We’ve got the amazing, magnificent, spectacular, vivacious, brilliant, Lisa Nichols. Many of you know her from being a part of Oprah’s shows and Steve Harvey. She’s written a beautiful book, Abundance Now, and of course her work with Jack Canfield on Chicken Soup for the African American Soul. Our conversation was just amazing. It was epic. Lisa gets quite vulnerable about areas of her life where she’s pivoted and the mindset and the actions that were taken that she took in those moments and how it is that she’s ongoingly challenging herself. She’s going to reveal something that she’s never shared before, something she is announcing that no one else has heard about, certainly not in public. It’s going to be announced for the first time here on this Pivot Radio Show. Stay tuned. Get ready. Buckle up. Whatever you’re doing, remove the distractions, get to a quiet place or someplace that you can at least focus and listen to this gem of an interview with the amazing Lisa Nichols.
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New Year New You – Be Your Own Breakthrough with Lisa Nichols
I feel so blessed for so many reasons. One of the reasons is that I get to share a dear friend with you. I get to have some time to chat. This is going to be selfish time right here. Everybody else is going to benefit out of it but nobody before me and I get to spend to some time with a friend as we’re all so busy. I hate that word busy but I can’t get around it. Our lives are so active with kids and kids in and out of the house. We were just chatting about how we never have an empty house. One leaves, one comes back. One leaves and one comes back. One leaves and one new one shows up like, “Where did that come from?” This is like a revolving door. We have so many beautiful souls just in and out and staying for a while. It seems like everybody from the East Coast ends up on-boarding. It’s like the on-boarding process to moving West is they come to live with the Markels and then they get their shit together and then they move out and they launch and all that.
I feel blessed just to be able to breathe. How important it is, how incredible it is in any moment where we have the stillness to be present and to be grateful. I’m recognizing in this moment that I’m taking this slow, deep, lovely breath, that there are people all over this planet who are taking their very last breath in this moment. That makes this moment sacred, holy. What a blessing. Whatever it is that you’re doing right now maybe just slow down for just a little bit. What an incredible gift that we give ourselves to slow down from time to time.
I remember reading in an Emmet Fox book recently about four rules. I’ve actually read it over and over for the last eight years. I just keep reading the same things day after day. New day, new reading. It comes around again. I can’t believe a year goes by where I read the same thing over. These four rules were: don’t hurry, don’t worry, don’t condemn, don’t resent. Four simple rules, easy to remember, not so easy at times to remind ourselves, “Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. Don’t condemn. Don’t resent.” I feel so blessed and honored that I get to spend time with you now to breathe our collective breath, our breath for love, our breath for peace, our breath for harmony and our breath for friendship.
I get to connect with a divine soul, dear friend, amazing woman, incredible woman, incredible human, mother, daughter, business owner, entrepreneur. To call her a speaker is a mild statement of what she does with or without a mic. When she walks into a room, the energy that she puts out, the light that she emanates, the way her eyes light up and her smile lights up and how she models. She raises that vibration for herself and models it for other people. Therefore, they get to see and experience what it’s like to raise the energy on the inside and to get more connected to spirit, more connected to the best part of ourselves. That’s what I absolutely adore most about her. She’s a best-selling author too many times over to count. She’s one of Jack Canfield’s partners with the Chicken Soup for the African American Soul, and Abundance Now. She teaches people how to speak, how to own, utilize their authentic voice, their message, to put something out in the world that’s meaningful. She’s changed so many lives. I love the fact that I get to spend time with this lovely lady. Her name is Lisa Nichols. I know most of you have heard of her or seen her on Oprah or Steve Harvey or some other thing. Without further ado, I’m going to raise up the energy just a little bit as I introduce her and just say hello to my dear friend, Lisa Nichols. How are you doing?
I’m really excited to be with you. This is long overdue. We run into each other around the world like, “We’ve got to spend time together.” I’m grateful to be here. I’m grateful that you would find my contribution of value enough to share with your tribe. My grandmother would say, “When God places you over and in the space where you’re leading, teaching or inspiring people and then you trust someone else to step into that space with you, that’s a big deal.” I don’t take this invitation for granted.
Lisa, you have some of the best pivot tales of anybody I know. Your pivot stories are epic. In this community, people are really used to the fact that we get vulnerable, we get real, talk about those things that other people might call frustrations or disappointments or let-downs or failures, whatever. These are just these opportunities for growth that are so profound. I wrote that book and rebranded Pivot, so I talk about it as pivot, but there are so many ways to describe those inflection points in our lives, those pivotal moments where we come off from the bottom, where there’s a dip in something in our lives. Maybe it was our energy. Maybe it was our health. Maybe it was our business or something. Then we did something in that moment that changed everything, we learned something and then we could get moving back up again. I don’t know where we want to start this. It doesn’t matter to me. Any place you want at all and fine with miserable by the way.
There are so many moments. Pivot is the perfect way to recognize it because prior to pivot, there’s choice. There’s choice because you’ve got to choose the pivot. I love the power of choice. I own every single choice I made: the good, the bad, happy, sad, right, wrong and everything in between or whatever we want to label it. I’ve had a lot of pivot moments that I didn’t welcome in. You don’t welcome in the valley. You don’t welcome in the dip. You ride it out. You decide what you’re going to do in it. I have many. I think what people most know me for, and I don’t share this for lack of others, I share this just because it was one of the most pivotal times in my life, was when my son was born. I was always the person who got labeled as, “She has a lot of potential.” They used to drive me crazy. When people would tell me I had a lot of potential, I’d go, “I could be someone really special in the future but right now I’m just a slacker?” Potential didn’t make me feel good in the moment because I heard it so much but I didn’t see any evidence of who I could become. It wasn’t matched.
When my son was born, I had to get on government assistance. That felt like a rock bottom moment. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I got on Women, Infants, and Children, WIC; free pasta, free butter, free cheese, free milk. I remember right around this time in the holiday seasons, I would get in the line to get the free turkey that they would give to parents that qualify. I remember having this mixture of feelings. I was literally ashamed to stand in that line for two hours to get a free turkey. At the same time, I was incredibly grateful that the line existed so that I could get a free turkey. I remember standing in line at the government assistance building and I asked the woman, “Can you look at me? I need to tell you something.” She’s writing. She goes, “No. Ma’am, just hurry up.” I said, “No, no, no. I need you to look at me because I need to tell you something. I need you to see me when I tell you this.” She said, “Ma’am, I don’t have time.” I hit the desk. “I need you to look at me.” She looked up, startled. I said, “I just want to tell you that I need some help with foodstamps and health insurance so that I can have my baby and be safe. I’m going to make good of your investment in me. I won’t be here forever. I don’t know if you meet a lot of people who stay on this assistance for a long time, but I just need you to see me when I tell you I’m not going to be one. I’m going to do good with the help you’ve given me.” I don’t share that a lot.
I remember she just looked up at me like, “Okay.” She stopped calling me Ma’am and started calling me Ms. Nichols. I often think about that clerk and I don’t know if she recognizes my name. That was a moment for me to have to say out loud, “This is a moment in time. This is not my life. This is not my sentence. This is not my destiny. This is a moment in time.” Similar to the moment when I only had $11.42 in the bank and I didn’t have money to buy Jelani Pampers and I had to wrap him in a towel for two days. I put my hand on his stomach and he was only eight months old, so he couldn’t understand me but I needed to hear myself say it again as I had him wrapped in this towel, “Jelani, don’t worry. Mommy will never be here again. I’ll never be this broke. More importantly, I’ll never be this broken again.”
Similar to when I sat in the doctor’s office after being physically abused by my former fiancé, picked up and thrown three feet across the room and then choked until I passed out. Sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing the doctor tell me, “Ms. Nichols, you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and you are clinically depressed.” She handed me a prescription and I read the prescription and it said, “Lisa Nichols, Prozac.” I knew what Prozac was, Adam, but I had never seen my name and Prozac on the same paper. I looked up at my doctor and said, “Are you telling me that I’m sad?” I was a motivational speaker at the time. I had just started my career. I was three years in. I had already gotten a couple of standing ovations. Not me. She said, “Lisa, you’re not just sad. You’re really, really, really sad.” I’ve had some pivot moments.
What’s the connection between the sadness or the disappointment and the opportunity to serve? There’s an old adage that I heard about speaking when I started. It was that, “You don’t tell a story you’re still bleeding from.”
Yes, you don’t share a valley you’re still in.
Yet, along the way, it’s what’s real for us at times. I think part of the problem is that people who do see folks that are motivating others or inspiring or teaching others, is somehow they think they don’t have problems. They’ve gotten past them and now they walk not on water but something close to it. This is not true. That’s just bullshit really.
People tell me all the time, “Lisa, I’d love to have your life.” I said, “Watch out. You can’t just take chapter 24. You’ve got to take chapter 4, chapter 10. You don’t get all of it.” I tell people I am far from perfect, far, far. I simply learned how to be at peace with my imperfection. I’ve learned how to embrace and dance with my fear. I’m not without fear. I’m not without frustration. I’m not without hurt. I’ve learned how to dance with them. I’ve learned how to be okay with the bitter parts because I have bitter parts of my life. I’m not a bitter person but I have bitter parts when I’m dealing with betrayal or I’m dealing with death or I’m dealing with my own fear, storms, I’m dealing with loss.
[Tweet “I love the power of choice. I own every single choice I made.”]
Something lives inside of that experience at the same time. There is a knowing of the phoenix. The phoenix is the eagle that always rises again. I would invite anyone looking at this to study the phoenix and the whole story, the concept of the phoenix. The phoenix rising is the eagle that keeps rising. It doesn’t die. It reinvents itself over and over again. I’m the eagle that keeps reinventing myself. I think when we live inside a static, “It’s supposed to be this way and it’s supposed to be this way forever.” Those are dangerous terms. To ask how can we teach, learn, love, grow, find the gift that came wrapped in sandpaper. Some of the very things that are the reason I am the way I am and the blessings that I can bring to others, that some of the very reasons of that are wrapped in sandpaper. They were ugly moments that in order to rise from it, I had to find my graciousness. I had to find my forgiveness. I had to find forgiveness when I didn’t want to forgive. In order to be who I say I want to be, do what I say I want to do, I’ve got to find grace with myself when I want to blame myself and have shame. I had to find the grace to be the phoenix, to be the eagle, to rise again, to give myself one more life. I don’t try to give myself 100 more lives. I just give myself one more life. I just do it 100 times. I don’t have to get up 100 times. I just have to get up one more time and then do that over and over again. Just one more time over and over again.
I have been very blessed, just extremely blessed with the way people have loved me and embraced me from when I was on Oprah, to being on Larry King, to the Today Show, to Steve Harvey. Society has just responded to me in such a way I can’t even explain to you how grateful I am because I didn’t think they’d respond that way. I put all these limiting beliefs, “I don’t know if they’re going to respond to me. I’m a woman. I’m a black woman. I’m a woman from South Central. I was on government assistance. I was in an abusive relationship.” I have all these reasons why people wouldn’t love me or wouldn’t accept me. I was over 210 pounds. The first launch of my career, first fifteen years, I was over 210 pounds. I had my obesity issues, my cultural issues, my economic status issues, everything, every block. People just kept loving me and kept opening their arms to me; white men, Asian men, white women, Indian women. There was no boundary.
When I asked why, the answer was people loved the truth. No matter how messy it is. They appreciate your truth, your willingness to have the courage to share the not so pretty so that together we can see possibility. It’s not in my now that people fall in love. It’s in my telling them what was before my now. It’s this dance with possibility. It’s why we watch Rocky. It’s like Rocky 19 now. We know Rocky’s going to get knocked down. We know Rocky’s going to bleed. We know we’re going to wonder is he going to get up. We know Rocky has to get up. It’s the reason why you can make nine Rockys or however many because we all know that in us is that little engine that could. You’ve got to be over 40 to remember the cartoon, The Little Engine That Could. It just kept going. When we witness that in someone else, it gives us permission to get us going. The beauty is sharing it. Sharing when my engine was slow. Sharing when I thought it couldn’t make it up the hill. Sharing it as it got a little momentum. It had to stop again. To me, there’s no glory in sitting on your mountain top if you don’t show me how you had to climb. What we do, why you’re my brother and I’m your sister and this tribe is here is that we’re willing to show ourselves climbing the mountain, so the top of the mountain feels better to celebrate together. I hope I answered your question.
There wasn’t even a question there. There was just a wondering curiosity. We still have ugly moments. This is the thing. We’ve got some big impactful stories of things that we suffered, through a pain that we got through, of challenging times that would take a lot of other people out and could have taken us out. On some level, I guess that gives some credibility to standing and saying, “This is how it could’ve gotten taken out. This is what happened and this is where I ended up, by the grace of God, by the grace of people that love us even in those moments when other people run for the hills or betray us or think we suck or hate us on social media or wherever.” Yet, we endure and persevere and then we get to tell that story. That’s of a great value.
What I’m curious about is that everybody understands that we still have ugly moments, still have ugly thoughts. Sometimes for a person who’s in the public eye or someone who has some celebrity or has some money finally, has some success, it’s almost scarier for folks there because now you have something to protect. I’m a kid from Queens. I grew up in a tiny little apartment, sharing a room with my brother with a size of a closet. When you start with nothing, nothing is what you’re used to. It’s not like you can fall very far. When you’ve got people you employ and people depend on you and people follow you and they love you and they want to be inspired by you 24/7, that’s a whole different weight that you carry on your shoulders.
If you fail big, you feel like you fail all of them. There’s this beautiful letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King. It’s not publicized often. I published it in Chicken Soup for the African American Soul. It’s a letter where he’s sitting at his dining room table and he writes a letter to God. He says, “God, I’m tired and I want to quit. I’m scared. I’m scared for my parents. I’m afraid for my wife and for my little daughter.” He only had one child at the time. He had four kids. After kid number one, he was scared. He said, “They’re throwing pipe bombs in my window at my home. They’re calling and threatening me on the phone. They’re hurting my friends. I’m afraid, God, and I want to quit.” Then he says, “I’m afraid if I quit, the people’s faith will wane. That their faith will begin to waver and they’ll stop because I stopped. God, show me how to keep going with this fear.” Every time I read it, I cry. I’m far from Dr. King and I’m not trying to measure myself to him, compare, but understanding what it means to feel the fear, feel the hurt, feel the exhaustion. I say there’s a difference between “I’m tired” and “I’m weary.” When you’re tired, your body is tired. When you’re weary, your body and your spirit and your soul are exhausted. To understand that level of weary and to still choose to keep going because you don’t want the people’s faith to waver, that’s what you’re talking about.
I’ve never heard anyone in any form of media talk about that letter because that letter is not Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That letter is Martin. That letter is Martin the father, the husband and the son. I keep going to that letter for the very reason you just talked about because that letter shows me it’s okay to have the feeling that I felt. I have a picture of where my life is now. My son, he wipes the tears of his girlfriend who had to shave her head because she’s battling cancer. I was watching my child be a stand for his girlfriend and watching him hurt, and watching him stand by her side as she shaves her head, and me in the background praying the prayer as a mother, “Give me strength to hold him and to hold the people and to hold the business.” I so know what you’re talking about. You’re speaking the language of what I deal with on a daily basis.
Your beautiful son, how many days out of 30 days has he spent sleeping in the hospital?
28 days out of 30 days. He only left for two days because her best friend flew in from Washington and slept there for two days. He slept in the hospital. He never went home. He rode with her on the ambulance 30 days ago and didn’t even have his car because he wouldn’t leave the hospital to get his car. I went to Target and had to buy him underclothes and t-shirts and pajamas and house shoes and everything you could need when you’re not planning to leave. He slept in a recliner chair for 28 days.
That’s a proud mama moment to know that that’s your boy. You don’t tell a child and you don’t, with words, teach a child to show up that way as a human being. These are your words I’m reflecting back to you now. You model it. He could show up that way because he’s seen it in his grandma, in his grandfather and in his mother.
I couldn’t be prouder of being the stand, watching her hair come off. He went up to her and he rubbed her bald head and he said, “I didn’t think you can get any more beautiful.” In that moment, I actually didn’t cry as a mother. I cried as a woman of having to shave my head and what I would want the man that I’m in love with to say first. The first words out of his mouth were, “I didn’t think you could be any more beautiful.” I was crying as a woman. Forget mom for a minute. I was like, “I’d love to hear that if I was in this predicament.”
To your point, we are going through our own things as well. We’re mustering up the courage to look strong in front of our kids, to smile, to hold other people up when we want to be held, to hold our tears in until we get to our bedroom, until we get to our shower. Just like the other superheroes and supersheroes looking at this podcast, we do the same thing. Then we get up again. Then we believe again. Then we talk ourselves up to our highest level of consciousness because we know that our situation is a small ingredient in a much bigger plan, that we are layers like lasagna. We are layers of experience. We can’t look at one layer. We can’t look at one ingredient. Ricotta, by itself, probably isn’t as great as ricotta with some tomato sauce, with some great pasta, with some great seasoning or some oregano. It’s just not the same. I don’t eat oregano by itself. I have no desire to scoop oregano in my hand and throw it in my mouth, but I love some oregano in my spaghetti or my lasagna or in my meatball. It’s the ingredients that make up who we are. Any one ingredient by itself doesn’t define us.
That moment in the government assistance line, it couldn’t define me. That moment when you had to make a decision in New York, “Are you going to still be an attorney that’s a jerk? Are you going to go and serve the planet with your gentleness in your spiritual?” You’re one of the most beautiful, masculine, conscious, aware and awake men I know. You have to make a decision to become him. That time when you were attorneys and you’re fighting and you’re inside the court system, that was an ingredient. In some way, I absolutely know who he was then helps me to experience this beautiful soul I call my brother now, and yet that wasn’t a delicious time for you. That’s an ingredient. Everything that we have in our lives is fuel. Nothing is fortress. Nothing is designed to stop us. Everything is fuel. Everything is behind us if you look at it that way. I’m not talking Pollyanna. I’m not talking woo-woo. I’m talking real life, “What are you going to do with the ingredients? What are you going to make with it?” By itself, cinnamon is gross but I’ve made a peach cobbler for that Christmas party that I heard was pretty amazing. I had a lot of cinnamon in it.
It’s interesting we’re talking about kids. This is what’s coming up for me. At a certain point, I started to come home with these things that I was learning and then the blessings to share. We’ve been able to have access to people in different ways for a bunch of years and what a blessing that’s been. I come home and I would say some things at the dinner table whatever with the kids. They would say, “Dad, stop training me. Don’t train me. I don’t want to be trained. This is not a training. We’re not in a seminar now. Stop that.” I think it’s so important that it’s the actions. It’s the things that we model by what we do more so. I’m not saying the things we say aren’t important because words are powerful, words have meaning, words can be God’s words. They go where we aim them. They land where we intend. They’re powerful. Yet at the same time, they have to be congruent with actions. Your son shows up that way because he’s seen loyalty. He’s seen a lot of things from you and from your family that gave him a blueprint for what a good human looks like. He didn’t have to just figure it out all on his own.
This is where I’m curious to know what you do for yourself. I was watching Joel Osteen just a little bit and he says, “Two people inside of you. There’s the old you, there’s the new you.” You think the old you is dead. You think you’d killed it off, but the old you is not dead. It’s always there. That poor person, that broke person, that insecure person, that person that doubts themselves or thinks they’re not worthy or that person who thinks they’re a fraud like. I’ve been doing this for twenty years and they finally found me out? It’s that moment when that old person shows up. You have a choice, just like you said. For me, that’s where prayer comes in. That’s where I go to spirit. I go to God for that guidance because that old person inside, they show up at the darndest times. They show up and then you go, “Where the heck did you come from? What am I going to do about you right now? Because you’re right in my face in this moment.”
“You’re interrupting my blessing. You’re interrupting what I’m up to. You’re interrupting what I’m on to next. You’re a speed bump. You’re making me to have to slow down. You’ll become a stop sign if I don’t manage the speed bump.” So many people didn’t manage the speed bump, so the speed bump became a stop sign. The stop sign became a wall. It was ten years ago when the time that it screamed the loudest to me, “You’re a fraud and they’re going to find you out.” It was the night before I was going on Oprah. When I tell you, Adam, I couldn’t sleep because I read the pre-interview and they said the experts. “Lord, why did they call me an expert?” Every siren in my head went off because you don’t self-call yourself an expert. Someone else has to call you that first. I just kept going, “What if they realize I got issues? What if they realize that I was in an abusive relationship? What if they find out?” All these things I was afraid for them to find out. Of course, Oprah being Oprah, she actually talks about them with me like, “It’s hard what you were in.” I was like, “No.”
The vulnerability is the key and she knows that. That’s the best they knew everything because she got that. I want to know. Is there a ritual for you or practice that you do consciously?
[Tweet “It’s the ingredients that make up who we are. Any one ingredient by itself doesn’t define us.”]
When you hear that little old voice, that voice might get fainter, that voice is less familiar, all that kind of thing, but you know it. It’s like if somebody from your past called out to you downstairs. For me I grew up in an apartment, it would be like somebody in the street calling, “Adam,” I would know that person’s voice and I would know exactly what it was. If it was an old bully from fifth grade, I would know that my stomach would turn over in getting them in because that person is calling me out. I’m going to go outside. I’m going to have to defend myself.
First of all, there’s a consciousness that I walk with that Lisa, that part of me, and her name is Chanté because that’s my middle name. I used to get bullied by a girl in second grade named Chanté so I hated my name. No one ever knew my name up until two years ago. Two years ago is when I finally had enough peace with Lisa to embrace Chanté. Chanté is my middle name. Chanté is scared because she has a learning disability. I’m functionally dyslexic. I didn’t know I was functionally dyslexic until I was in my mid-twenties. I was embarrassed to read in public all through my school years and I was embarrassed as an adult to read in public. It’s probably why I leaned on speaking because I thought, “If I talk enough, they won’t make me read anything.” I embrace my dyslexia now. I’m actually a better teacher because I managed my dyslexia. I don’t wear it as a label, as a title. It’s something I get to dance with like everything else. I tell people, “I teach better because I’m dyslexic. I teach forward and backwards, so you have no reason to not get in. I cover everybody.” I will say, “I’m going to go forward and I’m going to go backwards for my sisters and brothers who saw it the other way.” I literally teach 360 just because I teach the way I learn, so it makes me a more thorough teacher.
This is the premise. If there’s anything that you walk away with, I believe there are several nuggets in this podcast, but I really recommend you walk away with this, that I give myself permission to live in a constant state of duality. I give myself permission to be brilliant. I don’t minimize her. Whatever I’m brilliant at, my lane, whatever that thing is that I’ve been blessed to do, I give myself permission to be brilliant at that. I don’t shrink it. I don’t question it. I don’t doubt it. I just embrace the brilliance, whatever that is. At the same time, I give myself permission to be clueless, afraid, uncertain at the very same time about that being over there. In giving myself permission to live in a constant state of duality, then I step into PPHD. Because I give myself permission to live in constant duality, there’s nothing to prove, first P. There’s nothing to protect, second P. There’s nothing for me to hide, and there’s nothing for me to defend. Like you said, “Easy to say it, challenging to do and live in.” I’m just saying it’s more than just a little statement.
This is the best part right now.
Don’t look at all the mix-up. “How do I live so that there’s nothing to prove, nothing to protect, nothing to hide and nothing to defend?” The way you do that is give yourself permission to live in constant duality. Own what you own. Know what you know. Do well what you do well. At the same time, be in learning mode. Be in mastery. Be in acceptance. Being embracing of all those things that are still information. They might even be messy. I’m great at creative design and I can be super unorganized. I’m really powerful at transformation. I really struggle at systemics. Anything that just has to stay locked in place, I resist. I give myself permission to live in this space and manage this. I live here and I manage this. Because I’m not naturally organized, I need to have a place for everything. I need to have a cubbyhole, I need to have a shelf to manage that.
I want to plus what you’re saying by pointing out the fact that this is where you know from a business perspective, because we both operate and run businesses and have been in that space a long time, the place that you manage. This is where you live and this is where you manage. This management place where you get to show up as a leader. Meaning, a leader delegates, a leader recognize. One of the great strengths of leadership is to know what you’re not good at, what you’re not strong at, what’s not your gift. Sometimes knowing what your gift is important and knowing what’s not your gift is as important if not more important. When you don’t know what’s not your gift or not your work to do, you have a massive blind spot.
When you try to hide it, when you try to hide the fact that it’s not your strength which is why, ‘nothing to prove, nothing to protect, nothing to hide, nothing to defend.’ When you try to hide that that’s a weak link and that’s not necessarily your strength, it’s okay. It’s not my mastery, it’s something that I will manage but I don’t necessarily do it well, the best thing I could do is raise my hand and ask for support. The best thing I can do in leadership is to say, “Who does that better than me?” and personally as well. I just told my nephew. I made him breakfast before school and I said, “Nephew, what I do really well is cook. I cook really well. I get people to moan, “It’s so good,” whether they’re doing it to be gracious or they really mean it.” I cook well. I’m not a chef. My son is actually a certified chef, so it’s all relative. I home-cook well. I’m a home girl, home-cooker. I do that well. I told my nephew, “What I don’t do well is necessarily clean while I go. That’s not my gift.” I want everything to be hot, but then when it’s hot on the plate, I want to say blessings with you. I don’t know who’s going to clean up this kitchen. I just explode the kitchen. I try to wash while I go. I’m blown away by the people who can clean the kitchen immaculately while they go. That’s just not my gift. I asked his support. I said, “Can you clean while I’m cooking?” Because then at the end, I want my kitchen clean. I do not want a dirty kitchen. I just don’t know how to do both. I know how to cook an amazing meal, eat it with you and the kitchen is clean at the end. He just looks at me and he said, “Auntie, I’ve been living with you for three months and you never asked me to help you in the kitchen.” I said, “I know. I’ve been trying to prove that I could do it all. I need to accept that there’s nothing to prove.” He said, “I can help you with it.” It was like it was his assignment. He said, “I get it.” I’ve never seen a seventeen-year-old so excited about washing dishes.
That essence of what we don’t want to do or what we don’t do well is a place where we can ask for support. I love Brené Brown’s work because it’s all about vulnerability and the strength that comes from that. It’s the ability to serve in the way that we’re meant to serve. We don’t have to pretend and hold up and create the energy that’s required to hold up the pretense. That pretense is exhausting.
Nothing to protect, nothing to prove, nothing to hide and nothing to defend. If you can live like that, take each one and look at what does owning each concept mean in your life. All of a sudden, you step into a whole new level of freedom. You can get locked into managing other people’s perception of you, and that’s consuming. That’s draining. It’s distracting from what God put you on the universe for, what the universe needs you for, what the spirit is calling you to do. When you’re trying to manage other people’s perception of you, it’s distracting from what you’re supposed to be doing. When you can live, PPHD, nothing to prove, protect, hide or defend, all of a sudden, you go, “Now, who can I just be?” The way you do that is give yourself permission again to live in that duality. When you can live in that duality at the same, and you talked about earlier when you have more responsibility and people are watching you, you can get caught up and not living in duality. You think you have to be the expert and you have to be the answer and you have to be the hero or ladies, the shero for everyone. You forget that the cape that you have on has a Velcro tie around the neck and the ‘S’ on your chest is really written in Crayola. When you give yourself permission to wash it off and put it on, and then wash it off and put it on, put your cape back on every day or take it off whenever you need to, wash the Crayola ‘S’ off your chest, when you give yourself permission to live in that duality, that’s when you’re living 360 experience.
I have three daughters, a big, tall son, Max. You haven’t seen Max in a while, but he’s 6’3”. He finished his first semester in college and when he came home for Thanksgiving, which was crazy because Chelsea and Matthew got engaged on Thanksgiving, it was wild around our house with 28 people, my mom was out for New York. Max came home with three inches of hair up here because he hadn’t had a haircut since he started college. No time, no money. He’s like 6’6” with his hair. It’s crazy. Randi and I have three gorgeous, beautiful, independent-thinking, really special girls. I’m so biased because they’re our girls, for sure. I think the relationship with girls and their daddies is important. I want to just ask you. What’s one thing that you take away from your dad, from that relationship, to see him there looking at you? That just me as a daddy, that’s where my heart when I’m like, “Look at your girl.” I don’t know your dad well enough to go over there and put my arm around and go, “Look at your girl,” but I will next time.
You could have because the attention was on his girl. At any point, he will take the whole daddy camaraderie. Would you believe that I am excited to say that next year I turn 52 and I’ve lived long enough to have some life experiences and to embrace? Would you know that at 51, I drove home from a Christmas party holding my daddy’s hand? We held hands the whole time I drove home. He stayed up. Everybody else in the car was asleep and my dad stayed up talking to me, asking me questions to help me stay awake because we had quite a bit of a drive at the time. The lesson that I take away, I was twelve years old and my father took me on my first date. He took me to a seafood restaurant in the Marina del Rey, I’ll never forget. He opened the door for me and I got in the car. I never had that. We got to the restaurant and he asked me what did I want. I told my dad what I wanted and my father ordered for me. He got me my first drink from the bar. I had a beautiful Shirley Temple, asked me did I like it, made sure it was okay, asked me did I want an additional cherry in it. I said, “I could get that?” He goes, “Absolutely.” He waved the bartender, brought me an additional cherry and it was just an amazing date, my first date. When we got back to our house, I went to walk in the door. He unlocked the door. He opened the door. When I went to walk in, he closed it. I looked up at him and said, “Daddy, what’s wrong?” He said, “Sweetheart, tonight I took you on your first date so that you get to see how you get to be treated.” He said, “Now, how you choose to be treated will be on you.”
Fast-forward ten years, I was 21 years old. I went out on a date with a guy for all the wrong reasons, called #RedCorvette. I liked his car. I’m just telling you the truth. I was young. During dinner, he was just dismissive, a little abrasive. It was when pagers were out. He kept taking phone calls. I decided while he was taking one of his calls, I really didn’t like the way I was being treated because my daddy had showed me when I was twelve how I got to be treated. When he returned to the table for the fifth time, I wasn’t there. I had called a taxi, home. He met the taxi at my house. His car was pretty fast. He said, “Where did you go? Why did you leave?” I said, “It’s simple. My dad showed me how I get to be treated on a date and you weren’t doing that.” I walked in my house and I was fine with it. Probably for three months, he called me and left various messages, “I’ve never had a woman do that. I think I’m in love.” “I think you’re not. You’ll get over it, don’t worry. It’s like gas, it’ll pass.”
That was the lesson and I’ve applied it to so many different scenarios. I’ve been shown how I get to be treated. In many ways, you show me as a male friend, my father, my friends. How I choose to be treated is a constant choice and I have to keep reminding myself, “I’m choosing every experience.” I was twelve years old and it was one of those moments when I thought, “I’m going to put this lesson in my back pocket and carry it forward.” I’m 51 years old now and I still draw from that lesson, which is why I can remember it so effortlessly.
[Tweet “How I choose to be treated is a constant choice. I’m choosing every experience.”]
What a beautiful opportunity to share that with others. Can we pull the curtain back on an opportunity, on an exciting piece of news?
Yeah, we can. You’re the first space that I am announcing it in.
I want to just say that there’s a platform for your expression, your ability to share the life experiences, the good and the bad, the ugly and to be able to help other people through those same passages in their life. There’s a really popular book some years ago, called Passages. This idea that we’re always going through these very similar things, we’re so connected. There’s so much that connects us. We think we’re separate, that’s the illusion, this illusion of separateness and yet we’re so connected. You’re going to have an opportunity to have access and connection with many more people pretty soon.
It’s a great pivot to serve on another platform. I have been praying for the opportunity, direction to serve on a broader scale at a time that’s right and having developed my company in the back end to provide a full service. I’ve never wanted to do television to be a celebrity. Not my thing. I never had a dream about the red carpet or a Hollywood party. Really, I can take it or leave it, I don’t even think about it. I’ve never wanted to be a celebrity. I’ve always wanted to transform as many lives as possible. I named my company in 1996, Motivating the Masses. In 1996, I knew I wanted to motivate the masses.
When I was asked to meet with Dr. Phil’s team, I thought that I would meet with his team at their offices. To my surprise, I actually met with Dr. Phil at his home. We sat in his backyard. To summarize the conversation, he was very kind, very generous, very acknowledging of my body of work and very transparent that he would like to work with me and that I had something. He said he was a powerful white man serving millions and I’m a powerful black woman serving millions. I love what he said. He goes, “We need to work side by side so that people can see that.” “Yes, of course. In this climate, in this time, we need to show the truth that we are more alike, that we can dance together, that we honor our differences and we celebrate our likeness and both are beautiful.” You and I talked about that long before I talked about it with Dr. Phil.
I thought I was going to Beverly Hills but we were going up into the Beverly Hills mountain and I got five bars, and then I got three bars, then I have two bars, then I have one bar and then I have no bars. My phone goes out and I’m like, “Where am I going?” I didn’t know I was going to his house. I look over at my business partner and I go, “Where are we going?” He goes, “Dr. Phil asked for you to meet him at his house.” I thought, “Good thing I got an extra dose of self-esteem.” You talk about that other person. That other person showed up. I was like, “What am I going to talk about? I didn’t plan for this.” I’m thinking that I’m going to talk to his staff and he’s going to do a five-minute cameo which he can. There’s no staff. It’s just he and I for two hours. I don’t even know the agenda. I’m just sitting there like, “What am I doing here?” What I didn’t know was that he was interviewing me for the first twenty minutes to determine what he was going to offer me. Transparency and truth is powerful. We are not trying to perform. You’re not trying to do a shtick. He asked me, “Why haven’t you done television yet? You could have been doing television a long time ago.” I said, “I wanted to be responsible. When and if I do TV, I wanted the people that say yes to me, I want them to really have a way to be served by me. Until I have that, I don’t want to do TV. I could have done it a long time ago I think, but I wanted to have programs and a platform. They don’t have to step on our campus. If they were, I want to be responsible and I want to have something for them at whatever level they’re at.” He said, “That would be smart for a lot more people to do that.” I thought, “I’m a teacher. I’m a coach. It’s what I want to do and TV would be a way to coach and serve millions, but that’s really why I’m doing it.”
I shot the first show on Dr. Phil. We did some shooting and I worked with a woman who, unfortunately, was beat by her ex-boyfriend with a meat tenderizer and had 30 stitches. Two years later, she’s not able to move forward. I’m going to work with Dr. Phil and help her figure out how to move forward and get her life back. I’ll do a series of shows with him all around New Year, New You. I’ll work with him for several months and air on his show for several months. Watch Dr. Phil. If you’ve never watched him before, watch now for sure. Stay connected on all the dates that I’m on and watch it, then comment, give feedback. The strategy is to launch me into my own show. We’re baking me into his show to introduce me to the world and then to launch me.
He basically said, “I’d like to do with you what Oprah did with me.” I looked to the left, looked to the right and said, “Okay. Yes, yes. Sounds good to me,” both hands up and standing up. It’ll be exciting. We get to bring transformation to ideally daily TV. We get to bring transformational work. I’ll need you in the audience. What’s really wild is that they normally have an audience wrangler that goes out and tries to get people for the audience. For the first show that I’m shooting, I just sent out a couple of emails and I did a Facebook Live and they got a full audience. They’re like, “You’ve got your own tribe.” “I got my own tribe out there, so we can help you put some beautiful souls in the audience.”
Thank you for declaring that or stating that out loud here for the first time. I think this is the first time you’ve said it publicly.
Earlier when we were talking about doing things scared, knees knocking, my knees are knocking now to say it out loud because television is so temperamental and it’s just a different animal. I wouldn’t play with TV for a very long time, so this is a healing for me. I used to say television was too shallow, it was too messy. Just to be quite honest with you, I had this disdain for television. I would always put it off. A lot of people were pursuing me after The Secret and after Oprah. This is a healing for me. My healing is if television is asking me to play, that television is looking for something better, more powerful, more bountiful to do and if I keep saying no, then I’m robbing mass media of the opportunity to up-level and to be more impactful. I’m not being responsible with the gift that I was given to share and show people and teach and be a part of a higher consciousness conversation. It’s not in my ‘no’ that I’m doing any service to the greatest number. It’s in my ‘yes’ and learning how to dance with all that TV knows in order to expand what’s possible on mass media. I realized I had been judging it for ten years, just very judgmental of television and saying, “No, they’re too fake.” Who am I to say that? If television asked me to be a part of it, they know who I am. They know what I’m not.
They put you on your growth edge right now. You’re 51 and beautiful and more spectacular than ever. You are on your growth edge. You’re in that place that you were describing earlier, which to me, is called humility, that place of humbleness. We realize in a greater perspective, “Who am I?” That we are a spark of a divine flame, that we’re not the whole flame. We’re one spark surrounded by sparks. How beautiful is that? Randi and I and our whole team and our community will hold space for you in that state of growing, of doing something different, of being on your edge as a businesswoman in the world, as a human being just doing something to challenge the status quo, the opportunity to reach more people. We’re going to hold space for that and celebrate it in advance. I know you pray. I know the power of that.
I want to read you what my brother sent me as I was on my way to film the Dr. Phil location shot. He could see the angst and the big eyeballs as the driver is driving me away in the backseat of the car and I’m looking at my big brother. My big brother is my breath. He’s been my prayer partner for fourteen and a half years. My big brother is my anchor. He surrounds me with love. My eyes were big looking out the window of the car. He was like, “Bye sis.” I was like, “Bye.” Five minutes later, I get this prayer. It says, “Be willing to go out on a limb with me.” This is a message from God to us. “Be willing to go out on a limb with me. If that’s where I am, if that’s where I’m leading you, it’s the safest place to be then. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of disbelief. Your longing to live close to me is at odds with your attempts to minimize risk. You are approaching a crossroads in your journey. In order to follow me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your tendency to play it safe. Let me lead you step by step through this day. If your primary focus is on me, whatever your faith is, whatever your spiritual guide is, you can walk along the difficult, challenging, beat path without being afraid. Eventually, you will learn to relax and enjoy the adventure of our journey together. As long as you stay close to me, my sovereign presence protects you wherever you go, so go out on the limb today.”
I kept saying, “Play on the limb.” If that’s where our most beautiful, delicious, Godlike self is, then I don’t want to be at the base. Being out on the limb, it’s skinny and it wobbles a bit. Sometimes you feel the wind and it feels like it’s going to blow you over, but then you get your bearing again because the limb is where all the biggest risks are, it’s where the biggest rewards are as well. My new mantra is, “Today, I walk out to the skinny branch. In that, I know my balance because if I should tilt over, then I know I’ll fly.” If I leave the branch, I’m going to fly.
I love you so much. You’re a sweet soul. I don’t know whether we believe in the future, in the past lives. I do. I think about eternity and I believe in it.
We’ve been together before.
This is not our first lives.
No, I was a leaf and you were a butterfly. I was the safe place for you to land and sit and spread your wings.
I know for certain I felt like a caterpillar plenty of times.
I love you, Adam. I love what you stand for. I love the man that you choose to be. I started this conversation with we’re in choice. I love the man you choose to be. I love the father you choose to be. I love the husband I’ve watched and I’ve witnessed you to be. You restore a sense of faith in me every time I see you stand beside your beautiful bride. Every time I see you show up wholeheartedly, you embody what success and possibility and godliness looks like inside of humility and grace and compassion. I just love you. I love your essence. I love you in my presence. I light up when you’re near me. I’m grateful that you choose to call me a friend and that I get to be on this planet at the exact same time as you. Our feelings are very mutual about one another. I don’t see you enough because selfishly, I feel better when I’m in your space. I don’t know if anybody else could benefit, but I feel better when I’m in your space. Thank you for being a stand for us to pivot, for us to understand the power of pivot, and for us to have the courage and the passion to pivot. As a matter of fact, the conviction, because conviction isn’t always convenient. When you are convicted, you don’t look for the convenience because your conviction takes over. Thank you for tapping into our conviction to pivot. I love you. I’m always your sister.
I got that. I receive it. Even as I’m listening to you I’m thinking, it’s that old person inside of me going, “Is that true?” That person that still isn’t 100% comfortable with that kind of unconditional praise. What a glorious place for us to transition.
The beauty is that I love them both. I love the person that’s questioning and I love the man that knows. I love the duality. I always say, “That person can come along with me. I invite her. She always can come along. She just needs to sit in the passenger seat and let me drive.” Invite him with you and just tell him, “You have to sit in the passenger seat. I’m going to drive, but you can come.”
I want everybody to give that person a name, like you’ve got your name. So many takeaways, so many beautiful things to think about and put into action from our talk. I want to transition into the way that we’re accustomed to moving on beyond this podcast to the next thing in our days. That is to go back to the beginning. It’s always so important to go back to foundation, to a place where things begin. I say humbly, I don’t know that this is where it all begins, but it is from my own perspective and experience that we have to love ourselves before we can love others. Whatever it is that we know of ourselves, what we know of others, and where we can serve ourselves, we can serve others. You can’t serve from an empty cup. You have to serve from a cup that’s flowing over. That flowing over has nothing to do with money. It doesn’t have to do with a title or position or celebrity. It has to do with our connection to ourselves. Whether you call that God or you call it something else or it’s your heart that in this moment, we get to make a choice, and in every moment a choice, how connected we are to our hearts and to our divine, that divine part of ourselves.
I’m just finishing up a beautiful book, Og Mandino’s The Greatest Miracle in the World. I finished The Greatest Salesman in the World now I’m onto The Greatest Miracle in the World. If I can say it in different language, the greatest miracle in the world is the miracle of love that we give ourselves because as the Course in Miracles shares, it’s that love that we give ourselves that we can give. It is the gift that we give the world. In this moment, let’s take another conscious breath. We’ve been breathing the whole way through. I know we haven’t been holding our breaths. Take that breath and realize in this moment that there are people who are breathing in now, breathing in as we breathe in, and they will not breathe out. I do believe in eternity, so I do not fear for them as I don’t fear for myself when my time comes. In this moment, I want that next breath, I want that next opportunity to connect with myself so I can, at a deeper level, connect with all of my brothers and sisters from that place of truth, authenticity. A place where there is no pretending, where we don’t have to defend or pretend or prove ourselves because we are perfect regardless of where we are in this moment. What a blessing this moment is. That’s the reminder and that we get to wake up tomorrow as we woke up today to our assignment to have some recognition of that, to be grateful for it, and then if you’re so incline to say those words, “I love my life, I love my life, I love my life.”
I love you, Lisa. I love you all. Thank you so much. What a blessing this has been. “Until we meet again,” as my grandmother would say. This is the end of our show. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Our PIVOT Radio broadcast has been such a blessing and I look forward to it all the time. Check us out, subscribe. You can go to the Start my PIVOT Community on Facebook to find more people who are pivoting, people who are willing to share their vulnerability and their stories of transformation, of reinvention. There will be announcements as to the shows that Lisa is doing with Dr. Phil. We’re going to hold space for that epic collaboration between a gentleman with a lot of influence in the world and has done a lot of great work and this beautiful woman who’s an epic influence on so many men and women. The way that that gets to grow in the future is just what’s in God’s hands. I look forward to it. Lots of love. Ciao for now.