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EP15 // How to shine through the brokenness - just like GLITTER! An Interview with Brigette Heller

2021 happiness hack interviews sisterhood stories Aug 09, 2021

Are you ready to shine?  In this interview Brigette Heller, founder of The Strong and Capable, and I explore how to change our thoughts in order to change our lives, regardless of, yet deeply aware of, what is going on around us.  She shares her transformation through anxiety, postpartum depression, trauma and physical pain to self-care, creativity, grace and honesty… all while finding the beauty in the brokenness.  This honest and open interview will surely inspire and ignite your own journey to joy in the face of life’s everyday stressors.  Key takeaways:


  1.     You have the power to change your thoughts and rewrite your life.
  2.     The moment you say, “Don’t need that; I’m good,” and let it go is often the moment you get the thing you are seeking.  
  3.     True strength is knowing when to push, knowing when to pull; knowing when to keep going, knowing when to rest, knowing how to keep your tank full instead of empty.
  4.     You are not serving the people you love when you sacrifice your own self-care.  
  5.     Boundaries are critical to self-care.
  6.     Life is not lived in the extremes.  It is lived in the middle.  
  7.     You have so much knowledge within you.  It’s less about learning new tools and more about putting the tools you have into action. 
  8.     Healing comes from the inside out.
  9.     Journaling is the bridge between your mind and your heart.
  10. It’s really ok to rock it! 
  11. Your most authentic self is your most beautiful self.
  12. And, of course, GLITTER shines brighter than gold BECAUSE it is broken.


Transcribed Conversation:

Hey beautiful and welcome back to Finally Effing Happy. It's Shannon here. I am so sorry, I was missing in action for the month of July, but I was taking some of my own best advice. And I took a vacation to fill up my own tank. It was absolutely magical. I got to spend some time with my mom in California. And then my husband and I went up to Lake Placid, New York. Have you ever been there it is super magical and beautiful. And it was really intentional about what affirmations I brought with me and what I was going to let go of and be really present for all that was good going on around me. And so if you haven't had an opportunity to take a break yet this summer, just because you've been working really hard, or maybe you have kids and they're home for the summer and it's really hard for you to get a break. Whatever I can do to help you carve out that time for you. I am here for you, sister. But I am so glad to be back at the podcast, back in the Facebook group and on Instagram because I am so passionate about helping you show up for you. Which is why I'm so excited about today's interview because it is the perfect post vacation dose of reality. With a little bit of glitter and sparkle thrown right in. I bring you the strong and capable Bridgette Heller and she is indeed the founder of the strong and capable podcast community, website and amazing collective of women knowing who they are, where they're going and exactly how to get there. Her spirit, her beauty, her authenticity, her honesty her humor shines through in today's interview so let's dive right in. Hey, beautiful and welcome to Finally Effin Happy a podcast and community for kick ass can do women who just happened to be living with some kind of chronic illness. My name is Shannon, happiness coach and self care strategist. And I also happened to be one of those kick ass can do women living with chronic illness. I am a self proclaimed Science of Happiness junkie and certified professional life coach, passionate about helping women be kind to themselves. I believe that happiness is not a feeling that just magically appears out of thin air. And it is not actually about feeling happy all the time. Happiness is a place where all emotions are welcome. And it is a practice that you can cultivate and get really, really good at no matter what's going on around you. In this podcast. I share tons of practical, real life happiness hacks, self care strategies, and bring you some of my most favorite guests to share their wisdom so that you too can ignite and enrich your own happiness. I am absolutely thrilled that you are here for today's episode. So with no further ado, let's dive right in.

Bridgette 3:20  
Hi, how are you? I am so excited to get to spend some time with you.

Shannon 3:29  
Vito that is a beautiful room and I loved your social media posts that you did when you showed you all building it.

Bridgette 3:39  
Yeah, I know. You love to do. Yeah, I create when I'm like as most chaotic is when I'm like guess what I'm gonna rip out the carpet on the stairs. Because when I create it stills my mind, I mean, I have anxiety and to my mind is overactive all the time. So when I create, it calms down my brain, and I can allow other thoughts to come in and come out and be become more of an observer than a judger. You know, I don't have as much judgment for myself when I'm creating because things can just flow in and out. So I create when I'm most stressed. So I did this wall right before I had a interviewed Heidi Stevens and Heather schwabe on the podcast. I know it was so fabulous. Thank you Heidi actually airs this week, but before that, I was like okay, I will not feel confident as a designer, I have an event business as a designer. If my wall is just white, I know myself. I like color. I like texture. This is part of who I am. No matter what. And so, you know that weekend? Guess what? Here we go. I absolutely love it. I absolutely love it feel like it is always always in life. That moment where you're like I'm good. Don't need it, that you get the thing you've been seeking is the truth.

Shannon 4:58  
So The truth, right. And, you know, I know we're going to talk a little bit about anxiety, I know we're going to talk a little about celiac and gluten intolerance. And I know that I'm my health journey, both of which include, which includes both of those as well. You know, it is also that point when I finally let go of the thing that I think I have to have, which is certainty or knowing, or the test results are certain foods in my refrigerator, like it could be big or little. Once I finally let it go, then it somehow appears.

Bridgette 5:34  
Amazing. It really is how it is. And I was also laughing because my husband and I, when we met had a saint, a similar thing where we're both independently, we've said to our friends, we're then we're good. We're over it don't need anybody just gonna practice independence and self love and compassion and happiness and all the things. And we met at a youth wasn't a youth church. And because we were youth, it was a single adult, church dance. I was out of town, he was out of town, we happen to be in the same town visiting, he was visiting family, I was visiting friends, and we met and our first dance, I was a vocal performance major, I did not finish school as that. I was a vocal performance major. And guys would always ask me to sing, they would hear that and they'd be like, Hey, will you sing for me? And I'm looking at No, right here. That was so stupid for people to ask that. And so I said, I'm a vocal performance major, I will not sing for you. And he looked at me, he's like, I did not ask you to.

Shannon 6:34  
And you were like, and you are my man.

Bridgette 6:38  
We were engaged after two and a half weeks of dating and married two months later, it's been 20 years this year.

Shannon 6:45  
Oh, congratulations. I just love that. So beautiful. And so let's talk about that. Let's talk about so you have your own journey around anxiety, you have your own journey, your own health journey, you have started this business, the strong and the capable. I love the name because I do I feel like I'm strong and capable. And I worked hard to not only be strong and capable, but feel strong and capable. And doing that growing up in a family in a marriage in a relationship is a journey in and of itself. So how about we just take a step back and tell me a little bit about your journey to the strong and the capable?

Bridgette  7:35  
Oh, I feel like the strong and the capable, the culmination of my life up to this point. I feel like so many things brought me here. And I had anxiety as a child and didn't know it. It's very common. It's just as common for someone to have it as a child as when they get older. And I, you know, just my mom was very much a just do it, just fight through it. My dad came from cowboy life, farm life. And so you just get on the horse again and go. And so I just learned to power through the anxiety, not necessarily saying that's healthy, but is what I learned to do. And eventually those things catch up with you. Right? If you don't deal with them, they catch up with you. So after having my first baby, I hit post partum depression really bad. It was very scary. I knew I was not happy. I knew that I didn't even care what happened to my child at times. And if she fell off the second story floor, because I remember holding her and thinking if I drop you what would happen and like not caring, there was no chairs with it. Yeah. And I understood that wasn't healthy. So I remember physically stepping back and thinking there might be something more happening here. There might be something going on. But we were broke. He my husband was working two jobs going to school and we had one car so I stuck at home. Just me and the baby in the middle of the winter. you and the baby and your own thoughts in your own head through the middle of winter. Very scary place to be like the worst I call them the dark days because they were literally dark in every way. It was winter arc and my house was dark. And I my mind and heart were dark and everything was dark. So I had my second baby he shows up apparently we didn't know what we're doing. First and second worst surprise.

I ended up pregnant and she's not even a year old. And I was so scared because I knew I had just barely maybe felt human again, I just come out of it, which is very common. It's like six to 10 months for postpartum depression. And I looked at my families, I think I had postpartum depression and I'm scared. And my mom looked at me just Oh Yeah, you did. But no one ever said hey, present it. You know, and I think part of that is generational. 20 years ago, my daughter, my oldest daughter is turning 18 this year. We didn't talk about that stuff, right as much as we do now. So Baby number two comes depression comes again. Thankfully, you talk about divine intervention, I feel like this was my divine intervention moment, I had a good friend who said, project and having a glass in my basement, and you should totally come. And I was like, That's weird. But I'm desperate at this point to get out of my dark house. And I will come to the class in your basement and hope I don't get kidnapped and stolen for the rest of my life. Thanks sounds really weird, right? kind of sounds weird. And I thought I don't even know for basements finished right now. Cuz that's like what they do. Like we're all young parents in that in that neighborhood. And it was a new development. Anyway, I went and the teacher changed my life forever. Her name was Kathleen Wilson. And she talked about thoughts, and how your mind works and how your body chemistry works. And that we can tap into those thoughts and hear what's happening. And that we have the power to rewrite the thoughts and change our life. Oh, powerful. so powerful. This was 20 years ago. So the revolutionary right back then, especially, there's not a lot of people that were teaching this or even thinking about it. And it changed my life because I was coming out of a second postpartum. And I was able to take my own thoughts. And within two weeks, see, my kids are happier, I was happier. They weren't driving me crazy every second of the day. And the days were dark, but they weren't as dark, there could be joy there, there could be happiness. And it made me aware that I had been dealing with depression and anxiety my entire life. And no, you know, so I often tell my audience, because the strong and capable The foundation is knowing who you are, where you're going, and how to get there. That's our base of our foundation of everything we do. And I always say I can teach that because I've lost myself probably 100 times, every time a bout of anxiety comes every time a bout of depression comes I lose myself. And I have to crawl out of that hole and find myself again. And it is hard and exhausting. But I've learned that true strength is knowing how to push how to pull, when to go when to stop when to say yes. When to say no. When how to keep yourself full instead of emptying your reserve every single time which I still struggle with. For the record, very healing here. Yeah, but I'm just this week I was driving, my daughter graduated. And I gave everything, everything because I just wanted to celebrate her so much. That was driving with tears running down my eyes because I was empty. My thought let you did it again. Did It Again, you know. And so I'm still very much learning these things as I grow. But I know now the tools to get out of it. I know how to find myself again. And I know how it feels to be fully in myself. And it's magical. And it's something I'm seeking to stay in more often than not now versus when I was younger. I didn't know. So I just lived in that depressive, anxiety ridden place. And it was horrible.

Shannon 12:55  
Right? Well, and I think that's part of why we're two peas in a pod. I mean, you just named it. So my physical condition, which is a primary immunodeficiency disorder, which means I have significant chunks of my immune system that just don't exist. I was not properly diagnosed until I was about 40. Which means that up until 40, I really had internalized at a deeply cellular level that this was all somehow my fault. Right that I didn't eat right or sleep right or exercise, right? If one more person told me, you just you know, it's really stressed as a trigger, right? I was gonna pull my best Charlie's their own and say, call me crazy, one more time.

But this, this real internalizing of, and I had done so much mindset work. I mean, so much mindset work, but then even was able to shame myself into Well, you can't, you're not successfully thinking your way healthy. So you must be attracting this somehow, like so now even at another level, it was my fault. And once I got properly diagnosed and had a whole additional set of tools in my toolbox, I could now take all those mindset tools, which are very helpful tools in the right proportion and time, but with also this health care piece. And what you said is so important for this audience as well, because we do this dance, I just did it this morning. I've been waking up the last three weeks feeling like there's concrete in every single joint. I've got a slight headache. I really I sort of had a sugar fest there for about three weeks. So that's a component of all that said. Sugar aside, you know, this balance between, I know when to push, and move me forward, to keep moving, I will literally sing, put one foot in front of the going in my day. Or sometimes it's the opposite. I need to listen and rest and stop. And it's a it's a dance. It's a fine balance in this world that we live in, and so many thoughts and personal, it's like, Where do I even start with that? You know, so when I get stressed out, I have a herniated disc in my back, and I'm not even herniated. I actually almost blown because I had a disabled sister and I took care of her growing up and she was 18 months younger than me, she was my same size. So lifting someone your same weight all growing up and not doing it properly, really messes up your back. Sure. And I gloried in my younger years, being the strongest woman in the room, my understanding of strong back then was very different, right, and the strongest person in the room, the person that could keep going that could fight through that didn't bend it all the world's view of the strong right now. That's how I viewed it. And that's one of the reasons I'm so thankful for this journey isn't a no true strength isn't that anymore. true strength really is, like you said, knowing when to stop knowing when to push, but when to lay in bed and allow yourself grace. So when I get stressed, my blown discs really act up. And as I mentioned, I allowed my Well, my cup, my whatever you want to call it to totally empty this last couple of weeks, and I shouldn't have I did. And then you know, you always do it. Because it's like, in my mind, it was out of love for my daughter, right? So we always do it for noble reasons, just like a villain does. But that doesn't actually make them the hero at the end of the day when they're messed up and have destroyed the world. Right. I love that analogy. Well, that's the the podcast this month. That's what we're talking about heroes and villains. So it's all all in your head. Right? I have them right in my head, right? I got a hero here and a villain here. And they're working that out together. 100% 100%. That's what we're talking about is how do you become the hero of your own story? And what does that actually look like? Since life is not lived in extremes, it's lived in the middle. So right when we're giving ourselves this grace, so my husband says to me last night, I would like to invite you to work out with me in the morning. And I was like, that's so sweet. No. And my, my husband is amazing. I love him so much. And he puts up with a lot. So I know he's a he's a keeper, because he puts up with me and loves it. He doesn't just put up with it, he loves it. But uh, I said my my backstory covering. And I know right now, if I go with you in the morning, that Well that seems like a beautiful idea and a good thing for our relationship, it will make my back worse. And then it will set actually hurts our relationship. Because now in the next three days, I'll be complaining about my back and on ice and hurting would give me two more days of rest. And I'll be there with you give me two more days to recover. And I can feel I'm on the edge of it. You can feel it on the edge. So it's, you know, really boundaries. I hate it because therapists always talk about boundaries. You're like I hate boundaries are hard, they make people upset. But knowing how to honestly talk about your boundaries is probably the number one thing that helps me when I'm struggling. But the number one tool in the tool belt, like you said, is those boundaries, and then allowing things I love into my life. I think when you're suffering in any way, especially long term, we tend to start denying ourselves the things we love. And it usually happens like for us, my son had celiac disease, you're talking about gluten intolerance and celiac disease. And so medical bills for him and getting him diagnosed and the emotional trial of that whole thing which went on for years, it usually takes four to eight years for someone to get diagnosed with celiac disease. And so the years and years of going through this, so that's expensive. And so I start denying myself things out of again, if I'm being the hero, right, I'm humping everybody because I won't buy the candle I love and candles are Goofy, but for me smells. It's a sensory thing. And as a huge tool in my tool belt. Well I put away the tool thinking I would be able to help others. But it was one of the tools we needed is me healthy, you know. So anyway, I've started allowing myself to by you can see it burning behind me my favorite candle again, it's a lot happier. And when mom's happy or the caretakers happy. Things are better, right? You got to keep your tool belts you can't you can't throw them away in service of others. It doesn't actually

Shannon 19:38  
help the others you might need them. right it doesn't actually help the others and that's one of these pieces around. You know we talk about sometimes people who are control freaks or codependence. But I gotta tell you, I often come across women in my community. They're actually not control freaks or perfectionist or codependence. They love love On the people that they love they do, it does feel them until the point where it's no longer fueling them. It's sucking the very life force out of them, and finding that place where it is no longer fueling. And I don't need to again, internalize or shame or take on anything that doesn't feel authentically mine around perfectionism, or codependency or anything, but just do I genuinely love and love and the people I love. But I also need to know where I need to say, I gotta love on you later. Or I got to take care of this first so that I can love on you later.

Bridgette 20:45  
Or is there a different way that's not as intense on me labor intensive. So ironically, this daughter thing, so she graduated last week, she was my first again, I dumped too much in Well, she went to camp this week, her last camp ever, right, and they're going to Lake Powell, and it's all exciting. And every year she's ever gone to camp, I've written her a note for everyday she's gone. And she opens it up and it's sweet. Well, she took off the camp. I'm here with ice on my bath, I can hardly move on. I did write her notes. And she's a very sensitive soul. And that's what I've done her whole life, and she's gonna be devastated and think I forgot her. And I'm over here with mom shame and guilt, right? And just feeling like the worst person because again, I've got anxiety. So I spiral and the world's catastrophic and falling apart with everything, real and real. And, and so I thought, Oh, my gosh, what can I do? And I text the leader who was with her. I said, Can I text you each morning? A note for a living? Can I do that? Yeah, that's not a problem. Okay, so now I can let it go. And honestly, it's not as labor intensive for me to send a text as it would have been to write a no and to hide them. I would have had this date up till midnight, because I do it after she's asleep. So it's. So I think that's one of the things we do, especially as women, we are givers and givers and givers. And we view it as Noble. But then we put ourself in a bad place. So if there's different ways we can find a way of doing it. That's okay, too. And her leader was so cute. She texted me today. She said, Your daughter said Oh, my mom forgot me. So my worst fear was realized. And the sky didn't fall all at the same time. It didn't fall. And you know, her sweet leader such as Oh, no, she didn't forget you. It's a new age, she found a new way of doing it. Oh, God bless. Later, I don't I just text her back crying emojis. Thank you so much for seeing me as a human. Right, right. And for allowing me that grace and supporting each other. And I think that's one of the things in the world we need them most is to see each other and validate each other, and support each other because we're all doing our best. And most of us are throwing on tools on our tool belt as fast as we can. But we're trying to make up for a lot of years where we didn't have anything, and it broke us in some way. And it takes time to heal. And some loans never do. So we have to I just think give so much grace to each other and support each other. I'm so thankful for that woman, she's my hero today.

Shannon 23:21  
Absolutely, she gets to be your hero today. And I'm so glad you have such a precious beautiful hero in your life today for that part of your story. And, you know, I do feel like we're running around putting as many tools in our toolbox as we can. And one of the thing that I spend a lot of time working on with my clients is rather than putting new tools in the toolbox, let's actually look at the tools you have, and then see how you can actually implement them. Because it doesn't matter if I have a juice Blender in my kitchen if I never even use it. Right? How do I use those tools that we have? Because we have so much knowing I've just I just every conversation I have with the women that I connect with, whether they're on the podcast, whether they're coaching clients, whether they're my girlfriend's, and women are so wise, there's so much wisdom there. And how do we put that wisdom, get that wisdom into action? Because there's so much magic that happens in the action and the action is sometimes outward action. Yes. And the some to action is sometimes mindset action. And I think that that's where this idea of new strategies comes in. I talked to I in a former time in my life in my healing journey did a lot of work with Marshall Rosenberg and nonviolent communication, which today would probably just be called compassionate communication. It was born out of the 1960s but today might be called compassionate communication. And he walks through a process where you identify your feelings. And then you identify the needs in association with those feelings. And then the next piece that oftentimes I find missing and other programs I've connected with is, then you connect with the divine in those needs, like there's no judgement in the need. Yeah. And then let's brainstorm every wacky strategy, we could have to meet that need. And it's amazing how these creative solutions come out of this little step by step process if I take the time to use it. And I can show up in these creative ways, like you texting your daughter, instead of writing those letters where that need to love on her still totally gets met. And it also meets your need of honoring your energetic capacity. And that's just such an incredibly beautiful, wonderful example. Thank you for sharing that.

Bridgette 26:06  
No problem. You know, it's interesting, as you were talking, I was thinking about last night in my membership community, we were listing traits of heroes and villains. And one of the things we're talking about with a hero is that they are creative. Because they work with what they have, like you were just saying, they look around and Okay, what do we got here that we can actually work with? What do we actually already have? Or what resources do we know of that we could pull in? And it's not like, let's learn a new thing right now. It's what do we have. And let's make that efficient, just like you were saying, and they're creative, and they're compassionate. And as we were talking about heroes and villains, we came to realize, and this is where I was hoping the group would go. So so excited it went there, that so much of what creates the hero or villain is the desires of their hearts, and then what they do with it, do they see others? And they're jealous and envious and frustrated that they don't have it? Or are they inspired and pulled toward and want to join up with? And you were talking about women? And, you know, using the tools we have, I feel like if we want to be our best selves, that we want to be our little hero? Because we do we want to be whatever vision we're creating of ourselves. Right? Right, then we call that perfection. But who knows what that even is normal perfection. We don't know what those actually are. I don't think they exist. But you know, we're trying for whatever version we've created of ourselves in our head. And if the desire it becomes pure, if we allow ourselves to pause and think about who we are, what resources we have, and how we could do that, then I think it brings in a sense of compassion, self compassion, and kindness, that allows us to do the things we want to do in the healthy way. And it's interesting because we quickly become the hero or the villain of our own stories, depending on where the condition of our heart is. And I can tell you, I often find myself as that villain without realizing it because I'm desperate and desperation doesn't bring. desperation brings on backaches. So what I've learned, sure, inspiration tightens my whole body. Yeah, desperation makes me lash out in anger and frustration. And I think when you're not feeling good, or in any way, whether it's an autoimmune or emotional, you know, social emotional place, whatever it is, you're not feeling good. We have to really pause and be careful in those moments, because that's usually our low moments. And we don't make healthy decisions and our low moments and our empty moments, right. So we have to fill ourself a little bit, and then reevaluate, and then fill ourselves a little bit more and reevaluate and make our decisions from those places, verses from the bottom of the well.

Shannon 28:38  
Absolutely, I am a big fan of I'm going to make a decision to not make a decision right now. That's a really big one for me, when I am in one of those either physically, so part of my condition, I can just get knocked out for a day for a week, I could be doing everything quote, unquote, right. And still, I'm out for the count for a little while. Or it could be an energetic, emotional, you know, so this whole thing of the last couple of week or so getting up and waking up in pain in the mornings and just really hard to get going. I can mentally go to a place of see it's all your fault, because you had that sugar fest and you did that did that let me tell you why is it that bla bla bla bla on the hamster wheel in my head gets going right, which is, so sometimes it's an inward place, sometimes it's an outward place, but either one, you've mentioned so many strategies so far that you use to get out of that hole. I would just love to know, what other strategies do you have to help you get out of that hole that you personally use to get out of that hole? Whether you're in it physically because you're back or emotionally because you're on anxiety, spiral?

Bridgette 29:55  
warming, the two are always connected right or physically no emotional or spiritual like they're okay. connected all those together. Yeah. And we try and separate them out a lot of times and heal from the outside in. But usually it's inside out that has to work. And so a lot of the work I do is Brene Brown, my Wonder Woman journals, her whole thing, she has this cute little journal, but she says, you know, the journaling is the bridge between your mind and your heart. I love that. And so, I journal a lot, but I don't like to journal and makes me frustrated. I'm not I don't have a passion for journaling. So a lot of times, I will just record my own voice talking, and just express myself because it's easier to talk than to write for me nine. So at first, I hated that I listened back to my voice, and I would just criticize it. So I had to learn to become again, an observer of myself, that's very hard to do when you have anxiety, because you're looking for the threats you're assessing for it. But um, so I'll record my voice. Music is huge. For me, I'm a piano player. And so I listen to music, I meditate to music, or I play the piano. Classical is beautiful for that, because it's very rigid and specific. And so I can get lost in the rhythm of something or the louds and the sauce. And again, that's a release, creating, like I mentioned is a relief for me. So finding those things that allow you to become more of an observer versus an emotional self, and to release the things without judgment is so big. So creating things music, meditation, journaling, and then I'm an avid reader. And I don't read the inspirational stuff as much as I should. I have a stack of books that is on my nightstand that I need to read, because they're either guests coming on the podcast or things that I have felt divine nudges that, hey, you need this in your life, and they're still on my nightstand. And I have read for fiction books in the last couple of weeks. Maybe you read just the right amount of inspirational books, maybe I don't know, but it helps calm down my brain and allows me to explore emotions and experience in a fictional way that is healthy, right? So I feel like I know so much more about human human interaction and psychology, just because authors are so incredibly, incredibly brilliant. And they use their own life experience to create these magical worlds. And so I read a lot, it slows down my brain. And then exercise and you mentioned healthy eating as much as I ate it because I am a bring on the sugar when I'm stressed kind of a girl. Healthy Eating is everything. It really is such a huge component to feeling healthy. And I would say with the back being down, that's the hardest part. I've had to stop exercising. And I'm drawn to the sugar like no other because I'm unhappy. And so it is a true addiction for me that I'm always fighting that darn sugar that normally is a finger

Shannon 32:55  
and what it does to our bodies. It's just a tremendous thing. My art. My previous podcast, as you know was with Neema Black from our same lighthouse collective community and Cathy Heller is made to do this world and we talked a lot about healthy eating and she is just such a light spirit about oh, I am not suffering to eat well. She has so many great and wonderful recipes. But even then sometimes I am prone to I love graham cracker ice cream. I have to tell you, I love graham cracker ice cream.

Bridgette 33:30  
I'm gluten free, right? It's I have a gluten sensitivity. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups came out with a pretzel one and the pretzels are gluten free. And so every time I'm in the aisle, I'm like, whoa. Because anything I couldn't have before but I can have now. You're lying. I'm all in. Yeah, like Oreos came out with gluten free Oreos, you know, horrible. That's been for me. It's my favorite cookie of all time. And for, you know, 15 years, I couldn't eat them. Now they have them. And so now it's like a desperation thing. I couldn't have them for about 10 years. Yeah, I have to hide them from myself.

Shannon 34:03  
I totally hear Yeah.

Bridgette 34:05  
I also I wanted to touch about one other thing you said a while ago, I'm trying to remember these nuggets as we're going along in our conversation, you talk about this vision that we have for ourselves, you know, living this vision that you really have for yourself. And you and I had it sounds like somewhat similar journeys. I had this journey as a child where the woman that I am today is very different, so to speak, than the woman that I was before or the child that I was or you could say alternatively I've come home to the woman that I always really was as a child. And it's it's like it was like a lion roaring in a cage throughout my childhood. Something that needed to get out this vision of happiness and joy and putting goodness into The world while still being able to acknowledge and honor the heaviness that really does exist in a world where all emotions are welcome in a judgment free space. But it took a long time, like a couple of decades to transition from something I sort of knew as a 1012 year old girl, but couldn't put words to, but can now live fully as an adult. And how health and mindset play into that journey, because we can begin to believe is this vision I have of myself just something totally made up. Like I've just made it up. It's not really real, I really am the overdramatic emotional, too much bla bla bla, that the world is labeled me as, and I should learn to tamp it down and I tried for about a decade to tamp Shannon down, it did not go well for anybody. That transition for you from trying to, you know, this person that you were to letting yourself fully fully live in all of your glory.

Bridgette 36:19  
Goodness, I think I'm still learning to fully let myself live in all my glory. And I'll drive along. One of the tools This is such a goofy one. But it's helped me so much as understanding the anagram I don't know if you know anything about the underground to yes to fabulous, right. And so there was something about I have taken so many personality tests over the years and you know, working in a corporate world, they're always make you take the random tests, I can figure out how to put the teams together and how we interact and respect each other. And then nobody does. It's almost like creating an arsenal against each other. I think a lot of times in corporate environments like Oh, I know what will hurt you. Here you go, boom. So I think in so many, and one of the things I learned is a I was like, I can't label this girl, there's no label I every time I take it I'm have something different also learned I could manipulate the test to get what I wanted. I don't know what that says about me. But I could relate the test and get the answer. I wanted to get my wanted or whatever. And so I would do that. But the anagram has to do with the desire of your heart. That's kind of where you figure out your core. And so it's resonated the most with me, and I am an anagram three. So I'm a bit of a chameleon. And I like to be out there. I want to know I have a purpose and that I'm serving the world and changing the world. And there was one day I was driving my bike, I take my son to school on their bike every day and I'm driving home. It's like the best thoughts happen on the bike rides and in the showers. Showers are magical. But I'm riding home and I'm thinking somewhat, so you feel comfortable in this place, even though it scares the heck out of you. Every time I hit the live button on Instagram and nobody shows up or right before a podcast, they get all the anxiety even though it scares the heck out of me. When I'm here, it feels so right and so complete. I think is that wrong to feel that way? You know, people criticize me for that. I remember one time I had a mic and I was doing. I was actually it was for a nonprofit agency and we were doing an auction and I was running the mic. And when I came down the owners husband does voice somebody likes the microphone. And he said it so negatively. And of course I spun like, Oh shoot, did I overdo it? Did I do too much they've tampered it down, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all the intruding, thoughts popped up. And I think back on that moment a lot. And I know that means I rocked it. I rocked rocked it, you know. And he he was noticing and it made him feel weird because I think his wife was supposed to be the star. But guess what, she wasn't there. So I stepped up. And that's one of the things I'm good at. So I think because we'll keep uncovering new layers and new pieces of ourselves that we hid away that we thought we should cover up. And as we peel those layers off of us, we have to learn this self acceptance again, each time with each new layer and it feels raw, just like when a layer of skin comes off. It feels kind of uncomfortable and raw, but it's beautiful, and it creates the truest version of ourselves. So I think I'm still definitely working on it. And I'm still learning. And I don't know so many times when I fully let myself emerge, people criticize it so quickly that I hide it back up, right? So I think I'm definitely learning but what I do know is when we want to fully step into ourselves, the best way to do it is to have a purpose. We have a calling, or we have a purpose, or we have a quest, right, whatever that is. It helps us not care what the naysayers say, right? Because it doesn't matter because our purpose is greater. Right? And so for me being able to use my voice to tell people, like you said, it doesn't matter who they are, where they've been or what trauma they've had their most authentic self is their most beautiful self Every day as I step into that, and I create a safe space for them to step into that my purpose is realized. And I see them realizing their purpose, and we're creating beautiful community together. Gosh, darn it, I don't care what anyone says anymore because that, that magic, it fills my soul. Absolutely.

Shannon 40:19  
Yeah, I feel the same in our community. When I, you know, I think about moments where I get uncomfortable, where I'm getting pushed outside of my comfort zone as I build my business. And when I stopped, and I think about that woman that I was, and that woman that I know is out there, who is a wife and a mom and a worker and a community volunteer, and she's got diabetes, or Fibromyalgia or celiac or rheumatoid arthritis. And we have a whole new community of COVID-19, long haulers to welcome to the chronic condition community. Right, she has one of those things, and she's just she shows up every day. And, and some days are great. And a lot of days, she's beating yourself up quietly in her head, and she can sort of laugh about a girlfriend with about it from time to time, but really be honest about it. She keeps it all sort of in and then she has these glimmer moments where she does feel like she's rocking it. And then there's that side comment. And sometimes the side comment is from someone outside, like the guy who said to you, well, you must really lie, someone really likes the mic. And sometimes the side comment is from that negative Nelly inside my own head. And I quit Quick, quick, quick, quick pack myself back up and live in that little box. And I think about her and I think about what would I do for her Bring it on, I'd be willing to do anything for her. To have those moments of just feeling connected to her heart and knowing that all of her matters, her life matters. Her story matters, her dreams matter I had given up on my dreams, because physically I wasn't going to be able to accomplish them. So it would just be better if I gave up on them. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Yeah. I think it's one of the great gifts that people like you and I and women who know darkness. It is one of my great gifts is to find and cultivate and nourish joy, and beauty and peaceful moments because I know what the shit looks and feels like I know what it looks and feels like intimately. And so I don't I don't want to miss the moments of joy. And I don't want to miss those moments of beauty. And so I make a point of making sure that I've got the good stuff as well.

Bridgette 42:46  
And that's why I let myself be empty for this weekend because I knew I wanted to fully breathe into this moment. I did a little too much breathing. But But like you said, when you know the pad that good, you got to grab it and just fully be in it. Because that is that I mean, those are the moments that in 20 years, I want to remember Ryan's of the things I want to fully been in, right? Well, because the dark will bring you in no matter what you get to fully be in that right. The dark is there it is it is there. And it's a choice all the time. You know, and it's one of those, you know, not to keep talking.

Shannon 43:27  
But you mentioned earlier about the negativity, particularly when we're physically down or mentally down, or particularly when we're in bed, and we're looking for demonstratable evidence. And it's one of the tools that I use for me personally and share with my clients all the time, we're going to create a bank of demonstratable evidence of the joy and the beauty and the strength in your life so that when the chips are down, and those voices are trying to let me tell you all the reasons why you're not enough. I at least have a piece of paper, I have a vision board, I have a file in my photos that are my demonstratable evidence of strength and joy in my life. So I have a variety of places I can go.

Shannon 44:16  
I hear you voice out there. But I also have this really factual demonstratable evidence of the goodness in my life too. And it feels like it's authentic. It's not fake. It's not. Oh, yeah, but there's good stuff,

Bridgette 44:29  
Yeah, not that big. But others have it worse than me. And I hate that. I hate that. But it actually it's funny you say that because that was in my mind. I kept going back to bringing that up and I never did. So I'm glad that you're teaching them that because I was like they need because there is that. So you talked about feeling crazy or whatnot. And one of the things that I've been I have been in a low right now and it's been very hard to crawl back up and I can feel all the strong and capable stuff slowing down because cuz of me not because of what the message or anything, it's my struggle and like, you know now I'm trying to build back up and reset my heart and my mind and all the things anyway, it's, it's a journey always. Um, but as I'm feeling it like you said, feeling that joy and then goodness and all the things start to fill my heart again and all of its coming back. One of the things that I've been really, I don't know, like I'm religious I just call it God, but like I have had these memories pop up for me because I just felt so delusional because in my mind, I don't want to this. I want to be Kathy Heller, Rachel Hollis. Like, that's where I'm headed and my mind and I started like, are you delusional? Are you a little old for this? Are you you know, all the things like, really, really, you think you can do this and it was all the the negative was coming up. And it was the weirdest thing, all these memories started popping up of me from the time I was like six years old, cleared through my teenagers career through my, where I would have the weirdest thoughts of when you're famous, you will do this and this and this, when you're famous, you want to be aware of this, and this and this when you're famous. These are some fears. So how are you going to handle it? And I thought those aren't typical thoughts that people have. I feel and it's not evidence of me being delusional it's evidence of this is what I have known my whole life, whether I was aware of it or not, that I needed to do. And I had divine whisperings my entire life prepping me for so and that little girl totally gave you permission to be famous, because that little girl was providing you information. Yes. Right. And that's like,

Shannon 46:41  
you know, it's interesting as I became a teenager and insecure because I was want to be a singer, I thought I was going to be a singer. But um, as I grew up, I'd start saying, Why don't want to be on front of the stage, I just want to be a backup singer. I just want to be support. Like I literally tempered my dreams, because I could see the people's reaction. And so it's my job to be a backup singer. I know I'm good enough for that. I'm very good at harmony. Harmony. Great. I know the spotlight, right?

Shannon  47:11  
I don't need it. I like it, but I don't need it so bad. So no dream tamping here, we are going to let our dreams flourish and give ourselves permission to step

Bridgette 47:26  
fully into them. But like you said, it's so interesting, because if you've done any mindset work at all, and then you couple it with something out of your control, such as an autoimmune disease, or severe trauma that hasn't been addressed, or these things that come like, you know, PTSD, I can tell you from having family members with PTSD, you don't know your triggers. And so you could be going along with life and all sudden your trigger. You know, like what happened, my whole life just blew up. And I don't even know why. You know, so the unaddressed trauma or different things. When you've done mindset work, you can quickly fall into what you were saying earlier, this place where you're like, I'm just not doing enough mindset work. And then you put yourself in a box even quicker and you like put a lock pad on it, like nobody come in here. I haven't figured it out yet. Let me figure it out inside the box, and then I'll pop out again. And it that can be you know, the biggest thing we can do if we're dealing with any kind of a long term thing. And your mindset is remember that you cannot control everything. We just can't, we cannot control everything. And we can control our thoughts. But we can't usually control our first thought we can control our second thought. So when that first thought pops up, we have to say, Okay, hello, I see you, but what what am I going to do with you? And if we just allow the first thought to be the ruler and believe that See, I'm hopeless because this just came up for me. That's not going to work out. Because I can tell you, when you're in depression, when your anxiety when you're bedridden because of a physical ailment, your mind it is like a prison. This is a dark day, and it's going and going and going and 95% of it has been seeking evidence that's negative. I know. For me and these dark spots. I mean, I'm a motivational speaker, I have a podcast I have a community of all these things and a lot of times when I'm in the dark spots like who are you to do this? Who do you think you are? Really and like you said, You're crazy. You think this is going to become something you are crazy everyone else is looking around at you like well she's delusional they're only cheering you on to your face project like these are the thoughts that they're only supporting you because they kind of like you. I can tell you I have a free class every month on thoughts actually mindset not love it and I read for them usually my first thought before my first class but I taught like this and it's like nobody likes you. You have nothing is thought you just say they're only coming because they're nice. One of my cute friends attended a while ago and I and then I share with them how I rewrite that thought my life has mean And value and you do have lessons to teach and things to open up and your greatest asset is that you love. And when you love and teach these things lives can be changed. So I rewrote that that so share for them both sides of it. But I had the cutest friend. She's like, No, no, I just showed up because I like you.

Shannon  50:20  
Like, people are people, they're human, and we have to be our own advocate. But we have to have to have to understand that physical ailment, and spiritual ailments and these things, they wreak havoc with mindset. And so if I have a good friend going through serious trauma, and she said, my husband keeps telling me your mindsets, not right. And I said, No, he's wrong, you're going through real trauma, real trauma, this is not something mindset can fix. So if you know about mindset, and if you've done that work, if you've done some of that work, don't let your mindset tell you, you're broken, because we let we let that happen a lot. And it's not fair, you know, to ourselves,

Bridgette 51:01  
I may have a chronic condition that I have lived with my whole life, and I will live with my whole life, and I am so not broken. And I can feel that at my, at the bottom of my soul. And it's taken a lot of work to get there. And if I could sprinkle that, like fairy dust on the women that I know and love and work with, who also have chronic conditions who still feel broken off, I'd be throwing that fairy dust around like water. Tell my listeners a little bit about you have your awake community. And you have your podcast. So sure a little bit about that. Okay, my work is I always say I'm on the outside looking in, I've never felt like I fit in anywhere. And so I realized I could be a voice for those who feel like they don't fit, which I think is like most of us. Maybe I'm wrong on that. But I think it's most of us, I think very few of us feel totally with it together. And like we have our people, most women look at other people who have Trump quote unquote tribes and wish they have one right. And so like my group, I think, is misfits. And I say that with all the love in my heart, we are authentic and real. We talk about real life, there's usually a lot of tears, and then some goofing off. So living awake is instead of allowing the world to influence you, or families or cultures or whatever, it's being intentional with your own life. It's living awake and choosing that every day. Like I said, we talked about who we are, where we're going, how to get there, there's always an acknowledgement of the Divine part of ourselves, the physical part of ourselves, because we're not just one dimensional. We're so beautiful, dimensional. So the podcast is called the strong and capable. We talk about what that looks like what is strong and capable. How do we say yes to life, and we've done everything from talking about mental health was last month that was hard. It was a little bit triggering this month. Like I said, his heroes and villains we talked about imposter syndrome and, and giving and saying yes, and that a lot of times saying no is actually saying yes to what you want. So we just have a real life. It's very authentic. I repeat myself way too much. I say yes, yes, yes. A lot. Like when I'm editing, sometimes I drive myself crazy, but it's real. And I love I love the strong and capable women because they really, like I mentioned that my heroes. They are my heroes, because they're saying, I want to be awake, I want to be authentic. And there are so few humans out there that are choosing fully to do that, that they're I feel like they're trendsetters. They're rule breakers. They're like the true rebels of the world. They're the ones we need. And I feel like the future is made up of those kind of people.

Shannon 53:42  
So that's what I just said, Oh, we are both I feel the same way about my community. They are my heroes. All my heroes they show up day in and day out. And sort of for the for many of them quietly yet valiantly yes you to show up in their life day in and day out and manage both the physical logistics, family work community involvement, their heart, their own soul seeking their own self love. It's just such an amazing journey. So tell my listeners all the places where they can go find you because they should

Bridgette 54:26  
thank you for that. Facebook is a Strong and Capable to free group the weight community you can sign up for on my website I just tell your listeners I just keep having this thought and I try and follow my thoughts and I hope I'm respecting your time of course. Um, a few months ago we had the worst day of our family history ever. It was full meltdown. I have PTSD, OCD, autism spectrum disorder, celiac disease, you name it, our families, a beautiful mix of Fun. And it was what we dubbed the Heller worst day of our existence of our family. 20 years worst day, people were yelling, crying, threatening to leave the house. At one point, I had a child drop the F bomb and yell, and I swear to God, I felt like it was. And I laugh about it now, but it was not it was not funny. Yeah, no, it was, my house is a lot like that, too. There's a lot going on, and all basically all the gloves of all the traumas. And all the things came off in one night, even though we do counseling, and we do all these things, right? Because that's what I mean. I'm a huge advocate of that. So I woke up the next morning, and just a woke up with tears running down my eyes. And they thought I, how do I go out into the world and say, I see what you're broken, and I love you and you don't have to be broken? Like, how do I go out and do that? Like, don't you don't have to feel broken? Because broken is beautiful. Like, how do we go out and give this message? How am I and then more importantly than that, no offense to those who are in my world. I failed my family, like my kids are destroyed. And I have messed up this whole motherhood thing. And this whole like, Who am I to say I have anything together at all, I am so broken and so broken and tears, I couldn't even get out of bed It was so so completely broken. And I call them divine downloads, those moments where you get thoughts, right that are just beyond you, and you know it and we all have them. I don't have them all the time. But we all have them. And in that moment, I thought, forget that you love glitter, and I do anyone who knows me knows you love glitter, and it is the most broken substance on earth. And because it's so broken, it shines more because of it. I know you mentioned that your women are heroes are struggling every day. And they probably feel broken every day. And I just hope they know that because they're broken and because they're authentic and they're showing up and they're coming to your group and they're doing those things. They shine brighter than any other perfectly put together surface. I mean, I'm a designer real gold does not shine as much as glitter. Glitter is the magic of every event is a secret sauce. It is it's the secret sauce. So if you are broken and you'll feel it. Just know that means your potential to shine, eclipses anything else out there. It really does.

Shannon 57:26  
I just love that. Well, Bridgette thank you so so much for taking the time to come share your wisdom, your heart, your generosity with my community, you are definitely a glittering gem in this world. And so thank you. Thank you.

Bridgette 57:41  
Thank you so much for having me on here. I really appreciate it. It's an honor to serve the community and you today Thank you.

Shannon 57:50  
Was she fabulous or what so many great gems in today's episode. But here are a few quick takeaways. One you have power to change your thoughts and rewrite your life to the moment you say don't need that I'm good and let it go is often the moment you get the thing you are seeking. Three true strength is knowing when to push when to pull, when to keep going when to rest for you aren't really serving or helping the people you love when you throw away or set aside your own self care tool belt. Five boundaries are a critical tool in the self care tool belt. sex life is not lived in the extremes. It's lived in the middle seven you have so much knowledge within you. It's less about learning new tools and more about putting those tools you have into action. Eight healing comes from the inside out. Nine journaling is the bridge between your mind and your heart 10 it really is okay to rock it 11 your most authentic self is your most beautiful self. And of course number 12 glitter shines brighter than gold because it is broken. And there's always just a friendly reminder nothing on this program from myself or any of my guests is intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions. And any personal medical advice should be received directly from your own personal medical team. Thank you so much for joining me today. I am so happy to be back and so happy that you were here with me. Can I ask you one more favor? If you heard something on today's podcast that just really resonated with you or really made you smile or lifted your spirits or a practical tip that you're going to take with you Will you do me a favor and drop a comment in Apple podcast because that's how more women can find finally Effing Happy or better yet, take a screenshot and post it on your favorite social media Instagram or Facebook and tag me and I'll tag you back you can follow me on Instagram @finallyeffinghappy or you can come hang out With me some more in my free and private Facebook group. And you can get there by going to But if Facebook isn't your jam, but you want to keep posted on upcoming workshops and free offerings, you can just join my email list at Super simple. All of that info is in the show notes. And so until we connect next be well and please be kind to you today.

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