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Responding to Coaching’s State of Contraction


Unknown Speaker 0:00
Welcome to Devotional Anarchy, a podcast about intimate embodied leadership that is radically human, honest AF and thereby inherently disruptive to systems of disempowerment and disconnection. I am Isha Vela, trauma psychologist, certified somatic, intimacy Alchemist, wealth wizard, shadow doula, love anarchist, intuitive channel and sovereign business coach, you’re here because you know intimate self connection is the source of everything you want to create in life. And that building safety and trust in your own body is what allows you to fully own and steward your energy and your relationships. Get ready to explore attachments, sexuality, spirituality, self expression and sovereignty and other relational themes from a trauma responsive somatic energetic lens. The conversations and tools shared in this podcast are designed to offer permission to create the abundant life love and business that lights your soul on fire.

Unknown Speaker 1:06
So I’m so excited to have you in this conversation Liana because I was gonna, like I shared with you yesterday, I was gonna record this on my own. But then when you jumped in, I was like, oh shit, this is gonna be a better conversation with you.

Unknown Speaker 1:24
Everything’s better with you. Our conversation? Our conversations are so good. Yeah. So it’s nice to let people in on them. So So I wanted to start the conversation by naming that the that what inspired this episode, or this live stream is a post that Jen Underwood made, I think, a week or two weeks ago talking about the contraction that the coaching industry is in right now. Yeah. And about the people that are here now that that sort of made it through this, this contraction, or that are that are continuing to be in this contraction? Are the people who have like the the capacity and who are like integrated and who are like, probably the

Unknown Speaker 2:23
the people who are do have the emotional leadership skills. Correct. Accurate, correct? Uh huh. You know, and so it just brought up a lot of thoughts for me around,

Unknown Speaker 2:38
you know, holding the complexity between, you know, yes, we’re in a contraction, right, it was like this necessary thing, right? It had to contract right people had, like I said, people had nothing else to do but sit on their asses for the first year of the pandemic, and like, work on themselves, and focus their growth. And, you know, everybody sort of rushed in, there was like a gold rush of the coaching industry, and people inflated costs without increasing substance people got burned that investment trauma. And as a result, people became more discerning about, you know, how they spend their money. And so there’s, that’s part of the contraction. Yep.

Unknown Speaker 3:22
And, like holding that at the same time, as we hold the audacious self belief that it’s all working. And that, you know, it doesn’t mean that coaching is dead. No, no, not at all. Right. You know, I’d love to hear your, your thoughts on on this. And what inspired you in this post? Yeah, so I’m always looking to set out what’s really true.

Unknown Speaker 3:49
Period. Yeah. In terms of, and this was a huge learning I had when I witnessed my father pass away, it’s like, let’s just strip it all down, guys and gals. Because, like, again, it’s we’re here for a short time, not a long time. I mean, yeah, okay, multiple lives, but like, you know, what I’m saying is, what really actually matters, what really counts? What are we really doing here? What’s the endgame? What’s the end goal? What’s the purpose? What’s the motivation? And really stripping it down? Not just in like, a spiritual soul way, but just in a human 3d way, like, what are we working toward? What are we doing? What are we standing for? What is the what is the actual value in our, in our work in the bigger picture?

Unknown Speaker 4:34
And when you named that sort of investment trauma, like that’s a real thing. That’s a real thing and an industry that just like any other industry, just like anything out there that’s wanting that’s trying to pull you in is that we can have different parts of us that are making those decisions. And when it comes from a place of not enoughness or like, I’m a problem and I have to fix it. It’s we’re right for the picking

Unknown Speaker 5:01
Market wise. Totally, totally Yes. Right for the picking, which is

Unknown Speaker 5:08
as as I sit in my

Unknown Speaker 5:11
where I am in my cycle. It’s really sad. It makes me sad. Maybe last week, it would fire me up like, obviously I’m, I’m fired up and but but but it makes me sad because I know the the debt potentially really devastating outcomes of that is that people go people lose money. Yeah. And they struggle to feed their family like that that that is that is a real our reality.

Unknown Speaker 5:41
And so that’s that’s something I pull out as well as something to talk about is like, what is leadership? Really? What does it really mean to be a leader? Yeah. Yeah. What does it mean to you?

Unknown Speaker 5:55
To me, it’s that you, it’s very simple is that you first of all,

Unknown Speaker 6:01
that you’re a good person that you’re kind that you care?

Unknown Speaker 6:05
Not that you flip, let not that you’re like that you flop over, you give away yourself in your caring, but that you think about what it’s like for another person. Yeah. And you relate to them is like empathy. Yeah, and that you’re not just relatable because you’re, you know, showing your real side, but just, you’re relatable because you can relate to another human in a real meaningful way.

Unknown Speaker 6:34
To me, that’s leadership, as well as embodying the truth, or the values or the beliefs that you have is that you’re embodied in that.

Unknown Speaker 6:44
It’s, it’s who you are. So there’s an intimacy piece about, like being able to connect with the pain or the experience or the suffering of another person. And then there’s the integration piece where it’s just like, yes, it’s part of you. It’s like, it’s who you are. Yeah, you don’t have to work toward it, because it just it’s the isness of you. Yes, exactly. It’s the essence. It’s the eye and the eye am.

Unknown Speaker 7:13
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And, you know, it’s like,

Unknown Speaker 7:18
you know, when we think about

Unknown Speaker 7:21
coaches who are online now who are selling their services, like, one thing that I really want to communicate, is that we can acknowledge that coaching is in a winter phase or that it’s in a contraction. But it does mean that like I said earlier that coaching is dead, right. But how is it that we respond? How do we respond to this change? Right? Yeah, the change is real. That’s just a fact. Yeah. But it doesn’t mean that you need to go into a story of like, well, people aren’t buying. Yes. Right. Yeah, yes. means that you give up. No, I.

Unknown Speaker 8:05
That’s okay. So what is needed here? How do we respond? How as like, as coaches making a living from doing our souls work? How do we respond to this contraction?

Unknown Speaker 8:20
Yeah. Are you asking me to?

Unknown Speaker 8:25
Like, this is where I want to go? And I’m yeah, I’m inviting you to speak on that. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. The first thing is any response

Unknown Speaker 8:36
gets the opportunity to be very measured, very, very well thought very cared about.

Unknown Speaker 8:45
So that it’s coming from a, you know, that that the trueness of who you are and the part that’s really anchored into the real situation we’re in,

Unknown Speaker 8:55
which basically sounds like listening more

Unknown Speaker 9:00
than talking, and really listening to what people are actually saying. So yeah, it’s and holding multiple realities as the full picture and the full scope of what we’re all experiencing. So yeah, if if you want to share, you can unplug from the idea that like, people are struggling financially, you can unplug and like take that out of your reality if you want to.

Unknown Speaker 9:24
But you’re missing a huge, you’re missing a huge portion of what people are actually experiencing. Right? And so you can respond out of fear. I don’t want to use the word scarcity, because I just I find that one is just so demeaning. It just has such a negative tone when it’s when it’s just somebody’s just got concerns.

Unknown Speaker 9:45
I don’t really feel like we’re inherently scarce. I mean, just don’t think we are. So I think it’s very easy to slip into a caretaking mode.

Unknown Speaker 9:56
Yeah, and I think that’s the piece that I’m I’m often sitting with

Unknown Speaker 10:00
Am I making this decision about how much to charge for example, from a place of caretaking? Am I making assumptions? This isn’t even about the value of my work, because I’m just at a place where like, it doesn’t matter what I charge, I get the value. I don’t need to prove that in one way or the other.

Unknown Speaker 10:20
But I find that I can as a response to the financial realities or the changes in the industry,

Unknown Speaker 10:28
that I can change my prices out of a caretaking place.

Unknown Speaker 10:32
Right. Right. So it’s like, oh, yeah, it is hard. It’s not just a tough times, it’s confusing times we’re going through contractions can be confusing, because it’s like what’s on the other side of what’s, what’s coming in this next wave? So I find I can get into a caretaking mode. And I feel like that’s something to as a leader to be mindful of. Mm hmm. Does that make sense? I just use caretaking as like it’s a regular thing we say in our home, but I’m not sure if that makes sense to other people. So yeah, there’s like, you know, I tend to use sort of language around attachment, like codependency. We’re like, Yeah, you’re over fixed. We’re not we’re abandoning ourselves in service of wanting to make the experience lighter or more comfortable for the other person. So it’s like, are you not sustaining yourself by lowering your prices?

Unknown Speaker 11:25
Right, where it’s really not helping you because you are then not sustaining yourself? You’re not showing up for yourself fully, or accurately, like, Well, my expenses are this much, and I really need to make this much a month to cover that. Yeah. It there’s just also like realities, about your own expenses and cash flow. Absolutely. Yeah. So it’s like, how do we balance all of those needs? Right?

Unknown Speaker 11:54
There’s the need of people, there’s people who are buying who absolutely, and can, you know, can invest at whatever price and there’s people who are, you know, having to

Unknown Speaker 12:12
having to sort of like resource themselves and sort of gather the money to invest in

Unknown Speaker 12:20
a gathering all of those experiences,

Unknown Speaker 12:24
we can, we can respond to the spectrum of those experiences by having like tiered pricing, for example. Yeah. In my last in my last launch, I had tiered pricing at a community price, a standard price and an ally price. And I had people come in at all different, you know, different levels. So,

Unknown Speaker 12:45
so yeah, so that that’s a way to respond is to like, yeah, have a range of pricing points so that everybody can be included. Yeah, I love the way that you did that. By the way. That’s something that I’m really working toward for myself.

Unknown Speaker 13:00
And that’s a trust piece, right for me to trust. But I love how when you have the tiered prices, you’re very explicit about this is what I’m talking about. When I say the community price, here are the financial realities that you think about that you move through that you budget for, if this is you that this is this is you in this category or this place, and like so on and so forth. And I feel like that’s very clear. Yeah, it describes the experience. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And so I’m also feeling like, something that I want to name is that,

Unknown Speaker 13:36
you know, I,

Unknown Speaker 13:39
I had a podcast episode with Leia ardent in the beginning of December of last year, and she talked about the winter season of coaching. And she’s somebody that I respect a lot, who is sort of tuned into the collective consciousness and collective unconscious. And, you know, she didn’t talk about this explicitly in the in the episode, but I know that she is a lover of multiple streams of income. Yeah, that I really wanted to bring into this conversation because it’s like, okay, so, you know, I believe in responsiveness when something shifts, we shift, right, we sort of respond in a way that matches the situation. Okay, so we are in a winter season of coaching, how do I respond? Well, I wouldn’t respond by becoming like clever, and creating safety for myself by coming up with another stream of income. Yeah, that can that can look lots of different ways. And it can be lots of different things, but it doesn’t mean that you are, you’re no longer doing your souls work. Totally. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 14:50
Doing your souls work doesn’t mean it’s the only thing that you do. Maybe your souls work looks lots of different ways. Yeah. How

Unknown Speaker 15:00
have flexibility of having flexibility in your mind. And the way that you’re willing to see it is going to save you so many energy leaks, so much self abandonment, so much self beat up. So, so so much challenge and difficulty in making a decision. Right? Because decisions are so hard until we make them. Yeah. And then a challenge when we second guess them, because it’s not working out the way we think it should or whatever, right? Totally different conversation. But there’s something to be said about that flexibility. And I really feel like that needed flexibility, that willingness to see it differently. And to act as such, does first come from that that baseline of capacity, like being flexible means that you have the capacity to hold that transition and that shift in identity? And, yeah, it’s wonderful to identify, I remember really like fully coming into the identification of the I am a healer or a mentor or a guide or a coach. Like that was a really big piece for me. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 16:05
And so it’s also dangerous if that’s the only me

Unknown Speaker 16:10
right, as a, as a as a participant in this like, collective shifting and the moving of the everyday we go through like that’s that, to me, that’s sort of like limited. If I’m only that. Yeah, I love that you use the word flexibility because I I like to use like nervous system flex, right? And it’s yes, responsiveness that, like, you know, like when you do contact improv, for example, somebody moves and then move with it. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 16:39
Yes. He’s always shifting and moving. And you respond, yeah, based on what’s happening. And so like, yes, it doesn’t mean that we stay sort of entrenched in this, like, Well, this was the path I’m going on. And I’m going to continue going on it. Okay. I’m going to continue going on it. But I’m also going to, like, open up to maybe get a little scrappy, and creative about, like, how I can make it work for me. Yes. How can I sustain myself and still have the the safety, like show up for myself in ways that feel safe, right, that create safety system so that I can continue to be a coach and do the work that I do and market and sell my stuff?

Unknown Speaker 17:22
Also sustain myself and be creative, be creative in the process? And time freedom that I value so much, because most people weren’t coaching our people who were like, you know, not, not nine to fivers, you know, yeah, there’s like a different way of thinking, right? And I love that you’ve named the improv it’s an it’s so funny because I fell asleep with my YouTube last night and I woke up to bloopers of improvs. But it so it’s funny you mentioned but and so I was in theater for many years and improv. One of the ways that you make improv work is that there’s like this rule of always say yes, right. It’s not that you agree to everything. But the second you say no, or you like clothes off, you’ve, you’ve cut off the creative process, right? And improv is a great metaphor for life. Because let’s be honest, yeah, we’ve got some things we know. But we’re just making this up as we go. There’s no real handbook for parenting. There’s no handbook for that. Like, we’re just bringing what we know forward, right? And so that’s all we’re doing. And we’re just making the best decisions. And the way that improv flourishes is when we say yes, when we’re willing, when we’re open. So it’s a flex, but it’s also a great way to be in life. Yeah. And mine, the meaning that you make when you do change and shift an identity or open yourself up to another stream of income, for example. Yeah, that’s the piece there. I’m happy to. I’m not gonna lie about that. Because I had a lot of feelings. Yeah. When I when I decided to, you know, when I when I felt really tired of launching, and I just wanted clients to come in easily. I had such a hard time putting my profile back on Psychology Today, because it felt like I was taking a step backwards. That’s the story. I was telling myself. Yeah. So I’m taking a step back. Like I promised myself I would I was done with this. And now I’m going back and putting it up again. I felt like a dirty bow, you know, yes.

Unknown Speaker 19:24
And, but it was one of the best things I did for myself because I didn’t have to launch because I just, it just wasn’t part of my repertoire. Like I did not have the capacity to hold the launch. I did have no desire and no joy around launching at that moment. And I was just gonna lean back and let the clients come to me for once. What a fucking blessing that was, what a blessing right and like how amazing it was that you were able to just

Unknown Speaker 19:52
sort of because I think it’s wonderful to hold a focus for your dreams and for what it is you’re creating. And I also think

Unknown Speaker 20:00
and gets us like anything a spectrum where it can sort of go into this danger zone of stubborn sabotage it. Yeah, there has to be like this very, like limited thinking.

Unknown Speaker 20:13
Sort of front facing as I’m not giving up and I’m holding the dream. And it’s like, awesome. Like, part of my not giving up was giving up, like, was putting down this like, shield that I’m going through every day and like stopping to force something. And for me it was launching group programs because it was just embedded in my head that like, oh, yeah, it’s January, I launched like the data. But like, it just was not like I was just, I was done. I was done. It’s like, first year of COVID was sort of this.

Unknown Speaker 20:47
This kind of landing into it. And then second year was like, like freeze response, like, right, and it was so hard on I’m so hard on my nervous system. And it made sense for me to find a way

Unknown Speaker 21:04
to make it easier. Yes. Without giving up, like I never once had the story of like, I am giving up on my business. Like I’m not a coach anymore. Like bla bla bla, like, actually, the biggest learning I had was I’m a coach, even when I have no clients, because for the first time ever.

Unknown Speaker 21:24
I had like a period of time. It wasn’t a long time. But in your mind, it’s a long time where I had no clients. Yeah, like for a couple of months in the summer, I think at 21. I had no clients like to me that was like, wow.

Unknown Speaker 21:43
What is this even.

Unknown Speaker 21:47
And you have to like that was like the deepest learning if you don’t identify as the truth of who you are without external,

Unknown Speaker 21:54
you know,

Unknown Speaker 21:56
provable evidence like, You got to get on board with that you got to see yourself as that before so

Unknown Speaker 22:04
but but here’s the thing, I’ll tell this really quick, I had a friend of mine whose son needed some help reading.

Unknown Speaker 22:11
And especially during COVID Children are had lost that very essential timeframe, typically between like five and seven, where a lot of the language skills come together and are able to be kind of like, figured out and put together like a puzzle. And a lot of children lost that.

Unknown Speaker 22:35
They lost that critical time, on top of which you already would have children who would struggle with reading, because reading has a very structured way that it can be taught as well as like meeting the reader where they are and all of these things and like building up the confidence to be a good reader. Like there’s a lot of moving parts that COVID wasn’t able to provide.

Unknown Speaker 22:58
And children who struggle with reading, the saddest thing is that they often will struggle with everything else

Unknown Speaker 23:05
in some form. And what do children do is that they can’t help but identify as that

Unknown Speaker 23:13
and see themselves that way and bring that forward. And the gap only gets bigger. If you don’t get it handled early. It’s not a phase, they’re not going to grow out of it. They need support immediately. And I know this as a qualified trained teacher for years. I know this. And I remember reading with this child and that moment where it just clicks like I could I’m obviously very like hormonal because para but I’m so beautiful. Like there is this click moment and being witness to that. It was like I remembered why I loved working with children. Why I love teaching. Yes. And it’s that same feeling I get with clients now when something just shifts. Exactly. And I’m like, why would I not want to do more of this and get paid for it? Right? So I did. Yeah. Simple. Yeah, it’s, it’s the same thing with like, with working in finance, it’s like,

Unknown Speaker 24:16

Unknown Speaker 24:18
good. Like,

Unknown Speaker 24:19
if you’d asked me 10 years ago, not 20 years ago, what would be the most boring job I could ever do? That would be like selling insurance.

Unknown Speaker 24:32
And the truth is now like I find it all kind of exciting. It’s just it’s kind of magic with numbers and I was somebody who like, you know, as a dyslexic child like my wrote my my 10s Zero ones and my fives backwards and it’s like, I’ve always struggled with numbers and I’m enjoying this so much because I feel like it’s it’s an edge for me. So I have this little

Unknown Speaker 25:00
faction of growing, yeah, in this field in the field of finance. And I’ve also been on calls with people where, like, I’ve always known about the connection between not always but but like, in the last 15 years, I’ve known about the connection between intimacy and money and love, right attachment. I’ve been doing that work within myself. Yeah. And like, that is something that I bring to the table for people who are looking to have a deeper relationship with money to build wealth, and to build generational wealth like that is empowering people. So it’s like, I get to empower people wherever the fuck I go. And yes, I do. That’s it. It’s you doing all of it? Why are we so focused on what it looks like? You know?

Unknown Speaker 25:51
Like, it’s, it’s the same you and your own curated way of being in the world and helping support other humans be humans here in a world that is very confusing, exactly. Like there’s no difference that in many ways, there’s no difference between how and what I teach when I’m doing the reading with the young young ones, versus in a session with the client? Yes, if I really get honest, there’s not a lot of difference. I’m showing them here are the moving parts. Here’s the here, here’s the map you’re working with. Let’s learn the map. And then let’s practice it. Yeah, let’s practice moving through the math in whatever context, whether you’re reading, or you’re getting a handle on the voices in your head, is the same. And like another piece that I want to really drill drill home is that, you know, people who are millionaires and billionaires are, what they are, or have the money that they have, because they have multiple streams of income. Yeah, like, let’s be smart about this, like, let us build different ways for money to live on us. Let us build different ways, different pathways to working with us. That just is smart. To me overall, it doesn’t even have to sort of be specific to responding to a contraction or responding to a so called recession, right? Whether you want to believe that or not. That is just smart. And and thinking about it from from a polyamorous perspective, right? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 27:28
Love me. more love and more ways to love me. Absolutely. And it’s, yeah, it’s a smart thing to do. That’s the piece, it’s a smart thing to do. Like why not have, you know, a lot of people have,

Unknown Speaker 27:46
you know, they have a an extra property that they rent out as an Airbnb, they have, you know, maybe they invest in this, and maybe they do that. That is just a good idea overall, like, just financially speaking. And so when when I bought this in the context of coaching, you want to have multiple streams of income, regardless of whether we’re in a boom or a recession, or whether in an expansion or contraction. Yeah, it’s just a good idea all around. It’s just,

Unknown Speaker 28:16
yeah, and you know what, it’s been interesting, because

Unknown Speaker 28:20
I’ve been thinking, I’ve had this urge in the last, I guess, two months, where I’ve been like monitoring it and watching it and being with it, but it’s this urge to just really come out and just share more about Hey, guys, like, here’s the deal with reading with young kids, like, most parents love their children, but not most all parents. Like. I don’t know what that’s not what I meant to say. All parents love their children. Most parents struggle when it comes to teaching their children. It’s too close to home. Yeah, most of us haven’t done like the intergenerational parenting, healing work, like the work specific to being a parent. And that’s okay, that’s most of us haven’t done that we learn as we go. And then we’re like, oh my gosh, but even I struggle to work with my own kids without some kind of a headbutt thing. So like, I just might normalize that. But there’s, there’s parts of me that are like, just get online and just talk about this, like, make a little Facebook group or make a Facebook page, like just come out of the closet and just tell people this is what you do. And so this is me telling you, this is what I do.

Unknown Speaker 29:31
But, you know, I just feel like when there’s an urge just follow it, as well as don’t overcomplicate the idea that,

Unknown Speaker 29:38
you know, I’d be curious what would hold people back from multiple streams, because I often wonder if it’s like, people don’t think that the desires they have could be monetized or that it could be that easy, or it feels like oh, that’s like a whole other piece of work. I mean, that was that would be something I would think about. Yeah, or like, you know, there’s a story around selling out. Yeah.