I launched this series on Transforming Out Loud because one of the things I think a lot of people don’t recognize, or they know but they don’t want to really be with, is that to really be a transformational leader and hold space for your clients in this way, there is a lot of walking the talk, inner work, challenging decisions that need to be made- like you’re face to face with yourself, your own being, your own energy. What is it that you’re attracting, creating, or allowing in your life and how is that affecting your business and how you’re showing up?
If you’re a retreat leader or you want to start leading retreats, if you’re not doing the inner work necessary, you better get on the train right now to start doing the inner work.
Darla LeDoux: Hello and welcome to this episode of Retreat and Grow Rich The Podcast. And I have my fabulous guest, Marla Mattenson here today and I want to set a little bit of context, because our listeners are retreat leaders or people who want to lead retreats. They’re transformational leaders in the way that they work. They are committed to creating space for their clients to really make those shifts at a fundamental level so that they have greater freedom, joy, ease, self-expression, and of course money, as a business owner.
And I launched this series on Transforming Out Loud because one of the things I think a lot of people don’t recognize, or they know but they don’t want to really be with, is that to really be a transformational leader and hold space for your clients in this way, there is a lot of walking the talk, inner work, challenging decisions that need to be made- like you’re face to face with yourself, your own being, your own energy. What is it that you’re attracting, creating, or allowing in your life and how is that affecting your business and how you’re showing up?
And so many people want to be that leader but they don’t want to look at these things that are coming up in their life that are really coming up for healing, and for them to make aligned choices so that they can hold this energy space.
So I just want to share a little bit about Marla. Marla is a relationship and intimacy expert. She has worked with all kinds of amazing, well-known people- million dollar business owners and beyond celebrities- in their intimate relationships. She is the go-to expert. She’s been featured on all kinds of news media. She does this work in partnership with her partner, Julian, who is also walking in this work with her.
So she’s walking her talk and doing the work as she shares and holds space for her clients.
So she is the real deal. She is an expert. And she’s here to share with us a little bit on this topic of Transforming Out Loud. Because it’s easy to look at Marla to say, well, isn’t it nice she has this great business, she charges all this money, she works with these people, she’s on TV, like she’s got it all together, but I don’t, and I can’t get to where she is. But the truth is, you’ve been through many courageous decisions to get to where you are.
So could you just talk a little bit about that, just in general, your journey to this work and this life that you love?
Marla Mattenson: Oh my gosh, first of all, thank you for having me. I’m really honored to be here and I love what you’re doing in the world. And I also lead private retreats for individuals, couples, and small groups, so I know deeply how transformative the work that you do is in the world. So that’s number one.
Darla LeDoux: Yes, happy to have you.
Marla Mattenson: You know, the journey is everything, isn’t it? It’s so, how do you even talk about it?
Darla LeDoux: I have a reminder for myself.
Marla Mattenson: I know. I really appreciate that “Enjoy the journey” sign. I love it. I’m doing it right now.
You know, I knew many, many years ago that I was on a path to be more and more visible in the world. And that might sound like an exciting journey for some people, but for me, and not a lot of people notice about me, but I’m an introvert and I love being at home. I’m very hermity. If I never had to leave the house again and just had everything delivered here, which is totally possible these days right, then that would be amazing.
But I got a message early on in my life that I’m here for a purpose and that I need to walk the path and the path as spirit flows through me and the vision is laid out before me. It’s my job on Earth to take steps towards that vision that’s flowing through me every day from moment to moment.
And I’ve had a number of experiences that have reinforced that. For example, coming from what I had been doing before and along the way, basically, luckily I got the message, if you won’t walk on this path, we will take you off this Earth and bring back someone who will.
Darla LeDoux: Wow.
Marla Mattenson: And I know it’s pretty powerful-
Darla LeDoux: And was that in the moment that you’re hovering above watching this happen?
Marla Mattenson: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: Wow.
Marla Mattenson: Yup, Yup. And it was very clear, like, we’re serious. You need to step into who you really are over and over and over. And as the blind spots emerged from time to time, address them immediately. And when you feel an intuitive hit for something, take action on it immediately.
And so that’s how I started living my life, around the year 2000, and I guess it’s 2019 now, so it’s been quite some time. And continuing to say yes to myself and to a division that’s flowing through me over and over has been a joyful journey and a very painful journey. And so what I really wanted to share today is my journey of really acknowledging that I’m a writer and-
Darla LeDoux: I want to ask, I want to come to that, but I want to ask. So you said, “I always knew I was meant for something.” And so I’m assuming that was prior to rolling the car.
Marla Mattenson: Yeah.
Darla LeDoux: And it was like you knew, but maybe you weren’t acting on it?
Marla Mattenson: So when I was about 19 years old I realized that all my friends- I dropped out of school, I dropped out of college- and I realized that all my friends were getting jobs and then they were getting married over the next few years. And they were really doing more of a traditional path. And I knew at that time my path was a path of self improve. That relationship and career were going to be something down the road. That I needed to get to know myself before any of that was going to blossom. And I don’t even know how I had that understanding, but I knew it was just a knowing-
Darla LeDoux: That’s amazing.
Marla Mattenson: It was amazing because it would be easy to compare and say, “Oh my God, so and so’s making so much money and doing amazing in their career, and having this incredible relationship, and here I am solo, traveling around, and having an amazing life, but really not committing to anything really solid.”
The only thing I was committed to was my own inner work.
And so I studied with a number of mentors very young in my life. Brie Joy of was one of my first mentors. And Brie Joy was a medical doctor turned transformational leader, and he passed away a number of years ago, and I had the honor of studying with him and it was all about heart-centered opening.
And I remember this one exercise we were doing and he was trying to show us and have an experience of what it feels like to send and receive love out through your heart center. And so I said to him, “it hurts, it’s painful.” And he said, “Well, describe to me what’s happening, what are you doing?”
And I said, “well, I have like this PVC kind of a pipe going from my heart center out and is going out to the world.” And he said, “ah, okay, I see. How about you just make it bigger and more flexible rather than a hard pipe?” And it was, sounds so obvious now, but it was really mind blowing for me. It was like, “oh, I have some control over that” and I did it and I can take a deep breath. And then I learned more and more how to increase my capacity to give and receive love. Impersonal love, not personal love. And that was really the beginning of my journey of really understanding the difference between personal love and attachment, and impersonal love, which is universal, which is unconditional, which is a one way direction.
Darla LeDoux: Wow. I love that. To me, what it highlights is what a journey it is to be the person that you are. Right. You started that so young. I have envy of like, man, I went down all of that – do the career, the “right way” path, and then you, you went back for math.
Marla Mattenson: Yes. So I went back for math and I partially went back for math, and this ties into the writing thing, because I didn’t want to encroach on my sister’s path. She was the writer in the family. She is a professor at a major university in the writing programs. She’s written a book, she’s a beautiful writer. She has all of this incredible talent and I didn’t want to steal any of the limelight from her because I had very much a lack mentality of there’s only enough for one writer in the family. As opposed to, like, “anybody can be a writer,” it doesn’t have to just be filled by one spot.
So partially I chose math and neuroscience to study just to completely avoid anything that had to do with writing. And it turned out I’m really great at math. I love math. I happen to love neuroscience. It’s like if I could go back and get another degree, I would get a PhD in neuroscience- and maybe I’ll do that at some point.
But I really started studying more of the hard sciences because I was kind of avoiding really doing a passion of mine, which is writing.
Darla LeDoux: Amazing. I taught math, I don’t know if you remember, but I was a math teacher for a few years-
Marla Mattenson: Oh I forgot that.
Darla LeDoux: As an engineer they let me teach math, because there was a math teacher shortage in the world. So I have that connection. And I wanted to be a writer when I was in school, but the conversation was, well, they don’t make any money. And I was really, I grew up in a small town of 500 and my whole goal was to get out. So I thought, what is the fastest way to get out? And engineering was a four year degree where I could make money. And so to me that was like fastest path out. So it comes full circle.
So talk a little bit about this owning that you’re a writer. And guys, I want to kind of frame this up because there is, and we’ve talked a little bit about your story already, but there is this subtle way that we discount things and we don’t even know we’re doing it. And so to restore our full power, we have to stop doing that.
And a lot of times it’s not as easy as it seems, right? So it might seem like, well, just own it. Of course your writing’s good. People probably told you you’re a great writer. What are you talking about? Dah dah dah. But there was something else underneath that was going on that made it much bigger than what it might seem on the surface.
So if you’re watching this and you’re committed to being a transformational leader and something feels sticky, most likely there’s something that has to give. And I’m going to say most likely it has to do with relationship, which is your expertise, which we’ll come back to. So talk about owning being a writer.
Marla Mattenson: It’s been a really challenging journey. And it’s really just become very clear this year, in 2019, to me. So I felt like I was never really allowed to develop my skills as a writer because that spot was really taken in my family, like I said. And I didn’t, you know, I wanted my sister to love me, so I didn’t want to get in her way of what she was doing. And so that was the beginning. And so then what happened was I took an artist’s way class with a friend of mine and-
Darla LeDoux: Recently?
Marla Mattenson: No, this is many years ago. This is, I don’t know, maybe 15 years ago. And in that class I got really into the writing and creativity and then I continued on with her and some other classes. I ended up assisting her and then co-teaching classes. But in one of her classes, she gave us this assignment to create something that you’re going to then share with the class. Something that’s important to you, something that you really want to have happen in your life.
So what I did was I created a book cover of my best selling book with Oprah’s book club on it. And it was a relationship book. Okay? And I read an excerpt from the book- and the book was not written- all I did was I wrote that one excerpt, right? So this is a fun thing. So I stood up in front of the class. There was about 15 people in the class and I read my piece out loud.
I was terrified, and people laughed at the right time. They laughed at the right time. Okay? So it actually said something funny in there, you know I was talking about how my husband at the time, the way he was chewing his food, it made me want to jump across the table and strangle him. Because, you know, when you get really annoyed with your partner at different times in your life, you’re like, “stop doing that.”
And so people were laughing and that was the first time that anyone had responded to my writing. And then it still took me a number of years to finally enroll in a writing class. And I enrolled in my friend’s writing class. Her name is Kelly Morgan. And I enrolled in her writing class totally in secret for about five years. And I started developing my writing skills in private. And in her class you read your work out loud, and she has a specific way with how you comment on people’s work, which is very loving and not judgmental in any way in specific, and I got feedback on my writing and people loved my writing.
And so I started coming out more and more and then I realized I have something to say. And how it manifested in my life over time was I had so much resistance to writing copy, writing emails, writing sales pages for my business. I didn’t even have a website for years. I really only have got a website like two or three years ago. And I avoided doing anything that had to do with writing something down. In person, I could do anything. I could do a podcast, I could be on television, I could do any kind of speaking out loud, but writing something down, felt like drawing blood.
Darla LeDoux: So was there a moment where that came to a head where you were like, this is really limiting me?
Marla Mattenson: Yes, but I didn’t know what to do about it. And honestly, one of the things that I started doing was I started receiving body work. So I was a body worker for 15 years in my younger years. And then the physical body, I work very much with the physical body when I work with couples. And I realized I’m holding something in my physical body that needs to be released.
And so I started working with this very talented body worker in northern California and he helped me in three sessions, release what I had going on of all my blocks. And it started flowing. It started flowing. And what I write, from a combination of just my experience and now I have some tools on actual writing, has been very moving for the people who are reading it. And it’s encouraging me to continue on and it’s still tender.
It’s still a very vulnerable, soft, mushy place for me in my life where I still need to bring myself with love and compassion and a lot of care. So it’s not like it goes away completely. It’s, I’ve learned how to- and obviously tools I teach my clients, I practice everything I preach- so it’s like every time the resistance arises, I use my own methodology to move through it and continue on. And so I’m still in process.
Darla LeDoux: Well, and I think it’s more than just I’m writing and people are responding, but you’re writing very vulnerably.
Marla Mattenson: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: Right? So your writing is transformational in the way you’re sharing because you’re sharing- in the posts that I’ve been engaged with recently- sharing a lot of really, really like, this is what’s going on in my relationship. Like this is the time I was crying in the shower.
Marla Mattenson: Yeah the shower one. That was a good one.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah.
Marla Mattenson: That was the first one that was so, it literally happened the night before I wrote that post. And I had never shared anything like that publicly before. I share stories with clients as they relate to them and their transformation. So I’ve been sharing my stories for many, many years privately with people who are in a contract with me, who, it’s very safe, because I’m sharing in service of them, right? But to share vulnerably out into the world is a completely different animal.
And before I actually posted that, Julian and I read it out loud together and he helped guide me through a process that’s basically saying to completely neutralize any responses that come back, whether they’re positive responses or negative responses, that I’m not going to use any of them to take me off center in any way. So that anybody could say anything they wanted about that post. And that’s really, it’s about them, you know? And really the truth is everybody has been very, very loving. It’s been a really interesting journey just with that one post of the shower.
Darla LeDoux: That’s so beautiful. I love that you took the time to create that intentionality around the sharing.
Marla Mattenson: Oh yes. Because I think that whenever we do share anything vulnerably out in the world to have a private moment of complete release, where this is a one way direction of love, that I’m sharing this out in the world and people can use it as they please and as they need to for themselves.
And honestly, it reminds me a little bit of the, I don’t know if you’ve ever saw the Sarah Silverman in exchange with the gentleman in Texas. She posted something on Instagram and he wrote something very nasty and she responded with love and the love was, “you must be in a lot of pain to write that.” And they went back and forth and basically he said, “Yeah, I was abused horribly, sexually, and always when I was a kid, and I don’t trust anyone, and I don’t have any money, and I have back pain.” And she basically got him help through her connections and it was just this beautiful guiding force just with one way, direction of love, right.
Instead of taking it personally, she took it in and realized the truth of it, which is this man must be in pain to post a negative comment like that on my Instagram. Right? And so that’s always stuck with me.
Darla LeDoux: That’s beautiful.
Marla Mattenson: Yeah.
Darla LeDoux: So when it comes to writing, and this whole kind of contract that you had with your sister, this agreement that you’ll be the writer, I’ll be the “techie one” or the more practical, and to transform that and to really move into owning being a writer, what did that take in your relationship with your sister? Can you talk a little bit about that?
Marla Mattenson: Yeah, so, she doesn’t even know that I’ve been on this journey. So this didn’t have anything to actually do with her personally. She and I haven’t actually been talking for quite some time. And the reason is that when I started this journey of really stepping into who I am and being all of who I can possibly be in this world to be of service, we had some conflicts.
And we had some issues that we could not move past together.
We had to move past the issues separately and she didn’t really understand my journey and I didn’t really want to share the details of it with her because I didn’t understand it. I mean, I know you know David Nagel is a mentor and a friend for both of us, you and I, and when I started working with him, he encourages you to be unapologetic and bold and really go for your dreams. And to limit whom you speak with about your dreams because everybody has an opinion, and unless they’re also doing the work and practicing this work, even with the best of intentions, they cannot support you moving forward.
They can only support you in continuing to do the same patterns that you’ve been doing, even if the best of intentions are there. And so that’s basically-
Darla LeDoux: Say that again. Say that again. They can only support you in continuing doing the pattern you’ve been doing.
Marla Mattenson: Yes. I mean, if you think about it logically, just strictly on logic. If I wanted to help you in an arena that I have not mastered yet, then my ability to help you would be limited, right? It would be from intellectual knowledge only. It would be from an intellectual understanding of something.
And I could offer all kinds of advice, but really what you want is you want someone with experiential knowledge. If you are asking for someone’s opinion about your life or direction or guidance, if they don’t have experiential knowledge, then you’re asking someone who’s just imagining how things could go rather than someone who has actual experience with doing that work and getting those breakthroughs.
And so I think it’s dangerous to ask people for their opinions if they haven’t done the work, because they unintentionally derail you. And that was what was starting to happen. Even with my father I told him how much I was spending on going on a private retreat with David and he was just like “can’t you spend a quarter of that and still get the results with somebody else? I mean do you all really have to spend that much money?
And I said, “yes I do. And no, there is nobody else. If he’s the guy for me, I am working with him and that’s it. I’ve already made my decision.” And then I learned, don’t talk to my dad about investments that I’m doing in business, because my dad, even though he’s an amazing businessman and he’s done incredible things in his life, he has not broken through his money mindset material, because he doesn’t have a desire to. He’s happy with his life. He’s enjoying his life. He doesn’t have the same ambitious goals that I have.
And I don’t even know exactly why I have these goals. It’s what’s flowing through me and I honor it period. The end. And so limiting whom I’m speaking with about my goals, my dreams, my ambitions has been incredibly helpful and also very painful. Because the people who want to talk to me about my vision sometimes can’t, because they don’t really have anything to offer me except cheerleading, which is also wonderful. Like, go for it Marla, but they can’t really help me along the way.
Darla LeDoux: It’s so beautiful. I just had this flash of thinking of my mother who doesn’t ask or doesn’t try to help and thinking that’s a real generous act.
Marla Mattenson: It is, oh my gosh, if you have family members that don’t try to help- be grateful- because that’s one less issue you have to deal with. So instead of wanting them to ask you about it or anything, right- because we can make a problem out of anything- you know, I mean, the truth is my mom, she doesn’t offer advice on anything. She’s just loving and she’s just, you know, great. Enjoy your life, Marla.
Darla LeDoux: So I want to go back to you said, “I don’t even know why this is my goal. I just honor what’s flowing through me now.” As someone who went to school for math and neuropsychology, neuro ling … all of the neurology.
Marla Mattenson: Neuroscience.
Darla LeDoux: Yes, what did it take for you to let go of needing to know why and just trust what is flowing through you?
Marla Mattenson: Well, so that’s interesting. I’ve always had that. I really always had that. I didn’t even know I was good at math until I was 30 years old. I had a huge crush on my middle school math teacher and that’s why I thought I was good at math because I was just like, “oh,” with him.
But I didn’t even know I was good at math. I didn’t know I had this very logical, analytical mind. I was always in the flow. I actually always made decisions from intuition and my family always tried to figure out, well, what’s Marla going to do next? I had a little kids’ jewelry line called Tiny Treasures that brought out the qualities in the children from the qualities of the crystals, way before its time. I’ve had all of the different incarnations of me and it’s always been guided by here’s your next step.
And I remember when I decided to go back to school when I was 30, I had a big meltdown. And I went over to my best friend’s house and I sat down with she and her husband and I said, “what would you guys think if I said I was going to go back to school?” Because I was a doula, helping women through labor and deliver their babies and postpartum, and I had a very successful career doing that. And I was a massage therapist, a body worker. And they both said, “gosh, that’s amazing. If you want to do that, you absolutely should do that.” And they just were very loving and supportive.
And I was terrified because I thought I wasn’t smart. I thought I wasn’t intellectually smart. I knew I was emotionally smart, but I didn’t know that I was actually intellectually smart, because it was never, it just was never a thing for me. I never thought about it. And then when I went back to school, it turned out, oh I guess I’m really smart. I had no idea.
Darla LeDoux: That’s amazing. So, when you had to make these choices, you said, some of the most painful choices, to limit who you speak with about your dreams, yet you had this felt knowing, like, experience of trusting, what’s flowing through you and being able to see that awareness of this isn’t in alignment, like, I have to cut this off, but that doesn’t make it less painful.
Marla Mattenson: Right.
Darla LeDoux: So how do those choices help free you to really follow what spirit is guiding you to?
Marla Mattenson: That’s a great question. You know, when I was growing up I wasn’t really allowed to say no. Okay? And my family would probably have something different to say about that, but my experience was if anyone in my family, my mom, my dad, or my sister asked me a question, I had to answer it. I had to answer it. It was not a question of if I could answer it or say I don’t want to answer that. It was just a matter of how long it was going to take me to answer it, because I was also very stubborn. When I say was, I mean is. So I’m still stubborn, I am stubborn, I’m still stubborn.
So, but I wasn’t really allowed to say no. So I was a yes person. I was a complete yes person. Yes, yes, yes. So that gave me a lot of problems with sex and sexuality or saying yes to things I probably should not have said yes to. And it took a while for me to learn how to actually say no. And when it first came out, it was pretty ugly. It was a big huge no, and I was a little aggressive. And over time I’ve learned how to nuance it by being kind and just saying, “oh, you know, I don’t want to share that right now.”
And so, it’s when you’re a yes person at the core, it feels like withholding. When someone who loves you asks you about yourself, your life, your business, and all they want is to celebrate you, but you know that it’s not healthy for you to share this information because it’s sacred and it’s still incubating, or it’s still in process and you’re still figuring it out. For me, it felt very much like withholding and I felt bad.
I felt, I really do want to share this with this person and yet it’s not healthy for me. And so I had to learn how to choose me every time over and over. And it felt selfish and it felt icky, like selfish in a negative way. It felt icky. It felt sticky. It felt like “God, why can’t you just get over it Marla? What’s the big deal? It’s just your mom or your dad is just your sister. They just love you. Why not share?” And honestly, the truth is, I was listening to my coach and he was telling me, keep it contained. Don’t blab all over the place about it. Even with your family, you need to go through this and get to the other side of it before you can really share.
And so, it was painful because I wanted to share more, but I knew that it would derail me if I did. And so I trusted my coach enough to know, you know what, I’m just going to let him guide me. And now I’ve learned how to contain appropriately what I’m doing, what I’m working on. I have mentors, I have about five or six different mentors in any given time for different areas of my life. And I confide in Julian. Everything I can find with him and work through all of this together. So it’s really a tender thing.
Darla LeDoux: When you, and I’m just going to use your sister as an example because the writing really connects to her, but I know so many people grapple with this – and this is where being a transformational leader and honoring your mission is not for the faint of heart- what is it like to just cut that relationship? And I know it was true for both of you that maybe it wasn’t serving, but what has that been like in terms of fear of judgment or anything like that? Has that come up for you?
Marla Mattenson: Of course, of course. I don’t really think anybody in my family, my birth family, really understands me or really knows me to be honest. At this point in my life, everybody has opinions I’m sure about me and my life, what I’m doing. But nobody really actually even talks to me about my life anymore. So it’s been exhilarating. It’s been painful. Some life celebrations have happened while I’m not included in those things because we don’t have a relationship anymore.
But I can tell you that the way I think about it is everything happens exactly the way it needs to for everyone’s greatest learning and everyone’s greatest good, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
And I hope I have a relationship with my sister at some point down the road. I love her deeply. She’s been my greatest teacher on earth. Out of every human on earth, she’s my greatest teacher and has been since I’ve been born. She’s a year and a half older than me.
And so everybody gets to make choices for their own life and she made the choice really to end our relationship for her own benefit. She was going through a health problem at the time and she needed to do that to take care of herself. And she has a lovely husband and an amazing family. And so she’s doing what she needs to for her. And I’m doing what I need to for me. And the truth is that the most important thing in my life is really living my vision. And that’s what keeps me grounded and rooted in moving forward because-
Darla LeDoux: So that’s what makes it worth going through the process of continuing to transform right?
Marla Mattenson: Yeah.
Darla LeDoux: Because otherwise we just wouldn’t, because it’s not convenient.
Marla Mattenson: Yeah, why would you?
Darla LeDoux: And it’s not convenient.
Marla Mattenson: It is totally not convenient and I love what you said in the beginning in your intro, which is that- the inner work. If you’re a retreat leader or you want to start leading retreats, if you’re not doing the inner work necessary, you better get on the train right now to start doing the inner work. Sign up with Darla like tomorrow, right? Like today, right now.
Because for those of us who are transformational leaders or who know that we are, but we haven’t stepped into it yet, it’s urgent. It’s urgent that you do the work. It’s urgent that you find a mentor who can help you see where your blind spots are. David helped me see blind spots in me that I didn’t even know were there. He helped me see places I was out of integrity that I didn’t even know I needed to be in integrity.
And part of it was sharing too much with people who can’t help me. It’s a way that I was using. I was using my sister as an excuse. I was using her potential upset as a way to not jump into being a writer. I could potentially hurt my sister’s feelings by writing, but she actually has never been anything but loving and supportive of my writing. She was one of my greatest champions of my writing early on even from when we were kids. And so all of that was a bunch of bullshit I was saying in my mind-
Darla LeDoux: Because it’s vulnerable to write.
Marla Mattenson: Because it’s vulnerable to write. And it was a great excuse for me to be like, “well, I can’t write because that would have hurt Lori in some way.” Total lie. Total lie that I believed for a long time.
Darla LeDoux: Thank you for sharing that because that is, it’s insidious, right? The things that are going on behind the scenes.
Marla Mattenson: Yeah. Yeah.
Darla LeDoux: So Marla, I want to… we just have a minute here and I want to talk a little bit about relationship, because relationship has been, for me, a huge source of my transformation. And that is your expertise. And intimacy. And in my book I write about intimacy into me see and really how much we put up barriers to letting people see us. So you’re an intimacy expert-
Marla Mattenson: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: When it comes to transforming out loud and transforming in relationship, what guidance- and people can, they can go to your website, https://marlamattenson.com and we’ll have the link and all of that, and they should definitely get in a room with you and with Julian- what guidance would you have for people on this?
Marla Mattenson: So the perspective that we come from in our work- and we work with entrepreneur couples, couples in business together or separately, or one person is an entrepreneur in the relationship- we use everything. Your personal material, the business material, your sexual material, everything as a vehicle for personal transformation.
So the idea is that you use everything in your life as you fuel to get to know yourself more and more and more so that you learn how to take personal responsibility for everything in your purview. Even if it’s not your fault. Even if it’s not your responsibility, it is. If it’s in your purview, it’s your responsibility.
And so one of the greatest techniques that we came up with is called The Relationship Redo. And a redo is like, can I get a do over? Can I get a redo? And the idea here is that- let’s say you realize that you’re showing up in your relationship as not your best self, right? That’s putting it mildly, right? Every once in a while there’s a fall of the curtains and you’re like, “ooh, I’m not doing so great here.” And if you can pause long enough to say, “ooh, hold on, hold on. I’m not doing great here. Can I get a redo? Can I get a redo?”
And well we have a free giveaway for anyone who’s listening that’ll go through this in detail- we basically ask for a redo. And then if your partner says, “okay,” then that means that you’re both going to show up as your absolute best selves. You’re going to open your heart, you’re going to give your sparkly eyes, you’re going to be your absolute best self. You’re going to redo, you’re going to reenact the exact same scenario- at the sink doing the dishes where you’re like, “hey, don’t put that over there.” Instead, you’re going to-
Darla LeDoux: That never happens in our house.
Marla Mattenson: That never happens here either.
It’s like you’re going to show up and be your absolute best self and reenact the same scenario and get a new outcome and it literally rewires your brain in the moment. So that when you think back to the same thing that happened, instead of thinking about how you showed up not so wonderfully, you now have a memory of, yeah, you know what, it started not great, but it ended fantastic. And it ended fantastic because I cleaned it up in the moment.
And you can do a redo from 10 years ago. I mean, the best is if you can do it in a moment. Okay, but you’ve got to work towards that. If you can imagine a time where you did not show up as your loving self in your relationship and you go to your partner in a calm time, not at 11:30 at night before you’re about to go to sleep. But sometime, a calm moment during the day, and you say, “can I get a redo? Remember when we were in the car that one day where I was a total bitch and blah, blah blah. Can I get a redo on that??” And you’re like, “are you serious? All right, fine.” And then you go, “okay, let’s reenact it. You sit here and I’m going to sit here and you’re going to pretend you were driving. Okay. Hey babe, la, la la.” And you redo it. You can do it any time. It’s the most beautiful-
Darla LeDoux: I love it. So I can get in the moment. If you can be conscious and present enough to give up your ego’s need to be right, that’s my thing anyway, and shifted in the moment, what are some clues that someone has something that they need to go clean up?
Marla Mattenson: Beautiful question. So anything you’re ruminating on. If you think about an old drama that you had with your partner and you think about that drama over and over and over. If you’re thinking about it between three and five times, you need to do a redo. You need to do a redo. That’s one way.
Another way is you keep doing the same issue over and over and you keep reacting the same way. It’s time to rewire your brain. And you want to be in communion with your partner. You want to be in collaboration with them. So that you can say, if you’re listening to this and you’re realizing, oh my God, you know what, every time she does this thing, I get so activated and I just want to “ugh.” You know, go to your partner and say, “you know that one thing you’d do that I always get on your case about, I want to create a new pathway for us. Are you game? Will you play with me?” And make it playful.
And have the person do the thing that they normally do that annoys you. And I’ll give you an example. Okay. So Julian, my God, he used to, he likes frozen blueberries. Okay. And he likes to have it as a snack. And so he won’t just put it in his mouth. He sucks it into his mouth. Okay.
And I’m very auditorily sensitive. I’m super sensitive auditorily. And so he would suck the blueberries in his mouth and it would drive me nuts. And I’m like in a cartoon, like grinding my teeth off just like “ahh.” And so I would ask him to stop or leave the room or I’ll leave the room. And so one day I was like, I really want to get over this thing. I want to get over the blueberry sucking issue.
And I’m like, “will you suck on the blueberries and make that sound that’s so annoying to me, so I can work through this and be kind to you for once while you’re doing it?” And he was like, “okay, let’s try.” And so he did.
And so we got this new experience with it because – and I see him, it brings him so much pleasure for whatever reason to do that. He’s like a little garden gnome doing that, it’s so adorable. And he’s like 6″1, he’s tall dude, big dude. And with a big old beard and he’s just like this sweet little, like a little kid eating those blueberries.
And I just want to rain all over his parade because I don’t like the way it sounds? What am I doing? Why can’t I experience his joy through him? Right? And so we did and it just created a whole new opening and now he can do whatever he wants with blueberries.
Darla LeDoux: And you can feel joy with him.
Marla Mattenson: And I can feel joy. And if I’m agitated in any way, then I know how to shift my energy so that I’m not lashing out at him.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. That’s amazing. I have an experience I’m going to do a redo on where I know I’ve let it go in my being, but I know the way I reacted initially has caused her trauma. Right? So how cool would that be to let- I feel such love when I think about the experience and to let her feel that too.
Marla Mattenson: I love that.
Darla LeDoux: I have homework. Thank you.
Marla Mattenson: Yay. You have to let me know how it goes.
Darla LeDoux: I will.
Marla Mattenson: That’s so wonderful. I hope everybody’s thinking about some way that they didn’t show up as their best self and they go back and you really make a choice, and you let your partner know. Include them in the process because sometimes what we do is we just do these things on our own and we transform ourselves, but we forget about the collaboration of our partner- and you want to include your partner. This is a part of building a deep intimacy together.
Darla LeDoux: That’s so good.
Marla Mattenson: It’s like work through this together.
Darla LeDoux: Amazing. So they can get more on the relationship redo at your website. Correct?
Marla Mattenson: Yeah.
Darla LeDoux: https://MarlaMattenson.com.
Marla Mattenson: Yeah, opt in- yes at MarlaMatteson.com and that is the opt in on the page. And it’s a really beautiful, very easy to read PDF and we don’t send a lot of emails. So you don’t have to worry about that.
Darla LeDoux: You’re becoming a writer though. So they should really get to following.
Marla Mattenson: Yes, I would definitely follow us on The Intimacy Experts on Instagram and then Marla Mattenson on Facebook, yeah.
Darla LeDoux: Awesome. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliance with us.
My main takeaway is just the level of commitment that you have to excellence in bringing your mission to the world. And I’m trusting that you’re inspiring that in our listeners as well. So thank you for who you are in the world and go get your daughter.
Marla Mattenson: Thank you so much.
Darla LeDoux: Mwaah.
Marla Mattenson: Mwaah.
Darla LeDoux: Bye everyone.
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