The Identity Factor Podcast

You Can't Do It Wrong (Hosted By Jessica Smarro)

May 21, 2023 Robin Keesler
You Can't Do It Wrong (Hosted By Jessica Smarro)
The Identity Factor Podcast
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The Identity Factor Podcast
You Can't Do It Wrong (Hosted By Jessica Smarro)
May 21, 2023
Robin Keesler

Welcome to this epic bonus episode with the host of the Unblocked podcast, Jessica Smarro, as she takes over the lead chair and orchestrates a beautiful conversation as she drills into the parts of my story around my reason for hosting this mental health project and what my most painful challenges in these areas have been.

I love how she invites us into not only a more radical acceptance of who we are as humans and the gentle reminder that all of these parts of us are here to be known and not fixed or shamed, but I love how she makes sure that each person that might be struggling with where to being has something tangible to walk away with as a starting point.

Welcome into this powerful episode on identity, worthiness, radical self love, profound human discovery and a life path that you simply can't get wrong.

Jessica can be found at: https://jessicasmarro.com/

And you can check out the Unblocked podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unblocked/id1530697128

You can find me at robinkeesler.com and on all the social media pages that are listed on the website for you to click away at easily :) 

Remember to support us if you love us - hit that 5 star review and then share this episode on your favorite social media pages. There might actually be someone out there that could benefit from hearing this message and every ripple in the lake counts towards the change we seek to make <3 

Love you, friend. Talk soon.  

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to this epic bonus episode with the host of the Unblocked podcast, Jessica Smarro, as she takes over the lead chair and orchestrates a beautiful conversation as she drills into the parts of my story around my reason for hosting this mental health project and what my most painful challenges in these areas have been.

I love how she invites us into not only a more radical acceptance of who we are as humans and the gentle reminder that all of these parts of us are here to be known and not fixed or shamed, but I love how she makes sure that each person that might be struggling with where to being has something tangible to walk away with as a starting point.

Welcome into this powerful episode on identity, worthiness, radical self love, profound human discovery and a life path that you simply can't get wrong.

Jessica can be found at: https://jessicasmarro.com/

And you can check out the Unblocked podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unblocked/id1530697128

You can find me at robinkeesler.com and on all the social media pages that are listed on the website for you to click away at easily :) 

Remember to support us if you love us - hit that 5 star review and then share this episode on your favorite social media pages. There might actually be someone out there that could benefit from hearing this message and every ripple in the lake counts towards the change we seek to make <3 

Love you, friend. Talk soon.  



Hello, friends. Welcome to the Unblocked podcast. I am your host, Jessica Smarro. Thank you for tuning in as always. Today I have with me Robin Keesler, and I'm just gonna take a minute to tell you a little bit about Robin cuz she's pretty incredible. She's a life coach for leaders and entrepreneurs, and she helps these entrepreneurs who are.

Step into radical self-love and personal healing. And she takes it to a whole nother level. And the goal really is to help them become their biggest ally instead of their biggest block. And y'all know that we are all about getting unblocked around here, so I love this. Um, Robin is here to help entrepreneurs experience radical self-love, unconditional joy, and mind bending.

Not just success. Y'all mind bending success through the art of identity coaching that will leave you forever transformed in the best way possible. So thank you for being here, Robin. Welcome. Thank you for having me, Jessica. I'm so happy to be here. Awesome. So I, I wanna like, set the stage a little bit for today's conversation.

Um, so for those of you who are listening to this episode in real Time, you'll be listening as we are going into May and May, is Mental Health Awareness Month. And Robin had a great idea for a project in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. So I'm just gonna turn it over to you, Robin, to tell us about this incredible project that you are working on and convening and spearheading.

Oh baby, here we go. This is gonna be so much fun. It is. Um, it is a project that I am doing with, um, Jessica and a host of other life coaches, and we are talking about mental health, um, as it relates to these ideas of leadership and identity. Success and business and how to navigate these challenges, um, in a way that's more loving, um, a little smoother.

And also that really helps us to, hopefully the goal is to help us be able to release our resistance to it. Mm-hmm. And so part of the reason that I wanted to talk about this is because, um, I feel like there are so many people in the world still that associate mental health with mental. Or even if mental illness seems like a strong word for you, I think there are a lot of people that think of mental health as something that's wrong with someone or with you, right?

If you're having a mental health crisis or a mental health episode, it's like it has this underlying tone of like, something's going wrong. Mm-hmm. And I think that is a, such a limited scope, right? That there's, there's, you're, you're doing yourself such a disservice to think about it that way. Because as I talked about my podcast episode with Jessica, which you guys will all be hearing soon, um, yes, go check it out.

It's brilliant. Obviously, obviously we have such a great time. Listen, I wanna say something about that. This is what was so fun. It was like I got so much out of it, which is so not even, not unless not, and here's what I'll say about that. Not because like there was so much wisdom coming out of my mouth, but two things.

One, it was great conversation, but I think this is the fun of synergy. And of like, of community and bringing people together in conversation. Stuff came out of us that doesn't come out on our own. And I think this even speaks to, I mean, I don't know your full why behind this project, but I think even just that the, the experience that happened just inside that podcast episode, I think that's the value of bringing people together.

Something like this summit is that in c. People are two, two people. That's the smallest community you can have, right? Like in this community, stuff comes out that wasn't there before. And so I'm super excited just based on that one podcast episode. I'm super excited to see what's gonna come out of convening, um, multiple coaches, having conversations around mental health, mental illness, mental wellness, mental fitness, whatever language resonates for you.

Totally. Yeah. And I think, and I think you nailed it. That's exactly it. It's like, I think, you know, when we talk about mental health, it's like, that was, yeah. Again, one of the things we talked about was that it's a spectrum, right? Mm-hmm. That's what you said. You're like, it's a spectrum. It's like joy is a part of mental health, y'all.

Mm-hmm. Joy, love, sex, intimacy. Like getting outside the physical body, the emotional, the mental, the spiritual. It's all together. You can't separate it. You are a whole human with all these parts of you. And you have the dark side, right, the shadow side, which we talked about, and you also have the light side and the shadow side is not an accident.

It's not a part of you that's broken or wrong. It's a part of you that's essential and it's a part of you that's beautiful and it's a part of you that's here to serve you. In the most amazing ways, and as long as we're demonizing the shadow and those parts of us that we're ashamed of or afraid of or that we don't like, we are doing ourselves and our families and our communities a disservice because then we're missing out on everything it has to give us.

And so that's okay. The reason that I wanted to do this mental health, uh, awareness, this project, this collaboration, is because I was just thinking about all of that. And, um, and if you go and, and check out the podcast and, and follow me on all the places, um, I'm gonna be talking with you guys more about this and over this week prior, prior to before this launches, and really sharing a little bit more of my story and my experience that made me really want to do that.

And, and I can talk about that a little bit more here too, if you want, but, um, I had my own. You know, mental health crisis and my own little breakdown yet again, yet another. Mm-hmm. And, and it was beautiful. I find such beauty and brokenness because on the other side of that brokenness is always this gold right here that's happening.

That's where this conversation came from. Oh, can I, I love the one liners. Did you say the beauty and the brokenness? Yeah. Yeah. Those are some powerful words. And before I wanna, I do wanna jump into that and I just wanna make sure before we kind of launch into that, was there anything else you wanted to say about the project?

I think I got so excited about what's happening and I already know what's happening and I don't know if you said it, so I just wanna, you wanna tell people this project. Yeah. Heck yeah. Uh, so, um, we are doing a, we're starting this project May 1st, I'm going to be releasing a series of podcast interviews with different leaders and entrepreneurs talking about leadership and mental health and what their challenges have been, mental and emotional challenges, and just sharing their stories, sharing their vulnerabilities, um, both.

In an effort to normalize this experience, like right now, I feel super anxious. Mm-hmm. I did before I got on, and it's okay. Right? Like that anxiety, it's like that feeling, it's there for something, right? It's trying to protect me, it's trying to communicate with me. There's, there's stuff happening, so it's not a problem.

It's all good baby. Right? And so allow, allowing, These other entrepreneurs and leaders in the industry to come in. And I may even actually ask my mom if she'll come do one with me. Um, oh gosh. And, and there's a whole lot more, um, about that, that we can talk about later, but I, people from all different walks of life talking about mental, emotional health and sharing that story to normalize it and also to help celebrate it.

Right? Like, how is this thing really, like you said before, my ally instead of my. And so, um, there'll be the podcast interviews, uh, each day leading up to a grand finale event, which is gonna happen May 19th through 21st. So that weekend we're gonna have a live summit and we are gonna come together live.

And Jessica and so many of these other, um, entrepreneurs are gonna come in and we're gonna actually give you support, actual support, more than just conversation to help you. Not only embrace these shadow parts of you, but learn how to nurture them and heal them so that you can experience greater connection with yourself and with others so that you can have joy along the journey.

And you don't need to just be living in stress, right about whether or not you're winning and what's go. It's like we can just drop all that and allow ourselves to have joy in actual impact and momentum, because we're no longer resisting. Because we're unblocked. Right? Oh, hello. So we can go. So good. So that's, that's, that's the layout.

Oh, that's so good. I'm so excited for this. So you started to saying a little bit about the what, and you said something that stuck in my head and you said something about releasing our resistance. Mm-hmm. Can you tell a little more like resistance to what exactly? Yes. Releasing our existence to the experience of the 50 50.

Right? Mm. So releasing our resistance to. When things aren't rainbows and daisies, right. When we're going through the trenches, when we're going through, you know, the river of misery as we call it. Mm-hmm. And those when we're, when we're really, um, in the throes of our shadow. Um, and, and for those of you that don't know what I mean when I talk about the shadow, uh, the shadow side is the concept that I originally, uh, heard first from Debbie Ford.

Comes originally from Carl Young, I believe. Love Debbie Ford. She did a project with Deepak Chopra and Maryanne Williamson, um, talk, and it's called the Shadow Effect. She wrote a book. There's, there's so much out there, but it's talking about these parts of ourselves. These dark parts, right? The parts of ourselves that we don't think are pretty, mm-hmm.

The parts of ourselves that we don't enjoy, right? I don't necessarily enjoy being anxious, right? I don't, but I don't need to resist it anymore. And when I'm able to stop resisting it and begin getting curious about it, And breathing into it and going to that place, which we'll talk about probably a little bit more later.

Um, and, and that when we are willing to go through this process that, that we're all gonna kind of share with you through these interviews and inside the summit, what I find is that as I release the resistance, I, I gain so much more momentum because I'm not adding on additional suffering. So when I'm feeling anxious, that's one thing, but then when I start feeling anxious about being anxious mm-hmm.

Uhhuh, that's so unnecessary. Right. I might have forgotten your original question. Sorry. I've got Yeah, you're already like, it was so good. Yeah. We're talking, we're talking about releasing resistance. You're right on track. You're on track. And um, and I love Debbie Ford and I was just reading, um, dark Shy, what is it?

Dark side of the. The light chasers or, uh, something like that. Anyway, Debbie from, and I love what she talks about in there about, um, and I'm probably paraphrasing heavily now at this point, and it's because, you know, you read a book and you're like, they're, this, the, the stuff that they said. Yeah. And then there's all of your interpretation of it.

This is the fun of, of reading and hearing podcasts. It generates your own stuff inside. And so I, I, I love and what you're talking about here with this idea of. Um, of not making it wrong. And I did a whole podcast episode on, uh, like, you don't need to be fixed. Right. And I think when we're resisting the shadow, that's sometimes what it looks like.

It's like there's just this problem to be solved instead of this part or this experience to be known. Yeah. And I don't really even remember if that was Debbie's like approach to this, but that's how I thought about it, was this is a part to be known because with anxiety, even if we use that for example, If we're not resisting it and trying to fix it, and we just go into it and, and I think about it, like feelings.

I think they're like, like messengers. They're standing there holding a message and they're like, I'm just gonna hang out here until you take the message. Yeah. Right. And so if we, like you're saying, if we're not resisting it and we embrace the quote unquote shadow, we're really saying, I can be present to it.

I can be witness to it. I can show up to myself. It's a, it's like getting to know. Process in that, because that's part of you presenting itself. It's not a problem. And inside of it, it's either learn, there's something inside of there, there's even a gift in there, or there's a learning, there's a message, there's something, and that's the point.

Not to just make it wrong and and move on. Yeah. Yeah. And oftentimes these, these parts of ourselves too, are tied to protective mechanisms, right? And so I do, when I do work with people around self-discovery and really going into the part, these, these, these parts of themselves, I see so many, um, so many people, especially leaders and entrepreneurs, that, um, as they get to hire and higher levels, it's, they actually can oftentimes disconnect themselves more.

From parts of themselves because it's like we get into this mindset work and we're so focused on our future self and what we're creating and all of this stuff. And it's like, and it can be, I sometimes see people, not everyone, but I sometimes see people just be, can get to this place where they're like, oh yeah, I'm feeling anxious and let's just go anyway and let's just bam, bam.

And push through and push through and just, and it's like, and sometimes. I actually think that can be a, a beautiful thing, right? Like I, um, one of my coaches, you know, and mentors that I listen to a lot, talks about that, right? Where she's like, we can, um, we can sometimes get into this place where we just wanna self coach ourself all the time.

Mm-hmm. Oh, I'm feeling a little anxious. Let me coach on that before I go to a Facebook Live. Okay. Oh, I'm feeling anxious. Let me, I can't, let me hold. Sorry Jessica. I need to reschedule that podcast interview until I feel amazing. Uhhuh, right? And so that can really stop your progress and that can be used as a way to.

To, to buffer, really. Right? Yeah. And I just wanna add something there. I think that part of the work is when you do this work of, of getting to know these parts of you. Yes. This is, it's like when you get to know your friends or your partners or your people, like, you start to understand the nuances and you start to understand like, ah, this is what they need in this moment.

It's the same thing with yourself where you're like, oh, is this anxiety? That I am just stuffing down. I am shaking up the soda bottle and like something's gonna blow off later. Or if this is just like old familiar Yeah. Like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Like that's just, that's kind of like the level it hangs around, comes up.

It's really benign at that level. I can just notice it, not make it a problem, versus, oh, this is some anxiety where like there's a message there and this is where you start to, and like I won't go too much into the weeds, but this is where you're starting to develop a relation. This is where thought work comes in, but also body work, right?

Like when you know the difference, like you feel it in your body and listen, I'm like throwing this out there. This is like a whole skillset y'all. This is like a. Time of learning. And this is why, again, that's why we have, you have people like coaches or therapists or something or, or you're just support people, whoever, even in your natural support system that can help you navigate this.

Cuz also sometimes when you're in it, you don't know, am I powering through or am I, is this, is this the part where it's functional for me to be like, oh yeah, I'm, I'm noticing anxiety at a level. Two, three on the scale today. And this, this is just part of getting up and talking in front of somebody and, and this is just familiar and this fuels me actually.

Yeah. Yes. Beautiful. Yes. That, that was so well said. And that's actually part of, um, yeah, it's part of all of that. Like I, this is, this has been coming up so much. I'm actually getting ready to launch a program around this on, um, and I'm gonna call it the School of Self-Discovery. And I'm gonna teach people that do that.

And I'm so excited because it's exactly like you said. I'm like, okay. Knowing that difference. It's that wisdom. It's that discernment that you, that you begin. Be an expert in yourself mm-hmm. As you do the work, because there are times when, like you said, yeah, it's just the normal anxiety. And then there's other times where I can tell, I'm like, no.

Like this is, this is something important. And it's like, you know, if there's, you know, I've used that example, you know, lately of that, um, you know, that that little old 10 year old inside of me, which is when all my binge eating started and a lot of, a lot of that kind of stuff. And it's like, there's, there's, so there's.

There's a lot of, um, of wounding there that happened, that I have over the years learned to really heal and nurture a lot. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't come up sometimes. And when it does, I'm like, that's not a little girl that I'm just gonna blow over and ignore. Mm-hmm. Right. And be like, You're afraid, you're feeling a little anxious or afraid or scared or depressed or unworthy or whatever.

Like, listen, I don't have time for that. Like, we're gonna, that's not the, suck it up buttercup moments. That's not the sucks, not the butter. And how do you, and how do you learn the difference? How do you know which is which? And I, I think you, yeah, I love, I love the way that you described that. Yeah, you can see like, this is why the first episode when I was on Robin's podcast, we totally jammed out for like 30 minutes afterwards because we're like, oh, we get so excited about the same things.

Um, cuz I have something for you guys. I'm not, I don't even know if I'll tell you all yet, but I have something exciting. You're gonna be listening to this in May. And because June is my birthday month, I have a whole treat on a getting to know yourself. Little gift for all y'all listeners. So stay tuned. I love this like little cliffhanger.

I'm just gonna keep y'all excited. I don't even gonna tell you what it is. It's so fun. Um, but you said something, um, you kind of started talking about. You mentioned binge eating, um, and you've talked about like mental health challenges that you've experienced, and maybe that's it. I don't know, like, but maybe now's the time again, in the spirit of normalizing, I think is some one of the words you used earlier.

Tell us about like what are some of the, I mean, maybe not the most significant, but maybe the most significant mental health challenge or some of them, what has that experience been for you? Depression, anxiety and worthiness. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Those are my themes. Mm-hmm. Depression, anxiety and worthiness over and over again.

And I just wanted to, can we pause right there? I just wanna like say like, who else is raising their hand right now? Yeah. Right. Yeah. Because I think Robin asked a similar question to me and I was like, oh, can we just tell like self-doubt all the way, like how many different versions? And that's what, and it shows up that way, right?

Like when we have insecurities, we question our worthiness. A lot of times it's gonna show up in depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms. Yeah. So if you, however much you wanna share with us, tell us about that. And then, and, and also the process, right? Yeah. Like there's the, there's the dark, right? There's the stuff and then there's the growth, the learning that comes from that.

So, yeah. Yeah. What are you gonna share? Um, yeah, uh, let's see. Um, I mean, so, so those are my shadows, depression, anxiety, and worthiness. They have been with me for a very long time. Um, unworthiness is the root cause of all of it, like Right. The depression and anxiety is really, um, a secondary byproduct of that feeling of unworthiness.

Mm-hmm. And, um, And I will be sharing a lot more about this over the coming, you know, year. Um, and as I, as I really unpack a lot of this for all you guys, so if you're interested, you know, you can come, come find out more about that. But, but the, the, the quickest way that I could, um, probably describe it for your listeners here is that there's a core wound that happened.

Um, a lot of that core wounding was around. Rejection and neglect. Um, and also some abuse. So there are a few different ones. Um, sort of like with, you know, different models that we have in our brain for those of you that know about the model and the mm-hmm. High life coach school and all of that, right?

It's like all these different models happening. But, um, the point is just to say that there's more than one feeling happening at a time. There's more than one core wound. However, for me, my core wounds, um, around, you know, neglect and. Rejection and, and abuse too. Those core wounds created a belief inside of me that said, I am unworthy.

Yep. And so that belief of unworthiness created all of these, um, all of these byproducts, right? Mm-hmm. That unworthiness, cre is what created the anxiety. It's what created the depression, but it created them as a way to protect. Mm-hmm. And so I use the analogy oftentimes. Um, I, I heard, uh, Tara Brock share this story, and it's a perfect analogy of.

The Buddhist statue. There's a Buddhist Sta. Mm-hmm. Uh, a Buddhist, a gold Buddhist statue. Have you heard this story? Yeah. Covered in mud. Covered in mud, right. Uhhuh. So I may not tell it perfectly, but it's this idea where there was like this, this, this village, you know, many years ago and um, and they had this big.

Beautiful gold statue of the Buddha. And there was like a war coming. I, uh, I believe, and so mm-hmm. Um, and they knew that they, they knew that things were about to happen and there was a war coming, and they didn't, they wanted to protect that statue. And so all these monks came together and they covered it in mud and clay so that it looked ugly on the outside.

Mm-hmm. And it worked. Mm-hmm. And it worked. And, and, and this war came and all this stuff. Ha. And it's like, and the statue remained untouched. All these years after though, by the time it was over, they had all forgotten about the Buddha, the gold underneath the mud, and they all moved on with their lives.

And it wasn't until, I think maybe like a century later or something, she said a long time later. Um, With the weather and certain things, the mud had finally began to crack open with, you know, weather changes and pressure and whatever, and that pressure began to crack open the mud. And there was someone walking by who saw a glimmer of something in one of those cracks, and he came and shown a light in there.

When he shown a light in he, he discovered all this gold. Yeah. And that is the process of self-discovery that I believe. Yes. Each and every one of us is called to, because what we do is we cover ourselves with mud. And can we just like highlight, I just point, I was like, two things that I wanna highlight and one is like, obviously this is the whole unblocked thing, right?

The, the whole story behind even titling my podcast that unblocked is this idea that this is not an addition pro problem. It's a subtraction problem. It's about removing those layers of mud. It's about removing the blocks to the awareness. Of what's already inside of us. Like the gold, the gift, right?

That's inside. Yeah. So I think that's just such a point to highlight and remember. And then I think I, I didn't remember this part of the story, but the way you told it was then there was pressure and that started to crack the mud. And the light sh shown through. Right. So I think this is just, even as we are reframing the idea, like shadows or as we're reframing these quote unquote bad things that happen, sometimes it's the pressure that cracks the facade.

Yeah. So that the truth can come through, right? So like if we tie that back into the story, we were telling a moment just about anxiety, right? Like if that's the mud, that's the pressure. It's like that's the pressure sometimes. Well crack. So it's like there's, there's something inside. There's gold inside of that.

So I just wanna highlight those two. A hundred percent. Yeah. And I just, to be fair, I may have added that part of the story. I don't know. It's perfect. Robin, if you did. This is why storytelling's beautiful. Yes. Over the years it changes and we glean even more from it. Yeah. I hope you made that part up. And that just added to the, added to the whole story.

Yeah. Oh, good. Yeah. Yes. Hundred percent. And it really comes back to also how we ended up here, even doing this project, right? Like it was the pressure that I was going through and experiencing with my own changes in transitions and growth and all that, triggered all that stuff. And again, like same thing, like something beautiful came out of that, right?

And mm-hmm. And, and I think there are people out there and you know, and I. And I, just to honor this for a moment, like I get it, like I can just hear certain listeners out there like, listen, I'm not trying to paint, you know, lipstick on a pig here. Like, I don't want to love these things about my life. You know, I don't wanna love mm-hmm.

The abuse and the ugliness and the sha I don't wanna love these parts of myself. Like, right. Like I, I hear. In my head I can hear the, the thoughts already, right? Like, and I've heard that from people so many people before where they're like, and I've gotten nasty emails from people, right? Like, how dare you just tell people to love these parts of themselves?

Like, you know, that's just such bullshit. And you've got this a, d, d brain and you're not emailing your list regularly and you're not showing up and you'll just ghost us for months while you're going through whatever the hell you're going through. And here you are just making that, okay, right? Mm-hmm. And so, and I think sometimes what that comes from is that inability.

There's we're afraid. To love ourselves the way we are. I get it. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Because, right. I get it. I have total compassion for that. We're so afraid to love these dark parts of ourselves, these imperfections, because we see it as condoning and just not caring. Right. And so, so many people think that in order like that, shaming the part is, is what makes it right.

That, that, that somehow makes it more acceptable. Right. If I shame it, then I. Then at least I'm doing the quote unquote proper thing. Mm-hmm. In acknowledging that this part of me is ugly. Mm. Yeah. Does that resonate? Can we, yeah. Cause as you were saying that, I was thinking. Like one, there's like that conditioning there, right?

That you're like, this is, I'm looking around and this is what we're supposed to do. Right? I look outside, I mean, and I see just like if there's something, we make these parts wrong. This is, that feels right, but also it's like behind that, what we hear is a little bit of this idea that. That that's the only way to, to facilitate change.

Yeah. Like that. I have to make myself wrong and I know it's like, it's such an oxy, it's such like a brain break to think the, it's like the dialectics, right? This acceptance and change. That change could actually, that I can love something. And change. Yes. Right. It's, but it's, this idea's the opposite. You have to love it in order to change it.

Right. I noticed like people listening who have like not done the work, you're like, lies. I know. It's like some of it you're like, it's, it's an right. It's hard to, it's hard to wrap your mind around this really. It is a hard to remind, like, if I love something, why would I change it? Right. The perfect analogy for me was my weight loss journey.

Right. And, and with like, I was, I remember the day that I was house sitting. And I, um, stepped on this scale and I was over 200 pounds. And I was like, huh. And I was on the phone with my sister and I was like, weird. And she's like, what? And I was like, oh, this scale must be broken. I literally thought that, I literally said that.

Mm-hmm. And she was like, why? I was like, oh. I was like, oh, I just has, like, I just, I was like, the scale is broken. And she just was like, so sweet. Very gentle, but she's like, sweetie, she's like, the scale's not broken. And I was like, what? Like how did this happen? Right. And I, I was like, and there was a lot of other things that went into me wanting to really lose that weight.

And it wasn't really just about the weight, it was a lot of, it was just my own, truly my own mental and emotional physical health. Like, there was, there was a lot going on there where I knew it was a byproduct of, of some internal work that I, um, really wanted to do. However, all that to be said is, Losing weight, trying to shame yourself literally does not work.

It doesn't work. Most of the time it's like it might work for a little bit and then you, you know, you come right. It's like you rebound back and it's not sustainable. So it's like there are people who will do it for a little while. Mm-hmm. Right? Just like anger can be really motivating. I can get some stuff done when I'm mad, but I don't wanna stay there.

It's not sustainable. That's not the emotion that I want to be fueling it, because eventually you'll burn out. So if you're trying to lose weight from shame, if you're trying to change your marriage by nagging, if you're trying to, you know, get your kid to do something, if you're using those types of emotions, shame, anger, regret, judgment, criticism, criticizing yourself or someone else, if that's what's fueling the change that you talked about, Jessica.

Mm-hmm. Just think about it for a moment. How long are you gonna wanna live? Mm-hmm. Right. There will come a day where you're gonna abandon that strategy and go back to what you were doing because that sucks to live life. It sucks. Well, and of course, and especially to that example, you're like, and when it feels terrible, you're like, I wanna look, try to find something to make me feel better quickly.

Right. And like, my, my mean, putting something in your mouth because we get the quick dopamine hit in the right. Like, so interesting. And as you were saying, like I was trying to think about, I was like, cuz this comes up all the time. And I don't sit around and think, I, I'm always like, I need to find the analogy of like, what is something that when you're filled with so much love for it, that you, you engage in change.

And I don't even what, as you were talking the idea My body. My body, oh yeah. Uhhuh. The moment that I began to truly love myself, uhhuh. Like really just as I was. Mm-hmm. Like I felt fat and that was okay. And I like literally as I began to realize all the stuff that was underneath my binge eating and why I was having so, and all, all of the things like I was.

Overcome with such compassion and love for that person inside of me, and the more I began to love myself and love my body. The change became so easy because it was an act of love. Mm. And that, I wanna double click on what you just said there. The change became easy. Yeah. Because it was an active love, right?

Like, I think when we talk about change from a place of hatred, love, guilt, remorse, like what all of that like, like to your point, like you can change, you can white knuckle it. For a period of time. Yeah. Right. And maybe some people sustain it, like, and it's just gonna feel terrible. Like it's gonna be hard.

And then you're gonna be like, why am I even doing this? I was trying to do this change thing because I thought it was gonna feel better, and then I just feel terrible. Yeah. Right. And so the difference is doing the work to love first. Right? When you're doing, when you are taking action as an expression of.

Right When you're engaging in change, like it's so, like you just said, it's, the change is so easy when it's coming from a place of life. Even not to mention, you get to feel better right away cuz it's like if you're trying to, if you're trying. To enact change from those negative emotions that don't feel good.

Yeah. Because you think you need them. I have to shame this part of myself. I have to beat myself up for not getting ear, getting up earlier for not getting my work done or following my calendar or whatever it is. It's like if that's, if that's what you're thinking in your head, I need this. I need to beat myself up in order to be better than even when you get to that place where you're quote unquote better.

Mm-hmm. You're still not gonna be happy. Right. Cause you haven't learned to love yourself. So what's the point? Right. And then that feels like, and I know, I'm sure less people listening have, like you've been at that place where you're like, oh, snap. Like shit. Like I've done this thing, this thing I've been efforting at for some people, maybe your whole life.

And then you get there and you look around and you're like, oh, this ain't it. Like I still feel the same way. And that can be like, that can be. Despair moments, right? When you're like, because then it's like when all those stories, then you're like, well, now there's something just really wrong with me.

Right. If it's like, I can't even fix this, I can't change it. Right. And it's just the, the point here is that it's just, we're looking at the wrong thing, right? Like we're trying to change the, we're trying to change something physical, something out there, instead of doing the work of changing what's going on on the.

Yeah. And learning to love you right where you are. Like, I got the house, I got the kids, I got the job, I made, got the money, I did all the things. And you arrived there and you're like, there is no worse place to be depressed than Hawaii. Right? Like, it's like I, I had that extra where I'm like, hold on a second, I'm in, yes.

I did all the things. I got out and then it's like, and I'm still, and it's like, wow. Because it like, it was like in your face, like, oh, like it's me. Yeah. I mean, if I'm talking about like part of my, you know, dark journey, like, I mean, that was sort of it. Like I was sim I mean, I don't know, similar but, but like having childhood stuff where there was, there was neglect and rejection and there was addiction and mental health stuff in the home.

There was all this stuff, and so I spent my whole life trying to outrun that, right? And I was like, Ooh, mm-hmm. Just be valedictorian. Get the straight A's. Go to school, go to grad school, get the degree, get the husband, get the job, get the career, get the money, get the whatever. And then I looked around and I was like, um, uh, turns out I can't outrun myself.

Right? Like the right. It was like, oh, I have all this like  Right? Like when we have these experiences, this is what I work with people so much on, like we have these experiences and it's like a story gets imprinted. Right. Like if it's, you know, neglect or whatever, you're like, so what would that mean? Oh, I'm not worthy.

I'm not worthy of love. There's something wrong with me. We have these stories and then we can spend a lifetime trying to disprove that story. Yeah, right. Instead of doing the work to massage that story, let that go look for you, like look for the evidence that you already believe of the opposite. We end up, right?

Like, at least for me, I guess I'll say me, I spent, I was like, oh, if I just do all of these things then I'll get to believe. Right. And then flash forton, I was like, oh, uh oh. Right. You hit that moment where you're like, fuck. Turns out, uh, brain's still gonna brain, like if that stop, that belief is still there.

If the stuff is still there, it's like, it is like the frosting on a poop cake or like the lipstick on the pig, like it's all still underneath there. I just put a layer on top. Yeah. And then you're like, okay, well now, I mean, and listen, if you get to that place, that's okay too. Like sometimes that's, that's part, like, that's part of me.

I was like loving myself. That was the journey. I love the therapist I have where she was like, yeah, and we're just not gonna make that wrong either. And I was like, oh, this, oh, this is what we do. Like, oh, oh. Like my brain was like, ah, okay, okay. Like we don't have to make that wrong. Like even that was part of the.

It's like, you know, like that was like to, you used the word protective. Like yes. Like so much of ourself is just trying to protect ourself. And I think it's so fun to look at like even these things that come up that we think are shadows or whatever, and we look at it and and question like, how is this trying to protect me?

I was trying to serve me. Right. Like even that, you're like, oh, then you can have some of that compassion for yourself. Yeah. And it's like, and I like just like that. Yeah. Like I did the weight loss journey the other way. Great. Now I know. Mm-hmm. Right. And now I can help other people that don't wanna do it that way, but if you wanna do it that way, it's all good.

Like, go for it. Mm-hmm. Like, it's not about right or wrong, it's just about noticing that like, yeah. Is this serving. Mm-hmm. This is how I wanna go through this and I'm, I don't, we don't have to make it wrong. Any of our experiences or the way, how often do you work with people that are like, oh my gosh. And it's like, you know, you're coaching with them and they, and they begin to realize all this stuff that they never knew, that change in their life is like totally transformed and then they start beating themselves up, that they didn't figure it out sooner.

Oh my gosh, yes. I might have used this example when I was talking to you before that. I think at the people that I worked with my, in my past career of people I worked with who were struggling with addiction and when they, like in an effort to avoid uncomfortable feelings, like that's really what's under addiction.

They're numbing out, right? They lose their civil liberties, they lose their family, they lose their kids. And then when they do the work and they're, and they start to feel their feelings and they get familiar with what the vibration of shame feels like in their body or guilt, and then they just break down there like, oh my gosh, like I gave up my.

Out of fear for this. Right? And then it like two points, like then there's the layer of the work to be like, yeah, and, and right. Like we don't, right. And it's okay. Like this is what ha like, and like this is right, because otherwise then we spin ourselves down in wholesale, making ourselves wrong for, I think one of the things that really helped me with that too was realizing that every life has value and that you can't do it wrong.

Every life has valuable there. You can't do it wrong. That's so good. Right, because it's like if you're judging yourself, you're automatically, you're, you know, it's like you're, you're just, anytime you're in judgment of yourself or others, it's like you're creating a hierarchy. And you're saying that, you know, it's like this.

And honestly, I believe that this is the foundation of where bigotry begins and, and all of mm-hmm. All of these, um, versions of, of judgment, right. To say that one is better than another. The, it's better to be rich than it is to be poor, you know, that it's like I. All, all of these things, it's better to be, you know, uh, a therapist than to be a drug addict.

It's better to be, you know, th this than that. And it's better to be skinny than to be fat or whatever. And, and so it's like, and then there are people who judge skinny people. There are people who judge people of color. There are people who judge, you know, All, all kinds of bodies and careers and money and, and all of this stuff.

And I'll never forget, you know, the moment I one, one of the, the, as a paramedic, when I was still working as a paramedic full-time, um, specifically as a 9 1 1 paramedic. I remember going on this call and with this lady that was just covered in feces. Like it was dried. And, um, she wasn't very, she was pretty much not wearing clothes.

Um, and this, I like, she's like, she was pretty much, she was naked rub. She was pretty much, she was like underwear on, but like, no shirt, no bra, no shoes, no pants. I mean, it was just like she was naked, covered in feces. Mm-hmm. And just like completely, but like obviously had some like mental health stuff happening.

And anyway, this tri bus driver. Um, for her and had stopped the bus and, uh, gotten off. And this trauma bus driver, and I don't know if any of you know much about paramedics or e m s or law enforcement or nurses or any people in the helping fields, um, of any kind, but they can get a little jaded. Mm-hmm.

Mm-hmm. Dark humor. Mm-hmm. Right. And stuff. And it's like in compassion fatigue and all of that stuff. And it was interesting as I was standing there noticing this, I was like, you. In that moment, like she's like this person, she needs help, you know, but there's legal things. Like we couldn't take her against her will because she was, in fact, she was alert, she was oriented.

She knew who she was, where she was, and so she wasn't, um, she wasn't confused enough. To be able to kidnap her. Um, so I was like a language to kid her. I can't just ache her against her. Will like, do you wanna go? And I, and I, and I noticed myself, like I spent some time with her trying to talk to her, Hey, can we help you?

Lemme get you to a hospital. We can get you a shower. Like we can get you where you, whatever. She, and she ended up not wanting to go. But as I was standing there, I noticed myself feeling like kind of neutral about it. Mm-hmm. I was willing to take her. I was happy to like talk to her, offer her the ride, but I didn't really care that much.

Right. I was also just as happy to let her walk down the street mm-hmm. And be like, good luck. Right. I was sort of, but this tri bus driver, I could tell, like you could feel her level of love and care and compassion was just way, way higher than mine. Mm-hmm. She was super invested and it was just interesting.

And then I'm thinking my partner or other paramedic, they might actually be annoyed, why did you call me if she doesn't want. I mean, geez, don't you know, right? Like mm-hmm. Why? Mm-hmm. Because our lovability, our worthiness is all 100%, right? It's not about whether or not that person's life had worth or value.

Mm-hmm. What deter, right? It's like, it's just, that's whether or not someone loves you is about their capacity to love. And, and so when we look at that person's life, I fully believe that that person and all the people in this world are here expanding our universe, expanding potential, like she has value and mm-hmm.

Even with her being there, she brought value into my life. Right. As I thought about that and as I really considered that and Right, and you just, you never. Well, as you're saying that, and I think, I think something to highlight, and you kind of started off with before the story. The story is saying like you can't do it wrong.

Like you can't be wrong. Because even as you say, it's like sometimes love is allowing the version of that person to exist. Right. Like in that moment, yes. Like I, again, I worked actually in that with, I worked with a lot of first responders in that, the emergency medicine world and um, you know, voluntarily taking people to the hospital versus involuntarily.

Mm-hmm. And would have to remind first responders, like, it's not illegal to be sick. Right. It's all, it's not illegal to be poor. It's not illegal to have different values where your house is kept in a certain way. Like it if, if you are not in imminent danger to yourself or somebody else, you get to live that way.

And, and that can have a whole, and I think like you were hitting on that with all these different, you know, boxes that thin, rich, poor, this color, that color, it's like the version, like it's a whole skillset of saying, The version that of you that exists and allowing it, that's love, right? Like this, like this whole moral of the story here is like the version of you wherever you are, like that is worthy and that you might change that version.

It might go somewhere down the road and like that version also loving. So, and I'll be honest, it's hard for me even in certain places, but it's like I believe that to be true. Like when I look back at my life in the version of me that was homeless and broke and addicted and living in my car and had lost my friends and my family, I mean, I was just like at one of my rock bottoms and it's like that version of Robin.

I look back at her and like, I am so effing proud of her, right? Mm-hmm. I'm just like, holy cow, look at you. Right. And when I look at the version of myself where I got to, like you said, I, I had, I got the money and the career and I'm, you know, making six figures and I have two weeks off a month and I can go anywhere I want and travel all the things.

My whole dream came true and I was miserable. Mm-hmm. Right? And it's like that version of myself and like she was worthy and, and it's like, I will be honest, there are days where I think about certain political figures or people in the world where I. With that. Mm-hmm. And that's right. And it's like, and even then there's value.

I believe that, and I'm like, this human life is somehow expanding our universe. And I don't know exactly how, but maybe in this moment it's here to teach me how to love more radically. I, I'm smiling and laughing a little because like, that's, I'm always like those people who really get you. I'm always like, that's my guru.

This person is my guru. Right, right. Like, it's gonna, I don't know, doesn't condo their behavior. It doesn't, not mean I condone their behavior or anything like that, but I do believe that every human life that it is worthy. Mm. So good. And I listen, I hear it's like I hear those words and, and I know, um, just again, I think about the listeners with like so much compassion where you're like, I am not there.

Like I am not there. That I just can't, I can't look. And so for the person who is in that place where you're like, if, like, if you think of a spectrum, they're like, I am here. And worthiness is like on the other side of a mountain. Yeah. What do you say to that person? For themselves? You mean for themselves?

Yeah. That they're, like, if they're like, I'm at the, I am, I am 800 miles and on the other side of, of the mountain away from worthiness. Mm. If they're in that, if they're, if it feels that far away or that inaccessible, Hmm. Yeah. Um.

One of, um, one of the things I think you could start with when you feel that unworthy and wrong and broken, whatever it might be for you that's coming up, um, is

I think.

There was a moment in my life and that I, that everything shifted. It was, and not in an instant, but it was the sentence that saved my life. Mm-hmm. Um, I remember having a thought when I was literally, if I had looked around at the evidence of the world

for who I was. Mm-hmm. It would have told me that I was totally unworthy. Mm-hmm. And from all external indications, there wasn't really much of value in this human. And, but there was a moment, and I believed it too. But there was a moment where I had a. That came into my mind and the thought was this, what if this isn't who I really am?

Mm-hmm. And I had been believing that I was so unworthy. And the reason that I was unworthy was this long list of evidence, the mountain of evidence, right. The way I looked. My addiction, my homelessness, the shitty things that I had done, the people that I had hurt, the things that I had stolen. Um, the jobs I couldn't hold down, the friends I had lost.

Right? Long list. Mm-hmm. What if that list isn't what defines who I am? Right? What if there's something else? What if they're wrong? What if I'm wrong? What if, what if who I am?

What if this is all the mud, right? What if this is the clay? What if this isn't who I really am? What if all of this is the facade, right? What if what's real is something else? And that question that that possibility is what shifted everything. And so I would just invite that person to consider in this moment when you feel utterly un worth.

Just to notice what's the evidence that you're pointing to, to prove that thought? Mm-hmm. And what if that evidence that you're pointing to, what if you're, what if you're, what if you're looking in the rear view mirror? What if you're looking in the wrong place? What if, what if those things are just some ugly wrapping paper that got put around a beautiful heart?

It was so. That's so good. That's really good. If y'all like, like go back and listen to that again cuz that's really, that's like, that gives you like a really tangible thing to hold onto around looking for the w where you define yourself and that gives so much insight into when you go to that place and you're like, this is the evidence that I'm not worthy, that I, that list will tell you what you're using to define who you are.

That's so good to just even sit with that question. I think sometimes we want an answer, but sometimes a question is really, And so just to sit with the question of what if that's not it? Like, and that can be enough. It can be enough. A life crack. Totally. Because this version of Robin right now, the one that's sitting here mm-hmm.

This, she was always inside of me. Mm-hmm. She was always inside of me. So Good. So good. Okay, Robin, I want, this is so good, and we could talk for six days. Um, but I'm gonna be mindful of your time. Um, tell us, and, and you may have already answered this, but I love to ask all of my listeners Yeah. What does it mean to you to live an unblocked life?

I'm sorry. I like to ask all my guests listeners too. Y'all can answer it too, but I like to specifically as my guests, what does it mean to you to live in un unplugged life? I think it's everything that we just talked about, Jessica. Living an unblocked life is about, like you said, ta like allowing the mud to fall away.

Mm-hmm. Allowing those things that you're using to define yourself to fall away and allowing yourself to, to really come home to the truth of who you really are and to live from that place. Right. It's not, and I don't even, it's like to be unblocked is, it's like, it's about, it's just about allowing yourself to be, it's, it kind of invokes this feeling of freedom for.

Yep. You know, okay. Help people where they can find you and connect with you and keep in updated on the project that's coming up in May. Yeah, so the project that's coming up in May, um, just go to shadow side leadership summit.com and you'll find all the information about it there and you can register, uh, to join us for that event.

So shadow side leadership summit.com, and then you can find me, um, on Facebook. Um, you can go to my website at robinkeesler.com.  Robin Keesler, k e e s l e r.com. And then, like I said, I'm, Facebook is one of the best places to find me. All right. So good. Thank you, Robin, for sharing your experiences, your wisdom, your insight, your growth.

This was beautiful. And listeners, thank you for tuning in. There was so much goodness in today's episode. So do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Share your takeaways, share your favorite parts, blast it on social media, text it to your bestie, leave a review. Tell me what you thought and of. Be sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode.

Until next time, my friends, stay open. Stay free. Okay, I stopped recording. So good.