Taking a Leap of Faith

Faith is Diane Schroeder’s word. In this episode we get to meet one of her friends who helped her find her way back to it when she hit a pothole on her journey to authenticity. Throughout the first season of The Fire Inside Her podcast you’ll get a unique opportunity to meet some of the individuals who make up Diane’s inner circle and have been an integral part of her leadership path, her finding space to be more authentic, and her venture towards launching this podcast.

From learning more about the connective power of breaking bread, the questions around what you can get out of therapy, examples of self care, the sharing of powerful insight moments about high achievers needing help too, and the power of female friendship and the struggles and gifts of good female leadership. There is much to gain in this episode as you get a chance to get to know Diane a little better and meet one of the bad ass women who embodies the leadership, community, and authenticity that The Fire Inside Her is all about.

Are you excited to get your copy of the Self Care Audio download that Diane mentioned?

You can get that HERE – Thefireinsideher.com/audio








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Taking a Leap of Faith

[00:00:00] Diane: Welcome to the Fire Inside Her podcast, A safe space for leadership, self-care, and community. I'm your host Diane Schroeder, and it is my privilege to be your guide on the journey to authenticity.

[00:00:17] Diane: Do you have a word? My word is faith. The definition of faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. This can be faith in goddess, God, the universe, Great Spirit. Just knowing that there is a bigger power than us. If I'm being honest, I never really leaned into faith, I guess you could say I was phoning it in. One day while on my bumpy authenticity journey, I got stuck in a pothole.

[00:00:53] Diane: I phoned a friend and she challenged me to write down 10 moments or events in my life that I couldn't explain the outcome. I didn't know where she was taking me, but I trusted her, and I did the exercise. I reflected on calls in my fire service career that made me pause and say, I don't know how they survived that.

[00:01:16] Diane: And some moments in my life where I paused and said, I'm not sure how I survived that experience. I told her I'd finished the exercise and she said that those moments and experiences were examples of faith. Not being able to explain; why people survived, why I survived my experiences. This exercise was life changing.

[00:01:45] Diane: She encouraged me in her direct and no nonsense way to genuinely lean into my faith. 100% sounds simple, right? For me, this has been a very difficult process. A combination of leaning into my faith and learning to trust myself. Along with working on my control issues and letting go of the outcomes I want, and learning to accept that I will receive the outcomes that I need.

[00:02:17] Diane: Reminds me of a quote from a book that I read several years ago by Kip Tindell, the founder of The Container Store. He said that when you fully commit to something, the universe conspires to help you. When I look back at pivotal moments in my life, trusting in myself and having faith serve me well. This doesn't mean that I always get it right.

[00:02:40] Diane: I have failed a lot, and failure is a beautiful and brutal teacher. I've wanted to host a podcast for a long time. It was on my vision board two years ago, but the timing wasn't right. And then, I fully committed to figuring out how to host a podcast. Within a few weeks, the universe conspired to help me, and here we are.

[00:03:05] Diane: I couldn't think of a better guest to have on my first episode than the friend who taught me how to lean into my faith. She is a friend, mentor, and part of my community.

[00:03:19] Diane: Lisa Curtis is not, as she has said, more and more publicly, not your traditional therapist trained as a social worker with a Master's of Science Social Work from Columbia University and a credential in alcohol and substance abuse counseling. In addition to training as a health and wellness coach,

[00:03:40] Diane: she brings some unique qualifications to her work. After unexpectedly being assigned to work with first responders and frontline workers, she has found herself enjoying the work for over 28 years. Lisa has worked with those who have sought out support, those for whom support wasn't their idea, and everyone in between.

[00:04:04] Diane: She believes sitting with her clients, being present with them, not about finding the answer. Additional training in first responder trauma, sleep behavior medicine, forward facing trauma treatment, and extensive knowledge of substance abuse disorders lend themselves to a variety of skills to introduce to clients.

[00:04:26] Diane: Lisa is a frank speaking, call it like she sees it kind of clinician who relates to her clients, no nonsense, boots on the ground view of life. That being said, she's also passionate about making sure those she works with get the support and guidance they can benefit from. Lisa has worked with a number of spouses and partners of first responders and frontline workers, helping them process their concerns, stress and fears for those they love.

[00:04:56] Diane: In her own quest to serve her clients, as well as growing awareness that staying within a system that does not respect the unique challenges of the work. Lisa struck out on her own in private practice 17 years ago and hasn't looked back since.

[00:05:13] Diane: Welcome Lisa. Let's just get started because I wanna know the last book that you have listened to and or read.

[00:05:21] Lisa: Oh my gosh. Diane, here you are. Just jumping into it.

[00:05:24] Diane: I'm just jumping in. We're going in the deep end.

[00:05:26] Lisa: Okay, so I'm just gonna ask a clarifying question because you know me, I just, I ask a lot of questions too. The last book I read and finished, or the book I am reading what do you wanna know here?

[00:05:36] Diane: let's do what you're currently reading.

[00:05:39] Lisa: I am currently reading Unshakable by Tony Robbins, which is great for financial stuff, although I have some feelings about him.

[00:05:45] Lisa: I am reading The Slight Edge. Don't ask me who that author is, but it's excellent. I am listening to Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crime, which is stunning.

[00:05:58] Diane: I've heard that's a good book.

[00:06:00] Lisa: It is so good. And then I am also reading the book, The Confidence Code.

[00:06:05] Diane: How many books do you normally read at one time?

[00:06:07] Lisa: This is about my max.

[00:06:09] Diane: Awesome. Well, I like the diversity in what you read,

[00:06:13] Lisa: There's a lot of diversity.

[00:06:15] Diane: So we have known each other now for like four and a half years.

[00:06:19] Lisa: Really four and a half?

[00:06:20] Diane: Yeah, cuz this summer we actually met in person for the first time in New York and it was right around our four year friend anniversary.

[00:06:28] Lisa: That's right. Okay.

[00:06:28] Diane: Thankful for Facebook. So, I was new to the Facebook group leadership group that we met through. I wanna hear from you how your journey to get to that Facebook group and that community, how it brought us together and taught us a lot about what healthy and dysfunctional community is like.

[00:06:49] Lisa: Okay, so let's start with the easy part of that, which is, how did I get there? I got there the same way. I bet a lot of people find you online. They were just sort of scrolling around. They see something, they got interested. It tweaked a curiosity in me. So it was this entrepreneur who was working remotely and who was setting up this idea that, Hey, I can teach you how to do some of the things that I do and would love to have you join.

[00:07:16] Lisa: So it sounded good. It looked good. The community was good. The other women who were drawn to the community were amazing and diverse and talented, and brought an incredible energy to that experience. And then we get news that you're joining us. And everyone was like, oh, who is this chick from Colorado? Because by then the group had gotten outside of the leader had gotten to be pretty tight, so we weren't so sure about this chick from Colorado.

[00:07:53] Lisa: But when I heard that she was in the fire service, I, I was just like walking on sunshine. I was like, yes, I think she's gonna be my person. And then you showed up and I'm like, she's my person, which was great. I think that that part has been really special and amazing. I love the energy between us. I love how much I've learned from you.

[00:08:15] Lisa: I just love it all. But you're right, it also taught us, I think, or at least it taught me what wasn't healthy in that community. Or that leadership was not the leadership that ultimately is useful to anybody and became ultimately quite toxic. And I think that that was a pretty big turning point for a lot of us.

[00:08:37] Diane: I agree. I remember when I was invited to join the community, I was like, sweet. I got the referral from a friend that I had known for years, and it was kind of the same thing. I've never done anything like that before. And I'm like a community of women across the world. Okay, sure, I'll try it. And it was, it was intimidating for me.

[00:08:55] Diane: You know, I, as working with men primarily, I'm never really sure when I go into a group of women how that will be. And it was really welcoming with the core group. And yeah, it got weird pretty quick. In a pretty short amount of time the person who was running that community it got awkward and weird.

[00:09:11] Diane: And, the takeaways I got from that just as much as what I want to do and learn from

[00:09:16] Lisa: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:17] Diane: And the connections I've made with the core group. You, and when I found out, what you do as a therapist. And at the time you were working a lot with first responders. I was like, oh man, I love it when the universe, you know, brings people together like they're supposed to.

[00:09:30] Diane: And we did. We had that instant connection. And so I just, I love that when you're open and have an open heart and an open mind, you'll be connected with the right people that you're supposed to be connected with. And then we take all that we learned from that group. And for those listening, it got so weird.

[00:09:47] Diane: You know, kind of imploded. The core group of us started our own group to kind of recover from the primary group. So what I learned a lot was what healthy community should look like and that, you know, we can do that better.

[00:10:03] Lisa: I would completely agree. It is, it is a real, was a real lesson and it continues to be a real lesson. And being open enough to sort of pick out the wheat from the chaff, what's, what's working here, what's not working here, and take away the parts that really do work and fit without getting caught up in the drama of the stuff that's not working.

[00:10:23] Diane: Yeah. I don't really like drama so much at all. So, yeah that's how we connected. And, you know, the, the group is long gone. The core group of us, a few of us have stayed in touch and it's been special. I just am so grateful for your friendship and leadership and mentorship over the last several years because I've had some pretty big life changes and you have always been there just in the nick of time.

[00:10:49] Diane: We don't talk all the time. We don't text all the time, but boom, a box of cookies shows up, or a box of brownies show up. I'll never forget , it was probably three years ago I was really struggling and I called you. We, we were talking on the phone and I was, upset in a bad place and you just said, Diane, those tools that you used as a little girl, helped you get through your childhood, they've helped you survive and they are no longer helping you thrive.

[00:11:20] Diane: And maybe it's time we look at getting new tools in your toolbox. And that moment, I remember I was driving on I 25 at Bellevue Avenue. I know exactly where I was and that moment just really changed my life. And I think, For all of us who are high achievers and who are always trying to be perfectionists and striving, striving, striving.

[00:11:44] Diane: It was like that, boom. It was like a hit across the face, proverbial, but really grounded me and it, it changed the course of where I was headed for the better. And if you could talk a little bit about your sweet spot of working with people like me and we don't have a client, therapist relationship.

[00:12:04] Diane: It's a friendship. And yet you still weave that in like a good friend . And I think we need people like me as high achieving women need to hear that from you. Like, how does that work? More about your specialty.

[00:12:18] Lisa: That's so interesting that you say you remember exactly where it was because I remember that phone call vividly as well and remembering that feeling of what the hell is going on here, because I know she is capable of more and of greater. I could feel that. I could sense that and you know this feeling when you know where you need to go and you know you're capable of getting there, but you're just not sure how to do it.

[00:12:46] Lisa: And I think that that's where one of the places where especially women and especially women who see themselves as being high achievers, have a hard time stepping back and saying, okay, I, I see what's ahead, but I'm going to invite in a little bit of extra help. We're so programmed to think that the only people who get the extra help or the extra support are people who are sick or weak, or who had awful, terrible childhoods or something dramatic, and we forget that we're allowed to get that support from a variety of sources, whether that be a therapist or a friend, or the random stranger who says the most perfect thing at the most perfect time.

[00:13:30] Lisa: But we gotta be open for it and we gotta be ready for it. And that's a lot of the work that I do is, and that I love doing, is not necessarily giving the most prof. Look, let's be honest, just like a plot and a novel, there's nothing new that a therapist can say nothing.

[00:13:48] Lisa: But what I can say, and what I can do is connect up dots that maybe are difficult to see from where you are sitting. And one of the reasons why I like working specifically with, with first responders, but also with high achievers in general, including frontline workers, is that you are very used to getting in doing the job and making it all, I won't say better, but addressing what's at hand and not taking a lot of crap along the way. Ya know, Hey, so sorry that that was a really prized ornamental bush. But if this fire hose needs to go over it to get to the fire to put your house out, that's what we're gonna do. Sorry about that.

[00:14:33] Diane: Mm-hmm.

[00:14:33] Lisa: You know, or if the windows need to be broken or whatever.

[00:14:36] Lisa: Most of us on the outside have been quite there. We're sort of, oh, well let's be a little bit more delicate. No, no. Most of us don't have time for delicate. Let's just get it done and let's let you move on with your life, because we all have amazing lives to live. Just, we gotta go outlive them, do them.

[00:14:58] Diane: I've had my therapist now for two and a half years, and he has literally helped me move rocks that were buried so deep I didn't even know they were there. And it's layers, it's it's layers.

[00:15:12] Diane: How would you describe therapy and finding someone that you can, you know, talk to a professional, as self-care? Why is that self-care?

[00:15:23] Lisa: Ah, that's an amazing question. It's self-care because the reality of it is that none of us can go through this, this thing alone. And one of the advantages of specifically hiring or getting somebody on your side that's trained as a therapist is that they are there to be not only your advocate and to help you uncover the dirt around those rocks and then move them, but they're there to do it in a nonjudgmental way.

[00:15:50] Lisa: And one of the most critical parts of that is to make sure that it's a really good fit. Because without that fit, and we really do call it the click effect, without that good fit, my skills, his skills aren't going to get somebody where they need to go. So without that piece, the self-care that comes from sitting down and doing the excavation in a setting that can tolerate, maybe sometimes people are angry or you come in upset or you come in and you just wanna sit and be silent.

[00:16:28] Lisa: Sometimes those sessions that are mostly silent are also the most productive. Again without that, how are we supposed to take care of ourselves if we don't feel like somebody's got our back? So I hope that answers your question.

[00:16:43] Diane: It does. I, if I'm hearing you correctly, it's creating that safe space. You know that no judgment because your therapists aren't really here to judge. They're here to create that safe space and like you said, kind of guide you. The work falls on the person seeking out therapy, right? Like you can give me all the best advice and say the most impactful things.

[00:17:07] Diane: It's up to me. To run with it and to make those changes. And you just hold that container of safety and like encouragement because, you know, the people closest to us may not understand and it's a saying I hear all the time. You can't be a prophet in your own land. You know, you can't, while partners and spouses, you can have the best partner in the world, the best spouse, the best friends in the world.

[00:17:34] Diane: It's that difference. It's a boundary thing of they can't give you what you need in that. And it's not that really fair. You know, it's not fair to put all my stuff on someone else that is a friend or my partner or my kid. And I think as high achievers, again, there's still that stigma of you gotta have it all, you gotta do it all and go, go, go.

[00:17:55] Diane: And you're fine. It's fine. I don't have time to put myself first, and I do put myself first if I do X, Y, and Z. But if you really don't get to the core, do you think you can outrun it? Do you think that you can outrun it? And that, does everyone need a couple sessions every once in a while to kind of tune in and do a checkup.

[00:18:16] Lisa: That's a really great question, and yes, I do consider it to be a safe space, and that's what I think most therapists are trying to create for the people that they work with. Can you do it without an occasional check in or without somebody. Sure. Is it significantly harder than it needs to be? Yeah, it is.

[00:18:36] Lisa: And it's also, let's be honest, our best decision making often got us to the place that we are now. So yes, that's great. But our best decision making also sometimes gets us into jams that we don't know how to back ourselves out of.

[00:18:51] Diane: Mm-hmm.

[00:18:52] Lisa: So again, even if it's that's somebody who has enough boundaries to say, Hey, listen, I hear where you're coming from, but what you just did this past Thanksgiving, you know, that was really inappropriate to throw the Turkey across the room.

[00:19:04] Lisa: I'm just gonna put that out there. that if you were angry and upset, that's not really the way to address it. Without, again, without the, the judgment, but with also the understanding that, yeah, I understand family makes you crazy.

[00:19:18] Diane: Yes ma'am.

[00:19:19] Lisa: Holidays bring out the best in everybody.

[00:19:22] Diane: Right? Well, and it's that, that illusion, right? And I think, a part of being authentic and that authenticity that, you know, I strive and I wanna encourage everyone to find their authentic path, is really just what we talked about. That, you know, life is messy there it is. Like that is the most beautiful lives are still the messiest lives.

[00:19:48] Diane: And there's having a safe space to kind of excavate that and High achieving perfectionism and, and as a woman, I feel like as women, we have an even higher standard that we hold ourselves to, that we've been conditioned to hold ourselves to, that we can, you know, there's certain lanes that we're allowed to be in, and yet there's certain lanes we are not allowed to be in.

[00:20:11] Diane: And if you could speak to that, I think from your vantage point and perspective as a therapist, kind of what your experience with that has been and how that affects or impacts being your true, authentic self.

[00:20:24] Lisa: I think that's a great question because, you know, you and I have talked about this a lot that as women, okay, so I'm gonna be a little stereotypical here. The expectation is that we find a partner, we, and maybe not in this particular perfect order, but you find a partner, you have the kid or the kids, you get the house, you get the picket fence, you, you know, you get the suv.

[00:20:47] Lisa: At this point, God forbid it's a station wagon. Um, and maybe you have a little job on the side. And maybe you're really good at it because you know you're really good at everything you do that you set your mind to, but we're not really taught or expected to maintain a variety of different roles outside of that.

[00:21:08] Lisa: It's, we're not usually taught that you can be authentic and you can be part of the mess. And you can also be a higher achiever and have a lot of different interests and maintain a lot of different hobbies and causes and maybe even have different careers. 'Cause again, we often times get sort of locked in, well this is what you're supposed to do, this is what you went to school for, so this is what you're going to do.

[00:21:36] Lisa: And that may not work for us. One of the beauties of getting older, I think, is that we get to change our mind. Grownups get to change their minds. And that's another factor of self-care that I think we don't get told enough that it's okay to change your mind. It's really okay to say, last week I did like that and last week I was okay with that, but this week I'm not.

[00:22:01] Lisa: And that doesn't make you bad and it doesn't make last week wrong. Just this week, this is where I'm at.

[00:22:07] Diane: Well, and I love that answer because I feel, especially just from my perspective on my own journey, the more I have. Dug deep and kind of excavated that authenticity. And for me, it's really bringing out more of a feminine side of me and balancing the super hyper masculine world that I've been raised in and worked in and know that.

[00:22:32] Diane: I can find that balance, you know, and I've, you know, I did things kind of backwards in my life. I started my career young. I, you know, tried to outrun a lot of my, a lot of my crap that I couldn't outrun. Cuz eventually it caught up to me. It just took a while. I was really fast for a good bit of it, and then it, it caught me.

[00:22:50] Diane: And then I had the child, you know, kind of mid-career and he's, you know, changed my life and then kind of things got messy again. And it wasn't until I really stopped outrunning and really digging deep and finding that, you know what, I like that more feminine energy and, I've actually got a lot of it and you know how I can apply that; the way that I lead, the way that I, make my choices in my life moving forward. And it's changed my life. I mean, without a doubt finding that, but it's scary. It is so scary.

[00:23:23] Lisa: Well, I, of course, it's scary because we're not used to seeing strong female leaders who are not called bitches.

[00:23:34] Diane: Mm-hmm. . Oh yeah.

[00:23:37] Lisa: Every single strong female leader that I can think of at some point has had that leveled against her. And it's incredible to me that somehow those same behaviors coming out of a, a guy are acceptable, but it's not okay for us.

[00:23:54] Lisa: It's not okay for us to have a decision and to make it and to be feeling really good about it while still being feminine or as authentic as we are. It is, whether that be somebody who wears a flowery skirt or a flannel shirt doesn't matter. What matters is, you know, what are my motives here? What am I bringing to the table here?

[00:24:17] Lisa: And what I'm bringing to the table is that I want everyone to succeed. I want to lift everybody up.

[00:24:25] Diane: Mm-hmm.

[00:24:26] Lisa: But again, we're often not given credit for doing that

[00:24:30] Diane: Well, and it's the double bind.

[00:24:32] Lisa: always.

[00:24:32] Diane: You know, if I soften, then I'm weak and I've, you know, again, that's, that's part of the journey, that's part of the mess. Okay, softening and being vulnerable is almost as terrifying as anything I can imagine, because there's this, you know, armor that I carry, you know, to, work and I've gotta be tough and I've gotta be intense. And then it's like, that's exhausting.

[00:24:57] Diane: It's exhausting all the time to be super tough. And, you know, it gets exhausting, fielding the comments. And as much as we work, and I think it puts women against women, you know, we become adversarial and that defeats the whole purpose. I love that, you know, it's, it's good to hear that from another strong woman that, hey, we can be allies and all boats rise and we lift each other up.

[00:25:18] Diane: And if you do the work. And you can have someone guide you along the way that will hold that safe space for you. it's messy and it's bumpy and it can be scary and all the emotions. Yet I know that it's also the rewards, the benefits, the connections, the, you know, relationships are just so incredible.

[00:25:42] Lisa: I think, yeah, you hit on a really good point there. The relationships, I think this is the part that also doesn't ever or very rarely gets talked about in public, which is that relationships are messy. And even friendship relationships or mentor relationships have bumps in them and have moments of disagreement or have moments where just not really feeling it quite this minute, but it doesn't mean that it's not still authentic and true and helpful and ultimately going to be able to support you as you move along. And I think that's another role that therapy can play is really helping somebody see that, hey, that relationship is good, and maybe this relationship is not so good for you. You know? Have we maybe looked at this and maybe it doesn't look pretty on the outside right now, but what's the core of that relationship and is that going to be something you wanna move forward with?

[00:26:39] Diane: is the juice worth a squeeze?

[00:26:42] Lisa: yes. Which is such a firehouse statement,

[00:26:47] Diane: I mean, you know, you can take the girl outta the firehouse, but you can't take the firehouse out of the girl Okay. So I know we're getting ready to wrap up and I just, the, one of the things that I love that you do with your therapy practice is, You focus on community, and if you could just share with everyone, how it started, pre pandemic and how it's going now with one of the coolest things you do for community and how you use food to connect people.

[00:27:16] Lisa: Ah, I would love to talk about this because, you know, this is like my passion thing. I love it, love it, love it. So pre pandemic. I had a group of people that I was working with individually. So pre pandemic, I was working in an office, seeing people one-on-one. I had about two-thirds first responders and frontline workers, and one-third, not so much.

[00:27:38] Lisa: Um, but in that group of people I had a heavy majority of my folks at the time were people who were trying to obtain and maintain abstinence from substance use. And they were having a hard time, or a group of them were having a hard time. Coincidentally, so sort of you, you guys can't see me on the tape, but I'm sort of pouring from one hand to the other. I also have noticed and have always noticed that when I feed my clients, physically feed them food that they opened up and were much more receptive in the office. Even if I offered a cookie and they didn't take it. And no, I'm not offering up Chips Ahoy, nothing against Chips Ahoy but I was always offering up real food that I made.

[00:28:21] Lisa: So, or clementines that I brought in

[00:28:24] Diane: It's amazing. By the way, Lisa's baking is food for the Soul, literally.

[00:28:28] Lisa: Thank you. So I got this crazy idea to start having these community dinners and I invited six people in the begining. Four first responders and two lay people, shall we say. And I found a church that rented me space for almost nothing, which was good. And we came together, we cooked a meal, we cleaned up afterwards, but we cooked a meal.

[00:28:51] Lisa: We sat down at a real table that they had set, and we had basically a group.. But it was around this meal and it was around that dinner table that some of the most enduring connections have been made. That group continues despite the pandemic, despite the incredibly sad loss of two of our members, in the early stages of the pandemic we were meeting outside.

[00:29:21] Lisa: You know, when do we, you know, what do we do and how do we do this? Everyone would bring their own chair and I would bring dinner and we would have a picnic dinner. And we've since moved to just being online because we've got a lot of geographical challenges and we've got a new baby in the group. And, but it is by far one of the most rewarding things that I do.

[00:29:43] Lisa: Um, and it, you know, hopefully we'll get back to a time when I can do it again. Right now, it's not that time. The church has decided it requires $300 a night to be there, but you know, when I win the lottery, I'll be able to have my own church or my own space and my own place and make that all happen. It was literally food for the soul And that, that group continues.

[00:30:06] Lisa: They talk about the people who have been lost.

[00:30:08] Diane: Mm-hmm.

[00:30:09] Lisa: They talk about each other. They ask about each other. So it's a beautiful thing.

[00:30:14] Diane: I just, I, to me that just is such a great example of community, and I always say in this, again, comes back to the firehouse when we can sit and break bread together and share a meal together, you can learn so much about a person and you can create that psychologically safe space for true connection. You know sharing the mess and that you're all in the foxhole together eating food and you find that maybe you would never imagined having a connection with someone, but you can sit down and have a meal with them and you realize that you do, and that bond is just formed.

[00:30:53] Diane: And it just, it's, I love it. I love it so much.

[00:30:57] Lisa: Yeah, and I think that that's one of the most amazing things to them as a group. Was that especially one particular member I can recall, the very first night that we sat down, he was looking across the table at this kid, this young guy heavily tattooed skinny as a rail first responder, and he was like, Dude, I got nothing in common with you.

[00:31:17] Lisa: What the hell are we doing here? He was like, I don't know. I dunno what we're doing here. But then when they got talking, it turned out that they had a tremendous amount in common and it was that bond that was so incredibly strong and really helped everyone forge those connections. That garlic bread always had to have two loaves of garlic bread and then always had to have something chocolate for dessert.

[00:31:42] Lisa: And then, you know, we're good to go after that.

[00:31:44] Diane: That totally makes sense. That, and it, it brings out that authenticity. You know, When people aren't, worried about everything else. And they're just focused on eating or, when you're in proximity to someone and you're right across the table, it's really hard to hate on them when you're forced to have a conversation or you're in a awkward space.

[00:32:04] Diane: I mean, I can hold awkward for a pretty long time, but eventually we're gonna have a conversation.

[00:32:09] Lisa: Yeah, eventually you kind of gotta have a conversation. And the one of the most interesting parts about those dinners is that because for a therapist, you know, Years ago, and I graduated decades ago, it was really solid boundaries and you never share anything personal and you never let them see anything about you personally.

[00:32:30] Lisa: And yet here we are sitting down to dinner that they've unloaded from my car or the component parts they're eating off of, or with serving platters from my kitchen. So, you know, they would say, where did this come from? Well, that was my grandmother's salad bowl, you know. It, it allows for that exchange that you can't get any other way.

[00:32:50] Diane: Mm-hmm. . Right?

[00:32:52] Lisa: You, you just, you can't, those, you're right, you can hold awkward for a while, but after a bit you're gonna have to have a conversation.

[00:33:00] Diane: Exactly. And, I have so much respect for you. For taking that chance to do that. That's vulnerable for you to open, your space and trusting yourself enough to do that in a, in a unique way that. It could have gone potentially not as well as it did.

[00:33:20] Diane: Um, but because you're a strong leader, because you're good at your job, because you care all the things that make you authentic, you're able to infuse that energy into your groups as well into the people that you work with and your friendships.

[00:33:36] Lisa: Well, thank you. I feel the same way about you, but I would also tell you it's a really great example again, going back and I, I suspect people are now rolling the rise, but I can't say it, it, it's a really good example of the universe rewarding me for being brave. And oftentimes we're not given that permission to be brave and to take that chance and I'm, I couldn't be more grateful that I took the chance to do that.

[00:34:02] Lisa: Or that I took the chance to join that group that eventually led to you. You know, my life is so much richer because you are part of it, and that, that to me, is so special.

[00:34:14] Diane: well, thank you. Um, on the, the courage and the brave part, who needs to give you permission to be brave? Where does that permission come from? To be brave and courageous?

[00:34:25] Lisa: I think in the beginning we look to it, we look to the outside for it. But I think at some point we need to begin to shift that to ourselves and we need to give ourselves, it's always an inside job. Always an inside job.

[00:34:40] Diane: But that's the beauty of working with a therapist is that transition to, you know, and therapy's not forever. It's not a life sentence. I find personally, I'm like, I'm like a four to six week checkup person. And every time we get to that conversation where things are going really well and my therapist is like, well, you know, do you wanna schedule another appointment?

[00:34:59] Diane: I'm like, absolutely. I need that every four to six weeks. But that's me. Not everyone needs that. It might just be, you know, in the short term or it might be, a check-in. There's no prescription, so to speak for everyone. It's not the same.

[00:35:16] Lisa: It's definitely not the same. One of the things that I know makes me kind of unique is that a lot of my people stay with me for really long periods of time. As a matter of fact, just yesterday, a client from 10 years ago reached out and said, I've been thinking about our last session and I wanted to follow up.

[00:35:33] Lisa: And I'm thinking to myself 10 years ago, what did I have for breakfast yesterday?

[00:35:38] Diane: Right.

[00:35:41] Lisa: But if, if I have done my job well,

[00:35:45] Diane: Mm-hmm.

[00:35:45] Lisa: if any therapist has done their job well, you can hear their voice in your head even when they are not with you.

[00:35:53] Diane: Mm-hmm.

[00:35:54] Lisa: And that is part of what makes that transition to an inside job so much more possible and plausible that, okay, I've got this voice in me. I, I know that I'm gonna get support here.

[00:36:07] Diane: That's perfect. All right, so before we find out where people can find you, I have a question. I would like to know, how do you practice self-care?

[00:36:19] Lisa: Ah, okay. So, we'll, I'll give you the short version. The short version is that I meditate daily. I exercise as often as I can. And for the record, just in case anyone like goes onto my website and actually sees a picture of me, I, that does not mean that I look like something that should be in a beauty pageant in terms of like physique, because that's not what it means.

[00:36:43] Lisa: I get on my treadmill, I go outside for walks. I do things for my brain as much as I do them for my body. Then believe it or not, one of my biggest ways of taking care of myself is to make sure that I spend not only downtime, but I spend time giving back. I love to volunteer and that feeds my soul. So being out in nature and spending time with others feeds me in a way that nothing else can, and those are my ways of self care.

[00:37:14] Diane: and Birds.

[00:37:15] Lisa: Well, that's the nature thing. I try to like cover up the birds a little bit cuz some people who don't know me, don't know that I'm kind of like a bird geek, like poor Diane. You know? Here we are meeting for the first time in person and we're taking the walk on this really beautiful piece of land and I keep calling out the birds, you know, but that's me, you

[00:37:33] Diane: but I love it and I downloaded the app and we still use it like if we see, so I'm like, wait a minute, we have an app for that , and we look it up to see what type of bird it is.

[00:37:43] Lisa: So for those who don't know, it's called the Merlin app and it allows you to not only take a sound recording and sound recording will tell you what kind of a bird it is. You can even take a picture and Merlin will tell you what kind of a bird it is.

[00:37:55] Diane: Yes, it's, it's beautiful. Okay, well now if you could just let us know where we can find you? Where are you available?

[00:38:03] Lisa: So you can find me on my website, which is www.lisacurtislcsw.com. And that's Curtis with a c. I was gonna say. It's gonna be in the show notes. I hope you like the website. It does get new stuff. As a matter of fact, this afternoon it will get a piece on adrenaline because adrenaline is such a topic that we don't talk about and it's negative impact on the human body and brain.

[00:38:30] Lisa: Can't imagine why I would pick that as a topic. But that's where you can find me. And I, and you know, I, I know that some people think, oh, I don't wanna reach out because whatever, whatever crazy things are sort of stuck in your head, please know that I welcome any conversation, even if that means that I'm going to help you find what works for you.

[00:38:50] Lisa: Oftentimes I think, again, we, we think, oh, I, I can't ask for help. Yeah, you can. I'm, you know, I'm honored to help people get where they want to go.

[00:39:00] Diane: Well, and you're very good at it. So I know that's part bias, but I also don't waste my time around or hanging out with people who aren't genuine and helpful and, you know, cuz we ain't got time for that.

[00:39:12] Lisa: I so appreciate your time. Thank you.

[00:39:16] Diane: I appreciate it. And I will put everything to contact you in the show notes.

[00:39:21] Lisa: Thanks for having me on.

[00:39:22] Diane: Friend. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. I know how valuable time is and I'm very grateful you have chosen to spend your time with me. Be sure to follow the show on whatever platform you're currently listening to and head on over to TheFireInsideHer.com/audio where I've created a free audio to help you kickstart your self-care routine.

[00:39:50] Diane: Until next time, be safe. Be kind, and be authentically you.