Episode 76: Reclaim Authenticity & Free Yourself from the Us vs. Them Paradigm with Holly Toronto (part 2)

body image coach holly toronto

Welcome back! This is part 2 of my interview with returning guest Holly Toronto.

During our conversation, we realized we couldn’t have a discussion about us vs. them thinking without talking about the role of authenticity in freeing ourselves from the binary.

Reclamation of one’s authentic expression IS the #1 way you know if you’re moving out of binary thinking and into the more spacious zone of nuance and complexity.

This Episode’s Guest

body image coach holly toronto

Holly Toronto is a Master Level Certified Coach through Health Coach Institute and has 5 years of experience helping women stop prioritizing other people’s expectations of beauty, belief or behavior so that they can live their life from a place of wholeness, fully aligned with the truth of who they are.

She currently live in the Hudson River Valley of New York State with her husband and their sweet fur-child, Gatsby. When she’s not supporting clients, recording episodes for podcast or making dance videos on Instagram, you’ll find Holly hiking, exploring little mountain towns, drinking wine, trying out new recipes or listening to podcasts.

She is a deeply spiritual person and though she grew up Evangelical, that is an identity she needed to release in order to return to wholeness. She practices a spirituality that is rooted in self-remembering, unity consciousness and love.

And because Holly’s a Millennial, of course we want to know all of her personality types and astrological signs.

Astrology: Leo Sun, Aquarius Moon, Libra Rising
Enneagram: 3 (The Achiever)
Human Design: 1/3 Projector
Myers Briggs: INFJ


Show Notes

In the second half of my conversation with Holly Toronto, we…

  • discuss the palpable dissonance in the body when we know what feels right for us and also know the potential social consequences we will face if we choose what’s right for us
  • discuss the therapy world and enmeshment with binary belief and ideologies
  • talk about embodying our authenticity after growing up in environments that punished our authenticity
  • share about the necessity of a well-resourced nervous system when reclaiming authenticity
  • talk about knowing when full authentic expression is unnecessary without self-censoring and the role of discernment in checking ourselves
  • talk about developing relationships where we can be fully seen and held in our messiness as we learn to embody authenticity
  • discuss the use of labels and identity markers and whether they’re helping us or hindering us
  • talk about showing up more authentically in romantic relationships
  • share about cultivating relationships where authenticity is ever-evolving and accepted as a gift rather than rejected as a threat
  • discuss the creation of monoliths, the othering of people, and the egoic need to be “right” — and how nothing in nature thrives in same-ness
  • elaborate on the difference between fitting in and belonging
  • talk about the expansiveness of letting go of an us vs. them mentality


Hello friends. Welcome back to the podcast. Thank you so much for being here wherever you are. And I don’t have a lot of intro here today because I’m excited to get into this episode. But I do want to just remind you of two things. First is I am teaching my nervous system. 1 0, 1 workshop on Tuesday, April 12th at 6:00 PM. Central time on zoom.

The ticket cost is $55. If $55 is too much for you to swing, I don’t ever want finances to be the reason why you can’t get this life-changing information about your nervous system. So please send me a DM on Instagram or send me an email. Hey, H E y@lindsaylocket.com. And just tell me, I need the discount on nervous system 1 0 1. You don’t have to tell me why or what’s going on with your finances. I don’t care.

I’m going to give the discount to you no matter what. So that workshop is coming up. It is my foundational workshop. It is, it is the foundation of my work. So I teach all about what the autonomic nervous system is, what it does, what happens when it’s not working properly. Why trauma is involved in that the role of healing, the brain and brain inflammation in what happens to the nervous system that often manifests in chronic and mysterious health symptoms or mental health symptoms.

I talk about what’s going on in your nervous system when you are in various stages of activation. So what’s happening in fight flight mode versus what’s happening in freeze mode. And even though fawning is not a nervous system state, it is a behavioral response to nervous system states. And so I talk all about fawning.

Um, I talk about polyvagal theory in a way that even a fifth grader can understand. And so much more. It’s two hours of teaching followed by an unlimited time of Q and a at the end. And anyone who buys a ticket, whether you can attend live or not, you will get the replay. It will be emailed to you within 48 hours of the workshop and you will have lifetime access to it. So if you want to learn more about nervous system 1 0 1 and get your ticket, go to Lindsay lockett.com forward slash N SIS.

S 1 0 1 and that will be linked below in the description box. Second item of housekeeping I have is summer coaching. So I am a trauma educator and coach and. I work with people in a one-on-one container. That is my holistic trauma healing coaching program. It is 12 weeks of intense focused. Very customized and personalized one-on-one coaching.

I meet you wherever you are. So you don’t have to have any prior knowledge or experience with the nervous system with trying to heal from trauma. You don’t need to have read a bunch of self-help books. If you’ve never been to therapy, that’s totally fine. We start wherever you’re at and we go from there and I am primarily focusing on helping you to tune into awareness, recognize limiting beliefs and behaviors that you have in your life.

Work with awareness. Anise and your nervous system to create neuroplasticity in your brain to begin to shift. Those old habits and behaviors that aren’t serving you anymore. Show up differently. In your life,

And my superpower as a coach, um, really is my intuition. So when I go into a session, I first of all, ground myself and make sure that I’m not bringing any of my own shit, my own projections, my own insecurities, my own assumptions. Into the session with a client. And then I literally asked my highest self to tune in to the highest self of my client.

And bring through whatever would serve them best at that time. And then I create the container of support. So I’m supporting you, not only in our one-on-one calls, but I’m also supporting you in between our calls, which is truly where the majority of the work happens. Clients. It’s always have breakthroughs in sessions, but usually the majority of the work, the hard work is what they do in between our sessions. And so I provide support.

And not in between time as well. Either on slack or Voxer, both are available to clients. Um, and in addition to the 12 weeks of coaching with six one-on-one sessions and in between support, you’re also going to receive. Homework that is designed to really help you to integrate what you’re learning.

To feel your feelings to become aware. Um, awareness is a huge part of my work. And so a lot of the homework isn’t just like journaling exercises or actual tasks that you do. It’s more about getting into the habit of awareness and starting to strengthen that awareness muscle. And I have a lot of different tools that I use.

To help you do that. Um, I love to do, uh, parts work with my clients. Um, I love to do grief work and anger work with clients. And I mean, honestly, there’s, there’s no formula, there’s no magic formula. I’m just, it’s just, whatever comes through that is the most beneficial for you. And I love working with people one-on-one because that’s where we see really, really.

Profound shifts and transformations, right? Like in group programs and on the podcast or in the nervous system workshop, that can be very enlightening for people and they can have a lot of insights. But it’s that focused one-on-one work that really, really helps people to shift. So, if that is feeling like a yes in your body, you can go to Lindsey lockett.com forward slash apply. AP.

P L Y and you can learn more about what the coaching program entails. Um, what’s included and also what your investment is. I am taking a very limited number of clients for the summer. So if working with me during the summer, it feels like a yes in your body. Please do not wait, please go ahead and fill out the application.

Um, once you learn more about the program and make sure that it is a yes for you, please go ahead and fill out the application because I’m going to be selecting clients. Probably by the end of this month and our work together will start. End of may early June for 12 weeks for the summer. It’ll be super exciting.

And I would love to support you in that container, if you want to. So with that said let’s jump into today’s episode

This is part two of my conversation with Holly Toronto. So if you’re just coming to the podcast and you haven’t heard episode 75 yet, press pause on this one, go back and listen to episode 75.

And then come back to this episode, because this is part two of that conversation. We ended up talking for nearly two hours and I’ve never done a two hour podcast episode. I’m not Joe Rogan. Um, I decided to break it up into two episodes. So. That episode is all about, um, how the us versus them mentality is shrinking us.

And this episode is about reclaiming authenticity to free ourselves. From the us versus them paradigm. And we didn’t plan for the conversation to evolve in this way. It just organically did. And then we realized we can’t have a conversation about extracting ourselves from us versus them thinking. Without talking about the role of authenticity and reclaiming authenticity. So that’s what this episode is about. And i’m just super excited so without further ado let’s just dive right back into this conversation with my beloved friend holly toronto

I want to circle back to what you were saying about authenticity, because I do think that authenticity belongs in a conversation about this. I think authenticity, like, because, um, what I have noticed anyway is that the black and white binary thinking the us versus them, whatever it really. Makes people super afraid to be their authentic selves, you know?

And so it it’s like, not only is it perpetuating division from each other, but it’s literally perpetuating like internal division from self, because there is a, there’s a dissonance within yourself of like, this is what I know to be right. This is a yes in my body or this is a no in my body, but because I have been taught to value other’s opinions or beliefs, sometimes more than my own.

I’m now like at a crossroads where I have to choose between what feels like a yes or no in my body and the potential social consequences that I could pay. And like, that’s a tough fucking place to be.

It is like, I would say. One of the hardest places to be like, especially lately, like that’s for the past two years, that’s like finding that line, like all the time, like of am I being true, like honest with myself, right.

Or am I trying to fawn and please other people so that I can have social acceptance and, and therefore, and like, that makes it sound like it’s bad, but I don’t want to just state social acceptance. It’s not it’s it’s safety. Right? Like we literally need to belong. Right. Like it’s like a core need that we frill really necessary for our survival to belong in community.

Right. Right. Exactly. And so to, to, to come to a place where. You feel like you have permission to be yourself authentically all of the time, um, or not bite your tongue in certain situations. That’s hard. And that’s something that like, I admire so much about you, Lindsay. Cause I feel like you, you inspire me a lot of times to kind of push, push myself to be more authentic because like, I didn’t realize that this was something that I struggled with until 2020.

Right. I didn’t realize that this was an issue until everything happened. Right. And then everything, we had those like couple of weeks where COVID, wasn’t politicized literally like two years ago today. And then suddenly there was just this eruption of us versus them. This eruption of. Total division and bifurcation and just, oh my God.

It was so activating for me. It was so active. I know I’m not alone in that. Um, and so I, I would find myself, like, if I’m totally real right now, like performing, like I say, performed so much throughout 2020 until like probably the end of 2021. When I got up the courage to even talk to my therapist, I was afraid to talk to my therapist about like, how I was feeling about certain things.

Cause like the therapy world has become, so immeshed with certain ideologies that like, it was like, I don’t know how to talk to you about this, but then this is your job. Like, I’m paying you a lot of money. I got to talk to you about this thing. And of course she was amazing and uh, supported me through it so much, but like it’s, it’s been, you know, a year and a half of like really like, kind of like pushing myself for pushing myself for it and like taking a step back.

Like that feels too scary. Um, Yeah, like for so many of us. And I’m wondering about your experience here. I’d love to hear about your experience, but like there’s for many of us like being truly authentic, especially when we grew up in environments that punished us for our authenticity. Um, it it’s like it’s like an exposure therapy thing that we have to do probably over the course of our lives in order to actually be living authentically.

Yes, I would a hundred percent agree with that. It really is an exposure thing and a metaphor that I keep using with my clients lately. Um, and it keeps coming up and it feels right to share it here is like, I mean, we can, we could take like trauma healing, nervous system work, whatever, but let’s, let’s apply it to authenticity is like, if you’re on the road, driving your car on the road of authenticity, like.

It feels comfortable. Sometimes, sometimes you get, you hit speed bumps or like the road is, you know, has pot holes or whatever. Um, but you get to really uncomfortable places and the instinct can be, I’m either going to slam on the gas and I’m going to just go, I’m going to get through it. Or I’m too fucking freaked out.

I’m throwing the car in reverse and I’m going back. Like, I can’t do this it’s too much, but I think the best thing we can do about that, and this goes along with what you’re saying about exposing ourselves to it is when we get to that really uncomfortable place, instead of trying to speed through it or go back and reverse, we put the car in park and we’re like, I’m going to sit here for a little while.

I’m just going to sit here. I’m going to see how this feels and I’m going to wait for this to get comfortable. And then I’ll put in a drive and keep going. Hmm. And I think that’s what the expression of authenticity has to be like sometimes is because if you’re just, if you just wake up one day and you’re like, okay, I listened to this podcast with Wendy and Holly and they talk about being authentic and I’m inspired.

I want to be authentic counsel. I’m just going to be authentic. I can promise you five minutes later, you’re going to be like showing on Facebook or Instagram, or you’re going to get a phone call or you’re going to run into somebody at the store or something. And it is going to challenge the universe is going to be like, all right.

Let’s, let’s see really. I mean, it’s going to hold your feet to the fire, right. And I can promise you if your nervous system is not well-resourced for that. Like you will default to whatever you were doing before you will default to fawning. You will default to that freeze response. You will default to shaking your head and nodding, even though inside of you, you’re like, oh my God, why am I shaking my head and nodding?

I don’t believe this, but I don’t know what else to do. Like you will default to that and, and believe it or not, like, I don’t think you can have a conversation about authenticity and holding your own in an us for stem space. Um, without nervous system work. Like I just don’t think you can do it. No, I don’t.

Yeah. And the other thing I’m sharing my stories this week that goes along. I was thinking about this earlier, whenever you said that you’re not even sure you’re going to share your birth story because. Why would you want to share your birth story? You’re you know, you’re going to get bombarded with people who were telling you that you did it wrong.

Right. Because they didn’t have that experience. But what I’m realizing is, is I used to be one of those, like, goddammit, I’m just going to say whatever’s on my mind. And like I’m outspoken and I’m going to be authentic and I’m fully embodied in it. And like, the car was like gas pedal got all the time.

Right. And what I’m realizing is that I now feel embodied in my authenticity enough to know that my full 100% authentic expression is not always necessary. Ooh, yes, yes, yes. And what I mean by that is not censoring myself. It’s not holding back. It’s knowing the difference between if I speak up and speak my truth in this situation, it’s probably not going to matter.

It’s not going to change anyone. And if my emo is to change people, then I probably need to bite my tongue. Ooh. Yes. Right. ’cause that’s like that old religious programming coming up to save people with my ideas. Yes. Yes. So there’s, there’s literally like, just like we have like circles of friendships, right?

We have our inner circle, people that are super, super close. And then we kind of go out into like community acquaintances, people on the internet, strangers. Right. We have these like concentric circles of community. I see the same way as like authenticity and like not everybody gets every layer of my authenticity.

Like it is a privilege if you get every layer of my authenticity, because that means I feel completely safe with you. And so it may not feel right to you if, if your birth story is like one of your inner layers of authenticity, like it may not feel right to share that on your pod. You know, and that doesn’t mean you’re being an authentic or you’re hiding things from people.

It means like this is a part of myself it’s really sacred that only the people closest to me and get to know about, because they’re the only ones who are actually going to honor me in this. That’s it that’s it that’s it it’s exactly it. I want to share like it’s it’s related. So this is where discernment comes in.

Oh yeah. Right. This is where we get to discern. Yes, my authentic self, not as my authentic self appropriate here, but like check in with ourselves where we might be coming from a reactionary place of like, I want to make my opinion known here so that I can change hearts and minds and save the world like that righteousness.

I’m sorry. I just feel like you need to develop that character, that voice and the way your posture, like nobody can see me, but like you just, you just embodied a different character. That’s right. Just Holly, that is righteous. Holly.

I do have a lot of these characters that like my authentic self, so kind of we’ll, we’ll pull out every once in a while. Um, just to make fun of myself, but to have that discernment, like who that. When that’s appropriate. I was in a situation like that last week where I was like, Hmm, I’m going to be trying to change this.

Person’s mind. We’re having a great time right now. I don’t want to go there. I’m just going to like leave. Let, let them stay. That weird thing that I very much so disagree with. Yeah. Let’s just start, like, let’s just keep having a good time. I love this person so much. Who said this thing, I see this person and all of their complexity and their nuance and all of that can let them be to their weird opinion, I think is weird.

So having that discernment, but then also. Um, I’m not sure when this is coming out, versus when the podcast that I recorded with Lee is coming out where we talk about us versus them, but like in a totally different way than how you and I are talking about it right now. So it’s like, it’s really, really fun.

Um, to know that these conversations are going to be probably coming out at similar times. And I would recommend that people listen to that. Cause I’m not going to tell the story fully right now. Um, I’ll make a note so I can link it in the show notes. Yeah. Um, and powered curiosity is Kelly’s podcast.

I’ve been on hers and she’s been on mine. She’s fantastic. She’s amazing SMR voice. As we were saying, we love Kat shout out cat. Um, but she and I had a situation where I, I kind of was doing what you were saying around like put it in park for a minute and like check in with yourself because there was something that I needed to share with her, um, about being on her podcast, that my authentic self wouldn’t let me know.

Like, there’s that discernment that I had, like, this was not about me changing cat’s mind. I respect cat so much. Like it was about me holding a boundary for myself and a value for myself. And it was so hard, but I like sat with it and I shared it with her and it opened up this. And then we decided to take this was before the podcast recording.

We decided to take that and bring it into the podcast, recording and talk about it together. And it was such a beautiful experience because it brought deeper respect into our relationship. Because even if she did, she doesn’t agree with what that boundary was or what, that, that now she didn’t agree with my boundary, but like what my perspective was on some.

Because I was honest with her, she respected me more. Right. And I trusted her more because she was able to hold me and where I saw something differently from her without othering me and without making me feel like I was X, Y, or Z. Right. And that in turn, because she and I had had that conversation. I don’t think she would mind me sharing this.

Like it’s, for both of us, we’ve noticed from having those, that conversation with each other, it’s impacted other relationships and being honest and other relationships, honest with ourselves and therefore others. And so it’s creating this ripple effect of like, okay, slow down. Right. But the car in park for a second check in with self, and am I willing in this relationship to take the risk, to be honest, right.

And be authentic and trust that they will hold me in my messiness and. Allow that to actually deepen our relationship versus create more division. Right. Because if I listen to the, like the part of me that just wanted to like a fond right. Cat and I wouldn’t have had that experience and we wouldn’t have had these, these like subsequent experiences in our relationships.

Right. And so that, that’s also where we have to take risks to at the same time to put our reputation or the way somebody sees us, that we respect on the line in order to be fully ourselves. Oh my God. I love that I’ve really had full body chills. And I feel like, honestly, there’s some people. You couldn’t have had that conversation with, but like cat is one of those people that you could exactly know because she has a well-resourced nervous system too.

As she works on herself, she’s got to work on herself. She does. It’s yeah, it’s true. So it really, it really does come down to like what I’m hearing you say, Holly is I can share spaces and have conversations with people who don’t agree with me and it’s fine, but what I’m no longer here for is where we can’t share a space where they’re, at least we can reach mutual respect and understanding, even if we don’t reach an agreement.

Yep. That’s it. We don’t actually need to agree. No, that’s not necessary. They’re just agreeing with you as not a threat to you, unless your Reese, your nervous system. Isn’t well-resourced and then everything that disagrees with you is a threat. And speaking of threats, like this is a realization in my life and I think I’ve been, I don’t know, I’d be curious to know your perspective on this, but it’s going to take me as a little bit to get there.

So we’re just going to go on a little like labyrinth, swirly trail for a second. So, um, in terms of like authenticity and us versus them, um, I think that us versus them requires that we have labels and identity boxes, right? Provax anti-vax that’s us versus them black, white us versus them. Um, Uh, anarchist capitalist versus Democrat, Republican us versus them Christian, Satan worshiper, I suppose.

Is that okay? So everybody else, right? Like you’re like queer or homophobic, like it’s us versus them. And I think that it requires that we have like, labels are needed in order to facilitate that us versus them mentality. And when my daughter came out to me as queer, uh, like three and a half years ago, um, at first he came out as BI.

She told me she was bisexual and she does not mind me saying this. She has that she’s queer all over her Instagram profile. Like she is out and proud and it’s, it’s amazing. But she first came out as bisexual and I was like, That’s so great. I knew you were gay a long time ago. She was like, really? And I was like, yeah, I think I’ve known since you were like nine, then I was like, I know she’s going to, I don’t know if she’s gay, queer, but I’m not sure, but she’s different.

She’s she’s at least queer. So, um, so it was totally fine. Right? And it was, it was fine. But my word of caution to her then was don’t get so caught up on the label and the identity of being bisexual, that you don’t have the flexibility to change because your sexuality, like everything else in life is fluid.

And you are going to have different experiences that are going to shape and transform your sexuality, your gender expression, whatever. So don’t get hung up on the label. And at first she was at first, she interpreted that as me being like, don’t call yourself bisexual, you know? And I was like, no, no, no, babe.

That’s not what it means. It just means like, as you develop as a person, you may, you may decide that you’re like full-blown game. Like you may, you may decide like, oh, I I’ve, I’ve been with some girls and like, I’m more interested in boys now. Like you may decide you’re polyamorous. You meant like, it doesn’t matter.

But if you get hung up on the label, then you’re going to box yourself in and then you’re going to have so much less flexibility to move around. So sure enough, she took my advice, which I’m so grateful she did because just a couple of years later, she was like, I am full blown. Like I only love girls. I am not bisexual.

I don’t care about boys. I just want to be with girls. I am totally gay. And so once again, I was like, Addie, honey. That’s so great that you’re like loving the expression of loving girls. And also remember what I said about the labels and the identities. Like let’s not get boxed in. Sure enough, six months later, she’s like, I’m pansexual.

I don’t care what people’s identity is. I just love them for them. And also I’m polyamorous. I was like, that’s so great, honey. But like, remember the label. Right. And so, so that, like the point that I’m sort of getting at is I see that the, the labels are the boxes or the identities are necessary from the standpoint that it at least shows us where any quality exists.

If we didn’t have the queer label. That identity, then that would be a group of people that feels marginalized or not equal or not accepted or whatever, don’t have the same rights. And so the label is necessary for identifying where the inequality exists so that we can correct it. But outside of that, I think labels do more harm than good.

Yes. I totally think they do more harm than good. And there was something else I was going to say on that long and windy labyrinth path, but now it’s totally slipped my mind. So it’ll either come back up again or it’ll be in our next conversation, but that, but it’s the labels. I feel like that, um, that, that too is perpetuating the us versus them too.

Right. Is people need, they need to labeling yourself as like huge right now, like right. It’s uh, it’s big. People are identifying not only just their gender and their sexuality and their like relationship status, monogamous ethical non-monogamy polyamorous open, like whatever. It’s not just that kind of stuff.

It’s. It’s and it’s not just political affiliation or religious affiliation. I mean, it’s like people are identifying with their diseases. You know, people are like, I’m an endo warrior or like I’m a fibromyalgia sufferer and that’s not to like slight anyone with endometriosis, fibromyalgia. Like that’s a very real experience that you’re having.

And also, is it limiting you? Is it limiting you? Is it putting you in a box that doesn’t allow you to come outside of that box? Curious what your thoughts are on that? I mean, my thoughts are, yes. I agree. I, I agree that like, okay. So I have like many, many things and I might just like verbally vomit at all.

Please do, please. And also just like how lucky your daughter is to have that support from you to be. To affirm her, but also challenge her because I don’t think we’re getting enough of that these days where there’s like a challenge that comes back and says like, yeah, that’s so great. And like, let’s not get caught up in labels, right?

Like let’s not, let’s allow ourselves to expand outside of narrow definitions of ourselves. Right. Cause otherwise it puts us in this box and it hinders our growth and, and oftentimes leads to further us versus them mentality. Right. Because, um, I think we find oftentimes that, Hm. How do I say that perhaps for those who choose to stay, not choose, um, who, uh, cause it’s not, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a choice, but who is find themselves fitting more within.

Like constructs, like society’s constructs of normal, right? Like that somebody who is straight, right. Like that genuinely feels like I’m just attracted to the opposite sex. Right. That it creates this like, okay, well then you are, you’re part of the problem, right? Like, you are bad, you are wrong because you are upholding normativity.

Right. So it’s almost like queer versus formativity. Right. And so there’s no spaciousness for someone to actually fall into the category of like, but I’m straight. Right? Like that’s what, and without being made to feel. There are a part of the problem or they’re an oppressor or whatever it might be. Do you understand what I’m saying?

Let’s have room for expansion of identity, sexuality, how people want to like show up in the world as somebody who leans towards Liberty, like Liberty and freedom of expression is like, so, so, so, so important to me. And like I’m very comfortable straight woman.

I love it. Like I love who I have men. Right. I love, I actually really do love women. I really, I think women are gorgeous and stunning, and I could like stare at photos of women all day, but when it comes to being in relationship long-term partnership, I love being with a man. I love it. And can I. This comes back to the birth choice thing, right?

Like, can I have the freedom to be like, I, oh my God, I’m gonna get so canceled because I’m like, I love being a straight woman, but like, I love it. This is just me being my authentic self, but like, can’t there be room for both and here, like for me to be. Oh, my God. Fuck. Yeah. Like be whoever you are, right?

Like defy your labels, like play with your identity, like be like explore yourself. Right. And then also be like, like, I’m good with who I am. Like, I know

what I’m saying. Completely understand what you’re saying. I’m so glad that you like showed a spotlight on it. I’m so glad because you’re absolutely right. It’s like you, you were part of the problem if you’re quote unquote in the majority or quote unquote normal. Right. And that’s it. That’s not true.

That’s like factually inaccurate. Right, right, right. And like there’s certain parts of my sexual expression and who I am. Are just for me, it kinda like, it goes back to like sharing my personal, like these are just for me, right? Like, like I’m probably never going to share that with anybody. Right. Like, I’m not going to put that out on social media.

I’m not going to share that publicly because it’s actually just for me. And so there’s like, you get to also be loud and proud about it and you also get to be like, I’m, I’m like, I’m, I’m good to keep this. That’s what keeps funding. I was like, I’m good. And I’m good. Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Yes. Um, so this reminds me of something else.

I think this might’ve been what I was trying to get to earlier and what you’re sharing, reignited it for me, um, that in relationship, cause I was getting questions on Instagram over the weekend about expressing authenticity in romantic relationships. Like how do I bring more authenticity into my romantic relationship?

And it gave me the opportunity to share. About my own 20 plus year relationship and how that’s evolved and how we’ve, you know, started out as very conservative, religious, very monogamous, like all, you know, all of that. That was the box that we were in and how over 21 years it’s evolved. And like now, like where I didn’t have the freedom before because of fear because of us versus them mentality.

Even though I didn’t know, I had an us versus them mentality. I did, I very much had myself inside of a box. Right. Um, and healing and having a w better resource nervous system has allowed me to slowly step outside of that box. And what I’m realizing is that authenticity, which I know is a big, hot word right now.

Isn’t about like, you get to this place where you’re like, I have arrived and I am authentic. Like, you know, like, oh, be hold. Like, it’s not that, but. In the relationship that I have, the ability to be authentic means there are still things about myself that I have not discovered yet. And the only way I’m going to discover them is within this container of this relationship that I have, where I’m allowed to try on different things and experiment with different things.

And see, is the, is this me? Is this my authentic expression? Oh, maybe it doesn’t fit. You know, I tried it on, I experimented with that. Maybe it doesn’t fit. And that’s where I see couples. Um, regardless of whether they’re homosexual or heterosexual, Polyamorous or whatever. Like that’s where I see is when we get in and relationships are containers, right?

Like they’re containers for us to practice our own self work. Cause we have to heal in relationship. You know, like I can do, I can read all the books I want to on boundaries, but I don’t actually know what I’m doing until I’m in the context of a relationship where I have to set boundaries and stick to them.

So relationships are the containers where we practice this kind of thing, whether it’s boundaries or trauma healing, or nervous system regulation, or your relationship style or different sex positions or, or embodying your authenticity. Like if you practice in relationships. But because of, I think the us versus them mentality, or this is one of the reasons I’m not gonna say it’s the only reason, but I think people, we know people are, self-censoring like, we know people are seeing what’s happening on social media and seeing what’s happening in communities and stuff.

And they’re automatically like, oh, well I was going to think about that. But now I definitely know it’s a no-no right. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot, not only with the us versus them mentality and the labels and all of that, but we’re also shooting ourselves in the foot because we aren’t cultivating relationships where our authenticity is seen as a gift and not a threat.

And so we’re able to try on different things. And even if it doesn’t stick, even if we decide it’s not us, like it isn’t a threat because we tried it on because our partner or a best friend or whoever the person is that we’re in that container with. Doesn’t see. Authenticity as a threat, they see it as a gift.

And that I think is the, is the root of the us versus them thing is like, if I can be my authentic self and you can be your authentic self, even if we don’t see eye to eye on everything, what a gift, what a gift that we can have the conversation. Yes. Like you’re not a threat to me. You’re you’re vaccinated.

You have a COVID vaccine. I don’t, you’re not a fucking threat to me. And you’re not a threat to me either. Even if we were in the same room, I said it I’ve said money getting canceled. Um, but, but that’s what I’m saying. Like, you know, I did not think about authenticity coming into this conversation today, but I don’t think we can have it because of the us versus them.

The binaries. It is literally trying to make everything. It’s like, we’re only allowed to be vanilla ice cream. Right. It’s trying to create modelists right. Like what other, otherwise what’s the point of us first then if you’re not like, if you’re not othering people, when you other people, right. Your intention is to in some way, show them that you’re right.

Yes. Right. And call them into your side. And the ways that people do that are totally destructive and toxic. Right. Um, so that’s like ultimately what the desire is in us first them is to have everyone think and be the same exact way, because it makes you feel safe and certain. Exactly. And so, yeah. You’re like, I, I’ve never made this.

This distinction before that, like, we can’t have this conversation us versus them without acknowledging authenticity, diversity that like literally the universe. And when I say diversity, I mean, diversity in all of the forms, but diversity of thought is one that’s like, whew, it’s really hard to find. And these days are really hard to access, but like, it’s very clear when we look out, if you just look out your window right now, and you look at the landscape in front of you and you look at the different types of trees and the different types of grasses, and hopefully soon there’ll be flowers instead of snow on the ground, but like the different types of flowers, right?

You, you will see that we as a human species, but like also just inhabitants of planet earth, we don’t thrive. In, um, sameness, we all thrive when everything is exactly the same in a monoculture. Right? Exactly. We thrive when there is diversity, when there is like room for everyone to be the fullness of who they are.

Right. And so we actually do a tremendous disservice to everyone, including ourselves when we demand that there is sameness, right. That w we demand that, um, in order to belong together, we must be the same, which is not belonging it’s fitting in. Exactly. And there’s a difference. There’s a big difference.

Belonging means I’m showing up in my authentic expression and I don’t have to change myself for anybody fitting in is the opposite. It’s I am threatened that I won’t belong here. So I’m going to change myself and fit inside this box that makes other people comfortable because then I have the illusion of belonging, but it’s actually fitting in.

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And it’s stifling. Yeah. I mean, fitting in is like, you know, I mean, I have these, I have these shoes, these duck feet boots. I don’t know if you, if you don’t know about duck feet, dude, you need to know about duck feet. I have like a rain boot, right? No, it’s like, um, it’s, it’s a Danish company and their shoes are made from like sustainably sourced.

Um, they have natural rubber soles, and then they have sandals. They have Mary James, they have slides. Um, but they also have boots that have a Sherpa lining. So they’re perfect for where I live, because these are like, they’re cute. You know, they’re not like my sorrel, snow boots that are like these big clunky, like snow boots.

They’re actually really cute, super soft leather. Like it bends with my feet, smells like leather. It’s amazing. So I’ve put that on my foot. And like, as soon as I put it on, it just felt like, oh my God, this fits. And literally I put it on and I immediately picked up my phone and I ordered another pair of their shoes because I was like, this fits, it feels amazing.

So like, to me, that was belonging. And if I was to go to like target and try on the like knockoff cheaper version of that, like I now know what the real thing feels like. So that knockoff, like fitting in is never going to feel as good as the real thing. And that, that is the difference between belonging and fitting in like fitting in will never feel it’s the knockoff version of belonging.

It will never feel as good as belonging. You’re so good at analogies.

I’ve always wanted to be better at analogies, but just take mine. I don’t care. That works really well. It’s like in those profound moments and movies where like somebody’s struggling with something and then like the mentor comes in and tells a very specific story about something that’s slightly else.

That’s parallel to what that person’s experiencing. And you’re like, oh my gosh, how did you have such wisdom? And just being able to share that story and you know, right away, you know what I hate to compare it to. I’m like Jesus sharing parables. It is like Jesus sharing parables. That’s what the terribles were always meant to be folks.

Spoiler alert. Any of you, fundamentalist Christians listening. That’s what the parables were supposed to be. Oh God. I’d love to be a fundamentalist. Christian, listening to biz. I mean, the Christians have canceled us now the social justice warriors have canceled us. All the queer people have canceled you great.

And being, and like enjoying it and liking it. Yeah, it’s fine. It’s fine. I mean, when you’re, when you’re embodied in your authenticity or like fine canceled, I don’t care. It’s my authenticity. It’s fine. I’m sorry. And not sorry if you see it as a threat that I’m not for you like really don’t have you for everybody.

No, you do not. Um, and just because you’re not for everybody, doesn’t mean you’re against the meter. Exactly. And that’s like a whole other conversation of like the difference between, cause we said like sameness versus like belonging, right. Fitting in versus belonging. I’m also like, what’s the difference between like sameness and inclusion, right.

Does inclusion. Everyone has to be the same. I don’t like, no, I don’t think so. No, just because, just because I don’t have the same expression as you do does not mean I don’t include you. I feel like it does not mean that I’m against you in any way. Um, in fact, I’m like, I’m, I’m very for you because it means like if, like, if you get to be in your full expression, that means I get to be in my full expression, right?

Like it’s actually not a threat. And I actually expansive instead of constructively, I wish people understood that when you step out of an us versus them mentality, your life has the ability to expand your relationships, have the ability to expand. Even your own thinking has the ability to expand in ways that you never dreamed were possible.

All because you let yourself step outside of those boxes. And just like, see what’s going on out there and how lovely it actually is. It’s actually lovely. It actually, isn’t scary. It’s actually lovely. Thanks so much calmer so much more, gosh, I know there’s like so much less drama. That’s the thing is this us versus them, shit is creating all this drama, which, I mean, let’s be honest.

There are people who really feed off of that. Like they really thrive on that drama because their nervous system is in that chaotic frazzled state. And so drama feels familiar to them, but it’s amazing how, when you step outside of that and your nervous system becomes familiar with peace and calm and like love and inclusion and all of that, how actually you can be in a room full of people you don’t agree with and everything could be completely peaceful.

Imagine that, imagine it, imagine it. Okay. Love, I mean, I want to talk to you for the whole day, but in 25 minutes I have a client. So I think this was a, this was a robust conversation. Oh my gosh. I think I wouldn’t have to divide it and just you, episode’s going for almost an hour and 40 minutes, dude. Um, yeah.

So, uh, just to remind everyone now that maybe things have changed in your business, um, w how can people find you follow you, work with you, all the things. Yeah. Well, by this time, this comes out, I might be in like full blown maternity mode, maternity come out in like two, three weeks, seven weeks terrifying timeline.

Um, so I could be, I could also be going into the void of birth point to like going into, so, but what I would say is, come find me on social media. Tell me how problematic I think I said just getting, I don’t think that your listeners are like out by any means talking dirty to me. Tell me how the problem, tell me how problematic I am.

And I will take that into my birth void and I go into the depths of myself and I will transmute it and I will use it to push this baby out of my body and totally, totally transform whether or not I care if someone thinks I’m problematic. Um, so yeah, you can find me on social media, Holly dot Toronto, that would be the best place to do it.

Um, and then, uh, or Instagram specifically, I’m not on any other social media. Um, and then podcasts, you can come to my podcast, returned to wholeness. I have new episodes coming out through, I think mid April before my due date. Um, And then after that point, every other week, there will be an episode that comes out, but these episodes are special because they’re actually me being interviewed on other people’s podcasts, which remind me to reach out to you.

Cause I think I should take this one if you’re cool with it and put it on, um, on my podcast, I think that would be amazing. Do, um, so I have some interviews coming out, uh, that I did on other people’s podcasts that people can listen to so that there’s still content coming out there. So check it out, return to wholeness and yeah, those would be the two places I love it.

Well, I’m sending you so much love going into this last part of your pregnancy, and I hope that you have the birth of your dreams. Thank you, my friend, so much love for you so much. Love for you to. 📍 did you enjoy the show? I’d really appreciate it. If you took a few moments to rate the podcast,

Into the world.

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