CwL Ep95: Stories of Change with Emma Gilmour

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Have you ever reached the point where you know you can’t keep going but you also have no idea what’s next?

Have you ever found it hard to communicate with your partner or your boss about the fact that you’re just not coping?

Have you found yourself in health sabotaging habits that you know aren’t good for you, but you just can’t seem to stop?

If any of this rings true then you’re going to love hearing from Emma Gilmour. 

A high-flying corporate marketing guru, Emma found herself drinking two bottles of wine per night, getting up and running each morning, transporting kids to where they needed to be (and more often than not being late to collect them), partying hard and working all hours in her global role. Needless to say – she was heading straight towards a breaking point.

When she arrived there she had to ask herself some pretty big questions and her transformation since that time in 2019 is … jaw-dropping!

This Story of Change is going to inspire you to look at the identity and habits you’ve created for yourself that might not be working for you and start cultivating a life that feels more aligned with who you are.

CONTENT WARNING: Suicide, Alcohol Dependence.

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www.hoperisingcoaching.com
IG: @hoperisingcoaching

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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here

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.

I’m so excited to kick off our stories of change that will be featured on the podcast here on conversations over the next little while, ongoing, I think, because I don’t know about you, but you know what I really like more than anything else? Is examples of women who are living their lives in ways that they didn’t even think were possible in themselves. I love hearing stories about it. I love hearing where they came from. I love seeing myself amongst it. I love the lessons and the insights that come from conversations with people who have created some sort of change for themselves that’s made their life better. And it’s really, really nuts, but how often these changes actually extend out way beyond them as a person. The ripple effects are huge.

Today, you’re going to meet Emma Gilmore, who was a part of the very first round of Ready for Change. And when you hear about where she was in her life in 2019 and where she is now, it is going to help you see that, really, you can do the scariest things and be okay, and even thrive. Emma’s work that she’s doing now in the world, she moved from being a corporate marketing guru to, well, she’s going to tell you all about what she’s doing now that’s a direct result of her saying, “No more,” to the things that weren’t working for her and taking a big, big leap and starting to follow what actually felt good. She definitely got to a crisis point in her life, and it was sort of soon after that that she found Ready for Change.

And that programme you’ll hear the stories, the things that she was telling herself that she busted through in order to be able to create this life that she’s living right now, which means she’s a completely different mom to her children and almost might have cried when she was telling one of the stories in this interview. But I think you’re going to love her. I think the work that she’s doing in the world when you hear about it is so important right now. And I, for one, am super glad that she ended up facing down and calling bullshit on a lot of the reasons that she was telling herself, the beliefs that she had about why she couldn’t go forth and do things that really mattered to her. She is really inspiring. And I think today you are going to learn a lot from Emma Gilmore. Here’s the conversation.

Lisa Corduff: Hey, Emma.

Emma Gilmour: Hello.

Lisa Corduff: This is exciting. This actually feels like a long time in the making, this chat. I think you’ve put yourself out there to be on the podcast before, just in terms of the work that you’re doing with women. And I love that what we’ll get to do today is really share your story of change, and I just know the incredible ripple effect that your story being out in the world is going to have.

Lisa Corduff: So, thank you for putting up your hand to say yes to when I was like, “Where’s some Ready For Changers? Let’s tell some awesome stories about what’s possible.” Because I think especially at the moment with where the world is at, it can feel like things out there take precedence over the things that are inside.

Lisa Corduff: And I always come back to that the world can get very, very crazy, and we are humans. We’re not robots. We’re impacted by it all. But there’s things within us that we can control and we can work on that can actually give us a beautiful feeling of peace. And in fact, and I want to ask you about what happened just a few weeks ago for you where you got to put that in action.

Lisa Corduff: But first of all, Emma, do you want to just tell everyone… So what you do right now, let’s just give them a sense of that, and then we’re going to take them right back to where things were in 2019.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. So I am a now qualified counsellor psychotherapist, and I am a This Naked Mind and Grey Area Drinking alcohol coach. So, I work with women who are finding that booze isn’t serving them anymore, and they want to see what will open up for them if they chose to either cut down or just stop drinking altogether.

Lisa Corduff: It’s just such important work to be doing. Now, three years ago, would you have imagined that this would be what you were doing? Where were you at 2018, 2019?

Emma Gilmour: 2018, 2019 was a really tough time for me. I was working for a big corporate company and I was totally running on empty. I was doing all the things; working full-time, running to daycare to pick my kids up and barely making it half the time and then being told off. I was literally existing on caffeine and adrenaline and trying to be all the things. Phone calls in the middle of the night because I was working for a global company, breastfeeding, trying to get my kids to sleep, all this stuff, and it felt really stressful. Really stressful. And then I ended up in a very toxic work situation, and I think because I had been so… I would call it brittle. I was so out of juice, I just broke. I just couldn’t couldn’t manage it. I couldn’t bounce back from it. And I think a little bit to do with my age as well. I was a little bit in that, “I’m actually not going to put up with it either.”

Lisa Corduff: So, those two things came together.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: To create the perfect storm.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. I was full of anxiety. I was having panic attacks. I ended up leaving my work, and knowing that by doing so I was leaving my career forever because it’s a very small town, Melbourne. I think putting your hand up and saying you can’t cope in the corporate world is, or certainly, was not on at all. “We’ll blacklist you.”

Lisa Corduff: Wow. Really, still, this day and age?

Emma Gilmour: Totally. There’s a lot of talk, good talk about mental health. But the reality of it is quite different.

Lisa Corduff: You’re either doing your job well or you’re not doing your job.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. For sure.

Lisa Corduff: And business has to have…

Emma Gilmour: Business has to keep going. I suppose if you think about it from their perspective, if you were going to employ somebody and you phoned up someone and was like, “Oh, off the record, mate, how was that person working for you?” “Well, they had a bit of a breakdown,” and you’ve got to choose that one or the one who didn’t…

Lisa Corduff: Yeah. I’ve just never been a part of that corporate machine, and I use the word machine because sometimes like from the outside looking in, it’s a churn. It’s just these clogs, and it just has to keep going, keep going, keep going. And humans get spat out either end. And it’s like, “Is this working for anybody?” Even although, I mean, I know that some people do love it. Okay. So, you’d come to this point where you were like, “And… This no more.” And then you…

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. So, “This isn’t working.”

Lisa Corduff: “This is not working. I can’t do this anymore.” So was it at that point, was Ready For Change after?

Emma Gilmour: So, yeah. I was a bit of a mess. And like I said, I had to build myself up again and I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who I was. I had no idea. “Who am I?” I’ve worked in marketing all my life, in corporate marketing, and I’m like, “Who am I?”

Lisa Corduff: … Identity.

Emma Gilmour: No idea.

Lisa Corduff: Yes.

Emma Gilmour: I must have been following you or something, and some ad came over, or something came up about Ready For Change, and I was like, “She’s talking to me.”

Lisa Corduff: Yeah. You know when it’s the thing. People often say that. They’re just like, “Did you write that for me? Are you in my head?” “No, there’s just a few of us out there who’ve been at this point.” Yep.

Emma Gilmour: And I remember talking to my friend about, I was like, “Oh, should I do this? I don’t know if I should do this. I’ve not got a job. Where am I going to…” And I had got some money from that company that was a little bonus or something from what the year before. I was like, “Yep, use that money [inaudible].” And I was like, “I’m not going to tell anyone. I’m just going to do it.” And then I joined the programme. It’s the first online programme I’ve ever joined.

Lisa Corduff: Wow.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. It just shifted everything for me. I just connected with the people. I thought you were wonderful. The messages were just like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.” I did the values work that you do as part of the course, and that just blew my mind.

Lisa Corduff: Because you didn’t know what your values were?

Emma Gilmour: Not at all. And I’m like, “My values are not working in corporate marketing churning out plastic fork confectionary. That is not…”

Lisa Corduff: Oh, God.

Emma Gilmour: “Not in line with my values at all.” But yet, I’ve got hung up on this whole idea of myself as this corporate, very proud of what I was, but also seeking validation externally all the time. “Choose me, choose me. Am I OK? Am I OK?”

Lisa Corduff: Yes.

Emma Gilmour: And then you’re suddenly learning your values. My values were, I think my core value was personal growth. And I’m like, “Ooh, this is interesting. Personal growth, adventure, magic. All these beautiful things.”

Lisa Corduff: Yes. It is a mind blowing thing that we are living these lives, and so much of the time we don’t know why they’re feeling off or why we’re… I mean, there’s so many different ways to figure out your values, but that particular way that I teach in Ready For Change, I think it takes you out of your mind. It takes you out of trying to think just logically through it and gives you different way to do it. And then when you see them there, it’s like, “Well, now I know why this relationship doesn’t align or this particular routine,” or, “Oh, my god, adventure is my core value? And I haven’t been feeding that at all.” And then there’s such simple ways that you can start to bring this in. I mean, I love that.

Lisa Corduff: But tell me, I mean, obviously that programme is really about uncovering what’s below the surface that’s stopping you instead of the things that we think might be stopping us. So, what were some of those, we call them stories, those subconscious stories that you started to realise, “Oh, maybe this is the thing.”

Emma Gilmour: Yes. Yeah. So, I had a whole heap in there and they were mainly should do with other people.

Lisa Corduff: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That old chestnut. Yeah. Because it’s everyone else’s fault that you can’t have what you want, isn’t it? If only they would change.

Emma Gilmour: Exactly. And it’s so interesting how actually completely untrue all of those thoughts and beliefs that I had were. And actually, a lot of them I had my poor husband as being this like, “Oh, he wouldn’t be able to deal with that at all. He wouldn’t encourage it.”

Emma Gilmour: My thing was, I wanted to step out and be an entrepreneur and run my own business. That’s what I thought I wanted to do, but I just thought there’s no way I ever could. I had this identity as a person who… and I’d often say it, but in the same way that I remember I was laughing about this was about childbirth. I remember saying, “I am always going to take all the drugs and I’m going to do all the things,” and then when I have my first baby, I did that. My second baby, I had a home birth.

Emma Gilmour: And it’s so interesting how you have these ideas about what you’re going to be and what you’re going to do, and then actually something in your deep inner knowing starts telling you, “That’s actually not going to be the right thing for me.” And it was similar with this. That whole idea of, you’ve got all these ideas, that things are a certain way and you are literally seeing the world through these glasses, and then it turns out that actually that’s absolute bullshit and you can 100% do all of these things.

Emma Gilmour: And the person I thought who was going to stop me was, my husband, actually supported me through every decision I made. Even going on and investing in the rest of my journey, which I would never have thought in a million years that he would do. But things around, “Somebody like me can’t run my own business. Somebody like me can’t manage my taxes. Somebody like me can’t… And how are we ever going to afford it, and what’s going to happen?” And all these kind of stories.

Lisa Corduff: Kicked to the curb.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: But this is the thing, and I think the process that we take people through in Ready For Change is to help you actually see it as false. And so then if it is, and if it’s not true, well then, what do I want to create here? What is possible for me?

Lisa Corduff: So, tell me at what point all the stories about… Because I know the booze things started to come in.

Emma Gilmour: Yes. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: Tell me about how that was also starting to play out for you. Did Ready For Change spark that like what I’m telling myself about…

Emma Gilmour: Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: … Alcohol might not be true, or was it already a journey, you’d already started to open up to with your breakdown?

Emma Gilmour: I think I had started to realise there was a problem. Because once I left my work, my drinking escalated because I was really not in a good place and I was using it as a coping mechanism.

Emma Gilmour: But I think initially with Ready For Change, the two other pieces in Ready For Change that really set me on this path were the meditation and visioning what my future could look like. So, I started along this track of, I want to help people in some way and I love learning about the brain and how things work. And I particularly love learning about thoughts and beliefs and how you can change, and often that the thoughts and beliefs that we carry are just nonsense from society, from ourselves growing up as little people, and I found all that really, really interesting.

Emma Gilmour: So, Ready For Change got me on the journey of, “I think I want to…” So, I remember deciding I wanted to do a masters in counselling, and I did that. And then I wanted to work with young people and mental health initially. And then I decided I probably wasn’t the right person just to work with young people and mental health because I wasn’t probably on their wavelength as much being that I’m nearly 50.

Emma Gilmour: So, I decided instead to train as someone to work with parents, which was the beginning of the journey. So, I trained in Tuning into Teens, which I’m actually… This is so fortuitous. Tonight, I’m going to be a facilitator for my first ever Tuning into Teens meeting here locally.

Lisa Corduff: Well done, Em.

Emma Gilmour: I know, right? I was just looking at my journal from Ready For Change, and it’s like, “Train to be a facilitator for Tuning Into Teens.”

Lisa Corduff: And you’re just ticking it off. You are just ticking it off.

Emma Gilmour: And then as I was going through all that, I realised that something was still not right for me. And funnily enough, then I saw another ad for an online course which was Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind alcohol experiment, which was all about changing your thoughts and beliefs around alcohol. So, there was load of other stuff like learning the science and learning how your emotions affect what you do and your behaviours, and learning how to manage cravings and all that kind of stuff. The core, core message in there is that our thoughts and beliefs around alcohol are actually bullshit also.

Emma Gilmour: So, one of the very first things that I did when I was on that programme was wrote down a list of all the things that I loved about alcohol. And so I had on there, “I love the taste of wine.” “I can’t imagine having a meal out with somebody without drinking.” “I can’t imagine my identity,” very similarly to the work I did with you, “I can’t imagine my identity if I’m not a corporate marketer,” it was like, “I can’t imagine my identity if I’m not a drinker. Who am I? That’s all I do. Everything I do revolves around drinking. I don’t have any…” I used to run every morning, and I used to think because I ran every morning, I was super healthy, and then I’d drink two bottles of wine every the evening.

Lisa Corduff: Self-destruction is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Yep.

Emma Gilmour: I’d still get up and run every morning.

Lisa Corduff: Oh, God.

Emma Gilmour: But yeah. So basically, that programme that I did with Annie Grace was busting through stories. So I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve learned to bust through stories with Lisa. Then I’ve tried doing my counselling course. Now I’m busting through stories around alcohol.”

Emma Gilmour: Also, it was in the process of busting through some of those stories like the things like, “I’m fun and fun people drink.” And I’m like, “Okay. So, is that really true? Is that really true? So, when I’m passed out in the back garden and we’ve got friends round, is that fun? When my kids come out to the garden and they want to do a performance for us and we’re sat drinking and we don’t want to watch them because we want to carry on drinking, is that fun?”

Lisa Corduff: Yep.

Emma Gilmour: There’s so many things like that. And I think for me, just busting through those stories like, “Am I ever going to have a good social life? What are my friends going to think of me?” And we go through and you’re like, “Actually most of my true friends are so supportive of what I’m doing, and those that aren’t, we’re not friends in the first place, because why would a friend want you to carry on doing something that harms you?”

Lisa Corduff: Right. And I’m sorry, I mean, I follow you on Instagram; your life looks very fun, can I just say? All of the fun things that you do.

Emma Gilmour: That’s right. My life is so much more fun now I’m having to plan everything around alcohol. I remember going to people’s houses. We’d got like, “Okay, so we’ll get the train there so we don’t have to drive back and don’t have to get the car.” Even going to the cinema, I’d be like, “Okay, well I want to drink cinema, so…” Even though I was going to watch, I don’t know, The Greatest Showman with my children, I’d still polish off a bottle of champagne there and think that was perfectly normal. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: Wow. Now you look back, do you… Because I think that when we are in it, we have normalised certain things.

Emma Gilmour: Totally.

Lisa Corduff: And that’s in everything in our lives. It’s quite an extraordinary human trait for us to be able to normalise and cope through and live through what is actually quite exceptional circumstances.

Lisa Corduff: I mean, you just even think about what’s going on in Ukraine at the moment. And suddenly it’s like, “Oh no, this weekend not catching up with friends at that birthday party, we’re actually just going to go and we’re going to gather some things and I’ll meet you down at that checkpoint because we’re going to try and do a human shield.” And you know it’s bizarre, but you’re doing it because we can quite quickly normalise things.

Emma Gilmour: That’s right.

Lisa Corduff: I mean, I know for me watching on as someone and as obviously Nick was going further and further and further down his path with alcohol, it was a slow burn. And there were absolute moments where you think, “That’s a line in the sand,” or, “That’s a rock bottom,” or, “That’s a something.” But I know I had also normalised a level of drinking that really wasn’t normal.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: And so in the work that you do now with women, I’m just really curious to know, just because I’m quite genuinely curious, and because I just think you would be such a warm hug on the other side of someone realising, “Hang on, I think I’ve got to do something about this here.” I can’t imagine someone better to work with than you because you’re amazing.

Lisa Corduff: Do you think that more people are not waiting for a rock bottom or a really big line in the sand moment? Do you think that there’s a different, growing awareness that what has been created at the moment is a level of normalised drinking in our country in particular that people are now just starting to realise isn’t normal?

Emma Gilmour: Yeah, I think so. Not drinking’s become much more part of the conversation, hasn’t it? And so I think people are a lot more willing, because there’s still so much shame and embarrassment around drinking.

Lisa Corduff: I know. Terrible.

Emma Gilmour: It’s just terrible. It’s really sad. It’s really sad because it prevents so many of us from having the conversations we need to have, and from just knowing that the problem is not us, that it’s an addictive substance and it does things to our bodies and our brains that mean that we want more of it every time we have a drink.

Emma Gilmour: I think once people start to understand that and it starts to become part of the narrative and we get rid of some of the really horrible ways that we talk about othering people who have become addicted to an addictive substance; it’s becoming more and more normalised, I think, for people to seek help and guidance, and it’s almost becoming part of a health conversation. Because as well, finally we’re getting the evidence based research that’s actually shared in communities saying that there is actually nothing… And I’m not an anti-drinking person at all. I think you know the risks, you make your choices. But where often you don’t know the risks because we don’t talk about the risks that I think people do need to see that, and I think that’s becoming more of a conversation. So, it’s becoming more socially acceptable for people to reach out and get help and just start talking to their friends about it.

Lisa Corduff: Yes. It’s why I would always take the opportunity to have a conversation about it because of the shame that is out there. I mean, I don’t know if I ever told you, but Nick and I started a documentary about his recovery journey.

Emma Gilmour: Wow.

Lisa Corduff: Because we just kept on thinking, “If this is happening to us, then this is happening to a lot more people, and you’re a good, amazing, clever, loving, creative human who’s dealing with this thing and has found himself in this situation.”

Lisa Corduff: Even for me, when people started to use the word alcoholic, I mean, talk about stories that we’ve created about things talk about. He didn’t like that word, I didn’t necessarily like that word because of the things that we had… Well, because of stories about what that would mean for someone.

Lisa Corduff: And I just kept on thinking, “That’s not our life. What? Hang on. Not you, not me.” And I mean, this was back in 2017, was really when it all hit off. But for a few years before that, it was trying to really have him see that this was a problem that needed to be spoken about.

Lisa Corduff: I think even just in the last few years of pandemic and people being alone in their homes and starting to really recognise things were maybe out of their control, that that’s been probably a reason for them to have a conversation or reach out or try an intervention at some point. But I can imagine all of the stories that they have to actually come through in order to be able to get to the point where they’re reaching out to someone like you.

Emma Gilmour: I’s right. It’s huge.

Lisa Corduff: It’s huge, isn’t it?

Emma Gilmour: So huge.

Lisa Corduff: Yes.

Emma Gilmour: I know this is going to sound funny, but testimonials. If I have a client and we have a really good relationship, and completely understandably because of the way society is, it’s quite hard to get a testimonial. Not cause people haven’t… Or it has to be anonymous. And then people are like, “Ooh, who’s this person with all these anonymous testimonials?” But it’s because society judges, makes such judgements.

Lisa Corduff: Oh, I just love that you’re out there doing this work. Do you feel really aligned and purposeful? What’s changed for you, for that person who was broken by the corporate machine, who was doing too much to feel healthy; who is 2022 Emma?

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. 2022 Emma, I just feel so incredibly grateful to have been on this journey. And Lisa, I always say that Ready For Change was the start of all of this, because it really was. And so, I feel so privileged to sit here and talk to you about this because it’s amazing. But 2022 Emma is a really happy, happy person inside. Not because life’s always good and happy and upbeat, but because I know now that I have my own back, that I have the resources within me to look after myself, to nurture myself, to love myself enough to try to the right decisions for myself all the time. Not all the time, but…

Lisa Corduff: So, tell me how that played out. I mean, it just makes me so happy to hear that that’s how you feel. I mean, it’s the holy grail, right?

Emma Gilmour: Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: So, how did that play out a few weeks ago?

Emma Gilmour: Yeah, so it was really interesting. So, my little daughter who’s 11 has really struggled through COVID with anxiety, and I think COVID gave her the opportunity to reach into her herself. She enjoys her own come and she likes to be quiet. And I think prior to COVID because she had to go to school; she had to go there, put on a show, and be all the things, and she never for a moment questioned whether or not she would do that. And then of course COVID come along and she sank into herself and she became very isolated and very depressed.

Emma Gilmour: When we came back to the new normal, she struggled to get to school. So, she was struggling with anxiety and she really struggled to get to school, and then things just got worse and worse and worse, and she was in a really bad place a couple of weeks ago.

Emma Gilmour: And it was really scary for us all because it was me and my eldest child and my youngest, and we were in a situation where it just felt like I didn’t know what the next thing to do was, next right thing. She was just so distressed. She wasn’t talking. She was really untouchable. And then she said the magic words, which were, “I really want to speak to somebody, Mom. I really want to speak to somebody.” And it was 10 o’clock and I’m like, “What the hell do we do? She wants to speak to someone now.”

Lisa Corduff: “Let’s make this happen. How do we do that?”

Emma Gilmour: So, we all bundled into the car and I took her to Royal Childrens thinking that was the only thing I could think to do, and she was crying in the back. My eldest daughter was crying in back. She was talking about self-harm, suicide… Sorry. She was talking about having thoughts about suicide, and it was really intense. And I remember driving along and feeling to terrified, and feeling so frightened that my baby was struggling. I couldn’t seem to help her.

Emma Gilmour: Sorry. I couldn’t seem to help her. I was scared of what was going to happen when we went to hospital. I was worried that people would think that there was something wrong with our family, that we had done something to her. I didn’t know what to think, I just knew that the next right thing was to go to the hospital.

Emma Gilmour: And I remember reaching inside me, and this is what all this work to me has been so powerful is that it allows us to… Even our kids at their darkest, darkest times are having their own experiences, and we are able to separate ourselves a little bit from that experience and be the adult. Be the adult in the room. So, I can comfort my own self. And I remember driving along saying to myself, “It’s going to be okay, Emma. You’re going to be all right.” So, I’m comforting my little Emma who’s going, “I’m really frightened,” and at the same time I’m going to go in and I’m going to be the Mom and I’m going to be mature. And if she doesn’t want me in the room while she’s talking, that’s going to be okay. Because it’s not about me, it’s about her, and I can comfort my inner child. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: I mean, I’m just crying this story but you…

Emma Gilmour: It was a big moment, but it was interesting. It was so interesting to just be able to go, “Okay, this isn’t about you. This person can have their own experience and you are still you. You are still the person within your skin.” And in order to be the parent in the room, you need to be able to manage yourself and comfort yourself and look after yourself and love yourself too, and then ensure that we’ve got all those self-care pieces in place to support yourself outside of that.

Emma Gilmour: But we went through the process and look, it’s still a work in progress. We’re still not 100% there, but we’ve accessed the right places and we’re in the wait lists for all the resources that we need to be. And I feel like we are, and I would by no means say that I’m doing this perfectly, I’m really not, but I do feel that not drinking and not having drunk and having done the work that I’ve done post and during Ready For Change are the things that I’m making it possible for me to show up as my best self.

Lisa Corduff: It’s really, really amazing. I know you’re like, “I’m not doing the best job,” but I think that’s exceptional. Isn’t it the truth that we don’t escape life being hard and throwing us all sorts of curve balls and pain and all of those things, but the knowing that you have in yourself that you can carry yourself through these things, that you can come back to a place within yourself that feels solid even amongst the storm must be so amazing. And to think that we can also expect ourselves to get through life without that. That’s what surprises me sometimes.

Lisa Corduff: Yeah. I mean, I remember a few years ago saying to a friend, Nick had gone into rehab again, and I just said, “I don’t know. I still feel like my feet are on the ground this time.” Because I was swaying in the breeze, but I had solid feet. I felt unflappable, like nothing… Even although it was full on, I had worked to find that place inside myself that could get the kids up to school the next day, even if it might be through tear-stained eyes.

Lisa Corduff: Because I feel like this is the thing, one of the biggest barriers to people, even you saying, “I didn’t tell anyone that I signed up to Ready For Change.” We just go and hide away and do these things that feel really indulgent for ourselves.

Emma Gilmour: Yes.

Lisa Corduff: But at the end of the day, any time we spend money, energy, our own attention being on us, it’s not just us who benefit. And that’s why I said ripple effect, because you said yes to this, but look at how you showed up for your daughter.

Lisa Corduff: Three or four years ago, you might have had to call an ambulance if you…

Emma Gilmour: Oh, totally.

Lisa Corduff: … Hadn’t been able to drive.

Emma Gilmour: Totally. Totally.

Lisa Corduff: And she had a mom who was there, who was counselling herself because of the things that you’ve taught yourself through this, and was this solid presence for her when everything in her life felt out of control. I mean, what a gift. And then you’re showing up on social media, you’re creating a business around helping other women find that place in themselves too and move past one of the biggest barriers that so many people have to a stable and healthy and self-love fueled life. And that is this tricky relationship with alcohol that literally so many people have.

Emma Gilmour: Yes.

Lisa Corduff: The ripple effect of you in this world, Emma Gilmour, is amazing. Even just sharing that story was making me cry. So, I think there’s lots of people who are probably pretty glad that you faced down all those stories and have committed to… And in the moment when you said, “No, not anymore for me the corporate life.” Like really. In that moment when it feels like, “I don’t even know what I’m going to do, I feel like I’m like there’s no nothing underneath me, I don’t even know who I have anymore,” look what can happen when we sometimes just take a really big leap.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: Because no more of that, even though I don’t know what’s coming.

Emma Gilmour: No, no. And it’s a lovely feeling, isn’t it? That feeling that actually whatever happens is going to be okay. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: Yep. I know how confronting that is for people to hear because they’d be like, “Well, it’s not okay that your daughter…”

Emma Gilmour: No.

Lisa Corduff: “Is having suicidal thoughts,” or they say to me, “Well, it’s not okay that Nick died.” And it’s like, “Well, yeah. Not great things happen, but we can find the okay amongst it.” I’m still okay.

Emma Gilmour: And that’s huge especially with alcohol, because a lot of people drink because they’re trying to cope with their feelings, what’s going on around them. And a lot of what I do when I’m working with people with alcohol is about helping them to learn how to have the big emotions, learn how to feel the big feelings, and still be okay.

Lisa Corduff: You are so important.

Emma Gilmour: You too.

Lisa Corduff: You’re doing very important things because, yeah. And especially right now amongst the world. I mean, I’ve got lots of tools in my toolbox, Emma, but I’m feeling overwhelmed by all of the things just… and thinking lot about the thought patterns and habits that were created during those two years of lockdown. You are in Melbourne too. Even knowing what I know, sometimes it’s hard to shift. Well, if habits were easy to change, everyone would just change, but you actually have to really work at it and you have to have the energy for it. And I think people right now are just feeling like, “What’s the point when bad things just keep happening?”

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: We can find that that centre of ourselves amongst the storm, then we know what’s true in a moment, and that can sometimes be the thing that makes a difference.

Emma Gilmour: Totally.

Lisa Corduff: And I do think it’s base level, is where we should be focused on in terms of our health and our habits, and our connecting with people, because it’s a lot. And I think we’re witnessing our children having all sorts of responses.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: I mean, I went to the doctor earlier this week just because I feel like total crud and he’s like, “It’s a virus.” I’m like, “Yeah, I know. But I just, for some reason, needed someone to tell me because I really feel rotten.” And he said, “Well, look to tell you the truth, I mean, you had COVID back in January and we still don’t really fully understand a lot of how, if then you catch something else, how a body has recovered or not recovered fully from having COVID in their system.” And he goes, “There’s so much we don’t know.” And I think about, it was literally just a few months ago, Emma, that we were all allowed back out again and our children, and then we had a summer that we were like, “This is good. This is good.”

Emma Gilmour: “What is this?”

Lisa Corduff: “This is good, but weird, and I don’t really know how to do this anymore.” But now it’s like, “Okay, thanks. I’m so grateful we had that summer. Now it’s back to school, work, whatever people did.” It’s literally just actually a matter of weeks that we’ve been asking ourselves and our children to just be like, “This is how we do it now. But have your RATs twice a week. So, let’s just have a little bit of anxiety twice a week about whether we’re going to come back negative. But anyway, netball after school and we’ve got karate tomorrow. I’ll get you uniforms out on the line.” We’re expecting a lot from ourselves at the moment, aren’t we?

Emma Gilmour: Yeah, we are.

Lisa Corduff: And this would be traditionally a time, I would imagine, when things are feeling heated like this that the women that you work with would be using booze as that coping mechanism, to self-medicate. “I just need to chill out. I just need to…”

Emma Gilmour: Definitely.

Lisa Corduff: So can I ask you, this is the last thing because I just could keep talking to you all day, but the biggest story. The biggest story that you see getting in the way of women who you work with when it comes to getting into that space where they feel ready to experiment with their relationship with alcohol. Not even go sober or anything like that, because I know that’s not the Holy Grail. Let’s just get curious to what’s going on here. What would be the biggest story, do you think that they tell themselves about out why maybe “no”?

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. I mean, the one I’m hearing so much from everybody at the moment, and this is so typical of our peer group, I guess is, “I need wine in order to stop the constant to-do list in my head.”

Lisa Corduff: Wow.

Emma Gilmour: “I need wine to give myself an excuse to sit down. I need wine so that I can put up with stuff that I wouldn’t put up with if I wasn’t drinking,” and that I would say those are my three big ones.

Lisa Corduff: And you can imagine, that totally seems reasonable to me. But also breaks my heart.

Emma Gilmour: It’s so, so, so… It breaks my heart too. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff: It keeps us trapped.

Emma Gilmour: It does.

Lisa Corduff: We’ve got this beautiful one precious life.

Emma Gilmour: Life, yeah. And so much to do with awesome energy and vibrations, and just frightened to have the hard conversations and to say it’s too much.

Lisa Corduff: Yes. Yes. Instead of putting them focus on, “I feel so bad about this relationship with alcohol that I have,” it’s like, “No, hang on, put a question mark over the life that is…” [crosstalk]

Emma Gilmour: Yeah, what’s happening?

Lisa Corduff: Yes. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that you’ve ended up needing this, but focus the attention on what could change to create a life that actually feels amazing to live and you don’t need to self-medicate from.

Emma Gilmour: Yeah. Totally.

Lisa Corduff: Emma. So, tell everyone where they can go and find you we’ll put your details in the show notes to, but I’m sure that people are now going to be interested to follow along on your journey and hear more about how you help people. Because I just know, I know that there’s people who would never say out loud that this is a problem for them, but they know in themselves. So, if they want to just go and start getting curious, where should they go?

Emma Gilmour: Yeah, I’m at… And I always say this like an old lady. WWW…

Lisa Corduff: Oh, Emma.

Emma Gilmour: I just love that. .HopeRisingCoaching.com.

Lisa Corduff: HopeRisingCoaching.com. I mean, do you even own a business if you don’t start a sentence with www.? Emma, does anyone actually do that these days? No one does. Lose it. You could just say HopeRising.com.

Emma Gilmour: Hope Rising Coaching. I know. Everyone makes fun of me, and I’m owning it.

Lisa Corduff: Just do it. It’s now on your signature. Every time I see you, I’m going to think there’s www.Emma.

Lisa Corduff: Hey, thank you for sharing with me today. I know you shared some things that were hard to share as well, but I also do love that sense of vulnerability that you lean into as a leader in this space so that other women will feel safe amongst you as well. It’s a real gift that you have, and I truly just cheer you on all the way in the work that you are doing in this, and am humbled that my little course came along at a time where you were ready. You needed something. It was just a catalyst for you. You were already there. You took the learnings, and you went and did something really quite remarkable. So, the fact that you’ve come into my orbit is a gift to me. So, thank you.

Emma Gilmour: And thank you so much, because it’s been a life-changing experience meeting you. I appreciate it.

Lisa Corduff: I think we’re going to have some fun over the years, Emma Gilmour. I’m going to go and blow this really snotty nose that also started to really peak in snot when you were telling your story. So, thanks for that. I’m sure it’s been a joy to listen to my voice like this, but thank you. And everyone should go and follow www.HopeRisingCoaching.com also on Instagram and Facebook. So, we’ll pop all the links in the show notes. Thanks, Emma.

Emma Gilmour: Thank you.

Lisa Corduff: Before you go, if for you are like most people, then you want to create some positive changes in your life. And you might have tried the before and things haven’t quite worked out. Well, I want you to know I’ve created a brand new free workshop for you that’s going to help you with the self-defeating stories that just get in the freaking way of you creating what you want in your life.

Lisa Corduff: I am sure that when you watch this workshop, you will absolutely see that some of the reasons that you’ve been telling yourself you can’t have what you want might not be true. Just going to put that out there.

Lisa Corduff: Get access via the link in the show notes and start watching this powerful workshop straight away so that you can stop waiting for permission, you can stop waiting for everything around you to be perfect before you take action, and you can get out of your own sweet way and start creating what you want in your life. Enjoy it.

Lisa Corduff: Hey, if you want to learn exactly how to start moving through the stories that are keeping you stuck and you want to delve into these self-defeating thinking patterns that so many of us have, then I’ve got a free workshop that you can go and watch right now. In it, I highlight some of the main stories that I see women telling themselves that often lead women into a spiral of self-sabotage. You also learn how to let yourself off the hook a little bit more because when you understand how your brain is actually working to create this, then you feel a lot breezier about your life, trust me. In this workshop, you’ll also start moving towards the things that you want by the end. I absolutely promise you’ll have a new perspective on your next step forward and that can be in any area of your life where you feel stuck. I can’t wait for you to go and check it out. It’s totally free. The link is in the show notes. Enjoy.

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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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