Transcripts are auto-generated.
Courtney Townley 0:00
Welcome to the Grace and Grit Podcast made for women who want their healthiest years to be ahead of them, not behind them. Join your host Courtney Townley right now. As she breaks down the fairy tale health story, you have been chasing all of your life, indispensable action steps and lasting change.
Courtney Townley 0:28
Hello, my friends, and welcome to the Grace & Grit Podcast. This is your host, Courtney Townley. As always, I am delighted that you’re here. And I hope your new year is off to a fantastic start, we’re about a month into 2023. And I know the end of January can feel very different from the start of January. So wherever you are, along the spectrum of progress towards the things you wanted to create for yourself this year, I hope you’re treating yourself with a lot of grace and kindness. And that’s actually what we’re gonna talk about a little bit later today.
Courtney Townley 1:01
But before we go on to today’s topic, I do want to tell you that I’m a huge fan of running experiments, all of my clients and students will tell you that a lot of times we are looking for people to tell us sort of the best way to do something or, or get validation that something is going to work. And as a coach, I’m always encouraging people to experiment, because I don’t think you will ever know what truly works for you, unless you’re willing to try things on and give them a really strong go. And then make some decisions out of what you learned. And I’m running an experiment this year.
Courtney Townley 1:41
If you’re on my email list, you already know what this experiment is because it has to do with the newsletter that I send out every single week. I have always sent out sort of a, you know newsletter each week about the Podcast and about little tidbits here and there. But this week, this year, excuse me, I really decided to overhaul the newsletter and make it something more robust, and to really make it a newsletter. So what I’m doing is each week, I’m still sending out a newsletter on Wednesdays. But there’s a lot of goodness baked into this.
Courtney Townley 2:12
So of course, I’m still going to tell you about the podcasts that are available to you. But I’m also throwing in a lot of information in terms of books that I’ve read and found really useful tips and strategies that I think you will find very useful as a subscriber. I’m sharing wins of my clients and students, definitely information and resources that I reap from people that I learned from so many things.
Courtney Townley 2:39
If you are not yet on my email list, and you would like to be getting our newsletter each week, which is called A Little Bit of Grace& Grit, all you have to do is head on over to graceandgrit.com/rumbleandrise, again, graceandgrit.com/rumbleandrise, because that’s what the newsletter used to be called. And you will find a little spot to enter your name and email. And we will be in touch every week moving forward until you decide you want to unsubscribe. So I love this experiment, because I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out, really. But I definitely wanted to put more energy into my newsletter this year. And honestly, the feedback to this point has been pretty fantastic. So people seem to really be enjoying the new format of the newsletter.
Courtney Townley 3:28
And part of the reason I’m telling you all of this is because in a couple of weeks, I’m running my free annual event called Healthiest Year Yet, where I really give you some tried and trued strategies for putting your best year ahead of you making it a healthy and very powerful year. We’ve run this event many times in years past, and we’re running it just a little bit later than usual this year, but it is still happening. So if you’re on my newsletter list, if you are a subscriber, you will get notification of when registration opens, which will be hopefully within the next few days. So keep a lookout for that.
Courtney Townley 4:06
Okay, so if you’ve been listening to this Podcast for a while, you know that I am a really big fan of this conversation, especially this year of restoring personal power. And that is the work that we’re leaning really heavily into in my paid community. But let me be clear what personal power is because I know there’s new listeners in every episode. personal power is really our capacity to feel fully alive and align our thoughts, emotions and behaviors in such a way that we actually cultivate a life that feels authentic and fulfilling and true for us.
Courtney Townley 4:48
Of course that looks different for all of us. But what’s interesting is so many of the things that we try and do to restore personal power are coming from a place of manipulating and forcing, and being incredibly aggressive and mean to ourselves. And I call this false power. And false power will never heal you, it will never elevate you. It really hurts you. And ultimately it robs you of the opportunity to live full out. And there’s a lot of different ways that false power shows up. Right?
Courtney Townley 5:29
It could show up as you berating yourself for making mistakes. Maybe it shows up as dismissing emotions, so you don’t hear the messages that they have for you about the way you’re living your life. False power shows up as denying yourself the opportunity to feel fully alive until you prove yourself to someone. And we all have moments of false power. No one is immune to this, we are all using it to some degree.
Courtney Townley 6:01
When I introduced this concept recently, inside of Rumble & Rise, the members seem to have a lot of them seem to have lightbulb moments like whoa, I am using a lot of false power to try to improve my health and well being. And there was so much goodness that kind of came out of that conversation that I wanted to share the concept here with you as listeners of the Grace & Grit show.
Courtney Townley 6:24
Before I go there, I want to tell you a little story, I promise you it has everything to do with what we’re about to talk about with this false power. But I grew up in Wyoming I grew up in Jackson Hole, which a lot of people now think of Jackson Hole is this kind of Aspen, Colorado, right, this glitz and glamour, and really high end living in a mountain town. And it is all those things. But it wasn’t that way at all. When I grew up there. It was a little town. And my mom was a nurse at a family clinic. And my dad, my stepdad was a veterinarian, so he had his own clinic. And as you can imagine, as a child, as a teenager, I spent an awful lot of hours in a vet clinic, shoveling poop, walking dogs, assisting in surgeries, you name it, I was kind of just I did all things at this vet clinic.
Courtney Townley 7:18
Being in the vet clinic, as often as I was, I got a lot of exposure to a lot of different types of animal owners. And there were obviously pet owners who try to influence the behavior of their pets through aggression, and dominance and force. And then there was a large swaths of pet owners who were the opposite. They influenced their animal’s behavior through trust, and kindness. Now, the pet owners in that first camp, the ones who were using force and dominance and aggression, were really attempting to lead their pets, by making them feel bad.
Courtney Townley 8:08
They kind of had the finger in the face when they talk to them, like pointing at them, scolding them, their voice was really assertive. The language was really harsh, there was an aggressive jerk, maybe on the leash. And it’s always an uncomfortable moment, right? Because you never want to see a pet treat it in that way. But then there was a large camp of pet owners, that second group who are leading their pets, through a plate from a place of love and trust.
Courtney Townley 8:41
I saw this in a lot of different ways, the behavior of these pet owners, the ones who were influencing the behavior through love and trust. They were regulating their own energy. In an environment that is usually very scary for animals. I mean, I don’t know a lot of pets that love going to the vet clinic. There, I’m sure there are some, but a large majority of them don’t like it because they associate it with shots and painful things and people they don’t know. And a lot of pet owners came in knowing that their animal was scared. And you could tell that they were doing the work of managing their own emotions. So they could help their pets feel less scared.
Courtney Townley 9:24
One of the ways specifically that I saw this show up is that when we took an animal into a treatment room, some pet owners would volunteer to actually leave the room. Because they knew that they were feeling a little amped up. They had some nervous energy, and they knew that their animal was going to feed off of that, because that’s what animals do. They co regulate, right, they sort of adopt the energy of the room.
Courtney Townley 9:54
I also saw that those pet owners that were operating from a space of love and trust asked, often praised their pets for a job well done. And I’ve actually seen this a lot in my own life with my own pets, my husband has always taken on the role of training our pets. And from the very first dog we owned together, he would only train through kindness and positive affirmation. So he would never scold the dog for doing something wrong. But he would really make an effort to praise the dog for everything it did, right. And man doesn’t work awesomely well. Dogs love to feel good, right? They like that reinforcement of positive behavior. So if we acknowledge it, they’re going to do more of the thing they get praised for.
Courtney Townley 10:52
Now, look, I know you’re not a dog. Okay, I’m not suggesting that you’re a dog, but you do have an animal body, we all do, we are animals, in some sense. And you have a nervous system. And when you use the wrong type of energy, to govern yourself, you can be the cause of so much unnecessary stress within your nervous system. So you become the very thing that is dysregulated, your own nervous system. And we all know that the world is going to also contribute to a lot of nervous system dysregulation. But we have to take responsibility for where we’re adding to that dysregulation. And when we are unnecessarily adding to our own pile of stress, through the methods that we are using to govern ourselves, that is never going to promote health and well being, it’s never going to help you to come fully alive. In fact, I would argue it’s gonna do the opposite.
Courtney Townley 12:07
So I’m a really big believer that true power is embodiment. It is a congruence see between how you feel in your body, how you are thinking in your mind, how you feel in your spirit. It’s a congruency between mind, body, and soul. And all of this to say, you are never going to feel amazing by treating yourself like a jerk doesn’t work that way. And a lot of you are doing this by bullying yourself, to behave good to behave well. And that is one way that we administer false power in our life. It’s certainly not the only way. Here are some other ways.
Courtney Townley 13:05
Maybe you deny yourself food, because you were bad the day before, and I just put bad in air quotes. So you are literally using punishment. To try to get yourself to behave better. Or maybe you are someone who manipulates your emotional landscape. By ignoring uncomfortable emotions, you give them no attention. You just suppress them, you deny them, you resist them, you avoid them. And you only allow the good ones. So you use detachment, to control yourself to govern yourself.
Courtney Townley 14:02
Another way false power shows up is that maybe you have a habit of dictating to your body, what you expect from it with little to no regard for what it actually needs from you. So you’re using a type of dominance, like my agenda is the most important thing. I don’t care what you need, I don’t care how you feel, this is what I expect. That doesn’t feel so awesome. Things don’t go so well when you operate from that energy. To or maybe you are someone in your life who is always behaving as a good girl, as a people pleaser. So you don’t express your real opinions. You don’t do anything to ripple the water or make people uncomfortable. You always do what other people expect of you In an attempt to keep everyone around you happy.
Courtney Townley 15:05
What you end up doing is you literally end up trying to take responsibility for everyone’s emotions. And you’re denying your own truth. In an effort to make other people happy, it’s almost a form of manipulation. One more form of false power is these are this is certainly not an exhaustive list. There are many, many forms. But another one that you may be familiar with, is using a substance. I’ve talked a lot about this on the show, like alcohol, or drugs, or food, to quite literally help you generate a feeling of power. So you’re using false power, you’re using chemicals to alter the way you feel in the moment.
Courtney Townley 16:01
A lot of people do this with alcohol. They don’t feel that they are funny, or entertaining, or competent, or enjoyable to be around unless they are drinking alcohol. But it’s we’re using a form of deception. Because it’s not our truth, we’re altering our chemistry. So we will behave in a particular way. So this is what I want you to hear using punishment, or detachment, or dominance, or manipulation, or deception. And a whole host of other forms of false power, are never going to truly restore your personal power.
Courtney Townley 16:53
False power, ultimately, those things that I just mentioned, they ultimately harm us, they hurt us, they cage our life. And that’s not what most of us are looking for, in personal power. We’re looking for the confidence and the freedom and the expression and the experience of being alive. That’s something very different. That’s something that comes from true power. So what’s the difference?
Courtney Townley 17:30
True Power is rooted in trust and respect, authenticity, response responsibility, and I would say personal responsibility. Curiosity, honesty. Risk, I said respect, the ability to respond rather than just react constantly to what’s happening. congruence, which is something I mentioned earlier. And true power, we operate from that space from that kind of energy.
Courtney Townley 18:17
We actually feel nourished, sell the soul, we feel nourished, we start to heal. And we start to live as fully expressed authentic humans. So, to use those same examples I use to illustrate what false power looks like. Let’s take those same scenarios. And just talk about what they might look like if you were using true power.
Courtney Townley 18:54
The first example I used was withholding food from yourself because you were bad the day before. But operating from true power would look like if you didn’t show up for yourself in some way, in a way that you intended to, but failed to. rather than punishing yourself for that. You get wildly curious about why that happened. So you can learn. And when you know better, you do better. So that’s what true power looks like. True power would look like when you feel difficult things when you feel sort of the harder emotions. That you extend yourself the grace of being human.
Courtney Townley 19:52
And you examine where you might and I say might because it’s not always going to be the case but where you might be creating some unnecessary suffering for yourself. And I’ll give you a really concrete example. I coach a lot of women who will feel a particular emotion, that they would label as a more difficult emotion. So maybe it’s sadness, or it’s frustration, or it’s disappointment, or it’s anxiety. And rather than allow themselves to just be with that emotion and extend themselves grace of being human, which is we feel the full spectrum of emotion, the way they contribute to unnecessary suffering is they start having a lot of thoughts about that emotion that make them feel worse, I shouldn’t be having anxiety. Anxiety is bad. I, you know, I feel terrible for being disappointed about this.
Courtney Townley 21:01
What we make our emotions mean, actually contributes to a lot of unnecessary suffering. So we just want to really stay open to looking at all of that, not judge it. But look at it. So we can respond in a way that actually feels good to us. Another example of using true power is that, you know, so often we’re dictating to our bodies, I use that a lot on the Podcast, I’ve said that in many episodes, and I see it as a very prolific pattern among women. I’m going to do this, and I expect my body to respond in this way. And in the meantime, the body is really begging for attention. It’s begging for other levels of self care, like sleep. Like taking more time off work. Like drinking less alcohol, right? Like all kinds of things the body is asking for. But we aren’t listening to the requests, what we’re doing is dictating instead.
Courtney Townley 22:11
And, so, operating from place of true power, would be forging a relationship with our body, rather than dictating to it all the time. What do you need? How can I support you today? This is what I have to do today. This is my agenda. So how can I support my body in a way that allows me to do that work in a powerful way? True power also looks like respecting your own needs and desires by asking for what you want. And saying what needs to be said and allowing people to manage their own emotions around that. People are going to have thoughts and emotions about what you ask, and that’s okay. What isn’t okay? Is you behaving in a way that isn’t true for you? To avoid making people do their own emotional work.
Courtney Townley 23:28
Now, I’m not saying that you should deliver your ask in a way that isn’t well thought out and compassionate, of course, you should write the energy with which we speak will influence the thoughts other people have. So we want to take responsibility for the energy of the ask. But where I see a lot of women’s needlessly suffering, is they are asking for anything that they want or that they need, because they’re so afraid of disrupting other people’s emotions. So true power is learning how to ask and being okay. With whatever the response is not making it mean horrible things about you and that you should never ask for anything again. And true power also looks like generating power from a place of doing things that truly bring you alive.
Courtney Townley 24:42
So remember, I said that false power was using all of these sorts of false power substances to try to change your chemistry. And it works but it works very temporarily. And it’s not really changing your life. But when you start getting back into the art that you haven’t been doing for a while, you start forging the friendships that you’ve been hungry for, do you make that career change that you’ve been thinking about for years, you learn a new craft, you take a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Those things are going to bring you alive in very natural and life changing ways. That’s true power.
Courtney Townley 25:32
And I would also say that all of those things, those things I just mentioned, they help to forge competence. And competence is very closely associated with power, True Confidence. So here’s my invitation to you after all of this is Stay curious about where you are using false power to try to govern yourself. And you’ll know because it feels icky, it does not feel good. It may be an area where you are just feeling really stuck. Because like I said earlier, using that false, that false power, the detachment, the dominance, the manipulation, the deception, that kind of energy makes us feel terrible. So just start paying attention.
Courtney Townley 26:24
Where am I stuck? Where am I feeling icky in my process? And how can I take responsibility for some of that? Because you are at the root of it in some way? What’s the energy that I’m using here? And when you identify that the areas where you’re using false power, just ask yourself the question, is it working. And I’m pretty sure 100% of the time, you’re gonna find it’s really not. Or it might be working for very brief moments of time, but it is not working in the breadth of sustainability. Right, you can’t maintain it for very long.
Courtney Townley 27:07
So when you identify that it isn’t working, just like I’m a fan of experiments, I’m going to, I’m a fan of trying the opposite. Instead of manipulating, try being very honest with yourself, instead of dominating your body, try getting very curious and compassionate. It’ll feel weird, because it’s not what you’ve been practicing. It’ll feel awkward. But I’m willing to bet, things will start to shift because you start to feel better. And when you feel better, you do better.
Courtney Townley 27:51
And, of course, the real work is recycling this on an ongoing basis. It’s just not, it’s not just identifying false power in your life one time. Because a lot of us have patterns of using it in almost every area of our life. And even though we might do better in that area for a while, when life gets more stressful, we revert to old habits. So we want to build a practice of identifying the energy that you are using to govern your life to govern yourself. So I hope that lands for you. I, you know, I know it can be maybe a new way of thinking about the energy you’re bringing to your wellness journey. But I think it’s it is a you no pun intended, it’s a powerful way to think about the energy that you are bringing to your wellness journey.
Courtney Townley 28:52
So that’s all I have for you today. I hope it was helpful. I hope there was a nugget in there that you can walk away with that it just if nothing else, it just helps you to bring more awareness to how you’re showing up in your process. So I will see you again next week. Thank you so much again for tuning in and have a wonderful rest of your week. Take care. Bye.
Courtney Townley 29:20
Thank you for listening to the grace and grit Podcast. It is time to mend the fabric of the female health story. And it starts with you taking radical responsibility for your own self care. You are worth the effort and with a little grace and grit anything is possible.