Nov. 21, 2022

Healing Family Trauma with Lainie Liberti - Practical Tools & Techniques for a Better Life

Uncover the secrets to healing your family trauma with Lainie Liberti on Think Unbroken Podcast. Lainie is the founder, and creator of the Transformative Mentoring for Teens Program, and she will share her knowledge and experience to help...
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Uncover the secrets to healing your family trauma with Lainie Liberti on Think Unbroken Podcast. Lainie is the founder, and creator of the Transformative Mentoring for Teens Program, and she will share her knowledge and experience to help you understand the impact of trauma on families, and offers practical tools and techniques to overcome it. Each episode is packed with valuable insights and inspiring stories that will empower you to take control of your healing journey. Listen now and learn how to heal your family trauma and create a life of peace, love, and happiness.

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest, Lainie Liberti. Lainie, my friend, how are you? What is happening in your world?

Lainie: I'm doing amazing and I love that you've said world twice, because that's a big part of my story and we're gonna talk about that.

Michael: Yeah. I'm very excited about it. So, for those who do not know you, tell us a little bit about your backstory and how you got to where you are today.

Lainie: Absolutely. So, I'm really excited to be here because you and I have a very similar mission, which is to really heal these generational wounds. So, my story probably from the relevant point would start in 2008, and I'm originally from California. And in 2008 we experienced a economy collapse and that affected a lot of people, including myself. I was the owner of a branding agency, which specialized in working with green eco companies and nonprofits, and prior to that I had, you know, in total an 18-year career working in advertising for a different and so forth. But like I said, the last eight of those years I was working for myself in this agency and it was quite successful, I was one of the first boutique agencies to have this sort of specialty and it was just at the rise of green marketing and my agency was in demand, we did branding for many really large nonprofits and ad campaigns and website design and stuff like that. And when the economy collapsed, I noticed my clients going away one by one and I recognized near the end of the year that I would not be bringing my staff back after I let them go for the holidays. And the parallel story is, I'm a single mom, and I was a single mom then too. And all of the work that I did, you know, in my mind was always so I can provide for my family and I was following this sort of this American dream that just sort of kept me rolling and kept me, you know, my wheels were spinning, but what I was noticing was I was missing out of son’s childhood. And to top it off, every so often he would remind me by saying, mom, you're always working, you never spend any time with me. And I recognize the heartbreak and managing to balance what is expected of me and being a mom who very much wanted to be a mom. But here I was missing out on my son's childhood.

So fast forward to the end of 2008 and I remember one night sitting in the office and it was after everybody had gone and my son was there on one of the design computers, playing video games and he was nine years old at the time. And I remember just turning around, looking at him saying his name is Miro. And I said, Miro, what do you think if we get rid of all of this stuff and just go have an adventure? And he turned around and he looked at me and he said I'm in. So that was the beginning of what was to be a one-year trip that we were going to our plan then came to be certain Mexico and Head South and end up in Ushuaia and be done with our travels after that; that was about 13 years ago and we left when my son was nine, just turning 10 he's about ready to turn 24 pretty soon and a lot obviously has changed. So that brought me into not only did we travel the outer worlds and we live nomadically, but we also became hyper aware of the inner worlds because wherever you go, there you are, right? And whatever's not healed and whatever's not dealt with in yourself will be reflected because there's no place to go. And so here I am living 24/7 with this person that I absolutely adore, and it was such an honor to be able to have this lifestyle with this person. But what that meant was accountability for my own mental health and my own internal worlds, and accountability for living in partnership with this young person with respect and really nurturing and facilitating own inner world discovery. And the crazy thing is with all of the adventures that we had through all the different countries and all the wonderful, you know, exciting adventures and then just sort of the quiet times that we spent immersed. We were outside of our comfort zone and we needed to have a language to talk about that that looked like and to be accountable to one another. So, when I hear in the common vernacular, people are talking about, well, I'm in my comfort zone or I'm out of my comfort zone. We needed something deeper than that so we needed to look at what is the comfort zone? Where are these spaces where we both retreat to, and what do those spaces, both physically and what do they look like for one another, and how do we facilitate that when we need that? And then when we're outside of our comfort zone, we defined a ring that was not comfortable. We decided to call that the stretch zone. And what that really means is this is a space where we are not comfortable, we are highly alert, we are also very present and sometimes it involves physical discomfort, but these are the spaces where we're growing and these are the spaces where we're expanding. And then, even farther outside of the stretch zone, we talk about the panic zone. So, what does it feel like when we're dysregulated? What does it feel like when we go into fight, flight, or freeze? And what are those things that pushes us into those spaces and how do we co regulate ourselves as you know, it was him and I partner against the world, right? It wasn't me pulling him, he wasn't for pushing me or forcing me to go. We were walking side by side on this journey. So, the emotional intelligence and the internal worlds and the recognition of what was happening inside of us was one of those key elements of what was driving the whole journey.

There's a lot I can talk about, it came from a background of family trauma and what my accountability was to heal those belief systems and triggers and so forth became part of the journey and the internal world that I was accountable for his emotional intelligence and really recognizing what his desires were from nine, ten, all the way up through his adolescence. He was acutely accountable for that kind of communication and then furthering partnership parenting paradigm, which was without authority, brought together this whole sort of journey and a framework that gave us purpose. Right. And then the final thing, which I'm sure you're gonna wanna ask about is education. My son was not going to school and we together through partnership, believed that the travel experience and the ability to self-direct based on natural curiosity, and again, the emotional intelligence and accountability became a big part of our story. So, there's a lot there we could unravel bits of it whatever feels good for you and your audience.

Michael: Yeah, that all makes a ton of sense to me. And the thing that comes to mind is just rewinding, going step by step through what you shared is people think that they can leave where they are and that suddenly things will be different, suddenly things will change and life will automatically be magical. And I've had that happen in my own life, I mean, at 18 years old, I packed up and moved to New York City to come to find that didn't really help where I was and what I was trying to accomplish and as I've grown and as I've traveled and lived in the world. One of the really incredible things is I've really understood the truth that doesn't matter where you are when you go to the bathroom and you look in that mirror, you are with yourself. And I think often people will be like, I need to escape not recognizing, like no matter what you wanna do, you're not gonna escape yourself, you cannot get away from you. And in that, one of the things I think is incredible is that travel and living in the world and taking those risks actually become the reflection of that.

There are some statistics around people who move; most people do not move within 10 miles of where they were raised. I think the statistics something like 74% of people. Don't move within 10 miles from where they were raised and it's like, well, how do you find yourself? How do you discover the world? How do you really kind of step your feet into the unknown into what you called this stretch zone? Right? And I think in that, that's where you learn who you are. And it is in that discomfort that you learn who you are because otherwise it's still same old song and dance. So, I'm wondering, you know, people hear this and I'm sure they probably have a lot of questions, but I think the most important question we could probably start off with is, what did you learn about yourself, especially in the beginning of when you were looking at and reflecting on your life and recognizing that you are not living into the person that you wanted to be? I guess two parts. One, how did you decide to actually go for it? Right? The thing that people dream about and are scared of, terrified and facing the fear. And then on the other side, what did you learn about yourself in the beginning of doing?

Lainie: Yeah, these are really important questions. The answer to the first question is really simple. I had an internal knowing that this was something that we needed to do and I did it, and I felt as if once my son bought onto it, the balls sort started to roll and it was as if this was the natural process, like we needed to do this, like I needed to take my next breath. And so, that inner knowing sort of gave me that sense of, okay, we're on path and I'm not sure that I actually had some belief system about my path but it started to unfold in my understanding and reflection of my life from this point. And so, I'm really grateful that I listened to that inner knowing and we just did it.

The second thing your second question was what did I discover about myself? I discovered in addition to all of those things that I brought with me when I left our conventional world, was I had many belief systems that were never questioned or challenged, there were beliefs about myself. Beliefs about parenting, beliefs about the world, beliefs about safety, and a lot of those beliefs went into my core beliefs from my childhood based on some of those early traumas and that reflected in beliefs about I'm too much and I'm not enough and that really peppered the way that I moved through the planet before I started to look at these things and pull 'em apart, but also beliefs about what I big air quotes should be doing. “How I” should be parenting, and how I should, again, air quotes, be educating my child. And when I looked at these beliefs that I just accepted, I accepted as a cultural truth, and when I recognize that once I got in touch with what my particular core values were and they were not in alignment with some of these beliefs that I was carrying with me, the inner conflict was mine to unpack. Did my son really need to be educated in a quote unquote system that was handed to me? Is that really the best way did I really need to educate my child, you know, through a system of scope and sequence and examinations? Did I need to parent him as an authority? Did I really need to live a conventional life and collect stuff in order to be happy? Was security equal to a number in my bank account? And when I said no to all of those things, they're not in alignment with my core values, it gave me the space to step outside of my comfort zone and really feel the discomfort and feel into the type of life that I really wanted to create for myself and co-create with my son. And that was a really, active way of parenting, it was a very hand on really authentic and open and vulnerable way to parent. And through that vulnerability, I got to know myself and all of these belief systems that we're no longer working for me, I got to know them through my trauma and my triggers, I got to know them through the fears that came up and those autoresponders like the email, the autoresponders, well, I was on auto mode with many different answers and responses to many situations. And in fact, so much that I was aware of this as we started to travel.

One of the first things that my son and I came to an agreement with was, let's try and say yes to everything that comes in our path and let's live presently. And if the thing that's coming in our path, or the opportunity, or the decision block or whatever the thing is, let's check in and see if this is in alignment with our values and that will be our guide. Let's not live by rules. Let's live by values and let's live in partnership. And he is like, I'm in. And this kind of conversation, you know, constant conversation and constant checking in really, I didn't teach him emotional intelligence. He developed emotional intelligence by being seen, heard, and understood and recognizing that as I'm processing, you know, hey, that triggers me. I'm responsible for my triggers. Here's why I responded that way. I'm sorry, I've just repaired whatever the trigger or the autoresponder told me to do, which is, you know, clam up or push 'em away or yell because let's face it, we're not perfect.

Michael: Totally. And you know, a couple things come to mind is, and I hear, and this is a word that I'm just using because I feel like it's a reflection of myself. I think there's something about being contrarian in that when you go against the grain of the social narratives, you really discover not only who you are, but how you can impact the world for the better. And you know, I've played the game, I worked for corporate America. I drove the fancy car. I had all the clothes, everything on paper looked great, but I was fucking miserable. I could not stand my life; I was at rock bottom. I wasn't taking care of myself. My EQ if it was a zero to a hundred scale was negative 50, you know, and so I think so much of this idealization of the American dream is to still even today, still go make the money, get internet famous, build the next thing. I mean, even like the podcast, right? And I'm like, you know, actually it's about service. You know, I was lucky enough to have been mentored by Tom Bilyeu now for years, and one day I was having conversation with him and I was like, how do I actually be successful at making a podcast? And he goes, the thing that you have to understand is if the second you make it about you, you're going to lose. And I was like, oh, that's a really fascinating point of view, which actually makes sense to me because for so long, especially in the way that I had grown up chasing money and thinking like that financial success was going to be the marker for health, happiness, longevity, love, support, companionship, friendship. I've come to realize like, actually what it is, is really to your point, what you just laid out getting massively in tune with your value system and then operating with that as the filter through all the actions that you take while having the willingness to face the fear that is in front of you to close the gap, to create the life that you want to have.

And you know, it sounds like this massive fucking math equation, which it's really not really, it comes down to taking action, right? Like ultimately you look at everything, it's about taking action. And so, what I'm curious about, I wrote a note here and I want to go back into it. You talked about having alignment with your core values, and I think even with all the personal development talk, all the conversations in the world that we have all the time, I still don't think people really understand what values are. And in fact, there was a survey that I did with my audience where it came back that over 75% of people did not have any idea what their values are. And I'm like, guys, I talk about this all the time, so let's go back into this but I wanna look at it from a step-by-step practicality way, because there's a twofold approach where it's not only impacting your life, but the life of your family as well. And so, what I'd really like to know is how do you define and create values in your life as an individual and as a family unit, and then how do you get into alignment with those values?

Lainie: Yeah, great question. So, as I told you, I came from the world of branding. And in the world of branding, one of the exercises that we do is we create the core values for our clients and those are the messages from which we communicate to their audience. And so, because I had this background doing this in a professional sense, when my son and I, set out. I said to him, let's go through this process and we'll define what your core values are, I will define what my core values are, and together then we will jointly define what our family core values are. And it was a really fun exercise.

And so, there's several ways of doing it, but the ways that I've been working with teens, which I'll get to in a little bit. And families also to actually create their own value map is to, I've got a series of questions and I actually, I haven't told you, but I wrote a book for parents of teens and I walk families on how to define what their core values are. And the first way is to define what the evidence-based values. First, let's look at what are the things that we're living and based on the things, I've got 13 questions in my book, but based on the answers of those things, we can distill values from the things that we think about, the things that we're passionate about, the things that we keep around is the things that we spend our money on, those are the evidence-based actions that are distilled into values. And once we can take a look at actually how we're living we've got an idea of where we are in terms of a alignment. Then I've got another process where we take a look at what the aspirational values are and the aspirational values are those we wish to adapt into our lives. And it's a very intentional process and I've got several tools in my book and that I work with teens ‘cuz that's what I do for a living. And again, I'll get to that in a little bit, but learning how to intentionally map all of the decisions and all of the sort of actions and all of the paths that we can take and learning to understand are we in alignment with this value, this value, this value, or none of the values? And what are some of the actions we can take? And I've got an exercise that takes people through a week where you list out all of those decision points, all of those interactions, all of those important things where we are taking action in our own lives. And if it's not, add a certain percentage in alignment with the evidence-based values that we're living, then try and adapt the aspirational ones because then the aspirational ones start to convert into the ones that you're actually living. So, that's for personal values.

And then when you define a family value chart together, your job is to pick the top five values and those are the ones that you're constantly having conversations about as a family. So, it's a pretty sort of elaborate, committed process but when I've worked with world Schooling families, which is part of our experiences brought me to this work. Families that are setting out for the first time, and it's probably the first time that many of these families have spent 24/7 together, they need to have these sorts of roadmaps or as I like to call it, scaffolding to help them navigate some of these decisions and create these opportunities for discussions, for conversations, for really being conscious about your choices. And I guess the last thing that I'm gonna say, is that this isn't only for teens, or this isn't only for single people, or this isn't only for families, but the brilliance of travel is it automatically puts you outside of your comfort zone. And when you're outside of your comfort zone, you are stretching, you are growing and you're present. So, the present consciousness or the present awareness of what your surroundings are, how you're interacting, everything is new, but you can achieve this sort of values-based living in conventional life just for me, I didn't get there that way. I got there through travel and really being outside of my comfort zone.

Michael: What do you do when you are in conversation with values, building it, whether it be in family or relationships, businesses even, and you run into conflict and you sit and someone says, well, this is my value and the other person says, well, this is my value, but yet those values may actually be in conflict, or you cannot find agreement or option three is as you're in it, you find that now that you're at a stellate and you can't actually get anything solidified, now what do you do? Cause I think that's what happens people be like, oh yeah, but this value and that value and this value and that value, and next thing you know, there's a list of 400 and you're like, wait a second, we really need to look at the core here. So how do you navigate that when conflict starts to show up?

Lainie: Well, I would take that a step back first. So, one of the family that my son and I that we really adapted was we wanted to have consent based like governance. I wasn't the boss; he wasn't the boss...

Michael: Now you're gonna freak people out.

Lainie: That's okay. That's totally okay. Freaking people out is totally okay because if I push you to think in a way that you're not normally used to thinking, especially when it comes to parenting, right? This means that you're holding on tight to a belief system and maybe that the holding on tight has some fear around it. What happens if we engage in consensual relationships or engagements in every walk of our life from partnerships to parenting, to business relationships, consensual based relationships require collaboration, cooperation, and accountability. And in most families, I have noticed, and especially because I work now primarily with teens and sometimes with parents of teens, there is an exhaustion level like, it takes a lot of work to sit down and hear and unpack and hear what my child is thinking, and you know what, I just want the thing done. Just go wash the dishes because I'm telling you right, that's a really easy way because it's mostly convenient for the parent or the adult or the person who has power over another person in whatever the relationship is because I want it done and the work to unpack it, to unravel, to see what needs are not being met, where the resistance comes, that takes time. And a lot of times parents just don't wanna do it but I actually didn't even answer your question. So, what do we do when we're in conflict? What do you wanna do when you're in conflict? Do you wish to resolve the conflict? Do you wish to pacify the situation? Do you wish to collaborate? Do you wish to come up with a solution? What is the intention behind what you want? And if it's to find a space where both ideas, even if they're in conflict with one another, to find that space where both can exist, it's possible because in relationships, anything's possible. The thing that shuts down the possibility is having a belief that these two ideas cannot live side by side, two values are in conflict when in actuality they're not, they're just different values and what it does is require the awareness of what's happening in your internal worlds and the desire that you have for being in partnership, whether it's partnership with 10 people, or partnership with one person.

Michael: Yeah, I love that. And I think that not everything is always mutually exclusive and that's one of the things that we have to wrap our head around that, you know what, I think about this all the time. Like gray area exists, not everything is black and white like even though we want to perceive it as, and part of that is survival mechanism, right? But so much of it is simply you have to take a step back and go it can be both ends and I think that's where people get caught up. And one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to have you on this show was because of your thoughts around parenting and as we kind of go into that right now, I don't have children, right? The audience knows that. I know people listening don't, but I'm always thinking like of the what if. I'm always trying to be prepared for the situation. One of the things I fucking hated about being a kid, which I still hate to this day, is being told what to do.

And the reason why is because I am a contrarian by nature, it is just who I am. And so, I often need the why in your validation, not for the sake of asking why, but so I can have the context of understanding why you think something is so valuable that I must do it. And most people lead with the iron fist. In fact, one of the things that I always get, I could literally draw a light in the sand on this I will post this on social media and it says, should you or should you not spank your children? And it is wildly incredible to me the war that happens between human beings in that post. And I put that out there so that we can have hard conversations so we can look at this from a different direction because I do not agree in any capacity with traditional parenting. And this is my opinion, outsider looking in, somebody's gonna email and be like, dude, shut up, you don't have kids. But I do think about life like this. I remember being a child, so I know that experience. I have evidence-based experience to help me understand how I believe that I should parent if I were to have children. And to me it's always remembering like kids are not dumb and in fact, I would argue they're smarter than most adults because they've not been jaded by society yet. Right? And so, they still have imagination, they still have play, they still have fun, they still have joy even in the space of the scope of trauma, which I went through, I still had big dreams, right? I was like, I'm gonna be a fucking rockstar right now. Right? And so, I look at myself as a rockstar just in a very different capacity. And I think that one of the things that I always come back to is if that moment ever occurred to give children the freedom to actually be critical thinking human beings. And so, I'd love for you to break down this parenting style that you've adapted into depth so we can create more contact ‘cuz people are gonna be like, this person's crazy, but I'm like, no, I get it

Lainie: Yeah, cool. And I've been called crazy before because I talk about the Partnership Parenting Paradigm, and I write about it in my book as well. Basically, it is parenting in partnership, it's really that simple, which means as a parent, we are accountable for our agendas so we have an agenda because it's convenient to change our child's behavior because it serves us. There are many different sorts of philosophies around parenting and if you were a parent, I'm sure you'd be aware of conscious parenting and gentle parenting and peaceful parenting. And unfortunately, I think these philosophies that have been written about, you know, ad nauseum stop short of actually working because there is a hidden agenda, which is to manipulate the behavior of your child, which does not honor them as an individual. Now, it's true that my son and I have different roles, you know, as the adult, you know, I'm the responsible one. I pay the bills, especially when he was nine, ten but there was a point where we actually started businesses together, and I could talk about that later too. But in essence, the belief that and most of Western culture believes that children are empty vessels that are meant to be filled with values with parents, ideas and perspectives, and that is harmful belief because it doesn't make space for this individual that came into your life that has a unique, you know, there's agency, there's autonomy, there's sovereignty to their being, and they're entrusted in you to guide them and facilitate their journey. But if you have the belief as the parent that I need to instill my values and he needs to do it, or she needs to do it this way, and anything outside of this perception, this empty vessel that I need to fill and any desire that is different is contrary. And I need to apply the heavy fist through my authority for their own good. You know, I'm beating you for your own good sort of, you know, that came from the fifties, you know, this is gonna hurt you more than its gonna hurt me sort of attitude and that absolutely what generationally we need to let go. This authoritarian parenting process, this authoritarian philosophy is what brings children into the world not knowing who they are. The school system is actually the same, right? It tells kids what they need to focus not even based on their own interests and the school system tells 'em how long they need to be studying this little, you know, whatever, this, you know, 50-minute period you need to study and then you need to switch when a bell rings and go and study another thing, and then do math, then focus on history, then focus on language. Why? Why? Why is this authoritarian training indoctrinating children to follow some sort of authoritarian?

Michael: Dystopia comes to mind for me. Right. And I think the reason why is very simple, because when you are educated in that capacity, now you're a cog in the will and now you can go work for the system, and now you can go help us make the money and then you die. And I mean, that's a simplified version of it and I mean, you know, I remember, we cannot go down this path, but I read Howard Zinn of People's History of the United States and I was like, oh, now I know everything that I need to know. And so that ultimately, and I read that at 17 years old, became framework for me being like, Okay, I'm gonna push against the grade it took me a lot longer to get involved to where I am now, but you know, it is, we are so indoctrinated and there's so much trauma. I mean, I grew up in a time where teachers and principals could still hit kids. And my principal, I remember to sticky beat me with a paddle multiple times and people look at that and go, oh yeah, well at least you're getting disciplined, now you've learned your lesson. And I'm like, that never stopped me. And in fact, it made me figure out how do I get away with it next time? Right. And then that did not hold well for me as I progressed into adolescence. One of the things I know people must be thinking, cuz I'm thinking it, if you are living in this consensual parenting relationship, if you are giving your child space to be in alignment with values, if you're going through all of these things, well then what do you do when discipline comes to the table?

Lainie: Okay, so the implication, and especially from the conventional world, is discipline that comes from an authority because I am not my child's authority, I am my child's partner, I don't have to set the rules. And in fact, we don't live by rules, we live by values. I don't need to actually be the person who is policing to make sure the rules are being followed and I don't need to be the punisher. So to me, that sums up what conventional discipline encompasses in the conventional world, but in our world and in the world of many people that are adapting, unschooling, radical unschooling, self-directed learning, and partnership parenting, what they believe is there's a thing called natural consequences and those natural consequences give us what we need to know in terms of our self-regulation. So, if we have a small child who really wants to climb up the slide the wrong way, and if we say, no, don't do that, you're going to hurt yourself, you are now putting fear into your child you're telling your child that they are not aware of what their physical capabilities are and we're punishing them and that's just a really small example. But if we say to them, I'm here for you, try step outside of your comfort zone. You are safe. Let's do this. That's an act of self-regulation, and that's just a small example of a small child, and I could talk about example after example of being in partnership and being the person who is reflecting back what this self-regulation looks like, oh, you stayed up all night and you knew that we agreed that we'd go to this museum. How do you wanna handle this? How is it feeling right now? What's going on internally? Are you feeling really sleepy? What shall we do? That is a very simple natural consequence, and that's not me playing my agenda like, see, I told you so that's me through kindness, through partnership, through wanting to nurture this human being who is discovering everything they can about their physical body, about how they fit into the world, about the nervous system regulation process, and their own emotions. So, it looks very, very different.

Discipline comes from within and it's called self-discipline. And the motivation, which is intrinsic motivation; intrinsic motivation to learn, intrinsic motivation to achieve something, intrinsic motivation to explore that will always define the deepest learning and the deepest discovery and the deepest development of self than me telling another human being, go do this because it's good for you.

Michael: Yeah, a hundred percent. And the thing that came to my mind is I remember being young, someone would tell me not to do something and so, what would I do? And I think everyone does that, right? And I mean, even at the consequence, which I suffered massively, I was like, no, I'm gonna do what I want anyway because this makes sense to me. And as you're speaking the thing that comes to mind as human beings, especially when we are young, we are adaptive, we learn incredibly fast. The human brain is entirely based on survival, so we're always measuring the stimulus to make sure that well we live. And so, if you are the little kid who's on the swing set and you jump off and you get hurt, well now you've done it and now your brain helps you recognize, okay, I'm not gonna do that again. If you're the little kid and the teenager who stays up too late, you miss the bus for the school field trip and now you don't get to go, you learn it. And I think you're so right about the, I told you so, thing being negative. My mother parented like that, my grandmother parented like that and like, you wanna tell me so well fuck you. I'm gonna go and do other crazy shit. Watch me show you. And I think you're spot on. But I think you're talking about a paradigm shift here where I this becomes a factor in and I don't know yet, we don't know. There's still so much to be done, but I hear this as being a beautiful catalyst to ultimately ending generational trauma because you have so many people in the world who are negatively impacted by the parent who ruled with the iron fist, who now don't know how to show up, they don't know how to live in authenticity and grace and love and compassion, they don't have empathy for themselves, they push when they're exhausted, they overwork, they don't show up, they have this giant border in front of them where it comes to love and connection and companionship. And it's like all of this starts in childhood, it is causing correlation. It is not rocket science. And so, when I hear you and I hear this conversation so much of this the way that I believe that we should parent, again, not as a parent, but just looking at it from the perspective of someone who was a child and I think if people will just put that lens in this conversation, it's gonna be massively, massively beneficial for them. My friend, this has been an incredible conversation. Before I ask you my last question, can you please tell everyone where they can find you?

Lainie: Sure. So first of all, if you are a parent, you don't have to be a parent of a teen, but if you are a parent, please pick up my book. It's called SEEN, HEARD and UNDERSTOOD parenting and partnering with teens for greater mental health. The reason why it's specifically for parents of teens and tweens is because that's the demographic that I work with. But I talk about partnership parenting, I talk about accountability for your own mental health and your own reactions that you bring into the relationship. I give tools on how to actually on facilitate your own development alongside that of your children. And if you're a parent of a child of any age, read this now, this will help you, especially when they turn into adolescence. You can find my book on Amazon and to find out more about the work that I do. I've got two websites one of 'em is Transformative Mentoring For Teens, and there you can find out information about my book, the courses that I run for teens like I said, specifically with teens, it's my passion. I love working with teens, they're such an amazing age and it just lights me up and that's, I relate to teens so well. And then I also have a company that I co-founded with my son in, in 2012, and it's called Project World School and there we bring hundreds of teens to different places around the world for these immersive learning, world schooling experiences. And the last thing I forgot to tell you is my son wrote the forward to the book and so reflects on what it's like being raised nomadically and within a partnership paradigm and how that kind of experience has really informed his adult relationships and adult life. So, I'm really excited to connect with you; you and I have a very similar background and story, and I'm so inspired by the work that you do. So, thank you for having me on your show.

Michael: The honor is all mine, my friend, and I greatly appreciate that. My last question for you, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Lainie: Well, to be unbroken it's living with the pieces of you that you've disowned and integrating them back into self, it's seeing the outer world, reflected as an expression of your inner world health. It's learning and it's being fallible, and it's connecting through vulnerability with everybody, and it's being humble, that's unbroken.

Michael: Brilliantly said, my friend. Thank you so much for being here. Unbroken Nation. Thank you for listening.

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And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see ya.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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

Lainie LibertiProfile Photo

Lainie Liberti

Author, Speaker, Mentor, Mom

Lainie is a best selling author, international speaker, community leader, teen mentor and alternative education advocate who helped to spearhead the thriving worldschooling movement.

As a result of the 2008 California economy crash, Liberti closed her Los Angeles based branding agency. Liberti and her then 9-year-old Miro decided to “be the change” instead of victims and chose a life of adventure. After, selling all of their possessions, Lainie and her son hit the road for what was to be a one year adventure in 2009. After thirteen years and almost 50 countries, the pair calls Guanajuato, Mexico their home.

Lainie chose to educate her son Miro through the world, facilitating rich experiential learning, cultural immersion, volunteering and leadership as his school. We call this worldschooling.

Liberti has spoken about worldschooling on the TEDx Edu stage in Amsterdam, written about learning through travel for multiple magazines, academic journals, and web sites including International Journal of Education, Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, People Magazine, Huffington Post, USA Today, The New York Times and The New York Post and has contributed to several books on the topic of worldschooling.

Lainie published the Amazon best-selling book Seen, Heard & Understood, Parenting and Partnering with Teens for Greater Mental Health in May, 2022. Lainie Liberti is the founder and creator of Transformative Mentoring for Teens that launched in early 2020 offering virtual 1:1 coaching for teens as well as a 12-week course designed to transform lives. Lainie is a certified life coach, specializing in transformational coaching.

Lainie co-foundered Project World School with her son in 2012. Liberti designs and co-facilitates the Project World School teen retreats as month-long immersive learning learning communities to support self directed teens from around the world. Over the last 8 years, Lainie has facilitated 20+ international retreats for almost 100 teens, learning through cultural immersion, examining personal values and exploring world views.

In addition, Lainie founded Project World School Family Summits, where she's produced 9 in person international conferences for hundreds of families across Europe, Asia and Mexico since 2016.