Inner Rebel

Tracy Harward - Embodying Emotions: The Power of Movement as Medicine

April 07, 2023 Season 1 Episode 2
Tracy Harward - Embodying Emotions: The Power of Movement as Medicine
Inner Rebel
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Inner Rebel
Tracy Harward - Embodying Emotions: The Power of Movement as Medicine
Apr 07, 2023 Season 1 Episode 2

In this deeply meaningful conversation, we welcome Tracy Harward, the founder of Ishtara Body.  With over nine years of practice and training in somatic psychology, Tracy shares her touching journey of reigniting her passions and finding purpose in life through the transformative practice of movement as a healing tool.

Join us for an intimate conversation that delves into Tracy's story - from her initial desire to be a dancer, to pursuing a successful corporate career, and the great dismantling that ultimately led her to embrace her identity as a teacher and dancer in her unique Ishtara practice. We explore the relationship between our mental/emotional health and the body, the process of tearing down misaligned foundations in life, the grief that comes with transformation, and the beauty of vulnerability.
Topics Discussed:

  • Ishtara Movement Practice
  • Movement as Medicine
  • Mental/Emotional Health and the Body
  • Trauma-informed Practice
  • Emotional Processing + Vulnerability 
  • The Great Dismantling
  • Healing through Movement and Meditation
  • Grief and Transformation
  • Community and Support in Healing

If you loved today’s episode, please share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here



Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Join the Inner Rebel Community Facebook Group:

If you loved today’s episode, please leave a review and share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here!


Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Check out The Nova Community and become a founding member

Show Notes Transcript

In this deeply meaningful conversation, we welcome Tracy Harward, the founder of Ishtara Body.  With over nine years of practice and training in somatic psychology, Tracy shares her touching journey of reigniting her passions and finding purpose in life through the transformative practice of movement as a healing tool.

Join us for an intimate conversation that delves into Tracy's story - from her initial desire to be a dancer, to pursuing a successful corporate career, and the great dismantling that ultimately led her to embrace her identity as a teacher and dancer in her unique Ishtara practice. We explore the relationship between our mental/emotional health and the body, the process of tearing down misaligned foundations in life, the grief that comes with transformation, and the beauty of vulnerability.
Topics Discussed:

  • Ishtara Movement Practice
  • Movement as Medicine
  • Mental/Emotional Health and the Body
  • Trauma-informed Practice
  • Emotional Processing + Vulnerability 
  • The Great Dismantling
  • Healing through Movement and Meditation
  • Grief and Transformation
  • Community and Support in Healing

If you loved today’s episode, please share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here



Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Join the Inner Rebel Community Facebook Group:

If you loved today’s episode, please leave a review and share your favorite takeaways by screenshotting this episode and tagging us on Instagram! We also have a free monthly community call on the first Wednesday of every month, join here!


Follow Inner Rebel Podcast: @innerrebelpodcast
Follow Melissa: @therippleconnection
Follow Jessica: @bydesignwithjess
Visit the Inner Rebel website
Check out The Nova Community and become a founding member

00:00:50 MELISSA
Welcome, welcome. I'm actually very nervous in full transparency. And I don't know why exactly, but one of my most favorite, most respected human beings on the planet, Tracy Hardward, and I was saying every time I've thought about introducing her, I was crying.

00:01:09 MELISSA
And why I think that is is because you have had such a profound impact on my life and my healing journey. There it is. There's the tears and I get to be vulnerable with you a lot and you hold the space for us.

00:01:28 MELISSA
And you'll learn more about what Tracy does in a little bit, but I've been doing my movement practice with Tracy holding space for me about a year and a half now. And so this is such a special unique opportunity to get to witness you being vulnerable and me being more in the seat of my, I don't want to say authority that feels weird, but it feels a little bit of a role reversal in a way. And I think that's why I'm nervous.

00:01:54 MELISSA
Thank you for being here, Tracy. So happy to

00:01:54 TRACY

00:01:58 SPEAKER_03

00:01:59 TRACY
So good to meet you, Jessica. Thank you for having me. Thank you for that really tender, beautiful intro. Melissa, I feel super honored. You're welcome. And so moved that you feel the way that you do. And yes, to being in your authority. Hello.

00:02:07 MELISSA

00:02:15 MELISSA
Yeah. I just all of a sudden when you popped on camera, I was like, I'm really nervous to be with Tracy, which is so funny because I've never been nervous in your presence. And I've been probably the most vulnerable I've ever been in your work and in your presence.

00:02:30 MELISSA
So it was just something that sort of surprised me when my body was doing that. So I've been doing a body of work that Tracy created in, I think you officially launched in 2020. Is that correct?

00:02:39 MELISSA
Is Tara? Yeah. So if Tara is the movement practice that I've been hinting at in my less formal introduction, her body of work is teaching people to be in their body and heal through their body.

00:02:51 MELISSA
And she uses movement as medicine and helps you listen to your body rather than being in your mind. Because so often that's where we try to get our information. And what she does with her body of work is rewiring patterns in your nervous system to increase your capacity to feel more joy, more peace and more love.

00:03:09 MELISSA
And Tracy's been doing this for 20 years, right? Of practice in just all therapy, trauma therapy, attachment psychology, transpersonal therapy. She's been training with over nine years of high practice with master teachers in somatic, which is body, stomas of the body.

00:03:27 MELISSA
So somatic psychology and somatic spirituality. So she lives and breathes her body of work and your body's been your guide. And I think it's one of the only ways we can teach people at such levels that you do is because you've lived it in your own

00:03:11 SPEAKER_00

00:03:42 SPEAKER_03
was amazing. Thank you for that.

00:03:44 MELISSA
for that. You are amazing. I know. I've always loved it. It's always fun. I've always liked when you read people's bio. I mean, I didn't fully read it. But when you read people's bio, I always wonder how it feels to hear how great you are.

00:03:55 SPEAKER_03
I was saying it was amazing because there's so much that he started as. And I always struggled to find a way to describe what it is that we do. If you just put it so beautifully, I'm going to have to take this

00:04:07 TRACY
and adapt it for the website. I love that you call it my body of work because all those other studies and things that I've done were supplemental, the core of what I teach. I learned directly from my own body. And that's why I'm so passionate to introduce women and also men to the power that they have in their body to get all the answers really that they need.

00:04:31 TRACY

00:04:31 MELISSA
practice. It really is. So we always start our interviews with this question, it's like the most loaded question. But we're curious who you thought you were supposed to be when you were younger. In the podcast, we talk a lot about the inner rebel, right? That truth that's always fought for you your whole life. But there's that version of us that we think we're supposed to be. And so I'm curious who you thought you were supposed to be and how that differs from who you are today. Oh,

00:04:57 TRACY
a different

00:05:00 TRACY
there's two answers to that question. When you say that, I think what you mean is the ideas that do come when we're younger, but maybe about our roles and professions. And there's also an earlier idea that I had. So I'll touch on that, which is as young as I can remember, I

00:05:19 TRACY

00:05:20 TRACY
dancer. And that was my love. That was my passion, but that didn't happen for me because I only knew dances of performing art, and it was really expensive. And I'd grow up with the money to do that, and it just passed me by. So

00:05:31 SPEAKER_03

00:05:35 TRACY
what you're asking me about is, Dan, what I thought I was supposed to be instead, and that I was for about 30 years, was a successful business woman, someone who was intelligent and professional and successful by the standards of a lot of the world standards. And also, you know, I always wanted to be a mother and all of those things, but yes, I think I thought I was expected to do some significant

00:06:06 TRACY

00:05:47 TRACY

00:06:07 TRACY
at my

00:06:08 JESSICA
I just thought I asked how that was planted. Like who planted or where you got that idea that that was the path you were supposed to

00:06:18 TRACY
I think it was a combination of things. So I'm a little bit older, so I went to high school in the 80s, and in the 80s, the vibe that was going on at that time was women putting on suits and lots of movies of women being. And I love that.

00:06:37 TRACY
I love that part of me. I love that I did that. I am totally all about and passionate about women being in their power.

00:06:44 TRACY
The only model that I had for that, you know, coming out of the 60s and 70s was, okay, now we're going to break glass ceilings and we're going to put on pants suits and we're going to be leaders and all of that is awesome. It just wasn't necessarily who I really am, but I didn't know that. I just knew I wanted to be successful and powerful and be able to take care of myself and be independent.

00:07:07 TRACY
So the model for that was you go into the corporate world. And then I think on top of that, my parents are divorced if I get personal about it. And my mom, she didn't go to college and she didn't get training in a professional life, so to speak.

00:07:26 TRACY
And so she really struggled to support us. She could only earn so much and I saw her struggle and my dad, he remarried this wonderful woman and my stepmother. And she had a very successful professional career. And so I think I also was looking at those two examples and knowing that I always wanted to be able to take good care of myself and I didn't want to have some of the financial limits that I had when I was younger with a single mom. I just thought that was the

00:07:57 TRACY

00:07:57 JESSICA
And who are you now? Who am I

00:07:58 TRACY

00:08:00 TRACY
am I

00:08:02 TRACY
Well, I am now, I call myself a teacher and it turns out that I was supposed to be, I will call it a dance or the practice that we learn at ASTAR is it's a moving meditation, it can look and feel like dance, it's not

00:08:19 TRACY
dance, but in terms of what truly dances, like if you think of life as a

00:08:26 TRACY
the bringing the body into the dance of all of our emotions and our relationships and the dance of life, it turns out I was a dancer after all and that I get to spend all my days with other women and sometimes men in movement and expression of who they are. So yeah, I struggled to say who am I today, but I'm so lucky to be able to now full time be able to support people in their healing and transformation through

00:08:59 TRACY

00:08:59 MELISSA
And I will add because I've gotten to know you is that I, I didn't know what it meant to be trauma informed, like truly work with the practitioner that is trauma informed and that can meet you wherever you are in your emotional state, in your body state, in your life. And I will say that you're the most masterful person I've ever encountered in my life at holding us in our vulnerability. You won't let me be on the surface with my chance ever.

00:09:34 MELISSA
And I love that about you. Like you have such a gift of intuitively feeling into what we're experiencing because we're on zoom from most of this. I know you do in person too, but we're on zooming so you can feel what's below the surface in a way and then you're masterful at guiding us into it in a way that feels so safe and so loving. So I will add that you are also to the places that are honestly the scariest parts of ourselves.

00:10:04 MELISSA
us feel so safe in those places, which

00:10:09 MELISSA
I talk about you.

00:10:10 TRACY

00:10:12 TRACY
people and guiding us in. that. Yes, well, I'm very touched and you'll have to forgive me. When it's hard for me to that same vulnerability you're talking about that I value, I will admit to being somewhat nervous and being on camera. My nervous system's like, wow, so I may take a minute to drop into my own vulnerability and I'm just so meeting

00:10:33 TRACY
And yes, yes, yes, yes, that is a big part of who I am. And it's because it's what I've lived and had to do for myself that are the very felt sense of you and Jessica and people really, really feeling into people.

00:10:50 JESSICA
Yeah. I think many people will have an understanding of the relationship where that connection between our mental and emotional health and our bodies. And I'm wondering if you could help our listeners understand how and why trauma is stored. So deeply in our

00:11:09 TRACY
Yeah, of

00:11:11 TRACY
So whether it's

00:11:14 TRACY
is certainly stored in the body or even just our emotions of any kind, I think what many of us don't know what was a game changer for me was learning that those experiences and those memories lived in the body, not just the brain. And so we live in a culture that's very brain-centric, right? And so

00:11:39 TRACY
this part of our brain in the front. It's called the frontal cortex, the prefrontal cortex. And this is the part of us that is able to have communication with language that's words and understand abstract thought. And process

00:11:55 TRACY
that's a part of us that we're really trained. It's a very strong muscle that we use. And we have a deeper part of us. And that's our emotional body. I call it our survival body, but that's where your fight, flight, freeze,

00:12:11 TRACY
So those parts of the body are part of a whole system. It includes the brain. But if you can imagine, it's very simple to imagine.

00:12:19 TRACY
You have a nervous system. You have nerves coming down through your spine, all throughout your whole body. And it helps to think of that as just one complete system.

00:12:28 TRACY
And so to answer your question when it comes to why does trauma or why do strong emotions get stored in the body or why can't we seem to work them out maybe as well through talking? That's one of the reasons for that is evolutionarily. So I always use this example.

00:12:46 TRACY
We have this prefrontal cortex that's the processing the executive function and the thinking that takes time to process. So imagine, easiest example, I can think of, imagine you have a tiger coming at you

00:13:00 TRACY
If you think about it or

00:13:03 TRACY
you're not

00:13:06 TRACY
So what our bodies wisely have done is created a little bit more of a separation between those strong fight, flight, freeze impulses so that they can then take over our body and move us into action without

00:13:23 TRACY
talking. So they're kind of designed to hijack our body. For example, if you've ever been triggered, you know, you go from zero to 60 like in a second.

00:13:33 TRACY
It just takes over your body. That's a life-saving gift that we have on our bodies. But what happens is when those impulses come up particularly in trauma, you're going to get that fight, that flight, whatever the impulses, very strong hijacks you, doesn't really get stored here.

00:13:53 TRACY
It can get stuck in the body. If it doesn't, if you didn't get to flee, if you didn't get to fight, if you didn't get to say no, if you didn't get to leave, if you didn't get to safety, that impulse just gets imprinted as a pattern. Does that make sense? It's not very easily accessed here. It's more of... When

00:14:00 TRACY

00:14:13 JESSICA
say here... Like pointing to his pointing to our head, so in the brain. Just for our listeners who can't

00:14:20 TRACY
Yeah, I mean, it's all one system. So we do have cognitive, we have brain memories of what happened, but the part that's creating the trouble for us, it's keeping us stuck or locking patterns in how we feel or on the extreme ends, panic attacks, things like that. That's actually an imprint of pattern in our nervous system that we can go directly to in the body.

00:14:45 TRACY
Yeah. And we're designed to be relieved of those things. We just as humans, we have such a strong muscle of thinking about things, talking about things, processing things, we don't really always get down to

00:14:53 TRACY

00:14:57 MELISSA
root. Because we're You know, you're taught like oh, no, no, no, keep that separate shove it down.

00:15:04 MELISSA
not to feel a lot of people. Are we label our emotions as good, bad, right, or wrong? Things you should feel, you know, and then we identify by them, right? Like I used to say I am an anxious person. I am. That's who I am. I am anxious, right? Like I was always going to be that way. And I think it's so fascinating. I love the way in which you speak about it because it's just such permission to feel. And if we don't have a practice for it, it does not feel safe at all.

00:15:31 TRACY

00:15:32 TRACY
yeah, exactly. Melissa, I think you're touching on what speaking of trauma informed, the foundation to that to me has to be to start with the feelings and emotions that we have just even garden variety, anger, sadness and fear.

00:15:49 TRACY
to see those as bad and to not want to feel those feelings and to want to find ways to get rid of them. And a lot of I think the personal development work that most of us do, we're just trying to feel better. Or let's say even the risks that we might want to take. We won't take them because we're afraid of how we feel. Or on the bigger scale, if we do have trauma,

00:16:16 TRACY
to go towards it because we're not taught how to sit with, be with, move with our emotional body. And we're even further taught that we should have control over it. Right.

00:16:30 TRACY
And so we're always trying to avoid it, which is a natural impulse, but it's actually easier when we learn how to feel it, emotions in our body. And we learn their purpose and that they also have gifts and how to love every part of those things in our body. When we can then be safe to feel our feelings in our body, yes, we wouldn't dare to touch trauma in the body if we still can't even feel safe in our own fear or sadness, our own anger.

00:17:01 TRACY
For sure. Yeah.

00:17:03 JESSICA
What I'm hearing is, you know, when we're a kid and an event happens, or we just aren't seen or heard

00:17:13 JESSICA
have a space or the support to process that in a healthy way. It gets imprinted deep in our in our bodies. And I also think our minds create stories and narratives around those events and those feelings and they're all kind of entangled in one another. And I've heard you talk about, I listened to an interview of yours and I heard you talk about separating the story from the

00:17:41 JESSICA
the feeling. And I'm wondering if you can speak to that. Why is it important and how does one separate the

00:17:49 TRACY
Yeah, okay. Yes, definitely. I can talk about that.

00:17:53 TRACY
So the first thing I want to say is that I would definitely an embodiment practice and we teach people to more fully be in their body. And I think another thing that makes us unique that's important to say is I also value the brain and the role of the brain. And what can happen is that like you said, the brain can be the one that tends to be in charge.

00:18:17 TRACY
And so the brain is the one that will interpret or create a story out of a feeling. And the reason that our beautiful brains would do that is the brain perceives that because emotions are a body experience. Emotions are actually sensation and energy in the body.

00:18:35 TRACY
And trauma is simply, I like to define trauma and neutralize it and make it not so scary. It's just simply stored fight, flight energy in the body. It's trapped. It's stored. It's running on a pattern. It's just energy. And the

00:18:52 TRACY
coming up and feel and interpret it's a threat. And so the brain wants to keep us from going down there. So the brains way of doing that is let me make it about something outside of me that's happening now.

00:19:06 TRACY
Or let me make it about something that's wrong with me. Or let me make it about something that's wrong with another person. Or something in my past is trying to analyze, think about it, trying to do its job of, let me remember how that got there and not ever let that happen again.

00:19:25 TRACY
And all of that thinking is not as most of us also say is not feeling. Feeling is, well, I mean, if you put your hand on your chest right now and you can feel that as a sensation.

00:19:40 TRACY
So emotion also is simply a sensation in our body. And all of us have a different relationship and a unique way of our emotions presenting, but you can feel like does anger have a temperature? Do you feel contraction happening or maybe a little bit of nausea when you're afraid? all these different types of

00:20:02 TRACY
that can come up in the body. So what we can do, moving meditation is about any form of meditation, is about creating a gap between the part of you that's aware, and the part of you that's either in still meditation, that's a gap between your awareness and your thoughts. In this emotional question you're having, it's create a gap between, don't interpret it, don't try to decide why I feel that way, or what happened, or what I should do, just put that aside, and bring your

00:20:35 TRACY

00:20:36 TRACY
your perceptions in your body, and feel and notice the energies that are moving in there, and what it feels like, and just keep bringing breath, and love, and then we teach you how to bring movement to it. Emotion is an energy, so it needs to be metabolized, so it needs to be moved, it needs to be expressed. So that's how we do that, I don't know if I explained that. It's

00:20:48 TRACY

00:20:59 JESSICA

00:21:00 TRACY

00:21:01 MELISSA
We were just talking about this, because when Jessica edited our first episode and sent it out to me, I sent our message back that I was crying, and I didn't, because of the work I've done with you, I just noticed that I was emotional, but I wasn't like, oh, it's this, and then it's this, and then it's this, oh, I just noticed this emotion is coming through my body, and we had this in-depth discussion about the permission to not need to understand it, and the permission, even as we were talking, and I even thought about

00:21:26 MELISSA
this when you said, I'm noticing that I'm feeling nervous. I almost said, I need to get up and move it. Oh, and I told Jessica that, like if you're feeling like you're in your head and you want to drop down, even in the middle of a podcast, let's not cut it out, right? Let's just be like, hey, I'm noticing I'm in my head, I'm kind of freaking out. Call it out, speak it, move it, let's do it live, because that's the

00:21:46 MELISSA

00:21:48 MELISSA
So let's dance, Tracy, no, she's,

00:21:51 TRACY
I'm gonna make you sweat, girl. I'll say, no, my body, and she's very shy. I'm

00:21:57 MELISSA

00:21:58 TRACY
I was sharing with Melissa that I'm so fortunate

00:22:06 JESSICA
that I grew up with an aunt. Her name is Sabya Sequel, and when she was in her 20s, she found her healing through what she calls free dance. So she was doing it alone. She just put up a mirror in her room and just started

00:22:26 JESSICA
She just healed years and years of pain, and has been using it in her coaching practice for her whole life. And when I was growing up, even in my early teens, she taught it to me. We would just get in a room and she played music and we would just move in the weirdest of ways.

00:22:41 JESSICA
We would just express it. And I think it has saved me. Like I don't think I had the cognitive understanding at that time what she was doing for me. The gift that she was giving me, but I have never been able to heal without moving. And I don't know how anyone could. So

00:23:01 JESSICA
really, really fortunate that that has just been a part of my life without even tangibly understanding it. I've been recovering from a lot of trauma over the last four years, and that has just been my go-to. It's just waking up and when I don't know what to do, just dancing, just

00:23:22 JESSICA
But I want to bring something up that I know it is personal to you. So whatever your comfort level is in terms of talking about this. And what I listen to of yours, you talked about the greatest man-telling.

00:23:35 JESSICA
And I really resonated with this because I've had a parallel experience in my own life. I'm curious of in retrospect, you have some clear perspective on it because it makes sense to me that when we haven't yet healed ourselves, our traumas basically running the show and making all of our decisions for us, that we are creating and building our lives from our unconscious patterns and fears and pain. I think there's nothing wrong with us.

00:24:01 JESSICA
This is what we do as human beings. And then as we start to heal and break patterns and we find our alignment and authenticity, suddenly we start to see that clearly that the foundation we built our life upon suddenly doesn't make sense anymore and it's actually

00:24:16 JESSICA
But it takes a lot of bravery to actually recognize that. It's so scary to imagine tearing it all down. And I don't think when you really see it, that it's possible to unsee it, but our minds will try to convince us if one was anything to keep us safe and in the status quo, right? So to not just see what's not working for you anymore, but actually take the steps to dismantle it, take tremendous

00:24:43 JESSICA
In my case, I felt like it was happening despite myself and I was trying to piece it all back together as it felt like part I resisted it a lot. So I'm curious what that experience was like for you and I'd love to hear your take on this and how even though I'm sure it came with a great align you with your your purpose because that was my experience as well.

00:25:04 TRACY
of pain and Yeah. Oh, well, I'm just first of all so struck by your share. And I feel very moved to know that you've had this

00:25:14 TRACY
someone in your life that very early on introduced you to your body as your guide. Me too.

00:25:22 TRACY
that you've had a way to follow that. And it makes me want to say when I answer questions about how it technically works and our brains and our bodies, this is all things that I learned later to put words to what I experienced organically in myself, which is and really want to come back to the simplicity and profundity of what you just shared, which is the power of movement or dance, which ultimately for me is that's not what's healing you. It's your body.

00:25:51 TRACY
a language that allows us. That's our body's language. And our way of speaking from our body through our emotions, through our movement. And when you have the fluency, like you do, to have a relationship with your

00:25:21 JESSICA

00:25:52 TRACY

00:26:04 TRACY

00:26:08 TRACY
and you get that wisdom, that's the magic. That's what heals us. And then eventually can lead us even to be living in our purpose and our dreams.

00:26:17 TRACY
that's all I had was an introduction to movement and meditation. Later found out there's so much somatic science and things like that. But really, it all, you know, and back to you, the source is the body.

00:26:31 TRACY
And I really wanted to touch on that before I talk about it. Thank you for bringing up the dismantling. So how did I come to that? What did it take for me to really be able to listen to myself that deeply in a way that it's now changed my life? Well, I will tell you that the dismantling also happened to me. I

00:26:51 TRACY
I could claim that I had the courage to dismantle anyway. And I think maybe it comes for all of us. And especially in these times, if I think back,

00:27:03 TRACY
it for me, it really started in the crisis we had in 2008. There was that housing crisis and there was this big economic crisis. And at the same time, and I

00:27:16 TRACY
what I share about other people, but I will just say I was in a marriage that absolutely was not working. And I had through that relationship recreated a lot of my childhood traumas. Unknowingly, or unconsciously, I had set that up.

00:27:31 TRACY
getting ready to leave that marriage, my mother passed away. And then I was leading a very successful business and the economy crashed. And so we left that business. And then I lived

00:27:47 TRACY
house on the hill and had all the cars. And suddenly with the economy, our house lost all its value. I think we lost like hundreds of thousands of equity in six months going through divorce at the same time, losing my mother. I

00:28:01 TRACY
mean, talk about dismantling. Yeah. So that was really extreme. And you would think that would have been enough. It did, it did set me on a course of deep seeking. But then what happened was I came out of that and I started creating my new

00:28:19 TRACY
met someone who felt very much like a soulmate to me. And that was a really important catalyst in my life. But I think what happened was this dismantling is trying to take apart all the things that I thought were going to be my happy ending.

00:28:35 TRACY
the house, have the businesses, have the success. One part of my career, I spoke on stage a lot and back then one of my most aspirational people was Deepak Chopra. And I spoke on the same stage with him. I

00:28:49 TRACY
he spoke like for me, I'm like feeling like I'm living my dreams. But I'm very much in a marriage. It isn't working. I'm a businesswoman. I have this house that, you know, when you have a house, a big house on the hill, tell you the house will own you. You will not own the house. You know, so all these things that I thought were going to make me happy got taken away. Then I meet who I think is my soulmate and I put all of my happiness in that

00:28:23 TRACY

00:29:15 TRACY

00:29:16 TRACY
this is it, right? Now this is going to be the thing that fulfills me and all my dreams are going to come true. And it was such like a perfect to me. It was such a perfect relationship. We had such a beautiful relationship for quite a while until we didn't. And when that came apart, that was the last piece of the puzzle that, if you will, the universe took from me. That left me with, wow, everything that I thought, now I'm going to get emotional.

00:29:47 TRACY
always get

00:29:49 TRACY
relationship. Everything I thought would fulfill me,

00:29:55 TRACY
or I lost.

00:29:59 TRACY
thing that could ever

00:30:03 TRACY
I was left with was this question, because the beauty of having felt that relationship was just so perfect was that it protected me from having thought that I could just replace it with another relationship. So that was really good. So then it was just, wow, if I never had any of these things outside of me

00:30:25 TRACY
me my passion for living? What would, what would fill me up? Where did that go?

00:30:32 TRACY
about? And I had to go inside myself and the only thing for me, and it'll be different for every person who may come to this point in their life. But for me, it was back to that little girl of I always wanted to be a dancer.

00:30:45 TRACY
of course, now I'm in my 40s and I'm a mother. And there's, you know, of little kids, way too late to be a dancer, because I thought that looked like a ballet dancer or a modern dancer. But I thought, well, I'll do whatever I can, even if it's a dance class, because I just really was so bereft.

00:31:01 TRACY
I was just like anything that can wake my heart back up. Then it's just this magic of synchronicity. There was this retreat where you could go dance as a healing art.

00:31:13 TRACY
I didn't know that that was a thing. And I went to this weekend retreat. And I had a very profound experience with learning to see my body as a being and not a thing, learning to go towards my emotions in my body and not run to them in my mind and how through breath and through deep listening, allow my body to speak through movement.

00:31:36 TRACY
happened to me there was so significant that then I went home. There were no classes for this. Nothing. And all I did was every day, I just moved and followed my body and listened to my body the way Jessica you were talking about with your aunt. And my life started changing so quickly. You know, the outside of my life, I feel like I have everything I ever dreamed of, but where the fulfillment is

00:32:03 TRACY
There is a piece that is indescribable when you know you're being who you are and you're living

00:32:10 TRACY
And it almost doesn't matter what it looks like on the outside. It's just you feel like I'm doing what I'm here to do and everything feels even when it's challenging. It's like I have a piece of knowing I'm not going to come to the end of my life and be like I didn't live the life I was

00:32:25 TRACY
So that is the gift of the great dismantling and what I would want for anyone that's going through that is to have what I had, which is their body to guide

00:32:36 TRACY
It is just sort of

00:32:39 TRACY
It took me years to work with my own healing through my own body. And then it was another few years of seeing could I be helpful to other people. And then I think it's so interesting that it was

00:32:52 TRACY
going to try to be more public about it and the whole world went through another different. And that's what launch D. Sharah is that I had lived through this.

00:33:03 TRACY
so when 2020 happened, I'm like I have been here. Let me just be as helpful to as many people as I can. And I taught a bunch of free classes during the lockdown just to see.

00:33:13 TRACY
so yeah, that's my story of dismantling. And that's why I call what we do alchemy because it is really these moments where it's the emotions we thought were the problem or it's the trauma we thought that was keeping us from ourselves or it's the losses that we face that we think are the limits. Those are actually the doorways into much more profound deep relationship with ourselves.

00:33:39 TRACY
maybe everything we always wanted if we know how to move with it so that

00:33:46 TRACY
gift that it's intended to be.

00:33:50 JESSICA
eyes out through that through all of

00:33:53 SPEAKER_03
It's just so sweet to listen to

00:33:57 JESSICA
relate so much to what you said. And I think I'm currently living those questions that you were asking yourself when all of the things that you ever attached your happiness to or identified with as being for me, even like those pieces of my identity that I was like, this is who I am. And this is what's going to make me happy when you lose all of those and you're left in that sort of wilderness for a while of not knowing.

00:34:24 JESSICA
I don't think anything has actually brought me closer to who I am than grief. And I'm interested in your relationship to grief because it sounds like a similar process happened

00:34:08 SPEAKER_03

00:34:40 TRACY
the sacredness

00:34:44 TRACY

00:34:48 TRACY
hasn't at all all of it. You know, grief is our word for every emotion

00:34:58 TRACY
and all of our the rival needs and fears being touched all

00:35:05 TRACY
And I think that the

00:35:07 TRACY
helped me the most to

00:35:10 TRACY
become a catalyst for me was, and I really, you'll have to help me because I really wanna credit whoever said this, but somebody, there's this quote, I can't remember who said it and it's grief is, how does the quote go? It's like grief is just love with nowhere to go. I was in grief for so long and it wasn't

00:35:33 TRACY
It wasn't something and people of truly grief know that you never get rid of grief. Grief changes you. Thank you. It changes you. Now, the question is, does grief live on as suffering or does

00:35:51 TRACY
you into something? And when I heard that idea, and there's actually, by the way, physiological reasons and truths to why grief is love, looking for a place to go. So after years of the suffering of grief, that's where I realized that if what I'm grieving is a loss of a place to put my love, let me find a way to give my love into the world that can never be taken from me.

00:36:19 TRACY
And I have a friend who calls that being your generosity. And so, Estara, for me, is my antidote to my grief. Or it's a way for me to give love and to just pour out love. And that's what makes us happy and whole. Is it's in the

00:36:37 TRACY
and love. Expression of love is different for every person. What your gifts are bringing those into the world is to me a form of love.

00:36:44 TRACY
But that's my relationship to grief. It really invites us to go deeper on who am I as a being of love, what are the gifts that I have to offer? And one of the ways I can give them generously will always miss people that we've lost or write things like that. But there's a difference between suffering and just living with our profound feelings and letting things change

00:37:09 MELISSA

00:37:11 MELISSA
I feel like this is some medicine that you've been needing, huh, Jess?

00:37:15 MELISSA
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Big time.

00:37:21 JESSICA
No, I just feel it's really hard to put in two words, the experience to people who haven't looked at. So to just have someone so vulnerable and honestly share and articulate an experience that has been in just so enormous to me, you know, like my whole life was overturned. And there's this kind of this rush, like the societal pressure to just move on and to just like get over it.

00:37:58 JESSICA
And really tending to my heart has been such a long process. And so what you've put words to just makes me feel very understood and seen and gives me, it's like forgiveness and permission to myself. I love that you said it doesn't ever really go away because I

00:38:20 JESSICA
been this idea of like you have to, somehow have to fix

00:38:25 TRACY

00:38:26 JESSICA
just fix it and get better and move on with my life. And yeah, it just makes me feel like I can allow myself to live alongside it. And that it's not gonna hold me back from what's meant for me that it's just now a part of my

00:38:38 TRACY

00:38:44 TRACY
Yeah, I don't know if this is too vulnerable, but is it okay? Can I give you some ways to even more than sitting alongside? It

00:38:54 TRACY

00:38:56 TRACY
our emotions as having a

00:39:00 TRACY

00:39:01 TRACY
So, you know,

00:39:03 TRACY
of meditation

00:39:06 TRACY
these things in parts. And then what we want to be able to do is love our grief, but we can't love the grief if it's a thing where it's an it. Yeah, but if you can find the grief as a part of us, it's maybe feeling the way it does because it's touching a part of us that wants more expression in the world. So, there's a body of that that I can almost feel in me. It's pretty vulnerable, I don't want to necessarily take you too deep

00:39:33 TRACY
when you're leading a podcast, but I was just

00:39:36 JESSICA
to... This is the point of the

00:39:38 TRACY
This is the point of the podcast. But personal, yeah, so if it's okay, just in a gentle

00:39:38 MELISSA

00:39:46 TRACY
in through your

00:39:49 TRACY
Yeah, and then notice where the breath

00:39:53 TRACY
And then what I want you to do is take a breath towards your heart, and if you can, just soften your eyes a

00:39:59 TRACY
then... Reason I'm asking you to do that is so that can you feel the contraction of wanting to not go down towards where the grief is? Totally, yeah. And we're not gonna do anything super deep. I just want you to touch in your awareness with your breath, the part of your body

00:40:15 TRACY
and I can feel two parts of my body, but touch the part that feels like where the grief is and put your hand

00:40:22 TRACY
Yeah, and then, yeah, and bring your breath under your

00:40:27 TRACY

00:40:28 TRACY
And then, yeah, and then notice where your face might be getting tight because the brain is afraid to let you touch that. And don't worry, I'm not gonna let you go so deep that it sweeps you up. What we want to do is now the part that's under your hand, would you be okay naming a couple of the things, the sensations that you have

00:40:47 JESSICA
It's a sensation I'm familiar with that I don't always have words for.

00:40:53 JESSICA
A grip, okay. And

00:40:56 TRACY

00:40:58 TRACY
And not great. Does it have a

00:41:02 TRACY
Soft in your

00:41:03 JESSICA
a little bit. It's like, it's such a deep ache. It's

00:41:08 TRACY
Yes, there it is. Yes, okay. Bring your breath towards the ache and try not to write a story about it. Just, I know.

00:41:17 TRACY
Okay. Do you need to wipe

00:41:19 JESSICA
nose? You can. I've been doing it with my shirt. Everyone's gonna see.

00:41:22 TRACY
okay. I love a good runny nose on the shirt. It's perfect. Okay, so put your hand back where the ache is my

00:41:28 TRACY
then let me know. Do you also feel something in your

00:41:32 TRACY

00:41:33 TRACY
Yeah. Does it feel

00:41:34 TRACY

00:41:36 TRACY
A little bit. Yeah. So imagine the achy part of you under your hand is a part of you. Maybe you could imagine that's a little girl. It's your

00:41:47 TRACY
Now, shift into a relationship of that your breath is a form of

00:41:52 TRACY
also have a part of you is sometimes color the mother body who knows how to love that aching part of you. And see if you can get your face and your breath and your throat to let you go a little bit towards.

00:42:06 TRACY
Come towards that aching part of

00:42:09 TRACY
that can love that hurting part of you. Does that make sense?

00:42:16 TRACY
as you breathe towards that ache wherever it is

00:42:22 TRACY
You don't have to say it out loud. Just

00:42:24 TRACY
is love. And till that part of you, I've got you. It's going to be

00:42:31 TRACY
And then relax on the exhale.

00:42:34 TRACY
Try not to get rid of the part of you. Just be with

00:42:38 TRACY
Take an inhale through your nose. Deeply, yep. And then see if you can get more

00:42:43 TRACY
Wiggle your

00:42:45 TRACY

00:42:48 TRACY
wiggled your toes? Tell me

00:42:54 JESSICA
we had. Not at all.

00:42:56 SPEAKER_03
So joy

00:42:58 TRACY
inside the body. And we all store joy in different parts of us. But it also lives deep in ourselves. My joy happens to live in my feet. So come back to that. That was gorgeous. Let's do that again. Let's do the closed-eye deep inhale towards the grief in the heart. And as you exhale, wiggle

00:43:18 TRACY
And do it one more time. Deep inhale towards the part of you that aches. Exhale, wiggle the toes. Wiggle the seat. Feel your weight and the

00:43:26 TRACY

00:43:27 TRACY
So has your breath right now? How does it

00:43:30 JESSICA

00:43:30 TRACY

00:43:32 JESSICA
I feel like my system relaxed. It just felt like. Yeah,

00:43:36 TRACY
like. Yeah, gorgeous. Yeah. Yeah. So thank you for fall for trusting me with that. And this was just a little tiny touchdown. Healing these parts of us requires a certain

00:43:51 TRACY
And it requires a certain kind of container that we're not

00:43:55 TRACY
But just that little bit, if you just had just that little bit of what you could do when the grief is particularly strong, we just start there. We just start with noticing how we can soften towards it, becoming a little bit

00:44:11 TRACY
Noticing that ache, sensation, bringing

00:44:17 TRACY
as our own

00:44:19 TRACY
There you go. Just starting there with you that it's safe to breathe into

00:44:24 TRACY
actually more helpful. And then, I do wiggle your toes so that you'd be in your whole body. And for you, that access some joy. And so what that does is you're bringing breath as love. And you're also, for you, everybody's different. You are able to bring some of that beautiful medicine of joy and a little bit of laughter. What is soothing thing to bring to the part of you that's

00:44:30 SPEAKER_03

00:44:46 JESSICA

00:44:47 JESSICA
My sense of this is that I love how you had me imagine that ache as like a little girl, like my little girl, because it is these aches and these... that these triggers are wounds, is what we spoke to earlier that something, at some point in time, was unresolved inside of me, right? And we then play out those patterns in our lives unconsciously.

00:45:13 JESSICA
Like, I didn't know I was playing that out in my relationship or, you know, in different pieces of my life, but this is how we heal. Then when everything blows up, we're kind of forced to go, oh, what is that inside of me that I, I usually were created that, you know, I'm very kind of touchy about that, about this idea that like we make everything happen. You know, I don't think of it in that way, but I do believe on some level, I like to go, there's something unhealed in me that attracted that into

00:45:42 JESSICA
life as I heal it, stop attracting it. But there is this little girl in there that's in a lot of pain and to bring love to her, to nurture her, to parent her in a new

00:45:56 JESSICA
shaming her and trying to fix her and make her go away is so

00:46:04 TRACY

00:46:05 JESSICA
is. Thank you. Thank you for guiding me through

00:46:09 MELISSA
I just want to witness you, Jess, because that was, you know, like Tracy said, there are certain containers that we do this in that

00:46:18 MELISSA
held in safety and to do that on our podcast to just go into it is so brave. And I know you're so deeply committed to knowing yourself and to loving yourself through all the things that you've been through. It's a huge part of why we're sitting in this space today.

00:46:35 MELISSA
So thank you for your bravery to go there and for trusting Tracy to take you into it. And I think what just happened here is a gift, is a huge gift because what you thought was not, it's not simple, right? But just to show the act of, hey, this is what it looks like because we get to do it in such a special place that no one else is allowed in because it's just safe for us, right?

00:46:59 MELISSA
So to be able to witness that, I have no doubt that that was such a gift for so many people who are going to get to witness what you just

00:47:09 TRACY
Well, and Melissa, thank you for that. Thank you for that very important acknowledgement and love that you're giving to her because the other part of it, it's a type of a body and it's our body of our relationship. And as humans, we deeply do need each other.

00:47:24 TRACY
One of my main teachers, she taught me that, wounds in relationship only heal and a new safe experience in relationship. And so what that means in this context was for you to be so vulnerable and to touch that part of you that's in grief. And then Melissa, for you to be so loving and to reflect back to her, wow, that was really brave.

00:47:44 TRACY
This is so meaningful to others and all the beautiful reflection that you're giving her. It's to be seen and held in the places where we're hurting in a way maybe we weren't before.

00:47:57 TRACY
beyond even just embodiment. That's a big part of what changed my life was learning to do these things together. And it does it.

00:48:06 TRACY
We need a certain, a lot of us have sister wounds or whatever, we need a certain type of environment where we can have that, as you said, Jessica, that little girl inside get her deep needs met. She's not broken. She's not even necessarily unhealed. It's just that we have needs that didn't get met. And when they're not met, we are less free. So for you and both of you to create a podcast for vulnerabilities

00:48:32 TRACY
share your hearts with people and then to be there for each other the way you are, I'm sure all the time and the way you are just now, that's

00:48:41 MELISSA

00:48:42 MELISSA
it is. Thank you, Tracy. And it's why I lead groups too because it's how I've healed. I've done a lot of my own healing. One, I have done one and one. There's a place for both certainly and why I can feel comfortable being vulnerable. I cry all the time. I love sharing my feelings. It's not like I share everything with everybody, but my vulnerability is now my superpower. And that was

00:48:58 SPEAKER_00

00:49:06 MELISSA
five years ago even. I just so appreciate you articulating the importance of this, of this exact process that just happened so people can witness it because that is truly how we allow ourselves to be

00:49:18 TRACY

00:49:18 MELISSA
it's not enough to just say, oh, go be visible, go be seen, show yourself. It's like, cool, cool.

00:49:26 MELISSA
I love to, however, there's a process that needs to happen because it's not just about pushing yourself out there. It's about how do I get out of my comfort zone and allow myself to feel safe while doing that, even if I'm afraid, right? Or I have that deep relationship with myself and others so that I know that I am safe, even if I'm

00:49:48 TRACY

00:49:49 TRACY

00:49:51 TRACY
so much wisdom in both of you. See, if I had that one, I

00:49:57 JESSICA
seriously. I think we did it at the point. of this podcast for me at least someone on the outside might look at you and see all of your success and all of the work that you do for women. I think that we have this perception when we look at someone who is successful and embodied in themselves that it's innate is just who they are. We're not privy to what is really going on behind the scenes in the bravery it takes to just show up as yourself. So I'm really so

00:50:26 JESSICA
you would walk me through that but also that we can be that transparent on here is exactly what I've always wanted because it's sort of mysterious to a lot of people like what is the work what does that actually look like and it's so simple but not it's so powerful and it does take a lot of courage and a lot of safety. So anyone listening to that maybe they can go got listen to it and walk themselves through that process and experience that for themselves in a safe place just honoring the courage it takes to

00:51:02 JESSICA
just meet yourself and feel your

00:51:04 TRACY
You said it so well and just to say it back is exactly what you did. It's the willingness to meet the parts of ourselves that we would normally understandably try to run away from

00:51:18 TRACY
running away from that in our thoughts or trying to create something outside in our life that's going to be the answer when all along it was just a part of us that just

00:51:30 TRACY
Some beautiful words of comfort maybe a good friend who knows

00:51:36 TRACY
be with us and not try to fix or change anything and just breathing through the

00:51:43 TRACY
then underneath that like you experience in your case there was joy you know sometimes there's great insight sometimes there's wisdom there's so much there's so much it's all right here and who knew some breath and some being in the body and what it was your aunt your beautiful aunt taught you and just allowing your body to move meeting yourself so

00:52:07 TRACY
willing us to do that for other people the witness is breathtaking to me

00:52:12 SPEAKER_00

00:52:12 TRACY

00:52:13 TRACY
still super scared that I'm on a path and this is not in sort of a

00:52:18 JESSICA
group. I feel so honored it's been such a

00:52:22 TRACY

00:52:23 TRACY
Such a pleasure to meet you and such a pleasure to be with you again, Melissa and I'm so

00:52:30 TRACY
So grateful to you for all you're doing for

00:52:32 MELISSA
I love the saying of we're all walking each other home right. We absolutely need each other. I'm for us being in community with one another and finding your safe people you know it just takes one to start with.

00:52:47 MELISSA
Just find one and then the ripple of that you'll attract more and the safer you feel in yourself the more you attract those people who feel safe in the world. So I'm so grateful you're here. I'm so happy to get to share you.

00:53:01 MELISSA
I feel like you're you're not a secret but I feel like letting your voice out there on our planet, your secret, you're like my it and you're my little secret. But helping you share your mission and your voice and your story and your body of work that has changed so many people's lives directly and indirectly and I have no doubt that this interview will change somebody's life. So I'm just thank you for being you. Thank you for being here. We just love

00:53:26 TRACY
Thank you so much Melissa and Jessica. Please come back. Love

00:53:30 MELISSA
We've ever, every episode we're like are we having another love fest? Yeah. Just

00:53:38 JESSICA
your toes, just stick

00:53:41 SPEAKER_03
your toes. Just

00:53:44 SPEAKER_03

00:53:48 TRACY
toes. Just

00:53:54 JESSICA
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