Discover How To Stop Blocking Love And Start Letting In More Than Ever Before
We all desperately want and need love in our lives. It’s part of being a social animal. And even though we want it so much, we often have obstacles and blocks that prevent us from fully letting it in.
Join Dr. Aziz in the second half of his interview with author Lori Richards, as they explore how to let in the upside to feel more love, joy, and confidence in ourselves and in our lives.
Click below to hear this episode!
Lori Richards is aLife Coach, Author, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator. To learn more about Lori book and coaching, go .Lori Richards is aLife Coach, Author, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator. To learn more about Lori book and coaching, go here.
What Do You Want?
That’s right, you are listening to Shrink for the Shy Guy and as he said I’m your host, Dr. Aziz and today we’re going to be diving back into our interview with Lori. And if you haven’t listened to the first half, I highly suggest that you do. We got some great feedback from people on that about how it really helped them relax and have a lot more compassion and love for themselves in ways that they maybe haven’t before. So very valuable and it’s going to be a foundation for… we’re going to dive into today with Lori which is really about how to feel more love and joy in your life.
At the end of the day isn’t that what we want? I want a girlfriend. Why? Well, I…have sex. Okay. Why? Right, well at it the end is I’d feel more love and joy, hopefully. Maybe you want to spend more time with people that you admire and like, friends. Why? Because it would bring more love into my life, more joy. We want to feel at the root we all want to feel more love and joy. And that’s great so we focus on the external things.
How do I get that? Maybe I’ll get these people to respond to me. Maybe I’ll have more friends to hang out with. Maybe I’ll have more women to date. And sure, getting into action is good, but sometimes we just have these blocks to letting it in. And there’s tons of opportunities to connect with others, to feel more love, to feel more joy but we’re so in our heads. We’re so tense, we’re so nervous, we’re so scared and we just can’t really let it in and Lori is a master of helping people learn how to let in the good. In fact, that’s the name of her book: Letting the Upside In. And there’s a bunch of stuff in there as well and as in this interview that’s going to help you really start to let in more of that love and joy. So without further ado, let’s dive back into that interview with Lori right now.
Dr. Aziz: That is a fantastic story and the last part there is really interesting that trusting in my own instincts and then them feeling dormant or maybe not having access to them for a while and I think a lot of us can relate to that. Let’s go into that – trusting ourselves. I feel like being able to be confident in the world, we can’t plan it all in our heads. We think that if I rehearse something, then I’ll feel more secure and more confident. Maybe, if you’re doing like a planned speech or something. But for the most part, we can’t rehearse a conversation. We can’t rehearse what it’s like to connect with someone and fall in love or to lead something in our company. We can’t plan it all out. So, we have to trust in ourselves and I think for a lot of people, it’s dormant. What you were saying, they don’t have access to it, so…
Lori: And I didn’t. You know, I think that was really true. I mean, I thought I did, but I didn’t know there was so much more available in terms of trusting my intuition, trusting my instincts, trusting my own wisdom. And you know, it kind of comes back to… everything kind of comes back in my world these days to the identification of ourselves as loving beings. Because here’s what I think, here’s why I love to work – you do in the world Aziz…because… And I were peer coaching. I don’t really show up in the world shy. I never have, but I do on social media and you really helped me gain a fire and even have fun with social media and have fun with anyone that might call me a shameless self-promoter, you’ll remember this, right?
Dr. Aziz: Yes
Lori: And you know to say things to them like, “Oh my gosh, if he thought that was shameless self-promoting, wait until you hear what else I’ve got,” and just to have some fun with it. But here’s I think the code or the secret that allows us to show up and take risks if we can cultivate a consciousness of loving inside of ourselves for ourselves, then we always come home to a safe place. So, if we go out in the world and things don’t go the way we wish they had, instead of coming home and brutalizing ourselves or booing ourselves or beating ourselves up. If we can come home and what I mean home, I mean into our physical homes, yes, but also into the homes of our hearts. And if we can primarily see what happens out there in the world as opportunities for learning and experience ourselves through our own processes as a loving being, I think that’s always the goal beneath the goal, beneath the goal. What we’re really after is it’s having the experience of ourselves as ourselves.
Dr. Aziz: I totally agree, and I think that in my experience to get to that home, it’s not as mental as we tend to live. We want to think “Okay, what do I think in my brain to make that happen?” And my experience is, I love when you said something about getting in to our hearts. And it sounds metaphorical but I think we can actually be very literal about it and actually draw our attention, our focus, our awareness of sensations out of thinking and really into our heart. Into our stomach too is good, but that’s how I found is a way to really start to find that sense of peace and home.
Lori: I absolutely love what you’re saying and I agree with you. We’re kind of taught… and again there’s nothing wrong with this – to live in the mental world. To think that we have to fix things, to think that we have to think our way through things. When this extraordinary reservoir of wisdom lies deeper within us in our hearts, even in our stomachs, even in the seat of our soul. Our soul are reflects us. There’s just incredible wisdom there. But here’s what I love. I love that we stand on the shoulders of so many giants. Henry David Thoreau being one of them and this is the quote actually, this is the reason I wrote this book because I think this quote kind of embodies both the mental as well as the emotional, as well as the spiritual realm. So Henry David Thoreau said, “As a single foot step will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over again the kinds of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” To tie that into what you just said, it’s like because we’ve been trained to be mental, let’s let that work for us, not against us. But let’s think those kind of thoughts that take us to our heart or take us to the wisdom of our souls. I want to imagine like a fire pole frankly that goes through the center of my body and when I find myself being very mental just sliding down that fire pole right into the center of my heart. And then asking for the wisdom that comes through and from the heart instead of through and from the mind. Because it feels to me like the most creative place to be is when the mind actually serves the heart. So we’re not moving the mind out; I love a good mind. I love minds that know how to articulate, that know how to express. That’s a very valuable tool to have. But it’s not everything, it’s not all of it. And it’s those mind that has been able to connect with the heart, that’s where the real wisdom is. That’s where the real genius is.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely. And as you’re talking, it makes me realize there’s something else I want to get your thoughts on. Especially because of your focus on spiritually psychology and this life philosophy of being a divine being and having human experience. The more I focus on my heart, the more I let go of trying to control things, like control a certain outcome. I want this person to act this way, or I want this result in my business and just more show up fully and boldly and see what happens. The more I realize that so much of our fear comes from what’s going to happen next and is it going to be painful? And I want to control reality and everything around me to make sure I don’t feel any pain or discomfort and as part of letting go of that, I realize that it requires trust. Trust in something, trust in myself, trust in life, trust in the universe, trust in a spiritual being or God, something. So I want to broaden our discussion from self-trust out to how do you… the way you live your life. And I mean, we were talking earlier before this interview and you said something about feeling guided. So I think that would be really interesting area to explore, this area of trusting in something beyond ourselves, allowing ourselves to be guided. And I’d love to hear how you see that in your life.
Lori: You know it’s still interesting, another memory pops up as you say that. It was at the end of my two-year Masters degree in spiritual psychology and I had a 75-page master comprehensive exam that I had to drive to the University of Sta. Monica and turn in on a certain time on a certain day. And so I got there, I put money in my parking meter. I had about 20 minutes. I dropped the exam off and then I went and I sat in this little meditation garden that they have there. And I just closed my eyes and just said a prayer of thanks and then I meditated for 15 or 20 minutes and I remember right before opening my eyes, I had this incredible feeling of wellness running through me. Just well-being, radiant health, radiant joy. You know, just goodness. And I was just really enjoying this feeling and just I knew the parking meter was going to run out and so I thought it was time to go and just before I opened my eyes, it’s like I heard in a voice that was not my own, the following statement: “This is all there is,” and it really got my attention. I said, “Wait, what? What do you mean? What’s the THIS in that statement? What do you mean?” And so, I kind of tracked it over the next couple of years. What it is that THIS, in that statement “This is all there is” And I kind of came up… I can be very creative sometimes and I came up with all kinds of possibilities that I think what it was, was this feeling of joy and well-being is your natural state of being.
And it’s like allowing myself to be guided into that state over and over and over again every day. It’s like, I think that’s the real value in allowing ourselves to be guided. Because it’s like we get to return to that place of peace and love that exist in all of us, it’s always there waiting for us. We think it’s out in the world somewhere, but it’s not. It’s in our body if we allow ourselves to settle in there. And I love what you said too about… and this will be familiar to you because we both learned it from Steve Chandler but that idea of trusting… Hard for me especially after my divorce, you know, challenging. And so, you remember that Steve Chandler talked about “Don’t trust it, test it.” And that’s kind of what I live my life by now. When I hear something and Steve interviewed me a couple of weeks ago and we added a little portion to the front of that “Don’t trust it, test it,” it’s like, trust what resonates. You know, like when something brings you alive and something animates you and something gets your attention, when you light up, trust that. But then test it and then go back to trusting it. And so it’s like resonate, test it, trust it in that order. Because I think we all have inside of us our purpose and we all kind of search frantically outside of us for our purpose but the way we identify our purpose is it brings us alive, it animates us, it lights us up. And then if we’re willing to walk down that path of our purpose and test it, then automatically, you know what Joseph Campbell said, “Doors start to open that just would not have been opened before.” And then if we walk through those doors, then we kind of come in to a kind of resonance or to a kind of trust with it after we’ve tested it.
Dr. Aziz: Yes, I love that. So instead of waiting for the trust to somehow arrive or emerge, there’s an element of testing, of walking towards something that makes us feel more alive. In my experience the stuff that makes us feel more alive also can make us feel more scared, which is good. There’s energy there that means were outside of the familiar comfort zone.
Lori: Yes, and it’s really a practice of trusting our own inner guidance system. That’s really what we’re testing here. We’re testing our own wisdom, our own resonance with things because we are uniquely ourselves. There’s no carbon copies, there’s no dittos anywhere and so it’s like what will bring me alive may be very different from what will bring you alive and that’s a good thing. And so it’s really a process of allowing our own inner guidance system to be our primary source of inspiration and revelation and moving forward in our lives.
Dr. Aziz: I love that and so it sounds like to get more access to that inner guidance system, things that you’ve referenced are slowing down and bringing our focus into our body. You mentioned meditating several times. Any other suggestions on how people can get more access to that inner guidance system and their own intuition?
Lori: Creativity help and I’ve chose that for you, I mean I love that you just mentioned. I think that’s it, slowing down, meditation, prayer for me also have got a factors in there. Ongoing conversation with God or spirit or the universe, checking in with myself regularly. How do I feel right now? Is this a yes, or is this a no? And then really trusting the yes or really trusting the no. I’m becoming very diplomatic in saying yes or saying no when I need to say no but meaning it when I say it. You know, really knowing that, no this doesn’t bring me alive, this doesn’t light me up, this isn’t part of my path, this isn’t it for me. And it’s like saying no to what we don’t want allows us to say yes to what we do want. So yeah, it’s like we talked about a minute ago. It’s an ongoing process and we do stumble and we fall and we make mistakes along the way, but if the more neutrally, we can receive those mistakes if you will as simply feedback. It’s like they become blessings in and of themselves.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely, I mean, that’s a whole rabbit hole we could go down and let’s just actually… we’re going to wrap up in a minute here, but let’s go into that real quick because this idea of mistakes is fascinating. And let’s just get your take on that. What do you think? Are there mistakes or how can we interpret things that don’t go our way? I know we talked a little bit earlier about seeing the preciousness in them but just how do you hold outcomes that you weren’t expecting or didn’t initially want, a.k.a. “mistakes”. How do you hold that in your world?
Lori: Yes, such a good question. I think it goes back to the practice I’ve been very gentle with myself. I really think if an example comes forward of when something didn’t go my way, and I was humiliated or embarrassed or… A very, very recent example is coming up… I was on an airplane and because I’m a writer, I carry books with me and so my bag gets quite heavy and I always look for a teenage boy or a 20-something year old boy to help me lift my bags up into the overhead and there’s always one who is very gracious and very kind and very willing to help me. Well, l was on a flight recently and there weren’t a lot of people on it but there was a 20- something year old boy and he was sitting down and I said, “Would you mind just helping me lift this up into the overhead?” And he jumped up and he said, “Of course not, no problem.” And so he so he put my bag up and then I went to sit on the exit row seat and there was a flight attendant there and she looked at me and she said in a very abrupt way, “You can’t lift your own bag into the overhead but you think you can open the door of this aircraft?”
And I was so startled and so ashamed, like shame just came over me and I immediately… I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know how to respond and so I just quickly sat in the seat behind the exit row. And then everybody on the aircraft was kind of looking at this woman with wide eyes because I think they were equally as shocked by her abruptness and she said, “What? It’s an honest question.” And I just wanted to like, disappear. And as I sat there in the airplane, it was late at night, it was dark and I was grateful for the dark because I really got to work with myself and I really got to work through what is this shame that I’m feeling. And what I got to was: Oh, in the past I got into the misunderstanding that it was wrong or even bad to ask for help. I should be able to do everything by myself, including lifting my bag up into the overhead. And so I sat there for the two hours that I was on this flight and in the first hour, I was in upset, right? And I was just wanting to judge the flight attendant, wanting to make her wrong, but realizing, oh, there’s a greater opportunity here for me.
And knowing full well that I was perfectly capable of opening that door if need be, in the case of an emergency. And so, what I ended up doing was once I was able to be very gentle with myself and comfort that place inside of me that thought she had done something wrong by asking for help, like to really go into: You know you’re not 20 anymore, you’re 50. There is that the possibility of straining your back or hurting your back when lifting a big bag in the overhead. I just went in and I was very gentle with that part of me who thought it was her job to do it all alone. And then a letter started to form inside of me and I took out my phone and I just, from a very neutral place once I worked through the upset, wrote a letter to this airline telling them what had happened on this airplane. And it wasn’t from a place of anger, it was from a place of… You know, I’m not sure it’s in this airline’s best interest if the flight attendants are treating their customers like this. And so it turned out to be a very sweet experience for me where I took care of me and I didn’t expect the world… I did… It’s not that I expected help but I asked for help because I needed that help to get the bag up and into the overhead.
But I didn’t need help in working through my upset. It’s like I have the skills, I have the consciousness where I’ve cultivated kindness inside of myself. So just because I felt like I was being bullied by a flight attendant, my inner bully didn’t come up and start participating in the bullying, if you will. Like a gentle part of me came up and said, “Hmmm, you didn’t do anything wrong here Lori. You asked for help and then…So why seeking resolution here?” I think what we’re seeking resolution was the misunderstanding that I shouldn’t ask for help. It’s like the more we’re able to ask for help, the better off we actually are. And so, it became this experience of something very different than it would have been a decade ago. Or probably I would have stayed in the anger, I would have written the letter in anger and from anger, but I was able to write the letter from the place of… You know, if this were my airline I might want some additional training for this particular flight attendant because there’s really a way of seeing through the eyes of love even as a flight attendant, even late at night that really serves, frankly, the airline. And so the next morning, this particular airline made it very easy to give feedback and so for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in communication with them about what happened and how to resolve it. And I don’t want anything from the airline, I got what I came for; which is to experience myself as a loving being, having a human experience with primary orientation with learning. What can I learn from this? How can I be with myself in this experience where I’m actually in my kindness, in my loving, in my gentleness? First, toward myself and then it radiates out to everybody else, especially this flight attendant.
Dr. Aziz: That’s powerful Lori. I really appreciate that story and there’s so many good clues and guidance there about how to deal with mistakes, how to hold them in learning how to hold ourselves with gentleness, how to work with the parts of ourselves that gets scared or cause us to feel ashamed, trying to make ourselves perfect. And there’s so much good stuff in there and I really appreciate that little… I’m so glad I asked that last question and I also want to ask as we get to the end of our time in our interview. First things first, how can people find out more about you, your book, how can people order your book, get it? I highly recommend people read it, it’s fantastic as well as maybe even work with you or have you speak in our organizations.
Lori: Thank you Aziz. My book, Letting the Upside In, is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle format and then I would just welcome anyone who’s interested to go right to my website www.loricashrichards.com and all of my contact information is there.
Dr. Aziz: Awesome. And I just had a thought that came into my mind, and I was like, you got the Kindle, you got the paperback. When do we get to hear an audio version read by the author?
Lori: It’s coming. Thank you for asking. It’s coming. It’s so interesting because people who know me, who have read my book. One of my favorite feedbacks that I’ve read, that I’ve gotten from those that know me is “Reading your book is like being in conversation with you.” And I thought “Ah, wouldn’t it be fun to do an audio, because then it might feel even more like we’re in a conversation.” And I think conversations heal the world. I think really that’s where most of what happens in the world lies, in conversations. And so I’m so grateful that my book is being received that way, as a conversation that the reader has with the writer and then an ongoing conversation the reader has with himself or herself.
Dr. Aziz: That’s awesome. And this conversation has been really fantastic and healing as well. I’ve learned a ton and I think that anyone listening, there’s a lot of gems to pick up and just apply in all of our lives. So, thanks again Lori for joining us on the show and we’ll have links below for her site as well and to the Amazon book directly at shrinkfortheshyguy.com, which is where all the show and all the turns and stuff for this episode. It’s awesome to have you on Lori and I can’t wait to hear the audio version of your book.
Lori: You are a gem Aziz. It doesn’t surprise me at all that you recognize gems, because it takes one to know one. And so I just thank you so much.
That brings us to the end of the interview and to the beginning of your action step.
Your action step for this week is going to be a little less tangible. It’s going to be an intangible if you will. And that is to take what you learned today and use it. Whatever tool or technique or idea or philosophy that you picked up today from the interview, or anywhere else in your life to go from your head to your heart. To spend more of the day, of your time, of your week in your heart and maybe before you listened to my conversation with Lori, you might be like “What the hell is he talking about?” But now, hopefully, you have more of an idea. Really had to bring your awareness into your body to really reside more in your heart to go as Lori said, back to home, which is where you are right now. No way could I do that. It’s…. May be a little vague or philosophical but if you can do it, if you can just let go of that analytical left brain, that’s like “How? What are the four steps? This is stupid.” You just let that part go and just relax into your body, into your heart. Just be guided more about your intuition this week. You just might find that you feel more at peace, more confident. And you know what to say more. Things go more in your favor because in my perspective, if we’re more and more in our bodies and our hearts, we’re more in the flow of life. And when we’re going with the current, it’s a heck of a lot easier than trying to figure it all out with our heads and push against the current. So that’s your action step for today. Go and apply that this week and keep rocking, keep building. You can do this. You can break free of any level of shyness or social anxiety that you’re feeling. You can always improve your confidence and if you have moderate confidence in an area and you want to get to extraordinary, you can do that, too. You just got to keep applying these principles. So it’s been awesome being with you today and I look forward to speaking with you in the future. Until we do, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
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