Sept. 18, 2022

Set Yourself FREE, Trust Yourself and Thriving | Trauma Healing Podcast

In this episode, we have amazing guests Kiri-Maree Moore, Sondra Shannon, MJ Vogel, and Samantha Roberts. This conversation was...
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In this episode, we have amazing guests Kiri-Maree Moore, Sondra Shannon, MJ Vogel, and Samantha Roberts.

This conversation was beautiful and powerful. I hope today you will hear this and feel inspired and motivated and find the drive and willingness to persevere through the struggle, through the parts of life that feel insurmountable, and to say no fuck that, I'm going to be the hero of my own story. And I hope that as you listen to today's episodes, you find the courage to have the willingness to step into the micro-steps, the day one of finding your voice to ultimately leverage that, to create the change and have the life that you want to have.

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 Michael: So, in understanding that and looking at that as a data point of measure, that lead you to this moment, how does one actually start to create change in their life in consideration of the impact?

Kiri-Maree: So, let's just be clear on this for a moment here. Right? We all have a story, you've got a story, I've got a story. So, how we do that story, what that story looks like is what patterns we put in place, the behaviors we now have, and then how we change that story going forward. And that sounds lovely, just like you said, but it's the truth is I can't change the past. I know, and I can speak so truly to things like that, I know what it's like to stand on that cliff and wanting to take my life because I don't want to go any further because life got so tough and it felt like there was no hope for it. I know what it was like facing hospital and told that you are never gonna live another day. I know what that feeling is like, I know that moment when you think there is nothing that I wanna live for. I don't wanna take another breath, I don't wanna do anything else, that is that moment that you go I'm here, recognize it, but do I want to stay here? Is this serving me? And here's the thing that I had to learn; I call it a crossroad in life. I can choose to keep doing my old score is that serving me? Is that gonna get me where I want to be? So, here's the thing often when it is at your lowest point, you are not able to do it for yourself. So, I had to do it for someone else and I believed at the point that I was, and I've had a few crossroad moments trust me in my life, but at the time that I started, because it's a journey and I think we have to be clear on this, it doesn't mean that, oh, overnight, I've got it sorted. I'm now gonna head this way, it is a journey and if you are at the rock bottom of the rock bottom, that journey is tough because you gotta get through all those rocks and boulders and the things that are, you know, have been the things that have been the challenges. And I wanna encourage you that the road does get easier, I look at my life now and I'm so grateful that I get to live and the reason I get excited that I get to take a breath every day. I get excited that I get to live every day, I get excited that even though some days, and by the way, we're in isolation right now there is like this continuous every day doing the same ground hog thing. I go, but I get to do that because you know, a time in life where I hit one of those crossroads, where I was choosing not to do that. So, if I go back into where it was tough, those tough moments, I got drivers, I got things that I couldn't do it for myself, I had always promised myself, Michael, that even when I had no children, that if I was ever to have children, they were never, ever gonna go through anything that I did in my life. I promised that to myself. And so, in that moment, when there was a crossroad and I had children at that time, I would go, I can't do this for me, but I want a better life for my children and I said, I wouldn't do this for my kids, I'm gonna be true on that promise. And that pulled me out or the moment when as a young girl I had already been through horrific things before I'd hit at this time where I could consciously make a decision and I go, okay, I could have been dead any of those 16 years beforehand I'm not, you know, and for me, I was like, okay, God must have a bigger purpose for me than I can see for myself, I'm not gonna waste those 16 years of going through that, I'm gonna make a decision today to keep going towards, and then once I make that decision, I've gotta surround people that can take me on that journey and that was the pieces that over time that's changed depending what that crossroad is thing. But I have learnt those skills to do every time I hit that crossroad is if I keep doing this journey from today onwards, cuz here's the thing I can't change yesterday, but I have the power to change today and forward and that's why I love thinking about a lot of things in the future and the hope and the vision around that. But I also love right where I am right now, how am I turning up today? Is it better than yesterday?  Awesome! Then I'm heading in the right direction.



Michael: What do you do in those moments when you do let yourself down?

Sondra: I mean, I try to have grace with myself, usually when I let myself down it's because I made a mistake more so than I didn't try because I'm not the kind of person I'll try anything. And there are times where I'm like, yeah, well, so, you know, I always wanted to do be to do a bodybuilding competition. So, I was trained him for one when I was in my early twenties and I got injured and I never made it. So, when I was 40, I went back and I started training to do all this body building, it was in the best shape of my life. Right. But it came to be about competition time and I was like, yeah, I'm not really into this, it's taken away from my bigger goals, which is work, there were some things that were being required of me. Like, you know, the final lean out, you know, or you gotta get real lean. I just really wasn't into it and I'm like, I had to just tell myself, look, the 20-year-old me and the 40-year-old me are not aligned as far as that goal was, but I tried and I'll feel bad about that. I mean, how many 40-year-olds do even try.

Michael: You know, and that's so interesting too, because I think the older that people get, the more they're willing to quit on themselves.  And I look at it, you know, I have a client and working with adult survivors, childhood trauma, like this is a really intense space. And she's like fucking 64 years old. She's like, I'm gonna figure this out. I'm still alive, there is still time. And my hope is that people won't quit on themselves, that they won't give that; that they'll seek self-love and ultimately find that thing that brings them, you know, fulfillment and joy and happiness and do it through a word I think you use, which is really important, grace, because fuck, you're gonna fuck up a lot all the time, every day. And I think so many people get tied into this idea of perfection and making sure it's great so, everybody else can see it. And I'm just, if you knew how many episodes of this show have not been released or were recorded, that I forgot to press fucking record or that the mic wasn't plugged in or whatever. And you're just like, well, you don't quit. You just keep going, just keep doing it. Big goal energy. I love this idea. I love the concept because I think that ultimately big goals are what will pull you forward into the existence that you can create. I think a lot of people are stuck in not knowing how to navigate that.

So, as someone who is a CEO, an entrepreneur, also a wife and a mom and all the other incredible things that I know that you do, that'll let you bring to light if you choose to, how do you create goals? How do you manage life? How do you move forward with all of the different elements that you have in encompassing you all the time?

Sondra: I think, goal creation is a process. And I think that's not talked about a lot because I think people think you like have to have clarity on the goal. Right? My goals are constantly evolving and sometimes I'm trying new things and then there are a lot of things pulling me, right. I've got my company that I'm running, I have these side projects that I'm doing, I have children that I'm trying to be a good parent. And you know, I've heard you talk about this too, I'm trying to break generational behaviors as a parent. And you know, there's a lot of me going into that and actually that's part of my journey too, you know, there was a time early on when I first had my firs kid everybody, you know, when I started with gate master was the youngest and the only woman. And I remember I could hear a lot of the guys saying when she has a baby, she's outta here.

Michael: And you literally heard them say that?

Sondra: I heard 'em say it. And it would break my heart cuz I'm like, why can't I have both? You know, that being said, I was on a client call in labor with my first, you know, I really dedicated to this working. You know, and granted, I've had women come to me and say, Hey, you've created impossible standards for women, but I'm not trying to create standards for anybody, I'm just competing with me here. And even with my last, I had him at home, so there were no drugs involved in that childbirth so I was not talking to anybody with my first I was epidurals, you know, it was pain free, I could take a client call. But with my last, I had him at home and it happened so fast and it was painful enough that I was not even interested in talking to a client. And by that time, the company didn't need me to be on a phone call while I was giving birth, you know, they had it. I went back to work two days later and maybe there was a little bit of like I had to prove, but more, I had to prove to myself because I had made a pretty big deal. And I had told them, yes, I'm gonna have a baby, but I'll be there, and he came two weeks early, so it messed up my plan.  Right? So, I had to go back to work two days later. So, I wasn't trying to prove anything to anybody or create any standard, I was just trying to do what I said I was gonna do for a client who gave me their money. And believed in me enough to say, here's this big check, do your work. You know, he said, you're gonna be there even if you had a baby. So, I did. And I think that's a big part of the goals is just, sometimes it looks different than what we thought it was gonna look like. And you've gotta be willing to evolve with it. You've gotta be able to go where it takes you. You just can't give up on what that is.

Now, when I became a CEO, you know, I didn't know what was supposed to happen from there. Right. I just had my eye on it, I knew that at some point Steve was gonna replace himself and he was gonna need an executive in that position, there was a lot of people going for that role, you know, working towards that goal. And I knew that if I could grow, help him grow the company and be valuable enough to him, I would get that position. I don't have an MBA, I didn't go to college. We talked about that. Right. But I knew that being valuable was important. And I think that's something that's really lost on a lot of people right now. You know, I don't believe there aren't good people out there. I just think that we have a lot of negative beliefs about work culture today. And I think it's coming from both sides, both the employers and the employees where they're not being valued the employee and the employee doesn't value the job.

Now, one of the things I talk about actually, I'm be at the Florida attractions association next week, talking about, the generational divide, that was not a title that I picked, I probably would've picked something different, but I think it's interesting cuz it is important to them, they believe that a lot of this is generational. To me, I believe that, you know, if you don't have alignment, it does matter what generation we're dealing with. However, you know, you hear a lot of people talking about there's no good people to work these days. Right. I hate that. I hate hearing that because I don't think that's what it is, I think there's a couple of things happening, you know, one, the baby boomers, there's not enough of us to replace them. So, the people who are getting the jobs have a lot more options than they did the people who came before them. And then two, maybe that's created a little bit of entitlement and so, people aren't trying to be as valuable to the people who hire them. I really value the people that want to add value to what I'm doing and because of that, it's important to me to help them achieve their goals. But that's also how I gauge whether or not this is somebody I should be helping.



 Michael: You know, I've played the victim, I've seen thousands of people that have coached around the world, play the victim and it's really truly not until that moment of acknowledgement that it comes to pass that you're able to step into who you truly are but even with this MJ, I fear that people will hear this and they'll write this down, they'll look at it and instead of doing something they'll dive deeper into victimhood.

Mallisa: Yeah. Well, I would just tell people ask themselves what benefit do you get on a victim hood? Like, we're all a victim of something, every single person is a victim of something but what benefit do you get a maintaining being a victim that's because something happened to you and you were a victim of a circumstance, does not mean that you need to maintain being a victim moving forward. So, it's a matter of making a decision are you going to be a victim of it or you gonna make something out of it and in my mind that's the definition of success that's a responsibility is on this planet and just to take what you've been through and trying to make something beautiful for the next generation, your neighbor, your cousin, whoever it may be, what are you going to make out of what you been through? Are you going to make more hurt or by being a victim or are you're gonna make something great out of it? You can't have both. So, I think it comes down to an intentional and an understanding that there is a time in a place to be a victim, there is. Like, for instance when I got diagnosed the neurological condition after working for jobs including myself your college and building a business, I had a pity party for about a year, maybe a year and a half they said hey, we can't fix this, we can only do brain surgery, it's treatment for you and most likely you're probably going to have to get more and also people die spontaneously from this and we're terrified to operate on you because there was a nineteen year overall, we just took the surgery on with a brand new baby that did not make it. So, I was a victim in that circumstance yes, and I had to give myself that time to really process my emotions and cope with the versus just sitting there trying to put a band aid over bullet not coping with those emotions however that victim hood timeframe is way lasted a lot of times and a lot of times we do not make a decision to make something out of it and we maintain being hurt and therefore unconsciously bleeding on everybody else and hurting them.

Michael: I'm sitting with that because it brings to mind these moments and time and my own experience and many people, I've seen in which like you have this for lack of a better way to phrase that it's like coming to Jesus’ moment, right? We're like oh, shit hold on a second, what is happening here. For you coming through that like what did that look like I would love if you had paint a picture of really kind of the next phase in this journey for you going from that mindset of victim into what was next because there's that transition period, right? And I look at mine it was three fucking years for me. I'd love for you to talk about what that was like in the shift that happened in the journey for you?

Mallisa: Yes. Let's see, so more backstory on this just to give the audience some more contacts. At the age of twenty-five that was when I quit my last freaking night job, I work up four jobs putting myself through college while building a business because that was the only way I can do it. I'm a big fan of NF and he has a song called ‘options’ and it says, I gotta make it or make it these are the options. And I finally thought that I made it and literally three months later after buying the dream house, the dream car which I came from a very humble beginning so that was not like a gigantic car or a gigantic house but I finally thought that I made it three months later, I was interviewing neurosurgeons, couldn't remember how to get home, I’m right handed and I couldn't open my hand all the way because of nerve damage, my right foot was literally curling up and I was walking with a lip on it and I can barely remember how to spell my name. And what they told me is you have Chiari malformation and for the audience is probably not super familiar about that because it's very rare and also, they are just starting to finally be able to properly treat it, there's about five neuro specialists in the United States that truly, truly specialize it or at least back then that was the case. Anyways, that means your brain doesn't a physically fit in your skull and it's beating into your skull every single time your heartbeat beats. And I had a big, big pity part felt like a victim, I felt like I was cursed, I felt like everything was bullshit, I felt like everything that I worked for literally meant nothing, I literally felt like was just getting laughed at by the universe, there was like screw you Malissa, you're cursed. And I felt like that for a long time, I felt like that basically for the majority of twenty fifteen but every single day I would try to get up and I would try to act like, I didn't feel that way, I tried to go back to who I used to be, I tried to sit there and me like okay, I'm just gonna pretend this didn't happen and that just makes it worse every single time because I wasn't coping with the emotions and the fact that I felt like I was not fulfilling my potential, I wasn't working through and understanding that all of these surgeries because I had to get twelve of them back to back, all of these surgeries were painful but the most pain thing was knowing that I could die spontaneously and I gave up on my dreams, I wasn't confronting any of these emotions. And I wasn't until I started really, really going through and being like okay, who you used to be doesn't exist anymore? You need to build the new version of yourself, that was the only pivotal moment that I could do something because every single morning I'd get up and try to act like, I was who I used to be and then I would black out and be bedridden for about two to three days because I was not able to even be up for more three hours at a time. So, that's what that transition looked like, it came to accepting that it came to seeing other people with the same condition I had dying spontaneously that would give every single damn, second that they possibly could to have the three hours I had with my ability to stand up upright and what was I going to do with it, was going to just flush you down the drain to be a victim or was it gonna make something out of it? And that acceptance in space going through the emotions and seeing that there are other people going through the same thing I was that was the big transformation in which I realized, okay, what am I gonna do with this diversity? What does it mean? I can dictate what it means and everybody does.



Michael: As you're in this and you're going through this process and you're like, all right, I'm going to step into what's next in my journey. What I'm curious about, what was the catalyst for change and what was the beginning of this journey like for you?

Samantha: Hmm. I hit a rock bottom. I was invited to an awards dinner with Tony Robbins, when he and Dean Graziosi's launched KBB. And I was in the room with absolute legends and I had a rock bottom that day, that week, that month, that time period, it was right before my surgeries. And I was able to see myself in a room with the people I would aspire to be around but knowing that I personally was not showing up as an individual who's worthy of being in that space and that worth took me on a journey, right? That discovery of self-worth took me on a journey, it took me into the awakening and I immediately went back home to New York. And I found my team of doctors in order to really start hunting, hundreds of thousands of dollars went into my health journey in the last couple of years, and it took me saying enough is enough. Right? Owning the fact that individuals from across the world have come through so much, right? I tend to attract individual’s leaders in my life who truly have come from grassroots rock bottom, extreme hardship or challenge and overcome, right? Surface stories, surface relationships, haven't always resonated with me, but witnessing that there is so much that can be done when you're honest about the journey that you've come through, not the perfected veiled version that we live in corporate America, but the authentic entrepreneurial journey where listen, your story matters.

Your identification of the gifts that you've been given matter. And when we can each individually share those and ensure that they're, you know, our business card or our first foot forward, I think we start to attract individuals we really resonate with. And so, for me, acknowledging an incredible rock bottom saying this is the lowest of the low, this is the worst I could ever anticipate being and just acknowledging the fact that listen in so many respects in my life, I would be justified if I was to give into all the darkness that lives in the world. And you know, authentically had chosen a life on the edge where I debilitated and demeaned myself privately and showed up perfected and veiled in corporate and was able to rise in that space so there was this duality to my life and I said, I need to unify, I need to really unify my life and how I'm showing up. I changed career positions, in a different respect I changed the way I showed up in corporate, I changed the way I showed up within my family. In the same month that I had those surgeries, I joined Grant Cardone's inner circle mentorship group, which really meant for me every single Thursday, hundreds of us hopped online on zoom. We also, every single day had an Instagram group where we said, did you drink your water? Did you write your goals? Did you exercise? And I had real accountability, not just friendship, not just people who were honored, you know, to be in my world or happy to support me because I have overcome so much, but individuals who are saying, are you really showing up enough? Are you being authentic in who you are and what you represent and what you want to be? And I had people questioning me, listen, you got a good backstory, Sam, but is it everything that you are. It's phenomenal for all of us to own where we've come from and I would never say to bury it, hide it or run away from it. I think it gives us our strength and it gives us our relatability, but I had individuals who have overcome just as much or their own version of my same, and they said, you can do more. And I started to really acknowledge within myself. I am showing up at 10%, I had been saying it for years, acknowledging I'm showing up at 10%, my value, but I had no problem with it cuz I was still successful in my corporate life and still successful in the way I showed up in the things that I wanted to do. I think it was important for me to start to see that there are different versions of success and it really does start with that unification of self and purpose. Right? Not masking. In corporate, we mask a lot, but you don't have to, right? You can really live and breathe in this energy of today I choose. And in that choice every single day, your actions can be more aligned and you don't have to have that, if I was to be filmed right now, this is not who I would want the people to see versus you can spend more percentage every single day in that place of congruence, alignment, self-acknowledgement and self-support.

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Michael Unbroken


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