The Whole Shebang

Ep. 08 - Unmasking Our True Selves with Kendra Waldman

November 29, 2023 Jen Briggs Season 1 Episode 8
The Whole Shebang
Ep. 08 - Unmasking Our True Selves with Kendra Waldman
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Could you imagine a world where you're unafraid to show up exactly as you are? Where you're not trying to be what you think others want, or hiding parts of yourself in embarrassment or shame?  Our guest, Kendra Waldman doesn't hold back in sharing her experiences in how she's embraced all parts of herself; touching on (pun intended)  topics around sexuality including Tantra and her "playdates with Susie."

We chat about the shadow of depression and anxiety, her experience with it, and the power of self-compassion, ultimately arriving at the knowing that every part of us, including our past mistakes or trauma, holds beauty and lessons.

While these aren't always easy topics to discuss, that is precisely the point. Our fullest life comes to fruition through the realization that our beauty, strength, and radiance result in embracing all parts of ourselves (especially the ones we don't want others to see). Our holiness lies in our wholeness.

Resources:
Instagram: @kendrawaldman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kendra.s.waldman
www.KendraSueWaldman.com - Grab your FREE Tranquility Toolkit on how to calm the mind and body in under 30 seconds! 

We'd love a "follow" on the podcast, and a 5-Star Review is especially powerful!





Speaker 1:

You used this phrase our wholeness is our holiness, and I'd love to just hear you expound on that a little bit.

Speaker 2:

It's something that, even for myself, took a while to embrace, because we're raised in a society where we hide like I started out saying right, hiding behind these masks. We want to be liked, we want to be loved, we want to be accepted, and so we don't show all of ourself, we don't show the wholeness of us. We show parts of us right In order to, whether it's as a child, to become popular and be liked, to be invited to the parties, whatever it is right, and then, as an adult, in order to get the job, in order to get the partner right, we show parts of ourself on dating apps, and I understand that that's human nature. That's what the ego does to protect us, to be accepted. And as the planet is waking up, as consciousness is expanding, we understand that the beauty lies in all parts of us.

Speaker 1:

Hello, it's me, your host, Jen, and fellow journeyer on this path of learning how to reintegrate feminine energy into the boardroom. So we'll talk about things like conscious capitalism and leading with vulnerability and awareness and connection and play. We'll be diving into the bedroom. So basically we're gonna talk about the horizontal bombo in all seriousness. We're gonna look at how to create a deeper level of intimacy and connection in your romantic partnerships, but also in all of our relationships. I think we've become so disconnected, so how do we gain that in our relationships? And then we're gonna look beyond that into any tool or practice that helps us become more magnetic and more full. So manifestation techniques, meditation and personal development approaches that will help us move through challenges to step into our brightest, fullest, most magnetic version of ourselves. It's all the things. It is the whole shebang. So buckle up buttercups. We're diving in.

Speaker 1:

I am so excited about the guests that we have with us today. I am sitting here with Kendra Waldman. I first of all love her title. She is a spiritual strategist and mindfulness mentor. So, Kendra, welcome to the whole shebang.

Speaker 2:

So happy to have you here, Thank you and I'm buckled up, I'm ready, let's do it.

Speaker 1:

This is one buttercup who's buckled up. I like that. Kendra, if you just wanna take a moment and, beyond your title, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about who you are and kind of how you found your way to this work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so thanks so much for having me. This work is so important, just the work of mindfulness, manifestation and connecting people. So I love what you're doing and holding space for these conversations. They are so important, especially with the way of the world. So I just acknowledge you for having this home for us to talk about this. Yeah, I was an actor for 15 years, so I wore many masks, I wore many characters, hid behind many characters, and through that time, I'd always dealt with depression and anxiety. And it wasn't until five years ago when I went through a breakup that led to a breakdown, a very serious breakdown, which beautifully led to my breakthrough. And once I started my healing journey after about a year, I knew that this was the work I wanted to do. I wanted to help others heal in the way that I was able to heal. I wanted to help others feel less alone. I wanted to help others come back to their heart, come back to their soul, come back to their authentic self, and that's when I got involved.

Speaker 1:

That's how it started yeah, that's beautiful, you're speaking my language. I mean coming back to that heart and being centered, and I know when we chatted a little bit prior to this, you talked about this idea that our wholeness. Obviously I'm like, ah, a wholeness, bang, because I think we've so fragmented ourselves, we've pushed pieces into the shadow. We haven't. I believe we are born whole, but then things happen in life, and so you used this phrase our wholeness is our holiness, and I'd love to just hear you expound on that a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's something that even for myself, took a while to embrace, because we're raised in a society where we hide like I started out saying right, hiding behind these masks. We wanna be liked, we wanna be loved, we wanna be accepted, and so we don't show all of ourself, we don't show the wholeness of us. We show parts of us right In order to whether it's as a child, to become popular and be liked, to be invited to the parties, whatever it is right, and then, as an adult, in order to get the job, in order to get the partner right, we show parts of ourself on dating apps. And I understand that that's human nature. That's what the ego does to protect us, to be accepted. And as the planet is waking up, as consciousness is expanding, we understand that the beauty lies in all parts of us, that even the trauma we may have been through taught us something about ourself, whether that's how to begin to break the chains of ancestral trauma, things that have been passed down from generation to generation to generation, because that's all our parents knew, right? And we begin to say wait a second. This gets to change with me and I get to actually not hide that anymore. I get to talk about this, I get to share it, and I'll give you an example in a second that has to do with my Ancestral lineage, something that I'm like wait, this is, this is part of me, so our wholeness, in a sense that we are the sum of our parts. You know, even the anger is teaching us Boundaries about what is not feeling right in our life. This is all Part of our path and I'll say like, for example, for me, something that I Don't know, if you mean you might need to edit this out, I don't know, let's see. For me, you know.

Speaker 2:

So I was caught masturbating at age seven and my mother said if you keep doing that, they called my vulva Susie. And I said if you keep playing with Susie, you're never gonna get pregnant, which was a shock to my system. And so I had shame around Loving myself, loving myself physically for a very long time. And my mom, I said, when I got old enough and asked her why would she say that to a small child? She said, well, because that's what my my mom told me. Right, and so now, and so after that, when I was still acting, back in the day, I did a whole thing at Comedy Central, where I stood up and talked all about my plate eats with Susie, with my Volva, you know, I mean my wholeness is my holiness, and that was. I was like, well, you know what, we're not gonna shut it down anymore, I'm gonna embrace it and so that's just. You know, that's one example. I love that.

Speaker 1:

Oh, so it's maybe ironic and maybe not.

Speaker 1:

I was listening to a podcast a couple of weeks ago and I've heard a little bit about like the tantric traditions here and there.

Speaker 1:

I am by no means an expert, I have not, I don't know much about it, except I heard this one woman explaining and I don't know that a lot of our listeners Will know what tantra is and again, so I'm gonna like maybe butcher this a little bit, but she was explaining that, like a tantra master understands that the places that we have societally labeled as the unholy places, the dark things that have shame, the things that may be generationally we've been taught to be shamed and one of the major ones is sexuality and sensuality, and so, but it's somebody that understands tantra, knows that the holiness is like the dark ways, the quote-unquote dark ways are are the pathway to holiness.

Speaker 1:

And it seems like to me that that is a version of what you're saying right now, that that Our wholeness or those pieces of us that we've, that we've been shamed for or that we've felt ashamed about, or that, like you said, anger that we might have labeled as negative, but that those things are a pathway for us to Holyness, which is so counter to how I was raised in a Judeo-Christian household and there was so much shame around so many of those things that now it is such a huge paradigm shift to think wow, those things that I previously had labeled as bad, what if they're not bad at all?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, and you know another, another term. What you make me think of is shadow work. These are our shadows, but you, you only have shadows in the light, right? There's not shadows when the light is not shining. So often, the more someone's light shines, the more their shadows come out. Oh I haven't heard that before. I love that, oh, absolutely, you know so. So, for example, a shadow that I I share about and it took me a while to get comfortable sharing this is depression and anxiety.

Speaker 2:

Being an empath is a beautiful thing. I feel so much. I can feel other people's emotions and I can tap into, kind of, where their heart is as a highly sensitive person, and along with that, I can feel their pain, right. And so, yeah, there's this darkness that I've suppressed, that suppression of the depression, because there's a stigma on it. There's a stigma on it. There's a stigma on it. And then when I went from suppression to expression and I was able to say, wow, this is what this is. What is this teaching me? You know, this is teaching me I'm a sensitive soul. This is teaching me I need to be more creative. This is teaching me that I need to express myself. This is teaching me that I care so much about humanity. You know, there's so many things that these shadows are teaching us.

Speaker 2:

And so, yes, and and tontrick, I love tontrick. Tontrick is the way that when I went to a tontrick retreat, the way she she expressed it was it's gotten this name. That it's about, you know, like tontrick, sex people think sex often, but it's, it's about love, embracing love in everything we do. Can you bow to love? And I thought that was so beautiful.

Speaker 2:

The shadows are gonna be there. The darkness is going to be there. If you're fully expressing yourself and you're fully living this human experience and allowing yourself to feel feelings, the darkness is gonna come up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I'm curious. I want to go back, if you don't mind, the anxiety and depression piece. I just think it's way, way, way, way more common than people talk about and there's still. I feel like there's a lot of I don't know if I would say stigma around it, but just privacy, at least around it. When I, when you said you stopped suppressing it, you started expressing it, did you feel a shift in how it showed up? Like what? What was that experience like? Like, specifically, what did you do? Did you just stop resisting it or what? Can you tell me more about that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's, it's. It's such a great question. I'm so glad you asked this, because what happens is that which we resist persists right, and we know this is a scientific law. So, for example and again, bless my mother, she didn't know any differently, but when I was growing up and I was dealing with this depression, she would say to me Snap out of it, you have nothing to be depressed about. And on the outside I didn't. I had this beautiful life I was given, I was very blessed and, for whatever reason, chemically, I was sad quite often, and so the more she told me I had nothing to be depressed about, the more I became ashamed Of being depressed. So then I would hide it, suppress it, bury it, try to ignore it, and the more we do that, the more it was there, the more it was almost like coming over my shoulder, you know, like this ghost in the night.

Speaker 2:

And what happened is when I began doing this work in 2018 and I began embracing all of me, being holy with my holiness and saying this is a shadow part of me, this is a dark part of me and this is just a part of me. It's not good or bad, it just is. And then I was able to, in that shadow work, I was able to talk to that part of myself and say what do you need? What are you trying to tell me? You're really sad about the way of the world. What can we do to help? Okay, okay, you want to help or you want to volunteer more?

Speaker 2:

And then I just started volunteering for various organizations. Right, like, how can I help this depression that feels this part of me that feels sadness for the world? Well, go out and help the world. Right, like, or maybe there was a part of me that was sad because, you know, whatever it is, I wasn't expressing myself, writing. Okay, well, sit down and start writing that chapter in that book, whatever it is, when we can begin to talk to these parts of us. Right, we're no longer suppressing, we're allowing that part to have a voice. We almost befriended, and the more we acknowledge it and see it and say, hey, I see you and I don't hate you and you've been there all of my life. You've been giving me something. That's the suppression to expression. And then it goes along with expressing it out of your body through somatic healing, through breath work, through various ways to express it, to get it out to release that sadness, to release that anger, to release that pain.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love what you said earlier too about because obviously everybody's different and kind of the things that may trigger it, or maybe there isn't a trigger for some people. It's just like I'm feeling heavy today. This is I'm by no means an expert, this is just my perspective on my own personal experience or on what I see with people. Is that again kind of coming back to that resistance idea? But the piece that you talked about of of speaking to that part of us I just heard another psychologist talk about this that we all have these parts and that we can speak to those parts of us, and it to some people may seem a little woo, woo like out there, and that's okay. But like, what does it look like? And I like to think of it as intuition. Some people might say hi yourself, but to ask just to slow down enough.

Speaker 1:

I love how you talked about that to say hey, like, what do you need right now? Cause I think we don't. It seems so simple, but we don't ask that question. Instead, we just keep resisting, like I'm feeling gloomy, how do I fix it? How do I fix it? How do I fix it? Or how can I ignore this more, like you said, and just push it down and suppress it, versus just pausing to go.

Speaker 1:

What do I, what do I need right now and that's a lot of the conversation I've been having too is how do I know how to listen to my intuition, like you know the way you were describing it, for some people are like well, what is that voice? Is there? Am I going to hear like a voice from heaven that's going to tell me go volunteer or go do this thing? But for people to know what it feels like to tune into our bodies enough to ask ourselves that question and trust that we're going to have an answer, you know what I mean, for myself, when I hear my higher self talking to me, my soul talking to me, god, universe, future self, it's always for the greater good for all.

Speaker 2:

So it's something. It's something that that will move me forward and a positive light, and it's it's. It's never out of ego right. It's never like to be right about something. It's always like okay, there's something coming through from outside of me that wants you to help a person or a community or you know, whatever it is. It's always something that expands and it's not always comfortable. That's when I know it's growth right, because growth happens in those really uncomfortable moments. It's hard to expand when you're comfortable.

Speaker 1:

I also just think it's so, so common that for all the reasons you started out by saying we don't want to be judged, we are afraid we're going to be left behind by somebody. You know so many different reasons that we're like I don't really want to show up. Or I think for some people maybe they're afraid of their anger, or afraid of their sensuality, or they're, you know, it's like I don't know what's on the other side of this, like will I survive this or will I turn into somebody I don't like? Or I think that there's also those kinds of fears that, to the point you know, to the point of like what does it mean to do inner work? I think it, for me it's.

Speaker 1:

It's as basic and as simple as like ask, getting curious with yourself with those questions. So if I noticed I don't want to feel this emotion, then the question is well, what is it about it that I don't want to feel? What is it about it that I am afraid of? And asking that part of myself like what are you, what are you afraid of? And what allowed me to go down that path was that? The answer that came back is like there's nothing to be afraid of. You can trust yourself.

Speaker 1:

So, understanding that the first and most important relationship is with ourself, and that we can trust ourself, and even our brains, like our subconscious minds, aren't going to allow more to surface than what we can handle. That there's science behind that. So, yeah, I think I, just, in reflecting on my own journey, I'm like, oh yeah, those are some of the things that held me back and I think everybody's going to be a little bit different. But knowing like you're, you're wired and built in such a way that you can handle what's ahead of you. We're designed to be able to. You know progress.

Speaker 2:

And I love what you said about you're not going to be given more than you can handle. If you are, your body will listen to you. Your body will go into fight or flight. Your body will go into freeze. Your body will go into these shutdown states to protect you. And that's why, you know, people say, oh, the dark night of the soul and all of this. And yes, it can be. It can be so painful and it's. It's just like Dorothy, you know, in the Wizard of Oz. She goes through this, you know. You know it was like the, the, the, the bad witch, the good witch. She goes through this, this tornado and all of this, to find that Lake Holm was always here. And that's the beautiful thing is like, if anything, you're, you're coming back to yourself and you're shedding what you don't need, instead of going to something and thinking of it as like things are going to. It's like, literally, if anything, you're going to be released. It's going to be such a release that you're just going to be like, why didn't I do this sooner?

Speaker 1:

You know well and you you've heard of, I'm sure, like the heroine's journey or the hero's journey or what's the book I'm thinking of the alchemist. It is such a classic. It's what the Lord of the Rings is, the Wizard of Oz. That is the narrative of our life, If we choose it, that that we get to go on this adventure and we're going to need to slay some dragons all along the way and find the ring and which is the power and all of that at the end of the day is here.

Speaker 1:

You said it's like coming back back to yourself and I I wonder sometimes if people are like I don't know if I want to go on that adventure, I don't know if I want to have to slay a dragon. I think I'm just going to stay right here, stay put where I am. I just know. I don't even just like hope this or believe this. I just know that there is so much of everything that's abundant on the other side of that journey. You know it's fullness and all the things you're talking about, our wholeness and our joy and yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think, yes, it's listen. It's like I'm trying to think back to that time when I was going through like the first stages of my spiritual awakening, and it was so painful because I felt so alone and I felt like I really I struggled to find meaning in all of it and now, and at the time, like I was so devastated that this person no longer wanted to be with me and now coming out. You know, having been out on the other side years later, I am so grateful that that person didn't want to be with me, because that was the lesson I got to learn that I wasn't loving myself. It was such a huge eye opening experience when I began to take my life into my hands and I love what you say.

Speaker 2:

It's really easy to not take your life into your hands. It's so much easier to blame people and go well, he did this, she said that, they did this, yada, yada, yada. That is so easy and that's the way we were raised, and so I understand that. But when we start to take responsibility for our own karma, like we are not just the ones that are going through our lives, like we are not just doesn't happen to us, we are actually the cause of everything that has happened, and that's a tricky thing, because when it comes to abuse, that's a entirely different subject. But I'm talking about, for the most part, like you stayed in a job too long, you had something to do with it, right when we can take responsibility for that. It is so flipping and powering, but it takes courage, and courage does not mean having no fear. It is walking through that beer with fire. Yeah, I love it. It's scary, but it's worth it. It is so, it is so, it is so worth it.

Speaker 1:

You touched a little bit earlier on. Eventually we get to this point of expressing the emotions or like. I don't know if you would say that it's an energetic of like, if we have the energy still. So now we're, we're expressing our emotion, but then how do we release it Maybe that's the word that you used Um, and some different momentalities like breath work and things like that. So if the process is like okay, I'm not. I hate to boil it down to like here are the simple three steps, but kind of like okay, I'm going to acknowledge, I'm going to embrace these parts of myself, I'm going to ask what I need, so I'm going to stop the suppression, I'm going to let let that start to be expressed. And then the third part is to like a move through it. Would you say that that's? That's kind of what you would teach?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's really important to acknowledge where I am Right. It's like if you want to go to the bank, if you want to go to the grocery store, like where am I, where do I want to go and how can I get there? Right, so where am I If I'm in a state of, if I'm in a panic attack, if I'm in a state of anger on the freeway and someone cuts me off, if I'm in an argument with my spouse, if my kids on my last nerve, where, where am I? Okay, I'm angry, I'm sad, I'm grieving why I'm I'm. What is it Right? Where do I need to go and how can I get there?

Speaker 2:

The first thing is taking a breath. It is the. It is free. You can recalibrate your nervous system in under 10 seconds, even quicker than that, breathing in and breathing out twice as long. The ratio of breath one to two. So you breathe in for three and out for six and you can literally recalibrate your nervous system, taking you out of fight or flight.

Speaker 2:

There's other ways of getting energy out of your body, whether it's modalities of exciting dance, whether it's visualization, whether it's shaking, whether it's tapping. There's so many different tools we can use. But what that does is when you're clearing that energy, it creates space for new energy, clear energy to go okay. Now what do I want to do? Because when we have anger in us, I mean I have this scream pillow that you know, I just I literally it's like you got to let, you got to let that out. You know you got to, you got to get in there and just and let it out, because when that's wanting to happen, I'm not able to make a same decision about whatever it is I'm trying to decide upon. So it's clearing that energy.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Kendra, so you work with people you're coaching. Talk to me a little bit about if people want to learn more about you or get resources, what they might find.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so they can go to my Instagram at Kendra Waldman On there is my website. If they're not on Instagram, they can go to Kendra. Sue Waldman and I work with individual clients. We work in corporations and we put on events and retreats for people, whether it's for family reunions, whether it's for bachelor parties, bachelor at parties, whatever it may be. Welcome home events where we get people out of the head back into the heart through ways that are not only educational but also fun. That's one thing that's important. The more fun you have when you learn something, the more likely you're going to do it and the more likely it's gonna stick.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, okay, we'll put all of that in the show notes. One last question before we wrap here. So, if you have something to leave our listeners with today, what has been really just on your heart, on your mind, that you maybe a piece of advice or word of wisdom that you'd like to leave people with?

Speaker 2:

For me, the word that always comes up is love, and I believe that we don't just have love inside of us, that we are love, and so that if we can be that love every day that also was a way out of my depression and anxiety being love being source without expecting anything in return if every day of our life we can go out and love on five people, it could be as simple as literally smiling to someone, complimenting their shoes, hugging them, asking them how their day is, whatever it is, I don't, you know, we all can get creative.

Speaker 2:

You know, volunteering, whatever it may be, but it's spreading. That light is when our flame begins to burn even brighter and it literally is contagious. Love is contagious. So, with the way of the world, you know, my hope is that we can all begin to shed these layers of our identity, of our age, of our and it's a beautiful thing to embrace our age and our ethnicity and on all of these things about us and our jobs. But when we can just shed them for a little bit and go, at the end of the day, we're all just souls wanting to be loved and go, wow, we're really way more alike than we are different. We're mirrors of each other. This is we can begin to have peace on earth, and peace within.

Speaker 1:

That is a beautiful message, especially for what's happening in the world right now and it seems I think it can seem small sometimes in the face of such big things, and we know that there's a lot of power in people who are radiating love. There have been studies shown on groups of people going into crime-ridden cities and just meditating and the crime rate is falling. And if we can't do anything else, there are so many reasons to show up in our full awareness of love. And I love that we're connected so randomly, kendra, because everything you just said is like my heart, and it's really challenging sometimes to put into words what that really means to go.

Speaker 1:

I am love, but I've had some really profound experiences of feeling like literally every atom in my body is being illuminated by love. You know that love is source, as you said, but it just feels virtually impossible to put words to it and to hear you say that is like oh, and then for you to say we're mirrors of each other, I mean it's just. It's all of the things that I've been really whatever just letting permeate me over the last several years, and so I'm really thankful to have had this time with you today and thankful for you, sharing your heart and your wisdom, so we appreciate you being here.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, thank you so much again. I love what you're doing and I love how open your heart is and you're sharing these messages with people near and wide, and so thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's all for this episode of the whole shebang. We hope you enjoyed this chat as much as we did. A big thank you for tuning in and, of course, a thank you to Kendra for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to hit the follow button, leave a five star review. You can also follow us on social media to stay up to date. All the things and, again, all of the links and resources, will be shared in the show notes. So in the meantime, have a banging day and we'll catch you next time. Let's do this.

Introduction
Our Wholeness is Our Holiness
Playdates With "Susie"
A Touch of Tantra
The Shadow Of Depression
Embracing and Expressing Our Inner Selves
Speaking To All Parts of Ourselves (Shadow Work)
Tuning In To Our Intuition
The Fear of Integration and Self-Curiosity
Taking Responsibility For Our Karma
Responsibility for Karma and Emotion Expression
Tactics to Release Stress
Final Thoughts on Love