Lisa: 00:00 Hello, you’re listening to the Super Power U Podcast. This is Episode #28.
VO: 00:11 Welcome to the Super Power U Podcast where we reveal the mental models and tactical skills needed to activate your Inner Super Hero. And here’s your host, Lisa Betts-LaCroix.
Hello, hello, my lovelies. As always thank you for being here today. If it’s your first time listening the intent is to focus on strengths-based living and mastery. We do interviews with people from all walks of life to identify their Super Power…that special skill that has been with them in some form or another and which contributes to their power in the world, and from which we can all learn. If you like the show, please consider sharing it with someone else or subscribing or reviewing.
Let’s start with my podcast recommendation of the week. Today’s show is highly synergistic with today’s topic because both feature the importance of Life Stories. The podcast Storyical is the brainschild of Peta Roberts. Peta interviews Life Story Professionals who share practical advice for you to capture your life story. Between Peta’s podcast and my guests resources, I can feel so much possibility in writing as a way to find peace and resilience especially in difficult times.
This week’s Super Power U Podcast guest is a Resilience and Life Storytelling Expert. She affirms the belief that sharing our own story, and especially our trauma experiences, is therapeutic. She talks about boundaries and co-dependency, lessons learned from her past relationships, including with her marriage to a narcissistic-sociopath husband. But she also shares the antidote–the beautiful and cathartic practice of writing it down. The freedom and peace she gained from storytelling and freewriting has led her to helping other smart, outwardly confident women who secretly have low self-esteem issues take back control and begin to develop the resilience they need to step into their full power. Her Real Life Resilience podcast features stories of recovery from life’s most difficult traumas and provides tools and resources for life-storytelling. Welcome to the Super Power U Podcast, Stacy Brookman.
Lisa: 00:35 Lisa, I’m really privileged to be here. Thanks for having me on.
Lisa: 00:39 I have been wanting to get you on to my show ever since I listened to your episode of Real Life Resilience with the prison professor. What an incredible interview!
Lisa: 00:53 Yeah, he was my very first one at several years ago and he was fabulous, wasn’t he?
Lisa: 00:59 It was an amazing story and just a fabulous topic. Resilience is so important and so necessary, especially as our life gets crazier and crazier. If we could start off maybe by touching on something from either your childhood or your developing years that you think may have laid some foundation for where you’ve gone in your life.
Lisa: 01:20 Sure. I was born in California, but I grew up in Kansas, so I was a midwestern girl and as a young child and even a teenager and even young adult, I was rather, I guess you’d say shy. And I was at one of four kids. I’m the second of four kids and I didn’t raise my hand. I didn’t stick out. I didn’t want to stick out. In my early twenties I married a man who had obsessive compulsive disorder and then he subsequently cheated on me twice. I’m like, okay, that’s enough of that. oth of those things kind of set the stage for what happened later in life. And I’m not saying introvertedness is, uh, something that causes that, but not sticking up for yourself and not being seen or heard or being taught not to be seen or heard. It can be detrimental.
Lisa: 02:19 Okay. So you grew up, you’re one of four kids in your family and you were shy. Do you feel that that had some impact on your inclination towards writing and did you start writing early in life or did that come later?
Lisa: 02:31 You know, I started writing, enjoying writing in high school when I got a paper to write, I was like, “Ooh, I can really influence somebody’s opinion by my writing”, and so I kind of discovered that in high school which I loved. So I was always a, never an official official writer, but I was always the unofficial writer from there on out and eventually I had jobs were writing was and I was the go-to person.
Lisa: 03:01 You’ve done a lot of different things in your career and your working life. So how did that all fit together? Maybe you can tell sort of the story of your career path and how you ended up doing the many things that I know you do now.
Lisa: 03:15 Oh, man. Well I told you I was shy and I didn’t stick up for myself. So I was going to become a doctor. In high school I knew I wanted to be, not a nurse…I wanted to be a doctor. and I started dating this boy in high school in my senior year and he said, “oh don’t you want to be a secretary? You should be a secretary.” Oh my God. What do you think I did next? Threw all of my plans to be a doctor out the window, for the love of a boy and went to secretary school to take shorthand. It was a one year…I’m like, what? I think looking back, I just want to shake myself! Why in the world would I give up my dreams to be a secretary and, and I’m not bashing secretaries, I’m just saying I had dreams and, and I feel like I could have been a doctor, a great doctor, but I didn’t.
Lisa: 04:13 I chose someone else’s desire for me over my desire for myself. And that was, that set me on that path to what happened after that? So I started taking shorthand. I hated shorthand. Then I became a secretary for the human relations department in a midwestern city and then I started working for a large insurance company and I was a secretary there. And I knew, I knew I was destined for more. In my head and my heart. I knew there was something more inside of me and yet we eventually got married, this man and we. He wanted to get his college degree and I was encouraging him on that.So he got his college degree and I said, “okay, I would like to finish my college degree, I want to get a full degree.”
Lisa: 05:08 And he was like, no, I want to get my master’s degree. So I’m like, okay, you get your masters degree. All the while I was writing his research papers and stuff like that because I enjoyed it and he needed the help. So I was a secretary, I was writing research papers and then finally when he got his master’s degree I said, “okay, it’s my turn to go to school”. I get it that you don’t want two people at same time…now it’s my turn. And he put his fist through a door and he said, no. That wasn’t right. I knew that wasn’t right.
Lisa: 05:40 So was that your wake up call?
Lisa: 05:44 I felt stuck. I really did. I felt stuck. I felt like this was the first time I kind of realized, you know what, maybe not everybody has my best interest at heart. Maybe I should start sticking up for myself, but, but wait a minute. Here’s what happened when I did stick up for myself. He put a fist through the door and then I discovered that he had a couple of affairs and that was the end of that. And I had helped him through OCD. Helped him to get a doctor and obsessive compulsive disorders is pretty serious. But I was…I’ve always been the sticktuitiveness person. I’m going to stick by you thick or thin, and that did not serve me well. And ladies out there, that doesn’t always serve you well. I know we sometimes think that’s very noble. That’s an illusion. Sometimes it is to help people, but really in a lot of circumstances it does not serve you well and it doesn’t serve that person that you’re helping to enable.
Lisa: 06:45 So from your own personal experience, because you’ve had some more journeys and some more challenges that I’m sure you’ll talk about…and you’ve also talked to many people about resilience: How does a person tell the difference between when they’re being supportive and committed and following through on their promises and when they need to draw their boundary lines?
Lisa: 07:06 Well, you should always have your boundary lines and know this ahead of time. What are the boundaries that I will not cross? What are the boundaries I will not let others across? What are your own morals? And I discovered, you know, when you’re codependent, you are more likely to move your own moral boundary line to accommodate somebody else than stop them. And so when you see yourself moving those boundary lines, that’s crossing the line to accommodate to accommodate somebody else. When you are allowing another person to misbehave towards you, when you are allowing that other person, you’re forgiving them. And um, and you know, I was really into “Hey, I’m a forgiving person!” All that sort of thing. You are actually helping them to stunt their own growth. You’re not allowing them to grow. When you put up your hand and say, that’s not right. I am not going to participate in that, or I’m not going to let you do that anymore, you are allowing them to experience the consequences for their own actions. Right? If they’re behaving badly towards you, they need to experience those consequences and if they’re not learning from that, then you need to get out of that situation.
Lisa: 08:28 So tell me how that transpired in terms of the next stages in your life.
Lisa: 08:33 I got a divorce from that husband yet I did not know what codependency was. I thought I needed a man. I thought “I’m in my thirties now, who’s going to want me?” I won’t really wanted kids at some point, and so I was in that situation when I met my second husband and unfortunately I was not in a healthy self-aware situation enough to realize that my second husband was a sociopath. And he did first what Sociopaths and narcissists do…Love Bombing. So if you have somebody who is like the ultimate person, loves every movie that you love, loves all the kinds of food that you love, showers you with gifts, early at inappropriate times. Like, you know, “Oh wow, this is going a little bit farther than I expected.” Oh, he must really love me. Watch out! Your radar should be up.
Lisa: 09:28 That’s an actual, an actual term for recognizing narcissists and sociopaths? Love bombing?
Lisa: 09:33 Love bombing is one. And so we met and then, you know, I found him at my house one day, I think it was like two weeks later, three weeks later, fixing my deck. I’m like, “I just met you and you’re fixing…”Oh, I’m just wanting to help you and fixing your deck. And from there it went really fast as far as him ultimately moving in within a few weeks. And then us getting married, etc. And again, it was a Love Bomb until you know, until you have that wakeup call. I also want to make mention here too…another early warning sign that we should pay attention to in addition to the Love Bombing as people who get you to feel sorry for them. And he had a story. His sister had died at age 12 when he was, I think she was 14, he was 12 and his mother was a pack rat.His father was an alcoholic. Left then…and you start to feel sorry for them and that allows you to overlook some other warning signs, overlook some of the things like he just up and quit his job. When he came over to my house one time and “I thought you were going to work until five or six.” And he was like, “oh, I just walked out. I didn’t want to work there anymore.” And at the time, having been in a relationship with an OCD person, I thought that was quirky yet refreshing.
Lisa: 11:08 And you know, I was burdened with conscience. You know, I was probably overburdened with conscience and somebody who didn’t have that. Wow, that’s cool. Little did I know he didn’t have a conscience at all and he would ultimately quit a job at least every six months if not sooner. I mean walk out! Just walk out and not even give notice. One time I even helped him get a job at this major company that I worked for in a call center and it was within one week, within seven working days, the supervisor called me and said, “hey, is your husband’s still working here?” And I’m like, “um, I don’t know, let me check.” So I called him up. “I said, are you still working here?” He said, “no, I had to check in and check out to go to the bathroom.I didn’t want to do that. I’m not going to do that.” And I said, well, did you give them notice? He goes, no, I just got up and walked out. I’m like, whoa! And then he started in on me, “don’t you believe in me? Why would you want me to be in a job like that?” And I mean just going off really trying to smoke screen. The fact that he just quit his job, walked out with no notice and left them in the lurch [Lisa: and without considering that it would reflect on you] and I was so embarrassed, but that’s what they do. They do some of these things that are just….you’re like, under the radar and yet affect you.
Lisa: 12:40 Where did it go?
Lisa: 12:42 Well, ultimately it was a tough, tough ten years being married. We had two children, two girls.Loved them! And again, I was going stick to it. I’m going to stick through this thick and thin, you know? Yeah, it’s difficult, Marriage. I thought that’s what it was. I actually tried to a divorce him four times and he would threaten to take the kids. He said, “I will take the girls. You’ll never see them again, and I know how to escape police.” And I believed him. “I know how to get under the radar and not ever, you’ll never find me” or “I’ll take one of the kids and you take the other one.” I’m like, no, no, no. Then I would always come back in fear of fear of my life or in fear of my kids’ lives. But one day my youngest daughter, she was seven, I believe. And she wanted to get on our laptop or desktop computer. It had a password and so I went over there to help her with the password and on the screen after I put in the password was his email opened up. And there was an email there from craigslist and it said “M4MF” and I kind of knew.
Lisa: 13:53 I’m like, I scooched her off the chair. I said, “hey, go play somewhere else for a minute.” And I looked and he was posting himself as a sex toy on craigslist and that was the moment, the very moment I said, I do not want my kids to think this relationship is normal. This is not normal. This relationship has not been normal for a long time. And I know that kids typically tend to repeat what their parents have done. And I don’t want my kids to get into a relationship like this for themselves. And so I started divorce proceedings, but I didn’t get out for myself, still. I got out for my kids. Now, that was what started it. Ultimately, I’m very thankful that I did but sometimes it takes getting out for somebody else in order to see the light. And from there I really realized how very dangerous a narcissist and sociopath is.
Lisa: 14:56 They are out to destroy your life! And he definitely did that.
Lisa: 15:01 What happened? Where did it go? Can you…
Lisa: 15:04 Yeah, well I’ll tell you some of the crazy stories. So the next day I went to an attorney and she said, “get that computer, take it to a forensic computer place”. Apparently there are these, these places. And they will verify that that craigslist posting came from that computer and his email address. I said, okay, went to bed on the way home I told my mom. And that’s the only person I told.I woke up the next morning, I came downstairs and the computer was totally gone. I mean there were dust mites in the shapes on the desk where the computer was. And he came in the room. He was storming. He was spitting and he backed me up against the wall and he said, “I know what you’re doing. I’m going to take the house. I’m going to take the kids. I’m going to destroy your job. I am going to take you down!” I was shaking, so I called my attorney and she said, yep, go file. Here’s what you’ve got to do. I went there and he had actually been to the courthouse 10 minutes before me to file, so he was the first filer. And so from there it was two long years of a very expensive divorce. Now, how did he find out? I discovered that he had put a bug in my car and he had been listening to my conversations for, I don’t know how long. He had been listening to my conversations. He tried to blackmail me. He put a keystroke logger on my computer and got every password. I was on some forums. I thought he had borderline personality disorder and so I was asking questions. You know, you go online and try to find some help and like what, what was going on? Since he had my password, he went in there as me, was giving people advice and telling them this and that.I’m like, What? I didn’t write that and so I took my computer then to a forensic place and he said, “oh yeah, you’re a keystroke logger on here.”
Lisa: 17:12 So how did you manage to keep your kids safe and get out in a way that preserved your sanity and your physical safety?
Lisa: 17:22 Yeah, well ultimately over those two years I kept trying to keep the girls away from seeing or understanding that craziness and I’d never badmouthed him, you know, I followed the rules. He did not. He did not follow any of those rules. He was very psychologically damaging, but he doesn’t care. Sociopaths and narcissists have no conscience.They will hurt their kids, they will hurt their friends, their family, they will even hurt themselves in order to get you.
Lisa: 17:53 What is that they want? what is the narcissist want?
Lisa: 17:55 They want to win. They want to win at all costs. Win in anything!Whatever it is that they’ve got on their mind right then.And so in the middle of this, I started, you know, when you’re in stress and especially a chaos like this, I mean this was every, every waking moment….I was worried for my lives, my girls’ lives. He broke into my house. Ultimately, a year into the divorce, the judge finally said, “you’ve got to leave the house.” So he was there. I was there for a year while we were getting divorced. He stole everything of the kids’ lives. All their scrap books were gone. mementos, everything. So a lot of psychological game playing, but when the judge finally made him move out, he snuck back in and cut the wires on our heater in the middle of winter in rochester, New York. And then he called Child Protective Services. And so luckily I had found somebody to fix it right away. Then we took pictures that it was sliced. It wasn’t malfunctioning. It was sliced. There were five wires that were sliced and the lady said, yeah, I’m sorry. This is sometimes this happens. I’m like, are you kidding me? No fingerprints or anything we couldn’t, prosecute him for anything. The bug in my car, the wire was too thin to collect fingerprints too. So I couldn’t get him on anything.
Lisa: 19:53 So I started taking a memoir class and every Friday I went to Writers and Books in Rochester, New York, and this beautiful woman taught us how to write our stories, our life stories.
Lisa: 20:06 And you already have a sense at that point that this is a story that’s going to be healing to tell. Or was it just…
Lisa: 20:14 No, I had no idea. I just knew he was telling a lot of lies. He was telling lies like, “oh, I’ve always been a stay at home father.” I’m like, well, no, we have tax records showing the kids were in daycare all year long for their life.
Lisa: 20:29 So I couldn’t talk to the girls then. They were young and it was inappropriate anyway. But I wanted a record of what really happened. And sometimes these folks, they make you think that you’re the crazy one. “No, you didn’t say that” or “I didn’t say that. You said that.”
Lisa: 20:29 Doesn’t that have a name too?Gaslighting.
Lisa: 21:23 And uh, and there’s a movie about that everyone should go and watch because you might see your life in that. So, you were confused… “did I really say that? I don’t think I said that.” And so I started writing. When things happened, I would write them down. Actually, since my computer was compromised, I would send myself emails and “here’s what happened, here’s what happened, here’s what happened.” And then I would write them up and a story and bring them every Friday to my class and we would read our stories and I would read mine and I had them laughing.I had them crying. They loved my stories. They loved him so much they invited me back the second semester on a scholarship. And I realized while I was doing that, that I was feeling a lot calmer. My brain was in a lot less chaos. I could see clearly the next steps I needed to take. And after that I started researching and understanding. There’s a lot of scientific evidence that writing your life story does help clear your head when you experience trauma. Like going through a divorce with a sociopath, your memorIes are stored in a different part of your brain. And you do have brain fog, and as human beings we have a huge capacity for pulling the wool over our own eyes. But when you write things down. When you have to find words for the hurts that you’ve experienced and have to find words for what’s happened to you something happens. And it puts those memories in the place where they belong, where they can’t hurt you anymore, and you gain a lot of clarity. People almost to a T tell me, when they start writing their life stories, they gain a ton of clarity. You think you’re clear on things. You know, oh, I know what’s happened in my life. You know it’s my life. When you start writing, you will be amazed. And so that class taught me how to do that, and then I did some research on my own. Ultimately the judge said, after two years, this is not right. It’s harming the girls. It is in the kids as best interest to allow you to move away. And normally you can only move one county over. The judge allowed me to move from New York to Texas where I had family and my attorney said, you know, what, know he can file an injunction or whatever that is. And so you need to get out of here quick. I was out of there in two weeks. I had friends help me put stuff in a car. A friend rented a rental car for me on my behalf and they sent me off on, on my way with the kids. I was out of there in two weeks.
Lisa: 23:32 You have to laugh because you’ll cry otherwise. Ultimately a month or two…no, before I left even, he had started dating his next victim and actually married her… and he wasn’t divorced from me yet. In fact, in the state of New York, the first person who files has to sign the paperwork in order for it to be final. And for a year I had to file bigamy charges against him because he was married to me and he wouldn’t sign the paperwork. So the police chased him down over the course of a year and finally got him in the office and said, listen, if you don’t sign these papers were taking you to jail. Bigamy is a felony. You will go to prison. So only then did he sign the paperwork again, hurting himself…because you know, why would you want to stay married to somebody that you just filed divorce on two years earlier?
Lisa: 24:25 And was that a control issue?
Lisa: 24:25 It was a control issue. Yeah.
Lisa: 24:29 So tell now the next part of how you got a taste for writing as a healing process and uncovering your story in words and prose and poetry… how did that deepen? Because this is the beginning of the path, which has been a very powerful for you and many other people.
Lisa: 24:51 Yeah, absolutely. So I started doing research on the psychology and the art of life storytelling and writing your stories and getting them out can actually boost your immune system if you can believe that.
Lisa: 25:07 And I wanted everybody to know! It helped me so much through that very, very tough time. I wanted everybody to know, even if you’re not a writer, you can write your life stories. This is not like your eighth grade english at all. So after doing a lot of research and putting together a proposal, I did classes at the local community college in Texas where I was at and loved doing that. I was teaching, you know, 10, 15, 20 people at a time. But I wanted even more people to realize this because everybody should know. And so I put it online. I started putting all my information online. I have a website, www.StacyBrookman.com, and I have a podcast. I started a podcast in 2015. That’s the one that you listened to with the prison professor. And I wanted people to understand how great writing can be.
Lisa: 26:01 Not only that, but hear stories of how other people have overcome traumatic circumstances in their lives, whether it’s a cancer diagnosis or a narcissistic partner or the loss of a child or whatever. There’s almost nobody that comes through childhood being unscathed from trauma. There’s some sort of traumatic circumstances and we can all benefit from writing that down. And so that’s where I shared the message and in fact I have a webinar every month where I talk about the four simple proven methods to writing the very first chapter just getting started writing the very first chapter of your life story in just seven days and that gets people started. Then I give them the tools to go to chapter two and beyond and, and keep on writing, but I just want more people to know how to do that.
Lisa: 26:55 I will post a link to the webinar in my show notes so people can jump in on that and take part and really get going on writing life stories because like you said, this is an opportunity for all of us to grow and in fact my episode #17 is about the power of stories, so this is going to be a really nice follow on along with a couple other people who will be sharing process for telling stories, telling our stories, deepening our stories, understanding our stories, but if someone’s listening to us right now in advance of going to the webinar, can you give a couple of points or how does one even start thinking about this modern writer? How do we begin?
Lisa: 27:33 Oh, you start by embracing your story and I have four steps. 1) Embrace your story 2) Enable your story 3) Enhance your story and then 4) elevate your story. And embracing your story starts with brainstorming a list of 10-20 milestones that you’ve had in your life. I was born. I was baptized in 1976. I was graduated. I got married. I got divorced. What are some other milestones in your life? If you can get to 20, that’s fabulous. The more you can get the better and that’s your first list. The second list is a list of desires you’ve had in your life. Like I had the desire to be a doctor that didn’t work out, but I had that desire to go to college. That was another desire of mine. The more you can get an all these lists, the better. If you can get to 10, that’s great.
Lisa: 28:28 And then a list of conflicts you’ve had in your life and if you can write it in a this versus that situation, like money versus spirituality, family versus work. What were some conflicts that you’ve had in your life and likely that’ll be a smallest, but again, the more conflicts you can dig up, the better. And this is just to get your brain started and you’re going to start coming back to these lists and comparing them and when you compare and you see what if there’s a theme across all three, then you have your life theme. And that’s when, back to the very beginning, I said I didn’t raise my hand and I was a shy child when I did this as at age 40, early forties when I took this class and I realized that my life theme with my conflicts and my milestones and my desires, my life theme was not raising my hand.
Lisa: 29:53 I thought I was a professional woman. I had a professional job. In fact, you I had to look good for my job and everything. When all this chaos was going on, he would turn off the water when I went to use it and then turn it on when the kids needed it. You know, crazy stuff like that. I eventually had to go to a grocery store nearby and use their sinks to brush my teeth, wash my hair in the morning and get fixed up and go into work. Nobody at work knew what was going on, but I was a professional woman and I didn’t raise my hand. And I was able to change that. I love, love, love that. You can change your life. So anyway, once you have those three lists and you’re looking across and you can see, okay, maybe here’s a theme, pick one of those milestones.
Lisa: 30:39 The second thing would be to pick one of those milestones down to the very moment in time. What was that moment that was the crux of that milestone, and write a little bit about that. What did you see at that moment in time? Where you’re sitting at your kitchen table? Was your grandmother frying chicken? What did you smell? What did you hear? What did you taste, what did you touch, and then what did you feel in your heart. And when you start writing down some of the little details of all of the senses, those memories start to come back and you start to remember more and more and more. And then the third step is to free write. Now that you have some of those details, you’re starting to remember when you start free writing, all you do is you set a timer. Start with 10 minutes at first, but if you can go to 30 minutes eventually, that would be great.
Lisa: 31:34 All you do is you take that milestone in your head and you take the senses, the details that you had started with and you start writing and you don’t take your pen from the paper or your hands from the keyboard. You continue writing without stopping. Don’t stop for punctuation, grammar, spelling, anything. You just write and write and write. If you get to the end of a sentence and you can’t think of anything to write, write “I can’t think of anything to write” and that jump starts your brain. And it’s going to throw out a lot of junk and that’s okay. Your grocery list, your you know, what you’re going to do for dinner tonight. Everything. It’s going to throw that out there, but eventually if you write long enough, if you free write long enough, you are going to get to those golden nuggets, those gems that are the real insights into that situation.And that’s what makes a great story. That’s really the crux of it.
Lisa: 32:36 So if someone goes through this process and comes up with stories that reflect their life and the difficulties the’ve faced, what do they do with them? I mean, I have to imagine there’s something….a couple of the obstacles I can imagine people facing are one, the idea of, “well, there’s nothing really important in my life” and I think that process is the way to get over that, right? Is to break down… But the next one would be, okay, well, but once I have a story, why? What am I going to do with it?
Lisa: 33:08 Well, first of all, it doesn’t have to be for anybody else at all. It is beneficial for you to write this out, no matter what. Second of all, is there some value there to pass down? What wisdom did you learn from the situations in your life? Is there a value you want to pass down to your family? So that’s another thing. And then to tell the truth, here’s what really happened in that situation as I saw it, right? You can tell the truth. So there’s a lot of variety of, of why you would write besides just for yourself. And then I always say especially with tough life circumstances, like the one I went through or like whatever circumstances you went through, what if there is someone who is just about to go through that same situation because you know the things we go through are not unique.There are lots of sociopath. There are lots of women who are married to sociopaths, trying to get divorced from sociopath’s out there. My situation was not unique. We probably all know somebody in a difficult relationship and it’s probably more difficult than you even realize, right? So what if someone could be helped by reading your story? What if they could shortcut their trauma or get out sooner by reading your story? Wouldn’t you want to help them through that? And so I always encourage people to share whether it’s in a writing group, whether it’s in a short story. A personal essay. It doesn’t have to be a full book at all. It can just be on your computer. It could be in a blog. Start blogging and start writing and just share your experiences. It’s easy to do and it might help somebody else. So yeah, I always encourage people to share. They don’t have to. It’s a little benefit to you, but I always encourage people to.
Lisa: 34:58 I totally agree. I think everybody has different level of comfort with self disclosure, but my episode that I mentioned earlier, “The Power of Story” talks about how people in the therapeutic world at the conference that I was at very recently all seem to be pointing to how self disclosure and authentic sharing of our own stories can be healing not only for us but for others. And I think you’re really affirming that.
Lisa: 35:24 Yeah, absolutely.Well, and the thing is, it’s, it is self reflection too because when you can think about, like I said, when you put words to what’s happened, you can start to see your part. Like my part was, I didn’t stop that. I can’t tell you how many stolen items I found in the garage after every one of his, you know, employment episodes, you know. I mean, it’s unbelievably big things. Like how, how could you steal a huge eIght foot granite desk? Like how could you, how did you steal that, you know, and I was embarrassed of calling them out and I didn’t and so…
Lisa: 36:08 So let’s talk a little bit more…I want to be respectful of your time, but I really appreciate that on your podcast, your early focus in the show was really dealing with resilience through writing and I know that the later episodes or you changed the name. You went through a branding change and now it’s called Real Life Resilience. Does it still focus on writing as the primary tool. Or have you expanded at?
Lisa: 36:29 Yeah, defInitely. I still believe writing is probably the one of the biggest free tools you can use. I mean, I would encourage anybody to go to a counselor, a therapist. They’re awesome. I had one to guide me through this, but if you don’t have the means to, writing is like the next best thing. Writing your stories and so, yeah, early on it was called “Write of your Life” because it’s all about your life and it helps save your life I believe, but some people were like, oh, I don’t like writing, etc. And it really is not about the writing, like grammar and punctuation at all. This is not your eighth gradeenglish class. It’s all about becoming a more resilient person and that’s what writing does, so I bring on people with all kinds of resilience resources. I just interviewed someone the other day who promotes meditation and I started doing the meditation app, Headspace, which I love. And meditation helps you also overcome trauma and being become a more resilient person. So I interviewed lots of a wide variety of people. Ultimately my focus is teaching people how to recover from trauma by writing their life stories, so that’s underlying it all, but I have a lot of people with a lot of different traumatic stories who’ve overcome those on my podcast.
Lisa: 37:53 I just love it. I highly recommend for my listeners to go on checkout, Stacy Brookman’s Real Life Resilience Podcast. You’re a great interviewer and your stories and your guests are fascinating and resilience is such an important topic and I do agree that writing is such a powerful way in and I love that you provide tools for us to use to have better access to to that skillset because it that it can be a little intimidating for some people.
Lisa: 38:21 Absolutely, yeah. In fact, on the webinar I give a several tools. One of them is the ultimate list of live storytelling resources that you can’t live without and over the years I’ve gathered like 30-something different resources and then also I have a free life storytelling tool kit, so if you hop on the webinar you can get that free live storytelling toolkit as well, which people love. It’s everything that’s in the webinar. It’s a workbook, worksheet. And you can and you can get started on telling your life story in just seven days.
Lisa: 38:55 Fantastic. Thank you for that. Are there other places…I know you’ve been doing a lot of writing on medium. Are there other places people can follow what you’re doing?
Lisa: 39:02 Yeah, I love medium. I’m on all the social channels. Facebook, pinterest. I love pinterest, twitter, but medium is so cool. I feel I can be free to write some of the more raw stuff there and it’s a little bit more edgy than on my website, so if you want to get some more edgy stuff, go on Medium. It’s a medium at Stacy Brookman medium.com.
Lisa: 39:30 All those things can be found through your StacyBrookman.com site. Right?I’ll link to everything I can, but before we wrap up, I have to ask you because it wouldn’t be the Super Power U Podcast if I didn’t ask you about your Super Power and the way that I identify Super Power is that skill set that has been with you all along, even when you might not have noticed it, but that if you review your life, it shows up again and again and again. And I’m wondering if you know, and some people don’t, by the way, what your Super Power is?
Lisa: 40:08 You know, I would have to say my Super Power is resilience.I have gotten through a childhood, my first husband with OCD, my second husband who was a sociopath. I’m survived all of that. So I would say, and I bounced back and not only bounced back but help other people, too.And I have now come to live a life of joy and become a more resilient person. So I would say yes, Resilience is my Super Power.
Lisa: 40:40 So just for the purpose of deepening into that a little bit, how do you define resilience?
Lisa: 40:44 Resilience is bouncing back from adversity. So we all have adversity, whether it’s getting a speeding ticket on the way home from work or you know, a failed project. Um, I mean I’ve had other businesses before. I’ve tried to do some side businesses and stuff they haven’t, haven’t succeeded and um, I tried to write a children’s book in my twenties and that failed and I’ve bounced back from all of it. So you, you bounced back from the things that happen in your life and the way I teach with writing your life stories, that’s different because when you have traumatic memories, you can’t just sweep them under the rug. Resilience is not sweeping your stuff under the rug and forgetting about it. It’s dealing with it. Making a better life out of that and moving on. That’s a great distinction. Thank you so much for your time, Stacy. Thank you for your expertise and for your story and for sharing what you know. I really appreciate your time.
Stacy: 41:48 Thanks Lisa. I appreciate all that you do and the things that you bring out into the world and to your listeners. That is fabulous. Thank you.
That’s the show for today. You can find links in the show notes at lisabl.com/28. See you next week and in the meantime be sure to head over to StacyBrookman.com and check out her free monthly webinar which will give you 4 Simple, Proven Methods to Writing the First Chapter of Your Life Story in Just 7 Days. Like Stacy says, life is a story…and it’s never too late to start telling yours.
Lisa: 42:13 Thank you for listening to the Super Power U Podcast. Please subscribe to the show on itunes. For more email@example.com.