with Valerie LaVigne
Sometimes the simplest answer is the best (especially when it comes to habits). The hard part is actually doing it.
In this episode of the Feminine Luminary podcast, Healthy Habit Mentor, Valarie Lavigne, explores the importance of intentional living and how to align your actions and choices with your vision and values. She believes that the key to lasting change is not about following a rigid system or set of rules, but rather about connecting with your own inner wisdom and intuition. This allows you to create habits that are not only effective, but also sustainable and enjoyable.
In our conversation we chat about:
- The role of mindset in achieving success and practical strategies for cultivating a positive and empowering mindset.
- The significance of self-care for women in leadership roles and practical self-care strategies to prevent burnout
- How we require structure when it comes to designing an intentional life (but we also want it to be fluid to move with life’s happenings)
- Anchoring into a feeling we want to have and our own meaning, then using this to guide our habits
- Looking beyond the fluffy self-care (bubble baths and facials) to what’s really going to make a difference
- How discipline equates to freedom
By the time you’re done with this episode you’ll have a renewed outlook on habits and see them as nourishing the mind, body and spirit (instead of a tick-box on your to-do list!). Get ready to see habits in a new light!
Build Better Habits Free Guide: www.valerielavignelife.com/habits
1:1 Mentorship: https://www.valerielavignelife.com/mentorship
Valerie LaVigne helps women who are making an impact live a life by design, not by default. Using the incredible tool of Healthy Habits, Valerie educates and empowers women to prioritize their own health and wellness, so that they can feel great in their body and show up powerfully for the people depending on them.
You can connect with Val:
Podcast: Womens Empowerment Podcast
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[00:01:41] Amanda: Val, I’m so excited to have you on the show. Welcome to Feminine Luminary
[00:01:45] Val: Podcast. Thank you, Amanda. I’m so excited to be here. I know that we had such a great chat on my own podcast, so I know that we’re just going to continue to make more magic, but on your incredible show.
[00:01:57] Amanda: Yes, absolutely. And this [00:02:00] has actually been a while coming.
We’ve been trying to coordinate a time. We’ve had a few cancellations, a few shufflings around and really, I mean, that’s just life for both on opposite sides of the world. And so these things happen, but it is fine. The stars are finally aligned. We are here. And I know today it’s just
[00:02:15] Val: So incredible. So before
[00:02:17] Amanda: we actually jump into the conversation itself, and I’d love to know what makes you and your work luminary,
[00:02:25] Val: you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about this because you did give me this question before.
So I was really pondering my answer and I, part of me wanted to say this whole list of things that I was very excited to share with you. And then another part of me just thought, well, I think it’s the fact that I’m. Quite ordinary. That makes my work really extraordinary and luminary. And the reason why I say that, which some people be like, what do you mean?
The reason why I say that is because a lot of people brush off habits because they think they’re so simple. They’re so easy to do. And with the right strategies. That can be true. They can be really simple. They can be really easy. However, those same people often find themselves stuck in this loop of fear and doubt and self sabotage and overwhelm.
And you know, all of the things, all of the fields and to get out of those unhelpful patterns, we need to break cycles. And oftentimes the smallest change can lead to some of the most. Epic results. So in my work where I am a healthy habit mentor, I meet people where they’re at and through a mixture of, I would say, coaching and mentorship and consulting in a way, because it’s like, I do have tools, but I also want to pull from you.
But I also know what works. So I want to be able to give you options. Right? So using this kind of blend is [00:04:00] how I help people make really simple or really ordinary habits. that lead to their extraordinary lives. And my whole, I guess, mission or vision is that I’m helping women live their life by design and not by default, because it’s so easy to get stuck in those negative loops.
And so, yeah, that’s what makes My me and my work luminary is that it’s ordinary, but there’s so much beautiful in the simplicity, there’s so much beauty in that there’s so much power in that there’s so much possibility. And that’s what makes it so luminary. Oh, that is incredible.
[00:04:43] Amanda: Wow, I felt that so deeply and when we talk about.
The ordinary, I mean, the extraordinary contains the word ordinary. Like we seem to think that people, the people that we see doing incredible things are someone truly special. They are better than us. They are more than us, but they’re not, they are normal human beings. When you peel back all the layers and look at who they are underneath, they are normal human beings, just like us.
And so I think when we actually get to own that and strip it back to that base layer. Things can be simple. We can be simple. We don’t need to over complicate things. And I know I have been guilty of this in the past is that I have this belief that in order to be someone special, to be able to do things in the world, I had to prove my worth.
This is this deep seated belief that I’ve always working on my worthiness. And so one of the things that I used to do was completely over complicate things because I thought that was the way it had to be done. So I love the fact that you’ve said no. The way that I am luminary and my work is luminary is through a simplicity.
Oh my gosh, you pretty much just summed up so much there. Simple
[00:05:53] Val: answer that is
[00:05:54] Amanda: deep,
[00:05:55] Val: very deep. I’m so glad. I know I kept, I kept stirring over this and I was at the [00:06:00] gym this morning and I just kept coming back to. It’s so simple. Like it’s it really is so simple. And why do we let ourselves overcomplicate?
Why do we let ourselves feel this overwhelm all the time? And then question, why are we so overwhelmed? Why are we so frustrated? Why are we so stuck? And when we really just have to take a breath and take a step back and look at what’s one small thing that we can change, what’s one small thing that we can overcome.
And oftentimes getting curious is really such a powerful beginning step or a simple question to ask ourselves is why. And even that, you know, simple starting point can help us really uncover I know you talk a lot about like the deep seated work and the deep seated beliefs and your own experience with trying to prove yourself worth.
Those are all things that we can really peel back 1 layer at a time. We don’t have to go all in right now. Super deep. We can just start by scratching service. So, so
[00:07:09] Amanda: many people, I think, you know what I need to get to the core of it right now. And it’s like, no, peel it back. This comes back to the idea of simplicity again, one step at a time.
It’s like that old saying, like, how do you eat an elephant? And I don’t know whether it’s just an Australian thing, but how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time? It’s so simple. One little bit, one put in front of the other, because otherwise it does feel so overwhelming.
[00:07:33] Val: A lot of the work that you do
[00:07:35] Amanda: is you’ve touched on the breath as being one of the things that really pulls you back.
And this idea of healthy habits and it’s such an embodiment of who you are and what you stand for. Like, how did you actually come into this work? Because I know you’re a Balinese teacher, you’re the healthy habits coach. So even as you’re speaking, I can see these things coming out in the words that you’re bringing forth.
How did you actually
[00:07:58] Val: come to this [00:08:00] Well, thank you so much for recognizing that because I often struggle with self worth too. So it’s nice to see that recognition, especially in this online space. When you’re like, who am I even talking to right now? Who is listening to this podcast? I only see numbers. I don’t like get to be with people.
And that’s one of my favorite things about being a podcast host too, is having conversations with actual real people. So With the healthy habits. I laugh every time someone asks me this because I was the last person who wanted anything to do with anything habitual. I didn’t want to anything to do with rules or discipline.
I thought discipline was a horrible word. I, I’m a rebel
without a cause. Trust. Believe. I I really, and. Was the kind of person who believed that if everyone else was doing something, I wanted no part of it. And I actually wanted to do the opposite of what everyone else was doing. So, even even when I was in, I was in high school. I was like, a really great student on a role, like, recognized for good grades and I didn’t want to go to university.
I didn’t want to be a number. I wanted actually to go to Australia and just live my life and figure things out there. And my parents were like, you have no money. You can’t do that. So I didn’t end up doing that, but I did live a life in my own way. The only thing is, is that I really struggled. I was frustrated.
A lot of the time I was like the person I described at the beginning, I was frustrated and I thought habits were kind of dumb and I thought It was boring to have a schedule was boring to do the same thing every day and didn’t want to live that life. And so what I realized was that discipline was the thing that was going to get me to this life of freedom that I craved [00:10:00] and.
If I had heard this at that age that I was at when I felt so frustrated and so rebellious, I probably would have ignored it and brush it off. But because I was experiencing roadblock after roadblock and frustration after frustration, I basically. Came to this point where I’m like, I need a change and unfortunately, at the time I was so upset with myself that it wasn’t going to be a simple change that you could have done years ago that could have rippled into this extraordinary life.
But instead, I had to make a big change. And so what 1 way ticket to Guatemala, which sounds crazy. It was a little bit crazy. Yeah. And I became a solo female backpacker. And so I honestly, I didn’t speak Spanish. I didn’t know anything about Guatemala. I basically planned one week to live with a family and learn Spanish for one week.
And then from there, I was just, I just decided that I’m going to let the wind take me wherever I’m going to go. Whatever, whoever I meet is going to say, Oh, you should go here. And then I’m going to say, okay, great. I’ll go there. And that was me living. Literally, this life by default, like I was just going through this new place, meeting new people.
Now, trust me when I say this was one of the best experiences of my life. I think everyone should solo travel if they have the opportunity, even if it’s just for a weekend away at a retreat or something. It was powerful. It was life changing. It was transformational. And there were so many life lessons in these seven months that I ended up traveling by myself through Guatemala and Belize.
Honduras and El Salvador and Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and then I ended up in Mexico. And the reason, the reason why I’m taking you all the way in Mexico is because through these seven months, I really discovered that [00:12:00] although I love this nomadic life and being this free spirit and being barefoot and just meeting cool people, there was this craving that I had for stability.
And my body was craving it. My body wasn’t grounded. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. And there was a fear and an excitement kind of mixed together with that. But truthfully, it was like me having this little bit of a wake up call. Like I can’t do this for the next five, 10, 15 years, whatever it’s going to be.
I. This isn’t purposeful, like, this is great for right now, but what purpose does this serve? Like, this isn’t the definition of freedom that I thought that I wanted. Okay. So, in Mexico, I found this incredible life coaching course. And before going to Mexico, I was a yoga teacher, Pilates teacher, all the fitness things and a bunch of my friends were always asking me for advice or wanting to talk to me about goal setting and all these things like things that I didn’t think too much of.
I just liked personal development, but I wasn’t really I wasn’t marketing myself as anything other than a Pilates and yoga teacher. And they are, I remember a couple of girlfriends saying you should be a life coach. Like, they’re so good at this. And I thought, yeah, okay, I’ll look into it. You know, 1 day when I get to it and then I find myself and go about this life coaching course and I had the most incredible experience and I got this certification and I ended up going home shortly after and creating this business about.
You know, similar to how you, you speak about, like, finding your light and that lumen that lumination and being this being this what’s the word, like, permission for other people to also shine [00:14:00] when you shine. And so. What I discovered as I was starting this new business was that I needed some structure. I needed systems.
I needed discipline to grow and to really make the impact that I was looking for and to really live the life of freedom and purpose and passion that I wanted. And so, when I got clear about what freedom meant for me, I realized that. The discipline is what I was missing to get me to that point and through different habits, different systems, routines, rituals, I was able to really shift my entire being like, it sounds crazy because it sounds like I did it overnight, but I didn’t.
It took so much time. Lots of effort, lots of trial and error, lots of reading and research and listening to podcasts and all the things. And I’m dragging this story on very long, but to really emphasize the point that yes, it can be simple. And you need to have the clarity behind what it is you really want and how you want to feel, because that’s going to be your foundation for making the changes in your own life and perhaps into other people’s lives as well.
[00:15:16] Amanda: Oh, I can see so much of myself in your story as well. This whole idea of… We are the good girl. We go to school. We study and we do well in school. And then the next stage in that process is go to university or go to college. And I think this is where a lot of people tend to rebel. And I start thinking, okay, what is it that I want to do in my life?
And if it’s not happening at that point in your life, maybe you continue going to college, you get the good job and they start working away at the corporate ladder. But then you get to a point, it’s always going to come up and go, you know what stuff this I’m going to want to do my own thing. I’ve had enough of being told what to do.
I’ve had enough of this structure. I want to be that free spirit who runs through the street and just does exactly what she wants to do when she wants to do it. And [00:16:00] what happens is that’s great. And we need to experience that. We need to go from one end of the spectrum, completely oscillating in the other direction to be able to realize that where we feel most comfortable is back in the center.
We need to have a little bit of that structure. We need to have a little bit of that fun or a lot. You can have a lot of age, but still being able to reside somewhat in that state of homeostasis is where we feel most comfortable. It helps our nervous system. It helps to propel our business or whatever it is that we’re working on at the time.
It allows us to feel really grounded. And so that we have a sense of direction and a sense of purpose. I love that you’ve mentioned that. Oh, so, so good. I was actually having this conversation the other day around how it really is a blend of the masculine and the feminine energies. I very much grew up my masculine and then I swung really hard to my feminine.
I was like, no, I don’t just want to float around. I want to do nothing. And I even see this play out when I had kids as well, because it was like, you know what? I’m going to be that free spirit mom. I’m going to be the homeschooler. We’re going to just wake up whenever we want to wake up. We’re going to do whatever we feel like doing.
And it is hard work, really hard work doing that. It’s great for a little while, but After a while, I think we just naturally create that structure. And when we actually bring it back to the masculine and feminine energies, when we actually start to embody both of those, we have the masculine, which is essentially the container.
It’s the vessel, which allows the feminine to move around freely within it. Because when we don’t. That feminine energy just leaks out, it essentially dissipates, it becomes really,
[00:17:41] Val: really weak,
[00:17:42] Amanda: and all of a sudden we forget who we are, we forget our purpose, and when we’re trying to then bring that back into our work, it becomes really, really hard.
And even though a lot of people see habits. As not necessarily being all that exciting, we kind of need these [00:18:00] habits. We need this little bit of structure in order to create that really intentional life, like you were saying. Cause if we don’t, after a while we have our fun and we get to explore and experience well, which like you said, I think everybody needs to do that.
I think we need to go out because it’s just, it takes that safety away from you. You have to. Then for yourself, you have to figure yourself out. You have a million and one dark nights of the soul. And when you actually start to break all those walls down, you can come back to, okay, What is of value to me?
And when you actually then understand your values, you can create that intentional life. And so I’d love to talk a little bit more into that, like your, how do we align our values and actions? Because I know how I do it in my, in my world. How do you do it in yours and how do you help your clients through that to align your actions and values to create that vision?
[00:18:54] Val: Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think that what you said about. Meeting at the center of this masculine energy and feminine energy and finding that center point is really where you’re going to have the most success because there’s both. And I always like to say it’s not this or that it’s this and or yes and both.
And how can we, yeah, how can we be the free spirit and also. You know, have a consistent bedtime so that we’re good people on the next day, cause you don’t want to see me without sleep.
So the foundation of how I teach habits or how I coach, cause I have some courses and I also do some coaching is through feeling. And this is really that feminine piece is how do you want to feel? Don’t think we ask ourselves that. Often enough, and not everybody anyway, because when I asked that question to people and I’m working with them, they.
Draw blank, or they need [00:20:00] a lot of time to think about it, which is totally fine. We give you that time in the container. And then I ask you, well, what does that mean? And so we choose a feeling word and then we create a definition. Around that feeling word, because a lot of people, especially when I do the group coaching, they’ll have a very similar word.
We like the word peace. We like the word calm. We like the word strong. Well, what do those words mean to you? Strong to me might mean working out. With a really heavy weights, and that’s really enjoyable for me strong for you might mean that you went on this amazing hike, or that you had this really great Pilates class where you felt centered in your body and both are
[00:20:48] Amanda: as well.
[00:20:49] Val: exactly. So it’s just going to say it can be the physical and then it can also be a mental strength that can be an emotional strength. So we could have the exact same word and have completely different definitions of it. And so this is one of the reasons why I don’t share lists of the 10 habits that are going to make you a better person and blah, blah, blah.
I can’t stand it because. Those 10 habits are arbitrary to you if you aren’t me and not my habits arbitrary to you and yours are arbitrary to me because what is really going to help me connect to my word strength versus your word strength. So, this is where we start to build okay well what does that mean for you what does that look like what would that sound like what would that feel like in your day, and what it would be.
Thank you. Your perfect day where you felt that strength and resilience and we would, you know, dream up your perfect day. And when we look at that perfect day, okay, not everything will be attainable right this moment, but maybe pieces of that day will be, [00:22:00] maybe your resilience starts with waking up and doing breath work and a meditation to really mentally prepare you.
And like I said, maybe mine is. Going to the gym first thing in the morning or having a really hearty breakfast and then movement. So we now have 2 very different morning routines, but they serve the purpose of connecting to our feeling. And so there’s intention behind it. Now, I mentioned. I don’t know if this is our pre chat or in our call now, but we talked about the evolution of our podcast.
I think this was in our pre chat. So I, I also believe that there’s evolution to our podcast to our habits and what that with that being said, I think that. We need to understand that there’s flexibility in the structure and there is you’re allowed to make changes to your routines when the intention changes or when your values start to change.
We just moved into a brand new house and I don’t even know where half my stuff is right now. There’s still boxes in places. So I’m still working on. What this new routine looks like, like, physically, my body is now on the opposite side of the room is the door. Whereas before I was closer to the door when I woke up, like, all these little tiny environmental shifts have already started to change my routines in this new place.
So. Just know that, yes, there’s a plan. Yes, there’s a structure. Yes, there’s a schedule, but it doesn’t mean it’s super regimented and it doesn’t, it’s not not intentional. It’s always going to be intentional. It’s always going to be from that, that source of that feminine energy. And then we build the masculine.
Container kind of around it, and it’s a container, but it’s also supportive, and it’s very meta if you think about it. So that’s how that’s how we do it. What do you do? Oh,
[00:23:55] Amanda: that’s brilliant. I was just going to say, I think one of the biggest things is when people do start a new [00:24:00] habit. They say, I must do this, and they forget to build in the flexibility and and.
Life happens. We are humans having any, or we having a human experience and things are going to happen. I mean, at the moment, my kids are both sick. And so my week has been thrown into completely different routine. If we had to start out these habits and say, you know what, I have to go to the gym at 8am every single morning.
And then the kids are sick, you go, Oh, what am I going to do now? If you’re not flexible about that, you get thrown into this state of, Oh my gosh, I’m having a freak out. Just throw it all in the bin. I’m not going to do it. We’ll start again next week. But when we can learn to be fluid and flexible and go, okay, well, the kids are sick, I’m going to either find a different class, I’m going to find a different way that I can move my body, whatever it may be, and whatever it’s going to look like to suit my life and what is happening in my environment at the moment.
[00:24:51] Val: And that’s okay.
[00:24:52] Amanda: That’s what we do. And I’m sure you would have found exactly the same thing moving into your house. And maybe it means I know that you’re very big on the gym and moving your body. Maybe it means that you haven’t done it for a couple of days. You’ve given yourself permission to not do it, or you found other ways, or maybe it’s lifting
[00:25:07] Val: boxes.
I don’t know.
[00:25:08] Amanda: As you’re
[00:25:09] Val: moving in, maybe that’s your weights for the day. Exactly. And to your point, it’s not about throwing in the towel just because you didn’t do something in that moment or in that week because life threw you off. But it’s really about how can I find strength in other ways of the day?
Or how can I connect to my feeling word in other ways? And then that gives you that celebration of saying, Hey, I did it. I was able to move forward. I was able to move forward. To check a box off. It wasn’t the perfect 8 AM workout that I anticipated, but it did allow me to connect to my feeling, which brought me closer to my life by design.
And that’s the intention. And that’s the action that you’ve taken towards that goal. And so you’re moving closer and closer. And I know these seem like such tiny steps [00:26:00] right at the beginning, but they really do lead you to that, that bigger picture. Luminary and extraordinary life.
[00:26:09] Amanda: It’s just the simplicity piece.
And I remember seeing an image where it just summed it up so beautifully. It was a side by side two pictures of ladders. And I know I’ve mentioned this before in a previous episode where one ladder had the rungs spaced really far apart. And so I was like, okay, it’s only three steps to get to the goal.
In the other ladder, there was about 10 or 20 different rungs in that ladder to get you to the goal. And so it looked like there was a lot more steps. But when you actually looked at the image side by side and had to look at the person standing there, the person next to the ladder that only had three rungs on it couldn’t even reach that first rung.
They were never ever going to get to the top and reach that goal simply because the steps were too big. They tried to overcomplicate them. They didn’t want to make them smaller, simple step by step things. And so in the other image, the person was going to easily achieve that goal. And I just thought that is such a simple analogy for what we’re talking about here.
And again, I
[00:27:08] Val: think that’s the thing here. Yes. I love that. I’m going to remember that for future. I’ll try and find the images
[00:27:15] Amanda: in the 3d because I thought it was just incredible. And I think so much of this goes around to the mindset around having these habits and building this like perfect life or this ideal life, because nothing’s ever going to be perfect and be ideal in our eyes.
What do you believe the role of mindset is around actually building this and achieving your success?
[00:27:37] Val: That’s a really deep question. Well, I believe that mindset is a habit and I was speaking with someone who was sharing her own frustrations and her own anger with herself because she wasn’t doing the goal that she set out to do.
And I said, well, why do you want to do that? [00:28:00] She said, well, I know it’s bad for me. So that’s why I want to stop doing this bad habit. And it’s like, okay, why is it bad for you? I mean, she couldn’t really tell me. She’s like, well, I heard this and this, and I was like, it doesn’t sound like you really believe that.
And that’s probably why you’re not making this change because you don’t really think it’s that bad for you. So. Really, you’re just getting frustrated and angry with yourself over something that doesn’t really matter to you, and you’re wasting that energy on why it’s not getting done. Now, if you really actually believe that you don’t want to do a certain habit anymore, then you’ve got to convince yourself, you’ve got to dig deeper into your mindset.
And, Really basically believe that it is that bad for you, or it’s not really worth it. And the reason why I’m sharing this is because typically we make changes based off of 1 of 2 things. We’re either moving towards something or moving away from something, but if the, let’s call it a fire poker, if the fire poker isn’t hot enough, we’re not running away fast enough.
Maybe we don’t even care. Maybe like, Oh, nice and toasty. I’m into it. Let’s stay here for a little while. So. That’s one part of it. And so sometimes part of the strategy that I do with working with people is really starting to uncover those mindset beliefs, those limiting beliefs. Yeah, the feeling is what we’re working toward.
But if we’re not getting there, well, what is the thing that’s. Maybe holding us back somewhere else because we obviously want that more. So again, it’s, it becomes a little bit more complicated as the layers deepen. However, your mindset, as I mentioned is habit. And so if you are waking up every single day and dreading the day, because you [00:30:00] don’t want to go to your corporate job that you hate, or maybe you’re like, I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
That’s where I invite you to get curious, and I invite you to really ask yourself, well, what is it that you want? If this is not what you want, then what do you want? And once you figure out what you do want, how can you start to really connect to the thoughts, the emotions and the actions that lead you closer to that place?
Because it’s great to be doing. And I always like to say the magic happens when you’re in action, but sometimes you can’t always move the needle with an action, but you can always come back to your feeling word. You can always reset into your mindset. I know that. A lot of my motivation has changed since selling and buying and moving and just big life changes that are happening for us right now.
So I have to really reroute some of the strategies that I had earlier this year and I’m looking at it. In terms of excitement, instead of feeling upset or frustrated that I can’t find my Oracle cards because I really wanted to use those today. Instead, I’m thinking, okay, well, what else can I do to connect a little bit more to spirit or to just myself and just have a quiet time.
And so I went on in the garden instead. And it’s like. You, you get to do things. You get to create this life that you want. You get to choose how you want to feel like you really can. And you get to choose how you respond to things. And those are all part of a growth mindset and a positive mindset. And those don’t come overnight, especially if you’ve not been taught those tools.
I know we’ve been chatting all obviously about habits, but one of the things that. I didn’t realize a long time ago. And I think a lot of people don’t realize [00:32:00] now is that we all have habits all the time. You have habits, whether you realize it or not. And so if you’re not choosing the habits that you want to do, that will bring you to wherever it is you want to go, then you’re going to wake up one day.
And whether that be. Your grumpier your mindset has really tanked or your weight has gone up more than you wanted to, or you’re still not going back to school for that dream job that you really wanted that you need the education for, like, why do we keep doing this to ourselves? And so, again, maybe you’re listening and thinking, this is my invitation.
This is my invitation to get curious. This is my invitation to take a moment and to really. Ask myself, what is it that I want? And is my mindset in the right place? Are my emotions in the right place? Are my actions leading me to where I want to be? I hope that answers your question. That’s a
[00:32:57] Amanda: lot. I love the way that you broke it down to three different parts.
There’s the mindset, there’s the emotions and there’s the action as well. And so if you are doing one of the things and it’s not working for you, I used to get curious and see, okay, well, I’m taking the action, but. Is there a congruence between my mindset and my emotions as well? Am I doing this action begrudgingly going?
I hate this. I don’t want this. And therefore you’re not actually bringing your full energy to it because there is so much, when we talk about energetics, this plays such a large part of it as well. And I think some people tend to overlook it and not realize the power in it. If your emotions and your energy do not match the action, you’re not going to receive the same outcome from it.
One of the other things that I thought was so important that you mentioned there was around is everything is a habit and when we’re making choices, that is a habit. Not choosing is also a choice. And I think sometimes we tend to forget about this. We go, [00:34:00] Oh, this is a difficult choice. I don’t want to make it.
I’m just going to put it off. But that in itself is a choice. You’ve chosen not to do it. It’s not just a case of it disappears and the decision doesn’t have to be made. You are making a decision. And I remember when someone told me that, Oh my gosh, it
[00:34:17] Val: was such a game changer for me.
[00:34:20] Amanda: I remember them saying there is no wrong choice or no wrong answer.
The only incorrect answer is indecision, not making a choice like,
[00:34:29] Val: okay, I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to do it now.
[00:34:34] Amanda: So that was just one of the things along my own personal growth journey that I said, okay. I have to make a choice, even if it’s perceived to be the wrong one, I can learn from it. I can change it.
I can move along. So that was just, yeah, one of the little things that made such a big difference in my
[00:34:48] Val: own journey. Good for you for moving forward in that way, because that is quite the, quite the call out and we need it. We need those people in our lives to say. This isn’t working. Yes. Oh, gosh. Yes. We need that.
And sometimes I’m that person for people and you know what? I, I like to work with people in 1 a way. I mean, like I said, I meet people where they’re at. So I can tell if you need a little. A little nudge or a little, maybe more than a nudge, but I also appreciate when people are up front with me. Yeah. Like, I like the direct and I actually just hired someone to help me with my, with part of my business.
And I said to her. If I’m not doing something, if I’m not meeting a deadline, if I’m avoid, if you can tell that I’m avoiding you, I want you to call me out. And I said that right away out front. I want you to straight up and you can swear if you want to, I will still think of you as a professional. I want you to call me out on my BS because I’m trying to grow.
And [00:36:00] there’s. A lot of fear behind some of the growth in the projects that her and I are working on together. And I know that I’ve been avoiding it for so long. This is why I had to hire somebody to help me to to give me those nudges and just put those slaps in the face. And you’re, you’re so good that you.
Took the advice and you went forward and you said, you know what, if it doesn’t work out, we’ll just fix it when we get there, it’s all good. That’s perfect. That’s
[00:36:25] Amanda: a great mindset thing, isn’t it? This is part of doing our own work. And when we are hiring people and wanting them to help us, we need to be a little bit vulnerable sometimes.
So, you know, just, just tell us if it’s not working, because
[00:36:39] Val: if
[00:36:39] Amanda: we’re, if we’re not willing to own that kind of. In a sense, I’m going to be very general here in SESC, like, what’s the point, what’s the point in paying someone just to allow you to continue doing the same thing that you’re always doing before?
[00:36:55] Val: Yes, everyone has their own
[00:36:56] Amanda: different ways that they work with people. I, I certainly acknowledge that when I’m working with my own clients, I am very aware of their particular style. But at the same time, we need to also encourage them to move, encourage them to come along the journey, whether it’s towards pleasure or away from pain or without the poker or whatever it is that is going to work for them.
We need to get them to move along that journey towards their goal because otherwise it’s simply just going to sit where they are. It’s not going to be good for them. They’re going to feel as though they didn’t get the transformation from us and no one’s going to be happy. So
Let’s do this is, is really putting yourself in a place for you as the client or as someone who’s going through this journey on their own, they are really looking after themselves. And I know I’ve just gone through this process myself of re doing my whole schedule and making it in a way that feels really, really nourishing for me and making sure that my own self care is at the forefront of it.
And so I’d love to hear about. What your thoughts are around self care and this being a non negotiable in your life or [00:38:00] the significance that it has, particularly when it comes to women in leadership roles.
[00:38:06] Val: Such great questions. So I see self care in two different ways. The simple self care and the not so simple self care or the fluffy self care and the not fluffy self care.
So what there’s something other than fluffy self care. So you can take all the bubble baths you want, and you can do all the facials you need to do. And those are wonderful things. I enjoy that immensely a long time. Also important. The not so simple self care, on the other hand, is a little bit harder to do.
I find, especially for women, it’s not impossible. I just find that there are certain pieces of it that. Women tend to avoid or not feel worthy of maybe, or I mean, there’s probably a, a number of different underlying self sabotaging beliefs or limiting beliefs there, but one of them that comes to mind is all about setting boundaries, setting healthy boundaries.
And as a leader, this is super important is to create those boundaries. I am not someone who is on my email all day every day, and if I don’t get back to you within 12 hours, then that’s Okay. Because my boundary is 24 hours when I’m working. Yeah.
[00:39:31] Amanda: And I think that is the most important thing is we need to communicate these expectations when our boundaries are up front.
So we’re not sitting there going, Oh my gosh, I need to get back to that. It’s been four hours. They can see that I read their message. What’s going on. Or the other person is not going, how rude
[00:39:46] Val: she, she has responded to me. But when we communicate these
[00:39:49] Amanda: things out front, we’re all on the same page. We know what’s going on.
That freedom and flexibility and that nervous system to feel calm. We don’t need to be rushing back. [00:40:00]
[00:40:00] Val: It takes a while to get there. 100%. And so those are things that you can continue to build and to grow through your own personal development and your business development. And another one that I see all the time, speaking of emails is the language in our emails.
If somebody apologizes to me one more time for something that doesn’t need to be. There’s no apology necessary. Like, I just, I want to, I want to interrupt the, the email subject and I want to be like, let’s, let’s talk about what you just apologized for. 1st of all, this is not necessary. This is an unnecessary apology.
So, things like over apologizing, or the simplest 1 that I love to see people shift in their emails is when people say, I’m sorry for the delay in my response. Delay in your response. Get to me when you can get to me. This isn’t brain surgery, . Like, just email me when you can. So instead I flip the script and say, thank you for your patience with my reply.
Because now the, yeah, the power hasn’t shifted to any one or the other. It’s acknowledging that, hey, you waited for a reply where. Maybe it was within my boundary. Maybe it wasn’t, but I recognize that this email has been here for quite some time. But I’m not belittling myself to, to this conversation or this thread.
So things like I know I’ve been saying, get curious, but when you’re in the conversation saying, well, I’m just curious, like, just. Not a great word for the vocab. Little language shifts can be really empowering in terms of your, your self care. I know it sounds weird. You’re like, that’s not self care, but it really is setting clear boundaries and expectations, adjusting your languaging to be more empowering and supportive languaging for both [00:42:00] you and the person that you’re communicating with and really stepping into your own authority.
Some other not so simple self care that I think is really important for leadership is taking a long time. And I guess that could be part of boundaries too, but alone time for different things. One, just do whatever you want to do the other to reset your energy to really clear off whatever happened in the day.
[00:42:27] Val: Maybe for you, that’s just taking a shower and you wash off the day and that’s kind of your ritual. So little things where. How do you reset? How do you shift from podcast interview to being with your kids to being with a client? How can you create these mindful transitions in your day? I think that’s a really important piece because a lot of times I know my partner has a pretty high stress job and he’ll come home.
He’ll be on the phone walking through the door with this energy. And I’m like, Whoa, you’re bringing all of that here. No, no, no, no, no, you got to finish that call in the car or something, or you got to go straight to the office where you’re not bringing in that, that nasty zhuzh into this area. So it’s really, you know, it’s really about creating those little rituals, those little routines, those little parts of your day that help you energetically and also communication wise.
And also with. Physically being clear in your mind, like before this podcast, I had an alarm set on my phone. I wanted to give myself ample time to feel settled to transition from I just made and made and had dinner with my partner to being here and present with you. I made sure my devices run do not disturb like even that can be a simple boundary of you put your device on do not disturb or airplane mode, because you want to be present with who you’re who you’re with and I think.
Thank you. That’s something that people don’t [00:44:00] experience as much anymore, especially with technology. Like, when are you ever really present with someone? Are you on your phone? Are you watching YouTube video while you’re messaging someone on Instagram? They’re not going to know that you’re watching a YouTube video.
I mean, I do it all the time. I multitask. I listen to podcasts while I work out or while I’m driving or cooking. But you get to choose, right? We’re coming back to that. You get to choose. And you can make things as simple or as complicated as you want to. So, notice when you’re adding self care into your schedule or into your life, are you just loading up the fluffy stuff?
Or are you also taking that time and that awareness into the not so fluffy self care? Because both are important. But you can’t have one without the other. I don’t think
[00:44:54] Amanda: you get to have both
[00:44:56] Val: and both.
[00:44:59] Amanda: I love the awareness that you bring around these not so fluffy self care things, because when we talk about self care, we do so often think about it is the bubble box.
It’s going for walks in nature. And I love all of these things. I said, I absolutely love all of these things, but they’re the first thing that people talk about when they say self care. But it goes so much deeper and the boundaries has been a huge one for me. Absolutely. That is something that I always talk about.
First of all, when we are trying to nurture ourselves, make ourselves feel better. It’s the boundaries. The other one that you touched on that I absolutely love is this idea of rituals, because we often seem to think of rituals as these. Things that don’t hold too much value, unless you’re particularly spiritual.
A lot of people see them as just, Oh, you’re just lighting a candle or whatever it might be. Sure. You may see the act of lighting the candle, but it comes back to the feelings, doesn’t it? The feelings and the emotions and the energy behind it. One of the things that I really enjoy doing, and it’s all about is creating a container around the work that I’m doing is lighting [00:46:00] a candle and I sit down to my desk.
I have kind of burning whilst I’m working. And then it is about blowing out the candle almost becomes this ritual. I’m closing down what I’m doing for the day. It was something that I learned from a friend and I just thought it’s such a beautiful thing to do. Hey, it’s visually so aesthetically quite appealing.
It makes me feel good sitting there looking at the candle, but it’s also this placing a container around the work that I’m doing so that I know when I am blowing out the candle, I’m leaving whatever energy that was there during my work, during my sessions with my clients. In that particular container, I’m not allowing it to leak out into the world and bring in those angry phone calls with my partner through the house, whatever it may be.
Oh, it’s such a powerful thing that I think we can do. And it’s something that I certainly invite you as a listener to think about where am I implementing these boundaries? Where am I implementing these rituals? Is there something simple that I can bring in? And again, it comes back to this idea of simplicity.
It doesn’t need to be anything too difficult. It can be something quite simple. So one of the things I think as leaders is that we get so caught up in just the doing and we forget to be, and I think this is one of the challenges that really arises one of the obstacles that comes up, which prevents other women and leaders from making this self care as a priority.
So, I love the fact that you really talked into these. Val, I’d love to have a chat, just a very quick chat about what you’re working on at the moment because I know you’ve talked a little bit about your Healthy Habit Mentorship Program. Can you tell me a bit more about that and any other
[00:47:36] Val: offers that you have at the moment?
Yeah. So I am currently rejigging a lot of things in my business, if I’m being totally honest, but the best places to find me and to see what’s new and coming up are on Instagram, YouTube, or Tik TOK, and it’s all @vallavignelife. I also have a website, valarielavignelife.Com [00:48:00] and of course my podcast where you also make an appearance.
So I highly recommend listening to that. Thank you. It’s called women’s empowerment podcast. And that’s really what we do over there is we empower women in different ways and the self care ways in the mindset ways in all things, health, wealth, and happiness. And those get to be defined by you and by the listener.
So it’s really exciting to, to be able to share on these platforms. And like I said, Before with the evolution, I feel like my business is taking its own evolution as we go into a new quarter, a new season, a new year. Eventually, I’m, I’m not sure exactly what it’s going to look like, but I am excited for whoever is listening to if you go and find me or when you go and find me.
You’re going to see the most amazing thing that is going to be there at that time. And I truly believe in divine timing. And so just like you and I finally made it to this moment to have this conversation, we wouldn’t have been able to have this conversation the same way if we kept the original dates.
And so I’m excited that this is what came out of it. And I know that the listener, this is divine timing for you to hear the message that you needed to. So. I hope we can connect in the divine timing that comes up.
[00:49:26] Amanda: Thank you so much for coming on the show. As you said, it really has all occurred at the perfect time to hear your message, to hear where you’re at in the world and to what your journey is going to evolve to be next. So I can’t wait to follow along all the different platforms
[00:49:40] Val: and really see what, where it ends
[00:49:43] Amanda: up.
So thank you once more
[00:49:45] Val: for coming on the show. Thank you so much for having me. This was such a great conversation. I had a great time. Thank you.