LC - Lisa Corduff Rebrand 2023-06

CwL Ep 152 – Am I profiteering from his death?

LC - Lisa Corduff Rebrand 2023-19

In this episode, Lisa shares the complexity around sharing the story of her former husband’s death. 

Not knowing when to share, what to share, and whether to share was an issue for her for a long time. 

You’ll hear about her journey from committing never to tell the story, to experimenting with her voice, to claiming her own story and honouring him in the process.

If you’re someone who has a story to tell or shares content online, then you won’t want to miss her Live Workshop this coming Tuesday.

For details and to register: Click here

Harvest recording here

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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here.

Okay, it’s actually happened. It’s that stage before Easter where it’s a slippery slope, right? I mean, I don’t know if I’m the only one who’s feeling this, but I bought the hot cross buns on the weekend. I’ve made it this far, and then just yesterday I bought the little solid Easter, Easter eggs, a little packet of them. I’m pretty good. Usually I don’t actually eat that much chocolate and sweet stuff, but my goodness so good. Anyway, just wanted to share. I’ve literally just downed two of them before recording this, and it’s just reminded me how much, I mean it literally, it tastes like childhood to me. Easter eggs, my mom still gets us a Humpty Dumpty, which I just love so much. Anyway, that is absolutely not the topic that I’m talking about today on the podcast. I wanted to share a little bit about something that I get asked about often and some of you may know.

I am teaching my workshop again. I actually, I ran it last year and it was really, really well received, and I’m doing it again next week. It’s actually called, no One Cares about your stuff, and it’s for people who create content. It’s for people like me, but I wanted to share something for everyone today around this area of visibility, and in particular, I guess just a little bit of an insight into some of the trickiness that I’ve experienced over the years in knowing what elements of my story to share publicly. It actually has been really tough and continues to be tough. I think I’m a person, I don’t think I know. I’m a person who is always up for the juicy kind of conversations. I was talking to someone yesterday, he’s like, yeah, you really don’t mind going deep. And I’m like, yeah, no, I love it.

I am very surface level in lots of different ways, and I love having a laugh and keeping things light, but I mean, if you want to go there with me, let’s go there. I talk in my real life about my real life and about deeper topics all the time. I am surrounded by friends who enjoy doing that, who are all kind of, I guess, growth oriented and seekers. That’s just who is in my life. And so sometimes it’s like I need to remember that I am sharing things with people who don’t know me and who are receiving it in their own way, and not everything is meant to be shared.

I mean, I remember someone once saying to me, Lisa, you have to give yourself permission to let it be okay that you draw the curtains. Just see it as a opening the curtains and wear on, and then you get to close the curtains and have your real life. Because I was feeling really conflicted about not being genuine and authentic when they’re really core values of mine. I felt like I was just pretending to be a certain person because what was happening in my real life, I couldn’t talk about. I wasn’t even sharing with family and friends what was happening in my own house, and yet I had this really public business, like a public persona, and I loved that she shared that it actually made so much make sense for me at a time where I wasn’t clear on my boundaries. I’ve gotten far clearer over the years.

I have absolutely no problem not sharing all the things. It actually feels like a really, almost like an immature kind of response now that I look back on it. But there is, I guess for me, what’s happened is there was this moment in time, and I’m sharing this really, I guess so you can have a sense of the process, but also for other people who are sharing themselves and their story online. I know there’s lots of you here, and I hope you’re coming to the workshop next week. I’ll pop the link for that in the show notes. It’s actually, it’s not easy to figure out what to share and what not to share, and I have had many a moment of going, wow, probably should have put a little bit of a pause between writing that and then posting it because there can be this sense of exposure and vulnerability that comes with that.

And then of course, there’s the times that I’ve shared about orgasms and sex, and I’ll have my family calling me up, can you please not do that? And then a friend says, well, speaking to blah blah at the school gates, and was like, wow, did you see what Lisa shared? I’m like, oh my God. Oh, women are so terrible talking about sex. We just need to normalise it Anyway, whatever people can have their opinions. I am now getting used to the fact that there are people who see me very often throughout the week who watch my stuff on social media, and that’s a little bit strange, and it’s also my job, so get over it, Lisa. But when it came time to talking about Nick’s death, so I mean even just announcing our marriage separation, there was no information at all about why that had happened, why I was suddenly living with the kids on my own.

I had not said he’s gone into a six month sober house. I then had to tell everyone that he’d died and I still couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t even be honest at his funeral about what happened because there was a level of protection going on still amongst a lot of people from his family that didn’t know the story, and I did not like that, and I had to accept it. But then I realised that this story wasn’t for the public. It’s just that what ended up happening was that I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t my context.

I didn’t want to be showing up outside of an understanding of even just why I was teaching what I was teaching or how it had helped me through my life. I guess I wanted a level of understanding from my audience, all of me. And the tricky thing is, and I think this is what a lot of other people who create content find tricky, is that my story involved Nick’s story and my children’s, but we’ll come to that in a second. And the issue that I had in the very beginning was that I realised that everyone was very, very interested in what happened to Nick. Humans hate open loops. We want to close the loop. What happened? There was a huge sense of curiosity. I mean, I remember I googled my name and we would just, you do it sometimes for marketing purposes and all that sort of stuff anyway, and I just saw Lisa Koff death of Nick, Lisa Koff. How did Nick die? Lisa Koff husband, death India, and people were searching for information. People just wanted to know what happened. It was a really confronting moment, and I guess there was this part of me that felt like I

Almost like it would be good for business for me to share this story, and so I didn’t because it felt very wrong to think that something so fucking awful would be seen as used as profiteering or something like that. I didn’t want anything to do with that at all. And so I just didn’t say anything. I just tried to keep going, business as usual, and I felt like that was the commitment I made to myself. I wouldn’t talk about his death. I wouldn’t talk about his story because nope, I knew what would happen. And it’s true. The most listened to episodes on this podcast are episodes called The Story So Far, and there’s a part one and a part two to people are curious about our stories. And obviously I did get to the point where I felt like I wanted to share something, and even those podcast episodes are quite superficial in nature, and I needed to be ready to do that because the thing I think I ended up realising is that it wasn’t his story that I needed to share. It was mine. And my story involves being married to him, having children with him, loving him and losing him to addiction first and then marriage, separation and then death.

I cannot exist outside that context, and I decided I didn’t want to be someone who did. I had to claim the story as my own in a really empowered way, and that’s when I wrote Harvest at the start of 2023, and you can go and listen to that story now. We recorded the Brisbane event, and it was a big moment for me to realise that there’s nothing, I don’t think he’d mind that I claimed this story that I share about my grief, that I celebrate our love and his life in the way that I do. I always do it in a way where I know my kids might end up going back reading all the stuff from my business, or they just really won’t because they have me and they know me and we talk about things all the time. Anyway, I shared in a way that made it mine, and I think this is the power of claiming our stories and sharing them, and I love that I have figured out a way to navigate it all because while in the beginning, it felt far too raw and exposed and out of full respect to his family.

It wasn’t something that I was going to be splashing around over time, and I mean, it’s been four and a half years since his death, which is wild. I have needed to claim the story as my own, and he’s such a big part of my story, our marriage, our relationship over those 16, 17 years, it made me, it forged me. It enriched me. It did all the things. It was so all consuming, and I am really proud of the way in which I have just step-by-step allowed myself to experiment with sharing aspects of the story. It’s really not easy. And so when you see someone online who is revealing a part of themselves, and it’s not that gross forced vulnerability that you can see through a mile away, it’s actually taken a lot of courage, probably a lot of therapy, or at least the good stuff has and time and energy, and I love helping women do this now.

I ran a programme for the first time this year called What’s the Story? And one of the weeks in that we delve into their story and who they are as a woman, who they are as a business owner. It was really such a powerful session, and I’ve got a new round of that coming up, so make sure to reach out. If you don’t see information about it, I can let you know, and I can’t even tell you what happens and the ripple effect that happens when we do share our stories. I had no idea. I had no idea, and it has actually fundamentally changed how I do business and what I believe is necessary to create value actually in the world. People just want real, but to get to that place, I’ve often wondered if Nick didn’t die, what I would’ve done, how I would have navigated all that, what my business even might’ve become if I was still protecting him. I always feel like he would be fine with all this because we were actually recording a documentary. I’ve got stacks of little clips of things from the early stages of recovery because we thought we would be sharing the story of his recovery success,

And it’s just very sad that obviously we haven’t. But talking about addiction and alcohol and all of that, I feel actually is honouring his legacy.

I feel like being honest as a woman about what it feels like to be married to someone who is in active addiction is a service to those partners who are struggling. So silently, every time I share anything to do with it, I get messages from people. It is really, really hard. And so experimenting with my story, experimenting what feels okay to share, what felt like maybe a little bit too much, what is helpful and honest has been a real journey in my own healing. Obviously, you don’t do what I do without self-expression being a big part of who you are. I mean, obviously, right? And how to navigate murky waters with that, how to find the ability to express in respectful ways, in ways that protect you, someone else, your children. It’s a whole thing, and I think that’s why I see the power that it has when you do, and that’s why I love now helping and empowering other women to do the same.

I think our stories really, really really matter. And I think with the children, I’ve actually started a substack recently, and I’m really enjoying thinking about what can be taken off social media actually as I’m in this stage of my life, my kids enter their teenage years and actually creating a paywall for subscribers content just like, hang on. Not everything is for everyone, and where is a space? I could have more intimate conversations and share about the things that maybe might rile up the women at the school gate as opposed to women who are interested in going beyond the superficial stuff. Anyway, so you can go over and subscribe at my Substack if you like. There’ll be free content there, but then there’ll be other content that isn’t for the wild west of socials, and obviously for people who don’t want to miss stuff, because a lot that goes up on socials that if you bloody post at the wrong time of day or use an image instead of a reel, then people won’t see it.

Oh my God, it’s exhausting. I really just want to write for people and have them see it. So Substack felt like a good idea Anyway, I just wanted to share about this a little bit more openly and also give permission to anybody else who is thinking about sharing their story or something that they’re really passionate about. Just permission to go slowly and gently, but also bravely, because I could never have imagined the impact that my story and Nick’s story was going to have on people. It feels like the best kind of service, and I don’t have to teach anything about it. I can just tell the story. And the story is what heals the story is what opens a gateway to something inside people that they may not have realised or acknowledges aspects of them and their life that they have felt really lost amongst. So anyway, if you want to know more about storytelling and the power of storytelling and how to do it, I would absolutely recommend that you jump into the next round of what’s the story? And if you’re curious about how I do things more, then come along to next week’s workshop. No one cares about your stuff. I mean, literally no one does. There’s so much out there at the moment. But anyway, I’ve got a lot to share on that kind of thing, and I will see you in the next episode.

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