Can you imagine leaving a decade-long corporate career behind to chase your dreams? That’s exactly what our guest, the incredible Mahara Wayman - author, motivational speaker, and certified mastery method coach, chose to do after a profound epiphany sparked by her youngest daughter. Listen as she shares her inspiring journey, from making the brave leap to start her own business to using her platform to help women create their best lives.
We dive into some heavy yet important topics. Tackling the hurdles female leaders face in the corporate world, we discuss how externally defined measures of success can often belittle our aspirations and how a deep-seated desire to fit in can lead to compromised ambitions. We also touch on raising children to be assertive, the power of seeking help, and the intriguing role AI technology might play in children's learning. Additionally, we emphasize the criticality of clear, authentic communication, and discuss real-life instances that underline its importance.
As we wrap up, our conversation takes a philosophical turn as we introspect on life, its meaning, and our existence. We dream about a future free from ancestral trauma, where everyone is welcomed, regardless of their distinctiveness. We reflect on the challenge of visualizing such a world and focus on the steps we can take to build a better future. Ultimately, we introspect on the materialistic yardsticks of success, the impact of small acts of kindness, and the essential life lessons we gather from our experiences of pain and pleasure. Join us on this enlightening journey, and may Mahara's journey spark a fire in you!
Connect with Mahara at the following links:
Company: Mindfulness With Mahara
Book a Call: https://calendly.com/mindfulnesswithmahara/clarity-call-mahara
If you enjoy the show, please share with your connections, and leave us a review on your favourite podcast platform. If you want to connect with Amber to be a guest on the show or for any other reason reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Welcome to Conversations that Matter with your host, amber Howard. Each week, amber dances, in conversation with inspirational leaders, out to make a difference for what matters most to people. She brings you incredible guests who share their real-life experience of being a leader and what it looks like to live a truly created life of service to others. And now here's your host.Speaker 2:
Welcome back everyone. Welcome back to Conversations that Matter. I am thrilled today to have on the show Mahara Wayman. Mahara is a published author, motivational speaker and certified mastery method coach. She is passionate about helping women create their best lives through her writing, online group programs, one-on-one coaching and her podcast, the Art of Badassery, which you know we are going to talk about because I'm very curious to know what that is. I talk about the art of living and I'm very excited to hear about the art of badassery. Mahara has proved that it's possible to live a good life and still yearn for more, and her commitment for the world is that people show up authentically, with grace and without judgment. Mahara, thank you so much for being here. It's great to have you on the show.Speaker 3:
I am so excited to be here, amber. Thank you for the invitation, truly, yeah.Speaker 2:
We met because I just really felt the need to start reaching out to other female leaders, not just because that's who I want to work with, but just because I felt like that was a missing in my life. And you are one of the people that showed up on that search and I was like, oh, who is this human being? I need to know her. And then when I started looking at what you're up to in the world and what you stand for and what you're committed to, I was like, oh, this is definitely a human being I want to have a conversation with, and so I'm just grateful for this time together and would really love to hear a little bit about your journey to get to today and what that's been like for you, and anything else you want to say about how you got to be where you are in this moment.Speaker 3:
Well, it has been a rocky road and it was not what I expected. So, back in alphabet, I had about. I had over 10 years of experience climbing the corporate ladder. I didn't come from a corporate background. I was an entertainer and then I was a caterer and then I did lots of different things as I was growing up. But when I got married and settled down, I jumped into the corporate world and I loved it until I didn't. It was one of those things where I was so. I was so determined to be accepted and make it above and beyond the call of duty, every single opportunity, and I didn't care because I got the raise, I got the promotion, I got the accolades, I got the smiles I got. I was able to provide really well for my family and I felt I guess I really needed that. I was looking for something and I also loved the work that I did. I worked for Weight Watchers and I was on the program myself and a lot of success with their weight loss program and I loved this idea of helping others. And through the years that I was with them I was trained to be a facilitator and I got the bug for being a coach. And when I left the company I was the lead territory manager for half the country and so I was very much in the thick of things. And when COVID hit, like the rest of the whole world, we kind of stood up and went, wow, we've got to make some changes. But before COVID hit, I had an epiphany. Thank you to my youngest daughter. I was watching TV with her one night and my laptop was beside me. Girls night. We were watching some silly show. About nine o'clock I heard the ding of my laptop and I turned my back on my youngest and I opened up my laptop and I answered an email and, beautiful soul that she is, she called me out. She said what the hell, mom, what are you doing? And I'm like what she goes. I was talking to you and she literally just she just gave me a little bit of a spanking and I was so ashamed I laughed it off, I made light of it, I turned it, you know. I turned back to the TV and sort of made a joke about it. But I was mortified inside because I realized I had been called out by my youngest for my obvious devotion to the company over her. I was embarrassed and I thought what the hell am I doing? I could have the hell answers in the email at nine o'clock at night. So that was a beginning of me questioning wow, what am I doing? This and my actually, is this what I want for the rest of my life? Like who cares if I've got a great salary to have my daughter look at me that way and I'm very glad that she did, by the way, but it was. It was shocking, and that was a couple of years before COVID and a year into COVID I was invited to leave and I did a happy dance. I literally started smiling and giggling and I said to the HR person oh my God, I get to go like, really, this is it. I know the speech and they're like Mahara, you have to let us finish. I know how this goes because I've been given speech. I'd given it to many hundreds of my staff and but I was really happy because I thought, oh my God, the universe has listened. All my little quips in the last couple of years. You know they came to fruition. I created this for myself and this is my opportunity to figure my shit out and to just just to do what I want to do. So I remember when, sitting on the couch about four weeks later, I told my husband I wanted to take, so I want to start my own business and I want to take a course. It's a, it's a four month course and it's going to cost five grand US, I think four grand US and I want to do this. And he said, well, you're not going to write. I mean, you don't even have a job. And I burst into tears and he said why are you crying? And I realized I was crying because my husband, who I'm very close to we have a great marriage he had no idea what my dream was. I was so afraid that he was going to quote not let me do this, which is ridiculous, because it's my money. I had the money, but it was the beginning of a whole new level of communication between us. Because he's like what are you talking about? What do you mean? You want to be a coach? What are you talking about? And I'm like I really want to make a difference in the world and I want to do this. And I realized there were people on the internet that knew my dream before my husband in my dream or my children knew my dream, and that was also pretty shocking. So the last that was almost three years well, two and a half years ago and since that time I've taken courses and started my business and I've written a book. I've done all of these wonderful things and I'm only just now really feeling comfortable in my skin and I'm shocked that it's. I'm almost I'm going to be 58 next month, for God's sakes and I'm only just now stepping into and feeling really comfortable in my skin where I can say to a room full of people this is my name and this is what I do. I don't, I do this, or actually I don't want that for dinner, thanks. No, I'm not going to clean up after you. I'm being a little facetious, but that's how long it's taken me to sort of become me. And what I think is so interesting is that I had a great life. I've been very privileged upper middle class. I've lived in multiple countries. I had lots of friends, great education you know what I mean Like. I've traveled and done things, but I still I still felt the need to be someone else. Do not talk until I'm spoken to.Speaker 2:
I am so many things that you said that I want to like respond to Mahara, but that piece right there, you know, my coach and mentor says it this way that human beings are the only species that can live alongside their authentic self, like a horse is a horse, a dolphin is a dolphin. They can't be anything other than what they were designed to be, whereas for human beings and like, based on other people's standards for happiness and success, other people's, like the conversations and networks of conversations that we inherit about, you know, being a woman, or being of a certain ethnicity, or being of a certain, you know, living in a certain country. We inherit all of these conversations and we can be successful and happy, like, by other people's standards, living alongside our authentic self, but the cost is, like you know, depression and lack of joy and enlightenment and all of these things. So, one, I just really acknowledge you because I think so many people die not ever actually having this conversation that we're having right now, and so, and, and it's so important to me and I, you know, the minute I started like getting to into your what you're up to the world, and you know, like before we even spoke words to each other. I'm like, oh here's, you know, a kindred spirit on this journey. You know there's a reason this woman shown up on my journey, because I think the more people having this conversation you know about, like so many people, can't answer the question what do I want? They don't even feel like they have permission to even ask that question and authentically answer it. And because we've just been conditioned and to I was speaking with this woman I met at a networking event last night and she's from India and she was saying well, I became a lawyer because I didn't want to become an accountant, because in my family in India there's like five professions that you can be and you're either this, this, this or that. And again, not a bad life, you know, but it's like up against the possibility of what it's like. And just when you talk about this freedom that you have now to say, no, that's not for me, no, I don't want that or no, I don't accept that. And yes, I want this and I want it. You know that this is something I'm willing to accept and I think that's everything.Speaker 3:
It really is, and it's shocking. How to your point how many people you know, even with my clients. I'll ask them so what do you dream about? They're like I don't dream about things, I don't. Okay. So what's a 10? What would you like your life to be like? Some people don't even know what they would like. They just know they'll stick inside, and I think that's heartbreaking. It's absolutely heartbreaking. I want you know. My hope is that everybody in the world can just stop and go. You know what?Speaker 1:
do I like ice cream?Speaker 3:
Hmm, yeah, I really do. Or do I want this? Do I want to live here? Do I like it? When people say this to me, like to get curious about what makes them tick as a human being? So many of us don't, for a myriad of reasons, um biggest one being that I think women in general have not felt they have felt they needed permission and it's given. Yeah.Speaker 2:
But I think that one of the other big things that gets in our way as human beings is this like our desperate need to know how. So we won't even admit we want something like we want, you know. You know, our desire muscle gets really weak as we get older too, because it's conditioned out of us by well meaning adults. You know it's not like anyone's being, you know, sitting around in the corner being like, oh no, let's like make the children not fantasize. You know, have fantasies anymore and not daydream, and like no one's doing that. But it's like, oh no, we've got to be. You know, we've got to create adults who are responsible and pick the right jobs and have a good salary. And you know, and there's all of these again, those external standards, not for parents, about what it means to be a good parent and raise a good child, right, and so the fantasy muscle, the desiring muscle, is so weakened. And then when you put on top of that, I don't know if I don't know how to have whatever it is that I say I want. I'm not even going to admit that I desire it, because I'm just not going to set myself up for failure or walk around. I'd rather just exist in this comfortable space, or even if it's a space of suffering, and so just getting past that, like you don't need to know how, the minute you know I'm sure you experienced this once, you had those conversations and and when you talk about the ones closest to you not knowing what your dream really was, I think that that's part of us, for, like, we so desperately want to connect and belong as human beings. It's so intrinsic to us in our humanity, the need to connect and belong, that we will sell out on ourselves if we think that, you know, expressing what it is that we authentically desire will result in a lack of connection and belonging. So sometimes it's hardest to be honest or authentic with those closest to us, because the possible invalidation is just so great that it's like, well, if a stranger invalidates my dream, so what? But if it comes from my husband or my children, like I don't know if I can be with that right and I just again. The last thing I wanted to say about your introduction, mahara, was I love what you shared about your daughter. I too have a pretty in my face. Give it to me real daughter, my middle child, kayla, all of my kids oh, really Kayla, same one there. She's a 26.Speaker 3:
Okay, minus 20.Speaker 2:
Yeah must be. Maybe it's in the name, but I think both my sons have. Well, both my sons have called me on numerous occasions to. But like raising children that have that confidence and know like that they're safe and loved and that they can be that interruption and shine a mirror up to us. And you know I think especially sometimes is powerful woman, or you know that people might feel like they can't, can't kind of be that mirror for us and say, well, hold on a second, that who you're being right now just isn't aligned, like what are you doing right and not from a place of making wrong, but just saying this is something's not aligned here that you would be doing that.Speaker 3:
Very observant. Both my children have two girls and they're very pleased with how they've been raised. And God knows, we have our challenges. But, man, when, when we are able to at least say how we're feeling, it's way easier. Yes, my husband is on his own, easy, well, we have. We have a male dog now, but other than that he's only male energy in the family. Two girls, a mother in law and female dogs and cats. Fun, it's been fun, but it's also heartbreaking when I see Because I even I remember my kids saying to me how come I don't know this, how come this isn't taught in school? Mom, they learned in our house to talk and be open. But there's so much that that could have been taught and talked about in school at an earlier age, when it really would have benefited kids. So I think that's a big miss on our society that we keep. We haven't done much in the educational field to match where our children need to be.Speaker 2:
Well, I agree. I couldn't agree more. I think the fact that most human beings don't even know like globally, most human beings don't know that that little voice in their head is not them Like, can you imagine a world where every human being just had that piece of knowledge and knew how to apply it to the living of their life, like it's mind altering, mind blowing. You know, I'm committed to taking on my PhD next year with a commitment like of like in the space of well being and education and curriculum, because I want to see a future where every child is taught mind, mindset and taught how their mind works in, taught emotional intelligence and discernment. And we're talking about this today in my class and leadership at the University of Toronto. We're talking about AI technologies and I'm not going to go down that rabbit hole but in this conversation but we're just talking about like. Anytime there's disruptive technology, it's a real opportunity. We can either be afraid of it and run from it, or we can look at it and say how could we do things differently? And I think, especially in the space of education. You know AI, why do we need to teach kids history? And you know facts and figures and you know like what about critical thinking skills and communication skills and all of these things that are really going to help them create and live lives that they want, not that science and math and STEM and all those things aren't important to?Speaker 3:
but how about we actually teach them the English language or the language of their choice? Because it's almost as if even the ability to communicate is a forgotten art. Yeah, so you know what? Probably don't want to get me started on that, because my kids would be like mom, nobody uses those words and I'm like, well, they should.Speaker 2:
Speaking of words people should use that's a good one, to so expressive. I'm a big fan of swear words, but um, no. So having you and I both like, I think there's some parallels in our experience. We both worked in the corporate world. I kind of fell into it. You know, I dropped out of high school when I got pregnant with my son, matthew, at 17 and went back in my 20s and got a job in corporate and stayed there for a long time and I'm very grateful For the longest time. I resisted it because it was like I didn't want my life to be about like making money and helping other companies make money. It was like I had a very negative point of view around money. It was like I had it like you could either make a difference or you could make money, and I didn't want my life to be about making money. I wanted my life to be about making a difference and I don't hold that view anymore. But in your you know, given that you work with a lot of female leaders, mahara and you've, you were a leader yourself and all of this what is it about? The how corporations, like the traditional corporation, is structured? That is challenging for female leaders.Speaker 3:
I can only speak for myself because, full disclosure we didn't have these conversations when I was in you know all the time with in the corporate world. We didn't really talk about it, but for me I felt there was a constant need to pretend. All of my energy went into pretending to be what I thought they wanted me to be. I had a huge challenge with imposter syndrome because I didn't have a degree and I felt like I was. I kind of fell into it, the role, because I was personable and smart, not that I went to university and had a degree, so that was my, that was my challenge on the inside. But because of that and my determination to be successful, I very quickly looked around and went okay, number one, don't swear, you know, don't speak until you're spoken to right. Unless you know for sure that you're right, don't speak. So I just was exhausted, to be quite frank, because I didn't feel that I was ever invited to offer, offer a different viewpoint, for example, until later on in my career when I got a little bit more ballsy and I would actually say guys, what the hell are you talking about? That doesn't make any sense. But that took years for me to get to that point. I think many women are just so happy to be there because they've wanted it, that they and they're very used to pretending to be that person and they just get stuck. And when you put all your energy into pretending, you know that's less energy into being creative, a problem solver and thinking outside the box. And even if you, I remember many times in my career when I because I am very creative and I would offer a suggestion that was way outside the box and I would feel like a side eye from somebody at the table and I'd go, oh, mahara, shut up Like don't right. And some of that may have been from my insecurities, I may have read the room wrong or read it wrong, but regardless, as a female leader, I struggled to feel authentic in my role.Speaker 2:
Yeah, you talk about and I've talked about on the show before and you know other spaces about like I've talked about this, like faking it till you make it, and that was my existence. Like I, you know, I didn't discover until I did a personal development course in 2016. Like, I thought I had done a lot of work on myself worth and my internal view of myself. You know I'd been in therapies I. I, too, had a rocky road in life. There was a lot of trauma in my childhood and in my family and and it wasn't until 2016 that I got like through through this course, I took that wow, like I was still walking around, so unworthy that every human being could have told me that they love me and I would have made liars out of them. Like, like my internal self view was just disgusting it's the only way to kind of put it. And yet, like, I've talked to people and it's shocking for people in my life to hear me say that, because you never would have known it looking at me from the outside, Like I walked into rooms, I held my head high I, you know, because no one likes to lose her, and so what? Why would I like expose that? You know, this is the thing about shame, right and I love the way Bernie Bernie Brown puts this that, like, shame has us believe that there's something about ourselves as known or seen by others would have us be unworthy of connection and belonging. And because our need for connection and belonging is so intrinsic and deep, we won't share those things about ourselves and we won't publicly say oh, by the way, I hate myself and I think I'm an imposter because I didn't get an agree. Now, if we set it out loud, all of the other people in the room would be like, oh, I've got that too Right. Like, oh, yeah, I feel like an imposter because you know I got a raise and I didn't feel like I deserved it, or like, whatever it is right. Like it's human nature to be comparative and look at other people and think about, you know, focus on the areas where we fall short. Or, again, these external measures for happiness, like you need a degree to be a successful, happy person. Or you know, like to be accepted in certain spaces, right, but like, if we actually verbalize them, we would get so much back from the world of other people having that shared experience. But we can't even say it. Because if we say it, we risk you know, we risk being you know. For me it was like if I say it, then somehow I make it true, and if I just don't communicate it or hold on to it so you never would have known it. But it was always there in this space of between me and people. It was like this thing that I couldn't let them see. And I remember I shared this story with them and I think I cleaned up with her and apologized Like they. We won this award at work and my work was part of it and I went to Boston to get the award and they wanted to do a picture for the internal portal at the airport when I worked there and I was like no, not interested in participating Because I just couldn't. I hated the way I looked in pictures that other people took. It just really had a lot of dysmorphia, like around my image when, when photographed by other people, and I just couldn't have that picture of me be on the internal and like log into work and like I just couldn't do it. And of course there were optics around me not being in it because I was part of the team that wanted, and so corporates got their whole like well, we've got to have her in the picture. She's like part of the team, is just not there. People are going to make it like it's going to be weird or they're going to like whatever, right? So I was in a meeting and the photo shoot was happening and my director at the time, lovely, lovely woman, who never intended to upset me in any way, shape or form, but I'm in this meeting and this is how thin the veil was between, like you know how I felt about myself and presented. You know I was in this meeting with a stakeholder. She pops her head into the meeting. You know, totally sorry to interrupt, but we just wanted to ask one more time, you know, and I had a lot of pressure to please other people, right. So like saying no was confronting too. And so she's like we really want you to be in the picture, we'll be in the picture. And I just started to tear up and then I was mad Because I was like how dare you expose me Right? Like I'm exposed right now, and but that was so like I totally recreated. When you talk about like, think about all of the energy it takes to hold on to that and keep that hidden from people and put on this facade of like having things figured out or, you know, being okay all the time when really you're not exhausting.Speaker 3:
That story reminds me of every Christmas, my husband. He loves getting pictures taken fat. When the kids were little too like we'd go to Sears and get the family portrait. I couldn't stand doing that. The member one year, the kids were a little bit older and he said, hey, should we do this? And I was not feeling very comfortable with my figure, my body, I was just not not in good space and I said no, I don't want to do it. And I thought that was the end of it. And then on a certain day he said Okay, all right, guys, we're leaving in half an hour. I'm like when are we going? He says oh, I've made an appointment for us at the Bay. We're getting family pictures for Christmas to give to people. I was so angry I couldn't even I put makeup on a night and he's like, whoa, what's the matter? And I just I couldn't even talk and all I could think was I told you I didn't want family pictures. I don't want. I I'm, and they're the. I see that my mother in law has them downstairs and I look at them and I just remember how sad I was. I smiled, I look fine, I'm like, oh my God, I wish I was that. Wait. Now you know, all these years later, but in the I remember how sad I was and how mad I was that I hadn't made myself clear and, to my husband's credit, or in his defense, I probably wasn't very clear. You know, I just said, yeah, you know he just what. Whatever the, whatever the conversation was, I did not make my feelings clear. He didn't know how I was feeling. Whatever I said, it wasn't, it didn't, it wasn't the truth. Because if I had said sweetheart, I'm so sad, I'm so depressed. I can't even stand to brush my hair. I can't. You know, this is absolutely not on. I'm sure he wouldn't have insisted. But whatever it was, I said to him it wasn't authentic.Speaker 2:
Well, this is a great kind of like, like that clear communication and, like you know, like you know, one of the things that's been really popping up for me right these days is like the difference between, like, supporting people or asking for support and asking for help. Because, like for most of my life I was a lone wolf. I didn't ask for help from anyone. No one knew I needed anything and it was. I had a conversation recently for the first time in my life, with another woman who was a young mother, and I got how much of that was really created in that space of like you know, you don't want to be a burden, people pity you for being a young mom and like you got to be, you got to take care of it. You got yourself into this mess, like that whole conversation, right, but I never wanted to be a burden. I never wanted. I actually had a really deeply held belief that my asking for help was shameful, and so, as I've been like, well, what's the new belief you want to create, you know, while it's like, well, there's like a whole bunch of human beings on this planet and when they help me, they're serving humanity, what are actions to take from that. But I've noticed, like there are actions that I take and the way those. Actually there's a request land for people. Is it like do they actually get that I'm asking for help versus like, oh, it'd be nice if I have some support? I think there's actually a distinction. But that, like what you're pointing to there, mahara, I remember I used to be part of this coaching body. I coached this leadership program for years and there was like a community of us and we would have these shared chats right on WhatsApp and I would like message in the chat that I, you know, like I was desperate for help. I was like dealing with a whole bunch of stuff and I was struggling. And I'd message in the chat sharing that I never actually asked for help. I would share that I was really struggling, thinking that people would read that and go, oh my God, amber's not saying she's struggling, come to her rescue. And then, when I would get back, was just like, oh yeah, I've been there too, you'll be okay, just keep going, you know. And it's like, but I think we don't communicate clearly, right and one because we're probably not practiced at it, right. So, like you know, we know what it looks like to communicate clearly, walking into a boardroom and doing a presentation, but, like when it's a request for like support or help or you know, whatever it may be, it's a. You have to practice that and for a long time. You know however long it takes. It might take some time for people to actually because, especially if they're not used to you ever asking for help, they probably don't even like register it because it's just not what they're, the communication they're used to getting from you.Speaker 3:
That is such a good point and I think you know, as parents, I've really I haven't struggled with it, but it's come. I'm thinking about it now that the more vulnerable I am now with my husband and my children, the more vulnerable they are back. So, our communication is amazing. It's through the roof. I've always been very close to my kids, but they have never seen me this open and this raw. And that's okay because they're adults now, right 20 and 25, they can handle it and they have the language and the capacity and the empathy to navigate the conversations that I have with them. But there's still a part of me that feels okay, I am still their mother and I don't want them to fret or worry over much about me. So I still temper, temper. I still am aware of the words that I choose. So, even though I've come this far I'm badass, I'm authentic, I'm a great communicator I still have that little niggling me that says, yes, but you're also their mother. So let's be aware of how much they can handle or how much you wanna actually share Generally means it's just interesting that on the one hand, I can be so, so evolved and articulate and authentic and still have those questions come up, that little voice inside going share that? Do you really think that's needed? Is that gonna help or hinder? It's just interesting.Speaker 2:
Well, I think it is and I think you're pointing to something that really I have a number of friends, female friends in my network and we create safe spaces to be sounding boards for each other, because it's like it's a little bit that conversation being a leader, it's like, well, what can you share with your team and can you be that authentic and real about things that you're dealing with? If there are financial breakdowns, what do you communicate or not communicate? What's a response? Oftentimes it's like couched in what's responsible to communicate, I think for us as moms, what's it? And I think that changes over time. Like I think about the conversations I have with my kids. Now, I mean we've, I think, when you go through the kinds of, when your family goes through the kinds of childhood trauma that my family went through, their tends to well, I mean either become a family where there's lots of secrets or when you know my mother was a cycle breaker in our family. So it's like everything was up on the mat because nothing was gonna be hidden or, you know, like brushed under the carpet. So my family has always been very, very straight and authentic in their communication. But I totally get it and I think we deal with that a lot, and part of it, I think, is we have very like these notions, like this idea of what it is to be a good mother or a good leader or you know like all of that, even if you're not using words like good, bad, right, wrong, like I try not to use that frame in my own life anymore but whatever that is like a successful leader or however you wanna frame it, there are like limited ways of being that are acceptable for leaders. We teach them in MBA programs and you know, there's like depending on the framework that you use, there might be six of them or 10 of them, but at the end of the day, like the silly leader or the foolish leader or the you know like if you could think about all of the different ways that human could be, and we're saying, you know, effective leadership looks like one of these six or one of these 10 ways of being Good. Parenting looks like you know like XYZ good parents aren't irresponsible, right, like that's not a way of being, that's open. But what if human beings just had freedom to play with different ways of being and see? Maybe for some of your staff being foolish or being silly, this is one of the ways of being that I really don't have a lot of access to, because I never want to be perceived to be foolish or silly, but I can admire it in other people, but I find it really I'm still like I don't know if I want to be that myself, but you know, just to be at like, to me, the art of living is all about practicing. It's not about perfection. It's like practicing using our tools, gaining new tools and playing with these ideas. Right. But imagine leaders that were freed up, parents that were freed up to just try any way of being and see what works for them and what feels aligned. And you know, and I think, inside of that, with that kind of freedom, there's nothing we can communicate. And that doesn't mean we communicate everything either, but we at least have the freedom to be able to ask, you know, do I want to communicate this or not?Speaker 3:
I can't even imagine To me, because all I could picture on a very visual was you know, not only the husband, not only the man but the woman are so aligned and clear and centered. So that must be at least five generations of aligned, cleared and centered and together people, because you know really ancestral trauma and generational stuff. It just doesn't go in one generation. So I'm thinking five or six generations down the road where everybody is so open. It would be amazing and I'm not sure. I just can't picture that right. I just think you can call it For spiritual beings having a human existence, and sometimes I look out at the world and think I'm doing my part. What the hell are you people doing? Like I'm working hard to get better in life but I'm living with a bunch of idiots that aren't. Or I'm in a city or I'm in a country. I kind of make you know I'm tongue in cheek on that, but I do think that it's a beautiful idea, wouldn't? Won't it be wonderful when we are so past our generational hurts and trauma and we are so comfortable in our skin that we welcome with open arms whether we are wearing clothes or not, whether we are black or white or brown. Whether we believe or don't believe, it's nirvana and it's a beautiful idea, and I suspect it's one that many of us are working towards, but I just can't quite picture it ever being like that.Speaker 2:
Well, when you look out the world today, I mean it's hard to imagine. I think this is like you know, when people ask me what I do, it's like my answer is the same whether I'm coaching, teaching or consulting. It's like future states, what's the future you want to live into? Where are you today? What are the gaps and what are the solutions to close those gaps? Right, and I really do believe if I can say it, if I can speak it, it can exist. Now I may not know how to get there and we probably won't get there in my lifetime, but I think, for me, I used to carry this huge weight on my shoulders about making a difference in the world. And the world is like there's so much change or transformation that's required and there's so many people still I mean God, events of the last couple of weeks, you know, in the Middle East, it's just like that alone, let alone Ukraine, russia. Childhood abuse, race equity, like so many different areas where there's a lot of unworkability for human beings. And I don't mean to diminish what are really complex by just saying unworkability, but I think that's a word that is meaningful in my experience, so like if you sit there. This is why I try to control my bubble and protect it a little bit from what I expose myself to, because you could just get crushed under the weight of all of the pain and suffering. This happens in the world on a daily basis. If that's what you choose to focus your energy on, right, but it's like I believe that if I can speak it, then it's possible, like it could get created in reality and I may not know how. So it's just about what are the steps I can take and what I was saying when I got a little sidetracked. There is it was a huge shift for me when I could kind of it was like a yoke I wore around my neck all the time and the significance of it, and I think for those of us that have been through really significant childhood trauma and come from ancestral patterns of trauma, life can be very significant. Mike McCuthrude asked me how significant is life on a scale one to 10,? I'm like a 10. What are you talking about? Because, amber, that is really significant. I'm like, well, that's how life occurs for me, right? But it was so much pressure and then I got you know what? I'm not gonna survive, so it's not, not in my lifetime, but I could plant seeds and I could grow leaders and I could. You know, like, what are the things that I can do with my gifts and my lacks. You know what are the contributions that I can make that are going to continue building towards that future. You know that there's freedom in that, as opposed to what it used to be like, this huge heavy weight I used to carry around all the time.Speaker 3:
It's almost, and thank you for sharing that because I can really resonate with that. When I was younger in the corporate world on Lena, I remember thinking that I had to do big things in order to be seen as a, to be seen and taken seriously. You know, I've got to come up with a great idea for this and, oh, I got it. You know it's got to be massive and what I've learned now is that you know what, really, if I can smile and look at a stranger in the face and smile at him or her, that's a good thing. That's a great thing, like it's the little things in life that actually have the most important and have the most power, Things like kindness and empathy and love and a smile and making an effort to connect. Those things are powerful and people don't usually comment on them, right? Except for on Facebook pages where they say, oh, my God, thank you to the person that bought my tea or bought my coffee and dimmordance. But you know, simple acts of kindness have an amazing power, and what I'm trying to share with my children is live your life and be the best that you can be, but be a person of substance in so much as you treat people well, with kindness, with joy You've got joy in your heart and really simplify everything. It's not easy to do because we live in a world where dinner is better and just you know, social media and this looking celebrities and money and all of that stuff and it really skewers our perception of what it means to be a happy human. And what I'm doing with myself and my clients is really unpeeling that BS and finding out like, what does it really mean to be a happy human Really? Is it the fancy clothes, the nice car, or is it where you can go to sleep at night and know that you've made a difference in somebody's life?Speaker 2:
Hmm, Well, this is it For us and my team and the work that we do. We believe that when human beings because there's a whole network of conversations and agreement reality around that we like living a life based on what you desire and what you want to selfish and inappropriate and you shouldn't live your life like that, right, that we should be living our life for other people, which I think you know. When you say it out loud, it sounds absurd. Like if you're living your life for other people, it's your life, right. It's like this is not a dress rehearsal, right? Like, depending on your belief system, you only get one shot at it, right? So why are we encouraging people to live their life for other people and to make other people happy? It just seems very bizarre when we actually get it in dialogue, right? But Hmm, like I'm at the point where I'm like, is that even what the point of a human life is? To have a good life, to have a happy life, to have a successful life? Like what, if that's not the point? Like, life happens and there are, like you know, I love the analogy of the ocean and the waves like for anyone who's like, so many Canadians live near lakes so they don't have a lot of access to oceans. But if you've been near an ocean, lakes are great and I love lakes. But lakes are not oceans Oceans are. It's a very different experience being by an ocean. There's a vastness and a depth to an ocean right. And the more I spend time by the ocean and watch the waves crashing on the shore, it's very grounding for me, cause I'm like those things. They've been crashing on that shore long before I was alive. They're going to do it long after I die, right, there's something very like. Just puts things in perspective. But there are waves of pain and there are waves of pleasure, there are waves of grief and there are waves of joy. And what if one wave wasn't better than the other? Because there's like. You know, anyone who's gone through any kind of pain in life knows that there's a lot of creativity that can come from pain. But what if it's just about my capacity to be with life as it's happening and create what I want in terms of the experience of it and my relationship to it and how I frame it, and not being at the effect of those waves as they crash on the shore? The waves are going to crash, you know, one day I'm going to get a phone call and then someone's on the other end of the line or it's going to say my mom's died and that is going to be horrific and horrible and like such. You know, I don't want to go through that but that's part of living and if I so, to me I'm not. I don't know that this is true, that you know we shouldn't try to have a happy life or a good life, like I'm not saying that's the truth, but I'm in this space over the last few months of going, what if that's not the point? What if the point of living is just the capacity to be able to create what we want, not just in terms of the tangible things like the house and the car and the results, you know, but our experience of attaining those things, our experience of being connected with other people and belonging, and all of that.Speaker 3:
I like that question and I think life is meant. I am of the belief that we come back many times. So right off the bat, I actually believe that I chose this life to learn certain lessons. I had a really interesting just to get a little woo-woo, my husband and I drove to Kelowna, of course, just when the fires broke out. God forbid we should listen to a mother who said don't go to Kelowna, there's fires. Oh no, I spoke to my friends. They said the wind's blowing the other direction, it's all good With two dogs in the car. We drove to Kelowna just two months ago when the fires were bad. The saving grace of the trip was that I was listening to a book your Soul's Journey, I think, is what it's called, and it's kind of out there, but I really enjoyed it. I'm like this is late out there, kind of reading, listening, actually audiobook. And at one point he's written by a therapist who does past life regressions to help his clients deal with their problems in this life. And what happened with one of his clients was they got stuck in the in-between and they started to describe to him under hypnosis what where their soul was in between incarnations and he thought this was ridiculously interesting and like what the hell let's talk about? okay, I got to document this. This is way more interesting than that other stuff. So he put together a book based on his recordings of people's in-between lives. And I'm listening to this going along and at one point this client is describing their teacher as the soul, and the teachers come in different levels, kind of like professors, I guess, and they're different. They're we're all energy and different colors of energy. And he said to the lady so this particular teacher, what color energy are they or were they? And as I'm listening to it, I answered in my head well, purple, of course. Just as they said purple, of course. And I kind of went, oh, that's interesting. And I just had this thing and I said to myself I know this stuff, because I know this stuff, and it was just. It was just a split second of weirdness.Speaker 2:
I love it. I'm a philosopher at heart, mahara. I study philosophy in university. I fell head over heels in love when I went back to university, like when I went to university after dropping out of high school. And Plato's theory of knowledge is a theory of recollection. Plato says, like you know, we are born with all of the knowledge that exists in the universe inside of us. But you know his theory of when we come back into our next life and choose our next form, we drink from the river of forgetfulness until we're born into the next life. And so, like you can only you can't recall something if you didn't know it already, right? So when we talk about recollection in learning, it's like well, you must be pointing to knowledge that you already possessed at some point in time. So you know, I understand, for some people listening to what you're sharing right now, it might be woo woo. And you know, I had a past life, healing one, while healing that revealed a possible past life, and I, to be honest, I don't really know where I stand on the whole thing. I do know this. I do believe that we're all made of energy, and who's to say that the energy that is currently Amber Howard did not exist at some other point in time, in some other energy. And I think there is some. Really, you know, when you look at things like childhood trauma and stuff like that, there are some children that are born into childhood experiences and they don't like inherently like traumatic, abusive situations. They don't inherently know that it's bad or wrong, like not bad, you know like it. But there are others who do and I wonder sometimes that maybe the people who are born into, you know, have those kind of childhood experiences and feel like there, you know, there's shame or whatever around it is because they've come from another life and so they on some level, whereas other people who are born are brand new soul and so they don't have anything to compare it to, to know that it's, you know that it's, that's wrong. But well, I feel like I could talk to you forever, but and we are going to need to wrap up in a moment but I would love for you just to like briefly touch on and and, who knows, maybe I'll come on your show and we'll talk about the art of badass race and we're there, but like what is what is being a badass? You, mahara?Speaker 3:
Well, it's so interesting because when I was younger, being a badass was being naughty and then for, like you know, from my 20s to my 50s, I didn't really think about it because I was trying so hard not to be naughty. I was doing my best to be what I thought I needed to be. Today, being a badass really starts with putting your hand on your heart and declaring I matter, and it is as simple as that. I think too many of us don't believe that we matter and we have gotten out of the habit of questioning whether or not we are happy with what we are doing and who we've become. So the art of badassery really is the art of being brave enough to ask yourself the tough questions that will lead you to a place of feeling very comfortable in your skin, whatever your skin looks like, whatever your situation looks like. So that's what being badass is. To me, it's not about being a bitch or being brass or loud or obnoxious. It's really being bold enough to state your truth, whatever your truth is. Knowing that if you believe and understand that you matter, then, however you want to show up in the world is your right, and I'm not talking about assholes and anything. No, I get it Just being yourself. So I do think there is an art to it, because I've had 58 years of learning how to be one way well, say 56. And I've had two years of learning how to unlearn things that actually don't serve me. So, there is art. I love your art of living, by the way, and I think this is just like a component. What?Speaker 2:
I hear in that is aligned and I love that because I do think you're right, words have inherent meaning, right, they were gifted and so a lot of people would hear badass as naughty or bad or rebellious or all of those things, and I love your creation of it. For anyone listening to the show you can find out how to connect with Mahara and the amazing work that she does in the show notes and Mahara. Just from the bottom of my heart, I thank you so much for this time to be with you. It was such delicious I like to say it was juicy and delicious and just lovely. And I really acknowledge you for being on this journey of discovering your authentic self and expanding the edges of your own authenticity and being willing to not just go through it, because I know it takes courage and it's not easy to unlearn all of these things and it's a journey and it takes courage to be on that journey. So I just really want to acknowledge you for that and really thank you for your leadership and not just, like you know, not that there's anything wrong with discovering something for yourself and not gifting it to others, but I think it's another level of you know leadership to say, I discovered for this myself and I'm committed that other people discover as well, and I'm going to be someone who stands for that in the world. So thank you for your partnership and that commitment and I look forward to seeing where our relationship grows over time.Speaker 3:
Oh my God, I have loved this conversation and, yes, we're going to have to do this again. Next time I would invite you to be a guest on my show. We can talk about why you are such a badass, but I really appreciate the opportunity to connect like this. This was a very special conversation, so thank you, yes.Speaker 2:
For all of you listening, love you lots and I'll talk to you next week.Speaker 1:
Thank you so much for joining us for this week's episode. For more information on the show and our extraordinary guests, check out ConversationsThatMatterPodcastcom.