Catch Anna LeBaron on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] Welcome back to the #PirateBroadcast™ here every day, 7:00 AM, Arizona time, Monday through Friday. And if you have something that you enjoy in this program or any of the programs, love to have you share it, subscribe to the YouTube channel, all that social stuff, all the social shenanigans that allow us to be visible and see and share things. And welcome back. We have another pirate that has been here before. If you want to hear her story, you can go back in the archives. Anna, welcome back.
Anna LeBaron: [00:00:44] Thank you so much, Russ. It's a pleasure to be here. The level of shenanigans is off the chart and I love every bit of it.
Russ Johns: [00:00:53] It's been a little while. However, I know that we've all kind of gone through some transformation and adjustments in the last 18 months or so. And I just wanted to talk about that because your whole life has been about that and you have really been a solid mentor to so many in being able to put your story out there and make sure people understand that what you start with isn't necessarily how you have to end.
Anna LeBaron: [00:01:23] That is very true. For those who haven't heard the first broadcast and heard my life story, I'm going to give the little short version of it. I grew up in a polygamist cult. My father was known as the Mormon Manson because he would have people killed that would leave his cult. So he was notorious in the seventies and eighties until the Mexican police and FBI finally caught up with him, tried, convicted him and put him away forever in prison. He died in prison, not too long after that. And that death of his, which we could talk about because it's like a Jeffrey Epstein kind of thing. I don't believe that he died of heart disease like it says on his death certificate. But I'm glad he died because his death created a pathway and it opened up just a little tiny crack that allowed me to slip through and get out. And I was able to run away. And I didn't realize I was leaving a cult because I didn't know I was in a cult. Usually people that are in cults don't know they're in a cult. And I was the same way. I didn't know until years later when I found a book that had been written about my family called Prophet of Blood. For those who want to just go down the rabbit hole, you can go Google my father's name, Ervil, it's like evil, but with an R. Ervil LeBaron and you'll fall down a rabbit hole that you might never come out of, so be warned. There's also on YouTube, a made for TV movie that you can watch in its entirety called Prophet of Evil. So those were the circumstances that I was born and raised in. And until my father died and created that little opening for me to get out and run away from home that was the life that I was destined for.
Russ Johns: [00:03:15] And now it's a completely different life.
Anna LeBaron: [00:03:17] And now it's a very different life. When you're born and raised and groomed to become a sister wife, which is exactly what my destiny was, then you are taught to suppress your emotions, your wants, your needs, desires, everything gets just stuffed and suppressed. And you're taught how to not express that emotion, especially the negative emotions, because as a sister, wife, you're not allowed to be jealous for sure. Now the men can be jealous all they want. But women aren't allowed that. And so when you're taught to suppress all of that negative emotion as Dr. Brene Brown talks about, she goes, you cannot selectively numb your emotions. When you numb the negative ones, you're also numbing the positive ones. And so you're left with this life, with this little bandwidth of safe and approved emotions that you get to explore. And I grew up only expressing the safe, approved emotions. I had no access to grief, to any kind of anger, any kind of sadness, none of that was allowed. But that also cut me off from joy and excitement and energy and enthusiasm, even though those were allowed, you didn't have access to them because you were put off.
Russ Johns: [00:04:49] So after you left and you had an opportunity to see what was taking place and realized that you had the opportunity to expand on those emotions. What transformation took place that allowed you to open up and broaden your emotional range.
Anna LeBaron: [00:05:09] It took me going into professional therapy and it happened as an adult when I was in my mid twenties with three kids already in tow. I had a nightmare that was triggered by my past and triggered by some things that I had seen that reminded me of my past and I had a horrible nightmare that I told a friend about. The kind where, somebody comes in and shoots, in cold blood. That kind of thing doesn't just you wake up in the morning and it leaves your mind. I told my friend about it as her three boys and my three boys were playing one day and I didn't think anything of it, but she said to me, Anna, at your church, do they have pastoral counseling or any kind of lay ministry counseling or anything? I said, no, I don't think so. And she goes, at my church, they do. If I make an appointment for you, will you go? And I'm like confused thinking, do I need to go to an appointment? And I said, yes. And she made the appointment. And then she said do you need me to watch your boys for you? Or do you need me to drive you to the appointment? Like she knew I needed help and I think she could sense my confusion and kind of lack of maybe as much commitment to that appointment as she might've wanted as my friend. And so she made sure that I got to that appointment. I spent an hour for the first time in my life talking to absolute stranger about my family of origin. I'm sure that poor lady needs therapy herself. But when I finished that appointment, she was a lay minister, counselor. And so she said at the end of that hour, the kind of help you need is not something I can offer you. So she knew that I needed professional help. And then that began a five-year journey with one therapist who amazingly, coincidentally, if you want to call it that she did her thesis on cults. And I sat in with her for five years and learned how to express my emotions in her care. It took five years to do what she called, peeling back the layers of an onion. And so to your listeners. I know that we're like, in this real deep, heavy topic here, but I just want your listeners to know that you don't have to be born into a polygamous cult to experience trauma, abuse, neglect, abandonment, all the harsh realities that afflict like people, the world over. And so if you're listening and you've experienced those things that have altered the way you think about life and relationships and love and your work, and if you're struggling in any way where there's like a pattern developing where you can see I'm having struggle in this area and it probably relates to some things that happened to me in my past. Find a friend.
Russ Johns: [00:08:13] There is help out there.
Anna LeBaron: [00:08:14] Yeah. I'm so glad that people are normalizing now going to therapy. It's not a stigma. There's no stigma attached to going to a therapist and talking to a professional counselor.
Russ Johns: [00:08:28] I find comfort in even talking to a friend. It doesn't even have to be a counselor.
Anna LeBaron: [00:08:33] The beautiful part of this is that it's telling our stories where the healing comes from and telling our stories as Brene Brown, I quote her a lot so be prepared, Brene Brown says, tell your story to people who have earned the right to hear your story. So close friend, over a cup of coffee that you say, gosh, this thing happened to me. And that even just saying, yeah, it's probably time for me to tell my story. Just coming into agreement with that saying, yeah, I think it might be time opens up the universe, God, whatever you want to, whatever you want to call that divine assistance, divine resources, divine help. It opens up that pathway for you. And so once you come into agreement that yeah, I think it's time, then begin to look for the opportunities that the universe is going to bring your way. I know God did that for me.
Russ Johns: [00:09:36] I love that.
Anna LeBaron: [00:09:36] And there's no shame in it. The only thing that can come about is good from that. It's goodness that comes from that. It's joy that comes from that. I was able like the depth of which I was willing to go in counseling to express all that grief and trauma that was locked up inside of me. The depth to which I was willing to go in counseling is the height of the joy and real actual life. So the depth that you're willing to go to address what happened is the height of the good stuff you get to experience on the other side. And I went to the depths of hell literally in some cases and therefore I get to experience the heights that I'm experiencing now and living now. And I want that for a lot of people, for everyone who's experienced trauma.
Russ Johns: [00:10:37] Was that what led you to become a part-time minister as well?
Anna LeBaron: [00:10:42] Yeah, so I'm currently a part-time chaplain and it's my experiences in, what do you call it? Providing compassionate care. I've received that. I've received compassionate care from so many people in my life. Now I'm not a theologian. I don't have a theology degree or anything like that, but I have a doctoral degree in receiving compassionate care from others. And you can only give away what you've received, what you own your own self. And so I've received that compassionate care from professionals, from people, pastors, ministers, counselors, all of these people that God brought my way to help me on my healing journey. And I received it and I've taken it in. It's become a part of me. So now this can flow out of me as a result. One of my mentors says that, we receive from the environment, from God, from everywhere, from around us, we receive, we contain it and then we broadcast.
Russ Johns: [00:11:47] I'm totally on board with that one.
Anna LeBaron: [00:11:49] And he says, we're all broadcasting something. It's whatever's inside of you when it gets squeezed like a toothpaste container, whatever's inside of you comes out. So when the squeeze is happening and whatever's coming out, if it's not something that you can bless the lives of others with and improve the lives of others with, if it's coming out and it's devastating or damaging people around you, you can know it's time to get some help. And there's no shame in that. There's no shame in saying, hey, I need help.
Russ Johns: [00:12:21] A lot of people don't know how to reach out for help, or they don't know where to reach out to help.
Anna LeBaron: [00:12:26] What I'm saying is if you have a trusted friend, you can go to them and say, hey, I need to talk to you about some things. It's a spiritual word confess, but what that means is just bringing to light, bringing from the inside to the outside and bringing it into the light. And just saying that to a friend, I need to get some help about this. It's pretty serious.
Russ Johns: [00:12:52] It's very serious.
Anna LeBaron: [00:12:53] It opens you up to those resources coming to you.
Russ Johns: [00:12:57] What it really makes me realize, as we're talking through this and you're sharing some of these details, nobody is alone in this world. We all have the opportunity. Now we don't always choose to take the opportunity, but we all have the opportunity to be able to expand our emotional range, good and bad because you can't have one without the other. And also you have the opportunity to increase your level of joy about being in the world with #gratitude and being able to share that story. And like you said, squeeze it out of us. What is it that we're holding back from? And a lot of people struggle with that because it's like what will people think? The judgment will take, it's like everything. People are going to judge you regardless of what you do. And it's a positive or a negative. It's just something that takes place. So accept it. I love the statement that faith and fear both requires to believe in something we can't see.
Anna LeBaron: [00:14:05] Oh my gosh. That is incredible. I've never heard that one before. Wow.
Russ Johns: [00:14:10] And so leaning into either one requires us to let go and really adjust our ideas about what life is about.
Anna LeBaron: [00:14:21] That requires the level of trust that if you grew up in a childhood or family of origin, where there was none of that to be happy, then probably just thinking about these things is going to create some anxiety on your part. And that's why I say, to tell your story to people who have earned the right to hear your story. I'm over here now. Like I began counseling in 1995. That was, if I'm trying to map this out. So what we're looking at 25, 26 years now. I'm over here on the other side of it where I have processed it and I have healed, I don't advocate people who have trauma, who have not healed to go on a broadcast like this and spill their guts to the world that can be retraumatizing and compounding the problem. But when I say tell your story to people who have earned the right, that's a close friend, a mentor, a counselor, a professor just whoever it is that comes to mind. And in your mind that feels like a safe person. That's where you start. And then counseling is something that a lot of people put a lot of mystery around it. There's not a lot of mystery to it. It's telling your story to somebody who is regulated by the industry to not divulge your private information. And it's telling your story where the healing happens. Most counselors sit across from you and just listen. And that's their main role is just to listen so that you can externalize the things that have been locked in. And so there's not a lot of mystery to it. So if you live in a city where there's a college or university that has a counseling program, they offer really very inexpensive counselors because these students have to get their practice. You can go and yeah, dump all your stuff on these students and let them practice on you because the point of it is to get it out and to have somebody who's a compassionate listener. On the other side of that, it's that witnessing, somebody witnessing what happened to you because the people that perpetrated whatever it was, they weren't the compassionate witness. They know what happened, but they're not compassionate witness for you to be able to talk about what happened with, to somebody who actually cares about you as a human. So there's another person in the world who can help you process that. Then you get to re-experience those things through the eyes of an adult. Me as an adult, there's a part of my therapy where I have talked to as an adult Anna talked to little Anna. And in my mind, little Anna is about seven years old, which is where my book opens up when the things really started to go downhill for me.
So adult Anna talked to little Anna and adult Ann a knows what little Anna needed to hear during those very difficult moments. And so when in therapy, I'm re-experiencing those things. I get to now see them through the eyes of an adult that can talk to that small child that's still in there kicking and screaming and saying, this was wrong. This is wrong. This should not be happening. I should not be experiencing this. I get to be the one to, I say, grow up that child, to finish raising that child that's inside of me. And like I say, she's feisty. She has all this vigor inside of her that got squashed that now gets to get expressed in a safe place. And that is part of the healing journey. I hope
Russ Johns: [00:18:07] I want to give a shout out to a few people that have joined us. Marcia, welcome back, hope you're back in town. Love to catch up with you. Glad to be back with the pirate family. Elize, good morning, Russ, pirates. Martin's here. He said, hey all. Thanks for connecting, Martin. I appreciate it. He says, wow.
Anna LeBaron: [00:18:30] Oh, Martin.
Russ Johns: [00:18:32] Russ Hedge says good morning. Martin says, regardless of source, repression of natural census feelings, negativity affects healthy mental growth and development. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And happens in repressive homes or in countries with repressive regimes. I think we're seeing that around the world, even with COVID, there's a lot of pressure and I think we're seeing the challenges with that are showing up in different ways. Hi Russ Johns and Anna. Hello, Cathi Spooner is here. Thank you so much for joining us Cathi. Good morning, pirates. Martin says fear is as real as faith. It is processed by the same part of our minds and our hearts. Yep. True story. And Cathi Spooner says, yes, choose safe people first. A hundred percent. I want to talk about transformation because you left that situation you grew up in, you found the right people, you move past it, you grew your family, you raised your family, you taught them. And now you're going on to a master's program. Talk about your master's program and some of the adventures that you're going on to next.
Anna LeBaron: [00:19:56] I have applied to a master's degree program in spiritual formation and leadership through a friend's university in Wichita, Kansas. I will know at the end of this month, whether I've been accepted to begin this fall or if I have to wait until next fall.
Russ Johns: [00:20:13] So all the pirates out there need to send Anna some positive vibes.
Anna LeBaron: [00:20:18] Yes, please. For this fall. I get to say what I want and then sometimes I get it. And then if it's not until next Fall, I'm going to take that as a sign from the universe that I need to take some time to rest and recuperate and recover. Cause right now I'm in the process of selling my house, moving in with my son and daughter-in-law and my two year old granddaughter so that I can basically be a part-time yaya which is what I call my,,, that's my grandma name is Yaya, cause I'm way too young to be called granny. Sorry. So I'm going to be part time yaya to my two year old granddaughter, both of them work. They have crazy schedules and so I get to just be there to fill in the gaps. And re-explore the parenting role, but from a really fun place, we were just talking last night. How bedtime routines when mom and dad put the child to bed are so different than when Yaya puts river to bed. They say it's play time. So having so much fun because when I was raising my kids, I had five kids and it's a lot of pressure on you to like, raise them. And you want to raise them right. So I did my best, but that was a lot of pressure. And now there's zero pressure and all the fun. So this is a very big transitioning period in my life. I've lived in house for 16 years now, finished raising my kids mostly as a single mom in this house. And, even planted a tree in my backyard when I first moved here and thought to myself, I'm going to grow old in this house. And one day my grandchildren will climb it. My two year old granddaughter has a swing out there. She's not quite claiming it, just like I was saying earlier, you know what you are saying and envisioning for your life, that has a way of taking root and taking hold. No pun intended. That tree took root and took hold and it routed me and my children here. This is the first house I've ever lived in for more than a year just about and we've been here 16 years. It's one of my biggest accomplishments in life. That all five of my children were graduated from the same high school. And that I gave them roots. I gave them a hometown. I gave them a place to call home, which I don't have. It's not how I was raised. So it is possible to change the trajectory of your life and grow and outgrow the person that your family of origin set you on the trajectory or on that path to become. It's possible to outgrow that through healing and through therapy and finding your own path and really becoming the person that you were created to be. In my mind, the person that I was created to be the personality, the DNA, everything that I'm innately designed to be, how I'm hard wired from when I was knit together in my mother's womb, how I was hardwired is now in full expression. A lot of that got short-circuited, I say that seed was planted in. Hard soil doesn't grow, it just sits there and waits until some thing that waters the ground and nurtures it. And, they say that things to grow need a lot of fertilizer, which is like manure. Manure is a great fertilizer and so I had plenty of that in my life. But also tender care that when it started, when that seed got to be nurtured and watered and got to begin growing, the full expression of who I am finally gets to come to bear on the world. And, when you plant an apple seed in the ground. You don't see apples next week.
Russ Johns: [00:24:00] No, it takes time.
Anna LeBaron: [00:24:03] Eight to 10 years before you're going to see an apple on that tree. And somebody has to care for that tree before it will bear fruit. And the first year you're not going to get a lot, the second year you might not get very much either, but then after that watch out.
Russ Johns: [00:24:19] And I believe everybody has a gift. Everybody has something that they bring a value to the world and not everybody has the opportunity or the ability to share that story. And that's one of the reasons I want to continue pursuing the #PirateBroadcast™and sharing people like yourself and sharing this story that hope is out there, transformation, you can move into a different place in your life, and there are different answers and there are different results. Search for your story, search for your gifts and expand yourself. So you're speaking now. You're starting to take on a few more events and act on that?
Anna LeBaron: [00:25:05] Yes, COVID shut all that down. I say that, 2020 now, 2021 is the longest decade of our lives, shut all that down for a period of time. And now it's starting to open back up and I love it. It's the thing that I was born and created to do. One of my mentors said, freedom isn't just the overcoming addiction or not smoking or not drinking or not doing drugs. Freedom isn't the absence of something. Freedom is becoming the person you were created to be. Everything that was already planted inside of me, all it needed to begin to grow, was that nurturing. That seed getting watered and nurtured and that's what happened.
Russ Johns: [00:25:53] So as a speaker, how do you like people to reach out to you.
Anna LeBaron: [00:25:57] You can reach out through my website. It's AnnaLeBaron.com. You can reach out to me through social media whatever. There's a lot of ways on my website. You just do the contact me and it goes straight to my emails.
Russ Johns: [00:26:08] Thank you so much for joining us again and giving us an update on your life and your mission and your journey and all of the positive things that you're doing out there in the world.
Anna LeBaron: [00:26:16] Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure as always.
Russ Johns: [00:26:20] Thank you. And everyone, please. If you found this even a spark of inspiration like I have, and you want to be able to share with someone that you care about, share this story. The podcast, the broadcast, the story, the transcription, all of that stuff is available on Russ Johns.
Anna LeBaron: [00:26:38] And if you decide to read the book, The Polygamist's Daughter, it's available on audible anywhere books are sold. If you decide to read it, make sure and tag me in a post on your social media so that I can take a picture of it with you and see how you're enjoying it or whatever.
Russ Johns: [00:26:57] We should probably start up... I was accepted into Amazon live so we could, yeah, we could get on Amazon live and talk about your book and then people could buy it.
Anna LeBaron: [00:27:07] I didn't even know Amazon Amazon Live was a thing.
Russ Johns: [00:27:10] It's a thing.
Anna LeBaron: [00:27:11] I will have to look into that. How much fun would that be?
Russ Johns: [00:27:14] That would be fun. Wouldn't it?
Anna LeBaron: [00:27:15] Let's do it. You can lead the way and then I can join.
Russ Johns: [00:27:20] It sounds like a plan. We could have a blast and do that. So let's let's work on that one. Okay. Pirates. Thank you so much for being here. I love the fact that you're here. I love the fact that you're listening to this. If you're listening in the future, all the abundance and #gratitude for this community. I love you. And because kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. So you enjoy the day.
Anna LeBaron: [00:27:45] All right. Bye-bye.
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