Three things we dive into in this episode:
What it means to feel your innate sense of wholeness and to stop sourcing it from outside yourself
Why sourcing a sense of wholeness from outside yourself harms your health and wellbeing
Holistic and actionable ways to start sourcing a sense of wholeness from within yourself today
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[05:24] About the Whole, Full, & Alive Podcast
Whole, Full, & Alive’s mission is to help you fall in love with your life and with who you truly are.
The podcast aims to inspire you to embrace yourself underneath all the titles, labels, relationship status, body shape/size, or other limitations you may have put on yourself.
At the end of every episode, Caitie will give a processing prompt and an actionable “experiment” to help you move forward in your own journey towards feeling whole, full, & alive.
[12:24] Getting Your Sense of ‘Wholeness’
Many of us depend on something outside of ourselves — a job, relationship, body size — to feel complete. We then feel threatened or out of control when we lose it.
When this happens, people result to maladaptive coping tools to feel in control.
Please forgive yourself if you’ve ever turned to maladaptive coping tools when you lost your sense of wholeness.
Caitie: “Just don’t forget: when you’re making life decisions, when you’re creating your life, when you’re living your life, the most reliable home you have is always going to be the one within you. You are whole. You are complete on your own.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[17:47] Romanticize Your Life
Do all the things that you do with or for other people for yourself.
Play cozy music in the morning and make yourself a luxurious breakfast. Make your life romantic.
You do not have to suppress the desire or intention of finding someone. But you will never feel as good as you can if you think you’re inadequate without a partner.
A partner will be an addition to your life, not someone who makes you whole.
[21:07] Wholeness as a Foundation for Nutrition
When you source your sense of wholeness from the way you eat, this only buries you in rigidity and restriction.
Instead, nutrition habits should come from a place of understanding that you are already whole and deserve good self-care.
Use healthy habits and self-care to boost your energy levels, amplify what you can contribute to the world, and live an awesome life; not as a way to make yourself feel more worthy.
This intentional mindset also applies to other things we mistake to be the reason for our wholeness.
[24:00] Seeking Wholeness Outside Yourself Can Lead to Disordered Eating
Caitie grew up seeing women trying to complete themselves through having a certain body size, being the perfect wife, or playing a certain role just to feel complete or get validation.
This drove her to engage in unhealthy practices, from developing disordered eating to exercise addiction.
Eventually, she found the grace to break through these maladaptive behaviors. She found wellness mentors and holistic and sustainable practices.
Caitie: “Once I crossed that bridge, I learned that I had to cross a million more. I had to learn [that] ‘Okay, I’m whole even if my GPA isn’t perfect. I am whole even if I don’t take five fitness classes per week. I am whole even if not everyone loves me.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[38:50] The “Sinking Sailboat”
Caitie shares the time when she recently sourced her sense of wholeness from her partner. She couldn’t bring herself to leave a partner that was a bad fit because she built her home on their relationship status.
During a trip with her ex, she realized her relationship is akin to a sinking sailboat. Tune in to the episode to hear Caitie’s story!
You first have to face the things you feel are stuck within you before you can act in alignment with your beliefs.
[46:25] The Link Between Thoughts and Behavior
We can practice reframing our thoughts or practice mantras. However, we cannot control our brains the same way we can control our actions and behaviors.
Change behaviors first. Actions, over time, will ultimately change your thoughts.
Normalize being proud of yourself.
Believe that your sense of wholeness and worth is inherent.
[49:51] This Week’s Processing Prompt
What’s the thing that you’d feel incomplete without?
What could become possible if you loved yourself so much that you didn’t need this ‘thing’?
What would you do if you knew you were a complete, whole, and worthy person?
[53:04] This Week’s Action Experiment
Step 1. Recognize what you feel inadequate without. Name the void and know what you’re filling it with.
Step 2. Acknowledge the desire you have for that thing and just let it be.
Step 3. Besides that desire, acknowledge that you can still feel good now. Fill the void with your energy.
Ask yourself what basic self-care you are neglecting and consider taking action in this aspect.
Find something that regulates your nervous system or sparks inspiration within you. Commit to making these and self-care part of your daily regimen.
Caitie: “Forgive yourself for anything maladaptive or ridiculous that you did when you were just trying to feel whole again… Firmly, compassionately and confidently break the pattern of sourcing wholeness from outside of yourself.” - Click Here To Tweet This
Caitie Corradino MS, RDN, CDN, RYT, CPT, is the founder and lead counselor of Full Soul Nutrition. She is a registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, a certified fitness and yoga instructor, an eating disorder recovery coach, and a reiki practitioner. She is passionate about providing counseling services that are truly integrative and provide healing for the whole person.
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Caitie Corradino: You don’t cultivate a sense of wholeness, you don’t cultivate a sense of believing that you are enough and that you can have a home within yourself by thinking your way out of things. You cultivate that sense of wholeness, that sense of enoughness, that sense of ‘I am complete on my own’, by taking actions in alignment with that belief.
Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition.
But underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity. I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full, & alive, right here, right now. Let's get into it.
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Hey, welcome to episode number one of Whole, Full, & Alive. I'm really excited to be here talking to you. This is a long-anticipated project, and I don't quite have all the words for what I'm feeling, but I do know that I am really freaking excited and that I am beyond grateful for you.
I am beyond grateful that you are here, that we were connected in some way and you want to tune in and see what's going on here on the Whole, Full, & Alive podcast. Episode One is just me. Hi, I'm Caitie. If we haven't met yet, and if you want to know more about who I am and why I'm here, listen to the trailer. It'll definitely give you a better idea of who I am and why I'm here in like a cozy little summarized format, and this episode will definitely give you a better idea of who I am and why I'm here.
But, I just want to say right off the bat that this episode one is not going to be like my life story episode. When I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about in my first episode, first of all, I felt so intimidated by the idea of a first episode. So, I sat on it for a while. I thought about, okay, what do I want to discuss? I decided that it doesn't make any sense at all for me to be attempting to plug a life story into Episode One.
I wanted it to be, maybe like okay, how did I end up here on the podcast microphone? What are the things that led me here? But there are so many things that led me here. There are so many experiences that led me to where I am today, and just like everybody else in the whole world, my story is nuanced and trying to tell it all in one episode would be pretending that things in life are tied up in neat little packages, and they're just not.
Everything is a winding and nuanced road, and so I will intro you to me today. I think through what I'm going to talk about, and I will tell you about the format of the show and what every episode is going to look like. But just to be clear right off the bat, the theme of today's episode is not Caitie story and how she came to the podcast microphone. The theme of today's episode is wholeness, and this show is called Whole, Full, & Alive.
So, the first three episodes I really want to use to define why I'm calling the show that. So in today's episode, I'm going to talk about wholeness. In Episode Two, I am going to talk about fullness, and Episode Three is going to focus on aliveness. We will establish why this show is called Whole, Full, & Alive. So yeah, today is wholeness, and I'm going to share what that means, and why I think it's important and why the word whole is in my podcast title.
I'm going to share how I learned, the hard way, what wholeness means and how I learned, the hard way, why wholeness is important. At the end of the episode, I am going to give you a processing prompt, or a journal prompt, but I know some of the people who are going to be listening to this and I know that some people have an aversion to this idea of journaling and an aversion to this idea of journaling prompts.
So, I'm going to call them processing prompts, because that is the point of them. Processing is how we unstick the stuff that might be preventing us from taking the actions that we know we need to take, so that's why I love providing processing prompts. If you want to use them as a journal prompt, that's great. You can also just use them as a prompt to process and there's a lot of ways to process.
You can process with someone out loud that you're speaking to. You can process on an audio note in your phone. You can record yourself talking. You can just write some words on a note in your phone. You can write some words on a napkin. It doesn't need to be a beautiful novel in a hand painted journal. If you want to write in a handpainted journal in your room and cozy up in a blanket and Dear Diary it, that's cool. You can do that.
Also, if you struggle with perfectionism around journaling, or you're just struggling with the idea of getting yourself to journal in general, just remember that it's the processing that counts. Anytime you sit with the processing prompts that I give you is a huge win. The processing itself, regardless of how much you write down in a journal, will be meaningful exposure therapy for you.
It's going to be a meaningful chance for you to confront your thoughts and to connect with your true self and to just process some of the stuff that's feeling stuck, that's preventing you from taking actions that you want to take. After I give you the processing prompt, I'm also going to give you an action to take. An action that relates to today's theme wholeness, but on every episode, it'll just be an action relating to the theme that I'm talking about that day, and I call these actions experiments.
I'm calling them experiments, because they're experimental. It's not a ‘if you do this, you will get this result.’ It's try out this action and see how it feels, see what results you get and see what you learned from it, not a pass fail system. I just really like calling experiments because if we want to feel better, if we want to feel good, and our bodies and our minds and our souls, we want to feel hopeful and alive, and we aren't sure how to get there.
We've got to try some stuff on. So, I'm always going to give you a processing prompt, so that you can unstick what stuck inside of you, what's unprocessed inside of you, whatever might be preventing you from taking the actions you want to take. Then, I'm going to give you an action that you can take if you're open to it, an action that I call an experiment. You can try it out.
You can see how it feels and see what results you get from it and see what you learn from it. So, that's the format of each episode. I'm going to talk for a little bit. I'll share some stories, or I will share an interview if I have a guest joining me. I'm going to have quite a few guests joining me on the show. The interviews are already lined up and I'm pumped about them.
Then at the end of the episode, I'm gonna give you a processing prompt, which you can process in a journal or out loud or any way you feel like you want to process, whatever way resonates with you, and an experiment, an action you can take to start to cultivate your own sense of wholeness, fullness, aliveness, whatever it is I'm talking about that day. Cool? So wholeness. Here we go. How do I want to talk about wholeness? Where am I going to start?
I think a good place to start is you might know that this is not my first podcast. You might know that I used to have another podcast, and it was called Full Soul Nutrition, which is the name of my business, the name of my private practice. I hosted that podcast with my best friend, James, and we just talked about nutrition on that podcast. We just talked about current events and emerging trends in nutrition through the lens of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size, and it was a great time.
I am a dietitian, and I love talking about nutrition. I love busting nutrition myths. I love busting nutrition fads, and I really love helping people explore the concept of intuitive eating, and Health at Every Size. I also love James, my former co host. However, after that podcast went on for a year and a half, James and I started going our separate ways, logistically. We started living in different places and working on different projects and leading completely different lives.
So, I took over the podcast on my own. I started hosting that podcast solo. When I was on the podcast mic on my own, I found that I didn't only want to talk about emerging trends and current events in nutrition. I found that I wanted to have a new mission, a wider mission, and so here I am. I'm on a new show. I started a whole new show with a whole new mission.
That mission is to help you fall in love with being alive, and to help you fall in love with the person that you are, the person that you truly are underneath all the things the world tells you you're incomplete without, so who you really are underneath your job title, underneath your resume, underneath your relationship status, underneath all those things that I'm going to say in the intro of every episode.
I want you to know that your whole, that your worth is inherent, and I want you to know that you will never feel as good as you can feel if there's something you think you're inadequate without. That's why I'm talking about wholeness on this first episode. You will never feel as good as you can feel if there's something that you think you're inadequate without. Why am I sharing that message?
We depend on something outside of ourselves, like a job, or a relationship, or a certain body size to feel complete. We feel incredibly threatened whenever this thing might be taken away from us or when this thing is taken away from us. We feel out of control, which is a really scary feeling that leads us to resort to harmful things and live our lives in a way that we don't feel good about.
When we feel unsafe, we subconsciously lean towards maladaptive coping tools like disordered eating, like drinking, like bad habits, like lying and manipulation just to try to get ourselves regulated again. So, for example, if you feel like you're incomplete without being at a certain body weight, or body shape, or body size, if you feel like your sense of completeness is dependent on you getting to a certain number on the scale or achieving a certain body type, when your body changes inevitably, or when you're having an impossible time getting to that body size, you will feel out of control.
You will feel threatened. You will feel unsafe, and that's going to lead you to do things, to try to source a sense of safety again. Another example, if you are relying on your relationship status, if you're relying on having a partner to feel complete, if you don't feel whole on your own, when that partner is taken away from you when you break up or when your relationship is on the verge of ending for any reason, you will feel incomplete.
You'll feel unsafe and that will lead you to engage in behaviors that are probably maladaptive and you're just trying to source a sense of safety again. I see this pattern play out so much in the counseling and coaching sessions that I do at Full Soul Nutrition when I'm helping people recover from disordered eating and body image issues and self-esteem issues. I see that pattern play out all the time, and I've seen it play out a million times in my own life, and I'm definitely going to talk about that.
But before I get into that, what I want to say is, if you're identifying yourself in this pattern, if you're identifying that there's things that you were depending on in order to source a sense of wholeness, if there are things that you are telling yourself you're incomplete without, please forgive yourself for what you did, or for what you do when you're just trying to feel whole again.
Please forgive yourself for what you did, or for what you do when you thought that wholeness was outside of you. Forgive yourself for what you did when you didn't have a home within yourself. Forgive yourself for what you did when you didn't feel at home within yourself, and you thought you needed to source home from everything outside of you. Let yourself stay open to a new way of being.
Let yourself stay open to finding wholeness within you, so that different things can fall away from your life and things can come and go and you'll still feel complete. You'll still feel whole. Now, don't get me wrong, you might deeply enjoy the beautiful world around you, and the things that are outside of you, and you might create communities, and you might create relationships that provide stress relief, and fun and healing and meaning.
You might collect data from other people and resources when you're trying to make life decisions. But just don't forget, when you're making life decisions, when you're creating your life, when you're living your life, the most reliable home you have is always going to be the one within you. You are whole, you are complete on your own.
If you're hearing me say this, and you're like, “that's cute Caitie. Like, I like this idea of being whole and complete on my own and not having to rely on other people for a sense of worthiness and safety, but I don't really know how to do that.” Stick with me, because I am gonna, like I said offer processing prompts and an actionable tool at the end of this episode, and I hope that what I'm going to speak about here for a few more minutes will give you a little nugget to help you move forward with this and stay open to this idea of being whole, having a home just within you.
So, why did I feel called to talk about wholeness on the first episode? Well, a few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend, and she was telling me about how she is struggling to fully recover from a breakup that she went through almost three years ago now. She is struggling to be a single person in the world, and I am a pretty recently single person. I'm like four months out of a breakup, going to talk about that a little more later.
I said to her, something that's really helped me is romancing my life. Like, you have to romance your life. You have to do all the things that you used to do with your partner for yourself. You've got to play cozy music in the morning and make yourself a luxurious breakfast and make your bed cozy and make your life nice and romantic, and it can be so beautiful just on your own.
She just looked me dead in the eyes and was like, “I tried that. I'm trying. I'm trying to romance my life and just not working, and I think that my life is just never gonna feel as good as it can feel until I have a partner again.” And it truly broke my heart to hear my friend, one of my best friends, say that to me. It broke my heart to hear that she feels incomplete without a partner. It broke my heart to hear that she's been trying to create a sense of romance and fun in her life even as a single person and she still feels like her life is never gonna feel as good as it can feel until she has a partner again.
That brings me back to this message of you will never feel as good as you can possibly feel if there's something you think that you're inadequate without and she feels inadequate, in some sense, without a partner. So, she's convinced that her life is never gonna feel as good as it can feel until she has one again, and even in these moments when she tries to create fun and love and pleasure for herself, this sense of “I'm inadequate without a partner” keeps getting in the way and muddying up the situation.
She and I had a great conversation about it. I am hoping that, and I know that she is moving forward with this, but that conversation really inspired me to get on this podcast mic and say, “Hey, you can feel good now.” You can feel good now. You might have a desire for a partner to enter your life later, and that's okay. You don't have to let go of that desire, and you don't have to let go of the intention of finding someone and updating and all of that and being open. Also, you get to feel so good right now. You are not inadequate without that thing.
That same week that my friend said that thing to me about not having a partner and romancing her life I also had a client say to me, “You know what, Caitie, whenever I learned about new nutrition guidelines, or things I should be doing for my health, like whenever I hear someone, say, on a podcast or on Instagram that like I should be having lemon water every morning, or to do this for my liver, or I should be having more sweet potatoes, because they're so healthy, and the best thing for my heart health, I feel so frustrated.
Because I feel like I do so much work to work on my relationship with food and let go of rigidity, and then all of a sudden, boom, I feel like I'm not doing it right, and I get so down on myself. I just feel like everything I've done to work on my relationship with food, and my nutrition is canceled.”
This also inspired me around this theme of wholeness, because what I saw in this client and what we were able to uncover through the conversation we had following that thing she said, we uncovered that she was using nutrition habits to source a sense of wholeness. So instead of starting, like working on her nutrition from a place of feeling whole and complete on her own already, she was trying to use nutrition to source a sense of wholeness, which led her to rigidity and restriction and feeling like she needed to implement every single nutrition nugget that she was hearing on the internet.
That's another important thing about wholeness. When you're trying to implement intentional nutrition practices, or new exercise routines, or just overall create a health and wellness structure, and you're not starting from a place of feeling whole, you're very likely to get buried in rigidity and restriction, and that's for a lot of reasons.
But, it's primarily because when you start incorporating intentional nutrition and intentional exercise, and things like that from a place of rocky self-worth, from a place of incompleteness, lack of wholeness, it's likely that you're going to try to derive wholeness and completeness from these practices rather than letting them be the things that support your energy levels and your life goals.
Like, they start to become part of your completeness. They start to become part of your identity. But it needs to be that we implement these things because we are whole, because we deserve to be taken care of. We don't implement these things to become whole. We use nutrition habits and wellness habits and self care to amplify our energy levels and to amplify what we want to contribute to the world and to amplify our ability to live our lives in a more expansive and awesome way, not to become worthy.
So, that was another thing in that same week that just inspired me around this theme of wholeness. That very same week I had that conversation with my friend and I heard my clients say this thing to me about her frustration with nutrition guidelines, I went to Rome, and I had some solo time. I went to Rome. I had two weeks alone in Rome traveling by myself, staying in an Airbnb by myself, and I was really happy to be alone.
Of course, I was in Rome and Rome was beautiful and there's amazing food there and there's amazing sights there and the culture is so lovely. Also, I was alone like I really was alone for majority of a time in Rome with exception of some lovely friends that I made. I really spent a lot of time alone there, and what I realized while I was spending time alone there is that I really was happy. I really had a home within myself. I felt complete.
I felt like even though I was like three months, less than three months out of a breakup, even though I didn't have anybody to talk to you at the end of the night, especially with the time difference, I really wasn't able to connect with anyone back in the States, I just felt so happy. I really was enjoying my own company, and it's sincerely one of the first times in my life that I truly, fully, completely, authentically felt that way.
So, I started to think about, like, why do I feel this way? Why do I feel like I finally have a home within myself? Like, why do I actually feel complete just in my essence, just in who I am at the end of the night in my quiet Airbnb when I'm alone? Why do I feel perfectly fine and whole and complete and safe? So, I just want to reflect a little bit on some experiences I've had in my life that I think got me to that place.
I think getting to that place was also what got me to Rome. So in my life, I've seen the women in my family who came before me not building that home within themselves. I've seen women in my lineage, the women in my family try to complete themselves with men, try to complete themselves by being the perfect wife just with sacrificing themselves and sacrificing their desires and their pleasures so that they can play the role that they're supposed to play.
I've also seen them sacrificing themselves and their desires and their pleasures so that they can have a certain body size. I think a lot of us have seen that. A lot of us have seen the women who came before us sacrificing themselves, sacrificing what they really desire in life, sacrificing enjoyment of life, so that they can have a certain body size, or so that they can just play a certain role in their lives or feel complete through a marriage or through the validation from men.
So, like a lot of us, like a lot of people that I'm sure are listening right now, I learned from a young age that I will feel incomplete without a certain body size, and I have to make sacrifices to have a certain body size. That I will feel incomplete without a man, without a husband, without male validation, and it drove me to engage in practices that weren't keeping me well at all.
From a young age, I fell into a clinical eating disorder, and I'm sure I'll talk about that more on later episodes. But, I had a clinical eating disorder when I was younger, and I technically recovered from that eating disorder by the time I was 18, but I didn't really recover. I just was out of treatment by the time I was 18. For years after my eating disorder treatment, I still struggled with yo-yo dieting, food restriction, exercise addiction.
Eventually, I found intuitive eating. I found more fun and holistic and sustainable ways to move my body and amazing wellness practices and mentors. I am so grateful that I had access to the mentors and the resources and the tools and the grace that I needed to break free from my disordered eating and my exercise addiction. By the time I was out of grad school, I really had stopped sourcing my sense of wholeness from a certain body size.
I had totally stopped sourcing my sense of wholeness from eating a certain way and exercising a certain way like I really crossed that bridge. But once I crossed that bridge, I learned that I had to cross a million more, had to learn okay, I'm whole, even if my GPA isn't perfect. I am whole even if I don't take five fitness classes per week. I am whole even if not everyone loves me.
Most recently, I got a little brick to the head about how much my wholeness was still living in my relationship status. Yeah, I want to tell a brief story about this recent experience I had. So, I guess the best place to start is that I was in a relationship. I got into a relationship in early 2020, and it was a really nice time to get into a relationship with someone because that was like the quarantine period.
So, I had this partner that I had a lot of fun with through some of the most ridiculous periods of 2020. I was living in New York City at the time, and New York City became a place that was not great, shut down, and it became more dangerous, and there was a lot chaos going on there. So, it was really beautiful that I had kind of found this person in early 2020 that I could spend that time with.
I think that part of the reason why our relationship became intimate and deepened quickly was because we did quarantine together, and we were able to see pretty quickly that we were compatible in so many ways and the ways that we like to have fun and the ways that we slept and woke up early in the morning and things like that. It was nice that we cultivated our relationship during that time, and it continued into 2022.
Almost two years, I was in this relationship. But a little over a year in, I started to realize that even though we were committed to each other. It was a monogamous relationship. No one else was in the mix, and we had a really nice partnership where we were compatible in a lot of different ways. We're talking about a lot of different things, and we were having so much fun together. We weren't talking about the future, like at all.
There was no sense of excitement about the possibility of a future together. So a little over a year in, I brought this up, and I said, Hey, like, it's weird to me that we're not talking about the future at all, that there isn't this sense of confirmation I'm getting, that you're excited about the possibility of a future with me. I said, I am not looking to get married right now, not looking to pop out three kids right now, and I'm also not looking to like, attach to the idea that we need to be together in the future, right?
Like, I always want to be open to the possibility of our relationship ending because if we don't stay open to that possibility, then this relationship is like a prison. Like, I want us to be open to the idea of the relationship ending, and also, in order for me to feel safe and good. Like, I'm getting what I need out of this relationship. I do need some confirmation that you have an intention for the relationship to continue, that you have some excitement about the possibility of having a future with me.
Essentially, what happened was my ex-partner just kept saying, “Well, I don't wanna talk about that. I'm not ready. I can't talk about the future,” again, and again, and again. I kept bringing up this conversation and kept saying, “Hey, I really want us to talk about the future,” and he just kept saying, “No, I'm not going to. I'm here now, but I'm focused on the present, and I won't talk about the future.”
Within me, I knew that what I needed, what I deeply desired, and also what was going to make me feel the most safe and happy and whole was being with a person who I knew was excited about the possibility of a future with me, again, didn't need to be attached to the idea of a future, didn't need to get married right away, didn't need to have kids right away, but just needed to know that this was the intention we both had.
That the relationship was gonna progress in that way, and we were going to try to make it work in that way, but he wasn't there. The story is nuanced, and like I said earlier in the episode, everything has nuances to it. I could never tell all the ins and outs of everything, and I also want to be mindful of the fact that this podcast is my story, not my ex-partner’s story. So, I am just sharing from my perspective.
For multiple reasons, he was unable to meet me even a quarter of the way, nevermind halfway. He was not willing to confirm that he had the intention of a future together. Because we were so compatible in so many ways, and I really enjoyed being with him, I tried to just stick around and make it work, kept bringing up the conversation, he kept shooting it down. I was like, oh, okay, maybe he just needs this, maybe he just needs this.
I tried to present it in a million different ways. Another reason why I stuck around and kept bringing the conversation up even though it was like continually shot down is because I was sourcing my sense of wholeness from my relationship status. I knew that this relationship was not going to work, because I knew we had different intentions. I knew that he was not going to give me what I deeply desired, and what I needed to feel safe.
But, I couldn't bring myself to leave, because I was sourcing such a sense of wholeness from my relationship status. I thought that I would be incomplete if I walked away from this. I couldn't fathom the idea of being single, especially walking away from someone who was great. He was a great person in so, so many ways, and we were so compatible and had a lot of fun, and we really did love each other.
I was like, I can't bring myself to walk away from this. This thing completes me. But over the course of like six months, because I was refusing to walk away, my mental health really suffered. That pattern that I outlined at the beginning of the episode happened to me. So, I was sourcing my sense of wholeness from my relationship status, and when I realized that my ex and I did not have the same intentions for the future, or the same intentions for the relationship, my sense of wholeness was threatened.
Because my sense of wholeness was threatened, I felt unsafe, and I felt out of control. Thankfully, I was fully recovered from my eating disorder at this point, so I didn't slide into disordered eating behaviors to try to source a sense of safety. I didn't slide into exercise addiction to try to source a sense of safety. But, I did slide into like weird, like social media addiction, like I would like scroll on Instagram for a really long time.
I did just feel like disembodied. I felt sort of sad at bedtime often, even when I was with him. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on, and looking back at it now, getting some distance from it, I can see that what was happening is that I felt so unsafe, because my sense of like home was being threatened. I built my home on my relationship status instead of building a home within myself.
It's not black and white, right, like, in a lot of ways I had built a home within myself, but I wasn't fully there, and I was still definitely relying on my relationship status for a sense of home in a lot of ways. Because that sense of home was being threatened, I felt unsafe, and my mental health was just crumbling. I'm going to tell you a little bit of like a sign from the universe story.
This is really coming to a head. In January of this year, we were on vacation together in South Florida, and I wasn't happy. We were on vacation. It was beautiful weather. It was January, and we were away from New York City. What a blessing to be away from New York City in January. But, I just wasn't fully happy to be there. I didn't feel fully safe.
Part of me at this point was starting to recognize like, okay, the reason I don't feel safe is because he is not expressing a sense of excitement about a future with me, like he just wants to stay present for whatever his own reasons, his own stuff. I truly know that it didn't have anything to do with me. But, I was like, I feel unsafe because of this. I feel like our relationship does not have a strong foundation that's making me feel happy and healthy.
So, I brought up the conversation again, that I knew was going to be shut down, but I did it anyway. I brought it up. I said, “Hey, this thing, I'm not attached to the future, but we need to talk about it. I need to know your intentions,” and he was like, “No, I'm not talking about it.” Shut it down immediately. I got really activated and I was like, “You know what, I just need to go on a walk.”
He was like, “I'll come with you,” and I was like, “I just I feel like I need to go on a walk by myself.” He's like, “No, no, I'll come,” and I was like, okay. So, we went out on this walk and I realized that it was sunset. So, I want had to go over by the water by the dock where the boats were so that we could see the beautiful sunset. I’m a big, basic sunset girl, so I was like, “oh, we gotta turn down this like weird alley street thing in order to get over by the water.”
He was like, “No, why would we turn down that way? That's like such an inconvenient and weird road to walk down. Let's just walk on the sidewalk.” I was like, “No, I really want to see the sunset, so can we please walk down this weird sort of inconvenient path to get over by the water,” and he was like, “Okay, fine.” So, he walked down this weird inconvenient path that I forced us to go down.
When we get to the end of the path, we see a sinking ship, like not a cruise ship, but a sailboat, like a big sailboat fully sinking. It's fully submerged in the water. I have a picture of it, maybe I'll share it someday, and I also actually have a video of it. In the video of it, you can hear my ex say, “Wow, if we never turned down this way, we never would have seen that.” First of all, in this moment, immediately, I knew the second I saw this ship, I was like this is this is our relationship.
This is a sign. This is fully a sign. This sinking ship is our relationship. It's gonna sink, and I'm trying to not make it sink. I'm trying to grip so tightly, but it's gonna sink. Also looking back at the video now, even what my ex said in that moment was super profound. If we had never turned down this way, we never would have seen this.
What I realized is that if I never brought up the conversations, the things I felt I needed to say about the future and the safety of our relationship, we might never have broken up, because we did have a lot of fun together. There was a lot of genuine and authentic love between us, but there was this really major crack in the foundation that I kept pointing out. If I didn't keep pointing out and poking at that crack in the foundation, like we might never have broken up.
So, it was just a very profound moment, seeing this sinking ship, knowing immediately that was our relationship. I still stayed for a considerable amount of time after that. I still had a really hard time pulling away from this, because I was sourcing a sense of wholeness, a sense of completeness from my relationship status. So, a few more months went by, not that much time, we broke up in March.
But, the amount of time between when I saw that sinking ship and when I finally did walk away from him was a really hard time for me. I cried a lot. I was questioning my sense of self worth a lot, because I had this guy saying to me, I don't wanna talk about future with you. Just this guy who knew everything about me and had spent so much time with me and said he loved me, but would just look at me and be like, “I don't want to give you what you need.”
So, that led me to question consistently, am I not pretty enough? Am I not smart enough? Am I not this enough? If I had just walked away and set the boundary sooner, I wouldn't have fallen into that like sort of crippling place that I kind of was by the end of our relationship. However, I did get the guts to put it all on the line in March and say, “Hey, this is what I want. This is what I need. Can you give this to me? If not, we're gonna have to break up,” and we finally did.
I think the reason why I got the guts, finally, to have that put it on the line moment was because I did process. Like, I was talking about before, you have to process emotions that are coming up for you. You have to process the things you're feeling. You have to unstick the things that are stuck within you, so that you can take the actions that you know you need to take.
Even though I wasn't in the best headspace, I wasn't in a place of like feeling fully confident and fully whole. I was still sourcing a sense of wholeness from my relationship status. So, even though some of my thoughts at that time were pretty self-deprecating, I was able to take the actions that were in alignment with someone who has a higher sense of self-worth, because I processed and unstuck the things that were stuck.
That's a message that I really want to drive home here. You don't cultivate a sense of wholeness. You don't cultivate a sense of believing that you are enough and that you can have a home within yourself by thinking your way out of things. You cultivate that sense of wholeness, that sense of enoughness, that sense of I'm complete on my own by taking actions in alignment with that belief, even if you don't have that belief in your brain yet.
I didn't have that belief in my brain yet. Honestly, at the beginning of this year, like subconsciously, and somewhat consciously, I was like, I am incomplete without a boyfriend. I'm incomplete without this partner. If he and I split, I'm going to feel incomplete. However, because I processed those thoughts and process those feelings that I was having, I was able to take actions in alignment with the way I wanted to feel, the way I wanted to feel rather than the way I was thinking.
That is what helps us cultivate our sense of wholeness, our sense of we have a home within us. It's actions, it's taking actions in alignment with wholeness. Actions, over time, will ultimately change your thoughts. There's an inextricable link between our thoughts and our behaviors. If we change our behaviors, over time, our thoughts will change, but we can't really change our thoughts. We can practice reframe to good practice mantras.
We can do what we can around that, but there isn't as much we can do to control our brains as we can do to control our actions and our behaviors, and so we have to change behaviors first. The behavior I engaged in was breaking up with my partner. Right after I broke up with him, right after I said, “You know what, this relationship is not giving me what I need. It's not making me feel safe. It's not what I desire.”
My lease was up at my New York City apartment, and I wasn't super happy in New York City. I was starting to really question whether I wanted to live there anyway. I was only staying there because I had that partner. So, I was like, I'm going to travel around and see if there's somewhere else I'd rather be, and so since that breakup, in March, I have been on like 20 flights, who went down to South Florida stayed there for a little bit to see if I would maybe want to live there. Spoiler, I don't.
I went to Denver, and I went to Montana. I went to San Diego, and I went over to Europe and had that trip in Rome. Then, I met some friends in Norway and Paris and Portugal. I'm in this place now where I do really, truly have this whole within myself, and I'm proud of that. Normalize being proud of yourself. Normalize being proud of yourself. Just another random message I want to throw in there.
I really do feel whole. I really do feel complete. I really do feel like I have a home within myself, and never again will I stay in a relationship that's misaligned for me, just because I'm sourcing my sense of wholeness from it, just because I'm afraid I'll feel incomplete without it. Because the last couple of months that relationship, it was just not a good time for me. I mean, there were some parts about my life that were beautiful. I love my job.
My brother had an amazing wedding during that time. I did get to travel a few different places. There was a lot that was going well, and also just, I mean, honestly, like there was this through line of like bad mental health and a lot of crying and questioning myself, and I didn't deserve to feel that way. I won't stay in a partnership that makes me feel that way ever again because I'm not going to rely on a partnership to feel complete.
I choose to tell this story on the first episode of my podcast, because I do want to send that message that you can feel whole without the thing you think you're inadequate. I want you to know that you will never feel as good as you can if there's something that you think you're inadequate without, because you're going to try to grip and hold on to that thing for as long as you possibly can, even when it's misaligned for you.
I thought I was inadequate without a partnership on some subconscious level, and so I tried to grip and hold on to this partnership that was wildly misaligned for me, because it just made me feel unsafe. It didn't have a good foundation because I was just sourcing my sense of wholeness from it. So yeah. What are the processing prompts and the experiments I want to share with you today?
So like I said, cultivating a sense of home within yourself, feeling complete on your own, is going to come from taking actions. It's going to come from taking actions that reinforce a sense of self-worth. It's going to be a daily practice of taking actions that are in alignment with a sense of wholeness. So, you don't have to say it. You don't have to think it. You don't have to sit on a pillow and say “I am whole, I am worthy,” over and over again.
It's about doing things that remind you, you are whole, you are worthy, you are good on your own. Like, your mind is a tool that you might use sometimes. You might use your mind to help you through a logistical thing at work. You might use your mind to protect yourself from danger. You might use your mind to make logical decisions about things. Your mind is a beautiful tool. But when it comes to healing, and that's what wholeness is about, right?
Cultivating a sense of wholeness is about healing. When it comes to healing, we can't really think our way out of the thing we're feeling inadequate without. We must behave our way out of feeling inadequate. You have to do things that help us feel adequate and whole on our own. So, you're gonna heal your self worth, or you're gonna heal your sense of wholeness through actions.
Even when you're in talk therapy, right? What you're doing is you're processing emotional experiences that are pent up in your body, and moving them through and out of you, so that you can take actions that are in alignment with a healthier life, the life that you want to live. So, that's what I want to give you some space to do by providing a processing prompt for today. The prompts that might help you identify some of the emotional experiences that are like pent up in your body and preventing you from taking the actions you want to take.
What's the thing that you'd feel incomplete without if you were to lose it? What's the thing that you'd feel inadequate without if you were to lose it? Is it a body size? Is it a number on the scale? Is it a partner? Is it a job? Is it validation from your mom? What could become possible if you loved yourself so much, that you didn't need this thing, that you could feel safe and at home and good and regulated with or without this thing?
Maybe just in general, what would you do if you loved yourself? What would you do if you felt a knew that you were a complete and whole and worthy person underneath your titles and your relationship, and all of these things? What would you do? What would become possible for you in your life? So, you're gonna process some of that, journal prompts, processing prompts, whatever you want to call it, and an action, an experiment, to try to preserve your sense of wholeness is take these three steps.
Step one, recognize what you're feeling inadequate without, which kind of partially what you're doing in the processing prompt, right? So for example, you're lonely one night, and you're recognizing, oh, I'm feeling inadequate without a partner. I'm feeling a void without this partner recognize the void, right? I want to fill this void with a partner, or maybe it's, I'm not happy with what I see in the mirror. I need to fill this void by losing weight. I feel inadequate without a certain body size. Identify what you're feeling inadequate without. Name the void and name what you're trying to fill it with.
Step two is acknowledge that you have a desire for that thing, and just let it be. So, this is the void. I have a desire for this thing. Okay, I'm not gonna resist it. I'm not gonna fight with it. I'm not gonna deny it. I'm just gonna let it be.
Then step three, let yourself acknowledge that you have this desire, and you get to feel good now. A partner might come into your life later. Right now, your partner is not here, though. Your partner doesn't exist yet, and you still get to feel good now. You still get to fill this void with your own energy. You still get to fill this void with your own love. You don't need to wait for a partner to come in order to fill this void that you're experiencing.
Maybe, you're not feeling the best you felt in your body. Maybe you're not feeling the healthiest your body can be, and you want to go to nutrition counseling. You want to take more joyful exercise classes, and okay, you have a desire to do that. Right now, this is your body though, and you cannot waste your precious day longing to fill the void with a different body.
What you can do is something to fill the void with your own energy and shift the way you're feeling right now. So, we're acknowledging the void and the thing that we think is going to fill it that's not accessible to us. We acknowledge that we have a desire for this thing to fill the void, and we get to do something that fills that void right here, right now. This is the real action part of the experiment.
So to figure out what might fill the void right now, first of all, ask yourself what forms of basic self-care are you typically neglecting. Have you not eaten anything for a long time? Have you not slept for a long time? Have you not stretched for a long time? Have you not taken a day off work in a long time? Can you plug into some basic form of self-care that's going to fill you up with your own energy?
Then, two, maybe something that regulates your nervous system, so something that helps you feel safe and calm. You're feeling unsafe without this thing because you're sourcing completeness from it. Can we do something that's going to help you feel regulated and safe right here, right now? Some things that help regulate your nervous system or like anything that involves the five senses.
So, scent. Can you put on a yummy candle and take a few deep breaths? Can you rub some essential oils into your hands that help you feel calm and regulated and just breathe? Touch. Can you use a mini Theragun? I have like a knockoff mini Theragun. It's not really a Theragun, a knockoff, that I love that engages my sense of touch and helps me regulate my nervous system.
Can you stretch because stretching activates the same receptors in your nervous system as the receptors that are activated when someone like gives you a hug and touches you? Can you put on a weighted blanket get cozy in your bed? If you're not able to get into bed, you’re like in the middle of the workday, can you just give yourself like a squeezy toy, like a self massage or just something that activates the sense of touch?
Or the sense of sound? Can you put on a playlist that regulates your mood? Your sense of taste, can you make yourself a nice, enjoyable beverage? Maybe, a warm cup of tea that's delicious, and you drink it with two hands and you take a deep breath. You drink it slowly, and then you get back to your day. Breathing also just activates the five senses, any sort of meditation breath work, something like that. Yeah.
Another question to ask yourself, so in addition to what basic forms of self-care am I neglecting? Can I plug into that as an action? Or can I engage one of the five senses? Can I plug into that as an action? Maybe, ask yourself what activities make you feel inspired? So, when in your life have you felt like a warm and tingly and grateful and hopeful feeling known as inspiration?
Like, is it when you watch a TED talk from Brené Brown? Maybe, that's just me. Is it when you listen to a certain spiritual sound meditation or something like that? Is it when you engage in some sort of prayer or spiritual practice that resonates with you? What helps you feel inspired? Can you plug into that sense of inspiration?
I feel really inspired when I just like light an incense and put on a song that makes me really happy and kind of just like, move my body and stretch and listen to that good, good song that gives me a sense of inspiration and smell the incense and I just feel regulated and inspired in that moment. It helps me fill voids when I'm when I'm in need of having a void filled.
Can you just commit to sourcing, a sense of inspiration, a sense of nervous system regulation, a sense of self-care by making these things part of your day? So, that's your processing prompt. That's your action for today. Can you start to cultivate a sense of wholeness through these things, and wholeness, I'm not only going to talk about it today. It's just this is an intro to wholeness. The podcast is called Whole, Full, & Alive.
So of course, I'm going to talk about wholeness again. But, the main messages I want to send today are you will never feel as good as you can possibly feel if you if there's something that you think you're inadequate without, so practice feeling complete and whole on your own through processing and action.
Forgive yourself for anything maladaptive or ridiculous that you did when you were just trying to feel whole again, forgive you yourself for what you did when you thought your wholeness was outside of you when you thought your sense of home was outside of you, and then, firmly, compassionately, confidently break the pattern of sourcing wholeness from outside of yourself.
Firmly, compassionately and confidently break the pattern of sourcing wholeness from outside of yourself. I hope that today's episode resonated with you. I am so freaking excited to be here on this microphone talking to you. I really can't emphasize it enough. In this first week that we're launching, please take part in the giveaway by subscribing, leaving a review posting on Instagram and DMing me to let me know that you did that, and let me know how you're feeling about the structure of this show, the stuff I shared on this show.
I want to hear from you. Who are you? Where are you? I will see you again really soon because there's three episodes launching in this launch week, so I'll be back.