Episode 78: Client Journey — I Was Ready to Surrender Before I Knew What Surrender Meant with Brynn Strickland

Welcome to another amazing client journey!

You can learn about working with me as a coach on a sales page, but I don’t think there’s any substitute for real-life story.

I don’t share these journeys because I want you to see what kinds of “results” my clients have. In fact, I’m very UNfocused on results — which is counterintuitive to some.

Striving toward a specific result, I think, puts the journey in a box. It says, “If you don’t look like this, feel like this, and end up like this, you weren’t successful.”

Results-focused coaching is actually very limiting and prevents us from taking the scenic route. It forces us to use a map, when actually, what we might really need is to carve out our own path.

I had no idea where we were going or where we’d end up, but Brynn and I made a fantastic team. There were even some things she felt like weren’t complete at the end of our time together, but she also felt safe enough and empowered enough to keep going without me. That’s EXACTLY what I want!

This Episode’s Guest

Links

Show Notes

In this episode, I’m chatting with my former client Brynn. Brynn explores the insights, breakthroughs, and challenges she experienced while working with me for 12 weeks. Brynn learned to be more in tune with her body, to feel and express anger and grief, to find compassion for Self and those who harmed her underneath all that anger and grief, and to lean into triggers and difficult emotions without resistance and fear. She shares so openly and sweetly about how trauma coaching, nervous system healing, and awareness work helped her surrender more and more, and she no longer feels like life is happening to her; it’s happening FOR her.

Transcript

Hello Brynn. Welcome to your holistic trauma healing coaching program. Exit interview.

Yes, absolutely. So, um, let’s just dive in here. If you think back to when we started our work together, what were your challenges? Yeah. Um, I struggled a lot with, um, just feeling safe within myself to like feel an experience, my own feelings. Um, I struggled a lot with, uh, holding any kind of loving space and compassion for my inner child.

Um, I struggled to see her as she was as just a child, um, worthy of love and safety and. Um, yeah, I felt like I really, yeah, just struggled with trust a lot. Yeah. Yeah. So what made you decide to go for it and work with me for the last 12 weeks? It was actually, um, it fell into an alignment, um, after lion’s gate time, uh, around early August, I kind of hit rock bottom there.

Um, My inner feminine was just screaming and rageful and angry. And, um, I just felt like I was. That was at bottom. And so I started looking up just podcasts that I could listen to while at work. And I typed in like trauma healing and you came up and I listened to your podcast and I was slack jaw the entire time.

I just like you hit every single nail right on the head. I don’t even remember what episode I was listening to, but I just remember getting this like deep. Feeling within like my gut, my womb space, my legs of like, I need to know more like this is it. This is a, yes, this feels right. Um, and so I kept listening and, um, it might’ve been, uh, like a month or two afterwards that you came out with the approach to coaching program.

And I was like, yes, this is it. Like, this is, this is what I need. And. Listen to that. My intuition yelled at me, so I heard her amazing. I love it. That you followed your intuition. So, I mean, we could probably take a lot of time just answering this question. Um, how have you grown over the last 12 weeks? Wow.

Um, I have grown a lot into not only accepting myself, um, but my relationships that I’m in and have been in before I’ve grown into this sense of compassion for like, not just myself, but those who hurt me as well. And holding that in a, a space of love that I’ve never, never been able to experience for that before.

Um, I felt like the trust within myself, um, landed and was, was able to resurface and be heard through the coaching session. And, um, my inner child, my inner child for the first time felt nourished and whole, and I continued to be able to hold her in that way. Um, instead of asking her to change and saying that she’s not good enough and yeah, I’ve I felt like I’ve grown into a true version of myself.

That’s amazing. That’s so beautiful. So what were your biggest insights or surprises about this process? Oh, gosh. My biggest insights, probably the compassion I just mentioned for those that, that hurt me. Um, I never really was able to experience that side of myself through the anger and the grief. And that surprised me too, of like, just being able to like, hold that container for myself with your help.

Um, and, uh, let those feelings come through and how. How transformational, just, you know, like a 20 minute session of sitting with those things that was, um,

and yeah, it felt like the, just the softening to my own victim stories was probably my biggest surprise. Wow. That’s that’s big. So, I mean, Without giving away too much private detail. You have. Quite a trauma story. And you, you have one of those stories that it’s, it’s kind of hard for, even me as a trauma coach who believes that healing, anything is possible.

Like you have one of those stories that even for me, I’m like, Ooh, this might be a stretch. Like, I don’t know, you know, because you just have so much. Complex trauma. Um, I know your, your adverse childhood experiences score was like almost a 10. Um, like you had a lot and a lot of it came from your parents and the fact that you’re not only like more embodied yourself, but also holding this intense compassion for the people who hurt you is.

I mean, that’s the kind of stuff that I write Instagram content about, but to actually experience it with someone other than myself, was really, really special for me. You know, like I’ve personally gotten a lot of flack on the internet for being. Hurting people hurt people. Abusers need to heal to perpetrators, need to heal too.

Like I’ve gotten so much flack over that. And I’m looking at you right now and you’re nodding your head. And like, your parents could definitely be described as perpetrators and abusers hundred percent. There was some illegal shit happening. Right. And like, I’m looking at a person today. Who would you say that you don’t feel like a victim of your childhood or your parents anymore?

No, I feel grateful for my childhood. Um, I feel grateful for everything I’ve experienced, even though it was the nastiest shit. Yeah. It was awful. And. The fear that was there. I felt like served might serve the purpose to my liberation now. Um, I, I believe that everything happens for a reason and I, I believe that like where I’m at now today couldn’t have been possible without having grown up where I grew up and.

You are actually embodying the, sort of the principle that I talk about, um, in episode 59 of the podcast about triggers, I’ve had a lot of questions about that episode where people have been like. So am I missing a healing opportunity by setting these really big boundaries with people who’ve hurt me. Is that me avoiding triggers?

And my answer is always no, like you, you can set boundaries, you don’t have to give people who’ve hurt you access to you. That doesn’t mean you’re avoiding triggers. Like it’s okay to protect yourself and. You’re you’re kind of going through that very thing of like meeting to set some of these really big boundaries and draw some hard lines while also.

Not avoiding it because it makes you so uncomfortable and you know, you are healing and part of your healing is setting those boundaries. Right. And that doesn’t mean you’re avoiding triggers. Do you feel like you were able to sort of face a lot of your triggers and now you’re showing up able to sovereignly set boundaries from a place of self-trust rather than from a place of avoidance?

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I feel like the. Just my triggers. Like, you know, they, they came up almost every day. It could have been like every second of the day, something would pop up and be triggering. And the fear around that was so intense and like having, having finally been able to like, take a step back and go like, oh, The sphere is speaking to me, it’s telling me something like I’m like, I, I’m not getting anywhere, not listening to it.

Ooh, I give me chills. I’m not getting anywhere, not listening to it. And so what were your biggest insights or surprises through this process that I asked you? That question already? I think so. Yeah. Oh yeah. Sorry. Next one. Um, so how is life showing up differently for you now? My wife has been showing up differently in just like a lot of surrender, a lot of surrender, um, just to life and what she has to offer.

And, um, I feel really resolved, um, in just experiencing it without. The fear of, um, sorry.

Um, yeah, it, it just feels more real. It feels more real and, um, more safe. It feels safer to be alive. I spent the first half of my life wishing I was dead and trying to accomplish that. And I mean, it wasn’t even, you know, a few months ago that I came to the realization that like, I just really didn’t like to be alive.

And, um, I was ready to change that and I feel a love for life. I it’s just a deeper level than I’ve experienced before and, uh, grab the gratitude for it is. I can’t even begin to describe it. Well, you’re literally like glowing. I don’t know if it’s the lovely light or if it’s, I’m going to save it, it has something to do with this, but you’re like literally blowing.

And, um, so are there any areas of, of what we started with that feel complete for you? I feel really complete in. The language of like my feelings, I feel complete and being able to like, hold my container for that. Um, and also in my inner child, she feels so full and so nourished after this. And I feel very complete and having sat her down and.

Letting her know that it’s okay then. Yeah. That, so the areas that feel complete for me, are there any areas that feel incomplete that you’re going to keep working on as you go forward? Oh yeah. Um, I maybe don’t feel complete in being able to.

I wrote all this down I was, was sick. Good. I’m glad you made notes. Um,

yeah, maybe just surrendering to my own intuition. I feel like surrender is. It’s just the act of opening over and over again. And I don’t feel like that ever really stops in our life or death. Um, and so I guess that would be an area that doesn’t feel complete, but I don’t think should feel like, yeah, for sure.

So was there anything I could have done differently to show up and support you in a different way or a better way? I felt so supported through the whole thing, but maybe something that that could be done differently is, um, daily check-ins because I, I, I did struggle to remember to, to check in daily. Um, but that would be, that would be the only thing that I, okay.

Fair enough. So what could make the holistic trauma healing coaching program better? Do you think. Just those daily check-ins I think.

Amazing. So how would you describe the process that you’ve just gone through to other people? I would describe it as a process of deep surrender of a process of opening and releasing. Of looking like within yourself for the answers instead of externally. Um, I describe it as a process of self remembrance.

So were there any specific things or homework assignments or anything that I said or did that helped you come to that place of self remembrance? Definitely. The. The anger and grief ceremony. Um, probably the grief was the most deepest place that remembrance I’ve had for myself. When you go like into those dark and deep, like internal waters of your own soul.

There’s so much like broader has, has a lot of memory. That’s, that’s what we are is just memories of those of before us and of ourselves from all different versions of our past and that the exercise of like creating that container for those harder feelings to come through and to be remembered and to be like seen and.

Um, but the bus exercise too, I did struggle with and I’ve been like, I feel like slowly peeling back the layers of this onion yeah. With this exercise, but that. That’s like being able to identify who’s driving my bus and when are they trying to drive the bus and how can I guide them back to their seats and safely and sternly sometimes.

Totally. I seem to remember the bubble exercise being really. Yeah. Good for you to bubble exercise. I also continue to practice that every day. I have my alarm set at 1111 to check in and. Strengthen that bubble and to feel like my own energy, um, just daily, like when I’m around other people, because I, that was another thing I did struggle with was just being able to stay in touch with myself or the world that’s ever changing and just ever busy and like so much commotion and being able to like tap in to myself and to.

You know, feeling my own energy and like, what does Britain need right now? Like not what, who, whoever over there is doing or whatever they need. Yeah. That was so, so helpful. Yeah. That I remember that being a really big one for you. So who were you when you started this program and who have you evolved into, who are you now?

Uh, who am I now? I went on, when I started, I was, I was a victim and I’d say, I’m, I’m not that anymore. I I’d say, um, myself in all parts of myself, um, I feel just.

Mike, struggling to describe this. Um, that’s okay. Your face says a lot. Um, yeah. Uh, I was somebody that lived in a lot of fear when I started, I lived in a place of just surviving every day. Um, and I’d say I’m somebody that’s experiencing every day now. That’s opening to every day instead of closing and like bunkering down for what’s going to happen, I’m opening up and welcoming it.

Hmm. Oh my gosh. I love that so much. So what did you like the most about this coaching program? I love the way that you just pointed to me back to myself every time when I come to you with like, I’m feeling this way, like, I feel anxious. I feel like, like just connected you give like the voo exercise, but I, I really, really love that.

Um, I really love. Like you just, every time we’re so gentle and pointing me back, like, okay, well, what does, like, what do you need from me right now? Point? And just even that, when you’d say that to me, I’m like, oh, okay. So like, I can get this from myself is just the pointing me back to my own, like intuition to my own like sovereignty and like autonomy over my own choice.

Um, and holding me accountable to that too. I really loved that. It was like every time you text, like, okay, Lindsay. Okay. You’re right. Okay. I’ll surrender. I’ll do it. Like I’ll, I’ll flow with it. I won’t continue to build this dam of like, well, I don’t want that to over spell and like drown me. I, I really love.

Like it was just a reminder that my head was still above water. Yeah. Well, I mean, I want to just acknowledge you for, you know, I, I mean, we went some scary places, right. We went to, we went to some really scary places and there were even times when I was like, who I feel like I need to tread carefully, like.

I don’t want to trigger her. I don’t want to emotionally flood her because like, I can’t be there in person, you know? And it was like, I had to put so much trust back in you and on you knowing your limits and on you knowing what was right for you and what wasn’t, and like always reminding you, like, you know, what you need, you know, um, I was talking to another one of my clients before this call and there were times when he, he said that he felt overwhelmed sometimes with the volume of homework that I gave, but.

He trusted himself to know what was like the most relevant for him at that time. And I never was like, oh, you know, you didn’t do your homework. Like shaking my finger at him. You know, because that, I mean that like that’s part of my letting go too, right. Is like, I’m not actually the driver here you are.

You know, I’m just the person. Writing in the passenger seat. And like, maybe I’m holding the map and I’m like looking at the map every once in a while and not even telling you where to turn, but just being like, it might be a good idea to turn here, like, you know, so, um, was so empowering to have that trust, um, that.

Like, I didn’t know how to give to myself, but you embodied and demonstrated for me. And just like letting me like guide my own ship and telling me like that I could do it and believing in me and trusting in me and that. I’m so grateful for that. So,

no, wait, we don’t stop. We feel our feelings here,

the level of trust that I got to experience with you, um, and for myself, but what has changed me for the rest of my life trust, this whole thing is, and so. Uh, deeply connected and just so far healing. And trust then trust that like I could heal and that like somebody that I haven’t even met in person trusted me to heal because I’ve been told for so long, like I was too much, I was too sensitive.

I was too whatever. Like I needed to be put on this medication because like, I couldn’t do it myself. And to be trusted that I can regulate my, my own nervous system. And then I can steer my own ship. What’s life. Yeah. And, and I mean, that reminds me, I almost totally forgot you. You took yourself with using your own sovereignty, your own self trust, your own intuitive guidance.

You took yourself off of a prescription medication while we were working together. And how how’s that going? It’s going so amazing. I had no idea. And I mean, I guess I did like was on it since I was 11 years old. Um, out of like, you know, my, my choice and to have the, like, to feel the actual, like power of my own choice, like with coming off of this.

Um, and I feel it within every cycle of the moon and of my, my own cycle. And, um, I can feel like. The voice getting louder within my own, my own space. Um, because she’s not under that control anymore of that medication. She’s not under the influence and the, the rigid structure of it. She’s free to. Be bleed when she meets.

Yeah. It’s been really powerful and I’ve like been able to, like, I felt like it’s given my voice back to advocate for like, this is what I need right now, because this is what I’m, you know, this is what I’m holding and I can only hold this with my full, in my full power and. Yeah, I’m so freaking proud of you.

So, um, after going through the whole state trauma healing program, you paid what you paid, what would you say is the actual monetary value? Would you put a price on it? I mean, it don’t, don’t be shy. Like if you, if I feel like it was just right or too much, or not enough, like tell me, I’m just curious what you feel like the monetary value of the transformation that you’ve experienced as well.

Yeah. Um, I mean, when I first like received that, the price, um, I remember I had to wait a couple of days because I was like, well, that’s, that’s a lot. I, um, and I waited until I felt that, that deep. Yes. Um, And after having gone through this program, like, I, I, I could’ve paid more. I don’t think I could probably put a price on this program.

Like, I, it was that deeply transformative and I just like your own, like self-love and self-worth, it doesn’t have a price. You can’t have a price. Yeah, no, I can’t. I, so I don’t really have a value because it’s only as much as you’re willing to invest in yourself. Yeah. And I mean, you, I will say this. I want to acknowledge you for being like all in from day one.

Like you were all in, you know, you never, you never like resisted a homework assignment. You never resisted a question like you were all in. And I think that shows like I was ready to surrender before I even knew what surrender was. Yeah. It was like, your body was just aching for it. Yeah. Yeah. I remember like filling out that questionnaire, that in the beginning, like this is like shaking because it was just like, I felt so much was ready to come out and to.

Be felt and I mean, I was feeling it all then.

Oh, I love it. All right. So I have three more questions for you. Well, they’re not really questions. They’re like fill in the blanks. So if I hadn’t done this program, I would still be.dot. It’s still be living in my own victim stories. I’d still be living in my own fear loops. Um, I’d still be questioning myself and trying to find the external fillers that had no place in filling the void that was there that could only be filled by myself.

So doing this work has empowered me to. It’s empowered me to step into my own power, to step into my, my own control over myself and autonomy. And it’s empowered me to surrender and to actually do that from a loving place, instead of giving up and know, like to do it from home. Yeah, so, okay. I actually, sorry, I lied before the fourth question.

Um, so I, you brought up not living in your victim story anymore and, um, You know, as I said earlier, like something I’ve gotten a lot of flack over is saying that like perpetrators deserve to heal too and victims, uh, victims also. But like everyone deserves to heal, right. Regardless of whether you’re a, an abuser or a victim or perpetrator or a victim, like everyone deserves to heal.

And a lot of people, um, you know, have said things like I’m victim blaming I’m victim shaming, like stuff like that. After working with me because obviously their context is like what they read on Instagram. You know, your context is you have this, one-on-one like personal, uh, relationship and experience with me.

So at any point, did you feel like. I was minimizing, like what you had been through and like trying to get you to maybe move past it and just hurry up and forgive your parents. And like, did you feel that way? Did you feel shamed or blamed as a victim, or would you say that like recognizing your victim story and then recognizing the power of your own choice has actually created an even bigger life of possibility for yourself?

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I definitely went into this feeling like life was happening to me instead of, for me. And, um, I felt, I didn’t want to feel like I was being rushed through anything. Um, I felt like I was holding like a hand being like walking through it together and. I, I didn’t feel rushed. And the, the victim stories I had, um, I mean, ultimately helped me move, you know, to where I’m at now.

And, um, but yeah, I, I really felt like so deeply the shift of what I said of. Happening to me and now happening for me. And I love it. All right. Last question. This is a fill in the blank too. If I were speaking to a friend who’s considering doing this program here is what I would want them to know. Um, I’d want them to know that you’re not going to get anywhere by struggling through this program or resisting through the program.

Surrender surrender, surrender. That’s what I’ve told my friends that I’ve recommended this to. It’s been, it’s like go into it, ready to, to, to open, to surrender to the parts that are really scary, but are ultimately just parts of you. Yeah. Was there anything that you like whenever I first talked to you about it or gave it to you as homework assignment or something?

Was there anything that at first glance you were like, Nope, Nope. This is a fuck. No, can’t do it. No, the anger hard for me. I was so scared to do that. And I waited a bit after, like, I just remember thinking about like, Okay. So how am I going to feel this? Like what, like, and I was just really scared that I drown in it.

It was really scared that I drown in it and that I just like, wouldn’t be able to resurface. Um, and so I, yeah, that, that ceremony that I did, that you helped with the template of, um, That was really fucking scary. And even afterwards I was like, did I do that right? Is it okay if I feel this way afterwards?

And it helped lead me into the next really valuable stage of like the grief over it? Um, um, I felt like it was. So fitting, like of just the fear that I was feeling when I went into that ceremony that I just like buried myself under my blankets to have it because that’s what felt safe and like facing that fear was, it was great.

It was great and scary and Ugh. It was a lot. But that’s okay. I’m so fucking proud of you. Oh my gosh. I’m so proud of you. Yeah, I just, I just want to witness how you, um, you just. You surrendered. I mean, really, I think of all the clients I’ve worked with and I see like, you’ve surrendered so much just you surrendered and you surrendered.

And just when you thought you were done, you surrendered some more, you just continually opened and opened and opened and like the, yeah. That embodiment of your feminine of, of opening. And I even remember like, There was one point when you were like, I think I need another ceremony to express this emotion.

And I was like, no Brynne, just like, what would, what would it be possible if you just expressed it in the moment? You know, like what, what have you opened up to it in the moment? And you didn’t save it for later. And you were like, oh, it was the like slack job moment of like, Oh, what it is, that’s what we’re like talking about.

Like, I don’t have to do this big whole thing to like, feel what I’m feeling like. It can just come out when it needs to come out that day that I remember like that I was really, really in that grief, um, the day that I was at work and, um, I was driving home and I started to cry and I pulled over for myself for the first time, instead of just driving home and endangering myself, I, I pulled over and I cried and I cried hard and I cried.

True.

I’d like to share the story about, um, the bees that like happened during this, this time. Um, when I had finished that anger ceremony and we were moving on to grief and we were doing the grief of the mother and the grief of the father and it’s tradition, um, for beekeepers, um, like myself to go out to the hive and.

Tell the BS of the loss of the grief that you’re experiencing, because they’re the messengers and the guardians of the spirit realm and of the other worlds. And, um, they’ll watch over the family of, um, what. They’re grieving. So I went out and it was a beautiful sunny day on the 3rd of November, I think.

And, um, I gathered flowers for the bees and I sat with them and I told them about. Like the loss of my parents. And I told them about the grief that I was letting come through and I watched them fly into that in and out of the hive. And, um, I watched them also carrying out their dead from the fire. And I remember watching them, bringing out these little dying bees and laying them in front of the hive because bees are extremely clean and don’t like, keep any they’re very, very sanitary.

One of the most standard. Pure things we have in nature. And I remember watching that and, um, the tears flowed for the, for them, but it really spoke to what I was trying to do for myself. The parts of myself, I was trying to carry out to keep my own inner gold pure. And so I, I swept all of them up onto a leaf and I laid them out and.

I grieved them. I grieved my parents and I went inside and that night, um, a frost fell over the land and all of the bees were outside. And so they, the hive died. And, um, I remember feeling so just, I re I landed on the bottom. I landed like in the depth generally. And, um, I remember like going outside to check on them and the hive was still, and I was overwhelmed with that sadness, but also this, this little golden shimmer of light of I get to harvest this.

Like they, they may be gone, but I’m harvesting this, this honey that they left for me. And it came through in that dream of sometimes when we harvest that light and we want to share it with others, sometimes that’s not understood and it’s not understood how to be received for, from those that we want so desperately to give it to.

But it’s still ours and it’s still medicine. And that medicine of surrendering to it, to surrendering to my loss and to my grief and to my medicine, really, like, I felt like that experience just totally encompassed and like, That’s how I felt through this entire experience. Gosh, I literally was like full body tingling the entire time you were sharing that story.

That is like, I know within my soul and my bones, that that is true, you know, and, and the way that. Like nature showed up for you and this the way your dreams showed up for you during this like girl, if anybody on the universe was supported during a healing process, it was you for these last 12 weeks.

Like the universe. I mean, I say this a lot and people don’t get it. The universe wants us to be well. Right. Even though she’s really not, she doesn’t often sugarcoat it. Nope. She’s very straightforward. Yeah. The, that surrendering of the loss of the hive to have their medicine that I, I took all through, I would take a spoonful a day of that funny and, um, Say about the wax.

Um, so I just had the wax to that. I had it, it really did feel like, like that medicine of the soul surrender of letting go and acceptance. Well, I’m so proud of you. I’m like, I’m so proud of you and of the work you’ve done. And, um, I know I won’t be coaching you again this next time around, but, um, you and I are gonna work together in the future on some things, and I’ll just leave it at that.

All right, Brian, thanks so much for being here. 📍 Thank you, Lindsay, for having me, this has been so sacred and. So special. Likewise, same. Couldn’t agree more.

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