We’ve all broken into an inner dialogue with ourselves, whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s that conversation with the “little voice” in our head. Lauren Handel Zander, Life coach, speaker, and Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Handel Group, works with clients to help them take control of their inner dialogue so they’re able to love their life. Her book, Maybe It’s You, is about breaking into your own inner dialogue in twelve different areas of life. She shares her major life pivots and her journey into coaching, as well as epigenetics, being productive and speaking your truth.
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Breaking Into Your Inner Dialogue with Lauren Handel Zander
I feel blessed to be here with you all. I feel energized. I’ve been recovering from a business trip. It took me to the East Coast. I don’t know what it was. I don’t normally get wigged out by a little 3,000-mile trip, but I gave a lot. I was in the role of a business mentor with some entrepreneurs, both experienced and some startup, side pivoting, side hustling people. It took its toll on me because when I got back, I was super exhausted but my energy has returned. My enthusiasm is right back. I have the perfect guest on the show to match that because this is a woman with this dynamic energy. She’s done amazing things in the world.
I want to ground myself and also help us to all ground wherever we are. Life as it typically is active, dynamic. I hate the word busy. I’m not going to cast that one on anybody. We’ve got a lot going on and never a moment in my day where no matter what’s going on, I can’t benefit from a deep breath. I’m going to take a deep breath. I invite you to do the same, whatever it is that you’re up to. Create some space for you to breathe deeply, be present if you like. Enjoy the fact you don’t have to do anything. You consume this or whatever you’re doing. You can be easy and let this conversation that we’re going to have benefited you. That’s my intention and my hope that it is of some high benefit in your life.
Lauren Handel Zander is the cofounder and chairwoman of the Handel Group, an international corporate consulting and life coaching company. Her coaching methodology, The Handel Method, is taught in over 35 universities and institutes of learning around the world, including MIT, Stanford Graduate School of Business, NYU and the New York City public school system. Lauren is also the author of Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love Your Life published by Hatchette Book Group, April 2017. A no-nonsense practical manual that helps readers figure out not what they want out of life, but how to get there. She has spent many years coaching thousands of private and corporate clients, including executives at Vogue, BASF and AOL. Lauren has been a featured expert in The New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Women’s Health, Dr. Oz and Marie Claire. She is a regular contributor to Business Week and the Huffington Post. My question for you is what do you want people to know about you that’s not written in your bio?
It’s the thing I always tell people that hire me, but it’s not a kosher thing to say. I’m a witch. Not based on pagans. I am not coming from it. I have been known to create rituals that work and make you make rituals that will work. I don’t need some old book of any sort. I have no past from it, but in regards to being utterly witchy. I don’t care what you write in your homework, I will figure out your lie in ten minutes. Do not get on the phone call with me thinking you’re going to hide your mistress. Don’t come near me if you think I’m not going to figure it out in ten minutes. It’s scary. It’s a good scary. I only work for the good guys, which is why I have many warning labels.
There’s a big responsibility in having gifts. We all have gifts. Everybody has their unique gifts and they come with responsibilities. For example, if you’re the person who has that type of a gift, you probably ought to come with a warning label.
I also can’t tell whatever comes into my mind that’s the truth. You’re like, “What’s the interesting thing and not in the book that you tell anyone who ends up dealing with you that nobody will know?” That’s why I always warn people. It’s hysterical. That was the answer.
It’s a good warning for me to know that, aka she has no filter.
I have no filter. I will manage my client’s secrets until the day I die. I will go to the grave with them. Other than that, yes.
The confidentiality of lives and ethics live within integrity.
I am granted permission that I’m allowed to talk about that I work with, then I make it clear that I only work with the best clients. My clients are all the best. You will never hear me ever like, “Lauren loves her clients,” and you will be like, “I love him.”
I love my clients too. When I was a lawyer, I did not love my clients. After Pivot came out, I said, “Tell me about the difference between your life as a lawyer and your life running a training company and traveling and speaking all that stuff.” I made a ton of money and life was good. I was on that scale growing up in New York. I was a lawyer. I had achieved what they say, “You couldn’t be a doctor.” I wasn’t smart enough or motivated or disciplined enough. I became a lawyer.
I was raised by a lawyer who built a law firm. He’s 82 years old. If you’re like, “Where is your dad?” I’m like, “He’s in the office.” He loves it.
He may not resonate with what I’m about to say, agree with what I have to say. I would never send resonate in a court. I don’t resonate with what you said. My clients, I would see the worst in them often. The difference is I would spend my days then and now I spend my days, I see the best in people. The best in people always seems to emerge in the work I do. Back then, I would find out my client lied to me. They lied to me multiple times. I found out we’re in the middle of something and over a real estate thing or whatever. They’d be arguing about a refrigerator or a $25 item and you’d go, “Are you freaking kidding me?” I was a litigation attorney. Whenever people are getting into a fight and use the court to arbitrate their fight, you are the arbiter of their fight. You’re at the low point, it’s a bad place to be. I don’t do that anymore. We call that thing there the pivot. That’s a technical term for that. Have you had a pivot in your life?
I have many pivots.
Sometimes we have to take this little delicate path to find the sinkhole along the way. With you, we aren’t going to do that. We’re going in to parachute that.
I’ve had two big work pivots in my career and that’s pretty much it. Big ones, I have a love life pivot that was also recorded performing. What would you like?
One from column A. Two from column B.
Column A one is radical. I’ll take the loved one. I was raised by Orthodox Jewish parents. If you go, “Tell me about your husband,” I’m like, “At least he sounds Jewish.” His name’s David Zander. His brother is Chris Zander. As you can tell, they were not Jewish boys. I teach about love and I teach about how to find the one and what that means to you and sorting yourself out. I had a pattern and in my pattern in life, I was trying to marry someone for my parents. When I was done being bored out of my mind dating that guy, the nice Jewish boy, I would romp around. I’d be a bad girl for a little while and then come back to try and be good. Somewhere around 27 to 28 years old, I had a revelation that I was trying to marry someone for my parents, not me.
You had that revelation before you married the guy?
I broke up with my parents. I had a sit-down pivot where I brought my parents together and truly cried before I had ever met anyone and said, “I have to break up with you. I love you with all my heart, but I can’t promise to marry someone to make you happy. I want to but I am weird. I am weird about dating that I know who my big problem is it’s I’m trying to please you people. I don’t care about being Jewish. How am I supposed to do this for you? I have to break up with you people. Let’s fight now.”
There’s a lot of self-awareness in what you said. I know you said it funnily and offhand. There are a lot of people who don’t come to that realization until they’ve been divorced at least once and they’re in their 40s and they look back and go, “For many years, I’ve been living someone else’s life or someone else’s lie.”
I was 27. That was the year I did meet my husband after I broke up with my parents. This is going to sound like it was magic. I was witchy. Within a few weeks, I met David Zander. I am with the love of my life. It’s twenty some odd years later, three babies, still playing with my husband like he’s the cutest thing that ever lived.
You created space. When we get rid of stuff, mental stuff, emotional stuff, physical stuff. It creates space and we know the way the universe. It is a universal law that you can’t have a vacuum. The universe always rushes to fill things, to fill a vacuum, to fill the space. That’s why space is creative and when we don’t have any freaking space, it’s no wonder why sometimes we can feel stuck in all those different areas. When you broke up with your parents, you created a little space for the guy to show up.
I had also not been telling the truth for many years. I was lying.
Were you a seven-year-old liar?
I was always trying to date someone to bring home to my parents. It was ingrained. The only way to make my parents happy was to date a nice boy.
Even the kid that you’re going to play doctor with, you said, “If I’m going to play doctor, you’ve got to play doctor with a nice Jewish guy.”
My pattern was strict. Next door was the family from Yugoslavia that I thought was hot and the other one was the Jewish boy which I was not that impressed. One felt like a cousin and one didn’t.
This is the relationship pivot.
That was a big relationship pivot that I’ve been smooth sailing ever since. In regards to my career, there were two pivots. The one when I was 22. I got a degree in Environmental Science from George Washington University. I was an Environmental Studies major. I saved the trees, kill the people. The more I cared about the environment, the more unhappy I was to be alive a little. I was mad at society. I got the job of my dreams and was unhappy and then had this revelation. Twenty-two years old, I had a revelation crying that the trees weren’t the problem. It was that people couldn’t see the trees and that I was working on the wrong issue.
The revelation I had was I was mad at humans for burning or not taking care of the trees. I was trying to save the trees, but the more I started to save the trees, the more I was pissed at the humans. I was not happy no matter how much because it was never going to be enough. I had a revelation this couldn’t possibly be my dream because I’m hating. This makes me hate. I had the revelation that the trees are going to be fine. It’s the humans that are going to die. It’s the humans that don’t see the trees. I’m not fixing the thing that has the problem. I’m not helping humans see the trees. It was a mess because my poor daddy paid for college. I went from like, “I need fire medals,” to, “I want to work in self-help.” They didn’t exactly line up as well as I can pitch it now. That was me.
This is a pivot that takes place while you’re in college or it happens afterward?
I got my dream job. I was working at the United Nations Global Environment Facility. It’s like getting a job at McKinsey. You finally arrived at the place you thought it was always meant to be and I was miserable. I hated the work. I needed a cigarette. I was unhappy.
How long did you stay in that state before the pain was great enough to do something?
When I realized I was miserable, I filled out an application for the Peace Corps and said, “I’ll either go to the Peace Corps.” I’ll either get out of Dodge and I didn’t want to go to the Peace Corps, but I’ll go. I better come up with a better answer before that. I found the only self-help company I’d ever heard about at the time. I worked there for a bunch of years until I ran away screaming and decided I’d rather help one person at a time to see if I could make a change and start to develop. Nothing was comprehensive enough. Nothing was actionable enough.
Here’s my next pivot. I left. I went out on my own. I don’t even count that as my pivot. Imagine I did that for a few years and I was having a ball. I had this lawyer moment which was, “What am I going to do? I’m successful. This is working well. I can keep raising my rates all I want. No problem. I’m going to grow, live, and die and have done 649 people.” Someone I had saved from being a lawyer and turned them into a life coach and executive coach and trained her. Her name is Mel Robbins. I took her from being an unhappy lawyer and taught her everything I know. Before you know it, she was getting a serious radio show. I had to confront that I was home with my two cute babies doing 649 people for the rest of my life doing well and being like, “If this was it, I was going to be still unhappy.” That was the next big pivot. I realized that that was not big enough, that I was a chicken.
I was on a show with Stewart Emery. I’m a part of a group called TLC and it won’t get into all of that. He was partnered with Werner Erhard. He created est, which then morphed into Landmark. We were talking about how it is that the outer world things we seek, we’re constantly seeking things to feel happy. It’s the change of a job. If I get my dream job like If I work at McKinsey, I’ll be happy. If I live in my beautiful Victorian home on two acres in Westchester and Chappaqua or wherever, then I’ll be happy. If I moved to San Diego, California, I’d be happy. You fill in the blank for yourself whether it’s money, it’s people, it’s relationships, it’s anything. More often than not, especially in my own experience has been in the training space for a lot of years, I’ve been around a lot of people. I’ve stopped doing the listing of the number of people whose lives we’ve impacted. I’m not buying that whole mass transformation thing anymore.
At a certain point, you’ve been around enough people to realize that finding the thing, including the purposeful thing and this thing. That doesn’t create inner peace or what we might call happiness, contentment, of feeling being comfortable in your skin, peace of mind, body, and spirit and all that. What are your thoughts about that? You worked with a lot of people and you’ve been in that space. You have been successful. You didn’t want to do the 649. You didn’t want to have 649 life-changing testimonials. You wanted something else.
If I wasn’t going to be a chicken and I was going to dare to do my greatest dream on earth, I would build the company I’m in the middle of the building now.
What year was that when you left?
I’m in love with what I’m building. I’m in love with who I get to reach. I’m in love with what we get. It’s a break-in to education. Teach real life. I care deeply about teaching real life and language so that kids can talk, think, and interact. I did that. I’m doing that. My concept does it at MIT and Stanford not because that’s where I care about doing it, though I’m happy to be there. It’s that by the time I bring the method into where I’m teaching at foster care, I want to close the gap on language from top to bottom in the language that matters. In being able to impact inner dialogues. Get to the richest companies in the world. Find the best people in the world who can make a difference.
I once had a witchy vision. There was a huge turkey. There’s a great shaman lady who does open heart and Costa Rica, no drugs, 9:00 AM and I am tripping. She’s quite a scene. You can’t beat her. I have a whole vision and the vision is a huge turkey for Thanksgiving, the biggest Turkey and I couldn’t understand why I saw the biggest turkey-like, “A turkey in my dream state?” What I got was there was a spatula that was made up of about 100 humans. The evil money is on top. You need to flip the bird. It’s a spatula. It’s 100 to 150 people that have the power and the money that are good. Get to them, Lauren. Dark’s on top, evil is running the money. It’s not millions of people. It’s not the turkey. I cried because I want to get to every little person. That’s not the problem. It’s not every little person. It’s who’s in control. If you heard my roster of who I’m coaching and who my company’s coaching and what we’re doing and what we’re infusing in them as different ways to think, take over their inner dialogue, have dreams for the world, deeply care. We’ve got some odds before the planet burns.
We’ve got a little time. Maybe several years are what we have.
I’m going for it. That’s why meeting people like you is epic fun. We’re all on the same game.
I’m going to hit you right between the eyes say, “All that’s great.” Good on you in every way possible. How lovely that we get to have this conversation and even reach that many more people with the idea that we could flip the bird. This book’s been out, Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love your life. How is that contributing to your piece to your happiness? One of the parts of the subtitle of your book was Love Your Life. It is a big deal to us given the fact that we know that suicide, whether people realize it or not, is a real issue. It’s not an issue among people that have mental illness or among people that you can’t relate to on some level. It’s an issue that affects all of us. There are a lot of people out there who’ve been impacted directly by suicide and that might be that it’s somebody in your family or some friend that you know. It’s also the fact most people have thought about it at some point or have maybe even attempted it at some point.
In many ways, the things that are disturbing most people are at the heart level that we inside don’t feel right. The not right feeling is epidemic. I’m not saying we have an epidemic of people thinking about driving off the side of a road or something else. Everybody I’ve met where I’ve asked this question said, “Have you thought about it? Did you ever give it serious consideration even for a moment?” Most people say yes. We get to choose at every moment how we experience this moment. We either love our lives, even if we’re in the middle of it. Even if the thing we started and we had all that energy about it. There are a lot of entrepreneurs, more than a billion people are freelancing or sidepreneuring these days.
People are working more remotely and will continue to do so. There are lots of entrepreneurs and we know that it is not an easy space to be in. You’re a successful woman. You’ve created a successful business. I want to hear about exactly what you’re talking about. There are a lot of people out there that have started with that, “I’m going to change the world and I’m going to flip the bird to all the people that deserve to have the bird flipped to them.” They’re running out of capital or they’re running out of energy and they’re exhausted. Those folks we have to speak to as well because loving your life means loving your life. Loving your life means not when the sun is shining and when it’s warm, the money is working, and when things are right. It’s loving your life even amid a storm.
What I’ve built and what I teach, I preach, practice, and follow. I do think that the most important thing is how do you love yourself? You respect yourself. How do you respect yourself? You respect what you do. You drift-off five times, you’re not going to like yourself very much and you’re going to blame your family and you’re going to blame your foot. There is inner dialogue. The whole book is about breaking into your inner dialogue in twelve different areas of life. My stuff is comprehensive. It is a reaction to what no one addressed back in est days. None of that went deep enough to break into the inner dialogue, to get a person to design their life, to design what matters to them. I don’t need what matters to me to matter to you. If you don’t tell the truth about what matters and it doesn’t matter, the reason a person is depressed is that they’re depressing.
Why are they depressing? They’re usually lying. What are you lying about? Let’s discuss that starting now. My ability to break into depression, that isn’t a mental illness. If it is a mental illness, I will have a hard time breaking it. If it’s the type that isn’t mental illness, it has everything to do with how somebody talks to themselves, hide lies and isn’t dealing with their moment-to-moment life. I can take that over and become a sponsor to what they need to be doing all day long. How many emails do you get where someone’s telling you what they’re accomplishing in the day? Including their food, including their exercise, including their actions, but not their attitude about their actions and then rating themselves. I’m like, “We will be working on having great lives.” This is not to be left up to chance.
What is it that brings you your inner peace? What’s the thing that keeps you or has you loving your life even when things are not going exactly how you want them? When you say flip the bird, that’s not you playing or being cute or funny. There’s energy there. You were getting annoyed about it.
I had a whole new pitch for women. I was upset about Kavanaugh and everything that’s going on. I was like, “What does this make me feel like? It brings up shame for me. What’s the shame it brings up?” I want to go to menstrual. I’ve been spending my whole life being ashamed of getting menstrual, getting a little cray-cray when it happens. I’m like, “Women need to go menstrual.” I decided it would take back the red tide. If we went for it and went menstrual, it might mess up the bloody tie. That’s how upset. You’re like, “Do I get upset?” I have to turn it into something I can live with and then share exactly as I do it. How many times do you tell this menstrual story? I’m like, “I told it about fifteen times now,” and it makes me feel I’m doing something about it.
I’m glad we could extract that. We combine deep down and get that wisdom. You’re turning your anger into something. It also feels it is an authentic feeling. You don’t want to feel angry. None of us want to feel angry. What we want to feel is a resolution at the end of that anger. We want to be heard, want to be seen, we want there to be some difference it makes in the world. It is frustrating when you are angry, but you stuff it or you don’t do anything productive with it.
How about we made a Trump joke on my blog about his hair? The number of people that left my blog, I had to vote if I was going to have my humor or take care of my clients. That happened. I’m not political. Forget his hair jokes. I’ll be okay. I am taking care of people’s whole lives. I don’t even get to make political jokes. There are compromises all the time that don’t feel right.
That’s inauthenticity when we don’t speak how we feel like speaking. We’ve got to also deal with the consequences of it because if you said the wrong thing to my mother, she would say something that she was not and she would leave. She would go to an island and we might not speak to her and see her for a few months. Something like that. There are always consequences for our actions. The fact that these consequences don’t mean you shouldn’t have taken action to begin with. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to get the few months. It’s not like I wanted to lose a few months of connection with somebody, whoever that was. When they reverse the tape and go back to it, I’ve got to say, “Did I need to say that? Did that need to happen the way it did? If I could change that, would I change that?” I was listening to Marie Forleo interviewing Brené Brown on her podcast and they had a great conversation actually about this topic. With this come out recently to speak some political stuff or express her opinion and Brené Brown said some things.
There are a lot of people out there who are hating on folks or responding to them to say, “I’m done with you. Once you are out there, I’m done with you.” That’s a consequence. You’re going to have to be willing to go back and say, “Am I okay with the fact that half my audience or whatever have decided that this doesn’t work for them because now suddenly you are not who they thought you were or you can’t be aligned?” It’s like saying, “I’m a Giants fan. I’m a Patriots fan.” You go, “That means I can’t listen to you. I can’t talk. I can’t look. I can’t enjoy it. I can’t interact because you’re on the wrong team.” That’s disturbing to me. That’s the essence of it because you can certainly have your reaction even to someone else’s opinion, but why does that have to poison the well entirely, which is what it feels like at times.
I honestly, even now don’t go political. It’s a complicated question because I don’t think it’s my place to be political when I am helping people in their personal lives. I am about figuring out what’s true for you and figuring out what’s true for me. I can understand if you had a voice and I didn’t like what you were saying and now you’re true for you were wiping it on me. That’s not my job. My job is to create a platform for you to think through and my method has philosophies, but not opinions like my democratic nature and my East Coast style.
What’s important here is that we learn how to speak our truth and also at the same time that we speak our truth, that we realize it’s not the truth. It’s your freaking truth, which means it’s your opinion. It’s your perspective on something. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your perspective. There’s a part of it, which is if I started to rant about or talk about a pine on the topic of dentistry and I don’t have a clue except having been in a dentist chair to get my cavities filled and my teeth clean. I’m going to start to talk about dentistry like I know what I’m talking about. People would probably stop listening to me because they’d say, “The guy’s a fool,” or that you’re leaning in the wrong direction.
Where this question gets messy, it’s the Bill Cosby concept. Did he ruin all of his comedy? How much does it matter the way a guru mind runs her business? There are worlds behind the business and is the message and what they taught. Is Michael Jackson ruined because of his perversions or maybe perversions? How do you feel? I think every individual has to separate it and go, “Do I care about the man behind the art or can I love the art and not care about the man?”
You’ve worked with thousands of people or a lot of people.
I’ve worked with thousands over the years.
You worked with people who have been very successful.
Famous, everything, big companies, all of the above.
I want to know what is the deeper truth in all this. If I were talking about dentistry, everybody would be like, “Adam probably isn’t qualified to talk about dentistry.” If I was to talk about politics and I have no clue about politics either. All I know is what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told or what feels right inside all that. If I do that, I talk about politics, not a lot different than me talking about dentistry. People look at me go, “Not so much, not getting it so much. He hasn’t earned the right to be an expert in that topic.” We get it. That’s what’s happening. All this violent discourse and it is violent discourse. It’s uncivilized discourse. You wrote a book where twelve different areas you’re getting at the truth. You’re getting at the lies. You’re digging into the inner dialogue of things. What is the deeper truth behind why it is that there are women wearing blue and women wearing red and men wearing blue and men wearing red? Might they as well be standing on opposite sides of the Mason-Dixon line? This is like civil war rhetoric that’s going on in our country.
What I pin it to is epigenetics. Epigenetics is you don’t have your dad’s green eyes. You have your dad’s wandering green eye. You wish you didn’t have the behaviors behind it. Given whom your parents are, given who their parents were, given the dynamic of where you grew up. It is difficult not to end up with a bit of verbatim from your reaction to your parents or ending up exactly like them. We think we should be further ahead than we are and we’re not. I’m devastated by that. We had a black president. That was something else. It didn’t even remotely deal with what was in the underbelly of what’s not working about being human still. You go, “Where did it come from?” I’m like, “Their parents and their parents.”
This is the nature-nurture argument or at least some part of it that there’s the genetics piece of it. I want folks who maybe don’t know what epigenetics is. They’ve heard the word before, but they maybe don’t know what that is. If you’d explain that a little bit because genetics is our DNA. We get passed down from generations.
I explain it this way because there have been studies done. Science has done studies. If you look it up, here’s what happens. I picked it up this way because it makes it simple. A little bunny rabbit is watching its sister bunny rabbit get eaten by a bear. That little bunny rabbit who hasn’t had any babies yet not only knows to be scared of bears, but its babies know to be scared of bears. The bunny behind me who saw nothing, my brother who saw nothing didn’t get any of that. Genetics are shaping as they’re happening and learning as they’re happening. What happened to your parents, whether you know it or not, is infused into your DNA. As you’re on your third marriage and you’re like, “My dad had four. Do you think I’m going for one more?” When I deal with humans, I make them study their parents’ financial situation. They’re like, “Go find out.”
You would want to know the DNA of their genetic like, “Did they have cancer? Are they diabetic?” Whatever is going on in their DNA, you would go, “I need to know that.” I’m letting you know, you don’t need to know that. You need to understand their sex lives, their financial situation, and their relationship with their siblings. How they fight with business partners? It’s significant events in their life. It’s the way they interact with black people. It’s the way they come from what they see the world. You don’t have it. Maybe you have it some way or other. If your dad’s an alcoholic and was, you may not drink, but you’re a workaholic. It isn’t, “Do you have it exactly as he has it?” It’s, “How do you have it? Are you the opposite or exact?” It’s leaking into some other area of your life. The ability to start to play tic tac toe with your parents to yourself will spook you out. If you think what’s happening in your life didn’t happen before somewhere in your lineage, the odds are that maybe it did in some variation, but not that far from the one.
It’s interesting to take a look at things that have happened in your life that didn’t work. For example, if your relationships have been bad and that’s been the history. You haven’t been able to keep relationships or people have abandoned you or they’ve betrayed you or you had betrayed people. You are looking back not only at why you made those choices but where it is that other people that have been close to you in your life. Influential people made similar choices or created some results. Those don’t have to necessarily even be your parents, but they could be your older brother or your grandfather or other people that you learned from.
This was when it triggered me to start studying this. Many years ago, I saved a client who was trying to figure out if she should get divorced. We have the most beautiful divorce. We figure out we’re getting divorced and successful woman and beautiful. Having a great divorce, husband, they’re raising the kid together. It’s fabulous. I get this witchy feeling that I don’t know how she’s doing. Where is she? I send a text like, “What’s happening in your life?” She is a 37-year-old, successful woman. She’s about to move her 27-year-old Latin dancer who needs a green card into her home with her child. That was not the problem. Her father was happily married now with his fourth wife. Mom was on her happily married with her third husband. It was like several years. The fourth wife was a long time, figured it out in the end. Which one got the green card for somebody? The dad, Spanish, green card. The only thing different was it wasn’t a dancer. We stopped the trait and got her to see how spooky it was. She knew nothing about the depth of her parents’ dynamics in love. That’s not true anymore. It was a weird voodoo. That’s how spooky epigenetics can be. That’s when I started figuring out I better study this closer.
I am a believer in the power of rituals. Rituals in particular for recovery because we are also epidemically, not epigenetically, exhausted. We are living in an exhausted world. To me, it’s not exhaustion that kills us. It’s our stress that kills us. It’s the lack of recovery from stress that leads to the things that ultimately make us miserable or exhausted or not well. What rituals do you have? What are the things you do in a ritual lies basis to help you maintain?
My favorite ritual, which I owe money if I do not keep it. I could lose $20 a day if I don’t do it either side of this ritual. Before 10:00 AM, I design my day. It’s called the DD, Design Day. I send it to someone. It is not a to-do list. It is very much a magic list, a being list like, “I had the best time now.” I ask for things. I play with things. I get laid by my husband. My kids are happy. This one said something. Before I start my day, I create my day that way and many people send it to a lot like their gang. I make sure I send it to one person who’s my accountability buddy. Before I go to bed I go, “Yes, no,” I account for it. If there’s anything I wasn’t happy with missed or want to create, going to bed into your subconscious. I like going into bed thinking I had the best day and anything I want to rewrite to happen that I say happened that day. I write right before bed and it’s the last thoughts I have before I go to sleep. If you go, “Could I keep track of my DDs and show you how the magic in my life has happened?” The answer is yes. I don’t need anything else. I can make everything. It’s like a playbook. I’m creating a playbook and designing my playbook every day. It includes whatever I want. It includes getting up and enjoying getting up at 5:00 in the morning even.
It’s a being list. In many ways, the quality of our life is equal to the quality of how we experience living. It’s not more complicated than that on some level. The long day that is our life, we’ll have not much to take with us. I don’t think we’re going to take anything with us other than the experience of being and we get to.
You pick up and drop people off here and continue with them.
We’re eternal beings. I don’t think our light is extinguished, but our bodies.
I do feel you meet people here that you can leave with and you can dump people in this life that you don’t have to connect with anymore. That’s what a part of what’s happening here is aligning and leaving and realigning and leaving and getting more evolved. Not with your parents or your family. They were God’s particular. You come with us, but the ones that are deep friends and relationships. You’d get to choose.
Do you believe in forgiveness?
I teach it. I love forgiveness. I mean it.
That’s the way that we end if we were to use the word karma or karmic repetition of things that people that you have real intense feelings for, either way, love or hate. These are people you might not be able to drop off quickly. You might have some extra work to do with some point later. Forgiveness is this wonderful way you can cut that cord and not necessarily have to drag around that baggage with you. I have enjoyed our chat. It’s been fun. Thank you so much for being a guest. For our community, if you’ve loved this episode, I can’t imagine there has to be something in this particular show that you didn’t laugh about or smile and go, “What are they talking about?”
Please leave a review. iTunes is a great place to do that. You can go to AdamMarkel.com/Podcasts and leave a comment. That way we can reply to your comment. Our Facebook page for the group that we’ve got set up for all of our interactions about pivoting. To be around other people pivoting and different things and the vulnerability, the authenticity, that’s brutal honesty about where people are at is spectacular. If you want to get access to that, go to Start My PIVOT Community on Facebook or PivotFB.com is the front door as well. It’s been a blessing to spend time doing this. I can’t imagine anything I would have rather been doing than what we’ve been doing.
I want to leave us with a prayer. A lot is accomplished through prayer. I’m not a religious person. I was brought up Jewish, but I’ve studied religion. I’ve studied people that have been incredible. I have given great gifts to the world whether it’s reading about Gandhi and reading his autobiography. He was a lawyer. I love reading the Bible these days. I love reading Emmet Fox who’s long since passed spiritual teacher, metaphysician, and he did some great work interpreting the Bible because a lot of the words that were used in those stories have been told for so long. It had such massive influence in the world. I sometimes misunderstood. There are great opportunities to interpret things, even the word righteousness, which has been used as a stick to beat people up sometimes. Righteousness, at least my understanding of that, is a way to say right thinking. If you think about what we ought to be judging, if anything, let’s judge right thinking. Let’s judge how it is that we are thinking rightly or not thinking rightly. That’s all about our accountability, self-responsibility.
My prayer is that we all get to wake up a little more tomorrow than we are now. It is all of our spiritual paths to be a bit more conscious each day. If we can do that, we’re on the right path. It starts by waking up physically because that’s not a guarantee. There was no guarantee that either of us, that any of us in our audience now would wake up now. Many people did not. When it is that you realize tomorrow as the alarm might be going off and there are responsibilities to take care of and maybe it’s the kids or it’s the commute or the job or whatever it is that starts the wheels of our minds working. The moment we realize we’ve got a new day ahead of us. That you could pause for a moment and take a breath as we started the show with a breath. In that breath, realize there are people right then at that moment taking their last breath.
Babies are being born taking their first breath. There’s something sacred or special at any rate about that moment. That’s something to be grateful for. If it’s in three steps, and I like to keep things in an order that my simple mind can wrap around. The three steps would be that we wake up tomorrow, that we’re grateful in that moment of waking for anything at all. If you’re inclined to say something out loud to set the tone for the day as it was wonderful. Lauren shared her DD. I’m a believer that we design or we default. The design for us could be tomorrow, no matter what’s happening in our lives, that we love our lives regardless. The good, the bad and especially the ugly, that we still love our lives. To say out loud, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” I hope you have an incredible rest of the day, evening or wherever it is we’re finding you. Lauren, thanks so much for being a guest. You were amazing.
I had so much fun.
Thank you. Cheers. Ciao for now.
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About Lauren Handel Zander
Lauren Handel Zander is the Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Handel Group®, an international corporate consulting and life coaching company. Her coaching methodology, The Handel Method®, is taught in over 35 universities and institutes of learning around the world, including MIT, Stanford Graduate School of Business, NYU, and the New York City Public School System.
Lauren is also the author of Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap, Face Your Fears, Love Your Life (Published by Hachette Book Group, April 2017), a no-nonsense, practical manual that helps readers figure out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. She has spent over 20 years coaching thousands of private and corporate clients, including executives at Vogue, BASF, and AOL. Lauren has been a featured expert in The New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Women’s Health, Dr. Oz, and Marie Claire and she is a regular contributor to Businessweek and the Huffington Post.