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Ep #215: Making Intergenerational Change with Genie Albina

Feminist Wellness with Victoria Albina | Making Intergenerational Change with Genie Albina

This week, I’m here with my favorite little sister, Genie Albina. Genie is a certified Parent Coach who works with both teachers and parents, a mom of two kiddos, and is now an official coach inside Anchored. She models the most thoughtful, loving, and kind parenting, while recognizing that even the most conscientious parent is still a human, and we’re here to talk all about it.

Genie and I are sitting down to discuss family systems from the perspective of being a change agent. Making intergenerational change takes a lot of strength, courage, and self-reflection. So, what do you do when you’re the intergenerational trauma bond breaker, or the one doing ancestral healing, and that’s not what’s happening in the rest of your family system?

Join us on this episode as we explore the upstream and downstream effects of making intergenerational change on both the family and the changer. Genie is offering her wisdom on the concept of the parentified child, questions you can ask yourself as you navigate intergenerational change, and what can happen when we’re in the process of changing, growing, and evolving.


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. You’re not going to want to miss the opportunity to join my exclusive, intimate group coaching program, so click here to grab your seat now! 


If you have not yet followed, rated, and reviewed the show on Apple Podcasts, or shared it on your social media, I would be so grateful and delighted if you could do so. This is a free service that I want to get into as many ears as possible, and I’m counting on you to rate, review, and share it to let more folks know that this free support is available to them!

What You’ll Learn:

What the concept of a parentified child means. 

Questions you can ask yourself if you’re wondering whether you are a parentified child, or if you’re inadvertently raising your children in this way. 

Why you don’t have to throw anyone under the bus to heal.

What can happen when we’re in the process of changing ourselves. 

Why we need to do the reparenting, inner child, and somatic work alongside thought work.

What the change-back demand entails.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Genie Albina: Website | Instagram

Ep #113: Of Course They Did!

Ep #133: Of Course You Did

Harriet Lerner on change-back demand

• Sometimes Mom Has Thunder in Her Head by Beatriz Taboada

Buildings and Bridges by Ani DiFranco


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 am here today with the one and only absolutely magnificent Maria Albina. Oh wait, that's also my name. I am here with my favorite little sister. Of all the little sisters I have she is my absolute forever favorite. It's Genie Albina; Maria Eugenie Albina. Thus, the joke, because I'm Maria Victoria Albina.

Genie Albina: I think they got it.

Victoria Albina: They got it? Did I belabor the point, though? No? Skip it? You're my favorite. I love you.

Genie: I love you, too.

Victoria: Okay, great. I'm so glad you're here. Everyone in the world should know who you are, but would you tell them real quick what you do?

Genie: Sure. Yeah. So, I do lots of things. Professionally, I work in education, and I also work as a parent coach. I was in the classroom for 10 years, in elementary school, and then I shifted into doing some parent coaching. I still do trainings; I work with teachers doing trainings. And I work with parents doing coaching. And so, that's what I do. I am raising two little kiddos who are currently six and nine, as of this recording. I'm Vic’s little sister. That's what I do.

Victoria: Yeah, Yeah. It's just the two of us, so when I'm saying [crosstalk]. Which is sufficient, right?

Genie: Okay, so we're like eight children combined.

Victoria: Each. So, when I said she's my favorite little sister, I wasn't dissing anybody else. It's just us; just for all records being records. So today, we're here to talk about change and Family Systems: When you are the intergenerational trauma bond breaker. When you are the one doing the ancestral healing. When you are changing and growing, and that's not what's happening in the rest of the family system. So, the upstream and downstream effects of that, on the family and on the changer.

I'm excited to dive in. It's a juicy one. It's one my clients talk about a lot. Do you hear this from your clients, too?

Genie: 100%. A lot of my clients. Part of when we're starting to work together is, “Tell me about you as a human.” I don't prod into people's childhood experiences because I'm not a therapist. But people will often volunteer that they had difficult childhoods. And the one that comes up the most is parentified children. So, kids who are asked to do more than was maybe developmentally appropriate for them, in terms of caring for siblings, or caring for their own parents.

I had a client last year who had a parent pass away, and as the oldest of five, they sort of fell into that parent role. So, it's not about villainizing the parents, it's not about that. But just saying, oftentimes, that's what happens.

And so, then I think what happens is those folks, those kids, they grow up, they decide to start parenting, or they find themselves in a position where they are parenting someone, and they're like, “I don't want that experience for my kids. If I can make it different, I will want to make it different.” And then it'll lead to looking for a parent coach or looking to work with someone like you.

Because the idea is, like you said, to make some intergenerational change. And to be the one who's making that change, it takes a lot of strength and a lot of courage, and I think a lot of self-reflection, obviously. I hear that a lot with parents. I'm trying to think if I've ever had a client who was like, “My childhood was peachy, perfect.”

Victoria: I feel like they're not looking for coaches, those who are securely attached, right?

Genie: These are folks who want to be really intentional with their parenting.

Victoria: Yeah, right on, which is so beautiful. I want to make a sort of quick aside that I think is really important about the concept of parentified children. So, we're South American, right? We're from a culture and community where generations lived together. Where the concept of who does what within the home is a little more vast maybe. There's a different breadth and depth to it than in the US perhaps.

And so, kids helping out around the home, folks living with their grandparents, like that's how most of the world does, right? And so, for me, and I'd be interested to get your opinion on this Genie, how I think about what a parentified child is versus a child who is integrated into the family system as part of helping and just being part of a community. The family unit as a community, as its own little village.

The difference is in the conceptualization of the role. So, in the global south and most of the world, it's like, you are a kid who is a kid, and kids help do these things, right? Kids have these helping roles that are really important. And a parentified child is a child who, energetically, is actually in the parent role, which is really different.

If someone's looking back on their own childhood or how they're raising their kids, and they're asking, was I parentified? What could they ask themselves? What might you encourage them to look at?

Genie: I think that a place to look to and especially if they also want to diagnose if they're inadvertently doing it to their own children, is sort of what is the energy of the Family System. I think that often, when kids are truly parentified, they’re put into the parent role, it's because the folks who are the parents, the adults let's say, the grownups, they are in a space where they are overwhelmed, are under-resourced.

They're in a place where they are maybe, even inadvertently, handing the reins over to someone who truly doesn't have, like you said, that cultural support where everyone's doing it. And I think that sometimes there's frenetic energy, or there's disorganized energy in the family system. And that's what leads to a kid having to take on a role.

Sometimes if there's a death, if there's a divorce, if it's just horrible relationship among coparents, if it's one parent raising lots of kiddos and there can be a lot going on. But you make a really valid point. I’m working with a pair of coparents right now, and one of them was like, “I was the oldest of six. I took care of my little siblings a lot,’ but it sort of rolled off their back.

I think because they grew up in a more rural area, where there were a lot of families that had lots of kids, and there was a, like you said, this cultural norm was, ‘yeah, the oldest is going to help with the little ones, obviously.’ And this person didn't feel put upon, didn't feel like they were being asked to do too much. It just felt like ‘this is kind of what you do.’ Right?

As opposed to clients who have reported that family life was very tense and terrible. I think it's a difference between a parent saying, “Okay, this is what we do in our family system. We're going to care for each other in these ways.” And that could even be the norm, and someone could grow up and be like, “That didn't work for me.”

But that's different from a parent checking out and saying, “Someone needs to do this parenting stuff, and it's not going to be me. Goodbye.” They can check out literally, energetically; whatever it might be.

And I also want to really reiterate, I have yet to meet parents where are like, “My goal is to traumatize my children.” Truly, parents are doing the best that they can with the resources that they've got at the time. But I think it's the difference between coming from a place of, ‘this is what we do. And this is how we do things.’ There's an energetic confidence to it. Versus ‘I can't.’

Then, what will often happen is, often it's typically the eldest, will be like, “Well, someone's got to.” So, they'll pick up the reins, and do things that they might not be… Yeah, I don't know if I've met anyone like that. Have I?

Victoria: Never? You've met never met anybody on this Zoom call who kind of did that? Why don’t you think about it. Why don’t you call me back later and think about it.

Genie: No. I think it's because they're seeing a void and filling it, as a youngster, that's just a lot. And some people grow up and they're like, “It made me stronger.” Like when you talk about trauma, the trauma isn't the thing that happened, it's the response.

Victoria: I was literally thinking that. Were you reading my mind? [Crosstalk].

Genie: I was, actually. …

Victoria: No, but go on. Yeah, it's trauma is not what happened. It's how your nervous system responded to it.

Genie: I think that's why often, kiddos in the same family have very different experiences with being raised. But that's what I think about with clients who describe their childhood and it's often, for whatever reason, a parent had to kind of check out and they ended up picking up the slack. But there wasn't necessarily clear communication about it.

Victoria: Yeah, and I love that last point a ton, because in talking about emotional outsourcing, codependent, perfectionist, and people-pleasing thought habits, we talk so much about intentionality and obligation. And how no one's asking us to make ourselves the saint, the martyr, to put ourselves out to do a thousand things for everyone and then get super resentful about it. No one's asking that of us.

But when our mindset is that of emotional outsourcing, it feels like a “must’, it feels like a “has to”, it feels like obligation. And you know we talk about the nervous system here, constantly. Class II; “I must, I have to,” is sympathetic activation. And so, it makes sense that the flip of that is, “I can't,” which is dorsal in our own lives. “I must take care of everyone. I have to take care of everyone. Obligation. Unintentional. Go. Must. Must.”

And then, “Oh, I can't get myself to the gym. I can't eat well. I can't…,” that's the flip. That's the Yin to the Yang. But not actually Yin, right? Because Yin is [crosstalk] But not at all Yin, but rather just collapse.

Yeah, it is really that filling of the void, of seeing, “Someone's not showing up and even though I'm six or eight, I can already tell that the balance of this system needs some kind of grown up. And if it can't be a grown up, it might as well be me. Someone's got to right this boat.”

Genie: I will also say, too, for anyone out there who's raising kids or adjacent to someone raising kids, your children want to make you happy, because they know that their literal survival depends on it. And that isn't necessarily pathological. I think that's important, too. I think that there's a difference between kids being thoughtful and mindful, and being codependent. A lot of it has to do with intention, energetic presence, and communication.

Victoria: Yeah, one of the ways the human brain learns the most, while I'm talking to a veteran teacher, is story. So, what would be an example? Because it's challenging to see ourselves sometimes and to see, “Wait, am I being wicked co or is this cool?”

Genie: There was one in the fairly recent past. I don't remember the details of it. But I had a tough day. I was just kind of done. I put my little one to bed, and then my older kid shows up in my room. I'm reading, trying to wind down for the night. And he had made me a lukewarm cup of tea.

Victoria: Aww. It was not super pleasant, but really…

Genie: But very, very thoughtful. He could tell that I was stressed out. He could tell that I had had a hard day. He could tell that I was not in my best mood. I suspect, and you maybe know more about this than I do, Vic, that there's maybe internally, a dual reaction. There's a little animal in him that's like, “If she's not okay, I might not eat.” There’s that, which is just rat brain. Reptilian.

And then, I think there's the other part that's like, “My mom is upset. And when she's upset, it doesn't really feel good. Let me see what I can do to help her feel better.” In this example, of bringing me a cup of tea, we talked about it, “This was super sweet and thoughtful.”

What I say to my kids a lot is, “I'm not in the best mood. You're not responsible for my feelings. And, this cup of tea makes me feel really loved and cared for.” So, I think it's a very fine line.

But I think that's different from, if I were just being dramatically upset and waiting for someone to pay attention to me, then I'm creating a false void for him to jump into. Does that make sense? Whereas, if I created a void, I came it by very honestly, it wasn't intentional. It was just like, “I've had a day. I'm going to go read.” And then he then he brings me lukewarm tea.

So, I hope that that helps. If, by contrast, if I were to be like, “Oh, I wish someone would take care of me,” then I'm creating this story where it's his job to take care of me. Or if he had brought me the tea, and I said, “Oh, you're the only one who loves me,” or something like that, then..

I think for most folks, when we're at least relatively centered, if we can do a ‘how honest am I being self-check,’ that usually will tip us in. If we can get a little bit of distance and be like, “Is that even truthful?” And oftentimes the stuff… You even gave me this example, Vic, of sometimes collapsing, as an invitation for someone else to rescue us.

Victoria: We were just talking about that this weekend at the meditation retreat. Like, how big a cluster-cuss that is. How manipulative.

Genie: It really is.

Victoria: “I'm the worst. I can't believe I effed up. I can’t… I'm so… Someone rescue me from myself. Prove to me that I'm lovable by leaving yourself, self-abandoning, to take care of me.

Genie: I don't think I do my kids. But I think there's a way you could say to your kid, “I had a really hard day, and I'm just not feeling really great. Can we snuggle and coregulate?” Maybe not use that language. But depending on the relationship, I think that that can be an appropriate thing to ask of your kid. To say, “I could use someone to help me ground right now.”

And a lot of it is, what's feeding that plant? What's feeding me? And if what's feeding it is dishonest or creating drama where there doesn't need to be, creating a void where someone has to jump in, that's a different thing.

I would also say, I know some folks who are parenting, who have chronic mental health struggles, and maybe do legitimately kind of go into collapse periodically. That is what it is. But I think if there's communication, if there's intention, if there's conversation, that doesn't necessarily need to result in major trauma for a kiddo. I think there are all kinds of neuro-diverse ways to be a parent, to be a kid. And number one is communication and honest energy.

Victoria: I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Truly radical, from-the-roots honesty really can make whatever the facts of a situation, whatever they actually are, so much more okay-early. Do you know what I mean?

Genie: More, okay, early. More tolerable.

Victoria: Well, we're not even tolerable, but actually, okay. Like a situation that would otherwise be really lousy. Like you, instead of you just being a grumper-pants and then just grumpering around the house. You being like, “Santee, I'm having a grump.” Naming it. Being real.

Because especially as a parent, but especially as a human, child nervous systems, which become adult nervous systems, and most of us haven't learned how to live from a nervous system other than our immature child one in some ways, right? We're going to take blame onto ourselves.

And we live in a culture that is shame-based, blame-based, that is energetically emotionally transactional, which leads to shame, where scapegoating is common, in our political scene, in the way people emote, in the way they interact with each other. Right? “He made me feel bad,” is common parlance, right?

We scapegoat each other. We blame each other. We disavow our feelings because that's the soup we’re swimming in, right? It’s what's around. And so, just being honest, “I am having feelings. I don't expect you to solve them or to fix them or to change them. I'm just telling you what my feelings are.” And then from your autonomy, this is the most interdependent thing we could do. And interdependence must begin with radical honesty.

“Here's where I'm at. Here's some things that you could do to support me, should you choose to, if you're available, if you're into it, if you want to.” And also, in this case, you are a child. So, if you just want to go Pokémon, I'm using that as a verb, then go on, then.

Genie: That made me think, there's this beautiful picture book, and I'm forgetting the title, but it's something along the lines of Sometimes Mom has Thunder in her Head. Something along those lines. It's an absolute beautiful book. And it's, sometimes Mommy has thunder in her head, and she feels like this. And then she has rainstorms in her head. Sometimes she is sunshine in her head. So, it can provide language to talk about feelings.

I read it to one of my kiddos, probably the little one. And then, for a while we used that language. Then it sort of fell away. But that can be helpful. I think it has a lot to do with kids; a lot of things work, and then they fall away. And then they work, and they fall away. And that's just how it is.

Victoria: Yeah, grownups too.

Genie:  For everybody, for humans. But that's something that listeners and maybe before this goes out, maybe we can find it and put it in the notes. But it's something along the lines Sometimes Mom has Thunder in her Head. It's good for language.

But then that gets me to thinking about, so then, if you're either reparenting yourself or parenting little people, and are choosing to do it differently, that's going to upset the equilibrium in the family system, like you were talking about at the top.

Because even in a totally dysfunctional system has its equilibrium. It might be a jacked-up equilibrium that's kind of unhealthy for everybody involved. But there is still some equilibrium. And then when one party effectively like, jumps off the seesaw or steps off the carousel, the weight shifts.

Victoria: I've said this before, I'll say it again, when you stop people pleasing, people stop being pleased. When you have been self-abandoning so that other people can live a life where they don't have to have their emotions, because you're having them for them, you're solving them for them, you're fixing them for them, you're keeping them from having emotions.

And then all of a sudden, they are invited to experience sadness, disappointment, frustration, anger, I mean, whatever feeling you were keeping them from having, that's going to be a whole frickin’ scene, right? It's a whole thing. So, what do you want to say to someone who's like, “Well, damn, then I shouldn't change.”

Genie: Keep it up, find your people, keep listening to Feminist Wellness, grab a book. Do something. Whatever will help you know that you are on a path that… Part of me was going to say, that could ultimately heal your family. But at the end of the day, like girl who even knows? All you can control is yourself. And even that ,on a good day.

But if you're on the path that is honest, healthy, and respectful, then what I suggest to parents at least, is find other parents who parent like you. If you're the one family member who is being mindful about certain things that come up with parenting; a little more mindful about screen time, a little bit more mindful about exposure to violent imagery, a little more mindful about dietary… So, whatever the thing is, find the other people who are with you on that.

If you're making intergenerational change about gender roles, if you're making intergenerational change about what we were talking about before, or maybe even the ways in which we speak to children, and whether or not we show them respect and regard, find the other people who are doing something similar to remind you that you're not the unicorn, or there are many unicorns, right?

And it's important to continue to check in with yourself to see, “Am I being honest with myself and what I need right now? Am I also being respectful of the situation?” I think that when we're changing ourselves, it can be tempting to demand that others change with us.

Victoria: Ooh, I did this so hard.

Genie: We all do it.

Victoria: I totally remember coming home in my 20s from Oberlin, and from living in San Francisco and going to meditation retreats, and doing all this work, and then going home and being like, “Dad, talk to me.” Trying to demand that the old man have heart-to-heart conversations with me. He said, no. It is on brand. It is on brand. It is on brand.

Genie: It was on brand, and he gets to do his thing.

Victoria: Oh, totally. But that's another point, too. One of the most key parts of all this self-development, growth, evolution, up-leveling, meow, meow, meow, whatever you're going to call it work, is about stepping into ever deeper self-acceptance. And part and parcel of that is learning to accept others.

And so, accepting that others may not be interested in growth as you see it. You see it as important, it’s maybe not important to them. And you get to have all the feelings you want about that; you can be frustrated, you can be sad, you can be angry. Have the feelings, but then check yourself; “Where are they coming from?”

Here's a story we were coaching about in Anchored a couple of weeks ago. The story we revealed was this woman's inner child was saying, “I,” the inner child, “Will feel safer if my parents make these changes too.” This is a 45-year-old grown ass successful woman with her own family, her own kids, her own career, right?

And that little girl inside her, that little 10-year-old was like, “I mean, it's okay if I change, but if my mom and dad aren't also changing, then we won't be safe.” Which makes perfect sense. And for me, it’s the reason why we need to do the reparenting work that you and I both coach folks through. Do the inner child work, do the somatics, the body-based work. Because the cognitive work is not enough. Right?

Genie: No because it's all intertwined. Because humans are three dimensional. Four, I guess four-dimensional, because we're going back in time.

Victoria: Whoa. What even is time?

Genie: I don't know. But I just got to shine up my flux capacitor.

Victoria: Ooh, that's amazing. Do you have a good plutonium source these days?

Genie: I do... not have one

Victoria: Oh, my God. Dammit. Genie, I got really excited. Also, because I wanted to hang out with… I always call him “the Keatings”. But that's a different Michael J. Fox. Should we get back on track?

Genie: Probably. So, wait, but this client, who is a participant, I think that giving voice to that 10-year-old… Just like what I was talking about before, there's a degree to which my kid brought me that cup of tea because he was like, “I need her to be okay, in order to be okay.” And that is animal level, that is human, that is mammalian, that is fine.

I do think it's important to listen to that 10-year-old who hasn't healed. Who's like, “I would really like the big people to do this thing, because I'm scared to do it on my own.” But then to be able to, as the adult version of herself, be like, “Well, I'll hold your hand. I'll be the adult who's doing this with you. As I grow and change, you're coming along with me, and we'll hold hands through it.” That is huge.

I fully expect, I mean, I'm doing the best I can with my kids, but I hope they do some reparenting work when they're older. There's going to be some things that I did that maybe don't quite align with what they needed in the moment, because we're humans.

But my hope is that, to the degree especially my older one, will accept it, we talk enough about feelings. We talk about who is or is not responsible for feelings. We talk about bodily consent. We talk about emotional responsibility; that you have your own and I have my own. We talk about, I would say at least a generation back, about more taboo topics. Especially, with our heritage, and a lot of things you didn't talk about.

My hope is that we're talking about these things enough now that when they get older and they're in therapy, that they’ll have, and they're hopefully doing some of this work, that they'll have vocabulary there, they'll have access to it. Most people have at least something that they need to heal from childhood.

Victoria: Totally. I want to really pause here, because two things: A-number one, I hear this all the time from folks who are considering joining Anchored. “I really want to do this work, but I love my parents. And I feel like I had a good childhood, but I also know that I'm wicked codependent with everyone I date.”

So, you can have a good enough childhood. You can have loving parents. You can have parents who did their best. And those same parents can come from a codependent family themselves, a perfectionist family, a people-pleasing family. Emotional outsourcing, there's the nurture and nature. What we learn at home and how our nervous systems get regulated in infancy. And really loving amazing people can teach us to be perfectionists, to people please.

Because also let's remember, that people pleasing is baked into the patriarchy, particularly for humans socialized as women. And so, having learned to be a good girl and people please doesn't mean you had a lousy mom, or a lousy dad, or a lousy whomever raised you. It just means that you grew up in the patriarchy and have that wounding. So, that's A-number one. You don't have to throw them under the bus, or anyone under the bus, to heal.

B-number two, you can have had a good enough childhood. And C-number three, Gigi, it is so amazing because you are… Y'all I cannot even begin to express to you what an incredible parent this little woman is. The way she talks to her boys is just so beautiful. And the way they interact and they coregulate, it's just the most thoughtful, loving, kind, incredible parenting. She is modelling something gorgeous. And for her to be like, “These little ones are going to be in therapy. Of course, I'm effing up.”

Which from here, I'm like, “No, you're not. Everything you're doing is perfection.” And I love that she is, you… Whom I’m looking at on Zoom. But third-personing you. But she is recognizing that the most amazing conscientious parent is still a human at the end of the day.

Genie: But also, at the beginning of the day, and most of the middle of the day.

Victoria: Are you sure?

Genie: No. But I can look into it.

Victoria: Okay, look into it. Let me know.

Genie: My kids will call you from college with an earful about their childhood. So just…

Victoria: Oh, I’m here for it. I also want everyone to know that when Genie’s babies were born, I let her know that I will be taking them for their first tattoo, and that I will even pay for it. But I do have veto rights.

Genie: Yes. There’s that.

Victoria: There's a whole list of things that aren't happening, vis-a-vie their tattooing in the future.

Genie: So, who knows if my kids will decide to be parents one day. Or find themselves in a position where they are parenting someone. They will, I would imagine, likely keep some things and change some things and do things differently. And then my job, if I show up at their home and they're like, “Oh, we don't do that with the kids,” then I have to stay in my lane and be okay.

They're also doing some [inaudible] here, being change agents. They want to do things differently. They might be different from how I raised them. My job is to be respectful and present and honest, and if I can't do those things, to take some space. And for me to be mindful, “Wait, am I demanding that they change back?”

Victoria: Right, so let's pause, for my nerds, and define John Bradshaw... Wait, was it Harriet Lerner or John Bradshaw, “change back” demand?

Genie: Oh, I think it's Harriet Lerner.

Victoria: Oh, is it? My brain is saying it’s Bradshaw. It's one or the other.

Genie: You keep talking, and I'll google it.

Victoria: Okay. We're talking about a “change back” demand, which is what it sounds like. Which is, when we make change and someone in the family or a friend, but someone in our life, wants us to be the way we were when we were controllable, manipulatable. When we were living life to please them. When we were being a perfectionist. When we were wrapped up in a codependent dynamic. When we were living our life to make others happy, instead of taking care of ourselves.

And so, the change back demand can sound like, “You used to be so fun. You used to go with the flow. Ooh, who's so sensitive now? Oh, okay. So, you're setting a boundary? Wait, what? I can't just hug you.” Right? On and on.

It's really those other people saying, “My life was easier when you didn't have agency.” When you weren't aware of your autonomy and living an embodied life, in which you're present in your body and you're setting limits for and with the world.

Genie: And p.s. it is Harriet Lerner. I think something that's important for folks listening, is in a non-stressful panic induced, not panic inducing way, anticipated. I mean, I think you and I are at different points in our lives have gone home and been like, “These are foods that physically upset my body, I'm not going to consume them.” And we've gotten some responses.

I think it's smart to go in, again not villainizing, but just saying, “Okay, this is how it's been for…” answer however old you are. But y'all know where I was going with that, right? How old you are, that many years, “This is how it's been. I am now saying that it doesn't work for me. And I'm going to need something different. And I'll take care of it. I'll take care of myself. I'll cook for myself, whatever it is.”

But that is still going to shift planetary alignment for people. And so, you can almost anticipate, okay, well, they're probably not going to like that. And of course, they wouldn't, this is kind of rocking their world. But it's not my job to put their world back in alignment.

Victoria: Totally. Or even try to manage their world. And that makes me think of the Episode 113. And then there's, “Of course you did”, which is 133. And I'll just reteach that concept really quickly. You've known your family for, probably for most folks, as long as you've been alive, for as long as you've been in that family. And you know what is likely, right?

And so, if you, for example, go home and just hypothetically speaking here, tell your food obsessed father that you are not eating gluten because you are healing from chronic, lifelong IBS. And he goes, “Aw, Kid, come on. Don't be a pain in the ass. Don't be so demanding. Just eat what you're given.”

And this is all totally hypothetical, right? Absolutely. No one knows a tiny Argentine man like this. Then, hypothetically, you could say, “Of course he did. Of course, he reacted that way. I've known homeboy, at that point, 30+ years, or hypothetically. And you know that that's how he's likely to respond.”

I keep saying “likely” because we leave room for people to grow and change and surprise us. Because that's our whole point; is that we've been growing, we've been changing, we've been healing. So, we leave room for miracles, for magic, for wonder. We don't go in expecting someone to be who they're not. We don't go in expecting someone who doesn't like change, to be like, “Oh, wow, you're eating in a totally different way. And now I might be inconvenienced, and that's totally great with me.”

Because if you go in expecting that, I will quote the poet and say that “you are in fact cruising for a bruising.” And to quote another poet, “you might consider checking yourself in advance of wrecking years.” In advance, prior to, forthwith; there too for, right?

And so, then you can also use the pairing of, ‘of course I did,’ which is like, ‘of course, I changed. Of course, I grew. Of course, I set a boundary. Of course, I spoke my limit. Of course, I said what contact was okay. This is the new me.” Or maybe not the new me, this is the more embodied me, the more present me, the more intentional me. And of course, she acts that way. Of course, he says what he wants, of course, they speak their truth.

Genie: The thing that keeps coming up for me is this visual of strong posture. And I realize not everyone listening may realize different bodies do different things. Whatever strong posture means for your body, there's something about coming in as the change agent, or not the change agent, for your own life… But as a person who has changed, coming into the family system… There’s something about somatics, too. But about coming in strong. And I'm thinking Ani DiFranco’s “buildings and bridges are made to bend in the wind.” So, it's not about coming in...

Victoria: Wait, did you really just quote Ani DiFranco?

Genie: I did.

Victoria: That’s amazing. The last episode, I slipped in a secret Indigo Girls quote.

Genie: So, we need to, like you said, come in with a little bit of flexibility. Flexibility that they might surprise us. Flexibility that we might need to take some space, if we feel like our boundaries are being crossed, whatever it might be. But to come in with a sense of embodiedness, because I do think other human animals respond to that embodiedness.

When someone comes in… Folks who have charisma, you can't put your finger on it. Or folks who have confidence; it's not quantifiable, it's a presence that energetically we pick up on in one another. Even if you see a bunch of dogs playing, you can kind of tell who's bringing the energy of confidence. I think that that's huge. So then, if there is that “change back” demand, you can do what you need to do for yourself. Take a deep breath, go on a quick walk, whatever it needs to be. And maybe you have a phrase that you repeat to yourself to center to yourself. To say, “Yeah, no, no, it's I'm sticking to this one. This one's important to me,” or whatever it might be.

Victoria: I Love that. And that's the energy of ‘of course I did’. “Yeah, no, I'm sick of this. Of course, I set a good boundary. Yeah, that's what I did.”

Genie: And then there might be awkward silence.

Victoria: Yeah. You’ve just got to smile and just sit in your truth. And sitting in your truth, like you said, is so much easier when we're grounded and centered and at home in ourselves, at home in our bodies. I talk a lot about the ‘why’ of somatics, being all about stepping into a greater sense of bodily dignity.

And that were in our dignity when we're present in our bodies. And we can live from that dignity and honor our dignity instead of, like you said, allowing others and the world and life getting lifey to push us off balance. We can have a flexible nervous system and can move with life.

Genie: Yeah. Because we’ve got to keep moving, and hopefully we'll keep growing and changing and…

Victoria: I think we should do another episode where we do a dialogue of some “change back” demands and some things that you could say that could be really supportive. Want to?

Genie: I like that a lot. So, then can I have an ask for the audience. Audience, can you send in some real-life situations, [crosstalk] situations, some likely situations?

Victoria: I love it. is where you send those. Yes, please send those in. Genie, you’re like a perennial teacher. You're the best.

Genie: I want to hear from the people.

Victoria: From the good people. I love that. Piglet, where can the… Sorry, she's Piglet and I'm Pooh Bears; from when we were children. It's just that sometimes I call her Piglet publicly now, apparently. So, Genie, where can the good people find you?

Genie: Oh, you can find me on the worldwide web at, you can drop a line through the contact sheet. Let me know if you want to get on the mailing list, get on my email list. That's the easiest way to find me.

Victoria: And what's your Instagram?

Genie: it's @GenieAlbinaCoaching. I think it's fun.

Victoria: I think it's super fun. You post really useful things.

Genie: Thank you.

Victoria: I reshare them a ton. A-number one because I love you. B-number two because you're amazing. But C-number three, which is actually A-number one, is because they're actually wicked useful. You're wicked smart kid.

Genie: I also quote a lot of silly things because…

Victoria: Well, because you and I are made of silly. Genie and I are 50% cartoon character, genetically, that's why we're so silly.

Genie: Yeah, we did the 23andMe.

Victoria: No, we did 20millionandMe. That's cool. So, they just took a sample of our spirit, and ran it through the crisper. And they were like, “This one, these two rather, are a cartoon character, or two.” So, that's a good time. Thank you for being on the show

Genie: This has been a very good time. Thank you for having me.

Victoria: You are my favorite sister that I've ever had.

Genie: You’re mine.

Victoria: Wait, are you serious?

Genie: Yeah.

Victoria: Oh, my God, Genie.

Genie: A true fact.

Victoria: I love you.

Genie: Love you back.

Victoria: Alright, I'll talk to you soon.

Genie: Later, skater. Byeeee.

Victoria: Byeeee.

My love. Thank you so much for joining me for that amazing conversation with Genie. She really is my favorite sister I've ever had. And it's so fun to share these conversations with you. I'm so lucky to have her. She's absolutely incredible.

We didn't always have an amazing relationship; we’re 18 months apart. It's taken quite a lot of work. Work that I'm really grateful that we got a chance to do. Because having her in my life this way is just one of the greatest gifts. I hope that you enjoy these conversations.

Genie is now an official coach in the Anchored program. So, if you want more coaching with Genie, and a really easy way you can get it is to join us in Anchored. The waitlist is open for the next group, which will sell out. So, please head on over to to learn more about how you can coach with me and Genie. What a delight!

Alright my beauties, let’s do what we do. 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, 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 to grab your seat now. See you there; it's going to be a good one!

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