CwL Ep80: Check in with Lisa Carpenter

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Lisa Carpenter is a dear friend who lives in Canada and has experienced this crazy time in another hemisphere.
We talk:

  • Frustration and despair and the path to acceptance.
  • Freedom and that what it means to her at the end of 2021 is completely different to what it ever has been.
  • Being ok with not being ok.
  • Big wins this year and big hardship.

I love that she normalises that EVEN IF you’ve done a lot of work on yourself, even if you have a stack of tools, this time has been really hard and some days we get to kick the toolbox away and stamp our feet and watch baking shows on Netflix!


We also talk about a controversial topic in which we’ve both made different decisions. At this stage of living through a pandemic we’ve all seen divisiveness. This conversation is not that.


Lisa has been asking herself all the big questions and I loved hearing about how she’s navigating herself through it all.


Continue your conversation with Lisa:

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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.

Lisa Corduff:

Hey, I’m really excited to bring you another catch up today. I hope you enjoyed the two-part series with Sam and I. And today, there’s a big chunky conversation with my amazing friend, Lisa Carpenter. She lives in Canada. We met a few years ago and she’s an extraordinary human who I value and treasure so much in my life. And the work she does with women is just extraordinary. And I just wanted to come in before I share our conversation and say that by the end, we are actually talking about a very controversial topic. I’m sure even just saying that, you know exactly the topic that I’m talking about, and Lisa and I both sat with ourselves and thought, oh, do we share this? Do we not share this? Because you know what? There is so much divisiveness. There is so much anger in the world.

Lisa Corduff:

There’s a lot of fear in the world. And the reason why we’ve left this conversation to this podcast episode, there’s so much juice, you just hear so much about it, but this year’s been really, really tough for Lisa. She’s been navigating a lot internally and in the world, and we both made different decisions at this point in time. And I just thought it was important to hear how friends can talk to each other about this issue that women who people might look to for inspiration or leadership or community are real people navigating all of this too right alongside you. And what I love about Lisa is that she leaves room for things to change for herself, to change for new information, to become available for just change of mind.

Lisa Corduff:

Even in this past few days, there’s been some new information that’s become available to her, so she’s just sitting with that and seeing how it feels. It’s just such a waste of time when we look at the world through a black and white, right or wrong lens. And so that’s why. That’s why we’ve left this conversation in. I hope you enjoy it. I hope that you have an open mind and an open heart. Enjoy.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh, it’s time to check in, to check in with another friend and I’m looking at her face and it makes me happy. It makes me happy to see her face. And we’ve just spent 19 minutes just in full rant mode before pressing… Yes, sometimes we just need to let it all out. Lisa Carpenter-

Lisa Carpenter:

Can I just say though that I appreciate the fact that we can rant with each other, we can have different perspectives, and we can still love each other. Because you see that in the world right now, people, they literally are fighting for their beliefs and you can believe whatever you want to believe, but we don’t have to hate each other. We can have different perspectives and have coherent conversations with both sides having very valid points. I love that about my friends.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh, same here. I actually don’t think I could do straight up black and white people. I struggle with that. Or no, actually, I like people who have strong views. But a lot of the times the people who I hang out with are really interested in other people’s strong views. Yeah, life is nuanced. So can I just say your name, Lisa Carpenter is on the podcast? Before you’re like, ” Can I say something?”

Lisa Carpenter:

I need to just jump right in. Welcome to what it looks like to be in a conversation with me and Lisa.

Lisa Corduff:

And we did say before this, we’re not too sure where this is going to go. There’s basically a few questions, but we never really know. And there’s going to be a lot of people who are very familiar with you. Anyone who’s done Ready For Change or Live The Change has met Lisa. In fact, we’ve got your session coming up soon inside Ready For Change. But I met Lisa 2018, 2019.

Lisa Carpenter:

2018.

Lisa Corduff:

2018?

Lisa Carpenter:

2018.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. And she came into my life. We were both doing Jim Thornton’s TCP Programme. And she was like a little angel that appeared in my life and was like, “Read this book about co-dependence.” Anyway, we realised we had a lot of similar themes and I’ve kind of spoken around that before, because I’d never really fully come out and acknowledged Nick as an alcoholic before. But obviously that was a really big part of your role in my life, was helping me create loving boundaries, helping me see my shit, really my own, start to work on myself, not just focus on his stuff. And I needed that. And I’m grateful. I see you doing that all the time with women who you work with very effectively.

Lisa Corduff:

I mean, the fact that my community now all know a tired mind is an asshole, similar to truth bombs that you drop, it’s life changing, Lisa. Anyway, so can I just ask how you are because you are over there in Canada, Vancouver. You’ve had a pretty big year. There’s been some cool stuff you’ve done this year, but how are you?

Lisa Carpenter:

That’s such a big question. I was thinking about this the other day, because of course, I had my birthday and I was thinking about, I always like to reflect on my birthday on the birthday year. I run in birthday years, not this new year’s crap. And this has been a year of epic accomplishments, big, huge milestones and so much hardship.

Lisa Carpenter:

It has been the best year. And it has also been one of the most challenging years. There have been times where I have been more than okay, and there have been times where I’m like, I’m just going to stand in the way of the blanket and tell me when it’s over. I’ve had to navigate really hard decisions. I’ve had to navigate really hard conversations. I’ve had to be personally in my work more than I ever have been in my life, really taking all the tools out of the toolbox. And sometimes putting the tools back in the toolbox and kicking the toolbox and saying, “F you, toolbox. I’m just going to stand over here and stomp my feet.” But also recognising from a coaching standpoint, it’s very rare that we are in the work with our clients experiencing the same thing as our clients. And that’s what this year has also been for me, is navigating life as we know it now, while my clients are also navigating life as we know it.

Lisa Carpenter:

So I am feeling much better now, but I would be lying if I said that I was totally okay through all of this because there have been many times where I really haven’t been. And I’ve had to be really honest with myself about where I’m holding my attention, being back into a place of suffering, because that was way more familiar to me than being optimistic. And this is why you’d reached out because I had made this post around toxic positivity. I love being an optimist. I always trust that things will work out. I always trust that I’m getting the lessons that I need. This has been my life. Every time I look back on the things that I didn’t like in my life, those were always the transformational moments. I didn’t have to like them when I was in them. And this has been one of those moments for me.

Lisa Carpenter:

But yeah, it has been a challenging year to admit that I’ve been back in my suffering and to really come to a place of finding peace and acceptance of something I didn’t want to accept. So I’d waffle into resignation. So this toxic positivity is, there are so many humans out there, because we do what we need to do to get through things. So staying positive and staying in gratitude, these are all great things. But if you’re stepping over the grief, the trauma, the frustration, the anger, all the range of emotion to just be like, “Love and light. It’s all going to be fine.” It’s great, but all of it can coexist at the same time. And the level of toxic positivity for people who are struggling, it actually makes them struggle more.

Lisa Carpenter:

Because then they think, well, what’s wrong with me because I’m not positive about this. And I even had to watch my own judgement because the voice of like, “You should know better, Lisa, you’ve got the tools. Use the tools.” And like I said, some days I was really good at using the tools and other days I couldn’t stop crying because that was the depth of the grief and letting go that I was experiencing, that was the level of frustration. And this has been part of my growth and evolution this year, is how unattached can I come to this stuff? And before we went live, I was still express… There’s still frustration there, there’s still moments. And now, I’m more at peace and more in acceptance than I ever have been. It still doesn’t mean I like it. But I found a way to find acceptance. I had to because the alternative was me continuing to not be okay. And that wasn’t okay.

Lisa Corduff:

Right. Isn’t that just something that I come back to time and time and time again, is just the freedom that we have when we accept what is. I just saw that coming through recently with my youngest who is just going through this phase where she needs me to watch her go to sleep and I get angry. I was getting angry and like, “What’s going on here?” I was trying to find what’s wrong. She’s a seven year old girl living through a pandemic. She lost her dad when she just turned five. Things are different for her. And my frustration about that was actually the thing causing me suffering; accepting.

Lisa Corduff:

Once I just moved to, “Oh, this is just what we’re doing right now. This is just what night times look like for a while,” then all of the frustration, all of the angst, all of the trying to fix something that doesn’t need to be fixed disappeared. And there’s just so many examples of that in our lives. And I think all of the lockdowns here in Melbourne, I would just have a big tantrum, because we’ve been in and out, in and out, in and out. And then I’d just be like, “Well, okay, I’m having a tantrum, but I can’t change it.”

Lisa Carpenter:

That moment of having the tantrum, that moment of feeling frustrated, I think that that’s what I want to normalise, is that is okay too.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes. We can move out of it, but we have to [crosstalk 00:13:23].

Lisa Carpenter:

Feeling that is part of it. We are here as humans, we are all having a human experience and like I said, I’m all for being able to step into gratitude and being able to step into acceptance and the deeper lessons for us often come when we are in the frustration, when we are in the suffering, when we are learning those big lessons. I mean, I’ve had to redefine so many things. I’ve had to look at so many stories this year and ask myself, is this true? And that’s a really hard thing because as humans, we don’t like, you know this from your programmes, I know this from my clients, we don’t like to question our stories because that’s very uncomfortable when you start realising, oh, this might not be true. I started to question everything this year without trying to go into overthinking, but just being really curious.

Lisa Carpenter:

There’s so many things that I’ve had to let go of. There’s so many ways of being that I’ve had to redefine. What I believed freedom was versus what I believe it to be now is entirely different. Taking responsibility for my life, taking responsibility for my health, taking responsibility for my future, creating my vision. All of these things have shifted for me and that was not comfortable to navigate all that stuff. So I sit back and think, okay, well if somebody like me, who does this work day in and day out, I’m so committed to my own personal development, have all these tools. And if I’ve had days of not being okay, how the hell is everybody else doing it? You know how they’re doing it? They’re putting their heads down. They’re numbing themselves out. And I think what we’re going to see on the other side of this-

Lisa Corduff:

Whenever that is.

Lisa Carpenter:

Whatever that other side looks like, we’re going to see a lot of people that experience a tremendous amount of fatigue and emotional follow from the things that they were not willing to be with during the pandemic.

Lisa Carpenter:

The pushing it down, the stuffing it down, finding the light and love in the day. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to address the emotions that were very present in your body at a certain time, so.

Lisa Corduff:

It is so emotional. No, it’s all emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically draining to hold on, to hold ourselves up. You need, having experienced big grief, so much more rest and nourishment than you normally do. And I don’t think that many people realise, I think now that the kids have been back at school, all three of them, this is the third day. I don’t think I even really had a sense of what I was holding and carrying even although I was allowing myself to rest, I can be with my feelings, I cry, I can have releases, I can do all that sort of stuff. I can also move my attention and ask myself things like, we called it the lockdown of fun in the beginning, and we were still asking ourselves what we could do each day that was fun.

Lisa Corduff:

But it wasn’t as in to whip me over and like, I have to be making this fun for the children, but just because it was a fucking nice question to ask ourselves when every day felt the same and we were like, “Um, um. Um, anything. Okay, Christmas carols. Yeah, let’s do the Christmas carols today,” whatever. But we were carrying a lot. We’ve been carrying so much more than usual. And on all levels, I feel like mentally I’m tired, emotionally I’m rung out, physically I went and got a blood test because I’m checking on my iron levels and just doing a few different bits and pieces because I know physically, I need support after an extended period of stress. And then spiritually, I feel quite disconnected from the bigger picture when life became so insular.

Lisa Carpenter:

Yeah, what matters, right? What really matters? [crosstalk 00:18:01].

Lisa Corduff:

Yes. My usual sense of possibility, optimism, all that sort of stuff. I’m having to work at it instead of take it for granted. So, I’d love to know from you, when you talk about the toolbox and some people are like, “Tools, tools, give me the tools. What tools? What are we talking about here?” But what are the ones that worked well for you or that were helpful and have actually really come into play in a bigger way?

Lisa Carpenter:

One of my biggest tools, and this has been huge for me, especially because coming off the pandemic, the stress of that, of course I did my show this year, which was a big thing. And that took a huge amount of commitment.

Lisa Corduff:

Do you want to just tell people what you achieved?

Lisa Carpenter:

It was so fun. I spent almost a year and a half, two years preparing to go back on stage for fitness. So I went to the World Show for WBFF in Vegas and I won. I took first place in 40 plus, I took second place in 35 plus. I won my pro card. It was truly epic. And it was so not the experience that I thought it was going to be. It was so much more. I was there by myself. There were so many lessons in that. But the reason that I’m sharing that is right now, I’m in this really big period of pause where my only focus is rest because when I look back on my show and I really created all the space to do that with as much hard thing doing it, with as much ease as possible. The profound growth that I’ve had in my business over the past couple years and what that took, stuff with kids.

Lisa Carpenter:

We took Jake out of public school, so hard. He hated me for so long. It just is hard when your kids are having a hard time and pandemic life and lockdowns and too many people in my house. So right now, one of my key tools really is rest and doing nothing. So I’m in this real period of being committed to being uncommitted, which, as a very driven, ambitious person, it’s really like pumping the brakes hard and giving myself a lot of time and space because I’ve been dealing with hormonal stuff, foggy brain, not feeling like myself. How much of it is fatigue? How much is it? My body’s nervous system that’s just like, “We’re done. We’re out?” Tools, like always asking myself, what do I need to give myself in this moment to feel better?

Lisa Carpenter:

And that can be as simple as getting in the car with the top down, turning on music, or disappearing into hours of baking shows. I don’t know if you know this, but I’m obsessed with all reality shows where people are creating something. It brings me so much joy if we’re creating cakes, if we’re painting, body paint, tattoo artists, metal workers. Oh my gosh, have reality-

Lisa Corduff:

Have you seen Forged in Fire?

Lisa Carpenter:

Yes.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh my, Laurie’s obsessed with that show, but I don’t understand.

Lisa Carpenter:

Any show where people are creating. And I came to realise, this is the art that I like to watch. I like people doing art this way. So those things have been really profound for me. Moving my attention, really watching where are you holding your attention, Lisa?

Lisa Carpenter:

Right. Recognising, “Oh, look, you’re really attached to your suffering again. How can we shift that?” Because that was a habitual way for me to go into thinking. Reaching out and talking to people, making sure I was staying connected as much as I had the energy to stay connected. Being honest about where I was at, because even creatively, I really found that… Podcast editor was like, “Are you going to record something?” I’m like, “I don’t really have anything to say.” I’m like, “I feel like I don’t really have anything nice to say right now.” One of the main tools for me is really focusing on my health and my wellness, and now, more than ever it’s important. So my emotional wellbeing really relies heavily on that time that I give myself every single day as a non-negotiable where I move my body and it can look different depending on how I feel and what I’m working on.

Lisa Carpenter:

But that is the thing in my life that I just feel like really grounds me. And that’s not true for everybody, but you have to find the things that are going to support you. So between my workouts, taking care of my health, which, I’ve been working with a practitioner on some stuff as well that I’ve been putting off. I don’t want to do that. Taking responsibility for that, really looking at where I’m holding my attention, spending a lot of time in my journal, all of it, feeling my feelings. And let me tell you, I got sick of feeling my feelings. I don’t want to feel my feelings anymore. [crosstalk 00:23:32].

Lisa Corduff:

I’m so done.

Lisa Carpenter:

So allowing myself even some time where it was just like, I’m going to numb and I’m okay with that because I’m not okay right now and I’m tired of feeling my feelings. But making that conscious decision. And this is why you can have all these tools and it’s still going to be messy and you’re still going to have very, very human moments. There would be times I’d get off coaching calls with clients. And I would just start to cry. I don’t carry the burdens of my clients and just having so much compassion and empathy for where everybody was because I was feeling it too. I was feeling it too.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. I saw there was an article written by an Australian psychologist who was just like, “I didn’t learn how to manage myself and manage clients going through a collective trauma while I am too.” What the hell? There was nothing in there, Psychology 101 guidebook for dealing with this. We’re not okay either.

Lisa Carpenter:

That’s right.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. I think about even just listening to the teachers on their little 15 minute calls in the morning with the kids, Monday morning, “Hey guys, we’re going to have a great week. How was your weekend? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Go and find something in the house that starts with a B.” And then by Fridays, they’re like, “Hey, okay, so who’s here? Can you stop changing your name on the Zoom? I said no backgrounds.” You could literally witness the emotional highs and lows of the teachers just through the sound of their voice.

Lisa Corduff:

They were having to kids through and they were not okay themselves. There’s been so much expected of us. I don’t know. I was just thinking about this, this morning on my way to… I dropped the kids, walked the kids to school. And then I came home. I went to the cafe that I’ve been going to in lockdown. And I was walking back the same walk. Because during lockdown, I’d pop up in the mornings before the kids started school because I just needed to get out of the house, have a little walk, fresh air, music in my ears. It set me up well. And I was walking back. I’m like, “Oh, nothing’s changed, and everything’s changed.” And I remember that feeling when Nick died, I remember driving around the streets like, “Why is everyone just pretending that everything’s normal? Nothing is normal right now. Everything has been switched on its head. I am fundamentally different now. The world has changed. I don’t know how everyone else is just going about their business.”

Lisa Corduff:

And I feel like that right now here over these last few days, it’s like, I feel like I’ve come from that feeling of when you’ve come back from holidays and you’ve been so looking forward to getting home and home feels a bit new and exciting, but this time we never left home. I don’t know, it’s just been crazy. [crosstalk 00:27:04].

Lisa Carpenter:

This is really interesting because I’ve had this kind of conversation on Instagram and it can be quite triggering for people because people just want to go back. They just want to get back to normal. That normal no longer exists nor will it ever exist again. It doesn’t. We’re not going back. We’re not going to back to anything. It’s how are we going to move forward, and how are we going to process what has happened so that we can move forward with a new outlook, with a new perspective, with a new kind of game plan about what we want our lives to look like moving forward. So as much as people want to cling to with the going back, that’s like saying, I want to go back to when I was 20. I can’t. [crosstalk 00:27:51]. We cling to that as humans. Right?

Lisa Corduff:

So where are you at with that in terms of moving forward? What are you taking with you? What are your clients saying? There’s no distance really yet for me in terms of what has happened to kind of create that space. But I’d love to hear from your perspective about how you’re feeling about moving forward, what that means to you.

Lisa Carpenter:

So for some of the choices that I’ve made in my life, moving forward is going to be different than how other people are moving forward and I’ve come to a place of acceptance around that. And I will reevaluate. I will reevaluate that decision, but that’s how I got to acceptance is I said, “I’m going to make no decision for 12 months and I don’t care if you agree or disagree with me. That’s my decision for right now.” So, after 12 months, I will take a step back. I will look at where the world is at again and reevaluate. And in the meantime, I’m going to continue to create an extraordinary life based on freedom, being something that is inside me, not outside to my control. I’m going to continue to take responsibility for the things that I can take responsibility for that keep me safe and well and happy. I’m going to continue to navigate.

Lisa Carpenter:

I was talking about my kids starting to travel and what that feels like, because it’s not like you just go and hop on a plane now, travel is not all that fun and sexy these days. Even going to Vegas was just like, “All right, we’re doing this.”

Lisa Carpenter:

And then really thinking about what do I really want for my future? What is really important to me? Because I think now, more than ever, making value-driven decisions is really important for me. Really checking in with what are my values and what do I want. In terms of clients, for my clients who are in Australia, there’s been a little bit of shock and almost a little bit of gaslighting like, “Oh, you’re free. Just ignore what happened for however many months and go live your life,” which is a little unsettling, because it’s like you have that thing taken away from you. And now it’s like, “Oh, we’re going to pretend like it didn’t happen. Just go live your life.”

Lisa Carpenter:

So I’ve had clients that are really wrestling with like, “Well, where is my level of comfort?” And even though most people have been set free, so to speak, that doesn’t mean that the fear has dissipated for a lot of people. So we’re walking around now, energetically in this cosmic, energetic soup of what other people are feeling, and you never really know where somebody’s at. I’m personally seeing a lot of poor behaviour in other humans, because again, so many squashed down emotions. So now it’s coming out in bad behaviour. People are short with each other. That’s been interesting.

Lisa Carpenter:

But it’s a very unique experience for every single person. I mean, I’ve had clients come to me and say like, “The pandemic really gave me a chance to slow down and not be so social. I don’t want to go back to that. And now people are inviting me out and they want to hang out and I’m like, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want that to be my lifestyle anymore.” So now there isn’t that pandemic boundary. They actually have to step into their own power and set their own boundaries around what they do and what they don’t want. Otherwise, they’re going to get sucked back into the vortex of just going back into the rat race, except now it feels worse because they know what it now to slow down, even though it was a forced confinement slow down.

Lisa Carpenter:

So even things like that for me, what is really important to me, where do I want to be spending my time? How do I want to be spending my money? What do I want to put my focus on? How do I really want to make an impact in the world and really releasing all the crap that I’m just like, I’m so over all of this [crosstalk 00:32:13].

Lisa Corduff:

Look at this, Lisa. Look at this list. No one else can see this because it’s a podcast. But I did this, this other day, a big huge list of everything I’m releasing. It’s like a [prompt 00:32:28] page, but it’s things like releasing attachment to where I live, releasing showing up on social media, releasing sending my kids to school, everything in my life, who am I without all of that stuff? What do I want if there was no attachment to literally anything? And this whole process was intoxicating. It was so thrilling because we stay attached to being these things.

Lisa Carpenter:

Yes.

Lisa Corduff:

And we have so much choice. And so for me, it’s like, “Oh yeah.” Remembering the tools of bringing us back. Like, in order to move forward, what do I need to release first?

Lisa Corduff:

That’s what I sort of have discovered is like, I’m so ready for things to change. I’d find myself sending friends houses and in long places. I definitely have had big escapist fantasies and all of that sort of stuff. But I’m like, “Yeah, but that will all remain fantastical and imaginary if I don’t start to acknowledge what needs to be released in order to get there.” And I just think what better time than now to really have those hard conversations with yourself and the journaling and the burning shit up. Let’s do it. I’m with you with the boredom of some of the standard stuff that I keep seeing around. I do think that there’s a new level of something-ness being created here, but no one has a guidebook. I feel like if ever there has been a moment where I’ve realised that it’s going to have to come through me, which I know there’s a difference between understanding and true and knowing, it’s kind of now. It’s now that all of this stuff is coming into play.

Lisa Corduff:

And I think there’s a lot of people feeling this. Now, I can’t deny that part of myself that actually doesn’t like feeling hungover or stuff like that. I’ve got friends who are like, “Oh my God, I went out Saturday night to party, end of lockdown. And It’s Tuesday, I’m still recovering. What’s this all about?” And then we talk about horrible, that word, you could call it social fit or over here, it’s just a disgusting word to describe alcohol, but being [piss fed 00:35:35]. It’s disgrace. But people have been throwing that around, like we need to build back up our resilience.

Lisa Carpenter:

Oh my God.

Lisa Corduff:

Chicken over consuming alcohol. I’m like, “But do we? But right now you could just have one glass of wine and that can feel really nice. Do we have to go back into that land of excess and pushing our bodies,” which only leads to not great things.

Lisa Carpenter:

Right. So, you know my stance on this. Never, ever, has there been a time in history where every single person should be taking personal responsibility for their wellness, because if you spend your life trying to outrun illness, that is not a life well lived. So, everybody gets to make their own choices, but it is a great time to really look at what are you attached to? What beliefs do you hold about what is fun? I’ve even looked at, why am I making things so important? And they’re really not that important. When I look at my business now, because you know for many years I was trying so hard. And everything was so hard and I was trying to get it right. And now I’m just like, “Oh I think I’ll do this thing. And I’m not really going to look at how I should do it, I’m just going to do it this way.” Because it doesn’t matter.

Lisa Carpenter:

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Who do I get to impact? How do I want to live my life? How do I want to show up in the world? Screw the rules. Because we’ve had so many rules shoved down our throats. I am here to be an independent thinker. Sometimes that might be good for me, sometimes not so good for me, but I’ll get the lessons that I need to learn. And attachment is probably one of my biggest life lessons in this lifetime. I mean-

Lisa Corduff:

For old humans, I would say. [crosstalk 00:37:29].

Lisa Carpenter:

Macy and I lied in bed one night and I’m like, “Would we be willing to like release everything we own, and legit move somewhere else?” I don’t know where that would be. But we started exploring things and never in a million years, did I ever think I would consider leaving my country of origin. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. So we’ve decided again, no decisions for 12 months. But to even consider that, like what really aligns with my values here. I don’t like what’s going on in a lot of places. So it’s not about running, it’s really about sitting back and saying what truly aligns with our values and are we willing to detach from everything that isn’t in alignment with that and make decisions that are really going to support how we want to feel in our lives and the type of life we want to live.

Lisa Carpenter:

I don’t want to have that conversation right. Detaching from how I might be interpreted by other people. I’m so grateful for the work that I’ve done because not everybody agrees with my perspective and that’s fair and I’ve been able to hold space for the both and conversation and not take it personally if somebody is in disagreement with me, or if somebody wants to say something mean to me. Family stuff to navigate this year has been incredibly challenging, incredibly challenging. And respecting where people are at and also standing in what feels right for me. It’s hard. Do you know hard it is to stand in what’s right for you when it doesn’t necessarily align with the majority, so to speak? That’s hard. That is hard. And I’ve done it and it hasn’t always been okay. And I’m okay. And I’ll be okay.

Lisa Carpenter:

Yeah, detaching, and what am I willing to hold onto? Because it feels so important to me. My kids don’t even always agree with me. So there’s been like epic conversations within my household because I have adult children who get to choose.

Lisa Corduff:

Whoa. But wow, as well. Here’s the thing though. Here’s the thing, you know that it’s all happening. And there is a ripple effect when people stand in their truth. And for some people, that’s going to be magnetising and for others, it will be repellent. And I feel like more than the harshness or the divisive, I feel like it’s that. I feel like it’s more about what we are being drawn to and repelled by. It’s like there’s these polls, which is life and laws of the universe and all that sort stuff. But I’m wondering for you, as someone who shows up pretty honestly, and with authority in a lot of ways, even when you feel shitty, how do you manage that?

Lisa Corduff:

Do you show up when you’re all messy and gross or do you take those moments for yourself? What does it mean to you be… Because I know, when I talk about light, I don’t mean like, “Love and light.” Like have a green smoothie kind of vibe. I’m talking more like you are someone who people kind of look to as a compass point.

Lisa Carpenter:

This has been something that I’ve been rumbling with as well because giving myself, and especially nowadays, because we don’t really know how rules are changing and stuff. It’s become acutely aware that I get to stand in my truth, but that might not always be safe for me to share it, which is a really weird feeling. I share a lot of my life and I’ve also been put in a position now where there’s a lot of things I can’t share and I won’t share, which is also been interesting to navigate and what am I making it mean? All this kind of stuff. Allowing myself to also have my privacy and my private life, claim that back in a world where, as, I don’t know if I would call myself an influencer, but I want to show up and have an impact. I want to be able to inspire and help transform people’s lives, but also allowing myself the privacy that I need when I’m going through stuff.

Lisa Carpenter:

So that balance of sharing when I’m in it versus sharing when I’m through it. Because sometimes when I’m not okay, that is not the best time to go share with the general public. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not talking about it with people who are close with me, who have earned the right to be there when I’m in that space.

Lisa Carpenter:

There have been many times where I’ve recorded podcasts that I’ve had to fight back tears, many times. There’s been many podcasts that I’ve recorded that I haven’t been able to push the publish button on, because what it really came down to is I needed to talk about how I was feeling, but I wasn’t ready to share it yet. And I don’t think that that’s wrong either. So anybody who’s listening who thinks that they have to always be sharing all this stuff, otherwise you’re not authentic and real. I think part of what’s going on in the world is us actually regaining our privacy and that connection with ourself and understanding that you don’t have to share it with everybody all the time. And I will always share with people. Even having this conversation, I’ve recorded podcasts about this, but having this conversation with you in a different way and letting people see behind the scenes, because I think that a lot of people view me as having it all together, being super committed and all in.

Lisa Carpenter:

And I am all those things. And I’m also not all those things. I’m a whole range of everything. This is what makes social media problematic, is it’s almost like a measuring stick that they pick up and they use against them as a weapon. And we are all just very human. I am very, very human. I have experienced moments of shame over not having my shit together. I’ve experienced a lot of deep grief over things that are going on in the world, so much frustration. I’ve actually wondered some days, am I going crazy? Am I the crazy one?

Lisa Carpenter:

I’ve always been a questioner my entire life. I spent my life questioning. And I was always told, “Just go along, Lisa. Don’t make waves, don’t make ripples. Just go along.” So I learned to go along. To just go along and get along. And it has been really uncomfortable for me to say, I’m not prepared to go along. I’m going to be that person that’s stepping back and questioning and not arguing for the sake of arguing, but wanting to understand more. That’s, to me, is what critical thinking is all about. And that was something that was taken from me when I was younger, and that’s one of my gifts. So I don’t know if I’m right or wrong. All I know is I can only make choices for myself and to really navigate the discomfort of those choices.

Lisa Carpenter:

Because like I said, I’m not in with the general population, but I know for every person like me who has the courage to say, I’m not going with the flow of general population, there’s just as many people like me who are terrified to say they’re not going with the flow. And they’re living with a lot of shame and they’re living with a lot of guilt and they’re constantly questioning themselves and wondering where they fit in and where they belong. Because as humans, we all seek love, safety and belonging. And when you’re not going with the majority, there are many days where I’ve questioned my relationships, my sense of belonging, what that’s going to be? Am I safe? Am I going to be safe? So this is why there’s been many days where I’ve really had to say to myself, “Am I okay? Am I going to be okay? Am I doing the right thing?”

Lisa Carpenter:

It’s been up, down and sideways, truly. So, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to share. I’m grateful for people to hear what goes on behind the scenes, because we can’t just hold people in this place of being leaders or coaches or therapists or whatever ever, and forget that they are also human. And I have to allow myself to be human and not go in to the story of people aren’t going to think that I am good at what I do or I’m not practising what I preach. Because integrity is one of my highest values. But this is also what I talk about, is expressing ourselves and allowing ourselves to feel what we’re feeling without feeling bad about what those feelings are, without judging them.

Lisa Carpenter:

Yeah, this year it’s really been walking my talk at a whole different level that I didn’t really ask for. But here we are. Here we are. Literally, nowadays, you don’t know if somebody’s going to hate you because of your perspective, right?

Lisa Corduff:

Mm.

Lisa Carpenter:

This is going to be hard for me to say out loud, there are people who believe that because of the decision I’m making, that I’m responsible for killing people, yet I’ve spent my entire life committed and dedicated to my health and wellbeing and helping other people to take responsibility for theirs. It’s been really hard for me to be present to that and not make it mean anything about me. It’s been really hard for me to be present to the depth of codependency that I see out in the world, because we are actually not… So we have to live together, we have to take care of each other. But we’re not actually responsible for somebody else’s health.

Lisa Carpenter:

So how do we love each other and care for each other, but also not slip into this unhealthy place? There’s so many layers to it, it’s so complicated. I’m even uncomfortable talking about it because I’m like, “Oh my God, this is so polarising. How did I go down this path?” We don’t even want to talk about this. And I’m not the only one. There’s so many people me that are afraid to talk about this because what kind of can of worms are we going to open here, because there’s not a single person on the planet that hasn’t been touched by this, but everybody has their own frame of reality that they’re working from. And it’s hard. And anybody who’s saying that this period of time in the world has not been hard for them, they must be living under a rock. It’s just not possible.

Lisa Corduff:

Mm. I totally, 100% agree. I have people messaging me all the time, asking me what my stance is on things. So I just share photos of getting my hair done in the hairdressers and just assume that tells them, because I have been in an extended lockdown. I made a decision during that time and I felt like that was for me. And I don’t feel the need to get in the weeds with other people because I think it’s a very personal decision. We could talk. We could talk totally about the reasons why I made the decision that I made and what brought me to there. You can talk about the reasons why you feel the way that you feel and the decision that you’ve made, which is now essentially putting off a decision for 12 months. And at the core of it, it doesn’t matter. At the core of it, people are frightened.

Lisa Carpenter:

Correct.

Lisa Corduff:

And every single human is just trying to the best decision. And just like, you and I know, that… I used to say to people when I was promoting Small Steps to whole foods. If it was as simple as like, “Hey, let’s just eat only food that’s made from the planet and just get an hour’s worth of exercise every day, have loving relationships and you’ll be healthy. Just do those things.” If it was as simple as hearing the instructions and following the instructions, then the world would be a different place. Humans are complex.

Lisa Carpenter:

Yep, and we have free will.

Lisa Corduff:

And we have [free-will 00:52:40].

Lisa Carpenter:

Yeah, free will.

Lisa Corduff:

We’ve all had our own experiences, which have created our own interpretations and stories about the world that we live in, who’s who in the Zoo, and all of that stuff. And to expect a homogenised response to an issue is silly. It’s not realistic. Then we get attached to needing people to affirm how it is that we feel, or the decision that we made. You know what? Far out. The absolute truth is that I did not find it an easy decision to make. I was talking to my therapist. I was doing all sorts of things as a solo parent, not wanting to take any unnecessary risks. And so, I ended up making a decision based on what felt like the least risky thing. And obviously, all the reasons that I told you before about what’s happening in our hospital system, all that sort of stuff. But whoa, not easy. And also not anybody else’s business in my interpretation. Even though now, here we are talking about it and people will be like talking back and that’s fine.

Lisa Carpenter:

Yeah. I’m just thinking. I’m sitting here. I’m like, “Oh gosh, how did we get here?” And how much of a thought have I stirred now? I think that this is part of it for me. And why I haven’t been okay, is that the talking around things. The talking around things. It’s just-

Lisa Corduff:

I did it for years. With Nick, I did it for years. And I remember just getting to the point where I’m like, I can’t talk around it anymore. I literally don’t want to. I don’t want to. It’s actually harder work now doing that than it was. I think that it was fair to have a period of making sense of things and coming to terms with things, but at the end of the day, I think for people like you and me, throwing things under the carpet, oh, throwing them under the rug, just is weeping it all. “Oh, this is not really happening.” I guess, when I ask you how you are, I know because of our conversations and because of what you’ve shared over the last year, that this has been a really core issue for you. This has been seeing you navigate things at a whole different level.

Lisa Corduff:

And also what I appreciate from you, is allowing new information to reveal itself, allowing yourself to have a change of mind and just trying to sit with yourself with as much compassion as you can, because I don’t see a woman who is like, you’re not black and white.

Lisa Carpenter:

I care very deeply about people. I always have. My whole career has been built around caring about people. When I said earlier that I’ve had to question so many beliefs and so many stories and so many things and asking myself, is this true? There’s so many layers to the questions that I’ve been asking myself. And what sometimes I forget is that most people don’t. They don’t go deeper. They don’t ask themselves bigger questions. They don’t look at their life through a lens of curiosity.

Lisa Corduff:

And that’s also okay.

Lisa Carpenter:

And that is also okay. It’s complicated. So like I said, now I feel very peaceful and grounded in my choice. I remain open and curious. I’m always looking for new information and I really believe because I’ve been through so many different things in my life, that the only thing that is going to provide the information that all of us need to really create whatever our new future is going to be, is time. As much as we want to believe that we’re closer to being on the other side of this, I think there’s a whole other wave that’s really going to hit everybody as we get more time and space and more data, and really figure out what we need to do as a human race to move forward.

Lisa Carpenter:

I’m so passionate about people’s wellness. And it’s not just their physical wellness, it’s their emotional wellness because if you’re emotionally unwell, living with high levels of stress in a lot of fear, that actually puts you at risk too. So my work now is needed more than ever. Your work now is needed more than ever, because as humans, there’s so many things that we can take responsibility for that will keep us healthy and well. We have to really start looking at these things in a bigger way.

Lisa Corduff:

I mean, my youngest said the other day, “Mom.” Because we’ve had some crazy weather here.

Lisa Carpenter:

Right.

Lisa Corduff:

Day of that lockdown ended, we had wind. My dad’s lived here since he was 21 and he’s like, “I’ve never experienced wind like that.” And I kept thinking, this is the wind of change. This is clearing the energy. Come on, clear the energy.” meanwhile, power is out everywhere, trees are falling down. It was wild. Like, “What is going on here?” But there’s some big-ass energy that needs to be moved around Melbourne. That’s for sure. But my daughter said to me the other day, because something else happened, there was a little explosion at school. I don’t know what the hell happened yesterday. And they allowed to use any technology and she’s like, “Mom, why is there such crazy weather?” It was also just raining all afternoon. Some really heavy rains yesterday. “Why are we having such crazy weather?” And I was like, “In your lifetime, sweet girl, things are going to get really, really hairy.”

Lisa Corduff:

I would say our environmental wellness is going to start to come into play and it’s going be a thing in terms… You think about what resilience our kids have built in terms of all this in and out and being okay, and getting through hard things, because that’s the shit. So when we can work on our stuff, when we can ask ourselves big questions, no matter what they are, when we can navigate things that feel murky, whatever they are, it’s also showing our kids, and I think that that is really, really important in terms of the world they’re walking into.

Lisa Carpenter:

I agree. Mother nature doesn’t make mistakes. And as much as we want to believe that many of us want to not see us as part of nature, we are like a bug on the planet. Mother nature doesn’t make mistakes. She will always find a way to create balance. The planet will be here long after we are all gone, and I think we need to start to remember that. And what’s been happening over the past year is also an indication of that. We may not like it, but viruses, germs, bugs, they are all here for a purpose as well. There’s just the winds of change. I think the more time and perspective we get, we’re going to look back and we will be grateful for the shifts that this brought for the way people rose up, the challenges, the new technology, the new innovations that are going to come out of this, the things that now will become important that weren’t important before. I don’t know.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh, Lisa. Where did these conversation [crosstalk 01:01:35].

Lisa Carpenter:

We’re sitting on a rocking chairs. I don’t know. We started out laughing, and now we’re deep. One day we will be sitting on a porch somewhere or a beach or wherever, and we’ll reflect back over all the things that we’ve navigated in our lifetime. Jesus, I thought 9/11 was going to be the biggest thing. I thought that that was the thing of my lifetime, 9/11. And now I’m like, “Jesus.”

Lisa Corduff:

Didn’t it feel like? Yes.

Lisa Carpenter:

Now I’ve done 9/11. I’ve done a pandemic. I’ve navigated addiction. What? How many other things?

Lisa Corduff:

Oh, Lisa, there’s things. There’s other things too.

Lisa Carpenter:

So there’s there’s more things?

Lisa Corduff:

There’s so many more things. So, which is why we have a toolbox, which is why we do the work that we do, because we know that there’s always going to be things and navigating it with as much compassion for ourselves and curiosity for whatever the lessons are. And sometimes can we just say, even just searching for lessons is tiring. Sometimes it just needs to be bake-offs for sure.

Lisa Carpenter:

But that’s what I said. Sometimes it does just need to be Netflix and watching people bake pretty things. Not every day needs to be a lesson. Some days we just need to go out and enjoy our lives.

Lisa Corduff:

Thanks, Lisa for this conversation.

Lisa Carpenter:

Thanks inviting me.

Lisa Corduff:

Well, I don’t know. Wait till it goes live and then decide if you want to thank me. Anyways, I just think you’re right about talking around the issue or, an issue [crosstalk 01:03:21].

Lisa Carpenter:

My wish and hope is that, people listening to this, that they remember, don’t be so attached to your beliefs. There’s room for us to all show up and be more kind and more compassionate towards ourselves, towards other people regardless of what perspective, because you don’t know where they’re coming from or why they’re making the decisions they’re making. And we’re not going to be able to move forward, and we’re not going to get to that place where everybody is okay if we’re all fighting. We can disagree and we can still show up with a lot of love in our hearts. And that doesn’t mean love and light. Feel your feelings. And just know that it’s going to be a messy, bumpy ride. And if you have those moments where you’re not really feeling like you’re okay, make sure you get yourself the support to navigate through it, because we are all going to face moments like this.

Lisa Carpenter:

I don’t care where you are on the spectrum of personal development. Some of the strongest people I know have been taken to their knees this year. And they’ve also been the ones that have risen up. I’m really proud of myself for feeling like, “All right. I did the things, I got myself to the other side of this.” I’m proud of myself, but man, it was not easy.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. I had that moment too the other day, dropping all the kids off at school, all three of them for the first time. And I just was like, “I fucking did it.” I did that.

Lisa Carpenter:

[crosstalk 01:04:59] I felt like, how am I going to do this? I often thought of you and thought, well, Jesus, if Lisa can do this with three kids under the age of what? By herself, homeschooling. Jesus, Lisa, you’ve got this. We’ve all got this.

Lisa Corduff:

But I have cried for myself as well, talking about [inaudible 01:05:20]. I have like, “I don’t know, do I have this? I don’t know if I’ve got this.” I’m really not so sure I’ve got this at all, but I did it. I did it. And I know that I can do stuff. It’s more like what you said before, knowing when we need the support, knowing when we need to slow the fuck down, know when we need to say no, know when we are not going to be at our best selves and have compassion. I would say that is my hardest lesson because I’ve been able to keep showing up through some pretty hard things. And yet this year, the last two years, it’s been harder than usual. And I want to go, and I don’t have it in me sometimes to go. Having for that side of me, the side that’s saying, “Please, we can’t do anymore than what we are doing,” has been really, really hard, because it’s not my natural place, the over-functioner kind of vibe.

Lisa Carpenter:

Right.

Lisa Corduff:

But it’s an opportunity to learn a new version of me. It’s an opportunity to deepen the love I have for myself and accept the shadows and all of that sort of thing. It’s beautiful. It’s all me. So why would I fight it anymore?

Lisa Carpenter:

We’ve both come so far. I’m proud of us.

Lisa Corduff:

I’m proud of you.

Lisa Carpenter:

I’m so glad I ate chicken wings with you in Texas. I was looking at some old pictures. I’m like, you know what? I’m so glad that I really liked every moment pre-pandemic, I really lived as much as I could, and I spent time with people that I really cared about. Those memories hold so much more value to me these days.

Lisa Corduff:

I’m thankful to myself. Yes. Yes. But also that I’ve been able to redefine what is inspiration to me or what is space to me or what is-

Lisa Carpenter:

Yes.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. I have such a deep appreciation for my children these days. Such [crosstalk 01:07:42].

Lisa Carpenter:

It’s fascinating just to see what our kids-

Lisa Corduff:

Take away?

Lisa Carpenter:

Yeah. How they frame this 20 years from now. How they reflect on it versus how we reflect on it, because my kids are having a very different experience through this than me, very different. So it’s-

Lisa Corduff:

Your older the boys, and what it must be feeling like to them to be locked up during this stage [crosstalk 01:08:06].

Lisa Carpenter:

I mean, come on, my oldest kid decided to move out. Once they lifted lockdown, my oldest kid moved out and moved in with a bunch of his friends during COVID. So do we want to talk about that? Didn’t go so well. Anyways, they had a house party, as you would probably do at 20 when you feel like invincible, and most of them ended up with COVID. So he decided to move back home with his dad after because he didn’t want to miss any more work, and they just thought that wasn’t smart. And then my middle kid very much just wants to live his life like, “This is what my friends are doing, so this is what I’m going to go do.” They’ve had a very different experience of this. So it’s been interesting and fascinating to watch. And then God knows what Jake, I don’t know how that’s going to shape out with him. He’ll probably need therapy later.

Lisa Corduff:

They’re all going to need therapy.

Lisa Carpenter:

All of them will need therapy.

Lisa Corduff:

Can we just normalise that everyone needs therapy?

Lisa Carpenter:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Lisa, this is going to be a two part episode for sure because-

Lisa Carpenter:

We talked for so long.

Lisa Corduff:

Very much. You’re amazing though. Thank you.

Lisa Carpenter:

I love you. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about this in a different way. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about things when you’re having a conversation versus one-sided on a podcast. You know?

Lisa Corduff:

A hundred percent. I want to explore how I am, so I’m checking in with other people to see how they are. So I’m like, “Hmm.” Because I act actually genuinely think that we need to have more open conversations about like, “How are you really? How are you really?” Because it’s so easy to be like, “Yeah, I’m good. I don’t know. How are you? Yeah [inaudible 01:09:49] I’m going to plan a holiday.” In the meantime, my brain can’t actually function well enough to look on Airbnb, to organise a place. And I’m so traumatised by the amount of times things have gotten cancelled and I’ve lost money because I thought I could book things in and then I couldn’t. It’s real. There’s actually real implications from this. And I think the more that we can normalise them, talk about them, then people will feel less alone.

Lisa Corduff:

So, if people are still listening at this end of the podcast, hey, what’s up? We hope you’ve enjoyed this, and we’ll see you soon.

Lisa Corduff:

You can follow Lisa. Lisa Carpenter on socials. And she’ll show up if she wants to.

Lisa Carpenter:

If I want to.

Lisa Corduff:

If she wants to.

Lisa Carpenter:

I’m very much in a purge, purging social media and really looking at all the things I want to stop in my life so I can reclaim back more of that real time, so not as much on social these days, but I’m still there. You can still creep me. It’s all good. You can find me.

Lisa Corduff:

Thanks Lisa for your time.

Lisa Carpenter:

Thank you for having me.

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.

Lisa Corduff:

Thanks so much for your help, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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

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