CwL Ep100:  Love, Surrender and Success with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz

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When it came to a conversation worthy of the 100th episode of CWL, Lisa couldn’t think of anyone better than Amy Taylor-Kabbaz to share it with.

Listen in on this intimate, honest and love-fuelled conversation between two close friends as they discuss marriage, separation, new relationships, motherhood, surrender and what success and personal power mean to them now.

Access the inside world of two women who have been navigating huge life changes over the past two years and feel a stronger sense of self as a result.

This conversation is one you don’t want to miss.

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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here

Lisa Corduff:

Hey, it’s Lisa Corduff. Welcome to the podcast, where you can expect inspiring, raw, energising, and transformative conversations with people on the path of personal evolution. I’m here to really live my life. And if you are too, these conversations are just for you. I’m really glad you’re here. Enjoy. It’s always nice to be staring at Zoom when the amazing Amy Taylor-Kabbaz is looking back at me. Hi, Amy.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It’s so good to see you again. I wish we were in-person.

Lisa Corduff:

I know. I wish we were. Should we tell everyone the crazy meetup that we just had that?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Sure.

Lisa Corduff:

I was at an open for inspection and we were walking around this house, which the kids… I mean, it was very rundown. I think it was a rebuild, and I just hear this, “Lisa?”

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

For everyone listening, let’s just make… This is how random this is. I live in Sydney. Lisa lives in Melbourne. I am there for one weekend and my sister says, come to this open inspection with me. So I randomly walk into an open inspection in Melbourne one Saturday afternoon. And I turn around and guess who else is at the open inspection? Lisa Corduff. We both looked at each other. Everyone in the room was just staring at us because you and I both like…

Lisa Corduff:

We’re a bit loud.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

… oh my God, are you serious?

Lisa Corduff:

Why am I looking at you in the flesh? What is happening here? Because you’d said, I’m sorry, I just do not have the capacity to see anyone do anything beyond the family stuff this time. I totally get it. I was with my sister too.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yes, that’s right.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah, and the three children, but that was just so freaky. And then yeah, I mean the universe needed us both to give each other a hug. We invited it in. Anyway, that was funny. That’s the last time we saw each other in person. But the time before that, I can’t even… I feel like what? Would it have been one of the mastermind retreats?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah, it would’ve been March 2020.

Lisa Corduff:

Yep.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Right before we all went into lockdown. Remember, was it February or not?

Lisa Corduff:

It’s Gold Coast. It was February. Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

February 2020.

Lisa Corduff:

Cheapest.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But let’s also just let everyone know that doesn’t mean Lisa and I don’t talk to each other all…

Lisa Corduff:

All the time.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

… of the time. All of the time.

Lisa Corduff:

Right. When I was thinking about this 100th episode of conversations, I actually recorded a solo episode. Just some reflections on where it had been, what this last two years were. I got myself into a total muddle because I actually kicked this off in December 2019, which was just a few months after Nick died and I was ready for a new conversation. I was ready to do something, shift things up. I felt the end of the food stuff.

Lisa Corduff:

I wasn’t motivated about doing things under that small steps like whole food stuff anymore and really my showing up on the podcast in 2019 was kind of woeful. I invited in this new energy and so I recorded this solo podcast and I was like, you know what? That’s just not what I want to do for this 100th episode. I started this podcast so I could have interesting conversations with interesting women that were honest, that brought a level of depth that you can’t sometimes do on your own. We always go further together.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

We do.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah, today I just said, “Amy, are you free to help me talk about this?” Because something that we’ve been talking about lately is what it has meant to be a woman showing up publicly through not just the COVID years, but some years that for you and I both personally have been, I mean…

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Crazy hard.

Lisa Corduff:

I just didn’t have the words. I didn’t have the words. But like I didn’t even recognise who I was four days ago, let alone two years ago. But there was the second episode that I did was about personal power, which is really interesting because I actually think this whole time has been an exploration of that topic. How do we feel in ourselves? Like what does feeling powerful mean to me now as compared to what it did back then is such an interest thing to think about, like for you, what would you say personal power or feeling powerful? What does that invite in to you now that you’ve been through so much that is different to a couple of years ago?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Well, if I reflect back at that time when we were last physically together, other than the random house inspection, I really, I was in a version of my personal power.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

100%. I don’t look back at that version of Amy and think, well, that wasn’t powerful at all. No, no, no.

Lisa Corduff:

No.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It was.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I was in a space and time in my life where I had worked on myself a lot. I had really up levelled the way I looked at myself, what I believed about myself, what the possibilities in my life were. Just a few years before that, I was in a very different place. I was in a place of not really believing I could be who I wanted to be. There was this dream of perhaps I could do this work, perhaps I could leave my role at the ABC, perhaps I could have these opportunities, but the space between where I was and who I needed to be was really big.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So there was a few years period, and it was a lot of work with you. You and I went through all of this a lot together. There was a lot of period of me really changing the stories about myself, backing myself, making big brave decisions, stepping out on stages, both metaphorically and physically. And so when I think about February 2020. Yeah, and I look at those photos of when we gathered, she was powerful that Amy was powerful. She had done some really amazing and things, but the power I felt was attached to success.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It was a, I achieved my goal and that was really lovely feeling like that’s a juicy, addictive feeling to feel like you’re smashing it and you got there.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Then the rug was pulled out from underneath me. And as you said, this is not a COVID conversation, although nothing can be discussed over the last two years without COVID. But for me personally, just a few months later, I discovered that my husband and partner of 20 years was having an affair and that was the beginning and the end of my relationship. Then just a few months after that, my eldest daughter started the hardest time of my life with a mental health struggle that really brought me to my knees. I can’t even start talking about it without my voice getting wobbly just was the most challenging thing I’ve ever been through. What happened in that moment, Lisa, and I know you feel the same is that all of the power that I had felt began to change because A, I wasn’t able to show up the way I had been in my work and I had attached my success to how that felt.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And B, there was now so much out of my control that had nothing to do with me, physically, my thoughts, my actions, this was about the people in my life. Circumstances and situations out of my control, things that I really hoped would never have happened, happened. And oh my God, that is not a powerful feeling. And so I think the conversation that you and I have been having over the few days is what is this new definition of personal power? Because actually it is more powerful than ever than what we’ve done over the last two years, you and I, but it’s not as obvious, it’s not as sexy, doesn’t have as great a feeling as that opening your emails and see that you’ve got 200 women signing up for your programme. Like that stuff feels good.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

This power is like, oh, do I have to be powerful in this?

Lisa Corduff:

I know, but do you know, this is where I feel like the biggest change has happened for me is I feel powerful when I exercise my choice to surrender, to not being able or it being too much. I feel like that is one of the hardest things for me, because all that other stuff, all those external little pieces of validation and successes are like an addiction because it numbs out the harder stuff. And for me, I totally had that pattern of high functioning my way through trauma.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yes.

Lisa Corduff:

And that has been something to learn, and now, like I see this, I see my power in recognising that there is an option for me in small ways because I still have to show up for my kids every day, I still am showing up for work, but there is this leap like admitting to myself, I’m not okay. Admitting to myself, I need more support, admitting to myself that something’s come to an end.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

That is powerful. That is like it’s for me more, it’s like in a knowing and I still battle between all the different parts of me that compete for wanting to be the top dog and that part of me that wants to keep going no matter what, but it’s powerful to recognise that we could exercise a different choice.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I love the way you say high function your way through trauma. Oh my God, yes. And as you know, I work with moms all day, every day as you do, and this is so what we do.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

We high function our way through incredible amounts of trauma and stress, whether that trauma is COVID or a miscarriage or struggles with your kid, with your marriage, whatever it is, we just keep on going at that highest level. And when I reflect again, that first 12 months, that 2020 was high functioning my way through trauma, and you know what? It worked.

Lisa Corduff:

Right. There’s a place for it.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

[crosstalk 00:11:55] awful scary thing is.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes. Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You can do it.

Lisa Corduff:

Yep.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So you’ve proven to yourself, you can do it and it works, shit gets done, you get results, but you know what? That’s like running on a motor that has only a certain amount of fuel in it and it’s just going to stop eventually, and 2021 for me was running out of fuel.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. I know you get this all the time. I get this all the time from my community of like what a great example of someone who is showing up and no matter what, or keeping on ongoing. And I always say to people like, oh, I escape. Like, and I think also just really taking my time sharing before I share the story of what happened to Nick. That took a lot to get to the point where I could share even what I shared, which was, I mean, superficial in lots of respects, but what I could manage and gave me a lot of freedom to be on the other side of that. But I didn’t rush that, I didn’t show up like there’s been lots of ways where I actually haven’t shown up and I can actually be super hard on myself for that.

Lisa Corduff:

I think, hear this out, I’m talking to, I mean, you just have to run into someone at school drop off and they’re talking about, especially the moms of really young kids, I think, but so much was taken out of all of us this last few years. And we are all having to do this, showing up, keeping going, like suddenly we can have people in our house, we can entertain so we should, and the kids can be in all the things so they should, and it’s just back to that same thing. And it’s like right now is the messy middle of processing the trauma, but there’s no ability to high function for people.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Right.

Lisa Corduff:

Because we’re out of gas, yeah. And so while, and I have no tolerance or no willingness to go back to that level that I know, yeah, it got me something, but it was not sustainable. I feel like we’re just in a different place. Is that what you hear from your community too? Like, even if we wanted to, it’s kind of hard to high function at our way through this right now, the depletion.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Well, that’s right. We actually don’t have the resources to be able to high function it anymore. But the problem is that we’re still expecting that of ourselves, because we think…

Lisa Corduff:

Have internal dialogue. Yes.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That’s right, our internal, and you and I spoke about this and I think it’ll be really beautiful to share this for a moment. We were talking about how, so I’ll talk about my example personally. Someone recently has said to me how much they admire, how much I’ve kept showing up over the last two years through everything and similar to you, in fact, this podcast is the first time I’ve shared publicly what happened in my marriage, so it’s taken me. I’ve never mentioned that before.

Lisa Corduff:

Wow.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But if I was going to start talking about it with anyone, that have to be you. I feel completely safe with that. But to have someone say to me what a great job I’ve done, but to have my internal dialogue say immediately straight away, just to be completely honest with all of your listeners, my internal dialogue said, are you kidding me? I haven’t shown up at all. I think this is what we are really struggling with is that it’s like, everyone wants to say to you, you’ve been through so much over the last two years, you’ve had to parent in a global pandemic that has never happened before.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Look how you’ve kept your job, look how you remote learnt with your kids, look how you did all of this, but we can’t take that on because internally we are like, yeah, but I never exercised for two years. I’m doing this. My job sucks. My boss hates me. We haven’t got at this, blah, blah, blah, because we don’t feel like we’ve been in our personal power. We don’t feel like we’ve done a good job. So you know what? Everyone around you can say as many things as they like about you. But until we start talking about this ourselves like this, it’s not going to land. I think for me personally, that’s the hardest part I’m struggling with right now is I know what I’ve done is phenomenal to keep a business going, to be able to still provide for my kids through all of this, to keep showing up the way I have is if anybody else was telling me this story, I’d be like, ah, are you kidding me? That’s amazing.

Lisa Corduff:

Amy, you’re amazing. You are.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Thank you, beautiful. But internally the standards I used to keep for myself are not possible anymore. Like you said, I’m also not interested in those standards anymore, but I’m in this messy middle space of, I can’t be who I used to be, this is who I am, and this is more than enough, I just have to accept it. And it reminds me so much about what we talk about with Matrescence, with this transition that we go through when we become a mom, I can’t be who I used to be, but I don’t know who I fully am and how to do this yet. So it’s this pull in the middle of us and I think we are doing that, trying to go back to normal post COVID. But inside of us, we’re like, we’re depleted, we don’t have the resources, we haven’t been able to keep up, it hasn’t felt good, and I don’t know how to do this anymore.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Yep, I totally agree. And on what you were saying at the beginning, that internal dialogue that just doesn’t allow us to recognise, it’s pretty amazing what you have been able to hold together. I mean, it was really one thing after another, like the biggest kind of things and here you are and how unfair it is that, that little voice inside our head is like, you could have done better, Amy.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That’s it.

Lisa Corduff:

Amy, like Amy, really, what are we celebrating here, all the Netflix bingeing that happened?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That’s it?. Because that, I call it the inner mean mama voice. I mean, this is what you teach so beautifully in your work. It’s the stories we tell ourselves. This is why you change women’s lives, Lisa, because you shine a light and this is what you did for me all those years ago, shining a light on what I believed about myself. Here I am, again, another opportunity to really look at what am I telling myself? And sometimes that voice says, do you know how much Netflix you’ve watched in the last six months? And if you’d used that time more productively than blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you’d be a multimillionaire by now. And you know what? It’s just not true because the only way we can move through these traumas, whatever your trauma is that you’re listening to right now and you’re thinking about is to create space for us to slow down and process it because it’s like, surely we’ve gotten to the point now where high functioning our way through trauma is not an option anymore.

Lisa Corduff:

There’s safety in what we know and sometimes, it literally feels unsafe for me to stop. And working my way through it, keeping on showing up for the podcast, finding ways, but like it’s my safety zone. And actually at the moment, our nervous systems want to feel safe in any way. So there is this contradiction between moving into a new way of being embracing what we know is true for ourselves right now, and also disrupting that kind of what feels easy and safe.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah, because what used to work for us is not necessarily going to work for us now.

Lisa Corduff:

No, no, it’s just not, and isn’t that confronting? And sometimes we have those big life moments, a marriage ends and you’re like, there is this lion in the sand of that was me then and there is so much, there is so much that goes along with it. I mean, there is so much processing there but it is this kind of moment, it’s clear, whereas what’s happened, I think, for us all, as a collective the last few years is just this kind of like continued incidental, just build, build, build, build, build, can’t go back, but not sure what is.

Lisa Corduff:

It’s not even the same as having a baby, like there’s the you before the baby and then there’s the you after. It’s like, at what point did things actually… At what point did I become someone who was questioning how I wanted to spend my weekends instead of just spending them in the default way that we were always doing it? And what does that mean for me now? And what do I want for my life? And hang on, living in a city, but is that still the best choice for me and the kids? Like that sort of big stuff but I don’t know how it happened because it was just this…

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah, incremental…

Lisa Corduff:

… prolonged, prolonged.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yes.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

If I may share a story about my daughter, and I want to preface this by saying, I have permission from her personally, to share some parts of what she’s been through. Everything I’m about to say she would be completely okay with me sharing, but in the process of supporting her over the last 12, 18 months, I had a conversation with one of her team that is supporting her. And this psychiatrist said to me, Amy, when you look at what she has been through in the last two years, there is now a core belief that nothing stays the same and things can change in an instant, from her parents separating to the very tragic death of one of our closest friends that really rocked her to the fact that birthday parties are cancelled. At the last minute, we booked flights to Melbourne six times in 18 months and never got on a plane.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Every single thing in her life in her developing teenage brain was proving the world is not safe. You can’t rely on things, one day, you think it’s going to be one thing and it’s totally not. Now, in her mind, that’s a very scary thing and is obviously exacerbated by mental health issues. But I think that summary fits all of us. If this had only lasted a few months and then we all went back to normal, I don’t think those big dark traumatic questions would be here. But the fact is, is that we can’t rely on anything. And that’s one of the big things that I really struggle with the ending of my marriage is that marrying someone is the biggest leap of faith and buying into your dream ever, like this is it for me. And when that’s taken away, you’re like, well, maybe all my dreams can be taken away. And similar with COVID, similar with all of these things, we’ve got this, I feel like there’s an element of doubt that hasn’t been there before, and that’s a bit scary at once.

Lisa Corduff:

For women like you and me kind of committed to big goals who see the possibilities, who enjoy that stretch and really knew, well, I just accepted that if I worked on myself, that I invested in myself, that if I learnt enough, grew enough, was in the right rooms, blah, blah, then anything was possible because it was up to me.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lisa Corduff:

In many ways, yeah, that’s still true. But there’s a behind me that looks at a lot of women online these days and life hasn’t really handed them a shit sandwich, yet.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I love that you’re putting yet. I love it because there’s yet.

Lisa Corduff:

We’re all going to eat shit at some point. It’s coming, but there’s this other element to personal power that I think I’ve realised, one is it’s going to get wild out there and in a lot of ways, the only thing that we can ever rely on, not that person lying next to us at nighttime, not literally anyone, everyone’s going to die.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Like we are alone in so many ways, but I feel that a part of my own becoming, I don’t know, who I am right now is a embracing a collective power leaning in to community, friendships, relationships that are nourishing. I used to build that self sufficiency that I’ve got this, all I need to do is keep bright, keep optimistic, keep hopeful, and everything will be okay. I mean, I think Nick dying kind of pulled that rug from under me.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Because like the actual worst thing happened, like what the fuck?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

He really did die and I really am still bringing up my kids without their dad here. Like still blows my mind. But then, the COVID stuff too was like, oh man, I can have the best intentions. And 2020 was meant to be the year we got out on the road, the year of in real life stuff, because that’s what fills me up. I still don’t feel confident enough to hold a live event. I want to organise all the live events. Amy, I want to be with people. I want to hug them and sniff them and be in the room, but I feel unsure, like I have that doubt.

Lisa Corduff:

Yet, the thing that has sustained me the most is my people and less like, so when I used to say personal power, it used to mean like within me, now I think I’m independently powerful. This is a word that I feel sort of sums it up. As an independently powerful woman who stands sovereign in herself, I also know that I have this amazing network around me that can help sustain me when I’m not okay. I mean, we lean into each other all the time. That is power. That reminds me to be hopeful. When those things, that doubt that kind of creeps in, can I really do this? What do I even want to do anymore? Why am I still recording these podcast episodes? Two and a half years later, what is this? I have ways in which I navigate things and it doesn’t all rely on me and it doesn’t need the perfect circumstances for me to be able to feel powerful.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I could not agree more. Sorry. I couldn’t agree more. My definition I’ve been playing with lately around personal power, around success is I want to be able to show up when I can and step back when I can’t and have others hold that space for me, that is my absolute definition of what I want in my life now. And that’s both in my business, so I am there for the communities that I build every single time I possibly can. But when I can’t, this was huge for me hiring other coaches to step in when I couldn’t be there. I still apologise for it until they start saying to me, Amy, we actually get a lot out of hearing from different coaches. Like that’s actually a really good learning opportunity for us. I’m like, really? That’s going to be a win-win situation.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But then also in my personal life, like I can’t do this today, messaging you, messaging the other women that are on massive speed dials on my phone. Like, what would we do without that app? Literally saying, I don’t know how to get through this today, I’m overwhelmed today. It’s just this, as you said, it used to be so fiercely self reliant, independent was powerful. I could show up even when my life was falling apart, that was my definition of success. Look at me, I’m still organising a Zoom while I’m in the hospital emergency room, like that’s what I thought was.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That’s what I held up as the definition of strength and power. Now, I know the most powerful thing I can do is send a message to someone in my team and say, “I’m out, this is where I need to be right now, please step in for me.” Like that has been one of the hardest lessons of my life to learn.

Lisa Corduff:

Like a practise for me, a real practise for me, even just this past weekend, I was feeling so rotten and I still felt so uncomfortable when my boyfriend came home, came here after work on Friday, ran a bath, get in the bath. Like after being sick before, and he wasn’t well, when I was sick that time too. And I was like, I’m just going to have to actually maybe be explicit about what I need, what would feel good to me when I feel sick and I feel so deeply uncomfortable sometimes doing that, but it’s actually a huge relief for him to know, okay, this is what I need to do, then I can do the things, and he just did the things.

Lisa Corduff:

I actually laugh at myself a lot of the time when I see myself in it, I mean, mom came up and was just helping out with washing and just getting things moving on Saturday. I’m like, you don’t have to, you can just seriously stop, just sit, go to bed and just stop. And so I welcome it in, but there’s still huge resistance. Like it’s crazy how deep this runs and I’m someone who I think I’ve got it, and then I realise…

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… it’s a practise.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

This is such a huge hangover from the feminist messaging that we grew up with. I am, of course, a feminist and will bow in gratitude to all of the work that the women before us have done to give us the opportunities that we have now. However, the pendulum swung so far that relying on a man, relying on anybody, slowing down, just being a mom, resting, anything like that, stepping back from opportunities, saying no, all of that was made to be so bad. It was so fiercely independent is what we needed to be. I hope, I mean, these are the conversations that I have with the women in my communities and I know you as well, like we need that pendulum to swing back a little bit into the centre.

Lisa Corduff:

Yep.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

There has to be a place where we are in the middle and this is the personal power. This is the independent woman. She is unto herself.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes. Yes.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But she doesn’t block receiving.

Lisa Corduff:

No. You know what? That is the biggest thing, isn’t it?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

It’s just being able to receive. I mean, I’ve explored many, many topics on conversations and had such interesting conversations. But I think for me over the last few years, learning about the feminine and masculine has probably opened me up more than anything else and human design, I would say other things.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah, isn’t it funny? 100% that ability to open, soften, receive be treated like a queen, be adored, adore ourselves, adorn ourselves, all those things, that has been the biggest learning. I think that is a key back to the pendulum swinging.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I agree. And this shows up not just in our relationships, but in everything, how we work.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Even just a mutual friend of ours, a girlfriend messaged when I had COVID a few weeks ago and was like, I’ve got some extra bolognese, I’ll drop it over. I messaged back saying, “Oh no, no, that’s okay, you did that for me at the start of the year. It’s now three months later, you live 20 minutes away. No, no.” She messaged backs and said, “Are you kidding me? I haven’t done that much for you. That was three months ago. I’ll be there tomorrow at 10:00 AM.” I was like, “Oh, that’s out of your way.” She wanted to give that to me. That was her way of saying, I’m thinking of you. You’ve been through a lot. Are you okay? I’m like, no, no, I don’t want it. I won’t receive it. It’s too much. Like this is what we do in all areas.

Lisa Corduff:

Crazy.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It is crazy. And that’s what this feminine and masculine is all about is to realise that the feminine receives, it is this we receive into ourselves to be able to then give back out. I mean, we hear it all the time around motherhood, put your oxygen mask on first, blah, blah, blah. But it doesn’t sink in, I think, until you really look at that dance, that polarity between the masculine and feminine and basically that we were taught that the masculine way of doing things is the ultimate way. It really is time. The thing is we’re not going to be able to rebuild ourselves after the last few years, without going into our feminine. It’s just impossible. If we don’t start letting those walls down, letting ourselves off the hook, starting to accept help, love, someone running a bath, someone helping in the kitchen, whatever it is. If we don’t do that, we’re not going to heal from what we’ve been through.

Lisa Corduff:

I find it so refreshing on that, the conversations that I’m having with people I’m bumping into at the cafe or at school pick up and stuff like that. I feel like there’s just an honest that women are bringing to the table now that maybe didn’t exist before like a real… Yeah, I’m buggered. How are you? I spoke to a friend yesterday and she was saying, we’re talking about this being the first term for kids in Melbourne for two years, that has gone uninterrupted, first term for two years. And so my youngest first ever full term, because this is her third year of school. And she’s like, yeah, yeah, that’s crazy. And then I said, no, well, not for you, because you just did two weeks in lockdown because they all got COVID and she’s like, oh yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And she just found out that someone in her family has pancreatic cancer. And it’s like, I can’t, nothing, I can’t do this. I just had a parent teacher interview yesterday morning and the beautiful teacher was saying, yeah, she’s really exhausted at the end of term, at the end of term one and so are the kids. And then she just found out her stepmom has cancer and she started crying. Now, I don’t think that would’ve happened. That level of vulnerability, people just saying, this is a bit much for me. She was saying, but she was like, I think I might have to take a day off. I said, what do you mean? Like, why are you even here? Go home. What do you mean you think you might? But it’s a busy time at end of term, like bloody hell, what’s wrong with us that we just feel like we have to power through?

Lisa Corduff:

Most of us are getting to a point where just little things going wrong is throwing us off kilter, let alone big life stuff. I just think the more we can be honest with each other, the less that we try to keep up this facade, that is the biggest gift that we can give to each other as women always. We’ve both always been about that. Like let’s not hold up some weird image that these shits all taken care of because we’re all just finding our way.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Sorry, there’s someone like dancing out in front of my front door. I can hear them going. We love you. That’s what it sounded like.

Lisa Corduff:

Someone sent you some weird like…

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I will receive that for my neighbour, but I’m going to receive that in that moment. Okay. I really hope this is the beginning of a revolution around this because I think that there is no way that workplaces can ignore the reality of the life of their staff anymore. We’ve been on Zooms, men and women with the kids in the background. We’ve seen…

Lisa Corduff:

That’s so humanising.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yes. We’ve seen everyone’s kitchen. We’ve seen them mute and then accidentally forget to mute and they yell at their kids. Like we’ve seen all of these moments. We can’t pretend we’re machines anymore. The way that we work was formed in the industrial revolution where it was all about machines and you just go and you press the button and it’s a factory production, and we still think we can do that. But we are not just pushing buttons anymore, this is now critical thinking relationships, interconnection between each other. We’re needing our brain, our creative ideas, all of it. That’s not a machine. We can’t do this, like this anymore, but it’s not going to change from the top down, it’s not. It’s going to have, have to be like any of those beautiful revolutions in our history, like the women’s movement, like the black lives matter. It’s going to start with the ones that’s affected the most.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Probably the mothers is my belief and we are going… It’s like the picket line in the Vietnam war where you sit down on the ground and you say, hell no, we are not going, hell no, we won’t go. It’s like, we have to start saying, I’m not… As you said before, I’m not interested in this way anymore. And the more we all are honest with each other, whether it’s the teacher, the school gates, conversations like you and I, we have to, even though it’s scary to admit, I’m not being that productive, haven’t done what I said I was going to do, not coping. We have to, this is surely, Lisa, this is what this time is about is that we have to change the way that we’re showing up and be honest with each other, that we can’t do it like this anymore.

Lisa Corduff:

Well, I think that, that is power these days.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It is.

Lisa Corduff:

Just ripping it back. Not pretending. I think so many people pretend that they’re okay and they’re just not okay. I know of three people personally, in the last two days who have sent emails to bosses who are now saying it’s time to come back five days a week and they’re asking for that to not be the case. Is there not a way we could make this more flexible? And that’s what you mean about like the top. They’ll just people like the people who it serves will want to keep things going.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Well, it’s a machine. It’s a machine that’s going to… It’s like the Titanic, it’s going to be hard to turn it, but we have to, otherwise it will sink. I mean, the stats are phenomenal. It’s called the great resignation. It’s happening here, the UK, the US all around the world, where they’re just not go… We’re not going to do it anymore. This is what I want that internal dialogue to remind me of when I’m judging myself or when someone says, gee, you’re doing a great job and the internal inner mean mama voice is like, no, you’re not.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Compared to the hours you used to work, look what you’re doing. I find great comfort in reminding myself of that global perspective, like this is what we are all going through. There is a purpose to this that the more I can be honest about what has happened and how I’m coping and how I am showing up, the more I’m going to change this for my kids. Like let’s remember that the personal power in this is also that we’re a part of something here and by [inaudible 00:43:44], rest is an active revolution right now, like saying no to these things is a part of what we need as a global community. Silence that inner voice that says you are not productive or you are not successful or you should be doing better because it’s not okay anymore.

Lisa Corduff:

Can I just ask, I mean, you and I almost dinosaurs of the online business world, when did you start your blog?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I started blogging before I was making any money out of it. I started blogging when Greta was born. She’s 12. So I blog for the ABC first about my experience of motherhood.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It was called the Mummy Monologues.

Lisa Corduff:

Wow. I did not know that.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yep.

Lisa Corduff:

How did I not know that?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

12 years ago, my boss, my fantastic boss at the ABC in Adelaide. It’s like, I can see you really wanting to do something around motherhood. How about there’s this thing where we write blogs, do you want to try writing a blog for the ABC about motherhood? And it went really well and then I started a personal one. Then I started coaching and supporting moms in 2013, 2014.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Yep. I started my blog in 2012 and then launched Small Steps to whole foods in 2014.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah. So we’re exactly the same timing.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah, that is awesome.

Lisa Corduff:

We are tots awesome, that’s why those, the women who are like, yes, and you can do all the things and it’s fire and it’s like, I love that energy. I fed off that energy. I was that energy probably for a long time, but I feel different now and I embrace that. I think it’s good to have a more nuanced approach to things. But just in terms of what we’ve done, I often think about it as almost like its own form of protest. As in, when my kids, like when my youngest was little, I felt like I had a year, she’d turned one and then I was going to have to probably go and find work or I was going to have to make some money from what I was doing online. And I wanted to create something on my terms. That’s the kind of person who I am.

Lisa Corduff:

I don’t like getting told what to do anyway. But the last few years, there has been an exclusion of other women choosing to not go back to corporate, not go back to what they want to do. And you and I both actually work to support women who are choosing to create their own businesses. I was just wanting to ask you when people come in and do Mama Rising and they learn how to teach Matrescence and hold women’s circles and do all that sort of stuff. Do you feel like that’s you also doing your bid in terms of like the feminist movement, but that is also handing a woman, her own torch?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Absolutely. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And just like you shine this, like you are light now for other people and you get to do on your terms? Like I reckon that’s cool.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I do. I do feel like that. Part of what we talk about in Mama Rising is the maternal wall, which is what the experience that women have trying to balance work and family and more women will run into the maternal wall way before they hit the glass ceiling.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

There are so many more opportunities in our day and age for women to progress, but they choose not to. They opt out, they lean out, they step sideways, they go part-time, they look at that and think, yeah, maybe in five years, but not right now because Johnny doesn’t start kindie for another two years, so I’ll stay in my part-time job. This is, it’s a very real factor for a lot of the women that come to work with me now is that they have run smack bang into the maternal wall. They do not see the opportunities, they don’t feel good at work, they don’t feel like they’re making a difference and they can’t do it in the hours that they want to do it.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And so by choosing to create a business, whether that’s as a coach, as a yoga teacher, as a doula or however they want to do it, it is taking their power back. It is personal power. It’s opting out of a system that doesn’t support them and tells them that they basically have to work as if they’re not a mother. The mother is if they don’t work. I do, if I’m completely honest, I hold that responsibility too heavy at times. That is the one part that I still really need to work on myself for being all honest here. I find, I want that for them so much and I know what it has taken for me to get here.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I know what it’s taken for you to get here. It’s a mixture of massive amounts of commitment, massive amounts of mindset work and energy work and learning and failing and picking yourself up, the most phenomenal amounts of resilience, and so I hold this space so tenderly and I hope honestly, because I also think one of the things we are really done with in this day and age is this promise of the one formula. Ah, I mean, I think that’s why something like human design is so powerful because it helps you realise that I’m a generator I can get up and work all day every day, as long as I’m doing something that I love, you, Lisa, I’m not a generator.

Lisa Corduff:

No generator in me.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

No. Your energy will work differently than mine. You’re all about, oh, and that energy and oh, and sorry, and that idea and this person and this, da, da, da, da, and you need to work like that. And so I think where the online business space should be heading, and I hope this is what’s happening in more areas than just where you and I at is that this, again, this masculine patriarchal idea that sign up for this, follow these three steps and you will be a millionaire, that has to go now.

Lisa Corduff:

We’re so done with that.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

We’re so done with that, and it is such a toxic lie. It actually makes me really angry, because it doesn’t work. And these women, ah, it just makes my heart explode. These women are taking such a brave step. They’re stepping away from the system that doesn’t support them. Don’t lie to them, don’t say that you can just do this three thing, three stage thing and then you’re set. This is a huge, beautiful, brave commitment to really build something. But my God, it requires the whole of you and let’s just be honest about that, I think.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh, and there’s sometimes where I’ve just wish that I could just go and someone will pay me to do a job that I don’t even have to think about use any creative energy for, because sometimes I don’t have it.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

I need to bring it. And I think you get really good at honouring your own needs when your livelihood relies on your energy, feeling clear and all of those things and that’s what I felt frustrated by in 2021.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Like I just couldn’t access that part of me and the start of 2022, to be honest, to work so hard on it, but you are right. I mean, all of that old school sort of, I mean, a lot of people call it bro marketing, but people love it because people do want a silver bullet, if only we could believe.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lisa Corduff:

I mean, there’s some of that stuff that has actually really helped. There’s things that I’ve learned that I’ve been able to apply. But if you go into it thinking, this is the thing, if I do the thing, oh my goodness, Amy, yours and my businesses and the work that we do in them, like the role that we have in our business is always going to look totally different because of our different design.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Exactly.

Lisa Corduff:

I know that sometimes people look at me and they’re like, how does she, why is she, why can’t I? Don’t compare yourself to me because what I’m bringing to the table is completely different to what you are bringing and it should be different. Like why are we all trying to be cookie cutter? Our actual role in this world for anyone, whether they’ve got their own business or not is to just like, don’t you think, oh, we’ve just lost perspective a little bit on just giving ourselves permission to be who we are. I feel like that’s what bringing up kids is giving me perspective on again, is like, gee, they’re unique.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Gee, that should be celebrated, gee, I am too. And gee, that should be celebrated.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I think building your own business is the greatest classroom of learning to know thyself.

Lisa Corduff:

It’s a fast track to…

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Know thyself. You can’t hide from yourself…

Lisa Corduff:

No.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

… when you’re building. You cannot, it’s you and it’s you, and it’s just you and it’s still you. And you know what? You can sign up to work with a coaching, you can sign up for a mentor, you can do the bro marketing courses, you can do all of that. And as you said, you learn a lot, but in the end, it’s still you. I know you know Dr. Kristy Goodwin really well. I think you’ve probably had her on your podcast as well as we all have, but Kristy and I used to call it, we were in a Mastermind together. We used to call it our Woolworth days where we messaged each other and say, God, I just wish I worked at Woolworths today. I just want to stand there and be interested in what other people’s groceries are and clock out and the money lands in my account every Thursday. Like that just feels so appealing to me today.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Because you don’t have to bring your whole self to that, but then Lisa, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Lisa Corduff:

No, neither would I.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

This has been the greatest growth other than being a mom, building my own business has completely transformed who I am.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I would not be this person if I’d stayed in my job, I wouldn’t be. But once again, it’s just honesty, we need to say to each other, yeah, it’s great, this is what I’ve built, but this is what it was like.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Just like, we need to be honest about our COVID depletion, motherhood, whatever it is, just no more shiny remarketing of life.

Lisa Corduff:

No, I know, it doesn’t serve us.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Okay.

Lisa Corduff:

But it’s also deeply unsexy. Isn’t it? Amy, just thanks for being you. Thanks for being my friend. Thanks for being amazing in the world and a true shining light. You really, really are. And anyone who ever works with you or comes your orbit is just lucky. Thinking that I could celebrate a 100 episodes of conversations, having a juicy conversation with you is just so perfect. I love you so much.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I love you too. And the support you’ve given me over these years is just phenomenal, but I want to remind you that I remember you saying to me, maybe two and a half years ago, I think I just want to have a podcast that’s just interesting conversations, Amy. It’s like, I was thinking maybe the happy hour with Lisa, but then… Do you remember this?

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And then, that’s associated with alcohol so I don’t want to do that, but I just want an hour of chats with my favourite people and then here we are a 100 episodes. So I just want to celebrate you and those beautiful messages you send me and those crazy manifester ideas that you have, and then you follow through with them. And then here we are a 100 episodes later.

Lisa Corduff:

I’m just going to have a moment to celebrate both of us because it is a brave thing to do to create something from nothing, and then to sustain that. I think we can both be really hard on ourselves because we can see all the potential and all the ways we could do things better. But it has been a tricky two years for you and for me, and we’re still here in whatever shabby form. Yeah, you actually looked fabulous today. In fact, is that the same thing that you wore to our event in Melbourne?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I think it is.

Lisa Corduff:

Yep.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Okay.

Lisa Corduff:

That’s special and anyone else who is literally still standing after all of this, whatever contribution you are making to the world, it’s to be celebrated.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You’re still here. That’s personal power.

Lisa Corduff:

Hurrah to us all.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

To us all. Thanks beautiful.

Lisa Corduff:

Thanks Amy. Hey, before you go, I want to let you know that our brand new 30 day audio experience is live and available for you, if you would like life to feel easier, little bit more spacious, little bit more time for you, little bit more calm instead of feeling like you’re on this crazy treadmill that you just can’t get off and never feel on top of the to-do list and there just seems to be more and more and more on your plate. This is really going to help.

Lisa Corduff:

30 days, 30 ways to make life easier is a step by step guide to making your life feel more manageable. I can’t wait for you to go and check it out, do that right now via the link in the show notes. Hey, if you are enjoying the conversation, then it would mean the world to me. If you head over to iTunes and give us a rating and review, it really makes a difference. And it’s my intention to get as many of us involved in real conversations that really change the game as possible. Thanks so much for your help and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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1 Comment

  1. Adele S on April 12, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    Lisa has tremendous insight and always delivers her stories and findings in a way that keeps you wanting more. Rich and true, there is no fluff. There is always a whole lotta heart that doesn’t need to be rehearsed or polished, it is as it should be. She is like the friend you go to who always knows what to say, gives good advice when you thought noone would understand you. These little gems stay with you and her workshops will help you go deeper to significantly improve your life. She is living proof that you can get through difficult things and enjoy your life authentically.

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