How many times have you heard yourself say, “I’m fine.” When you were anything but fine?
Why is it so hard to stay with our emotions and be honest with ourselves about where we’re at and what we’re going through?
In my experience, a big factor in staying “fine” is the fear of change.
If you admit that something isn’t right, does that mean you have to change it?
How much do you have to change?
Who’s going to hold you accountable to change?
These and so many similar questions can keep you suppressing your true emotions and staying in familiar discomfort.
But there is a place between “I’m fine” and change.
In this episode, I’ll talk about that space and why it’s important to hold that space for yourself without the pressure of thinking you have to change now.
Referred to in this episode:
Laura Lummer 00:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Hello, hello, welcome to another episode of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. And I'm so happy to be here on this just amazing. I live in Southern California, and it is just an amazingly perfect sunny blue sky. Gorgeous, gorgeous day. What a gift today is and what a gift every day is. But it's just it's hard to come in doors. When you live in a time like this in a place like this on a day like this, you want to just stay out, soak it all in. But it's a beautiful day. And I'm happy to be here sharing the information on this podcast with you. And so before we jump right into the podcasts, I just want to remind you that you can come to my website, and anytime the breast cancer recovery coach.com. And you can find on my website, free resources, free downloads, to support you in whatever it is you may need support. And I have some with respect to food and learning how to eat without fear and guilt. I have one really fantastic resource that is a book I co authored with Andrea Leonard, the founder of the cancer exercise Institute, and several others under resources that you can find that can help you and they're all free. And you also can join at any time my life coaching membership better than before breast cancer. It is a wonderful program with an amazing group of survivors. And in that membership, we do small group coaching, we do individual coaching, we focus on a different topic. Every month, we have workshops, and we have fun, it's a really great way to connect on a really great way to learn how to manage your thoughts, your emotions, and create just a better life for yourself better in the sense of what you want it to be. If there's anything that you're struggling with, you're thinking I really want to change this. But I don't know how then I can support you through that in the life coaching membership. There's also the becoming you program, which is another amazing program. And you can join that at any time, it's eight weeks of going through this process of evaluating where you're at in your life where you'd like to be what the roadblocks are, and what the opportunities are. And do you have access to me for four different office hours during that eight week period of time. So like I've helped coach you along. And I think it's really important to talk about these because this is really what I'm going to jump into for the topic of this podcast. In both of these I said, if you want to create a better life, or if you want to have something to change. On Sunday, something that I have discovered over my years of coaching is that the idea of change, and this I knew before coaching, but the idea of change is very intimidating. And what I've learned more and as I've gotten deeper into that with myself and changes I've had to make in my life to to be creating the life that I want to have. And in the people that I work with when I coach. And what I see is that we often have this idea that change is going to mean something bad. The change is going to be something so big and so unfamiliar, that it's upsetting actually, to even think about it. And then that causes us to pull back from looking at the things that really need looking at. So let me step back for a second and say when oftentimes people will hear about a program like the life coaching, membership becoming you, or any other program, right, you might have this viewing in you, as we do after breast cancer treatment, this feeling of I'm just kind of disconnected here kind of lost and tried to figure out how to process things. And what is our most common response from people like how are you? Fine? I'm fine. Right? And I'll even be in coaching sessions with women who are sharing with me some really deeply personally painful or overwhelming or confusing thoughts and circumstances. But before they'll let themselves sit in that and really process it and understand it, they'll move straight to put but it's fine, but I'm fine.
Laura Lummer 04:59
And so that That's why I want to talk about this space that exists in between, I'm fine. And change. Because when we're in the space of I'm fine, I'm fine. That's really not true most of the time, right? I'm fine means I don't want to complain, I shouldn't complain, I should just be grateful or things could happen. Which is I'm fine. really mean to you? I can do this. I can push through, I can get through this. Right? Does it mean, I'm actually really good. I'm actually feeling really good. I'm actually solid. I'm happy in my relationships. I'm happy in the work that I do. I'm happy in the way my body is feeling. And I'm treating it and thinking about it. That's fine. Right? When it's the, I'm fine, I'm fine. You know what I mean, I changed my tone of voice because we normally do when we said, It's okay, I'm fine, I'm fine. No, are not fine. And it's okay, to not be fine. Now, you're not going to go into your life story and share everything that's on your mind with every person you meet, but you will have your safe people, you will have your close people, you'll have your champions, you'll have your support group, and it's okay to let those people know, oh, I'm feeling really ungrounded or I'm just feeling a little lost. Okay, I'm feeling a little alone. Because here's the thing, when we're honest with ourselves, and we say that, we bring awareness to that. And that space in between, fine, I'm fine. And change is awareness. And awareness is such an amazing place to be that if you let yourself slip out of the unfine, and not slip into the indulgent motions, right, not slip out of I'm fine into oh my gosh, that sucks. And that's horrible. And for me, and I can't do what I want to do. And that's not what I'm saying at all. But when people come to me, and they're in this space of, I'm struggling, but I'm fine, I'm struggling, but I'm fine, I'm unhappy, but it's okay. It'll be fine. Right. And then we dig into that and start to have a conversation. And what I discover is that the idea of change is so scary, that they resist allowing more awareness to come and to just really be in the moment and process and talk through what's actually happening with happening with them. So I'll give you a couple of examples. If it's someone who's struggling with health, let's say, weight loss, joint pain, wanting to just have a more active and healthy lifestyle. What happens as we go from this place of being here, maybe not liking the way our lifestyle is in its totality, to if I change, I have to give up everything I love. We go right to the extreme, right. So if I want to have a healthy lifestyle, I can never have another glass of cab, another piece of cheesecake, another chunk of chocolate, I have to be up at six o'clock every morning, right? We go into this very extreme thinking, which immediately our brain is going to just go like, you know, the brakes are on not going there. And so then we say Hang on, I know, I know, I'm fine. I'm gonna be fine. Right? I know what I have to do, it'll be fine.
Laura Lummer 08:34
And then boom, there we go there, the big metal wall just dropped, if it comes to a relationship, and oftentimes I'll hear people feeling lonely, or that they can't connect to their closest loved ones. And not understanding how to do it or dealing with emotions that they don't really, they've never had to deal with before in their closest relationships. And so then they just go straight to but it'll be okay. It'll be fine. It'll be fine. Because in their mind, if we start having these conversations, if we start looking at what is really happening and what you're really feeling in this moment, and your thoughts about it, and why you're having those thoughts about it, the mind goes straight to I'm gonna lose this person I love this isn't going to end well. You know, there are times when I'm working with people and I suggest therapy and counseling, especially when it comes to couples because breast cancer has a tremendous impact on relationships, on close relationships, even close friendships, but especially marriages, intimate romantic relationships, even relationships with your children. And when I suggest sometimes that maybe couples go into therapy or counseling or maybe even families try family counseling. It's interesting because I'd say more often than not, I see my clients human brains as beautiful human Writing goes straight to, oh, that's not going to be good, right. So if you go into counseling with someone you're in a relationship with, then it's going to end in divorce, or it's going to end in a breakup. And we don't think about that change in terms of, it could be amazing. Like what it probably it will be difficult, because we'll have to talk about difficult things that maybe a little bit at a time, we can make positive change. And I'll not only get to keep these people I love in my life, but we will have an even richer relationship. Right. So when we consider change, we go to the negative aspects of change. And then we go to an overwhelming amount of change, way too much change to imagine, I look back at my experience over these past two years since my stage four diagnosis. And I look at the transitions I've made and the things that I've adjusted in my life. And if you would have told me two years ago, that I'd be living the way I live now and doing what I do now, I probably would have freaked out a little bit. Right, it would have been like, that's way too much to take on, it's way too much to think about. But over two, here's, there's been a process of tuning into myself of reading and researching and investigating and listening and coaching and getting coached and discovering what feels right in the moment. And making small sometimes really challenging changes. And that process has evolved to where I am now. And those changes are everything from my thoughts and my approach to, to food and to relationships and to the work that I do. And they're also in my communication with my husband, who has also changed through this process. And at the end where we are now this two years, I'm looking forward to more growth and more change over these next two years. But again, if you would have told me all the things that would have shifted two years ago, it would have been too much. So where do we go between this, I'm fine, I'm fine on this overwhelming idea of change means that my whole life is going to be different. I can't even imagine I can't wrap my head around it. You know what, forget it, this will be fine. It's funny. As I'm saying this story pops into my head of years ago, after I did my teacher training for yoga, I did several years of this very intense training, and in yoga in yoga philosophy and yoga studies. And I remember feeling a little frightened at first because I thought, you know, I'm listening to this teacher. And he's talking about these Yogi's and the way that they live their life. And it's super intense, and the practices that they have. And I'm getting a little intimidated here, because in my mind, if I started this practice, I have to end up on a meditation cushion somewhere in the Himalayas. mind just goes to the extreme of Whoa, I won't even be living a normal life. And that is so far from the reality of what was and where I was right? Because we don't go from where we are to 100%. Right, shooting up into or taking jumping on a plane and going off into the Himalayas, right. But that's what our brain does. And so we have to be able to catch our brain and bring it back and say, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a sec. Let's just become more aware of what's happening right now.
Laura Lummer 13:34
So in between, I'm fine, I'm fine, and have a completely different life be a completely different person. There's the process of awareness. There's the process of becoming more and more aware. And then just allowing what it is to be truthful to you. And it doesn't require change. It's interesting, because even in my becoming you program, that program is designed to help people see like where you're at now. Why you're seeing there, why you're not moving towards what you say you want. But one thing I say to my clients all the time is you don't have to change anything right now. You don't have to go into this program as one person come out as another person, but you go into this program as you are, and you come out with a lot more awareness. From that awareness will be the catalyst for small changes or for bigger awarenesses. But it does not require complete change. And in fact, when we say something has to change, right when we decide like, I don't know what to do, but if I if I look at this, I'm going to have to change everything. We're overwhelmed We're driving and we're intimidated. So it shuts down this process of allowing wareness. You know, because it's this pressure, right? It's this pressure of, Oh, what if I started that program with Laura? And I'm not completely different by eight weeks? What will she say? What will she think? What will my husband think? What will my sister think? What will my mom think they'll think I did this, and then I didn't do it, and then I failed. Right? The idea that something has to change can be a lot of pressure. And it's interesting, because when you're ready for change, you'll know it. When you're ready for change, you feel it, you will decide on it. And it will happen. When you're contemplating change. When you're contemplating why you're in suffering now, or why you're doing things you don't want to be doing now, or you tell yourself you don't want to be doing that is really just a desperate need for more awareness. And it's okay to give yourself that space, that grace to just say, I'm just gonna learn a little more about this right now. You know, let me learn about this, until I feel that I'm ready for change. And then when I'm ready for change, I get to decide on what small changes I'm actually ready for. It doesn't have to be everything at the same time. So going back to the, I'm fine, I'm fine. When you find yourself saying, Oh, my God, I just I feel so lost right now. Or I feel like I hear this often. I feel like I should have a purpose, and I can't find my purpose. Nevermind, I don't even know why I'm thinking that. And then we close the door on it. But what's wrong with just staying there? Right? Not saying I've discovered my purpose, I'm here to change the world. I am not saying it's fine. It's fine. But sitting there and saying, Hmm, why do I tell myself I have to have some larger than life purpose? Why do I tell myself that if I want to have a healthier lifestyle, I have to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables and run 10 miles a day, I only telling myself these things and then we get to stay there. And we get to be very, very curious and start to just investigate the thoughts. This is the critically important step between online and Portal intimidating, scary, life changing change. It's just, it's this process in between, that's a much bigger chunk of the experience. And it's the process of becoming very aware of what is happening to you now. What you're thinking about what's happening to you now, how you're feeling about that? And that's it. That's it, can you imagine that just stop, I just want to understand what I'm thinking, and how I'm feeling and how I can be okay with what I'm thinking and feeling. And I want to investigate more of what this means to me. You know, in my coaching,
Laura Lummer 18:18
I use a tool that is I was trained on in Life Coach School and my certification process. And that tool is called the model. And in the model, we look at what are your current circumstances? And what is your thought about that. And there's a, you know, a process of getting very specific in it. And an interesting thing is, that first model would be called the unintentional model. So it's like, Where does your brain automatically go? Right? When I give you an example, when I finished breast cancer treatment, and my brain went, Okay, that's it. Let's get back in the gym. Let's get fit. Let's get let's get this show on the road. And three months later, I'm still feeling miserable and in pain, where's my brain automatically go right? To frustration, this isn't how it's supposed to be. I'm supposed to be going back to normal. This isn't right. So when you use the model to really look at that, and investigate, where are those thoughts coming from? Why are you having them? How are you feeling? What are what are the results they're creating in your life? As we start to work on that sometimes even in the process of just extracting? What is your thought about this? My clients want to move straight to how to fix it. This happens way more often than not. It's very difficult to stay in what is right now and allow ourselves that because we've been so conditioned, just smile, just be fine. Don't complain, just be grateful. So we think that real feelings are the antithesis of that and they're not. Right real feelings. Authentic feelings are super important. Because then you get to be in them and process them and it's not that they're bad. It's not that you're ungrateful, it's not that you don't have enough, it's just that this is what is right now. And this is where I'm at in my life right now, I just want to be here now and feel it all and investigate it all, and allow myself to be in the flow. And in the process of this life, I don't have to tell myself changes required in a better happen within six weeks, and better happen within 20 minutes, I just gotta be here, let's see how that feels, and understand and get to know myself. And that's it. And when you do that, my friend, when you start that process of where awareness, it's this organic growth starts to happen, you start to see things in a little bit of a different lens. And you even start to see them in the people around you and have more empathy and understanding, to start to notice where people are at, and where you are at, without attaching the pressure of mandatory change needing to occur, right, we get to just be in life, without the pressure of having to change something. And again, if you feel a need for change, if you feel like something needs to change, even the foundation of that is understanding why? Why does it need to change for you now, what are you experiencing here, and now, that gives you this idea that change is required? And what kind of change is that? Right? So being in the curious space, allowing yourself to investigate yourself, and just really increase the awareness that you're experiencing. That is the key factor. That's the factor to releasing a ton of suffering. That's the factor to stop continually suppressing emotions, because you tell yourself, these are emotions you're not allowed to have or shouldn't have. And it just lets you become you. Like, truly be the person you are, and be okay with it. And then invite whatever it is you want into your life into your life. As you're ready for it, I think it's a super important thing to realize. So you can sit down and look at yourself and say, If I'm in this place of struggle, what kind of pressure my putting on myself? Am I putting the pressure on myself to say, I'm fine, I'm fine. And
Laura Lummer 22:30
to be what I used to be and to keep keep the stiff upper lip and keep doing what I used to do just push on through, right? Am I putting pressure on myself to say I gotta throw everything out and start everything from the ground up? Where's that pressure coming from? And can I just stay here now and say, Okay, where am I actually out today? And then the only thing that really matters is what can I do today? To enjoy this day, as much as possible. Let myself just be who I am. That's it. That's the most important thing. Even as I say it out loud, I feel myself like this lightness comes into my chest. Like I just get to decide what's the most important thing for me today. And that's it. And tomorrow, we'll deal with tomorrow. Right? Today, more awareness, more understanding, more learning about yourself and more awareness of where you're pressuring yourself to be or do something different. That creates so much overwhelm, or intimidation, that you just don't do anything at all. And you just stay in your suffering. I don't want to see that. I want to see a lot of happiness. I want to see people enjoying beautiful sunrises and beautiful days and doing all you can to be in your day and in the moment that you have today. Because that's everything. All right, my friends. I'll talk to you again next week. And until then, Please be good to yourself and come to my website, the better than before the breast cancer recovery coach.com Find something you need there. There's lots of good stuff for you. I'll talk to you soon.