“I love being afraid.” – said no one ever.
“I just love feeling angry.“
Paula Conroy is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who runs retreats to help women face their fears. To embrace who they are. To feel their emotions.
And to overcome them.
No one wants to feel their darkest, heaviest emotions.
Everyone is planning their furious escape from these delightful, fun-loving demons.
People want to feel alive. Joyful. On top of the world.
But everyone goes through stressful situations in life, and as humans, we feel the full spectrum of emotions.
Most people try to deal with their emotions mentally.
Or by attempting to shift external circumstances.
But unless you learn to feel your emotions and create space for them in your body — they’ll stay stuck.
Because the real shifts happen inside of you.
In your body and in your nervous system.
Unfortunately, ignoring your pain doesn’t make it go away.
It just makes it worse. Bigger. Seemingly insurmountable.
Quit doing yoga. Express your rage and have earth-shattering orgasms instead 👇
In this episode, Paula Conroy and I talked about the importance of having a safe community to explore your darkest emotions.
Most people numb their feelings with drugs, alcohol, the latest Netflix series, exercise, antidepressants, gaming, or by drowning themselves in work.
Most people are afraid to go deep inside. To feel.
I get it – it can be pretty dark at times.
But by feeling your emotions, you free yourself from their grip.
And you free yourself from the prison of your mind.
So as Paula says – give yourself permission to feel. To slow down. To embrace all the seasons of life.
Everyone has the power to face their demons.
To shed light on them.
And you just might find that your so-called “demons” are your biggest teachers. Packed full of life-changing lessons.
And one day, you might even be grateful for them.
Because if you embrace your emotions – they make you stronger.
As a friend told me recently:
“Your resistance is your compass.”
So be curious.
See where your emotions lead you.
And join the wild rollercoaster ride here on Sex, Money & Rage.
Click that play button if you want to have your mind blown in the best way 🤯
In this episode, you’ll learn…
- How to work with crazy, big emotions that feel like they’re going to rip you apart you (with the right tools, they won’t) 🔧
- How Paula’s career in commercial banking and management helped her shift into helping people do deep transformational work 🙏
- Why all the seasons and cycles of life are important and how to enjoy and embrace each one 🌱
- Why people avoid feeling their emotions, and how to master them instead 🔥
- How a community of genuine people can create incredible healing within (especially as most wounds are caused by other people) 👪
Connect with Paula Conroy:
Ellie Goode — Host of the Provocative “Sex, Money & Rage“ Podcast, Nervous System Junkie, and Plant Psychonaut 🌿
I created Sex, Money & Rage to talk about everything that’s taboo. BDSM. Plant medicine. Healthy Rage. Kink. Emotions. Boundaries. Money issues. Less thinking, more feeling. How to get into your body and silence your overactive mind.
Sex, Money & Rage provides straight-up, powerful nervous system tools to help you dominate life’s toughest moments.
All podcast episodes are located here.
Do you have 30 seconds to leave a 5-star rating on Spotify / Apple? 🤗
I mean… who doesn’t have 30 seconds, right?
And in case you need some extra social proof to inspire you to leave a review, check out these super nice things people have already said…
“The title sucked me in and I am glad! I just found out about this podcast and I was very impressed! The interview style is very interesting (not your usual dry interview questions) and gives a lot of insight into the way the guest thinks and held my attention the entire time.“Dumpster Muffin – USA
First-time listener but definitely not the last…Sex, Money & Rage connects listeners to impressive people with fascinating experiences to share. SMR is authentic, thought-provoking and an entertaining listen.Jack, USA
Thank you for creating this space for people like-minded to talk openly and and feel OK to talk about these things.Beau, Australia
DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this podcast (and in the Sex, Money & Rage website) is for informational and educational purposes only and therefore it does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a medical practitioner or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses or treatment. To the maximum extent permitted by law (including the Australian Consumer Law), we exclude all liability for any loss or damage of any kind (including consequential loss, indirect loss, loss of profit, loss of benefit, loss of opportunity or loss of reputation) whether under statute, contract, equity, tort (including negligence), indemnity or otherwise arising out of or in connection with the Site or the Content. For more information about our terms, click here.
Ellie Goode: Welcome to the Sex, Money and Rage podcast.
Paula Conroy: In that big emotion there’s such a there’s a. there’s a lesson Each of us have got. for the men is a lesson in the tenderness of the sensitivity of the emotions that they feel. There is that many men feel very, very unable to feel because it’s so vulnerable for them. There’s a real vulnerability that hasn’t been held in the masculine, And for women there’s a fear of going into the rage because they feel like they just it’s, they’re going to be out of control. There’s an experience of that energy and motion that’s just built up so much that they’re going to feel like they completely lose control.
Ellie Goode: Hello Ragers, and welcome back to Sex, Money and Rage. I’m your host, Ellie, and I just finished a two week ayahuasca dieta here in the sacred valley in Peru, where I live, and it was life changing. So I am going to do an episode at some point on what happened, what I learned, what it is an ayahuasca dieta. If you want to know more in the meantime, you can check out episode number seven with Safa Roberts. She is epic and we talked about sort of what goes on in ayahuasca dieta. But yeah, it was super, super exciting. I’m feeling super refreshed. I got to sit with my mind for two weeks and do barely any work and sit in the garden and basically try and be bored for the whole time. So it was. It was really cool, it was challenging for someone like me who’s always busy, but it was really really good And I’m excited to do another one later this year.
Ellie Goode: I also wanted to announce that I am going to be shifting the podcast direction slightly, very, very slightly. I originally started out as a bit of a mix of business and mental health, you know, emotions, that sort of thing. But based on two things: one, what people are listening to, and two what I’m super passionate about and feel drawn to is more the mental health, psychedelics, emotions, rage, all that stuff. So we’ll still be talking about sex, money and rage. Don’t don’t worry, It’s still the same topics. But I just want to sort of, maybe not focus so much on the business angle as much. So there’s so many business, amazing business resources and podcasts out there already. And I wanted to, yeah, focus on plant medicine, psychedelics and sex, money and rage and doing your internal work because and the nervous system, because that’s what I am super passionate about getting into your body and helping silence your mind.
Ellie Goode: Because what I learned, one thing I really learned during the ayahuasca dieta, was every thought that I have (and I’m pretty sure this would apply to most humans), but every thought I have is linked to a physical sensation in my body. So if I’m having a thought about, “oh, I’m really worried about this thing happening”, and I start thinking and thinking about this thing happening, what’s really going on, I noticed, is I’m just feeling activation and stress in my body. I’m feeling fear in my body, and if I can sit with that and process that and work with that fear and release it – then the thought just disappears. And I noticed this time and time again on my ayahuasca dieta. So I’m really passionate about helping people get into their body and their nervous system And I write emails about all of this stuff every week, three to five times a week. I’m trying to do daily, but sometimes life gets in the way. But, yeah, usually usually daily at least three emails a week on how to get into your body, how to get into your nervous system and feel all of this stuff. So if that sounds interesting to you and write up your alley, then go to sexmoneyrage.com and sign up for my free emails. And I will teach you all about the things that I’m learning from these incredible plant medicines and from the nervous system and how to heal your body.
Ellie Goode: Because that is when the magic truly, truly happens. And it’s perfect because in this interview with Paula Conroy (she’s awesome. She’s amazing) – we talked about full spectrum of emotions, the cycles of life, how to, safely express these emotions like rage and these really powerful things that come through, and the power of community and just doing your internal work. And how that can really shift your life for the better. So I’m super excited. I had such a great time interviewing Paula and I think you guys are going to get a lot out of it.
Ellie Goode: Hey, Paula, how are you going today?
Paula Conroy: Good morning, Ellie. I’m really great. Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to be here with you today. How are you going today?
Ellie Goode: Yeah, I’m really good. Actually It’s been a nice chill day. I worked over the weekend so I took the morning off, which was nice. So yeah, it’s been good. But for people who say don’t know you or haven’t heard about you, can you just give a bit of a background of who you are and what you do?
Paula Conroy: Yeah, beautiful, thanks, Ellie. So I was born in South Africa, and I’ve lived overseas now for nearly 20 years. So good, seven years stint in London And then I’ve been in Australia now for nearly 13 years, living across Sydney and now up in Byron Bay, and I spent a great deal of my career in banking. So I worked for a global bank for 15 years and assumed some senior leadership positions during my tenure there, looking after big teams of people and managing the what we call the global liquidity and cash of these large multinational corporations. So I had sort of 2,200 master groups in my team’s portfolios and we looked after sort of nine digits worth of balances across the accounts that we had to manage And we also supported these institutions in moving their money around the world in the most seamless way.
Paula Conroy: So from that perspective, i had a really interesting and diverse career, you know, really getting under the hood of what is involved with money management and what actually happens in the back end of the banking system.
Paula Conroy: It’s a really fascinating process to experience how money moves around the world and to see in many ways, how archaic the systems are and how necessary new ways of moving money around the world have become, you know, such as the emergence of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and this alternate way of dealing with cash to support a fluid movement, as opposed to what could be termed as like a bit of sort of sticky tape in the back end.
Paula Conroy: So you know that seamless communication of how to move money around the world is definitely progressing. However, while I was there for 15 years, we spent a lot of our time on trying to fix the holes in where and how the financial movement of money would fall down. So I had a very interesting time not just learning about the money itself, but also working with a number of, you know, very interesting large corporates and understanding the mechanisms of their internal treasury management and how that all operates. And then also I had the great privilege of looking after teams of people around Australia, and you know that leadership aspect is something that’s very dear and close to my heart. You know, really strong, strong, clear, good leadership is something that I feel has been lacking largely in our world today.
Paula Conroy: And you know, to find really interesting, strong, good leaders was a real passion of mine. I used to hunt them down internally to look at, to find out you know what are their secrets, what is the secrets also of great leadership in the world, and also hunt them down externally to find out what’s happening out there. You know what makes a good leader, and especially for me as a woman and as a female in banking, what is it about female leadership? that is the that is, what is it about female leadership that makes it different to leadership in general? And it was a big exploration for me on trying to ascertain what the what is that magic, what is the beauty, what is the essence of being a female at the table all about? And sure, we can just sort of say it’s all these kinds of it’s more compassionate, it’s more empathetic, it’s all these beautiful feminine traits which are so important. And yet very seldom in leadership do we ever hear like wow, she’s a really powerful leader. You know that word and female leadership never really went hand in hand And yet I felt that there’s an extraordinary power to being a, being a woman in banking and being a female leader. But how to wield that in a healthy way, so that it’s not being powerful under the sort of masculine, patriarchal view of what power looks like and feels like. What is the power of the feminine when we’re sitting around the table and what is the power of female leadership when we’re bringing that feminine essence to the team, the organization, the cause, whatever that might be. And so that exploration took me on a real journey when I started to become really, really interested in what is this transition for women to move from one stage of life where we are waking up to the fact that we have been born into a culture that has put women in a marginalized group, and what are women’s responsibilities in that? How have women contributed to the allowance of being marginalized? You know, these conversations can often be really polarizing And from my point of view, I’ve explored all the different angles and gone through my own process of many different feelings in relation to women and positions of leadership women in positions of power, myself in positions of leadership and power, and how, what are all those cloaks feel and look like for myself personally to be able to come through, to really start to grasp what is that right of passage that women need to go through to be able to transition from either a female leader that still looks and behaves like a man in that context, or a female within that context that doesn’t feel like she could be a leader or person of authority or power in that context.
Paula Conroy: And so what is that? Where is this disconnect? You know, we’ve either got, you know, female leaders that are there for the sake of feminism or female leaders who are not actually there, being able to be in a position of power. And but what I mean by power as opposed to influences power gives us the ability to directly affect change, whereas influence is indirectly affecting change. So, you know, a lot of the awards out there are like women of influence Okay, great, well, that’s indirectly. You know, just observe this woman from afar and she’s influencing in her own quiet way Whereas it’s men of power. What is it about? What is that transition for women to feel like they are in a position of power, not a power over or a power against, but a power with something, in order to be able to directly affect change within whichever system or context they are actually working within.
Paula Conroy: And so, for me, that journey of discovery took me actually on a realization that I wanted to move out of that set and setting and that the context within which I was exploring these internal experiences over. What does that mean to me as a woman of power or a woman of influence? What does it mean to me to be a female leader or a feminist leader? You know, what is this authentic essence of me in relation to female leadership, power, influence and how to directly affect change for the good?
Paula Conroy: And so that kind of agitation that I was feeling in that latter part of my journey within banking, you know, really spoke to this call that we get when we are being called to a right of passage, a transition from one stage of life to the next. You know we start experiencing these types of agitations like something’s got to change. I’m not really happy where I am. Something’s happening inside of me that I’m feeling, and very often in our culture and the way in which we’ve been brought up and the ways in which we’ve been taught is that, you know, make a change then. So it’s always this external thing. All right, well, stop doing this and find another job, but make sure you don’t sit in the discomfort of the passage in between the one job and the next. You know, get the next job before you’ve left the first job, so that you’re going to remain safe the whole way through And nothing’s going.
Paula Conroy: You know, this concept of moving from one stage of life to the next has forgotten some really important parts of that transition, which is something that I experienced when I left banking just over two years ago, which is that in between the external change, in that right of passage, the external transition for one thing to the next, there’s actually an inward experience that needs to go, that we need to endure, in a way that we need to be willing to sit with the season of the death of the one part of our lives before the rebirth of the next, you know. So this transition requires us to go through a period of time where there is the void, where the winter of the cycle comes in, where the tree has lost all of its leaves and, before spring starts and everything starts to grow again, there is a rest and digest period where the leaves are all gone and the tree itself can be completely bare in the winter of its life. And if we look at ourselves as humans, all of us collectively, men and women, you know we have, we are inherently a part of nature. Nature is not separate to us. Nature is this extraordinary thing that we are very much a part of as human beings. And you know, women, for example, have a very intuitive connection to nature because when we transition into that young adolescent stage, we have a natural part of our bodies that shift into a cycle, into our men’s cycles or menstrual cycles for women, that each month create this possibility of life, with the egg being created, and when that possibility of life is not coming to fruition, that egg then dies and it goes through a death process. Before then there’s the bleed and then this next possibility of life comes into fruition. Every month that cycle is happening within us women. So we have a very intuitive connection, although largely speaking, women are very disconnected from this intuition. We’re very disconnected from the cycle that’s happening in our body because our culture has unnecessarily revered and honoured this extraordinary process that creates life. In the world. We’ve had this weird thing that’s happened over time, where it’s become shameful and it’s become something that you whisper about and that young girls get all embarrassed about And it’s like wow, like this, and this is a very potent part of being a young woman and forevermore a young woman until we go through that next significant hormone change in menopause, when that possibility of bearing life becomes no longer and we shift into that next stage, that light of passage into our older-hood.
Paula Conroy: So this cyclical nature that happens inside of our bodies and what we see happening outside of nature, where we have these cycles going from the spring, where something is coming into life, it’s blooming for the first time, we see these buds and these shoots coming through. That then moves into the summer when everything’s in full bloom and it’s glorious and everything is thriving, and then naturally the cycle moves into the winter where everything starts to. Nature lets go of everything. Every season It lets go of the summer. It’s a natural process to let go of the full bloom and allow for that to fall from the trees, to digest and to compost, to allow for the roots to be nourished in the darkness, back into the womb of the winter, and for that discomfort of the bareness of winter to be experienced by the individual or by society collectively you can think of it on any level For that to become the compost, for that rest and digest, and for that possibility of the dream time to come through again, for that to come back out into the spring with the newness of that rebirth, of that next seasonal change coming back through. And we see that happen as well with the moon. Every month, the moon goes from cycle to cycle. We go from a new moon to a full moon and back down again, and in that space of time the full moon pulls the whole ocean into a king tide and then it wanes again and pulls things down. So these cycles are happening around us all the time. And yet for us human beings and these transitions when we’re moving from one stage to the next, we have forgotten this extraordinary mirror that we have all around us in nature, showing us that these cycles are actually meant to happen within us. So we as society have still got this PTSD or fear around.
Paula Conroy: Wow, I’m feeling an agitation. I want to make a change in my life. I want to move from one stage of life into the next, but I better make sure that I’m safe and secure. So let me just find that other job and let me finish this job on the Friday and start that new job on the Monday. And I used to say this all the time with the people when I was recruiting people into our teams. I’d be like right, so how long is your notice period And then say I’ll be four weeks and I’ll be like, okay, cool. I really strongly encourage you to take some time in between your one job And before you come into this next job. You need to have a break, you need to rest, and it was unbelievable how difficult people found that they would just literally leave on the Friday and start the next job on the Monday.
Paula Conroy: No space for that rest and digest, no time for that transition, no time to allow for the momentum of that previous way of being to find its winter and its autumn and its winter to compost, to allow for the spring of this new phase of one’s life to be able to come through in its unique new expression. There’s still too much of that kind of leaves still stuck on the tree before this next spring comes And it’s like well, spring can’t fully spring through these branches If we haven’t allowed for all those leaves to fall off. So this transition, this change from one stage of life to the next, especially when we’re moving on a ladder from one part of life to the next, when we feel that agitation has forgotten this incredibly important cyclical experience that needs to happen within ourselves, which is this feminine principle within ourselves, the masculine principle within all men and women, is this moving through the stages of life, from one step to the next, feeling the agitation and moving to the next stage, great, excellent. Let’s do that, and we also need to embody collectively, both men and women, this incredibly important feminine spiral which is this inward process to connecting to these parts of ourselves that actually need to die in this old way, that need to go into their winter. They need to be felt and they need to be rested and digested in order to allow for the clarity and the possibility of the spring being created in its most pure and aligned essence to what this next phase of our lives looks like.
Paula Conroy: And I’m sure that many of your listeners will resonate with that, because certainly I left banking and I thought I needed. You know, I left and I was like what am I going to do? Like sure I’m so institutionalized I’ve been here for 15 years I need to make sure I’ve got the next thing lined up. When I moved on to the next thing, as beautiful as that work was for me, it was much more aligned to where I was at in my life. I moved into mindful leadership, consulting, which was beautiful, but what happened for me was that I moved into and started this next phase straight away And I was immediately contracted again.
Paula Conroy: I was like, oh my gosh, like I don’t know if this is what I want to do, i should want to do it on paper.
Paula Conroy: If anything looks fantastic, this is exactly what I’ve.
Paula Conroy: This is my heart, this is my love, mindful leadership, and this exploration is absolutely attuned to who I am.
Paula Conroy: And yet I don’t feel this big, yes, this big full body, yes to this stage that I have moved into. And again there was like a second death that had to happen with that as I let that go. And so this, this real possibility of bringing the awareness back for people that these transition stages of our lives require a inward death. And how can we do those inward rites of passage, those inward downward spirals, this inherent feminine principle of transitioning from one stage to the life through our feeling, state of being and feeling where we are, as opposed to thinking, we need to move from one step of the ladder to the next, that the sacredness of that process is something that I’ve recognized now as becoming an incredibly important feminine principle to be absorbed by both men and women within themselves to support us in really being able to cohere between the head and the heart in a, in a way where we can move into that next stage of our life, that next transition state, in a really, really healthy way.
Ellie Goode: So amazing, amazing, yeah …
Ellie Goode: There’s so many things in there that I absolutely loved, but it’s something that I’ve actually been working on lately is the slowing down piece and the learning to be receptive, learning to be in nature, learning to not be on the go. Cause I definitely can be a workaholic like most people because, like you said, there’s a safety in that, there’s a predictability, there’s a sense of control, and so when I, whenever I take time off, like this morning, I’m kind of like what do I do?
Ellie Goode: You know it’s it’s – and there’s nothing to do. Like it’s a sense of slowing down, a sense of being, a sense of, you know, being in that receptive state And and someone else I had on the podcast recently said something similar where All of her big ideas they don’t come to her when she’s rushing around, working and, you know, taking off everything she’s got to do. They come to her when she’s in that slowing down moment and that receptivity and more of the feminine energy And that you know she was passionate about as well helping men and women embrace their feminine energy more. So I think it’s, I think it’s really important And it’s, yeah, something that the Western world definitely definitely could use more of. Is that slowing?
Paula Conroy: down. Yeah, that’s slowing down And you know this is. This is really where things are at. You know, because so many of us do have this momentum of the way in which life, our culture and the way in which our lives have evolved. You know, either consciously or predominantly unconsciously, we’ve all just kind of fallen into this current of energy, this current, the stream that’s got faster and faster And businesses are more, bigger, better, faster, do more with less. You know, it’s a.
Paula Conroy: It’s been this, this constant, escalating problem that many of us have not really known how to, how to create the possibility of us being able to slow down, because in our own systems there’s this momentum that has been carrying us forward in this current. That momentum takes time. It’s not like you can turn a ship in the night. You know, i mean in a moment. You know the ship takes time to turn And that momentum is something that’s inside of our systems as well, and and and really what?
Paula Conroy: the big challenge with us being able to absorb fully the possibility of being able to sit in our winters, is that culture hasn’t supported both men and women in different ways to learn how to be with the very difficult feelings that are sitting underneath the surface in our winters And we’ve seen that happen. You know we’ve got this really big problem. You know, certainly my dad’s generation were never allowed to feel. You know, being a man involved, never feeling, you know just like. You know you be a man and you do all the things and you celebrate the all these. You know hyper masculine traits And my dad was certainly not taught how to be with his big emotions. You know that was something that he’s just had to push to the side and push to the side and push to the side And as a result of that, he gets super confused about what’s actually going on inside of him because he hasn’t been taught how to feel And he hasn’t been within a culture or community that has supported him on how to feel And that’s been perpetuated through generations and it came through generations passing from one stage of life to the next, passing from one generation of life to the next.
Paula Conroy: And here we’re in this, in this beautiful time now, where there’s this possibility and certainly so much work being done in relation to men’s mental health and supporting men and young boys. There’s some amazing charities out there, such as the man care, for example, that are supporting young boys connect to how they feel and being willing and able to share that in the context of a group setting that has been set up in a safe way. You know, and there’s a lot of studies that have been done on the therapeutic benefits of vulnerable storytelling in a circle setting and how much that that supports people, and you know, in this case young boys to be able to connect to their feelings and be able to recognize oh, i am feeling this and I can name that. And that’s an inherently feminine principle that lives in all of us. But the starting of the feminine, you know, for the, for probably as long as as time has been around, that men have contributed to and women have contributed to in two different ways, has resulted in men not being able to connect to their emotional centres and women collectively being marginalized as a group. And so these two impacts that the sporting of the feminine has had has resulted in, as we see, you know, a pandemic of mental health issues around the world.
Paula Conroy: You know, and it’s showing up in different ways. We’ve got men that don’t know, that haven’t ever been taught how to feel and they don’t have the language, and we’ve got, in turn, women that have suppressed certain emotions that have been unbecoming to a woman. Women have been. You know, make sure in the fifties and the sixties you’re there with your husband and you’ve got your lipstick on when he walks through the front door and you’ve got your high heels on with the dinner on the table and make sure that you’re being pretty pleasing and polite all the time. And you know, little girls must be a good girl. You know, make sure you be a good girl, that sort of thing, you know. And so, and this, this, this impact that that’s had on on girls, oh, i better be a good girl. And yes, of course, i want to please and yes, everything’s I want to be. You know I want to be loved by mom and dad and I want to be accepted by my girlfriends.
Paula Conroy: And you know the sisterhood wounds have been so deep, you know they go back probably to, you know, biblical times, way beyond that. You know, and you think back on the times of of witches, when witches were burned at the stakes. You know there was a deep wound into the feminine psyche during that period of time where if you were a person, a woman alive at that time and they were on the witch hunt, they came to you and they said Oh, Paula, we think you’re a witch. And I’m like, no, no, no, I’m not a witch. And they’re like, well, we’re going to burn you at the stake unless you tell us who are. And I’m like, well, i don’t want to be better than Stake Ellie’s actually a witch going burn her, you know. So then they’re going grab Ellie and, regardless of whether you were a witch or not, you’re going to get burned at the stake.
Paula Conroy: And so that deep, deep impact on the feminine psyche has contributed to this. This, you know lack of remembrance within woman of our bond of sisterhood, which is such an important and you know, i pray that it emerges again and as rebuilding trust within between women, the kind of competitiveness, the toxic perfectionism, all these things that have crept in as a result, again, of the way in which things have panned out, of the culture within which we live, of the lack of healthy rights of passage supporting us to go through these transitions well together, and the awareness of the importance of the sisterhood bond, you know. And what’s happened with that pretty pleasing and polite behaviour within women? And I think the reason that we’ve got this drag, this basement, where the dragon lives where all these things like brain anger and frustration and you know all these big emotions, you know sexuality and all these things that have been sorted over time and have been pushed down into the basement. Because we have meant to be, on the surface, pretty pleasing and polite. We’ve now got this basement full of of emotions and feelings that are now bubbling over And we can see certainly I’ve seen within my own life how the realization of that basement is that that dragon comes out in really unhealthy ways when it goes unaddressed.
Paula Conroy: It comes out in irritability, impatience, snapping at people, snapping at my children, picking fights with my husband. You know all those things were happening for me. All of those are really big signposts for us. When those types of feelings and experiences are showing up in our life, we can be rest assured that they are showing up for a reason because there are feelings and things that are happening within us that are undigested, that need to come out in a healthy way instead of coming out in that unhealthy way, which is this rageful response to something that was completely disproportionate to the reaction that we would have had.
Paula Conroy: So that merging into ourselves is something that is an incredibly important process, and for women especially, you know, creating the space for them to start building the safety within which they can allow themselves to feel these big feelings. And that’s one of these big things is that men haven’t had the safety to tap into these inherently sensitive and tender feelings. They don’t have the community around them. If they start feeling something, you know they get you know, ha ha, joked over or blamed, you know the blokes all get you know. It’s like oh, arm wrap, arm wrap, arm wrap, don’t feel. And for women we don’t have that space created for us to really feel all of these big feelings, the rage and the anger that might be very deeply suppressed within our own experiences but also in the generations of the feminine psyche and the feminine level of consciousness that goes back to the injustices of women being burned at the stake for being a which, for being technically a healer in the community that got burned at the stake. You know these are very deep wounds that that are in the zeitgeist, that are in the consciousness.
Paula Conroy: That now, with this re-emergence of rights of passage and really understanding, how do we transition from these stages where we are at, where men have not been allowed or taught how to feel and women haven’t had the safe space or the community to be able to go into these difficult feelings. How do we create healthy rights of passage for both men and women to find a way to learn how to be with the big feelings that are sitting in this winter time, sitting in the basement, sitting in this the cycle of their, of their journey, that is trapped and underneath this kind of upward surface that we are presenting out into the world? And how do we create those types of spaces for women and men to learn how to build the capacity to be with the big feelings so that, ultimate, all of that energy, all of that emotion, that energy that is in motion, that’s coming out in unhealthy ways, can find a healthy way to be digested and eliminated. And in that willingness and building of capacity that each of us have got the possibility of doing, we have that, that ultimate possibility and and freedom to let it all go. But we can’t just decide one day oh, i’m going to let go of my rage.
Paula Conroy: Cool Yeah, cool Yeah, okay, okay, let go. Rage off you go. Yeah, yeah, not gonna happen.
Ellie Goode: Thanks for being here.
Paula Conroy: I don’t need you anymore know that in that, in that big emotion, there’s such a, there’s a, there’s a lesson.
Paula Conroy: Each of us have got for the men is a lesson in the tenderness of the sensitivity of the emotions that they feel very is that many men feel very, very unable to feel because it’s so vulnerable for them. There’s a real vulnerability that hasn’t been held in the masculine And for women there’s a fear of a going into the rage because they feel like they just it’s, they’re going to be out of control. There’s an experience of that energy and motion that’s just built up so much that they’re going to feel like they completely lose control. So it’s like, oh, there is this, this. This necessity for us to build the toolkit to learn how to feel in order to be able to let go is in the willingness to fear becomes possible. I’m going to think my way through this and I’m going to just let go.
Paula Conroy: There’s a journey that we have to go on, a right of passage that we have to go on, to understand how to let that experience move through our bodies and to let things go by experiencing through our bodies This kind of taking off of a cloak, this shroud of of emotion and energy that is sitting under the surface, desperately calling for our attention to all these unhealthy experiences mental health issues, drinking, you know, peeling, whatever it is that we’re going to be able to do. Whatever it is that we do you know, sex addiction, whatever it is that we do to numb ourselves from feeling. Those big feelings are all just the symptoms of the sickness that’s sitting underneath each of us and in our collective society. Yeah, and that’s really what’s calling for this right of passage is how do we build this capacity to feel so that, when you wake up in the morning and you give, gifting yourself that, the absolute gift of time for you, that there is a possibility of being able to embrace that with our having that internal, underlying anxiety of oh Jesus, I’ve got, you know, I’ve got that to do and I’ve got that to do, and I’ve got that to do and I’ve got that to do, and I better make sure I do that. Let me just cut my walk on the beach short because I’ve got to get back to do things.
Paula Conroy: No, how do we help, help everybody transition into that space? No, can I just be here in the flow of this extraordinary experience of nature and trust deeply that I know when I get back, i’m going to effectively get to every little thing that I need to, because my nervous system is telling me that I really have embodied, this defragging in my nervous system, this, this, this letting go of all of these kinks that have occurred as a result of the feelings that have got trapped and not felt and not heard inside of my body. I’ve got rid of those and now I know I can walk on the beach for an hour and experience that beauty and when I get back I’m actually going to be way more effective when I sit down at my desk and I get to that to do list and I’m giving myself permission to be and to feel and to do all in all in its own time, there’s that balance, that possibility of balance that comes in.
Ellie Goode: Amazing. I’m so glad you mentioned the nervous system because that’s something that I’m super passionate about and have gotten into in the last few years and it’s it’s just such a great framework because, you know, people, we’re also in our minds so often and especially in western culture, it’s very mental and and to be able to drop into your body, into your nervous system and into physically feeling these emotions, because, you know, sometimes we think, oh, like feeling can be. I think, for me anyway, feeling has been quite an abstract term before. I found the nervous system work, you know, and the, the feeling emotions on a physical level, you know, and so that’s given me like a great framework for understanding emotions and understanding you know that. You know Christ is scientifically, you know, proven to really stress, for instance.
Ellie Goode: Or you know how can I embody rage in a way that you know I’m not just being, like you said, unhealthily reacting to situations or people, but I’m actually maybe you know I’m, i’m growling like a tiger, you know, because animals in the wild, what do they do when they get angry? they growl, like when my cat gets angry, you know, she hisses at me. So it’s like how can we embody these emotions? because, like you said, as we feel them, they they start to release from us and from our bodies and and even I think there’s this tendency to, like you said, push away or suppress rage or even a fear or different things. I know I’ve had a tendency to be like I just want to get rid of all the bad stuff. You know the bad stuff in inverted commas. But you know there is a time that fear is really useful if you’re going to run out on the road or if you’re growing. You know, walking down an alley and someone’s coming up behind. You know there’s times when fear can really drive you to action and keep you safe.
Ellie Goode: So I guess it’s also helped me to understand that even these, you know, so called bad emotions have a positive use at some time, and so it’s. It’s not so much for me about getting rid of it or, you know, trying to push it away or suppress it, like you said, in terms of rage or fear or whatever it is that we’re suppressing it, but it’s. How can I have space for this, how can I have capacity to feel this, like you said, and and I think, the more we do that in our own selves, in our own bodies, the more we can do that with other people and hold space and and be accepting of people, which I think is really cool. Like you said, that collective, the greatest society, the societal effect is really cool.
Paula Conroy: Yeah, you spot on. I feel like you’ve hit on so many things there as well. I mean the spectrum of human emotions that are available to us. This is what we’re getting here to do as human beings is to feel the full spectrum, and that doesn’t mean that we should only feel the preferable side of the spectrum, which is joy, happiness, love, all these things. And of course, we all have a preference for feeling that way because it feels nice, and all of us have a lack of preference for the difficult emotions. And yet life shows us, all of us bar none, that we will be experiencing those emotions. There will be a death One day, our parents will die, or our siblings or our beloveds Like. There will be divorce, there will be debt, there will be depression. There will be all of that Because we are living in a cycle of life.
Paula Conroy: We are not living in a line. We live in a cycle where there is a necessary part of winter playing its part in order for us to be able to move into the spring. This is not a non-dual existence that we live in. We live in a dual existence where we have gone right and wrong, ying and yang, black and white, and in order to be able to understand the one, we need to be able to understand the other. Giving and receiving are two sides of the same pendulum. If we aren’t able to receive, we are thought in our ability to give. No matter how much we give, we can only give more if we are willing to receive more. There’s this inflow and outflow of breath every moment of our lives. We are not always breathing in, we are not always feeling joy. There is this mention of emotions that we came here to feel.
Paula Conroy: Now, the challenge we have is that we haven’t been taught or don’t have the culture or the communities around us to support us to feel the full spectrum of emotions. So when we start feeling the discomfort of that unpreferable side of the emotional spectrum, society doesn’t know how to support that. It’s like oh, don’t worry, it will be fine, it will get better. I’m so uncomfortable with your discomfort I don’t know how to hold this face. As you’ve said, for your discomfort, okay, well, go see the doctor and get some pills and then you’ll feel much better. Okay, i’m not going to feel that. Let me just take my antidepressant, let me just drink that next glass of wine. Let me just try and not go there. So that’s how we have been taught and that’s what’s taught to us by society.
Paula Conroy: Pharmaceuticals are out of control with the number of people that are on antidepressants these days, because we don’t have the cultures or the systems or the communities that recognize that it is important for us to feel the unpreferable side of the emotional range in order to be able to feel more of the other side of that spectrum. So without that capacity being built within ourselves, we stand. Even then we don’t know how to feel the good things. It’s like our internal system is like oh, you’re numbing the bad feelings. Oh, guess what? I don’t really discern between bad feelings and good feelings, because bad and good is just a thought process. Things are just what they are. This feeling of depression or this feeling of something is just like the feeling of joy to our systems or to our internal state of being. But when we start taking a pull to thwart the bad feelings, there’s a blunting to the good feelings as well. Our internal systems can’t discern between the blunting of bad feelings and the blunting of good feelings. So ultimately, it’s not a long-term solution for us to try and stop that seemingly negative experience.
Paula Conroy: The long-term solution is to build our capacity, individually and then collectively, within our culture and our communities, to hold ourselves through those difficult winters, to be able to build our awareness and our skills and our willingness to turn towards this darkness in order to be able to recognize that that indeed then fuels this next stage of the springtime of the light. It’s not about getting rid of anything. We’re not trying to let anything go. It’s about this deep need for integration, this integration of wholeness in our systems. The wholeness includes both the preferable side and the unpreferable side, but if we want to get to a stage where we can integrate those two, we have to be willing to go into that difficult side.
Paula Conroy: And in order to do that, we have to build sacred containers and communities to be able to support people to go there, and without that, people just feel like they’re way too vulnerable.
Paula Conroy: There’s not enough support, there’s not enough of a container, a safe container within which they can feel safe enough to become unsafe within themselves. And that’s a really important part of the work that I do around rights of passage. You know, working with Dr Anna Rubenstein at the Rights of Passage Institute as well as in my own business, which is the frequency which supports women in building those containers to save, container within which they can feel unsafe, and likewise the containers we do with the men and women and the leadership trainings that we run, which is building a safe container within which they can allow themselves to just crack open that little bit of hey. Where’s that unsafety, where’s that vulnerability? Can I allow for myself to feel that, because I am actually being held within the safety of this container to allow myself to become a little bit unsafe, i’m not going to crack open and then just it’s all going to come flooding out and I’m going to be completely out of control? You know, there’s that degree of support for individuals to be able to go there.
Ellie Goode: If you want to learn how to get into your body and physically feel these big emotions and release them, then go to sexmoneyragecom and sign up for my free emails. I talk about the differences between sympathetic activation like fear, rage, all of that vital flight energy, and how to release it, how to shift into parasympathetic, into relaxation, into rest and digest, because that’s when our healing really happens, is when we learn how to flow between the two, because you need both, just like light and dark. You need parasympathetic and sympathetic energy in your body. So if you want to learn how to work with your body and silence your crazy, anxious mind because we all have one of those then, yeah, go to sexmoneyragecom and sign up for the free emails to learn how to work with your nervous system. Yeah, i think that’s really important.
Ellie Goode: That, like you said, i really like that phrasing of having a safe container, to be unsafe or to feel those unsafe feelings. I think that that’s been a big part of my journey is just the power of community, of people who are also willing to go into that darkness, because then it normalizes it and it encourages you and inspires you. Oh, i can feel these things And you know, especially when we converse with each other of, oh, i had this experience, and someone’s like, oh, i have an experience like that too, and it, you know it, makes us feel like, oh, i’m not alone in this, like everyone goes through, like hard stuff, and by talking about and being open about it, normalizes it. You know, talking about sex or rage or money, like we all struggle with these things at one time or another. And so by having, like you said, that safe container about having a community where we can talk openly about these things and feel these things, i think like this is just the path, you know, to shift, to shift the world and to shift healing for sure.
Paula Conroy: Yeah, really beautiful. And I just want to honor that space that you’re creating for stories to be shared of this nature, because you’re so right you know one of the key principles of rights of passage and you know rights of passage comes from. You know many indigenous cultures that you know recognize that these transitions require a conscious process. When we’re moving from you know child into young adult, or when moving from school out into university, or moving into marriage, or we’re moving into getting having a child, like we’re moving into our adulthood, all of these transitions which are happening for us all the time and for every single human being bar no one, everybody’s going to be transitioning in one shape or another And unless we create a conscious container for these these transitions to happen, you know people will create their own rights of passage. We see this happening so much with our adolescents and our youth.
Paula Conroy: Is that, with the absence of healthy rights of passage in our modern day culture, especially for those children transitioning into young adults, is that actually go out and they create their own? you know they go out and they, you know, ski on top of the car or they take too many drugs, or they have unprotected sex, or you know they do these things that then have potentially disastrous implications for them for the rest of their lives And that then they need to keep unpacking as they mature into that next stage eventually which ultimately we all do because something will come in and support us to transition. But you know that absence of healthy rights of passage in those, in those times have a pretty disastrous, disastrous effect. So if we can create these healthy rights of passage, which is done in all indigenous communities, we have the possibility of really supporting people and bringing their heightened degree of awareness to these transitions and the elements that are involved. And one of the key, key, key elements which you see in all these indigenous cultures and which we’re seeing a real resurgence of, in, you know, cultures that are emerging within our Western societies that are recognizing the benefits of creating safe containers and safe spaces for people to come in and to speak about what’s really going on for themselves in a circle environment. And these circles create you know we would have seen these happening in AA meetings for many years people sitting in circles. You may see them in all the movies where people can kind of talk about their feelings. This is now starting to filter out into mainstream, where many people are.
Paula Conroy: You know, and this is what we do rights of passage, it’s what I do in the frequency and it’s what I’m seeing pop up all over the therapeutic benefit of vulnerable story sharing in a circle setting, where the circle container gets created in a way that, right, we are going to sit in circle together and each person is going to get a chance to share either something that’s on their mind, something that’s happening for them at the moment, something that they’re feeling. You know we have certain check-in prompts, for example, like you know, the golden check-in how are you going? you know what’s wrong for you at the moment, what do you like at the moment, what’s you finding difficult? golden the ears, is there anything, any event coming up? and then the end would be anything that you need. So that’s quite a like detailed check-in. Or we can do something simple, like you know the rose, the thorn and the seed. You know what’s some roses that are happening in your life at the moment, what are some thorns that are happening in your life at the moment? and seeds, what are you wishing for, what’s your dreaming at the moment. So you know, you can create kind of check-in prompts or the container can be kept completely open.
Paula Conroy: But you know, with skilled facilitators that hold those types of spaces, you know people come into that circle setting and agreements get made amongst the people within the circle. Right, we’re going to pass the talking stick around and once you’ve got the talking stick, whoever’s got the talking stick is allowed to talk, and everybody else is just here to listen, not here to give advice. We’re not here to rescue, we’re not here to solve their problems for them. We’re not there to go and give them a high gore or a pat on the leg like let’s give them the sovereignty of allowing themselves to speak uninterrupted, without somebody trying to cure their emotional state of being because of our own discomfort of sitting, with the difficulty of watching somebody else in discomfort. Let’s just sit there in this experience of witnessing another person share their story.
Paula Conroy: Often for the very first time, people don’t communicate in this way, often for the very first time. So we’re going to be touching on scenes that are going to be close to people’s hearts. And if it’s close to people’s hearts, then generally there’s something that’s going to happen that’s going to cause an emotion, and often that is tears or rage or something like that. And can we practice in the circle, the possibility of just supporting this person through our presence and our witnessing and our deep, deep listening, for them to be able to express whatever it is that’s coming through them as they share that story in a way that is profound for them and cathartic for them, without somebody rushing in to pat them on the back or give them a hug, or just give them the space to feel this emotion. And if that prompt or experience is coming up for me to say, oh, i really want to run over and give them a hug. Can I notice my own discomfort in the moment with their big feelings? Like, wow, i am just uncomfortable, like I haven’t built my capacity to be with somebody else. When they’re feeling big feelings, i want to try and fix it or make them feel better. Therefore, there’s something that’s not quite cohered and healed and whole within me that you know, like I am not there. And can I turn that mirror inwards and be with that experience of that myself? you know.
Paula Conroy: So we set up the container. There’s the talking stick, there’s the request for nobody to interrupt, nobody to barge in to try and rescue, solve or save. You know there’s a absolute agreement amongst the circle, that everything that gets spoken about gets spoken about in confidentiality, and all of these little agreements that get made as the container gets set up. You know confidentiality being the most important that I’m not going to go and share something really vulnerable for me in this moment with all these people some I might know, some I might not know and then worry that these people are going to go out and share my story with everybody. No, no, no, no, no. Each person says they’re going to share and once it gets spoken into the circle, everybody is here to hold its sacred. And if we want to go out and share our own stories, by all means it’s our stories. We can share that with whoever we want, but we are not going to do that for anybody else who’s spoken in the circle.
Paula Conroy: And so, in that process of these circles being set up which has been done in, you know, hats and communities around the world for generations, where everybody in the circle gets to speak, everybody, whichever age they are, gets to speak. It’s not like, oh, just the leader and some hierarchy at the top of the boardroom is the one that gets to talk and to smell wisdom or hold the space. You know, it’s a different way of being in the space where there’s everybody’s at eye level. We don’t have some point of the circle where there’s some hero or some you know higher authority or some guru or you know some facilitator that’s placing themselves above or at the head of it’s not. It’s like this is moving literally from a heart centered approach to I mean, from a head centered approach to a heart centered approach. We’re all sitting here, either on the floor or in chairs, and we are all at eye level. The youngest to the oldest are at eye level with one another.
Paula Conroy: This real sense of equality in a circle. That comes through the way in which a circle is designed and also the way in which the container gets set up to create the levels of safety to support people, to start exploring the telling of their stories, in order to be able to hear themselves speak and then feel what comes up when they are sharing some things more often than not for the very first time. Wow, there was this big feeling that came up for me when I went there. This is something close to my heart. Can I be with this in the setting and can I be with that awareness I’ve now cultivated of this feeling state. That happened for me when I shared that particular story.
Paula Conroy: And so we start to build our own awareness of our own experience of life as we digest it through our systems, through this process of sharing story and being witnessed in deep presence, knowing that we are not going to get interrupted and that we are here to share our stories in whichever way we wish to share them and that all is welcome in that circle setting, that the space has been created for that to be safe And through that it’s not just a benefit for self. Sure, i individually will go through a process of catharsism, but, as you’ve quite rightly pointed out, that reflective listening process is like oh wow, ellie just shared this really powerful story about when she did X1Z, or she felt X1Z, or when she was young, x1z happened to her and wow, like I resonate deeply with what she just shared. It’s this experience of the shared common sense of humanity that we have with one another which is moving us from this real sense of isolation we have. It’s like nobody understands me, nobody who knows what it’s like to be me etc etc.
Paula Conroy: All that isolated sense of aloneness that we see is so such a devastating part of our current culture, our current communities people feel so alone, they feel so isolated. And when we bring it out into this community setting, into this circle environment and I listen to Ellie sharing her story vulnerably and Ellie is getting touched by the experience of sharing her story and she is actually crying in this moment and I now want to cry I’m getting touched in my heart by my story and, oh my gosh, i’m not alone. I am not alone in this moment. Ellie is with me and I am with her.
Paula Conroy: And that possibility of being able to recognize interconnectivity as humans, this deep level of interconnectivity that we all have but we’ve forgotten because we have landed up in these isolated experiences without this recognition of the weave that is between us and that is possible through that cultivation of a safe container sitting in circle, equality and being able to reflectively learn from that point of view. And so we see how communities can evolve like a right of passage and vulnerable. Storytelling is not just for the individual child transitioning into young adults. Sure, that child’s going through a big transition, but the whole community is moving with that child. Parents need to move with that child in that transition from child to young adulthood And often we see with fathers.
Paula Conroy: Well, you’ll always be my little girl. And little girl is now 13, growing her boobs and going through adolescence and being interested in boys. It’s like dad, stop calling me your little girl, i’m not your little girl anymore. And dad’s like what? I’ve lost my little girl. And so the relationship starts falling apart or separating.
Paula Conroy: That intimacy that this beautiful daughter has had with her wonderful father all these years doesn’t necessarily mature in the way it needs to, because the father doesn’t realize that the daughter is going through this necessary transition, that he also needs to transition as a part of her community into his next stage of parenting. And what’s required of him as a parent not an adolescent girl, as opposed to the parent of the sweet little girl that’s been his little angel for however long? you know it’s like this. It’s a necessary process that the whole community benefits from when it’s done well, because their daughter and father all the way through teens can maintain that connection. Father can move through all of his discomfort of his daughter now becoming a woman in the world, a young adult in the world, where she’s going to be interested in boys and things like sex, and you know all these things are going to be happening for her.
Paula Conroy: But dad, is like oh my gosh, my little girl’s going to be having sex, and so we can see how all these shadow aspects of the lack of support or the lack of transition in a healthy way from one stage of life to the next come in and then we have family breakdown, societal breakdown, culture breakdown. You know, all that sense of separation starts coming in. Yeah, so you know this importance of the circles and the vulnerable. Storytelling and how it doesn’t just benefit us but benefits the whole community is something that is so inherently built into the process of a right of passage that, you know, hopefully, as we progress with this work and as we progress with these types of conversations, you know we see the possibility of this wisdom, this ancient wisdom, this knowledge, this awareness, you know, finding its way back into the mainstream as rights of passage become mainstream again.
Ellie Goode: It’s really cool.
Ellie Goode: I really like what you said about the father and the daughter, but I also really loved what you said about having a container where you know it’s not to give advice, it’s not to like go and give a hug, it’s not to, you know, pat on the back or give feedback, it’s literally just to sit there and witness and be in the presence of this person while they’re feeling an emotion. And I think that’s so cool. And especially what you said about if someone doesn’t feel comfortable and they want to go and cheer them up or they want to go and, you know, give them some advice to be able to sit with that discomfort. I think that’s a really good insight because that’s, you know, something I’ve experienced, both on both ends, in the sense of I’ve given advice because I felt uncomfortable and I’ve also received advice because the person I was with felt uncomfortable. I’m sure everyone has done it, but I think it’s a really a really good point to make because, as well as it, you know you’re absolutely right, it’s the person feeling uncomfortable, but then, like you said, if you go in and you rescue, and you go in and give advice to someone, they’re then gonna feel like I can’t do it on my own. I need this person to reinforce, you know, this in me, or to save me, or to provide X, y, z, and I think, like it’s not true, like we all, we can only save ourselves. I mean we don’t need saving, but you know we have that role in ourselves to do that healing work and just to be witness. I think that’s that’s a really cool point.
Ellie Goode: And then with with the father and the daughter, it’s kind of like what you said, like if the father doesn’t respond and and come along this rite of passage, in this transition that there’s teenage daughters going through, then the relationship is going to break down potentially, or shift, or she’s just going to lock him out, and so how can he then look internally and go, okay, like she’s changing. I need what’s coming up, like you said, going into that shadow work, because by him doing that he then can maintain a relationship with his daughter. And I think, like I said, this is where a lot of families break down and a lot of relationships break down because, you know, people aren’t willing to do that work and to do that change And so the relationship can’t continue on as it has previously. So it’s a really good point, yeah.
Paula Conroy: Yeah, yeah, and a beautiful spot on there. And you know that whole experience. You know I resonate deeply with that around. You know, that capacity that we have to be able to sit and witness, you know that’s really what we are trying to build is how can we build our capacity to just sit and witness and not feel that need to sort of interject or rescue and solve and save, and holding at the same time, you know, and being with at the same time that you know, bless all of our beautiful hearts that feel the desire to alleviate someone’s discomfort. You know, like it’s not like we’re doing something wrong.
Paula Conroy: You know, inherently, the intention behind that support is beautiful. Like we, just we just it’s horrible to see our beloveds and our friends and people around us suffer. It’s, it’s terrible And of course, you know our bleeding hearts would want to support somebody through that phase. Like it’s absolutely, you know so, like I, just you know I want to just hold, in the same way that there’s no judgment of of all of us who have stepped in in those ways And you know it’s come from a good place within us. And yet this necessary maturation that we need to go through collectively as a society in order to be able to address the fundamental, underlying big pandemic of mental health issues is, as you’ve quite rightly pointed out, is this the support of one another into sovereignty and into self sourcateness. So you know that that, as you’ve said, like to reach out to somebody all the time, like I need you to help me feel better forever. That’s, it’s not sustainable, like we all need to get back onto our thrones and sort of brush off our crowns and pop them back onto our heads, you know, and not keep sort of crawling around trying to find somebody to help pick us up and put us back on those throats of throne.
Paula Conroy: And you know, i recognize that when this, this big experience for me, happened, this transition in my life, which was a big deroging, very vulnerable for me, to go from what was a very promising career, you know, i had a lot of supporters within the institution that I worked for. I had a lot of supporters of the team that I worked for. I had basically to sort of name my career path and the it would have been made possible as a woman in banking. It would have been, you know, of course, for like, let’s make sure that your personal development plan comes to fruition, because we want you to be a leader in the bank. So it was like all of this identity and all of this possibility and all of this opportunity that I had to well, that the internal call within me was saying this is not your path anymore. I had to kind of derogue that And in that deroging of being willing to, to let go of the egoic attachments to the seemingly you know, wow, i could be this and I could be that.
Paula Conroy: Oh, ego, that’s not the important thing at the stage, like you know that’s. And and how do I make peace with that? But it was a very difficult time And I kept flinging out to every single life raft that I could possibly find. It was like I need help, i need birthwork, i need yoga, i need support, i need friends, i need a counselor, i need, you know, i need, i need, i need like this real sense of trying to grab onto these life rafts.
Paula Conroy: Until I was I was able to then recognize that the ultimate right of passage for me and for all of us is to get to a stage where we are no longer reaching for the life rafts, that we have built our capacity to recognize what that life raft is within ourselves And we can self source. And, yes, for sure I can reach out to you and be like, hey, i’m having a really difficult time. You know, can we just jump on a call? I just need to share what’s going on for me and hopefully ask for some reflections that you might have And you, as a trusted friend and a trusted sister, can say sure, you listen reflectively, you’re holding that really integral, mature space for me. You’re letting me hear myself And then you’re like cool, and you know these are some of the things I’ve observed that you’ve said that perhaps you can consider or think about, you know, and if those resonate, to take them, and if they don’t, don’t. But you know there’s some food for thought And that’s like okay, cool. Thank you so much for being that reflection in the moment that I needed.
Paula Conroy: And now let me go back to to really cultivating my awareness of my, my capacity to self source myself through these difficult times and that I have got support if I need it. Absolutely. I’ve built the community around me that I know are there for me And I am also recognizing my sovereignty and my autonomy. That comes through my ability to do this for myself, that I have got that capacity to do this for myself, and in that comes this, this, this emergence of sovereignty, and also then this letting go of these co dependent relationships, which are always going to be changing. I mean, i might be reaching out to you and be like I really need your help, but actually you’re not actually in a position in that moment to support me, and so you’re, like you know, holding up a healthy, strong boundary. Like Paul, i’d love to be there for you in this moment, but I’ve got a whole lot going on for myself And in that there’s like a traumatizing process of like, oh, wow, like Eddie doesn’t care about me And she doesn’t, she’s not going to be there for me. And you know it’s like, wow, i got attached to needing her And now she’s holding an appropriate but very, an appropriate but very hard boundary for me to be with because I’ve been dependent on her And now she’s not available, you know. So these co dependent relationships just need a lot of observation where they do.
Paula Conroy: You know, inter relating is different to co dependency. You know, interdependency is different to co dependency. And to understand what and also sorry, just to add one thing to that co dependency versus hyper independence Oh, i don’t need anyone, i’m just going to do it all myself, don’t worry, and I can’t rely on anyone. And that hyper individuation ultimately results in us feeling that sense of isolation and that sense of aloneness that will come. We might feel super empowered at first to be, oh, i don’t need anyone and I’m super independent and I can get it all done. And a few years down the line, like, why do I have to do it all on my own and nobody’s there for me, i have to make every decision by myself.
Paula Conroy: And et cetera, and I’ve actually held people out of my life because I don’t let them in. I don’t realize that interdependence is what I’m actually seeking. So I don’t want to be dependent on a and I also don’t want to only be dependent on myself. I want to experience the flow of interdependence between Ellie and I so that she can rely on me when she needs me and I can rely on her in a cyclical manner That’s not just one sided and heaped on either you or one sided and and he does on me, And so that you know that journey to self sourcateness is one of the most rewarding things we can arrive at.
Paula Conroy: And it’s a very difficult process to become aware of the ways in which we are actually either hyper independent or incredibly codependent. And then the dismantling of those experiences can be a very difficult and, again, vulnerable process that will involve big feelings that are sitting in the basement, that will involve a necessary winter in our lives. And so we come back yet again in the cycle of our discussion, to the recognition that everything requires this feminine principle of cyclical awareness, of understanding how to go into the basement, how to go into the winter of our lives and allow for these things to die and to feel all of those big feelings, all of the difficult feelings that we are not. we haven’t been taught how to feel. We build our ability to become aware that, oh actually, I visited this underworld quite a few times. or I visited the underworld once and guess what? I didn’t die.
Paula Conroy: And actually I feel better afterwards Like, wow, i thought I was going to be swallowed whole by this, you know, by this big experience of either the big rage that’s going on inside my system, or the big grief, or the big sadness, or the big tenderness or vulnerability, or lack of self-worth, or all these difficult things for self doubt that are happening for all of us, men and women across the world. All these feelings are happening for all of us And actually I went into that underworld experience and I felt the big feeling and I’m still alive, wow, you know. So then it’s like, oh, can I actually go there again?
Paula Conroy: Can I start consciously turning towards the signposts of recognizing that the impatience and the irritability and the frustration that’s coming up for me Oh, actually just signposts that there’s something in the basement needing my attention And let me just, instead of being impatient, irritable and frustrated with everybody in my life which is having this negative impact on them, can I take radical responsibility for myself, self-source in the moment, because I’m now building the toolkit to know that I’m not going to die if I go in and have a look. Yes, it’s going to be difficult. There’s a necessary winter that I need to go through And I know that when that winter has completed and it’s composted into the spring, i am going to come back up into my life in a much healthier way, with a greater capacity to be not only with my own experience, but a greater capacity to be with all of those around me in a really healthy way And to then practice this recognition of sovereignty and interdependence which brings them this healthy functioning in my everyday life.
Ellie Goode: Yeah, Yeah, i couldn’t agree more. It’s so good And we sort of you mentioned before we started recording about sacred rage And I wonder if we’ve got a few more minutes but if you could just sort of explain sacred rage and sort of what that looks like.
Paula Conroy: Yeah, yeah for sure. So, yeah, sacred rage is a really interesting concept, and especially I’ll speak probably mostly from a feminine aspect here is that rage is a experience that we have not been taught how to be with at all as women, especially as little girls. We’ve been taught only to be pretty pleasing and polite and be a good girl and all those things that we mentioned earlier on in our conversation. It’s like you know. So there are, there are, there is a necessary part of ourselves that has the experience at some stage or other of feeling rage, and it’s a very difficult emotion for us to be with because, especially for women, that sense of being out of control with rage is a very vulnerable place to be, much like for the men, or many men I don’t want to grossly generalize, but for many men, being in the intimacy of the vulnerability of certain sensitive feelings is a very difficult experience for many men to be with, whereas for women there is a very big sensitivity towards rage. And so to recognize that this is a part of every single human being, every single human being in their experience of the full spectrum of emotions that are available to us in this lifetime, that there is the sacred part of our emotional spectrum which has been judged and criticized and pushed into the shadow of blame. That is sacred and that’s rage.
Paula Conroy: And for that in energy and motion, that experience, to be digested healthily, i am a strong believer that we need to create conscious space for rage to be let through And we need to recognize that there is a big fire energy to rage. You know it’s not a cooling property of a water emotion, you know, like tears, you know the cooling property of tears that come down, actually, that can cool the system down. With rage There is a fire which is a very active element. It’s something that involves the need. Yeah, exactly.
Paula Conroy: Very explosive And it comes out in every possible way. And if we don’t honor, really deeply, honor this part of ourselves, of every single one of us that has the at some stage or other will be, will be in the experience of having rage. If we don’t bring a sacred container to that and honor it, then it comes out in all the unhealthy ways that we’ve touched on during the course of our conversation And that in turn has an impact on others. You know our unconscious experiences that are kept in the shadow, this part of ourselves that we don’t wish to feel gets kept in the shadow, and then our unconsciousness then impacts others And so we perpetuate the traumas that happen in the world. You know, even if they are just little micro traumas, the silly little things we say along the way that hurt other people, that ultimately, if we can bring ourselves into wholeness by creating these sacred containers for all of our emotions grief, sadness, rage, whatever might happen, whatever might be going on for the person, but especially rage, because it’s so explosive, you know, to create a container where women can sit together in circle they can be drums, they can be fire, you know, can bring in the real ceremonial, ritual aspect of the feminine consciousness journey which is creating sacred space, creating serenity, creating ritual for us to explore all of these aspects of our human experience about feminine consciousness.
Paula Conroy: Experience of what it means to be a woman, you know, in order for us to be able to percolate into a state, what it means to be a woman for ourselves, in the sacred sisterhood, in the sacred bond of a sisterhood community, so that we can go into these parts of ourselves and learn reflectively from one another, in circle, and create the possibility of that explosive rage to come through in a healthy way, with the shouting, the screaming, the banging of the pillows, the banging of the drum, the banging of a punching bag, whatever needs to, just really allowing ourselves to feel the intensity of that fiery emotion of rage and let that energy and emotion, that emotion move its way through our bodies and, in turn, out of our nervous systems to defrag our nervous systems, to allow for that cooling property of the aftermath of allowing that experience to move through our bodies, to settle into ourselves, and for there to be no shame associated with the experience of allowing that through.
Paula Conroy: You know, we might experience shame in the aftermath because society has told us to be ashamed. You know, like, certainly in the corporate environment and I know possibly you from your career in accounting is that you know you leave your emotions at the door and it’s inappropriate to bring certain energetic feelings into the meeting room.
Paula Conroy: You know for very for obvious reasons, because it’s not a safe container. But at the same time, that’s a deep, deep state of conditioning that we haven’t, you know, in our school, and upbringing is like you’re not allowed to feel those things. It’s not appropriate to me to stop feeling that way. You need to, you know, don’t be so angry. Why are you so angry? Don’t be so angry, you know. And it’s like, wow, we’ve been taught that’s, that’s what’s come our way. All you know, don’t be so angry with me. It’s like, well, why I’m? I’m, it’s, i’m just really angry right now, you know.
Paula Conroy: So, all of those moments when we’ve been told don’t feel, don’t feel, don’t feel, it’s got really stuck inside of our systems And we know it comes out of these unhealthy ways. So, to create the space and the possibility for there to be a, a container within which, as a human beings, women and men alike can actually experience those, those big feelings, those big fiery feelings, rage that might be moving their bodies in order to bring it up, to transmute it, to let it go from the darkness into the light and then be able to bring that back out and back back in the cycle, back into an integrated place within ourselves of like. That was really big And you know what I also experienced shame. But you know, the sisters are sort of sitting around me and they are all honoring, honoring this experience that I’ve just had with love and presence, the recognition and the maturity to be able to sit in the bigness of my emotions, even if at that time I was raging and screaming and blaming everybody else. There is this level of maturity and consciousness in the circle and in the space that’s been created, the sacred space that’s been created, that recognizes that whatever’s coming out of me is just what’s happening for me in the moment and it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just here, it’s just what is, it’s just what’s here and now. And so that honoring of that process then supports us to release that from our bodies and from our nervous systems and to come back and integrate that into a much deeper degree of awareness and maturity within ourselves And, in turn, how that then becomes the elixir that we can bring back out into the, into life.
Paula Conroy: Once we’ve gone through that right to passage ourselves, is that we come back out and, when somebody is experiencing the emotion of rage or the emotion of anger, our capacity to be with that person and not be like don’t be so angry and try and shut them down with our own discomfort.
Paula Conroy: It’s like, oh, you’re experiencing anger in this moment. Wow, that’s present for you. Can I hold this space for you in this moment to just feel whatever’s going on for you, instead of telling me to stop feeling the way you’re feeling and that it’s not appropriate, and hold that level of integrity, and then we can digest that afterwards in our storytelling and the way in which we communicate. And so, in turn, we build conscious community, we build conscious relationships, we build the capacity to be with one another in whatever’s happening for one another in a really beautiful and sacred way, and we don’t perpetuate the cycles of trauma through our inability to be with the absolute, inevitable parts of life that happen for everybody. We have that expansion of our frequency, of our consciousness to be with what is in this moment and honor that in a beautiful way and recognize again that nobody died. We are still here.
Ellie Goode: We are still here, so yeah, That’s cool, and I think, too, like what you said about just being present with the rage and being present with the feeling. And it’s something I’ve learned is it’s very easy to think, to get caught up in the story or in thinking, oh, this is why I’m feeling this rage, or this is why And I think that just takes away from what you’re feeling like to really be present in a rage, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, it doesn’t matter what’s caused it Can you just, like you said, be present with it and and feel that fire and and something else was, like you said. You know you’re going to externalize it on other people if you don’t let this out, but also you can also, you know, internalize it. And you know, like I have a friend and I talked to them the other day and they’re like I’m so stupid, you know, and and and this anger and this frustration that we can have with ourself is is like a symptom of rage that’s not expressed, you know, and and if you’re suppressing your rage, you know how is that affecting your motivation to go after what you want in life? You know, because, like we said, rage is this explosive, powerful energy.
Ellie Goode: You know that if suppressed, like you said, it’s going to come out in unhealthy ways. But also, if we suppress it, it’s not going to come out in those healthy ways like motivation and passion and all of that. So I just think, yeah, it’s, it’s really really cool what you’re doing. So so for people I guess who want to work with you and want to learn more about what you do can can just explain sort of how they would go about connecting with you.
Paula Conroy: Yeah, beautiful, thank you, so I can be found. My business is called the frequency and I can be found at the frequency dot global, on both Instagram and on the web page, the URL, and on Facebook And on the website. You’ll be able to learn what listeners will be able to learn a little bit more about what the process of the woman’s work that I do is around these rights of passage into mature, feminine, feminine self and therefore feminine leadership and the real understanding of what that integrated woman feels and looks like for themselves. And there’s a possibility of booking a discovery call through the website And if they’d like to have a deeper chat about where they’re at and I can see whether you know the work that I do is appropriate for them or whether there’s somebody that I know within my community and my network that might be more appropriate. And so, yeah, i’m super happy to have chats with whoever is, you know, seeking, seeking the opportunity to explore these facets for themselves. And then the work that I do with men is through the rights of passage Institute And we do work with that, with men and women in our leadership trainings, in our sacred containers that we hold here on our retreats the beautiful in the beautiful bar in their hinterland And that I do with Dr Anna Rubenstein. So you know, there’s possibilities of of connecting with both men and women through these two different channels And even possible to have conversations with parents around relationships that they may have with their children in this transition from child to young adult. We run a number of different camps, here again in the bar in their hinterland, for these, these parents and child, mother, daughter, mother, son, father, son to be able to go through healthy rights of passage together and to be able to learn how to transition collectively through one stage of life to the next. And it’s extraordinary, i mean, those camps have been going for for nearly 30 years now. We’ve had over 350,000 people go through these camps and life changing life changing for parents and child.
Paula Conroy: We’re doing a lot of work in schools as well, working with the I mentioned earlier the man cave on on on supporting, you know, schools to integrate healthy rights of passage camps and processes into school environments, to support the youth as well, you know. So see it as a great responsibility of us, in the first instance to work on ourselves and to get ourselves into a really healthy place And then to, you know, recognize that as older people and as elders in our communities? how do we support the youth transition through this really tricky time of you know social media and you know COVID and mental health disasters and all these things that have been happening within our collective experiences as humans on the planet in this moment? you know, how do we actually bring ourselves to a position of maturity and awareness so that we can navigate this collective right of passage that we are on as a whole human population, as a whole globe? How do we transition from where we were to where we need to be to to curb this pandemic of mental health challenges that we are, that we are witnessing and experiencing collectively? So, yeah, so it would be wonderful to listen, to hear from anybody, and you know, by all means, that reach out and have a chat and we can. We can definitely work through where we, each individual person, is at and what the most appropriate next thing for them could look like or should look like.
Paula Conroy: Thank you, Amazing, amazing.
Ellie Goode: Well, it’s been an incredible discussion. Thank you so much for for your time and for being on the podcast.
Paula Conroy: Yeah, beautiful alien, thank you for the work that you’re doing. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey further with you.
Ellie Goode: Well, that’s a wrap. Thank you so much for listening. And, like I said before, if you want to learn how to work with your body and silence your crazy, anxious mind because we all have one of those then, yeah, go to sexmoneyrage.com and sign up for the free emails and I will see you all next week.