CwL Ep78: Checking in with Sam Sutherland – Part One

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Back by popular demand is Lisa’s friend and all ‘round superstar Sam Sutherland!
In this catch-up Lisa and Sam discuss how Sam is feeling after 107 days in lockdown in Sydney.

Sam shares the things that have been triggering an anxiety that is unusual for her and what helps in these situations.

Lisa and Sam talk honestly about not feeling at the top of their game and the importance of ‘shared humanity’ to help us when we’re struggling.

Honest, insightful and funny – Sam is a true treasure and this conversation is not over!
Tune back in next week for Part Two!

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Prefer to ready? 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.

Lisa Corduff:

I’m really excited to welcome someone back onto the podcast who, when I recently asked on socials, “What do you want to hear more of?” People were like, “Sam Sutherland. Sam Sutherland. Your friend, Sam.” That was such a great chat. I’m like, “Maybe you should just all go and listen to Sam’s podcast.” I think it’s because she’s outrageously entertaining and delightful, but also honest and real and unfiltered. And I think we all appreciate that. I think at the moment, I’m just feeling the need to check in with my expectations of myself at this end of 2021, and just check in with some friends, see how they actually are, have some real conversations about what the hell just happened. Honestly.

Lisa Corduff:

So Sam, you’re in Sydney and you co-parent your young child who’s done a lot of home learning. For people who are listening from overseas, Sydney had a really extended lockdown in 2021 and you also run your own consulting business. So it’s a lot, there’s a bit there. There’s a bit. You do have the beach, but life is a lot. So, welcome back to the podcast, Sam.

Sam Sutherland:

Thanks for having me.

Lisa Corduff:

How are you?

Sam Sutherland:

I’m pretty good-

Lisa Corduff:

So like, how are you?

Sam Sutherland:

How are you? This is the thing. Our default answer is, “I’m good. I’m good.”

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Everything’s good. Yeah. I mean we’re out of lockdown, so yeah, everything should be good.

Sam Sutherland:

But one of the reasons I think we’re talking is because you asked, what can we talk about? And I was like, how about my anxiety? And so, I’m good. And, oh, I actually almost already feel quite close to tears. The overwhelm of the last year is catching up.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Yeah. And I think this is something that has caught me by a surprise, even though it shouldn’t have, a level of fatigue. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells because at any moment the kids could just be quarantined at home after getting them finally back out there. Things feel heavy for me, a bit heavier than usual. You’re a naturally optimistic person.

Sam Sutherland:

Yeah. Yeah. And also would agree that things feel heavier. I don’t know that eggshells thing, because our new Premier is not going to lock anything down. So I don’t have that fear of things going back to normal. I mean, there are other concerns with him obviously.

Lisa Corduff:

Obvs. So tell me, where is it coming from with you? Where is the anxiety coming from?

Sam Sutherland:

So my son went back to school last week. And I was like, “I’m going to be kicking goals, getting so much done.” And I kind of collapsed a little bit, and I know you did too. And I kept everything ticking along and, of course, had plenty of moments of joy and all that kind of stuff, but I’m finding it very hard to feel like I’m doing enough in my business, which is a bit of its own, that feeling of, “Am I doing enough?” I think is shared by many people, many women especially, across many different areas of our life. And for me, it’s concentrated in my business at the moment.

Sam Sutherland:

Then I have been in that overwhelming exhaustion. I think I’ve been doing habits that are the kind of habits that take you away from yourself instead of back to yourself. And so that has not been helpful, like scrolling social media, just being messy with the habits that I put in place to help support myself. So, staying up too late, all the kind of things that we do. And I’m just tired. I think I’m tired.

Lisa Corduff:

Right. And Lisa Carpenter always says, “A tired mind is an asshole.” It’s so true. It’s so true because I feel tired, I just went and had a blood test today because I think my iron has dropped again, because I just feel really overly lethargic. And when that starts to happen, it infiltrates everything.

Sam Sutherland:

It does.

Lisa Corduff:

And I can just spiral a bit more than, and I mean, okay, so here’s the thing before I go into that, when I hear you talking like this, what I’ve been sitting with myself over this last, literally just couple of days, because Monday, we’re recording this on a Wednesday and my kids had their first day, all three of them back at school. I had an empty house for the first time in months on Monday, then it was Cup Day yesterday so everyone was home again. So I’m literally just only easing into this.

Lisa Corduff:

And I’m so exhausted and I feel like my body’s doing this massive exhale of just having held on for so long. And you know what I struggle with the most? Is just allowing that to be the case. Just allowing myself to feel shittier than usual in my body, in my motivation levels, in my just sunniness, I don’t know, just in all the things, not being able to bring it in the way, so I call it bringing it. And then I started to just go, “Well, imagine I just surrendered into this, just being this stage.” And I might not feel like socialising like everyone, it feels like everyone’s out there doing really fun things. I’m like, “Actually just don’t have the energy for that.”

Sam Sutherland:

Right. Well, even that, I have been out there doing all the fun things and loving that aspect of things being a bit more back to normal, but what I noticed was that, so in Sydney, school just went back and it just went back for everyone so we didn’t have the staggered approach you guys have had. They all just were back at school last Monday. And at the same time, almost everything unlocked, and it was like overnight, there was suddenly five times as much traffic, [inaudible 00:06:59] park, there’s people everywhere, there’s a million things going on, there’s activities every night, kids activities are back on. And so we went from this really overwhelming, exhausting, high stress, et cetera, et cetera, what Sydney was locked down for 107 days just now, and we went from that straight bang back into normal life.

Sam Sutherland:

And in fact, I did the research on the impact of COVID on working women, which I talked about in the last podcast we did as well, and one of the positives that people talked about was the fact that things were quieter. And so there’s less activity, there’s no FOMO about going out at night, there’s just less stuff going on. You can just focus on your family and being together and that overnight went. And so everything picked back up, and so we’ve gone back into a really fast-paced life with no recovery from this really long, exhausting lockdown. And we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, it’s not like it’s over. There’s still people dying every single day across the country and across the world. And so there’s also fear a bit with opening up and what that means and what might happen. And, “Is my mum going to get sick or kids are going to get sick now they’re back at school?” But then also, “But now we’ve got to go to tennis lesson and swimming lesson and do the party on the weekend and then the birthday party and then the other thing.”

Sam Sutherland:

It’s like we went from one type of hectic to a different type of hectic just overnight with no recovery. And I’m getting physical symptoms in my body that are coming out because of just the tiredness and stress, and I’m not sleeping particularly well. And when I said, “Let’s talk about my anxiety,” I feel really anxious about a number of things and anxious is not my normal state at all. So I think people, if they have, I don’t know what to call it. I feel like people have a tendency towards anxiety or depression. Some people obviously have both. And I would say my tendency would have previously always been towards depression. If I was going to have a glitch in my mental health, the robustness of my mental health, but now I’m feeling really anxious.

Sam Sutherland:

And the thing is, it’s distracting too, because then I’m feeling anxious and I’m doing non-soothing activities to try and soothe myself, like scrolling Instagram, which doesn’t do anything to reduce your anxiety. And that’s distracting me from doing work, say, and then I feel anxious about my work and it snowballs in the wrong direction a little bit. So I feel like I’m in that place today.

Lisa Corduff:

Do you know what is causing the anxiety? Or is it just this overall, just in this state? You’re just not-

Sam Sutherland:

I would say, yeah, that. It’s like I’m in this state at the moment where that is my response to things, feel anxious, rather than, there’s a big thing that’s happened, or even an identifiable thing that’s happened, right? So it’s like, and things are feeding it that, well, one, that I should not be… So stuff like the housing crisis in Sydney, right? So we’re on track to be the biggest increase in house prices in Australia ever this year. And I’m feeling a bit like I’m going to be locked out of the market forever, but what I’m doing a little bit at the moment is like, “Oh well, maybe I should explore it.” And I’m getting lots of emails from agents because as soon as you look at one thing, you just get emailed from all of them.

Sam Sutherland:

And then I’m getting targeted with articles about how we had a five and a half grand per week average price increase this year in Sydney. And then that feeds the anxiety. And then it all is like, I feel like I need a bit of a total reset to step away from everything, but when do we have time to do that? So I suppose the question, and maybe this is partly what we’re going to explore is like, how do you find that reset in this hectic life?

Lisa Corduff:

This is so crazy that you bring up that word reset, because literally this morning I was walking back from dropping the kids at school and I was just walking down the street and I feel a bit the same. I did a healing thing, not this past Monday, but the one before. It was like a releasing. And it was literally release, write down everything that you release, every part of your identity, your life, all of the things. Imagine none of it was there and you were starting from scratch. It was so intoxicating to think about that on all levels. I’m releasing living in Melbourne. I’m releasing just having a business. I’m releasing it all. It’s just all like, “Wow, what is left there?”

Lisa Corduff:

And then as I was walking this morning by myself, which is still just so great, I was thinking about, what are we going to continue carrying from this year that we can actually release? So what are we so used to worrying about now? What are we so used to being on the look out for? How has life, because I think here in Melbourne too, it’s been two years of this and it’s like, I know that I’m not my normal character, so what am I holding onto? What needs to be released just in my every day? And I was like, “You know what? I just feel like going back to the old small step stuff. Just where can I start? What’s one thing that I can do for myself?” Yesterday I made some homemade cookies. It felt really nice to just do that, a new recipe, healthy recipe, of course kids did not like them. I used tahini in the recipe and they’re like, “I don’t understand. Why does this taste funny? I don’t like it.” Far out. Anyway.

Lisa Corduff:

But it’s like I said, I was like, “Oh.” And I was talking to Mel about it on my team, I just feel like maybe everyone’s at this point where we just need to simplify everything and go back to the basics. What doesn’t stress my brain out? What is good for me that I just need to remind myself I can do now or that I might have space for? But it can’t feel hard because so much has felt hard. So much has felt like a slog. So it needs to feel spacious and inviting and not too hard. And that was all the small step stuff.

Lisa Corduff:

I said, “Oh, I remember when I created the Easy Kitchen Reset,” which was kind of exactly what I’m feeling I need. And she goes, “You literally have a product called the Easy Kitchen Reset. Where is this thing?”

Sam Sutherland:

“Where is it? I need it?”

Lisa Corduff:

“Give it to me. Give it to me.” I’m like, “Yeah.” There’s a reason why sometimes when everything gets too much, I’m like, “Okay, what’s the simplest thing I could do to just help myself in this moment and release all the… But you actively, I actively need to get into that head space.

Sam Sutherland:

Totally. Same.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes, yes. And I actively need to move my energy. So I mean, I do things like kinesiology and body talk. I’m wondering, we just were saying it before, the things that you know help you in these moments, what are they? And are you doing them? And what’s stopping you?

Sam Sutherland:

Yeah. Yeah. Those are good questions. I also just want to comment on a couple of the other things you said just now, if I can. So one is, for anybody who’s listening and feels like, “Oh, my brain isn’t even working properly anymore,” and this feeling of like, “I just need a total reset.” There’s actually research that is showing that people’s ability to retain information, learn new things, all that kind of stuff has been affected by the pandemic. So this period, a long period of increased stress is physiologically affecting people. It’s neurologically affecting people. And so if you feel like that, you’re not alone. This is a studied phenomenon that is happening to people. And so also I really like, Lisa, that you were talking about really simple things you can do, because we need simplicity right now because we’re recovering from a global collective trauma. And researchers know that actually our brains aren’t working as well right now, and so pick a thing that’s super simple.

Lisa Corduff:

Joe, from my team, shared that they’re doing studies at universities, I think Harvard is showing that people are asking questions, people are retaining 15% less. They’re not rocking up to exams able to retain things. They’re asking questions that it’s like, “Hey, we covered this or that’s 101 and we’re here at 301. So what’s happened here?” So it is an actual thing, which is a fucking relief. Can we just be honest? People aren’t alone and that’s why I’m having these conversations on the podcast, because I think we need to just normalise the abnormal right now.

Sam Sutherland:

Yeah. Yes. The other thing that I just really want to acknowledge as we go into this conversation of, what do I do that helps me and why aren’t I doing them and all that kind of stuff, is the privilege that we’re assuming in this conversation. So one of the things that really helps me that I’m not doing is acupuncture and acupuncture costs money and not everybody has access to or the financial means to access things like acupuncture. And I just really want to acknowledge that too, that we all have to do it from where we’re at and some of us, like you and I both, have a huge amount of privilege in the way that we respond in these circumstances. I just feel like that’s really important to acknowledge in this moment as well, because the pandemic has disproportionately impacted low socioeconomic income people and people of colour and they’re also the same people who have less access to the exact things that will help us as we move forward.

Lisa Corduff:

Also to say on that, I had already in place mental health support. So I’m not someone scrambling to try and get a place with a therapist or stuff like that. There is also a very, very real shortage of support that people are struggling to get the help that they need.

Sam Sutherland:

Yes. And then on that note though, I think some of the things that we’re going to talk about are also accessible to anybody. And so my response will have some things that are very privileged in my access to them and some things that are less reliant on that privilege.

Sam Sutherland:

So, to answer your question. What are the things that help me and am I doing them and why or why not? So one is swimming in the ocean. And so, you know that already and I probably talked about this before, I swam in the ocean every day for a whole year when I was trying to change my life. It was actually Denise Duffield-Thomas who mentioned it to me, not mentioned it, but we went away and we swam and it had rained and so the water was cold. And I was like, “I don’t care, I’m going in anyway.” And she said, “I bet if you swam every day for a year, it would change your life.” And I was like, “Well, I want to change my life.” And it started that day, a year of swimming, which I remember as well being day 150 in or 200 in, and I still had hundreds of days to go and realising what a huge commitment I had made to do this challenge.

Sam Sutherland:

But by then, people were invested. I’d been posting about it on my Facebook and people were asking, “Are you still swimming? How’s it going? I want to see the post.” All this kind of stuff, so I put up my reflections of things that I learned or thought through the swimming as well as photos of sunrises and stuff. But so, ocean swimming has been a big thing actually during lockdown. In fact this lockdown, I started. So that year of swimming, sometimes I just got my head wet. It wasn’t anything about distance, and this lockdown I’ve actually started swimming quite long distances.

Sam Sutherland:

So I’ve swum Bondi to Bronte a number of times. So I swam Bondi to Bronte and back to Bondi one day, which is a five kilometre swim. I’ve never swum that far. And I also still often go down and just dip my head under. And almost every time I do that, especially when I’m doing it for energy movement reasons, I call upon guardian angels to support me. I will say a little mantra or say a little prayer or ask for support from the universe. And I find that a really grounding thing. And one of the things I said during that year of swimming is, whatever energy you take to the ocean, the ocean has bigger energy and so that is still true. You can take anything to the ocean and it will take it for you.

Sam Sutherland:

And I think that there are other places we can do that. Grounding in nature in any way, any access to nature, even just putting your feet on grass has that effect of grounding you in a slightly different way and changing your energy a little bit. Another one that really makes a big difference for me is all the energy work. So you talk about that too. Kinesiology, acupuncture. I have an amazing acupuncturist who I just booked in with next week and I’m doing an energy healing session tonight. Meditation is a free form of energy healing. So-

Lisa Corduff:

Totally agree.

Sam Sutherland:

… one of the issues is that some of these things take discipline and will power to enforce them. And sometimes we don’t have anymore of that. We’re too tired to make ourselves sit down for 10 minutes. But I think that the effort to do it is well worth it. And even if you only do it when the whim takes you, you’ll still get the benefits of that. And then I think that you have the energy for it more and more the more you do it because it just has such an amazing impact. So meditation when I can force myself to sit down.

Lisa Corduff:

Do you listen to guided-

Sam Sutherland:

… Sorry?

Lisa Corduff:

Do you listen to guided meditations?

Sam Sutherland:

I don’t anymore. I just do silence. I’ve done a lot of meditation over my life, but I used to use the Headspace app. So in fact, I used the Headspace app for a long time, guided meditations. And then as you progress through, you can use different ones and then they have a one that takes you to more and more silence. And then I realised I was paying all this money for the Headspace app to listen to silence so I got rid of the app and I just did silence.

Sam Sutherland:

But also I find that meditation has such a big impact. So let me just tell you a little story. Last weekend, I went to Wollongong, which is an hour and a half south of where I live, and we were going to meet some of my boyfriend’s friends, they’re all Latin American. No one can make plans. Timing means nothing. And so we were on the road and then I realised he was wearing shorts. I thought we were going for a barbecue. And I was like, “I don’t have swimmers with me.” And he’s like, “Yeah, we’re going to the beach.” It’s like, “Well, you gave me a terrible brief because I thought we were going to a house for a barbecue.” So I didn’t even have swimmers. So I was like, “Oh, that’s kind of annoying,” but we were already too far, I was like, “It’s going to take us half an hour more on the trip to go back and get them.” And so we just kept driving.

Sam Sutherland:

And then we got there and the friends were a 15 minute drive and a 15 minute hike away from where we were. And my boyfriend was like, “Okay, we’ll wait here and you come here.” And so I was like, “Why don’t we use this chance to go and get swimmers?” Went to Billabong, it was shut. Went to David Jones, turned out it was just a David Jones food court. Went somewhere else. And I got back in the car after that and I was like, “I’m a little bit grumpy now. I just need a minute.” And then I somehow meditated in the car and I was literally thinking, “Breathe in love, breathe out frustration. Breathe in love, breathe out frustration.” My eyes shut. And then he [inaudible 00:23:08] the car and went and found a place for me to get swimmers. Hilariously of course, we never went for a swim because it wasn’t actually a thing at the beach.

Lisa Corduff:

Of course.

Sam Sutherland:

But in that moment, 10 years ago, I would’ve been awful to be around because of that. I would’ve let myself get in a massively bad mood. I would’ve let it take me for a ride. I would’ve been rude to him and either not spoken probably about what was going on or attacked. Whatever I would’ve done, it wouldn’t have been mature and it wouldn’t have been a positive thing and it probably would’ve just ruined the rest of the day because you have a fight over it, right? And I actually thought, it’s pretty annoying, but I don’t want to ruin the whole day. What’s the point in that? Who benefits from that? Nobody. And so this meditation, it was such a great illustration of what a difference it can make because it was 10 minutes and then I was like, “Okay, I’m fine. I can be fine now. I don’t need to hold this-“

Lisa Corduff:

This is why they call it a practise because that’s why we have to do it even when we’re feeling good because-

Sam Sutherland:

Yeah, then you have it to call on when you don’t feel good.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Or that just doesn’t happen that you’ve never meditated before and then you sit in a car in a really grumpy mood for 10 minutes, breathing in love and breathing out frustration, that just wouldn’t have had an effect if I expected myself to do that without any prior practise. Meditation, do you know?

Sam Sutherland:

Oh, totally. Yeah, exactly. One of the things about meditation is that the first thing that happens is all the noise gets turned right up. And so if you’d never meditated before, well for me, if I had never meditated before and I was sitting in the car trying to do that as my way of anger management, all that would’ve been happening is for the entire 10 minutes, I would’ve been like, “I can’t believe this is happening. This is ridiculous. Why can’t anyone make a plan? Why are we doing this? Why didn’t he even tell me to bring my swimsuit? We wouldn’t even be in this position.” And those thoughts would’ve just amplified because for me, and this is probably part of the thing to do… Oh, this is helpful because this is a bit like a free therapy session where I can verbalise all the things I need to talk about and probably make a change.

Sam Sutherland:

But when I get stuck in my head, that’s the worst place for me to be because I start to ruminate on stuff, things amplify into what’s something that’s not even there, and I think a lot of the feelings of anxiety that I have at the moment are actually really rooted in the future. So we were talking before we hit record on this about how I have a bit of anxiety in my relationship and I don’t know how much of that is his behaviour and how much of that is, for example, this is the first serious relationship I’ve had since I got divorced. It could be 100% that, but if I spend too much time just thinking about whatever makes me anxious in my relationship, then all it does is make it bigger. And it gets harder and harder to not feel anxious about it and to just connect on a more normal way. And then if you’re not connecting because you’re busy feeling anxious, then that snowballs that as well because then you don’t feel connected to them and that’s true for anything.

Sam Sutherland:

So the property thing that I was just talking about, if I’m spending a lot of time thinking about it or reading articles about it, well, I’m not buying a house tomorrow, it would be probably better for my mental health to have no view of property anything right now because all it does is amplifies this feeling of anxiety. And then it’s the same with, so financials around my own business. And so you’re constantly making sure that the business is bringing enough money and checking that you’ve got a pipeline of where it’s going to come in from next. And I’m a single mum like you are and so there’s no support if there’s not enough money.

Sam Sutherland:

And there was one night when I woke up in the middle of the night and I started freaking out about money and I was like, I added up how much I thought I was going to make this half year and I was like freaking out about it and I was like, “This is never going to work. How am I even going to survive on this?” And I was awake for hours in the middle of the night. And then maybe the next night I was talking to my boyfriend about, because he knew that I was awake a lot that night, and I was like, “Yeah, because I was so worried about money.” He was like, “Well, maybe you should actually write it all down, what you think is coming in.” And at 2:00 o’clock in the morning, awake, anxious, I had misestimated by $50,000. And so of course, I was freaking out, right?

Lisa Corduff:

The calculator in your brain is not worth working at 2:00 AM.

Sam Sutherland:

Exactly. And so one way of taking myself out of my head in that moment would’ve been to look at the facts, and without being able to do that, what happened was it just amplified and amplified and I was awake for hours freaking out about it and I was worried all day the next day. And then we had that conversation and then the next day I did the numbers and then it was like, “Oh, actually everything’s fine.” And so I think that’s really, what tool can you use to get yourself out of your head whenever you’re stuck in it? That’s for me with my anxiety right now. I don’t know if that’s helpful for anyone else who’s listening.

Lisa Corduff:

No, I think it’s absolutely helpful because there’s a point at which, we talk about, it’s important to acknowledge whatever it is you’re feeling, have anxieties come up, don’t judge them, just like, “Okay, what’s here for me?” Because sometimes it’s actually pointing you in the direction of, “Hey, you need to go and get this sorted or this is on your mind because you need to get something into action.” And so I’m always like, “Okay, well what’s actually here for me?” But then it becomes rumination and then it becomes just torturing yourself. And we’ve talked a lot too about-

Sam Sutherland:

I used that exact language this morning with another friend. I have to stop torturing myself about some of this stuff.

Lisa Corduff:

Right. And why is that the norm? Why is finding something and just beating ourselves up or really being hard on ourselves for something or forcing some sort of decision before we actually can? Why is it our default? And we’ve talked about anxious attachment, oh, Sam’s got her hand up everyone. But we’ve talked about anxious attachment too and so in relationships, how is that playing out? Why am I freaking out when something happens when it’s actually not a freak out moment? So being able to observe ourselves, observe what’s really happening, not make extra meaning is powerful in those moments for me.

Sam Sutherland:

Yes. Definitely. And you’re right as well, not having judgement around it. It’s not helpful to sit there thinking like, “Oh, why am I being so anxious?” Because that doesn’t help anything either. It’s much more, “I am feeling anxious.” And the thing is too, it’s quite hard to be able to step back from it properly. So this morning when I was feeling really anxious about a few things and I was on social media, look, I have a tendency to use social media in unhelpful ways, which I think many people do. However, I’m a bit ashamed of that. Anyway, I was doing that. One of my friends calls it, she calls it like virtual self harm because you are self-harming yourself, but just not in a visible way.

Lisa Corduff:

Wow.

Sam Sutherland:

And I could observe that I was doing it. So I was like, “I’m feeling really anxious. I can see that I’m doing this virtual self-harm. This is really unhelpful.” And I couldn’t quite stop it. And it was actually a conversation with someone that helped snap me from that, which when we talk about the tools, I think another really important tool for me is connection, human connection with other people. And so there are a few people, so you’re one of the people that I would call who I can talk to them and help process what’s going on for me. And it helps shift the energy around it and helps get things clearer for me and get me out of just ruminating in my head.

Sam Sutherland:

And so I think using those, calling someone, being like, “I’m freaking out. I need some…” The conversation I had was kind of accidental. So it wasn’t proactive on my part, my scrolling, my mental self harm got interrupted by a phone call, but it made the difference. And so yeah, the connection with other people is a massive one for me, I think. And the other thing too is Brene Brown and her 10 tips for wholehearted living, one of the things she talks about is shared humanity. And so when we were talking earlier about the fact that you’re not alone if you feel like, this is a studied thing that is actually happening to people all around the world, can help because it stops you feeling like, “Oh, why am I such a singular failure?”

Lisa Corduff:

Everyone else is nailing life, except me. No one else is worried about house prices literally, except me.

Sam Sutherland:

Everyone else is somehow loaded. How are these people doing it? But that is a helpful thing. And I think I used to not find that idea helpful because I was like, “Well, how does someone else’s suffering help my suffering?” As I’ve matured in my thinking around it, I actually more now think it’s this thing of, “Oh, I’m not alone and maybe how I see myself isn’t how other people see me.” And so if I can talk to someone who I know loves me and thinks the best for me and respects me and say, I was just talking about a work thing with you before this where I feel like I messed it up and I’m feeling a bit funny about it, but if I were actually to talk to you about that in detail and you’re like, “Well, you’re not an idiot.” And so when it’s someone that you trust and they can reflect back to you maybe a different version of the version of you that you’re focusing on right in that minute, then that can be helpful as well.

Lisa Corduff:

Totally. I know you’ve got to go in one minute because you’ve got to go get Charlie, and I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface.

Sam Sutherland:

I know. We just got started.

Lisa Corduff:

Should we do a part two and talk about moving forward and what we are going to be doing? Or do you want to just call it? Do you want to just-

Sam Sutherland:

I’d love to. Maybe we should-

Lisa Corduff:

Let’s do it.

Sam Sutherland:

Let the people speak, see if they actually want to hear the next stage of this conversation.

Lisa Corduff:

These two just broken women chatting to each other. No, because that’s not what this is-

Sam Sutherland:

But saying that, it’s funny and no one who follows you on social media would think of you as a broken woman. That’s not how you present. And I know you’re joking, I know you’re being facetious, but I just want to make the point though, that exactly what I just said, which is how we see ourself maybe isn’t how other people see us. And having ourselves reflected back to us by people who love us can be really important and really helpful and healing. Because it’s just, I feel the same thing. If people look at other women in your Momentum group and we were talking about finances on one of the last calls and there was a lot of people like, “Oh wow,” and I compare myself to other people. Other people compare themselves to me. Everybody has this, we can find people who make us feel bad about ourselves or ways to make us feel bad about ourselves, or we can find the people who make us feel like, “Oh, we are one and I’m you and we are all one and we’re all part of this together.”

Lisa Corduff:

And I think this is part of the reset because I think so many of us spent probably a bit too much time on social media and absorbing things through lockdowns. And now we’re like, “Okay, I want to be in the world.” Okay. That means returning to ourselves, taking everything down a notch, just simplifying, resetting, finding who we want to be in this moment, being super kind to ourselves. And for me, that does involve, I’m a verbal processor, just like you, and it involves having conversations. It involves getting out of my own head, sometimes a bit of those good friends who can often be a mirror and be like, “Sam, what do you mean? You’re good at what you do. Don’t take what these people are saying. Blah, blah, blah.” Like we were talking before about the brief, and just allowing it all to be okay, just allowing it, don’t judge it.

Lisa Corduff:

That’s where I think the strength comes in and why these conversations are good in the terms of shared humanity. Because if there’s examples of people who aren’t at the top of their game, but are still showing up and are practising kindness to themselves and are looking for opportunities to move through whatever it is and also just be with it with compassion for themselves, then surely that’s a good thing.

Sam Sutherland:

Yes. I agree. We can offer that beacon.

Lisa Corduff:

We can [crosstalk 00:36:14]. Just not at the top of the game, maybe like a mid rung and feeling rung out, but you know, I have never wanted to show up and be some sort of fake version of what’s going on. And yeah, I’m a solo parent who’s just gotten through, I mean this was the most ridiculous stuff. I’m not meant to be at the top of my game at this stage I feel. So any way that I can show myself compassion and encourage other people to do that, no matter how you’re feeling, all the feels have a place in human existence. So just don’t judge them. Anyway, I’m stopping now because you were like, “I’ve got a hard stop at 2:45 and now it’s 2:47, I’m feeling stressed.”

Sam Sutherland:

And it’s 2:47.

Lisa Corduff:

Now I’m feeling anxious.

Sam Sutherland:

I came on the podcast to pass my anxiety to you. Don’t worry. I thought we might go over by a couple of minutes and I’m not going to be late to school.

Lisa Corduff:

Okay. All right. Well, I think, let’s catch up again in the next few days and do a bit of a part two.

Sam Sutherland:

Yeah, that sounds amazing.

Lisa Corduff:

Okay. All right. I’ll speak to you soon.

Sam Sutherland:

Talk to soon. Bye.

Lisa Corduff:

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.

Lisa Corduff:

(silence).

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About Lisa

"I’m here to help you break free from the stories holding you back, and create change that sticks"

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