with Leah Davidson
This is an unedited transcript.
Welcome to the Mondays podcast. I’m your host, Holly Lo, and I am excited to be chatting, all things I don’t maybe all things life. I don’t know how much time we’re gonna get in here. But some great, I know, we’re gonna get some great tidbits and wisdom from Leah Davidson, and she is a life coach, a certified life coach. That’s important. Sometimes a lot of people walk around call themselves life coaches these days, and it’s not all the same. I have learned this. You’re also the co founder of HML life coaching. And you also co host your own podcast as well, right building resilience podcast, you are a speech and language pathologist, you’ve got quite the right. You’re accomplished is what it is. Say I’m just accomplished. But on top of all that you are a mom as well. And that’s brings its own, you know, gamut of experience. So give us a little snippet of maybe where that’s taken you and where how you’ve headed to this in this direction throughout your career. Yeah, um, well, I’m a mom,
and I’m a step mom. So we’ve just opened the door to a whole new. That’s right. Because that’s a whole bag of tools too. So I i MSP times pathologists, I’ve been a speech pathologist, we always have a hard time saying our name. So we say, therapist for the past 22 years, and I worked in the area of traumatic brain injury. And, and that is something as you can imagine, people are going through big, big changes in their life, lots of stress, lots of anxiety, lots of mental health, lots of challenges. And just naturally, as as I was doing that, I wanted to increase the tools in my toolbox to help people so I became a life coach about eight years ago, and started seeing the importance of things like mindset, and thought work and how that worked in relation to people recovering and going through very, very stressful adversities in their life. And then a couple years ago, I got certified with the Life Coach School, which had sort of been a dream of mine because I had been following the work of Brooke Castillo for a while and just loved it. And my one of my colleagues, Heather stables, who’s also a speech language pathologist, we decided to team up and we co founded h2o life coaching, and sort of reaching now people who we started off with just a lot of people who still experience things like accidents and, and then it’s morphed into people having other challenges in life. And, and when you start working with people have other challenges in life, it ends up being a lot of moms, a lot of moms, a lot of people going through, you know, life, for some reason does not turn out, as we thought it would. And so that’s I work with a lot of people, helping them deal with the stress in their life become more resilient or confident, create better relationships, and really just have more joy and abundance in their life. So that was,
yeah, I love it. And you use the word resilience. And that’s something that I think is a very powerful word, if we can understand it, we can understand what we’re capable of. So when we’re looking at those stressful situations, whether it is just a moment in our life, or maybe it’s the hand we felt we were dealt, whatever that is, and I know we’ve talked about this in the past on other episodes, but the idea of you have a choice to settle into the victim mentality and do nothing and feel that life happened to you. Or you have the option for that resilience and to understand that it happened for you. And now what and I want to hear from you, what are what are some of the maybe some specifics on resilience, what’s something that maybe you’ve seen as a theme in some of these stories that I I’ve met incredible women and their their bravery, and their resilience is incredible even just to walk through tough situations, like I said, maybe just came up in their life, or through really tough situations they’ve traveled for years through, is there anything that you see in these these resilient people that is defining?
Well, I think it’s interesting to note that people who are resilient, we are all a lot more resilient than we think we are. And I think that’s the first piece when I start working with people’s reminding them of it’s in you. It’s not something that people are born with, and you don’t have it or you don’t have it, like resilience is a skill. We just have to tap into it and learn how to do it. And I think that when people understand that, oh, it’s possible that even if I don’t feel Like I can handle this, that I can learn how to handle this. And it really is possible because resilience is your ability to, to bounce back. It’s your ability to tolerate whatever it is that you’ve been dealt with, it’s to bend and not break. I’ve heard it expressed like that. And I think that’s a great way of doing it. Because we are all going to face adversity in life. And I’ve used the analogy before adversity is like your shadow. So sometimes it’s big. And sometimes it’s small, but it’s always there, like you try to get away. Yeah, you can’t get away from it. So resilience is what helps us deal with that adversity. And I think that the, I don’t want to say the secret because everybody has a different story is how they use it. But I do think that when we’re resistant to what’s happening in life, that is, we become our biggest obstacle. When we’re just pushing back. We don’t want to accept reality, we fight, fight, fight to change it. Resilience is what allows us to accept reality, and still go on and create amazing things in our life.
That’s such a good way to look at it. It’s true. And it’s there. I don’t You’re right. I don’t think there’s a secret sauce to being a more resilient person. Unless you’re just unwilling, right? I think unless we just close that off and go, I’m not willing to move forward. You know, I don’t.
And that’s a readiness thing, too. Yeah, cuz I definitely see that some people are not ready. And this often happens when I work as a speech pathologist with people who have been in injuries, nobody wants to be an injury at the beginning and be told, like, Oh, you know, you’re gonna grow so much from this. And you do also need to process part of being resilient, is allowing yourself to process and feel all the emotions. And that could be sadness, and anger and grief, and all those emotions that we think like, I want to avoid having to be resilient, we actually have to experience them, we have to go through them. So it is something that takes some time to develop, we can’t force somebody to be resilient, or force. And on the other side of resilience, actually, the the research has shown that most people do bounce back. And they go through periods of stress and overwhelm, and sadness and depression, anxiety, and a whole slew of grief, a whole slew of things. But most people are able to get back to some type of life where they can find the joy again, there is a group of people, though, who actually bounce forward. And that’s what they call post traumatic growth. And that’s the idea that these are people who have gone through experiences, and come out feeling stronger in certain areas of their life, not every area, it’s not
some people. And usually
it’s in things like maybe it’s their relationships with people, maybe it’s their empathy, maybe if they develop a new skill set, it’s so many different things. But that is possible to and I think that provides a lot of hope. But again, you can’t you don’t sit down and go to therapy and be forced to your Traumatic Growth. It’s shown it’s people naturally have have done this on their own. And I think that’s so incredible to share with somebody, you may not be ready to hear it. But the potential is there, like you are not doomed for this life of however it feels right now, the potential is there to to feel better, and in some ways to even grow from this experience.
Yeah, absolutely. You’re right. And if they’re still in that beginning stages, that might seem unattainable. But that’s but that’s the beauty of having someone like a coach who can give you that hope, right? And even share some of that inspiration. Because when you’re in it yourself, having an outside voice, having someone you can trust in an unbiased source to give you that direction and walk you through. And that’s what you do. I know, as a life coach, it’s people have asked me, you know, what, well, I don’t need to be coached through life. But there are instances you do that we don’t have the, the village, especially as moms, we miss the village that we used to have years and years and years ago. And now that village has a very strong judgmental voice in many cases, right. And unfortunately, there’s many beautiful groups and support groups and things like that I you know, don’t get me wrong. We we strive to do that even in my own business. But the truth is, we don’t have that same support system anymore. So having someone who is qualified, who you know, is on your side, in a sense of just being that unbiased voice or that right voice reason, you know, yeah.
Yeah, holding the space for you that it’s not I’m not gonna give you my advice, in my opinion. I’m just gonna allow you to see you know, what is going on for you. I mean, I think we look at athletes. I don’t think we would ever say to an athlete, Oh, you don’t need a coach. And they’re pretty top notch at what they do right and go into things. And that’s interesting as well. Mom’s like, we we will find our kids up for coaching and all those things for ourselves. And the coaches, the same job is to point out, like, here’s how you can do just a little bit better. Have you thought about doing it this way? Have you thought about doing it that way? It’s not just being a cheerleader, because you know, a cheerleader, you may not be able to improve, but it’s also not to be this critical person on your side. So I do think I mean, I’ve had a coach for a while now, obviously, I’m a life coach. So I strongly support that. But I think more and more, we’re going to start seeing people really getting into coaching, because they’re starting to see that why why not why I think it’s the best investment you can make in your mind, in your own mental health, your own emotional resilience. We all need somebody who can help guide us a little bit in that non judgmental area.
Absolutely. And something that I think is really interesting, I’m just kind of going back a little bit and triggered a thought because we I’ve talked about this, I think one other episode where we my kids, and I all learned how to do tapping. And it was just a course I was taking but because I was listening to it while they were getting ready for bed, and we’d be hanging out in the room. They were like, Can we do this. So we did bedtime tapping and things stood out to me was the acknowledgement of feeling, right. And like you said earlier, it’s when you’re in it, when you’re in those situations, or you’re in those struggles, or you’re in a challenging time where you maybe don’t feel very resilient, you don’t feel like you have the tools or the ability to move forward even out of it. It doesn’t feel normal. I remember the first time I did one, I went this can’t be right. Like, I’ve got all my positive affirmations I’ve done. You know, I’ve learned how to do the IM statements and all the powerful things. But the minute you start to acknowledge the weaknesses, or the those icky feelings, right, or that frustration, whatever that is the anger whatever. Yeah, and actually bring it to light and have, like you said, hold space for that. Yeah, I was so amazed how beautiful that was, like that process even for my kids. Yeah, for them.
Exactly. I use tapping with my clients. And I think it’s phenomenal. I think it’s a great way. Most of us I didn’t want to generalize, a lot of us have a hard time with feelings, that we try to think our way out of feelings. And we have learned to suppress a lot of our feelings. And you know, for many people that that shows up later on, you’re like, Don’t fool yourself, it’s gonna show up later on in your life in some way, shape, or form. And I think we do a disservice to our children by wanting them to be happy all the time. And what’s wrong, sweetie? Why are you upset and you know, don’t cry, and all these things that we say, which are not our fault of our own. This is just this is how we were taught to, but really learning to understand that emotions are just vibrations in our body, there’s some you know, that feel better than other ones. But we need to learn how to accept them all. And I think tapping is a great way to acknowledge it, to help our bodies process through it. You know, journaling, I do with my clients a lot of sort of deep dive journaling to, and that is another great way. And we also do like just learning how to process an emotion, learning how to sit with sadness, anger, frustration, and then teaching our kids that like helping them label it, you know, oh, that’s frustration you’re feeling and not trying to fix it for them. Just, I often think of even, you know, helping our kids to become more resilient. One of the ways we can do that, is by allowing them to have the negative emotions. You know, I always think of when my kids my kids are older now. They’re teens and young adults, but when they were little, and they’d be like on board. And the idea of like, oh, what can we do? Like we can read the movie at the time? We were renting movies. Go here, we can go there. And I realized now like I’m like so before it?
Yeah, that’s my new sentence. People You know, I’m sad. Yeah, I get sad too. Sometimes.
Yes. Like and not not in a very loving like, what is like to what what is bored is like, but not trying to rescue them. Because when we do that, then we’re sending them the message that only good feelings, happy feelings are acceptable. And when life happens, and they start feeling these negative feelings, which they will, then they’re like, okay, what’s wrong with me? I’m supposed to be happy. I’m supposed to I’m not supposed to be mad. I’m supposed to do all these things and then they start layering and layering and layering. I think that’s, you know that that is where we get a lot of our anxieties and depression and things like that. It’s just we’ve been very Pressing so many emotions. So unhealthy
shoes, that’s where it’s funny because with my clientele, that’s where I see that come out with, you know, fertility issues and health and stomach and digestive issues. And you can do all the cleaning up you want in your physical body. If you haven’t got to the root of the emotional side, it’s there hand in hand, like there’s actually no way to heal one without the other, you can only do
we can’t separate them. And I think for years, we’ve tried and you know, we’ve tried to separate the mind and the body. And now I think, you know, people are realizing like, you can’t, you got to do you know, this is what you need. And if you go to a doctor, I mean, my experience nowadays, a lot of doctors are like, okay, they may prescribe you things, or maybe physical things, but a lot of doctors are like, okay, so and what are you doing for the mental side? Are you getting the exercise? Are you doing the meditation? Do you have somebody to talk to? What’s your support system? Thank
goodness, thank goodness, we’ve come to a place where more doctors are starting to ask questions. I mean, I think we’ve come through generations of information right there. Those combos now?
Yeah. And if your doctor is not suggesting that, then go out and get it like, yeah, you if you want to improve your physical health, you need to improve your mental health and vice versa. You can’t do one without the other. So yeah,
that was one of the Well, that was one of the cool things I learned, actually with my firstborn. And it was my sister who is really good at this my older sister and she works with me in our business. And she’s incredible. She’s also a parenting coach. And you know, homeopaths, she’s worked in all kinds of great like holistic type, and coaching type businesses. So she’s been a really good resource for me to learn from which is fun when you’re the little sister. First, all that good stuff, right? But I was really cool for me with a firstborn, who was very emotional, very empathetic, very high need the baby like all of these things. Well, as I learned on him, what that looked like and being able to remember her saying to me one time, you know what, next time he’s really upset, ask him how his tummy feels. And I was like, okay, cuz he was just having a bit of digestive issues and things like that. And so the next time he was really angry about something I remember, and he’s a pretty even keeled kid. I remember, he got really upset about something I was able to say, you know, talking through what it was feeling, but also tell him what was your body feeling like right now. And he was actually able to point out like, I feel like this here, but I feel like this down here, and I feel it hurts a little bit up here. And from that day forward, it was just very eye opening for me. He taught me that mind body connection and being able to say, pay attention, pay attention to what your body’s saying to you, as your emotions are talking to you. Last thing I just felt very strongly last thing I want my kids to learn. Even in natural things, I The last thing I want them to learn is that they have to rely on something Exactly. Right. Whether it’s a pill or a potion, I don’t support you when you need those things. But the power and that resilience, I want them to understand that they’ve got it. Right, you have the ability to listen to to tap into that and you know, respect with that’s their body.
Yeah, well, for years, I suffered with IBS. And I had you know, I and this is back in the time I was in my 20s. So it was before they knew much about it. And I remember going to a couple doctors and basically them saying it’s all in your head. And I was thinking like it’s not in my head like dressing. Understand though how much it was in my head in the sounds like how many things I could do. And then over time, I learned what I could do, I had spent so much time because it brings down anxiety then I can’t go here, I can’t go there, I can’t eat that. And I did learn there are dietary things you know that it is my digestive system is much more sensitive. But I learned that deep breathing was like the way for me. And then fast forward. I had kids and when my youngest was probably about four years old, he started having tummy problems. And then right away of course my panic button goes off like oh my gosh, I’ve created this and whether it’s like my genetics that I passed down or maybe it’s just my reaction to things and I just taught him to breathe. I was like, honey, okay, here’s what we do when we have a tummy ache. And he’s 20 now and he I think has had challenges digestive flared up here and there, but his solution has always been to well My stomach’s been a little upset so I just you know ease back I do some deep breathing you know, I did some journaling. I just went for a run and did something like that. And Okay, that’s it you’re learning that you know, rather than take that What’s wrong, why is this happening and of course you always want to check out you you always want to go to doctors and make sure rule out something else. But I just love that deep breathing is like the go to now now when anybody in my house is not feeling For anything, I’m like, Okay, first place, we’ve got to do exercises, you know, on your system down right away taking you sympathetic to the parasympathetic system and just, we’ve got to get rid of that stress. We got to get into a relaxed body, then we can start figuring out what’s happening.
I love that. That is so true. We’ve learned that too. And it’s funny because I knew it for many, many years before I had kids. We did that as a doula. I mean in labor. I mean, Barkley, right, you’re learning to believe you’re relearning in certain circumstances, how to breathe. And throughout different stages of labor and whatnot. There’s not a lot of breathing techniques, but there’s a few. And I remember pulling it out when my oldest again, he struggled with anxiety off and on for many years until we kind of figured things out with him. And I remember doing that smell the flowers, blow the candles. And it was it’s a doula technique, but I like just just need him to slow down his breathing because he’s feeling sick now, because he’s hyperventilating, basically. And it was just that simple. Breathe into your nose and blow up through your mouth. And it’s this thing that they all know now smell the flowers blow the candles.
Amazing, like, it’s a solution for so many things. Like no just breathing. And that is like, we take that wherever we are. That’s our anchor, that’s, we never have to worry, doesn’t matter where you are in life. Just breathe.
There’s no special tools needed. You just have to remember to do it. Yeah, I love that. And that’s how we’re quick to try anything else. But
we want the pill, right? We want the quick magic pill. But really well, the first quick magic pill you can do is breathe. Absolutely. Like the number one thing to be to be trying for ourselves, you know, things aren’t going well. I’m having overwhelm. I’m feeling anxiety, I have a stomach ache. I you know, I’ve I’ve heard something brief, like I was the first place because then we can’t even access any of our cognitive strategies. When we’re in that stress response, when we’re we are not able to breathe, then breathing allows us to start to think clearly.
Well, I think and I appreciate it, even as a mom when you’re in a heightened emotional situation when you want to lose it. Yeah, even me, I don’t always get it right. I’m sure. I mean, we all fail, and we all fall apart, whatever. But it’s having that little reminder or that tool in your toolbox to say, Okay, if I just take a second and even do three deep breaths, the outcome is going to be better than if I don’t exactly like it’s that timeout, a mom needs a timeout for a long time. Yeah, and let me let me deal with this situation in a different manner than maybe I would have if I didn’t you know, right. Yeah, exactly. No, it’s a miracle pause. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I love that. And that’s, I think one of the most beautiful tools, like you’re saying that you teach your kids and if you see them carrying that on as they get older, I mean, I teach their kids that and the reality will have a whole other generation. Right? Yeah. Please, coming up who have a healthy relationship. Yeah.
And that is awesome to be able to see that. Like I said, My kids are older, they range between 16 and 23. And I see with the older ones, you know, they’re starting to use some of the tools and it does, or recommend them to their friends and answers. And they’re not hard. But I am glad that they’ve seen that. Internally, we have so many tools. And sometimes we just don’t know. We don’t even know that we’re using them sometimes, like, we just naturally will gravitate towards doing something without realizing Oh, actually, that’s a good tool that I should deliberately be trying to use. And and that’s so beneficial.
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s one of the things I’ve learned working with coaches in my own life I’ve learned there, you know, you guys are really good at helping us be intentional on the good stuff. That’s right, and acknowledge the stuff that’s not working, but then kind of release that and be okay, let’s now let’s keep moving forward with the stuff that is working and highlight that I know there I had a friend who I was encouraging for so many years, just it’s not a big deal. You know, go talk, it doesn’t have to be a therapist, even just amazing. Find a certified life coach, spend some time with them. And I remember she finally said to me, she said, You know what? She’s a mom. And she’s, and it was that’s where that judgment idea came in was that she said, I’m just I don’t want to have somebody sit there and tell me all the things I’ve done wrong. I already know what I’m doing wrong. Yeah, like, what would they do? That’s not what they do. And you know, there is a little portion of cheerleader in there because you do highlight and you do say Good for you, you know, well done. Here’s your stuff working. Let’s let’s acknowledge and sit in the moments that you know, you feel shame or guilt or anger or frustration over and we can look at that. But that’s not who you are. And now
in a sense, like when I work with a lot of my clients is talking about the idea of self confidence and confidence in who you are as a mom and who you are as a person. And really to be confident is embracing all the good and the bad. It’s no That, and I’ve used this before, it’s knowing that I am an incredible Mom, I can tell you that I am awesome. I’m an awesome stepmom, I am so good at so many things. And I am the world’s worst mom and stepmom at the same time, I have my moments where I’m like well done. Yeah. Yeah. And I have other moments where I’m like, I am ashamed at that moment. And there are moments even now like when my kids, I’ll get together, there’s a couple of stories that they love to tell remember, when mom or the gray did that. And I’m like, that’s part of who I am. And I want to love and embrace all of it. So I think you know, for somebody like that, who’s like, well, I don’t want all those negatives pointed out. So like, we go through and point them out. But when they do come up, I’m like, Yeah, you’re human. You have those negative things, you’re not a robot, like, you are going to have the pluses and the minuses. And isn’t it amazing that you’re modeling that for your kids to say to your kids, you are awesome, I love everything about you. And you can be a miserable little. I don’t I love you anyways, yeah, I love it, it doesn’t change my love for you unconditional love when you have the good days and the bad days. So when we can accept that about ourselves and be confident in ourselves, we pass that on to our kids, like, I want my kids to know that they’ve got a whole amazing group of things, and a whole lot of things that aren’t so amazing. And that doesn’t change their worth. They are 100% worthy of love, and they’re 100% worthy of everything they, you know, they’re they’re divinely worthy, just their existence, their being, they don’t have to do anything to be worthy. They just be. And as moms, we need to model that we need to learn how to embrace that. And so sometimes it’s we shine look in the mirror, and we don’t like what we see, we can look in the mirror and not like what we see and say, and I love you anyways, and you’re
so powerful, that is really important. I remember I took a whiteboard marker one time, and I had that written across my mirror to my kids mirrors to all right, you know, poems or things across their mirrors, because it’s the power of those words is it is very powerful it is and learning to say it, whether you believe it, you know, and just say it until say it until it fits till you hear it click, you know, yeah,
it does, it does and will go up and down on that scale. You know, we’ll all feel shame and shame is, shame is an emotion. That’s why you know, Britney brown talks about shame, resilience, like, we have to, we have to learn how to process shame. If you’re human, you will, unless you’re a sociopath or psychopath, I think she says, If you feel shame, then you’re human. So we just need to get learn at processing get good at processing it. And then on the other side, we don’t want to walk around thinking we’re better than everybody else, because then we become, you know, proud and arrogant. Nobody likes that either. We need to sort of settle into that. I’m confident I got good stuff. I got that stuff. You know, like, and everything. I’m good at some things in my job, I’m bad at some things in my job, I’m good. As a mom, I’m bad as a mom, in my marriage, I’m great in some areas and not so hot in some areas, like, come to my house, this area is great, don’t worry. We have that 5050 of life. And I think it’s just to model that for our kids and let them have the negative saying,
yes, it’s so often that we we expect a whole other gamut of emotions from them than we can even control in our own life. Right? I’ve caught that so many times over the years is saying, You know what? I wouldn’t like I would do that. Why? Why can’t they react that way? That’s how I would react. If they’re mad at their sister. I’d be mad if someone
calls us up and says something just happened. You know, we got five kids that happened What? And calls us up and said something, you know, I was just like, yeah, I could sort of see my kid doing that. You know, my mana bear is like you are and if you were a better teacher, and if you’d that’s my was my mama bear coming out. But in reality, I was like, Yeah, tell us about him. Yeah. Now, right. Yeah, we’re working on it. It’s something that it’s probably going to be a struggle and and as I get older, I I’m constantly saying to them like yeah, it was like that. I got that when you were in grade two, two. I mean, it’s Yes. It’s one thing that maybe you’re always going to be working on and that’s okay. You just you will likely never perfect it because we’re never going to be perfect but just maybe something that you have to be aware of and try to catch yourself on and because you’re not perfect and I love you. And then they have kids one day and used to go see my mom likes to tell me that now I know I hear that from my mom too. You know, if I’m talking about something with my kids, she’s like, well, when you were that age, I’m like, I never did that. I joke about you know, my husband, I are like, I don’t think I did that. He’s like, I don’t think that I, you know, was you because this is a second marriage where I was like, it must be the access. To least love it.
That’s funny. My we always joke in my in our house, because my husband’s that he’s the crazy, amazing, crazy, outgoing, you know, flamboyant kind of guy. And so anything when my kids are just being nutballs, we’re like, that’s your kid. is not. Your child’s Yeah, that’s exactly what. That’s normal. Yeah, it is normal anyway, right? That’s right. Yeah. It’s all normal. It’s all I love it. I love it. Well, thank you. I appreciate this. This was so informative and fun. And I could go on forever. But I don’t want to keep you too long. Where can we find you? Or can people work with you? And we’ll make sure all your links are up, and people can find you that way. But what are some good ways that they can connect it and listen to more?
So listen, tomorrow, the best place to go is the building resilience podcast. So that’s the name of our podcast. And we have a new episode every Wednesday, so you can follow that available on all the normal platforms. We also hang out on Instagram and Facebook, which at h l dot life coaching. And then our website is HL dash life coaching calm. And yeah, I work with people, we do free mini sessions. So you can talk with us get a feel for if it’s a good match, because it has to be a good match, as well as as qualified as somebody can be. If there’s no connection, it’s not going to be there. It’s there. So we’d love to have that that. First. Just get to know you and find out what you’re you’re where you want to grow and what we can do for that. So those are probably the best places.
Perfect. Well, thank you so much for your time. I know a lot again. Thank you so much for having me. Awesome. We’ll talk to you soon. All right. Take care.