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. This week, I am beyond delighted to share a recent conversation I had with my dear amazing colleague and friend Sara Fisk. I'm also excited about two things.
One, the Somatic Studio. So, the Somatic Studio is my 12-week somatic deep dive program where we talk about all the nerditry, all the science and of course, all the woo. And most importantly, you not only learn about the nervous system, Polyvagal Theory, how to map your nervous system, somatics or body-based practices. You also learn practical movements and exercises that you can do to get into deeper touch and connection with your own body, your own nervous system, your own emotions, as they live and breathe in your body. And we practice it.
Because you've probably heard me say this before, it's super cute and great and important to talk about somatics, but what really changes our lives is practicing, right? It’s doing the actual work to be in greater touch with ourselves, to connect in with ourselves, in new ways. In ways that deepen our self-regard, that deepen our understanding of ourselves, and deepen our capacity and the possibility of making new choices in the world.
Which means, if you feel an impulse to lash out, an impulse to go and hide, you can meet that in a different way. And all of that we will be diving into in the Somatic Studio. This is your last week to sign up for this first iteration, this first offering, of the Somatic Studio. You can learn more and can enroll now at VictoriaAlbina.com/somaticstudio. So, don't sleep on it. It's going to be a great offering. I'm excited for you to join us there.
Yeah, it's very exciting. Sara and I talk a lot more about the nervous system and somatics, because that is a thing we share. So, keep listening if you want to hear more.
The next thing I'm really excited about, and then we'll get to Sara, I promise, is conversations. For the last 219 episodes, the show has been mostly me, and that has been so much fun. It's really been this beautiful invitation for me to get clear on a lot of my thinking around the things we talk about here; psychology, Polyvagal Theory, somatics, the nervous system, codependency, perfectionism, and people pleasing. It led me to come up with the term “emotional outsourcing”; lots of really exciting things.
And I'm really excited to pass the mic, to share this space with the brilliant people who are out there doing brilliant things, like my dear Sara Fisk, my colleague, Ellen Vora MD, who will be coming on soon, and so many others. So, I will be inviting people I love onto the show, and you'll have the opportunity to hear them, which is so much fun. I just wanted to share that with you because I find it very exciting.
There will still be solo episodes, of course. Where it's me diving into a problem that many of us face and of course, giving you some remedies, because you know how I do. It will be the best of all of the worlds and I love that.
Now, back to Sara. Sara is, and I'm going to read her actual bio, because the middle of it is so adorable. Here is her phenomenal bio. Oh, and we do swear. We say the “F-bomb” I think like once; it's like 1-2-3 times. So, if you're in the car with kids who you haven't talked about swear words yet or whatever, it's a thing you're sensitive about, now you know. You’ve been warned.
Alright, Sara; Sara Fisk is a Master Certified Coach and instructor who teaches women how to eliminate people pleasing and perfectionism from their lives. She is an anxious optimist and born-again feminist who listens to more books than she actually sits down to read. She loves a good hike, good dark chocolate, and good conversations. Her big dreams include learning to sail, and to sing and dance like JLo. And while she's at it, helping thousands of women to create the big juicy lives they want to be living. She is a wife and a mom of five, and she enjoys those roles most of the time. Ah, Sara Fisk. Alright, without further ado, here comes my Sara.
Victoria Albina: Sara, I'm so happy to be here with you today.
Sara: Me too.
Victoria: Since we're going to share this with both of our audiences, which is so exciting, now that you have a podcast should we both introduce ourselves?
Sara: Let's do it. Go first.
Victoria: Ooh, me first? I love being alphabetical. We're such nerds. All right. Hello, my name is Maria Victoria Albina Corvedo.
Sara: That sounds sexy.
Victoria: Right? It's a pretty good name. And then I add my born-to-be-on-NPR voice; Maria Victoria Albina Corvedo. Maria Victoria Albina, it's alright.
Sara: It works.
Victoria: It works. It does what it needs to, you know?
Sara: I’m going to try it out on my name in just a minute.
Victoria: All right. I am a Master Certified Somatic Life Coach, a functional medicine nurse practitioner, and host of the Feminist Wellness podcast. My passion is to help humans socialized as women, to overcome their emotional outsourcing, which is codependent, perfectionist, and people-pleasing thought habits, through somatics, by connecting to the body. Whoo, it's very exciting! That’s sexy!
Sara: That is sexy. Somatics are sexy. I am Sara Bybee Fisk. It doesn't sound the same. Sara, Sarita… So, I'm Sara Bybee Fisk, a Master Certified Instructor and Coach. I work with women to end their people pleasing and perfectionism and codependency, because it's like all together, right?
Victoria: It's the same. It's all the same thing, Sarita. Okay, well, I first want to start by publicly declaring that I love you. And that I'm so glad you're my sister. And I think we need to tell the entire world that we have the same birthday.
Sara: The exact same birthday.
Victoria: August 3rd. We met; we fell in friend love. We actually were internet following each other for a while. And we both were like, “Ooh, I want to meet her.” And then we're at the same conference, at the same mastermind, we immediately made it happen. Totally fell in friend love. And then, we were probably talking about astrology, because that's who we are. And we're like Emilia, Emilia, wait, when's your birthday? August 3rd. When's yours? August 3rd.
Sara: If you've ever experienced a cosmic focus of energy and light and love all in one place, that's what happened. It wasn't cloudy; so, the clouds didn't part, the sun didn't shine through. But there was definitely some kind of seismic shift in my heart and soul.
Victoria: Oh, yeah. 100,000 majillion percent. Yeah. And we don't talk about, as a collective, as a society... I think in Latina land we do because we talk about comadres, right? But I think in the US, people aren't talking about friend love enough. We talk so much about romantic love. Romantic love is cool, we like it. We're both pretty into our people, they're pretty cute. Right?
Sara: We're fans.
Victoria: We’re fans. We're going to keep them. But this friend love thing, this is, ooph. Man, if I swore on the show… Which I try not to, because people listen in the car with their kids, and I love you. People listening in the car with the kids. But there would be a lot of expletives coming out of my sailor of a mouth. IRL, I swear my face off.
Sara: Because that's how much you love me.
Victoria: That's how much I love you.
Sara: And how much I love you. And I totally agree that this type of love doesn't get the airtime that not only it needs, but that it deserves. Because the ways in which you and I have been able to support each other, outside of our romantic relationships, have made our romantic relationships better.
Victoria: So much better.
Sara: So much better. And has given us this lifeline of support that runs between the two of us, anytime we need. Because there is support that our romantic partners are not able to give us, for whatever reason. And it's just been the most amazing thing to have you as a friend.
Victoria: Yeah, it's been incredible. One of the things I talk about a lot on the show and with my clients in Anchored and the Somatic Studio, is this concept of reality testing. Because when we have a history of stress, distress, and trauma, which is what codependent, perfectionist and people… Like, growing up with that is stress, distress, and trauma in its ways, to varying, it's a spectrum. It messes with your mind.
And so, I know for me, there were so many times in my 20s and 30s, in relationship, I didn't know what the “what” was. I didn't know if I was being bonkers pants, or if my partner or my date was actually like… I didn't know what was “what”. And so, having a trusted person like you... I'm going to call out my Judith, Judith Gaton. If you're not following our girl, Judith, come on now.
Having you and Judith to call and be like, “Hi, am I the problem here?” Right? And sometimes you're like, “Yes. yes, you are.” That's so helpful. And sometimes you're like, “No,” and that's so helpful. So, that reality testing is really life changing.
Sara: It is really life changing because it's another person on your team. It's another person who wants the best for you. And sometimes the best for you means saying, “You’ve got to knock that off. That's not helping you. It's not helping your romantic relationship. It's not helping your business. It's not helping your life.” So, sometimes being on someone's team is ‘you’ve got enough that off, that's not good for you’. And I can see that and help you see it. And other times, ‘no, you're not the problem’.
Victoria: You’re not the problem, tranquila.
Sara: If we just get to hold each other in a hug over the miles, and the type of grounded homing, that you just that you have access to, when you have someone else who's on your team? It’s so beautiful.
Victoria: It's so powerful. Because I've been developing the Somatic Studio, and really putting the last 20 years of total nerd bucketness around the nervous system and somatics into a 12-week program, I've had the opportunity to distill down a lot of thoughts, and a lot of my own experiences into something easily accessible, shareable, and get-able.
And one of the big things I've been working with and have been talking with you about, is why somatics matters. Why regulating your nervous system matters. Why are we doing this? Because it's not cute, right? It's a lot of work.
Sara: It’s a lot of work. It's not cute or fun, sometimes.
Victoria: Nuh-uh. Sometimes, mostly not. But then it is. But then it's not. And what you and I keep coming back to is choicefulness; it's agency and choicefulness. And when you are somatically connected, it supports you in making the choices you want to make for your life. Like, do I actually want to let my nervous system go to 10 of sympathetic and throw this plate across the room? Which is not a choice... Like, I didn't feel like I had choicefulness around things like that a decade ago. Do you know what I mean? Like, I just threw it. I just broke it. I just screamed.
Sara: I just floated away.
Victoria: Oh, yeah, I would sink back into myself. Yeah, total dorsal.
Sara: So, the ways in which we try to deal with our nervous system are so interesting. Because in the beginning, it's a complete mystery to us. Like, why do I feel this way? What's happening in my body? How do I fix it? How do I control this? Whatever programming you have around how someone who is socialized as a girl, or as a woman, is supposed to act, that's your only reference point for what is okay to do with all of this feeling.
And so, for me, I grew up with a lot of programming around ‘anger is bad. Anger is of the devil. Contention is of the devil. No fighting. Women should be nice and calm and good and sweet and nice’. Did I say nice? Did I say nice?
Victoria: But what about being nice? Does that matter?
Sara: Yeah, it matters.
Victoria: It matters.
Sara: I mean, at least I was taught that it matters.
Victoria: Wow. Yeah.
Sara: And so, you're having all of this nervous system pinging. Where you're angry, you want to throw things, but then you also have the rules about how you're supposed to behave. That’s a lot to deal with.
Victoria: It’s a lot to deal with. It's a lot to hold in one body. And so, no wonder we go to rage monkey or we shut down completely. And I know I would ping-pong hard between sympathetic and dorsal. And mostly, I was living in what I call “functional freeze or somatic self-disconnection”. Where I was super functional and doing the things and getting the degrees and like, “Oh, look at me, I can practice medicine. Oh, I can do surgery. Oh, I'm married. Oh, I own an apartment.” I was like, “Oh…” on paper.
But I was completely frozen inside, was not feeling the feelings. And because of that steady state of freeze, functional freeze, when I would get upset, I would negate the feeling, negate, negate, shut it down, negate, negate. Until I felt like Mount friggin’ Vesuvius and would explode, slamming doors and screaming. Or “It's okay. I don't mean it. I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I don't have thoughts. I don't have feelings. I'm okay. I don't. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I must be the problem, because I tried to set a boundary, I had a request. I, can you, like would you please do one dish ever? Oh, I'm sorry. I'm the problem. I'm sorry. Okay.”
Sara: For me, it looked like not paying attention to anything below my chin.
Victoria: Ooh, girl! Of course not.
Sara: I knew that I had feelings, but they were either...
Victoria: Are you sure?
Sara: … happy or sad or maybe angry? Right? Those were the only ones I was allowed to have, and just a little bit. I had to constantly pretend that things were not wrong. “It's fine. It's fine. I'm fine. It's fine. No, no, I’m not…
Victoria: “I'm fine. Everything's okay. It's okay. I'm fine. Yeah, it's fine. I'm fine. I'm not absolutely miserable.” Right?
Sara: Or shaking on the inside and just trying to keep my face straight so that you don't ask me what's going on here.
Victoria: Oh, right? Because that's the worst.
Sara: Because that is the worst, if I had to explain my feelings.
Victoria: Yeah, ooph! It's so fascinating that I had all of that, but it's like all that was like the sparkly white snow bits of the snow globe. But I was actually the glass. Like, I was numb. Yes. I've never used this metaphor exactly like this before. But I was the glass, I was the numb inner tar thing. Hardened carbon skeleton holding it together. While the inside was this hot mess that I almost didn't know about, but very much knew about, but then was numb too. You know?
Sara: Yeah. The most important thing was to appear to be fine.
Victoria: I'm fine. Totally fine, fine.
Victoria: Fine. Yeah, it's great. I'm totally functional. Actually, “I'm impressive. I have certifications.”
Sara: That's the best way to distract from not being fine. Is to be extra fine, also known as perfect. So, “Yeah, I all coordinate that school trip for you. Absolutely. You need me to volunteer some extra hours at church? Definitely. I’m the one who’s there.”
Victoria: “Yeah, don't worry about it. And I'm exercising because staying slim is the most important thing.”
Sara: Essential. “I'm going to take your exercising and I'm going to raise you, triathlons.”
Victoria: Oh snap. Oh, wow. Okay.
Sara: Yeah, because then I not only get to exercise, but I get to exercise in front of other people, and I get a T-shirt for it that I get to wear afterward, which says, “I am extra, extra fine.”
Victoria: Wow. You and I've been trying to tell you for years now? Is that you are impressive. Is that what you're trying to hear? Do you want a cookie?
Sara: You know what? If you want to look at my shirt, and you want to let your jaw drop a little bit? I will eat that up!
Victoria: I know you will. I know you will, girl.
Sara: Oh, my gosh, you did a triathlon?
Victoria: Oh, my god. I've done a few. I mean, it is actually impressive, right? Putting our bit aside for like a millisecond, you actually are a very impressive animal, Sara Bybee Fisk. You are actually an impressive animal. Also, birthed four humans.
Sara: Yes. Um, five, don't forget my baby.
Victoria: Oh, I did forget the baby. That's rude.
Sara: That’s ok. But the problem with being impressive for other people is that you have to keep being impressive.
Victoria: Well, it is a permanent state of being; impressive.
Sara: Last week's triathlon has an expiration date, so you got to do another one. All of the volunteering that I did last month, nobody's remembering that anymore. So, to keep up the impressiveness I’ve got to keep doing it.
Victoria: It’s the 24-hour news cycle. But it’s your life.
Sara: Literally. But it's your life.
Victoria: Do you know what impresses me about you now? When you tell me about your feelings. And when you tell me you feel vulnerable or scared or happy or angry or disappointed or frustrated or sad or grief or worry. And you tell me, “I feel that grief in my belly, and it's blue.” Then you go into the felt experience and you're vulnerable. And you let me see you and hold you, because we have co-created a loving relationship based on interdependent mutuality and reciprocity.
Sara: All those big words mean, “Got you.”
Victoria: We’re really nice to each other. I got you
Sara: I’ve got you, and you got me.
Victoria: Yeah, yeah, we're like peanut butter and shelly.
Sara: Yes, exactly. The thing that matters to me the most about this type of friend love, is that it teaches me a lesson that I have not yet learned to my core, which is I can trust you and you can trust me. And that if there is something that comes up that we need to repair, that is actually part of a vulnerable loving relationship.
It's part of it. It doesn't mean anything has going wrong. The better I love you, the better I know you, the more I show up for you. And the more you do that, for me, we are going to bump each other's tender spots. And that if we talk about it and we can repair it, we will actually be better and stronger for it.
Because when you're living a pretend life, where your only job is to show up as perfect and fine, you can not reveal anything bad or wrong or sad or unhappy because it fractures that facade of perfectness that you need so desperately to keep you safe.
And so, for me, it has been literally a seismic shift to understand that safety is not in appearing perfect all the time, and being impenetrable. That's why I love the glass globe analogy. It's impenetrable. But in allowing yourself to be vulnerable with another person in good times and bad times, and just trusting that the repair will actually make it stronger.
Victoria: Yeah. Yeah. And it has it. It has and it will. May we continue to step on each other's toes with love.
Sara: Well, I think one of the most interesting things about our friendship is that if you were looking at our friendship through the lens of capitalism, you and I should be competitors.
Victoria: Right? We should not be BFF. Think about the words y’all, we just said at the top of the hour. We, legit, do the same job that we each invented. So...
Sara: And before we started recording this podcast, you were helping me with an upcoming webinar, right? I mean, how bonkers?
Victoria: I sent you my slides.
Sara: Yes. How bonkers would it be for the CEO of Chevy to walk over to the CEO of Ford and be like, “Hey, do you want all our sales plans for this year? Here you go.” No, would never happen.
Victoria: Right. That's how we are doing ethical business differently. This is nervous system based. Let's go back to Latinidad, this is comadre. This is deciding that we're going to step out of this white settler colonialist framework that teaches us that we should compete. I don't believe in competing, that’s some bullshit. Oops, I swore. Well, now it's going to have an explicit marker, so let's go for it.
Sara: Sorry, Mom.
Victoria: Sara is sorry. Oops, they’ve got to learn at some point, right? I love that we don't compete. I love that we are so dedicated to our mutual growth. You are so brilliant and amazing and incredible! And the way that you poach on the same material as me, is the Sarita way.
Victoria: And then I do the same material the Maria Victoria way. The Maria Victoria way; I translate for you. It's not possible for us to compete. Because you are the special soul and spirit that is you, and I am me.
Sara: Yes. And I think one of the things that it has really just blown open for me is the idea of scarcity, in terms of people. First of all, every single person that I've ever met who has been socialized as a woman, has some work to do around people pleasing, perfectionism, codependency. But also, the people who respond to your message, those are for you.
And you’re very, very best person to work with them, because something in their heart is called by you, and something in your way of being has called them in, so they need you to help them through that healing work. And the same applies to me. There are people who will listen to the way I teach and explain things, and something in them is touched or pinged by that. And they're like, “Ooh, I think she could help me.” And those are different groups of people.
There are millions and millions and millions and millions of women who need to hear this message and to do this work with us.
Victoria: Yeah, 100%. 100%. And the healing work that we do with each other, the way you and I co-regulate our nervous systems together, ripples out to those millions of people. Like, I am a better coach because I love you. And in that loving you allow myself to be loved by you. And I receive love from you. I receive regulation in my nervous system, and support. And that message of abundance is what holds it all, right? It's all like a little bird's nest of abundance that it sits in.
And that makes me a better coach and a better partner. It will make me a better parent. It will make me a better sibling, makes me a better someone's kid, friend, and dog mom.
Sara: So, if you're listening to this, and you're like, “I want that. I want some friend love. I want to deepen my friend love with someone that I already know. I want to find a new friend love.” What would you advise them to do?
Victoria: Join our coaching programs.
Victoria: [Inaudible]. The places I have found the most kindred spirits; just go where it's warm. I remember I was coaching this woman on dating. This is like five, six years ago. She was like, “I keep going to sports bars trying to find some dude to go on a date with, but they're all knuckleheads.” And I was like, “Megan, do you like sports?” And she was like, “Eww, no.” I was like, “What? Girl, what? Why you going to sports bars? You silly sweet goose.” Right?
So now, my friends are from meditation retreats. My friends are from coaching, coaching masterminds from coaching programs. I go where my people are, to find my people. I'm being very serious. if you are looking to make new friends with people who are on the same healing path as you, on the same healing journey, who listen to podcasts like ours, go where they are. They’re in our programs, and they’re at your local yoga class, and they're at your Buddhist temple, etc.
Sara: 100%. Because meeting the person is part of it, but it's also having the skills.
Victoria: And the tools and the framework...
Sara: … to feel your feelings. Support yourself through taking the risk of inviting someone out for coffee or dinner or whatever it is that you like to do.
Victoria: Right, regulating your nervous system.
Sara: Regulating your nervous system.
Victoria: Hello, sympathetic.
Sara: Oh, yeah. Yeah, being able to develop new thinking patterns. A lot of the women that I work with, everything is always their fault. They've always done something wrong. Somebody's always mad at them. Somebody always thinking ill of them. And that is largely just their pattern of thinking, it's not actually even true out in the world. But it's really difficult to sustain a friend love if you're always beating yourself up for things.
Victoria: It is 100% true.
Sara: And so, learning the way to talk to yourself, to not only calm your own nervous system, but then to be able to show up for someone else, that's a skill.
Victoria: It's a skill. It's a skill. And it's a skill most of us didn't learn in childhood, wasn't modeled for us by our parents, for whom it was not modeled by their parents, etc. Right? We can go down the ancestral, the lineage, pathway. Which we can maybe segue, not maybe today or maybe next time, but compassion, right? That's what just popped into my head, compassion for the family line.
And when we didn't learn it, and we learned, in fact, this emotional outsourcing, codependent way of relating to self and others, we need someone to show us what's possible. In Anchored the other day, we spent a not insignificant part of our coaching hour modelling how talking to our kids about an issue with the other parent can be either a loving, supporting, interdependent experience or like totally codependent, enmeshed triangulation.
But we need to hear both conversations side by each, so we can look at them and understand them. So, we can start to live and relate and think and feel in really different ways.
I think the last thing I want to make sure to say, because I was like, “Join our programs,” but also, join a free program at your local library, right? Like, it doesn't have to be our programs. I'm just saying go where it's warm. Start to ask yourself who your people are, and go to where your people. That is the real take-home. I just know that you're dope, and so your program’s dope, so I think everyone should take it.
Sara: I feel the same way about you. Here's what's crazy, I recommend people follow your podcast. I use it. I send people to your social media.
Sara: Because I know and I trust you, I know what works, and I know that my people are my people, and your people will be your people. And so, there's not any… There's nothing there.
Victoria: Yep, snack on that capitalism.
Sara: Honestly, what would it be like for women to believe so deeply in their own value, like, “No one can Sara like I can Sara. No one can Maria Victoria Albina like you, Maria Victoria Albina.” I'm actually Saritaing also. My grandmother called me that.
Victoria: Gracias. Aw, que linda.
Sara: If you're Julie, nobody Julie's like you. If you’re Susan, if you’re Carolina, nobody does it like you.
Victoria: Nobody does it. Also, I do have a cousin named Maria de la Soledad, and that means Maria of Solitude. And I just think that’s a lot to put on her. Can you imagine looking at a newborn and you're like, “Your name is Solitude.” It's just a little heavy.
Sara: I had a roommate, Maria de la Encarnación. I mean, you want to take solitude and up it? You are Maria of the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Victoria: Wow! We know. We know who won.
Sara: Encarnita was what we called her.
Victoria: Right, of course. Wow, wow, wow. Anyway, so, here we're talking about how vital platonic love is. How incredible, how life changing, how lifesaving. I can imagine there's a lot, I'll say I don't have to imagine, I know because I've worked with hundreds and thousands of women, who are working with emotional outsourcing.
I know that there are so many listeners who are like, “But I don't have friends. I don't know how to open up. I don't know how to be vulnerable in this way y'all are talking about. Que? What is this? Como es? How do I do it? And what I love about you and I, and I will say this boldly, as August 3rd Leos we are in fact born teachers. We’re also deeply humble and good looking and have great hair. But it's true. And teeth, you have really nice straight teeth. Yeah, I think you won on the teeth.
Sara: Oh, yeah. No, I didn't.
Victoria: Okay, I'm going to coach you about that later; with consent. Your teeth are perfect, and everything about you is perfect. And I will fight anyone who says otherwise. But I will fight them with love. I will hug them, with consent.
Anyway, reeling it back in, oh, this funny brain of mine. We’re really good teachers. And what I love about both of us as coaches, is that we're born educators. And we're trained in pedagogy, right? We're trained in the smarts of how you teach. So, we both love to, on our podcasts; The Ex-Good Girl Podcast and Feminist Wellness; make sure you're subscribed to both.
We both love to give remedies. We love to give antidotes. We love to give skills and tools. So, let's talk about what are the solid skills and tools that a human listening, who's like, “I don't know how to do ‘friend’ like this.” I want to be super nerd teachers, and assign you one and will you assign me one?
Sara: Excellent, let's do it.
Victoria: Okay, will you talk about attachment.
Sara: The beautiful thing about creating, seeking out and creating new relationships is that it's actually the testing ground for a different, healthier type of attachment. So, I am an anxiously attached person. And some of the way I'm going to explain it, comes from the work of the author of the book Platonic, Dr. Marisa Franco; I believe her name is. And she talks about how attachment is a theory of guesses.
And so, my anxious attachment guess is, “If I attach to you, you will leave me. And so, I come after you. I'm always worried about what you're thinking. I'm trying to prove that I'm worthy of being a friend. I'm trying to prove that I'm a good friend.” In much the same way that we were talking about, “It's fine. It's fine. I'm nice. It's good. Everything's good.” It's just pretend. And so, when you are constantly trying out for the part of the friend, you never actually settle into just being the friend.
Victoria: Oh, that's so beautifully said. I talk a lot about how we, from emotional outsourcing, are seeking to prove our love-ability. And I feel like that's the flip metaphor of trying out, auditioning, for being loveable.
Sara: Yes. Constantly. Every time we go out to coffee, every time I invite you to do something, I'm like, “Wait, am I good enough? Is it working? Am I okay?” Yeah, and so when you have the opportunity in creating new relationships, to actually try on a secure attachment; and Dr. Franco, in the book Platonic, says that the guess of a securely attached person is, “Hey, things are going to come up. I'm going to bump your sore spots; you're going to bump my sore spots. And we're going to talk about it and repair it and we will be stronger for it.” Isn't it beautiful?
Victoria: I love that. I like that guessing.
Sara: Because an anxious person is like, “I can't let you see my sore spots, my deficits, my deficiencies, as a friend because then you won't choose me.” But a securely attached person is, “I see your sore spots. and I let you see mine. And when they bump each other, we can repair and we're better for it.” Just to keep in mind that this is a bumpy, or a potentially bumpy, process because you're changing your attachment.
And my favorite exercise to kind of ease into this, is to make sure that you have a practice of practicing your secure attachment with yourself. My favorite comes from the work of Louise Hay, “mirror work”. So, literally, here's the too-long-to-read:
You find the sentences that you would most love to hear from someone else. “Sara, I appreciate you so much. I see everything that you're doing. You matter so much to me.” And then to say those to yourself in the mirror. I will tell you, in the beginning it's awkward and a little hard. That voice in the brain, the bully’s going to step up and say, “This is so dumb. Why are you doing this? You know you love yourself. This is really weird that you need this much attention. There's probably something wrong with you.”
But if you can focus again, just bring your brain back to, “I'm practicing secure attachment with myself first.” In this very focused way, it will show up in the friendships that you make. What about you? What do you got for me?
Victoria: Well, first I'll say, Feminist Wellness; I have podcast Episode #129 is “Attachment Styles” 101. #135 is “Attachment and Nervous System Resourcing”. #214 “Understanding and Reframing Your Attachment Style with Honeydew Me”. And then, sorry, #184, #185, and #186 are all about avoidant and disorganized attachment.
So, if you want to really dive into attachment theory and learn more, I have geeked out an awful lot about it because it's been super helpful in my own life to understand. I bring in all the science, because… And then we'll get back to where we're going; I promise.
For me, I used to blame and shame myself for being me an awful lot, right? Because I thought I was, well now we have and explicit on this show so I'm going to say, I thought I was perma-fucked. Isn't that such a great term? I mean, someone else probably made it up, but I thought I heard it for the first time, out my own mouth, during a webinar probably a year ago. And I was like, “That's a good one.”
Anyway, I thought I was uniquely, magically, especially, especially broken. But it turns out, studies show, I'm not. I just historically have a leaning towards avoidant attachment. Or anxious attachment with avoidance when pushed. And now, I'm living in a way more securely attached way with myself, with my friends like you, with my amazing partner, with our troublesome Chihuahua. I'm just much more securely attached. And it's pretty dope.
Sara: And it's because you practiced. That’s what I want to point out.
Victoria: I’ve practiced so much. Do you want to assign me something to talk about or should I just go for it?
Sara: Just go.
Victoria: Okay, so what I want to talk… Oh, I love you. Can we just pause? “I trust you,” that's so nice. Sarita, gracias. I trust you, too.
Sara: I mean it.
Victoria: Oh, I know. I know. Every time I have really, really big news, Sarita is one of the firstest this people I call, because aww… Okay, great. Well, then you just gave me homework, which is to talk about trust. So, for me, so much of what kept me spinning in emotional outsourcing was not trusting myself. Thinking, I mean, again, I thought I was perma-fucked, so how could I trust myself, right?
And then, when I learned that I had character defects, it meant that I was inherently broken, made it all the more funner. But I didn't trust myself to make the right decision. I second-guessed myself. I felt really stuck, because I didn't know how to trust me. And was really unsure about trusting others. But then I would also over trust them because I didn't trust me.
It was this weird, icky morass of not knowing which way is up. It's like when a wave catches you when you're swimming, and you don't know what's the ocean floor and what's up to air and survival, right? That's how I felt, like it was constantly just another wave and another wave and another wave.
How I started to break out of that is the skill we both talk about, of the minimum baseline. Which I talked about at some point in my show, Episode #78 Minimum Baseline Thinking. Thank goodness for Google Docs.
Sara: You're on it. I love it.
Victoria: Girl, please. I never close that window. It's just a tab that's permanently open because here we are. Because teachers give references.
Sara: Give references, excellent.
Victoria: Especially when your partner is a librarian, you need references.
Sara: It makes much sense now.
Victoria: Doesn't it? Anyway, mida, trust, self-trust. How do we build self-trust? The answer is, slowly and daily and kitten steps. If you're new to the show, you haven't heard me say this before. I have a deep and profound scientific belief that baby steps are way too friggin’ big. And if we ask ourselves to take baby steps are going to fall on our faces. And then, all that forward progress is going to lead to more self-blame, self-recrimination, being mean to ourselves because we failed. And until we understand failure is a good thing, we beat ourselves up for failing. So, don't do it! Do not take baby steps! Take…
Sara: Under any circumstances.
Victoria: Under any circumstances, too much big! We take little, teeny-tiny kitten steps. Slow, newborn kitten paw-sized.
Sara: Give me a concrete idea of what is a kitten step?
Victoria: Okay, “New Year's resolution, I'm going to work out every single day for the rest of my life, starting today.” Baby step, “I'm going to work out three times a week.” Kitten step, “Once a week I'm going to check in with my body and I will do some kind of self-loving movement. It could be dancing to one song,” I recommend Gloria Estefan's “Conga” for scientific reasons. Or Paula Abdul. That's a kitten step.
And the thing is, kitten steps beget kitten steps beget kitten steps. Whereas, falling on your face failing and feeling bad about it and blaming yourself and beating yourself up begets doing nothing good for you. Definitely not building more self-trust. So, make it tiny.
A daily, self-trust building, kitten step, I recommend that you use something you're doing already. And I mean this seriously. Like, “Today I'm going to drink a glass of water,” just the one; one glass of water. “And what I'm going to do, is label that glass of water my self-love act for the day. I'm going to put that in the bank.
Sara: And I'm going to let it count. You were about to say it, celebrate it. So
Victoria: Let it count. Celebrate it. So, ABC: Always Be Celebrating. There's nothing too small to celebrate. That's what we do in Anchored, in my program. I'm sure y'all are celebrating all day long over there, and stop people pleasing. Ce-le-brate. “Oh, you drank a single glass of water? Congratulations! You're amazing.” And I mean it, I'm super earnest.
Sara: Celebrate. You didn't say yes in the moment. You gave yourself a few minutes to think about it. Maybe you even said yes later on down the line to something you didn't really do. It's totally fine, because you paused. You are going to celebrate the pause.
Victoria: We’re going to celebrate it. We're going to celebrate it. So, make it something you're going to do so that you can really already start to build in that neural pathway that says, “I have my own back.”
Sara: Yes. One of the things I love about talking to you, is that when you talk about what you're doing in your program, I'm like, “Oh my gosh, I'm a genius, because I do that too.”
Victoria: Oh, I love that! Oh, my twin-sies.
Sara: It's confirmation of good work.
Victoria: We are so smart, and so good-looking. Have I mentioned our hair? We have amazing hair, because we are lionesses. Sara, I think we're coming up on the 16-hour mark for this conversation, we should probably let the good people go. Though, I believe in their autonomy, if they wanted to stop the tape, they would have already.
Sara: They would have already, but for those who are still listening, what I want you to just consider, is number one, it is possible to have deeply fulfilling friend-love relationships that actually build and sustain all of your other relationships.
And it might take some work to find and build them. It might take some work, but you were worth doing that work. You deserve the type of friend-love that is fulfilling, sustaining, and life giving. And the first source of that friend-love is you, for you. What do you want the good people to know?
Victoria: I want the good people to know that change is possible. And if you are telling the story that you are indeed perma-effed, that's okay. It makes sense that you're telling that story. And I want you to know, from the absolute bottom of my heart, that it is not true. That change is possible for you. Healing is possible. You can learn how to regulate your nervous system. You can learn how to step into secure attachment. We've both done it. We are both doing it more and more every day. Let us be living proof that this is possible.
Sara: Let us be your guides.
Victoria: And let us be your guides.
Sara: If this is something that you've decided, “I really want to work on this,” check out our programs. We both have websites and Instagram and Facebook and all the goods.
Victoria: Wait, let’s pause. Where can the people find you?
Sara: Great question. SaraFisk.coach; dot coach is actually a thing. Sara Fisk Coaching on Instagram and Facebook.
Victoria: Beautiful. You can find me at VictoriaAlbina.com. If you head over to my website, you can download a suite of free meditations, orienting exercises for the nervous system, and so much more, right at the top of the page, for free. You can find me on “the ‘Gram”, I give good ‘Gram, @Victoria Albina Wellness. And my podcast, again, is called Feminist Wellness. For those listening on Sara's show, Sara, what's your show called?
Sara: The Ex-Good Girl Podcast
Victoria: Such a good title, love it. How did you get so brilliant and so amazing?
Sara: Maybe I was born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline? I don't know.
Victoria: I think you were born with it.
Sara: It's not Maybelline. Some of it, I was definitely born with it. Some of it, I've just worked really hard on. Worked? Something I'm still working on.
Victoria: And I think you were born inherently good and amazing and incredible and perfectly lovable, on August 3rd. So, listen, if you were also born on August 3rd, I want to know about it. Send me a DM @Victoria Albina Wellness or send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sara, I'm just doing a giveaway on the fly. I'm going to record a pep talk for you, for you to have on your phone. It's going to be a downloadable mp3 or mp4, whatever. I don't know, I'll ask the tech people. And you can just download it and it'll be a cheer for you, my fellow lioness.
How many August 3rds are going to email me?
Sara: That’s a fantastic giveaway!
Victoria: Isn’t it so fun? Why not? What else am I doing? I'm not busy.
Sara: If you want to email me, Sara@sarafisk.coach, I'm going to do it too.
Victoria: Wait, can I have one?
Sara: You can have one.
Victoria: Okay, great. I'll make you one. Okay. I love you. Thank you.
Sara: I love you too, it was a pleasure.
Thank you so much for listening, my love. What an absolute delight of a conversation. Please, go follow Sara on all of the things. Check her out. She's absolutely amazing and incredible, and I'm so grateful to call her family; chosen family is the most magical thing.
All right, my loves, go check out the Somatic Studio: VictoriaAlbina.com/SomaticStudio.
The next round of Anchored, which is likely to be the final round in 2023, starts in June. There may be another round, but I highly, highly, highly doubt it. So, if you want to join us, now is it. This is not some marketing scarcity b.s. thing; I don't do that. But it's just what's up.
So, if you've been wanting to do join Anchored, if you're like, “You know, I really want to dive deep. I really want to get into the nitty-gritty of all of this work for six months,” join us now. Join the June group and you will get immediate access to all the bonuses, to breathwork, to dance parties to somatic movement clinics, from the day you enroll until the day your cohort starts.
You're going to get several weeks of time with me and others in the Anchored family on the house. That's just sounding like a win-win-win across the board, so check it out.
The Somatic Studio is 12 weeks, and Anchored is my six-month deep dive VictoriaAlbina.com/anchored. Can't wait to see you in either beautiful container. What a delight.
Alright, my beauties, 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.
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 going to be a good one!