Most of you know me as a business owner and publicist, but the pandemic sparked change in many of us, and for me, it further ignited my love for writing. Over the years, I’ve been honored to work with dozens and dozens of incredible authors who had the bravery to share their stories with the world. And thanks to many of these authors, I was inspired to share my own story of trauma, grief, and healing through my upcoming book Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission to Feel, which will be available December 21st, 2021.
I recently sat down with one of these incredible authors, Lauren Krasnodembski, founder of Mind Muscle Motivator. In her new book Reclaim Your Power: A Guide To Allow Your Passions And Purpose To Discover You! (available now!) Lauren shares her own story of self-discovery and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Keep scrolling to read our conversation in which we share our personal stories, what it means to reclaim your power and have authentic power, and the tools to have this power. It might inspire you to step into your own power, too!
- A: Lauren, I’m so glad you’re here! You’re a healthcare privacy attorney by day, but your real passion is helping others dig deep into their self-discovery process and step into their passions and purpose. What was your journey to getting here?
- L: I had a lot of checkboxes: getting married, having kids, moving up in my career. But once I checked these boxes, something still didn’t feel right. Then someone asked me, “what are you passionate about?” and I realized that I had no idea! All this time I was constantly grinding on this hamster wheel of life, but that question started my self discovery.
- A: When you started this transition of finding your passion, what shifted for you?
- L: Before, I was type-A, a do-er, and an achiever. I think a lot of women put their heads down to get through the day, and I realized I was doing that and I didn’t feel joy from it. My life felt like facts and no feelings. In your book when you talk about having permission to feel, all of our feelings aren’t great but we have to feel that. The problem is, we’re never taught how to properly do that. I learned how to do this in my self-discovery process.
- A: Yes, that’s the thesis for my book! I talk about my father’s death and how he died of a sudden heart attack when I was 11-years-old. I tried to save his life but there was nothing I could do. I buried my feelings of trauma and grief for 25 years, and that eventually manifested itself into physical trauma that exacerbated my eventual Lyme Disease diagnosis. It wasn’t until I sat still and allowed myself to process my grief that I was able to really heal, and I think that allowing myself to miss him and feel his presence is where the healing really happened.
- L: Thanks for sharing because it’s not easy to talk about things that we went through that are a bit traumatizing to us.
- A: I think our vulnerability in both our books is what makes them so important, and I think more of it is needed in our culture. Tell me about your book now. When I read it, I could really relate to it, and it made me feel safe and not alone. What does it mean to reclaim your power?
- L: I think it looks different for everybody, but reclaiming your power is to understand yourself on a deeper level. It’s allowing yourself to feel the good and the bad to understand what you truly want – and then act on it. For me, I realized my day job hit on one of my values which is safety, but it wasn’t fulfilling enough to make me feel whole. I had to figure out if my actions matched all my values. If you do this exercise, you might find that you’re meant to do something else, and it doesn’t have to be an either/or. I always like to say “exercise your mind” because we often like to segregate those, but we should try to understand the mind/body connection. For example, if you feel that something is draining you, pay attention to that and see how you can fix it.
- A: I love how both of our books have that same message – pay attention to how something is feeling and sitting with you because those are indicators of your inner wisdom. And that’s what I call your authentic power. Do you have any tips for how someone can use your authentic power to reclaim your power?
- L: Well, time can be a roadblock because we have very busy lives as career-focused women, wives, mothers, and more, but it’s about paying attention to where your energy lies. There was a month when I carried a notebook around with me, and whenever I could remember, I wrote down whenever I was feeling anxious or happy and what I was doing when I felt those feelings. If you do this exercise, eventually, you’ll notice a pattern, and that awareness can help you figure out where it’s coming from so you can change your actions and get a different result.
- A: I think we’re in agreement that it comes from pausing. People like us who are over-achievers never pause, but when I finally did, that’s when I healed! I love my job and I’m highly successful at it, but when I paused during the pandemic I felt called to do something else, and eventually after some meditation, life coaching, and journaling, I realized I felt called to share my story. Do you have any tips for someone who is high-achieving and successful but feels called to do something else?
- L: I think all of us have breadcrumbs which lead us to where we’re meant to go. They’re little signs. For me, I realized I was obsessed with other people’s personality tests. As I continued to carry this interest, I also realized I love to talk to people. And I hated public speaking, but when I spoke about self-discovery, it would light me up. All of these breadcrumbs that were bringing me energy made me realize that this is what I needed. So pay attention to that. You might also have a spark of energy when you see someone else doing something interesting to you, and that might be what you’re meant to do. I’m curious, while you were meditating and doing all of those things, what were the breadcrumbs that led you to your journey of writing your book?
- A: I’ll say that I was always better at writing down my feelings in journals rather than verbalizing them. In my meditations, I kept getting the download that I needed to keep writing my story, but I also needed to share it to help other people heal. The breadcrumbs are all the journals laying around my house! I felt called to write it all in one book, but I also felt called to interview healing experts to share their words of wisdom to the world, too. This is where the journalist in me came out. And once I dove into all of their wisdom, I wanted to learn more, so I got my Certificate in the Science of Wellbeing from Yale, I got Reiki Certified, and I became a Life Coach! What were your breadcrumbs?
- L: In my case, I have a law background, but I didn’t know how to apply it to something else. Then I realized I was actually trained to “issue spot”, a.k.a. read through material and pinpoint what could be holding people back, and that now plays into this part of my life. So, hone in on your strengths because it will help lead you to what you’re meant to do. My breadcrumbs were the energy I got from other people, and I think my biggest superpower is my vulnerability. Once I got really clear aboutmy strengths and started using them on a daily basis, I started making space to allow myself to practice them. Once you figure out what’s blocking you and you take action to do it, magic starts happening in your life.
- A: I think that some people might wonder how vulnerability can be a superpower. Throughout my life, everyone thought I was too sensitive and it made me believe my sensitivity was a detriment to me and that I should hide it. But what I learned is that sensitivity is my superpower because it helps me read people very easily. Moral of the story – your superpower might not be what you think.
- L: Totally, and figuring that out really made me get to know myself all over again aside from being a mom and being a wife and a worker. Take time to carve out who you are and what you want your life to look like and then you can figure out what your superpower is. A chapter in my book talks about getting feedback from your friends and family. You don’t have to take what they say as the Holy Grail, but it’s a good starting point.
- A: I love that because what you’re asking in many ways is for people to be investigators in their own lives and get curious. Is that what it comes down to? Getting curious about your life, your passions, and who you are?
- L: Absolutely. And I must say that when I host my retreat I’m going to try “Dish Therapy” from your book! For those who don’t know, it’s a glass-breaking exercise you can do in your own home. It’s literally breaking glass to release thoughts and emotions from your body. Everyone must try it!
- A: Yes, just wear some glasses! I learned about this exercise from Dr. Amy Hope. She was an ER doctor during COVID, and she said Dish Therapy helped her release emotions during the pandemic. She says it’s the best, most satisfying thing you can do. Instead of burying it in, try breaking dishes or screaming to let it out!
- L: I can’t agree with you more. I did a somatic screaming training where I went into a dark room with hundreds of screaming people, but it felt so good to join them! I need to figure out how to do it for my retreat!
- A: Yes, there are so many healthy ways to let these emotions out. It could be screaming, it could be dish-breaking, but it could also be taking a breath or a heavy sigh. Lauren, this was such a great conversation! Thank you so much for taking time to share your wisdom!
You can find Lauren on mindmusclemotivator.com, and you can find her book, Reclaim Your Power: A Guide To Allow Your Passions And Purpose To Discover You on Amazon here!
To pre-order my upcoming book Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission To Feel (Available December 21st), go to Amazon here or my personal brand website ashleybernardi.com.
CLICK HERE to watch the full IG LIVE with me and Lauren!
CLICK HERE to watch the full IG LIVE with me and Lauren!