Balance & Beyond Podcast
#24: Tapping into the Power of Connection and Self-Discovery
When were you last in a room of women who got you?
I mean really got you. Seeing you for all that you are and can be? Chances are, it’s been a while, which is why these lessons from Jo’s recent retreats in Australia and New Zealand are so powerful.
Join her as she takes you through the experiences of 26 awe-inspiring women who embarked on a journey of self-discovery, learned the impact of their presence, and found their voice and energy.
In today’s hybrid world, we’ve lost some of the magic that comes with in-person connection, and we’ve not built the muscle to harness this power for the good it can do. Jo shares how catalysing it is to be around other women who lift you up,
Many of us have lost our village, so this episode is a powerful reminder of what impact this is having on us. Finding our tribe is not just about belonging; it's also a support system that relentlessly pushes you towards your potential.
Tuning into this episode would be like embarking on a journey of self-discovery, one that leads you to unlock your potential, find your tribe, and stand tall in your truth.
Here's what you're going to discover:
✨ The key component of in-person communication that I had underestimated and why we're missing out on so much if we're not aware of it
✨ How to become a giant magnet for what you want instead of it always being such a grind and hard work
✨ The key thing we're missing in our lives, but it's been absent for so long that we're not even aware it can be had with our clothes on
✨ What happens when you find your tribe of women who don't judge you, and why that's so hard to find these days
✨ How you can turn up the volume on your ambition when you have got this behind you
So, gear up and let's dive deep into these powerful transformations!
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INTRO: Welcome to Balance and Beyond, the podcast for ambitious women who refuse to accept burnout as the price of success. Here, we’re committed to empowering you with the tools and strategies you need to achieve true balance, where your career, relationships and health all thrive, and where you have the power to define success on your own terms. I honour the space you’ve created for yourself today, so take a breath, and let's dive right in…
I'm just back from running two retreats with my amazing clients, and in this episode, I want to share with you some of the secrets and the missing pieces, that are actually gaping holes in our lives, that many of us didn't even realise were there.
So I've had these two beautiful retreats in Australia and New Zealand, with 26 women from all different walks of life. I've had doctors, lawyers, professionals, business owners, all kinds of people. And one of my greatest joys is getting to spend time in person, with this lovely group of humans, many who have been with me on this journey for many, many years. And, of course, as with anything I do, there's good wine, there's great food, and a lot of it.
But, what really happens in those rooms is so transformative, that if this isn't something that you've had the pleasure of experiencing with me, I want to bring you into our world of what we realized, and particularly, I'm a very reflective person. After spending these two weekends back to back, it's also about, “What were the nuggets?” Or “What were the gems of wisdom that I picked up, that I didn't actually realize were either missing, or there before?” So, as always with me, I love the rule of three. So, I want to share with you the three key takeaways that I want to make sure that you, even if you couldn't be there, that you're going to understand what went down.
So, the first nugget, or first insight from me, was a reminder of the power of the energy in a room. And I mean, a physical room. We've been virtual for so long and, yes, you know, many of us are working hybrid these days, and people are going into the office here and there, and we can read the room over Zoom, or Teams, or whatever platform you're using.
But the dynamic is so different when you are actually in person, and are right there, and can touch people. There are nuances of body language, there is the ability to sense what's going on. And we had so many interesting moments where, in a room, something that might be lost over Zoom or Teams, when you could almost sense this collecting, holding of a breath. When I asked somebody to step into a vulnerable space, and you could see in much greater clarity, everybody's shoulders go up. You could almost feel that energy in a room, and we're all energetic creatures.
One of the best ways I love to describe this is you walk into a bar and it's quiet and, whether there's music playing or not, you walk in and go, “Oh, what's going on here?” There's no energy. The bar feels flat. And you walk into a different bar and, whether the music's playing or not, there's just a different energy. There's a different vibe. There's more laughter, people are talking loud, there's more conversation. What you're sensing in that moment is actually energy, and a rising tide lifts all boats. And this is true when it comes to energy, and not just, “Rah, rah!” “Let's all kind of pump our fists to the ceiling and do a chest beat.”
I mean, as women start stepping into their power, as they start shedding layers, as they realize their beauty, as they find their purpose, that becomes catalyzing. And by catalyzing, I mean that as one person steps up, when you're in these beautiful environments of a retreat, which is very different to a corporate conference, here everybody's crying in front of each other and we're talking. You know, I'm not crying. People have held hands.
This is not necessarily all, you know, sit around a circle and sing, “Kumbaya.” But, this is a beautiful place where women feel safe to be themselves. There is so much laughter and, yes, you know there can be tears, because we shed a lot of layers by catalyzing. Instead of if somebody has a breakthrough, if somebody puts something down, and sheds the layer, which is a good thing, by the way. That then, rather than competing, and somebody else thinking, “Oh my gosh, they did that.” “What's wrong with them?” It becomes, “She's put that down.” “I can too.” “If she's just said that she's gonna change the world, I'm not gonna be threatened by that.” “I'm going to think that I can too.” And this is where being in person is so, so, so powerful, because we become much greater magnets for what we want, because we are all vibrating creatures.
And a beautiful statistic that I shared with my clients on retreat that blew my mind, so I’ll share it with you too is: I have discovery calls booked with me for those who want to find out more about my talk. It, and this, is based on an algorithm, based on social media, and we all know how they work. Well, over the past couple of months, I have a consistent year of two to three calls booked each day. We talk about being magnetic, and we talk about vibrating, and high frequencies. The day that I started retreat and for every day I was on retreat, and even the days in between, I was averaging five to six calls a day.
You could call that coincidence, but nothing else changed in my funnel, nothing else changing in my marketing. I did nothing different. I didn't increase my budget. Facebook and Instagram didn't suddenly start favoring my ads. It’s because I was standing in my power. I was standing in something that I'm absolutely, without question, born to do. When I can stand in that power, that becomes magnetic for others who want to be around somebody like that.
So, I become catalyzing, and everybody around me then catalyzes each other, and that's a beautiful place to be. Especially when you are unlocking other women with your energy, and that is what we do on retreat. So, the take away for you is, “How are you able to impact a room?” “Especially when you're in person.” “How are you using your energy?” “How are you using your presence?” “How are you using your voice to get what you want?” To make a difference with others, and to make an impact on this world?” Because, ultimately, that's what we all want.
The second piece that was really, really interesting was, as women, reimagining, I guess you could say, being reacquainted with the importance of touch. Now, before your mind goes to a very dirty place, I am talking about non-sexual touch here, from another woman. Now, many of you have heard of the love languages. There are five of them, and touch is one of them. And touch is something that we, as a human, need.
And there's some fascinating studies that have been done over the years, where babies haven't been touched. And there were some studies done out of some of the Romanian orphanages, where they were put babies in cribs, and they were never touched by another human, or very rarely, unless it was to change a nappy or something functional, and those children grew up with all kinds of intellectual, physical, and emotional disabilities. And the only thing they were denied was touch and love.
What happens, though, as we get older, and tend to get partners, is that we assume that touch only comes from our partners, and it's always going to end up with us taking our clothes off. So many women shut themselves down to touch. And she is sure they hug their kids, and they hug a girlfriend when they see them, but there's a difference between actually receiving touch, from what I'm talking about. Somebody's hand on your back, when you're going through something, or when you're being vulnerable.
And, in our disconnected world where things are so virtual, people were absolutely craving that. And we did a number of edgy exercises, and heads up. When you come work with me, I'm going to push you out of your comfort zone. And everybody loved it. Even being able to stand in a circle with your hands on each other's backs, feeling the love and actually pushing energy through each other's bodies. Sounds a bit woo, but trust me, it works. It’s is a magical experience and something that we aren't very often exposed to.
We've not been taught to do this. We've been taught that anything touchy-feely is either woo, or it's going in another direction. Instead of saying you know what? As women, we like that. We like to be. You know, have our arms stroked, or whatever it is, and please get your mind out of the gutter. It isn't that way inclined. It's nurturing. It is warm. It is love. And that is a part of us that many male partners can't give us, because they don't touch in the same way. They don't know how to be gentle. They don't know if we want that hug that might last that little bit longer. You need a hug for 10 to 20 seconds, for the oxytocin to actually be released, for you to feel that love hormone. Oh, and that love hormone eats cortisol.
So, while I'm not suggesting you go up to your female boss and say, “Oh, you know, we all need connection,” and you start touching them. You have to be very careful, especially in the workplace. But I'm talking about what's the opportunity for you to have really deep connections with other women, where you're able to ask, “What do you need?” “Is it a shoulder rub?” “Is it something else?” And that was a piece that blew the minds of so many women at the retreat, that they didn't even know that they were missing this.
And that brings us to our third point. And it's a word that I have used very tentatively, and I ask you not to cringe when you hear the word, because there is a lot of hype and rubbish around this word. And that is the value of “Sisterhood.” Or, if you don't like that word, let's go with, “The value of a connection with other women.” So, you need to look behind all the insta hashtags, and your #girlweekend.
But, as women, we have lost our village. And I'm not talking about the mums at the school gate or, you know, the friends that you meet for wine, where you whinge about your bosses, and how busy you are. I'm talking about women who really, really get us. Somebody on retreat said it best when she said, “I'm not interested in what makeup you're wearing, I want to know what's really going on with you.”
We spend so much of our time having these superficial conversations about the weather, or our weekends, and yeah that's great. But, we need to do that to get to know each other. And yes, there's the Whinging Wine Club. But, so many women are never comfortable, and don't have other women in their lives where they're able to talk about what's really holding them back, or what are their real desires.
How do they talk to themselves? What are some things that they're really challenged with? And we are longing for this deep connection amongst equals, and this is not equals hierarchically, this is not equals financially. These are women who get you where you do not need to justify any of your decisions, or defend any of your decisions, or where there's minimal judgment, where it's not a competition, where something good happens for you, it's like, “Yes, that happened for you!’ “I'm proud of you!” “And if that good thing happened for you, well, maybe it can happen for me too!”
The women in my rooms did not apologize for their visions, or their ambition. Many of them, over these weekends, really turned up the dial significantly, and some of them said, “You know what?” “I've actually realized that I'm playing a bit small.” “I have a job that gives me flexibility, but I know I've got a lot more potential.” “Do I really want to spend the next 10 years in a job where I'm not actually fulfilled and I'm not being paid what I'm worth, and I've got a lot more to give, just because it's flexible?”
Now, again, you make your own decisions. But, how do you get surrounded by other women, who are also realizing their potential, when they're able to share how they're doing it? That is what makes a really, really big difference. And whether you've got women that you can really connect with, and you found them in your workplace, or in your industry. Maybe you've got some local friends. Maybe you've got friends from your childhood. But so many women I speak to are incredibly lonely, and they don't have anybody who gets them.
Yeah, they might have the old girlfriend that they can have a coffee with, and that's great. But, what if you're really looking to be able to have some of those deeper conversations? And too often I've got many friends who will say, “Do I end up being the fixer?” “I go have a coffee with this friend, and they spend the whole time whinging about their marriage, or their boss, and then I have to sit there and listen to that.” That's not a connection amongst equals. That's you being a sounding board or perhaps a punching bag or a psychologist.
Where are these meaningful conversations about what you want to achieve in the world? Where are the meaningful conversations about, “I want to fly higher!” And, “Oh my gosh, I'm so inspired by the way you said that!” Or “I'm so inspired by what you just did!” “And if you did it, I can do it too!” “How did you do that?” “What beliefs do you have that sit behind that?” All of that is so beautiful, and so needed.
And, to be honest, not having a tribe is one of the reasons that I actually started my business, because I had so few women in my world who I could go to and have these conversations with. Yes, I'm a bit of a chameleon. I could be on the golf course back in my corporate days, on a corporate golf day with a whole bunch of men, and I could joke about this, and I could joke about that. And I could be at the school gate and talk about when Stella lost a tooth, and when she took her first steps, and I can do all of that.
But there is so much more meaning and fulfillment in being able to have actual conversations with people about their dreams. About when they look back, when they're 80, what do they want to be most proud of? And a lot of people say, “Oh, I don't want all that deep conversation.” And that's fine, but I'd hazard a guess that that's almost because you've forgotten what it's like to have one. And so many women come into my world, and they did not realize how much they missed being surrounded by women who got them.
And often, people who are in my world are judged because perhaps they are successful. Or, they do have a senior to career, and they find that if they're hanging out with their girlfriends, who are maybe having marriage problems, or maybe they've got a happy marriage, and they then think, “Well, who am I to complain?” “Who am I to complain about, maybe some of my money beliefs that are holding me back, because I want more abundance, when this friend over here is struggling to pay their bills?” So you've got to find those women who are going to support you, who are going to help you fly high.
So these were some of my nuggets from these beautiful weekends away, and the power of sisterhood and energy, and women supporting each other in a way that I haven't seen before. It was so transformational for people in the room who, many of them, you know, were able to draw beliefs that they've had for decades over the course of a weekend. It was so transformational that I'm actually revisiting my entire plan for 2024 so that I can bring more of this together, because I want people to be able to see and feel what it is like to be in a room full of equals, and a room of women who get you and to actually be supported by others. Because, as women, we have this beautiful power of energy, of emotion, and we shove it down, we deny it, we numb it, we escape it with “busy” and it's our superpower, if we can learn to harness it. And the way we need to learn to harness it, is off others who are doing the same thing. So that is my joy for you today.
If you don't have a woman in your life, well then, see if you can find one. Can you nurture one? Is there somebody who you've really got along with in the past, that you think, “You know what?” “Maybe I'm going to go buy her a coffee.” “Or maybe I'm going to start a text conversation.” How do you find these other women? Because, there is nothing like being in person, there is nothing like feeling the love, and the connection, and having women who want you to fly high. So fly high today, my friend, and I will see you again soon.
OUTRO: Thank you for joining us today on the Balance and Beyond Podcast. We're so glad you carved out this time for yourself. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend who might need to hear this today. And if you're feeling extra generous, leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice would mean the world. If you’re keen to dive deeper into our world, visit us at www.balanceinstitute.com to discover more about the toolkit that has helped thousands of women avoid burnout and create a life of balance, and beyond. Thanks again for tuning in, and we'll see you next time on the Balance & Beyond Podcast.
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