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Touched By Music: The Importance of Listening to Your Heart and Sharing Your Gift
Episode 1429th December 2022 • The ReLaunch Podcast • Hilary DeCesare
00:00:00 00:34:57

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We all have gifts that can be shared with our family, friends, community, and even the world at large. Dave Combs followed his passions and turned his musical gift into a successful second career--what a RELAUNCH! Join Hilary and Dave as they discuss the importance of listening to your heart and being savvy about launching a new venture. Dave's stories and musical talents are encouraging and will make your day brighter.

About Our Guest:

Dave Combs is a songwriter, entrepreneur, successful business executive, and best-selling author. Over the 40+ years he has written over 120 songs and created fifteen albums of soothing, relaxing instrumental piano music, including the popular standard, Rachel’s Song. He is the author of the bestselling book, Touched by the Music.

https://www.combsmusic.com/

Join our private Facebook community for BONUS content to ignite your own relaunch: https://www.facebook.com/groups/232280334811612/

Interested in being a guest on The ReLaunch Podcast or booking Hilary as a guest? Email us at hello@therelaunchco.com

Transcripts

Hilary DeCesare:

Hey everyone, it is so good to be here today. And what do you think of when you think of a cult? You think of like a person, tank going through life. You think of a person traveling the world. And oh, she is so beautiful. She's a model she's doing life on her terms. Well, this is all going to tie in together because my guest today, Rene Linnell, is with me. And I've got to tell you, I have enjoyed getting to know her so much. She fires me up. She makes me like, I'm like I want I want to like get every ounce out of life. She is a former surf model. She is a professional, Argentine, Argentine tango dancer, and a serial entrepreneur with an Executive Master's in Business Admin from New York University. She made her actual publishing debut in 2018. With the burn zone, it's a memoir of her experience as a cult survivor, and she now has just reached recently published her second book, which is called still on fire. And it's a memoir. How awesome is that? She's got the still on fire, fire fire everything is so like Spark I got the I got the fired up entrepreneur I've got spark your heart. And today we are going to bring that spark to you.

Hilary DeCesare:

You're listening to the Relaunch podcast and I'm your host, Hilary DeCesare, best selling author, speaker and transformational coach widely recognized in the worlds of neuro psychology and business launches, which cultivated the one and only three HQ method helping midlife women. Yep, that's me to rebuild a life of purpose, possibility and inspiring business ventures. Each week, we'll be diving into the stories that brought upon the most inspirational relaunches while sharing the methods and the secrets that they learned along the way, so that you too, can have not just an ordinary relaunch, but an extraordinary relaunch.

Hilary DeCesare:

Renee, thank you for being here. So much fun.

Renee Linell:

How are you? Thank you for that beautiful introduction. I was listening to it and it doesn't even sound like it's me.

Hilary DeCesare:

You know what, that's what I that's what I love. Because I sit here and I my, I'm reading and I'm like, Oh my God, that's good. Like, and here's the thing, there were 100 Other things that I could have said about you that people would have been like, No way. No way. No way. Instead, we're gonna go into that we're going to talk about those things. Because I said before I said, this could be a five hour series, and who knows, maybe it will end up being one. So right now, can you open up with how your how your life has really unfolded? And you talk about relaunches, you've had so many significant relaunches, but walk us through what you feel is really the foundation the biggest one that's really happened that kind of changed everything and changed your destiny.

Renee Linell:

The biggest one would definitely be after I had been completely brainwashed by that called, I kind of I burned almost everything I owned. I gave away seven years of my life, I lost hundreds of 1000s of dollars, I alienated my friends and family. I ended up smeared all over the New York tabloids I went into a terrible business venture with somebody in New York and lost more money. And I didn't know who I was, after all of that and and I think that's the most devastating thing when life comes along with a sledgehammer and just takes reality as we know it as we've come to understand it. And what we've based our identity on and around and just rips it away from us.

Hilary DeCesare:

Oh, you're you're going so deep so fast. I love it and we're gonna get there but I gotta go back. How old were you when you got involved in the cult? And and as I remember, it's it was a Buddhist cult. Exactly.

Renee Linell:

Yes, I was 33 so

Hilary DeCesare:

33 When I read that I thought you know what, at 33 You know you hear about cold spaying you know when you're younger and you're You got involved in this at 33? What was it about this cult that was like, I need to be a part of this? I mean, what were you looking for?

Renee Linell:

For me, it was peace. And I had this incredible job traveling the world as a surf model, and then a professional tango dancer. And I was financially secure. I've been to almost, I think, over 50 countries before I turned 33. I don't at all I had this dream life, and yet I was empty inside. And there was nobody out there talking about having everything and still feeling lost or still feeling unhappy, or, you know, that feeling that we get the dopamine hit when we get what we want. And then a few days later, we're depressed again. And so I was in most of my family died when I was young. So I kind of was like, why are we here? And what's the point, and everyone else seemed to have it figured out and I didn't, I didn't, and I was so sad inside. So soul sick. And when I walked into this meditation group, and I meditated for the first time, and this is the opening of the burn zone, this experience, my mind went completely blank. And it was filled with so much peace and so much love and so much stillness, that I felt like, this is what I've been searching for my entire life. I don't care who this person is, I don't care what she has to say I'm home. And I'm sticking around to figure out how to have this peace inside my mind at all times.

Hilary DeCesare:

So when you talked about new set a few things there that I just want to touch on? You lost your family when you were young. Can you explain a little bit more about that?

Renee Linell:

Most of my family died before I was 15. And then my father died on Thanksgiving day when I was 15, leaving me with a very abusive, alcoholic, pill addicted, emotionally unstable mother who did her best. But she had a twin brother, and she wanted a little boy, she didn't want a little girl. And so she took out all of her rage on me. And then she went missing when I was 28 and turned up drowned in a hotel bathtub. And so, but 29 years old, I was an orphan. And I just was lost. And it was like no matter how many boyfriends I had, no matter how much I love I had from friends. Nothing was filling my heart. The way I realized now I had to love myself, but I didn't know that then.

Hilary DeCesare:

You said and it's interesting, because people I find this a lot. You know, you hear somebody's story. And from the on the surface level, right? It's always the iceberg. That tip of the iceberg. You're like, okay, she's got this, she's got that she's beautiful. She's, you know, got all these degrees, she's got all these, you know, amazing experiences. And it wasn't fulfilling. And I think especially these days, so many people are walking around, feeling like they're dulled out inside feeling like their flame is extinguished. And you know that you and I talked about this that we both wrote, you know, books and part of the relaunch it says, spark your heart, it's like, we just need to have that spark again. So you found that beginning spark by being silent? And you walked into this, this group? Did you know at the time, how did it come? How did it unfold that you realize, wait a second, this is actually a cult environment.

Renee Linell:

It's like any toxic relationship or they love bomb you in the beginning and everything's great. And you think you've met, you know, wonderful new people, and you're on this new adventure, and you're learning all these new things, just like a new romance would be. And then slowly over time, they consume all of your time, they take away your support, structure, all the activities that empower you, all their friends that empower you. And then they introduce self doubt. And, and again, like any toxic relationship, the red flags are there from the beginning, and we see them, but we deny and ignore, and that's what I did. I had lived life my way for 33 years, it wasn't working for me. And I thought that these spiritual teachers were going to lead me to enlightenment. And I thought enlightenment meant that I could live in the world. And no matter what was going on, I would have peace inside my mind, I wouldn't be knocked off balance by what was happening around me. And then that I would radiate peace and love the way the saints did, and people who were around me would feel better just from being in my presence. That's what I wanted. It's a strange thing to want but it's what I wanted and I thought I

Hilary DeCesare:

think it's a strange thing you know, that's all peace that whole radiating you know, light and love. I mean, I think that when we talk about you know, I talk often about three HQ, getting out of your head in your heart tapping in your higher self, that best version of you. There's something innate about us all that You know, your your higher self is calling to you. It's are you listening? Right? And at that point you went, you went silent there are these gurus that were giving you initially what you wanted? And then what changed? When did you I know that where were you? Where were you during this time that you were involved in this,

Renee Linell:

I was in California. And you know, and I do have to say this was a kick ass cult, like, they were like, we're gonna teach you to use your careers, your spiritual practice. So you're gonna rock your career, and you're gonna bring the best of yourself to every moment in your career. So you'll get promoted, you'll make more money, you'll create a life where you can meditate better and give back to the world through philanthropy. And that tasks are homework assignments they gave me were get a black belt in karate, become a computer programmer, go get an MBA from one of the hardest business schools in the world. So you know, it wasn't like a mamby pamby sitting around on cushions, meditating with the flour behind your ear, and hoping to be saved. It was like we're gonna sharpen our minds through meditation. And then we're going to use that sharpened mind to go be warriors of the Divine. But where does Yeah,

Hilary DeCesare:

so everyone's probably like listening in like, Okay, you did that you did that you did that you're like, you know, you're manifesting all these different things, the warriors of the mind all this? At what point? Did it start to become negative to you?

Renee Linell:

Well, and so this is what makes the burns down. The first book, such a page, Turner is like the plot thickens, right? Because the the, the teacher was a female teacher, and she was kind of like the big sister I always wanted. But then there was this man, and he was the number one student of her and he was the bodyguard, and he was handsome and muscley and powerful. And then I started working for them running for running the company for them working with the man all the time. And then he brought me in as his romantic partner, which is a consort, spiritual, sexual partner. And then it all started going sideways from that point on.

Hilary DeCesare:

So was the leader jealous of this relationship? Did it start to go down that path?

Renee Linell:

Well, the unfortunate thing was that I was so naive that I thought she was off meditating to the next phase of enlightenment, and was so happy that I was running her company with her man with this man. And, you know, I thought she knew all about it. Again, totally naive, she knew nothing about it. So then, you know, it's a spoiler alert, but I was sleeping with a girl whose boyfriend, I got thrown out of the call, which saved my life. So you know, the joke is that you can actually get thrown out of a cult if you screw that girl's boyfriend. But I was still faithful to them for another three years. Okay, that's, that's fine. That's. So that's the takeaway listeners, if you want to get to a big,

Hilary DeCesare:

big tip, their big tip would be write that one down every time. So here you are. And I mean, you know, you talk about like, okay, that is that is now a massive relaunch, because you're starting to realize, once you do get thrown out of this, and as you said, for four years, you still were, you know, big supporter. And I know that financially, they all it was also a financial drain on you, can you talk through some of the financial challenges that you had during that time?

Renee Linell:

Well, it's just that the more money we made, the more money we paid as students for monthly. So I was paying, I think, $1,800 or something like that a month. And then we would go on these power trips to places in the world. And we had to pay for first class tickets and first class accommodations, and then a $10,000 empowerment fee, that went straight to the teacher. And then I was donating more so that there was an Angel fund so that those who were in the military could come, I was donating for them to be able to come on the trips. And then because I was no longer trusting my intuition, when I did get thrown out of the cult, and I moved to New York and started getting my MBA and was trying to finish getting my black belt in karate. I went into business with a man that I met at the karate dojo, went into business with him with no operating agreement, and lost hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So the second takeaway is don't go into business with some dude from the karate dojo without an operating agreement.

Hilary DeCesare:

I love it. We're getting it. We're like netting it out right now. You know, hey, if you want to get out of the cold, don't sleep with the you know, don't don't sleep with the main guy. And who's actually you know, with the main woman, and now we've got down you know, don't get in business with you know, in the karate school, one of the guys what kind of business did you create?

Renee Linell:

We started an exercise business in New York. And I was just trying to package it is kind of a mind body spirit thing. And it was great. It was all great until I started using the business I created to prey on women and our employees and our clients. And

Hilary DeCesare:

so once you figure that out that that's what he was doing. How did you approach that?

Renee Linell:

I just tried to extricate myself, you know, the way a normal emotionally mature adult would that this is no longer a good partnership, and what do we do to dissolve it?

Hilary DeCesare:

There's some of the women come to you, or did you notice that?

Renee Linell:

They did, they came to me

Hilary DeCesare:

more than once, we started to see, okay, this is really a problem.

Renee Linell:

It was a problem. But she, I was the money and I was the brains behind the whole thing. And so he wasn't happy with me leaving and it turned into this big lawsuit. And I eventually, I eventually decided to lose everything there and walk away because, and that's when I started getting my power back. When I took full responsibility for I entered into this, I stayed in it. I didn't know this person, I had no operating agree I had one I didn't have him sign it. And and I just said, you know, I get to be me every day, he has to be him. And I'm, I called my lawyer and I said, Do whatever it takes, I want this out of my life within a week. And he said, we're like, sounds

Hilary DeCesare:

like as soon as that first person came to you, you were like, you know, you believed 100%. And you're like, I'm done. Can't do it. Right? Oh,

Renee Linell:

I believe she was a young Asian in New York on a visa because of our business. And yeah, I believed her immediately.

Hilary DeCesare:

And then more women came up and kind of said, This is what's happened. Yes. And so you're you. You said hey to the lawyer, I'm gonna just walk away. I don't have anything to do with it. How long were you in this business

Renee Linell:

partnership? I was in the business partnership, just about a year and I was in the lawsuit. I feel like about a year when I said I want out and I don't care what I have to lose, and I will make that money again. I know I will. And it's a huge lesson learned. I mean, I got an MBA and sociopathy and narcissism with that one.

Hilary DeCesare:

I mean, think about what you have gone through. And when you look back at that, and you think about that relaunch the relaunches that you've had those big ones that we've discussed right now, if you could, would you go back and change anything that's happened in your life?

Renee Linell:

I really wouldn't. And I wouldn't, because I needed every experience I went through to be who I am today. And that absolute shattering that I went through, I was suicidal, I didn't want to be here anymore. I had lost my mind, my sanity, my sense of self. It opened me in the most magnificent way, to be truly alive to truly live to love myself to love. Others have patience and compassion and wisdom and humor. I wouldn't do it, I would, I wouldn't do it again, I don't think I'd survive it again. But I wouldn't

Hilary DeCesare:

want to do it. Well, that's the best part of life, right? We don't have to go back and relive it. It's not Groundhog Day. And that's a really positive thing for us. But I want to, I want to go deeper into why you chose to write the first book, and then you followed it up very quickly with the second one. And you know, and I know it was over pandemic, and it was interesting times that we launched ours, you know, during the same time period, what was the main reason that you decided on the first book, The burn zone to put

Renee Linell:

this out? I was writing and writing as a catharsis. And I had a lot of shame around on the story. I wanted to talk about it. And when I finally decided to start talking about it, every single person I talked to you said, you have to write a book. And I had about 100 pages of journal entries at that point. And I realized I did write a book and that in sharing my story of everything I went through and how I came out the other side, I could profoundly help others. And so I decided to put all of my dirty laundry out there for the whole world to read. And it's had the effect that I was hoping that people say reading that book is profoundly

Hilary DeCesare:

huge. So we have to take a quick break. But when we come back, I want to talk about what you were hoping people would take away and also go into some of the experiences that you have had that you share in the book that are crazy, everyone. You think that we've touched on like some okay, you know, out there Yeah, we're gonna go even deeper. So stay tuned, come right back. This episode is brought to you by my very own labor of love my most recent book relaunch. This book is a collection of my stories, other stories and as a motivational guide to Living a new three HQ lifestyle, sparking your heart to ignite your life. It's available for purchase via Amazon, get ready to try on the three HQ method that I've been using for years, throughout my entire life reaching the next level in all areas, both professionally and personally. Get your copy today at www dot the relaunch book.com Hey everyone, and welcome back I am with Rene lanell. And we have been talking about cults about her being a part of on how she broke away, she gave if you haven't been listening, she gave the most you know, like, the biggest tip is, do not which means you're gonna have to go back and listen now if you're just joining but do not sleep with the cult leaders boyfriend, don't do it. Or you might actually or actually do it, if you want to get thrown out of the cult. So, so many incredible, incredible life lessons that we're learning here as well. But I, Renee, I'm enjoying this so much in the sense of how you are sharing these stories now and really impacting and in like saying this, these kind of anecdotes for people so that they can kind of make light of it. But also on a very serious know, you talked about losing your parents and you're you know, in your in your 20s. And you're trying to like make it all like what what is all this about? I've traveled I've like been 50 different countries. I've done all this stuff. But there's this emptiness within. And as you were writing your books, and you have two great books out there, the burns down and still on fire. When you're writing the burn zone. What were you really trying to get out there? And what did you want people to hear from that book.

Renee Linell:

What I was trying to get out there is that we are in these human bodies for such a short amount of time. And being human is really messy. It's not supposed to be all perfect and polished, and everything's great. And we've all gone through trauma, and we've all made really bad mistakes. And we've all had life come along and smash the crap out of us. And that's a human experience. And when we can start to see that we're all in this together and that none of us has it figured out. And it's this really like wild, messy, incredible ride. Then it's like, oh my gosh, you know, I went through this horrible divorce and I never thought I was going to make it. But then I came out the other side. And oh my gosh, I joined a cult and got brainwashed and burned everything I own, but I made it out the other side. And you know where I lost my career or whatever it is that we've gone through. You know, when you read about other people going to the brink of total and complete devastation, and then step by step, breath, by breath, making their way out the other side. It just reminds you if you're going through it that you can do it to somebody else did. And so that's what I wanted to do is just kind of like I feel like I'm climbing up this mountain called life. And I might be further along than others because I've lived such a crazy life in such a short amount of time. But here's my flashlight showing you the way. And and that's the feedback I've gotten is that people just go reading about your story was profoundly healing to me.

Hilary DeCesare:

And so when people came up to you, and started to say, oh, my gosh, Renee, this book, did you had you share this with your friends? And let them know like this had really happened to you? Or did they read it when the book came up?

Renee Linell:

No, I shared it, I started sharing it with close people I had had so much shame around all of all of it. Because when I got completely broken by the cold, I had to go all the way back through childhood and kind of go through all my trauma that I had suppressed and repressed to figure out why I would even join a cold and why I would stay in it for so long and what was lacking within me and what I was searching for. And so I started to tell people close to me and they all said you have to write a book. So when the book came out, there was this huge celebration, which was wonderful.

Hilary DeCesare:

Well, and when you go back and I think that there's a lot of people and I call it hell in the hallway where you have these doors and you know you just keep shutting the doors. You just keep holding those doors, you don't want to you know, open them up. And as you said you had to go back and kind of revisit this. How did you do that? How did you go back and revisit some of this trauma that you had when you were younger.

Renee Linell:

Speaking about shutting those doors I think in the opening of the burn zone I write embrace your skeletons in the closet, pull them out and paint them pink, celebrate them. Your skeletons are probably the most interesting part about you your differences your destiny and As I wrote and wrote and wrote about the story, I was healing because I was desensitizing myself to it, and I was processing it. And then I had this great editor who came through when we were getting ready to go to the final stages. And she said, Renee, you're sanitizing certain parts, like the abuse from your mother and that were romantic thing with a cult leader. And I need you to really, I know it's painful, but I need you to really write about it to take the reader through. And then that, that it's so cathartic to tell our story. And then once it's written, and in a book for me, I don't have to talk about it. Now really, you know, when people meet me, I say, Oh, I wrote a book. I wrote two books, you can read them, let's talk about you.

Hilary DeCesare:

You know what I have to say, I had a very similar experience. When I was writing my book, it was a lot of stories about my mom who had passed, and I didn't have the luxury of doing like the Eat, Pray Love, or the wild, you know, going out and really dealing with my emotions. I decided, okay, let's deal with the emotions as I was writing, as I was writing the stories. And my editor also said, Hey, we need more, give us like, your sugarcoating this going. And it was like, I mean, my broken heart, my like, just ripping it open, putting salt in the wound. And the hours and days that I was writing where I was just bawling, and how cathartic how cleansing how, you know, the one thing I have to say, for those that have a book, in that they know they have a book inside of them. It is an incredible experience and journey, to have to go there to have to really think back to put yourself back in that place. Because they want to know, I remember one of the editors that when my mom called and told me she had 13 lesions. And I just wrote, you know, she called her voice was very, you know, goal. And she said, I have 13 regions. And he's like, what did that mean to you? I'm like, I almost wanted to be like, I don't know, leave me alone. And then I realized, I'm like, I let out a guttural sound. Like a sound I've never heard before, I never want to hear again. And that came from deep within me when I hung the phone up. And that opened up more of what I ended up sharing. And as you said, about people, you don't need to share it anymore. I've had people come up and say, you know that story about, you know, your painting of the house and your mom oh my god, I had something like, kind of similar. And I'll be like, for stuff like how do you know that? That story about me? And then I'm like, oh, write the book, the book and those. That's been some fun to like having people that are total strangers. Have you had that happen as well, where people was like, Oh, my God, I love that story in your life.

Renee Linell:

Story. Yes, yes. And the most awkward thing is dating because I think you know, men that have read my book, I've read so much personal so many personal things about me.

Hilary DeCesare:

Oh my gosh, so you're single right now.

Renee Linell:

I am single right now. Okay.

Hilary DeCesare:

So you're single, you've written these two memoirs that people like, you just said that people are able to read them. So it must be very interesting. And you must be able to say, okay, you've read the book, I need to ask questions about you. Because you clearly know, you know a lot about me, right? Yeah. Well, that's a different that's a different approach to dating. Most people don't have, the guys are like, Okay, I got this woman I know. Exactly. And you're like, Oh my god. Okay, so I want to talk to you about, again, you have the first book. And very quickly, you ended up writing the second book still on fire, which is just like, love money. Love the name of that book. But what what caused you to say, Hey, I'm not done yet.

Renee Linell:

My reader was they're so lovely. And they were not ready to stop reading when the burn zone ended. And they said, When are you getting the sequel out, which is so sweet. And so they really pushed me and every time I kind of wanted to quit, they kept going, when's the book coming? When's the book coming? And and I realized I still had so much more to write about. And so and then the title still on fire came because this the opening of still on fire is a romantic interlude that happened right at the end of my book tour for the burn zone, and I was texting my girlfriend's about it. And they said, Oh, my God, woman, you're still on fire. So that's how we picked that title.

Hilary DeCesare:

Isn't that so great? I love the way the title came about. I think that it's so it worked out so perfectly. So when you think about the the still on fire book would tell Here's some of the highlights from the book share with us. You know, what were some of those relaunches? Like?

Renee Linell:

What's that our book is all magic miracles, travel and romance. And I say the first book is about what happens when you don't listen to your inner guidance. And the second book is all about what happens when you do. But there are stories in there about me being stranded at 22,000 feet in the Himalayas, being detained by Okay, so

Hilary DeCesare:

hold on. Before we go into the second one. Can you share a little bit about that

Renee Linell:

story? being stranded at 22,000 feet? Yeah, in the Himalayas, I was modeling I was on a modeling job when I was 20. And this photographer took me all around the world to pose in a bikini and exotic places. And fortunately, my mother forced me to bring somebody with me and I brought my boyfriend at the time. And it turned out that this photographer was kind of a pathological liar. And just wanted to pay pretty women to travel with him. And one of the things we were doing was tracking the Annapurna Circuit and I was 20. I didn't even know where Nepal was, until we landed there. He said he would hire a chakra to carry my backpack because I was the talent. I wasn't supposed to lug my crap up, you know, Himalayan mountain. And then when it came time to set off on the trip he wanted he didn't want to pay for to Sherpas. So he had me put stuff in his backpack for his Sherpa to carry. And at the very top of the Annapurna path, there's something called the pass and you have to hike high sleep low a couple nights before that, and then you go over the past

Hilary DeCesare:

high dry, what say that again?

Renee Linell:

You like you pick a place to sleep, but then that during the day, you hike high to hike to higher altitude, and then you sleep at lower altitude to just make sure you're not gonna have altitude sickness. Interesting. Okay, yeah. So we did that for a few nights. And then my boyfriend and I set off to the very last stop before going over the paths. And this was 30 years ago. And there were not a lot of people traveling through the Himalayas then. And the the photographer and the Sherpur never showed up with any of our stuff. So not only did we not have a guide, but I didn't have my mummy sleeping bag for you know, below freezing and okay, that's super dangerous. What was the super day? Oh, it was very dangerous. We were following donkey through to you know, I mean, it was we could have died and probably should have died and we didn't have oxygen and we didn't have first aid kit. I can't believe this guy. Did you ever find him again? I did find him again, because we had all the same plane tickets. And he showed up three days later. So this whole story is in that book, but it's a it's a hell of a story.

Hilary DeCesare:

Oh my god. Okay, so then there's a story about you surfing? Yes. In crocodile infested waters. Okay, you need to explain this one to everyone. Well, that one

Renee Linell:

I was on a surf trip in Panama and met some random stranger with an 80 foot catamaran or try Moran. And he we talked him into taking us surfing my surf companion and I up and down the coast. And then we got detained by Panamanian, you know, I don't know if they were militia or true military, but they wanted to confiscate the boat. And they pulled us into a bay that was not visible from the coast. And then they held us at gunpoint, trying to figure out how to get the boat. And my companion who's Cuban and speaks fluent Spanish, got them laughing and then drinking and then said that I could wake surf behind their boat. And if I did, would they set us free? And, and I did. I waste her time in the boat. They had just they had just confiscated that boat from Colombian drug runners. And at one point, I fell and they were all screaming and I didn't know why they were screaming. It turns out the water was full of crocodiles. But we did get released. Everyone else on the boat got held for another week, and we got released.

Hilary DeCesare:

Okay, so afterwards, you realize that the water had crocodiles in it? Yeah, I didn't know. And, and thank God, you know, you didn't because you didn't freak out. You immediately got back up and you're I fell once, right? I think if I knew that, you'd be more apt to be like, you know, it's like don't fall in the crocodile infested waters, don't do it. And then and then you end up doing it. Right. But so you got out of there now, at this point, or do you have or have you gone back and like, really dealt with all this? I know that you've got degrees and you've got all these things, but that's massively traumatic, too. I mean, all these different stories, right? I mean, we're not talking about punches walking down the street and you know, you have like crazy stories.

Renee Linell:

It's interesting because those stories don't seem to ematic to me what what's traumatic to me is the mind having my mind become undone by toxic relationships, because I'm such a lover, and I believe the best in everybody. And so when people intentionally manipulate and abuse and use that I think that has been the most devastating

Hilary DeCesare:

for me. And that's why the cult was so traumatic. Right? And they really did not it Were there a lot of people in this cult.

Renee Linell:

I think there were about 150, it was pretty small. Oh, I

Hilary DeCesare:

was about to say, Wow, that seems really big.

Renee Linell:

I think I mean, I hear about cults that are 1000s of people. So but I don't know that much about colds, honestly. I mean, this,

Hilary DeCesare:

are you still friends with anyone in the cult? Or did you have to sever all ties,

Renee Linell:

I severed most ties, I'm still friends with a couple people who joined when I joined that then left, but they weren't as extreme as I was. So for them, it was just meditating dressing in nice suits learning about Buddhism and different religions and getting coached in their careers and making more money.

Hilary DeCesare:

Well, so that doesn't sound like a cult. Right? That that experience, right? And so it helped me understand how, you know, your, you know, what happened to you? And then why, why was their experience so different?

Renee Linell:

Mine was because again, it's like any toxic relationship, you know, you know, if you have a toxic friend or a toxic lover, and you go on a couple dates, and you enjoy their company, and then when they're obnoxious, you just don't hang out with them, you're not harmed. But when you fall deeply in love, and you keep making excuses for their bad behavior, and you keep letting them drain you financially, psychologically, emotionally, energetically, you know that and you go on the roller coaster, when they go on the roll of their emotions and their temper tantrums, then you become traumatized. And so for me, I fell deeply in love with these teachers, I imagined myself completely. I thought if I were going to hire, you know, a coach to help me get a gold medal in the Olympics, I would do everything that coach said. And since I thought these teachers were leading me towards enlightenment, I was gonna do everything they said, and they I allowed them to destroy my life.

Hilary DeCesare:

And so we're gonna, we're gonna take a quick break right now. But when we come back, as you said, You've done so many different things in your life, but now, you really are doing things that you're passionate about things that really are in alignment. And I want to ask you to help us understand how does one go down that path to make sure that things are in alignment, and not just you know, Hey, that sounds like a good idea, but doesn't work out. So when we come back, we will get into that. This episode is brought to you by my very own labor of love my most recent book relaunch. This book is a collection of my stories, other stories and is a motivational guide to living a new three h q lifestyle, sparking your heart to ignite your life. It's available for purchase via Amazon, get ready to try on the three h q method that I've been using for years throughout my entire life, reaching the next level in all areas, both professionally and personally. Get your copy today at www dot the relaunch book.com Hey, everyone, welcome back. I am here with Rene and Ha, what a story we've had. We've had cults we've had brainwashing we've had karate we've had missteps in partnerships that had ended in hundreds of 1000s of dollars being spent in different places that never got back legal battles. I mean, you name it we have surfing in crocodile infested water Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Oh, and let's not even forget the fact that you were stranded on that top of a Himalayan mountain with no no sleeping bag. No oxygen, I mean, wow. To the 10th degree and I am so just blown away Renee at your stories about your storytelling and I would love now to really talk about and you often talk about reclaim you you know that's all of that's that's my jam girl because it's relaunch you it's like you know let's do a restart let's reclaim that always talked about rebranding of of you forget about the business initially let's rebrand you and you've done that. You've gone through a massive rebranding and went deep into what was going to serve you and align to that Higher Self. But a lot of people struggle with, you know, you're you're caught up in your own your own stories and can't break free and they define you and you talk to you opened up the whole segment, you know, a while ago with identity, and you've truly crafted and created a new identity. But can you walk us through your steps on how you did that?

Renee Linell:

There's so many, but self love was the biggest part of it. And so I do think we have to I knew I had to allow myself to be totally shattered, you know, not trying, I thought I was going to leave New York, moved to Colorado, cry a couple nights and then start a whole new life. And instead I had years of undoing. I mean, just not even able to eat or get off the couch. And so I said

Hilary DeCesare:

you have let me ask you. Do you have suggestions for people? And I had, you know, the darkness of the of the soul the dark night, I've had that, you know those situations where I ran on flat on my back on my mom's twin bed, and not wanting to get up not wanting and how how you know? And yeah, it can last it can last for days, weeks years. Now that you've been through it, now that you've seen the other side? Do you have suggestions on getting through it a little bit faster? Is there a way? Or do you feel like you really have to It's like your time you got to you got to take your time to go through it.

Renee Linell:

I do think we have to take our time to go through it. But I do think you know if we can strip it down to the most basic question. When when we're shattered or we're depressed? Do we want to stay? Or do we want to leave? Because staying here in this body on this planet is a choice. And so then when we take it to that very simple question, do I want to leave, I can leave. But I don't know if I want to leave. I think I want to stay one more day. And maybe you have moments where you thought you wanted to leave? Oh, yeah. And so and that, and I talked about it in the burn zone. And then and this is when everything started to pivot for me because I was like, Honey, you can leave. You can leave but what would you miss? And I was like, Oh my gosh, why would miss watching a sunrise out the window and I would miss calling my brother and I would miss coffee and my favorite mug and clean sheets and you know, birds and flowers. And so then I was like okay, so

Hilary DeCesare:

such a great question. What would you miss?

Renee Linell:

What would and it's those tiny things that we would miss like chocolate, you know, or whatever.

Hilary DeCesare:

Alright, I have to say it I'd miss chips. I love them. Give me some chips and guacamole and I'm like a happy camper. Throw in a margarita every once in a while I'm even happier. I know. But I love that what would you miss when you're in that, you know, dark night of the soul? And you're you're really you know, contemplating like you know, is it worth it? I'm so I'm so sad. I'm so depressed. I'm so you know at rock bottom, as you said. And you thought about those simple things. The things that

Renee Linell:

I felt the next day with those simple things i luxuriated over coffee thinking this is the last day I'm ever going to drink coffee, and I luxuriated over watching the sunrise. This is the last time I'll ever watch the sun, you know, paint the mountains paying. And then I had the most wonderful day. And then I realized none of that other nonsense matters. You know what I'm doing for money, what my career looks like, what the world thinks of me, if people think I'm attractive or not, if I have a partner, if my friends are enough, none of that matters. What mattered is this is my time in this body on this planet. What do I want to do with it, really. And then I started putting those little things in every day more and more and more of them, and no longer betraying myself to look successful to the outside world, or in no longer looking for others to give me that love and nurturing and gentleness that I started doing that for myself the blankets and the flowers and the T warm tea and I started really holding self. Yeah, was the self love part. And

Hilary DeCesare:

you also said, the little things you started to notice you started to how many of us have you know such blinders on? When we don't we don't notice we don't look around. We're not present. We're sitting here thinking about the future. We're not where we should be, which is right here. Right, observing the things that are right in front of us. And so I would even challenge everyone listening right now to you know, think about what Renee just said, you know, do you ever just like kind of listen, what's you know, what are you hearing right now? Can you hear the birds? Are you in a city can you hear you know, the planes can you hear? You know, don't be thinking about the traffic. Don't be thinking about any of that and maybe It's time to get out into nature because there is a simple quietness that comes with just that. Can you talk about meditation, meditation is so profound when you're just focused on that. One thing that listening to the bird listening to rain listening, there's a tapping going on in my office right now because the snows melting. And it's almost like for some, they might be like, Oh, that's so irritating. But it's like got this like. Like, hey, yeah, it's kind of got a beat to it. I like that a lot. And it's little, little things then start to amount to the bigger.

Renee Linell:

Yes. And even you were talking on the break how much you love noticing hearts. And I noticed that and I just came back from a month and Buenos itis, Argentina. So walking around that city, you know, but I noticed when I walk around the city, I'm seeing hearts. I'm seeing the word love written on the wall. I'm seeing, you know, Matt, the word magic. I'm seeing the word blessed. It's like it's popping out to me from every filthy street corner. It's hertz and magic and miracles and blessed. And I never would have seen that before I got broken, I would have been too darn worried about is my Spanish perfect. Is my tango dancing. Perfect. Do I look pretty? He has my outfit? Nice, you know, and now it's just like, Oh my gosh. And then there's a bird. You know, how did that bird get here in the middle of this traffic intersection. It's right in my path. It's like the universe is going I know you love animals. Here's a bird.

Hilary DeCesare:

This is so good. The other night, I'm driving home. And I'm kind of like just, you know, in awe of this winter wonderland that I'm in Boulder. And it's just It looks so gorgeous. And all of a sudden, there was this wild pig that ran across the street. And I almost had it and I was talking to my husband. And I'm like sharing this. And like, it's the craziest thing, there was this pig and he's like a pig. It's like, I don't know if it was someone's animal, I have no idea. But that thing ran in front of the car. And here's the thing, it's, I wanted so much to continue to drive that night, I wanted so much to continue to see and open my eyes to more. And that's what happens right? You start to notice thing and in your consciousness wants to once you become aware that you're doing this, you're aware that you want more those little things, the hearts, I end up seeing hearts everywhere, because your conscious brain, you know, based on your subconscious is wanting you to validate that keep singing, keep seeing more. That's why it's so important when you start to recognize abundance in your life. When you start to say wow, look at that, because then what happens is your consciousness starts to put out there and awareness that hey, there it is. I'm seeing more and more. Now one thing that I have to address I have to get to the bottom of this is you became a world class tango dancer, and trainer and coach and teacher. How did that happen? And you're in Argentina all the time. And you just got back late last night? How does that How did that manifest for you?

Renee Linell:

There's a saying that you don't find Tango Tango finds you and that's what happened to me. I admit, in the burn zone. I talked about waking up on the floor of a van in Portugal with a bunch of surfers and having this knowing that I was going to move to California and become a professional Latin ballroom dancer. And so I moved I immediately flew to California. I ended up getting hired in a studio owned by one of the top five world champions in Latin ballroom and then somebody came through the studio teaching Argentine Tango, and I fell in love with it. And I'm such an extreme mouse that I went to Argentina and started learning from the Masters down there and I must have had past lives as an Argentine because I just all this. I had been studying Spanish forever, but I could never speak Spanish and that first night in Argentina, I dropped in Spanish and woke up fluent. And I just clicked everything clicked for me.

Hilary DeCesare:

It's so incredible. Well, as we're wrapping this up, where can people connect with you read your books, get more involved in your tango lifestyle? I mean, where can they go?

Renee Linell:

My website is Renee lenell.com And that has a lot of information and blogs and information on my books and me on that and then I am on Instagram and Facebook. I'm much better at Instagram than I am at Facebook. But so my Instagram is Rene dodgeland Now I think I'm pretty easy to find if you there's some videos of you dancing on there. I

Hilary DeCesare:

certainly hope there are Yeah. Awesome because we're all we're all gonna go check it out cuz that's so cool surfing and tango dancing. And so, last question when you are asked by you know, or you have to give a suggestion, the top thing that you would recommend to people what would you say?

Renee Linell:

I would say A that we live in a world of a billion people and you are the only version of you there is which is an absolute miracle. So stop trying to be like somebody else and start embracing every quirky, weird, different thing about you. And you know your body size and shape and you know, whatever it is you love to do, and whatever it is you hate to do, and whatever it is you're good at, and whatever it is, you're bad at, and start like luxuriating in what it is to be you and life becomes so much more fun.

Hilary DeCesare:

So good. And as you said that my big passion live is dancing. I love to dance, like just any dance, any dance. Every morning, I dance, I come downstairs, I have a mood. And I you know, what's the dance of the day? And so I love that you just said Yeah, and I just gotta keep doing it. Maybe I'll start to do it midday. We have to start making excuses for not doing those things that make our hearts light up. Isn't that the truth? Like you gotta tune in, tune in to what lights you up? Tune in to that because then the sparks happen right? It becomes like this incredible. Oh my god, life takes on a new a new shape. A new I mean, just everything about it. So I have loved this conversation. And when I think of your adventures, and we didn't address 90% of them, everyone, you've got to go check out these books. The books are burn zone. And the second one is still on fire. This gal I mean, Renee lanell I can't wait. I mean, you're still so young. I can't wait to see what's you know, the second half you're in the mid zone. Let's see what the second half brings. Right. I mean, that's where it's really going to get interesting. And I also think you know I talk about relaunch love alive. And that's how you got relaunch love and you've got relaunch your business relaunch your life, but this your year, girl, this is the year of love for you. You just gave me goosebumps. Yeah. So I feel it for you. And I think that, you know, keep keep opening up your eyes to those hearts and all that other goodness. Because that's, you know, that's one of the first steps that I tell people, you got to notice things in order to have them come into your life. Well, everyone, thank you for joining us today. Next week. I am so excited to share two women that I have gotten to know over the last six months very well. Lisa ran riot ran Kraken. Kraken Kraken I'm gonna have to learn the last name I usually just call her Lisa and Corey Minkus. They are unbelievable. And way to you hear some of the Shark Tank stories, some of the good stuff anyway. For right now. Live now. Love now relaunch now, and we'll see you next week.

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21. Do You Have a Victor or Victim Mentality? Ep. 21
00:18:38
20. Relationships that are Critical to Success Ep. 20
00:15:58
19. One Word... Trust Ep. 19
00:27:18
18. What You Resist Persists Ep. 18
00:19:03
17. The Humor Pool - Chick Chat Ep. 17
00:26:34
16. Stepping Into Opportunity Ep. 16
00:41:10
15. A Powerhouse of Possibility Ep. 15
00:18:02
14. "Tri-Joy" - Chick Chat Ep. 14
00:31:36
13. Lucky or Unlucky 13? Ep. 13
00:14:25
12. Say Yes To Intuition Ep. 12
00:30:15
11. So Now What? Ep. 11
00:22:44
10. Survivor By & With Grace Ep. 10
00:45:15
9. You Are Never Stuck Ep.9
00:39:21
8. Who Wants More Ep.8
00:52:41
7. Midlife Crisis or Midlife ReLaunch EP. 7
00:44:26
6. Two Left Shoes Ep.6
00:16:11
5. The Common Denominator Ep.5
00:35:37
4. The Yellow Brick Road Ep.4
00:19:23
3. 7 Steps to ReLaunch Now Ep.3
00:40:34
2. Your Magic in the Bottle Ep.2
00:20:02
1. Ready, Set, ReLaunch! Ep.1
00:24:11