COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S1 Ep8: Nicole Lewis-Keeber

April 12, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 8
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S1 Ep8: Nicole Lewis-Keeber
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN. +
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Show Notes Transcript

Nicoa and her childhood friend, Nicole Lewis-Keeber talk about how childhood trauma can show up in your business and your career. A key part of healing can actually be related to your inner child and how understanding that is key to designing a life by design on your own adult terms! 

Nicole is a business therapist for entrepreneurs, you can learn more about Nicole Lewis-Keeber on her website.  

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Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Well, hello, my friend, Nicole, how are you today? Hey, there. Well, nobody knows this. But I'll go ahead and tell this that round two, you know, I got a new podcast, sometimes I do great interviews, and then the sound doesn't work. So I just want to thank you for a do over. I'm happy to see you again, spending time with you always be worth the extra time. Okay, so let me give the overview. Nicole Lewis Keeber, my beautiful friend of so many years, you are known as the business therapist, you are the author of How to love your business and the creator of do no harm program for trauma conscious entrepreneurs. And I love that you've been so passionate about educating yourself and looking at your own life and helping to transfer that into a world that helps people understand the impact of trauma on their businesses. And you actually turn that into a business coaching program, you help entrepreneurs build what you refer to as an emotionally sustainable, and financially stable, thriving business. I think that's powerful. And I'm eager for us to talk all things, trauma, not only around the coaching work you do, but also around how you've used that to shift your own personal life by design. One more highlight about you, which makes me just think you're even more fascinating than I even knew you were actually in Fast Company Magazine and highlighted on NPR. Girl, go girl.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

Thank you.

Nicoa Coach:

So I'm eager to talk today. Why don't you start by I learned this phrase the other day, I'd never really heard it. It was called the origin story. Have you heard that? Yeah, I didn't know that. So what is the origin story for where you shifted into, okay, this is the work I need to be doing.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

So my origin story starts with I was a, I have a master's degree in social work. I'm a licensed clinical social worker. And the track that I took in my career was to be in the mental health and clinical world, mostly, as a therapist, I did some other things, but the majority of it was being a therapist, interested in that career path because of my own childhood stuff. So as you do right after therapy world, like, you know, part of what I do is I help you figure out like, why did you really pick this career? What is it that you want? So yeah, so I was a therapist in some form, or fashion for about 18 years before I did what people in helping profession to have not quite fixed their trauma yet, is I burnt out. And you know, the mental health system is really set up to not be supportive of the people providing the services anyway, you know, it's systemic, as well. And so I burned out, and I really wanted to still work with people, but I was just so crispy. I was like, I don't know how to do this. So I actually worked with a life coach for a little while, which was a big step. For me as a therapist, you know, we kind of had like side eye about coaches like coaches. Yeah. And, you know, I just I really saw that there was some benefit in working to people working with people in a different way. And I wanted to learn about it and get that help myself. Right. It was so helpful. It helped me identify where I wanted to move to at this point, as opposed to from right. And it was a beautiful experience. I said, Oh, my God, this is great. I want to do more of this. How can I do this? And so I jumped into the first certification I could find which was a money mindset coaching certification, which took me about eight months to get through. And I started working with small business owners and entrepreneurs at the intersection of trauma and their money. And it was not something I thought I would be doing with money mindset. I thought many months. It's interesting, something I also needed to work on. So why not? But quickly, you know, you can't drop your clinical brain at the door, I began to see that connection between trauma and money, and further began to explore the impact of trauma and entrepreneurship. After I saw that about two and a half years into my own business, I recognized that I was feeling really beat up in my business, I felt like I was failure. I could do no, right. I was dreading Monday morning. And you know, I didn't leave a career in mental health to dread Monday morning, I took all those written out. He certainly didn't want to have the Sunday scaries anymore. And I was really about to give up. But the problem was, here's there was no evidence that I was failing. My financial contract was fine, right? My clients were happy. I was emerging a field of study around trauma and entrepreneurship and trauma money, like who does that? But right, I did not feel like I was doing enough. And because of that, I had to get really clear about if I'm feeling beat up by my business, I feel like I'm not doing enough for it. Why is that? There's no one else here. But me. Right? There's no one else. Me I created the so why would I create that? I created it because I was recreating a trauma pattern of relationship that I had as a kid growing up, and I was making my business and authority figure over me. And I was disempowering myself in that relationship. And so when I had that moment of awareness, it kicked in and a complete pivot in the work that I that I do, and I have done research and studied and work with people on that topic ever since. So my origin story is cumulative. But there, it always comes back to the impact of childhood trauma on us at this moment.

Nicoa Coach:

That is so profound, and so insightful. And, you know, I really love that you began to question yourself, because, yeah, you were the common denominator. And, you know, you had just what I like to call, you'd created the same circus under a different tent, right? Because you thought, Oh, I'm gonna leave this, I'm gonna go create something on my own. And then you start having these emotional reactions again, which I'm assuming you were having when the burnout crispy stage, right? I did something very similar. But I want to just clarify really quickly for people the difference between therapy and coaching, as I like to describe it, just to help them understand why it's unique. So you indicated you wanted to have something to move towards, and you wanted to go towards something with actions that were about the future and what it was that you wanted in life, instead of from where you were coming from. And so therapy tends to look backwards, right? And look at the past traumas, etc. And how that has impacted us and try to work to heal that, or diagnose around that. And coaching only takes you from the moment we say, oh, yeah, that happened. Okay. Like, Yep, good. You need to work on that go to a therapist, but the fact that it happened, what are we going to do with it? And what do you want to do now? So coaching really does move us forward. And it can be very therapeutic in the process. But I love that you were able to recognize that and give yourself permission to say, okay, obviously, I need some action steps now to move myself out of this burnout stage. So, yeah, so beautiful origin story. Thank you. And what else did you learn in that process about? yourself? Did did having that understanding of your own childhood trauma, help you do no harm to yourself, I really want to highlight this Do No Harm program that you have and how you really went back to understand your own childhood trauma in order to help you create this new way of being with your clients. But how did that help you with your own do no harm to yourself process along the way? Yeah, well, not right away, because I had to go through it right to create the true.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

And, you know, and that's what I think I think that this is probably part of the myth. And I had this for myself, right? I had been in therapy, I thought I had taken care of all this stuff, right? I had worked out my you know, parent issues, and I had worked out the relational stuff. And so I wasn't looking for it. My business and I was looking for childhood trauma in their business, right? They might look for it in their relationships or in other places, or their self concept, maybe, but you're not looking for it in your business. So that's, you know, this wasn't a new thing for me, right. It was just a new thing and a new arena. So I had to get really clear about you know, first of all, how childhood trauma head in motivated me to start the career I had and then It also motivated me to be a business owner. And it was part of that. Why, right. And so, as I got clearer and clearer on that, and I recognized that I was doing harm to myself with my business, I was using my business to recreate patterns of abuse. It's very harsh to say that, but I was using my business to re abuse myself, right? My clients use their businesses to recreate childhood trauma in some way where they are creating an abusive relationship. And so after I was able to figure that out what it does, and with the Do No Harm program, in particular, what we teach people is, you have to look at yourself first, so easy to look at everybody else, right? You got to look at yourself first. Identify what trauma is, how it impacts you, how it's playing out in your business, perhaps even with your employees and your clients, and how it affects how you market yourself, how you have sales conversations, how you price things like it, it impacts everything. And if you don't have the understanding and the intention in your business, you will recreate patterns that are not always healthy. Let me just say help them. So the differences is that you talk about life by design. This is you know, the emotional sustainability ability plan for your business by design, because you are creating an intention to do no harm to yourself first and then to the people that you come in contact with your business. But yet it takes a minute to get there because we have to recognize what we're doing to ourselves first. Well, I think you articulated that beautifully. And I can see why you're now this subject matter expert in this world of trauma and business and entrepreneurialism and you people are contacting you now they're out of the woodwork coming to find you. Can you take that summary, and give us an example? Maybe from a client, a personal one, whatever you want to share, so that we can kind of get a feel for what what do you really mean?

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, to do about what trauma and entrepreneurship connection is, or like the emotional sustainability plan? Well, I would be curious to say, well, what if I'm sitting here calling you as a client? And I say, Well, I keep you know, running out of money, or I don't see my friends, they charge this much. And I only charge this much. And once how will it be an example of me seeing a pattern from my childhood? And maybe I can even give a like, I know that in my own personal business, I've often felt like it was never enough, like, I got to do more. Or, you know, I want and I've even thought I wonder what my dad would think of this offering. So there's a direct collection in connection to my, my past. And my father. So is there an example that you could think of where you could walk us through that new knowing?

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

Yeah, absolutely. So I have a client who actually talk about my book, How to love your business. And so she has given me permission to share her story. And what it looked like for her was she contacted me and she, she had been in therapy before. So she had a basic understanding that her childhood was not, you know, as healthy and functionalism could have been, again, had worked on in therapy works, had couples counseling, had, you know, had done things, read a few books. And she had an agency within the PR and marketing world. And she reached out to me and she said, I really want to get to be part of the 1% highest earners in my field, which is a male dominated field, right? So there you go on that. And I really can't get there because I can't get grow past a certain point in my business, because I can't keep employees. And she said, I know it's me. I know it's me. I know I get frustrated. I know I can be a micromanager. I know I'm demanding. And even though I tell myself today, I'm going to not you know, I'm not going to come in with my choice. I still do. And I can't keep employees and it's because of me, I noticed. And so what we were able to help her identify was, first of all, the reason why the stakes were so high for her to achieve this goal was because of the relationship that she had with her father growing up, were the only time that she got any kind of attention from him was when she was achieving at something. And it was not only that it was the field that he worked into this agency, right. So if she had a problem with her business, she could go ask him a question if she had a when she could seek out his approval, but he was not that great at giving it so it was always like next step next step next achievement next award. Next write up in a paper okay now 1% of the revenue You know, in my, my community, and we were able to figure out that her she had created her business as a way to connect with her father. And after we kind of picked that all apart, she realized that she really didn't want to grow her business that she didn't want to be in the top 1% that she really just wanted an easy life, and that she wanted to have enough money to take care of herself and her family, and that she really didn't need that type of achievement. She was someone who liked to meet goals, that was part of her values. But it didn't need to be that. And so once we recognize that she had given her business, a job that had not intended, which was to try and garner her father's love and attention, she was able to let that go and change that. And that she did not enjoy managing people because they were getting in the way between her getting acknowledgment from her father, right, you make a mistake on a copy for your press release, no big deal. You make a mistake on copy for press relief, and it gets in between me and my dad given me the love and attention I need. Watch the hell out. Yeah. Cool. So when we were able to pick that apart, what it did is it changed for her the model of business that she had, she brought in the same amount of revenue and money for her family. And but she didn't have to manage employees. And she could really start to work on dismantling some of more of the childhood trauma that was impacting how she saw herself and valued herself. So that's kind of an example of what it can look like for someone.

Nicoa Coach:

I think that's a great example. And so clean as to the connection. And so she could begin to dissect, what's the trigger here? What's happening? How when do I know that I'm actually pushing this employee away? What is the real scene look like? So digging kind of into the five Why's the root cause of everything? Well, how did you do the work while also offering the work?

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

Yeah, a lot of people think, Oh, well, you're the therapist, you already know. But you're right. You're You're co creating and processing simultaneously, even with the client. How did you do that work for yourself? Yeah, I think this being really honest and transparent. Like people who work with me, they know my story. They know what I do. I think they're attracted to working with me because I was a therapist. And so there are a lot of basic school skills and tools I have for holding space with others that I don't need to relearn for myself, because I've kind of done been there done that. So I think when we can normalize what we're going through, and we can speak to it and give language, that it really opens up people. So it's really not a deterrent to be in the process with them. It actually provides that connection, I think that we all need. And it's actually from a nervous system standpoint, a co regulating experience, I have found it to be super helpful.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, you spoke your truth. You stood on that stage as an example. That's an it's an excellent example that I think a lot of people can relate to, because it I think, you know this better than me, but I interviewed a guy yesterday who talks about a social anxiety and teens. And he talked about the parts work. Like the relationship out, I'm learning so much. I love this job. But the parts work says, Hey, little seven year old, hey, I can see that you're you're you're talking, can you step aside for just a second, I reassure you that I'm not leaving you, I'm not abandoning you. I just need to step forward with my, you know, 54 year old self right now who actually has some information to share, but I'm going to tell them about you so that you're not dismissed or not her unheard. And it keeps them there. You don't have to get rid of that little voice, that Gremlin on the shoulder, you can validate it. I think that's pretty powerful. And everyone actually connects with you and gives you what you think you're trying to achieve. Like you're so worried about what people think of you. So they're going to connect and remember you and think you're more impactful because you shared that vulnerability with them. So I love that story.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

I love that too, because I do not subscribe to the idea that our inner critic needs to be shut up killed flayed, any of those things, it is a part of us and it has information. And often I find that our inner critic is protecting a younger version of ourselves has been wounded in some way. And that that part of us that seven year old feels very scared about this keynote, right. And so the inner critic is like, you're not going to do well, they're going to judge you for using your notes. When really, it's just that seven year old afraid that we're going to be judged once again, for not learning the way that other people do, or needing something, some accommodation. And so when we can stop and recognize those parts, because those kiddos come with you into your business or on your board of directors, they can help you they can deter you, but they're there. And so sometimes we have to say, Hey, do you want a job, or hey, go out and play because this is not, this doesn't have anything to do with you today, this is all adult stuff, you know, feel free to exit the door. And they will they have a role. They have a function, they have a purpose. And they embed themselves into like the cellular memory of your lifetime up until the day that you show up on the stage. So they're not going anywhere until we acknowledge them and validate them.

Nicoa Coach:

So I think that's really quite beautiful. And you talked about something else about evolving. You're like I thought I'd learned it all I thought I'd done the work. I like people to imagine they're kind of evolving into the next stage of, of healing, you can't heal everything all at once. And the goal is not to be perfect. And you already are perfect. This is just the journey. This is the experience, you're gonna have trauma, you're gonna have bad things happen, you can have great things happen. That makes me want to step into a more personal piece of your life journey. You were growing your business, things were going great. And out of left field, it felt like you got cancer. What was that? Like? I liked our story. Last time we had this conversation about you sharing what you thought that meant?

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

And I was like, okay, all right. I'm supposed to be here. Of course you are. She's amazing. And we should put all of her books and everything in the show notes because Brene Brown Brene. Brown, Brene. Brown. Okay. Yeah, facilitating her work is one of the best things I ever got to do in my it's one of the things I enjoy most of my work. So. So yeah, so I leaned into that. And as soon as I got home, within a week, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And it was like a What? Are you getting the best year? Right? It was the best year and of course, like that your little younger kid, I was like, See, I told you, shit happens. Chemo, my hair's falling out. My clients all knew my business supported me. And everything was set up for it to do that, yes. And so it made me see that even on a deeper level that your business is here to be a part of your your love and support your life, it's not just a mechanism for money, right? It's not just a mechanism of what other people think you should be doing so Yeah, so you know, it was a lot of paradigm shifting sure around internal paradigm shifting around what it means to have a cancer diagnosis, what it means to have a business what it means where people get to be involved or not involved in that process. It was a huge growth, huge experience. I kinda would like to vet it without a breast cancer diagnosis, but I will take the gifts, absolutely some I'll take the lessons. Sometimes they have to be really big lessons.

Nicoa Coach:

And, and I love that you actually look at it as happening for you, not to you, which is a great life assumption, if we can all practice that way of thinking, and you really handled it with grace. But you did something even more profound. And I think you were right about the divine timing of the Brene. Brown work. Because Brene Brown talks about that vulnerability and speaking your truth and setting boundaries and talking your truth to others. And just because someone offers something doesn't mean you have to take it. And we have this habit right in society where somebody says, Well, I've got cancer. And what did people say? Oh, my God, oh, I'm so sorry. And I have learned over the years to say, Huh, well, I guess you didn't see that coming. What are we going to do now? Right? Yeah, how can I best support you? Which is really good, because I'm making it about you. And not like, it sounds like some of your friends and family did which was make it about them?

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

Yeah. And I can understand where they call that empathy myth of empathy misses. And I can understand that they're sad and scared because they love you. Or they, they only know the brainwashed way to approach someone who's been diagnosed. So I get that. But ultimately, asking yourself, and this is a question for everybody to write down. Am I making this about me? Oh, hallelujah.

Nicoa Coach:

Am I making this about me? Or what am I making this mean? Right. And that does, that's a life changer right there. Hmm.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

It is. And just the just being able to say to someone, what does support look like for you?

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, I love that. Right? What does support look like for you, you know, instead of jumping into what you think that person needs, or they may not want support at that moment, by they may be supported, we assume that people aren't supportive. But I just love what you said about am I making this about me? Because a lot of the times people are because it is a defense mechanism, because their nervous system has gotten activated. And there were it comes on board like that this is happening to them, right? So of course, they're gonna make it about them. So yeah, that would be great. Well, is there something you could share with us a bit? You know, we talk and I quickly reference the autonomic nervous system and, and how our bodies you know, I do some somatic work, but how from a therapist background and your own use of it in your coaching, how can we describe to people what that nervous system is, and why it makes us knee jerk react to the world?

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

It's a job. I mean, it's it's literally doing its job. And that's one of the reasons why I try and educate people so much about trauma. And, you know, we talked about little T and big T trauma, which there really is no small trauma, all trauma is trauma. Right? Yeah, I think it helps people kind of recognize that there. They've had experiences that don't meet the societal definition of trauma so that they can claim it and they can heal it right, you know, having learning differences like I did in school, the entirety of the time, that was a trauma for me, someone else may look at that and say that doesn't really seem like a trauma to me, like domestic violence seems like a trauma, right? They're all trauma, it's all trauma, it's all trauma, because your nervous system doesn't give a shit what you like, right, this experience that you had, and how your nervous system responded. So, you know, people I think get so judgmental, that they have a response, or that they get triggered by something or that they have a moment where they go into Someone was asking me about comparing comparing themselves to someone else. They said, I have comparison syndrome. And this a you do not have a syndrome. I said your nervous system is doing what it's supposed to do. Right? We are supposed to compare ourselves to other people. We our nervous system wants to know, is this a friend? Is this an ally is as a foe, what resources they do they have and skills and talents? I don't have? It is normal for you to compare because your nervous system is doing what its job is, which is to protect you. Yes. Right. And I call that when it's not when I'm making that comparison mean something.

Nicoa Coach:

I call that compare despair. And so if I can recognize it, oh, that's my nervous system. Okay. And so that's normal. And how do I stop it? Exactly. So you know, you're not language logic. and problem solving is not available to us when we go into that. But it will be if we can recognize it and give ourselves support, like you said, go to the breath. Ask yourself what, you know, what story am I telling myself about this thing, you can get back to your prefrontal cortex again, if you can recognize it and normalize it, you absolutely can. Well, let's take a quick coffee break. And then when we get back, I want to talk about the story, and how your story has shifted from then, to now.

Jennifer Gardner:

We hope you're enjoying listening to this episode of Coffee with Nicoa. Make sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and follow Coffee with Nicoa on Instagram to find inspiring content that will help you begin creating your life by design.

Nicoa Coach:

So I always joke that we were busy taking espresso shots during the break. But you know, I didn't need any more espresso. You said something pretty profound about you know, the language we're using and the story. So tell me about your story. How your dialogue with yourself has shifted from whatever previous part of your life you want to tap into, to where that dialogue and that storytelling to yourself is now.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

Yeah, so different. And I think that's what's the beauty of the of normalizing the experience that, you know, normalizing and naming what trauma is and how it impacts our nervous system that it's not personal. You're not you know, you're not broken. Your nervous system is doing what it's supposed to do. It's actually working. So for me, I used to thank you I used to really feel like I am a broken. I am I am unlovable. There is something wrong with me because I cannot do well in school and so I would go to school and not do well. And then I would come home and just constantly be get in trouble for everything. No. I still could not probably pass the grammar like a English and right now it's because I just write no sentence structure that makes sense for me.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, don't worry, you have chat GPT for that now, so don't worry about it.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

I know seriously, I was I literally using that before we jumped on awesome meeting. Yeah, well, thank you for sharing. Yeah, yeah, it was, but then, you know, when we're kids, what do we do we internalize everything, it becomes our problem. Not that, well, I'm in a system that doesn't know how to teach me Not that I'm in a family dynamic that is very dysfunctional, and that there's tons of trauma being played out on me. You know, we you can't see that when you're young. We just internalize everything and take responsibility for everything. So there was no positive self concept whatsoever. And that, of course, lingered into adulthood. However, starting my business, yeah, your business can be a place of healing for you, if you know how to do it. And if you set the intention, my business helped me change how I see myself. I am intelligent. I am a trailblazer. You know, I'm literally creating the field of study around this as we speak, right? And the majority of it now is just frustration with the system that we have to work within, you know,

Nicoa Coach:

I can imagine, but what a beautiful shift. And obviously, like you said, it didn't happen overnight.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

And you had to see yourself through the the mirror of your business. It's quite beautiful. And, and the power of therapy and therapy therapy prior Yeah, therapy helps therapy helps and talk therapy, you know, I've got kids going to therapy, I go to therapy. And it's important to do the work at you know, Rahm Das, one of my favorite quotes is, we're all just walking each other home.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, and the connection. And that connection sometimes needs to be with a team of support people around you that our coaches and counselors and friends and family and whoever you can leverage and people that you're watching online or reading their books, trying to really to walk each other home. You know, people aren't writing these books, you and I are doing podcasts and doing the work we're doing, just for the hell of it. We're doing it because we see something in ourselves that got better. And we want that for everybody. We want everybody to have access to that. I mean, I mean, it makes me emotional. I feel like crying, just saying it. I mean, I want to run to the top of the mountain and I know you do too. And what's beautiful about your journey is that you've done it with such grace. I mean, at least as an outsider and a neighbor looking in, as my husband. He might disagree. That girl either you and I had coffee here together about three or four years ago sitting on the deck and I was still coming into my own and you were to and I just enjoyed so much. I was quite surprised, actually. I don't know. I was flattered that You wanted to come and sit with me and I was really honored. And I felt special. I don't know. You know, we have all these friends and stuff. And sure we grew up together, but we, we weren't like best friends. I was hanging out with Kim more than I was you and for you to say yes. May I May I sit with you? And I And like you said, you want to hold space for people. And I just love that.

Nicole Lewis Keeber:

Yeah, I saw you I wanted to hang out with I saw you. I see you, Matt port, having coffee talking big thing, talking big things?

Nicoa Coach:

Well, I want to ask one more pretty personal question. I'd like to know, do you feel like, have you? Or do you feel like it's even necessary to forgive a parent to obviously, you know, hurt people hurt people and parents are doing the best they can? Did you forgive your mom and your family members? Or no, I did, I did. But what I recognize is that forgiveness. I saw their humanity one of the most important things to me is that we don't dehumanize others, even if they've hurt us. Because when we dehumanize others, it's when we lose our we lose our humanity. And so it was important for me to forgive them and recognize their own humanity and the own their own trauma that they were dealing with which, you know, massive generational try systemic trauma that, you know, they were doing, I believe the best they could in the moment with the information and support that they have. However, forgiveness does not mean access, it does not mean that this person still has access to your tender emotional heart or that you are responsible for that person in some way emotionally or otherwise. You know, that is a choice that you make. And so as you know, I have these moments of forgiveness, I then had to decide, you know, what type of boundaries and access do I feel comfortable with? Or at all? For some people? It's none. And that's totally fine, too. I, we need each other. We need community and we need people. But sometimes those are chosen people. That's it. So yeah, I don't believe you have to forgive. But I did, just because it was important for me to recognize the humanity of those people who harmed me, I agree with you. And people are raised under a set of life, domain belief systems. And one of them is family first, and well, you have to you know, you know, hug Uncle Fred. Well, I don't want to hurt Uncle Fred. And when he gets near me, it makes me uncomfortable. Well, okay, well hug him. He's your uncle. Right? There's a whole bunch of strange dynamics that were raised under. And it's powerful for us to be breaking the cycle, our children are breaking cycles, and giving yourself permission to not do it the same way. And again, this is a life by design, you getting out ahead of your life experience and you deciding what are my terms? What is the boundary here? And what do I actually want? And that's important work. Yeah, it is, every day I say to my clients, this is your business, you get to have that you get decide what you want. This is your life, you get to have that you get to decide who where, how, when, right. It's, we we don't have to continue to live under these beliefs and these family paradigms, that even if someone is harmed you and that person would never let you be harmed by someone outside of the family. Like they come for them, right. But it's okay if they're in the family, to expect you to want to be around that person. And to not, you know, argue about feeling unsafe, you know, with them like it is your life. You get to say, what happens, when that happens and how you want to design it into as you said, get out in front of it. Yeah, you get to vision that out, we have to break free from some of those belief systems and you can't get this thing called life wrong. You can't even if you are the abuser. So let me be clear, there's a lot happening in this discussion. So reflecting for those listening, reflecting on your own experiences, reflecting on the behaviors that you've been imposed on others, you know, asking yourself, can I forgive myself? Can I shift? Can I change my life? And can I forgive those who hurt me? In the past, people get really caught up in their ISness, which includes their past. And I invite people to really come back to the present moment. And again, like we talked about with coaching, move forward, let's move forward. You know what, if I want to be a part of someone's life that's hurt me. I have to decide that I'm gonna give them a clean sheet of paper. If I want to give be a part of them going forward. I can't say I want to be in your life, but I'm still gonna hold you accountable. For this past behavior, and I'm gonna be really resentful about it. So you can't play with them. You can't pretend to you have to really understand what is your truth? And if you can't be in space with them and not hold that judgment and resentment, then don't be in space for him. Yeah, yeah, exactly. I wrote an article on Medium several years back, where I talked about how, you know, forgiving my ex husband, because I've been married three times. Yeah, the final one work. But you know, shit happens. You're the second interview I've done this week, who's the person was married three times, I'm like, Okay, I'm only on number two. I'm hoping I'm who knows what is supposed to happen. I totally 100 said, believe that. I agree. In the article, I talked about the fact that when people hear I have an ex, they want to go who and they immediately want to disown the ex. And now granted, they there were problems. However, at that point in my life, I was the type of person who thought they were a good idea. So I participated in that really try. So you know, I think we have to just get really real about, you know, what, where we're at in the process and look at ourselves. And then as you said, if you can't be in relationship with that person without, you know, still punishing your resentment or penalizing them in some way, it is a kind of thing for you to do for you to step back. That's right till you can do that, or just not at all, or just not at all. Yeah, I try not to use the word ex anymore, because it seems so like x like, I'm x them out of my life. Yeah. I say my previous husband or my husband at the time. I like that better. Yeah, I don't want all that energy coming at me because I'm a previous wife. Oh, you're, oh, yeah, she must be crazy. need that karma? No, do not. Well, live, this has been such a great conversation. And you and I could talk all day long. I know what let me give you some space here to give us any last minute, aha 's or tips that you've gleaned in your life by design journey so far, and what any advice you'd like to share that you have to start with yourself, you just have to start with yourself. You know, I get a lot of people who want to work with me and go through my programs that are really excited and keen to share the, the Gospel to their people. And I'm like, I'm not interested in you teaching what I teach you, I'm interested in you doing the work first, before you want to go out and point the finger at everyone else. So we always have to start with our sales, we cannot change other people, it is a waste of time, we have to start with you. And when you do that, you can create the intention for our business that you love that loves you back a life by design that you love, and that you can continue to design. So it has to start with you. It really does. And I always say the root of all suffering is expecting all the people around us to show up the way we would show up. Right? Or, exactly, I wish you would just do it differently. Or if I was you, I would say and I'm like if you guys are having these thoughts and these conversations, just point that finger back to you turn it right back around or go look in the mirror. Beautiful advice. Now you also just referenced some of your programs. So let's take this last few moments for you to share what what programs are currently available, where people can find you. And how can they get some lovely time with the sweet Nicole? Yeah, so the best place to find me is my website nicole.lu f dash keeper.com. And if you are curious about the trauma and entrepreneurship connection, there is an assessment on there that you can use and see trauma and entrepreneurship with. So feel free to sign up for that and go through that. You will see on there the work with me page, you'll see my do no harm program, which is for trauma conscious entrepreneurs. And we actually have a dare to lead intensive coming up leadership intensive coming up in May that we're enrolling in the next couple of weeks. Oh, perfect. Well, I'll make sure if I'm when he wants to be a dare to leave trained professional and love Brene. Brown, I cannot recommend the training any higher. Well, I will make sure and prioritize this episode so that people can get in on that before the deadline. What is the deadline for registration? I think the deadline is April 17. We start enrollment the first week of April. Okay. And if if ever if I can't, I'll put in an extra episode just to make sure that we can get this out there because the work you're doing is just phenomenal. And it's overdue. And it's time for all of us to kind of look at our histories and decide where we need to and want to heal so that we can have more fulfilling and satisfying lives. So, Nicole, thank you, my sweet friend. I appreciate you so much. Talk to you later. I appreciate you. Okay, love you. Bye.

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Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicoa for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram, just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N IC O A. We look forward to talking with you soon and enjoy your coffee between now and then. Way