Emily Becker And Ashley James
- Power of prayer
- Prayer are stepping stones to recovering health
- Building relationship through prayer
- Let go of fear through faith, belief, and prayer.
- As you build your relationship with God through prayer, you start receiving more and more good things
- Prayers help people to have more positive outlook
- One-on-one connection with God
- Reticular activating system
- You feel more joy from giving than that person will ever get from receiving
- Learn from the returns
- God’s answer is yes, no, or later
- Looking at all aspects of your life and bring it all into balance
- Life in a few years can be so brilliant, so amazing that you wouldn’t want to give it up for anything
- Write down who you want to pray for, what you’d like for yourself, and also something to give, if you have something to give praise about
- You should surround yourself and try to serve and reach as many people as you can whatever you are
In today’s episode, Emily will share with us the value of prayer and how it helps us recover our health and how it builds a deeper connection with God, ourselves and other people.
[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 400.
I am so excited to have back on the show Emily Becker. She was here in Episode 340 sharing about how she reversed her alopecia. She basically went — her entire body went bald. And she restored herself with natural medicine and she helps families and men and women and children who have this condition. She helps them to reverse it naturally as well. So if you have alopecia, if you have hair loss, or if you know anyone who does, listen to Episode 340 and share it with them. And let them know but Emily Becker because she is definitely living proof. You should see pictures. Emily, your hair is gorgeous. And I’ve been Facebook friends with you since your alopecia days when you didn’t have any hair. And then you started to grow the hair. A little peach fuzz at first and now I think your hair is as long as mine. I mean it’s just like it’s going to be so long people are going to be climbing it. That was a Disney movie with no hair.
[00:01:20] Emily Becker: Rapunzel.
[00:01:21] Ashley James: You’re going to be Rapunzel soon. Your hair is so luscious and long. And so it was great having you on the show in Episode 340. And I’m glad you could come back to share what’s happened since. When you came on the show, you shared what your story and what you did to naturally reverse your alopecia, both diet and supplements and topical things. And since then you were just starting your business which is at home. You have formulated the most amazing organic and 100 percent natural herbal creams and salves and remedies for all kinds of skin and hair conditions. And your businesses just taken off and you do it all from home. When the kids go to bed, you’re a busy stay at home mom.
I’ve been loving watching you flourish. And watching all your customers report back to you on Facebook just how much your pain cream with the CBD in it has helped them. Or you know, your face creams. And I love your face cream. It’s so luxurious. So I could go on and on about how wonderful your own natural products are. And I love that you show pictures on Facebook of the process of you making things so we see the ingredients and see how you do it. And we know absolutely 100 percent of the ingredients that are going in so there’s no chemicals or pesticides or anything like that in your home remedy cosmetics. It’s wonderful.
So welcome back to the show.
[00:02:56] Emily Becker: Thank you, Ashley. I’m so happy to be here. I had so much fun last time we did this together. I’ve been wanting to ask you to come back on the show for so long and I’m grateful that you’re willing to do this in such a short notice with me.
[00:03:14] Ashley James: Oh, yeah. This week you’re like, “Can I come back on the show?” I’m like, “Yeah. What you doing this weekend?” It’s like Saturday afternoon – about to be afternoon right now and here we are hanging out.
[00:03:25] Emily Becker: Well, I was feeling inspired to thank your supporters and all your listeners for all of their support for me. I get emails and I mean, they order from me as well. But I get a lot of emails saying that, you know, they need help with their alopecia. Or that they connected with me through face and then we’ll pray together through email and spend some time together like that. And I just wanted to thank them so much for their support.
[00:03:57] Ashley James: Wonderful. Well, I love the community. The Learn True Health community is filled with really loving and caring people who want to get their health back and want to help their friends and family do the same. And so I love that you have found that to be the case as well that my listeners have reached out to you because of their alopecia or other skin issues. That they’ve also connected with you on a level of faith.
I know something that’s really made a big difference to you and to your healing and to your success is utilizing the power of prayer.
[00:04:33] Emily Becker: Absolutely.
[00:04:35] Ashley James: What does that mean? What does it mean to have the power of prayer help you? How has prayer helped you specifically? Because I know you were telling me before we hit record that prayer has been something that has absolutely made a difference in your life. And for those who have not really ever prayed or maybe not to spiritual or religious, they might scoff at it. That, you know, it’s just you’re just basically talking to some Sky Daddy. Like that’s how some people feel, right? So some people, “I’ve never connected with prayer.” And then there’s other people I’ve met who say prayer has been life changing for them. That they absolutely feel that it is one of the biggest reasons why they have gotten their health back, or become successful, or been able to attain the goals that they intend to obtain.
Can you give us – share us the story of what happened in your life that had you see that prayer made a big difference to you?
[00:05:38] Emily Becker: Well, prayer has made a big difference to me from the beginning of my health recovery. I wasn’t a believer as a young child or in my teens or anything. I didn’t – I always knew that there was a God but I didn’t have a relationship with Him or anything like that. And it was when I started to pray without trusting Jesus or anything like that that I started asking God to lead me to health. I stopped fearing my health conditions. I stopped fearing how I looked in the mirror and how my health was affecting me. I started asking for help and guidance through prayer. Within a month of the first time I ever prayed, I was on my way. I didn’t really see it happening when it was happening. But looking back, as I prayed, all of my prayers were answered. It was like stepping stones to recovering my health. I used to have a lot of fear in my heart and in my life. I had anxiety and I was living in fear. And as I would pray, the fear, all that, would be lifted from me momentarily as I prayed for a day or two. And then, eventually, I saw that I personally needed this holy help. I needed Jesus. This is my personal story. This is how I feel that I needed Him to help me with my burdens. I needed to give Him the weight that’s on my shoulders. And that I couldn’t do it alone. And I needed guidance. So I started trusting in Jesus. And then after that, it’s just been building this relationship through prayer. Where instead of feeling like I’m alone and praying for all the bad things to go away, I prayed for help and love and guidance.
And as I did that, I started receiving blessings, gifts. I started meeting people who could help me. I started believing that I could get better. I started believing that everything was going to be okay. And as my faith and my belief and my prayer life grew stronger and stronger, the more I was able to let go my fear.
I actually took – Ashley, I took your anxiety course, how to release your anxiety. And I got to tell you, I never finished. I’ve done the first 15 days three times. And it’s really similar to prayer because when – I love it. I love it. Because once you start talking about stuff that I’m familiar with, I’m like, “I got to get this other stuff ingrained in my head.” Once you set your eyes on what your heart really wants, God is listening. He wants good things for all of us. And that was how I started to believe in the power of prayer. And the things that I personally that have healed or come to me through prayer have been meeting the doctor who could help me with my hair loss. I prayed for that. And I also prayed – there’s other things that I’ll pray for and I’m like, “Oh, I can’t believe I did that. Now look at this.”
[00:09:19] Ashley James: What do you mean? What specifically?
[00:09:21] Emily Becker: So I’ll pray in simple little areas of my life. Like, “I like to eat more whole foods and eat healthier. And then all of a sudden, my kids get – you know, they’re sick and I know I need to cut out the processed foods or they’re going to just going to get sicker and sicker. So it’s like, “Okay. Well, I don’t want to change my whole lifestyle but it looks like we’re going to have to. Thanks, God.” All right. So it’s not always the answer you want but he’s always there trying to give you good things. So as you build your relationship with God through prayer, you start receiving more and more good things. And then I couldn’t keep that to myself. I started praying over my orders. I started praying over my friends, my neighbors. And by praying for my friends and my neighbors, I’m able to see that, one, it’s rewarding to share that love with Jesus through prayer. Whether they know it or not, it’s really rewarding to love someone enough that you would pray for them.
I really appreciate the breath work before this interview. I am.
[00:10:42] Ashley James: It was hilarious. I shared with Emily the breath work interview I did recently. I said, “You have to listen to this.” And she wrote back a few hours later, “I just listened to the world’s longest interview on breath work.” It was like a two hour long interview on breathing. It’s breathing. We all do it. But I mean, it was amazing. And so before we hit record, I’m like, “Let’s do some deep breathing together. Let’s just, you know, get Emily a bit calm.” Because she doesn’t normally jump on podcasts.
[00:11:13] Emily Becker: No.
[00:11:12] Ashley James: And so let’s get grounded. But you shared something really interesting, just as an offshoot, I want to make sure we covered this. You told me what you do to get your kids to get sleepy and wind them down before bed that you used breathing. Can you share how you do that to get your family to calm down for bedtime?
[00:11:34] Emily Becker: Yeah. Well, yeah, when I was listening to the podcast about breath work, I was like, “Oh, I already do this with my kids.” And what happens is everybody’s excited and they won’t even listen to a story. They won’t settle down for a good book. And what I’ll do is I won’t say anything. I’ll just start breathing nice and slow and deep. And after a few breaths, you’ll start to see – just like how yawning, it’s contagious. You’ll start to see their breathing slow down. Some of them will start to yawn. And then they all start to relax. And I’ve been doing that for a while now. If I haven’t on and off, probably, since my first baby. But a lot recently with my three year old just to help her relax and get ready for bed. I’d spend – so helpful.
[00:12:32] Ashley James: So you don’t sing to her. Like, “It’s bedtime. Okay. Wind it down. Stop playing with toys.” You’re not saying anything. You just are sitting near her as she’s playing. And you start to slow your breath and take deep slow breaths. And then because she has rapport with you at an unconscious level, she starts – her body starts to copy what you’re doing and she also starts to breathe slow and deep. And then that calms her down and then she’s able to sit with you and read some books before bed.
[00:13:03] Emily Becker: And focus and relax.
[00:13:06] Ashley James: Yeah. I love that you pointed that out. Right. It’s so great because that’s actually something I learned when I studied neuro-linguistic programming is this idea of rapport that when we work with our clients, we want to gain rapport with them and watch their breathing. And first, we match them how fast they’re talking, the kind of tonality they’re using, even the words they’re using, how they’re sitting, their body language, and how they’re breathing. And so it’s this idea of –
[00:13:34] Emily Becker: I don’t want to do that with my daughter. I don’t want to get that excited.
[00:13:37] Ashley James: No, no. You don’t – right. Right. You wouldn’t do that with her. But she has a rapport with you. But for clients who you don’t necessarily have rapport with yet, we would do that to put them at ease. And then what happens is once they’ve gained rapport with us, then we slow down our breathing, and then they slow down their breathing. And I learned this trick for children. As a NLP practitioner, if I’m working with children who have ADD or ADHD, that having them match my breath at an unconscious level by slowing down my breathe actually helps their neurology to slow down and calm down. It gives their body unconscious permission to slow down. So I love that idea that we can just take slower deep breaths to tell the people around us that it’s safe and okay to slow down and calm down. That we don’t need to be in fight or flight. And that it’s time for bed.
[00:14:41] Emily Becker: Yeah. It also helps me personally quiet my inner voice. Because I’m an introvert, but my mind is constantly going. And when I start taking my deep breaths, I can relax and think clearly. And then I do that also be for prayer. I don’t do the 20 minutes breath work yet. But maybe I will, maybe, for prayer. Because it’s it really is something that helps, just as we said, helps in layman’s terms for me, seeing clearly and to slow down.
[00:15:18] Ashley James: So you had mentioned that you pray over the orders that your customers have placed before you mail them out. Have you received any feedback since you started doing that? Like, I mean, I know it’s anecdotal. Did you notice any difference between before doing that and after you started praying for your clients?
[00:15:43] Emily Becker: Since I’ve been doing this what I’ve noticed is that people come back with a new energy in their emails, a new level of faith, or they’re just excited about it. Something I didn’t notice from other people. People will say, “Oh, this is great. This is great. This is great.” The products are, right? But after starting the prayers, what I noticed is that people have more positive outlook on what’s going on. I haven’t seen any miracles. I can’t – as far as that goes.
I did send a very, very, very wonderful woman who was going through breast cancer one lotion. And she wasn’t allowed to have any preservatives or anything like that inside. It had to be just raw ingredients. And she really needed a hand cream because when you’re going through cancer and chemo, the chemo medicine dries out your skin. So I sent her a big jug of lotion to put in her fridge. Well, they did the surgery. It was all successful afterwards. And the way she lights up about how amazing that simple gift has been really rewarding. I wish I could share her passion and her excitement and love about what she received.
It’s really a one on one connection. And for me, it’s a three way here. Because I’m not doing this on my own. I’m doing this with God, the Father. And I’m trusting everything in him. As I do this, we talked earlier before this interview about studies and results. You can’t measure divine intervention. You can only have faith in what the results are. Because good things happen without divine intervention anyways. God wants good things for us. And then sometimes it’s his hands are placing people in your life. His hands are that positive voice saying, you know like, “You can do this today.” I didn’t think I would share with anyone that I prayed over the orders. Because I don’t do it every time there’s been a few slips where I’m like, “Oh, I forgot to pray over that order.”
[00:18:16] Ashley James: But you could backdate that prayer.
[00:18:20] Emily Becker: I have.
[00:18:21] Ashley James: It’s never too late.
[00:18:22] Emily Becker: I’ll be like, “Oh, God. Please forgive me. I can’t even remember her last name but she’s an Oklahoman. Please, Lord, let this order that she receives not just be good for her but a blessing to her.” And suddenly that has changed the feedback that I have gotten. So it hasn’t just been, “Oh, these are amazing products.” But, “Wow.” Maybe while we’re talking here, I can pull something up. I don’t want to mention anyone’s names because this is very personal information, which is why I’m hesitant to share. But I also want to give praise to God. I was a late in life Born Again Christian. So I am not well versed in the Bible. I am well versed in my faith and how He’s brought me to where I am. I know, I can look back and be like, “Wow. He really protected me there.”
[00:19:23] Ashley James: You had mentioned that and I just remembered something that happened when I was a kid. So I have to share it. I was maybe about – I don’t know – eight or nine. And I grew up in Canada, in Ontario. And we were up in Muskoka. And it was probably February. I mean, it was cold. There was tons of ice, tons of snow. And I was hiking in the woods with my friend, Jane. We were really close to the lake up on a cliff. And I didn’t realize how close we were to the cliff until I lost my footing and I began to slide backwards.
And something that I guess I just picked up from all the other kids is always saying, “Oh, my God. You know, like, “Oh, my God. Like, Oh, my God.” Right? Because I was like this little – you know, I mean this little, like, nine year old probably thinking she’s like 13, right? I’m like, “Oh, my God.” And so I slipped. And I began to fall backwards and I’m sliding down this cliff. And it drops off. And there’s a few stories. I mean, it’s very, very high on to basically jagged rocks, open water, and ice. And it would have been death. It would have been instant. If I wouldn’t have died from hitting the rocks. It would have been drowning in ice water, right? It was not – I mean, there’s no way in which I would have survived that. And I yelled out, “Oh, my God.” Because I was very afraid. And that was just sort of this instant reaction. But what happened next really surprised me. All of a sudden there was a branch sticking out of the rock. And it was sort of like those cartoons where there’s like a one branch tree in the middle of a cliff with no roots. And you’re like, “How’d that get there?” And it and it caught my back. And I remember looking over my shoulder, like looking down at the rocks, and the ice, and the water. And being like – and I grew up in this area. Swimming in this area in the summertime. I never ever, ever saw this tree before – this branch. It was just like a branch sticking out.
The first thing I realized is I called out God’s name. And I was immediately caught. And that was like – this is like a nine year old going, “Oh, my gosh.” And it hit me and I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” He saved me. And I was just there being held by this branch. And my friend, Jane, was like, “Hold on. I got to go get a rope.” And she ran back and got a rope and came back and I was held the whole time. And she got me out. And then I looked and that’s when she when she pulled down and looked down and I realized that, “I don’t think that was there before.” I mean, you know, maybe it was. But that was really like a very odd place for a one branch tree to grow on a side of a cliff and to be able to hold my weight and just everything. Everything, like, I could have – if I was one foot to the left or one foot to the right, I would have been gone. And so that was my first experience of hit sort of His hand and his guidance.
[00:22:39] Emily Becker: Well, literally, that’s amazing.
[00:22:41] Ashley James: Right. And you just reminded me of that. That sometimes in life, there’s just these events that you go, there is something more here than – I don’t know – we’re dead and there’s nothing. Like, there’s something more to this. And I wasn’t sure – I think I believed conceptually, like, maybe theoretically that there was a soul. But when my mom died, I actually had an experience of her soul moving through me. I held her hand as she died. And it was about 1:00 or 1:30 in the morning. All the lights were pretty much off. It was in a hospital room. And it was just a light glow of like beeping things. She took her last breath. And even the doctor lent me their stethoscope so I could – just her heart had slowed over the course of the day because she had gone into a coma. And she had stopped moving her body, had stopped – like, she was stopped responding basically to us talking to her. So we were holding her hand and rubbing her feet and hugging her and everything the whole day. But she was gone. She was in a coma. And as she died, so she died, her heart stopped, she stopped breathing. She squeezed my hand. And it was only the hand – it wasn’t like both hands squeeze, it wasn’t some kind of involuntary. She grabbed – I was holding one of her hands, she squeezed it, pulled it to her heart. And then I felt an intense energy move through me and it was the color yellow. Like if you felt the color yellow. And that was one of my mom’s favorite colors. And the entire room lit up yellow. Her soul was letting me know it was okay and saying goodbye.
[00:24:30] Emily Becker: That’s incredible.
[00:24:32] Ashley James: That was like another big experience of mine to know that there’s more here. So I’m sharing this because sometimes we disregard these amazing experiences. Because I think in the mainstream media, I don’t know if they’re pushing like an atheist agenda. I don’t know what. And I’m not trying to push any religion on anyone. But I want to share, don’t discredit things that happen and just push them to the side. Listen to these amazing miracles that could happen in your life or in other people’s lives. And let that fuel you. Because I’ve heard people have incredible experiences through the power of prayer. Even people who are not religious have used prayer. And through that have found a closer connection to their Creator.
[00:25:28] Emily Becker: Oh, absolutely.
[00:25:31] Ashley James: Health is physical. And I have a lot of doctors on the show. And a lot of times we talk about, you know, using food as medicine or supplements. So health is physical. But there’s also the spiritual aspects that we see that if someone has great physical health but has absolutely no spiritual health, that they can have a level of emptiness in their life. Sort of like a sickness on an energetic level. And a lot of times when people get really sick, they look to prayer and look to God and that –
[00:25:58] Emily Becker: Then be more positive on their outlook and they change their mindset too. They pray.
[00:26:04] Ashley James: Yes. Because there is a mind body connection. There is a kind of direct connection between the emotional body and the physical health. If we’re sick emotionally or sick mentally, we can also feel those effects physically. And same with our energetic and our spiritual body. So we want to look to heal and balance all aspects of life.
So I like to leave no stone unturned. And that’s why I wanted – when you said you wanted to come on and share about your experiences with the power of prayer and how much prayer has helped you in your life. I wanted to, first of all, hear your experiences. And have the listeners hear them because maybe even if one listener can gain some huge benefit from learning from you, then it’ll all be worth it. But I know that when we align our thoughts with what we want versus what we don’t want.
If we’re going to look at neuroscience, there’s a part of our brain it’s in the brainstem called the reticular activating system. And it helps us to seek out what we want. But when we focus on what we don’t want, so if you’re constantly thinking about an illness you have, your particular activating system is going to keep filtering out your experiences to only remind you of all the illness you have. And will actually delete any evidence that you might be getting better. So the reticular activating system just helps you focus on what you’re focusing on. We have this part of our brain because if we’re foraging in the woods, let’s say for a type of berry. A green berry in a green woods and it’s really hard to see. Well, the reticular activating system helps us to identify it and seek it out. So the same goes with our attitude and our focus in life.
So if you’re praying about what you want to have, blessings in your life for yourself or for others, you’re actually telling your brain, your reticular activating system, to seek out and help you on the conscious level help you see the evidence and work towards achieving it.
[00:28:22] Emily Becker: I did a recent Facebook challenge with my friends on my personal page that helped people do exactly what you just said. I told them that – I gave them a little background. I said, “Sometimes I would sit and wonder if my decisions please God.” But that is assuming that God is limited. So now, instead, I wonder how God can bless my choices. So I told them to try, that their next hurdle, their next crossroad, the moment of uncertainty. And this can go for health, you know, something wrong with your health and you’d like to see better. I told him to pray for what that what you choose to do about it to me a blessed choice. And in that, you also want to have the good outcome. You don’t want to sit there and pray about what bad could happen. Anyone, right? About what good do you would like to happen?
And then when that alone has brought me blessings and prayers. And that’s true even with my marriage. You’re like, “Oh, I want to be more involved with my family.” Or, “Eat more wholesome foods.” Or, “I really want to reconnect with my sister again.” All these little things. As soon as you start praying for them, as soon as you start thinking about them, as soon as it’s close to your heart, everything changes for what you want.
[00:29:50] Ashley James: Yes. What you’re bringing up is something that I talked about in my course, the Free Your Anxiety course.
[00:29:56] Emily Becker: I love that course.
[00:29:57] Ashley James: My Free Anxiety course which is available on the website, learntruehealth.com in the menu section there. But you’ve done – it’s funny. You’ve done day one through 15 a few times. You got to finish the course. It’s like the ending is good too.
[00:30:11] Emily Becker: Okay. [Inaudible] [00:30:12] stuff that I’m familiar with. And I want to have the positive rewiring [inaudible] [00:30:18].
[00:30:21] Ashley James: I love it. I love that you’re doing it repeatedly. That’s actually really great to wire it in the stuff that you’re learning. But one thing I talk about is focusing on what you want versus what you don’t want. And what you’re saying is when you pray – I think this is really important – that you catch your language instead of saying like, “Dear God. Please don’t allow my husband to get in a car crash today. And please don’t let my kids fail at school.” I mean, I know I’m being like kind of over exaggerating. But we do this where we focus on what we don’t want to have happen. And that is creating the stress response in the body. And that’s not actually helping us focus on what we do want to have happen or we do want to create in our life. And so we have to catch our language. When we say what we don’t want to have happen, we have to catch our language and go, “Oh, okay. I’m not actually saying what I want. I’m just saying a bunch of what I don’t want. So what do I want?” And then say that. So my example is – when I first learned this lesson – every year I slipped on ice and fell and bruised my tailbone. And this is up in Canada. And I learned this lesson about focusing on what we do want to have happen in our internal dialogue. And I caught myself, it’s around February, we just had an ice rain. I was walking to my car and everything was icy. And I started to feel my feet slip. And I just knew the next step would be, like, a bruised bum. And I caught myself and I heard my inner dialogue say, “I don’t want to slip. I don’t want to slip. I don’t want to slip.” And I’m like, “Oh my, gosh. I’m doing it.” I’m focusing on what I don’t want to have happen.
And we do it so naturally because I think it’s part of our – I don’t know if it’s just part of our culture. Or maybe it’s a bit of, I think, the pessimists are the ones that survived. All the optimists kind of ran into bears in the woods and they didn’t procreate. So all of our ancestors were basically pessimists. So we kind of got the pessimists gene down path. Because the pessimists were like, “Well, there’s probably a bear over there. So I’m not going to go over there.” So they’re looking out for the negative things and avoided them long enough to procreate and pass down the genes. So we were taught that it’s safe to be a pessimist because you if you think about a lot of bad things that could go wrong, then you could avoid them. But the problem with that is, when we think about what we don’t want to have happen, we’re constantly triggering the stress response in the body. But we’re also telling the reticular activating system in the brain to focus on what we don’t want to have happen instead of what we do want to have happen. And so when good things actually do happen, sometimes our brain can’t even see it or perceive it, or take up that opportunity.
And so in that moment, when I was catching myself slipping on the ice, I went, “Well, what’s the opposite of I don’t want to slip.” And that was a really hard one because I was so used to thinking about what I don’t want to have happen. And then I had to go, “Okay. Well, I want to say, walk safely. Okay.” So I told myself, “I want to walk safely.” I imagined myself walking safely to my car. I imagine like there’s little bear claws coming out of my boots and allowing me to walk safely. And then I did. And I didn’t slip. And I have not slipped — knock on wood. I haven’t slept since. And that was, like, 19 years ago.
So to give you that idea that we can catch ourselves in prayer and also out of prayer. When we’re focusing on what we don’t want to have happen by stating the negative. Like, “I don’t want this to happen.” We have to catch ourselves and say, “Well, what do I want to have happen?” And focus on that instead. Because the reticular activating system will delete, distort, and generalize the information coming to us. So through our eyes, and our ears, through all of our senses, will delete, distort, and generalize before it reaches our consciousness. And so our reality is dependent on what we focus on. You and I, Emily, could go to a movie. And we could both walk out with totally different opinions about that movie with the same movie. But you and I saw different things and experienced different things because our unconscious mind deletes the source and generalized filters the information before we get to experience it consciously. So we have to catch ourselves and the languaging.
I’ll give you one example before – as I have a question for you. So I know that you and I have the same doctor mentor. This doctor, we talked about him and Episode 340. This doctor who helped me nine years ago reverse my type 2 diabetes, my chronic adrenal fatigue, my chronic infertility, and my polycystic ovarian syndrome. He helped me reverse those with diet and supplements. And I had an opportunity to actually learn from him about a-year-and-a-half before I did. But this is a perfect example because I was listening to a podcast or some kind of radio show or some kind of alternative media and he was being interviewed. And my reticular activating system at a time, I was focusing on, “I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough money. I’m broke. I can’t have money.” I was focusing –
[00:36:05] Emily Becker: Absolutely. I had the same thing happen.
[00:36:10] Ashley James: I was focusing on not having enough money. And so when I heard the interview, my thought was, “That sounds really interesting, but I don’t have enough money.” And so I did not pursue any of his information because it just sound – I was, in my mind, it was like a brick wall. “Well, I don’t have enough money. So I shouldn’t even pursue the information.” Now, if I had not – if my reticular activating system, if I had not programmed my brain by constantly thinking about, “I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough money.” If I hadn’t done that, I would have listened to him then and I would have gone, “Wow. I need to dive into his information further.” I may have gone to the library for free and gotten some of his books. I may have listened to more interviews with him. I may have called into his radio show. There’s so many ways I could have – he has a supplement that’s like $24. I could have afforded that. I should have got on that. And the diet that he recommends, I could have gotten that information for free. Lots of stuff, I could have done it. I could have begun my healing journey then, a-year-and-a-half before I did. But the little thought in my head was, “I can’t. I can’t because I don’t have enough money.” And then it was a brick wall and I stopped taking any action.
And a-year-and-a-half later, I was in the same financial situation but I heard the information again. And my husband is the one that said, “We need to pursue this. This sounds like this could be the answer for you.” And it’s because the him that I picked up the phone and started to take action. And thank God I did. But this is a prime example of how we limit ourselves, like you said, God will present the right people in your path. But it’s up to us to see that those people are there – that they’ve been put there in our path. And luckily, that doctor was putting my path again and the information came back to me. And then my husband heard it and he was helping me see the light. But that’s the thing, we have to catch are unconscious mining and see, “Am I blocking myself from moving forward because I’m focusing on what I don’t want to have happen instead of what I do want to have happen.”
[00:38:33] Emily Becker: Well, we can run from what He wants us to do all we want, but He still wants us to do it. And He wants us to get there. I can relate to that. Because my husband is the one who’s like, “Oh, there’s a seminar.” We ordered exactly what later would have recommended for me, just guessing what we needed. We were like, “Okay. Was this is brand new? Let’s get this. This seems to be the right one.” Then we went to the seminar and then when I spoke to him, he’s like, “This is exactly what you need to do.” We went home that day and my husband is like, “We’re going to do this. We’re going to listen.” And I wasn’t able to even have a negative thought because it was just happening.
[00:39:17] Ashley James: But if you had been left on your own, you might have been like, “Oh, we can’t do this.”
[00:39:22] Emily Becker: Right. Right. And I prayed for all these good things and they’re right in front of me. I had to be the one who took advantage of the people. I had take advantage of the tools. To take advantage of the gifts. And, like you were saying, like, financially, you can always never afford what you want. If you think about it, “I can’t afford it.” Just like this business, I cannot afford to start my business. But all I had to do is say, “Hey, honey. I’m going to take away from my family if I ask for a little bit of money.” I was like, “You know what? Okay. People are asking for these remedies. I got to ask.” It was an immediate easy, yes. But anyways, so my husband got me to that doctor, to that lecture. And then was very supportive in ways that I never thought he would be. Like throwing the gluten out of the house. I was amazed that he would even do that.
[00:40:32] Ashley James: That’s awesome. Never underestimate your husband’s desire for you to be healthy. Because I think a lot of times I never thought my husband – man, he’s given up so much. When I met him, he was on ice cream and he drink. I mean, you know, he was on Monster Energy drinks. He was on venti coffees. He was on sugar and dairy and gluten. I think, that’s all he ate. That was his diet. It was like ice cream, coffee, Monsters, and gluten – like Monster Energy drinks. That’s was his entire diet. And now, all he eats is vegetables. It’s just amazing.
[00:41:05] Emily Becker: Some incredible change.
[00:41:06] Ashley James: Right. But never underestimate the power of your husband’s desire for you to be healthy environment.
[00:41:14] Emily Becker: That’s all your inner voice. I asked my husband once I was like, “How do you not think these horrible negative thoughts?” And he’s, “You just push them out.” And I like, “You make it sound so easy.” But you literally do it just through your cores, just the way he said it. It’s like, personally for me, I see it as Satan trying to whisper into your ear just like he whispered into Eve’s at the tree. It’s like, “Eat that fruit. That’s going to be good.” And he doesn’t want good things for you. And he will whisper lies into your ear. He’s not God. He’s nothing. You can push all of that out. You got to do it over and over and over and over. But eventually, he starts to shut up. And then you can have more faith and live more positively.
Before this interview, you had asked some questions about what miracles are out there.
[00:42:10] Ashley James: Well, my thing is that there’s always that part of me that thinks, “Well, what if it’s all just coincidence.” And I’m sure other people feel that way too. Because that’s what faith is. It’s blind, right? God hasn’t come down and been like, “Hello” in person, right? So there has –
[00:42:30] Emily Becker: He wants you to have a relationship with him. It’s a scientific thing. It’s not divine. Because he is more than just what he’s created here on Earth. He’s the Creator. So to have faith and healing, you can’t measure it. You can look at statistics which I’ve done, if you’re interested in that at all.
[00:42:54] Ashley James: I am interested. I think it’s fun. Because then you start to go, “Wow. That’s more than a coincidence.” So my thing is I think some people go, “What if prayer is just coincidence?” Like, let’s say, you never prayed over for anything. When your husband would have still told you to go that health lecture and still got you on supplements and thrown out the gluten. Did prayer really do that? Or is it all just coincidence? Right? So what’s interesting is when we look at the statistics that they’ve done studies on the power of prayer. And they try to be non objective because, really, they just want to pull the information together and go, “Let’s just look and see. Is it just coincidence or is it more times than not that prayers help with the positive outcome?” So yeah, please share. And these statistics are – these studies are online. The National Institutes of Health –
[00:43:52] Emily Becker: The government page, PubMed NCBI, they’re all doctor articles. When you’re going through them, it’s really amazing to see how little faith they have. But they have the numbers. How do they come up with finding that 71 percent of clinical studies and 62 percent of the laboratory studies reported positive outcomes for distinct healing? And by distant healing, they refer to for prayer. After the studies, they’re like, “Well, you know -” they were given names of people. And how do we know that there weren’t multiple people with that name? Or, they look at it at a scientific view where God knows the hearts of people who are praying, So they have the numbers.
[00:44:40] Ashley James: Can you go through the numbers? So 71 percent was what?
[00:44:44] Emily Becker: In one study, Dr. Crawford examined the quality of studies of hands on healing and distant healing. And this was published between 1955 and 2000 — or at least those studies were published between 1955 and 2001.
[00:45:02] Ashley James: How many studies did they look at? Or how many people were involved? So there was 90 different studies. But they split them in half, 45 of them were clinical settings and 45 were laboratory studies settings. What they found was that 71 percent of the clinical studies and 62 percent of the laboratory studies both reported positive outcomes. And that’s pretty good outcomes, in my opinion. And we also reported that the overall internal validity of the studies on healing was 75 percent for the clinical investigations. And 81 percent for the laboratory investigations. They’re able to say that these are valid studies with high percentage positive outcomes.
[00:45:50] Emily Becker: Did they split it up so that there was like a group of people that weren’t prayed for and a group that were prayed for?
[00:45:58] Ashley James: In this specific study, they didn’t have a control group. I also looked at another one with a control group. And that’s where they claim, “Well, they – ” you know, someone from the control group could have the same name as someone from the not controlled group. Because they’re – in those studies, they would get like a name to pray for, just the first name. And so they don’t consider the results valid in those situations. Another study conducted a systematic review of the literature on the efficacy of any form of distant healing as a treatment for any medical condition. And it included 23 trials, which totaled 2,774 patients. They met the inclusion criteria. And they were all subjected to analysis of these studies. Thirteen, about 57 percent, yielded statistically significant treatment effects favoring distant healing. And then nine of the studies showed no superiority of distant healing over control interventions. And only one showed a negative effect for distant healing.
[00:47:13] Ashley James: Well, that still sounds better than drug trials where people, like still die. And the drug still gets approved. Only five people died in our study drug approved, right? Interesting. Like, you’re throwing out numbers like 71 percent, 62 percent, 57 percent. These are all more than 50 percent. Anyone would take these numbers to Vegas. Interesting.
[00:47:43] Emily Becker: We can rely on prayer. But sometimes we got to know what God wants us to do. We got to trust what God wants us to do.
[00:47:50] Ashley James: I like that you brought that up because you said earlier that things come to you through prayer. And that’s how you know or that’s how maybe you’re figuring out what God wants for you. I always thought prayer was a one way street.
[00:48:05] Emily Becker: No. He wants a relationship. And he doesn’t – we’re not here to fill his plan. He has his own plan. But He can use everybody in ways that you won’t even know. Even people who don’t believe in God, He’ll place them in your life to help you get to the next step. And He wants good things for everyone. If He has chosen you to do something, it’s going to happen.
[00:48:33] Ashley James: Sorry. You’re reminding of Jonah and the Whale.
[00:48:36] Emily Becker: Yeah. I thought a lot about that today, too, before this interview. I was just like, “You know, you can run and run and run. But His will be done.” And a lot of ways – a lot of where I am today, when I first started running a business, I would be like, “God. I need this. I need this. I need this. I need this.” and what I’ve realized is that He wants the favor – I don’t know if this is the right words. I don’t want to be held accountable for this. But He wants retort. He wants us to have this relationship where when He gives me everything that I asked for that He wants people to hear my praise for him. And through that I, personally, am a tool for connecting other people with Him and strengthening their relationship with Him by giving praise. I would ask, “I just really want to help this person and get them to feel better.” Well, a lot of the times, I’d be like, “I need $50. I need $130 to make this happen for this person.” And the condition of I want and I need and all that stuff wasn’t being blessed. He wasn’t doing anything for me. He didn’t want to have anything to do with that. And when I started to ask, “How can I use this to praise you? Can we make this work together so we can help these people? Can I start this business so I can help these people? And then also bring people closer to you, God. And somehow, for me, that’s where I started to become successful, just being open and being myself.
I’ve thought about doing a YouTube channel of like, “Let’s be real.” I’m not a good person. I fall all the time. I swear. I’m not the person to look to. But I feel like God who wants me to share my story to help other people to come to him to prayer. And praying has changed my life so much that God can use a doctor to restore someone’s arm. And that’s an amazing gift – ability. Something [inaudible] [00:51:08] and I’m not going to be that doctor. I’m going to be a different tool to help people get better and to strengthen their relationship with Him.
[00:51:19] Ashley James: I like that idea, what kind of tool can I be to help others? Helping us get out of our ego. When we’re in service, they’ve looked at mental health and volunteering and service. And they see that those who are suicidal and depressed, like clinically depressed, when they volunteer, when they actively on a regular basis volunteer, it lifts depression, it creates joy. And there’s even studies to show that it increases longevity. That the more that we give ourselves, it fulfills us, it brings us joy. And it also decreases our stress. Surrounds us with a community. Because when you volunteer, most of the time you’re also around others who are volunteering, you create a community, you’re part of a community. But those people end up living longer, happier lives. And so giving of ourselves to help others actually helps us more. It’s like that it comes back to us more.
I heard, I think, it was Neale Donald Walsch. I went to one of his weekend workshops about five years ago. And Neale said, “You know, carry around some extra money.” Like, he says he carries around 20s. And he calls it his walking money. Now, he’s a millionaire. So he gives away 20s all day long. Anytime he sees someone in need, he gives them a 20. He says, “You know, maybe for you that’s $1. Maybe have like $5 in your wallet and that’s the $5 you’re going to give away to people this week.” And he goes, “Don’t care if they’re going to buy alcohol with it. Don’t stop the flow. You’re passing on. You’re blessing someone. And let them – you know, maybe they’re going to go buy food with it or pay for their shelter or buy new socks. Whatever they’re going to do with it is their business. You’re just blessing someone in need.” And so anytime he finds someone in need, like maybe someone is struggling to pay their grocery bill, he’ll like jump in and pay for it. Or he’ll pay for the person behind him at Starbucks, who knows, or someone who’s homeless. But he’s always looking to help. And he says, “You give that person like $5 or $1 and you notice how good you feel.” He says. “It’s like a high. You feel more joy from giving than that person will ever get from receiving.”
And that’s probably why that client of yours, she loves that cream that you gave her. But you have twice as much joy out of the act of gifting it to her than she’ll ever get from receiving it. And so the business that you’re doing in that, you’re helping clients. But when you do, the charity work you do it is giving you so much purpose and joy. And so when we can connect with others and ask ourselves, “How can I be a tool to help others?” And focusing on that, the ego can’t live there. The ego melts away when we’re in service.
[00:54:48] Emily Becker: Yeah. How can we serve each other? And that can go from your relationship with your husband or your sisters or your neighbors and people you don’t know. Just when you put their needs first, it’s so rewarding. And that goes for my customers too. And I’m not perfect. I’ve had mistakes. I’ve had refunds. I’ve had fallouts. But you can’t let that bring you down. And you just got to keep serving. Because not everyone’s going to like what you have to offer. And you, personally, are always – we’re human, we make mistakes. And you just find ways that you don’t hold on to that. You continue to serve. You continue to help people. And just work hard for others.
[00:55:38] Ashley James: Right. Well, every business has returns. And as long as you learn from the returns, like a broken bottle in shipping or something, you learn from it. And then you give great customer service. And you don’t let ego get in the way. Then you’re growing as a business. You’re a real business now. This isn’t a hobby. So you’re going to have these bumps. But as long as you learn from them, your business will keep improving.
[00:56:06] Ashley James: Speaking of praise — well, not praise. But speaking of my business, I am now a legitimate company with the Department of Wisconsin revenue. Anyways, I’m a real business now. And I have taxes to pay. And I am the owner of Emily’s Remedies. I’m no longer just doing this as myself. I have the business. And that might not seem like a whole lot different. But for me, it’s this huge blessing. I am functioning more as a company. And that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And to operate less as a hobby and more as a professional. Because everybody deserves that professional quality. And as a hobby, I was pushing out orders from three days to a month. And that’s no way to treat a customer. Since this business, it’s been my goal to get orders out right away. To start bringing what I have to my community – my new community since they moved. And just to treat people with – and you have a responsibility of people’s money and their expectations of the product. Every single jar, everything that I make, all the soaps that I’ve introduced are made with the same quality as the very first one I ever made.
[00:57:31] Ashley James: For yourself.
[00:57:33] Emily Becker: For myself, yeah.
[00:57:33] Ashley James: And for your family and the people you love. You know, I wish every business owner was as conscientious and caring as you. You put your heart and soul into it. And we can hear that. And I like following you on Facebook to see – every time you put post orders, every time you mail them out, you announce it. And you don’t rush when you make your products. You make it so that the quality is there. But you do rush – once they’re in the jars, you do rush as much as you can to get the packages out because you want people to get their orders as fast as possible. And you put so much into it. This is exactly what it’s like to start a business from the ground up. And I know that we’re going to see you, like, on Shark Tank in a few years or something like that. You’re going to keep growing and we’re going to see you continue to expand. And you will always keep the same amount of hurt as you did with the very first bottle or jar. And that’s what we want from every business owner is this conscientious business. This is what we want from every single business owner, to have a love of their customer and a love the quality of their product and to never compromise either one. And that’s why I love buying something from you or from someone who is doing it with their own hands. And you’re investing with their own time and energy to be able to create the quality products. Knowing that it’s pure ingredients. So I love that. I love that you’re this example of the kind of business owner that we all should be that takes the time to give great customer service and really, really cares about each customer.
[00:59:23] Emily Becker: Yeah. I really love having a connection with my customers because every order and then I said or – I mean, you know, most of the orders I get, I am like, “Oh, please give me all feedback. I want to know everything that’s bad. And I want to know what other ways I can help the these people who are ordering.” Because I love when you start having connection and conversation with your customers. You get to know them hen you can serve them better the next time. And that’s my favorite part is just this expanse of connections that I’m getting. And it gets a little bit hard sometimes because there’s a lot of people who want to talk to me. But I’m so grateful for all of them. And I try my best to be there for all of them.
[01:00:13] Ashley James: Can we go back to when you first started to pray? You weren’t really – I mean, you said you believe in God but you didn’t really have a relationship with God. And you weren’t really, like, Christian. But you’re very sick. You had your alopecia and your other health issues that you talked more about in Episode 340. Can you remember the first time you prayed for your health?
[01:00:39] Emily Becker: I remember – okay. So I was living in fear in my head. And I knew my husband was a very strong Christian. And I would be like, “Oh, can you please pray for this.” And wake him up and like, “I’m scared.” Just I don’t know where. Like, I can’t sleep or whatever. And I say, “Can you pray for me? And he would. And that’s when I realized I need to take responsibility and action for myself. I sought help. I called a woman who helped me learn how to pray. She’s an incredible woman. And she taught me to say things that I used to be afraid of saying. Like, “In the name of Jesus Christ, please give me this.” Or, “In the name of Jesus Christ, evict these thoughts,” and stuff like that. And that’s when she was teaching me how to pray. Because before, if I tried to pray, it was like, “Please don’t let this happen to me, you know, like evict them.” Instead of someone of faith and courage and confidence.
[01:01:47] Ashley James: You’re focusing on what you didn’t want to have happen.
[01:01:49] Emily Becker: Yeah. So she taught me how to pray. And I can almost remember the day, I want to say it was January 4, late at night, in 2012. I started to pray that ,”God -” instead of that I wouldn’t be bald anymore. That God would bring me healing. That was my first prayer. I would still sometimes break down and be like, “I don’t want this to happen to me.” But now and then I’d remind myself. I knew all the things that were negative. I don’t like looking at – I’m like, “I don’t want to be – when I look in the mirror, God, I want to see someone beautiful.” Instead of praying for that, I wanted healing. And then within a month, my husband was like, “This doctor is in town. We got to go to the seminar.” Just like, I wasn’t even thinking, “Oh, he’s going to help me with my hair.” I wasn’t even hopeful. I was like, “Oh, yeah, we got to go get healthier.” Maybe my husband was more conscious what was going on. But for me, it was just being like someone taking my hand and guiding me. It was then – oh gosh – that was that was really hard because I used everything. Even the good things, I was fearful of, you know? But I was like, “Okay. God, please, I need you in my life. I need your help.” I started praying for healing. And then after that, it just all started to happen.
And then after practice and just experience, I stopped focusing and praying for things not to happen. I started praying for all the good things. And then when I was going through this prayer stage of learning how to pray, I had this unbelievable desire to cleanse both physically and spiritually of everything that was eating away at me. I even did a private – I did my own baptism. I was just like, “I need to be washed.” I got in the bathtub. I was home alone. I looked online, I was like, “What do I say to be baptized?” And some people think you need to have someone there to do it for you. And I did that later in life where I was baptized with someone. But I washed myself clean. And then I started to work on evicting those negative thoughts. And for me, it was a spiritual experience. As I cleansed my spiritual being, I was able to work towards healing my physical being. And as I prayed to God for healing and for all these burdens and weights to be lifted from me of my past and from my health, he was more than willing to do it. And sometimes it was, God it’s a yes. The answer is yes, no, or later. I find a lot more that he has a later in there, in my personal experience.
It’s like, “Okay. This is what your heart wants. We’re going to work on you to help you get there.” That’s how I am here today with a business, with long hair, with confidence, feeling beautiful, and just a completely different person, really.
[01:05:20 Ashley James: Beautiful. I love the transformation that you’ve made since 2012. It’s beautiful. You’ve grown your health spiritually and attended your health physically, and mentally and emotionally. You know, you’re looking at all aspects of your life and bring it all into balance. And if we were to go back and talk to Emily from 2012, she would not believe that the Emily now could be possible. Right?
[01:05:52] Emily Becker: Yeah. Absolutely.
[01:05:56] Ashley James: And so no matter how bad it gets in life – and that’s something I really want us to teach the young generation, Generation Z I believe they’re calling it or Zed, between the ages of 10 and 24. Because in the last ten years, suicide has risen to be the second cause – second leading cause of death among –
[01:06:19] Emily Becker: Isn’t that horrible?
[01:06:21] Ashley James: Yeah. It’s risen. It’s something crazy like 52 percent or something. But it’s totally skyrocketed because of social media, because of the way our culture has changed drastically over one generation. They’re left feeling devastated if one bad thing happens or online. Because the bullying is constant. They feel isolated, alone. And how they’re feeling right now is it’s like how they’re going to feel for the rest of their life.
[01:06:54] Emily Becker: Yeah. You don’t feel like anything good could happen when you’re developing. Everything is forever. And if you’re being bullied, you feel like this is how you’re going to feel forever.
[01:07:12] Ashley James: And it isn’t. The Emily that was depressed, and afraid, and scared, and afraid of everything even good, like you said, back in 2012, that Emily could not perceive of the Emily you are now. And yet you worked on it bit by bit. And you addressed your health on all levels, meaning physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. You addressed it on all levels. And you looked at, also, getting outside of your own head and helping others. And look at what you’ve evolved. And that’s what we can all do. Wherever we are in our life right now, no matter what our age is, no matter what our health level is, the person we are now is nothing compared to the magnificent person that we can become. And we are [inaudible] [01:08:08] right now. But we can become this unrecognizable –
[01:08:13] Emily Becker: You realize how magnificent you are.
[01:08:15] Ashley James: Right. The sky is the limit. But for those who are depressed, who have anxiety, who have fear, who have thought of suicide, life in a few years can be so brilliant, so amazing that you wouldn’t want to give it up for anything. Like, it could just be so amazing. And you can grow that even in chronic illness. Because I know, Emily, back in 2012, you thought that’s how your life is going to be for the rest of your life. And doctors will tell you that you’re going to have this condition for the rest of your life. Many people are suffering with a chronic condition and they’ve been told by doctors that they’re going to have it for the rest of their life. And that doesn’t mean they have to suffer though. That doesn’t mean you know – we can reverse diseases. We can manage them. We can gain health. Even in the face of terminal illness, we can still increase the quality of life and bring in joy. So it’s always more. You can always get better. But we have to look at every aspect of health. So not just diet. Diet is great. And emotional health and mental health and spiritual health looking at it all and start by asking, by praying, by asking and focus on what you want. Can you give us some steps for those who maybe are rusty at praying or haven’t prayed before? And have been inspired by what you’ve shared and they want to start praying. Can you share some steps, like how do we pray?
[01:10:00] Emily Becker: I went through the same thing. I had no idea how to pray. What I find to be useful is some people like to do affirmations. And I’ve never – I’m so busy that I don’t go looking for someone’s [inaudible] [01:10:16]. What I like to do is, I like to get a piece of paper. What I’ll do is, I will write down who I want to pray for, what I’d like for myself, and also something to give, if I have something to give praise about. And I’ll write it down and then just the act of writing it down, gets your mind to start to think about it. And then when you’re ready, for me, personally, it’s that moment like after the kids go to bed. I’ll be like, “I have this on my heart and mind.” Or the next time I see that piece of paper – I leave it right at my nightstand.
It’s usually just one thing. One does five things. But really, you can just start with one thing. It can be something simple like, “God, I’ve been really struggling in this area. I want to start to have more energy for work and for my kids and for my husband.” So it can be something as simple as having more energy. And then when I wake up in morning, I see that paper. I look at it and I’ll be like, “Oh, yeah. That’s important to meet God. God, this is important to me. Can you please help me?”
So from this interview, I reached out to you because I want to thank your supporters. I can’t talk to everybody. So I wanted to reach out to all my customers somehow. Because I get a lot of emails and I also want to let them know that I’m thinking of them. So for me, that’s what’s on my heart. And so I’m going to pray with you if that’s okay, Ashley.
[01:11:52] Ashley James: Sure.
[01:11:54] Emily Becker: And just to give people an idea how to pray. Because sometimes we don’t pray because we don’t hear it and we’re not around it. It’s not something we exercise. And someone else starts. I like to give praise. I like to acknowledge God as God. I like to give thanks for the good things that he’s given me. And then I ask for what’s on my heart. And then I can clear it with trust and confidence and faith. And a lot of how I got this is from the Lord’s prayer that Jesus Himself prayed. The people are asking, “How do we pray?” And then He prayed. He told them to pray the Lord’s Prayer. And you can Google that. But I’m going to do my own prayer.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for this opportunity to be with Ashley James on the Learn True Health podcast. And for bringing this opportunity to me. Thank you so much, Lord, for all the all the people who have reached out to me. We’re grateful for a relationship. I trust that they are grateful for me. And I am so grateful for how you are using them to transform me. Lord, I thank you for this opportunity to be on a podcast praying. This is incredible 2020 or 2018 to be here giving praise. I ask that my supporters know that you want good things for them. And they can rely on you and that they will continue to come seek your help. And to be blessed by the things that are given to them. I ask that you place people and tools in their lives to bring them health and healing, both spiritually and physically. We pray these things in Jesus Christ’s name your Son, amen.
And it can be a lot shorter than that.
[01:13:57] Ashley James: I hear that you started out with a lot of gratitude.
[01:14:00] Emily Becker: Yes. Yes. I do. And it helps me to condition my heart to not be selfish. Because I told you about that in the past where I tried to be helpful to people. But I was never grateful. And that changed. That also helped me in my prayers and my growth.
[01:14:30] Ashley James: So you would help people but then you weren’t really – there wasn’t gratitude there. So it was still, maybe, selfish intentions. Which when we’re living – when we’re coming from, the selfishness, we’re coming from the fear. We’re afraid of the lack of – so how much can we really help others when we’re focusing on how little money we have or little time we have or little energy we have. How much could we actually help others? And then if we go to help others, then we resent them because they’ve taken off our precious time, money, or energy. And so it becomes this ego of resentment and feeling like they should be more grateful for what I’ve done for them because I had to sacrifice my time and whatever. And it doesn’t become rewarding. Because we’re coming from ego. And our fear, we’re coming from this fear of a lack of. And when we bring gratitude and we become grateful for the money we do have and the time we do have. Even though we have a little bit of it, right? What do we have and become grateful for it and thankful for what we do have and ask for help. And ask for – you know, focusing on the positive direction that we want, the outcome to go in for ourselves and others. Coming from that, that kind of bounty focusing on – because you know what?
Even though I could be perceiving myself as not having a lot of money, I am so fortunate to have a roof over my head. I’m so fortunate to have food in my fridge, to have the electricity on, to have the heat on . I could spend the next hour talking about how grateful I am for all the things I do have that other people don’t. And I could take a little bit of my money at the end of the month and see if I could help someone else become a little bit more comfortable. Maybe handout blankets. I could go to a thrift store and buy clean used blankets and go hand them out to the shelters. Or I could go through all my closets and things that we’re not using and donate it to the battered women’s shelter. You know what I mean? We can help people become more fortunate. Right? So it doesn’t mean it has to be a sacrifice for us. But if we’re focusing on the ego and all the stuff we don’t have, then from that perspective, we can’t actually be of service and help others. But I love that most of your prayer is actually gratitude and grounding yourself in how grateful you are for what we have.
[01:17:19] Emily Becker: Hold on, I’m just breathing. I’m practicing the breath work here. And I am so grateful. Well, I mean, as much as I’d like to win souls for Jesus, that’s not why I’m here. I’m here – well, I think, as Christians and as anyone you should surround yourself and try to serve and reach as many people as you can whatever you are. If you were a doctor who could sew a finger back on, you wouldn’t want to only surround yourself with other doctors. You’re going to want to help everybody you can. You want to find the person who’s got the missing finger. You want to be that tool for them. And I think it’s a great opportunity for me to be able to be this tool for some people. And that said alone, I have so many who are tools for me. I have family that have really helped me along the way spiritually.
Just like the 2012 me, I don’t think I would have known I can be who I’ve become without them. I don’t – there’s a purpose for everything. And I have a lot of more confidence and a lot more things. And for me, it’s a spiritual growth.
[1:19:09] Ashley James: I love that you’re willing to learn. And I love that you’re vulnerable enough to come share with us, share your experience. So in your prayers, have you ever felt the God is talking to you? Have you ever gotten a message?
[01:19:25] Emily Becker: Oh, yes.
[01:19:26] Ashley James: Can you talk a little bit about that? So I was raised Anglican. I have friends that are Mormon. And they’ve shared with me that in the LDS church, they incorporate fasting, meditation, deep, deep prayer. And the elders in the church are going to make like a decision about something that they fast and they do deep long meditative prayers. And that they receive answers. And that shocked me because I was kind of raised to believe that it’s a one way street. That you just – you know, you recite the Lord’s Prayer, you do communion, you basically state where you believe.
[01:20:12] Emily Becker: [Inaudible] [01:20:12].
[01:20:14] Ashley James: Right. Right. I believe in the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. You just repeat these things that you’re taught to say in church. And that you pray. But there’s no God talking to you. Like, it’s a one way street. This is just how I was raised. And then I started to hear from other people and other religions or other – I don’t know -some people believe Mormonism is totally separate from Christianity. Others believe it’s just like a division or flavor of Christianity. But basically, I’ve heard from many different people, that they were raised differently than me, that in different churches that they’re actually receiving messages. And so some people would say, “Well, that must be Satan.” Or other people say, “Well, that’s just your brain. That’s just your brain filling in the gaps. That’s nothing.” So this is again where faith comes in, right? Because what do you believe? And there’s no – no one can prove it or disprove it, right? But what is your experience? So your experiences your reality. And your reality is not my reality. But that’s where faith comes in. So I was really surprised to hear from many people that they’re actually receiving information when they do go through prayer.
And a dear, dear friend of mine who’s had two near death experiences, he’s died twice. And he has recollection – very clear recollection of meeting God both times. And he receives information when he prays. And he is a wonderful being and I love him. And he gets filled with – he says he’s filled with the Holy Spirit. He gets goosebumps. And he is dead on. He actually has been – I don’t want to say prophesizes. But he’ll be told things or know things before it happens. And he’s very, very Christian. And so he’ll get goosebumps. His whole body is filled with goosebumps. You can look at his skin, it’s all goosebumps. And anytime he goes to make a decision in his life, he prays and then he gets filled with goosebumps. If that’s the direction you’re supposed to go in. And he says anytime, let’s say, he really wants something. Like he really wants to buy this car and he prays about it, but he doesn’t get filled with the Holy Spirit. But then, he buys it anyway because it’s like ego. His ego really wants it. The car breaks down immediately. It’s like every single time. But whenever he makes a decision no matter how – like buying a house, like big, big decisions, or little decisions, anytime he makes a decision and he’s filled with the Holy Spirit and when he’s praying, and he goes for it, it always works out. And he goes, it’s like 100 percent success rate. So like I hear from these different people as I’m talking to them but their experience of prayer and it’s very personal. So I just wanted to hear from your very personal experience when you pray, how does God talk to you?
[01:23:17] Emily Becker: This is very personal. Well, I get all – I when I asked for things, a lot of times what I receive – and I think it’s because I’m still trying to figure filter out language here. But I’ll ask for things, I will get a clear yes or no or a jumble sentence that I don’t understand. I don’t think my confidence, my faith, or that I’m ready for his answer is what I get.
But I do get a lot of yeses and noes. And as you pray, I’ve actually invited – you can invite the Holy Spirit into your home. And I did a lot of that. When I was going through my fear phase, I would pray and ask – I would welcome the Holy Spirit into my home. And you can feel that physically, just like you said, your friend feels it. You get chills. And there’s this new atmosphere in your home that’s brighter and lighter and warmer. And that’s what I experienced.
I have family who’s – oh, I wonder if I need his permission. I won’t use any names. But I have family who – when he challenged me to do something because he had an incredible experience. He said he was able to pray from the third heaven. And honestly, I don’t know what that means. But he was able to pray and be in heaven just for a moment and looked down on earth. And he challenged me to try that. And out of fear and understanding, I haven’t done it. I think a lot of times that’s why I can’t understand all of the messages from God is that I still am growing in my faith. How much do I honestly trust them with take full control of everything. And it’s a process. And I have prayed for – I’m trying to think – because I go through phases where I pray more often and speak – just like you do with any relationship, you go through phases where you connect stronger at times with someone. I was praying in private. And I would ask – I wonder what it was. Sometimes it helps to remember what you’re going through. I know what it was. Okay. My husband had – we went through this long process of getting his remote work approved.
[01:26:42] Ashley James: To work from home for his job?
[01:26:44] Emily Becker: Yeah. For his job. So we could move out of the cities and into his hometown. And when he did that, I started praying. And I was like – I even asked, I was like, “God, will his remote work be approved?” And I got a single word answer yes. But then I was so impatient. It just was such a long, ongoing process. I’d be like, “Okay. God, when is this going to happen?” And then I started to lose faith that it was going to happen. And then I asked again, I was like, “God, is his remote work request going to be approved?” And I got another yes. And I was like, “God, can you please make it, you know, next week?” And then I get that garbled and I don’t understand. And then my own thoughts and wouldn’t be able to raise receive anything. But from that alone, I learned to just be patient.
I think before earlier in this interview, we talked about how a lot of his answers in my personal experience have been later. Because God wants miracles to happen but sometimes He’s setting everything up like a domino effect to give you your answer. Well, He already has His answer but He’s setting it up so it can happen wonderfully for Him and be good for you.
I asked once – you know, this is really personal. And I don’t know what the results are going to be because it’s – the prayer hasn’t been answered. But I prayed once for my father-in-law’s eyes to return sight. And he has gone through all different kinds of health adventures, I would say. He’s done every diet. He’s done everything even that I have done to try to restore his sight. And it’s only gotten worse over the years. And I’ve been personally praying that he would be able to see. And once in faith asked God, I was praying for him. I was like, “God, my father-in-law, will he be able to see again?” And I got us cleaning straight answer yes. And now, in faith, I don’t know what to do. It’s like, “Okay. Well, is it going to be that he’s going to be able to see again when he gets to heaven?” Or, “Is he going to be healed on earth? Are we going to see this miraculous healing?” And I don’t know what the answer is. But I’m going to continue to pray for him. And to just wait and see and trying to receive God.
And you had – I know I sidetracked a little bit. You had asked if I’ve heard God. And the answer is yes. And sometimes I don’t understand what he’s saying. And sometimes it is a very clear message. And as far as the tingles and the chills, I get them right now when you were talking earlier in truth about the kids being depressed. I could feel that chill and that truth. And God is the Creator of all things that are true. And when you can – you have to have faith. And I don’t know if everyone gets the same tools. Because there’s some people who have reported having out of body experiences. Well, not all of us are going to have that. Not all of us are going to have the same relationship because we all have a unique relationship with God. He’s going to give us different gifts when we ask for them, or when we try to use them, or whatever the situation is. But when you do, you want to do it and to serve Him, I think, is the keys. How can you use these gifts to serve Him. And for me, I think a lot of how he wants us to serve Him is to praise His son and to just keep growing in our relationship with Him.
[01:32:21] Ashley James: Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your experiences, Emily. Is there anything left unsaid or is there anything you really want to make sure that you shared in this interview today?
[01:32:33] Emily Becker: Oh, honestly, Ashley, I shared way more than I thought. I felt so called to be on this. I don’t know. Try praying. And I love hearing from the Learn True Health community. They’re just incredible whether they’re asking for prayers or they’re just, like asking, for an inch cream. I love hearing from them. And they’re not all – the ones that reach out to me aren’t all Christians. I get all kinds of emails from people. It’s just really fun. I love it. I love hearing from everyone. And if you want to say something and you want to start a conversation, let’s start a conversation. That’s how we’re going to grow. We need to be ourselves and to relax a little bit in these awkward conversations.
[01:33:46] Ashley James: I like that, relax a little bit in these awkward conversations. Just today on in the Learn True Health Facebook Group, I was having a good discussion with one of the listeners about an episode. She felt as though lately the podcast is more biased around diet in terms of being whole food plant based. And I pointed out to her that I had just a few episodes ago done an episode about a diet that is pretty much 100 percent meat based. But because I had then a few episodes later had an interview with Chef AJ, who’s vegan, that then it might upset people who aren’t vegan. Or vegans might get upset when I have someone on that promotes a meat diet. Right? And my –
[01:34:30] Emily Becker: [Inaudible] [01:34:30] show is that you have everybody. That’s what I love about your show is I can – whether or not I agree with – you had someone on for mushrooms. They mentioned whether it is – gosh – [inaudible] [01:34:50] but something else. Essentially an herbal drug. And even though I disagree with the use of that –
[01:35:04] Ashley James: Are you talking about microdosing psilocybin?
[01:35:07] Emily Becker: I think so.
[01:35:08] Ashley James: Yes. Microdosing psilocybin, it’s not for getting people high. It’s microdosing. And it’s a really interesting interview. And I am not – again, I totally agree with you, I’m not promoting taking street drugs to hallucinate or anything. But I did. I did an interview on some kind of shaman ritual in Peru, Ayahuasca. I was having a brain fart. I did a whole interview on Ayahuasca. And it’s like I’m not saying everyone should go do this or everyone should go – I’m not saying everyone should do one diet or another diet. If we just open our minds and take in information from different people and different points of view, listen for the gold. Because you can learn from someone who eats a different diet than you? It doesn’t mean that you should go eat that diet. And we can learn from people of different spiritual faiths to help us strengthen our faith. Because maybe you hear something and you’re like, “Wow. This makes me want to go investigate something more.” It’s not about converting anyone. I loved that you said, like, saving souls.
Although I love hearing like – I do love getting emails from listeners. And I’ve gotten several of them having them say, “I’ve never gone to a Naturopath. And now I’m seeing one.” Or two listeners have written me and said, “I was in med school. I’m just going to become an MD. And now I’m going to become a Naturopathic physician because of your show.” So those are the kind of like – I like to save people from allopathic medicine when they could be using holistic medicine. I love hearing that kind of conversion. I really want to empower listeners to find their health and build their own health by gaining the goal that they can gain from every single guest. Because the guests don’t have to have the same point of view as you. But that doesn’t mean – let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because when guests might believe in eating meat or not eating meat and you don’t agree with them. It doesn’t mean that that everything they say is not valid, right? And so we have this tendency right now in our social media day and age to do these mass generalizations. Where if someone voted for someone that we don’t like, all of a sudden it’s a master analyzation. We don’t like any of their decisions. How could they be trusted because they believe in this one thing. And that’s how we’re manipulated, unfortunately. So we need to put our bias aside and say, “You know what? It’s okay for other people have different opinions. And I can learn from everyone. Everyone matters. And I can learn from everyone because I’m listening for the gold. I’m listening for my own lessons. And I think that especially when we pray and ask for help that that helped might come in the form of hearing some little gold nuggets of wisdom from other people of other faiths or other diets or other health practices. And it doesn’t mean we have to adopt what they do. But we can learn from everyone. I know my listeners do that. They’re listening to people – a variety of people so we can all learn and grow.
So thank you for coming on the show. And this might be controversial to talk about prayer and God and Christianity and just faith and the power of prayer. And the idea that we can set our intentions by focusing on gratitude. That we can volunteer our time to improve our happiness. That we can free ourselves from anxiety by focusing on what we want instead of we don’t want. These topics are incredibly beneficial. And for some people it might be controversial and that’s okay. It’s okay to be controversial. But our intention is to help people. Not to hurt them. So let’s just keep helping people. And keep having an open mind. And so thank you everyone for listening. And thank you, Emily, for coming and sharing your story. I really, really hope and pray that today’s episode has helped people, has helped the listeners to give them some new tools. And maybe just opened up their mind to start thinking about their healing practices and maybe incorporating gratitude and prayer in them. That’d be great to see what happens in their life if they do.
[01:40:01] Emily Becker: Thank you so much for having me here. I am also going to give you and your listeners a 10 percent off if they ever shop at my store online, emilysremedies.com.
Thank you, Emily for coming on the show. This has been wonderful.
[01:40:26] Emily Becker: Awesome. Thank you, Ashley.
[01:40:28] Ashley James: Yeah. And you know, I know you were nervous and you did a stellar job. So good job.
[01:40:34] Emily Becker: Awesome. Thank you.
[01:40:35] Outro: -to optimize your health. Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to takeyoursupplements.com and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s takeyoursupplements.com. Takeyoursupplements.com. That’s takeyoursupplements.com. Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.
Get Connected to Emily Becker!
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Lynda Cloud And Ashley James
- Recognizing and honoring our uniqueness is going to be the key to our health and happiness.
- Primary food is what feeds us but it’s not because what comes on a plate. It comes in a bunch of different categories. It could be your relationship with health, it could be your physical activity, it could be your career, it could be spiritual, it could be financial. It’s all those things around you that impact who you are and so you need to think about those.
- Living a life of balance being our best self every single day, it’s just knowing what you want to do and how you want to get there you have to help get balance in your primary food.
- IIN’s philosophy and what it means to be health coach
Want to learn how to be the best version of yourself? Where you could have a life lived with balance in all sorts of ways. Find out on today’s podcast on how you can achieve with as Lynda Cloud shares her success story.
Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I am really excited for you to listen to today’s interview. It’s a little bit different than our other interviews because I’m interviewing the CEO of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The world largest health coaching training company. Lynda Cloud has some wonderful insights. It’s really interesting looking at the life of someone who was so accomplished and so busy working in New York City as a CEO of a major multimillion dollar company. Here she is focusing on how to create balance and health in her life. In a company who’s corporate culture puts the health of the employees first above all else. The emotional, mental and physical health of the employees above all else. Isn’t that interesting? Wouldn’t you like to work for in a company that treated your health as the most important thing? Of course, a very close second, the customer and customer support and customer satisfaction. What an interesting concept. Normally it’s about cutting corners and trying to figure out how to save money and pinch a penny here and there. With IIN, there are bowls of avocados for their staff. They have a chiropractor come in weekly and a massage therapist come in. they have yoga classes and meditation room. They set out to make sure that the staff really are making sure that their life is balanced. That they have joy in every areas of their life and fulfillment. What does IIN get in return for investing in their staff? They get amazing productivity, creativity and trickles down to us, the consumer, the customer. Me as a graduate, while I was going through the program, I felt so supported and the staff are so wonderful to work with.
Many of my friends and many listeners actually have gone through IIN’s program and they had also found that they get incredible service and they feel connected. When they call IIN they feel like they’re being listened to like a human and they’re not just another number. And there’s no high pressure sales that they’re just talking to someone who’s so passionate about helping people become the healthiest versions of their selves. Imagine what the world would be like if every company adapted the same corporate culture as IIN. What’s really neat is that there are companies, and this is what Lynda talks about today is that there are companies who’s training to adapt this. It’s very neat and she shares what she’s done in her life to balance her life in a way that has stopped illness from becoming a problem. I think no matter where you are in life whether you’re interested in becoming a health coach or not. You’re really going to like today’s interview because there’s so much to learn here. I wanted to let you know if you are interested in contacting IIN, they actually created a special phone number, a priority line for Learn True Health listeners. You can give this a call and you’ll be placed with a wonderful staff member at IIN. Most of them are health coaches already where they can discuss with you all the details you want just so you could gather more information and see If that’s something that’s right for you. It’s a major decision to make to want to dive in which of course I did immediately the second I heard about IIN.
I dove into that same day. It’s a major decision to make. If you think about it, you’re investing a year of your life into learning and growing. About half the people that jump into IIN do so because they want the personal growth. I got a lot of personal growth out of the program. I can see just doing it for that alone instead of making a career change. The other half are the people that join do make a career change that they want to add on to their tool belt that they’re already in the holistic health space or they want to join the holistic health space as a health coach. You could call this number, 877-780-5748. That’s 877-780-5748. That will also be on the show notes of today’s podcast on Learntruehealth.com so you can go there. If you’re driving or if you can’t give them a call maybe it’s the middle of the night, you could go to Learntruehealth.com/coach and that gives you access to one of their modules. You can just check it out and see if that’s right for you. I highly recommend giving them a call because having a great discussion with one of their staff members and getting more information from them, you’ll start to feel what it’s like to be part of that culture. Be part of the health coaching culture and you’ll learn more about the different areas that you can work and how it can impact your life and how you can impact others. That phone number again is 877-780-5748. Enjoy today’s interview. Please share it with those who you think would be a great health coach. This is the fastest growing sector of the health space and that’s really exciting. That very soon, I think health coaching would be as popular and as well-known as hiring a personal trainer. That it will be that popular that you’ll be able to go to any gym or any health clinic or hospital and you’ll be able to have access to a health coach. There’s so much potential here and also, with the new legislature. We’ve talked about this in the interview that in 2020 health coaches will be able to work with insurance companies. There are just so many doors that are opening, it’s very exciting. Excellent. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day and a wonderful holiday season.
[06:09] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 399. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have with us, Lynda Cloud, who is the CEO of Institute for Integrative Nutrition, IIN. It’s the worlds largest health coach training program and the program that I graduated from and many of the listeners have been graduates or are currently going through the program. I’m so excited to learn from you today, Lynda. It’s such a pleasure to have you here on the show.
[06:49] Lynda Cloud: Pleasure is all mine, Ashley.
[06:52] Ashley James: This is awesome. Now, you have over 30 years of experience in the education space and a lot of it even online of course because we’ve all transitioned to learning online. This idea that no matter how old we are, we can go back to school. No matter how busy we are, we can go back. We can get a degree. We can get certification. We can continue our learning no matter where we are in life. No matter what country we are in. I love that IIN is in all countries. There are students from all around the world who come to become health coaches. I’m really curious. What happened in your life that led you to become the CEO of IIN?
[07:40] Lynda Cloud: Well, it’s an interesting question. As you said 30 years experience which makes me feel a little old. Not seasoned but old. Had the distinct pleasure of being in education online learning for really my entire career. I started out in education teaching for a bit and fell in love with the idea of learning and fell in love with the idea of trying to make learning as engaging as I could and accessible as I could. That took me through a journey working for the one of the largest at that time, education companies, Pearson and really grew up there. Learned a lot about instructional design, learned a lot about product management marketing, sales. Kinda sat in lots of different seats and that gave me the opportunity to really get a holistic view on customers and what’s important to them. Even what’s most important which is how we help students be successful. That foundation really led me into the next step on my career which is running a division in the K-12 space online learning. That was incredibly rewarding and we did a lot on innovation, a lot of innovative stuff there. Had a great run with that company and through my whole journey. I knew I loved helping make education and schools better. That’s what the first part of my story is, then as I went through this journey I realized as a working mom and trying to do a million things, the thing I let slipped and probably paid the least attention to was my own health of wellness journey. Because if you get only so many hours in the day, what you end up doing is sacrificing things. At the point in my life, I was really sacrificing the time I needed to help myself be the best person I could. Whether it was fitness and activity or meditation and good nutrition. These were all came together for me when I started to talk to the folks at IIN and learn about the school and learn about the mission. It felt like a natural intersection where I could take the general management experience and the work I’ve been doing in running large education companies and marry that really in a way I hadn’t been able to do personally. Where I could live my best self at work at all the time. That’s what led me her and I fell in love with the people and the school.
[10:26] Ashley James: I love it. Now you have mentioned that you were part of creating some innovative stuff in the K-12 space. Is there particular aspect of the K-12 program that you helped innovate the you’re really proud off?
[10:44] Lynda Cloud: Yes. There’s a couple of examples. I was really fortunate to be given a space in large corporations where I could do a lot of RND and a lot of disruptive stuff to help us re-imagine online learning and education. One area I’m most proud of was at K-12 was at one large online learning school. One of the things I did there as launch a new category for them around career destinations. A lot of the students going through that curriculum really, it was their last chance. They were struggling for what they were doing next and maybe to where four-year college wasn’t the right path for them. They were looking for an alternate path. We looked that where the jobs we’re going to be in the next 10 years and we put together a series of curriculum with partners to get people get their high school diploma online while they were getting certified and key areas and help them get a career advancement and opportunities. That was brand new school that was launched. That was fulfilling and mission-driven. Doing good and having fun.
[12:02] Ashley James: How many people would you say went through that program? Just thinking of thousands of people, the ripple effect that you’ve had that idea that you’ve ran with your team. Now because if that thousands of people have their career path and they’re supporting their families and feel proud of themselves like they belong to society.
[12:27] Lynda Cloud: It was a fun one. It was one of those that everybody was, “Who could say no helping kids be successful and getting a career path?” I don’t know the actual numbers. I do know when I left, it was fast growing part of the company. We had a lot of success there and longevity. Really for me, that would – your point the ripple impact is really what’s driven me. I have been lucky enough to be successful and I really attribute my success because I love what I do everyday and I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives. I think that when success comes when you’re passionate about something and as you know, the days are long and to be able to make a difference and to take that ripple and pay it forward is awesome which is what I think IIN does.
[13:21] Ashley James: I love it. What inspired you to be the CEO of IIN? Did someone reached out to you or did you reached out to them?
[13:30] Lynda Cloud: Yes, they reached out to me and I started some conversations. I could tell you the moment that I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted this role was, I spent a day with the IIN team and if any of you get a chance, which we would love to have you come visit us. Our offices in New York City are so cool. You’ll get a chance to meet the incredible team. You walk into the office and you can feel the mission. There’s bowls of avocados, there’s fruit, there’s a vitamin bar, there’s yoga instruction on Thursday night. There’s a chiropractor, there’s a massage therapist. We live our mission everyday and the people here are really passionate about what we do. We have over 78% of our staff are female and they’re mostly all trained health coaches. They are graduates of the program and so they know first hand what’s important to our students and help make our curriculum and our teaching better everyday as a result of it.
[14:39] Ashley James: I get to interview Joshua Rosenthal. The creator of IIN, the founder at episode 106. He talked about the corporate culture that he had created. That he wanted culture where people really did put their health first. Put the company second. Their health obviously everyone’s health is first and then the mission of helping the students is a close second obviously but we have to take care of ourselves. We have to walk the walk and talk the talk. I thought that was so brilliant. I interviewed one of your staff members and she sure enough said that it’s absolutely amazing. That it’s a culture that supported each other and each other’s health. I thought that is so brilliant. What if every business did this? I know that Microsoft did a test in their Japan office where they introduced a four-day workweek and they saw productivity go up. I think it was like over 60%. Every corporate needs to look at IIN and see what they’re doing and look at what Microsoft just did in Japan and see that by shifting the focus from let’s say Amazon. Amazon works their workers to the bone and it’s cutthroat and a really dangerous work environment to be in long term, shift from that to the more nurturing, making sure we have work life balance. We see that productivity goes up and that longevity goes up. The company flourishes long time and which is what is happening with IIN. So you walked for that space that day and you’re just re-pinching yourself thinking that this is different from every other corporation you have ever witnessed.
[16:35] Lynda Cloud: Yes, I did. For me, that was the personal shift I needed to make. I’ve been in corporate America for over 25 years, my typical lens as a general manger and former head of these divisions was figuring out, how do you take the cost out, does this makes sense, are we operating as efficiently. A hard look at business. When I walked in here, what went through my mind, “Gosh, these avocados must’ve cost a fortune” but as I got to spend time with everyone around the organization and realized that, they really are living their true best self here. As a result of it, yes, we have incredible creativity and innovation and productivity. Figuring out how you merge your personal best with your professional. I hadn’t seen in action life there before. So the avocados are staying for sure.
[17:43] Ashley James: Since becoming the CEO this year which is back in March. You’re coming up on a year in a few months and you’ve obviously just got a moment to step into the role and get the landscape. What have you changed or you personally brought in that has been innovative since you’ve stepped in as CEO?
[18:09] Lynda Cloud: The school is incredible. I can’t say enough great things about Joshua and his vision from how he developed and thought about the curriculum to the teams that he hired. Really, I was brought in to help build upon that solid foundation and how to take the organization from good to great. Trying to think through what that can look like ad how we can start to take the footprint that’s here. Really make a bigger impact around the world and so, we are known as the original, the OG’s are what the team calls it. Health and wellness, health coaching. He coined and created the category. Everything we do is about servicing the category and continuing to build the health coach industry so we can have the ripple effect around the world. The work I’ve been doing over the past few months was starting to transition the organization from the school that we are today and help with some professional development and training of the teams. We’ve brought in a new head of sales and marketing. We’ve bought in a new chief financial officer. We’ve kept a nice blend of the old and new guards to help us think through. How we can start to build and enter adjacent markets. We’ve kicked off a new business plan. We’ll be launching a new product line in April because we see how impactful our health coach training program has been and making difference in people’s lives we want to create versions of that. That then can enter for example corporate wellness and help make aspects of the content much more accessible for folks and giving them a taste of small or short-term course. The first courses will start in April. We’re on that which we’re super excited on that. That’s some of the new things we’ve done. We’ve infused new talent. We’ve invested in our existing teams and we’ve started to think about some of the new markets we’re going to be entering.
[20:24] Ashley James: Very cool. When I’ve had Joshua on the show, episode 106. He said that IIN was hiring lobbyists to advocate and educate politicians in DC on the benefits of health coaching and certified health coaches so that we can carve space out. First of all, protect our rights to be health coaches and also make sure that there is space moving forward for certified health coaches and then just this year, IIN announced that here was some movement in legislature. Can you share more details on that?
[21:04] Lynda Cloud: Yes, I’m happy to. We are the only health coach school really that has full time lobbyist in DC. I had the good fortune of going down and something on DC with him. About a month or two ago, meeting with different senators and legislators to talk about the category of health coaching. Part of what we are doing, is bringing awareness. Helping people understand exactly what a health coach is, how we can impact people’s lives and how we can work side by side with hospitals and insurance companies to help be the coach that based on help reverse chronic disease and looking for ways we can help implement new practices and support for people. The change that you’re mentioning is around it’s called CPT111 codes. That consortium in particular is instrumental in getting the work for the ground. Really what that does is positive for the market because it helps get recognized potentially for some insurance payees and different reimbursements in that area. We have right now was a category 3 and that enables us to collect data around the work that we’re all doing around the industry which hopefully results to category 1 which is what we’re striving for in that space.
[22:30] Ashley James: Does that mean that a health coach soon will be able to work with insurance companies?
[22:38] Lynda Cloud: For reimbursement. What we are hoping. Yes, exactly.
[22:41] Ashley James: Very cool. I see it everywhere which is so neat. I didn’t see it everywhere 10 years ago but now I see health coaches at the doctor’s office and even in the hospitals. My health insurance offers health coaches, health coach service. Because now health insurance companies see that they’re going to save money if they get their customers using a health coach because then it’s preventive medicine in a sense. People are cleaning up their diets and being motivate around their health and they’re less likely to get sick. So the insurance companies are investing in hiring health coaches. I’m seeing the space just open and open where there’s so many job opportunities. I know that IIN also teaches people to be independent health coaches. I think some people, they’re being interested in being health coach but they’re not interested at being an entrepreneur? Can you speak to that? For those who maybe a bit hesitant to jump into the health coaching space because they don’t feel like they could not be an entrepreneur?
[23:46] Lynda Cloud: Yes, happy to. Maybe just by way of context, your observations are spot on. I also couldn’t decide if it’s just because I’m living and breathing this every day and now enrolled as a student that I’m seeing health coaches everywhere but when you look at the data, the health coach market is estimated that it’s going to reach 7.9 billion by 2022. We’re seeing incredible acceptance and growth and I feel like we are just at this pivotal moment where we’re going to become ubiquitous in terms of health coaching and how we can help provide health coaches. Our students who go through the programs you know, we graduate close to 10,000 students each year. About 50% and the data’s been remarkably consistent. About 50% of our students are going through the curriculum for personal transformation. Maybe they have something they’re trying to solve in their lives. Maybe they just want to get themselves better. Maybe they’re stuck and they want to get unstuck but about 50% are going though for their own personal journey and personal transformation and betterment. The other 50% are going through it maybe they are a yoga instructor, a fitness instructor, chiropractor and they want to get additional certification or they want to pursue a career in health coaching and those 50% maybe in doctor’s office, they maybe insurance companies.
Where MDs hiring health coaches, hospitals all over the world are hiring health coaches. Our students who come out the other side are what we’re trying to do is we look at the curriculum is look at ways we could support them in their journey with different options at the end of graduation. One of the things you’ll hear from us early in 2020, I can’t quite announce it yet but we’re keenly focused on how do we help our health coaches who maybe loves what they’re doing. Some of our students are incredibly entrepreneurial but some of them really don’t want to spend their time doing all the business administrative stuff so what we’re working on is the solution where we can help them just push play. And it would be a way for them to get their business going on much more quickly. In the curriculum, we have way that you could help with. We could help you get your social page going, we could help you get your webpage going, we could help you if want to write a book and launch your dream book but this would be much more supportive very specific to the health coach graduate who want to start their own business.
[26:32] Ashley James: That sounds really exciting. That sound like another Lynda Cloud innovative thing since you –
[26:39] Lynda Cloud: Well, it is certainly a team innovative thing.
[26:42] Ashley James: Well, you’re the head right? Just looking back the ways that you carved out a whole new space for the k-12 online platform and help those students who were, they didn’t have a place, they didn’t feel like they belong and they had a place. That’s sort of the same. Right now, you’re doing the same for these health coaches who or people who wanted to be health coaches but they don’t have the entrepreneurial skill. They don’t have the time energy or the skill to break out on their own but they are amazing at health coaching. We’re expected nowadays to be a jack-of-all-trades to the jane-of-all trades. We’re expected to be a great mom and a great career woman or a great stay at home mom or a great homeschooler. Whatever we’re doing basically 15-hour days and then on top of that have these know everything we should know about internet marketing so that we can have a successful health coaching practice. It’s like, I would really want to see someone who’s an amazing health coach and I don’t need them to be a great marketer but how am I going to reach them or how are they going to reach me? I love that IIN is creating a way for these amazing health coaches to be able to get connected with the people to the people that are looking for amazing health coaches.
[28:09] Lynda Cloud: Yes, it’s interesting. I think that our students and the people in the health and wellness field in particular, were passionate people. We’re really are doing this because we want the world to be better place. Often times it’s hard for people to put a price tag on that. One of the first notes I got when I started here via LinkedIn was from one of my students saying, “Welcome. What do you think I should charge for my health coaching session?” I was like, “Oh, geez.” Because we just don’t know how to put a price tag and contemplate the business aspect of running a business which is so important. This side, I think what we’re working on people will be super excited about. It’ll all just help make their lives easier. They still have the opportunity to personalize it as much as they want or invest the time if that’s where they want to choose it but if as you say, we want a really good health coach spending their time coaching and advising and partnering and they want their tools and the resources they can get them.
[29:00] Ashley James: That is such a common question back when I was 19. I went to college to become a massage therapist. In Canada, it’s a bigger course. It’s like a 3,000 hour course. We study alongside nurses when we take the anatomy classes in college. That was one of the biggest question was, “What do we charge? What do we charge for a service?” I’ve seen that again in the NLP space. I was master practitioner and trainer and worked with the international training company teaching people how to become NLP practitioners. All the NLP practitioners didn’t know what to charge. That was the big question. You charge too little people don’t value what you do. You charge too much you’re unobtainable. You want the sweet spot and basically you want a price that honors the client. What I love about health coaching is it’s affordable. It’s accessible and affordable for people to go through your program but for people for clients who also hire health coaches. I love that it creates because you could do group coaching. Some people charge like $20 or $40 a month and they get a whole group together and by the end of it, the group learns more from each other. Learns even more from each other than they did from the coach but the coach was the facilitator. There’s so many opportunities for people who are even they can’t afford to go see all these holistic experts but they can definitely afford health coaching because health coaching helps them to identify the actionable steps they can take to bring their life back into balance. Now you started being a student at IIN. How far along are you in the program?
[31:00] Lynda Cloud: I am in early days. I think I’m in fifth module. I started working with the education team on the curriculum. We’re starting to look and refresh of the current and I thought I had to start taking this because this is just so compelling. I’m loving it, I’m doing it at night. I’m having fun with it. My family I think is feeling the impacts of it already.
[31:30] Ashley James: Now even before module five when you first joined IIN, there’s a foundation. The second you join even let’s say your class hasn’t started yet because there’s an official launch. The whole cohort of students go through it together even though it’s online you feel like you have this community. I love that because I connect with people around the world. All the students that were in it that the same time as I was. I participated in discussion throughout the whole year together online. Before your official start date when you join, so you can join anytime. You’re given the fundamentals modules and you have to have Kleenex with you because I bawled. I was crying tears of inspiration the entire time. I was like, “I am meant to be here.” It felt like –
[32:25] Lynda Cloud: You found your people.
[32:26] Ashley James: Yes. And it felt like I wasn’t the black sheep anymore. I was just crying and crying. It was so good. It was so cathartic. I felt like my favorite part of the entire year was the foundation. So don’t change that. Just add to it but don’t change it. It was so good. When you watched the fundamentals, the foundation modules what were you’re thinking as you’re going through it?
[32:56] Lynda Cloud: So for me, there are couple of things that happen. I feel like I cheated a little bit because of my role I have the opportunity to go to one of our live events. We had a couple of months ago that was incredible which I’ll talk about which felt like for me that was cathartic but it all made sense to me. There was a ton of common sense but then there’s this shift that transpired where what you were all of a sudden is primary food is not a primary food anymore. Once you start to make that shift and you think about the idea of what’s feeding your soul versus feeding your body and understanding. All those aspects. That to me was really substantial and how I thought about all aspects of my life. Then it was great to get to know Josh which you’ll do – you just feel like, he’s brought you into his world. As well as the other visiting teachers that are incredible. It’s been great. It’s been really helpful for me. Not just in my own personal life but also professionally.
[34:15] Ashley James: Tell us about the live event because it sounds like you enjoyed that even more than taking the online training.
[34:23] Lynda Cloud: Each student as you know who goes through our program has the opportunity to participate in a live event. It’s an event we hold one big event and that’s another area we’re actually looking at for next year is diversifying that and holding many more live events so that we could give people the opportunity the students the opportunity to come together. The live event that I attended was at the Lincoln center. It was a combination of incredible speakers, incredible community. We we’re dancing, we were swaying, we were crying, it’s like a revival meeting where you’ve come to gather and you found your people and people were just excited to be with other students. We have about 25% of people there who came outside the US, which marries the numbers of students we have in our curriculum who participate from outside the US. But was wonderful. It was just a good combination of wonderful speakers and community and people coming together.
[35:34] Ashley James: That’s really cool. What speaker was your favorite?
[35:37] Lynda Cloud: Dr. Weil was there. I just adore him. Andrew Weil I think is brilliant. He’s fantastic. Cherry Walsh talked about her protocol. I had the chance to visit with her and her daughter. She’s just an inspiration. From the business side, there was a woman there Meghan McCarthy. She is a hospital administrator from a hospital in the Pacific Northwest that we do a lot of work with. She’s like our first corporate client if you will. Meghan is an inspiration because she is breaking down those walls and saying, “I believe that health coaches can save the world and I believe that everybody needs to be health coach. “ What Meghan is doing is putting folks in the hospital through the health coach program and then doing a train the trainer model within her hospital community. She’s breaking it. She’s killing it. She’s just doing great work.
[36:48] Ashley James: Wow. Can you share which hospital it is?
[36:50] Lynda Cloud: PeaceHealth.
[36:53] Ashley James: I live in the Pacific North West, I’ve never heard of it but I bet I will be hearing about it. Sounds amazing.
[36:57] Lynda Cloud: You will, yes. We’re actually doing some outreach. She’s a force and she’s just great to work with. So we’re doing some additional work with her. Going out into committees and helping train the trainer within the communities and some of the work she’s doing with meals on wheels program, YMCA, etc.
[37:18] Ashley James: I love it. Since you joined IIN as their CEO, obviously you’ve been learning, you immersed into the corporate culture of IIN. You have gone to the live event, you’ve rubbed elbows with Joshua Rosenthal which you spent any amount of time with him and he is teaching you how to balance your life in a way that brings you joy. You have started to really absorb all of the education that IIN teaches. What changes have you made to your personal life since joining IIN?
[38:00] Lynda Cloud: My whole world changed when I joined IIN. I’ll tell you about it personally and the how IIN helped me get thought the change. I was living up in a town called Newton, Massachusetts right outside of Boston before taking the role at IIN. I moved to New York City. For the first time in my life, I’m living in New York city. That was a huge change. On top of that, my youngest left for college and we were instant empty nesters. You couldn’t have changed one more thing on our world if you wanted to. For IIN to New York City, that’s a big change. What I found though is I’m eating a lot healthier. We have organic breakfasts and lunches. I eat clean every day that has helped for sure with my energy and my stamina and my overall health. I’m meditating more because New York can eat you up. It can be a really frenetic hectic place. Overwhelming for a sensory perspective, IIN’s philosophy and methodology has helped me I think transition into the city in ways that I can focus on self-care in New York City which is not a an easy thing to do. But it has helped me think about ways to optimize my nutrition, my fitness and my health in a city environment.
[39:39] Ashley James: Very cool. As you’ve been going through the course, I know you’re only five modules in, there’s still a lot of content there. What homework have you implemented in your life from the course?
[39:56] Lynda Cloud: I have taken the spirit of bio-individuality and I’ve taken that from theory to practice. So for those of you who haven’t been through the course when you start to think about bio individuality and the term, it’s really that we’re all unique. Recognizing and honoring our uniqueness is going to be the key to our health and happiness. What you need each point in time in your life may change and it’s very personal to you and one of the things I’ve done in terms of theory to practice is taken that and apply that to a very diverse family that I’ve had. I’ve had vegetarian son and a husband who really loves meat and trying to figure out how do I introduce individualized meals and nutrition for them in ways that are going to make them the best they can be and enjoy what they’re doing and knowing that what’s good for one person isn’t necessarily always good for the other person. It’s really shifted my mindset I would say.
[41:08] Ashley James: Instead of trying to get your son to eat meat and your husband to eat vegetables.
[41:11] Lynda Cloud: Exactly. Which was not successful. We’re trying to find the one meal that would satisfy everybody. That’s been great. We’ve also been busy looking at what the next year’s going to bring for IIN and that’s been super fun. We’ve got a team of really talented people. There’s no shortage of ideas where we can take the company but we think there’s some really great stuff we’re doing in terms of working more closely with our affiliates and ambassadors and visiting teachers. That’s been cool.
[41:52] Ashley James: I love it. You’ve been around enough now to have heard some success stories. Both from the standpoint of the students and the staff and also clients. Can you share some really inspiring success stories that standout in your mind?
[42:12] Lynda Cloud: Yes. I think I’ll share a story of a woman I met at the conference. She was just absolutely fantastic. She just finished the program and she was sharing with me that she had her son who have diabetes and was just really struggling with of how to help him. She was telling me the story welling up at how this gave her clarity in ways that things hadn’t been able to give her family clarity before. She was able to take the philosophy of figuring out exactly what was right for him and helping him become healthier and the success he had. When you hear those kind of nuggets, when you hear those kind of stories, whether it’s health related or it’s just people feeling stronger or people feeling like they’re in a place that they didn’t realize they could get to and how the curriculum and the community which is I would say is the most unsung hero around IIN, is just how strong of a force the community is. Whether you’re posting something or sharing something or seeing someone in person just when the community comes together you feel as you were describing, you found your tribe, you found your people who all of a sudden understand what you needed. They are nothing but supportive and they’re just nothing but supportive and happy people that help you in your journey. That’s kind of the theme of the most of the stories and most of the impact. That’s the vision is to create this cripple around the world and pay it forward. That’s our goal.
[44:11] Ashley James: Back in the day, Joshua used to call this something else. It wasn’t health coaching, it was health counselling? Was it counselling? But then the word counselling, it wasn’t clear enough and I don’t think it was legal to be called counselor because that’s is more for therapy. What I thought is interesting is I went into – I signed up to IIN to become a health coach not knowing how much emotional support you learn how to provide. I thought I was going in because you learn in IIN in the yearlong course, you learn a hundred dietary theories and I thought I was going in to learn nutrition and how much vitamin C is in something. Which is you don’t really need to know. You don’t need to memorize how much vitamin C is in stuff, you could just google it but you actually learn skills in IIN. How to be with someone and hold the space for them to feel heard. Sometimes for the first time in their life. In a way that is not biased or doesn’t have an agenda. Because when we go to our best friend or when we go to our mom, or we go to people that are in our life, they have agenda. I remember going telling my best friend I was moving. I was moving to a different country. I’m from Canada. And she was really upset because she didn’t want me to move right? That was my path and I needed to. I wasn’t going to get a positive space. She wasn’t going to make a positive space for me. She had to process her own emotions about me moving. When we got to friend or a family member, to talk about what’s happening in our life that stop us from achieving our health goals. Their emotions come up. They can’t be a blank supportive space. Sometimes there’s even self-sabotage and I’ve seen it in my family. I have a family member that says to another family member, “When are you going to lose weight?” and then offers them a cookie. Over and over again. This level of sabotage that’s going on and we love our friends and family, they have their own agenda and maybe it’s unconscious.
Going to a health coach you have someone who listens to you who just sits with you listens to you and helps decipher what your goals are. What your true desires are. Then holds that space for you to achieve it and helps you to uncover what’s stopping you and then helps you create an action plan towards it. I’ve had some amazing times with my clients as a health coach that I pinch myself and Joshua says this happens when you as a health coach get as much growth out of health coaching as your client does. Every time my client had a success I felt like I had a success because I learn so much about myself and also my ability to hold the space for someone as they grew.
It’s this career that is constantly evolving you as a person and allowing you to feel human connection and love and care for someone in a way that is not co-dependent. In a way that is uplifting them. Letting them do the work but holding them accountable. It’s a beautiful dance because anyone could google the nutrition or the calories in something that doesn’t teach us how to help someone be the best version of themselves. IIN doesn’t teach us stuff that we can go an just google. It’s teaching us skills that we can really help someone achieve not only their physical health but the emotional health ad help them achieve their life goals. I’ve had clients who we ended up talking about their relationships and their career and things would come up and one of them was an entrepreneur something in her business but changing something in her business it actually affected her health because it lowered her stress. I like that IIN doesn’t just say, “Okay, we’re not talking about your physical health, we’re talking about your client’s entire life.
[48:38] Lynda Cloud: Every aspect of it you’re absolutely right. I love the way when you’re describing it. I pictured this swirl. I pictured this symbiotic imagery that what you’re doing on this side has a direct correlation in this side and this side and this side. So as you talk to a health coach it’s deconstructing and building up and understanding and as you say create the space but also these goals and creating this journey and creating this champion that doesn’t have an agenda. There’s somebody you know you’ve got in your camp that is helping you be the best person you can be based on what you want and what you want to do. That is such a gift. I agree with you, everyone whether it’s friends or families it’s really hard to be at complete objective and partial cheerleader for any of us. I know I try, not always successful with my kids but I’m getting better. It’s a really special space and we’re starting to look with some research behind the power of that in the wellness journey. The hospital I mentioned earlier for example is starting to do some work on we want this to be a third party study of folks who’ve inserted, health coaches into their wellness journey and how that has accelerated and impact what they’re trying to do both on the emotional and physical perspective.
[50:20] Ashley James: Wow. Are there any results back from that study yet?
[50:23] Lynda Cloud: No. Not yet. Just kicked off.
[50:24] Ashley James: I’m so excited. That is going to be so cool to hear about that. I love that you’re doing third party and you just because you want to get the truth.
[50:34] Lynda Cloud: We want to get objective, exactly.
[50:36] Ashley James: Yes. Now you mentioned primary food. For those who have not been immersed in the culture of IIN may not have heard the term primary food. Can you teach us what primary food is?
[50:48] Lynda Cloud: Yes. What I thought primary food was before I started IIN was probably what most of you think primary food is which is the food you eat. Actually when you go through the curriculum what you learn is, primary food is what feeds us but it’s not because what comes on a plate. It comes in a bunch of different categories. It could be your relationship with health, it could be your physical activity, it could be your career, it could be spiritual, it could be financial. It’s all those things around you that impact who you are and so you need to think about those how you balance and what imbalances you have to help get balance in your primary food. As opposed to secondary food which is the things we eat and we start to think about food and food is medicine and how that can help feed our soul but also give us balance in our primary food. It’s very spiral in terms of how you think about it. It’s all interrelated. That’s what generally what primary food means.
[52:02] Ashley James: Right and that’s one of the first things that when someone goes to an IIN health coach that they’re given this little on page quiz that helps them to determine the balance and actually see on this graph the balance of their life. How much joy and fulfillment they have, spiritual fulfillment. Emotional fulfilment, connection, fulfillment within their relationship, within their career. They get to see that. The areas that they’re missing. I’ll give a great example that I just witnessed in myself. I’m looking back at the person I was before IIN. I’ve been on a health journey for many years. In my 20’s, I was very sick. I had type II diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue, chronic infections for which I was on monthly antibiotics for. I’d wake up every morning feeling like I was hungover with a splitting headache feeling like I drank alcohol but I hadn’t. I was just sick all the time. And in your 20’s you’re supposed to feel the healthiest. I was so sick of being sick. I was also told that I was infertile and I’d never have kids. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome. Basically every day I was a prisoner trapped in my own body who look outside the doctor’s office for what I could do for my health because being given drugs every month. It was just keeping the infections at bay, it wasn’t helping –
[53:25] Lynda Cloud: The root cause, yes.
[53:26] Ashley James: Right. I was a really busy sales manager for an international training company. I lived in Las Vegas which is sometimes may not be a very healthy environment. Most of the time we’re always indoor in air-conditioning and it’s a very interesting place to live, let’s just put it that way. My husband and I started watching documentaries. Netflix has just started streaming documentaries. That was a new thing for Netflix back in 2008. Some health documentary said, “Eat organic and shop the perimeter of the grocery store.” Within one month, my chronic infections went away just eating organic and not eating as much processed foods. I thought, “If I could change my health in one month, what else could I do.?” That’s what led me down my journey to reverse all of my health conditions. We conceived or child naturally and were just getting healthier and healthier. I’m still on my health journey and what I noticed was before I joined IIN to become a heath coach. I already started the podcast I actually interviewed on of your graduates and I asked him during my interview, “How did you become a health coach?” because that was my first time interviewing a health coach. I almost didn’t interview him because I thought it was so cliché. I thought, “This sounds like a BS certification.” I really almost didn’t give him the time of day. Something me and I love that listen to your gut. Something in me said listen to him and it was a beautiful interview. He had ADD and was put on meds his entire childhood. He had side effects from it. He decided to take control of his health and he completely reversed his ADD using diet and healed his body. Then he went on to become a health coach. Now that’s what he does for others. In the interview he told me all about IIN. I immediately got skype from the interview. I called up IIN and I signed up that day. I was so inspired. Of course I turned to my husband and I said, “Is this okay?” he said, “Go for it. This is great. You should totally do this.” I talked to Juliet. By the way, Juliet is amazing.
[55:37] Lynda Cloud: She’s downstairs right now. She’s a rock star.
[55:41] Ashley James: Yes, I think she’s been there forever. Juliet’s fantastic. That I called up my best friend and then told her about it and then she signed up. So we did it together. Which I highly recommend. It was great. She’s in Canada and I’m here in the States. Being long distance and doing this course together was so wonderful. That was back in 2016. I graduated in 2017. The person I was before IIN, even though I was eating really healthy, I’ve reversed all those health conditions, I’m doing this podcast I’m totally on board with holistic health, that person I was would not have said “No” to the free sample of chocolate at Costco. That person every time and we go to Costco like twice a week at least because I buy a lot of organic stuff, we have a great Costco it’s filled with organic produce. The cart gets filled up with organic fresh fruits and vegetables every time we go and I will go back again and again for the free chocolate samples because they’ll give out as many. The Lindor chocolate they’re really decadent ones. I would just circle the Costco and go back and again and again and get as much free chocolate as they’ll give which they’ll give infinite amount of free chocolate samples but every year I would absolutely do that. And then would just not feel my best for a few days. I’m allergic to milk and so my immune system would be upset. My digestive system would be upset. I would be inflamed. I’d have brain fog. When you’re really healthy and clean, if you eat something your body doesn’t like it causes inflammation you really notice it. When you eat it all the time and you’re habituated, you don’t notice it as much. Even though I was on this great path I would still give into chocolate and then when I went through IIN. I started to look at my primary foods. Meaning, the food in life that brings me joy and happiness and fulfillment and balance. The food being connection with my husband, connection with my child. Feeling like I’m making a difference in this world. Now fast forward to now, I walked through Costco twice this week and didn’t even give them the time of day, didn’t touched any of the chocolate and didn’t feel deprived about it. I actually felt really happy. Because in the past I recognized that I was using chocolate even if it was free samples I was using chocolate to try to give myself joy and fulfillment because my primary food where out of balance. Just yesterday I had a package in the mail that had a bunch of Hershey’s kisses in it from a friend of mine who I guess – it’s just people send chocolate and it’s that the time of year that they send chocolate. I love that person. I’m grateful and I threw out the chocolate. I have no need for that in my body but I didn’t feel deprived and I’m not, I don’t have a ton of self-control. It’s not like I’m one of these people that has a ton of self-control. It just didn’t needed it. It doesn’t fulfill that I’m not using chocolate to self medicate because my primary foods are imbalanced. I’m deeply connected with my husband and my son, I feel fulfilled in my career. I’ve gone through and done the work in the primary foods. I recognized that my food addictive behaviors have subsided because I have done the work that I learned through IIN.
[59:36] Lynda Cloud: Your story is awesome and it is inspirational and it’s also very familiar. When you talk to a lot of before and after IIN, it’s very similar. That you don’t realize what was missing or what was out of alignment or what part of your world your primary foods weren’t in sync but once you actually make that shift tor work on making that shift because the way you describe it is exactly right. Just identifying that, “Do I have the strongest healthiest relationship I should? Do I have the most fulfilling career? Am I in the right place for my spiritually? Am I getting the right amount of physical activity?” Once you actually start paying attention to those aspects and then doing the work in those things that you know are going to help you create that balance, you have this Aha moment and you say – the way you describe it was your Lindor chocolate, you don’t actually think about that anymore. That used to be probably the first thing you thought about when you got into the car on your way to Costco. I know probably would’ve been mine too but now, your mission is different. Your priorities are different. Anyway, I love your story and I love your journey. It’s exactly what we want to hear from our grads.
[01:01:02] Ashley James: Thank you. Thank you for the work that you’re doing. I’m really excited for all the innovative stuff you’re going to be doing with you and your team at IIN. Is there anything that you wanted to teach today or homework you want to give? Is there anything that you really wanted to make sure that the listeners walk away with?
[01:01:25] Lynda Cloud: Well. I think what I would say is one of two things. One is I’ll just say some tips maybe as people are headed into the holiday season as you described, the baskets of chocolates, the baskets of cookies. Getting off your rhythm or your routine. It happens. And so I would just caution people to embrace what they’re about to embark on. Enjoy their family, enjoy their friends. Don’t beat yourself up over if you grab the Lindor chocolates a couple of times this months. It’s going to happen. Or where if you fell like you need to just remember that everything you’re doing is good for you and who you are. Stay true to your mission and vision of what you want to be and where your life to take you because we’re all – I think it’s not about being our best self every single day, it’s just knowing what you want to do and how you want to get there. For me, I go into this season I am still be an interesting one, I can tell you from the last 3 years, I have ended up with an incredible sickness that’s started the first week of December. Literally, I had been in an urgent care in the hospital every December for the past 3 years because of the stress of the holidays. It would often be end of year budget. I would have blisters on my throat. I would end up respiratory something. I’d have all sorts of illnesses and going into this December I feel so different.
One is because I’ve got alignment around – not that I haven’t loved my career but I feel like my career and my personal goals are so aligned for the first time in my life. I am paying attention in what my body is feeling so I’m drinking more great tea so I can help with some of the inflammation. I’m eating more mushroom because I know it’s going to help me in terms of detoxing and looking at some things that are going to be stressful for my body. I’m going into the season not that I’m going to live a completely different life but I’m paying attention to my gut and my body and what my body has been telling me for years that I never ever listen to. That’s my advice. People should just go on to the holiday season listening to their body, listen to what they need to be successful and happy and have a fulfilling holiday season. That’s some advice and then I would just, I’d close with keep your eye out for what were going to be, you’ll be hearing from us over the next year. I think we’re doing some super exciting stuff to help based on what we’ve heard from our students and based on how I think we could make a difference in lives around the world. So we’re launching a detox your life healing with alternative medicine, stress management, different types of specialty course that we think will be really interesting for folks to get a taste of IIN curriculum in ways that’s new and different and also our business tool kit which you’ll hear more about as I promise early next year.
[01:04:49] Ashley James: Very cool. Awesome. Listeners can go to learntruehealth.com/coach to sign up to get a free module just to get a taste of it and see if it’s right for them and learn more about IIN. So it’s learntruehealth.com/coach. They could also just call up IIN. I know that listeners get a really special deal for saying that they heard the Learn True Health podcast with Ashley James when they call IIN. I know that there’s a new lower payment plan for those who would instead of paying the price in one payment would rather pay it off monthly. What Juliet told me when I first signed up she said – I joined and did the payment plan. She said to me if you do the 12-month course because now you can actually become a full time student and do it in six but my understanding is that most people because we have full time lives –
[0105:53] Lynda Cloud: It’s designed for most people who have a full day and then want to do it on top of that. Yes.
[01:06:00] Ashley James: Right. For me, I had my son who was a young toddler at that time or just entering toddlerhood. I also had the podcast. I was very busy and I still managed to do it. Log in into the evenings, do 20 minutes a day oftentimes listen to the videos while I was commuting, while I was at the gym, while I was doing the laundry. I could listen and commute a lot I just pretty much anytime we are commuting we are listening and that was cool because I was like getting my husband to listen too and he enjoyed it. He actually went vegan. Went completely whole food plant-based and he went from a carnivore. Maybe play the videos while your husband listening.
[01:06:48] Lynda Cloud: I have been.
[01:06:49] Ashley James: I’m not saying that everyone should go vegan or everyone should go one diet. I don’t believe in any one diet dogma. My husband listened to his body. After listening to enough just sort of being the fly on the wall while I was taking IIN, he listened to enough lectures and he was also listening to my interviews and he was taking all these information listening to his body and he really wasn’t happy with the direction his heath was going. He just cold turkey said, “I’m never eating meat again.” So he just eats one to two pounds of vegetables a day. Potatoes and brown rice and he just says I’m ever going back. I can’t believe food tastes this good. If you told me that the whole food plant-based tasted this good, I would’ve stopped eating meat long ago and that’s just the 180 because my husband when I met him, was like would never ever touch vegetables. Pretty much just ate steak breakfast, lunch and dinner or eggs and steak breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Just very interesting that he started listening to his body. Really this videos do have an impact on the people who absorb them. I found that I could either listen to it little bits of it throughout the week or sometimes if I got really busy I would then to choose to spend a Sunday afternoon catching up for all the work that week. Just so I found it to be easy to go through the entire year but what Juliet said when she first enrolled me into the program, she said after the first six month, you start to take on clients. Some students get to the point where they actually pay of the entire course before they’ve completed the course because they’ve taken on some clients while they’re still in the course. Because the first six months gives you the foundation. The next six months you continue your training but you also learn how to work with clients as you’re working with clients which is just find brilliant.
[01:08:40] Lynda Cloud: That’s right. You’re moving from theory to practice. Exactly. Yes.
[01:08:43] Ashley James: I love that you guys don’t just like, “Okay, here’s all the information. Now you’re on your own.” It’s really you feel supported for the six months while you’re working with clients. It’s really a wonderful system and that people can immediately start to within the first after six months can start to basically pay off the course. It’s accessible to everyone and I love that. Any advice around those who want or interested or have more questions or want to sign up or any sort of want to make sure that potential students know some information?
[01:09:21] Lynda Cloud: I’ll just give you a quick little. As you described, you can do it on accelerated program six months or you can do a full year program. There are lots of promotions so you should check in to instituteofintegrativenutrition.com. You obviously – I think if you go through Ashley, you’re also going to get additional promotions. Logistically that’s just good to know. I think you should also know, Juliet is a really good example. We actually just did a town hall. We celebrated her 14th year with IIN. Our coaches down stairs are health coaches who’ve gone through the program. Even if you’re just on the fence and you’re saying, “I’m not sure if this is right for me. Can I invest this kind of time? Can I invest this kind of money?” I would have the conversation because you’ll learn something about yourself in that conversation. These are not folks who are going to give you a hard sell. They’re going to walk you through the philosophy and what it means to be health coach because they’re all health coaches and they’ve done this. You’ll get something out of the engagement in the call and learn a little bit about yourself. We would love to have everybody to join one of the cohorts starting next year. We think it’s going to be a super year next year.
[01:10:48] Ashley James: Awesome. Yes, 2020 sounds fantastic. Lynda, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing with us and I would love to have you or one of your wonderful staff members come back on the show to share all of the things you’ve said are in the works. Like the legislation and the new business thing that’s coming out next year who’s going to support health coaches to be entrepreneurs and successfully be health coaches. Also, the third party study implementing health coaches.
[01:11:26] Lynda Cloud: Yes. Our new events too. Yes, we have a lot in the works, we’re super excited, and I would love that. I’d love to visit in person with you so –
[01:11:36] Ashley James: That would be wonderful. If ever you’re in Seattle, let me know. If I’m ever in New York, you know I’m going to be popping by IIN.
[01:11:43] Lynda Cloud: Please do. Please do.
[01:11:45] Ashley James: Fantastic
[01:11:46] Lynda Cloud: Happy Holidays, Ashley.
[01:11:47] Ashley James: Thank you, you too.
Get Connected With Lynda Cloud!
Molly Christensen And Ashley James
- The Hero’s Journey
- Pattern to all myths – the details are different, you have this basic pattern
- People feel discontent because we’re not doing what we should be doing
- Parents are not here to control their children
- Every human being was born with greatness within
- Learn how to start listening to calls to action and acting on them
- The first voice is your authentic self; listen to the first voice
- When you start feeling stuck in the muck, that’s part of the journey
- Homeschooling – learn together but you connect it to yourself through principles
- Obstacles are learning opportunities
- Training with learning how to be consistent
- Family economy system – time and money
- Learn from real life skills that are going to affect them when they get older
- Play is an important part of child development
- Program for moms who want to learn how to become disciplined and create habits for themselves
- Brain principles
- Children model their parents
In today’s episode with Molly Christensen, listeners will get to know about the tools that Molly uses for homeschooling, tips on how to avoid procrastination and get past the overwhelm, and habits that moms should practice to be the best models for their children.
[00:00:00] Intro: Hello, true health seeker. And welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. You are going to love today’s guest. Now, Molly Christensen specializes in working with moms, especially ones that are overwhelmed and doing homeschooling. However, I think everyone could benefit from listening to today’s interview because Molly shares some amazing tools that help everyone.
So enjoy today’s interview. Please share it with busy moms. Share with all the busy mom friends that you have. And all the homeschooling friends you have. Because they’ll gain benefit from it as well. Because she does share specifically some information about that. But she gives amazing advice for those that would love to master their mindset and no longer allow procrastination to stop them. So really, really, really great nuggets of gold in today’s interview.
And I want to let you know something really special. If you are a stay at home mom and you would also like to have a career in helping people, you can become a health coach. You can go to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It’s 100 percent online. I did their online program. It’s actually designed for busy moms. Now, dads can take it too. But the program is designed for women who are so busy that they’re taking care of a family. And even moms that are taking care of family and a career, but basically we’re so, so busy that they designed as you can fit it in in the evenings, maybe 20 minutes a day. That’s about how much I did, 20 minutes a day for an entire year and I became a certified health coach. What’s really exciting is that in 2020, it’s going to be covered by healthcare. It’s going to be covered by insurance. So it opens up the doors for so many people who maybe in the past couldn’t afford a health coach, would now be able to. Which is really exciting for you as a health coach and also exciting for people who want to hire a health coach that you can use your insurance which is really, really exciting. Give IIN a call. Just Google IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Give them a call and ask them for more information. You can also get a free module of the course by going to learntruehealth.com/coach. That’s learntruehealth.com/coach. They give you access to a module and you can see if it’s right for you.
Now, I got a special deal for my Learn True Health listeners. You get $1,500 off. It’s a huge chunk of the tuition is taken off for mentioning the Learn True Health podcast for being one of my listeners. They also have lots of great specials throughout the year. Sometimes they include things like a tablet or an Amazon gift card for additional books, because of course we love learning. So you know, call them up and ask them what kind of special is going on right now especially through mentioning the Learn True Health podcast and all of the great discounts that they give us as listeners. And please share this information with those in your life that you know would make an amazing health coach. It is the fastest growing field in the health field – n the health space. I think that we’re going to get to a point where health coaching is a household name and that it’s as common to go to a health coach as it is to have a certified trainer when you go to a gym. I’m very excited about that because we need to turn this around. The rate of disease is just increasing every year. We need to turn this around. We need to give the chance for everyone, give the education and the chance for everyone to have true health. That’s exactly what I’m here to do is to help you learn what you can do mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, to optimize your health.
Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing the podcast to help as many people as possible. Enjoy today’s interview.
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 398.
I am so excited for today’s guests. We have on with us Molly Christensen, who is an expert in homeschooling and supporting busy moms. Helping them to no longer be overwhelmed. I came across — my husband actually came across Molly’s work. And as we were watching one of her videos, my husband said, “You have to have her on the show.” And I was like, “You’re right.” She has so much wisdom to share. I thought this is awesome. Even if you’re not a homeschooling mom, I think you can still take away some amazing gold information from Molly. Because nowadays, even kids that are in the public school system come home with, like, over an hour’s worth of homework and it’s overwhelming. And even if you’re not a stay at home mom and you have a career and then you come home and then you have to help your kids with homework and then you have to manage the chores.
So I just think that Molly even though your expertise is helping homeschooling moms, I still think that all parents could take away great wisdom from you because you teach that how to have balance with your children, with the chores, and with your own emotional state as well. Which if our emotional state is not in order, if our mindset is not in order, everyone in the household suffers. You know what I mean?
[00:06:00] Molly Christensen: For sure. Absolutely. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Right?
[00:06:04] Ashley James: Nobody happy. That’s right. Oh, Molly, welcome to the show.
[00:06:09] Molly Christensen: Well, thank you so much. I’m super excited to be here. And thank you for inviting me. This is exciting.
[00:06:15] Ashley James: Absolutely. You have three websites I want to let listeners know about. Your main website is buildingheroesacademy.com. Your book is homeschoolgetitdone.com. And your curriculum funnel is the number three, 3homeschoolsecrets.com. Of course the links to everything that Molly does is going to be in the show notes for today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com.
I want to dive right into your story because, man, you’ve got — like, I just want to, like, be a fly on the wall and absorb all the wisdom that you emanate from your years of experience. I only have one kid. I don’t know how in the world you’ve done it. You’ve done everything you’ve done. How many children have you homeschooled?
[00:07:09] Molly Christensen: Well, I have seven children.
[00:07:13] Ashley James: And you look amazing by the way.
[00:07:15] Molly Christensen: Thank you.
[00:07:15] Ashley James: So you definitely are doing – you are managing your stress levels. You’re managing everything really well. And I know it’s been trial and error. And now you love teaching people and teaching homeschooling moms how to do that. How to do just what you’re doing. But to take us back to your story, what happened in your life that made you want to homeschool your children?
[00:07:39] Molly Christensen: Okay. For sure. Yeah. So when I was growing up, I actually was kind of an angry child. So people who know me now are like, “Yeah. Right.” So the good news is that you can change that. I was always mad and blaming other people for things. And you know, my siblings now will say, “Yeah. We’re kind of scared of you.” But I was also a very determined person. And luckily, my mother also could see potential in me. She could see that if I put my mind to something, then I could do it. I would do it. But still growing up, I kind of thought, “You know, I’m a mean person. Nobody really likes me.” I remember when my mom came to me – let’s see how old was I? I was probably 14 or so. And she was very brave. She came to me and she said, “You know, if you smiled every once in a while, people might not be – they might want to be in the same room as you.” Okay. She didn’t exactly say that. But that was kind of the gist of it. Of course, I hated hearing that and I was mad at her. But I did take her words to heart and I decided to practice smiling. So I started smiling. And you’re like, “Wait. What does this have to do with homeschool?” Don’t worry, it connects in.
But I did start to smile and I did realize that it was better to be happy and to smile and to have people not be scared of you.
So when I was in high school, she actually started homeschooling my younger brother and sister. And let’s just say I still wasn’t that great at being happy about things. And I thought, “Why in the world would anybody want to do that?” And they even asked me, “Do you want to be homeschooled too?” And I’m like, “Heck no.” I thought it was the worst idea ever. Why would I want to be home with you? Which is really sad in retrospect. But I did get better. So this is good. So that’s why it was kind of interesting that when I started having kids of my own, and my oldest son was about four, I started thinking about homeschooling. And my brain was like, “No way. You can’t do that. Because not only are you a disorganized mess, It’s weird.” People think you’re weird if you homeschool. And what about socialization? Your kids, they’re going to be weird.
[00:10:29] Ashley James: Yeah. We all know that one weird that came in to, like, maybe junior high or something that was homeschooled. Like, we all know or someone told us. Someone told us, “Oh, yeah. I knew a homeschooled kid and they were just weird.” And so it’s, like, you hear about this one person or a rumor gets spread about one person, maybe you never even met them. And then everyone thinks that it’s like the stigma that all homeschooling kids are just weird, and unsocialized, and awkward, and they don’t know how to communicate. Oh, man. I’ve met some more schooling kids that are so brilliant. And they look you in the eye and they have wonderful conversations. And they’re so on and so connected. That is one of those stigmas that it’s just not true.
[00:11:18] Molly Christensen: I know. But everybody worries about it. And actually I can address that later if we want to go into that. Like, why it’s not even a problem. But I didn’t know that then. I was sitting there going, “I can’t do homeschool.” I don’t even know how. And seriously, I am the most undisciplined person ever is what I thought, you know, because I kind of was. I was kind of a mess. So I didn’t do it. I sent him to kindergarten. And I did not like that, actually. Because part of what I was seeing was he was bringing home some bad behaviors that I did not teach him. And he was learning things like, they had a whole two month unit on saving the rain forest. And I’m like, “You know, I am all for saving rain forest. But when you’re five, shouldn’t the focus be like learning how to clean your room first? Why are we putting all this pressure on him?” I don’t know. That just really kind of bugged me because – and I was thinking, “If you were home, that’s what we could focus on.” And I started looking at what was going on in the classroom. And I was like, “You know, this isn’t really rocket science.” Although, rocket science actually would have been easier for me because I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. I was like, “Yeah. I think maybe I could do this.” Only because I was seeing that it didn’t look quite as hard as I had been picturing it to be.
And so the next year in first grade, I decided that I was going to homeschool him. And I asked my husband about it. And he was like, “I don’t care.” He’s just like, “Yeah. If that’s what you want to do, that’s fine.” But he didn’t really understand what homeschool is all about either and neither does I at that time. So I pulled him out in first grade. And by then, I had another kid and she was four at the time. But I didn’t think about the fact that she might want to learn too. So I tried to send all my energy to this one kid, my oldest son, who’s six mind you. And we would go from, like, 9:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. and still not get all the stuff done that I had planned for the day. Because I was thinking, “Hey, if I’m going to homeschool, well, then you’re going to be way ahead of everybody else. And I’m going to make sure that happens.”
Why are we laughing?
[00:14:07] Ashley James: Well, I’m laughing because it’s funny –
[00:14:09] Molly Christensen: I’m just kidding.
[00:14:09] Ashley James: – how much pressure we put on ourselves and also put on our children. On one hand, children really can excel in homeschooling because they’re getting one on one. If they went to – even if they went somewhere else and it wasn’t you that was teaching them and they had a teacher, a tutor, teach them one on one for a whole entire day, they would have learned more in that day than they would in an entire week at a school. Because a teacher that has to manage 15 or 30 kids is not going to be able to give your child the amount of attention. And also cater to where they are and their learning style. So I’m laughing because they can – and children, when kids are really young, their minds are like sponges. They can really take on and learn so much. But at the same time, I think that as parents, we can put too much on their plate. And I’m talking from my experience. I’ve noticed that with our four year old. I’ve put too much pressure on him. And then I backed off and realized, “Okay. Maybe I need to -” there’s got to be some balance. And I definitely want to talk to you about that.
But continue with your story. So here you have your six year old and you have, basically, created a college level curriculum for a first grader that he’s getting the best tutelage in the world. And what’s happening with the four year old? Is the four year old jumping in and wanting to learn also?
[00:15:38] Molly Christensen: Right. So this is what happens. It is kind of funny because so many of us homeschool moms think, “Oh my gosh. I’m going to make my kid be a genius or something.” And then reality hits and you’re like, “I can’t even get him out of bed in the morning.” Because there’s no place to go. So what happened was, my four year old would just kind of tag along. But I didn’t really include her much, which was kind of silly of me. But she was listening and she was soaking everything in. She would actually go off preschool, which is kind of funny, so that I would have free time to work with my other son during that time too. And then when she was home, I would let her do a little bit of stuff here and there. But I was mainly focused on this oldest child. And I was trying to get through this list of, like, 25 different subjects every day. And I was trying to have him do writing assignments that would be things like, “Write three sentences to describe this pencil.” And now if there was anything that was going to ignite passion in a first grade boy, that’s not it. Right?
So it was pretty miserable because I was trying to follow all those curriculum that said this is what I had to do in order to get him where I thought he should be. And it was a nightmare because we would end up crying every day. Because I’m like, “Oh, I can’t do this.” And he is like, “I don’t want to do this. I just want to play.” Because he’s a six year old boy, which is what they do. And they do learn a ton from playing. But I didn’t know that. And so I just started searching for answers. And I finally had this thought pop into my brain, which was, instead of trying to get him through all these checklist items and then rewarding him by reading aloud at the end. Why don’t you start off with just reading aloud at the beginning of the day? And I was like, “I can’t do that. That’s the fun part.” But I tried it and actually that made life so much easier when I just put read aloud first. Because what it did is, it was so fun and we had loved it so much to learn and hear different stories together. That what it did is it built our relationship, made us grow closer together. And we have this common learning ground here that was fun instead of miserable. So it was then that I was like, “Okay. If I’m going to homeschool, I got to figure this thing out.” Because it’s great to put the reading first. But how is he supposed to learn everything else? I can’t make him because we’re in power struggles all the time. And it’s miserable. And so that’s kind of when I really just started my journey to figure out what it was that I needed to do. And also at the same time when I’m trying to homeschool, I’ve got these two kids and we are a disaster at home. Because I was spending all this time trying to homeschool all day long that I didn’t ever get around to cleaning the house or actually preparing meals. I just go the fridge and say, “Hm. What’s not moldy in here? Let’s see what I can pull out.” Because they always keep getting hungry, strangely enough. They want food.
And I kind of as a free spirit, I’m like, “You know, I just want to be spontaneous and free.” Except for when you can’t find your shoes. You can’t go out anywhere to field trips. So it was one of these really kind of defining moments in my life rose just like, always – so I had started smiling. And so that’s how you could actually get married because I wasn’t so grumpy anymore. And I could have kids. But what I learned was that in my heart, I was still very grumpy. And I was still blaming people. And I was still complaining about everything. And I didn’t realize that it was me causing most of my problems. And so what I had to figure out was that If I really wanted to make homeschool work, I was going to have to change. I was going to have to do things differently. I was going to have to think differently. And so I started reading all the books I could. Because that’s what I do. I’m like, “I got a problem to solve. I want to solve it.” I’m going to start reading. I’m not a quitter. I’m determined. I am pretty stubborn. I have a stubborn card in my back pocket. I can pull it out when I need it. So I started reading all these books. I started learning all these things. But what I found is that I could hardly even ever implement anything because I really was that undisciplined. And I wanted my kids to be able to say they’re going to do something and then be able to do it. Just even with no one nagging them. I always wanted my mom there. Well, I don’t have my mom here to nag me to do the stuff I know I should be doing but I can’t make myself do.
[00:21:01] Ashley James: It took it took me many years of personal growth to get rid of that little nagging – my mom’s nagging voice in my head telling me I’m not doing enough.
[00:21:11] Molly Christensen: Well, I just wanted her told me to do it. You know, sometimes because I couldn’t make myself do it. But yes, we do have our moms that they love us so much and they wanted this so much for us. But I was like, at some point I just got to figure this out for myself. I’ve just got to do this. Because I do not want to ruin my child’s life by homeschooling but I felt pretty strongly that I was supposed to do it. So that’s when I had it turned to me. And what is really funny that happens first for most homeschool moms and probably just moms who are parents, they’ll do is too. They’re always looking for the magic bullet. And this happened to me too. We go through every single curriculum out there. We buy all of them because we want the one that’s going to work and solve all of our problems. And the same thing with moms just who aren’t homeschoolers, we’re trying to find things that will fix our kids, really. When really, it’s us as a mom who is kind of creating a lot of the issues in our own lives. So I did that. I went out and bought a ton of different curriculum and none of it worked, surprisingly. Not really. But that’s because I didn’t even have the discipline in the first place to be able to teach my kids good character. And this is not against my parents, by the way. Part of is just my personality and my mom’s personality. And my mom was just struggling to get through raising these kids mostly by herself. I do have a dad, who’s a wonderful dad. But she felt like a single mom because he was an international airline pilot and he was always gone. Always gone. And when he was home, which I didn’t even think about until I was an adult, was the fact that he was jet lagged when he was home. So they were doing the best they could. But somehow some of the training kind of slipped away. And I didn’t get it mostly just because I did whatever I wanted kind of a free spirit. I got away with it.
So as I started reading all these self help books and taking classes and all this stuff, I was just getting more and more discouraged as I went along. Because I’m like, “I am a reasonably smart person. I should be able to figure this out. Why is this so hard? Why is it so hard to actually homeschool my kids, and to keep my house clean, and to just stay sane? And as I was reading all these books, I was getting different bits and pieces here and there. And so I was improving but it was pretty slow. Pretty slow improvement. But as I did get through this, I did finally come up with some key things that really changed the way I thought about things. And how I could actually homeschool my kids without completely failing them and ruining them. And how I could actually have a house where I wouldn’t be completely embarrassed to have visitors come over. And where I could be happy and not always feeling like a miserable failure.
And so that’s kind of what the message that I want — well, that is the message. That is the message that I like to share with people because there is hope. Like, if me, Miss Super Disorganized can figure these things out, you can too.
[00:25:05] Ashley James: And you’re no longer super disorganized is the point. You have really conquered these issues because – and so much so that you’ve mastered them after homeschooling seven children. And now this is what you do, you teach others how to do the same.
[00:25:23] Molly Christensen: Exactly I mean some people say your mess is your message. Which I love because, yeah it’s the mess that I had to deal with and figure out how to get over. And that’s why I want to share that with other people because it’s all about having hope. And the other thing, too, is I have not mastered everything in my life. Which is actually pretty awesome because it just means I get to keep learning. If I had mastered everything, I’d be done.
[00:25:55] Ashley James: We are never done.
[00:25:55] Molly Christensen: I’m not done yet. I am not done yet. And I am still homeschooling as well because I have these seven kids. So that takes a long time to get through them all. But I have my three oldest who have graduated from high school. And actually, the two oldest have graduated from college. The third has gotten his associates degree and high school degree. He’s 18 now. So I still have four left at home. So we’re still doing this project.
[00:26:26] Ashley James: Nice. Man, by the time you’re done with the last one, all your kids are going to turn to you and hand over your grandchildren to you. And say, “Mom, can you homeschool our kids too?”
[00:26:39] Molly Christensen: And I’m going to be like, “Nope. That’s your journey.” That is your journey. But I’ll help. I would love to help and encourage and support you along your journey. That’s what I do.
[00:26:51] Ashley James: That is what you do.
[00:26:53] Molly Christensen: Uh-huh. And actually, that is the key to what really changed my mindset. So this is actually probably a good time to share that. So when I started homeschooling, I thought it was all up to me to make sure that my son knew everything. And my poor son, being my guinea pig, number one. Let’s just say he actually turned out really, really awesome. And he doesn’t remember all the hard things those first few years. I was like, “Yes. He’s forgiven. And he’s awesome. It’s so good, it works.”
Anyway, so I want to share with you – is this a good time to do that? Should I just do that? Share with you this pattern that I had come across that actually really changed the whole way that I thought about homeschooling my kids and just raising my kids in general.
[00:27:50] Ashley James: Yes. Oh, I’m so excited. Absolutely.
[00:27:53] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Okay. So I heard about this pattern of the Hero’s Journey, probably a good 10 or 15 years ago now. I don’t remember exactly. But I had heard about it and I thought, “Yeah. That’s pretty cool.” So what the Hero’s Journey is this this pattern that was discovered – or I don’t know if discovered is the right word – but noticed because you notice patterns, right? It was a pattern that was noticed by an Oxford English professor. And of course, right now, his name has slipped my mind. But he wrote a book called The Power of Myth. Anyway, he studied all this mythology of the world, you know, Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, all the different cultures. And he noticed there was a pattern to all these myths. And he called it the Hero’s Journey, because while the details are different, you have this basic pattern. And then he also noticed, too – well, okay. We’ll go here.
The basic pattern is this, you start with an ordinary person or at least a person who thinks they’re ordinary, who gets a call to action. A call to do something bigger than themselves and they don’t know how to do it. And so the next thing is they refuse. They’re not going to follow up on that call to action because they can’t do it. But then something happens and they decide to commit to the action and dive in and do it. Along the way on their journey, they will have mentors that will help them. They will have friends and allies who are on the same path with them. They also have enemies who try to stop them or tell them it’s stupid. And they’ll also run into test traps, trials, and temptations that may stop them if they’re not aware that they need to get around it. And that they need to continue on this journey because that call to action was so important that they need to finish the journey. And then as they get to the final conflict that’s really big and they finally get around it, they have success. And they are transformed and they are changed as a person, but also just as part of the journey and whatever it was they set out to accomplish has been accomplished.
So when I learned that pattern, I started noticing it everywhere because it is. It’s in every movie that we like, so many good books, and it’s everywhere. And I thought, “Oh, yeah. That’s pretty cool. That’s a pattern. It’s everywhere.” But when it really became powerful for me was when I realized it was a pattern for our own lives and the lives of my kids. And so what it did for me is it made me realize that I cannot just fill my kids up with all the information that they need. Because that’s not the purpose of learning and education.
[00:31:05] Ashley James: Yeah. And it’s not how we really learn it.
[00:31:09] Molly Christensen: It’s not.
[00:31:09] Ashley James: I mean, school is really good at filling us up with facts that we can regurgitate. Like, when was the war of blah, blah, blah, blah, right? It’s like, “Okay. Great. You memorized that fact. But did you learn to think?”
[00:31:22] Molly Christensen: No. And I didn’t know how that knowledge applied to me. In fact, when I was in school, I hated history because it was so boring memorizing all the facts. It wasn’t until I started teaching my own kids about history where I was like, “Holy cow. History is amazing. Because it’s all just hero journey stories. How do people overcome.” And it’s telling us how to live life, what the success principles are. That’s what it’s all about. But we didn’t know that growing up in my AP – well, I didn’t take AP History. I took AP English. But whatever. In my history class, it was very boring because we didn’t know the stories. It’s all about the stories. And so the Hero’s Journey is the story of our own life. And most of us don’t know that. We don’t know that we are potential heroes who can go on the journey. We get calls to action do you think is greater than us but we listen to the refusals and then do nothing. And that’s why we don’t go on the journey of our life. And that’s why people feel discontent because we’re not doing what we should be doing.
[00:32:31] Ashley James: Yeah. Yeah. And you know, one thing I’ve noticed parenting is, I have this urge to jump in and fix things for my son and do it but I don’t. It is an uncomfortable feeling to watch my son struggle. And I consciously pull back and I just encourage him. He will get it. Encourage him. Let him do it himself. So like, we’re doing arts and crafts and he’s got to paint something. And if I just let him do it himself, it’s not going to be perfect. It’s going to be messy. Because he’s still learning how to do that. And it’s also going to be his own creativity. And I hold back and I let him figure something out, like how to tie that knot or how to – whatever he’s struggling with. But that look on his face when he triumphs, when he does something he didn’t think he could do, he has now learned. And he had that moment where he was struggling, he was failing. I was encouraging him. And then he figured it out. It clicked and it works. And that triumphant on his face, that neurologically set that lesson in place. He now has that. Whereas, if I just did it for him and like, “Look what I’m doing. You do it this way.” There would be no emotion of triumph associated with the lesson for him. When we set up circumstances for them to have a challenge that they get to rise to, and struggle, and then learn from that, and then succeed, that has so much more emotion involved invested in the learning that it really solidifies the learning inside their neurology.
[00:34:18] Molly Christensen: Absolutely. Absolutely. And so that’s exactly why it changed my whole perspective of raising my kids because I realized that I am not here to control them. It doesn’t work anyway. You can try it. You get power struggles.
[00:34:36] Ashley James: I definitely want to talk about power struggles because setting boundaries and getting kids to do their chores and what happens when the kid says no to you? Like, I definitely want to go there.
[00:34:48] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Let’s go there in a minute. But I’ll finish this thought. So what I realized is my role is not to be the bucket filler. But my role is to be the support team, to be the mentor, to be the trainer, to be the coach. So I heard this quote – well, I don’t know if it’s a quote but it’s kind of one of those things. But a pastor got up in church and he said to his congregation, “Are you preparing your kids for the path? Or are you preparing the path for your kids?” And I said, “Yeah. Wow.” There’s a big difference there.
[00:35:33] Ashley James: Because we can never- we won’t be around their whole lives. So we can never put padding and safety, whatever, make it safe for them. We can’t just go around and keep preparing the path for them. We have to give them all the tools because we want them to be independent.
[00:35:54] Molly Christensen: Right. And also, we don’t even know what their path is. They have a totally different path than mine is. It’s their own path. It’s their hero’s journey. And the hero’s journey is just full of things they need in order for them to learn to become the person that they are meant to be.
So the other part of why that pattern was so powerful for me was not only did it shift my role, but it shifted how I thought about them. Because I think sometimes we think that people are intentionally mean or naughty or whatever. And you know, “You’re bad. You’re bad boy,” or whatever. But really, every human being was born with greatness within. Every human being desires good. Every human being has that inside of them. And when you shift your focus to believing that and focusing on the good intention rather than how it comes out, then it changes things. Your kid accept and this is, maybe, where we can go into more obedient stuff. It’s not because they’re horrible people or you’re a horrible person. It’s just because they are human. And they are learning how to become better and they just haven’t gotten there yet. And that’s actually a really good thing to remember for teenagers, especially. Especially when they start going, “Mom, you just don’t understand. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And they get a little grumpy and all those hormones are going around. It’s not because they’re bad. It’s only because they do have all this hormone stuff coming up. They’re confused. They don’t always know how to manage themselves at all. They haven’t learned it all yet. But they are good people. They want good. They want to be kind to other people. But it doesn’t always come out that way. And so it’s always really good to keep that vision of who they are. They are potential heroes. I mean, they are. They have the goodness inside. They can go on the journey to get to the greatness but only if they choose not to listen to all those negative voices in their head that tell them why they can’t do it.
[00:38:13] Ashley James: So how do you help them to not hear the negative? How do you help them to focus on what they want – the positive and create the positive behavior?
[00:38:27] Molly Christensen: So it really had to start with me first. Because I was so sucked into that negative thinking. I had to learn how to start listening to calls to action and acting on them. Because the Hero’s Journey is a pattern for your whole life but you’re also getting calls to action all the time. You don’t even hear most of them. Because you rationalize them away. And when I say you, I mean me too. It’s a learned skill there. And so to get out of the negative thought patterns I had to lead the way in. And the beautiful thing about having kids is you love them so much that you actually change for them. Because you want to lead the way for them. I figured that if I’m not willing to go there, why would I expect them to,? Even though it’s hard. So I started working hard on me first.
And so what I did one year, I had this thought pop into my head that I should make this blog called Kindness Daily, where I would do something kind every day. And I would blog about it. Now, the funny thing about that is, I’m not a disciplined consistent person. But my oldest son and I were just talking about how, with marketing or with a business really, people are attracted to people who can be consistent. Very consistent in their message, right? And so I blurted it out one day, I’m like, “Oh, you know, this would be kind of cool.” And he’s like, “Yeah. You should do it.” I was like, “Oh man, why did I say that out loud?” And as soon as I got that call to action to do this for 365 days, to write a blog, my brain immediately came up with all the refusals. And I sit and I said to myself, “I can’t do that. I don’t even know how to make a blog. And what if I can’t think of anything kind to do and I’m not consistent, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” And, then I was like, “You know, I think I’m just going to try it. I’m going to do it.” I decided I was going to do it because I was at the point where I was like, “You know what? If I’m not going to do hard things then why are my kids?” So I thought, “I’ll give it a try.” So I started it. And the first few days, I was worried because – well, I wasn’t too worried. I just made cookies for the neighbors.
But after like three or four days that I was just like, “You know what? I really cannot make cookies every single day. I’m not that kind of mom.” And it’s going to get out of control. So I’m going to have to come up with different things to be kind about.
And I realized that I was getting thoughts to do kindnesses that I didn’t want to do. So I didn’t do them. So like one day – I know, right? One day, I had my neighbor’s kids over because she had to go to a doctor’s appointment. And I had this thought, “You know, you have to make dinner. Why don’t you just make her some dinner too?” And I immediately got these refusals in my brain that said, “Well, they’re not going to like what we’re having. I don’t think I have enough ingredients. I probably don’t have enough time.” So then I went, “Wait. That was a call to action with refusals. Oh, I should do it.” I did. I committed to doing it. And it turns out, I didn’t have enough gradients and I did have enough time. And she was – I don’t know if they liked it or not but it doesn’t matter. Because when she came home a lot later than she expected, I said, “Hey, I knew you’re going to be running late and you’re not going to have time to make dinner. So I just made it for you.” And she was just delighted. And she felt just so loved. So I learned from these experiences when I was doing these kindnesses every day that if I get three refusals, I darn well better do it. Because that’s part of my hero journey. I need to act on those things to become better to develop the character that I need to become the example for my kids. To go through this hero’s journey. To do the hard things that I’m asked to do.
And so I did do this blog where I recorded a lot of my kindnesses. Some of the days were super – I mean, they were so uninteresting to write about. But other days were really awesome. And I was like, “Wow. This is cool stuff.” And I actually ended up – I told you I wasn’t consistent, which was actually true. I was not consistent. And I did not do it for 365 days. But I did do it for 180 days out of the whole year. And I thought, “You know what? I have a choice here.” So I could look back at the year and I had a choice. I could look at it and think of it as a miserable failure because I did not do what I set out to do. I did not get 365 days. But I also could look at it and say, “You know what? I did do half of it. And I did learn so much just from the process of that.” I learned so much about how my brain worked, and how I was refusing calls to action, and how I could learn what calls to action I actually needed to follow. And so you asked me, “How do we teach this to our children? And then I went off on this big long story about how we have to lead our way – lead the way and figure it out ourselves first. And that’s actually what I did.
So after I did these kind of daily challenges – after I started doing them, I introduced it to my kids. And I had them do the similar thing. I said, “Here’s a jar. And here’s a bag of pompoms. Whenever you think of something kind to do and you actually do it, you can put a pompom in the jar. And when the jar is full, we’ll go do a fun family activity or something like that.” And they started to realize that their heroes on this hero journey. They get calls to action and sometimes they really don’t want to do it. They get refusals. But they can listen to those and not do them. Or they can listen to the call to action and then hear the refusals and then say, “No. Those are not true. I’m going to do it anyway because it’s a good thing.” So that that’s been huge in teaching the kids how to overcome those negative thoughts. So that’s an awesome tool right there is really – because heroes – this is probably one thing I didn’t say earlier, but heroes are not in it for themselves. They’re not going on this journey just for all the honor and glory. Maybe some of them are in some of the movies. But they’re doing it because it’s for a cause bigger than themselves, is to serve other people. That’s why we’re here. And so that’s why – I’m sorry. I totally neglected to say that earlier. That would made more sense. But that’s why this little smaller scale hero journey works out so nicely and it preps them for the real thing. It’s a good training.
[00:46:04] Ashley James: Can you give us an example? Like, when working with your kids, an example where they did some – they came up with an idea and they heard the refusals in their head. But you encouraged them and they then did it anyway. And it was a project that served others.
[00:46:22] Molly Christensen: Yeah. For sure. My 16 year old daughter just the other day, she said, “You know, I had this thought that I should text this friend that I hadn’t talked to for a while and just say something nice to her.” And she said, in her brain she heard, “No. That’s weird. You haven’t talked to him forever. And besides, what would you say if that’s a bad idea?” And then she’s like, “Wait. I got to do that.” And so she did. She texted this friend anyway. And it turns out that friend had been feeling really down that day. And when my daughter texted her she just felt so loved.
[00:47:03] Ashley James: I love it. Because when you first started sharing this, I immediately went to health related topics. So we’ve had Naturopaths on the show. Naturopathic doctors share that our body has a language. It speaks its symptoms. The symptoms of the body are the language that it speaks. So if you have a headache, don’t just go take a medication for it. Or if you’re tired, don’t just go drink coffee. But that’s the body actually speaking to you and saying, “Hey, there’s something I’m missing. Help me.” This is how it speaks to us. So when we think to ourselves, I want to run a marathon or I want to go to the gym. And then there’s these little thoughts that come up, like, “You can’t. That’s going to be too hard. You can’t do it.”
[00:47:53] Molly Christensen: I got a story about that one. No, it does. It’s the goodness inside of us that’s speaking. Because we are good. We do get those good thoughts. I got a call to action to run a half marathon. And I can tell you some of the refusals I got. My husband and my two sons had actually run it the year before. And I got the call. I was like, “Well, why don’t you run it within them the next year?” That was in my own brain. They didn’t say it to me. And my refusals were, “No way. I do not run. I am not a runner.” The last time I really seriously ran was when I was in high school, which was like 20 years before. And I had run a-mile-and-a-half for the PE test, you know, to show that you’re fit. And I passed it. But then I pretty much felt like I was going to die afterwards because I found out later that I actually had bronchitis. So I probably shouldn’t have run it. But they told us to. So I had that thought in my head that I was going to die if I ran more than a-mile-and-a-half for 20 years. And it was actually right around this time where I started experimenting with controlling my thoughts and my brain with the calls to action and everything that this call to run the half marathon came up. And I thought, “You know what? This will be a really good test. Let’s see if I actually have power of my thoughts in my head.” You know, can I actually do this? And so I had all these reasons not to. And I thought, “You know what? I’m going to do it anyway.”
So the first day I get out there and I go running like half-a-block before I feel like I’m about to die. And my brain kicked in. Because our brains are there to keep us comfortable. When you’re trying to change, that is not comfortable. And so it’s going to give you all the reasons to pull you back to where you used to be. That was more comfortable for it. So my brain starts going, “This is a really dumb idea. You can’t do this. What are you thinking? You’re about to die after half-a-block.” So what I did was I just told my brain, “Thank you for sharing that with me because that’s good to know. I’m on the right path.” I’m getting refusals, which means that if I keep going, I’m going to grow. So thanks for sharing but we’re going to keep doing this. So I did. I kept running. And I kept going slightly farther every day until I got to a-mile-and-a-half. And what was really funny is I didn’t realize I was doing this to myself. But for about two months, I only ran for a-mile-and-a-half until I was like, “Wait a second. I can run a-mile-and-a-half and I don’t feel like I’m about to die. Well, why don’t I just go farther?”
[00:50:41] Ashley James: You had to bust through a belief system that you unconsciously created in high school.
[00:50:46] Molly Christensen: Totally did. Totally did. And so I just kept going. And I did run the half marathon. I did post a pretty good time for somebody who was never runner before. I mean, I was just over two hours. I was like, “Holy cow. Look what I did I could do that.” That is what you’re talking about, it’s that feeling of triumph, which is awesome. But I would have never got there had I not failed along the way.
[00:51:13] Ashley James: Yes. And listen to the first voice. I really love that you have deciphered this. The first voice is your authentic self. The first thought happens really quick. And sometimes it’s actually quieter than the refusals that come after. They can be pretty loud. But the first voice like. “I should go to the gym. I should do a juice fast. I should eat more broccoli.” Like whatever, right? The first voice, that’s your authentic self. That’s the part of you that wants you to grow, that wants you to live a healthy happy life full of lessons and learning and just joy. That is the authentic self. But that’s the self that wants you to go up against the wall and push yourself and to really grow. And then the refusals –
You know, it’s interesting because I’ve had different interviews on about self-talk. And one Naturopathic physician, the whole episode was about self-talk. And she talked about how this voice, as you call, the refusals. She calls it self-talk that it is part of our survival mechanism because the pessimists are the ones that survived. All of our ancestors were the pessimists. If you think about the ancestors that were like, “There’s no bears in the woods. Let’s go frolic.” They were all eaten by the bears. It was the ones that were very pessimistic. And was like, “Fire burns you. Don’t touch the fire. Don’t go in the woods, the Bears are over there.” The pessimists looking for all the bad things that could happen were probably the ones that ended up surviving. So we just have this genetic predisposition to looking at conserving our energy as much as possible, which is talked about in the book, The Pleasure Trap by Dr. Lisle and Dr. Goldhamer. He talks about the evolution of our brain and what motivates us in an unconscious level to survive, which is to procreate, conserve energy, and consume food.
So we basically want to be lazy as possible. Consume as much calories as possible. And we’re motivated by procreation. Because that’s just genetically what all animals do to survive and to carry on the species. So that little voice inside of us is like, “Don’t run a marathon. That would not be conserving energy.” That would not be part of fulfilling the genetic – this genetic programming. So on one level, it’s genetic programming. On the other level, it’s this voice in our heads that tries to keep us safe. But safe is not – there’s no happiness in safe. There’s no growth in safe. If being safe is being stuck in the gray zone of just – what’s that? – purgatory. It’s like purgatory. You’re just stuck. And that is where depression sets in. That’s where people end up self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and sugary foods. Because their life is so safe that they bring a pint of ice cream home. Because it’s like that’s the only joy they’re going to get. So that’s like when we’re feeling stuck in life, that’s because we’re listening to all the refusals and not the first voice.
[00:54:31] Molly Christensen: Right. And we also don’t realize that a lot of times we get stuck because we hit a wall or a tract or something on our journey. So when you start feeling stuck in the muck, that’s part of the journey. It’s got to happen. But if you can see in the perspective of the Hero’s Journey, you’re like, ” Oh, wait. I’m stuck. I don’t have to be stuck here. This is a journey. I can get out.”
[00:54:55] Ashley James: Like a Disney Princess. This is just the middle of the movie, right?
[00:54:59] Molly Christensen: That’s right. It’s just part of the journey.
[00:55:00] Ashley James: Right. I’m just hitting the wall. I need to overcome it. On an esoteric level, there’s a consideration that the refusals are the devil or the negative spiritual energy that wants to keep us down. Which it has no power over us if we refuse it. If we go, “No. I’m not listening to those voices. I’m not listening to that. That’s not me.” You know that t-shirt, Not today, Satan? It’s like, “No. That’s not me. Thanks.” But I like that you think it. Because that’s actually what the Naturopath that I interviewed does. She says, thank that voice. “Thanks for letting me know I can’t run a marathon because I’ll probably collapse. Thanks. I take that into consideration but I’m going to prove you wrong.”
[00:55:50] Molly Christensen: Well, and I think it because it’s letting me figure out where my blocks are, where my walls are, what’s keeping me stuck. Because now that I see seen it, I can do something about it. Talk about empowering.
[00:56:03] Ashley James: Yes. So when you hear the refusals, you go, “Hey. Thanks for letting me know where my blind spots are and what’s keeping me in purgatory.”
[00:56:12] Molly Christensen: Uh-huh. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, the whole journey is all really just a battle in your brain. Because it’s a battle about whether your bodily appetites are going to control your brain or if that goodness, your soul, your spirit, whatever you want to call it, is going to control your brain. Because it’s much easier to sit on the couch and watch TV. Not that I’m knocking that. Sometimes you got to do it. But it’s much easier to do that than it is to get up and go wash the dishes.
[00:56:46] Ashley James: Choose your hard.
[00:56:48] Molly Christensen: Yeah. I mean, so your bodily appetite is the one that’s dealing with easy. Your goodness is getting up and doing what’s right. Which one’s going to control your brain?
[00:57:01] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. So this is how you – you took this and designed your entire homeschooling curriculum around the concept of the Hero’s Journey.
[00:57:10] Molly Christensen: Yes. That is what I did. Because what I realized is knowledge right now in the internet age, anybody can get knowledge. It’s free all over the internet. You don’t even have to go to school, really, you could just Google if you just want to get knowledge. And what I did with my homeschool curriculum is I feel like, “You know, there’s a lot of great knowledge out there.” But unless it is relevant to you, unless you can connect it to you, it’s not really helpful. So knowledge is still important. I’m not saying it’s unimportant. But it’s knowledge that’s applied wisely that really makes your life better. And especially with little kids, they love to learn. They love to learn new things. But sometimes they get crushed down because we’re trying to force feed it to them. And so they’re like, “Well, what’s the point? Why are you trying to make me do this?”
So what I did with my curriculum is I went through and I got all the basic knowledge in the different subject areas, you know, topics. And I created it so that you can just sit down with your kids, your family, however many you got. And then you just learn together but then you connect it to yourself through principles. So you’re using it as a vehicle to teach principles, like for success in life and for good character. And that’s how it makes it relevant. So we’re not learning it just to learn it to pass the test. But we’re learning it because it brings us together. It’s exciting. We can love learning because it’s so interesting. And then we can make connections. Because when you make connections, it sits those neurons firing off in your brain. And it’s like, “Oh, this is so cool.”
A funny example is when one of my little daughters figured out that green beans and re-fried beans were both beans. Oh, my gosh. She made that connection herself. And she was so proud. And the more epiphanies you can get – and you get those from when you make connections – the more exciting learning is going to be. And the more excited you are about learning, the more you’re going to do it. And the more you’re excited about learning, the more excited you are to go on that hero journey, too, because you’re going to hit the obstacles. And those are all about learning. In fact, I call the obstacles, learning opportunities. Because that’s what they’re all about. And so we want to love learning but some of the learning is hard when you get stuck. But you have to look and go, “Oh, this is a learning opportunity. Isn’t this exciting.” So that’s the feeling I want – it’s more important to inspire this feeling. That’s the feeling I want to inspire. Rather than, “This is miserable and I’m not doing what mom says because it’s stupid.”
[01:00:10] Ashley James: So then they get really excited about their homeschooling because they’re taking charge.
[01:00:18] Molly Christensen: Yeah. I mean, you’re setting the environment by learning with them and showing them what it’s like to make connections and to just love it. And then they can take that off into the other parts of their lives, too, when you’re not there actively learning with them.
[01:00:37] Ashley James: Since you have so many children of different ages, you’re homeschooling different grades, right? Your different levels at the same time. Can you give us an example of what a day looks like?
[01:00:53] Molly Christensen: Yes. And it’s kind of funny because I actually did a Facebook Live on my day on Monday. And everybody felt very validated because it did not look as perfect as they were picturing for what my day might look like. So I can tell you the ideal and then I can tell you reality. Okay? So we do family style homeschooling because people are going to learn at whatever level they are on. They don’t have to learn at whatever level some expert says that they should learn on. Because it’s their own journey. If they’re not ready to learn something yet, then why am I trying to make them? So we do family style learning. A big part of our homeschool is actually training with learning how to be consistent. Probably, I might be – I’d like to focus on that just maybe because it was such a big struggle for me. For some of my kids, it’s not as much of a struggle just because their personality type is just different. My husband is excellent at being consistent at things and disciplined with himself. Every kid is different. They all have different personalities. But we do work a lot on consistency. They do a lot of chores. Or at least they think they do. I don’t. I want them to know how to work.
And we also have a family economy system where my kids, when they turn eight, they have to purchase their own clothing. Which is interesting because they don’t get an allowance and they can’t really go out and get a job so they get creative. I will pay the minimum wage though. But this is probably a whole other talk. But I will let them work extra money for me to earn money. And people wonder how I afford it is because I don’t have to buy their clothes. Anyway, so we have systems in place where they can learn from real life skills that are going to affect them when they get older. And big ones, big challenges for people, for adults, for most adults are time and money. So that’s why we have those two systems in place for the work because that helps with being consistent with time and then for the money. So that’s a big part of our homeschool is just life, just living life and doing that.
So we do, do like a morning devotional in the mornings most of the time. And we will have breakfast. And we will clean. And then if we haven’t gotten all distracted like, we will sit down in the morning and we will just learn together as a family for about an hour. Now, sometimes my older kids who are in high school and have other – when I say they’re in high school, they’re not really in high school but high school level. But they’ll have projects and stuff that they have to work on their own. And Austin, my older kid, will be in Co Op. So they’ll have classes that they need to take. So they’ll have homework. And so they start just self studying themselves. And so me and, usually, the younger kids and, sometimes, the older kids will join it, too, we will learn together. So we will read aloud and we’ll just learn things together. And there’s no pressure. There’s no homework on that. It’s like we just do activities. Today, we drew drafts. So that was fun. Some of them want to do it. Some of them didn’t. And that was fine.
And we also usually eat a snack. Because snacks just make life better. I don’t know.
[01:04:39] Ashley James: Yeah. They definitely keep kids engaged.
[01:04:44] Molly Christensen: Yes. And it keeps their mouths full so they can’t talk as much if you want them to listen. I like them to talk but not when I’m reading aloud. So we always try to have a shared learning experience. Then in the afternoons, my kids play. I work so hard to protect my schedule so I don’t over schedule them. I want them to be able to play. I want them to run outside. Because play is such an important part of their development. And a lot of people think, “Oh, they’re just wasting time. Nuh-uh.” No. They are learning so much through play. And in he afternoons, if they do have classes, they’ll usually take those then. So that’s kind of the basics of it. That’s kind of the ideal day to kind of flow through that. Because, really, homeschooling is just life. But it’s not a free for all. It’s structured. But sometimes it might look like a free for all. And what I mean by structured is, I’ve thought a lot about how to set up the environment of my home. Like, what feeling do I want there and how do we get that in here and how do we flow. And I always got it adjusted because it never just stays that way. I’m like, “Wait. The feeling I want is not chaos. So how do we fix that?” You know what I mean? So there’s always things you can keep adjusting. But for me, it’s more about creating this environment of learning where they know that they are heroes and that they’re meant to have a mission in life where they’re doing good for other people. And so instead of me constantly telling them what to do and how to do it, it makes my life so much less stressful. And in fact, that’s how I get everything done is because I realized the only one I can control is really me. And I can control the household feeling and the environment. But I can’t control them. But I can love them.
[01:06:46] Ashley James: So what happens when you need to control them? Like they’re defying house rules, like, power struggles? And of course it depends. Obviously, a 16 year old and a four year old are going to be treated a little differently, I imagine. But how do you handle disobedience or power struggles?
[01:07:05] Molly Christensen: Yes. Okay. So the thing here is I’m still not controlling them. I’m training them because they’re heroes. I am training them for the journey. And that’s how I had to reframe it. And it’s the same principle whether they’re four or 16. I, here again, have to realize they are good. I have to remember that they’re good. And they’re not acting up because I’m a failure. They’re not acting up because they’re bad. They’re just acting up because they don’t know another way yet. So it just simply means that they need a little extra help in training and learning how to obey.
Now, sometimes when I talk about obedience, I know there’s two extremes here. You got some people who just don’t even believe in obedience at all. Because they’re kids. Let kids be kids. And then you got other people who believe in very strict obedience. I’m hoping that I fell somewhere in between. I expect that my kids are going to obey when I ask them to do something. And it’s not like I’m asking them to do unreasonable things. But I have to be very careful with what I’m going to ask them to do. And I’m going to also usually train more on obedience with chores rather than education. Because education, I want them – if I require it, then they’re going to do the bare minimum. You know what I’m saying? So, I want them to get inspired and want to do more. So I have to be very careful with what I require and what I ask them to do. So I do have to train them to be obedient. But I do it from that perspective that they are good and I am just helping them to become better. And I’m doing it because I love them and I know they’re good. But I just know that sometimes it’s hard to be obedient because you don’t want to do it. So I don’t get into a power struggle because I don’t get mad. And I set the expectation up front. They know, if you don’t obey, then we’re probably going to have to do kid training. And once I’ve done the initial kid training, they sometimes slip a little bit. And all I have to do is mention, “Oh, I’m sorry. You don’t obey right now. Do we need to do some extra kid training right now?” And they’ll be like, “Nope. I’m going to go obey.”
So it also helps with teaching emotional regulation as well .Because if they’re going to throw a fit, that’s not obeying. Because they got to obey when they’re calm. So basically, when they’re younger, ideally three, four, or five, sometimes it goes into six and seven, it depends on the kid, I will just be very intentional about training them in obedience. And sometimes that’s what my homeschool days would look like is all I did was train in obedience. And I would have to keep myself very calm. And then sometimes go in my room and give myself a timeout.
[01:10:31] Ashley James: Mama needs a timeout.
[01:10:34] Molly Christensen: Oh, yeah. Yes. So I’d be very intentional. And if I ask them to obey and do something, I would expect them to go do it right away. If they didn’t, I would say, “Oh, I’m sorry. Just now I asked you to obey and you didn’t. So now we’re going to have to go into – now, you’re going to have an extra chore.” And if they scream or yell or whatever, I would have to say, “Oh, I’m sorry. You’re not calm enough to do that chore. So we’re going to have to go into level two where you’re going to get another chore.” And lot of times they still scream and yell until they know you’re really serious and that you’re going to actually follow through. And so we’d get to level three. And they’re still screaming and yelling. They don’t want to do it. And they got three extra chores. So you can’t blame them, right? It’s usually just little things that I could think of on the fly that they could do based on their age. And they can do
fairly easily. They just have to be obedient to do it. If they got all three levels, I would just say, “Well, I’m sorry. We’re doing this kid training so you can learn to obey because it’s a really good skill to have in life. So right now you’ve lost all your privileges for the next day. So that just means you can’t watch any shows. You can’t have any snacks.” Just whatever you decide were privileges. You can only have the basics. You can’t play with friends. After doing that a couple times, although it depends on the kid, like some kids it only takes one time of getting that far. Other kids would take me like ten times because they’re very stubborn. But it was it was mostly just me, where I would just have to stay calm and consistent, which was really, really hard for me to do at first.
But I just realized, “You know what? There’s no sense in making them feel like they’re bad.” You do it all in a loving way. Because they’re not. They’re good. And they have this journey. And it’s not like I’m a failure if they’re acting up, because this is just part of the journey. This is just part of what they’ve got to learn. It’s okay. And it’s really all about that consistent training at first. But it takes – your mind thinks it takes way longer than it does once you do it. Initially, it doesn’t take as long. But, like, maybe a week or two of just intense training. So it’s a lot more intense maybe than your mind thinks of it before you do it. But it doesn’t take nearly as many weeks or days or months as you might think. You know what I’m saying? So that’s how I deal with the obedience part. Because you do still need obedience in there. They need to know how to obey and how to make themselves obey. And they also need to know who to obey to and why.
[01:13:20] Ashley James: So you’re making it to be a lesson in obedience. Like you’re training if you’re training a hero, you’re the coach, or the trainer. And if they don’t obey, they get more and more chores until it’s like strike three. And then they have all their privileges removed. How do you get them to calm down though from that? I mean, if they’re in a power struggle and they’re really upset and they’re maybe throwing things or they’re just very upset at you and upset of the situation. How do you get them to the point where they’re like, they’re happy they’re learning the lesson of obedience?
[01:13:57] Molly Christensen: Their time doesn’t start for the loss of their privileges until they’re calm. So it’s their choice. I just tell them that, “You know what, buddy? It’s your choice. When you want to get out of this, I’ll be so excited when you get your privileges back. But we got to do this. We can learn how to obey.” And then I also teach them, too. It’s like we’re learning how to obey those voices in our head too. It’s the same principle there. Because the obedience pattern, it starts with learning how to obey in your family. You got to be your parents. And then you’ve got to learn how to obey the good. Your conscience, really. You need to learn to obey your parents first. Because that’s kind of the physical thing that they can see. And then you learn how to obey the more spiritual aspect of your brain. You got to learn how – right?
[01:14:58] Ashley James: So you’re teaching them obedience not because you are like a general and you just want some good soldiers. And children should just do what we say without question. You’re not coming from that at all. You’re coming from you want them to learn the life skill of self-discipline.
[01:15:17] Molly Christensen: Exactly. Yeah. It’s not because – yeah. It’s not because I’m so lazy that I want them to do everything for me either. Sometimes they’ll say that but no.
[01:15:27] Ashley James: Wow. That’s harsh.
[01:15:30] Molly Christensen: I know. Well, it’s just because that’s what their brains come up with as a reason why they don’t want to do it. You know what I mean? I’ve thought that before. So it’s not that. It’s not that I want to control them. It’s because it’s a life skill. It’s because we grow up as adults and we don’t know who to obey.
[01:15:53] Ashley James: I love it. You know, we weren’t taught how to listen to the first voice and how to deny the negative thoughts that tell us not to follow through. No one taught us the self-discipline or how to foster it. And I love that you made, like, manners and following the rules and obedience be a lesson in how they can listen to their authentic voice and then follow through with it. That’s really beautiful.
[01:16:36] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Isn’t it though? They don’t always understand that when they’re kids. But as we keep repeating it, they’ll get it when they’re adults.
[0:16:46] Ashley James: Are you seeing that now and your three oldest children?
[01:16:49] Molly Christensen: Oh, yeah. Yeah. They’re awesome. They’re really awesome at self-regulating. And following their consciences.
[01:17:00] Ashley James: Now, I’ve seen videos where you’re talking more about this. Is this part of your training as well? The training that you sell? Do you also teach this, how to discipline and ideas for different age groups?
[01:17:17] Molly Christensen: I haven’t got a specific program for this yet. But what I do have is I have a program for moms who want to learn how to become disciplined and create habits for themselves. Like even the habits they’ve never even been able to do before. Because a lot of times those habits that we wish we had, that’s a big call to action. But the refusals are so strong. And they’re just so hard to do because we tried them so many times and failed that we can figure out how to do them anymore. So I do have that program for moms and then a lot of moms take it and teach their kids how to do that. It’s really how to – like for me for example, I was such a night owl. I could never get to bed before, like, 2:00 in the morning. And I would rationalize that away. And whenever I would think about changing it, so I had the call to action, “I should go to bed earlier.” And then I’d be like, “Oh. But the kids are in bed and I’m getting all this stuff done, blah, blah, blah.” And I finally realized – well, I finally came up with all these different keys of how my brain works partly by doing that kindness daily blog. I learned so much about how my brain works and how it’s not just my brain that works like this. So I teach a lot of those brain principles from that. And also from reading other books and mentors and stuff, too. But I teach moms how to listen to what’s going on in their brains so that they can lead the way for their kids too. So if you want something that’s just going to fix the kids that way, I don’t have that program yet.
[01:18:54] Ashley James:Yet.
[01:18:55] Molly Christensen: Yet.
[01:18:57] Ashley James: But we have to be the example. Like you said, we have to be the example.
[01:19:00] Molly Christensen: Right. We have to lead the way.
[01:19:02] Ashley James: So as parents, we need to learn how to do that. And then we can be the example but also teach our kids.
[01:19:08] Molly Christensen: Exactly. And that’s what I encourage the moms – and I have some dads too – of how to do that, how to get control of your brain. And we do it with the vehicle of creating some of these good habits that you wish you had but could never figure out how to get.
[01:19:28] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. So I watched some of your videos and they’ve got lots of free content as well that people can absorb and learn from you. And I did one of your webinars where I was – and even there was like a link to watch some videos on your curriculum. Because you teach a homeschooling – you sell a homeschooling curriculum that can be taught to all ages. Because the parent would then adjust it for the age level. And I loved it. I got so excited about it. Actually, I really want to do it with our son. You were showing how like day one, they’re starting reading about Egypt. And so they’re getting excited about learning about the cool things about Egypt. But they’re learning about geography and history. And then they’re learning about architecture. And it’s all kind of wrapped into one, which I love that whole learning where it’s not – they could be drawing and then writing at the same time. And it’s like art and language and science are all wrapped into one. It’s not like, “Okay. Well, put down your pencils now we’re learning math.: It’s like math could be part of that, right? So it’s all wrapped into one. And that’s how the brain learns so well when it’s a whole lesson learning.
But I looked through your curriculum and I was inspired by it. And there’s so much of it as you turning to the child and getting them to share their creative ideas and to come up with new ones. And then they’re so excited about the lesson that they’re not bummed out about writing something or doing a writing assignment because they were so inspired by it.
[01:21:21] Molly Christensen: Right. Right. And that’s what the whole idea is, is because it’s all connected, they can make connections too. It’s like subjects are a new invention of the modern age. And we do actually have it broken up into subjects. Kind of funny. But even though I know it’s so much better when it’s all connected. But we do it in subjects just because that’s kind of – well, for one reason, the reason why I came up with subjects for industrial ages was just because it made it more systemized. And so that’s one reason why I just kept it that way. But all the subjects are interconnected.
[01:21:53] Ashley James: That’s what I meant. They’re all connected so that they get the connections. My husband and I are both very creative and smart. Not to toot my own horn. But we both struggled in school because we’re the kind of learners that need to know why do I need to know this. Before they’re just like, “You have to learn this”. And I’ve always found it so frustrating in high school when – I loved science. And I was in physics. And they hadn’t taught us the type of math that I needed to know yet to do the physics work. And I went up to my physics teacher, I’m like, “I haven’t learned this yet in my math class.” And he’s like, “Oh, we’ll go talk to your Math teacher.” And they’re like, “Oh, yeah. We’re doing that next quarter.” And I’m like, “You are just all not talking to each other. How is this possible?” And then I was writing my first history exam in grade ten. And it said, “Write the answer in essay format.” Never ever in my life had I heard of the term essay format. And my history teacher was so upset for me. And he advocated for me. I remember him grabbing my hand and storming into my English teachers office saying, “How is it possible she’s in grade ten and she has fallen through the cracks and she has never learned how to do an essay. This is not okay.” And it was like how many children are falling through the cracks that we’re learning these different – the separate subjects?
Whereas, if you are doing homeschooling, for example, you’re talking about the middle ages. And then within that theme, then you’re learning some math, and then you’re learning some geography, and then you’re learning some history, and learning the science. But you’re using a theme that connects it. And that maybe even a project like, “Okay. We’re going to make a castle out of popsicle sticks. But we have to do the math and we have to do the architecture.” So it allows them to apply it and understand why they need to know all these things. And then they end up coming up with all their questions that they want to have answered. So it makes sense to their brains and then it solidifies the learnings.
[01:24:24] Molly Christensen: Absolutely. And also, if you think about the famous men and women of the Renaissance. They did not just limit themselves to going deep in one subject. They need all the different subjects. When you call a renaissance man a renaissance man is because they are well read in all the different areas. And that’s the kind of person that’s going to come up with the most creative ideas because they can make the connections. And that’s where they come up with the new things. So like our industrialized age, we go really deep and specialized, which is great if you’ve got somebody who’s a heart surgeon or something. I want them to be specialized. But if you’re going to be creative and come up with new ideas, you want to connect everything. So what I did in my curriculum is I just used history to connect everything. Well, not just. We used history and principle.
So each month, you have new principles that we call the superpowers. Superpower principles, and they’re just like success principles, leadership principles. Because that’s what I wanted my kids to learn the awareness they’re getting until they’re a little older, especially. So I wanted to put it in my family style curriculum because that’s what makes life worth living is knowing how to go on your journey. So when you connect everything with history, it’s awesome because it’s the story of why and who we are and why we came up with things. So I loved the math part, especially because a lot of times we’re just throwing in all these calculations, which is boring.
[01:26:03] Ashley James: There’s no story.
[01:26:04] Molly Christensen: There’s no story.
[01:26:04] Ashley James: There’s no reason. And the thing is, when you get out into the real world as an adult, there is a story. I am balancing the family budget, there is a story. Because if I messed that up, we don’t have food on the table. So there’s an emotional – when we’re out in the real world or doing math for our job, like doing payroll or something, there is a story. There’s always, always in the real world an emotional component and a story behind math. Or if you’re doing math for NASA, like people could die because you’re flying out to outer space. And that math needs to make sense. So there’s always a reason why we’re doing math in the real world. But when we’re learning it, it’s like just figure these situations out.
[01:26:50] Molly Christensen: Just do it.
[01:26:50] Ashley James: Just do it. Just do it. And that’s just not how math – that’s not how we do math. I the real world, we do math with a reason with our emotional component. So I love that you’re including that because it helps us learn and really solidify that learning.
[01:27:03] Molly Christensen: Well, and also, you look at, let’s say, 12 years of math, right? It took mankind 6,000 years to learn most of that math. So they had to figure it out for a reason and why. And so that’s the stories I’m including in there. It’s like, “Well, why did they have to figure this out? Where did this come from?” So it’s pretty fascinating that way. And it really does make kids pretty excited because it brings in the music of math. I mean, you still have to learn the calculation skills. But that’s just something that I use to practice consistency and discipline. Because that doesn’t require thinking so much once you got it – once you understand it. So it’s all about inspiring them to love it, to love it more so they think. But then also training them so they get the skills. And the training is just the stuff that they don’t have to think about. But just practice.
[01:28:06] Ashley James: I love it. Oh, it’s so cool. So in all of this because you, after seven children, have developed a really amazing curriculum that now you sell. And so many, many other families are doing it and sharing with you their success. Can you tell us a bit about that? Like, what had you – because you told us your story but you didn’t get to the part where you then sat down and taught yourself how to create an internet course. And how to make this replicatable. And it is so – it’s so good looking, by the way. It looks like you hired a company to put it together. It looks so good. It’s like a textbook. It looks so good. I could tell you really put a lot of work into it. So I’m congratulating you on the hard work because I know what it takes.
[01:29:00] Molly Christensen: Thank you.
[01:29:00] Ashley James: I know what it takes. But you thought, how can I then make this replicatable so other families can do it? And now you have had other families do it. So can you share a bit about that?
[01:29:12] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Sure. Okay. So another big part of my journey is the entrepreneurship journey, which anybody who’s an entrepreneur knows is a journey. But I mean, that too, is just another hero’s journey of life. I was always kind of entrepreneurial when I was a kid. But I also got tons of refusals. Like, “I don’t like to talk to people. People think I mean.” So I kind of just hobby entrepreneured. Entrepreneured, I don’t know if that’s a verb. But I tended to set it down because so many people think that entrepreneurship is bad. It’s a lot of people losing a lot of money and they’re kind of crazy and all this. I had to really just shift my mind said about entrepreneurs. But as I started developing this program, because I wanted this program for my own kids. To systemize it because you can follow rabbit trails if you want. But my brain, we get so distracted that I would never come back to earth. And I just wanted a simple easy system that I could sit down and just cover all the basics in an hour a day.
I actually had a friend who said – well, where this really came up? I should back up a little bit. Is that I thought, you know, when our kids are teenagers and are Co-Ops, we do a really good job of teaching them leadership principles. Because we created that culture of teaching them that. And I thought, why don’t have something like this for the whole family and especially for the younger kids. Why not introduce them earlier to these principles? And I said that to her. And she’s like, “Oh, that’s a great idea. You should do it.” And I was like, “No. No, no, no. I don’t have time for that.” And then all the refusals came in. You know how that goes, right? Now, you’ve seeing this pattern. And I said, “I do have a lot of experience though. Maybe I could do this.” I own every single curriculum out there since I bought them all in my days when I was insecure and thinking a curriculum would solve all my problems. But I thought – you know, I have researched a lot of curriculum and I’ve noticed there’s not anything like this out there. And so I just thought, “Okay. I will do this.” But as many homeschool moms are, I’m a real DIY-er, you know, do everything yourself. And one of the big things I knew I was going to learn on this journey was that I was going to have to allow other people to help me, which has been fantastic. I’ve done a ton of it myself, for sure. But I have had other people come in and help me with this. And I did have a graphic designer. I don’t know how to do that. Thank goodness.
[01:32:04] Ashley James: Well, it looks so professional. So good job. Good job.
[01:32:07] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Yes. So she came up with kind of the ideas there too. But I was like – we’ve been writing the content. I write the math and the science. My sister came in. She homeschools too. And she’s wonderful. And she’s been writing the history and the language arts. And as we keep growing, I’m hoping I can bring more people on to help with it as well. But it’s really been a wonderful journey to learn all this stuff and to learn how to let other people help you too. Because guess what? That’s another huge chunk of the hero’s journey. Because when I was describing that hero’s journey to you, I said, the journey includes mentors. It includes friends and allies who are going on the path with you. It also includes enemies sometimes. Sometimes you hear things that are just aren’t so nice. And you don’t worry about it because you just know it’s part of the journey. And you feel compassion for the enemies because you think, “Oh, I’m so sorry that you haven’t found your path yet.” And maybe they have. But it’s just different.
So yes, really, it’s been an amazing project to do. And I love that I can share this with other homeschool moms so that they can see that, really, you can cover all of this basic knowledge in just an hour a day and to conspire them to want to go learn more. And to become the person that they’re meant to become. And to travel on their hero’s journey.
[01:33:38] Ashley James: So you just spend an hour a day homeschooling?
[01:33:43] Molly Christensen: Essentially, yes.
[01:33:44] Ashley James: And the kids are doing other things throughout the day like reading, and doing projects, and playing, and doing art, and stuff like that. But you sit down and you basically have a classroom for one hour a day. Is it seven days a week?
[01:33:59] Molly Christensen: No. We have a couch. Not a classroom. And the kitchen table. And no, we actually usually only do it about three or four days a week. Because the other – I definitely wouldn’t do it on the weekends. But I say three or four days because sometimes we’re going to go on a field trip or maybe we’re just running errands or something, you know. So yes, it takes surprisingly a lot less time than one might think to teach your kids because of this, we think it takes 9:00 to 3:00 like the public schools, but they’ve done all these studies about how much time is wasted there. But also, it’s because of the teaching style is different. I’m focusing on the feeling. If they have the right feeling, they’re going to learn it so much faster because they want to. Public schools, because there’s so many kids in there – and I’m not knocking public schools. It is what it is. And it’s a good option for many people. But they have to focus more on repetition. It does not take six years of grammar worksheets to learn grammar. It just doesn’t. If they’re ready and they have something they want to say, they can learn it really fast. And if they’ve been read really good books to, they have it in their brain when they read. A lot of the stuff they just pick up. I don’t even have to teach them because it’s like osmosis, you know. So it really is not as – it’s not rocket science as we think.
[01:35:31 Ashley James: There’s this type of school – is it called the Sudbury School? The type of school? Yeah. So I was looking – when we were pregnant, my husband and I – well, I was really motivated too. Because when you’re pregnant, you’re like – or at least with the first baby because I only had one – I was trying to consume all the information possible about my child’s future. Like, you know what kind of schooling and all this stuff. What are we going to do and how are we going to discipline, and what kind of birth are we going to have. And I came across this type of school called the Sudbury School. And it completely blew my mind. It is totally – I don’t know. I feel like I’ve entered – I’ve gone into a time warp but entered like 1969 and we’re surrounded by hippies. Because it’s basically a kid commune where you drop your kid off on a place with buildings and a few acres. And you leave your kid there and there’s no formal classrooms, there’s no teachers. There are adults and they’re called coaches or something. And the child is just allowed to do whatever they want. Of course, actually the children come up with their own rules. Because they come up with their own government. And the kids get to run the place. And the kids could actually vote to fire one of the adults should they want to.
And so the adults really who are there because they love to share and teach. And so the kids, if they’re interested will go to the computer room and ask the adult to teach them how to do – how to make a video game, how to code. Or the child would go to the music room and say, “I want to learn how to play the guitar.” And I’ve watched a lot of videos of graduates of this system. And the they go on to college. And they say, for the first year, you might just – the kids might spend the entire time playing video games. And he says, “Yeah. They do.” They kind of get it all out. They get it out of their system. They do whatever they want and they get it out of their system. And then they start to look around and go, “How does this work? How does that work? Oh, man, I really want to try this. I really want to do this.” And they start getting inspired by things. And then they go ask the adults for help to learn those things. And then if they decided they want to – because they get so inspired, they go, “You know, I really want to become an engineer.” Well, they have to ask, “What do I need to do?” “Okay. Well, you have to learn this, this, this, and this. And in order to pass this test to go on to college.” And then they want to and then they’re constantly asking for help because they’re learning. So it’s like the Wild West there. And there are children who don’t excel in that environment because – for whatever reason. Bt there are children who excel incredibly well because their learning style is just, “Leave me alone and let me come to you when I’m ready. And I want to completely have my education be based on my motivation.”
And that blew my mind. I think it blew a circuit in my brain. Because I was raised in the system of you, you shut up, you sit down, don’t talk until you’re spoken to. Children are seen and not heard. Raise your hand if you need to go to the bathroom. You have to have a hall pass. And really made to feel afraid of adults and afraid of the teachers. And education is not supposed to be fun. That was the system I was raised in. And I was always – I always had a belief that I was stupid because that was the system I was raised in. But then as an adult, I’m like,” I want to learn how to code. I want to learn how to make a website. I want to learn how to video edit.” And I found myself picking things up so quickly that I realized I am a really good learner. But it has to be something that I love to do, which is how our brain works. So that’s why – and so I think Sudbury is the type of that schooling or unschooling is this one end of the extreme. And then military school would be the other side of the extreme.
But I like that what you’ve done is you’ve picked mindset and teaching them how to be the best versions of themselves as the core of your curriculum. So you’re building – like you said, you’re building the their character but you’re also building your own character as a parent, which is really beautiful.
[01:39:56] Molly Christensen: Yeah. You nailed it. That’s exactly what I wanted to do. Because I love the idea of Sudbury. But part of me wonders where does the character coming in especially if they’re being sent away all day. Plus, I don’t want to send my kids away all day. You know what I mean?
[01:40:12] Ashley James: Right. I imagine it like Lord of the Flies. You just get a bunch of kids together –
[01:40:16] Molly Christensen: That’s kind of what I would do.
[01:40:18] Ashley James: Oh man, Lord of the Flies. It just scares me. But it did open my mind and expand my mind to this idea of there are aspects of this unschooling that make a lot of sense or child led learning that makes a lot of sense. Not 100 percent of the time for me as a parent. But it opened my mind up to, “Well, how do we learn?” And I really want my son to want to learn and get excited about learning. And he is. And I don’t want to thwart that, which we do. By the time we send our kids to school, a lot of the school system thwarts their desire to learn because –
[01:40:55] Molly Christensen: Absolutely. And the comparison culture to. I mean, you even said you thought you were stupid. It’s like, none of those kids are stupid. They all have their own unique abilities. And they all have goodness inside. They just have different journeys. I’ve had some kids learn to read when they were four. And I have another kid now who’s eight-and-a-half and it just hasn’t quite clicked yet. It’s just about to though. But because I can let her go on her own journey, I can just keep saying, “This is awesome. You can keep working out. You’re going to get there.”
[01:41:30] Ashley James: Beautiful. Now, let’s talk about socialization. Because I think that’s on everyone’s mind. I mean, the fact that you did have seven kids so those kids are all working together so they’re not alone. But there’s a lot of parents that just have one or two kids. And so if they’re at home all day, how are they going to be amazing adults to connecting with people and knowing how to communicate if they’re those oddball kids who are isolated at home as we often think or that’s the mainstream media’s idea of homeschooling.
[01:42:03] Molly Christensen: Right. Well, what I learned really quickly was that basically children they model their parents. So if you feel like somebody else unsocialized, it could come from the parents. Sad to say. And we got unsocialized kids at public school too. The outcast. The social outcast. So for me, because I was worried about that, I was like, “Well, I guess I better lead the way.” So I am a total introvert. I went through high school and was I socialized? Did I learn how to communicate with people? No. Not really. I felt awkward all the time in high school. Like, why do we think that’s a good environment to learn how to communicate with people? I just mostly just felt awkward. And so I just decided I just need to learn how to love and serve other people. And I figure if we can do that, hey, we’re going to be socialized. We’re going to know how to get along with other people.
So I just remember some of my first few Co-Op activities I took my son to. What I really want to do is just go sit in the corner and hide and he did too. In fact, he didn’t even want get out the car. But I just made myself go introduce myself to other people and get to know them. You know, what, people are amazing. People are great. And it was really like, as I practiced my socialization skills, they followed suit as well. I was a little worried at first when he wouldn’t get out of the car ever. But he figured it about. He’s an amazing kid. And so, really, what socialization is all about is just loving and serving people. And you can absolutely do that in your home. You can absolutely do that and take your kids to other places and just love and serve people. And there’s so much of the other socialization stuff that comes from sending your kids to school that I didn’t want. Like, I mentioned that my son was bringing home some bad behaviors. I was like, “Why would I want that?”
[01:44:15] Ashley James: Bullying. And it’s really sad that the number two cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24 suicide right now. That it raised up to, I think, it’s 56 percent in the last ten years. I mean, suicide is at an all time high, basically, with our youth.
[01:44:38] Molly Christensen: Yeah. It’s horrible.
[01:44:38] Ashley James: And that’s something we have to stop and say there’s something wrong with our system. And I don’t think there’s only one thing. I don’t think you can only say that it’s the school system. Or you only say that they all have cell phones or social media. I think it is -and we have to look at everything. We have to take the shotgun approach. We have to look at everything and go there’s something wrong with how we’re addressing mental health, with how we’re addressing bullying, with how we’re addressing online bullying, with how we’re addressing it in the schools.
There was a child – this is such a sad topic to bring up. There’s a eight or nine year old child just this week that committed suicide because he was knocked unconscious when beaten in his school. And it was filmed by one of the students. And the school tried to suppress it and deny it. And I don’t know what kind –
[01:45:31] Molly Christensen: He didn’t feel heard.
[01:45:31] Ashley James: So he didn’t feel heard. And then he killed himself. And that is so wrong and so sad. And we should all feel very angry and want to take action to fix this problem. I think that we all need to fix the problem. That we all need to take – we need to take personal responsibility because we can only change ourselves. So we need to figure out what can we do as individuals to make this world, to make this society, to make our community, a place where mental health can be addressed and what is the root cause of bullying. What is going on? The root cause of bullying and figure that out. We have to figure it out. And then we have to address it with our children, with our children’s friends, with all the parents that were around. We need to take action as individuals. Because we can’t wait for the government to fix it or the school system to fix it. If we just wait it’s going to just get worse and worse. And so that’s my little soapbox about this that we need to take responsibility for our own actions. And the first voice, the little voice that everyone just heard in themselves go, “That is wrong. And I want to help stop this. I want to help turn this around.” That voice was our authentic self. And then all the refusals that came after, “Well, who am I to do that? And I’m just one person. And I don’t know anyone -“
[01:47:08] Molly Christensen: What to do.
[01:47:09] Ashley James: “I don’t know what to do.” All those little refusals, that’s the party that wants to keep you safe. But we need to go. “Ah. Thanks for pointing out where I’m stuck in life. I’m going to break through that. And I’m going to prove those voices wrong. Listen to the authentic voice.” So all of us could just do one thing like you did your blog. You did 180 beautiful acts of kindness in a year. And what if we all just did one act of kindness dedicated to lowering the suicide rate among youth? We don’t have to know what it looks like but just start. Just start by saying, “I’m going to do something and be part of this change to turn the world around.” And I don’t know what it looks like yet but I’m declaring it. I’m declaring it right now. And then I’m going to go and talk to other parents. And maybe we’ll create a little organization or get them all together for tea and just brainstorm what can we do as individuals to turn this around. Because this is our mission. As long as we’re in service of others with love and service of others and being an example for our children, then we will have a positive impact.
[01:48:21] Molly Christensen: Well, absolutely. And I actually think that so many elements of the hero’s journey address this as well. Because I think our nation is a nation with an identity crisis. People do not know who they are. They don’t know that they have goodness inside because they have no purpose. They don’t understand so many of these principles. And I think this as long as we’re doing these kindnesses and we see people who are lonely. We reach out and we teach people and love people. That’s what we can do.
[01:48:54] Ashley James: It’s so beautiful. Molly, thank you so much for coming today and sharing. This episode would help anyone. Although the formal topic was on homeschooling, you addressed some principles of personal growth that I find to be so beautiful and so, so, so helpful to everyone that wants to break through and to grow. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing. Of course, the links to everything that Molly does is going to be the show notes of today’s podcasts at learntruehealth.com. Your main website which is buildingheroesacademy.com is fantastic. Also, your book is homeschool get it done.com. And then your curriculum funnel is the number 3homeschoolsecrets.com.
Molly, is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview? Is there anything left unsaid or anything that you want to make sure that you’ve got to share?
[01:49:52] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Thank you so much for inviting me. This has been great. And I love that you are sharing your message. And that’s actually another thing that many of us are called to do is to share our messages. But we have fears and we shut ourselves down. So I guess really what I want to end we’re with is just that, to remember that you are one of those heroes that we’ve been talking about on this hero’s journey. Everybody listening to this and Ashley, for sure. Because just knowing that just makes such a shift in your life. And I love the visual that that can bring to you so you can remember, when you do get down, when you do hit obstacles, it’s just part of the journey. And it’s a great thing because it just means that you are on the right path, that you are just going to be learning and growing. And as you’ve learned how to get through those obstacles and you’re changing so many lives as you go through because you are doing what you were meant to do. You were called to the action that you did it. And that’s really what life is all about, it’s just doing that so that you can serve people. So thank you so much for having me on. And I hope to talk to you again sometime.
[01:50:58] Ashley James: Absolutely, Molly. This is not our last conversation. This is just the first of many. Thank you. It’s been such a pleasure to have you on today. Thank you so much.
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