Holistic approaches to coaching are becoming more and more mainstream because of how effective they are. When we, as coaches, have a higher level view of how everything in the human mind and body is connected, we can bring a higher level of care to our clients. We can serve and help them more fully, in addition to our speciality or main coaching focus.
That’s why I’m bringing together coaches like Leah Davidson, Lindsay Poelman and Melanie Fay for my brand new Masterful Coach Training Advanced Training, which begins in 2024. And for this episode, we’ve come together to both give a sneak peek of the program and to share numerous good thoughts around holistic approach to coaching.
“As coaches, when we can support our clients in feeling those emotions in a healthy way and guiding them to learn a new way of processing and feeling, and all of that, it really is creating a new pathway, a new plan, a new protocol.” – Molly Claire
The NEW 2024 Masterful Coach Training waitlist is NOW OPEN at mollyclaire.com. In this training, you’ll learn about numerous holistic approaches, relationship coaching, coaching ethics, and so much more. It’s truly an all-in-one training. Don’t delay, get on the waitlist!
Leah Davidson is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and a certified Life Coach (through the Life Coach School). Through her extensive training, she is also a Forward Facing Trauma Informed Health and Wellness Coach, a Forward Facing Professional Resilience Coach and Consultant, a Revelation Breathwork Facilitator, an EFT Practitioner, and is working toward even more certifications.
Lindsay Poelman is a specialized Trauma Coach who trains other coaches to become Trauma-Informed. A graduate of The Life Coach School, she also holds certifications and associations in the areas of Sexual Addiction Betrayal Trauma, Faith-Based Coaching, Feminist Coaching and APSATS (The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists).
Melanie Fay is a certified EFT practitioner and professional artist based in New York. While passionate about approaching a large variety of issues with EFT, she specializes in confidence, self esteem, anxiety, blocks to self expression and creative expression, performance fears, and shame. Melanie works with clients world wide though Zoom.
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Intro: Welcome to the Masterful Coach podcast with Molly Claire. If you’re a coach who’s ready to impact more lives, make more money, and create a life you love, you’re in exactly the right place. Get the support you deserve as a female entrepreneur.
Master your coaching skills, grow your ideal business, and honor your priorities in your personal life. Are you in? Let’s get started with your host, best-selling author and master life and business coach, Molly Claire.
Molly Claire: Hey, coach, this episode is jam packed. I am interviewing three powerhouse women, Leah Davidson, who’s an expert in the nervous system, Lindsay Poelman, who is a relationship trauma certification coach, and Melanie Fay, who is a gifted healer. She is an EFT practitioner and coach, and the three of these women have come together on this interview to talk about having a holistic approach as a coach.
I am so excited to share this interview with you, and I will tell you that as we sat down and gathered to do this episode, I felt like pinching myself, because here I was with three women who I’ve worked with in different capacities and admired so much, and all three of these women, not only are they so good at what they do, but they have such a heart for what they do.
And the power that comes when you bring together human beings, these powerful women, who are dedicated to serving their clients, to helping you to become better coaches, and who really have it in their heart, it is, there is some big power behind that, and we could definitely feel it, and I think you will feel it in this episode as well.
Before we dive in, I just want to say a couple of things. The reason that I am bringing these women on this episode here now today is in case you missed it, the Masterful Coach Collective, Master Coach Training has been announced.
Master Coach Training 2024 will start in January, but we are enrolling now. If you’re interested in finding out more, go to www.mollyclaire.com, and there you can find the information page, and you can join the wait list.
I highly recommend that you do that. You will be the first to know, and you can also be invited to a Q&A call and a webinar that will be coming up as well. So, what do these three women have to do with Master Coach Training opening?
Well, I will tell you, what is so different about this Master Coach Training is that it is not about mastering or excelling in one type of coaching, but rather, this is a holistic view of coaching, and really giving you a very comprehensive, high-level view of human beings, of the human brain, of the body, so that no matter what your coaching style or specialty is, you will be able to be more effective in that specialty.
So, what this means, if I break this down for you, is that this Master Coach Training is a full year where you will not only learn the fundamentals of coaching, like advanced cognitive work, which I will be teaching, nervous system work, which Leah will be teaching, relationship work, which I will be teaching, as along with Lindsay and what she will be sharing, you will be learning how to do EFT, you will be learning grief work with the amazing Krista St. Germain, who will also be on the podcast soon, and many more experts.
You will be dipping your toe into parenting, motherhood, family life, relationships, all the things. This is a chance for you as a coach to really expand your knowledge, understand many of the fundamentals, and dip your toe into many specialties, so that you truly will be equipped to handle anything that your client brings, or know that you are not the one to help your client, because both are important.
So, we’re going to talk about the difference between therapy and coaching, and also teach ethics in this program. I’m telling you, guys, this program is phenomenal. It is everything all wrapped into one, all in one spot, and I am over the moon excited to work with so many of you in this coming year.
So, go to www.mollyclaire.com, check it out, and let’s dive in. You are going to love this conversation. I know that I did. All right.
So, this is so exciting. I know for most of you listening, unless you just happen to watch one of the clips online, you can’t see these beautiful faces I’m looking at, but I’m thrilled to bring you this podcast today where I have Lindsay, Leah, and Melanie, who I just feel like I’m with a dream team when it comes to safe, effective coaching practices and really helping you as a coach to have a broader understanding of how the work you do specifically fits into helping your clients in a really big way.
So, first, I want to just introduce each of my guests here and have them say a little bit about them, and what’s really cool to me about this, not only because these women that you’re going to hear from today are all so brilliant and you’re going to gain so much from them, but they’ve all been a part of my own journey in different ways. So, that’s really fun for me personally, so…
All right, so Melanie—Melanie, you’ve been on the podcast before. I have worked with Melanie personally, privately, for a very long time. It has been some of the greatest work of my life for sure and continues to be, and Melanie has also served in my communities that I’ve worked with my clients, teaching them, working with many of them, and she specializes in EFT or the Emotional Freedom Technique and Tapping.
So, Melanie, welcome. I know I kind of just said what you do, but share a little bit about how you would describe what you do.
Melanie Fay: Thank you, Molly. Thank you so much. I think I’d like to start just sharing with your audience about why I do what I do, because I think that maybe is the best lead in to explain why it’s so important to me. I actually sort of come from a thought work background, not formally, but just with myself.
I’ve always been really involved in personal development. I had a couple things happen when I was a kid that sort of launched me in this direction of feeling like I needed to find a way to feel safe.
And I really looked towards thought work and everything I was learning there as a medium to do that. And I got so far with what I was trying to accomplish. And that was going very smoothly until I started to have some new traumas showing up in my life.
And once those things were happening that were sort of mirroring things that happened when I was a child, the thought work was no longer cutting it, like, at all. Like, I was just sort of in panic state. I was not doing well. But in addition to that, it caused me to feel like a lack of compassion for myself and anger at myself, because it was no longer working.
So, then I found tapping, which is this tool that we’ll continue to talk about and talk about more in the podcast and you’ll learn about in the program, where it allowed me to start to engage my body in what I was experiencing through in my life.
And so, it was this lynchpin where now all the thought work training I had done, now that I had this tool where I could bring my body along, it allowed me to continue to move forward where I had had sort of stalled out.
So that’s just a very little bit and I’ll cut myself off because I do thing really long with it. The reason why I’m saying that is because the tools that I think all of us are bringing to this program, this nervous system approach, it allows for a level of two things that I think are incredibly important.
One is compassion for ourselves. When we stall out and we’re no longer able to make the changes that we were able to make, we will understand—I’m going to cry—we will understand why both for ourselves and for those around us and we’ll know what to do about it for ourselves and those around us.
Because really, it’s not our fault, and once we start to learn about the nervous system, we really become aware of why that is. So this learning creates that space of compassion as well as a tool to move through it. And I can’t think of anything more important than that truly in terms of growth.
Molly Claire: Yeah, yes, I know. And now I’m going to cry. We might all cry today. We’ll just decide it’s okay. And my episode actually that aired last week was me sharing more about my personal experience, which I very much relate to everything you’re saying, Melanie, and I know a lot of people listening to this do as well.
It’s like the thought work, that cognitive approach was so helpful and so powerful for so long in so many ways until it wasn’t. And I don’t think, I think sometimes I hear noise about kind of almost putting down or dismissing the cognitive approach, interestingly, when people approach this, but I just—I don’t believe that to be true. I believe it has a really powerful place. It’s just that if there’s missing pieces, it’s just, it’s not going to be useful. So anyway, but yes, thank you so much for sharing all of that, Melanie. And I’m just, yeah, so excited to talk more about it.
All right. So, Leah, tell us about you. Now, Leah, our interaction was you actually being in my program, right, the Coaching Collective—was a totally different way that I’ve typically engaged with you. And I’ve just been so excited to see as you’ve kind of stepped into this nervous system work and broaden, I don’t know if I’d say broaden what you are working on. Maybe narrowing is more like it just because of everywhere you’ve been. So anyway, tell us what you do and, yeah, kind of how you came to it as well.
Leah Davidson: Sure. Yeah. I sort of feel like I’ve just pulled together everything that I’ve been doing over the many years. So I, as you said, specialize in nervous system resilience, stress and burnout. But I’ve also been a speech language pathologist for the almost 25 years now.
And when most people think of that, they think of, you know, our tick like R’s and S’s and working in schools. And I actually worked in the area of traumatic brain injury. So as people who have been in accidents, experienced injuries to their brain, and then alongside with it, PTSD and PTS and everything in between.
So, I specialize in an area called cognitive communication. So it’s helping people with their cognition and their communication. And over the years, as I was working with them, that not only was there injury causing sort of almost blocks in their ability to learn all the strategies, but I started to notice there were other things going on.
And that’s really where I started diving into more work with the nervous system and more work. I found mindset. And I have always been sort of doing nervous system work along the way without it being called that.
Because I think like…it’s sort of like when we talk about being trauma-informed, when we look at the definitions or the multiple definitions of trauma-informed, I was like, “I’ve been doing that for 25 years, but it just wasn’t popularized then with a certain term.”
So I just started introducing more and more mindset. And that was brilliant. And like you said, I would never not cognition because that’s my foundation and mindset. I saw brilliant changes with my clients.
But it was only when we were able to regulate the nervous system, were people really able to embrace. And I think to Melanie’s point of the self-compassion, a lot of my clients that I work with, they have been victims to accidents or injuries or abuse.
And this feeling, this knowledge that it’s not their fault is so freeing for them. So, I just pulled it all together. And as I was working, I started working with clients who didn’t have brain injuries. And as I was working with more and more people, more people were saying, “I love the way you present it. I love the way you share it.”
I don’t look at coming at nervous system as a technique, so to speak, I think foundation, and we have to understand the foundation. And then there’s so many different tools and we all use different ones, we all use the same ones that people will resonate with. So I think it’s so important to have those different tools.
But the nervous system really to me is everything that you want to build on. And that’s why I created my training, which is advanced training and nervous system resilience. How does the nervous system work? How does it work? What is trauma? And then all the layers, how does it work with executive function skills and neuroplasticity and chronic pain illness and emotions and burnout? How does it work with all those things? So that’s what I do with my training now.
Molly Claire: So incredible. I love it. And it was interesting when you were saying, I’ve always kind of done this because, and I think that’s true typically for…I don’t know, I would imagine that—well, I think Lindsay, you can tell me if I’m wrong or whatever, but when we move over to talking to you, I think it’s like, this is the way that you’ve coached in this way, right? You’ve done this.
And then we kind of sometimes put words to it or describe it more clearly or even understand it more clearly, because I can say the same, like my approach to cognitive work, I think was always a little different and always brought in a bit of a bigger picture. Now even more so, right, as I’ve learned more, but yeah, I just, I love your work. I’m so glad to have you here.
Leah Davidson: I think we’re just putting labels to a lot of things that people were intuitively doing and just having a greater understanding of why it’s so important and why it’s important to put a label to it so that people could start recognizing what they’re doing instead of just sort of intuitively thinking, oh, is this right? Is this now we’re being a bit more explicit with it?
Molly Claire: Yeah, yeah, especially and I like your brain up that word “intuition” because this does move exactly over to Lindsay, right? But it’s like one of the things that I’ll say Lindsay that you and I have worked with a lot and I’ve also done with this with you Melanie as well, right, Lindsay? The conversations we’ve had about like where is this activation and where is the intuition, right? Kind of sifting through, because I think that until we learn more about this, intuition, I think, is actually really powerful, but it can be really hard to distinguish it from nervous system activation or thoughts that are coming in that are not intuitive. So yeah, I love all of that.
Okay, so Lindsay—Lindsay, I’ve worked with you personally and I know I’ve said this whenever we have an interview, I feel like it made no sense for me to join Lindsay’s trauma-informed program. Not that I didn’t need it, but I had some pieces of it already, I had so many things going on, it didn’t make any sense, but it made all the sense. I knew that I needed to sign up for it, and it was definitely one of the best decisions that I’ve made. It helped me so much personally, it has helped me so much in my practice with my clients. So, Lindsay, tell us about what you do.
Lindsay Poelman: Oh, thanks for all those kind words, Molly. So kind of you. Yeah, so, my name’s Lindsay Poelman and I run an advanced certification for coaches who want to become trauma-informed. And I also have a full trauma-informed coaching certification. And I came to this work because I went through my own betrayal trauma with my partner years and years ago.
And I remember just kind of trying to find help, really. I tried everything because when I went through everything I was going through eight years ago, there just wasn’t the support as readily as there is today.
And so, I did thankfully find a really good therapist who’s really helped me with grieving and deep processing and stuff like that but I was only able to go so far. And then once I found the mindset component, it helped me a ton too.
And then from there, I got various certifications and trainings and things like that, and I started initially working with people who were like me because I remember thinking, “If I could have had me, that would’ve been so much more helpful, so much less wandering and different thoughts.”
Not to say that the way that it worked out for me wasn’t the way it was meant to be, but I remember starting out that way and wanting to support women who had gone through similar stuff.
And then what happened from there was just different coaches started hiring me who didn’t necessarily have the same betrayal in their marriage with respect to their partners, but they were navigating something similar.
And then I started seeing all the parallels that I had learned in my partner trauma training with respect to betrayal and different things like that. I started seeing all these parallels and how having a trauma-informed lens could be so much more informative and supportive for them with respect to their nervous system needs and things like that.
Once I started seeing all the parallels, I just thought, “Ugh, if every coach, if every human were understood the nervous system and understood trauma, how differently would we receive abuse survivors and receive our clients who are coming to us and needing to be validated and witnessed and seen?”
And so, that’s kind of my vision is to just do everything I can to just support every human and understanding nervous of the more trauma-informed work.
And again, the goal of that ultimately, if this is what people want, is so that they can really live a life from their soul, from their intuition and from that power space and feel safe enough in their body to not only just see that, not only know what the calls of their intuition are but feel safe enough to live from there too, so yeah.
Molly Claire: Love it. Yeah, I think that because you bringing that trauma lens and talking about relationship trauma, and I know also you talk about a lot of conditioning, like societal conditioning and how that comes into play. I know that’s actually a big topic that you’re talking more and more about, and you’ll be talking about some of that in the program as well.
But, so one of the things you said is you brought up validation and being seen and heard, and this is one thing I think that typically in the kind of the outspoken popular coaching space, we hear so much about, like, we shouldn’t need any outside validation, right? It’s all about self-validation. And I think there’s certainly value in that, right?
And I think sometimes it misses out on the fact, first of all, that humans, we are designed to connect, and especially where you’re talking about abuse survivors, people have experienced any level of trauma, which most of us have experienced some, that sense of being held and that validation is so crucial because it’s so easy for us to invalidate ourselves and use all the tools that are supposed to be helping us to invalidate our experience, invalidate our intuition, invalidate all of it.
And so, I just love that you said that, and I wanted to highlight it for the coaches listening, because yes, we want to self-validate, yes, we want to be strong, we don’t want to be dependent on other people’s view of us. And there are times and ways in which it is really important for us to have that supportive validation.
Lindsay Poelman: Yeah, because it’s just like helping someone recognize that their lived experience gets to be theirs, and being a witness to that without having an agenda for that to change, can go so far as far as facilitating safety and healing and growth.
And it’s so fascinating too with respect to some of our societal conditioning too, because it really is done and can be done in a very empowered way, right? Some people are afraid to go there and to really sit in spaces where they haven’t ever been validated or seen or allowed to feel or process, right? And yeah, it can be done in a really grounded, empowered way so that we can continue to shift what we want to shift as a collective.
Molly Claire: Yes. And of course, just like as with seems to be everything, the problem enters in when we are criticizing ourselves, “I shouldn’t need outside validation, I should be this, I should be this,” right? All of this noise that comes. Okay, so this is so exciting. So, as you can hear, I have these powerhouse women here—so caring, so genuine.
So, of course, the program that we’re going to be bringing together, each of you of course are going to be experts in the program, and there will be advanced thought work which takes into account some of these pieces, of course, and then really diving into each of these areas.
So, this is what I want to know from you, because there are a lot of different coach trainings, of course. I have a lot of people who follow me from the Life Coach School or other schools that do very much cognitive work. That’s why I’m so excited to bring a program that is much more holistic.
I’d love to hear from some of you, and we’ve kind of already talked about this, but anything specific that you want to want to say as to how you see more of a holistic approach taking in all of the things you’ve offered up, of course, including also some of the grief, the parenting, some of the strategy, some of the action, all of those things coming into play, how do you see that as beneficial? And I’m not even going to call on you, you can just speak up and share what you have to share and hopefully, we’ll just go around each of you.
Lindsay Poelman: The reason that I’m just so in love with what you’re doing, Molly, is because, in my eyes, you can’t completely compartmentalize the brain. And so, I think there’s a way to present and teach about mind, body, soul, intuition, nervous system and stuff like that.
But ultimately, it’s all overlapping societally, even with school and academics, a lot of stuff is taught separated, right? Even if you think of the anatomy of a body, it’s like you analyze the stomach and then you analyze the spleen all of these different things, but we’re not always looking at the whole picture.
And so, just the idea that you’re bringing together this holistic approach that takes the body into account, to me, just feels so much more sustainable and loving and honestly just grounding, even just considering it, because I know if I were to be going through the program, we don’t have to hustle, we don’t have to grind, we don’t have to override our needs of safety with certain thoughts or things like that. And so, it just, to me, it comes off as like a more curious, calm approach to doing the work that we want to do.
Molly Claire: Yes, I love that. And yeah, it’s true, right? It’s like, it’s beneficial to specialize and learn more about one certain thing. And that whole bringing it all together is so important. It’s like, it made me think of, I mean, well, in my own, I don’t want to go off on too much of a tangent so I want to hear from the other two of you as well on this.
But thinking about my health when I was experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome, and I would have one symptom here and one symptom there, and it’s like, if we’re just treating that in isolation, we’re missing the boat on why this is even happening to begin with, right?
And I also had a running injury where I had an injury to my foot, and it’s great to focus on the ways that we could support my foot and heal my foot, but guess what, you’re walking on that foot and it goes all the way up the body, right? So, then it impacts the knees and the hips and everything.
And so, I’ve just seen in so many ways and times in my life the value of really understanding certainly one piece of it, or several pieces of it, and that big picture. So, that’s just kind of what it made me think about. Yeah, love it.
Leah Davidson: Yeah, I’ll jump in. From my perspective, I’m very cognitive driven, just my background has always been. But what you start to realize is that there is science behind all these things. I think that people think, “Well, mindset and cognition is more of the science piece, and then this is all the woo.”
Molly Claire: Right? Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you said that.
Leah Davidson: And that was my resistance years ago. I was like, “How am I going to bring this in? I’m in a medical model, I’m working with a team, this is healthcare, we’re regulated health professionals.”
What I started realizing, I was like, “Hold on a second, this is not woo, this is biology. This is the way our nervous system works. It takes these thousands of inferences along the way, and trauma is not some thing that is just popular in society. Trauma is what happens when our nerve, it’s our response when we get stuck in a dysregulated state.”
So, more and more as I pull it together, I’m like, “I don’t know how we can do it. I don’t know how we can separate it because we’re removing biology from it, we’re removing the physiology, we’re removing everything that we know about science and science is starting to even have the research to show all these woo things that people have always laid. They’re not woo anymore. It’s being backed by science.”
So that’s my perspective when I look at holistic. I’m like, “Holistic is what science is showing us we have to do.” And so, I love that for your coaches, they’re going to be able to dive in and get a sampling of all these different things, and then they can go explore deeper in certain areas as we all did.
But I think once you see something, you can’t unsee it, and this is our biology, this is how we are designed.
Molly Claire: Yes. Oh my gosh, I love it. And that’s what as I was thinking about pulling this together, I know that there’s crossover in what all three of you do and what I do as well. And then Krista St. Germaine, she brings the grief piece to it, and she’s going to be on an interview later this month. But I love that each of you have your own flavor and way of thinking about it and way of teaching it.
And certainly, there’s crossover and there’s also that separation. But I know for you, Leah, it’s like, “I come from a medical background. It’s very science. It’s your way of teaching and bringing it, and I love it.”
And Lindsay’s vibe on this is so different than that and so beautifully complimentary. Not that Lindsay’s not interested in science but Lindsay, definitely the way you teach and approach it, it’s just a very different approach to the whole thing, and I love it.
Melanie Fay: I’d like to talk about this a little bit, and I have so many different ways I want to start this conversation that I’ve been trying to sort it out in my mind, but just going right from what Leah just said with this idea that we can’t separate it.
And I just want to pause there for a second, because we talk about modalities, and we do this, this is what I would call part of our disembodied state as a culture. We talk about modalities as if they’re these choices that we can then put ourselves through.
And there are different ways of thinking about change, but—stick with me, everyone, just stick with me for a second—we are people. I’m hugging myself right now.
We are this whole entity that are, in my perspective, that our mind is trying to understand, and no matter what modality we choose, something that we can’t get away from—and this is what Leah was saying—is the fact that we are a body. We have one, we have one. And many of us would rather, we didn’t. It’s true! It’s truly true.
And part of the reason—I’m just going to say that for all of us—and part of the reason that is, is because our body does all this misbehavior. I’m putting quotes around my head. It acts in all these ways that we’d rather it not, right? Like Lindsay was saying, we don’t have to muscle through, we don’t have to override. So, once we kind of get on board with that, first thing that I was saying fundamentally, we are also a body. If we can accept that, it’s easier to accept it.
Okay, this is really true. It’s easier to accept it if we have tools that help us work with it. Because if we don’t have tools that help us work with our body and our body’s responses, which are hardwired, and I know that Leah is going to teach all about this, about the midbrain, how it overrides. If we don’t have tools to work with the body, then sometimes the best solution we have is to criticize ourselves or dissociate or continue to muscle through, which is a solution.
And so, what these tools offer, what, accepting that we have a body, accepting learning a bit—even just a tiny bit—about the nervous system or breathing, can help us get that body on board with the intentions we’re trying to make.
Molly Claire: I love it. Yeah, I mean, I think that sums it up beautifully because it is true, we’re all just trying to solve for these misbehaviors that are happening. We’re all trying to figure it out. We’re all trying to understand.
And sometimes the solutions we come up with or the way that we try to solve for things, it’s not the most effective, but it’s certainly one solution that we come up with. So, I think this allows us to just broaden that, and like you said, having more tools to do that well for ourselves, yeah. Okay, this is so good.
All right, so here is a question I would love to know from each of you as well, is in your work with coaches, and I know Melanie, now, I think you do work with probably primarily coaches. I’m always sending people to you. Maybe Melanie works with my whole family, I’m not really sure.
Melanie Fay: I work with coaches, but primarily coaches, but also because I work in Christus program, I also work with a many widowed moms.
Molly Claire: Yeah. Oh, sure.
Melanie Fay: But there’s a real crossover there that I think maybe is worth taking a moment to talk about, which is part of working with the nervous system in my experience, and specifically with tapping with the work we do, is it’s the ability to sit with, even just for a moment, the feelings that we’re feeling in our body, the way our nervous system is responding to a certain trigger or situation.
And when we’re in the grieving state, where we’re in a state of grieving— grief is normal, it’s natural, it’s human, it’s important. So, the space of grief allows for that, a surrendering to the nervous system, we could say in a way because often that’s the time where our heart and our mind is just broken open and we really start to feel.
So, I wanted to kind of bring that in because you were saying Krista’s going to be into the program, and she offers grief and an approach to grief work. But I wanted to say, just take a little moment to talk about how I think grief fits into all of this work. Because sometimes grief is that big feeling that cracks us open.
So, with your clients, whether there’s experiencing grief or not, what I’m going to say for Krista, what I think you’re going to learn from the grief portion of it either way, is that big emotions are okay, and how it’s okay to hold space for them. If you can hold space for someone’s grief, then it’ll be easier to hold space for their anger, which are all nervous system activation that can be worked with in different ways.
Molly Claire: Yes. And that just, this is kind of a little bit of a side note, but I just want to mention because I know it’s been really important for me personally. When we talk about being able to feel an emotion, and it certainly seems like an easy thing.
Well, just feel the feelings, just feel the emotion, and it’s easier for some than others. And I know that I can say for me that I’ve really needed the being with the practitioners that I’m working with. You know, of course, I’ve worked with both Melanie, you and Lindsay on my personal work.
And it’s different for me when I can be with my coach and be supported and help through those because those feelings are really hard to feel—they’re so hard to feel and to navigate.
And I think that especially because so many times, and this has definitely been the case for me, that we’ve never really learned how to do that. We experience an emotion, and then it’s like our brain, it immediately goes to different ways of shutting it down.
And so really, I’m saying this in part to the coaches listening to this, how valuable it is for you as a coach to be there with someone in a space to help them navigate, feeling those emotions and helping to support a space that continues to be safe, to feel those emotions. So, I wanted to highlight that because it is such a big deal.
Most of us don’t know how to do it. And as a coach, you being there with your clients and able to create that space is one of the biggest gifts I think that we can give, so I want to emphasize that just a little bit, so Yeah.
Melanie Fay: I love that, Molly.
Molly Claire: Yeah.
Melanie Fay: I love it so much.
Molly Claire: I mean, it’s true. I know, like I said, for me and many people that I’ve worked with as well, where it’s like they need to be guided through and supported through feeling those emotions.
And really the way I see it also is setting a new track, a new protocol in our brain for how we handle it, right? Instead of the feeling comes up and then we do X behavior or Y or Z or we move to criticizing or shutting down, or whatever it is.
So, I think as coaches, when we can support our clients in feeling those emotions in a healthy way and guiding them to learn a new way of processing and feeling and all of that, it really is creating a new pathway, a new plan, a new protocol for how it works.
Lindsay Poelman: Yeah. And I love that you said that too, because I feel like when we can do that with our clients, it really just supports that organic shift that the new neural pathway is being developed, right?
Molly Claire: Yes.
Lindsay Poelman: Oh, it’s safe to feel this. Like, I can feel this and feel safe. And then as far as moving to the future, a lot of times that’s the organic shift that happens so that it doesn’t have to be like, “Okay, well now what do I need to think? And now what do I need to do? It feel this way, so then I do this way?”
It’s not that that’s a problem. There’s nothing wrong with doing that but I think this deeper nervous system work and developing this safety and then being seen in that can facilitate in my opinion, more sustainable growth and healing for our clients.
Molly Claire: Yes, I mean, as you were talking, I think about so many times, as I’ve trained coaches over the years, and they ask, “When do you know that it’s the time to move to problem-solving or to move to this?” And certainly, there is a place for that, and certainly there are indications that I can guide them, you know, “You’ll notice this, you’ll notice this.” And sometimes we simply don’t have to.
Sometimes the work that—I don’t know—we might think is softer work or more supportive or held is all that it takes, and then the shift just happens. So yeah, I love it.
So, this actually—Lindsay, you speaking to, that moves me to this next thing that I would love to have each of you share, which is how have you seen…? Because each of you definitely offer a new broader view no matter where a client’s coming to you from, right? You are broadening their view and understanding of the whole approach of the nervous system and trauma and EFT and all of these things. How have you seen shifts specifically with coaches that you’ve worked with as they’ve expanded their view?
Lindsay Poelman: For me, the approach that I have with my clientele, it’s like there’s a very big energy shift behind how we approach our relationship with ourselves. Because a lot of times when we think on a broader spectrum of society and what was modelled to us, I don’t think people see how much we internalize from our external environment or stuff that we inherit and things like that.
And so, a lot of times our default self-talk, our default self-blame, our default self-guess—whatever you want to call it—our default thinking is not necessarily what we chose, it was kind of what we internalized, right?
Molly Claire: Mm-hmm.
Lindsay Poelman: And so really shifting that energy from one of whatever it might be for some people over to this side of the spectrum where there’s curiosity, there’s compassion, and we’re developing out this really loving relationship with ourselves as is.
And so, what I feel like that fosters is just so much safety and it takes away this a little bit like what I’ve seen on the other side of the spectrum which is more of like a band-aid approach where it’s like you think something, you feel better for a minute, and it does shift your behavior kind of like in the short term approach but as far as like long term people kind of. Sometimes it’s enough, and sometimes it isn’t.
And so, for me, just like really supporting my clients in developing out this really nurturing, loving relationship with self and with younger self and different things like that is so important because again, it negates when we can understand that and shift the context of which we think about ourselves and describe ourselves. It negates those misbehaviors.
Is our body actually misbehaving in the first place? Or like, why does it actually make sense that there’s this activation here? Why does this make sense? And I just feel like when we shift that and we can really hone in and love our body as is where it’s at in that moment, that relationship with self can really transform and transpire.
Which again, as we develop that out, creates more safety so that we can hear those called or intuition more readily. So, to me, it’s like everything.
Molly Claire: It’s everything.
Lindsay Poelman: So, important.
Molly Claire: I know. Well, as you were talking, and then I’d love to hear also from you Leah and Melanie as well on this. As you were talking, Lindsay, I was thinking—so this question, right, of how have I seen things shift as my coaches and as I have gotten a broader view, and I can articulate so many things that are very tangible for sure, I can say, “Oh, you get clarity on your goals, it’s easier to move forward towards your goals.” It’s like all the things that we see in marketing bullet points that people want, it helps all those things, 100%.
And the thing for me, and for my clients who have benefited most from this, it is this deep sense of peace and self-connection that is the best thing in the world. And so, yeah, you’re going to meet your goals and you’re going to do all the things, it’s going to make all that easier, but it’s like when we can feel it at peace with who we are and ourself, and that’s our baseline? I mean, come on. It’s the best thing ever.
Lindsay Poelman: Yeah. Regardless of what other people might be thinking or saying or things like that, right?
Molly Claire: Yeah. And I can say for me, this is like an experience I’ve never had in my life prior to doing this work. I just got a message this morning from a client who was like “I’m just, everything is coming up. Am I ever going to really not have this horribly mean voice just attacking me in my head when I’m trying to do things?”
And I’m like, I can say yes, yes, it is possible, right? I think this is the pathway getting there. So, anyway, Melanie, Leah would love to hear your thoughts.
Leah Davidson: Again, I always come at things from that science perspective, and I think one thing that is really missed by people is that when we do get activated, when we do have a stress response, there’s all these things physiologically that happens. But one thing that happens to us is we lose access to our thinking skills. We lose access to our frontal lobe, our decision-making.
So, when I work with a lot of coaches, especially if they’ve come from a big mindset background or if they’ve LCS trained and worked with the model, there’s a sense of relief that when I say to them, “Well, when you get activated, the model doesn’t work. Like you have to be regulated to use the model.” And they’re like, “What?” Because they’ve been thinking for so long, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I change my thoughts?”
And you can, as Lindsay said, sort of band-aid approach it, you can maybe change a thought for a period of time, but then if you don’t embody it, then it’s not going to stick. And so, when they understand that, again, it’s biology that prevents you from changing your thoughts and using your thoughts.
And once we learn how to regulate your nervous system, once we learn how to come at things from safety, that’s when you’re going to be able to make shifts. Because every state that you go in in the nervous system, I call it, it carries a different flavor. It has a set of thoughts, it has a set of feelings, it has a set of actions. And if you can’t shift your nervous system, you’re sort of stuck with that same flavor.
So, maybe you’re mixing it up a little bit, but it’s still going to be flavored the same way with activation or flavored with disconnection until you step into that zone of safety. And when you’re safe, then your thinking skills come back online, you can really allow your feelings, you can accept yourself, you can find that peace, you can access your intuition. You have to have safety to do that. So, I think for coaches, it’s such a relief first of all to find out that it’s just not me who’s not able to think properly.
Molly Claire: Yes. And not do a good enough job of managing my mind a good enough job of this.
Leah Davidson: That’s right. Yeah.
Molly Claire: Yeah, and one of the things that, as you were talking that when it comes to, in this program and talking about advanced and expanded thought work and cognitive work is, I like to think of it as it’s really the way we can think about that response and recognize it is where thought work is still helpful. It’s like when it comes to activation, it’s the recognition of what it is.
And so, the relief of course is recognizing—it’s almost like if we were to pop a thought in a probably useful model there is. I need to take a different approach to this, right? Boom. And then it brings that curiosity or relief or whatever, and then we do the work. And so, I think that’s the part I get so well.
I get so excited about many parts of this, but one of the parts I get so excited about is that, because it’s like I think that when it comes to specifically cognitive work and the LCS model or other thought models that people are maybe using is, yes, there are so many ways to use and understand it when you have this broader picture.
And so, that’s what I hope to do with the cognitive piece of this is like, “Here’s the cognitive and then here’s all the expansive ways you can use it in light of having more knowledge and understanding of biology, of the nervous system, of the body, all the things.”
Leah Davidson: Yeah, because when you understand the nervous system, you are then able to make decisions about do I want to use this model? Do I want to use this tool? What will be most effective? And do trial and error.
Molly Claire: Yeah.
Leah Davidson: But when you’re dysregulated, you’re in survival mode. Survival mode is not meant for you. “Should I have this thought or that thought? Should I decide to do this? Or should I decide? Should I have compassion?”
Molly Claire: Yeah, right.
Leah Davidson: It’s survival. So, when, if you are constantly in survival mode, you can just recognize that in yourself. This is why you’re getting “Stuck.” It’s not a weakness, it’s not a moral failure, it’s biology in your stress response and we have to deal with that first.
And when we allow that and accept that and acknowledge that, and then introduce some tools to help us regulate, your whole world opens up and you’ll have access to all the tools.
Molly Claire: Yes. And as you were talking, this has one of those pieces of advice that stuck out to me. I don’t even remember when my sister told me this. The advice from big sister always seems to make a difference. I don’t know when she said this, but I just remember one day I called her and I’m sure it was hormonal emotions all over the place. And I was talking to her, and I think I was trying to make a decision about something.
And I remember she said to me, “Today is not a good day to think. You’re not supposed to think today. You just like don’t think.” And it was like, “Oh, I can do that?” I can give myself permission, and I used that. That is my method of choice quite often. Today’s not the day to think, right? So, anyway.
Okay, Melanie, I’d love to hear from you on this as well as far as what you’ve seen as the biggest shifts with coaches and having a broader understanding.
Melanie Fay: So, there’s so many different ways to talk about it.
Molly Claire: So, much.
Melanie Fay: But I’m going to say two things, and I wish I could say that at once. And one is just piggybacking off something Leah said, which is this idea of the paraphrasing in my own words.
Now, the idea that the way you feel is a flavor that your nervous system will provide a different level of thoughts or a different and depending on what state you’re in, the quality of your thinking, the quality of how you’re seeing the situation or the text message will be completely different. Our nervous system really colors our perception and our thoughts can come from our perception as well.
So, one of the things that I want to talk about in terms of tapping that I really appreciate is, so even though here I am, I have all these thoughts about the importance of kindness and the power of compassion, and that every person matters, those are all my thoughts and beliefs. But what’s so great about tapping and also nervous system work?
But since that’s what I do, that’s what I’ll talk about, is that when you have a client—whether it’s yourself or it’s one of your clients— and they’re struggling with whatever they’re struggling with and maybe you’re using thought work to try to help them see it in a different way, but they just can’t change. We were talking about the flavor of their thoughts. They really need to shift into a new flavor with a tool like tapping.
And again, I’m just talking specifically about what my specialty is. With a tool like tapping, you don’t need to convince them of anything, you don’t need to effort at all. You just get them to start tapping on these acupressure points, and their nervous system will shift, will open up, will unfold, the feeling that’s underneath will rise to the surface.
So, what I want to say is this, this is sort of like a really strong advertisement here, but it’s my experience, and I believe it with everything that I have, is that tapping a tool like tapping is going to make your job easier. Because if you are kind of stalled out with a client, the gears are just not shifting. Even introducing five minutes of some neuro-regulation or some tapping will get you into that other zone.
So, that’s another thing that, so if for the only reason that you’re interested in this at all is you want your job to be easier and to then feel more fulfilling, and then maybe less spirals of your own self-doubt because we cannot override our client’s nervous system either.
If they’re frozen in fear, then there’s nothing you can do, and that’s not your fault at all as a coach. But what we can do is have these tools that then help get our clients’ minds back online. And then you can use all your cognitive coaching skills to then address the things that we’re able to do with our prefrontal lobe, the things that we’re able to do with our conscious choice.
In terms of the changes that I’ve seen, it depends on why the person is coming to me in the first place. But overall, there’s always a change towards self-compassion, self-kindness, deeper understanding.
And with that self-compassion and kindness and deeper understanding, there’s also a deeper knowing about who you actually are. Because once you start to understand why.
Oh, like, Lindsay said, oh, this activation makes sense, then we’re also rediscovering other parts of ourselves, like our sensitivity. Like, “Oh my gosh, I thought I was just an angry person, but I’m a really sensitive person and I know that now because I can feel that sensitivity inside me.”
So, just trying to wrap it up, nervous system regulation, I would say leads to authenticity, because we’re able to feel who we are, not just who we think we are.
Molly Claire: And I think also it really lends itself to having deeper and greater and more authentic connections with other people. Because when there’s a part of us that is in any level of activation or it’s like, I guess what I’ll say is if I’m not settled in myself and I’m in any form of fight or flight or whatever is happening, I can certainly connect with people.
But guess what? When we’re so self-connected and really with our authentic self, it’s like this deep sense of relaxation. I can really learn more about someone else, the other people in my life and understand them and be with them in that way, which I think is one of the greatest gifts of this work too, yeah.
Leah Davidson: And I think that it also, in the same vein, we are so much more accepting of other people.
Molly Claire: Yes.
Leah Davidson: Because we realize that it’s their nervous system, it’s their history, it’s their imprints, they’re not necessarily deliberately doing something. And I especially find it with my kids, it has been so helpful.
Molly Claire: Yeah.
Leah Davidson: Just when I communicate with them to really notice that, “Oh, this is their nervous system.” And I don’t know all the imprints that they’ve had throughout their life. I may think I know because I’ve been a mom, but I really have no clue. And it just allows just so much more space between us.
Molly Claire: Yes.
Leah Davidson: We can be accepting, we can be more nurturing, we can be more tolerant of each other, and to provide that element of safety. So, safety for myself, and then safety for the other person that I’m communicating with.
Molly Claire: Yeah. And I’m going to tack onto that as well, that we can have more compassion and be more understanding and also have enough compassion for self to set boundaries at times. Because yes, we can understand someone else, we can have compassion for them, and we can also choose where and how they fit in our life.
And I know, Lindsay, one of the things that you’ve taught and we’ll be sharing as well in this program is kind of about those boundaries and recognizing behaviors that if someone has abusive behaviors.
And I know I’m going off on just a little bit of a side note, but I wanted to emphasize this because I know sometimes, especially coaches and people that I work with who it can be very easy to make excuses for other people, they can err on the side of being so understanding that they think that they don’t have any rights, like where are they in all of this, right?
So, I wanted to highlight this because what Leah is saying is so true. We can have more understanding and be more tolerant, and we also can put such loving, clear boundaries in place for our own life. I think both can come as a result of this.
Lindsay Poelman: Yeah. Can I just say something too, Molly? I was thinking about an image that came to my mind as Melanie was talking too. It’s like when we speak to these other modalities, they can just be so impactful. And I was just kind of thinking about if there was some result that you wanted, let’s say it was getting to a pond at the bottom of a river.
I think sometimes with these different wounds that we have, and this may not be the most perfect analogy. But sometimes with different wounds that we have, it’s almost like getting caught on things while we’re like the natural flow to me is the flow, like going and getting to that pond. And we may be getting caught on things as we go through life and there’s wounding and potential traumas and things like that.
And so, while I could just learn to kick and swim and really build up a lot of these muscles, I can also do a little tapping and release myself from those fist that are clinging to me, or some other modality. And so, that’s one thing that I love about these different modalities of healing that we have is it can become.
What if it is just about a matter of releasing these things that are kind of keeping us from our natural flow so that we can kind of just go in that direction where we’re naturally headed anyway versus thinking that we have to do it just the thought work way or just this other way? You know what I mean?
Molly Claire: Yes. And I love that you brought that up because it’s such a different way of even thinking about the whole thing. It’s like we are taught to really learn to kick and fight and build the muscles and there’s value in building our muscles in many ways and having grit and overcoming all of those things.
I guess what I will say is one of the things I’m really excited about in this space and in this program and here is that there’s all of this permission to really care for yourself every step of the way as you figure out how to move forward.
And so, that with Lindsay’s analogy, it’s understanding that we can do something like tapping, caring for our nervous system, paying attention to how we feel, these kind of things, not only are those the way to continue to move and expand and go toward our goals and grow in these powerful ways, but I think it also—I don’t know that I’m articulating this in exactly the way that I want to—but there’s a lot of power in giving permission for that way of going about it to be okay, right?
Lindsay Poelman: Yeah.
Molly Claire: And it is okay. It’s like we’re all there saying, “Yes, your feelings matter. If you are having nervous system activation, if you are needing to tap, if you’re needing any of this, do that, care for yourself first.”
And actually, I saw this really great quote the other day that just came to my mind, and I don’t have it on my brain exactly, but it was something along the lines of, “Instead of asking, have I worked hard enough to deserve rest? Why don’t we instead ask, ‘Have I had enough of the rest that I need in order to do my best work?’”
And I was like, “Oh my gosh,” right? That’s it. And so here I’m quoting it. It’s on my phone. I saved it. I’m not even sure who said it if you said it, thank you. But I think that’s the thing, and that’s my hope for all of the coaches that are a part of this, that not only will you learn that for yourself, but also for your clients.
How do we care for ourselves and our needs in every single way so that we can do our best work? How can we be so cared for and rested and strong and clear that we can meet our goals, that we can overcome, that we can do all of this? So, that’s really my hope for it. I love that analogy, Lindsay. Yeah.
So, I do want to wrap up this episode and I do think I probably need to have you all back either individually or all together, there’s so much we could say. I’m sure this has been so beneficial for all of you to hear these women.
One thing that I wanted to just touch on today, and that is a common question of where is the line between therapy and coaching and all the things we’re talking about, especially doing cognitive work, awareness of the nervous system and emotions. Sounds an awful lot like the therapy space. And the way I think about it is that there is a very clear line between coaching and therapy and not a clear line at all. I think kind of both can be true.
And so, in this master coach training, I will be talking about ethics— teaching that and also understanding what the signs are that someone definitely needs to be referred to a therapist, they need to work with a trauma therapist, they need to work with someone that specializes in what they are dealing with.
There are definitely times in which that is the best place for your client to go and perhaps the only place your client should go. There are also times when you will see absolutely there are signs that this person needs to be working with a specially trained therapist in what they’re dealing with, and they can work with you at the same time, and those are complimentary.
And in general, I think that when you as a coach are properly trained to know and understand when someone needs that, we also can just make space to know that there are things we do with our clients that certainly therapists also are doing with their clients.
And one of the things, I know that Lindsay, I believe you have an episode all about this idea that we’re all working toward the same thing, right? Coaches, therapists, anyone in the space of helping people to heal and move forward and make their life better, we’re all on the same team.
And so, this is kind of my belief at a high level and some of the things you can expect and I really think that with more knowledge, we can be much more confident in knowing when someone should not be working with us, and also being comfortable with that gray area, that space that’s in between, and knowing we can support them in a really safe way.
All right, thank you so much, Melanie and Leah, and Lindsay for being here. It’s been such a great conversation. Thank you so much.
Lindsay Poelman: Thank you, Molly.
Leah Davidson: Thank you, Molly.
Melanie Fay: Thank you, Molly.
Molly Claire: And for you coaches listening, I’m so honored to bring these women to you. I think I’m still pinching myself and can’t even believe that we’re doing this in this coming year.
Please, the coming episodes, we’ll be talking more about it. If you are interested in applying for Master Coach training, of course, go to www.mollyclaire.com and you can sign up there. So, more to come. Thank you so much, ladies.
Outro: Thanks for listening to the Masterful Coach podcast. Are you ready to build your amazing business with Molly as your coach? Check out www.mollyclaire.com to find out about Masterful Coach Foundations and the 10K Accelerator method. It’s the ultimate support for you as a coach, building your ideal life and business.
Molly Claire is a 7-figure business builder with a blended family of 10. She is dedicated to helping women overcome their own limits, make the money they want, and have the time, freedom, and flexibility to be with the people in their lives that matter most. Especially the little ones.
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