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What's Your Next Move
Putting Conditions On Our Own Happiness
August 20, 2018 Arlene Battishill
What's Your Next Move

Putting Conditions On Our Own Happiness

August 20, 2018

Arlene Battishill

Welcome to What’s Your Next Move, the podcast for peak performers who are making things happen but are running into roadblocks that prevent them from getting what they want. In this episode, we talk with Joie Cheng, author of the book "The Naked Truth: A Woman's Journey To Self-Love". Joie takes us on a journey through the self discovery that changed her life. Her parents divorce at a young age left Joie with a feeling of abandonment that would haunt her into her adult life. The depression and suicidal thoughts that followed, found her in an abusive relationship that lasted into the moment her mother was diagnosed with, and later died from, cancer. The death of her father a few years later brought into sharp focus for her what was missing her entire life, the need to love herself before she would ever find a way to bring love into her life in a way that was rich and fulfilling. Only after this transformation was complete was the able to cast aside the abusive relationship and head down a path that would change her life. She recounts the journey in her book, The Naked Truth, in vivid and painful detail, emerging like a phoenix from the ashes to become a highly sought after speaker and coach who now brings other peoples' stories of transformation to the page. A beautiful and rich conversation not to be missed!
Welcome to What’s Your Next Move, the podcast for peak performers who are making things happen but are running into roadblocks that prevent them from getting what they want. In this episode, we talk with Joie Cheng, author of the book "The Naked Truth: A Woman's Journey To Self-Love". Joie takes us on a journey through the self discovery that changed her life. Her parents divorce at a young age left Joie with a feeling of abandonment that would haunt her into her adult life. The depression and suicidal thoughts that followed, found her in an abusive relationship that lasted into the moment her mother was diagnosed with, and later died from, cancer. The death of her father a few years later brought into sharp focus for her what was missing her entire life, the need to love herself before she would ever find a way to bring love into her life in a way that was rich and fulfilling. Only after this transformation was complete was the able to cast aside the abusive relationship and head down a path that would change her life. She recounts the journey in her book, The Naked Truth, in vivid and painful detail, emerging like a phoenix from the ashes to become a highly sought after speaker and coach who now brings other peoples' stories of transformation to the page. A beautiful and rich conversation not to be missed!

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:00Welcome to what's your next move, the podcast for peak performers who are making things happen that are running into roadblocks that prevent them from getting what they want. Whether you work for someone else, you're an entrepreneur, thinking about starting your own business or at a point in your life where you just can't make the move from where you are to where you want to go. You're in the right place. This podcast is all about answering one question. What's your next move? And helping you harness your power so your next move is the one that changes your life. I'm your host and resident provocateur, Arlene Batta soul, and I want to know what's your next move?

Speaker 2:0:42Hi there. I'm Arlene Bat, a soul, your host and resident provocate tour and I am thrilled to have my guests today, joy Chang, and she is the author of the book the Naked Truth, a woman's journey to self love. And I wanted to have joy on the show today because she has a very, very compelling story from early on in her life and to talk about how she went from those moments in her life to where she ultimately ended up today with this extraordinary book, the success of it and everything that she has gone on to do, uh, as a result of the book, that kind of public speaking that she does, the coaching she does and just all around as she is known, the Self Love Transformation Queen and what that means for all of us. So joy. Thank you so very much for talking with me today. I know that you're busy and I kept you waiting today for the star of our show. And so I'm so apology. So thank you for being so patient with me. So welcome.

Speaker 3:1:52Thank you. Marlene is just, it's such an honor to be here. Thank you for having me on your show.

Speaker 2:1:56Beautiful. Now, I had the pleasure of meeting joy, uh, at an event that we both attended, called the new media summit where, um, we were there to pitch influencers on podcast to become guests or to find people that we would be able to interview for our own shows. And a joy had a very compelling pitch, uh, that she presented to this group of influencers and a crowd of about 200 people and we all had notebooks in which to make our notes about everyone who was there at the event. And she was high on my list of people that I wanted to talk to based on the pitch that she made. So, joy, if you would, can you talk to me a bit about what you're doing right now and you know, where you're at in your life.

Speaker 3:2:43Orleans. So I am currently working with people that want to share their stories, that have a story that they believe the world needs to hear. Um, so I helped them write and publish their transformational books. And I also do speaking. Um, I believe that part of my purpose is to share my story of how I was when I was in my twenties. I went through a period of deep depression and suicidal thoughts and self love and living my purpose saved my life. And so I know that that story can have a lot of, provide a lot of hope and healing for people and inspiration and, um, and so that's part of my purpose as well. So I'm also, um, I know that it's going to be a podcast of my own in the near future as well as a ted talk. I'm working on getting that books and working on getting published and um, you know, major magazines and really just getting my message out to more people.

Speaker 2:3:40Beautiful. And so why don't we just go ahead and get right into how it is you've come to the place that you're at in your life right now. Can you walk me back in time, uh, and I know some of the story because of what you shared at the event, but if you'd be kind enough, could you walk our listeners through what kind of things happened earlier on in your life that really changed the trajectory of your life? What were you doing? What was your normal at the time, and then what happened that created a whole new normal for you?

Speaker 3:4:13Yeah, so like I said, you know, in my twenties I went through this period where I was really depressed and, you know, considering killing myself, um, and, you know, it was obviously a really sad time, but it was also a very confusing time because there was nothing like, I didn't understand why I was feeling that way. It wasn't like there had been something that had happened, you know, like I had gone through a traumatic breakup or had lost somebody close to me. My life was good on the outside, you know, I had a good job and I had family and friends that cared about me and I had a relationship. I was in a relationship and this, everything seemed good in my life, but I was feeling this way and nobody knew about it, you know, I didn't tell anyone. I think I just mentioned it to my dad like, after I'd gone through this, um, and it, it was like, it went on for years.

Speaker 3:5:02I don't remember exactly the point when it started or the appointment and ended, but it was definitely something that happened for a long time. And I remember just having a hard time getting out of bed and I would class this bridge on my way to work and I would think about, you know, what would it would it would be like to jump off the bridge. And it was, you know, it was really hard because, um, even though like I had this thought that people didn't care about me, but I also knew that if I did kill myself that my family would be really upset. And so that was what kept me from killing myself. But it was, I felt like I was stuck because I didn't want to live, but I also couldn't die. Um, and then I ended up in an abusive relationship and so it was at that point when I realized that I didn't love myself because I didn't know that I didn't love myself before that.

Speaker 3:5:51But being in that relationship, I started thinking, well, you know, I must not love myself because if I did, I wouldn't be in this situation, would continuously put myself in the situation. I was in that relationship for four and a half years on and off, and, um, you know, and then I ended up going to a seminar for my healing that I do with my clients. Sometimes it's called Matrix energetics. It's a form of energy healing. And it was at that seminar that I, my mind started opening up to different possibilities and, you know, basically, um, I started questioning, I started realizing that there were certain beliefs that I had had that we're putting conditions on my own happiness. Um, for example, I had a belief that, you know, if I just got married, I'd be happier. Or if I was single I'd be miserable. And so I started thinking to myself, well, how do I know that getting married, it's going to be happier.

Speaker 3:6:38You know, there's probably a lot of married people that are not happy, you know, there's 50 percent divorce rate in the country right now. I know that being single is going to make me miserable. What if things single was the best thing that ever happened to me. So, you know, by just like switching those beliefs, it created space for a different possibility. Um, and it, it gave me the courage that, you know, I needed to end that relationship. Um, so I, I decided, okay, I need to end this relationship and I need to start learning to love myself. And then the universe started bringing opportunities into my life to support me with that decision, to love myself.

Speaker 2:7:13Now, when you were in the middle of the depression and the feeling that you didn't want to live, but you didn't want to die, and, and the feeling around not wanting to die, being associated with how you were your family would feel in response. How did you manage to go for such a long period of time feeling the way that you were feeling? How did you manage to just get through each day? Um,

Speaker 3:7:44I mean, I think because you just don't know, you just know that that's what you have to do. I suppose, you know, because I was on my own and so I had to go to my job and, you know, support myself. And so I just, I just went through it and, you know, I mean, I did try it. All these things to be happier, you know, like I was trying to work out and um, I don't know. What I realized though is that, you know, I heard someone say that depression is anger turned inwards and so, you know, I didn't know at the time that I was angry at myself because I was projecting it to other people. Like I thought other people don't care about me. And I think that's probably a common belief with people that are depressed. And that's why, you know, some people do kill themselves because they don't think anybody really cares and they don't realize the impact that that has, you know, and I truly believe that everybody that decides to kill themselves, it's not only a lost to the people that know them, but it's a loss with people that never got to know them because they, I believe all of us have a sacred purpose, a reason that we're here.

Speaker 3:8:46And if we don't, you know, live that out in the world, the whole world suffers, you know, especially if we don't share that in the form a book because that book will outlive us. And then our impact is like, it goes on forever, you know? And so that's why I'm so passionate about what I do because I believe that we all have a unique story that other people need to hear.

Speaker 2:9:07Right. And when you just talked about depression, being anger, turning turned inward and that you said that you were feeling that no one cared about you and that you were turning that anger inward. Was there something that was happening in your life that you would have legitimately been, you would have had a legitimate reason for being angry at other people? Were there things happening that would have, you know, provoked that anger but that you were not allowed to or didn't feel you could express that anger and as a result that's backup turned inward on you?

Speaker 3:9:49You know, I don't think so. I mean, other than obviously being in that abusive relationship, um, it was in a way, thankfully it was only emotionally abusive at the time, although I know that it can start out that way. Um, so although that can also be the most longterm damaging, you know? Um, but yeah, it was, it was emotionally abusive, emotionally abusive towards me and you know, and I actually, that relationship I went from being really angry when I broke up with him because I didn't really want to break up with them. And you know, it might sound weird because obviously it wasn't healthy, but, um, they didn't really want to break up with him, but he like stopped. He just wouldn't respond to my text messages and calls and stuff, like I guess I just have to break up with it, but I felt angry at the time, but then I was able to shift into gratitude, like complete gratitude for the experience and there's no, I don't have any anger towards them anymore.

Speaker 3:10:38And like that relationship was truly one of the greatest gifts because he introduced me to my form of energy healing and I do and realizing that I am a healer and I believe we all are healers. We all have the ability to heal ourselves and to kill other people and we all have psychic abilities and some of us are as developed in those gifts. And he opened me up to. I'm like Vegan and raw food and like all these things that I didn't know about. And so he was really a gift in my life. And I think the biggest gift was learning to love myself. It's realizing that I needed to love myself, you know, and that really put me on the course that I'm on where I realized that soft love is, um, is what I'm here to teach and embody. Um, and that's what, you know, I realized that I needed to share when I wrote my book and then actually through writing my book was when I realized that, you know, I'm here to help other people to share their story because it was, I kind of joked that I fell into book publishing.

Speaker 3:11:34It wasn't something that I thought would happen that I expect it to happen. Um, but you know, when I look back on my life, storytelling actually has been the theme of my life. It's something that I've always been interested in because when I was a kid, I used to ask people what they did for a living. I wasn't, it didn't really matter if they said they were a doctor, lawyer, like I didn't really care so much about what they did as much as I cared about why they decided to be a doctor. Be a lawyer. Story behind that. What's the story? Oh, and then when I was at my, um, my first job really kind of the only job I've had, but before I started my business, I worked at big brothers big sisters, which is a mentoring program for kids and I used to, my job was to, when, when I first started my job was to interview the volunteers and the families that want it to be in the program and you know, make sure that they were good candidates for program and then ask them up. And so what I loved about that job was getting to meet everybody and learning about their life. I mean I would literally spend an hour and a half, two hours with them, you know, there are 16 pages of questions, were very thorough interviews and got to know everything about their life. And I love that. So I, I, it's interesting how, looking back I realized that that's been the theme of my life.

Speaker 2:12:42Yeah, for sure. And it's interesting that you would have chosen that given how you were feeling and did, did you feel like throughout your life, you know, this feeling that was sort of with you for an extended period of time throughout your life that you connecting or, or the feeling that you had that was associated with being depressed and really not wanting to live. Did you feel that your work with the big, the big sisters a organization was something that allowed you to access a part of yourself emotionally that you were not able to access otherwise?

Speaker 3:13:25Um, I don't really think so. Um, but yeah, I think that, I mean I got my degree, I have a bachelor's in psychology and a masters in social work and since I was a kid I wanted to have my own business, but I thought I was going to be a family and marriage therapist, like a private therapist because my parents got divorced when I was a kid. Between eight and 10 insight we got. We solve different family therapists as part of our divorce process. So that introduced me to sort of like the world of, you know, therapy and um, so I got to see people working from home and you know, this other woman had this nice office in Manhattan and I, she must make a lot of money and I thought, oh, it's, you know, you get paid, like talk to people and listening to their problems.

Speaker 3:14:11It didn't seem like a hard thing to do. That's easy. I can do that. But as a kid I just also, I don't know, I don't know if it sounds like maybe it sounds cheesy, but I always knew I was here for something bigger than myself. Like I don't know how many kids know that, but I just had this, like I knew that I wasn't here just to make lots of money and have lots of fun even though there's nothing wrong with that, but I just knew that I was here for something greater for, you know, something that would really make a big difference in the world.

Speaker 2:14:38Right. Got It. And then as you, you know, came out of that relationship and now I'm curious about something about this guy that you were with, um, and that is if he had

Speaker 3:14:52introduced you to raw foods and other things that would suggest some degree of enlightenment on his part, how would you explain how he ends up being someone who's emotionally abusive? Yeah. Well, so that was, I mean, honestly, I believe that when we're in relationship with somebody, we both choose to be in a relationship, right? And there's gifts for both of us, um, if you're willing to look at them. And so for him, he actually found out while we were together that his mom had used him as a kid. He had no idea because he was like under a year old and his mom threw him against a wall.

Speaker 3:15:31And then also, you know, he had had experiences with other women that weren't very positive. You know, he, he talked about how women would go on a date with him and then when the bill would come, you know, they had dinner together and the bill would come. They would leave like they just used him for a meal and so thankfully when I was in that situation with him, I knew that it wasn't about me, like I felt that, you know, because whatever I had said or done, I didn't feel like the response that he gave me really like warranty what I had done or said, you know, and so thankfully I had that awareness because I think that, you know, women and even men in those situations can blame themselves. They can think, oh, I did something wrong and you know, there's something wrong with me and like really internalize it.

Speaker 3:16:15And I think that's when it becomes really damaging when we believe that, that there's something wrong with us because some of the way someone else is treating us, you know? Yeah. So I had that awareness. So that's what helped me. It was realizing, okay, I know this isn't about me. I'm so well how, how is it that you managed to have the perspective you did a, which is what you were just talking about, that this was not about you. Because for most people, especially for women, they will automatically take responsibility for whatever is being thrown at them literally or figuratively. But you were in a situation with someone who was behaving in an abusive way towards you, but you had the perspective that this wasn't about you. How did you end up having that perspective? Did you always have that perspective while you were with them?

Speaker 3:17:06Or is this something that developed over time, throughout the course of that relationship? You know, I felt like I always had that perspective. Um, I think that, I just don't know. I just was thinking about and felt like that doesn't, it just didn't match up, you know, like what I had said or done and um, didn't match what he, how he was responding to me and say I felt like you maybe call it, you know, intuition as well. And I think that, you know, as, I mean we do. I mean, even men, you know, we all have that. We have intuition, right? But a lot of times we don't listen to it because our mind is our mind, like yells at us. Whereas our intuition whispers, right, so to be like able to quiet the mind, which is really difficult to do and that's where meditation can help and finding just stillness times where we're not just running around doing things, but we actually have time for those whispers to, for us to hear those whispers.

Speaker 3:18:02Right. For sure. Now, um, I know that, uh, you lost your parents at a fairly young age and where was that in relation to when you were in this particular relationship? You were, you were in your thirties, right when you lost your parents, is that right? Actually, well, um, so my mom, I lost my mom first and I was 27 when she passed and then I was 31 when my dad passed. Right. And where were you in terms of chronology in terms of this relationship relative to when you lost your parents? So I was between 25 and 29 when I was in that abusive relationship. So my, yeah, actually my mom passed during that time. Um, and so we actually, we dated for about eight months and then we broke up. He broke up with me and he told me that he had been dating another woman at the same time as me, like pretty much the entire time, like started dating both of us at the same time.

Speaker 3:19:06And I had actually had suspicions and I had actually questioned him and he had denied it. And um, at one time I was at his place, I'm probably, I dunno, two, three months into a relationship or something and um, you know, I'd asked him if I could check my email, um, and he said sure. And he was laying down in the couches. It's kind of tired and so I went on the computer and you know, if you have email, like if you don't sign out of your Gmail then when somebody sends an email to go on, you know, the, it shows up their email. Right. So you had female and it mounts I was female and so his email pops up and you know, honestly, like I didn't. I was like, I didn't see anything and it really want to see anything, but I just happened to see like a conversation between him and this lemon. And, you know, he was like, hey baby. And I'm like, okay, what do I do here?

Speaker 3:20:00So that was the first time that I had ever been cheated on. Um, and I, I had actually had this thought that like I would never get cheated on and I've learned in this, you should never say never. And I also realized that I talk about this in my book, but it's not about, I don't believe that when someone cheats on you, it's not about you, it's about them. They're not getting course relationship. Um, and so, uh, yeah, so then I just, I like woke up, I was like, Hey, uh, I said something like, I dunno, like there's anything you want to tell me or. And then I, and then I asked him about it and he's like, oh, well that's like an ex of mine that I work with and so, you know, I have to like be nice to her and I'm thinking, well like there's a difference between like you can be nice without calling someone, like, yeah.

Speaker 3:20:52So like he's like, okay, I don't know. And then he just like, yeah, I just felt like it didn't stop, but I, I was afraid of so I hadn't had this pattern of being in relationships and not being happy, like being in long term relationships and not being happy but not ending the relationships because I had this fear of being alone. And I also have this fear of being abandoned by men. Um, which you know, is, was because of my childhood. There was a time when my parents were going through that divorce where there is a lot of yelling between them. And one time my mom called the police and had them take my dad, like had my dad leave the house and I was a daddy's girl, like complete daddy's girl. Always really close to my dad. Um, and so, you know, I, I remember that incident.

Speaker 3:21:40I don't remember what I was thinking, but I can only imagine, you know, as a little girl who's like eight or nine, like thinking that, you know, like, is my dad going to come back? I didn't know that I had that fear of being abandoned until the got into relationships with men when I was a lot older. Right. And I started realizing like when I have this fear of like, you know, being left and then, you know, and so, um, and then when I got an abusive relationship and I made that decision that I needed to learn to love myself, I also decided I needed to learn to just be happy being single because I had gone from one relationship to another and hadn't been single since I had started dating. Right. Right.

Speaker 2:22:21Now, um, I just want to ask you one more question before we move on to the next step in your journey and what your next move was. You were in this relationship around the same time that your mother passed away. How did that all play itself out in the context of the relationship? Because you know, when we're facing the loss of a parent in particular, it just brings up all kinds of emotions. And when we're in a relationship with someone, you know, there tends to be a way that we need to rely on them and depend on them for emotional support as we're going through an experience like that. And so how did that fit into this whole equation of your life at that time?

Speaker 3:23:06Yeah. So, so what had happened, you know, like I was saying, so he ended up, he broke up with me. I'm like, I think it was new years. I feel like it was new years eve or the day before. God. Yeah. Okay. So, but then we ended up actually spending New Year's Eve together is kind of weird, but he broke up with me and he told me that he had been cheating on me and then like the next day I found out my mom had cancer. So talk about a really shitty couple days. Right? Yeah. Happy New Year. Right. And um, you know, it was really pretty unexpected. I mean, my mom I guess had been going through some stuff for, I dunno, maybe four or something, but my sister knew more about it because they talked, you know, more regularly. I wasn't that close to my mom. Um, she, you know, we thought it was her blood pressure medication because she had high blood pressure and so they were going back and forth trying to, you know, take care of this thing and the, and, you know, we had no idea that it was going to be cancer.

Speaker 3:24:02There's no history of cancer in her family. Um, and you know, she was 54, maybe 53 because she was 54 when she passed. So yeah, I mean she was really young and you know, she would work out and do aerobics and you know, she cooked at home. She ate pretty healthy. So it was just really unexpected. And honestly I think that if my mom maybe hadn't had cancer, maybe we would have stayed broken up. But we did stay broken up for a couple months that we were in touch because of what had happened with my mom. And he actually was really supportive, um, of the whole thing of me being there to take care of my mom, like I was the one that was taking care of her and I had to readjust my life a little bit. Like I was very, I had a job that was flexible so I would spend half the week at her place in the suburbs, um, you know, living with her and taking care of her.

Speaker 3:24:55And then I would spend half the week at my place. I had a place, I grew up in Chicago, so I had a place in the city and I would, you know, I had to do some stuff for work. I'm in the office that I had flexibility to do some stuff at home too, so I would rearrange it so that I could spend half the half the time with my mom and half the time, you know, in the city and my place with my boyfriend and with my friends and my job. Um, and that was actually really good for me because my sister had suggested maybe I should move in, move back in with, you know, her mom to take care of her and I was glad that I decided to keep my place in the city because it was like I needed that balance, you know, what I needed to have the respite care, you know, of my boyfriend and my friends so that I could show up more fully from my mom when I was there, you know.

Speaker 3:25:40And so, um, as we fast forward four years, were you still in that relationship at the point that your dad passed? No, like I said, so I ended that relationship when I was 29, so it was my mom passed in the middle of that relationship. So we, um, and I think that, like I said, he was actually really supportive and he was there when I found out my mom passed. It was a really interesting experience because I was, it was ironic that I was the one that was there at the beginning and took him to the hospital. And, you know, I have two siblings, a sister brother, and they weren't there. Well my sister, because she was in California and she ended up moving back to Chicago, um, while her mom was sick to be there. Um, and yeah, and so I was the one that was there like the whole time taking care of her.

Speaker 3:26:27Um, my sister did the best she could. She had her own family, um, and my brother, I don't know, he's just, you know, didn't seem like he wanted to be there as much or something. I don't know what his deal was, but he wasn't around as much as I was. And um, but then when she actually passed, I wasn't there. Um, I had seen her the night before and we, the nurse had told us that she would probably have a few more weeks, but she passed in less than a week. And so if I had known I would have been there and um, but you know, the last memory I had was a really beautiful memory where we were all at my sister's house and we had just convinced my mom to move in with our sister because she had a lot of resistance. I think she just wanted to be at her own house.

Speaker 3:27:11But my sister is like, you know, my sister worked from home and her husband worked from home so they would always be around and I still had my job where I had to come into the city sometimes. So I was thinking about taking a leave of absence, you know, because that last week my mom couldn't do anything by yourself. I was doing everything for her. I was helping her brush her teeth. I was helping her, like she had a toilet right by her bed downstairs and you know, she really couldn't do anything. So I realized like, wow, like maybe you know, we need to like look at how we can, what we can do here, you know, because she needs more support than she had needed before. And so, you know, we tried to convince her to, even with my sister, and it's kind of funny because somebody, I told him the story and they were like, well, obviously your mom didn't want to live with your sister because after she moved in, she passed the next day. I mean, it might sound funny, but I think my mom, like, she's just a very simple person and she, my sister had these, like, you know, says Tivo. She was like complicated TV control. I was like, well, I don't know how to use your TV.

Speaker 3:28:10We'll teach you how to use it. But I don't know, maybe she just wanted to be in her own house, you know, um, you're, I convinced her to move in with my sister with her sister and that night we had um, a really great time because my sister had just bought some new clothes for our niece and my niece who was almost, I think she was like a year old, a little over a year or something. And then, um, my brother had just come back from a trip to the big island. So he was showing us pictures and so it was just a really nice experience and I kind of remember thinking, oh, I, I kinda wish I could just like stay here, but I had a work event the next day. Um, and so I was like, okay, well, you know, I gotta go back to the city and that night.

Speaker 3:29:01And um, it was interesting because I always said, you know, I love you too. My mom, when I would leave her and give her a kiss and for some reason I think I was a little embarrassed because my sister and my brother were there. It sounds weird, but I liked, didn't tell her that. And then that was like the last time I saw her, um, but then the next day, you know, um, I got a call from my sister, it was like 11:00 AM, but we had been out late the night before, so I was still sleeping and she left a message saying, hey, give me a call when you wake up, you know, we got to talk about some stuff like our mom. I'm like, thinking, okay. And then my brother calls at like 2:00 PM and I'm still in bed and he's like, you know, get back here as soon as you can, you know, we don't think mom has much time left now and jump out of bed and start getting ready.

Speaker 3:29:49And like in less than 15 minutes after that, he calls me back and said, she's gone. I'm just like, what? And so then they're like, well, you know, take your time. You don't have to rush back. And you're like, are you okay to drive is a 45 minute drive? And I was like, I think so. I don't know, I guess I'll let you know if I can read. I just was like, not really thinking that you know about stuff. I'm just kind of shocked around her actually just being gone that fast that my boyfriend was there. I was like, I was at his place and when I found out and he actually, he didn't come to the funeral because my family, I didn't tell them that I actually was still dating him because I think I was ashamed, you know, because I knew that if I tell them they'd be like, why are you with this guy, you know, like because of the way that he's cheating you.

Speaker 3:30:39So like he didn't, they didn't even know. I mean, I think they knew, but I didn't tell them, you know, I think they had the suspicions and knew that I was still with him, but I didn't tell them that I was with him. So he didn't even come to the funeral. Um, but he was really, he actually was really great about the whole experience of my mom being sick and he was there like for me during that time. So I honestly think that for him it was about, like, he just isn't really meant to be in a monogamous relationship. I think he is the type of person that would do better in an open or a poly relationship. Um, because, you know, he said that he really appreciated and enjoyed our companionship. Um, but there was the other woman that he was with, like the sex was like, you know, they had more like chemistry there, um, but then he couldn't really talk to her.

Speaker 3:31:32They didn't really have a lot in common to talk about. Um, and so it was like I really is a challenge for him to choose because we had, we both had different, I guess, pros, you know, and, and yeah, I think some people, you know, and like, okay, well that's, and I talk about being in an open versus a closed like relationship in my book as well, but I think that, I don't think there's a right or wrong. I think that it's just knowing what's right for you, you know, and it's like, okay, well that's fine, but if that's what you wanted to do, you should have been honest with us at the beginning. He should have at least said, hey, here's the deal. I'm dating you and being southern women and like, is that okay with you? And if not, then then we get to decide, right?

Speaker 3:32:08Versus like not knowing. So yeah, and he didn't, you know, honor the fact that you should have been able to make that decision yourself. And if he was living in his own truth about that he needed to be in a non monogamous relationship, then put that right out there and let people make the decision for themselves. Because I agree with you, there's no right or wrong around, you know, a monogamous or an open or poly relationship, whatever it is that makes the most sense for you, that is what it needs to be and that may change over time,

Speaker 2:32:41but at least you have to allow the people that you're getting involved with the choice to decide whether or not they want to be involved with you. Because if you're not coming clean about the fact that this is what you're doing, then that constitutes cheating and an affair when it doesn't have to be characterized that way. If you were just honest about it in the first place. So what I think most people are afraid to even have that kind of conversation. But the flip side of that is, yeah, you're afraid to have the conversation because it then means that you don't get to have what you want and so you'd rather lie and get what you want then just be forthright about it and let the other person make a decision. So yeah, I think he revealed his true colors in that for sure. Well, you know what I want to, um, you know, there's a million other questions that I would want to ask you about. So many things that you've said here and of course there is passing of your father and I don't want to gloss over that because certainly that was, I'm sure a pivotal moment in your life. But, um, I know that you're short on time and I want to move to the part of our conversation that is about the book. And let me ask you how it is that this book even came into being. So,

Speaker 3:33:56you know, I know that there's probably a lot of people that have always wanted to write a book that wasn't actually me. I never thought of writing a book. Um, you asked me five years ago if I was gonna write a book, I probably would've said no, but it was, I think it was the, it was like the end of 2014. Yeah, towards the end of 2014 that I went to an event and I heard this speaker, his name is James Mcneil and he is, you know, an author, speaker, coach and travels around and um, and he was speaking about how when we die, if we don't write our story down, it gets lost in the world forever and that, you know, nobody could write our story the way that we would share it the way we would. Um, so it really just started, it touched me a lot and just made me start thinking about, you know, this idea of a legacy and like, what is it that I want to leave behind?

Speaker 3:34:43And so then I decided, I said, okay, so May 15th, 2015. I thought five, one, five, one five would be a cool date. Put it on. I put it on my google calendar and you know, what happened that day came and went and I didn't do anything. I hadn't started it with the data. I'm like, oh, I was going to have my book done by this date. Okay. And then I. So last year I did the same thing. I was like, okay, so July 17th, 2017, seven, one seven, one seven. I'm like, and I put into my calendar again, but this time I actually hired an editor so I made a big financial investment as an investment in my time, make sure that I would actually get done. Um, and I had a bunch of support around me and it took me three months to write my book and that wasn't really planned, but it was the time that I had just decided I hired, my editor was three months, you know, before that.

Speaker 3:35:37And so. So there we go. And, um, yeah. So my first intention with my book was really to share my story was to, you know, I knew that my star was going to be about self love. I didn't know exactly what my book was going to look like, but that was a process that just evolved over time as I went through the process. Um, and then my second intention was I wanted people to be inspired to share their story. I didn't want it to be a book where they just meet it and then put it down and you're like, okay, well that was a good story. That's cool, you know, but they don't actually do anything with it. I wanted them to say, wow, like I, I think that I've gone through that could help somebody else and wisdom that I've learned and so, you know, they want to share their story.

Speaker 3:36:15Um, and then my third intention was to use it as a tool to grow my business. Um, so at the time I was working with women and I've done women's circles and coach and I was working with women's help them love themselves so they could live their best life and reach out to me. Like acquaintances say, Hey, I have this event coming up. I love to have you speak doctor. This is what I'm here to do. Which is really cool because I knew like, I had thought that that's what I was here to do, but public speaking like terrifies me. Like most people, you know, it's the number one fear. They say that we're more afraid of being the person giving the speech at a funeral than the person that's actually, you know, in the coffin, you know. And so that's, that that is a big part of my purpose.

Speaker 3:36:58And I got that confirmation at that book launch, which was really cool. Beautiful. And so you basically have parlayed the telling of your story into a whole new career for yourself. Is that fair to say? Yeah, well it's, it's dual purpose like I said, so I've got the two, I've got one purpose where I believe I'm here and I think that they are combined. They are connected and combined. But the first purpose, like one of them is to share my story, you know, because I know that there are people who are going through depression too who are like considering killing themself right now. Right. And I know that I had checked the suicide rate, um, this was in 2016, seven scene, what it was like last year, but I know in 2016 that the suicide rate between girls 10 to 14 had tripled. I'm just crazy.

Speaker 3:37:45And so, yeah. And so that's also a big part of my purpose is to share my story in schools and um, it just everywhere to be able to provide healing and hope for people to know that, you know, for me, I didn't do any therapy, I didn't take any medication and I was able to heal myself. And it's something that, I mean, it is an ongoing journey, you know, I'm not going to say that I've never had those thoughts again. But when those do come up, it's like there's no energy behind them. It's, you know, I might have a thought like, oh, maybe I should kill myself. And then a second later I'm like, no, not gonna do that. And um, and so, and I think that, you know, like I said, somebody had said that anger or depression is anger turned inwards. So to me then that makes sense, that self love is like kind of the antidote for that, you know, but I didn't know that the time it was after it was kind of looking back and realizing like, oh, that's why, you know, I think like when I learned to love myself that it really helped me.

Speaker 3:38:37And that's obviously an ongoing process as well. But I think it's both, it's the law, it's the self love and the living your purpose because, you know, there's people that may love themselves but if they don't know what they're here to do and they're not doing that and maybe that also can make you depressed, you know, I think it is both because I was on, you know, reinvention radio with Steve and his crew. I'm like a few weeks ago and we were talking about like, oh, well do you think it's because like, because he thinks, you know, when people are depressed, they're focusing so much on themselves but they really need to focus on other people. You know? And, and I was like, well, I think it's both because in my experience it was both because I know that there are people out there who seemed like they, they're on their purpose and then they do kill themselves to know famous people or you're like, wow, this person, I know there was this tantra teacher and she was really having a huge impact in the world and you're like, why would she kill herself?

Speaker 3:39:30And, and people that have success, if they're like celebrities, they have all this money and all, you know, they can do anything. And yet you're like, well, why would they do that? And like we don't know. The truth is we don't know what's going on in people's heads. Right? Like that's why it's called the silent killer because a lot of people just don't talk about it. And especially, I think if you're in like that light where you people look up to you and you know, like it's hard to, that you're struggling. I think. So that's right. We're like, we just don't know what was really going on.

Speaker 2:39:58Sure. Wow. Well, joy, this has been a fascinating conversation and I really appreciate you being so forthright and honest about your own experience and, and what you went through in the relationship that was not very productive for you in one way, but ultimately very productive in what it taught you and what you walked away with and just where you're at in your life right now in the way that you're able to help so many people with a story that you've told and that hopefully it will stimulate other people to begin telling their own story because it is through our stories that we learn from one another. And we learned those things that can enable us to make different decisions in our lives. Especially ones that involve what we're going to do about whether or not we choose to live. And so I thank you so very much for this.

Speaker 2:40:56And, you know, before we wrap it up, I would like to ask you one thing, especially since you are so acutely familiar with this and that is, you know, for a lot of my listeners, they may be at a point in their life where they're really struggling in their business or in their personal life or their relationship or something's going on where they are despairing and you know, based on your own experience, is there anything that you might share, any insights or takeaways that you've had from your own life that you might share with them that might enable them to feel

Speaker 3:41:34that there is light at the end of the tunnel? That they can have a perspective that this is not going to go on forever? Do you have any thoughts about that that you'd care to share? Sure. Um, so I would say, so I have these practices that I share in my book there, seven practices that helped me cultivate a deep sense of self love. And one of them actually already shared, which was, I call it like a super like Ninja mind jet trick. It's called like how you, how do you shift a belief, a male limited, a limiting belief to an empowering belief, right? So I already explained that, where you take a belief that you have that's limiting you and you ask yourself, how do I know? And then you ask yourself like, how do I know that this belief is true? Um, and you know, the cool thing is you don't have to have an answer to that question when you ask it right away, but just by asking the question, it shifts that energy and then the answer will come to you.

Speaker 3:42:30And I'm. So that's a really, you know, simple but powerful practice that if you're struggling right now, you can ask yourself, well, how do I know that this belief that I have, how do I know that I have this, you know, this belief that, um, that it can't be successful in business or that I can't find love or, you know, whatever it is that you're struggling with, like, how do I know that that's true? You know? Um, and then another practice is gratitude. You know, that's something that, you know, we hear a lot, but it really does make a difference, especially, you know, I know for me when I was feeling depressed, like I was really focusing on what I didn't have in my life or what I wanted to be different, right? Versus what I actually do have. Um, and so when I started focusing on what I'm grateful for, um, and I actually joined a facebook group called what am I grateful for today?

Speaker 3:43:12And I would post something in that group every day and writing my journal every day, something I was grateful for. And you know, that over time, I mean, that shifts your mind because you start focusing on what you do have. So, and then the universe can give you more because you're grateful because everything is energy. So, um, and if you do that at night, then I recommend doing it at night because then you know, that your mind is going to be looking for something to be grateful for during the day. So it will like subconsciously be, you know, looking for that. Um, and so, you know, and the truth is we always have something to be grateful for no matter what's going on, you know, like we're grateful that we have a roof over our head or we have food to eat and we have closed the basics that, you know, a lot of people in the world don't actually have to.

Speaker 3:43:56So just like, really? Yeah, that's really powerful as well and it's a beautiful way to and start a day where if at the end of your day when you're really struggling and you're thinking about what you're grateful for, it sends you off into sleep in a state that allows you to wake up in a place where you are feeling grateful even if you're not actively aware of it, but it certainly changes the way the brain is functioning. And that's really critical, especially in situations where people are struggling because, you know, our emotions can produce thoughts that are really counterproductive

Speaker 2:44:33for us and we can totally go off the rails as a result. So I think that's really, really helpful advice and I thank you so much for that and enjoy. Um, for our listeners, would you be kind enough to share with them if they're interested in learning more about you or taking advantage of what you have to offer or getting a copy of your book? Can you let them know where they can find you? The best place is to go to my website which is joy chain.com. That's j o l I e c h e n g.com. Oh beautiful. And they can also find you on social media, I'm sure. Yeah, I'm going to actually, if you go to my site, I have a free gift there so you can sign up for my seven day self love challenge and you'll get an email every day for seven days with a different self love practice.

Speaker 2:45:19Um, and I shared, you know, a couple of them on this in our interview, but there's like five more that I didn't share so you can, you know, find out what those are and you can also get a copy of my book on the site as well. And if you're interested in, if you think that you might be interested in writing a book or finding out if you do have a book inside of you, if there's a story inside of you that needs to be shared, I'd love to get on the phone with you so you can set up a complimentary clarity breakthrough call my site as well. Beautiful. How lovely. Well Joe, this has been really wonderful and again, I thank you so much for being so generous with the sharing of your story and your own journey. I think it's going to be really helpful to a lot of people and also just giving them the idea that writing a book and telling their story is actually a really good thing to do because it is proud part of all of our legacy and who wants to leave this earth without letting people know that we were here, so thank you so much for joining me today.

Speaker 2:46:17Joy. Thank you again for having their lane and so as always at the end of our episode, I asked you to think about your life

Speaker 1:46:26and ask yourself the question, what's your next move? I'm arlene cell. Thanks so much for listening and I'll be back with another episode. Welcome to what's your next move? The podcast for peak performers who were making things happen that are running into roadblocks that prevent them from getting what they want. Whether you work for someone else, you're an entrepreneur, thinking about starting your own business or at a point in your life where you just can't make the move from where you are to where you want to go. You're in the right place. This podcast is all about answering one question, what's your next move? And helping you harness your power so your next move is the one that changes your life. I'm your host and resident provocateur, our lean muscle, and I want to know what's your next move.

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