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Turning 40 and Stop Making the Same Mistake
Episode 819th February 2024 • Forty Drinks • Stephanie McLaughlin
00:00:00 00:51:46

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Birgitta Visser kept making the same mistake over and over again in her romantic relationships. She had an acute case of what she called “doormat syndrome,” which meant she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but that meant she would compromise well beyond what was reasonable in her relationships. That left her “walking in her own shadow,” neglecting her own feelings and needs until she was the one who got hurt. The roots of this behavior lay in childhood experiences of abuse and loss and a lifelong lack of confidence in herself. It wasn’t until hitting rock bottom for the second time at 42 that she started to figure out how to love herself.

Guest Bio

Birgitta Visser is Soul Empowerment Coach, Divine Channel and Light Language Healer, Speaker and Author of the book BE-com-ing Authentically Me, delivering messages from the many Light BEings, and Master Teachers to the aid of humanity. Her life path has been anything but conventional, but Birgitta's story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration to others.

She says, "There is nothing that cannot be overcome, for what we think, we create and thus manifest within our own lives. To heal ourselves, we must first learn to love ourselves. If we cannot love ourselves, how can we ever heal ourselves, embracing the wholesome, loving nature that represents our truest self? At any given moment, we have the power to change, to heal and to overcome.”

She hopes that people will awaken to what life is all about, and is simply here to offer her words as food for thought in unlocking their own potential to BE-com-ing authentically themselves.

Turning 40 and Stop Making the Same Mistake

In this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, host Stephanie McLaughlin interviews Birgitta Visser, a woman who has experienced a lifetime of trauma and transformation. Birgitta shares her story of abuse, loss, addiction, and healing, and how she has learned to cultivate joy and find happiness in her own life. From her early experiences in the modeling industry to her tumultuous romantic relationships, Birgitta faced many challenges but has come out stronger and more resilient. Through holistic healing modalities, Birgitta found a path to self-discovery and self-love. Despite the hardships she weathered, Birgitta remains optimistic and grateful for her experiences, recognizing that they have shaped her into the person she is today. 

Highlights from the episode include: 

  • Birgitta's experiences in the modeling industry and her struggles with confidence.
  • How the loss of her stepfather sent her spiraling into a period of drug use and bad decisions. 
  • Two separate rock bottom experiences, at 35 and 42, both the result of toxic romantic relationships. 
  • How she received a death threat from the Dutch version of The Crips gang.
  • Her journey of holistic healing and self-discovery, and her newfound sense of happiness and fulfillment. 

Birgitta's story serves as an inspiration for anyone who has faced trauma or hardship and is seeking a path to healing and personal growth. It’s a testament to the power of resilience and self-love in overcoming life's challenges. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider rating the podcast and sharing this episode with a friend! 

After listening to the episode, you might be wondering how can I learn to love myself?

Learning to love yourself can be daunting, especially if you have strong negative self-talk running in your head all the time. If you're constantly putting yourself down, it's hard to find yourself lovable. In one of my reflections episodes, I described an exercise for combatting negative self-talk.

Once you get a handle on that negative energy clouding your perception of yourself, you can begin the process of learning to love yourself. Justin Schenck described how he worked to achieve all the external markers of success, thinking that would make him love himself. But combatting limiting beliefs and focusing on his inner thoughts were the things that ultimately helped him learn how to love himself. 

Guest Resources

Birgitta’s YouTube channel 

Find Birgitta on Facebook 

Find Birgitta on Instagram 

BE-com-ing Authentically Me: Lighting the Spark of Inspiration Back into the Heart of your Luminous Soul BEing

Learn more: https://www.powersoulhealing.com/ 

Do you have the Midlife Ick? 

Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick

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Sponsor

The Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications

Transcripts

Stephanie: Birgitta. Thanks you so much for joining me.

Birgitta: Hi, Stephanie. Well, thank you so much for having me.

Stephanie: It's my pleasure. I'm very excited for our conversation today. We spoke a couple of months ago to sort of get to know each other and sort of flesh out your story a little bit and, you've got some things in your story that I've never heard about before. So

Birgitta: Yep, everyone has their own bit of trauma to go

Stephanie: yeah, exactly. Well, I suppose isn't that, isn't that just the nugget? You got straight to the heart of it. We all have our own individual trauma. So even if we go through some of the same stages, it's going to look different because it's going to be our own individual blend.

Birgitta: Yes.

Stephanie: the way I like to start these conversations is to to get us up to the beginning of our story. What's the prologue set us up for how you got to your early to mid thirties and where our story begins. So tell us a little bit about your background.

Birgitta: Uh, well, do I, do I start with being born

Stephanie: Yeah, go, you can go all the way back there.

Birgitta: Yes. That's when I popped the womb, but, um, just, I mean, in a nutshell, you know, everyone, as I said, goes through some sort of trauma or hardship, um, regardless of age. And I mean, I mean, it can continue throughout our lives. I mean, we get a different array of experiences. For me. from my childhood that's kind of where it started. When I was 10 or 11 I was abused by friend of the family that had a knock on effect to when my dad died when I was 14 of coronary heart disease.

I was bullied in school. I was very skinny. Um, I suffered even then I suffered from, eating disorders My homemade lunch, I would ch uck that out. Um, but I would sit at a dinner table and just eat my dinner. Because I had so little confidence and I had this immense fear of boys at school, um, my mom put me on this modeling course and that didn't, that didn't work either.

Birgitta: Because when, whatever you go through, you need to, grab the bull by the horns, or you need to get to the root of the issue and then eradicate it. You cannot just put a bandaid on it. And I think that that's what happened for the longest time. So even in the modeling industry, I was, uh, assaulted. And I mean, I traveled the world. you know, you know, I bartended, I was a hostess. I promoted stuff. And that was already in my twenties. And, Um, and then I lost my stepdad as well to cancer. Then I rolled into drugs for several months, suffered a blackout.

y started healing probably in:

Stephanie: Let's pause there for a second. Cause it, it really does get into the meat of our story. I just want to go back for a moment. So you said when you were a kid, you of course, um, a hell of a start and then your dad died. So you really had a lack lack of confidence.

That's why your mom put you into modeling. She thought that would help with the confidence. Yeah,

Birgitta: Yeah, it didn't. It didn't. Not only that, I will tell you something funny. I was picked up for a hair show and the hairdresser made me one of the main models, but my hair went from here to shoulder length into a pixie cut, where you can, I can tell you, I feel horrified. I felt so ugly and I wish it would just grow back in a day, but unfortunately it took quite a few months.

Oh,

Stephanie: You know what's really funny. When I was in my, um, early twenties, I, I worked for, the Boston Globe. During college, I was a co op editorial assistant and there was an opportunity that came up, there was a hair show and you know, one of the older reporters came by and said, you know, who wants a free haircut down on Newbury Street, which is the tony street in Boston.

And I said, Oh, I would love one. I had no sense of the situation. So I went in and I sat in the chair kind of thinking like, yay, I'm going to get a fun haircut. And at that time I probably had hair down to like, I think I kept it at like my bra strap or kind of above, you know, when I was, when I was young. And they wanted to give me like some asymmetric blue, you know, thing. And I freaked out and said, no, you can't do that. And I remember the stylist being very sort of annoyed at me because, cause that kind of wasn't the deal. I was supposed to go in and just let them do whatever they wanted. So, um, so I, I completely understand what you're talking about, this thing about the hair show and them wanting to show their, creativity and their, you know, their craziness.

Birgitta: was out in New York and, uh, I went to this hair show and I thought it would be great. I told them, do not cut my hair short. Do not put funny colors in it. I'm telling you there were no mirrors there for anyone. So they colored my hair, they chopped it really weird. It was like very funny and the front too, and then it was like a platinum blonde and there was orange in it and then there was another color in it. I went to the bathroom. Oh my God, I was horrified. I looked like a, like, honestly, I looked like a freak.

My flatmates were like, you look like heroin chick. I'm like, gee, thanks. So I had, I had to get that corrected. I did not go back. I made, I made up some lame excuse, you know, bad me. And I just said that my grandma had fallen ill. And I said, I'm really sorry, but I'm not coming back.

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. I, I remember it was a male reporter who, came in with this, toss off, like who wants a free haircut thing and. And I don't know if he understood all the details, but he certainly didn't communicate them to me. And I didn't know well enough to ask. I was probably 21, maybe 20. and it was like, you know, who wants a free haircut on Newbury Street? Like, whoa, whoa, I'll, I'll take that. You know, not realizing there were strings attached. you know, It's, it's interesting how much our hair can really affect how we feel about ourselves. You'd think it's so, um, I not important, but it's, it's it's unbelievable how much it really does. Uh, it does affect us. Funnily enough. I wore a pixie. After I wouldn't let that guy cut my hair short. I wore a pixie. for maybe a decade through my, like, through my thirties and loved it. It was, I don't know, maybe it was, it was as sassy as I was feeling it that decade. But I, I completely understand. Yeah. Wow.So then your, uh, your step, your stepfather died and fall into drugs? Was it, was it something that was in your social group in your environment? Is it like, how did, how did that

Birgitta: it was in the social group. Um, and I'd never touched it, but I was very much down in the dumps. And I think that was because my mom was leaning on me emotionally and I wanted to talk to my friends

And they just wanted me to show my happy face. And so I couldn't really talk about it. And that's when we, you know, we often try and fit in into that mold of society thinking, okay, you know what, let's just, let's just go along.

And I did. And so I rolled into that for about three months. I know I was still working. It wasn't like I did it every day. But the blackouts, yeah, that, uh, And then I just woke up one day and it was really like, Yeah, I can't do this anymore.

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Tell me about how you met the boyfriend that you were, that you were dating in your, in your mid thirties.

Birgitta: Oh, that's old school. Well, do you remember something called Myspace?

Stephanie: Oh my God. Of course. I remember Myspace and Tom and my top eight friends. Yes. Myspace was the best social media there ever was.

Birgitta: It was absolutely. And that's how I met him. And we were in touch over the years. Cause I, I, you know, I traveled and I was working. And then I finally went to visit him in North Carolina and everything was fine and then I, something I, should not have done. Because that was the way that I was all, have always been wired, not anymore, but I bought him a plane ticket to come to Holland. And he came, um, I was finding work for him. I think because I've traveled so much, um, more times than my age, it was, for me, it's so easy to find work. You can put me in the middle of the desert and I'll still find work. um, it was pretty hard on him, but I didn't know that he was a drug addict.

Stephanie: He had held down odd jobs, even in, you know, working in call centers. Um, and in Holland he did a lot of promotional gigs. Um, but he slipped and then I saw firsthand Somebody with crack hands and he so wanted to get better. I had to kick him out of the house.

Birgitta: That's how bad it had become because he tried to pawn my stuff and I had to get police involved and then I had my mom who was like constantly calling me wanting to make sure that I was alright and, um, but to see someone,

Stephanie: How long is this from the, from the time you bought him the ticket to come over and see you in Holland? Like how?

Birgitta: Several months.

Stephanie: Okay, so a few months.

And what are crack hands?

Birgitta: So it's like when, when people smoke crack and they, they keep using the lighter. It's like they get the blisters on their hands. It's, It's, it's, horrific. And he did call a counselor, I mean, a rehab center, but they refused to take him on because it's really, it boggles my mind, honestly, because those that have an addiction problem, they said, well, he needs to get sober first. And I said, aren't you there to help him get sober?

Stephanie: And other places were like, yeah, we'd like to take him on, but he doesn't have a Dutch social security. It got from bad to worse because in Holland, in The Hague, we had the Crips and so he landed in bed with them

Birgitta:

Stephanie: Crips. You mean the

Birgitta: Yeah.

Stephanie: the gang,

Birgitta: Yes, so there's a Dutch version, too. and this guy, I mean, he, I don't know, he went into a seedy neighborhood, he met them. But, he eventually was held for ransom because he stole from them. Um, I actually, in a nutshell, I helped the police save his life.

And, then, the leader of the Crips, he called me and he said, listen, if I ever find you, I'm going to kill you. And he's like, if I ever find your boyfriend, my ex now, you will never find him because he'll be dead in the ditch somewhere. Anyhow, my ex was deported back to the US. I had already left in the space of several days.

You know, my mom, I made sure that I went to the UK and I rented a place there. And I actually just downed a whole box of ibuprofens 'cause I was just so down in the dumps. It that really just hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks and that was really a rock bottom for me. One of my rock bottoms.

and, mm-hmm,

Stephanie: And how old were you when your stepdad

my stepdad died. That was in:

Stephanie: So this is like a kind of decade that you've been from the time your stepdad died and you had that little period where you were doing drugs and then all the way around to this boyfriend and, and, and so now you're 35 and you're back in the UK and you take a whole box of

Birgitta: I know, it was a very lame attempt at my own life. My mom just said to me, Brigitte, go and see a counselor.

And I did. I even went to the police and I explained to them what happened. Stephanie, I kid you not, they just shrugged their shoulders and they, they're like, it's not our problem. It's not our, it's not in our jurisdiction. Well, fast forward many years later, I think it was it last year or the year before, uh, in the Netherlands, this guy was sentenced to life. It was the biggest case the prosecution had ever seen.

He's gone now. He's, he's behind bars now.

They had to garner a lot of information over the years, and that's why the police said to my mom in Holland, is your daughter leaving the country?

And my mom's like, yes. And he's like, that is the best thing for her. So even at that time, they were, you know, garnering that information. But it took many, many years before they could take the case to trial.

Stephanie: Wow. All right. So your mom says you should

Birgitta: Yes, she did. I did. And, um, I remember going to her and she listened to my story and when I'd finished she just looked at me and she's like, well, you've been through so much. She's like, but, you're strong enough. You'll be fine. What the hell am I gonna do with that?

Stephanie: Well, as as a business owner, you've just cut yourself off from any more business. and from a therapist's point of view, like, isn't the whole point to like

Birgitta: Thank

Stephanie: with somebody for

Birgitta: So

Stephanie: Oh, what's that?

Birgitta: I had to figure it out. I didn't come in with a cheat sheet, Stephanie. So I, I mean, so I went the holistic route and I researched and I found a Reiki practitioner and I went to see her and she was, she was incredible. She was, amazing. She really helped me. and it wasn't just the healing she gave me, but she also talked to me, so helped me as well. And I suffered, and for many, many years. I'm not the only one, many people will suffer from this, the doormat syndrome. Welcome, wipe your feet, how can I help you? Oh, because do you know what? Birgitta was so afraid of of hurting other people, so I would always compromise, always compromise, and every single relationship that I was in, even this one, and that wasn't the last one, I would help them till the ends of the earth.

Whether it was financially, or finding jobs, or help them out in any other way, I would do it. And what happens? What happens when we do that? We walk in our own shadow, so to speak, and we neglect ourselves and how we feel. And it's like at the, at the, at the end, we're the ones that are hurting ourselves. We allow it. And I did. So I take full responsibility for that.

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. you found this Reiki practitioner, those first few times you, saw the practitioner, what did it do for you? What did it feel like? What, what were you getting from it? Reiki is one of those really, um, ambiguous kind of modalities that a lot of people, unless you've experienced it firsthand, they don't quite understand.

Birgitta: So it can either be done as distance healing or as hands on healing. So I went to see her, so it was really hands on healing. And it's really about rebalancing your energy center. So your energy, your auric field. And it really helped to calm me down and kind of see the bigger picture. But as I said, she also talked to me and that's the one thing she said, Birgitta. why have you allowed people to treat you like a doormat? And she was very honest about that. So that really helps me as well. But I actually trained under her and did level one and two in a space of, took me like one and a half years

Stephanie: Did you have an answer for her when she asked, why do you let people treat you like a doormat?

Birgitta: Because I was afraid of hurting, of, of hurting other people, you know, and I really wanted to help them, but you're not there to save them. And the thing is, we try and do so much for other people, but what we don't realize is that they also have to experience their own life. And if we, you know, if we stump their growth, we also stump our own growth, So sometimes we have to just let people be and let them walk their own journey. Because how else are they going to experience life? And how else are we going to progress and move forward in life?

Stephanie: Right. right. Yeah, I did a lot of that myself in my relationships through my twenties and thirties is, you know, if I only, if I only love you good enough, you'll see how good you are and you'll live up to your potential. Or you'll, you know, like you say, the, the money and the, you know, helping with jobs and the, you know, support I, I did a lot of that as well. I did a lot of, uh, maybe I can save you or maybe I can help you or, you know, those kinds of things. Yeah. And it, it didn't work in a hundred percent of the cases.

Birgitta: No,

no, no, and oftentimes when we were in relationships and it's, it's all our interpersonal relationships, many are reflections of what we need to heal within. And mind you, my ex is doing well now. He, uh, he did conquer his demons, so I, I respect him for that.

Yeah.

And I don't hate him, I have no bitterness, nothing. Uh, because if I were to carry that with me, then what would I have learned? And that is the thing, regardless of what, and people will think differently of that, but for me, regardless of what I have been through, I have nothing but gratitude for all my experiences. And I love each and every one of them for having been a part of my life, because how can I not? I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't gone through all these experiences.

Stephanie: Yes, it's a hard position to hold though. I know for sure myself that Even though I believe that to a T that, you know, if I hadn't done X, Y, and Z, then I wouldn't be who I am today. And that everything builds on top of each other. There are still times when I like look over my shoulder and I wonder, well, you know, well, what if I had done this? Or I wish I had done that. Or, you know, I wish I had smartened up sooner or, you know, what would have happened if I, you know, made that leap or that move. And so I, I still do find myself doing some. What do they call it? Monday morning quarterbacking, even of my own path.

Birgitta: Like the sliding door effects.

Stephanie: Yes. Yes. Sliding doors. Great movie.

Um, yeah. Yeah. If I had only, you know, chosen this instead of that. But honestly, anytime I play that game, I realized that if I had walked through any of those other sliding doors or made any of those other decisions, I I don't know, I couldn't feel confident that I would have ended up with my husband, Patrick, and he is my angel. Anytime I do play that, I wonder what if, you know, what would have, you know, if I had to give up my present, I'm not sure that I would do it.

Yeah.

Yeah. Tell me what happened the year you turned 40 Another big move.

Birgitta: That was:

Stephanie: You and me both.

like a SpongeBob, but yes, in:

Intermission

Stephanie: What inspired you to just from the from or from the UK to just go let's go to Florida?

Birgitta: Had to pull towards it for a very, very long time. And it was just that the market had crashed and it was like, huh. And the realtor said to me, he's like, do St. Petersburg, buy something in St. Petersburg and not in Tampa because St. Petersburg is up and coming. So I did. And, um, I mean, I got it for 50, 000 at the time. It's now worth about half mil. Um, but I, you know, I sold it. And so I met my then other ex in Florida

Stephanie: hmm your next boyfriend.

Birgitta: Yes. And he was alsoanother trip. It's always like, you know, you go through one experience and you think, yeah, this is not going to happen to me again. And then you roll into another one years later, years later, and it was like, this was an experience wrapped in a different kind of packaging.

Stephanie: Right, Well, I always love to say the universe gonna send you the same lesson over and over and over again until you learn it And each time it's gonna get a little bit more to so that the universe can get your attention.

Birgitta: I know. That's what, that's exactly what it was. And He got a reckless And reckless, like, uh, not a DUI, but a reckless, even though the car was parked and he didn't do a breathalyzer.

Sorry?

Stephanie: Wait, wait. wait. wait. How do you How do you, get a reckless driving, uh, uh, charge when a car is parked?

Birgitta: I, I, I don't understand that either, but he said, even though the car was off and it was parked and they wanted him to do a breathalyzer test. He refused and that's where the problem started.

okay.

t friend, she passed away. In:

He's a crazy cat lady because he couldn't part with his cats to be with me. He would build a cattery in my back garden and I'm like, you've got to be kidding me. You've got to be kidding me. Or, you know, we can put them in the garage. No, that is not going to happen. Anyhow, long story short, um, I moved there and he wouldn't leave me be. He had the keys to my home and, um, he said much, much later, he's like, yeah, but you threatened to go to the police. And I said, but you threatened me with immigration. And I was supposed to extend my visa and that got messy because I got into this, I was so anxious, even though I was working like crazy and he wasn't, um, you know, I helped pay his bills, um, he just couldn't get out of that funk out of that, you know, that that, depression.

He had never lost anyone before, and so that really hit him hard. That is no excuse. Um, because I often told him, you're procrastinating. I said, stop procrastinating and just accept the circumstances and heal. Um, but as he said much later, he's like, I was so afraid of losing you that I didn't work on me. You know, that he didn't work on himself. And. I actually sold my home to get away from him, and then I felt like such a failure that I bought another home in St. Pete, which was a bit of a money pit, because that's how bad I was And often, I would lie on the floor in the dark, just crying and screaming at the universe.

Why is this happening to me? I don't deserve this. You know, and I would just curse away. And, uh, the universe must've been like, my guides must've been like, Oh bro, Brigitte, you really asked for it this time. And so, and I'm sure they were like, ah, leaning backwards, you know, picking up the popcorn and thinking, well, how are you going to get out of this one? Are you finally going to learn? And I, when I, when I moved to place, it was actually. I did listen and because I was really exasperated, there was nothing left of me. I mean, I was pretty much skin over bones and uh, because that's what I did, you know, these were my coping mechanisms. I could work like a maniac, you know, playing Houdini with my emotions, just keep running and keep going.

And I was a pro at starving myself and people would say, well, you're really skinny. I'm like, yeah, that's my metabolism.

Right.

Well, you know, I mean, I'm five 11, um, I'm pretty lanky, but my sister advised me of Kambo, which is a shamanic frog medicine. And, um, I went to see a shaman a couple of hours away in Florida and, uh, it's very, very, very physical, um, because. What the shaman did, he was, he burned like four points, either in in the arm or in the leg. And for me, it was the leg and he put the frog poison on there.

And what happens is you start to purge pretty much straight away. You've got to drink two liters of water and then you purge. It's like everything just comes out and you have to run to the toilet as well. Um. And so that was a tough one, took me like four hours, and the shaman said, Do you know why it took you four hours to let everything go?

I promised my stepdad back in:

Um, But not even like two weeks later, after I'd done the first Kambo session, it was almost like the universe kicked me out of the house. And there was this fair. And, uh, a spiritualist there. And I went there and that's where I met my former mentor, Alania Starhawk. And what she did, was what you call an Akashic record healer.

That means you walk through the Akashic records, your past lives, to heal unhealed experiences that you've taken, you know, from those lifetimes into this lifetime. And, uh, in one of them, my Floridian ex had, uh, poisoned me with an arsenic. And he was saying that he was trying to help cure me, but I became sicker it took several months before I crossed over.

Um, and that was really funny because I had suffered immense issues with my stomach for many, many months. I was literally, I kid you not. I even have a picture of it still, skin over bones, and I couldn't figure it out. And you know, my guides were like, ah, Brigitta, listen, you want to get better? How about you ditch the guy? But it wasn't that simple. So, um, and it's funny because once that was healed, the energy changed overnight. And he, left me in peace and I could move forward with my life and he actually did the same. He picked up the pieces, and moved to a different place. And now he's doing really, really well. And he said to me, uh, he's like, if I hadn't met you, I wouldn't have been able to grow the way that, you know, I've kind of being able to grow. So he said, so I cannot thank you enough for that.

Stephanie: Okay. All right. So, so this brings us pretty much to the end of your Florida time. Is that right?

Birgitta: I left.

Stephanie: And then you moved back

Birgitta: To the UK.

Stephanie: the United Kingdom. Yeah.

Birgitta: Uh, the house was a money pit. Yo, gosh, I got ripped off by the builders. It was terrible because the builder had a drug problem. And so,

Stephanie: Oh, Jesus.

Birgitta:

I mean, we'd agreed that I would pay him in installments, which I did. Then the last installment finished, boom, he was gone. Like the wind. And the house was only done for like 70%. Yes, I did get it finished. It cost me a little bit more. And then there were issues. There were so many issues with it. But eventually I sold it after I'd returned to the UK. And, I sold it for pretty much a loss. At that point, I didn't really care anymore. I wanted to just get rid of it.

I was already in my forties, you know, I was like, um, 43. And I just said, said to my mom, I said, do you know all the people I know have gotten married and families, they have a home, they've got a job. I said, Look at me. What have I got? Absolutely nothing. And I said, I'm 43. And she looked at me and she's like, but Birgitta, look at you. You've traveled the world. You've seen different cultures. You've always worked wherever you've been in the world. Your life has been enriched. And she's like, and this is your path. Some people will settle for, you know, marriage and kids and, and having the house and just a steady job. And she's like, but no, you've done different things. And she's just like, but you know, I'm proud of you and all that you've achieved. Um, but it was still hard, you know, I'm, I'm not gonna lie.

It was hard for me because it took me six weeks to get a job, six weeks. And I was applying left, right, and center. And, um, I did.

Stephanie: What kind of jobs were you applying for?

Birgitta: Oh, anything from admin to even the McDonald's, cause I didn't care. Actually the McDonald's did hire me. It happened twice. They hired me, but it always like takes like two months because you gotta wait for the uniform. And by that time I, I found an office job.

Stephanie: So you're back the uK. You've gone through a bunch of holistic healing modalities. You've worked with, a shaman. You've worked with, uh, Akashic record healer, which is a new one to me. Um, tell me where you are mentally and emotionally after going through all those experiences.

Birgitta: Well, that's a good question. I understand life and the experiences we each go through. The thing is, we often, we're like drowning rats because we hang on to our experiences rather than looking at it from a different perspective. It's not like, you know, why is this happening to me, but actually why is this happening for me?

ough things because trust me,:

When you start to understand that, it's like, Oh, you know, I can deal with this. It's okay. And you don't make such a big deal out of it anymore. Life becomes different. Whatever you may go through. You know, we all vibe at this different level of consciousness, you know, of awareness and that is okay.

But for me, it's changed completely. I mean, I fell into my old programming a little bit this year because I had to do a role in my company. So I was working 60, 70 hours a week, continuously, pretty much this whole year, then, you know, promoting my book, doing the marketing, um, podcasts, you name it, and I was like this smoking little gerbil and I was burning out fast. Um, and so I decided I needed some peace and quiet and I moved to Spain. But not only that, I did again, grab the bull by the horns and I said to work, I'm sorry, I'm not doing this anymore. I cannot go on like this anymore. And, um, so from next year, the first of January, one role drops and I will start doing normal hours. It's not like I get paid for overtime. That ain't happening.

Stephanie: Right,

Birgitta: So it was a lesson and it's also a lesson to, for me especially, because many people get caught in this trap of just working, working, working and paying their bills and life is not about that. It's really about following our passions and cultivating joy within ourselves, doing what makes us happy.

Mm.

And I lost about eight kilograms neglecting myself. And there's no shame in that. Um, I've put it back on now, but I really thought to myself, you know what am I doing? I'm, I'm not doing things that I should be doing and things that I love. And that's really important in life, because if not, you come to that point in life where you're like, well, what if I'd done that? Or what if I'd done that and I don't want that anymore. So, I mean, yes, I'm in Spain right now. It's a period of transformation for me. I am pretty much, isolated. I'm not in the middle of a town, but I can see the ocean. I'm in a townhouse and, I have the inspiration to write again. And so, and that was the main thing. And it's all about the quality of life. It's so important.

Stephanie: So something you said a moment ago, about, what life is about. How do you, cultivate joy in your own life?

I've got my dog.

Birgitta: My dad always used to say this. When you get up in the morning, start the day with a smile. I start with my meditation and I end the day with my meditation. And it gives me so much clarity. And I appreciate every day that I've been given, because without the breath of life, Stephanie, we wouldn't be here.

So be grateful every day that you've been given because it's like another opportunity for you to make amends or to change your life. And there honestly is no right or wrong in how you decide to experience life. People will have their opinions, but, and it will rub off on people and it's like, yeah, but maybe I shouldn't be doing this. No, follow the song in your own heart. It took me many years to really get to that point and, now I just do that. And I do not bend over backwards like a weeping willow in the wind anymore. I do not do that. I've learned to set my boundaries. That's been really, really important.

Stephanie: And has that, um, allowed you to have more successful relationships with friends or romantic partners?

ng. I've been on my own since:

Stephanie: Okay.

Birgitta:I had to, look really deep within and cultivate that relationship with myself. You know, we often look for happiness outside of ourselves in other people, but everything is found within ourselves. And truth be told, yes, I've always been a social butterfly, but for the last heaven knows how many years I love my solitude. I love my own company. I really do. And there are very, very few people I allow in. Very few. I can count them on one hand and I don't even have to use my whole hand and that's okay. Besides that. You know, acquaintances, that's fine. But yeah, I love my own company.

Stephanie: That's great. Would you consider yourself a happy person now?

Birgitta: Yeah, I'm pretty happy I'm pretty happy. I still strive, I mean, I'm still a work in progress too. That doesn't mean I'm happy every single day.

Stephanie: Right, right. But if you compare say your late twenties or your early thirties or,

Birgitta: Totally different. And there's just a complete different. person. I'm not that needy, insecure anxious person anymore. I really don't carry the world on my shoulders anymore. I just, I don't

Stephanie: How did you learn to take that weight off your shoulders?

Birgitta: By alchemizing all my unhealed experiences.

But what works for one doesn't have to work for another. That's why I always say people, you have to do whatever agrees with your spirit. Whatever aligns with you.

Stephanie: Right. The things that have helped you are, are definitely on the woo, woo out there, end of the spectrum. And, um, I have used some of those modalities as well, not the same ones you're talking about. And it's interesting cause you go into them, or at least I did at the beginning with, you know, some level of skepticism of like, ugh, you know, all right, this is crazy. I can't believe I'm doing this. You know, someone talked me into it or whatever. Um, But a lot of them really do resonate at at deep levels and it at sort of incomprehensible levels. Um, and that being said, I've, I've had energy healings that I walk out of and go, nothing happened and nothing changed in my life.

It's always, an interesting part of the journey to, to find, this first sort of crazy woo woo out there modality and maybe get a little, you know, feel a little something or, or get a spark out of it or a nugget out of it. And then, to keep following your nose down that path and, I don't know, try things and you know, which things you like and which things like. That's been my experience.

Yeah. Well, Brigitta, I just want to thank you so much for joining me today and, and telling me your wild story. I thought I had wild twenties and thirties, but, um, no, you definitely put me to shame there. But, I am .I'm so pleased that, um, you've found a, a place of, of peace and stability and and happiness. So thank you so much for sharing your story.

Birgitta: No, thank you so much for having me, but I'm still not done traveling though. This is not my end destination.

Stephanie: Why would be. Good good for somebody like you who's traveled so much throughout your entire life. I can't imagine you'll ever be done traveling. It's just in your bones.

Birgitta: Oh yeah, absolutely it is. I mean, I leave stuff behind, I start again. And then I leave stuff behind. I don't care. It goes to charity. I just don't care. It's just material, isn't it?

Stephanie: Yeah. Wonderful. Well, happy travels.

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