Stuck gets a really bad rap, but what I’ve found is that while it’s sucky “being in the stuck”, the stuck always has something for you. That’s why you’re stuck because you got to get it.
– Lisa Welden
Darla LeDoux: Hello and welcome to this episode of Retreat and Grow Rich, The Podcast. I’m Darla LeDoux. I’m your host for this conversation today with the fabulous, the talented, the beautiful Lisa Welden. Hi, Lisa.
Lisa Welden: Hello, Darla.
Darla LeDoux: Welcome, welcome.
Lisa Welden: Thank you. Great to be here.
Darla LeDoux: I’m super excited. Guys, Lisa is coming to us from Austin, Texas and Lisa Welden has dedicated her life to exploring what’s possible through extraordinary experiences into the soulful, spacious unknown. Her purpose is to share transformational experiences with people who are committed to their freedom, connected to their purpose and have an insatiable curiosity about what’s possible in this human experience. Rebel Sage, her current business, is for people who believe that living a conventional life feels like nails on a chalkboard and salivate at the opportunity to learn what their edges are and to break through to a life they truly love. Welcome, Lisa!
Lisa Welden: Thank you.
Darla LeDoux: I, of course, love experiential learning and retreats and all of that, as you know. I would love to start by just having you share a little bit about your journey to teaching and training through experience. I’ve been at Rebel Sage. Tell us a little bit about your evolution as an entrepreneur and what brought you here.
Lisa Welden: Sure. I started really delving into experience when I was working in the corporate world in advertising and marketing and really felt this itch that something needed to change, that I needed to be working with people in a helping field in a more tangible way. I went to Chinese medicine school and that’s really where experience started to knock me over the head because I realized that the experience of working with acupuncture, of working with people on their healing journeys, was something that was this constantly evolving and a dynamic experience for me as a practitioner and for them as the client. Having each session together, especially when we’re using acupuncture, people were having amazing extraordinary experiences.
It was so interesting to me that we could just use needles or use mindfulness and incur this whole other state of consciousness. That had me hooked both from the giving side and the receiving side and watching people in their own healing journey. Then, my experience as I continued to poke the idea of what’s possible…
Darla LeDoux: No pun intended.
Lisa Welden: …I didn’t even catch that one. I just started feeling like, “What is possible? What is this life thing? What is behind the veil?” I started on my own experiential journey which led me to many retreats and trying things that had people around me looking at me really skeptically and with some fear. Mom saying, “Lisa, do you know what you’re doing?” I just found that there was something that was in me that was leading me to those experiences. I find that to be true for everyone that I work with as well.
Darla LeDoux: Wow. I’m going to backtrack. Leaving corporate and choosing to get trained in Chinese medicine, was there any fear around that? Did people think you were crazy then?
Lisa Welden: I think so. I think that’s been a common theme, but I think that…
Darla LeDoux: Anyone who’s going to resonate with you in Rebel Sage probably is that person that people who felt like they were crazy, right?
Lisa Welden: Right. Right. Yeah, it was that time of life where people are really starting to settle down. They’re starting to get their careers underfoot and it’s starting to take traction. Then, I was like, “Hmm, this isn’t fitting,” so I need to go do this thing. I lived in Denver at the time and the only school I could find in the alternative field was a Chinese medicine school. So, it wasn’t that I was particularly in love with Chinese medicine. It was just what was available.
I started taking a night class and the first class was the philosophy of Eastern medicine. I just fell in love because it was this nonlinear way of looking at the world and understanding that we have an internal natural system just like we look out at nature and look to see how seasons change and how we’re in a constant dynamic relationship with everything around us. I was hooked from the start there and it feels like I’ve been on a train that just hasn’t stopped from that point.
Darla LeDoux: What was it that drew you to health and healing?
Lisa Welden: When I was working in advertising, I was working with a lot of the human resource and marketing departments to develop employee advertising campaigns because we had just gotten to that point where unemployment was so low that companies were actually having to care about how they treated their employees and how they recruited them. It was a whole other world for them. I felt like, “Well, it’s good. In some way, I’m helping people improve their life by getting a job that they want, but it wasn’t hands-on enough.” I really felt like that. I want to know what my impact is. I want to be able to touch something and be working in a more intimate way that has more satisfaction.
Darla LeDoux: That’s clear. So hands-on healing.
Lisa, what did you learn? I should say we’re going to get into this idea of surrender and specifically surrender as a retreat leader.
Surrender is a tool that you recommend in all areas of life and lots of different times in life. Tell me a little bit about when you were doing the acupuncture and Chinese medicine and having sessions with people and watching these amazing shifts, and then you went, “Wait, I want more.” What was that like for you?
Lisa Welden: It was uncomfortable actually. It was this mind versus the heart, and it was a place where I could feel something starting to move in me that was wanting something different that felt like, the best way I can describe it, it was almost like I was just getting these spirit breadcrumbs that were laid out in front of me. There was a level of feeling dissatisfaction, and dissatisfaction not with the people I was working with, but the conversation that we were having.
I found that I kept wanting to move us towards the direction of spirit and energy in a way that moves them out of their fixed mindset or belief patterns so that the body could then shift. The place for me was, I was finding that that conversation that we would have it, but the body tends to heal in a slower trajectory than the mind and the energetic and spiritual state. Oftentimes, we’d be making progress in the spiritual-energetic realm and then something would happen in their lives and the physical thing would come back. So it felt like the progress that we had made while it was still there, the focus that the client had was still on the physical.
It felt like, “I needed to get out of this conversation or change the conversation,” because my belief after working with people for almost 20 years in this way is that everything starts in the energetic and spiritual realm. By the time it gets to the physical realm, it’s been around for a long time. As we shift our thinking, and shift where we’re placing our trust in the heart versus the mind, that we’re going to be led to new experiences and new ways of being that really have us move our focus from the physical body into this new thing that wants to happen.
Darla LeDoux: I’m curious, because I know you’re always studying, did you notice a difference in working with people in your clinic between people who were engaging in the energetic and spiritual level and people who weren’t?
Lisa Welden: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. It’s like night and day. It’s like talking and this is,no offense to my clients, I love you, but it was like talking to a brick wall or talking to someone that actually was alive, vital. They had skin in the game. They wanted it! They had desire. They wanted to shift something in their life so much so that they were willing to take some uncomfortable chances and make some changes. whether that meant with relationships that they were in, relationship to their body, how they were viewing what was happening in their body in relation to the rest of their life. It was an absolute stark difference.
And it was interesting because for some people, when they would slide back into the old, when I bring them back to the body and just have them notice, “So what sensation is here now?” when they would start talking about the old thing, they would start to understand like, “Oh, that’s why that physical symptom lives in my body. That’s the thought that goes along with it or the belief pattern that goes along with it.” It was a fun place to be able to empower people how to know, how to read their physical symptomatology, and how it related to what was happening in their head.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. Wow. We have a lot of people in our community that shift from a more one-on-one healer approach to working in groups and retreats and really more of that mindset work. I’ve talked with a lot of people who have come to that same conclusion of like, “Okay, supporting the physical gets you so far, but supporting the whole person really makes a difference.”
So, Lisa, I’m framing up the question. I want to start talking about your retreats and how’d you decide to take people on retreat and what’s that journey been like?
Lisa Welden: Sure. For me, there was this part of me that because healing work can be serious work, I had a part that had to hang out in a closet somewhere and this part that had to hang out was really more of the rebel in Rebel Sage. There’s this energy of like, “I want to wake people up! I want people to wake up to who they really are.” That was really the energy that started leading me to want to take people on group experiences while on retreats.
Darla LeDoux: It was really even less about them and more about you feeling not expressed in the work.
Lisa Welden: Absolutely, yeah. With each experience that I’ve curated, I’ve had a muse. One of my clients has been a muse, and it’s like, “Oh right, what experience would be perfect for a person in this place?” That’s been fun and helpful. I would say that my clients were coming to me saying, “Lisa, I sure wish you’d start retreats.” It was me feeling this like, “Oh, this restless energy of I want to do more. I want people to be immersed and experience that have them waking up to themselves and unlearning things about themselves that they thought had been true for however many decades.”
Darla LeDoux: I love that guidance of having a current client be a muse if you are someone who’s in a transition to really use that person to inspire how you design the retreat. Lisa, this is inspired by our series on transforming the leader, and this idea that as the leader we grow alongside, or ahead of, or in conjunction with the magic of what we’re creating for our clients. I’m curious from your perspective, how does your evolution as a retreat leader, how does that mirror your spiritual path? What does it mean to evolve as a retreat leader, and evolve as a person?
Lisa Welden: I see them being one and the same thing. Whether I work with people one-on-one, or it’s in a group setting, whatever’s coming up for me, whatever feels like I’m holding tightly to or that I’ve got some expectation of how things need to be. For me, it’s just an opportunity to look at what in me is ready for transformation right now? What would need to change in me to be a conduit and to hold the space for people that may be going through something similar or walking across a similar limiting belief? For me, it’s just been this, of course, unending journey of really excavating the parts of me that have been in hiding in some way, whether consciously, because there are rules around it being expressed or unconsciously where I’m tripping over on as I grow and as I lead and they’ll come to me in fabulous ways. As long as I’m looking at it through the lens of “This is happening for me so that I can be a better conduit and I can lead a whole the greater space of possibility for my clients”, then for me, it just feels like a game. It feels like there’s always something around the corner that’s going to help eliminate greater possibility.
Darla LeDoux: Nice. I know you had some experience on retreats where you had a chance to grow and be a better conduit. Would you like to share a little bit about some of the things that you’ve learned about that?
Lisa Welden: Sure, yeah. My last retreat that I led in Ecuador over the fall… I always meditate and sit with the retreat and I asked for the intention to come in. For this particular retreat, surrender came in. And I got a little nervous! It’s like, “Oh geez, this is for me too.” I realized, like, from the get-go as I was even just starting to plan the retreat, have conversations with people, there was so much in me that was available to surrender to something. How I experienced it was in the grasping or striving or in this place of, “I need it to happen this way.” It wasn’t like that was the loudest thing happening, but it was there.
So, when I was arranging the retreat, I worked with some shamen, and I was working with some new people this go-around, and it was a week and a half out from retreat date. We were exchanging texts in my broken, bad Spanish and their broken, bad English and we were having this conversation and I was just confirming some logistical pieces. That’s when they asked me, “How many people are you bringing?” I told them and they said, “Oh, we don’t work with that number”. My jaw just dropped. I was like, “What are you talking about?” They said, “Well, we work with a particular number of people and we’re not able to work with you.” And just period, done. I’m like, “Okay. If this is a grand opportunity for me to surrender right now, what could I surrender? What could I bring in that would bring some ease or maybe even greater expansion in this place right here?” I put my phone down and I went for a walk and I let a couple of hours just pass where I was getting out of the freeze mode in my body that was happening.
Darla LeDoux: I was going to ask, how long did take for you to get to that place of, “Oh, what could I surrender?”
Lisa Welden: Yeah. It took a couple of hours. I finally came back to my phone and started another conversation with them. That was really about, “What would have you excited showing up for our group that I’m bringing down? Is there a way that we can work together that would feel good for you?”
We came to an agreement. And what was really an amazing learning that was provided by the experience, one of the learning experiences, was that they had committed to working with me. They honored the commitment, and I didn’t realize that what I was asking from them was so different than what they already did when they worked with people. I was just going off of how I had worked with another shaman in the past. They fulfilled their entire commitment with us and they went above and beyond. It was a really magical experience to know that they were surrendering in some way too, like surrendering to the typical way that they work with groups. For whatever reason, I still don’t know. There was some magic there.
Darla LeDoux: Wow. It makes me think about, one of my favorite books I’ve ever read is called The Art of Possibility, and it is by, the last name is Zander, Ben Zander I believe? And his wife Rosalind. They talk about possibility and enrolling people in possibility, right? I’d share this a lot with people in the context of sales. If someone says no to coming to your retreat, what they’re really saying is I don’t see any possibility here. That in itself is an opening to create possibility if you let it be, if you don’t take it personally or make it about you or make it a problem. The way that you approached this is so similar to how they speak about it, which is to say, “Well, what would have you be excited?” and just get that information. As opposed to saying, “Oh, this is a no. The door is closed. Forget it.”
That’s so beautiful. I’m curious, what was it that had you take that approach? Do you remember how that conversation went in your mind or what tools in your toolkit you pulled on?
Lisa Welden: I think that the nervous system was very helpful. It’s like, “I have a choice here. I can either totally freak out and try to make something happen or I can let myself come to a place that feels better energetically for me and see what’s possible.” I just held this thought in my mind of, “What if something even better is going to come from this shift?” It was really the place where I could find a choice point that turned it or allowed it to be something that was an exploration versus like a declaration of, “This is how it’s going to go down now.”
Darla LeDoux: So interesting that the theme was surrender and you had these experiences before you even got there! And you said your first thought was, “Oh geez,” when you got that it was surrender. Why was that your first thought?
Lisa Welden: Because I’ve been transitioning my business and I have found that transition can be a really sticky, uncomfortable place because I really don’t know what’s coming around the next corner. The best that I can do is try to follow my heart and offer something that is aligned with that place. For me, surrender has been a place where I was raised in a family value of, ‘make it happen yourself’, like being self-reliant and taking charge and not really liking to wait for people to help me necessarily.
The idea of surrender really to me feels like if I can know that I’m surrendering to spirit versus some other shadow aspect of myself, it’s really helping me to open to what’s possible. When I got that that was the intention, it was like, “Oh, there’s going to be some deep shifts that are going to happen.”
Darla LeDoux: What’s changed? And what have you noticed since you’ve been back?
Lisa Welden: Oh goodness, it was such a phenomenal experience. It was so perfect. The people that came were perfect. One of my guests who was really working on control and she already knew it, we’d already named it, her luggage didn’t come for three days. She almost missed her international flight. She had to like, put her bossy pants on to get on the flight and ask for a manager at the airline. I was just watching. Even how people, before they even arrived in Ecuador, how this magic was already happening for them.
For me, since I’ve been back, I think it’s just been this great, it’s almost like fine tuning, fine tuning, fine tuning. Where are the places that might be sticky? That I’m wanting to hold onto something. I don’t even know where it came from. It’s like an expectation or this idea of, “It needs to be this way.” When I actually follow that train of thought, it’s always ego at the bottom of it. When I can track the thought back, or track the belief or the expectation back, and I’m finding ego at the bottom of it, it makes it a lot easier to navigate the space and really open to it.
Darla LeDoux: Wow. I think probably some folks are thinking, “Oh, I’d like to host international retreats. What if my participant loses their luggage?” What guidance do you have for someone to handle things like that that could come up that would seem to be problems given the context of the theme or the transformation you’re holding space for?
Lisa Welden: Yeah, so, in this case, it was really helpful because the client who did have her luggage arrive very late, we had already named this place of surrendering control. It was already at the forefront, but when she was communicating with me on her journey down to Ecuador, we were texting back and forth and I kept putting it in the context of, “Isn’t this amazing? The universe is lining this up for you. You’re already having your retreat.” She got on board! Because she could have the perspective.
I feel like in the calls that I have with people when we’re determining if there is a good fit between the experience that I’m offering and what they’re sitting with in life right now, there’s usually something that pops up. It helps us to keep our eyes on that focus so that we can see how magical it can become, even when it’s challenging, how there’s magic in it, that the universe really is conspiring for your evolution.
Darla LeDoux: That’s awesome. I’ve gotten those texts or emails or whatever where we can interpret it one way that says, “Oh, this is a problem. Oh, this poor person. Oh my goodness, they’re going to be mad. How do I fix it?”, and then there’s the other way of, “Wow, how cool is it that this is unfolding perfectly?”
You have a choice, in that moment as the space holder and I’ve seen clients go both ways, get bought into the story and worry and fix and or go, “Woo, isn’t this great?” I love that response.
We don’t really know where they are energetically, really. We might make an assumption someone’s going to be upset or stressed or whatever, but I love that playful response to it.
Lisa Welden: Yeah. It was amazing because what unfolded for this particular guest was that she really has a hard time receiving, which would go right hand in hand with control. She actually received clothing from the hotel owner. She had to receive from me. I shared some things with her, so that she can bathe and have some of those nice human necessities. She had to borrow money. It was beautiful. It was just beautiful, and it allowed other people to step up and actually feel helpful and to be able to give their gift, whatever it was on the opposite side of the receiving. It was beautiful. I’m glad she could have the context for what this was for her growth.
Darla LeDoux: It’s such a great perspective. People think about having calls with people before their retreats. Some people want to avoid it. Some people think of it as, “Just hurry up and get to the sale,” but it really is a magical conversation where someone commits to their transformation, so you already had clues.
Lisa Welden: Absolutely. I wasn’t sure she was a good match until we had the conversation and then just something locked in and it was like, “Oh, this is the possibility.” To me, that’s just like this magical feeling of the clarity or the alignment. I find at least for me that it’s really important because I want to know something about what someone’s bringing in like, “What skin do they have in the game? What’s on the line that could be impactful for them to shift? What kind of stand do I need to take? Who do I need to be? What energy do I need to show up with so that I can facilitate that?”
Darla LeDoux: Yes, yes! That’s really where it’s all set in motion, is in that conversation. People want it to be like, “Oh, someone registers overnight,” but really the more bought in they are to that transformation, the easier your life is. You didn’t have to stress about her luggage. You could just go, “Oh perfect.”
Lisa Welden: Right. Right.
Darla LeDoux: Right. That’s awesome. Lisa, why are you so committed, at the core of your work, to people finding freedom? What are they finding freedom from?
Lisa Welden: For me, my own freedom has been something that I’ve held very dear in my journey. It requires some courage to step into a space. What they’re finding the freedom from is beliefs, that they’ve either subscribed to or been fed in some way, shape or form that they believe to be true. I find that to be like this mental prison that we live in. I feel like freedom, or being a freedom fighter, is the most expensive way that I can serve someone else. For them to find their own freedom where they’re not beholden to a particular dogma or a way of doing things or something that is maybe having them look at having a life that has greater potential, but still coming from someone else or something else, some other institution. For me, it’s the ultimate freedom. “How can you ultimately be excavating these layers of what you’ve learned and thought to be true to find out who you really are?” Unlearning your way to freedom is one of those places that I feel like it’s not about doing more, it’s not about sacrificing who you are, working harder, your personal evolution and finding these places of freedom is really what creates more success in your life, more fulfillment, more enriching experiences. That’s really what drives me when I can see someone find it for themselves and have empowerment around who they are. I love that! That puts joy in my heart.
Darla LeDoux: That’s awesome. You’ve done several retreats now. You work with horses, and you also work with, as you mentioned, the shaman, with plant medicine as a part of someone’s journey to that freedom and there’s a lot of buzz about plant medicine right now, both in the news and in our spiritual community for sure. What are you learning about healing with plant medicine and what’s your take on that?
Lisa Welden: I think that there’s many different ways to hold the medicine as medicine. My journey with plant medicine started seven, eight years ago. When I started, I kept seeing some of the same people show up over and over again and I got really curious about, you know, “Do you have to keep coming back? Is this like a one and done? What’s really going to happen by taking plant medicine?” Where I have been in my own journey with it is this place of utilizing it as a way to open a new level of awareness. It’s an amazing opening that can really get people out of their head.
It creates an experience where you can have your own direct connection with spirit. I think that to me is one of the ultimate gifts that you can give yourself, is to have an experience that has you finding what your unique intimate relationship is with spirit. With plant medicine, I use it with my own teachings and content and use it as a way for people to clarify their intention so that we’ll always set intentions before we go into ceremony, and using it as an avenue to open up to something that’s bigger than them to receive whatever downloads they might receive through ceremony.
Then, the piece that I find that’s really important is the integration piece. It’s wonderful to have a peak experience. It feels amazing! You can get connected to the bliss and to the healing and all of that, but until you go home, and where the rubber hits the road, and you have to put aligned action into place, to me, that’s where I see a lot of the challenge comes in. We get really attached to the ceremony or attached to the shaman and the experience. For me, it’s like, “Don’t get lost in that. That’s just a step.” You have to then take the information that you gained from your time in ceremony and bring it into your life. Otherwise, it becomes just another peak experience.
I think that there are some retreats and some people that the ceremony is the medicine, like that’s it, and there’s not that integration piece or working with intentions and then having the reentry into life and fostering that. That’s how I’m working with it right now.
Darla LeDoux: As you know, I teach integration as a huge piece of being a retreat leader and the way you design your offerings for any retreat really when you’re having these transformational shifts, the going home is the key. I would imagine it’s even more imperative on a journey when you’re heading back home and integrating all that information that’s come through. Do you see a lot of people who aren’t getting that support of really integrating?
Lisa Welden: You do see that. That’s really why I’ve built integration into using plant medicine. It concerns me a little bit because plant medicine is not a magic solution. It is magical, but it’s a place where you develop a relationship with the medicine. It can help to illuminate a lot for you so that you can really see and get more clear about. Perhaps it’s a challenge you’ve had in your life or a way that you want to cultivate your creativity or connect with the divine. It’s beautiful at showing you that, but it doesn’t take the steps for you. It doesn’t take the action for you. I feel like that’s really important. You can get lost and stuck in the pattern of plant medicine just like you can get lost and stuck in the pattern of, “Okay, maybe if I buy this next seminar and do this work with this person, I’ll get it.” It’s no different because the human mind is going to hold it in a similar space of, “It’s going to do something for me.” There are miraculous stories of people being cured of lifelong depression or of illnesses, and things like that, but I would say that that’s the exception.
Darla LeDoux: I love that you called it a relationship with the medicine. I was thinking the same thing. We tend to hold relationships similarly, right? If we’ve been hurt in relationship, we expect hurt. If we look to be rescued, we will expect to be rescued. That’s a really interesting way to think about it, as a relationship. I have talked with people who have made it their source, really made the medicine their source, as opposed to the outcome. Just like we can do in a relationship or, “This next outfit is going to make me really feel like I love myself,” or whatever it may be.
Lisa Welden: Right. It was beautiful. Another one of the gifts that I got from this last retreat with the surrender intention was the shaman said, “The medicine will show you what needs to be done, but you have to do the work.” They were talking about it in this sense even of addiction and addictive substances and how in the West there’s this concept that plant medicine is drugs.
It was beautiful because the shaman said, “If you look at the nature of drugs, or alcohol, those substances, there’s a possessive spirit. There’s a possessive nature to them. They don’t want you to get away from them. They want you to take more and more.” If you look at it through the concept that everything has a spirit, everything has an energetic to it. Plant medicine is very different. The more frequent you take it, usually the less that you have to take and it doesn’t have a possessive nature to it. It’s there to show you what you need to rectify or remedy or move towards. It’s an interesting conversation that’s happening right now, especially in the United States, with all the psychedelic movement and psychedelic therapy coming online and this whole culture that’s sprouting along with it.
Darla LeDoux: I’m going to ask you one more question about that, but first, how does the plant help with surrender?
Lisa Welden: Oh my goodness, it’s such a great teacher. You have no choice. It’s like you drink the tea which is usually the medicine that I work with. It’s made into a tea. Once you put it in, you can’t take it out. [laughing]
Darla LeDoux: [laughing] The only way is through.
Lisa Welden: Totally, it’s like labor. It’s like you have your breath, and sometimes that’s the only thing that’s going to help keep you grounded to the experience that you’re having and keeping anything that you are shown is going to be some aspect of yourself. It’s not like someone else’s reality is going to come walk into yours. It’s really whatever you’re finding is you and it’s for you. That idea of surrender is once you take in the medicine, you’re on the journey until it ends. Some of the shamans I’ve worked with say the medicine never leaves you. It’s always in you. I think that there’s some beauty to that because there’s a lot of assistance that the spirit realm can offer. It is a very foreign concept I think to us in the West or non-indigenous cultures to think that we’re actually being supported in that way by trees around us, or by animals, or by the wind, or the sun. All these things are here to really support us. In some ways, I think that they’re here to tame us. We’re not here to tame the wild, but we are the wild that come into balance with the rest of the natural world.
Darla LeDoux: That’s beautiful. Some people here probably are interested in plant medicine or have experienced it. Guys, if you’re listening, please do not reach out to Lisa and ask her who her shaman is, or to make connections, or anything like that because that’s a really personal relationship that you need to forge for yourself.
Lisa, I know you’re innovating in the way that you’re approaching healing both with horses and the healing energy and the mirror that horses are, as well as with plant medicine. I don’t want to ask you your secrets or anything like that because I truly believe it’s a personal journey that you’re developing and leading, and if folks are interested in that, they should come on retreat with you.
What advice do you have for someone who is passionate about creating containers for that work and for the integration of the work, maybe in a way that’s different than if I just go find online and go sign up for a plant medicine journey in Peru or something like that? What guidance do you have for someone who’s a leader who’s interested in bringing that dimension into their work?
Lisa Welden: I think it’s important to know what lights you up. Do you like doing the integration work on the backend? Do you like doing work with people on the front end? You know there’s this place where if you’re going to bring it in, I really think you need to have a solid relationship with the medicine yourself. I think you need to do it on your own journey. It needs to be separate from what you’re doing with your clients on retreat, not that you cannot partake in medicine while on retreat with your clients, but you need to have your own relationship with it because you don’t know what can happen. You literally have no idea, and you need to walk through some of those places yourself so that you can hold a space of transformation for someone else. I think that the integration piece, it’s like anything else. You can have an amazing experience and then you get back into your life and the life that you had before you went on retreat that doesn’t actually support who you are when you come off retreat.
So, if you’re going to be leading that, then I think being clear about what the experience is that you’re offering to people. If you don’t want to do the integration work with people, then you might suggest to them that they have some kind of support lined up or when they do re-enter their lives or if you’re building a container that has integration on the backend of it, I think it’s important to know that there can be a lot of, I call it the glow. There’s a level of shift that happens and it usually lasts for three to six months. That tends to be a sweet spot where you’re still really can be rolling and feeling like you’ve really gotten fused with ‘you’ on retreats from the medicine. I feel like life comes and just starts to surround us. It can really start to get heavy again. Having your guests have access to support on the backend, I feel like it’s really important. It’s what distinguishes a peak experience from something that actually is life-transforming.
Darla LeDoux: That’s really beautiful. I’m translating in my mind so much of what you said to any retreat really, and any leader, you have to have your own relationship with whatever work you’re offering, right? If you haven’t done the work yourself, if you haven’t walked your talk, you don’t know what’s going to come up on retreat. It’s all amplified when you’re amplifying it with the medicine. It’s really true for any leader. It’s like we have to be walking our own talk and doing our own work. So often I meet people who they’d gotten the hit to lead retreats, but they haven’t done the work of, whatever it is. I just remember the person I met who was an abundance coach and healer who was sleeping four people to a room at the hotel at the event I met her at, for example, and wasn’t emanating that work. You have to have the relationship with the work that you’re doing. I love that.
Lisa Welden: Yeah, yeah. When I’m vetting people that I work with- who my coach is, who my teacher is, there’s a level of transparency and vulnerability that I feel, for me, I won’t work with someone if I don’t see that. I think when you’re working with plant medicine or you’re working with horses or you’re working with your special flavor and gift that you bring through for your retreats, that there’s something so powerful in being able to be transparent in your own journey with whatever it is you’re teaching. That really creates a level of safety for people to go deeper in their own journey.
Darla LeDoux: [laughing] Yes, sure. I’m glad I made the cut.
Lisa Welden: You totally did!
Darla LeDoux: Amazing. Lisa, what are some signs? I know you have a special gift for people, the people who are listening who are really getting that control versus surrender and they’re getting this sense that, “There’s something I need to surrender in my own life.” What are the signs that surrender is the answer for you?
Lisa Welden: Partly what I mentioned before, how I’ve experienced the need for surrender is really when I’m grasping, when I’m really holding onto something tightly. It needs to be that way or it’s not going to be good. It’s not going to be okay. There is a striving energy that comes, and that may be striving to up-level your business, it might be striving in making an offering, it might be striving with your sales calls. It’s just wherever you find that place of like, I’m like white knuckling this thing or I’m feeling like I’m not good enough, that’s a huge one. “If I’m not good enough, if only I could do it like so-and-so,” or comparing yourself to other people in the field, a place where you’re feeling stuck, like stuck gets a really bad rap, but what I found is that while it’s sucky “being in the stuck”, the stuck always has something for you. That’s why you’re stuck because you got to get it. I feel like those feelings are really paramount to you knowing that there’s something that’s ready to surrender. If you can look at it from the perspective of, “I’m feeling this because there’s something here for me,” versus, “I’m feeling this because I’m not good enough or I’ve not done enough,” then we can really shift the lens so that you can get what it is that spirit wants you to get from this place.
Or if you’re sacrificing yourself too, if you’re like compromising who you are or minimizing something, there’s really something ready to shift there.
Darla LeDoux: That’s beautiful. I find too, it can be really easy to go in and out of that “not good enough” or comparison. You might accidentally scroll social media and all of a sudden without even realizing it be comparing yourself to so-and-so who’s doing it on a totally different path.
Lisa Welden: Totally. Yes, yes.
Darla LeDoux: There’s a way we can release this.
Lisa Welden: Yes, absolutely. I think it’s tricky in our industry because of social media, you can see how many different ways there are to do things. If you’re feeling like there’s a right way to do things, I think that’s a great place for surrender.
Darla LeDoux: That’s so great. I love it. Lisa, you’re offering people a unique opportunity to do a surrender session with you.
Lisa Welden: Yes.
Darla LeDoux: They can find that at lisawelden.com/surrender. Who’s that right for? Well, we talked about really who it’s right for, but what can they expect?
Lisa Welden: I’m going to be asking you some specific questions so that we can really hone in on an area that it’s feeling like a booger right now in your life and we really want to get clear about what it is and what it’s costing you to be in this place and see if we can get to what may be on the other side of it. When you go to that URL, you’ll be prompted with a few questions that help me to understand where you are and then we’ll have a call and see if what wants to be surrendered and what spirit is asking you to give up so that you can the most expansive version of you.
Darla LeDoux: Beautiful. I love it. Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your energy and your brilliance with us. Is there anything you want to leave people with?
Lisa Welden: Thank you for having me. This has been a really fun conversation to have. I guess what I want to leave people with is that you are amazing, and at your core, you are exactly perfect for the medicine that you’re offering your people however you’re working with them, and that I encourage you to excavate those layers that may be untrue for you, that you can unlearn, to find the freedom that is you.
Darla LeDoux: That’s awesome. Thank you, Lisa!
Lisa Welden: You’re so welcome.
Darla LeDoux: Thanks everyone for being here. We’ll see you on the next episode. Bye, everyone!
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