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Interview: Sara Rhiannon, the Quit Sugar Coach
Episode 123rd January 2024 • PowerPivot • Leela Sinha
00:00:00 01:16:59

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"Shame is a paradigm that distances us from our power. It's a paradigm within ourselves that, when internalized, it keeps us from recognizing our own experience in a variety of ways, and also recognizing our own experience as valuable....

There's this whole culture that tells us to love ourselves, right? And, well, have you even gotten to know yourself? It's like self love just kind of happens when you really get to know yourself."

Listen in on a fascinating conversation between Leela Sinha and Sara Rhiannon (she/her), a hypnotist who uses somatic work and other interventions designed to un-shame the psyche. Sara has a particular specialty in helping people remove their cravings for sugar. Sara and Leela discuss the intersections of shame and anti-oppression work; kindness and redemption; creating safety and honesty in working groups; and that mushy feeling in your brain when you're learning something and seeing how your brain can be different than it was. Which, naturally, some people love, and others... well, not so much.

Links!

Find Sara on

Facebook by name, or as quit_sugar_coach on Instagram or TikTok.

For more on David Bedrick, visit https://www.davidbedrick.com/

For more on Kimberly Shepherd, check out: https://www.kimberlyshepherd.com/


Transcript and notes:

https://dev.intensivesinstitute.com/episode/interview-sara-rhiannon-the-quit-sugar-coach


Recorded 9 June 2023.

Transcripts

Leela Sinha

Hi everyone, and welcome to Power Pivot.

This is another one of our bonus special interview episodes. So sit down buckle in for a little bit longer episode. As most of you know, most episodes are about five to 20 minutes and this was probably going to run an hour so get comfortable, get some coffee, I have an amazing guest with us today.

I have Sara Rhiannon. She is someone I have known. She is someone I have worked with as a client. And that is to say I have been the client. And she is a hypnotist and most recently certified by David Bedrick in process-oriented facilitation, which involves somatic work and other interventions designed to unshame the psyche. Un-shame, we could use little of that in the world.

t craving sugar by the end of:

Sara Rhiannon 1:13

Me too. It's such a treat always to be connected with you and to connect and to connect with you in real time. Thank you for having me.

Leela Sinha 1:23

It's such a joy. I'm, I'm super excited about the ways that the things that you do intersect with, with like the things I do and also with really making the world a better place. So I want you to just tell the audience what you said right before I hit record. Because I said to Sara, okay, we're going to talk about like what we're going to do about the world, the state of the world from our own skill sets and our own business perspectives, like what can we specifically do? And she said:

Sara Rhiannon 1:54

I said, I'm the last person anybody should ever ask that question. I mean, I've got a lot of buffers of privilege, which I have spent considerable time, you know, becoming really intimately familiar with and this, that and the other. And that said, it's it's that part of my journey, and experience has definitely been a process of oh, wow, like, the more you think, you know, like the more you know, the more you don't know, so. But, you know, it's funny, like having the bio that I wrote, by the way, read back to me- like hearing it read back in the way that you beautifully and very sweetly read it. It's like, oh, like I am, I'm doing what I know how to do. I'm doing what I've learned on unshaming Oh, my gosh, for sure is something. Yeah, that's, that's definitely that's something I've got good stuff to say about. So. Yeah, it reminds me of how like, we don't have to be an expert in everything. We don't have to have the answers to everything. But the answers that we do have are, like really good, and are maybe even enough maybe even plentiful. So I like that. I like thinking of it like that.

Leela Sinha 3:20

So how do you feel about diving like right into the heart of it? Because I'm an intensive, and I'm pretty sure you're an intensive. And so that's where we find our joy and our meat? Is that okay with you? If I could just go right for the heart of it?

Sara Rhiannon 3:32

Absolutely. Yes.

Leela Sinha 3:34

How does shame intersect with anti oppression work?

Sara Rhiannon 3:41

I mean, how doesn't it? It's like, like, think of this. If somebody is growing up in a world, in a culture in a part of the world where, you know, all of the faces that they see on magazines don't look like their face. And all of the people being cast in the movies, you know, all the people like celebrity culture, right? All of the people that we are seeing being celebrated, whether it's in the movies, on the magazine covers, on the talk shows, you know, like- Wherever people are seeing other people on screens, the vast majority of people are able bodied, white, blonde, or, you know, thin, et cetera,. Have certain features, that all kinda look the same. And they're education's the same, and the way they talk and speak and is all different-

Leela Sinha 4:37

{with irony} White people all look the same?

Sara Rhiannon 4:38

Yeah, if, if it's, if it's- if all you're seeing everywhere in terms of who's being celebrated, who's being asked to make decisions, who's being looked to to make decisions, who's being looked to as the standard, nobody ever has to tell you that there's something wrong with you. It's just in the atmosphere. This is how the subconscious mind works. Nobody ever has to tell you anything. It's creating, the atmosphere is creating a shaming experience on its own.

Leela Sinha 5:14

Okay, so that's from one side. Now I want to ask because this is the thing that I've noticed in especially white-dominated liberal spaces- so people who want to do right, people who want to do good, people who are like just- white people trying to do the right thing. Not sure exactly how but doing their level best. And every time they feel like they've messed up a little, there's that shame. Every time they realize after the fact that they did it wrong. There's that shame, right? So that's like, yes, there's this thing that happens when the world doesn't look like you- I, for for any listeners who don't know, I'm multiracial and many other things that make me visually distinct from the people that I usually spend my time with. But, but what I'm more interested in is like, how because I think, you know, upopular take- I think that one of the major obstacles to doing true anti oppression change work is that shame.

Sara Rhiannon 6:20

I agree. So here is like kind of my two cents on that. And the way that I think about shame now is very different from like, from what I think most people... I've spent a lot of time studying. I mean, I've had the immense privilege of being really immersed in David Bedrick's perspective of shame and unshaming and it's quite different. Like so what I learned from him is that shame is a paradigm, it's not a feeling. It can manifest as a feeling for sure. But what I really like when I hear that example of like white people messing up, and like, like taking responsibility for that, you know, or like, reducing harm, and, like making it right, committing to doing better, I. I'm not saying that it's not shame. But what I am saying is that, I would call that more of feeling of like remorse, and maybe even embarrassment. Shame as a paradigm is much different than like a feeling of oh, "I messed up. Oh, I'm so bad. I'm so wrong. I just like, you know, fuck up all the time." We can go into that if you want.

Leela Sinha 7:39

Yeah.

Sara Rhiannon 7:39

So shame is an internal- the way that I would describe it, David would use probably very different language. But I'm going to use the language that obviously I understand. The way that I understand it in terms of what I've learned from him in particular. And this really makes sense to me, because I do think there's a difference between paradigm and feeling state. So let me say it this way: when I was growing up as a neurodivergent kid, and what was going into my subconscious was like, all of these different experiences of like, I'm not okay, I'm not learning fast enough, you know, in comparison to the other kids my age around me. And this, that, and the other, I internalized a self concept that caused me to dismiss my experience. That caused me to not know how to protect myself from harm. And that manifested in all kinds of ways as an adult. Here's the thing. Shame is a paradigm that distances us from our power, it's a it's a paradigm within ourselves that when internalized, it keeps us from recognizing our own experience in a variety of ways, and also recognizing our own experience as valuable. So for example, like, and I'm just going to say this really plainly, this may come with a little bit of like a content warning, trigger warning, but like, I was in a couple of relationships as an adult up until I was like, 35 or so years old. I didn't even know I was being hurt in those relationships.

Leela Sinha 9:23

Oh, god. Yeah.

Sara Rhiannon 9:24

I didn't have a clue. I mean, I was not only being hurt, but I would even say there was like, you know, borderline abuse happening in those. Definitely borderline in one, definitely full-on in the other that I'm thinking. It's like, this is what shame does to people. This is shame. Shame causes you to be so disconnected from not just your power, but like your gifts, your talents, what's really amazing about you, your aptitudes, what you have to bring to the table. I mean, this is like you know, the seat of what we might call impostor syndrome right here, right? This is what that's like one manifestation of that. That's how I understand shame. Shame is something that when internalized, it really blocks us from ourselves. So yes, obviously, this is a thing. This is, I think, probably more people experience than not, and this is part of how like when a white person messes up, it- Here's how I'll say this. And it's going to take me a minute to kind of get this out. The other thing that shame does is it not only distances us from our own experience, it not only distances us from our needs, or like I said, our gifts, our truths, right. But it's like if I'm a white person who messes up, and I've got, like, shame, if I've got that paradigm kind of activated, and those feelings of like really intense embarrassment, and remorse activated. I cannot focus on creating repair with you, if I am so stuck in my own feelings of like perfectionism, and I fucked up and I did something wrong. I've got to deal with that. So that I can create repair with you. So that my strategy, my creativity, and what I've got to bring to the table, my care for you, can be brought forth. Does that make sense? So it's like, I got to find a way to deal with my inner critic. Your inner criticism is another manifestation of that shame paradigm. So this is like, Is this making sense? If it's not tell me.

Leela Sinha:

Yeah, no, you're making perfect sense. And what I'm hearing as you talk about the other elements, this, this kind of insidious nonsense that our brains come up with- because it was not just white people, obviously, it's a lot of us who are- we're all soaked in this white supremacist colonialist mentality, and that that's what often feeds this. Because there's this kind of irreparability, this unredeemable quality. It's funny, when I was in, gosh, long time ago, when I was in seminary, one of the people I was in seminary with had a partner who wrote a "This, I Believe" essay. "This, I Believe" was a series of of radio pieces that came out on NPR. Gosh, yeah, long time ago. And then they published some of them in a book. anyway. This one person's "This, I Believe" essay was about "I Believe in Redemption," was the opening line. And it got me thinking about how much we don't believe in redemption. As a culture.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah. Wow, that's big.

Leela Sinha:

And if we don't believe in redemption as a culture, then of course, we're backed into this perfectionism. Because you only get one chance to get it right if you can't be redeemed.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, exactly. And so yeah, I mean, it's a tough cookie. It's a tough one. But what I've seen is like, the reason why I think this unshaming work is so valuable, is because it creates a space where we can get to know these facets of ourselves. So that when they happen, when they arise, it's not like oh, you go deal with yourself like in private, like, you know, you can deal with your own private hell privately. But it's like, I'm, I feel so blessed like to have learned as much as I have from this work, because if somebody did call my ass out, for whatever, I know, like that I've got the skills and the tools to be able to meet that person and really listen to them without drowning in whatever shame paradigm I may have internalized, like, as a kid or throughout my life. Like I know for sure, I may not have done like all of the anti oppression work that a person can do. I don't think that's even a thing anyway. But I can tell you right now, I have done a critical mass of unshaming work. Like that I can tell you and mean it. And now let's say what that means. Because that doesn't mean I never feel bad about myself or that I never experienced feelings of embarrassment or like, or anything like that. That's not what that means. It's that I expect that to happen. Like the result of unshaming work- there's not this expectation of like, oh, you're gonna I don't know it'd be like whatever the westernized like, let's let's just be real. The word healed. Subconsciously, for a lot of people means like, perfect. Like, we're gonna become perfect. We're done...

Leela Sinha:

I dust my hands, we're moving on that project is finished...

Sara Rhiannon:

Right, we're the best version of ourselves, or whatever. And it's like, no, that's not a thing. So what unshaming has done for me is that I just no longer have that expectation that I'm going to reach a certain point where I don't experience those feelings.Where I don't have that experience. But what I know for sure is that now I'm not saying I wouldn't feel embarrassed or upset or what have you, if that were to happen? I mean, literally, my handle on Instagram is quit_sugar_coach, and I'm already like, you know what I mean, that has all kinds of implications. And I can talk about that at some point, you know, too. There's a whole lot to say about that. But what I know what I really believe, myself, like, what I can really say out loud, and believe, as I'm saying it is that I've got the skill to not just like deal with the feelings, like in a soldier on, bootstrappy-like kind of way, but that they wouldn't stop me from repair where repair could be had. Assuming that that's even welcome. nobody owes me the opportunity, you know, for me to repair. nobody owes me that. But I know that I would be able to meet that in a very different way than I would have without the unshaming work. I hope that makes sense.

Leela Sinha:

Yeah, so let's turn our lens a little bit broader, right, we've been talking a lot about you and your specific experience, which is really useful, because there's nothing like a personal experience. And in my opinion, there's nothing like personal experience and application of something to really demonstrate the impact that it can have. Like for you to be able to go into a space or a new experience or a relationship or conversation and feel grounded enough that you can trust yourself to handle it well if somebody says or does something, and you're like, Oh, crap, I should have done something differently. Or if they call you out or whatever, like, that's an incredible tool to have in your pocket, especially for this kind of work. But also like, broadly, broadly... so you're I mean, I looking at the way that that running a business and marketing and whatever work, you found a very specific niche that would allow people to get some benefit from your skills and to allow you to very specifically to target clients, right? Like you can say, I do this thing, this very specific thing and people who want to do that very specific thing, know that you're the person to call for that. Which is kind of the marketing holy grail in most cases. You want people- you have to be able to say what you do. Like Coke makes soda. That's what they make. They they might own a bunch of other companies. But the Coke brand is associated with drinking fizzy, sugary, watery stuff. And if that's what you want, Coke, like we all know, Coke is one of the options for that. Pepsi is one of the options for that. Right? So for you. We all know now that if I feel like I'm craving sugar in a way that doesn't work for me, and I would like to stop craving sugar in a way that doesn't work for me, I should call Sarah. We know that. It's very straightforward. But there's a broader thing happening here, right? Because you're using this tool that has so many different avenues. So are you having people come back to you after they've done their one quit sugar session and being like, can I quit this other thing? Or can we change this other thing?

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, for sure. Not necessarily like in droves. But yeah, that like for people who have an interest in not only getting to know themselves, but like, it's like, it's funny, I- I feel I feel like in a lot of ways what I offer and what I do is kind of a bridge between like unshaming what we what we might call unshaming work and like just really like kind of hardboiled, you know transformation work.

Leela Sinha:

"Hard-Boiled Transformation Work." That's a mouthful.

Sara Rhiannon:

like when you leave this session with me you will feel differently. Like as in when you call a plumber, and have them come to your home to like clear out a pipe or whatever they do. Like it's going to be done, that jobs getting done for you. That's what I mean when I say like really hard-boiled transformation work. I mean, like, something is changing. Yeah, like, like you come to the session feeling like you can't stop thinking about- like you're ruminating on something whether it's a craving an intense emotional experience, you know, or something else entirely- you're gonna leave that session with some mass of that having been cleared. As well as unshamed, if that makes sense, like that's my promise, essentially.

Leela Sinha:

Right. Because, like the work that you and I did together was a lot more amorphous. And that was by design. Like, it wasn't an accident that that was not as specific. But, but when somebody comes to you and is like, I have this specific thing, I keep thinking about it, I really wish I wouldn't think about it like that anymore. Like, it's fine that it's in my head, but like, not all the time, it's taking up too much space, I rented it like, you know, one corner desk, and now it's taken up the entire co working space, it's not working.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah exactly.

Leela Sinha:

And so there's this place where like, there's a shame about having let it take over the entire co working space.

Sara Rhiannon:

Exactly. And so I feel like, it's funny to even think of unshaming as being like, different or somehow in its own world. But like, what I often hear from David, and what I think is really important is that, like, this is really worth people understanding: like sometimes the point of unshaming is not to transform something but so that you can have a totally different experience of like, whatever your tendencies are. David tells a beautiful story. And I know he wouldn't mind if I said this, because he tells this story in a variety of spaces, like probably most classes. But he worked with a client who was agoraphobic for like, decades, right. And he worked with that client for a number of years. She never left her house after the work that they did together. But what she discovered is, this woman loves being home. Imagine like, if that's your tendency. If something in you just doesn't want to go to your fucking mailbox. Imagine living that life. And it doesn't occur to you anymore, that you should figure that out. So that you go to your mailbox. And then from your mailbox, you go to the store, like imagine like that, like just being that like that person just being who they are. And feeling such a deep sense of safety and pleasure-

Leela Sinha:

and relief

Sara Rhiannon:

-in what kind of life yeah, and relief in a life that just feels deeply right to them.

Leela Sinha:

Yeah, yeah, I love that, that imagre of like, you know, a lot of us struggled to some extent or other with staying indoors during the kind of peak phase of the pandemic. And, of course, fire smoke also keeps us indoors. But imagine if you are somebody who is like, you know, it's funny, because all of our language in English that I can think of offhand, that references people who prefer to stay home and prefer to stay relatively separate from other people is judgmental, right? It has, in the same way that like, I had to invent the language of intensives and expansives. Because all the language we had for intensives was like, "Oh, you're a lot. You're too much. You're-" you know, like, all this stuff. And I was like, Where are the words that just describe this neutrally? Oh, there aren't any. Lovey. Well, then I guess we're gonna have to find some and, and this is the same thing, right? Because we think about like, you could be a recluse. You could be like the witch on the edge of town, which I know some of us are sort of reclaiming as an image or an archetype. But it's not like default in our society, being separate. You know, there's that stereotype of like the house in the old part of town that has a fence around it. It's a little bit unkempt, unkempt in the yard, the house maybe needs a little bit of tending, you can't really see what's going on in there. And the kids all say it's haunted, and it's, you know, the person who lives there is mean, right? Like, that stereotype is so embedded. What if you were just like, "I am the lady who stays home?"

Yeah, exactly. And so, it's like, that is like, I think a really beautiful illustration of what unshamng is about. Because, like, if, if my inclination is to just stay home, I would- it's like, who's who? Who's to say that hat's not my expansion? Who's to say that that's not my adventure, or my pleasure or my best life?

Yeah. I mean, I think think about like, all of the all- again, I'm like back in the fairy tales and the archetypes like, think about even the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. Her father is that person. Right? He lives on the edge of town, but he's also an inventor. He invents actual useful things. You know why he's able to do that? Because he lives on the edge of town and doesn't talk to other people and doesn't care what they think. And doesn't care if hey think he's crazy. He just does what he does. And Belle runs interference and provides a buffer. But what if your own brain could run that interference and provide that buffer? What if you could just be like, yeah, yeah, I don't, I don't want to go further than the edge of my-I don't want to go outside the walls of my house. I actually really like it here.

Sara Rhiannon:

Exactly. And so that's what unshaming does. It gives people a real chance like to get to know, like, what's actually true in their experience. And then it's like, "should" becomes something that goes from, like, a real thing, to: it's just a thought. It's no longer something that has power. Like, imagine living a life where "should" is just not a thing. And we're, you know, going back to what you said about redemption. I think there's a real fear that well, if nobody ever thought they should be a certain way, or do a certain thing, you know, like we need to- we can't have accountability without shame or without guilt. Now, guilt and shame are different. And I don't want to go down a whole thing with that, because I like the conversation we're having. But I think remorse would be completely different in our experience without shame. I think guilt and like self reflection, it wouldn't go away, it would just be a completely different experience. I think I'm more likely to be accountable for any harm that I've done, without shame having a chokehold on me, you know, then not. So that's. But that's the cool thing about it is that people really get to get to know themselves. And through that, you know, there's this whole culture that tells us to, like love ourselves, right? And it's like, well, have you even gotten to know yourself? Like, maybe do that.

Leela Sinha:

So I love that so much. Because this dovetails obviously, with the work that I do. So many people come to me and are like, "Oh, my God, I'm an intensive. There's nothing wrong with me." Like that is honest to God, one of the first lines out of a lot of people's mouths. Like, ah, there's nothing wrong with me, there's nothing wrong with the way that I think there's nothing wrong with the way that I function. Oh, I just have a phasic work cycle. I just work like hell, and then I rest and I work like hell and then I rest. That's just how I am.

Sara Rhiannon:

Um-hm, wow, beautiful.

Leela Sinha:

And I'm like, Yeah, that's just how you are. So that's just what you plan for. You just like, tell the people around you, get yourself hired into a job that accommodates that. Like, if you run a business, expect that. Expect that you will push for a while and then stop. You'll be wildly generative, and then you'll stop. And that's all part of the cycle. It's all part of the process. Once you know it's like that, you can plan for it. And then you're right, that like dissolves the should. So not- because what we want to do is get away from "I should be" working the same amount every day, every week, all the time. "I should be" equally generative, every day. "I should be" less excited. "I should be" more businesslike, whatever the heck that is. Right. Like and, and, and so it is it's really about creating an atmosphere that normalizes us as us. And lifts the shame so that then we can make conscious decisions. It's not like we don't decide that we need to change something about ourselves sometimes. But it's made from a- it's made from a less emotionally loaded place.

Sara Rhiannon:

Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And when I noticed, I don't know I'm sure your clients have noticed this too. Like, how much fun how much more do they just- it's like self love just kind of happens when you really get to know yourself. It's not- like I feel like all the self love culture that we see is just like a whole lot of like, you know, happy face stickers on like an empty gas tank. Like "I know i'm 'sposed to love myself, I know I'm supposed to love my body the way it is and like blah, blah, blah and like, eh" it's like well get like, it's like there's there's just this- It's like even self love becomes a "should" but there's like nobody's really offering like a clear path to whatever that experience is. There are a lot of affirmations. There's a lot of like, take the supplements and eat these things and, you know, do these exercises and-

Leela Sinha:

Let's add shoulds on top of the list of shoulds we already have. And then if you are good enough and you will be accepted. Then you will be acceptable, right, this idea that you have to meet some kind of standard instead of like- when you meet a baby you love the baby first.

Sara Rhiannon:

yeah, right.

Leela Sinha:

Like why should we have to be, you know, between the ages of zero and two to be loved first?

Sara Rhiannon:

Oh, God. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. And so it's like, I hear hear people say all the time, like, I should take better care of myself, I should do this, I should do that. And it's like, well, what's it like for you to just do what you actually do? What What kind of intelligence is flowing through you that has you, you know, reaching for sugar? that has you reaching for whatever the case may be? Or has you doing absolutely nothing, when you feel like you should be doing something. I want to get to know that person. I want to help you meet that person. Underneath all the stuff you've been told. And all the thoughts that are happening, which are not your fault. It's the atmosphere like that you've been living in. Like, none of this is your fault. And so like the conundrum of "not feeling like it." I mean, there's a whole lot of intelligence and information that when people can get to know it, it's like, then they just- like how can you- can't help but love yourself, once you've gotten to know that person. Self love just, it's more like a phenomenon is more like a result. I feel like the journey getting there is in the Getting to know, is in the meeting the intelligence. That's in- that's like the unshaming, you know, that's my understanding of how to do that. But I hear very few people actually talking about it in that way. And there's just a whole lot of like, "self love is being performed really well." In all, you know, kind of this that and the other. But yeah, anyway, you were- I want to hear what you're gonna say.

Leela Sinha:

I think that there's a kind of, there's a kind of kindness that's lacking. Right now in the world, like, we don't know how to be kind to ourselves. Have you ever done that thing where you like pick an object, the stereotype is kind of you lie down in the grass outside. But if you're not in a place with grass, or you don't like being outside, then it doesn't have to be anything outside. You just pick like any object, any object at all. And you just stare at it. Or you look at your hand and you just stare at it for a while. Until you realize like how exquisite it is. How fascinating it is, how engaging it is. Just that thing that you're staring at whether it's a pencil or a battery, or your fingertip or whatever, like- And I feel like what you're talking about doing is is doing that, but with yourself. Right? Like, let's just find out, like, what if we, Kimberly Shepard posted a thing about and if, for listeners, if you don't know Kimberly Shepard's work, you need to know Kimberly Shepards work even if you don't have any kids who are going to college because she does like young adult and and high school, and college prep and and coaching. But even if you don't have anybody who falls into that, you should just follow her, just follow her on social media.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yea, I completely agree.

Leela Sinha:

But Kimberly posted a thing about presuming competence in your children, because she talks about kids, especially older kids. But she talks about how she was taught to presume competence in her child when her child went to a nursery school that had a philosophy of presumed competence. That assuming that if a kid did something, there was a reason behind it. That the kid had actually thought it through. And that the adults just maybe couldn't understand how the kid was thinking. And like what if we assumed that like you said, if we're reaching for a particular food, even though there's some internal sense- and I would even argue that we don't feel like we should or shouldn't do things, we think that we should or shouldn't do things.

Sara Rhiannon:

Mm hmm. Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

And then that thought creates a feeling of like, dissonance or discomfort or guilt or whatever. Because Because what we are feeling is what we're acting on.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, for sure.

Leela Sinha:

And so it's like, what, what would it be like to move through the world and just be at peace, be- to trust ourselves to presume our own competence? To be like if we're doing this there must be a reason. And if this is in conflict with something else that we feel like we should do, or we'd like to do, or we want to do, or something else that we've seen have a result that we want. Where is the dissonance, the or the like, where are the gears slipping between those two things? Why? Why am I doing this thing that I'm doing? And it's the kind of the kind of flipside of that "what's your payoff" question that some therapists and coaches will ask. But I like this one better.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't say that. Yeah, the payoff thing is a little tricky, and has I think, kind of threads of shaming, witnessing kind of, like, woven into that. I would say there's a whole, I wouldn't say there's a payoff. Because let me tell you something, people, you know, do the thing that that they're doing. And then they look at the payoff. And they think, Well, what the hell's wrong with me? Why would I do that? Why did I do that? And they're questioning all of that. That's usually what happens when the payoff has become realized. Right? But what's happening is, I wouldn't say there's a payoff, I would say, there's an entire universe of experience happening in that person. They're trying to do something. They're trying to do something. Like I used to, there's certain things I used to do as a teen, that I don't- I don't want to say that what they are, because I don't want to put that image in people's minds, because I'm very sensitive to like, you know, imagery and stuff like that. But there are certain- and I wouldn't call it self harm, but it's like it could- Anyway, so there's certain things I used to do as a teenager, where, like- What I'm very clear about now is like I was trying to pull something out of me. Every time I would like, pull my hair, whether it was like, you know, hair in my arm or something, I would I- was trying to pull something out. Like it was very literal. But I'm telling you right now, I had no clue that that's what I was doing. When I was doing that. Something was seeping into me that I was desperately trying to pull out. But of course, on the outside looking in, it would look like, oh, that person's like harming themselves. Oh, they need to love themselves. And it's like, Well, let's find out what she's actually doing. Makes sense?

Leela Sinha:

Yeah.

Sara Rhiannon:

So we can really look at it like, that's a big part of the somatic work that I do, too, is that, like, not just looking to the body for wisdom, but like looking at the actual behavior, as like a somatic intelligence that is being carried out. Let's get to know what that's like.

Leela Sinha:

So what happens? Here we go deep again, what happens when an entire community of people does that? Like imagine that, that you had, you know, a community of 50 people, or 100 people or 200 people, interconnected people who interact regularly who support each other. What happens when an entire community of people does that and gets that relationship with their somatic experience in that relationship with their shame? Or lack of shame now? What happens? How does it change things?

Sara Rhiannon:

When Okay, so let's talk about this for a moment. Like when you say a group of people doing the same, thing you mean like a group of people all doing like the same behavior? Or like having the same tendency? Give me like an example like, what do you-

Leela Sinha:

Let's suppose that you came into an entire group of people. And, you know, in my head, what I'm visualizing is like a town. But imagine, you know, we live in a highly interconnected online world. So it wouldn't necessarily need to be a town. But what happens when a group of people who interact regularly, all go through this unshaming process, all go through this somatic awareness process? What happens when all of the people that you're surrounded with or let's say, 85% of the people you're surrounded with, have this this experience this skill set these tools that they use, and that they regularly, regularly return to? In the way that when I was a kid, going to therapy was a thing that only people in New York City did. Like that was-

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

And it was only for like, specific people, like very few people had a therapist. And there was this kind of stereotype of wealthy New Yorkers. Oh, yeah, I have a therapist, right? Like, and now almost everybody I know thinks that therapy is a good idea. And if you can afford it, or if your insurance will cover it, you should be in therapy with a good therapist. Like this idea that we need that kind of support for the challenges in our lives, not necessarily continuously, but certainly intermittently. That every so often, you gotta go unpack stuff. Like that kind of thing. But imagine. So the transformation from when I was a child to now is the transformation from therapy being almost a shameful thing that you shouldn't need and if you do, you're kind of weird; to being something that we generally understand to be supportive and that many of us have tools from out therapists. So much so that you can go on Twitter and find a thread of advice from your therapist this week, like people will just go, I don't know, Twitter has gotten to be a mess. But it used to be that you could go on Twitter and find a thread where people were just posting the insights they got from therapy and like, people who couldn't afford therapy, or who didn't have a great therapy week would learn something from that thread. So imagine a community of people who all have these skills, what what does that change?

Sara Rhiannon:

I mean, I don't know exactly, because I've never seen that happen. And it's hard to like, I'm, I'm thoroughly curious and thoroughly interested. Like, that's the kind of project I would be so down, like to take on. Not just by myself, but like, you know, that would be like a really fun and cool thing like to do. I don't know exactly what would happen. I think it wouldn't hurt, you know, like

Leela Sinha:

C'mon, dream deeper than that.

Sara Rhiannon:

I mean, it's just, well, I feel like I've heard people say, like, if everybody like, you know, could just, you know, whatever, like, have this tool or have this thing? I mean, I think what we would see is that for sure- like some people would have immense, would find immense value in it. I think there would still be people who maybe wouldn't quite see the value in it. I still think there would be like, Yeah, it's like, for some people, it's great. And for others, it's like, oh, that's a nice idea. Like, that's great for that person, I don't know that it would necessarily affect each person in the same way. Similar to how, like- I'll tell you one thing, like I get on the phone with a lot of people I've worked with a lot of people. I do not bat a thousand. And I bring like the same skill set to like, every call I interact with the person as needed. I think the thing to understand about these tools is that like, what makes them so amazing and so effective and useful is that we're working with the person's subjective experience. We're not working with a set of like, objective concepts and ideas that we're telling people like, like, Oh, these are like guidelines for how to live or this is like what you should be doing. This is like the opposite. Right? So I think, what if a whole town of people got to go through an unshaming process, I think there would be like really visible changes that you would see, but then there would be also changes that would be happening completely outside of awareness that we might not see in terms of like I said, like a hardboiled transformation, but that person's experience of themselves would be very different. Now, what would that mean, in terms of how they impact other people and how they impact the world? Again, I? Yeah, it's, I'm not, I'm not gonna say that it's hard to imagine, because I can imagine, you know, the person who's not- who's living like on the edge of town who's not interacting with the people not believing that they should. I mean, we may not see, like the energetic relationship, or the energetic impact that that person like buzzing in their homes by themselves has on the rest of a town, for example. But for sure, people would, I think would feel very differently inside their own experience of themselves, and they might interact with each other in a more honest way. I think people would discover that they just don't have time to do things that are not that important to them. And they may discover going all in on what's actually important to them, and really realizing, you know, the gifts that they have to go all in on. I think some of those things would become very, not only possible, but likely. Now how that would look in terms of a town interacting together. Yeah, it's it's kind of hard even for me to imagine, but I'm, I'm down for the idea. I'm down to spend more time imagining that.

Leela Sinha:

Yeah, I mean, to me, the first thing that I think of is, is sort of what happened in bits and pieces and bibs and bobs during the pandemic, like heart of the lockdown when everybody was still paying attention to it, as opposed to now. When when, like, people were like, You know what, I could die, I could die from this thing, I'm not gonna waste my time working for this terrible job. I don't have the patience for this terrible- like, we're still seeing it, you know, this kind of pressure to return to office and the people who were told they would be able to work from home indefinitely and now the companies are like, Oh, no, actually, we were kidding. And people are like, I moved halfway across the country based on your, your information. You can't just un-decide that, like, that's not how that works. And if you do that, I'm quitting. And so many more companies realizing that they can, that they that they can work remotely, that they can have a fully distributed team that they can give up all of that very expensive office rent, and put a fraction of the money into giving people a home office stipend. And people who still want to go into a communal workspace can then sign up with a, you know, an office space or a co working space or whatever, to get some of that experience. And, you know, this, this RTO push is so- there's so many shoulds? How many, like, there's so much pressure in it? And and what would it be like? If, if, if everybody was just able to say, Nope, I know what my limits are and aren't. I know what my boundaries are and aren't. And like, no judgment, no shade, but I'm not doing that. And

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, I mean, the thing about the unshaming process and these kinds of tools is that like, every- not everybody will arrive at that place of self knowing within the same timeframe, right. So like, some people would have to spend years. And it might not even be something- like a lot of people are really content to continue on being comfortably numb. And that's okay. So you'd like you would still have people like that. I mean, I, I talk to people, it doesn't happen often. But every once in a while, like somebody thinks like that all this unshaming and somatic stuff, like sounds so good, right? And they get on the phone with me. And they're like, I don't really see the point.

Leela Sinha:

Where they say like that, actually, like, I understand why you say it's a good thing. But that sounds really uncomfortable. And no, thank you.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, exactly. So not everybody wants to do that, unfortunately. Now, I but I think like, what we're seeing is that even though most people may not have the language for what we might call unshaming, yet, shame is definitely a bigger conversation that's starting to be had. And how that relates to boundaries and people's value systems, their their needs, all of those things. People are definitely getting further into relationship with that than I think they ever have. So yeah, hell yeah, we're seeing more of that. And I think it would probably still just be- I don't know if it would be as messy and in like, like, kind of conflicting as your as we're seeing now. Right. But, yeah, I think it would still be really just kind of messy, everybody's going to arrive to whatever that self knowing point is at a different time. Some people it's going to take a while for them to even see the value of it for whatever reason. And if people are benefiting from lots of shoulds being in place that are being put on other people... yeah, probably not their first priority would be like to create an unshaming atmosphere. So there's all that too,

Leela Sinha:

I agree. And also, I just- my experience of, of groups of people. And I know that we're coming in some ways, we're coming to this conversation from two different locations, because you're coming from primarily individual work. And I'm coming from a background of parish ministry, where one of the main things we're thinking about is how the group interacts with itself.

Sara Rhiannon:

Beautiful, yeah.

Leela Sinha:

And and we can presume, in that group, a certain amount of, of agreement on broad goals. And also we can find in those groups an incredible amount of disagreement, especially when it makes people uncomfortable to make change, which it usually does. But my experience of groups is that there is a tipping point, there are several tipping points. And one of those tipping points is when you have a group culture, and you get more than 25% of that group, which is not that much. When you get more than 25% of that group, doing something significantly different from what the group culture has been, the group changes. If you want to make a culture in a group, and you don't want to do an enormous amount of active work on that maintenance of that culture, what you do is you keep the influx of new people below 25%. And so when I think about like, how do we move? How do we move White supremacist culture? How do we move ableist culture? How do we move all of these things that are so profoundly embedded everywhere from architecture to the structures of academia to the way we recognize knowledge and information trends? Like it's everywhere, right? When I think about that, I think what if just 25%, 26% of people in a group, in a small group- like I'm not, I don't have this vision that we're gonna be able to change 25% of the world, at least not right off. But what if, what if we have a group of 100 people, which is a very small congregation? Or what if we have a group of 600 people which in my denomination is kind of a mid sized large congregation, we have 600 people, and you get a quarter of those people? What do you what if you give them these tools, and they're already kind of moving in the same direction, they already kind of agree on what they want to do? What what happens if you introduce them to the tools to lift the shame out of the system? How does that change how they interact? How does that change how they think about each other, like, just with intensives and expansives... when I introduce this to a group of people, and sometimes it's just a leadership team of like, six; sometimes it's a slightly larger group, sometimes it's 50, right. But when I introduce this to a group of people, and they start to get it, and the intensives become less ashamed of their intensiveness, and the expansives become less ashamed of their needs- because that's what happens. Intensives become less ashamed of who they are, and expansives become less ashamed of what they need. And then they start to- really see and love and understand, see that exquisiteness in each other, right, They, they start to fall in love with themselves and with each other. Start to accept themselves and de-shame their experience of themselves, and they can deshame their experience of the other. And I know that your tools and my tools for this are different. And we use that word slightly differently, but it's but it's cousins, right?

Sara Rhiannon:

Oh, for sure. Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

Like whath appens is the people begin to appreciate each other. They stop judging each other. And then we back out of Gottman's four horsemen of the relationship Apocalypse that I've talked about all the time, in work relationships, this idea that we want to get rid of contempt, we want to get rid of stonewalling, we want to get rid of like we don't even want to have those things happen in the first place. But even if we've gotten down so far down that road that we have contempt in the system. And Gottman would say if you've got contempt, you're at the third of four horsemen. That's bad. Maybe second, but I'm pretty sure it's third. stonewalling is last. And if you've hit stonewalling, you're really sunk. But and he sees them as a progression. But but if you if even if you've gotten all the way to contempt, when when you introduce tools for mutual appreciation, there's this sudden shift in the conversation. It's like, Oh, thank God, you like all this fiddly details? Because I sure as heck don't.

Sara Rhiannon:

yeah, for sure. Absolutely. Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

And like the relief- you know, like, when somebody walks in, and you don't really like them, you don't really understand them and so like your shoulders go up a little bit. And it changes, it changes into relief, it changes into spaciousness, it changes into collaboration. And so I'm thinking about, like, what happens if if your tools were to be in a large system, like several-hundred people system even. Or several thousand people. And there were enough people walking around doing that, thinking about it that way, engaging that way, carrying their own power. Because my thing is that everybody has power, somehow. Carrying their own power into that system and being like, you know, I don't always see eye to eye with this person. I don't really understand this person all the time. But damn, they're a good presenter. And I'm really glad they're a good presenter, because I hate being on the stage. And so we just trade, I make a slide deck and they get up on the stage. And it's great.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I think that- I mean, all of what you're saying makes sense. I don't have a ton of experience working in groups in that way. And that's like, just very kind of, you know, like, that's just my personality. That's just kind of how I work best. I've done group coaching calls, and certainly lead like processes and tools and stuff like that, but it's It sounds like you're really talking about, like the nitty gritty of like the unfolding. Not just like bringing people together having them learn tools, but you're talking about people who have relationships, right, like with each other, which is, that's not a group coaching atmosphere, right? That's so different

Leela Sinha:

No, this is a group or an existing team or people that that are hoping to or expecting to build relationships going forward, which is kind of my dream Institute, right is that members of the institute will get to know each other and will interact with each other and will become connected. Will form one of those many social networks that we that we need as social beings. Like even if you live on the edge of town, you live on the edge of town. Somebody has to be sufficiently engaged with you to bring your groceries if you're not going to go out for them.

Sara Rhiannon:

True. Yeah, exactly.

Leela Sinha:

There's still an engagement. There's still an interrelationship there. And so like, when I think about the tools that you're offering, I don't just think about the transformation for the individual, because I'm watching this on Facebook. And I have joked for years that my presence on Facebook is sort of like being the mayor of a small town. So I go on Facebook, and I stroll around and I see how people are- And when I say small town, I mean, like the 867 person, small town I lived in, in rural Maine.

Sara Rhiannon:

Right, sure, yeah.

Leela Sinha:

And so even though I have more friends on Facebook than live in that town, and, and you know, the way that that would work, if you're a minister, Mayor or whatever, you you go downtown, periodically, you stroll into the shops, and you say, Hello. And you sit down on somebody's porch, and you have a cup of tea or coffee, and you have a chat with them. And you catch up on all the news at the general store. Like literally that is how small towns work for people who don't know. Like, because I lived in suburbs and large cities for a long time. But once I started living in small towns, I realized that this very in person, very materially present way of being is in fact how you stay in touch with people in a small town. You know, if you haven't heard from somebody in a while you give them a call, or you ask the grapevine. The grapevine will tell you, Oh, yeah, Jimmy's been laid up with a sore leg for six weeks. Oh, God, well, are we going to have a bean supper for him or what? Right, like there's a, there's a very- bean supper's are a fundraising tool, a community- it's crowdfunding, old fashioned crowdfunding, basically. Everybody comes to bean supper and kicks a little money into the bucket, and then the person can rebuild their house or pay their medical bill or whatever. And, and so when I think of, of the tools that you have, I think of them in terms of the way that they transform relationships over time. The longitudinal impact of doing this work in the world. Because I'm excited about your work, not just because it's wonderful anyway, not just because I really believe in hypnosis, and I think about hypnosis and like, the ways that- the things that it teaches us about how plastic our brains are, and the things that it teaches us about how we can change ourselves. Not just on the individual front, but like also what happens when five people who know each other on Facebook all do a quit sugar session. What happens when 25 People all do a- what are you calling the other sessions you doing? I know you're doing 45 minutes, something else session something?

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah. It's like, well, one of my clients called it the resistance remover, because it like, it's like that feeling of dread, right? Like, I want to do this. I have desire, but I also have dread. That's, that's what that is.

Leela Sinha:

Right. I have resistance to doing this. And sometimes it's something that seems like it should be a no brainer. Like, oh, I should write an email every week. And I don't. I finally just released myself from that. I was like, My people don't want me to yammer away just because my jaws hinge. They want me to say something significant are not saying anything at all. So my email list is very sporadic. But that's not true for everybody. Some people are, especially if they're speaking to an expensive audience- that that every week email is a good thing. It's, it's useful. And if you have resistance to that, that can be really painful. And it can that can cause shame. Like, I should want to do this. I didn't do this. I skipped last week. Now what like I told them, it would be weekly, it's now monthly.

Sara Rhiannon:

Right? Exactly.

Leela Sinha:

Like I want to start a substack I have plenty of things to say, but I can't make myself sit down and write them down.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

And sometimes, you know, with the clients that I work with, sometimes it's like, oh, there's a single point of resistance and we can just like mechanically manage it. Systemically manage it. But sometimes it's in your head. But I think about what happens. What happens if we watch this? Because I'm watching this ripple out on Facebook, where people are doing these quit sugar sessions. People are doing these resistance removal sessions. Right and over time, everybody is thinking differently about what's possible for them.

Sara Rhiannon:

Oh, Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, I, personally, going back to like groups of people who- who work together. Who already have a relationship who already have dynamics that have been in place. I mean, I just love the idea of like getting those people into a room together, guiding them through a really easy tool, or like a really easy process. Where, like, if we look at, I'm gonna laugh at myself, because I hardly ever use the word or the phrase "limiting beliefs." Like, like, the experiences that people are having, but are not saying. Like, if we could just clear those like, boom, boom, boom, like one right after the other.

Leela Sinha:

Easy button

Sara Rhiannon:

You know, hit the easy button. I mean, yeah, it's, I think it's pretty obvious that those dynamics would shift pretty powerfully. If five people who already work together, who have like rejection sensitivity stuff, or two out of five of those people have that. And to whatever degree, it's just like, a fear that's there for the other, you know, three or four or however. People just clearing that up like that. It's just, you know, rejection not having as heavy as a charge, or being told no, or having to say no. It's like if those things just don't have the personal charge in the body or the mind that they once did. I mean, yeah, that's a group of people who will very likely discover a safety in being honest with each other to a degree that they hadn't been able to, through no fault of their own. I mean, yeah, like, anybody want to hire me to do that, like I'm down? That's something I can do even though I don't have group like experience with that. That is something I can replicate very easily just as an example. Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

But what I'm imagining is like even when you work with people one on one, because that's kind of the heart of the work that you do, right? Even if you're working with these people, one on one, and even if we're all just loosely connected and on Facebook together.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah,

Leela Sinha:

Once you know, what's possible with one thing, right? Once you've had that first experience, whether it's sugar, you know, I got my first experiences with hypnosis, in my hypnosis certification training. Well, not my first first, but most of my experiences with hypnosis early on, were in my training. Because it was an eight day six hours a day training.

Sara Rhiannon:

Wow,

Leela Sinha:

We did a lot of practicing on each other. And, but most people are getting this like, first experience this experience of like, oh, I started this 90 minute session craving sugar. Now I don't. Oh, I started this 90 minute session, resisting writing emails, now I don't. Or whatever it is. Now we know, like you have a lived experience of how your brain can be different. And when you have a bunch of people where you don't have to explain it. Because when I first got involved with hypnosis, I would tell people, listen, I can just make that easy for you. You want me to do that? And they'd be like, no.

Sara Rhiannon:

oh yeah, sure. Absolutely.

Leela Sinha:

No, and they'd be like, no, no, no, no, no, no, you can't be in my brain at that level. I was like, okay, like, I absolutely wouldn't ever work on someone without consent. But, but also it astonished me that people didn't want it. But once you've had that one experience, that one open door, then it's like, you move in a circle of people who all understand that that's possible.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

And everybody understands that that tool is available. It's like, you've suddenly given somebody that first experience of a pry bar. And before that, they were just prying away at the edges of boards with their fingertips.

Sara Rhiannon:

Oof. Yeah, exactly.

Leela Sinha:

And then they're like, Oh, my God, pry bars exist. I could use the pry bar on this, I could use the pry bar and that. And it's not always going to be perfect tool, but it opens the sense of possibility, it opens a sense of collective "oh, let's see if we can fix this problem with that.? Oh, I wonder if there's a related tool, right." And this is where the depth of your work comes in. I wonder if you know, maybe it's not exactly the same tool you used for for quit sugar, but maybe it's it's a related tool. Maybe I need to go deeper into this unshaming work, maybe? What would it feel like if I just wasn't ashamed of of who I am and how I am in the world? Like overall. I wonder how many sessions it would take to get there. You know, I wonder how many sessions it would take so that I wasn't constantly running into this very subtle, you know, suddenly- I'm walking through clam flats in mud up to my hips instead of walking across a mowed field.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, for sure. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I be so- I don't know how it's rippling out just yet. I mean, I I for sure want to hear those stories. Dang. Like, yeah, I'm into it. I don't know the answer exactly. I don't know how it's rippling out. But I am certainly interested, like to know that

Leela Sinha:

You're starting to interview your clients, right? The ones who've already-

Sara Rhiannon:

Yes. I hadn't- I know and I don't know that I would have thought to have asked that. So wow, Major, massive thank you for for just handing that, to me. That's really delightful and lovely of you.

Leela Sinha:

I mean, it's something that that I'm fascinated by. The the ways that even individual work like this hypnosis work, can can allow us to open the doors, to really transform our society in ways that we're obviously encountering subconscious resistance. With things like anti racism work, we're obviously encountering subconscious resistance when you say to somebody, Hey, why isn't there a ramp to the dais at this event? And the person's like, ah, we just don't have ramps for that. And it's like, What do you mean, you don't have ramps? You have plywood, you have two by fours? Why is there not a ramp?

Sara Rhiannon:

Exactly

Leela Sinha:

...having to anticipate that somebody might need a ramp to reach the stage. And, you know, this happens all the time, where they've invited a presenter, who uses a chair uses some other kind of mobility aid and, and folks can't actually get to the podium. Or the podium is like, you know, four feet too tall for them. And nobody has thought to make any accommodation for that. And that's when they know they have somebody coming.

Sara Rhiannon:

I mean, it's just wild. Yeah. And yet it happens all the time. Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

But what if- but you know, that the people running these events don't want to- like they're not waking up in the morning and being like, I know, let's create ability barriers! That's not how they work. And in the moment they're caught out, they're ashamed. They're frustrated, they're usually overwhelmed, because they're running an event and the event's happening right now. And they don't know how to solve that problem right now. But like, what if? What if we could just, yeah, what can you do? Like I have some ideas for work that I want to launch, that that uses the same kinds of tools to dispel that kind of resistance.

Sara Rhiannon:

Hmm, yeah. Oh, my gosh, I think I mean, I can't think of a better use of these tools, then some the the kind of change, like what you're describing. That's an effect that I'm definitely interested in causing. And yeah it's interesting, like, even the unshaming work, like, I notice that there's something in me that- I'm not saying I do this perfectly, but I would say that mindset of like accommodating and being interested in the person's experience, like my clients' experience, for example. I would say that's way more there, through all of these tools than, like, the first coaching, you know, certification I ever got way back in the day. Like, you know, what I mean? The mindset of just being interested in that for somebody else, like on their behalf, and being not just willing to accommodate, but like, looking for, like, what's the need? And anticipating that before they even have to ask me, for example. That's on my mind, very naturally, in a way that it wouldn't have been just like what you're describing, like the person who's just doing their best to like, fulfill the role of putting on the event in the best way that they've known how up up until this point. Like, we want that expansive possibility to be light and easy on their system. So that they can have all of the strategy and all of the creativity that's in them, available to them to meet, like the needs and think of accommodations before accommodations need to be met in the moment. Absolutely. I'm into it.

Leela Sinha:

Yeah. And like, I can imagine things that are just like nimbleness sessions that like reduce the stress of changing, of pivoting.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yes, exactly. That's part of why people are able to do something like quit sugar in one freaking session.

Leela Sinha:

Right.

Sara Rhiannon:

If you had told me that it was possible in six sessions a year ago, I would have been like, No way.

Leela Sinha:

I have to say, I don't actually need a quit sugar session. But I am super curious about what that experience is like. I kind of want to come up with something that isn't sugar, but that would follow the same model just so that I can like know what it's like. Because from you. I'm really attracted to like the weird, mushy feeling of your brain when it's going through a change. Like I really liked that. And I know that a lot of people don't. What, you don't like that feeling? That's weird. okay.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

But a lot of people don't like that feeling. They it makes them feel slightly almost nauseous, but I find it delightful. I'm like, I get really curious and I get really open. And I think that's probably part of my own internal novelty drive. Like I like new stuff. That's a new feeling. Let's see what that's like.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yes, exactly. That's exactly it. So like in terms of, I mean, it is a really fun experience. I always ask people, like, are you ready to have some fun today? And I mean, yeah, of course, it's fun to give them that suggestion. But it also happens to be true. I was talking with somebody who had like, a whole day of zoom calls booked. And I said, I guarantee you, this will be the most fun zoom call that youget all day. And it's, it really is a fun process. It's transformative, it's deep. And we go to that sacred place, for sure. But it's also really playful. And there's lots of humor, even when we're met with like, really deep grief. Or even dare I say, deep trauma. I'm not saying I can heal your trauma, that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that, like, I can carry you to shore. And, and do it in a way that you may even laugh a little bit by the time we get there. And it will not be like a dismissive, like, oh, have a sense of humor, like, you know, like, like fist bump to the shoulder. Like, that's not what I'm saying. Like in a really playful, you know, genuinely fun, very seen and held kind of way for lack of a better description.

Leela Sinha:

And I will vouch for your ability to do that kind of nourishing, seen and held and like, to kind of make it feel like everything's okay, like it's going to be okay. Whatever we do here, it's gonna be okay. And that's really important too. Like, creating that sense of safety is really important. As we all know, brains are much more resistant when they don't feel safe.

Sara Rhiannon:

for sure,

Leela Sinha:

So we are a little over time, but I am not sorry, at all. I have one more question, which is what are you working on right now? Like, what's your, what's your current like, go to thing you're doing right now?

Sara Rhiannon:

Oh, my gosh, well, in terms of like, actual,

Leela Sinha:

like a goal, project.

Sara Rhiannon:

First of all, I'm like working on a lot of things that are really fun. And I'm enjoying I'm, I mean, being the person that I am and the type, like the way that I do. Working on projects is a little interesting and kind of wild and chaotic, but such is my neurodivergent brain. So a Facebook group is coming, a fun podcast is coming. And other than that, I am just like, really having a good time, refining and bettering like the stuff that I'm already doing. That's yeah, those are my things.

Leela Sinha:

Awesome. So it sounds to me, it sounds you are actually trying to formalize the community that I'm watching form, that I said I was watching.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, and this is something that I would, that would be really good for me to do work on. Because community, like my experience of community, that is like my deepest trauma. Like Oh, my God, like I can, like I and I've explored this in an unshaming way- I definitely like, get me in a room or a circle, even like just a social situation of like, five or more people and I start to feel like woof. I start to have certain feelings and experiences, which I'm, you know, it's like, I've got my own tools, and that's great. But I'm also like- it's like, even a massage therapist can't give themselves a full body massage. And it's not gonna land the same way. Like, yeah, I can, like, take my left hand to my right shoulder and like, etcetera. But anyway, but yeah, that's exactly that's really it. I think I'm really like, kind of dreaming up like, well, what does a community like this, with these tools? And, like, what does this even look like? What can people expect from me as, I wouldn't say a fearless leader, but somebody who's obviously creating the space? Yeah. So those are questions that are on my mind, and you're exactly right.

Leela Sinha:

So I'm super excited to see how that goes. And we should totally talk about about the ways that the things that I know might be helpful.

Sara Rhiannon:

Yeah, for sure.

Leela Sinha:

I've spent most of my career in, like my, my postgraduate school career is all about how communities work. And how do we make them work better?

Sara Rhiannon:

mmm, beautiful. Yeah.

Leela Sinha:

Anyway, so we can have that conversation afterwards. But meanwhile, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This has been fantastic. I've had a lot of fun. I hope you've had a lot of fun.

Sara Rhiannon:

Oh, absolutely. For sure.

Leela Sinha:

And tell folks again, if they want to work with you one on one if they want to find you on social media, where should they look?

Sara Rhiannon:

Sure. Facebook is really good. Just type in Sara Rhiannon, and you'll find me. I've got links like right there. I've got a pinned post with the link because the link is an acuity scheduling link so I won't drop that here. But you can find me on Instagram at quit_sugar_coach, all the links are there as well. And I'm actually on TikTok as well as quit_sugar_coach. So that's where you can come get to know me and hang out with me.

Leela Sinha:

Fantastic. Thank you again. You have been absolutely wonderful and yay! Thank you so much.

Sara Rhiannon:

I love it. Thank you for having me. So good.

Leela Sinha:

All right. Take care.

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