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Ep #262: The First Step in Healing: Choosing Self-Love with Lashonda Payne


Feminist Wellness with Victoria Albina | The First Step in Healing: Choosing Self-Love with Lashonda Payne

In keeping with the theme of love and relationships here on Feminist Wellness this February, I’m sharing a conversation I had with an Anchored alumna about her experience in the program. My guest’s story is one that is truly emblematic of what’s possible when you choose you, and she’s here to share her journey with us. 

Like so many people in helping professions, Lashonda Payne was going through the motions of life and career until she decided she needed more support. By joining and participating in our Anchored community, almost-doctor Lashonda showed herself the power of self-love and unconditional care in healing, and she’s offering the gifts that have come from doing this work on this episode.

Join us this week as Lashonda shares her experience of being in Anchored and the empowerment she has found from being in a supportive community. We’re exploring why emotional outsourcing is a norm for people in helping professions, how this work has impacted Lashonda’s relationships, and the importance of choosing self-love as you embark on a journey of healing.

Join me in my group coaching program, Anchored: Overcoming Codependency!

What You’ll Learn:

What Lashonda’s life was like before joining Anchored, and her experience being in the Anchored community.

• How having the language to describe her experience has impacted Lashonda's sense of empowerment.

Why emotional outsourcing is a norm for people in helping professions.

How her work in Anchored has impacted the relationships in Lashonda’s life.

Lashonda’s insights for anyone considering joining Anchored.

Why you have to be your entire self to get where you want to be.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Ep #261: The 6 Rules of Fair Fighting with Billey Albina

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.

Hello, hello, my love. I hope this finds you doing so well. I hope you enjoyed the conversation last week with my magnificent Billey. That was so much fun to record. What a great conversation. Let me know if you enjoyed it. I'll keep having Billey on. She's got some pretty couple, two, three, smart things to say.

While it was on the calendar to share a different conversation this week, a really beautiful conversation I had with my friends about platonic love, I decided to push that off to next week. This week, while keeping to this theme of relationships and love that we're doing here this February, I wanted to share a conversation I had with an Anchored alumna all about her experience in the program.

I'm choosing to share this this week, because last week Billey and I were talking about how we want to model what's possible when you step out of codependence and into interdependence. And so, I wanted to share the story of someone else who chose herself, who chose self-love.

And in choosing self-love, and stepping into her power through participating so beautifully in Anchored and really getting the most out of it, she really showed herself and her partner and her patients so much love. Her dedication to being in right relationship, in most loving relationship, with every aspect of her life.

So, I am thrilled beyond thrilled to share almost-doctor Lashonda Payne’s story, because it's a really beautiful and uplifting one. It's just really emblematic of what's possible when you choose you. So, without further ado, Lashonda.

Victoria: Lashonda, welcome to the show.

Lashonda: Thank you so much, Victoria. It's great to be here with you today.

Victoria: Yay. Well, I'd love to have you start us off by introducing yourself, sharing your pronoun, a land acknowledgement if you have one, and telling us what lights you up, what you're passionate about.

Lashonda: Yes, my name is Lashonda Payne. I am originally from Pickerington, Ohio, which is a small suburb of Columbus, Ohio. I currently live in Kentucky where I attend medical school. I am a rising third-year medical student heading off for rotations in a couple of weeks. My pronouns are she/her/hers.

What lights me up, I really enjoy spending time in nature. I also enjoy roller skating. Roller dancing is something that I do quite a bit of. It's something that allows me the space to connect with my body, to feel into what I'm feeling, and to just be that little kid that I need to be sometimes in the demanding space that is the medical field. That’s me, in a nutshell.

Victoria: I love the idea of you roller dancing.

Lashonda: Me too. It brings me so much joy.

Victoria: What genre of music do you like to roller dance to?

Lashonda: Ooh, it really depends, I'm all over the place. I've got a whole playlist. We've got R&B, we've got hip hop, we've got pop stuff, we've got alternative, some things that don't have any lyrics. It's whatever I'm feeling that day.

Victoria: This is amazing. Do you go to a roller rink? Or do you do it in your own driveway?

Lashonda: Great question. These are awesome questions.

Victoria: This is now an episode about roller dancing.

Lashonda: For me, I will either go outside in the parking lot. Typically, my med-school peers will see me outside in the parking lot of the school just roller dancing. Or, don't tell my landlord, sometimes I roller skate in the house.

Victoria: I won't tell. No one's listening. It's fine. It’s just us.

Lashonda: Whatever my heart's feeling.

Victoria: That’s so fun. I also love that you're going to be someone's doctor, with this roller dancer inside. I love the complexity of human animals. It's truly beautiful. Thank you, for that. Right on. So, you were recently in one of the cohorts of Anchored. I'm curious, what was your life like before Anchored? What led you to say, “I want to spend six months with this little weirdo and this community doing this work in Anchored?”

Lashonda: Just a little background on myself and my emotional, spiritual, mental healing journey. Before coming across Anchored, and before even being introduced to your podcast… because your podcast was the first place where I connected with you and really resonated with the messages that you were sharing with the world… I had been involved in some sort of therapy for the last 10 years. I'm 28 right now, so I started when I was 18 and newly an undergrad.

I was having a lot of childhood trauma that I was coming out of. I'm a sexual abuse survivor, from a close family member. Coming out of that space for the first time, being 18 years old, I was just very disheveled in a lot of ways. It has taken me up until this day, and there's still healing to be done to kind of recover those pieces of myself, to live the life that I want to live on my terms.

The first type of therapy I tried. I've tried CBT. I've tried CPT. I've done DBT; I've done all the T's. I've done group therapy. That was something that I was doing right up until I started the Anchored program. I really liked the community aspect of just being able to share and receive knowledge from other people.

Because up until that point, my healing was very personal, it was very solitary. And there were moments where it needed to be that way. But looking back, and looking forward now, I see the profound importance of being able to connect in community spaces. To show those shameful bits that aren't really so shameful, and be able to shed light on them, and to acknowledge them with other people.

So, after I went through that group therapy experience, I was craving more of that group intimacy through healing, and I was also just getting into the idea of somatic practices. I didn't really know much about it. I was hearing about it, and I felt like I was kind of just going through the motions with my regular therapy up until that point. I felt like I was missing something.

And then, that's where your podcast episodes found me, of course. I listened to you talk about connecting with your nervous system, connecting with your soma, being able to mind/body/spirit become a more whole individual or the more whole parts of myself.

So after listening to that and hearing you talk about Anchored, I decided to you know, what the heck, why not try to apply and see if this was something that was going to be able to be possible for me? And once I started Anchored the tools that you've given me to be able to connect somatically, to be able to identify what I'm feeling, to be able to have the language… For me, language is such a big and important part of my journey.

Up until I was 18 years old, I didn't know that I had experienced sexual abuse. Up until three years ago, I didn't know that what I was experiencing was PTSD or depression or anxiety. Up until your program I didn't know that dorsal vagal and ventral vagal and sympathetics, all those things, how that plays into the way I'm experiencing life.

And just being able to have that empowerment through language has been huge for me. And then being able to tack on top of that the different somatic practices from walking meditations to… one of my favorites is, I am a huge recovering perfectionist. And a lot of the things that I've done in my life, I’ve felt like I needed to do them perfectly or I'm a bad unworthy person.

And so one of the practices that you've gifted us is taking like something like a pill bottle… I take two pill bottles and I put them on top of each other. And I just move them around the space, and I allow the pill bottle just fall onto the floor. I remember the first time I did that, I jumped back and felt like I was a bad person for dropping a pill bottle in the middle of my own apartment.

And as I continued to show up and work on that, it seems small, but it's really given me the space to make mistakes, to be imperfect, to be exactly who I am and to know that that's okay. So, that's really been my journey up to Anchored.

And walking away from this program I really feel as though I'm more equipped with somatic practices. I'm now seeking out more somatic experiences with individuals. I'm seeking out more opportunities to connect in community. So, it's just opened a door for me.

Victoria: Oh, my goodness, that's amazing to hear. My cheeks hurt from smiling so hard at your growth and how you just said yes and yes and yes. Well, what do you think it was within you that allowed you to say yes, to taking such a big step to join Anchored?

Lashonda: So actually, as soon as you asked me this question, I immediately flash back to a moment, this was probably a year and a half ago, where I was deep in my personal healing journey, going through medical school. Also, we we're a COVID class so we were struggling through a lot of different things at the time. And I just sat with myself in my journal and realized I can only help as far as I have healed.

And going into such a deeply personal field, in the medical field, the ways that I want to be able to connect and empathize and advocate for and empower my patients, there was absolutely no way that I could see myself being able to do those things, to that capacity that I wanted and need to do those, without healing those deepest parts of myself. Without being able to connect with my own body and see if I'm doing okay, while I'm taking care of somebody else.

So, for me, it was realizing that I wasn't going to be able to show up as fully in the spaces that I hoped to be in, and in ways that I hope to show up in people's lives if I didn't do this work.

Victoria: That's a powerful thing to realize.

Lashonda: It knocked me on my butt, to say the least.

Victoria: Yeah, it's really humbling. I remember having that same experience myself as a primary care provider. Feeling like I had all this dysregulation in my nervous system, that was part and parcel of my own GI concerns, and here I was doing this advanced practice care around, in my case, the gastrointestinal system. And realizing just how much of my own work was beyond the parasite I had.

I had Blastocystis hominis, that guy's a jerk. No one's contesting that, right? That’s a spirochete; total jerk. And, so much of it was this stuff, right? It was the emotional outsourcing and the somatic disconnection; a functional freeze.

I've been talking with a lot of clinicians lately. A lot of women physicians, women NPs and PAs and PTs and OTs and social workers. Those of us who've dedicated our lives to the lifting up of others, the helping of others, the work of the healing of others. And I think ours is a particularly interesting psyche. Particularly through this lens of emotional outsourcing. And then, I also want to talk about medical training, which is a whole other trauma in and of itself. You know I don't use the word trauma lightly.

Lashonda: Oh, but you're using that term very spot on.

Victoria: Well, then maybe we start there because that struck a chord. What's coming up for you, almost-doctor?

Lashonda: Okay, so I guess I'll back up a little bit. It's well known that physicians and doctors experience some of the highest rates of mental illness and mental struggles, among many different career paths. I think it's in part due to just the nature of the work, the constant connection with other individuals. And at times, we lack that connection with ourselves, the high suicide rates.

And the medical field, it's very unsettling, to say the absolute least. For me, still in that training of becoming a physician, I see where those seeds begin to be planted. And I see the areas where there are areas of opportunity for growth within the medical field.

So the rigor of medicine, I don't think that's something we can really change. It's a demanding field. There are a lot of things that we have to learn. But it's almost at the beginning of that training, our inner selves are almost completely neglected. And we're supposed to just show up and perform, and show up and constantly do, without much check in, without much acknowledgement of us as humans, as people, and not just doers and performers.

Many of us are Type-A personalities and perfectionists, or at least recovering perfectionists, and just the way that the medical system and medical training is formulated and structured, it almost encourages that in some degree, at least in my experience. I know that there are medical schools out there that are trying to shed light on this issue, and to offer mental health counseling and things like that.

But it's not enough. There are so many of my peers, and myself for a period of time, who are deeply struggling. I remember my first year in medical school, I studied in bed for a handful of months because I was so depressed and so burnt out. Feeling like I just needed to be on even though my body was telling me that I needed to kind of gear down.

So I think that there's just a lot there. And since we are training individuals who are going out into the community to connect with people, to heal people, it just doesn't seem right or sit with me well, that we are not supported holistically, mind, body and spirit throughout that process. It's the challenge.

Victoria: It is and I think when we walk into it from emotional outsourcing, when that is our norm… Which I think is the norm for so many of us who are in the helping professions writ large. And I didn't mention teachers earlier but let's bring teachers in. I think we can stretch out this concept of the helping professions to bring so many of us in.

Particularly those of us raised as women, socialized as women in the patriarchy; putting ourselves last, last, last, last, last, last is just such a part of the mindset. It's such a part of our story about what our “do” is, before we even go into the kind of trading that says, “You'll pee when your shift is done. You're going to drink water or eat anyway, in your 14-hour shift. Or in a residence case, your what, four-million-hour shift?”

I’m putting you on the spot here, so if you're like, “C’mon…” What would you like to say to fellow women clinicians, women helpers?

Lashonda: First and foremost, you are enough. Coming into this space, you don't need to change who you are, the core of who you are, to fit into the mold of this profession. We need you just as you are. And it's okay to not be completely healed yet, to be completely put together, to be “on” all the time. It's okay to be perfectly imperfect.

And taking care of yourself, even though sometimes it feels counterintuitive… Because in our minds, sometimes we think that there are all these things we could and should be doing. But the real gift that we can give to our patients, and our colleagues and our community is giving back to ourselves. Healing those deepest parts of ourselves.

So we can show up more fully in our lives as individuals and as professionals in this field. So, that's something I wish that I heard coming into the space, into this journey of medicine. Yeah, I hope that reaches someone.

Victoria: I can't see how it won't. I mean, it's such a profound and beautiful message. And just to see how it lit your face up to share that was really beautiful. So, thank you for that. I know that the Anchored community was really supportive for you. I know community is a big part of your life. And to sort of shift gears a bit.

It's a thing that people are often nervous about. Particularly because we do, within white settler colonialism, the trope of healing is something that's very much siloed, right? It's one person in one room with one couch and one clinician and ‘you’re on your own buddy.’ Or in this individualistic, bootstrappy… We all know where I'm going.

And so, we do the opposite in Anchor. And I know, like centering in medicine, which is a community-based practice of significant evidence base, when we do centering; pregnancy centering, diabetes centering; high blood pressure community members take care of each other, take each other's blood pressure, check each other's glucose. It's a very cool medical model.

But Anchored is, in its way, not dissimilar. How was it for you meeting the community, being in the community? Was it supportive? Was it scary? Were they mean?

Lashonda: Absolutely incredible. Yeah, I'm a very open and vulnerable person, and sometimes I struggled to find spaces where I can fully be those things. I'm still learning that it's okay to be those things no matter where I'm at, or whatever setting I'm in.

But the Anchored community welcomed me with such open arms and soft hearts. Being able to connect about inner children, being able to talk about the difficult bits on our healing journeys, being able to celebrate the wins and the glitters. It was just nice to be able to have a well-rounded and dynamic space to do all of those things. And to know that it was okay, whatever state that I was showing up in at that time.

It was also really great to be able to connect with the Anchored community in the breathwork sessions. And that was one of my absolute favorite parts of being able to have an individual experience through the breath work, but then come back into that larger group afterwards, and integrate and talk about the experiences and the feelings that came up during that session.

So I mean, I cannot say enough about the Anchored community. It's a very special one. And as I've mentioned, I've been in lots of different community settings. And this one has a very, very special place in my heart moving forward.

Victoria: Wow. Thank you. Thank you. I feel so happy talking to you. You're going to be such a darn good doctor. I'm sure you're the one all the nurses absolutely adore. Oh, I love nurses so much.

Lashonda: I actually started off my journey as a STNA, Nurse Aide. So, it's nice being able to see the full spectrum and just have that deep appreciation. So, interdisciplinary care is the way to go.

Victoria: It is the way. And you're the one we won't wake up at 3am just for fun.

Lashonda: I appreciate that.

Victoria: I'm not going to confirm that we do that. But…

Lashonda: I won’t tell if you don't.

Victoria: Certainly, and once again, it's just us hens in here. No one's listening. So, there is that. I talk a lot about how emotional outsourcing is a relational issue. And we just talked about how vital and important it is to heal in community. And I'm curious how the work in Anchored, moving from codependent to interdependent, has impacted relationships in your life? And you know me, I mean all relationships. I'm curious about that.

Lashonda: That's a beautiful question. So, I guess the relationship that I spend the most time in would be my relationship with my fiancée. Her name is Alyssa. She's a wonderful person. And something that I've realized over the course of us being in a relationship for the last three years is, I am or have been very codependent.

I pick on the emotions that she's feeling and become responsible for them, or tell myself that I'm responsible for them. I have called myself a “helicopter girlfriend” in the past. In that I'm just looming around waiting to help with something or to fix something or to be of service, in order to be worthy in this relationship.

And through learning about what codependency is… because, again, that was another thing that I didn't have the language for a long time... it helped me see that it wasn't supporting my relationship. It was actually getting in the way of its fullest potential. And it wasn't allowing my partner, in all of her beauty and glory, be exactly who and what she is without my intervening in some type of way.

And so, learning about codependence versus interdependence has helped me to take a step back and to be fully present in me, without trying to be present in or with other people to kind of gauge or temperature check where other people are. And I think that that's something that's been the survival tactic that worked when I was going through a lot of difficult things in my childhood.

But it's something that no longer serves me as an adult, as a professional. And so, I've seen so many strides in that area for me in my relationship with Alyssa. When I feel those things come up, I take a moment. I go sit in my meditation room, I breathe into it, sometimes I'll tap into it, whatever it is that I need to do to feel whatever I'm feeling, without absorbing whatever it is that is in the room from her or from any other person.

So I think that that's been a huge thing for me, that I'm continuing to practice. I still have slip up moments, we're human, but I can say that she notices a difference. She has come to me and says that she notices a difference in that. And I would say that that's progress.

Victoria: Oh, that's huge progress. That's huge. It's so beautiful to have it reflected back. I always talk about how a key part of this work is not needing validation, like in that grasping, “I don't know that I'm worthy without validation,” way. But being able to accept validation, and be like, “Damn, validation feels amazing. Tell me my outfit’s amazing. Tell me I'm a changed woman. Tell me I'm showing up in a more loving way. Tell me I made a great dinner. You know I did, and tell me,” right?

Because when you're the cake, it can be your icing. Look at you being the cake.

Lashonda: Cake, forever.

Victoria: Yeah, it's a good feeling to be in a cake.

Lashonda: It is. To be the main character in your own story.

Victoria: Right? Look at us being protagonists all of the sudden. I also love that you spoke to one of the key things I see in humans socialized as women, and as helpers. For me, it was a deep desire… I sort of just put this language together last year… this desire to keep those I loved most or felt closest to from having a human experience. The second that language hit me, I was like, “Oh, yikes. I feel that.”

It comes from love, right? The intention is kind and loving and caring. I don't want Billey to suffer. I don't want her to suffer, so I would do things to try to keep her from having anxiety, or keep my mom from having a feeling, or keep my dad or my sister, or my patients… Keep people from having human feeling.

Lashonda: Yeah, I can deeply resonate with that. And for me, I think it comes from a place of… and maybe this is for many people, why we do this... But for me, it was looking back, as a child, there were things that I wish that I was protected from, parts of life that I wish that I was buffered from.

And I think now, as an adult, where those things no longer necessarily serve me, I still find my inner children trying to buffer those things for other people, the people that I care about. But you can't buffer life. You can't buffer the ebbs and flows, and the icks and the glitters, they're all part of this experience.

And we do the people in our life a disservice by buffering those things. And it's a hard pill to swallow, when I've come to that realization, but I think it's also empowering too. Where it's like, “I can make a change. I can do things differently. This is why I did it in the past. And this is how I'm going to move forward.” But that really hit me when you said that.

Victoria: I love what you said about doing for others what we wish had been done for us. It's like a sort of deviation on the golden rule. Right? It's like a backwards looking protecting. Yeah, totally. I get that there is a part of me that tells the story that my life would somehow be better had I been protected.

And for myself, I can understand that I went through what I went through because it was what I needed. You know why I'm being incredibly careful here. I don't think it's fair for any of us. And this happens in the #wellness world so much; to be like, “Your trauma is what shaped you and it was a gift.” And I think folks can just fuck off with that, for the populace.

And I am there for me now. Could I have learned these lessons without sexual trauma? Sure. That would have been cute, huh? But here we are. And so, I'm learning what I can and I'm growing how I can and I'm healing my nervous system, and we can't solve other people's feelings for them because feelings aren't a problem.

I thought they were. They felt like such a problem. “Oh my God, my parents are having problems. Oh my God, hide.” Right? No, it was not safe. It was not smart. “Fix the problem of the feelings.” Yeah, it's so much gentler and kinder and more compassionate and more feminist to just hold space. I didn't realize how paternalistic and condescending it is to try and keep people from having feelings. Oops.

Lashonda: We live, and we learn.

Victoria: Every single day, if we're lucky. I'm in such a deep ventral vagal in your presence. I feel so co-regulated with you. I feel like I could just sit here and sigh it you for like an hour.

Lashonda: Oh, literally, I just want to sip my tea and just hang out.

Victoria: Your patients are so lucky. So is your girl. Well, my love, recognizing that this is a podcast and people out walking their dog are like, “Well, I don't know, if I want to sit and listen to you all sigh of each other.” I have a couple of little questions for you, that I think you are uniquely poised to answer. Which is, I hear this all the time, “I don't have time. I don't have time to do this healing work for me. I work full time, and I have kids and I have this. And I have that.”

And you, Lashonda, are a medical student who has less time. So, what would you say to folks who are like, “Yeah, no, I have to put this on the back burner.”

Lashonda: What I would say to you, and what I have had to say to myself is, you don't have time not to do this. There's no way around it. The healing, the things that need attention and loving-kindness and compassion and care, they're going to still be there waiting for you. And that's not in a scary way. But for me, I thought I could just kind of keep sweeping things under the rug.

And once I arrived, once I achieved enough, once I became that medical student or that doctor or got that promotion, that something inside of me would be healed and transformed and “fixed.” And I say that with air quotes, because there's nothing that needs to necessarily be fixed about you or about us.

But in order to get to the places that you truly want and need to be, you need to be your entire self. And for me, becoming my entire self happened, and is happening, through this work. It is happening through healing my nervous system, through learning how to name my feelings, and to feel them in my body and not just in my mind.

Because for a long time I would intellectualize my feelings, and thought because I had the words and the language and I could talk about it, that I was actually experiencing it and come to find out they're two different things. So, I would say that there's no right time to start this work, but your future self is already thanking you, your inner children are thanking you for the work that you're going to do.

Victoria: That it's so powerful. “You don't have the time to not do this work.” Yeah, that's how I feel in hindsight. Not in a regretted way, because we don't do regret around here, right? We're not interested. I mean, I also feel like I could do the math, and all the time I spent not doing this work. I could have saved many, many, many an hour. And because this is the other side of it, I get folks beating themselves up for it. Like, “Oh, how did I not do this sooner?”

Lashonda: You're exactly where you're supposed to be. You're exactly where you are supposed to be in your journey and your flow. This is what I believe. It is my personal opinion. There are certain things that we go through in life, and sometimes we're not necessarily ready to receive the information that is coming at us yet.

So maybe five years ago, we weren't necessarily in a space to be able to receive the fact that healing our nervous system is a thing, that feeling our feelings in our bodies a thing. But maybe present us, maybe now we're at a space where we can actually internalize and it penetrates. And you're able to take that and run with it, or walk with it, or as Victoria likes to say, “kitten step with it.” So, whatever space you are in now, just know that that's where you are meant to be.

Victoria: I love that. Yeah, when my brain goes to that, “If only I'd known this before making XYZ ‘bad’ decision in my life.” I like to think about, well of course, I like to think about neurons and the developing mind and the developing brain. How truly unkind it would be to ask a toddler to do your taxes and get mad at them for not being able to. Or even having fine motor skills. “You’re three and you can't tie your own shoes? Are you kidding me right now?”

But we do that, right? How do 25-year-old, 35-year-old, 45-year-old, 55-year-old me, ugh… but that she didn't know how to be interdependent. But we didn't have the models. I mean, again back to why we're having this conversation. So many of us didn't have the modeling that this was possible. I mean, do you feel like you did? You saw interdependence out there?

Lashonda: Absolutely not. I saw a lot of codependency, I saw emotional suppression, I saw a lot of shame around expressing emotions and seeking mental/spiritual health care. So, the exact opposite of what I'm learning about today. And so, there were times, looking back on one of my first therapy sessions that I had as an 18-year-old, my therapist, I ended up being with her for six years; absolutely love her.

But something she told me was, “We're going to work on grounding. We're going to ground you.” And I remember just laughing, I was like, “What are you talking about? I thought I came here to talk about my problems.” But now, grounding is something I do on a daily basis. And so, it was at that time, I didn't have the capacity or the space or the language to be able to internalize that.

And that's no shame or bad on me. I came from the background that I came from, the experiences that I came from, and that's okay. But now I have the space for that. And it makes sense now. Grounding is good for me.

Victoria: Yeah, grounding is really good. It's one of my favorite practices. Beautiful. Anything else you'd like to say to the good folks listening?

Lashonda: You’re loved. Love is the answer. And I say that from a personal, from a professional, from just a human standpoint. Love is the answer. And it's the answer for ourselves. It's the answer, I believe, for our communities, for our health care systems. I believe if we're rooted and coming from a place of love and acceptance… and one of my new favorite terms is “unconditional care”… then I believe that we're in an opportune space to do the most good.

Victoria: What a beautiful sentiment. What a beautiful philosophy for living and relating to ourselves and to others. So beautiful. And I know it was a journey for you to get to that place of love being the answer, and self-love being the driver. And so, I want to thank you for, once again, being a model of what's possible, right?

Because little me… by little, I mean, like 30… would be like, “I totally love myself. That's fine. But I'm going to go date another jerk who's really mean to me,” for example. Thank you for that.

Lashonda: Thank you. And thank you for all the work that you do, and the information that you share, and the resources that you share. Because those resources have led me to where I am right now. And so, I am deeply grateful for you, for the Anchored community, for everyone behind the scenes that makes this possible. So thank you, Victoria. Big love for you.

Victoria: Big love for you, too. It goes both ways. This is a mutual admiration society. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you so much for listening, my love. Wasn't that just such a beautiful conversation? Lashonda’s inspiring, for sure. And I'm so grateful that she participated in Anchored, that I got to know her, that I got to spend so much time with her, got to coach her in that. She was part of the community.

If you are ready to be part of the community, to join us in Anchored to experience this incredible level of growth and strengthening of your own self-confidence so you can step into your own power mind/body/spirit, woof, have I got the program for you. Learn more at Victoria Apply now.

The application takes about six minutes, so why not just do it? I don't know about your brain, but if I go onto a website and there's a form and I get freaked out, I may never come back; so, five to six minutes, that's all it takes. There's a short application. Fill it out, it's worth it. You can get on a call with me, and we can talk all about all the things, and make sure it's a good fit for you. I don't do sales calls; I do conversations. Don't worry, it's not going to get icky, I promise.

And if you're new to me, you might not trust that, and that's fine. But keep listening to the show. I'm here about feminism. It means not convincing anyone to do anything. I'm just here to support you, and that's what I'll do on that call. So, I'm rambling as usual.

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 darling. I’ll talk to you soon.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Feminist Wellness. If you want to learn more all about somatics, what the heck that word means, and why it matters for your life, head on over to for a free webinar all about it. Have a beautiful day my darling, and I'll see you next week. Ciao.

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