YA 71 | Importance Of Enthusiasm

 

How important is enthusiasm in our lives? We have been so steeped in Western culture’s overemphasis on what other people think that most of us grew up suppressing our enthusiasm and being intolerant of other people’s enthusiasm. Physical therapist, author and Taekwondo black belter Laura Di Franco brings some wonderful insights around the topic of enthusiasm in this conversation with Jennifer Whitacre. She believes that we all need to unleash our enthusiasm and do our best to encourage others to do the same, especially during this time of crisis. Plus, she talks about some upcoming projects that she is enthusiastic about.

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Enthusiasm, Positivity And Self-Healing With Laura Di Franco

I’m excited about our guest. I hope you will share her with the world. I have Laura Di Franco. Laura has over two decades of experience in physical therapy. She’s a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo and she has six published books. Laura has dedicated her life to the betterment of others. What I love about Laura is her passion for the work that she does. You can hear it come through her voice that she’s excited about writing, physical therapy, and about Taekwondo. Laura and I are going to have a conversation about enthusiasm and why that’s important. Laura, welcome to the show. It’s an honor to have you with us.

Thank you very much. This topic turns me on.

It’s a tricky thing. As much as we like to be enthusiastic, it’s easy to shut that down.

We were taught to from a very early age, “Don’t be too loud, shush.” I’m thinking of times where you were told that you were boasting or bragging or being too much or too loud. That was like little kid enthusiasm. That was unapologetic being yourself and to have that shut down early on, you get taught that that’s it. You have to be somebody different.

I know that I’ve struggled with enthusiasm a lot in my life. From everything I’ve learned about developmental and intergenerational trauma, I can see where my roots go. They go far back into early childhood. Even issues with the family lineage where it’s been shut down. I could see how that’s been passed down. I’m curious what some of your experiences are with enthusiasm and where maybe it’s been shut down in your life?

Not only childhood moments with maybe family who couldn’t tolerate the literal activity and noise of kids, but then moving on to school and having to sit quietly for however long and not express yourself, unless you were raising your hand to answer a question. Even moving on to higher education, it’s a lot of rules about how you’re supposed to be. You learn certain things about how you’re supposed to be. When you are in the world as an adult, feeling whatever you’re feeling inside, whatever you’re enthusiastic or excited about. Sometimes being around other people, even as an adult, I had it shut down because those other adults were probably conditioned in the same ways. I can feel when I’m around somebody who can’t tolerate it. I can feel their feelings in terms of not being able to handle the amount of energy that moves through me and my unapologetic expression of it. I feel like that’s been part of my healing journey is to set her free again.

How do you handle those moments when you become aware that you’re in the presence of somebody who can’t handle your enthusiasm?

Depending on who it is, you’re honoring their process too. You’re meeting them where they are and that’s important. It’s an important awareness to have. It also depends on who you’re with and how much that relationship matters to you in terms of the time, energy, and effort that you’re going to put into the interaction no matter what it is and how it’s going down. The best way to deal for me is to call it out immediately. If I can have a conversation about it and put it out there in front of the person, then everything relaxes and even that person relaxes a little bit. That’s been my first go-to. It’s like, “I’m being my normal crazy self now, aren’t I?” Sometimes I’ll joke with people like, “I know I can be too much sometimes.” I’d much rather go at it with humor and more enthusiasm.

There’s a saying in the trauma world that says name it to tame it. It’s almost like that on the flip side because we say that about things that make us uncomfortable. Name the trauma and it can tame how it shows up in the moment or how it manifests in the moment. It’s almost the same thing on the flip side with those emotions that feel good inside of us. If you name it upfront like, “I’m excited, passionate and enthusiastic about this.” It’s like forewarning people. I don’t think I do that in my life. I might have to try that approach and see if that helps. I usually get enthusiastic and excited. I’ve had many times in life where my feelings have been hurt in the past. It’s not because of other people, it’s because I allowed the other people to shut down my enthusiasm. I shut it down in reaction to another person rather than standing up for myself and letting it be.

I resonate with that. It’s easy to look back on these moments when you did that back then. I was helping them to be comfortable rather than prioritizing my soul sometimes. I’m choosing to shut it down because of that uncomfortable feeling rather than allowing the expression and practicing the awareness with the expression, which is a healthier way to go. I certainly enjoy that process more than shutting everything down and not honoring that. I mentioned earlier that some people can’t tolerate it, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t still be myself. When somebody can’t tolerate it, sometimes I feel sorry for them. You feel like, “I want you to feel as much enthusiasm as I do about life and this and that,” but that’s not the reality of things. It always comes back to the awareness for me in all of those moments.

YA 71 | Importance Of Enthusiasm

Importance Of Enthusiasm: A lot of times, we tone down our enthusiasm because we’re conditioned to tweak ourselves for somebody else’s comfort.

 

I’m curious, have you ever had a time in your life when you haven’t been able to tolerate somebody else’s enthusiasm?

I love having the mirror put up in my face because when somebody has that amount of energy, I’m having that reflected to me. In some moments, I will feel that and go, “That’s how it’s like to be with me.” I will recognize it and it’s not always comfortable. There are great moments when I can understand how that is for other people. I hate to say to you though that then it makes me want to tone it down because then we’re in this vicious cycle of you trying to tweak yourself for somebody else’s comfort. I don’t know how you feel about that.

That’s a great way to put it because that is what is instilled in all of us in Western culture. It’s to tweak something about who we are, what we’re doing, what we’re saying or how we’re feeling in the moment for the sake of somebody else’s comfort. We’re not taught to honor ourselves. Everything in Western culture is about that external locus of control. I’m responsible for somebody else’s feelings. I’m responsible for whether or not somebody else gets offended or triggered. That is unhealthy because it puts the burden on each one of us for everybody else’s emotions and wellbeing. That starts in the home because in my house, it did. As a young child, I was responsible for my parents’ feelings.

I could do something as a two-year-old that would ruin my dad’s whole day. He would go into a rage and he’d be rageful for the whole day or the whole weekend. From a young age, it was heaped on my shoulders that if I did or said the wrong thing, there was going to be hell to pay for it. Somehow I had to pretend, because it was all pretend, that I knew how to mind read or anticipate what my mom or my dad or sister or whoever was going to do next in order to prevent myself from having to go through getting yelled at. That’s a pattern that when it happens at a young age, we carry it through our whole lives because it’s part of our implicit mind. We don’t even have explicit memory at that point in time. It’s all in the subconscious.

It’s complicated is what you’re making me think. For me, the simple answer is to stop and feel. Somebody asked me, “How do you have much energy?” My answer nowadays is years ago, I started to prioritize my joy and enthusiasm as that comes first, and not because I didn’t want to take care of other people. I chose a healing profession. That is why I’m here is to help other people. First, if I can’t help myself and feel that, then how can I help anyone else feel it? We need to be able to do that work so that we can help somebody else along their journey and guide them. That was it. When you start to feel the connection to your physical and mental health, prioritizing that joy, that is a great moment.

I love that you say that your enthusiasm gives you so much energy. I see our chakra’s a little bit different than the little chakra that’s been. I see them more as power centers. If you’re aligned with Caroline Myss’ work, that’s how I see our chakra system. It is more how she describes it in power centers. I see it like an hourglass shape rather than like little dots that go down the front of us. Our lower three chakras are all about our human nature and our animal nature. Our upper three chakras are all about our spiritual nature, and messages from the soul rather than messages from our human existence. I see the heart chakra as narrow.

When people talk about the eye of the needle, I see the heart chakra as the eye of the needle. It’s a challenge to get that eye of the needle, to get the two energies to mix. It’s common to get a lot of that grounding energy in our lower power centers. If you think of it as a battery, if we’re always in our lower three power centers, our batteries about half full. We have to get through that eye of the needle to be able to access this information.

If you think about the Cherokee proverb of the two wolves inside of us, the one wolf is about anger, rage, greed, depression, sadness and all these emotions that are uncomfortable in the body. The emotions that weighed us down like intolerance and judgment. Those are the emotions that drain and deplete our battery. They keep us in those lower three power centers. They keep us out of the upper power centers. The upper power centers are the other wolf. What gets us there are things like joy, enthusiasm, ecstasy, euphoria, hope, gratitude, appreciation and forgiveness. Those are all upper power center emotions. That’s what fills our battery. The fuller our battery is, the more that exudes out of us and enthusiasm is up here.

A lot of times people who are stuck in what I call the survival brain gets stuck in those lower power centers. Intolerance is almost an envy or jealousy like, “I can’t be where you are so I want to drag you back down to where I am.” I also think that that is subconscious. I don’t think people think to themselves consciously, not the average person. I’m sure that there are a few, I don’t think the average person says, “Laura is too much today. I’ve got to do something to knock her off her pedestal.” I don’t think it’s conscious awareness. It’s something that we subconsciously do without awareness. Once you become aware of it, then you learn to stop doing it. I don’t know if any of that resonated with you or not, but that’s how I see the power centers is very much of our battery. I see you in your upper battery a lot. You’ve learned how to get through the eye of the needle to be in some of the more complex emotions.

Not every day is a rainbow, but you can feel enthusiastic even on the bad days if you choose to. Click To Tweet

I like the idea of the eye of the needle. I think my battery is fairly consistently charged. I work at it. It’s a daily process of being aware of where I’m at and choosing. The most important part about that is when you’re in that practice, if you’re interested in that practice, it only gets better with practice like a lot of things. I like to tell people that because sometimes they don’t feel like there’s hope there. It always feels like they’re dragged down no matter what and they don’t have control over that. You do get better with that practice and that you charge your battery more and more. It stays that way a lot of the time when you do the work of that practice.

It does, and you’re right. It takes work. That’s why it’s hard for a lot of people to get there because it does take work, effort, time, and focus on yourself. It takes the ability to go inside your mind and be quiet with yourself. The more we have the music in our ears, or Netflix, YouTube, or whatever streaming, or the app on our phone, the more we are constantly entertaining our minds, the less time we have available to ourselves to go in and get quiet with ourselves and do the work that’s necessary to get to some of these battery filling emotions. When you get there, you do. I’ve heard you say, “I feel like I’m going to explode.” There is that feeling like it’s too much to keep inside anymore.

Some people also must think that people with a lot of energy and enthusiasm are ignoring reality. I have effed up days too. I have stuff that I’ve had to work through, even though people do see and feel a large amount of energy and enthusiasm from me regularly because I worked at that. That is not saying that there aren’t those times. I look at those as gifts because every time that I have to work through that challenge, a bigger challenge maybe than the last one, I feel like I get to practice at another level. I get to have a master training. I get to test this stuff that we’re talking about. I want to remind people that it’s not about all every day is a rainbow because that certainly isn’t the way things go. I get to choose to feel a certain way even on the bad days.

I call that gravitas where you decide what are you going to put emotional weight into. I spent way too many years in my life where all the emotional weight that I put into things was determined by other people. Using the world now as an example, rewind if 2020 were happening fifteen years ago, I’ve had times through all of this where I’ve had my moments where I’ve been upset or in my survival brain around the pandemic, protests, riots, looters and who are doing all of that. I’ve had my moments and then once I pull myself out of that again, I’m like, “I can’t believe I let myself sink back down into that rabbit hole again.” You start to realize that you have a choice over what you put emotional weight into. Is it necessary to put your hands in the air and run in circles in a panic just because everybody else is doing it? Can I sit here and keep my head about me and find a different approach or a different solution rather than the panic, the yelling, the anger, the screaming and the fear? Trying to baby shake people awake by saying, “Wake up,” that doesn’t work.

It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t had cable in my home for several years now. I didn’t turn it on anyway even when we did have that in the house. There was a day where I decided to get rid of it so the temptation wouldn’t be there to flick that on and have all of that in my face. I love having the freedom of not having to watch all of that and be pulled into the black hole.

I don’t have cable either. This is me ending up in the rabbit hole of Facebook proper. When my intention is to go on Facebook and go into a group or check out groups that I’m involved with related to work, I end up in the rabbit hole of Facebook proper. That’s where I see it. I’m like you, I gave up cable several years ago. I have a television and I’m like, “I should take that thing off the wall, patch the holes, hang a pretty picture, and sell that thing.” I was thinking about that. I don’t think I’ve turned my TV on in over a year. My son has, but I haven’t. This is an important topic too because essentially what we’re talking about is a choice. I feel like you and I both at one point in our lives got to the point where we realized how manipulative the news media is, advertising, commercials, in getting inside our minds and dictating what we think and how we think.

Oftentimes, it’s not a good feeling. There’s already enough in life that might do that to you versus what you choose to consume in terms of entertainment. You’re like, “Too often, I’m not feeling good when this is on. I’d rather feel good.” Sometimes it is that simple.

It seems to me that a minority of people, I wouldn’t say it’s more than 50%, I think less than 50% of people are able to stay up in some of these higher power centers, or within our battery regularly. How do you stay there? What are some of your secrets to staying there rather than having that roller coaster where you sink up and down and you’re bumped out of your okay zone? You can get bumped high out of your okay zone or bumped low. How do you stay in that?

 

YA 71 | Importance Of Enthusiasm

Importance Of Enthusiasm: Until you understand what people are going through, it’s best to relax, breathe, not judge a whole lot, and do what you can in your own life.

 

The hardest part of my life was realizing that I was living with people who wouldn’t ever let me be there consistently if I continued being in that environment. Making some hard choices about who you hang around with. We’re all locked down at home and it could be bad or good, depending on who you had to be. These were choices I made a few years ago to spend my time with people who would help me in that mission of feeling good, enjoying life, doing great things in the world, keeping our energies high and focusing on things like laughter, love, gratitude and generosity. I wanted that posse and I still do. That’s one of the ways, is I make sure that the people I hang out with are those kinds of people, both in person and in social media and the groups that I run. When you asked me that question, I thought, “I walk in nature, I journal, I listen to music. I do all the things.” I do them daily. I could have given you that list, but the thing about who you’re hanging around with, that came up as more important than that other tool lists that I use for maybe obvious reasons.

That’s such an important point. It was Jim Rohn who said, “You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most.” If you look at the personality traits, characteristics, qualities, behaviors, integrity, all of those qualities that you look at in people, if you can identify that in the five people closest to you and then average it and realize that you were the average of that, that’s always an interesting exercise to see where that lands.

Think about the last months with people who’ve been locked down alone. If you redid that quote or you redid that thought for a minute in the last months alone, if you are the one you’ve had to hang alone with, brings up topics like self-love and enthusiasm and what kind of person are you. Now you’re stuck with yourself. You can’t go out and make your team now because we can’t be in person. It’s been such an incredible journey for people to discover themselves over the last months.

I’m hearing the whole range of, “I can’t take this anymore,” to “Can we like quarantine forever?”

I’ve heard those both too.

I’m one of those people who quarantine didn’t change my day-to-day life all that much. It’s been hard not going to the fitness classes that I went to, but other than that, nothing’s changed. I’m one of those weirdos who’s enjoying this time and experiencing a lot of personal growth as a result.

I have a little bit of a mixture of both things because the day-to-day didn’t change a whole lot. The physical therapy practice was shut down and I pivoted and transitioned over these last months decided not to reopen that part of my life again, which has been a big decision. I’ve had many gifts, the time with my daughter. I’m lucky I am not alone. I live with a couple of different people who are super awesome, including my daughter. The gift with her was spending time, dinner time coming back, cooking together, taking our time with the meal, and talking while we did it. That’s been a huge gift. I do miss the in-person poetry venues, and I miss the music festivals stuff. I can get myself to a big crowd of people and have a good time. We have no idea when we’re going to be able to do that again. 

That’s fantastic to take these moments where you have those moments of gratitude and appreciation for whatever you’re doing at the moment. I’ve been doing some questioning. I tend to do a lot of contemplation. I get lost in thought sometimes. I could be The Thinker statue. I’ve been thinking a lot since we’ve been in quarantine about, how did we get to this point in life? I don’t think this is just me where we excuse big displays of bad behavior. We’re apathetic and we let it go. I’ve been asking myself, “How did we get here?” Some of the stuff that happens as a collective America that we don’t pay attention to are egregious things. It’s the small stuff that we let go. It circles back to enthusiasm.

Spend time with people who would help you feel good, enjoy life, do great things in the world and keeping your energy high. Click To Tweet

An example of what it could circle back to would be enthusiasm. I think of all the times in my life where there have been these tiny little moments where I’ve let things go. Let things like my enthusiasm get knocked out of the picture because it offended somebody else or other things where maybe not enthusiasm, where there’s a situation that goes against my morals and I don’t speak up and I don’t say anything. I told you the situation I’m in with my house where I’m dealing with a water leak that was a subcontractor error from years ago when my whole house was remodeled.

I had a forensic engineer who does forensic investigations for insurance companies come in and look at this. It’s one of those things where the insurance companies are going to court over this or gearing up to go to court and telling me what I need to keep for evidence and all of that. It’s going to be in the insurance company’s hands, but I’ve been thinking if this were in my hands, what would I do? Would I go to court? Would I put the money out for a lawyer? How would I handle this? How many times do we take these situations where we’re like, “I can’t fight this company, I can’t do anything about this?”

We let these little things slide. It’s not that little. I have a room gutted because of it. At the same time in the big picture, it’s how can a little person like me fight a big corporation without an insurance company on my side? I feel like we excuse it because we get backed into these corners where we tell ourselves, “I can’t do it,” then it gets bigger and it snowballs. It becomes part of the collective. Everybody’s doing it and then, “What does it matter?” I’ve been pondering this a lot.

I’m in a topic that I’m not able to legally talk about unfortunately with you, but here’s what I want to say about it. I am teaching my children in these moments. That’s all I ever have to think about with the topic you’re talking about to know what I will do, and that will not be silent. If people can grab onto a reason to motivate themselves toward what they know is right for them and that’s the thing for me. All I ever have to think about is, what model are you being for that amazing young woman you have in front of you who is growing up in a world and learning things and learning about herself and how she wants to be in the world? That’s it for me.

I know the answer is to not give up. Even if you feel like the tiniest voice at the moment, because there’s a whole load of other people coming behind you that need you to trailblaze that. My daughter would be a powerful force in my life to make me move in that direction. It’s hard. There’s only much energy to give to all of the things that we have to deal with. There’s a lot of stress and anxiety now. Sometimes you’re at the limit and you have to choose. I try hard not to judge other people about the choices they’re making, about what you’re saying, about not being silent and fighting the fight, and doing all the things. Until you understand what people are going through, it’s best to relax, breathe, not judge a whole lot, and do what you can in your own life.

There’s an element of, “This is what I’m doing and you need to do the same thing and if you’re doing the same thing that I’m doing in this situation, then you’re wrong, I’m right. I’m going to shame you online because of this.” That’s the mental health of America. You keep mentioning awareness and you work at it. I hope that the audiences are reading the words Laura is saying because she works at it and I work at it. It takes personal work. It takes awareness to rise above these things. Otherwise, you get sucked into it. We can get addicted to the things that we don’t want in our life. Addiction doesn’t have to do with substances all the time. That’s what we’re most familiar with is substance addiction.

There’s an addiction to gossiping, complaining, judgment, and anger. People who only show the emotion of anger and rage. These emotions tend to light up the same areas of the brain that substances do whenever we’re participating in these emotions. It takes work to pull yourself out of that cycle. I feel like gossiping, complaining, and judgment, those are big ones that are viral in our world. It takes work to come out of it. I used to be in that place. It took work and it took years of work to get myself out of it.

You talked about learning something early on in school and gossip, that’s what we did. We formed our little cliques and that’s what you did. With the practice of awareness, it helps me catch if I’m falling into that. I’ll catch myself maybe talking about somebody. If I’m awake enough, I’ll be like, “I shouldn’t be talking about that person without them around. Let’s flip our switch here and speak of something that will lift everybody instead.” It’s that awareness and it does get easier and better and faster at the moment. I’m not going to tell you, I still don’t catch myself in the habit. That’s probably been a lifelong one. You’re doing it unconsciously without even knowing you’re doing it. The first step is to notice and that’s sometimes the hardest step, to notice your habitual behavior. You’re wanting to feel and this is complicated, the psychology of this. I try to simplify it for myself, “I’m wanting to feel good here so why am I trying to feel good that way?”

YA 71 | Importance Of Enthusiasm

Importance Of Enthusiasm: Create a habit of getting curious whenever you’re triggered.

 

There are a lot of other ways to feel good. I noticed, and this is a little bit different topic than the gossip, but I was feeling like I needed to move. I need to change everything, move out of my house, find another place in the country, start all over. This was months’ worth of feeling something. I would battle it and go, “Is this your intuition telling you should move?” It came all the way around to know it’s me wanting to feel better. I do not need to move out of my house. Some people try to have a baby to feel good about their life. We know that some people get married to do that.

Some people get divorced to do that. There are many things we do. When I stood still in that feeling and allowed myself and permitted myself to understand what that was, I started to make a different decision about, I love my house. It needs a few repairs and it needs a little bit of a pick me up. I see your beautiful room behind you with your art and your stuff behind. That’s what I needed too. I needed to spruce up my rooms and make it feel like a place I wanted to be to help me feel better, but the same way the gossip. You’re looking to feel better about yourself and there are some ways to do that and some ways not to do that.

What you were describing is that classic urge to flee. That’s the flee response showing up, fight or flight. That’s your flight like, “I’ve got to leave. I’ve got to get out of here. I’ve got to go somewhere.” I resonate with that. It’s important to notice these things. It’s important to notice that to pay attention to what offends us and what triggers us. It’s easy to look at somebody and say, “You offended me,” and put it back at them as if it’s their fault that they weren’t able to read your mind. That they somehow said something across the boundary that they probably didn’t even know you had. I’m to the point in life where when I get offended or I get upset, I’ll sit with that for a few moments but it quickly turns to curiosity like, “What’s this about? What am I going to learn about myself?”

Anytime something out there offends us or triggers us, or we’re upset or angry about it, or even anxious, it’s a reflection back at us. Why am I angry at myself that I’m trying to project out to the world and blame on the world? I’m at a point where that sends me in self-reflection every single time to do some digging, to find out what have I not healed within myself. It always brings up a new awareness and always brings up these a-ha moments. Sometimes it brings up these, “I’ve been talking about this and I couldn’t even see until now that I’ve been doing this thing that I’ve been telling people not to do.” We all have those moments too because we do teach what we need to learn.

Curiosity is a magical awareness. That will flip something fast if you can get yourself to create that new habit of getting curious whenever you’re triggered. Be curious instead. Stop, take a pause, take a breath. My mom and my sister and I have a joke about that. The phrase, “Huh, that’s interesting.” It’s our code. We’ve taught ourselves to say, “Huh, okay, that’s interesting,” and get a little bit more curious about what it is.

Language is important. I believe that the questions we ask people can be important. If you ask somebody a why-question like, “Why did you do that, Laura?” versus, “What’s that about? Can you tell me what that’s about?” “Why did you do that, Laura? What was that about? What happened there?” The difference is the why is like an attack and attack on your beliefs.

That’s a blaming thing.

Even learning to rephrase basic questions. That phrase that we’ve all said a gazillion million times in our life, probably a gazillion million times in the last months is, “I can’t believe why would somebody do that. I can’t even get my head around why somebody would do something like that.” We all said that many times. I have to stop myself when I say that. That line of thinking will send me into internal suffering in my mind because I can’t figure out why somebody does what they’re doing. There’s this belief that if you’re not doing what I would do, or maybe I don’t know what I would do, but I like to pretend I know what I would do in that situation so I’m going to tell myself this story that I know what I would do. If you don’t do what aligns with the story I tell myself, then I’m going to go into this suffering, anger and resentment.

Don’t give up, even if you feel like the tiniest voice at the moment, because a whole lot of other people behind you need you to trailblaze. Click To Tweet

It was in Brené Brown’s latest TED Talk. I loved that one piece of what she said, and it’s what you’re talking about. It had to do with relating to somebody, having a conversation in a relationship. She was saying that she shuts down the tension or the stress by saying to the person, “The story I’m telling myself about that now is,” and you’re calling yourself out to the other person. “I’m making this mean this now. Is that what you mean?” You can then have a conversation because people can’t be in your head all the time. I do know some cool psychic people, but your average family and friends are not in your head. They don’t know what you believe and what you think and unless you’re out loud about it, they’re going to make their guesses and you’re going to make yours.

I know the talk you’re talking about because I’ve heard her talk about this before. I follow her work as well. I’ve tried that, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. What I have discovered is that you need somebody who is somewhat healthy in their approach and their life for that of work. There are people in my family where I’ve tried that.

It has to be somebody that matters to you that you’re working on a relationship that’s aware in two directions. That’s the situation I’m talking about.

I learned that the hard way. I’m like, “This would work,” and then it’s like, “Nope.”

We do learn the hard way. When you have someone that loves you and cares about you and is practicing awareness even a little bit with you, it can be amazing. It’s an authentic thing to say, “What I’m making that mean now is this. I’m not sure if that’s your reality.” It helps to put it on the table, but not with the wrong person.

Know your audience.

It’s good advice across life.

What are you enthusiastic about? What do you have cooking that you’re able to share?

YA 71 | Importance Of Enthusiasm

The Ultimate Guide To Self-Healing Techniques: 25 Home Practices & Tools For Peak Holistic Health & Wellness

Thanks for asking because the book series that’s out now fired me up. This was a thing where I woke up from a dream. I’d been in at about a week of panic about my business shutting down. I woke up in this dream of doing this book project. It was the passion, the idea to put together all of my healer friends and help the world heal at home. The Ultimate Guide to Self-Healing is now a book series because we’ve launched the second one. We’re working on the third. The thing I’m most enthusiastic about is the energy with which this has grown because of all of the expert healers who are walking that walk. When you put those kinds of energies together in many different kinds of voices, you help many different kinds of people, which was part of that mission. Thank you for asking. That’s been an incredible project that’s happened of late.

How many books total or do you know yet?

In the vision, I have to cover all the chakra colors on the front covers. We have a few more volumes.

Are you starting at the root going up?

No, I started at the heart, green-blue. We did purple. We went higher on the next one. I’m definitely getting down to the reds and the yellows, maybe the oranges next. I don’t know, we’ll see.

I knew about the first one. I missed the second.

The second one was launched and volume three will be launching in October 2020. We’ve got the fourth set for 2021.

That’s definitely something to be excited about. The stories in it, are they all stuff that people can do at home without going anywhere?

Yeah. Realizing that we were locked down and understanding that people had just lost all of their hands-on healers all of the sudden, all of the people that they were going out to and relying on for their healing. The thing is here is authentic healers empower their clients to heal themselves. This whole crisis has forced us to step up as master teachers, as people who would then go back and say, “There are many ways you can do things at home. Let me teach you how.” If you’re used to somebody coming to your place and laying on your table and doing your work and that’s the interaction, we’re teaching people they need us to be able to go that next step. I love that piece. You and I both know how powerful it is to get hands-on work. It is important to empower people. The books got 25 expert healers authors and they’re all telling their authentic story about becoming a healer. They’re teaching a tool in the book, 25 tools.

With this whole crisis the world is in right now, it is important to have a little more fun. Click To Tweet

It sounds simple. If any readers want to do some self-healing and self-help, I don’t get the feeling that we’re going to be done with COVID anytime soon. I feel like we’re going to be in and out or maybe continually in.

Even if we’re out, this is what needs to happen in terms of helping people feel empowered and moving towards things that help them feel enthusiastic and joyful and all of those things.

What’s next after that? Are you just going to focus on that for 2020 and 2021? I have a hard time believing you’re going to focus on a single thing. That’s why I’m asking.

I always warn people, if you’re going to ask me this question, you have to be ready for the answers. You know me, I’m always working on ten different things.

I know. There’s no way you’re doing the one thing. Is there?

I have a big solo book that will be published in January 2021. The biggest news is Brave Healer Productions Publishing services. This is the ripple for me at this point. I want to help fellow practitioners get their messages out into the world in a bigger way. If I’m helping more of them, they’re helping more people. That ripple is very real. I have a solo book coming in 2021, How to Have Fun with Your Fear and Change the World. That’s the title of that one. I’m going to be starting a new show myself, a new video podcast on WellWorldTV. I will be interviewing all of my expert healers that have been part of the book project or not. That’s coming up too. I have so many things. I’m running in that energy all the time. It’s been very good.

Are you allowed to talk a little more about your show? What’s it going to be about and what’s the name of it?

I’m working on the series title. It’s going to be Holistic Healthcare Secrets From The Experts. It’s very similar mission to the book project. It’s simple like that. Stories heal. The healers who have chosen this path of healthcare, coaching, healing, and all of the wonderful things that they’re doing. They’re a unique group of people. They chose the path and chose to trailblaze this. They chose to do the work and then help more people do their work. It’s the stories themselves. That show will be about sharing their story, but it will also be about teaching people the tools just like the book and mostly the foundational topic of awareness.

There can be a hundred different people, a thousand different people that talk about awareness and we would have a thousand different tools because there are that many ways to go about it. To you, the authors, the writers, the healers, the speakers, your voice matters. Even if this thing has been talked about a thousand different times, it’s not been talked about by you that’s behind the books and the show. The more voices, the better about this topic.

I’ve noticed that in life too. Many times, I’ve been in conversations with people and it almost ends up argumentative where they’ll say something and I’ll say something. There will be this back and forth. It happened with my son and I’m like, “Do you realize you’re saying the exact same thing I’m saying? You’re just saying it with different words in a different message, but you’re arguing with me about it. Why are we arguing over an agreement?” We argue that we agree.

YA 71 | Importance Of Enthusiasm

Importance Of Enthusiasm: Your message matters. It’s time to be brave about sharing your words.

 

That’s where my, “Huh? That’s interesting,” comes in.

If you come to realize over the last couple of years how common this is, where arguing not over the heart of the issue, but we’re arguing over the semantics on how we deliver the issue. As if there’s a right way to deliver a message. I’m hoping that the audience is reading this that for as many people as there are, there are that many different ways and that many different approaches to healing, wholeness, health, wisdom, happiness and all the things.

A lot of the fellow entrepreneurs that I hang out with, they’re stuck in not good enough. They’re not expressing because it hasn’t gotten to that place of perfection in their mind yet. It’s just not good enough whatever. It’s not good enough in terms of if you’re here to do this kind of work. It’s boring to me at this point. We’ve got to get out of our own way. It’s not about us anymore. It’s about the person who needs to hear it like you say it. That’s something that I’ve done in my life and my business. I’ve done that pivot over and over to help me through that purpose-driven fear, that not good enough fear, the who am I fear. We do have to keep reminding ourselves that our unique way of expressing it is important.

I will say that I don’t 100% agree with your sentiment, that I’m bored with the not good enough. The only reason I say that is in my own life, there are many ways to get past that. I’ve been able to focus on developmental and intergenerational trauma. I see the roots of where that started. The roots of that for me personally started early in life pre-verbal and it was part of my normal. It’s not always easy to address those traumas whenever that’s always part of your life, that sense that you’re not good enough whenever you start to understand this and understand how far the tendrils go back in your life.

Each person overcomes that in their own time and in their own way. I’ve butted up against that a lot in my life, because that was one of my biggest self-sabotaging belief systems that I’ve had to butt up against. It’s like every time it’s one of those things where I always tell myself, “It’s going to get a little bit better,” but every time I’m putting myself out there, I still get nervous about it like, “What’s going to happen next?” I have those thoughts about, “Are people going to like this? Are people going to accept it? What are people going to say about it? Do I need to worry about that?” It then gets into that conflict.

I think that you’re nervous about things like what you’re talking about because you like me are being out loud about these things. You are not hiding and you want to share your voice. In that realm, the nervousness is because this matters. That’s a good thing. That’s a compass for me too. When I get nervous about something or a little too worried about what other people are going to think about it, I’m like, “This is it right here. This is because this matters to me.” That’s not a bad thing.

It’s how we interpret it. It’s whenever the mind steps in and starts to interpret it because that feeling, the sensation and the felt sense of nervousness or the experience of nervousness in the body, it’s how we choose to interpret it that matters. We can choose to interpret it as nervous excitement, “I’m going to do this thing. It’s unknown. I’m all excited and I’m nervous all at the same time.” We can choose to interpret that as anxiety, worry, stress and strain. There is a choice point in there. However, it takes work and it takes healing from your past traumas to get to that choice point if you’re not able to see that you even have a choice point. You can get stuck in the hamster wheel of anxiety and not even realize that you’re stuck in a negative feedback loop. There are some important aspects of healing in there for people even to get to that choice point. Once you get to the choice point, the hope is that people maintain that choice point and they don’t jump back on the hamster wheel.

We all fall back on it now and again, no matter where we’re at on the journey. It is about the journey and the practice versus some perfect place that we hope to get to where that never happens.

Enjoying the journey and the process. If you can get to that point where you enjoy the process, then you’re in a good place in life.

Getting back to the whole thing about enthusiasm, especially over these last months, I was having that, “Life is short. You’ve got to enjoy yourself a little here feeling before all this happened.” As this all has been happening, it’s feels more intensely like that to me. That’s why I continue to prioritize having more fun, talking about things like enthusiasm, laughing more, pointing my face toward the sun a little more often, catching myself in the black hole when I’m stuck in there a little faster. This whole crisis that the world is in right now, that’s part of what it’s done for me is enhance the whole, “Let’s have a little more fun.”

We both know that spiritual bypassing or bypassing our own healing or hijacking our efforts to healing is a real thing where people can use positive affirmations as an avoidance or bypassing tactic. I’m curious what advice you have for that person.

This topic is interesting and it’s loaded. As somebody who has spent 30 years on a healing journey, having been accused of that by other people, I’m going to surround myself with people who know who I am and know that that wouldn’t be me. You could spend your time and energy battling that topic for hours and hours with somebody who is very confident in their opinion. When you have practiced a journey of authentic healing, whatever that means because it means different things for different people, the awareness comes back up as the habit. I love affirmations, positivity, enthusiasm, and having fun. I love all of the things that I love. I don’t think I’m bypassing anything. I have laid on a table and gone to my deepest sufferings plenty of times to be able to say to somebody, “You might have your opinion about this, but I’ve done the work.” At this point in my life, I don’t have to explain myself to anybody. I don’t know about that topic. It gets me riled up.

In hearing what you said and hearing your answer, I was wondering what you might have to say for the person who does participate. There are people who are spiritually hijacked. They’ll use affirmations as a way to avoid any stress or anything in their life. Life is not perfect.

It’s the judgment thing. I’d have to go back and say, “I don’t know their life.”

I heard you say, “I’ve done the work. You don’t know what I’ve been through. I don’t know what you’ve been through.” Those are excellent points to pull out because you have done work in your life.

It’s hard to judge that in people. It’s hard without having a deep window into their life to make that judgment about people, especially since we seem to do it over the web and we seem to do it in all of these ways. I’m sorry, but I have to chuckle a little bit about that sometimes when I see it happening. You don’t know the person.

Is there anybody out there who hasn’t found themselves in one of those online conversations and in the middle of it going, “What did I get myself into?” I am so guilty because I have this almost naive delusion that if I explain what my thought process was, that that will fix everything and they’ll understand. I’m more in the place where you are. It’s like, “I don’t need to explain.” I have deleted more comments than I have posted. I’ll sit there typing it and editing it. Instead of hitting enter, I’ll highlight and delete.

Sometimes maybe we’re talking about Facebook here or whatever social we’re on. It’s social media. What are we doing? This is my page. You can’t have your stuff on my page if I don’t like it. I’ve been told that because I have a platform that I have a responsibility to do certain things too, but I do have to chuckle about that all over again. You’re giving me more rules because I have a reach of people that I’m expressing to. This is still about me being able to be my full on passionate enthusiastic self in whichever way I feel serves me. When I do that, I do serve more people. It’s selfish but it’s not. It’s both things.

It’s the ‘Yes, and.’

We’ve got a couple of good ‘Yes, ands’ in this interview.

I don’t know where the name of the show came from or why it hit me. There are many reasons but every time I’m like, “I’m so glad I named my show that.”

It’s a great awareness title. The ‘and’ instead of the ‘but’ is a great little awareness trick language.

I love that curiosity came up in the conversation because curiosity is the antidote to judgment. As soon as we get curious, judgment goes out the window and then we’re like, “What’s this about?”

That’s why it’s so powerful. Somebody else told me that gratitude is that to fear. You can’t feel both of those at the same time. If you can get yourself a little bit better at pivoting quicker to the other thing like gratitude, we love gratitude and curiosity, then you’re going to be instantly shifting. I love that challenge.

The antidote to anger and rage is play. How much do we not emphasize and enjoy play?

That’s come into my life more and more in these last few years as well. I think it’s part of the enthusiasm. Play is good, people.

I want to circle back to you before we wrap up. Brave Healer Productions, are you producing books now?

Yes, I am. I mentioned The Ultimate Guide to Self-Healing series is continuing and in its third volume production. We’re in the process of writing that new one. I have published a couple of my own. There’s the new one that I talked about coming out in 2021 through Brave Healer Productions and also looking out to fellow healthcare practitioners and healers who are ready to get their solo books into the world. I stepped into the place inside of me that knows that this is what I was born to do and help people get their message out in a bigger way through the written word. These words that are changing the world.

If anybody out there is interested in writing a book, here’s a publisher.

I have a super great giveaway on the website. Anybody who’s even thinking about doing this book writing thing, there’s a great 90-minute free mini-course and a workbook. I will catapult you in a very positive direction in terms of your book writing, so go and grab it. It’s on BraveHealer.com. It is the first thing you’ll see. You don’t have to go anywhere else.

Laura, is that the best place to find you if our readers want to locate you?

Yeah. I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter too. You can come find me pretty much on all the social, but BraveHealer.com would be great. I would love to hear from you.

Laura, it’s been an honor to have you here because I feel this is an important topic. I know we segued out of enthusiasm, but we talked about many different things that are so important and overlooked when it comes to the maturity of our creative expression.

It is the journey, isn’t it?

Yeah, but until we can start to own our enthusiasm and own some of these higher power center emotions, it can be challenging to get to a place where we even want to express ourselves creatively.

We’re changing that. You are.

I’m tackling the trauma that keeps us from it still. Laura, do you have any final tips or bits of wisdom to leave with our readers?

I like to end this way and reminding you. You were born so you’re worthy and your message matters. What if the thing you’re still a little afraid to share is exactly what someone needs to hear to either change or even save their life? It’s time to be brave about sharing your words.

I love that. Thank you so much, Laura. It’s been a pleasure to have you here.

Thank you for having me.

For all of our readers out there, please subscribe and share. In my humble opinion, I believe that this is such an important topic for people to take a few minutes of contemplation. Contemplation is nothing more than slowing down your thinking a little bit, so you can spend a little more time on a topic and get to the roots of it within yourself. If you notice that you’re hiding your enthusiasm or you’re holding yourself back, or maybe you’re judgmental, how can you turn that into curiosity? How can you express your enthusiasm?

How can you turn it around whenever you find out that you’re offended or triggered about something, or even when somebody tells you that you’ve said something that offended or triggered them? How can you maintain a healthy conversation? These are real problems that I believe we’re all budding up against in our day-to-day lives. If you found value in the conversation, please share this with others. Please look Laura up. She’s got some fantastic things coming. I know she does great work. She’s great at helping people get their books launched and out into the world. Please look her up at BraveHealer.com and I will see all of you next time.

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About Laura Di Franco

YA 71 | Importance Of EnthusiasmWhat do Tae Kwon Do, drag racing and the healing arts have in common? All three are absolute passions of Laura Di Franco, MPT.

Laura has a third-degree black belt and a clear preference for traveling fast and being badass. But she is also the pragmatic champion of small business owners who want to push their health-based practices to the next level but need a little help to do so.

Through her Bethesda-based Brave Healer Productions, Laura offers inspiring speeches, workshops, an online writing club and other services that can help talented health professionals tell their own stories so they too can maximize their professional impact. Laura has a combined social media and email list of 10,000 people that allows her to quickly sell out her offerings and spread her message of health and empowerment.

With almost three decades of expertise in holistic physical therapy behind her, she has written six books including her latest, the aptly titled Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey. Shouldn’t Laura be helping you with your journey?

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