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Ep #198: Getting Anchored with Dr. Maylin Gonzalez, OD

Feminist Wellness with Victoria Albina | Getting Anchored with Dr. Maylin Gonzalez, OD

When I was in the depths of my own codependent, people-pleasing, and perfectionist thought habits, I believed I was the only one. I thought I was destined to be the most profoundly effed up person in the world. With no hope of a different life, I didn’t know where to start. 

This is why I’m thrilled to be sharing another Anchored experience with you this week. I recently sat down with one of our Anchored members, Dr. Maylin Gonzalez, OD, to discuss her experience of our community and how radically her life and relationships have shifted since. It’s been an honor being by her side throughout her healing journey, and I know hearing how Maylin’s entire life has changed will bring you hope for your own future. 

Join us to discover how, even though everything might feel broken right now, that there is a way out. Life can be different. Maylin is a shining example of what our work together can do for your life, and you’re hearing all about it on this episode. 

 


We are starting enrollment for our first 2023 cohort of Anchored in February. If you’ve been listening to the show and loving what you’re learning, but you want to take this work deeper, I would be thrilled to have you join us. Click here to learn more and to get on the waiting list!

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What You’ll Learn:

Why Dr. Maylin Gonzales decided to join Anchored.

The difference between therapy and coaching for Maylin. 

Maylin’s experience of what it was like being in the Anchored community. 

How Maylin felt in our community as a queer Latina. 

What moving out of codependence is not about.

How Maylin navigated being independent and in community at the same time.

Why somatic practices are the key to presence.

Maylin’s advice for anyone feeling nervous about joining Anchored.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

This is Feminist Wellness, and I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine Expert, and life coach, Victoria Albina. I’ll show you how to get unstuck, drop the anxiety, perfectionism, and codependency so you can live from your beautiful heart. Welcome my love, let’s get started.

Victoria Albina: Hello, hello, my love. I hope this finds you doing so well. This week, I am just so delighted to bring you a conversation I recently had with Dr. Maylin Gonzalez, who was a member of the Anchored program; my six-month program to overcome codependency perfectionism and people pleasing. And, I am just so thrilled. I hope you can hear it in my voice how delighted I am to share this conversation. La doctora, she's hilarious and so fun.

I share these transformational stories because they are so inspiring. You've heard me say it before and you will hear me say it again. When I was in the depths of my own emotional outsourcing, meaning codependent perfectionist and people pleasing thought habits, I thought I was the only most effed-up person in the entire world. And that I was destined to be lonely, in this really profound way. Because I had so much anxious attachment, had so many walls against true vulnerability, was so out of touch with my somatic or embodied experience of being a human.

I was living from the neck up. I was just trying to solve body problems and motion issues concerns, through my brain. And that's not how it works, right? We need to regulate our nervous systems and get back into our bodies. It's hard to know where to start, when you don't have hope. When you haven't heard stories of folks overcoming these ways of thinking, rewiring their brains, reconnecting with their bodies, regulating their nervous systems. And so, that's why I share these stories with you because they are so inspiring.

As you know, if you've been listening to the show for some time, I do try to keep it clean. I'm an absolute cuss bucket. I swear a lot. I mean, I'm from Buenos Aires, and I'm a New Yorker. And, I'm from the greatest state in the union, Rhode Island. Places where people are fast and loose with the expletives. Dr. Gonzales is Guana, and there's a lot of swearing.

So, just letting you know upfront, in case you're listening in the car with your kids. Which is why I don't swear on the show, because my sister Genie Albina, the world's most amazing parent coach, listens in the car with her kids, and it's uncomfortable for her. And I honor that because I love her infinitely. So, you've been warned.

All right. Without further ado, Dra. Gonzalez.

Maylin Gonzalez: Hi.

Victoria: Hi, love.

Maylin: How are you?

Victoria: I'm well, how are you?

Maylin: Wonderful.

Victoria: You are wonderful. So, if you could get us started by telling us your name, your pronouns and where you live. That would be phenomenal.

Maylin: Sounds great. My first name, or my name, is Maylin Gonzalez. I reside in Los Angeles.

Victoria: So, my darling, what lights you up? What are you passionate about?

Maylin:  Ah, eyeballs, light me up, and philosophy and just history. These are things that I really have always loved and enjoyed in my life, and science. A lot of academic stuff. Sounds a little bit nerdy, but...

Victoria: Super nerdy

Maylin: Super nerdy. It’s why I adore you, because you're like extra nerdy. And that was my huge attraction to the Anchored program; was the level of science that was in your program. Because being a little bit of a science, philosophy, history junkie, all of it made so much sense to me. So, those are passions in my life. And I'm thankful to have those passions because it brought me to you. Because you had those passions, and it was such a serendipitous thing.

Victoria: I love that. You said that you were fascinated by eyeballs and a girl can't let a passion for eyeballs just go. So, tell us more.

Maylin: So, I'm an eye doctor here in Los Angeles. And many, many moons ago when I was a kid, I was like 15 years old. My dad said, “Hey, kiddo, you're going to work for your uncle. So, I started working for my dad's friend translating.

The doctor, one time, asked me to look in the microscope, so I could look at an eyeball. And I vividly remember that moment, of looking in there and being like, “aaah-ahhh-aaah-ohhh.” It was just the most… It looked like space and it looked like a universe, and it looked like a little micro-galaxy. It blew my mind.

And I was already really interested in science, because my whole family was interested in science, and it was already part of my thing. And so, at that age, I was like, okay, I'm gonna keep working with eyes because, you know, they're the window to the soul. Which has got this like, spiritual thing to it.

Victoria: I love that. I love that. So, you were recently in a cohort of Anchored. And I'm curious why you decided to join? What interested you about the program? What was your perspective on life that led you to say Anchored is for me?

Maylin: Awesome. Thank you for asking. I've been in therapy for over 20 years, all different types. For the last five years, I've really concentrated a lot on somatics, and breathing, and regulating my system; you gave it terminology and language. So, before we started, I was listening to your podcast for probably about six months.

I was in a really sad, sad place. Like, I don't like my life, I don't like where it's going. I had recently gotten divorced, like three years ago. And this person was the love of my life. I had just planned it all out, so when we were out of this relationship, I was like, I don't have a plan. I have a successful company. Sure. But I don't have a plan. I don't know what I'm going to do with my life now.

I kept taking blame for everything that happened in that relationship. And/or any relationship I've ever been in. I felt really, really, really broken. I felt really sad, Victoria, like, like the saddest, you know? Right around the time I discovered you, I was also going through a breakup. I dated somebody right after my marriage, and we didn't work out. And so, here I am sitting going nothing works out, very martyrdom of me, very victimy of me, which was a behavior that I've always had.

And because I'm like, I show up in the world as such a good person, why isn't good shit coming my way? When I started to listen to your podcast, I was again, putting the science in to the things that I had been doing. So, I was like, oh, that's why that's working, thought work. What's thought work? What does this mean? What does that mean? I was like, I dig this methodical, sort of organized way of understanding our thoughts. I really want to really get into that.

I was really done with talk therapy; I was kind of like really done and really over it. And I wanted more of a coaching experience, which is what you were offering us on the podcast. So, I came in very sad. And I came in really lost and wanting to stop blaming myself, or just anyone. I wanted to just stop blaming my partners, my ex-partners. I wanted to stop blaming my parents. I wanted to stop blaming myself.

I felt like with you, in that podcast, there was a way out. And so, when you started to talk about Anchored, and there being a program, I was like, “Huh?” So, it was just like, easy, quick, I gotta take care of myself, man, because nobody else is going to do this for me; decision that I made to join the program. And my god, like it has changed my life in such a profound, incredible, I-can-handle-shit-now way. It's just incredible.

Victoria: I'm so glad to hear that. Yeah. So, you mentioned that you were done with therapy, and you wanted coaching. People often come to me asking what the difference is. Do you have any thoughts to share on that? What’s the difference been for you?

Maylin: Well, I think, for me, it's the organization. Where it feels like there's a program. Like, we started day one, day two, even though at the beginning, I don't know if your team remembers, but I was very overwhelmed.

And like, I fell behind and I missed the first meeting. I was so pissed about not being on schedule. And that's when I realized, because your program is about codependency, people pleasing, and perfectionism, right? I was like, oh, I'm the first two for sure. But I'm not a perfectionist, like at all. And in the first week, I was like, oh, I am. I'm a perfectionist. I am so mad at myself for having missed the first meeting, and not having read all the emails thoroughly.

You explained everything perfectly, so for me, it was like the organization of the program was incredible, because there's kind of like homework. And so, for me, the reason it felt really different from therapy, was at therapy I almost feel like, okay, I have an hour. I really gotta get this shit in. I gotta do this right now. And then, this hour is the only hour of the week.

Where, for me, I dedicated every day, while it was at work, five days a week, some time to the Anchored program. So, whether it was lunchtime, or whether it was in between patients, I would play a video or listen to, you know, one of your podcasts. So, it became a daily practice.

Versus with therapy, I think in my mind, I was like, oh, once a week for an hour. That's it. And it was almost like, I did my homework. It's all good. Where this was consistent. It was every day. I don't know that everyone else did it this way. But that part, that structure, I really loved because it made me think of me every day. And isn't that the whole fucking point?

When I started the program, I wanted to stop thinking about what other people thought. I wanted to stop thinking about other people, period. I wanted to know my opinion, my outlook, my experience, my comfort level, me. I wanted to bring the focus back to me. And the way you structure the program and the way it is, at least with coaching, it's like you have the liberty to make yourself a priority every single day.

Where, I don't think therapy made me feel like that. It almost felt like, because I'm a perfectionist, I wanted to get all the work done. But as I was getting the work done, I was letting go of the perfectionism, which is pretty awesome. It was a beautiful sort of symbiosis that was happening.

And I felt the shift through the months of, oh, this isn't a pressure you're putting on yourself. This is a joy. Like, you're enjoying this. You're looking forward to this, versus feeling like an obligation of any sense, of any way. I hope that's a good way to explain like how it affected me in the coaching.

Victoria: Yeah, I love it. I love to hear... That's part of what I love about Anchored, and why it's structured the way it is. It’s because when we grow up without structure, right, which is so common in a household full of emotional outsourcers, folks with codependent, perfectionist, and people pleasing habits, there aren't healthy boundaries, there aren't good limits.

Many of us have emotionally immature parents, right? Or folks, parents who are dealing with a lot, and we don't get the structure we need. And so, when I was conceiving of Anchored and putting it together, having a structure that was gentle but directive, right, compassionate, but like, let's go. And finding that in between, that middle path, was really important for me, because our brains need it, our inner children especially need it. So, I'm glad that's what you got.

Maylin: Yeah, the structure was great. I loved it. And you don't have to do the homework. You don't have to do any of it. You don't have to. And that's the thing that you guys keep telling us and reminding us. Your team is like, “Baby, you can do whatever you want.” Because I remember asking, “Am I supposed to read the first week, by the first week?” And everyone was like, “You can do whatever you want.” I was like, “Oh nooo.”

I was feeling that sense of autonomy, with myself, in therapy... It's weird, though, because I feel like therapists sometimes don't talk as much, right? But there's almost no pushing by therapy, right? Which there was a part of me that I'm like, “That's nice.” But then, there's a part of me that I'm like, “How long are we going to stay on this topic for? Because it feels like I could stay on this topic for 300 years.” There's something that you do where you're a little bit like, “Let's take the next step. And then, let's take the next step.” There's a motivation that you have.

I think it's because the way you structured the program, potentially is like… I've always loved this about your work, which is, there's a linear-ness to it for me, that is very supportive of… It's almost like, “Okay, first, we're going to warm up your legs before you go running. And we're going to stretch them. And then, we're going to start with a gentle jog. And then, we're going to start running. And then, we're going to start running really fast. And then, we're going to slow it down. And then, we're gonna…,”

There's something about the way you structured this program that has that feeling of like, “We're working towards something.” It felt like there was a goal at the end of this; without pressure. It just organically unfolds into this very anchored... This is the part where I'm like, “You're a genius. I don't know how you did this.”

Because this is like, as a person who… I consider myself to be well read, smart, philosophy, psychology, and you're doing it in this very unique way. That I'm like, “How are you doing this? How are you sneaking by me, my cynical side? Being like, hm-hm, I get what you're doing here, uh-hu. No, there's no trick. It's just purely genius in its structure, and I just can't express enough how supported, in Anchored, I felt throughout the entire process. It’s incredible.

Victoria: Hmm, thank you so much, Doctora, I appreciate all that. Speaking of support, one of the things that folks are often really nervous about, is the community. Is meeting all these strangers and getting coached in front of them. And, will I connect? Will they like me? I know you found a lot of support, and camaraderie, and sisterhood, and amistad in the program. So, could you speak to that? What was it like being in the community?

Maylin: Yeah. I mean, that's a big chunk for me. In the past, I couldn't figure out, how can I be nice and kind and not let people walk all over me? I can't do both things at the same time. They don't exist. Like, I have to just give in all the time to people, or I'll just live under a tree, hobbit, no big deal. I'll be super happy. I just won't be around people. No big deal.

That was kind of like, really for real, what I was thinking. And so, being able to heal in community, and watch other people have similar feelings to the things that I was feeling, even if this person was older than me. Even if this person was younger than me, it didn't matter, that part, at all. Or, if they were professional, or if they were a stay-at-home mom, or if they were a student, it didn't matter.

It was the value these women brought to the program, and watching them get coached and hearing the things that they said, and the way they thought of themselves. And I'm like, “Wait, but you're like, a superstar, and you still feel like a piece of shit? Oh.” Or, you know, you're this little baby, and yet you have all this wisdom. What the fuck?

And so, it takes away the age of when you're supposed to wake up. It takes away the profession of when you're supposed to realize that you should be an outstanding human being. You take away all these expectations we have of ourselves, through the community, in the sense of you don't feel alone anymore.

And that, to me, was the thing that felt really gratifying. In like, as I'm learning to be an independent woman, as I'm learning to be interdependent in my relationships, you're allowing me to practice that with the women in the group. We're cheering each other on. We're celebrating each other. Nobody's trying to give anybody advice. Nobody's trying to control anybody. Nobody's trying to say, “Oh, I know better.”

Because you start the program by letting us know how we should encourage each other. You kind of gave us a guideline of like, “Hey, these are the things you want to do when you're encouraging each other.” Versus, “Oh, let me tell you what to do, Sally. What you need to do is this…” It wasn't about telling each other what to do. So, that takes away a lot of the fear.

Even if, let's say I was more introverted. Let's say I was a more quiet person, more just kind of taken back. Even those people, I know they were on the line with us. They might not have been coached live, but they were there. They were there to put in their comments. And then later, on the Slack®, where it was a little bit more quiet and more personal, they'd be like, “Hey, Maylin, I really identify with that thing you said about baba, baba, baba, baba.” The person that doesn't ever really say anything during coaching, was reaching out through the Slack. Right?

And so, I think you have every type of personality in there, because we are every type of personality. I am assuming it worked for everyone, just because there was so much interaction on the Slack. And some of those people, it seemed towards the end, were starting to get more coach. There are some people that were really showing up on the coach line.

So, it was this beautiful, supportive, non-judgmental, like no agenda. Nobody has an agenda. It's just like, we were there to support each other because all of us wanted to heal. And all of us wanted to become better people for ourselves, so that we can show up a little better for the world, right?

And that's the promise to us; if you can heal yourself, you can heal the world. And, it really felt like that. It really felt like that. And now, I'm in touch with all those people. We're all looking at each other's Instagram Stories™. We're all cheering each other on, because we know we've gone through something that is an unbreakable bond, with these other fellow women. I think it's part of the genius of the soup that you're making.

Victoria: Thank you. Yeah, it's so important. And it makes me think of something we've talked about before, which is our Latini love, right? and how much we come from a collectivist culture. So, I'm just curious about what the experience was, as a queer Latina in the community. Did you feel loved, accepted, supported? Contame.

Maylin: 100%. Love accepted, supported, Anchored. 100% throughout the whole time. There is this incredible support that I have that's unique, because you're Latina, right? So, I can be like, “Vic, remember when your parents made you do this shit when you were a kid?” And you're like, “Yeah, I totally get it.” So, there's camaraderie there, right?

Because sometimes… I remember in the past, when I had therapists, I'd be like, “You don't get it. You're not a woman.” And very often, especially in American culture, there's a sort of like, push for independence in American culture. And your Latino culture is like, no, no, no, stay interlocked, and stay enmeshed, and stay on top of each other. Because if you're not doing that, you don't love me, right? If you're not in my business, 24-hours-a-day, telling me what to do, you don't love me, right?

And if I'm not being a little bit mean, I'm not motivating you. If I'm not anxious, I'm not going to reach for the stars and have goals. So, I need to make sure I hold on to all these negative feelings, so that I can appreciate the positive ones. And I was like, ugh, this sounds dumb. And, it didn't make sense. It didn't make sense to me.

So, you know, I think coming in, I was very grateful that you were Latina, and you did understand it. But it wasn't because you were Latina, I think it was because you believe in community. Which might come from your Latina-ness. It might, the seed, might be from being Latina. But don't we all need that? Don't we all need community? Doesn't everybody need a supportive system, whether you're Latino, Black, Asian, doesn't matter, right?

It doesn't matter. American; we've been taught to be independent. Like, you're going to join a fraternity. You're going to join the sorority. Even if you're American, you're still going to go to the football game on Sunday. There's a community. So, you brought that sense of community with the way you structured the program, along with, your history. And that, was very appealing to me, because I wanted to figure out how to be in community, and not be putting up with a bunch of shit to just be present in community.

Where, I, now can be present in community, with my own family. Who's got their hardcore traditions of togetherness. Even being with them, it's not intermeshed anymore. It feels a little bit more like we're swimming together as a team. Versus competing, or feeling like we have to isolate.

You let me understand what interdependence really, really, really was. Because I thought it meant independent; it doesn't. It doesn't mean codependent, either. It means swimming together in the ocean, as we're getting Anchored, right. And so, it's like that whole thing, all together, is the beauty of the program. And what you taught me, is I can have both.

Victoria: You sure can. I love that. And what I'm also loving in there, that we've talked about, is the huge shift from living from obligation. Which, I think, is at that core of the always be meshed with your family. Always be putting them first. Always be putting yourself last to put others first. And so, we do the things; we go to the family function, we take care of our elders, we live intergenerationally, from obligation. And, that's the problem.

And so, people think that the move from out of codependence is to cut off all ties of that toxic person and stop taking care of your abuelita. No, take care of your abuelita. Right? Have her move in with you, if you want to. That's how we do. But do it from love. Do it from a deep anchor in yourself, in your heart, in your community, in what matters to you.

You can do the same actions, and you can do them from a different energy, a different feeling, a different somatic resonance, right? And not from obligation, from love, from your big open heart. And, it changes everything.

Maylin: I didn't know it was possible, Victoria. I really didn’t think it was possible. Because my whole life, growing up queer in a Latin community, I was like, I need to get the fuck out of here, right? Like, I'm gonna have to get out of here if I want to live my genuine, true life.

I remember, just like kind of almost always, when I felt a sense of obligation that was too heavy, I would run away. And so, years started to accumulate where I was like, “Man, I'm kind of really detached from my family, and I really love them. And, I want to be around them. But I want to be myself.

So, I kept teetering back, of creating a ton of distance with them. And then, when I was together with them, I was like, really happy to be around them. But then, like being like, “Okay, well, that's enough Maylin. You gotta leave now because they're gonna have a problem with you. And, you know, they're gonna disagree with whatever thing it is that you're into, at this time, right?”

And me, being the Democrat in the family, and everybody being the Republican, I was always, you know, defending Black Lives Matters. And they didn't get it. And it's like, all of this constant struggle that I had with them, trying to push my identity down their throat. Because I'm like, you have to love me. Just chasing my sister, you have to love me. And not even giving any space for them to turn around and be like, “Hey, we missed you.”

Because I would kind of force it down their throat when I was there. And then, when I wasn't there, I was like, very absent. And I did so many things in my life where I pushed myself away. I regretted it. Now I understand, okay, that's what I had to do to survive. You know? And that's okay. And I forgive myself for that.

And so, a lot of rejection, and a lot of running away. Because if you run away, then you don't get to be rejected because you're not there. Right? But then as you're there, you're like, I'm fucking lonely. So, that's where I couldn't understand, how do I get community? And how do I get independence? How do I do those two things at the same time?

Because I've been trying to do it. And I just keep flip flopping in this kind of binary, back and forth. When I was with them, I wasn't really present. When I wasn't with them, I was really missing them. And it was like back and forth, back and forth. And so, a lot of really hard conversations this year, telling the truth of how I felt, and getting compassion back from them.

Because I was ready to hear… So, for years and years and years and years and years of my life, I listened for negative things. My parents could have told me 750 times they loved me. And one time they said, “You know we're struggling a little bit with this gay thing.” I'm like, “Ha, there it is. You don't love me.” And, grabbing on to those negative thoughts. Grabbing on and taking that negative thought, and exploding it in my mind, so that it made it easier for me to run away.

Ah, we support the belief we have about ourselves. And my negative belief was being very supported by these little incidences that were happening. I had a lot of regret over… But within months, I started to unravel it and unravel it, and uncomplicate and simplify. And now, I have these incredibly beautiful, genuine conversations with my family members.

Getting to set limits when the conversation is not really going in a direction that I think is productive for us as people. And getting to really say, in a gentle way, “Hey, I'm not really here for that. I can't really participate in that conversation,” you know, as opposed to storming out of the room or like, you know, whatever little tantrum I was having with my family all the time.

I really started to feel more embodied, and started to feel more secure of myself, and how I was showing up for myself, and how I was hoping to tell other people, to express to other people, how they can show up for me. And it just started to happen, Victoria. Because I started to really feel valuable. And I started to take away the assignments of ‘good or bad’; neutrality is the fucking best.

Nothing is good, nothing is bad. It's all neutral. It’s whatever thoughts you have around it. And now, I'm getting these incredible conversations with my mom, where she's asking about my queerness. She never felt comfortable to really ask me.

I started getting all these really interesting questions that might have felt really offensive to me a couple of years back. And now, they don't. They seem like they're coming from a place of curiosity. And they seem like they're coming from a place of someone getting to know me more, including my mother. I'm just kind of like, “Cool, I would love to share this with you. I've been waiting my whole life for you to ask me these questions.”

Victoria: What I'm hearing you say, is this shift from anxious and avoidant attachment, towards a secure attachment with self, by using thought work to get right in your thinking, and using somatics, right? Using that... You said, embodiment, right?

So, embodied safety is one of the key things that allows us to show up and have a conversation with a parent and not get defensive, not get protective, because you're protecting yourself inside. Right? You've got your own back, so that whatever she says, lo que fuese querece, it's okay. Because you're safe in here, in your corazón.

Maylin: Oh, should we take the meat out of the oven? When should we serve the food….I was just like, I felt myself getting anxious, because once you teach somatics the way that you do, and the way that I've learned it, it's like, “Huh, my hands are tingling. My heart is racing. Mouth is getting a little dry. I think I'm in sympathetic, right now. What do I do when I'm in sympathetic? I need to not get into the sympathetic. Mom, I'm gonna go to the bathroom. I’m going to be right back.”

And I sat on that toilet, and I was like, “You're just a little anxious, right now. Okay, a lot of stuff is going on. No big deal. Your mom is asking you a couple questions. Maybe you can pull her aside. Maybe, when you go back out there, she won't be as anxious. Maybe she's not anxious. Maybe you're anxious.”

That's what I mean about embodied. To being in your body. To be like, hold on a second, my ears are getting hot. Okay. So, because I'm checking in with my body, my body's like, “Girl, you're in fight-or-flight, right now. You're in total shutdown, where you don't hear anything. And you're feeling really hopeless. Let's get you back to center.”

Because in center, like you taught me Victoria, when we're in center, we can think better, we're clear, we come up with solutions. But what you taught me, too, was when I'm in sympathetic or when I'm in parasympathetic dorsal, which is shut down for whoever's listening to this. In other words, when I'm activated, fighting-or-flighting, or shut down, like no hope, I want to die, I want to be swallowed by the Earth, right? Because we're always in either one of those sides, at some point during the day, during the week, whatever.

I said to you, “How am I supposed to problem solve when I'm in that space?” You're like, “You're not supposed to problem solve when you're in that space. Let yourself be in that space as long as you need to be in that space. It could be an hour, it could be 10 minutes, it could be three days, it could be two weeks, whatever. Just honor yourself when you're in that space.”

So, I'm really nervous. I'm really worked up. I’m having a fight with my roommate. I'm so upset because she thinks I'm a bad person. I'm not a bad person. And, I gotta prove to her that I'm not a bad person. Now, I can talk to my roommate about the conversation we had last night. And now, I can say, “You know what? Kind of hurt my feelings that you said this thing.” And it dissipated in like, a three-minute conversation.

Now, if we had stayed in that heightened, bear running situation, that fight could have gone on forever. But I knew that I couldn't talk to her in that place. Just like I couldn't talk to her if I was completely shut down and hopeless. I couldn't talk to her from that place. I can only talk to her when I felt centered.

And my body is the part that tells me what I'm centered now. Because you taught us that. You taught us how to be present; what present feels like and what not present feels like. And so, teaching us that has allowed me to “fight” in such a much more productive way. Because I'm not, at the end, apologizing for calling that person a bitch. Even though maybe my original point was valid. Now, I'm having to clean up all the junk of what came out of my mouth, while I was in sympathetic and activated mode.

Victoria: Right. Yeah, it's so powerful. You know, somatic practices, or body-based practices, for folks who don't know what that is; getting out of your head and back into your body. They are the key to presence, and presence is the key to somatics. It really does allow us to show up in a full and open, authentic way. Because it’s that felt knowing that we've got our backs. It’s just so different.

Maylin: Yeah. It's so different because… I'm not saying to somebody, “I am a good person.” I am acting how I am and showing up. They can determine whether or not I’m a good person, for them.

Victoria: Right. We talked in Anchored a lot about integrity and values, integrity and values, integrity and values. In every area of our life, in our relationships, in dating, at work. In the way we talk to ourselves and the people we love. Somatic practices give us a way, allow us a way, to really act in alignment, in true alignment, with our integrity and values.

Because just like you, yelling some bullshit at someone, being mean, using, you know, unkind words. That's not my integrity, that's not my values, right? The dating thing popped into my mind; how often, in dating, are we chasing someone, in any kind of relationship, really, to validate us? To show us our worth? To tell us we're good enough, we're important enough, we matter?

And so, we enter into these cycles that are just not honest. And so, when you are embodied, when you are grounded in yourself, and you feel, you know your worth in your tissues, in your cells and your mitochondria, in your body, then you don't need to stay in anything that is untruthful, that is false. That is, “I like them, but here's the 12 things I don't like about them. And here are the ways this is not working. But I'm just gonna stay with it, because it's better than being alone. They're giving me this validation, etc.” No?

Maylin: Yeah. And it's interesting, because as I was giving that example, I thought of the opposite. Of like, what if you encounter a person that's going to be like, “Nah, I want to talk now. Let's get into now. No, why are you walking away from me?” Because you get that, right? You get that with people.

Victoria: Sure. My ex was like that. Yeah.

Maylin: I was a little bit like that, too. Because I wanted to fix it, so that we can get over it. “Let me fix this, right now. I need to fix this, right now. No, no, do not walk away from me. Do not walk away from me.” To be in relation to people that are gonna say, “Oh, okay, you need a little space, cool.” You're already loving that person a little bit more, because you're like, “Oh, they let me kind of take a step back? They didn't take it personal?”

Because I've had the examples happen of the opposite. I’m trying to ask for space, and I'm trying to say, “Hey, listen, I'm trying to co-regulate,” and that person is offended. They're sad. They're pissed off. They're taking it personal that you don't want to talk to them, right now. Why can't you make space for them, right now?

And when I get that reaction, I'm still compassionate with that person. Because I'm just like, “Oh, okay. Okay, so how can I protect myself in this space, with this person who's really anxious attached, they’re really reaching out?” And for them, even if we're screaming at each other, it’s some sort of connection, aka, me in the past. Even if you're fighting with me, at least you're giving me attention. Even though it's negative attention. Right?

When you're encountering these types of people, that might be really deep in their codependence or might be really deep... The only way I can show up for that person, is compassionately, now. And I make a little note, I’m going to write it down; this person might not be ready for the kind of relationship that I'm offering them, right? And, that's okay. I get to decide now, if I want to interact with this person more or less.

Or, when we're calm, I can share with them, “Hey, I'm in a program and I'm working this thing. And I'm trying to do this thing…” I say this, because I encountered this with my dad. I think you've talked about it a lot, too, Victoria. It's kind of like, the more stubborn personality is my dad.

And when I would say to my dad, “Hey, Dad, I'm not really available to listen right now to you, because I really want to be present when I'm having this conversation with you. So, I'm going to go to the shower, take a shower really quick. I have to decompress.” He would take it super personal.

“Oh, you won’t talk to me, right now.” And I'm like, “Uh…,” and I engaged with it the last time. I tried to convince him that no, it's because I'm doing… He still didn't get it. I remember, I came home from that trip and I was like, huh, I was really forcing my dad to understand this newer [inaudible]. Well, I shouldn't do that.

Victoria: Integrity and values, right? We talk constantly about consent, in Anchored. It's such a cornerstone of what we do. Because consent and acceptance are part and parcel, right? They're yin and yang in some ways, right? So, I get your consent, and I accept that you are who you are. Or, you say, “No, I don't consent to talk. I accept that you are who you are.” Your inner children are activated. Your parts, your protectors, are rearing up, right? You are where you are, with the skills and the capacities and the willingness that you have. And, I don't need to try to change you.

Maylin: Right. Oh, I was gonna say, I didn't ask for my dad's consent when I was [inaudible] my agenda of, “Dad, you can be also not be codependent. Hey, let me teach you how to do this. Let me teach you how to do that.” Of course, he got defensive. Of course, he was not open to it; I didn't ask for his consent.

Victoria: Yeah. And it's a learning process, right. I will encourage you to remember, that when an inner child or a protective part comes up, sometimes it takes a little more somatic work and more active conscious returning to presence, to be able to get the prefrontal cortex online. So, you, Maylin, in your life, with your friends, with your people, you're getting consent. I know that, we've talked about that.

When we're with our parents, sometimes we regress, it's normal, right? The little kid in us comes out, and we forget to use our adult tools. And that's why we practice so much, in Anchored, in community, you know? So, it starts to become the neural groove that is most travelled.

Maylin: Yeah, I feel like I wanted to give you that example, because I gave you this, like stellar example of, look how this program has saved my life. And then, let me tell you how I'm still kind of working on it. Because it's every single day, with every single person in your life, it is a process. And understanding your role, understanding your position, right.

So, for example, I'm a practitioner; I work as an optometrist, and I'm a physician, right? I have a lot of power when people come into my space. I'm the one that tells you what's wrong with you, and I am diagnosing things, and I have a lot of power. And that is something where there's a dynamic there between you and your patient, right? There are certain boundaries, and there's certain things that you want to set up to allow these people to feel really safe.

Consent is a really big part of the work that I do. When it comes to consent with people that have been there forever… I think about one of our cohorts,  that's in the program, who has kids, and you're a mom, you're gonna ask for your kid to give you consent? And the answer is, yes. You want to ask your kid to give you consent, because your kid is going to feel so validated and so seen that you care about what they think. And you care about what their level of comfort is.

So, consent could be with your parent, could be with your child, could be with your dog, I mean, maybe. You know what I’m saying? These things are really, really, really important. And that was an example where, you know, I came with all these glittery balls for my dad, and to be like, “Dad, look at all these things I'm learning.” And he was just like, “No.” I'm not going to stop talking to my dad. I'm not going to disconnect myself and run away from my dad; like I’ve done in the past.

I have to coexist with him in a way that feels really honored to the both of us. And so, that happened, in that visit, and I came back, and I reflected, and I did thought work. And, I thought about it. I was like, “Sigh. I was pushing my agenda down his throat. Of course, he was defensive.” I need to honor that. I want to honor that. I want to, because he's my papa, and I love my dad. And, he's the best.

I want our interactions to feel easy for the both of us and respectful to the both of us. And so, if my language of me saying, “Dad, I need a timeout,” it might take a couple more times until he catches up right? Or, it might just have to be structured in a different way. Where I'm like, “Okay, let me ask for a timeout with like, a little more time with him.” You know what I mean? Like, “Hey, Dad, I'm gonna take this timeout. Remember, I love you. I'm here for you.” Explain it in a better way, so that it might land a little bit better for him.

But I don't want to give up. And that's where I was, before I started Anchor. I was giving up on humanity. I was giving up on everything. And now, thanks to being in this program and feeling anchored in my own body,  how could I ever possibly give up on myself? I can never give up on myself. Right? And then, everybody else is just a bonus. You know?

So, when you heal yourself, you heal the world and the relationships you have with the world. Because the world can be very scary if you're looking for the negatives. And it can be really beautiful if you're looking for the positives. And your point, Victoria, to us is not ever to have false positive thinking.

But tomorrow, I can show up in a way that is respectful of myself, and my needs, and holding on to my integrity, the best that I can. And if that includes having a little bit of an uncomfortable conversation every once in a while, with people, and sitting a little bit in that discomfort…

Because now, I sit in that discomfort and I think, “Oh, my God, I was kind of a little short with that person the other day. But you know, I really needed to be a little quicker, because I needed to get the thing done that, I was gonna get done. Because that was for me. That, I needed to do that thing for me. And, I need to prioritize myself.”

So, the shame and the guilt are gone, because the priority is me, and not in a selfish way. The priority is me, in a way where I'm like really showing up for myself, and really loving myself. So, that the love I put into the world is just extra. It's not coming from a place of scarcity and depletion; it's coming from a place of abundance. I got extra. You want a little extra?

Victoria: I love that. [Inaudible]. You've given us so much to think about. It's so beautiful to see how much your life, and your relationships, and how everything has shifted for you. Your time in Anchored, it is so inspiring and so beautiful. I'm so grateful.

You know, I'm sharing these Anchored experiences, because when I was in the deepest, darkest depths of my emotional outsourcing, I couldn't see a life that was changed. I couldn't even imagine not living this way.

And so, I'm sharing these stories, because I want folks who are like, everything is fucked, to be able to see a way out. To see that life can be different. And you're such a shining example, of changing so much in your life in such a beautiful way. So, I thank you deeply for that.

Maylin: Thank you deeply for putting all this love and effort into this program, Victoria. I knew it from the second I had my initial conversation with you, where you were like, “Oh, I’ve been planning 2022, 2023, 2024.” I was like, oh, this is for the long run.

To be able to pass on your podcast to a lot of my patients that are in a dark place. Friends that are having trouble in their relationships. People that are just feeling like stuck, you know, and being able to pass you on makes me feel like a really good doctor. It makes me feel like I'm really giving a gift to people. And to have you as a resource in the medical community, is incredible.

Like, I want to send you presents. I want to give you hugs and kisses. Something you taught all of us, or at least for me, being cute with yourself. Being sweet with yourself. Being a little tenderoni and a little ravioli. The cuteness factor of the way you teach, I think people could write it off as like, what is this? What is this weird thing?

No, you guys, there's a reason behind the way she talks like that. Because very slowly, you're going to talk to yourself in this very sweet way. And that's when you realize you're actually talking to your inner children. When you start talking in that way, and you start saying, “Ooh, little baby, you're going to be safe. It's okay. You’re a little scared right now.”

That little bit that you're going to hear, you guys, in the podcast that sounds a little bit like cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs™,” it's not. It's intentional, because we need to talk to ourselves and the people around us in a sweeter, kinder way.

And that, to me, was like, “Oh, shit.” I don't have to pretend to be an adult, and be strong, and be like, yeah, don't mess with me. I can be playful and sweet and kind to myself. And then again, trickles all over to everybody else.

You guys do the work on yourself. Everything falls into place. The second you’re kind, and giving, and respectful to yourself, everything else falls into place; I promise. And, it's just an unbelievable organic process. And I'm just so incredibly grateful to you. I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

Victoria: I'm grateful to you for your presence in the program, and for being part of Anchored, and changing your life. And allowing that, as you said, to ripple to your family, your friends, your dates, your community, your patients. It's such a beautiful gift for you to be more authentically you in the world.

Maylin: We need to spread more of this to the world. It really needs it.

Victoria: I’m working on it.

Maylin: I know you are, girl. You’ve got a lot of followers, I'm glad. Because people that are doing your work are changing the world. And we need that. We need that change. We need, we need to be kinder to each other, more forgiving, and more patient.

Victoria: Agreed. So, what would you say to someone listening, who is having some nervousness or some trepidation about joining the program? Who's like, “Well, I mean, can I just keep listening to the show? Like, why would I need to join Anchored. I'm nervous to join Anchored.” What would you say to that listener?

Maylin: If you're nervous, I would say, listen to the podcast. And if Victoria resonates for you, as far as like her style and her teachings, then consider Anchored. Because for me, even just following Victoria was already a big step in the right direction.

But the nitty gritty of the thought work, the nitty gritty of the community showing up, and knowing that other people in the world want to see the world in a better way, getting to dedicate those minutes per day to myself, has given me a routine to dedicate minutes to myself.

So, it's like, the podcast is great, because it gives you a taste of Victoria. In the essence of like, this is how she teaches, this is her voice, right? And then, going into the actual program, for me, was let me help you build these habits. Let me help you understand what presence mean. Let me help you understand what embodiment means.

You take it to another level in the program, where I don't think I would have been able to do that in the podcast. Because, and again, I use this word lightly, it's not pressure, there's no pressure in the program. But there's almost like an obligation you're making yourself, to yourself in that program where you're like, I spent money…

Victoria: Accountability.

Maylin: …money. So, that means I need to go to the gym. It's like when you get that gym membership, and you're like, ah, there's $50 a month that's being taken out on my account. And I'm not actually showing up, not even once a month. It has a little bit, that's what I mean about a little bit that pressure, where you're like, “I'm spending money to go to this coaching, to do this therapy. I might as well use it. Might as well.”

And then little by little, you're like, oh, I want to use it. You go from I should, to I need, to I want. That is that beautiful transition of, I should be better to myself. I need to be better to myself. I want to be better to myself. Is the way the program kind of goes.

And then, when you get to the want, you get to want more things for yourself. Right? And that again, this is the subtle shit that I'm talking about. That you're like, “Hm.” Because I think back, and I'm like, I had a lot of shoulds. I had a lot of shoulds. And then, I had a lot of needs. Then, I had a lot of wants, and wants is powerful. It's a want; I’m in the driver's seat. I have power to say, “This is what I want.”

I'm not from this, like, ooh I need it, because it won't survive. No, it's coming from ‘I want it’ because this is the life that I want. Using a lot of hand movements here.

Victoria: I love it. You're keeping Guana. I love it.

Maylin: Very human, you guys. If I was standing up, I would be like…

Victoria: Rat-tat-at-tat, rat-tat-at-tat.

Maylin: Right. That's a great song. 100%. I hope that resonates with you guys, whoever's considering it, because it's outstanding. Victoria, you're the real deal.

Victoria: It's an honor to have been on this healing journey with you, and to keep going, “To keep walking each other home,” as Ram Dass says.

Maylin: Once you're in this circle, you're in the circle. I mean that, all of a sudden with your friends and your family, you're gonna create this beautiful circle. And you know, my dad's a little resistant. If he comes into the fold, great. If he doesn't, it's okay. I love him anyway.

Friends that are coming into the fold and are kind of awake. And I know this is happening with a lot of people post-COVID. Right now, they're looking for direction. We're looking for structure. They're looking for something that's like, “I've done a lot of self-work in the last two and a half years. Um, where do I put the self-work? Like, how does this manifest? Am I gonna go back to my old habits?”

I don't feel that way. I don't feel like I’m going back to anything. I feel like it's all forward now.

Victoria: So powerful. Well, thanks again. It's been, again, just a true joy, an honor, a privilege to get to know you. To work with you, to be your coach, and to be forever family in Anchored. Thank you. If the good folks are in the greater Los Angeles area and want to get an eye exam, where can they find you?

Maylin: Oh, I'm in Santa Monica. Los Angeles, Santa Monica. The name of my company is Eyed LA. That's E-Y-E-D, as in dog, L-A. I have a concierge optometry practice. I want to change healthcare, the way you're changing healthcare. You're bringing health care, mental care, to the world. And you're bringing body care to the world.

Where I'm not hating my body for being a little chubbier, or a little skinny, or a little this, or a little that, or browner, or blacker, or whiter. You're actually helping me love my body. And so, all of those things I want to do, too. Victoria, you’re a beautiful inspiration, to know that you're changing healthcare.

Victoria: I love it. You're a total nerd. Thanks for bringing it full circle. Thanks again, Doctora.

Maylin: Thank you, Victoria. For everything. Always.

Victoria: Thanks for listening, my love. I hope that was as inspiring and supportive for you as it was for me. That conversation, really, I left it with the biggest smile. Like, I was cheesing for days after that. Just hearing how Maylin changed her entire relationship to herself and the world, in such inspiring ways.

I hope it helps you to have a little hope for your own future. If you want to have the transformation that Maylin shares with us. If you want to live your life and relate to the people in your world in a wildly different way, I want you to know what's possible. It truly is.

The final group of 2022 is well underway. And we are starting enrollment for our first group in 2023, starting in February. So, if you've been listening to the show, you're loving what you're learning, you want to change your life. But not just in a like surface, affirmation-y kind of way, but in a really long-lasting sustainable way. The work we do in Anchored is a beautiful way to do that.

We combine thought work, working with your mindset, your habitual thought patterns. With somatic practices, based in somatic experiencing, sensorimotor psychotherapy from a coaching angle, which are places I've trained, work I do with my clients. We reconnect with our bodies, and we connect with ourselves in a powerful way.

We really reclaim our sense of self. And I know you can hear that in Maylin’s story. If you're ready for that kind of change, you're gonna want to join us for Anchored. VictoriaAlbina.com/Anchored is where you can learn more about it. You can apply now, and that'll put you on the waiting list. And my team will be in touch to get you on my calendar, so you can grab a spot in the upcoming group.

It'd be an absolute delight to have you to walk this beautiful healing path with you. Like Ram Dass said, “We're all just walking each other home,” right? And the Anchored community is one of the most beautiful groups of people to walk beside, on this entire planet. Kindest most loving, amazing people. So, join us. I'd really love to have you.

Alright, my love. Let's do what we do. A gentle hand on your heart, should you feel so moved. And remember, you are safe. You are held. You are loved. And, when one of us heals, we help heal the world. Be well, my beauty. I’ll talk to you soon.

If you've been enjoying the show and learning a ton, it's time to apply it with my expert guidance, so you can live life with intention, without the anxiety, overwhelm and resentment, so you can get unstuck. You're not going to want to miss the opportunity to join my exclusive, intimate group-coaching program. So, head on over to VictoriaAlbina.com/masterclass to grab your seat now. See you there; it's gonna be a good one!

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I'm so glad you're here to download your free meditations to help you connect inward to calm and soothe your perfect mind, body and spirit.

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Victoria Albina Breathwork Meditation Facilitator

Hello hello my love.

I'm so glad you're here to download your free meditations to help you connect inward to calm and soothe your perfect mind, body and spirit.

These tools will bring you more awareness of your own inner workings, so you can break free of codependency and live life with intention, freedom and self-love.

Please take a moment to go check your email inbox, spam and social folders.
Whitelist info@victoriaalbina.com or drag-drop an email from me into the "primary" folder so you don't miss a thing!.