2021 has been a momentous year for so many people. And the end of the year is a brilliant time to reflect and glean the lessons from the tricky and turbulent times.
In this episode Lisa shares three major learnings and reflections in business, her family and relationships from 2021.
Learn about the impact losing a core team member had on her business and how she’s handled things since.
Listen as she talks through what her daughter’s anxiety has shifted in her.
And reflect on the ‘containers’ of your life, along with Lisa and the core lesson she learnt about relationships with self and others this year that has had a profound effect on her wellbeing.
Lisa also introduces the upcoming Summer Series of the podcast – where she’ll be sharing simple steps for you to Reboot and Reactivate each week.
Struggle with low energy? Download Lisa’s FREE Energy Workbook now!
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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here
Welcome to the summer series of the Conversations with Lisa Podcast. I am going to be bringing you really simple, actionable things that you can do over the summer break for us in the Southern Hemisphere, for you guys, your winter break to reboot and reactivate yourself after what was 2021. These simple exercises will help you get focused on you, what you want, what matters to you and ways in which we can start moving towards that. I am not sure about you, but there’s things I want to get done in 2022. And I know that me releasing what was creating some space and getting intentional around what I want is going to make all the difference. So enjoy these episodes, make sure to record everything in your workbook and let’s bring on a new year. Hey, you know what? Welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited that we’re here. We’re here in December, in 2021. What the heck? How many times have I said that maybe on the podcast this year? What the heck?
Anyway, we’re here. I thought I would do a little wrap up of my year, especially on the back of something that I shared on my Facebook page recently. The comments there were just so telling. I mean, it’s validating isn’t it sometimes when we can see that other people have a shared experience because it really has been a time. I can only know, I can only actually know the feeling of my experience. I’m extremely privileged in so many different ways. I have three children who I parent on my own. I lived in the city with the world’s longest and harshest lockdowns, not a trophy you ever want to win, let’s just be honest with that. I have a loving partner. I am safe and there’s so many blessings to count. Right. And I’m good at that. I’m good at getting through tricky times. Well, I just get through them. I wouldn’t say I’m good at it. I’m just practised at it maybe. There’s been lots of tricky times and yet 2021 has felt like it’s kind of taken the cake.
Why is it this year that’s kind of been the year that I’ve found muddiest maybe? Like can’t get my feet moving, feels scattered in my head. What I shared on my Facebook page was after I go and see my psych, I have regular appointments with him. I don’t actually have mental health issues. I’m not depressed. I’ve luckily never suffered with anxiety, but I love my village of people who help me take care of myself and he’s one of them. I love our regular, our monthly catch up. This time I was like, I just don’t know what’s wrong. I think I’ll be fine and then I got it. Then it’ll just sort of slip away. I don’t have the energy to put into some of the things that I want to put into. I have the stimulants that I desired all through lockdown and I’m not accessing them in the usual ways. I am still tired. I feel worried about next year and getting my hopes up and all of this sort of stuff.
Anyway, he talked about this concept that he’s seeing amongst most of his parent clients that he called emotional collapse. Like we’re not operating from the same level. Even people who’ve worked on themselves for a long time, have coped with some big things and all of that sort of stuff, holding it together for so long through this pandemic and managing so much more than usual, and then less than usual at the same time, which is a weird concept. It’s like, we’ve got nothing left. It’s like, I’ll cry more easily. I’ll get frustrated more easily. I’ll be hysterical more easily. All these different things were sort of sitting there on the surface because we’ve just got nothing left. And so when I shared that with you guys, there was just some really interesting comments. I’ll read some to you because it just felt like we’ve all had our own experiences of it, but this is a thing and we’re all having to navigate new stuff.
I mean, Nina said she’s finding herself lacking in capacity to muster enthusiasm about 2022. Vanessa said, “I so totally relate to this. I feel like I’m only just keeping it together in a way I’ve never before experienced. The smallest of things makes me feel like I’ll fall in a heap. I’m hearing it from many female friends too. I feel like we’re traumatised.” Claire said she’s finding it totally unsettling and overwhelming, “How sad and exhausted my soul is, a unique feeling I don’t remember ever having before. And I don’t know if the old me will ever return. One foot in front of the other these days.” “It’s not that I’m tired, physically tired and physically exhausted. It’s right down to the soul,” says Sue. Claudia said, “Pushing constantly, emotionally and physically. I mean, I’m in Adelaide and we were lucky, still feel nervous, making huge goals moving forward.” You know, there’s stacks of them. There’s stacks of these comments.
I just feel like, yeah, a lot of people said it was resonating with them. I was asking this before recording this episode and letting you know that I’m about to record a whole series, the summer series of the podcast. I’m doing that. I’m getting it done before the kids finish school so that we can lock and load these. I can leave you with some exercises to do. There’s a little workbook that will accompany this that you can take down your own notes. I’m just going to take you through some exercises, some things that I do for myself at the end of and beginning of each year. I really hope it’s helpful for whatever it’s worth for you. You can participate. You can not. You can listen to nothing. You can go totally offline. I mean, I don’t mind what you do. This is stuff that I just do as a given, these are little simple processes that I take myself through. But there’s a different texture to it this year because we’re different, aren’t we?
I really am so grateful for this community of women, you listening to this, the women who follow me on socials, the women who participate in my programmes, because I learn so much from these comments. We can just get so in our own little world and think that that’s all that there is. It’s just this beautiful reminder that there is a collective experience here, but there is also everyone’s own unique experience, which gives you your knowing. I wanted to see out this year. I have stuff to do in 2022 that rhymes, taken it. I am a person who likes being in motion. You know, there’s been a lot of stagnancy. I’ve had to get very used to feeling still. Not my favourite place to be, but important to learn. It’s amazing. I’m grateful for it. I have a different threshold maybe for stress right now. It used to be a lot higher. I feel like that’s been totally recalibrated, which is not a bad thing. It’s actually a really, really good thing.
But I feel like just these things that I want to do, so I feel like a little bit of a reboot and a reactivation, but not into some weird overfunctioning hyper mode. Into like just that core part of me, that part of me that has visions of what is possible, the core part of me that knows she can. But this year really sort of started to question, which I’ve never really experienced before. I’ve always had quite a solid belief in myself. That was shaken this year. I’m going to go into three of the major things that came out of this year for me. Then I’m going to tell you about the first thing that is like a given, like it’s a non-negotiable for this summer series. Okay. It’s a non-negotiable. I’m making a rule. I don’t care if you’re not a rule follower. Neither am I. I’m just going to make this one and we’ve all got to stick to it. Okay.
I think that before I dive in, I just want you to know that if you are thinking thoughts like, what is real? Or, am I actually really happy? Is this really how I want to do life? If you’re thinking those sorts of big thoughts, welcome to the club. I think so many of us are sitting with much bigger questions than we ever have. I mean, can you remember the end of 2020? It was just like, oh God, can we just get to 2021? We’re so done with this, done with 2020. Let’s put a line in the sand. Now we’re like, okay, and maybe this is unique to the Melbourne experience. I don’t know. I’d be more than happy for you to share with me whether this resonates for you. I think as we see what’s going on around the world, as we notice that there’s really big issues facing the human collective, like climate change.
We kind of know it’s not going to be smooth sailing, that there’s big questions that we’re asking ourselves about what kind of leadership we are willing to accept for ourselves, what kind of involvement we want to have in conversations around that kind of thing. You know, our own level of personal activism, but at the same time, we’re bloody exhausted. If you’re asking yourselves these big questions but you’re also like holly jolly, I don’t even know how I’m going to get Christmas sorted. It’s okay. You aren’t alone. There’s so many people experiencing a kind of self-reflection amongst what feels like to me, a big communal reflection. We’re looking at the ways we do things in a completely different way. Maybe this is just me or the people that I speak to and the women in my programmes.
I reckon our tolerances for accepting bullshit is kind of getting smaller and smaller. This is me. Anyway, let me talk now, before I introduce the first idea of this summer series. My coffee’s gone cold. I’m going to talk about three different things that I came to realise this year. Three different… Well, I mean, I would say the most significant event of the year for me was when Mel, who was my right hand person in the business left the business to have her baby, her third baby earlier in the year. It was a big event in both our lives and it’s had such huge and surprising outcomes for me. I mean, to be absolutely totally honest with you, I was like, I don’t know if I can do this without her. I don’t know if I even want to, because she’d been with me for such a long time.
It was what I knew of doing this work. You know, being able to bring this work to you, being able to manage my work and my family, and all of that changed. You know you have those times. I think I felt this absolutely when I first started parenting on my own was, oh, even if you’ve come to the conclusion that your marriage or partnership is not the thing that’s going to go forward and there’s enough good reasons to move beyond it than there is to stay, having that other person in your life, it balances out parts of you. There’s things that are there that for sure in my marriage, there’s things that I still, I was crying on the way to the financial advisor, because if he was there for that, he would’ve had spreadsheets printed out, knew where everything was. I mean, he filed and did all those sorts of things. He balanced me in lots of ways and I miss elements of that partnership.
And so it was kind of the same when Mel left the business. Anyone who has experienced something similar will know that it’s almost like you start, I was getting confronted with all of my weaknesses over and over and over again. Because I mean, there’s no way I would’ve been able to build this all by myself. I was very, very aware very early on that if I was going to be able to help women in the way that I saw an opportunity to do, if I was going to be able to show up in my communities, on social media, all the different ways, then I was also going to have to have other people doing other things in the business. But I didn’t want to know that I was really bad at them. I just wanted to know that I was not choosing them. I didn’t have capacity for them.
But this year I really was shown that there’s absolutely areas of running a business that do not play to my strengths at all, which I knew, but I was like leaving it, it was uncomfortable. As I was building out this new team, they could see it too. They still can. That I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I honestly am so outrageously grateful to this team for sticking with me, for bringing their levels of genius. We’re still not even sorted in terms of having this whole thing working properly. What I really saw, and the reason why I’m sharing something about this aspect of my life is because a lot of you who listen are also running your own businesses. I’ve been doing this for a while and I’m always wanting to be transparent about it’s not like the easy route. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than anyone would ever know or should know.
I mean, you’re just there to receive the content, receive these podcasts. But why I wanted to share this with everyone is that it was just such a clear example to me of you think about your life, any single aspect of your life, you bring unique things to those different areas of your life. It’s become so clear to me what is required of me in order to be able to keep this business running, right? This is where things started to get sticky. This is where you might start to feel sticky. Sometimes in our relationships, when we’re not vibing, we can’t bring it, but we know we need to bring it in order for it to do well. With our parenting, when everything’s feeling off the rails, we know we need to bring our best selves but we are feeling depleted by the situation, so can we? This is a universal thing, right?
This is why I will always, you know, my third point here kind of contradicts this but I want to start with this is that we always need to focus on having ourselves in bringing our best selves to all of the situations. How do you do that though when you’re feeling completely exhausted and depleted? How do you give yourself grace when you see that things aren’t working properly but you don’t know how to bring something new? Or you’re homeschooling, home learning with your three kids and trying to wear all of the different hats and you just feel burnt out. It’s so hard. I got really, really clear this year. I can see now, well, by the end of this year that what my business needs from me is my own personal growth, my energy, my vision, my clarity, and my ability to hold space for others, to be there for others, to show up for others. In order to be able to do that, I’ve needed to get really, really honest with myself about what I actually need to feel like a good, vibing, humming Lisa Corduff.
This year, I was like, I can’t bring it. I’m not bringing it. I’m frustrated with myself. I’m not bringing it. For anyone who’s in my programmes, it’s like, okay, is this story? I was like having to give myself a whole lot of grace because often I don’t think we have to wait for circumstances to change in order to be able to change how we’re thinking to give ourselves energy. I mean, I shared here that we called it the lockdown of fun, and I was really focusing my attention on how to bring a lightheartedness to the situation. But the situation got me and my circumstances were such that I couldn’t deny that there were impacts from it. I wanted to, like bloody hell, I feel like I’ve been through harder things. My life is not that bad.
When I could really see that I wasn’t able to bring what I needed to bring to this business, all of the different things, I have had to get honest. I’ve had to forgive myself. I’ve had to love myself even harder. This is what I want to say. This is the lesson that Mel leaving taught me is that I have to honour that there’s different seasons. This particular year in business was probably my highest ever, because I was learning lessons like if not daily, hourly. There’s been things that have come up. There’s been weaknesses exposed. When I say weaknesses, I don’t say it as in like I’m bad at that. I’ve done enough bloody personality tests and human design and all that sort of stuff to also just I lovingly accept that there’s things that will never be what I can bring or that come particularly naturally to me.
But when you are confronted with them all the time, it’s like, oh God, this feels really hard. How do we get back in the easy zone, in the easeful, in the high vibe kind of zone? But it’s not bad for me to have had this season of realisations about what matters to me in business, about the type of culture that I want to create in this company. In understanding everything that’s going on behind the scenes, in learning about people, the people who are helping me to bring all of this to you. They really matter to me. I’ve had to figure out, figure them out and learn on the fly. When I say I’m grateful for them, it’s just an understatement. It took something really painful happening, it was painful, Mel leaving, to give me, I mean, the most growth that I’ve ever experienced in business. I mean, what a gift, right?
It’s always in those sticky moments, but it’s because of the heaviness of the year, because of the feeling like sort of never ending lockdowns, the vibe that that ended up taking on, they felt like they were lacking. And so this end of the year, I’m like, it’s okay, that can happen. We can have different seasons. I mean, just look at our children or even just now being the parent of a seven, nine, 11 year old, it’s a totally different season to what it was when they were three, five and seven. It’ll be completely different again. I mean, can you even imagine they’re 13, 15, and 17? I can’t even get my head around that. We just ride the seasons. We allow the seasons. That feels so much nicer to do than just being hard on myself. That things that I wasn’t clear on certain things, I couldn’t quite have the energy for all the bits done, doneski.
Anyway, in next week, we take an inventory on things. I’m going to help you work out like I’m sharing with you really honestly and there’s a reason for that. Hopefully that will help you next week. The second thing that really was significant for me this year was the journey that I’ve been on with my youngest child, my daughter. She’s so awesome. She is anxious. She is exceptionally creative. She’s a deep thinker. I mean, she’s honestly every single day, I’m like, what did you just say? She’s really amazing. This year, she started having panic attacks and it was awful. It was in the second lockdown. I felt very helpless as a mother. Then I felt myself going into Lisa will fix it mode. There was lots of things that we’ve done together. There’s lots of support that I’ve been able to give her.
But here’s the thing that I’m taking away from it. This is a lesson that I’m so glad that I have learned and I learned it with my husband who I was desperately trying to fix for a long time. I thought it was actually my job to make sure he was okay as he struggled through addiction. I wanted to make it better for her. I wanted to make it go away. I wanted to fix this issue. Because of all the work that I’ve done and because of support from her psychologist and all of that sort of stuff, and I talk about this in my programmes all the time. I find it one of the hardest aspects of parenting is to allow your child to have their experience of life and love them through it and love yourself through it and not take on the fixing, because I can’t actually fix what’s happening for her. I can absolutely get myself some new tools.
I can absolutely speak to people who understand this stuff, but at the end of the day, when something’s happening with our child and we wish it wasn’t so, we have a choice into which mode we go into. I can support her and love her, or I can make myself crazy thinking that I have to fix this, make it go away. Her life’s going to be terrible if I can’t get on top of this and blah, blah, blah. Can you see the different energy in that? Like, hey, this is happening and this sucks. This is really hard for you, but I’m here and we’ll get through. Learning that gave me peace this year. Having learned that over the years, it’s okay for someone else, especially for our children to have hard experiences, to go through things and not take it on as something that we’re ultimately responsible for and need to fix. Because they’re coming here to have their own experience of life and all of it is informing them and growing them and we can love them.
Our love won’t fix it, but our love will help them. I discovered a new level of freedom in my parenting as we went through this together, as I felt myself going back into, and it’s okay to have that reaction. It’s okay to also want to fix something, but there’s also things that are beyond our control. Noticing that and sitting with it and being a warm open vessel for my children as opposed to the person with all the answers and that is a solution finder who goes into that codependent zone felt really good. I proved to myself that I could bring a different level because she also didn’t need me heightened about all of this. She needed me level. I thought I would share that with you because it might seem insignificant, but it was actually huge for me. Cold coffee finished. The last thing is that, and it goes back to one of the first, you know, that first sort of point that I was making.
I really wanted to just share sort of, well, the opposite. Well, no, it’s not the opposite. Okay. Let me explain. I sort of see life, the life I’m living, I’m Lisa a whole person, but I’m also Lisa the mom. I have this role, this container in which, you know, in this house, in their lives, I’m a mom. We’re a family. We’re a family of four. I cherish that. It’s really important container for me. There’s also the container of my work. That container is sacred to me as well. There’s other people in there and you guys are all in there too. But it can be my team, my extended community, the women who choose to actually step up and say, yep, and work with me, so important to me, sacred container. I bring things to these containers.
My relationship is a little container. That’s just the two of us in there and that’s sacred. There’s my friendships. Sometimes feels like it’s just lots of different little containers, different friends and different areas, different ways in which I communicate with them. My family of origin, that’s a container. I’m Lisa amongst all of this. I’ve got all my different containers that mean so much to me, each thrives when I’m thriving but this is what I learned this year. I’m kind of surprised it took me this long. I am surprised that it took me this long to figure out because I don’t know about you, but I’ve been so focused on working on myself my entire actual life. I was always putting my hand up for leadership things or extracurriculars.
I was always looking for opportunities to extend myself, grow myself. I mean, at uni I was totally in the… We used to go, I don’t know if anyone else went to Deakin in Burwood. I was the leader on the Central Australia trips and trips to the snow and all that sort of stuff. I put my hand up, do it, because I would know I’d grow from it. I’ve always been doing that. I’ve always been showing up for other people. I’ve always been working on myself so that I can show up for other people. The thing that I realised in 2021 is that those little containers also contain energy for me to draw on. It’s not just about putting in, it’s also something that feeds me and it’s okay to receive from those containers. It’s literally okay for me to just sit with ridiculous appreciation for my children, just enjoy them, just soak up, soak it all up. Oh my God, I feel like crying at just the simplicity of the idea that I don’t have to be the giver all the time in that matrix, that I get to receive from them too.
It’s kind of the same with everybody here, this community. I think I show up and give off myself. What happened during these past probably two years is if you follow me on Instagram, especially doing stories and all that kind of thing and sometimes just being silly like really, I am so, oh God. I mean just the funny conversations, the comments that you give back. I actually allowed myself to just appreciate it instead of just thinking of all the things that I could be doing better all the time or all the ways in which maybe I didn’t say that right, or that’s getting a bit self-indulgent or whatever it is. I just allowed myself to receive it, like appreciate you. Can you see how it’s kind of a different vibe? Like which containers in your life do you feel like exists and you feel you’ve got to put in. We all do.
I mean, it’s true that these things, and I don’t think that there’s a simpler example than in our close relationship, you know, a partnership or a marriage or whatever. You know, we can see that both people doing well, that’s humming along if there’s other elements that are right. Then when someone’s not, someone’s not humming. I certainly didn’t feel humming all the time. Well, there’s just this opportunity to get filled up from the other person, have that be something that gives to you. I mean, probably very obvious to a lot of people, but to me a new realisation. Like I think I was so focused on being independent after being codependent that I lost the interdependence, the to and fro, it’s a beautiful thing. Still sort of learning all about it. But you know, I always feel like it’s friendships. I don’t think that there’s more, I mean, I would say friendships kind of form the solid roots, the root of my life.
I don’t think there is more, the meaningful connection that I get through my friendships is sustaining and I have had to receive it more and more. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. It’s okay for us to just go, I need it. You know, I need this from this today, or I need you, or I need to say this. But that meaningful connection, it starts with us, doesn’t it? Do I have a friendship and a meaningful connection with myself? Then, can I share that with other people? I show up better when I’ve gotten to know myself, when I’ve gotten to sink into that like I am a container too. This is a container. This container exists in all these other little containers. But how’s the one, like how’s the feedback loop going in here? How’s the relationship? How’s the vibe? How’s the connection to self? Really matters. It’s like friendships, this root, like I’m still the tree. For some reason, this year I started to see myself as someone who needed filling up.
I could get that through my connections, not just to self, not just like I’m not the only one who is responsible here for bringing my best self to the things. If I’m not, I can lean into these containers. They exist for my nourishment too. That’s been an amazing thing to realise. Once again, you’re probably like, Lisa, welcome to the party. That, you know, we can only know these things, we can only truly know them because we can hear this stuff. But we can only really know them when we’re ready to know them. That’s the big things that have come out of the year for me, bit of a random mix, right? It has been a random year. Here’s what I want to leave you with, is I hope you’re going to join me for the summer series.
As I just take you through, they’re going to be short episodes. I’m just going to leave you with a simple task. You can go and download your workbook right now and you can get started on the very first thing. I really want you to sync into this because I don’t think we’re particularly great about it. I really don’t. I’m not too sure about you, but for me, my energy is everything. I can be a better mom, a better friend, a better partner, a better sister, a better CEO when my energy is high. There’s so many reasons why us women have normalised feeling really tired and depleted. When I start to feel like this, there’s 10 things that I start to ask myself. I’ve put them together in a free downloadable for you so that you can get on top of your energy for 2022. We don’t have to feel tired all the time. It’s actually not normal to feel that way.
I know that 2021 took it out of so many of us. So I want you to know that you can go right ahead and click on the link in the show notes and get taken to my 10 questions that I ask myself. I encourage you to ask yourself if your energy is low. Let’s get vibing higher in 2022. Yeah. Check out the link now. 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. 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. I’ll see you in the next episode.