Catch Erin Mahone 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. And let's get this party.
Russ Johns: What is happening? It's a beautiful day, Erin. Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™and becoming a pirate today.
Erin Marhone: [00:00:28] So excited, arghhh mateys.
Russ Johns: [00:00:31] Arghh mateys, you know, it's interesting because I know you as a speaker and pulling this all together and being transparent and we all have busy lives and busy things happening and things are changing and evolving.
And one of the things we were talking about before the show is, hey, this is life. This is what we're living in right now. This is what we're doing. And so being a speaker on zoom or having groups and guests and talking about this on live, it's just part of what we're doing right now. And it's okay. It's okay. So for those that don't know, you take a deep breath and share a little bit about who Erin is and what brought you here?
Erin Marhone: [00:01:19] Well, first and foremost, I am a mom and a wife and a mom of three preteens and teenagers. So just moments ago before we started the little thing popped up on my laptop that said your battery is running low.
Making me realize that it was not plugged in because at least one of my children, numerous times a day, wants to use my laptop for something for school. So you know, this is a window into the world that we live in right now. And the fact that resilience and flexibility and learning to go with the flow have had to be skills that either we honed and got better at over the last year, or we had to learn them real quick or we were going to be, you know, in a, in a lot of trouble. So my name is Erin Mahone. Thank you so much, Russ, for having me today. I am an author a mental health counselor or a speaker. In a podcast or on the mental health news radio network. Mental health is my entire life. 365 degrees. Me, my family, my job, my community. I am a warrior for radical self-acceptance for storytelling, for learning, how to own who we are. In all the muck and magnificence that we possess and to making our stories work for us, as opposed to constantly feeling like we're in a battle with our true selves. And we're trying to pretend like nobody will ever find out. I spent a really long time trying to pretend like I was perfect and not to get my quote unquote, crazy all over everybody. And then one day I just decided that it was a little bit too much work and a little too exhausting. And so I decided to step into the light and and start telling my story and start helping other people to tell theirs as well. And I am the creator of the, if you could see me project, which I'm not sure if you can see. If you could see stories for change. We are an organization dedicated to creating acceptance and helping people retell their personal narrative in a way that makes them feel proud of who they are and where they've come from and all that they've survived. And that's it, that was a lot of words in a really short period of time.
Russ Johns: [00:03:36] One of the things that we love to talk about on the #PirateBroadcast™ and share, hopefully inspire a few people in the world is this idea that everyone has a unique gift. Everyone has a unique talent and everybody has a way of showing up in the world that is uniquely them.
And when you're able to accept who you are, how you live, how you show up and what gifts you bring to the table, it's much easier to get in alignment with what, what that actually is versus pretending to be. Who you think somebody imagines that you should be, which creates anxiety, which you've talked about a lot in your past, this anxiety of holding it together with duct tape, you know, it's one of the stories that you bring to the table.
It's like, okay, let's just put some baling, twine and duct tape to this scenario and fix it. And it's really, when you get comfortable with who you are, It makes life so much easier. Don't you agree?
Erin Marhone: [00:04:44] Yes. It's a work in progress, always. You know there is a story. The duct tape story is a real story that I tell on stages.
And it's in my book. If you could see me life motherhood and the pursuit of sanity which is a collection of narrative essays about my life as a child of my family, my life as a mother and my life as a person, who is trying really hard to accept and understand the reality of my own mental health challenges, which, you know, manifest themselves in in anxiety and depression and perfectionism and extreme self-criticism and cause me to do ridiculous, sometimes embarrassing things that I have decided to use as fodder and content for my career. But I do that really intentionally the reason why I tell those stories, the reason why I share all of this is because I am so inclined toward a shame.
And shame is this really nasty monster that tells us we're not worthy of being alive or having success or being loved, or any of the things that we all inherently desire and shame is different than guilt, but shame comes to us a lot of times from our trauma, the traumas that we've experienced throughout our lives.
And I decided that. The thing that I needed to do was to take those stories and use them to prove my worth and my value and the good that exists in me. Externally to share them as opposed to internalizing them and using them to fuel that nasty monster in the back of my head that tells me I suck.
And that nobody's going to care about what I have to say. The duct tape story was humiliating. I certainly hope that you audience seek it out and find it. It has to do with clothes and undergarments and all kinds of bodily changes that occur after having children and coming to accept where we are and who we are and what is important, what people really care about.
What's valuable for us in terms of trying to earn our place in our professional lives and our circles. And I was valuing kind of things that were causing me a lot of stress and nobody else really cared about. I got an awesome story out of it.
Russ Johns: [00:07:31] I think those examples, those kinds of examples, and the reason I brought it up is because I think it's important for us to understand that so many times people imagine they have to be a certain way. And when they just relax and say, here I am, you know, I've lived a long time. These wrinkles I've earned from laughing, these bruises and breaks and strains and pains. I've lived from living life. I've accumulated this body and this person I am through experience and not all experiences are perfect.
Not all experiences are welcome. However, they are my experiences and except me who I am, and let's just get along in the world. And I think by seeing that and sharing that other people can say, yeah I can relate to that. I want to be able to do that. And sometimes it's just a decision that we have to make to say I'm surrendering to the fact that this is who I am and I'm accepting it and loving who I am. And it's not always easy and it is a process and it's a lifelong process for all of us. So if you're not feeling perfect, it's because we're not perfect.
Erin Marhone: [00:08:49] Right. You're perfectly imperfect
Russ Johns: [00:08:51] Yeah. Perfectly imperfect.
And I'm perfectly okay with being imperfect.
Erin Marhone: [00:08:57] Right. Right. Well, and I'm not inherently perfectly okay with being imperfect. And so it was important for me, especially as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a professional in the world, understand where all of that mess comes from and where all of those messages come from.
And to say I am also a work in progress. I've decided to sort of work this publicly so that other people feel like there's a path or a bridge from where they are in that sort of dark shame filled space of, I think I'm not what I'm supposed to be.
And I got a hustle, you know, Bernay Brown talks about hustling for your worthiness and there is so much, it's exhausting, exhausting. It's exhausting because you're working against yourself. And your nature and the reality that no matter how hard we try to present something to the world, it is what it is, and we're never going to be perfect. We're never going to be wrapped in gold and back lit all the time. And you know, like it just, it doesn't.
Russ Johns: [00:10:25] It's like sometimes you have to run for the computer power. You gotta turn on your lights, your mic isn't working. All of these things. Hey, I want to give a shout out to some of the people in the pirate community here, Lorrie, the queen of green doing good stuff. Good morning pirates. I love you. Thank you so much for being here. Patrick is here.
Good morning from LinkedIn. Sheila Chamberlain says hello. And she also says yes, acceptance, acceptance. I love it. Some of the conversations that she has a beautiful people here. Leslie Martinez. Good morning pirates.
Erin Marhone: [00:11:03] Good morning.
Russ Johns: [00:11:04] Thank you so much for being here. Leslie. I love it here. Yeah. Sheila says perfectly imperfect. You know, I was thinking that I was talking to Sarah Elkins.
She's a pirate we were talking about how we get to a certain age where our body just aches and it's like I don't have a limb or a piece of my body that I haven't damaged at some point in time, you know? And so you just kind of move a little differently, a little slow, and it's evidence that we're living.
It's evidence that life exists. You know, I'm a caregiver for mom and she's moved here to Arizona to care for, and she's like, I should be getting better. It's like, Hmm. Well, you know, You're getting older and that's part of life, mom, you know, some things you don't do the same things at 80 as you did when you were 20. It's just not the way it works.
Erin Marhone: [00:12:03] No. Let me tell ya. It's a, it's a bitter pill. There's no question I mean, I'm in my early forties. I'm cool with telling everybody how old I am, but I got run over by a car when I was 16 and broke my pelvis in five places and have a lot...you know, so my body is a little older than it's supposed to be .
Russ Johns: [00:12:28] Mileage.
Erin Marhone: [00:12:30] That my friend is an understatement. And you know, as a result of that especially the last year being a little bit more sedentary than I think we're all used to. And you know, it's some mornings I'm waking up and I'm like, oh, whose body is this?
I don't, I don't like this very much.
Russ Johns: [00:12:49] I broke my hip last year and it's still not quite where it needs to be. You know, it's like, okay. And it's like broken arms, broken legs, broken ankles, you know, wrists, elbows, whatever. It's okay. It just adds a little bit of entertainment in the mornings.
Erin Marhone: [00:13:10] I think you have a very positive attitude. Cause I sometimes I wake up cussing.
Russ Johns: [00:13:15] Oh no. That's like, feel the feels.
Erin Marhone: [00:13:21] Exactly, exactly. I want to own all of it.
Russ Johns: [00:13:24] And being positive and being a speaker and attempting to be setting an example for others, even if it's not perfect in your own life, you don't have to be perfect to share the journey and sometimes the imperfections along the way, and some of the things that we, we can laugh at looking back, only when you're looking back, right.
Erin Marhone: [00:13:48] It's hard to tell the story while you're living the story.
Russ Johns: [00:13:50] Yeah. Well, it's like I tell a lot of people I'm glad the first 40 years of my life were not on the internet, so okay. Trust me. There's some beautiful stories, however, I'm glad they're not documented.
Erin Marhone: [00:14:07] That's right. No I feel for our kids.
You know, having their whole lives sort of broadcast in this way. I definitely see in the kids that I work with as a counselor and in my own children that kids are a lot more conscious of and afraid of making mistakes.
Russ Johns: [00:14:29] Sheri Lally says, battle scars, show we made it through.
Erin Marhone: [00:14:34] That's right. That's right.
Russ Johns: [00:14:36] We get older till we don't get older. Right?
Erin Marhone: [00:14:39] That's right.
Russ Johns: [00:14:41] Yeah, I think there's an acute awareness with kids right now and growing up because of the abundance of information and feedback and this feedback loop of how they fit into the world and how they want to fit in the world. And I call it the Instagram lifestyle and it's like, nobody is perfect. And it's just really stressful for some people that feel like they're not enough. And it's like, you are enough you are exactly where you need to be. And it's really hard for a lot of people to accept that. So how do you as a counselor, first of all, how do you convey that message in a way that is accepted?
Erin Marhone: [00:15:26] Well, I think no matter who you are or how old you are, it takes time to sort of retrain the functions inside of your brain. Right. So I wish that I could say I'm a counselor who can say something one time and it changes everyone's life.
Russ Johns: [00:15:43] Right.
Erin Marhone: [00:15:43] You know, change is a function of showing up on a regular basis, making different choices and acknowledging that you can make different choices. So what I do as a counselor, no matter who I'm talking to is ask them how where they are, is serving where they want to be? Is this getting you where you want to go?
You know, because I love that song or that line from that song don't show down me and I won't show down you. And so understanding that everybody's life is curated to a degree on social media and while you're comparing yourself to someone else because of the way that they have chosen to show you who they are. Remember that you're doing exactly the same thing. So if what you're sharing, isn't real, most likely a hundred percent of what they're sharing isn't real either.
Russ Johns: [00:16:41] Right.
Erin Marhone: [00:16:42] So just helping people to get perspective. And to remember that we didn't learn anything up to the point where we started using social media, we didn't learn anything.
I'm trying to move my thing so you can't see my family wandering around behind me.
Russ Johns: [00:16:57] Life.
Erin Marhone: [00:16:58] Do you know what? I have a window behind me that my children use a dry erase markers to make art on. You know, it's just, it's all of the things, this little corner it's lovely though, and filled with beautiful, natural light, but you don't want to see the rest of the room.
Russ Johns: [00:17:15] You're here. So it's all good.
Erin Marhone: [00:17:17] That's all that matters right? Exactly. So, I think that in any situation, it's just a matter of what self-compassion tools do you have? What is the message? Are you beating yourself up because you think you're supposed to, or are you deciding that my new path is radical self-acceptance or radical self-love or I am who I am.
And I'm going to be as kind to myself as I would be to a friend on a daily basis. And then just sort of reminding myself all the time, like, oh wait, are you talking to yourself in the way that you would talk to your friend who was having a hard time or who was experiencing self-doubt? It's all really simple stuff that we just have to remember, constantly remember to implement over and over again and accept, especially if you have a really loud self critic. I have a really loud self-critic and it's a process.
Russ Johns: [00:18:15] Well, I was thinking about curation and the idea that even the loud self-critic, you could take a dry erase, like you're talking about on the window.
Erin Marhone: [00:18:26] Right.
Russ Johns: [00:18:27] Put it on your mirror in the bathroom. So when you wake up in the morning, you remind yourself the inside critic that you are enough, you know, write out whatever you want to put out there that reminds you that you're going to be okay. It might be a struggle. It might be a challenge. Today might be difficult.
And those, those difficulties are what bring us together as an individual, you know, our accumulation of our experiences, who we become.
Erin Marhone: [00:18:58] Right.
Russ Johns: [00:18:58] And if we're curating ourself and we're looking in the mirror and saying be the best you can be today or be better than you were yesterday or whatever it happens to be for you. You know, sometimes it takes daily reminders to be okay.
Erin Marhone: [00:19:15] And depending upon the magnitude of how you experienced those voices, I mean, there's a humanness, you know, I love to create, make up words, humanness is a spectrum. Okay. And so for some people , it's really not as complicated or as difficult to have those daily reminders and internalize those messages for other people.
It's really, really challenging. And the dark voices is very loud. And what I say is it's okay to take the day off. It's okay to take a break. It's okay to take a nap. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to say, hey, I can't be this today. Today I can't be positive. I need a nap. I need a rest. I need to retreat so that I can show up again tomorrow.
Russ Johns: [00:20:07] Yeah.
Erin Marhone: [00:20:07] I think that sometimes we engage in this sort of toxic positivity that says, you can just do it. You can, and you can do it, you can do it. Right.
Russ Johns: [00:20:20] And sometimes you need to take a day off.
Erin Marhone: [00:20:23] That's right. Your can do it doesn't mean that... you know, I used to think that I had to lighten up my life every day and I mean even in a healthy place, I have panic attacks on a regular basis. Right. So I had to learn how to make it okay for myself to do for myself, what I needed not just what I was supposed to do or what was socially acceptable, but what do I need? And then how do I care for myself by learning to advocate for myself in the world? How do I set those appropriate boundaries? How do I say no? When I want to say no so that I can say yes when I want to say yes.
Russ Johns: [00:21:09] And you have the energy to say yes.
Erin Marhone: [00:21:11] Exactly. Bingo. We just said it exactly the same time.
Russ Johns: [00:21:15] So I want to say there's a lot of people that, you know, Michael Baker says you know, authenticity matters. It's part of who you are sharing, what you have been through to get through what you had to, and sometimes, like you said, there's not always times where you want to, but you have to. Nick says morning pirates from Canada up North stay warm and dry. Nick. Thank you so much, Russ in from Oregon. Thank you so much. Oh, here's a Hiett says he uses tapping to address the self. I use this daily from Houston. Thanks for adding that Hiett really appreciate you. Sometimes twice a day, he says.
Erin Marhone: [00:22:06] I've been tapping for a long time. I'm really glad to see that it's become a part of therapeutic processes in therapy settings. It's very cool.
Russ Johns: [00:22:14] Absolutely. And Russ Hedge says such a great message, Erin, that can be so hard to do. Sometimes we need to rest and recharge. Yeah. And then Louis says, good morning, Erin and Russ from Los Angeles have a groovy weekend. You too, Louis. Thank you so much for being here. Then Michael comes back with, do what you need to do for you and not as everyone else expects you to.
And that's what you're talking about, Erin, you're talking about the pacing of this is what I need for myself. You know, some extroverts get energy from being in crowds and some people need to take a break and be by themselves to kind of recharge and recover. And it's really about how to read yourself and be self-aware.
A lot of people are talking about self-awareness right now. And is there anything that you can add or offer or assist people with in the community that could offer us some ideas or thoughts that would allow us to increase and improve our self-awareness?
Erin Marhone: [00:23:23] So self-awareness can only come when we are open to hearing the message. If you're constantly running, constantly pushing, constantly immersed in the noise of the external world, it is very difficult to be able to hear your own inner voice. It is very, and the real inner voice, not the self-critic like when you're able to get quiet, whether it is through tapping or through meditation, or just through sitting and listening to music that you love. And sitting outside in nature, drinking a cup of coffee or tea or whatever it is, where are those spaces where you are in peace? Alone or at peace alone with yourself and right now, if you are in a house with a whole bunch of other people, children are schooling, partners are trying to juggle working and managing all the needs. It can be really difficult. We have been through a traumatic year in terms of the pandemic, in terms of, the political climate, in terms of social justice issues, all of these things create so much noise in our head. And it's important stuff, you know? I mean, it's not things that you can just go, well, I don't want to know, we have to know some things. But we also have to take time to separate ourselves from those things so that we can gauge, where am I? And do I find myself getting short tempered really quickly these days? Do I find myself having less patience for my children or my coworkers, or, am I crying all the time? Am I spending seven, eight hours a day watching television or playing on my phone? Like those are distraction tools that we use to keep ourselves regulated to a certain degree. But at a point it gets in the way of you understanding yourself of you being able to figure out what it is that you're really feeling and experiencing. And sometimes you need help with this. Like, you know, sometimes you need a therapist. Sometimes you need a coach or a friend or a, religious advisor, whatever speaks to you, a spiritual advisor to help you come separate yourself from the constant whirling noise machine of your life.
Russ Johns: [00:26:05] Yeah, turn off the vacuum.
Erin Marhone: [00:26:07] Yes.
Russ Johns: [00:26:08] Wendy says, good morning pirates, what a blessing it is to share the view from the gangplank with you both. She teases me because she's my Jewish mother, so,
Erin Marhone: [00:26:22] Oh, wonderful. Well, I'm also a Jewish mother, so I I appreciate
Russ Johns: [00:26:26] I want to ask you one question, because I think it's important. It's something that I reflect on a regular basis. How do you define your perfect day?
Erin Marhone: [00:26:44] Well, I can illustrate to you what a perfect day looks like or I can talk to you about the feelings that are associated with it, which would you prefer?
Russ Johns: [00:27:00] Whatever you feel is most productive for the community.
Erin Marhone: [00:27:04] Okay. So my perfect day is when I feel most in my purpose. A day that is spent in equal parts being able to give attention and focus to my family in a way that I feel is meaningful and, and valuable to them. And at their age, sometimes that's just being undistracted enough to just sit and be present in the house. So that I'm there. If they should need me. Right. And getting to that point as a parent has been challenging for me because when they're younger, they need you all the time. And there is this sort of comfort in doing constant busy-ness. And then they reach a certain point where none of them needs me all that frequently. And it's more meaningful for them to just know that should they need me, I'll be available. And that's not always the case, but that is a big part of like what feels like a good day. And then on the other side of that and the ability to connect with people and talk about things that are really important to me, to be able to share these messages of hope and #inspiration and challenge, these sort of socialization messages that we get throughout our lives that tell us we have to be ABC, and just say, no, you don't have to be anything. You're not supposed to be anything. And then being in relationship with people who are actively or approaching actively being within those stages of change. And whether that is in a coaching session or a therapeutic session or an in-home session with a family and then tonight, I get to top it all off with performing and doing a show that allows me to bring forward these amazing storytellers that I've been working with now for a year, because we started right before the pandemic shut everything down and we had to kind of re do. So tonight, the if you could see me, project has a show where our amazing storytellers gets to finally share their stories with the world. And I get to sing some songs and tell some of my own stories and provide a space where people get to release. In a creative accepting, warm, nurturing space. They get to release the weight of what we've all been carrying for the last year. And today is actually a pretty perfect day for me, Russ.
Russ Johns: [00:29:45] Awesome. Awesome. Well, it's perfect for me. And I just love the opportunity to talk with people doing something that matters. We can all have a chance to #makeitmatter because we have an opportunity to make a difference in other people's lives. And when we're doing this and we're creating, we're expanding, learning, making a difference. It's a beautiful thing. Erin, thank you so much for being here today. And I know you have lots going on and thank you for sharing your event also. How do people get ahold of you and where can they connectand join another pirate in the community?
Erin Marhone: [00:30:23] Awesome. I love it. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you so much to all of your engaged guests. This has just been wonderful. Ifyoucouldseeme.com is my website. You can find tickets, you can find ways to share your story. You can reach out for other opportunities to work with me, to bring.If you could see me to your community, all the things, or you can just email me firstname.lastname@example.org, you can find us on all the social media. If you Google the, if you could see me project, lots of things will pop up. And that's where you can find me.
Russ Johns: [00:30:54] Fantastic. Everyone, as you know,share this out because this information is valuable to someone. Somebody needs to hear this today. Somebody needs to hear this tomorrow. Somebody needs to hear this next week and next year. So you'll make an impact, make a difference in somebody's life by sharing this information out, you know, like and subscribe all the social things that make it worthwhile for us to make an impact because #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday. Take care Erin.
Erin Marhone: [00:31:33] You too.
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