Clara Belden is "The Untitled"

business change your story identity meditation parents purpose questions reclaim spirituality stress transformation transition Jun 07, 2022

June 7th, 2022
Ep 23: Clara Belden (The Untitled)

How tightly do you cling to your labels? In this episode of AMPstigator, Clara Belden (certified holistic life coach) goes into detail about how labels keep us from connecting with our authentic selves. Her episode is called "The Untitled" because of the work she's done to define her own life authentically and how she helps others do the same.

"You don’t have to have a severe trauma to work on yourself," says Belden who keeps therapists, life coaches, energy and nutrition coaches on staff.

Plus, she shares several great exercises to connect you with authenticity and purpose!

💥 This episode is for you if 💥
-You're into personal transformation
-You're a MOM (lots of good stuff here!)
-You want to go through an Authenticity exercise with Lauren
-You need some support in your self-work journey


📺What you'll hear in this episode📺
[6:15] This episode begins with an understanding about Clara's business, The Happy Hour and why she created it. Clara goes into detail about her own personal transformation from corporate marketing into entrepreneurship and shares the question she could never seem to answer for herself: who am I? Clara is a perfectionist and works to combat that, regularly. She shares helpful reminders for anyone dealing with the same thing. 

[34:44] A powerful part of the episode is the conversation geared specifically to parents who struggle to balance the important self-work with the responsibilities to their children. She guides parents to understand the emotions kids exhibit and help them to reconnect to how we really feel in situations.  

[39:39] In this episode we dive deep into the meaning of "shadow work" and how to do important self-work when you're a parent. Clara focuses especially on moms who need support, saying "the work you do on yourself is work you do for the world."  

[49:10] Lauren and Clara are teaming up to host a special night just for moms coming up on August 23rd (listen for all the details)!

[57:05] PLUS - in this episode, the tables turn. Learn even more about Lauren Lowrey than she's ever revealed in other episodes as Clara walks the AMPstigator host through an Authenticity exercise.

🔖 Chapters 🔖
0:00 - Intro
0:37 - The backstory for this episode
6:15 - What is The Happy Hour?
9:46 - From corporate to entrepreneurship
12:15 - Asking the question Who am I?
17:13  - Clara’s personal road to creating The Happy Hour
18:31 - The importance of curiosity in transformation
23:14 -
Happy Hour as a disruptor in the mental wellness space
25:47 -
How she helps connect people to purpose
27:36 - Best Time/Worst Time
28:54 - Turning Point
33:07 - How Clara overcomes perfectionism
34:44 -
Teaching kids their power
39:39 - How to do shadow work
43:10 - Doing this kind of work when you’re a parent
49:10 - AMPstigator & Happy Hour are teaming up!!!
50:41 - Stop, Breathe, Reflect, Choose
51:53 - Clara’s purpose is to help people find purpose
55:53 - What does an authenticity coach do?
57:05 - Lauren answers questions in an authenticity exercise
1:04:53 - How Lauren names episodes
1:07:09 - How old is someone when they connect with purpose?


✔️ Connect with Clara Belden ✔️
The Happy Hour:



Episode Transcript


[00:00:00]    <Intro>


Lauren:    What if seeing a therapist was as easy as walking in for a mani-pedi? That's what Clara Belden really wanted, when she started building The Happy Hour about six years ago. It's a mental wellness boutique, she calls it. It's accessible and fun.

Part of her deepest work is helping other people shed their labels, to get to the core of who they really are, without the resume no titles either. It's work she had to do for herself when her corporate career as a marketer, with an MBA, completely ran her life. But she wasn't being true to herself or her young family. So now she's guiding others through that work too, to shed their untrue identities. This is Claire Belden, The Untitled. 

[00:00:51]    <Music>

Lauren:    Clara, thanks for being here. 

Clara:    Thanks for having me. 

Lauren:    Let's start with the literal name of your company, The Happy Hour, and the fact that we are also celebrating that with our own little happy hour-

Clara:    That's right, cheers to that.

Lauren:    Cheers to you, friend. I do love drinking and working at the same time. I think that's a great thing. Now, your Happy Hour is not this happy hour. Your Happy Hour is something entirely different. 

But I love that you play on that same sort of theme of like, "Hey, when are we our best selves?" Usually when we've shrugged off some responsibility of the week, and we've gotten together with our best friends. And we've just talked, and shared, and chosen, to live life that way. So what is happy hour?

Clara:    Yes, so The Happy Hour is a mental wellness studio. It is, literally, a place for you to go and get happy for an hour. And, so, what is a mental wellness studio? We offer therapy, we offer life coaching, we offer community groups, anything from a moms' group to a book club, to something a little more serious, such as a grief and loss group. And what we really tried to do and it's exemplified, by the name, is just make it approachable to go work on your mental wellness.

To make it comfortable, to make it feel just like any other wellness activity like yoga or going to a spa. And we really made it super simple for people to sign up, for people to find their therapist or coach, and schedule it online just like you would anything else.

Lauren:    Yeah, and I love the origin of all of it too, just this need for mental health to be more accessible.

Clara:    Yeah. It's such a problem. It's such a hard journey to go on to find somebody to help you. It's hard enough to admit that you need help and then to find that person, that's a good fit with you can be so challenging and take so long. 

Lauren:    Yeah. And where did that come from with your own childhood, and seeing the need for mental wellness, in your own home?

Clara:    Yeah, absolutely. Growing up, mental health and mental wellness has always been a huge passion of mine. I have experienced walking alongside loved ones who have, really, struggled with their mental health on varying degrees, and it was painful. And it was such a challenge for our family, for my family and also generationally seeing it multiple times. And the biggest problem was just confusion, and we were from means and privilege, and we felt like we had no options and nowhere to go, and it couldn't really be talked about it. I mean, this was clocked 20 plus years ago, and it's different than it is today.

Lauren:    Yeah, I feel like mental health has become a real hot topic, just in the last maybe five or six years. It's where it's really started to feel like part of the common conversation. Where people have started to understand, "Hey, you have a broken bone, you go to the doctor. When your mind isn't quite right, where do you go?"

Clara:    Yeah, absolutely. And, look, none of us have minds that are completely right. We all have struggles, life is hard, and you don't have to have a severe issue or trauma to work on yourself. And I think that's something that people are now starting to understand too. Especially as before COVID a lot of celebrities and a lot of athletes, were coming out and talking about, "Hey, I go to therapy." And celebrities that we idolize are saying, "Hey, we go to couples' therapy."

Lauren:    Yeah.

Clara:    And then the pandemic hit and we all know how that story went. 

Lauren:    Exactly.

Clara:    And, so, it's really coming out of the shadows and it's really getting its place now.

Lauren:    So how about for you? I mean, because you were not in this space until a handful of years ago. You were living a different life. Tell me the life you were living at that time.

Clara:    Oh, so, I was a buttoned-up corporate person who had gone to business school. I had gotten my business degree and specialized in marketing and strategy, particularly brand marketing. I went to work for a huge corporation for years, and it was a great company. But I completely wrapped my identity up in my job. I completely lost who I was and it really hurt relationships. It really hurt my health, my anxiety was very high, and it just skyrocketed my perfectionism through the roof. 

Lauren:    Okay, so, let's dig into that, what did you lose of yourself and what did you take on in that role?

Clara:    Yeah, gosh, it's hard to even say it because I hadn't really done a deep dive into who I really truly was at my core yet. And, so, I actually feel like I just morphed into this role of somebody who always had to be buttoned up. Who always had to have my words completely correct. Who always had to show up as my best self every single day, and that doesn't mean in a spiritual, purposeful way. That means, literally, "Don't mess up whatever you say, or do." At least that's how I felt. And, so, then I started to take on this persona of if I'm productive, if I get good reviews, if I work 12 hours a day, that means I'm a good person. That means I'm doing what I should be doing.

Lauren:    At what point did you say, "Maybe this isn't what it's supposed to be?"

Clara:    Oh, my gosh, after I started to have some health issues. After I realized I hadn't seen my friends in a long time. I hadn't been spending time with my husband the way I wanted to, and we were also starting to talk about starting a family. And I just thought, "There's no way I can continue this."

Lauren:    Yeah, did he ever say to you, I obviously don't know your husband. But did your husband ever say to you, "Hey, who are you right now? This isn't who you are."

Clara:    Yeah, and he was incredibly supportive. And he knew it was really important to me, and he knew I was doing really well there, and advancing the way I wanted to. And towards the end he did say, "Hey, I don't even know who you are and I don't even know what's going on in your life, besides work?" And the funny thing is there wasn't anything.

Lauren:    So let's talk about the first question you had to ask yourself in that process. Like, I'm very open about my personal journey, and it being, gosh, probably, about a year and a half ago now. And the question that I could not answer for myself was, "What do I want?" And that question plagued me for months because, I mean, I just avoided that question for years, I never wanted to answer it.

Because it required too much disruption of long-held beliefs. And also this disruption of like, "God, does this mean that I have to change my life? Because that's hard and fiery work." So I put off that question. Did you have a question that you struggled with that you had to answer for yourself?

Clara:    Yes, mine was, "Who are you?"

"Who am I?"

Lauren:    How long did it take you to answer?

Clara:    Oh, my gosh, I started to gain insight and understand who I was little by little over years. But, truly, it took me probably three, four years of doing this deep work of going to therapy, of going to coaching, I was doing what I call my spiritual journey. And I remember one-day sitting on my therapist couch who I had seen, I had known her for years and years. And I just walked in and I said, "I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore, but I feel like myself for the first time."

Lauren:    Oh, that's powerful. 

Clara:    Yeah and I just started crying because I finally felt comfortable and at home in myself, but it was so foreign that it felt like, "Who is this person?"

Lauren:    Yeah, did that not have any hints of familiarity, did you?

Clara:    Gosh, it had been a while. It had hints, it had glimmers, but I had often covered it up, and buttoned it up, and put those walls of armor up, to be this perfect person and get everyone's approval. 

Lauren:    Yeah, I mean, perfectionism is pervasive and I think it happens a lot with people. Gosh, you end up being successful because you keep pushing, and people then keep encouraging you in those things. And, so, it's almost like self-propels in that way. 

Clara:    Absolutely.

Lauren:    But what was that person? Who did that feel like the person you found the real you, and what was different about this person now as opposed to that person, maybe even six years ago?

Clara:    I think that I loved myself for who I was, flaws and all. I took a deep look at my fears that I had and I got, really, curious around them. 

I practice showing a ton of compassion to that and so I just felt comfortable. I felt at peace. I felt that it was okay to be exactly who I was every single day that I walked out of my house. 

Lauren:    What were you afraid of? 

Clara:    I think failure, and I think letting people down.

Lauren:    Yeah, why letting people down? Is it like root in people-pleasing or what is that rooted in?

Clara:    I think somewhere along the way of my Life, I formed this limiting belief that I had to perform to earn love. Or I had to earn people's love, and it's just so not true. But, nonetheless, it's what happened and I fed into it. It felt really good to get these accolades, or to win competitions, and be the good one, and get this praise for it. And it's just something that I kept doing. 

Lauren:    Yeah, and it almost feels, to me, like I'm hearing almost like this love of being known for dependability?

Clara:    Absolutely.

Lauren:    Like being known for the closer, I don't know, being known for that person that can get it done. Was that part of why you took on certain things that you took on?

Clara:    Oh, absolutely, yes, I don't think the word NO was in my vocabulary. And a lot of times it did work out, but just because you can do something doesn't mean it's what's best for you.

Lauren:    That's powerful. What were the things that you were doing that weren't best for you? Even though you were doing them and you could do them.

Clara:    I think just taking on any extra project at work I could. Saying YES to anything after work, to happy hours, to socialize, and network, while meanwhile, I'm saying NO to a lot of my own social activities. I do remember at one point I had to miss my husband's birthday, which I feel like a terrible person saying that. But that was another moment of, "Oh, my gosh, what am I doing?"

Lauren:    Yeah, was that within the journey or was that before the journey? Where did that birthday fall?

Clara:    This is when the journey was just kind of kicked off. I said, "Okay, I'm going to make a change."

Lauren:    Yeah, I like to ask a question of a moment of clarity. When was a moment of clarity in your life? Do you think that was it?

Clara:    I think it was a big one. And I think after I stopped working, and started this spiritual journey and started trying some new things, and just being really open and curious. I've had some moments of clarity in there, too.

Lauren:    Okay, so let's talk about that transition point. Where did all of this come from? Like, you're doing this marketing thing, you've got your MB. You're the person that everybody wants you to be and you say, "Wait a minute, I'm not happy. Who the heck am I? I don't know who I am." So then walk me through that. Walk me through that point where you decide, "I need to change." So what happened?

Clara:    Yeah, well, after I left my big corporate job, I started working on The Happy Hour. And I laugh because the first day after I left, I woke up at 5 a.m. to start working. And, now, looking back, with two kids, I'm like, "Why didn't I just sleep."

But, I think, I really took time to be still, and quiet, and stop moving, because I had been moving and doing so much to cope with some things that were bothering me. And, so, it looked like going to therapy. It looked like, actually, going through my coach training was a huge eye-opener during my training to become a holistic life coach.

One of the last weeks there, we were all in-person and part of the training is basically doing group coaching, and you're getting coached, and then you practice getting coached. And, so, I thought I was being super open and vulnerable, but I was so buttoned up looking back. 

And at the end the facilitator, who was somebody that I knew pretty well before that, she just looked me dead in the eye and she goes, "You know, you really remind me of that Elizabeth Gilbert, quote, do you know what I'm talking about?" And I was like, "I have no idea what quote you are talking about. I don't have time to read books."

And she goes, "I've never seen any life transformation happen until the person in question got over their own BS." And we all know what that stands for. And I thought I would be mad about that but I actually felt this huge wave of relief, that she had called me out. 

I opened my notebook and I wrote down what my list of BS was at that moment and I vowed to myself to go work on it. And, so, some of that looked like journaling, some of that looked like reflection, some of that looked like uncovering my fears and getting curious about them. 

But then some of it was some really fun stuff that I had never been open to before. Like going to get a psychic reading or going to get a tarot… energy work some things that I would have previously considered to be so woo-woo. But when I approached it with openness and curiosity, and just taking it as information I learned so much about myself, just from a different angle. 

Lauren:    Yeah, we both have little children, have you ever seen, oh, gosh, what's the name of that movie? Smallfoot with The Yeti, Channing Tatum. There's a song in that movie that I always think about, Zendaya actually sings that, I think. And the words are, "All we are is curious, nothing wrong with that."

Clara:    That's right.

Lauren:    And I hear you. And I think about that song lyric because I'm like, "How much has happened in this world because someone was just curious." And, so, much of our lives and our society is, I think, built around this thought that you can't ask questions. You can't question the conventions.

Because those things are there so that our society keeps moving. And then it takes a real strong, a real courageous, a real brave person to say, "You know what, this doesn't work for me and I'm going to take the moment to be still enough, to try to listen to where I need to go and be curious." And then at each step check in, "How does this feel to me?" Is this good or is this not good?" And then continuing to go. And when I hear your story it feels, to me, like that's what you've done?

Clara:    Yeah, just being curious, letting the walls down so that you can be vulnerable. And once you start to reap the rewards of letting those walls down, and figuring out your way, and seeing how people react to you, it's so rewarding. And once you start getting those rewards it's almost addictive. You want to keep doing it and you want to keep having these conversations and curiosities.

Lauren:    I've had a season one podcast guest said to me, and it's one of my favorite quotes, now, she said something like, really, "The universe is conspiring in your favor. All you have to do is just tap into it, just start down this path, the path you were meant to live all along. And the rewards really do come, the gifts really do come."

It's almost like the reassurance every single day of like, "Yes, you're doing what you're supposed to do, keep on going." Even if you don't think there's someone encouraging you, the universe is. Step on the path. Just go, just start down this path of self-exploration. 

Clara:    I love that.

Lauren:    When you started thinking happy hour. I mean, you can't have just quit your job one day, and then said, "I'm going to work on The Happy Hour." There was something in between. Where did the idea come from about this wellness boutique? Where you could just really take care of your mind.

Clara:    Yeah, absolutely. So, I guess, I, actually, started working on business plans and whatnot, when I was still at my former job. But it was a conversation with my cousin and I, my cousin who shares the same passions and some of the same family experiences. And she just looked at me and we were just hanging out, and she's like, "I got this idea." And it's just like, "You know like you can just walk in to get your nails done."

I said, "Yeah."

And she goes, "What if we could do that for therapy?"

I said, "What if we could?"

Lauren:    Yeah. 

Clara:    And we, just from there, started working on it. And it's something that, again, it goes back to that mission of this passion of trying to normalize working on your mental wellness. And both of us had a strong marketing background and I think that's something that hasn't been done a lot. I mean, I guess, you’ve got BetterHelp and Talkspace, and things like that. But it hasn't been done a lot that mental wellness has really been marketed and branded.

Lauren:    Mh-hmm. I do like how, like, to me, I look at your business and anyone can go on your website and figure this out pretty quickly. Like, this feels like a disruptor model, to me, which I love. Like anytime that there's anything, in any industry, where there's someone who's a disruptor. Like, I think of Southwest as a disruptor for the American airline industry. 

But what you're doing, too, also feels like a disruptor because it's going at something entirely different. From instead of looking at therapy as like, "We're a workhorse therapy practice. We have this many therapists and you'll have a hell of a time getting in here, but just try it." Certainly, in Nashville, I feel like trying to get somebody is, probably, really hard. 

But you've looked at it differently and said, "What if you can get all of these things and then improve your overall mental wellness, all in one place?" And it's a place that you can just come in, sort of walk-in."

I think that's an interesting model, it's almost like the blowout model, several years ago when they started doing blowouts, and then everyone was like, "I could walk in somewhere and get my hair done, just like that? Great." I see it as the same sort of thing. 

So as you were developing it, what were the things that to you, you were like, "This is a non-negotiable, this has to be this way." Or vice versa, where you said, "I don't really care about that, that doesn't need to be there."

Clara:    I think the non-negotiable is where it has to be easy, it has to be simple. Now, it's not ever going to be easy, mentally, to walk yourself in these doors. But it has to be so simple that if you wake up one day and you want to walk through those doors. You're going to have an appointment within 24 hours. The environment has to feel friendly, and welcoming, and take in the five senses so that you are instantly put at ease. 

In the beginning, we had originally just thought we were going to use therapists, and as we continued to do our research and started to feel the importance of this mind-body-spirit connection. We really thought it was important to have coaches as well, and we have an energy worker now. Somebody that can meet you wherever you are on your journey. And, so, again, that goes towards the approachability of it. "It's okay, I'm going to go see a therapist. If I want to get through some stuff in my past that I really need to work through."

Okay, "Now I want to move forward in this direction to reach my goals, I'm going to go see a coach." And, so, being something for everybody and to meet them where they were, was a non-negotiable?

Lauren:    Well, that's an interesting way of looking at it. I never thought of it as past-present, when I thought about what your business was doing, I find that really interesting. I also think there's a lot that you're doing that helps people reconnect, maybe not even reconnect, but just connect with purpose. And the things that maybe we were meant to do all along, but we've deafened in a way. And, I think, that's probably true of your journey as well, right? You're allowing people now to have those same sorts of opportunities based on what you've done.

Clara:    Absolutely, and I hope sharing my story helps people give permission to themselves, too, to do the same. To find that light in them because we all have it. We all have that purpose and we all have that light. Sometimes it just gets so shoved down and dimmed by life experiences, and emotions that we've shoved down because we were all taught not to really talk about our emotions. 

Lauren:    Yeah.

Clara:    And, so, that's my personal specialty and what I love to help people with, is to help them find their purpose.

Lauren:    I love that. I also love that you became a life coach while you were building this business. Like you didn't think that you were going to do that you thought you're just going to run this business, right?

Clara:    I did. But that that goes, again, to show how stuck I was in these blinders of, "I'm the corporate person." Even though I had begun my work on this and begun my own personal journey, I was just planning to be the business person. And then as I started getting more intuitive, I thought to myself, "Why am I not doing this? This is something that comes naturally to me. That when I was on the playground, in fifth grade, kids would come up to me who I didn't even know, to talk to me about their problems. 

Lauren:    It's so crazy to me. 

Clara:    Well, it's just must be something that I'm putting out there in the universe, and the universe gives you what you put out. So as I continued to open, I thought this would be something that I think I could be really good at.

Lauren:    Does that give you joy? Being that for somebody?

Clara:    It does. It brings me a lot of joy.

Lauren:    Yeah, I do love that one. Do you want to play a little game with me? I've got some questions I like to ask everybody. It's called best time-worst time. 

Clara:    Okay. 

Lauren:    It's just another way for people to connect with you and understand where you're coming from. When was the best time in your life?

Clara:    I would say right now. Yeah, right now just because I feel, again, more comfortable being who I am every day. And it is a practice, authenticity is a practice and the more you practice it the stronger it gets, and the better it feels. And everything in your life, their quality of life just is richer because of it.

Lauren:    Yeah, when was the worst time in your life?

Clara:    I would say probably in my mid-teens, growing up when some loved ones had a, really, hard time with some mental health issues and struggles, that I previously mentioned. And, again, it was painful, it was confusing, it hurt my parents. Now as a parent I can't imagine going through that and many of us will because these things are very prevalent. But it was a really challenging time that I didn't have the tools to handle it at that time.

Lauren:    Well, I'm sure you do now. But, even, still it doesn't make it less easy to deal with, what you're dealing with is a lot. When was a turning point in your life, where you say everything changed from this moment?

Clara:    I would say when I quit my job because though it was difficult, and it took me a long time. It almost forced me to say, "Okay, if I'm giving this up, I'm going to do something to find myself and who I am, and passion, and how I'm going to make a change in this world." Because I always felt like I was meant to and that was my time.

Lauren:    Yeah, how about a moment of clarity for you? Was there a point where you were like, "Ah, this is it?"

Clara:    So it has to do with realizing that I was on my path. And, so, I told you the story previously about my coaching experience, and how she said listen, like, "You got some stuff you need to let go off.

Lauren:    Thank God for that woman. 

Clara:    Thank God for that woman. And, so, one of my things was to get curious and I went to an energy work session and I had no idea what this was. The practitioner was a healing touch certified practitioner, and all I knew was that I get up there and lay down on this like massage table basically. And she would use her hands to do energy work. 

What that basically looks like is she opens your different energy centers and balances out your energy, and it's just truly a deeply meditative hour of your life. But when you're in there, I started to not quite fall asleep, I call it twilight. You're kind of floating-

Lauren:    Lucid, maybe?

Clara:    You're lucid, you're aware, but you are kind of in a dream state. And, so, I saw a couple of images and the first image that I saw, I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not. But I remembered it so vividly was two people, a man and a woman, hovering over this baby and they were in their mid-30s, and I realized it was my parents.

It was my parents and the baby was me. And they were looking at me, so adoringly, and so lovingly, just so unconditionally lovingly, that in that moment, I said to myself, "What am I doing trying to prove that I'm worthy of love? I have it. I'm loved no matter what." And it wasn't just my parents that I felt that way with, but that moment just clicked for me. And I said, "I'm, exactly where I'm supposed to be." And this is a message I need to take away. 

Lauren:    I'm curious if you find yourself having to encourage people to try different modalities right now or do you feel people are open to it?  Who walk into your door?

Clara:    Yeah, I think people are pretty open to it. It's become more popular these type of things and I always encourage people. I say, "Look, this is just information. You don't have to believe everything you hear. Just take it as information, as something to reflect upon, and use it as almost a journal prompt, to reflect and see what it means for you."

Lauren:    Truthfully, I see astrology that way, like, take it or leave it. I know an astrologer who says, like, "Look, this can be spiritual if you want it to be." She's like, "I see it as math and science. So where are the stars in the sky? What did the ancients believe this meant?

If you find something that resonates with you in that, great. If you don't, fine. Look, I'm not here to try to convince you of it, I'm just here to give you data. I'm here to give you information." It's interesting like that you describe it that way. Do you find that you have to even say to someone, "Just try it." And do people resonate with that?

Clara:    Yeah, it depends on the person. So I have to use my emotional intelligence there, and pick and choose who I say it to and most of the time people come around to it. But maybe they need a couple of talk sessions first, just they're going to get warmed up if there's somebody who's not used to that sort of thing.

Lauren:    Right, I personally had never even heard of how an energy work session, like what does that even look like? And you just described it, and I was like, "Oh, okay, that's what it looks like. All right, I get that." Let's keep with our game while we're on it. 

Clara:    Okay. 

Lauren:    So we've talked clarity. We've talked your turning point. Is there something about your nature that you feel like you've either overcome or you continue to overcome?


Clara:    Perfectionism, no surprise there. It's something that I do feel I've overcome, but it's a lifelong practice for me. It's something that, and I truly don't know if something like that anyone can just wake up one day and not feel any of that. But I can tell when I'm going into that mode, and I can stop myself. And I can pull out the exercises I have for myself that I know work, and 20 minutes later I'm like a new person. 

Lauren:    Oh, I love that because it almost requires a true understanding of self, and an ability to observe yourself. Which only I feel like, for me, I would say it comes with age. I mean, just based on your training might say that it comes at a different point. But just being able to observe yourself in that way, almost like stepping outside of yourself and seeing yourself in the third person and going, "Whoa, we don't do that anymore. Here are the exercises we're going to do."

Clara:    That's exactly right. You look at yourself objectively, you look at your fears objectively and say, "All right, fear, what do I need to tell you to get smaller? What do I need to tell you to go sit over there? Or what do I need to tell you to make you feel better?" And I hold my hand out here because I imagine like, literally, looking at a spear that's no longer in my body.

Lauren:    I do love how you describe that, too, because I do think it's something that a lot of us have to deal with. First of all, you have to have some kind of recognition of where you are, right?

Clara:    Mh-hmm.

Lauren:    And I have to have an understanding that you are powerful enough to do it, right?

Clara:    Absolutely.

Lauren:    I do feel like, I don't know that women or men deal with it more than any other. But I think there's so much in our lives of giving our power away. We are so powerful, when did we stop knowing that, and when did we stop teaching that? 

I think as a mother to a daughter, I'm like, "God, you are so powerful child. You are so powerful." And how can she see power unless I model that power for her? 

Clara:    Absolutely.

Lauren:    And you also being a mother of a daughter. How do you feel like even your daughter or your two kids even, how did that change how you looked at your own life or what you are here to teach, or bring?

Clara:    Oh, yeah, I mean, anytime you go through a huge life change like that, it forces you to do an inventory on yourself. And I think that's what happened to a lot of people during COVID, by the way. But you do a huge inventory on yourself, and you just don't feel good telling them to do something or believe in something unless you truly believe it yourself. 

So, for me, it really forced me to dive even deeper. And, I think, like you said, modeling the behavior is so important. Modeling that it's okay to have feelings. So I always tell people if your kid is saying they're scared, or "I'm sad". And we know they shouldn't be scared or sad, but to listen to them. That's, really, real to them. And if we just tell them, "It's okay, you're fine." You're essentially telling them not to trust their feelings.

Lauren:    Mh-hmm. I never thought of it that way. 

Clara:    And it's very well-intentioned. But you're essentially telling them like, "That sadness you're feeling that you shouldn't be feeling that." And, so, I think from a young age, we actually are taught to stop listening to our intuition and stop listening to our power.

Lauren:    So what you're talking about, to me, is something I like to call dismissive positivity. I'm very acquainted with this because I have someone in my life who I love dearly, who does this dismissive positivity.

Their way of doing it, the intent is encouragement. "It's okay. You don't feel that way. You can do it. This is small, you're big, you can do it, blah, blah, blah, blah." Is that positivity, but it's dismissing the underlying emotion rather than addressing the emotion that's actually there, and saying, "God, I know you're afraid right now, what else do you feel?"

"Oh, well, I'm scared."

For my three-year-old, it's, "I miss you, when I'm at school. I don't want to go to school." And I have to stop myself from saying, "You're okay just go." I have to stop myself because my own conditioning is dismissive positivity.

"You can do it, get out of the car. Go. You're going to have so much fun with your friends, you're going to play outside, you're going to learn, it's going to be great." And I do agree with you, 1,000%. From the get-go we are trained to stop listening to ourselves and just follow what we're supposed to do. 

So I'm just curious in this moment, if there's a mom or a dad who's listening, at this moment, they're like, "Oh, crap, my kids do stuff like this all the time and I'm doing the dismissive positivity thing." How should we better handle those kinds of emotions, from the littlest people all the way up to other people in our lives. When they're expressing this kind of any emotion other than happiness? 

Clara:    I think just listen and get curious. It doesn't mean you have to let your child stay home from school because they're worried about it. But saying, "You're going to miss me, I hear you. I know it's really hard for you and you have to be away from mom at school, I'm really going to miss you, too. This is something that we have to do and I can't wait to see you after school."

"You're really scared? Tell me what you're scared about."

"I understand that. That can seem really scary to you, Mommy's here for you."

Lauren:    Yeah, why do you think we are so willing to push negative emotions aside?

Clara:    Because they're hard. They feel uncomfortable and they're hard to deal with, and they bring up a lot of tension.

Lauren:    When did you decide to stop pushing your own negative stuff aside and start dealing with all that?

Clara:    It was probably about six years ago. And, I mean, the reward from dealing with it is so powerful and I truly do believe in affirmations of, "I'm going to do amazing today." Or whatever the positive thing is that you're saying, but you have to deal with the shadows first. In order for your body and your mind to believe that you have to clear the negative, the tough emotions

Lauren:    When we hear shadows, because I hear people say like, "Oh, you got to do the shadow work." And I'm like, "What is shadow work? How do you describe that?

Clara:    To me, it's just anything that you've stuffed down. That you don't want to deal with that feels dark, that feels heavy. And that can be big work or it can be ongoing thing that's like, "Okay, this is me going back to that old pattern I used to have and the underlying reason is this, and I need to remember that."

Lauren:    I feel like we could probably interchange the name then. Like it could be closet work, things you put in the closet. It could be the under-the-bed work. It could be the-messy-room work, it's all the things that you don't want to do. 

Clara:    I love that closet work. It feels much more approachable than shadow work. 

Lauren:    I don't know, I mean, maybe. Because I remember the first time I heard shadow work and I was like, "What?" It was on a podcast, actually, I was like, "What are they talking about?"

But the people who were having the conversation, were very acquainted with this. And I'm like, "You know, I'm a learned woman. I understand things, why don't I know this?" And, I've never actually gotten a clear answer on something like, what do you consider shadow work? 

Everybody who listens to podcasts and watches video podcasts, they're on a different place in their journey toward finding self. So what is something we need to do to start working in the shadows? What are the questions we need to ask ourselves in that?

Clara:    I think first being still, stop feeling like you got to go, go, go. Because a lot of times when we can't sit still and we're going, it's to cover up those feelings that we have. And, so, first being still listening to yourself. Saying, "What am I feeling?" And then start getting curious around it. A lot of times our shadows are based around fear. And I have this framework that I use a lot, is turning fear into curiosity. And what that looks like to me is, literally, writing down here are the things I'm fearful of. And then getting curious about them and asking questions to each of those fears. 

"What is it about you that is making me so afraid?"

"Is this true?"

"How true is this?"

"Where's this showing up in my life?"

" What if I'm being fearful for no reason at all?"

And just start to ask those questions to your fears and you're going to get a lot of takeaways from there. And that is a great place to start on, "Okay, I'm seeing a theme here, this is what I need to work on."

Lauren:    Do you think you initially ever had to involve anyone else in those questions? Because I could see where a person would say, "I don't even trust myself to answer these questions." Does there ever need to be someone else that you're having that kind of with?

Clara:    I think it's incredibly helpful to have those conversations, clearly, because I have made a business out of practitioners who talk to people for a living, and ask those questions. And once you start to do that work you can start to ask yourself the questions. It starts to be a little bit more natural to say, "Hey, how can I be nicer to myself?"

"How can I show this fearsome love today?"

Lauren:    That's interesting that you would say it that way. That's almost like from, truly, a place of love and grace. Addressing the shadows in yourself, or the skeletons in the closet. Instead of being ashamed of that you're addressing it from a totally different mindset and approach. 

I want to talk to you about what it's like to do this work as a parent? I did this work as a parent. So I had my third child and then it was going back to work after the birth of my third child, and it was in the midst of COVID. So he was a COVID baby, I was pregnant during lockdown, he came in the fall of 2020. And then going back to work, I don't know, I call him the kid who brought clarity. Because there was like this, I don't know if it was him? I don't know if it was my age, because I had him, how old was I, golly? I was 35 when I had him. 

So, again, I don't know if it was age, or COVID, or what, but like something about him, like all of it brought clarity, things were just different. And I found myself, really, battling between... and, truly, battling still between giving to my family and giving to myself. And I do think there is this real grate that happens there almost like sandpaper, right? 

Clara:    Mh-hmm.

Lauren:    Like this itchiness, this grating, for me, that has happened of like, "How much do I dedicate toward working on self?" Versus, certainly in our culture, I mean, we're told women need to give everything. You've already given off your body. You've already given everything you could possibly give, you've nursed these children, now give more.

I know, for myself, I struggled with finding the line of that. So, first of all, did you ever deal with that? And then, also, how do you counsel someone through that?

Clara:    Yeah, oh, my gosh, it is such a huge struggle. What you're saying is so real and yes, I did struggle with it immensely. And I just kept reminding myself that the more I kept working on myself, the better mom I became. The better wife I became, the better household we had. It wasn't the cleanest household, it wasn't the most organized household. I'm pretty sure I've got a fork in my cup holder right now and a Captain America in the other one, in my car, but it's a loving and connected household. And I don't think that I would have had the tools to be present with my children, had I not done this work.

I don't think I would have had the tools to model the behavior we were talking about for our children, if I hadn't done this work and you only have so much energy. And, so, to be able to do take time for yourself to do this kind of work, to do this self-care, you're going to show up as such a better parent. 

There's a saying that, "The work that you do on yourself is the work that you do for the world and it starts right at home." And there's, actually, a lot of research going on right now. A therapist, two therapists have now told me this, that 10 minutes of quality time, per day, with your children is enough. It is better than being with them all day and being on your phone, being distracted. 10 minutes of quality time is what they need.

Lauren:    Yeah, well, they need connectivity too. And they don't know it, they don't have the tools to tell you what they need. They only know what is modeled, and what is modeled is what they think is normal.

Clara:    Absolutely, and that's why it's so important to model taking care of yourself, especially for your daughters. 

Lauren:    Right, I feel that. There was a moment, for me, I think, my daughter was either four or five at the time, my daughter is six now. I was going to leave for work and she's like, "Don't go, don't leave." And I had this moment where I was like, "What do I tell my daughter in this very moment." 

I should be able to tell her, "Oh, I know, you'll miss me. But I'm doing something that's really exciting, it's going to be great. It's going to make a difference. I mean, I'm so excited about the people's lives who I'm going to impact today. And I can't wait for you to find something that makes you so excited that you would also take this big of a leap, to leave the person you love the most in this world to also go make a difference." 

I couldn't say that and that, for me, was a turning point. That would, for me, was the point where I said, "I need to be able to tell my daughter, 'I'm doing something that makes a difference.'" She deserved to see that, but I realized I couldn't tell her that.

Clara:    Wow. 

Lauren:    And, so, that it's, truly, part of the origin story of this podcast. Because I started to say, "You know people need to hear these kinds of conversations." Did you ever have a point like that having a daughter, where you said, "Gosh, my daughter deserves this."

Clara:    Absolutely, 100% and I struggle with that a lot. forming my own business, I mean, any career is demanding. But this one is in the beginning one that you're kind of there all the time, and you're all in. And I told her, I'll never forget when my daughter said, "Mom, what are you doing?"

I said, "Mommy is going to help people, I'm doing really important work."

And she goes, "Well, you need to help me." And I just thought to myself, after shedding a tear, I said, "Okay, well, you know what, I am going to put all this aside for a moment." Those are the moments where I knew she needed me a little. 

So what did I do? I spent 10 minutes with her and then I continued to go and do what I needed to do. And, so, for me, it's all about balance. But, yes, I've definitely had those moments, where I've said, "If I'm going to do something and go all in, it's got to be something that my children are proud of. And I can be proud of to tell my children that that's what I'm doing."

Lauren:    Yeah, do you find yourself saying anything a lot? Like, right now, in the moment, it doesn't have to be something you said a year ago. Even if it's something that like in the last two weeks, you're like, "I've been saying this a lot lately." Do you have anything like that? 

Clara:    Oh, my gosh, I am constantly telling people, "Stop, breathe, reflect, choose."

Lauren:    Stop, breathe, reflect, choose, okay.

Clara:    I mean, that is something that is like the first step of mindfulness. Which is so crucial to that being quiet that we talked about and being still. Because so many people are emotionally exhausted right now. 

It feels like there's some light coming back now that the springtime is coming around, but emotional exhaustion just was running rampant this winter, and people, their minds start to run and say, "Oh, I have to do this. I have to do this. I have to do this." And I just say, "Stop, breathe, reflect, choose." And that's how you're going to make your next step.

Lauren:    I feel like so often, too, in life I don't know what to do. Mm, that's a great way to like just, "Let's take a moment and think through this."

Clara:    And be here right where you are in this moment.

Lauren:    What do you think your purpose is?

Clara:    I think my purpose is to shine my light and to help others find theirs, so that they can live a life of joy and purpose themselves.

Lauren:    When did you realize that?

Clara:    I realized that, probably, right after COVID, actually had hit, and we had to change a lot of our services and offerings that we had at The Happy Hour. Because we had placed such an importance on in-person and this was before we had our brick and mortar. We were doing pop-ups with other organizations, and workshops, and things like that, and we no longer could do that. 

So I had coincidentally just gone on this spirituality journey, and had all of this content that I was just using for my own personal growth. And my coworker, Claire, said, "I have a great idea, why don't we start a digital course, but not the kind that you just go buy the workbook and watch the videos. 

But the kind where we, actually, create a community of people where they talk to each other each day. And then you have a live session with them each week, and you send them prompts and content each day, so they can really connect." 

We did it, and we tried it, and the way that these women connected and the deep dives that they did on themselves, and the immense changes that they made in four weeks, I had no idea it was possible for me to facilitate that kind of change. And I wasn't doing anything they were doing all the work, I was just there to guide them, and to listen.

Lauren:    Don't sell yourself short. You were doing a lot to facilitate-

Clara:    I came up with the questions.

Lauren:    But to facilitate a hybrid course, a hybrid digital course like you're talking about is not something... that's still a major undertaking, so don't sell yourself short. Plus, you changed people's lives by the questions you were asking. To me, that's the ultimate. You didn't just spew ideas, you've truly facilitated change, a life changed in four weeks. I don't know if you've taken a moment, let me be the reflection for you on that, that's pretty incredible.

Clara:    It is. And, I think, that's when I realized, "Okay, I'm, actually, really good at this and this is my purpose."

Lauren:    Yeah, I think, you have to operate from a place of non-judgment, to ever be able to facilitate for somebody. Because, I think, in general, all of us are very attuned to judgment. Years ago, I remember doing a story with a woman who's a psychotherapist, and she was just telling me, at the time, she said, "Oh, children are very attuned to their parents' judgment. You have to work very hard so your child doesn't feel judgment." 


I remember that just sticking with me and I started to reflect on my own life. And I thought, "Well, we feel that as kids, but we also bring that with us as adults. We're very attuned to judgment." And, so, for a person to practice non-judgement and to offer that to someone else. I mean, to me, that's a gift that you have that you're sharing with other people,

Clara:    Thank you. It's a gift and a practice. It's definitely a practice, and that's actually what mindfulness is, is being in the present moment without judgment. And I think being able to practice that with myself allows me to practice it with others. And the beauty of what I've learned through coaching is that people who, if I ran into them on the street, who are so different than me, you learn to love them. You can love so many people who are so different than you, when you listen objectively because everybody has a story that you don't realize.

Lauren:    I agree. I agree, also, another point of this podcast 100% agree.

Clara:    Yes, there you go.

Lauren:    Something that I love about what you do, you call yourself an authenticity coach, and a purpose coach, I just love that. What makes an authenticity coach different from anybody else? Is it the questions, what is it?

Clara:    I think it's in what you're really good at. And usually what you're really good at is a journey that you've gone through on your own. So there's relationship coaches, there's health coaches, there's parent coaches. There's all kinds of different coaches and I found this niche because I could relate to it and understand it, and I love that learning about it. 

So I'm constantly learning information about it that I can then share with my guests, at The Happy Hour we call our clients, our guests. And, so, I think it's just something that you have to feel really strongly about and you do ask a different set of questions.

Lauren:    Well, let's hear them because I'm interested. And the reason I'm asking is because authenticity is such a major thing in television. As being a TV news anchor, this is the kind of thing that we always get research back on. It's like, "Viewers want authenticity" I'm like, "Yes, they do. They're millennials, this is what we want, millennials want authenticity."

Clara:    Absolutely.

Lauren:    So how do you get someone to that point?

Clara:    Okay, so, I always start with a question, "Fill in the blank, I feel like myself when?"

Lauren:    "I feel like myself when?" Oh, my gosh, can you only answer one way?

Clara:    You can answer however you'd like. 

Lauren:    Oh, do you want me to answer? 

Clara:    Yes, in fact, I'm got a little game for you.

Lauren:    This is great, okay, I like this. I feel like myself, truly, when I'm having one-on-one conversations with people, when I'm getting to know someone. 

Clara:    Okay, that's amazing. And I have to tell you, especially, for the people listening at home, so many people that I work with cannot answer that question. So if you're thinking to yourself right now, "I don't know how to answer this." Lauren has done a lot of work on herself, but yes, that is beautiful. And I love to also talk about the idea of labels. Because labels or roles that we have as mom, as career woman, as whatever it is, they become so intertwined in our identity. 

But the problem with labels is that they're an extreme way of all or nothing thinking, and they don't like change. And, so, labels were created either in our DNA, our ancestors used them to identify between friend and foe. Who they needed to fight and who they needed to flight from. 

But we still have it in us and it gets a little bit dangerous because they cover up the character of who we are. "Our essential awareness" as Eckhart Tolle would call it. Basically, who we were born, who we are, before we developed an inner critic. And, so, I'm going to ask you in this authenticity exercise, what are some of the labels that you have held on tightly to from a young age? This can be familial, can be just things that are natural to you. 

Lauren:    Gosh, I mean, I think performer was one. I was always a performer, I danced competitively. I went to school for musical theater, fell into television in that process. I mean, I think being the youngest of three kids, that's been a major one for me and I really saw my life come full circle, when I had my third child. 

It's like people say, "When you have children your life comes full circle." It didn't until I had a third and now I see, God, that kid is amazing. But he gets the raw end of the deal sometimes, because he's the third. And I'm like, "I see it now." Like I just understand so much more of myself. So performer, sister, those are the two I hold on really tightly to. 

I think as an adult, news anchor is one because I see how people react when they meet me, but also when they're like, "Whoa, what is that like?" And, so, like for years that allowed me to create this real smoke show for not answering that question that we talked about earlier of like, what do I really want? Because, surely, if you've got a cool title you're obviously living purpose.

Clara:    Mh-hmm, and that's when the problem with labels are.

Lauren:    So I'd say those three I've clung pretty tightly to

Clara:    Okay, are there any other that you taken on, on your own, over the years?

Lauren:    Mom, but I'm super proud of that because there's a lot that goes on with that. And I think, for me, I've gained real purpose from being a mom. I've gained real purpose from that in the most beautiful way. I've yet to meet a woman who didn't become a better woman when they became a mom.

Clara:    And labels don't have to be bad they just serve different purposes. They're helpful when you go to the school and you know who the teacher is. So mom is a wonderful thing, I don't want to make it seem like I'm implying that some of these labels are not good. Anything else that you've taken on, on your own?

Lauren:    Not that I can think of immediately.

Clara:    Okay, what about what others see you as? What do you think others would label you as?

Lauren:    This hard work.

Clara:    I know you, you're brave.

Lauren:    I mean you're like "Do you want to do an exercise?" And I'm like, "Oh, I don't answer the questions, I just ask them." Okay, so "How do other people see me?" Gosh, I think people see me as someone who gets it all done. I actually take great pride in always being able to say yes, and figuring it out. Like, "Can you fill in on this?"


"Can you do this?"

"Yes." Like just figuring, they don't need to know how I got it done, but I'll somehow get it done. So I've taken great pride in that. But it's become a pain point recently. Very recently it's become a pain point and, so, I've had to question myself of like, "Is this a good thing to be known for right now?" What else? Gosh, I don't know, this is hard, to know how other people see me, I don't know.

Clara:    Okay, well, you're doing great. 

Lauren:    Thanks, coach.

Clara:    You're welcome. Of all of these labels that we have, I want you to think about which ones you really love. Or even if there's ones that you don't love, what is the underlying characteristic that really defines you, so the common red thread.

So, for example, for mom, maybe that's nurturing, caring, loving, whatever you would describe yourself as this. And the point of this is to be able to eventually describe who you are without any roles, because you'll be describing who you are when you're not connecting to anyone else. You're not connected to anybody else.

Lauren:    I do think I'm a deep person and reflective person. I also think I'm connected. I also know myself to be a real thinker, like I think. I live in my head. 

I'm also a deeply emotional person, I feel emotion deeply. But I'm not often emotional does that make sense, there's a difference in that? Like if you were going to start to cry right now, I would start to cry, I sense emotion very deeply.

Clara:    You're empathetic.

Lauren:    Oh, yeah, I'd say I'm an empathetic person. I mean, I think that gets to it. Like I'm a thinker, but I also feel things quite deeply and care deeply about people.

Clara:    So this way you're describing yourself, does that feel like who you are in your core? 

Lauren:    Yeah.

Clara:    That feels like you who you are authentically.

Lauren:    And I'm also an incredibly hard worker. But I'm just someone who doesn't stop, I mean, sunup to sundown, don't even cover it. Like I'll be up at 5 a.m. going to yoga and then I'll be up, almost ashamed to admit it, but till midnight working on stuff for this podcast. You know what I'm saying? Like working with kids, working at the news station all day, working on the podcast all night.

Clara:    Well, I think that goes back to caring, deeply caring.

Lauren:    Oh, I'm glad you think that, my husband might say otherwise. He would say, "You're running yourself into the ground." I'd say "You're right. But I haven't found the balance in all of it yet."

Clara:    Right, we can work on that. But this would be a start of, I mean, you've just described who you are when you're not connected to anybody else. How does that feel?

Lauren:    Oh, gosh, great, I've never thought of it, actually, that way, though. How do we detach ourselves? Is that the step for detaching from labels?

Clara:    This is the first step.

Lauren:    I want you to know as I've worked through this podcast, I've had to explain to people how I name these episodes. And it's, actually, an exercise in recognizing the true label. Have I explained this to you?

Clara:    No.

Lauren:    Okay, so what are we right? Like, you are a holistic life coach, you're a business owner, you have your MBA, that's how you would be introduced. As a person in the news business, we only interview people who have credibility. So you have to have letters behind your name. You have to have the life experience that makes you qualified to talk about whatever it is that we're interviewing you about. 

So not only am I attached to my own personal label, I'm also attached to your label and what makes you qualified to be a part of this conversation. But in creating this podcast, and the work I've done on myself of like, "What labels do I have and what labels do I need to shun?" It has been a clear recognition of what really matters here?

So if your deepest purpose in life is to be fill in blank, the healer, or the storyteller, or the bridge, or the fire starter. I want to label you as that deepest purpose that you're here to either embody, or to share, or to give, that's what I want to name you. So every episode title is a much more thought out label that I believe, might not necessarily go on a business card, but maybe it should.

Clara:    Maybe it should, I 100% agree.

Lauren:    Do you think that you have now dedicated your life in helping people understand the labels, or is the labels just the first step to it?

Clara:    Oh, the labels is just scratching the surface? It's the very first step.

Lauren:    How long does it take people to get past that, you think, or work through that?

Clara:    It's depends on the person, but it can be months or it can be years. Well, and, I can't say this enough, it's an ongoing practice. You can't just say I've got it one day, and then you're good forever. It's something that once you've got the tools and once you know, you’ve got to remind yourself every single day.

Lauren:    I know that finding purpose can happen at any point. Some people can find purpose, really, young and then others find purpose way later. Purpose can also morph as we grow, but I don't think it's going to stray very far from where you started. If it's what you're here for, like it's what you're here for, this, is it. But how well do you think people are when they begin to connect with purpose?

Clara:    I think they begin to connect with purpose from a very young age and then it's dimmed as they go, and they've had all these life experiences that kind of crush it. And probably, gosh, anywhere from 30s to 60s.

Lauren:    Wow, do you see clients that are older trying to really reframe their lives?

Clara:    You would be surprised how many people in their 50s and up, I speak to who say, "I've just been going in tunnel vision for all these years and I just realized I'm not happy, and I don't want to do this."

Lauren:    Why? I mean, and I ask this question as a woman who was 36, when I was like, "Whoa, what is happening in my life? Wait a minute I'm in control of this." How does a person, from your perspective, get to 60 and not have asked those questions?

Clara:    Because they're doing what they think they're supposed to do. They are basing their own self-worth and happiness off of others approval. And if you continue to go and you get others approval, and it feels really good then you feel that you are serving your purpose. But then one day, you eventually wake up, and you realize this isn't true to me.

Lauren:    What's that like? Like being a part of those experiences for people like that conversation?

Clara:    Oh, it's the biggest honor in the world. It's an honor that people trust in me, but it's also so exciting to be on that journey with someone, and to see that aha moment. It's just thrilling.

Lauren:    Yeah, I guess so. When you leave the office for the day, you have this beautiful building in the 12 South neighborhood in Nashville. When you leave your day, how do you evaluate your day?

Clara:    I try not to, to be honest, I do. Because given my perfectionism tendencies-

Lauren:    Oh, I got you okay.

Clara:    It can be kind of an unhealthy thing. But you can feel if you feel good, or you feel bad at the end of the day. And if you can help somebody have one takeaway in a day, then that feels good.

Lauren:    And let me ask you about that, about the feeling. I feel like you probably also have to have this conversation of helping people connect with how they feel in a situation. That's another thing I think we turn off, do you find that?

Clara:    Absolutely, the mind-body connection is so strong, and we sever that tie so strongly from an early age. And when you start to get in your body again, again, just taking those moments of stillness, taking three deep breaths with your hands on your heart, or your stomach, or wherever you're feeling an emotion. All of a sudden, you're like, "Oh, I am feeling this. I am feeling this in my body and it is connected to how I'm feeling in my mind." And, so, to answer your question, yes.

Lauren:    You've just said something I've never heard someone say, I obviously heard someone say, "Oh, hand on your heart hand on your stomach." But I've never heard someone say where you're feeling an emotion, tell me more about that.

Clara:    So we feel emotions throughout our body, a lot of times we just don't think about it. And, so, a lot of times grief can be felt in your chest. Nervousness can be felt in your stomach. How many times have you been nervous for an interview or something else, and you feel your stomach in knots? That's because your mind and body, your body can feel your emotions physically.

Lauren:    And we have to trust that, don't we?

Clara:    Yeah, you have to trust it.

Lauren:    Do you feel like you have to connect people to that, to help them? Or when people find you are they further along in the process or are they like baby steps, step one?

Clara:    All along the spectrum. Some people who have never done a deep breath in their life and some people who have a strong mindfulness practice, and they want to deepen it. 

Lauren:    Yeah, that's amazing. What before, I let you go, what is the thing that you think people need to be doing, or thinking, or asking, or any of the -ings that we need to be doing right now to just get ourselves closer to purpose and what it is that we should be doing?

Clara:    Yeah, it goes back to stillness, being still for five minutes a day. And whether that's meditating, whether that's journaling. Five minutes to yourself to reflect and listen to yourself, however that works for you. So that you can start to get some of those answers.

Lauren:    Clara, thanks so much for being here, I really appreciate it.

Clara:    Thank you so much. I loved being here.

Lauren:    Cheers, my friend, great job.

Clara:    Thank you.

Lauren:    What a palate cleanser you are.

Clara:    Thank you so much.

Lauren:    So what do you think? Tell me in the comments below, like it, share it with someone who needs to hear it. I'm adding new videos all the time to help you reconnect with self and then prepare for purpose. And since you're here I've gone ahead and linked my playlist the episode AMPlified, it gives shorter clips from each episode still, though very much power-packed with encouragement, it's all right here. So thanks for watching, and I'll see you next time.

[01:05:43]    <Outro>


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