Do you know that uncomfortable feeling when trying to fit yourself into a pair of jeans that weren’t made for you? That’s how I used to feel in my life all the time.
I tried to fit into what everyone else was wearing. I rearranged parts of myself to get the darn jeans on and then pretended that they did fit. I was convinced I was the problem, not the jeans, and that they would fit better if only I could change x, y, z about myself.
And that’s exactly what I set out to do. For a few years, if someone’s program or book or retreat promised to change me, I’d be the first to sign up!
Therapy (check), EMRS (check), hypnosis (check), yoga all day every day (check), yoga retreats (check), soul retreats (check), Eric Pearls Reconnection work (check), resonance repatterning (check), spirit junkie masterclass with Gabby Bernstein (check), energy meridian work (check), energy work with essential oils (check), Akashic records (check), human design (check), spiritual direction (check), silent retreat (check), Christian workshops, retreats, programs (check), marriage conventions (check), parenting courses (check), drinking and not drinking (check), Daniel fast (check), business courses and conferences (check), a super expensive business coaching package (check).
Did I grow from doing all this work? Yes. Did I develop new skills and gain valuable insights along the way? Certainly. Did I become a more mature, polished, wise version of myself? I’d say!! But did any of those things fundamentally change who I am and turn me into the person I fantasized about being?
You guessed it.
A popular marriage therapist, Terry Real, says that we need to be in a relationship with the person we are with, not the person we think we deserve. And the same applies to the relationship we have with ourselves.
Once I stopped looking to transform into someone else and focused my energy on maximizing who I already am, my life truly started to change. I stopped making myself right or wrong based on whether the jeans fit or didn't, and instead started asking “what is and isn’t working for me”?
Ironically, what ultimately “transformed me” was accepting me for me, loving the real me, nurturing the real me, and supporting the real me. I changed the structure and systems in my life to serve me, not the other way around. I gave away the jeans to Goodwill…and guess what? I found the coolest, most flattering and comfortable pair of yoga pants to wear instead! Not only that, but I also found yoga pants-wearing friends (literally - my BFF owned a yoga studio and co-leads retreats with me) who I don’t need to pretend to be someone else with.
I am here to support the real you because that’s the only place we can create real change.
If I want a plant to thrive, my first thought would be to give it lots of sun. But what if it’s a shade-loving plant?
I once drowned all my aunt’s plants by overwatering them because I assumed that their pots had holes in the bottom for the water to drip out (a lesson in assumptions…). Well, they didn’t, and it turns out they didn’t need all the water anyway. They needed the right amount of water. Once we figure out our own “growing” instructions, we can honor what we need instead of forcing what we think we need or what we think we should need. From that space, we can start to make progress. #alessoninthriving
There is a way to live your life and a space for you to thrive in this world. Let’s find that space for you.
My husband calls me the “research department” because I love researching everything (trips, products, resources, etc).
My friends always come to me when they are stuck and need something (a gift idea, a therapist recommendation, support that they don’t know what it called, advice for their relationship with their spouse or kids).
I stay up late creating weekly plans and monthly calendars because I love it so much.
I am trained in...
Relational Life Therapy
Relational Life Therapy Level 1
Relational Life Therapy Level 2
Relational Life Therapy Level 3
Yoga Therapy level 1
Yoga Therapy group facilitator
Q&A with Leanne
Q: What has been the most growth-producing relationship in your life? A: Definitely my relationship with my kids. They have humbled my “I’ve got life figured out” ego and have brought to light all of the unresolved issues I thought I’d left in my past. If it were just up to me, I’d be coasting through life, hiding all the parts of me I didn’t like under the bed. But man, my kids just won’t let me! They are also the ones who have forced me to come up with better plans and create a better structure of myself and my family.
Q: What frustrates you the most about the self-help/coaching/therapy world? A: The commercialization of it, driven by false promises of “transformation” in a short amount of time. A fruit tree takes 5-15 years to produce fruit after the seed has been planted. If it isn’t producing in year 2 it isn’t because it is faulty, it's because things take time to mature, develop, and grow. It frustrates me to see people in this space “force the fruit” instead of holding space for the changes that need to happen beneath the surface. I’m currently participating in (and training in) a different modality called Spiritual Direction. I was drawn to it because it focuses on surrender vs. forcing results, and leaves room for God to take the lead in shaping who I am meant to be, where I’m supposed to go next. When things come up, I have learned to first ask “where is God in this?” and listen to what He has to say before letting my ego take the driver’s seat. The more I surrender vs. trying to force the fruit, the better the results in the long run.
Q: But what if someone needs a quick fix? A: The more we optimize our schedule taking in account our needs, our nervous system, and the needs of those around us, the quicker we can harmonize with the life we have. Harmony creates an instant feeling of wellbeing and hope.
Q: What principle(s) guides your work? A: The idea that we are already whole and perfect, and that most of our problems come from forgetting that fact. When I work with my clients, I don’t help them create something new, I help them remember something true.
Q: What are your favorite podcasts? A: I have always loved This American Life but lately I am completely obsessed with Heavyweight.
Q: What books have made the biggest impact for you? A: My absolute favorite book and framework is Byron Katie’s Loving What Is (best listened to on audio than read). I go back to that time and time again. I also love ACT with Love, The Four Agreements, and a good book with lots of gems is The Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka. The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler is also a great book.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your job? A: I truly love people. I love authentic and genuine conversations and getting to go deeper into something. You know when you are at a party and happen into a fulfilling conversation that leaves you thinking about life a little differently? That is how I feel in session. And that is how my clients feel. I want our sessions to be something you look forward to because that is the kind of work we are doing together. Sometimes therapy can feel like sitting in dirty bath water trying to get clean. I want it to feel like you are finally showering off the grim.