlister, and Ana Lennyr. This episode will be incredibly beneficial for our lives...
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In this episode, we have amazing guests speaker, Angie Hejl, Paris Prynkiewicz, Christine McAlister, and Ana Lennyr.
This episode will be incredibly beneficial for our lives, in our journeys, no matter where we are. They will also break down the key to getting into a healthy relationship: getting yourself out of depression, getting out of your own way, and healing.
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HOW TO USE YOUR STORY TO CREATE CHANGE WITH ANGIE HEJL
Michael: You are built to feel when you come out of prison. That is just the way the system is because it wants you in there because then you make money, that's the truth of it, right? How do you sustain this hope that you have once you find yourself back in the real world?
Angie: So you're right. Usually, people go back and never won. I knew I did not want to be a statistic and I would do anything. I could not be adjusting to being home was really really hard. The word, institutionalized Israel, I came home and I had developed a lot of firm me. I look back and they were survival skills. I know that you've talked a lot about Perfectionism, a lot of obsessive-compulsive behaviors and a lot of it was me, you know, it gave me a sense of control, and it almost gave me a sense of calmness for a really long time, I think they served me really, really well. I thought that it's interesting when you're in it, you think that you're adjusting well until you have a few years to reflect back, but I do think that I was, you know, I really just wanted to come home and work hard. I was really really fortunate that the company that I worked for before, I went to prison gave me my job back. So number one I had an extreme amount of gratitude to them and then they also gave me an opportunity, it was a fine-dining Steakhouse. So in the hospitality industry which I love that, the hospitality industry gives people chances. I can definitely say for people that have been incarcerated that you have an opportunity to grow and it does allow you to warn skills along the way. So they made me a private dining coordinator with the possibility of becoming a sales manager. If it went well, and I just had so much fight in me at that point, that I worked my ass off for that job, and I eat, slept, and breathed working, and just being successful. I just wanted to be self-sufficient, and also I wanted to be a contributing, you know, person to society. So I used to use a language that I got really lucky to have those opportunities, but I'm learning that those opportunities came from how I showed up and how hard I worked. So I'm really learning to take ownership of that and it ended up going really well, work was going great, and I was starting to build, and then shortly after that, I met my husband. So, you know, everything on the outside was going as planned, if not better than I could have ever expected. But I still had a lot of those self-limiting thoughts that I didn't deserve everything that I was receiving, and that at any moment, it could be taken away and it has taken me years to work through that.
Michael: Yeah, and it does take years and it takes patience and, you know, there's something to be said about, I think that one of the big myths, no meres, and the world just as a whole is people feel like they're deserving of things, but I think the reality is you have to earn every inch every single day. And then, the hard part about that is when you come from a background in which you've been told, you're not good enough, smart enough capable enough, pretty enough, whatever enough there are always those moments of those limiting beliefs in the self-doubt and the shadow self in that part of you, that even though you go through a trial, after trial, after trial, and you have these moments where you reach out and you grab that brass ring and you're like, yes I'm victorious, is still goes, you're not good enough, you're not strong enough, you're not capable enough and working through that is I think probably the greatest challenge that we face as human beings. There's nothing in my opinion, more difficult than getting to the place where you put your feet on the ground and you say, I love myself. And that's so much of this journey that's so much about what life is because you have to be able to get to that place to actually create real sustainability. Because until you're there, your little bit trapped, right? You're still always in the vortex and that was my experience. I have the cars and the clothes, and the women, and all of the things. But I was miserable inside, because I hated my reflection in the mirror, and justifiably so like realistically, I'd put myself in that situation, I had made my choices and I had to suffer the gratification of that. The harder part of it is the upswing, right? Where you're looking at, you're going doing all the things, I'm doing all the things but still that little voice, right? That little piece, that's there. What you're doing now is such a just a position of where you started this journey writer and really your whole life to be in this place where you are, for lack of a better term in service. Talk to me about where that comes from, what inspires that, and what your hopes are with what you're doing now?
Angie: It's funny that you say in service because that's really been something that has stayed with me a lot this year, and my declaration right now is I want to be of service to others and to be able to be of service to others, I've had to step into a place of forgiveness, and I think that you're just like you said, we had all the things, you know, we moved with the beautiful wife, great house, great husband but something was still missing. I remember there was a moment, I had a few on my knees moment, we're number one, we were supposed to write a letter to somebody that we were angry at and I wrote it to myself and that was an aha moment for me. I was in a, you know, self-improvement course, and I couldn't think of anybody else that I was angry at, and I was like, so I wrote it to myself and then we had to read it back to someone else and both of our eyes got really wide and she was really confused, and I was just like, man, I hate myself and that was a moment for me because up until then, I don't think that I knew that and I remember reading the book, “The Body keeps the score” and I'm a bit disassociated. So I think that I just moved on I was like if I do all these things if I do all the right things and everything will just fall into place and it just wasn't in learning the science behind how trauma affects the body. It just lit something in me that I was like I need to get a handle on this and I do remember having a moment one night where I was on the floor in my kitchen telling my husband that you know he was going to check me in somewhere for a little I'll and that I was going to go away and really work on my trauma and I was being a little bit dramatic but at that moment I committed to my healing and that's ultimately when I found Illumma and therapy and I made a commitment to sitting in a mess really, I knew that it wasn't going to be pretty. I never wanted to get that messy, I just wanted to keep sweeping it under the rug but I had to give myself space to work through it in order to be able to show up for others. And that's been the only way that I've been able to keep showing up for others is by working on myself.
HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WITH PARIS PRYNKIEWICZ
Michael: What I'm curious about is what was the lead-up. What parts of this were symptomatic in a way that was noticeable in which you thought to yourself, okay, I actually need to seek help something here as off.
Paris: Yeah, so for me, probably the biggest thing was. So when all this first started right at 16, so I got I was misdiagnosed with depression, I went through periods, right of where I had deep depression, and then when I went into mania and that's when I started to notice as I would just have endless amounts of energy, you know, I go work at 5 a.m. Go work, one job then, go be a cashier. And go out and just party and drink and then just try to do things to distract myself and all and I'm like how am I not tired? I'm just going and going and going and I just had just like racing thoughts and all of the stuff and like this doesn't seem and I'm like I was never like this before. I'm like, this isn't I wasn't like this, you know, a year ago, And I was just sitting there questioning like what is going on like where is this coming from? And you know, I remember I would bring it up some of my appointments and then again. I think it was kind of the aspect of I didn't seem that way on the outside, so it's kind of like hard, I guess. I don't know if it was like to believe that what I was saying, was, what I was experiencing, but a lot of people around me just didn't see it. You know, they were like. And that's what I often hear to like, of course, when you like see things on the media of, different celebrities who pass away, you know, from suicide, and a lot of people say, oh, you know, I had no idea, you know, this person looks so happy. I had, where did this come from? And I feel like that's kind of like a little bit relating to like how I was or people would say you know that doesn't seem you don't seem like you're struggling right now. You look, you don't seem like you're in a bad place right now, you don't seem like you're out of control right now and I just felt like I'm like this is not okay, this isn't normal for me to be, you know, doing all of these things and just getting so upset. I would just it was almost like I was just in this kind of black hole mentality, I like to call it because every single day I was just basically doing things the way that I would talk to myself to like the inner dialogue I had with myself, was extremely critical, very harsh and then it that just came out like the world around me.
That's how I really was and I just became this person like to the point where was very difficult to be around me I can imagine and that's when I was like, you know, something is something needs to change. Something needs to change because this is not good, I don't want to continue living in this state in this way, way of, however, it is these dots, I'm having these things that I'm doing and just feeling like there's no way to come out of this and actually have a good life or hold and to actually be happy and feel fulfilled and have a good life. And I'm like something needs to change and that was the scariest part, like, you mentioned, you know, being hospitalized at 19, you know, was terrifying and honestly, it was this the scariest experience I've ever had in my entire life? But I needed to be there, I know that I needed to be there more than anything because I really needed to actually like wake up and realize that, it's okay to not be doing well. And that was something that I never thought was a thing, because like we mentioned, growing up this was always very taboo, like, don't talk about your problems, like we don't want to hear, you know, we don't want to hear about this. We don't want to get into this conversation, this isn't something.
Should we be talking about are focusing on, so I was just bottling it up, and as you said, when you do that for your experience it ended up consuming you because and that's what happened to me. And I mean it just was I mean, honestly, like just the different things that I saw two, I mean, even in the hospital made me feel because I remember talking to every single person on my floor and just, he liked hearing them and hearing their stories and the experiences that they had, and I'm sitting there thinking. “I could change the circumstances, my life like I have power over that I have control over that and for the longest time I felt out of control, I felt out of control. I felt like I had no control. I felt like I would never have control but then knowing that I'm responsible for how I respond or react to situations really kind of got me to start opening my eyes and saying, okay, there are steps that I can take to make this better. There are things that I can do to come out of this black hole mentality and actually start changing things in my life start doing things differently.” Start implementing new habits to actually get me to the place that I would like to be in.
And that's really what I like to, get into people too. “If you ever struggled or are struggling, that is fine. That is okay, there’s nothing wrong with that.” And I feel like sometimes it's shamed almost, and like, look down on if you're struggling with anxiety or depression or bipolar schizophrenia that's seen. It’s not seen in a favorable light, but I think “if we shift that focus and make it so that it's more normalized, that people, we all have had issues at some point on some kind of degree with our mental health, and if we can make this more normalized, then, more people would probably feel more comfortable talking about these things and having these conversations and seeking help, and it wouldn't seem so stigmatized,” I think.
TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK FROM THE LOSS WITH CHRISTINE MCALISTER
Michael: What I'm curious about here though is in those that moment and then these moments of your life where you're like shit this feels like rock bottom, nothing is working, the world is against me because you know we go to that place whether we want to or not. What's that process of pulling yourself through it? Like how did you go and how do you go from alright I'm acknowledging like terror in my life for lack of a better term to okay I'm going to go forward anyway?
Christine: That's a great question. I think it's different the past seven years, so in the beginning there this very raw feeling of the grief I'm obsessed with making something good happened like said I don't know what else fuck to do. Right? Like I've got to figure it out because I'm still key. I would much rather the roles have been reversed, right? Like I had a good life, I would much rather her have had the chance if I had the choice to trade that. And it wasn't my choice to make and so it was just that like grind of like getting up letting myself feel, process, surrounding myself with people who could support me. To that point in my life I had not been somebody who was willing to accept help and so what my relationships looked like were codependency you know family, friends, everybody, I took care of them and then I couldn't get out of bed anymore. And so it looked like finally letting people bring meals, finally letting people support me, finally acknowledging that. I would say today what I'm doing is a lot of like somatic healing and regaining a sense of trust in my nervous system and in my body because i've realized that hey to joke like the body does keep the score, right? Like there's still as much work as I've done so much trauma stored in this body because essentially in a way it failed me and it failed Maeve. And my nervous system in a way it feels to be me so it's a lot of like right now I'm like my feet on floor. Anytime I get a massage or energy worker or anything they always say something like man you got a lot going on in your head, you got a lot going on your crown or whatever I'm like no shit welcome to my life, right? So a lot of it is just how do I begin to access this feeling of safety and my body and life it is even just being willing to feel; to feel my hands, to feel my feet, to use my voice, to speak my truth tech to get in touch with what is it I'm actually feeling, rather than masking it with work rather than masking it with with whatever because I'm really comfortable doing that.
So it's just the uncomfortable work of like my adrenal crashed last year right okay how do I make sure that doesn't happen again because that was the result of being in a certain kind of way so it's basically Michael like if I'm gonna boil it down it's essentially undoing and un learning everything I've learned over the last forty years and all my conditioning and going that got me here it's not gonna get me there, how do I begin to come back to the state in which I was born, right?
Michael: Yeah. I wrote a note as you talking just now and a wrote learn to trust your body again and I think that in my own personal experience understanding dissociation, understanding trauma and abuse and how our brains and bodies get just totally unmatched from each other and looking at the tremendous amount of work that it took for me to get associated again and get back into this thing while still simultaneously like you every single day the first thing I do I put my feet on the ground I go, I am in controlled of my life and it's like alright. Think about my body,think about my mind, kind bring those things together, step into the routine, start doing all the things because it gives me I think through the I guess for lack a better way to phrase that I think through the habit nature of creating my life around making sure that my brain and body is connected I'm able to function in the world. But I think so many people don't know where to begin with this and so with removing this idea of journal and meditation because we've talked about it eight million times like what have you done that you have found has been beneficial for you learning to trust your body again?
Christine: Basically all of the things that I thought that I had dismissed as being not productive, not a money making tag, I have talked for that's other people for instance eating freaking walk. I was the person that I was like if it's not cardio it's dumb and I have time for that shit, right? I want abs, I have time for yoga you know I mean yoga, going on a walk, sitting under the tree in my backyard, when you up against it, all hippie things that you Christine seven years ago would've have been like bullshit are you never gonna have what you want? Is you're doing that, you're lazy all that and be will to oh gosh like work with somatic healer, right? I mean even things like one of my doctors taught me the cross body like you're tracing a seat belt like from your shoulder to your diagonally doing that five times on each side and next sides of the body, putting your hands out in front of you twisted and pulling them like this and talking through things while I'm doing this creates a sense of safety and connection in the body. Anything like your point get you in touch with the actual feeling with the senses and out of the head that's spinning in anxiety and fear and overwhelm and sympathetic nervous system dominance, I mean it's breathing, I mean breath were apart for meditation even this idea of breath as work. All of it coming, I'll tell you one of the most annoying things is coming back a million times a day to being like I'm here right now. In the past trying to change it I'm not trying to control the future because then we can say like troll and I would say like maladaptive control is language for me like that's my comfort zone. So what can I do to be here to literally be in the room or the virtual room as opposed to multitasking as a form of control, right? That perceived sense of control that doesn't actually exist.
TRAUMA, DEPRESSION, AND HEALING: A GUIDE FOR PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE WITH ANA LENNYR
Michael: I think people feel so often and I'll speak for myself, I felt so often at the time especially in the beginning of this like, the most important thing for me to do was make everybody like me was to feel like, I mattered because they thought I mattered. So, with relationships being first and why don't we dive into that and why don't you clarify (a) what do you mean by relationships and then how do they play into this game of life?
Ana: So, many people, you know as you were labeled, it's like, you're not a good friend which means like toxic or something, right? So, a lot of times people come to me, said oh, I have this all this toxic environment, I'm like, no, you do not have a toxic environment, you have people around you who are in a tremendous amount of pain and to help with that first of all you don't have to take over their pain and then you have to see their pain to separate from it, and to see where the triggers are. But in case of relationships, we're talking about a simple thing, number one misconceptions like, you have to make everybody happy before you are happy and this happened during COVID and it got accelerated because guess what? Now that you can make anybody happy and you of yourself you realize that you are the one hurt that is nobody else to blame. And the second thing that I see over time is that most people do not know that they are four types of men and four types of women in the world. I know we all wanna be unique and different and all of that, I am one of the four types of women, okay? Michael, you are one of our four types of men in the world, right? And when I teach these four types of men and four types of women to my clients, they realize that each type has its own values in life, has its own way of thinking, has its own priorities in life, right? And because they realize that now they don't blame themselves or the other type for a different way of thinking or a different approach, right? I have a lot of women come to me and they said, oh my god, my husband abandons me and left new this scared and you know never cares about me and never pays child support and stuff like that and I ask them, is that an airman, right? And like, what do you mean is like, this has this characteristic of woman who likes freedom, who likes business, who likes money, well that's not a meant for the family, right? So, if you know this from the beginning as a woman but this particular man is not built for family, you gonna worry about marrying him, you don't worry about having a kid with him because that's not the proper man and that's not to blame that type of men it's just that has different values in life and you cannot change people, you can only accept their values and maneuver work towards what you want.
After two divorces by the age of thirty eight, I found the relationships that I teach to today were most enlighten to absolutely everybody because we all go on misconceptions about love, thinking that love is just gonna come in and he's just gonna complete us and after two, three years we found out that it's actually the opposite, it's here to hurt us and that's because we don't understand these four types of men, four types of women they are archetypes between them and how people don't come into our life to hurt us. People come with different values we think that everybody thinks like us, that's the only problem, right? So, here is like, I think everybody should think like me and then no wonder, no, oh everybody thinks like me, there are another three types of women in a world there, another four types of men. So, here I teach people – listen; what do you want? What I want this? Okay. This is the type of person you want, to get this type of person you need to be this, right? So, here is how do you arrange yourself in the system of life, in the cycle of life to find what you truly want and how you can be complete. Don't expect another to complete you. So, in case of relationships I find the most illuminating in the world, you know, these kind of four types of men, four types of women we had somebody very a young kid like, I think I'm depressed, I went it to a thousand date and I can't find anybody, what is wrong with me? I'm like, I haven't there's anything wrong with you, I don't think you're depressed either I think you don't know who you are and who you're looking for. Here, do this three-and-a-half-hour course and then call me, after two weeks he called me and said, I already found after eight dates my fiancé, I was like okay, what I guess the course worked for you, okay? You haven't even out to ask for advice, right? Because if you don't know who you're looking for and who you are. You're gonna end up in messed up relationships, there four types of relationships that don't work and two that work if you saw one type that doesn't work, you're gonna end up in the other three that don't work because this is how the cycle works, you need to learn from all four.
So, here I give a formula to people from here, listen, forget about what doesn't work this is what works, so just do it. Period. And everybody said, is too easy, okay, try it, is easy but it's gonna save you from two divorces, gonna save you from twenty years of your life of worrying about other people not liking you that includes not only your partner, your boss, your parents, your kids, your coworkers, right? Because the relationships is everything these four types of men women there everything not this is sadly enough partners, right? But a lot of people come to me because they're heart broken and they're afraid to find other people because guess what? They don't know this is them of how to master the relationships. So, that's what I found it, the most enlighten thing in the world, most people are not even depressed they just have been heartbroken and they don't know how to find their themselves in a relationship with themselves or others or how to find the person that they really want in life.
Paris Prynkiewicz is the host of the "Master Your M.E.N.T.A.L" podcast. After receiving both her BA in Psychology along with her MBA in Healthcare Administration, Paris's passion for mental health only continued to grow. But, after receiving a diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder from inside a psychiatrist hospital at 19 then returning to work at the very same clinic she was once a patient at, Paris decided to dedicate her life to working toward helping others shatter stigma, conquer their struggles and start to craft the life they had always envisioned themselves living.
Angie Hejl has spent the last 10 years building a successful life after prison. She has used this time to focus on trauma healing, giving back to others, and learning to create something beautiful out of adversity.
Angie Hejl is a creator who loves all things design, story telling, and creating a beautiful life! Angie is the owner of A Soiree by Angie, Co-Founder of a Glam Soiree, and a mental health advocate.
A Soiree by Anige is an event design company based in Austin, Texas specializing in intimately curated events. We recently launched our new initiative of Creative Therapy Workshops. The intention behind these workshops is to provide people a supportive and mindful space to explore, connect with others, decompress, and create something beautiful with their hands.
Glam Soiree is Angie’s passion project with her partner Jo Placencio. Glam Soiree is an intentional event hosted by Angie Hejl + Jo Placencio where women of all different backgrounds and professions come together to celebrate life, support and inspire each other, set intentions for the future – and be GLAM while doing it.
With the pause of events in 2020, Angie took her creative skills and love of design digitally, and works with local businesses on branding, social media, outreach, and community building. This has allowed her to work within the mental health space and help Austin's Premier Ketamine Clinic, Illumma expand their network.
Ana Lennyr is a premier life strategist who specializes in helping teenagers and adults to build strong and supportive family relationships.
By addressing the root cause which holds people back, Ana Lennyr removes any and all excuses and replaces them with reasons and opportunities.
Ana Lennyr is not only proving herself in the industry for a very long time but she is sought out by people from all over the country and the world as well.
Ana Lennyr went through a few hardships in life like abandonment by her father, an alcoholic mother, insomnia for 2 and half years, a suicide attempt at age 19, chronic back pain and migraines for 27 years of her life, obesity, non-alcoholic liver hepatitis, poverty, and a depressed child.
What makes Ana Lennyr unique is that she combines a teacher, psychologist, and parent experience with her anti-depression expertise.
Ana Lennyr changes teens' and adults' lives in subtle ways without lecturing, confrontation or therapy.
Our philosophy is simple: MASTER THE GAME OF LIFE so you will never be trapped in pain and hurt again. In our approach with difficult teenagers, we teach parents how to TEACH YOUR CHILD TO MASTER THEIR GAME OF LIFE.
I’m a business coach for high-achieving women all over the world who want to quit and stay out of their 9-5s, replace their incomes, and make 6 figures running online businesses.
I help my clients overcome self-doubt and get the clarity and focus they need to make progress toward their dream life.
My superpower is uncovering who you really are. I help you get clarity on your unique zone of genius, the confidence to get visible and share your talent with the world, and the clients who’ll pay you to help them change their lives.